The Pathfinder Monk: A New Take


Homebrew and House Rules

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Okay. The blog Monkeying Around has been out for a while now, so here is my thoughts on how the monk can be brought fully up to speed and equal to the other martial classes. It incorporates everything that Jason and his team have worked on with a few other ideas. Let me know what you think.

MA

The Pathfinder Monk: A New Take

For the truly exemplary, martial skill transcends the battlefield—it is a lifestyle, a doctrine, a state of mind. These warrior-artists search out methods of battle beyond swords and shields, finding weapons within themselves just as capable of crippling or killing as any blade. These monks (so called since they adhere to ancient philosophies and strict martial disciplines) elevate their bodies to become weapons of war, from battle-minded ascetics to self-taught brawlers.

Monks tread the path of discipline, and those with the will to endure that path discover within themselves not what they are, but what they are meant to be.

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

Alignment: Any lawful.

Base Attack Bonus: Full.

Hit Die: d8.

Good Saves: Fort, Ref, and Will.

CLASS SKILLS
The monk’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (History) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier (but see monastic skill training, below).

CLASS FEATURES
All of the following are class features of the monk.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Monks are proficient with the club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shortspear, short sword, shuriken, siangham, sling, and spear.
Monks are not proficient with any armor or shields.
When wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, a monk loses his AC bonus, as well as his fast movement and flurry of blows abilities (see below).

AC Bonus (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, the monk adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his AC and his CMD. In addition, a monk gains a +1 bonus to AC and CMD at 4th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every four monk levels thereafter. These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the monk is flat-footed. He loses these bonuses when he is immobilized or helpless, when he wears any armor, when he uses a shields, or when he carries a medium or heavy load.

Bonus Feat: At 1st level, 2nd level, and every four levels gained thereafter as a monk, a monk may select a bonus feat. These feats must be chosen from the following list: Catch Off-Guard, Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Improved Grapple, Improved Sunder, Scorpion Style, and Throw Anything.

At 6th level, the following feats are added to this list: Gorgon’s Fist, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Trip, and Mobility.

At 10th level, the following feats are added to this list: Greater Grapple, Greater Sunder, Improved Critical, Medusa’s Wrath, Snatch Arrows, and Spring Attack.

At 14th level, the following feats are added to this list: Greater Bull Rush, Greater Disarm, and Greater Trip.

A monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.

Fast Movement (Ex): Starting at 1st level, a monk gains a bonus of +10’ to his movement. At 7th level, and again at 14th level, this bonus increases by an additional +10’. This bonus is not an enhancement bonus and it applies to all movement modes that the monk may possess (including those granted by spells). A monk wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load loses this extra speed.

Flurry of Blows (Ex): Starting at 1st level, a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action. When doing so he may make one additional attack using any combination of unarmed strikes or attacks with a special monk weapon (club, dagger, handaxe, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shortspear, short sword, shuriken, and siangham) as if using the Two-Weapon Fighting feat (even if the monk does not meet the prerequisites for the feat).

Unlike Two-Weapon Fighting, a monk may make all of his attacks (normal as well as the additional attack(s) from this ability) with just one weapon chosen from those above, or with two weapons. When using two weapons (or a double weapon), a monk may choose which weapon to use when making any individual attack. He may substitute an unarmed strike for any number of his attacks during a flurry of blows.

A monk takes a penalty of -2 on the attack roll of all attacks made during a flurry of blows and any attacks of opportunity that he may make during the same round he uses a flurry of blows, as well as all combat maneuvers made during that round. This penalty does not increase if the monk wields a one-hand weapon in his off-hand.

Starting at 8th level, the monk can make two additional attacks when he uses flurry of blows, as if using Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (even if the monk does not meet the prerequisite for the feat.)

At 15th level, the monk can make three additional attacks using flurry of blows, as if using Greater Two-Weapon Fighting (even if the monk does not meet the prerequisites for the feat).

A monk applies his full Strength bonus (his Strength modifier) to his damage rolls for all successful attacks made with a flurry of blows, whether the attacks are made with an off-hand or with a weapon wielded in both hands. A monk using the Power Attack feat during a flurry of blows treats all weapons, regardless of how they are wielded, as one-handed weapons wielded in a single hand, for the purpose of determining the bonus damage granted by that feat.

A monk may substitute disarm, sunder, and trip combat maneuvers as part of a flurry of blows.

A monk cannot use any weapon other than an unarmed strike or a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows. A monk with natural weapons cannot use such weapons as part of a flurry of blows, nor can he make natural attacks in addition to his flurry of blows attacks.

Monastic Skill Training: At 1st level, a monk must choose two skills in which he does not possess skill ranks from the following list: Craft (any), Diplomacy, Knowledge (any), Linguistics, and Perform (any). This choice cannot be altered once made. These two skills become class skills for the monk and the monk gains 2 bonus skill ranks that must be applied the chosen skills. Each level gained as a monk thereafter, the monk gains 2 additional bonus skill ranks that must be applied to these skills.

Unarmed Strike: At 1st level, a monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A monk’s attacks may be performed with fist, elbows, knees, feet, and head. This means that a monk may make unarmed strikes with his hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed. A monk may thus apply his full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all his unarmed strikes.

Usually a monk’s unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but he can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on his attack roll. He has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.

A monk’s unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural attacks (including the bonus attack granted by the spell haste).

A monk also deals more damage with his unarmed strikes than a normal person would, as shown on Table 3-9: Monk. The unarmed damage values listed on Table 3-9 is for Medium monks. A Small monk deals less damage than the amount given there with his unarmed strikes, while a Large monk deals more damage; see Table 3-10: Small or Large Monk Unarmed Damage.

Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level or higher, a monk can avoid damage from many area-effect attacks. If a monk makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a monk is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Still Mind (Ex): A monk of 3rd level or higher gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against enchantment spells and effects. This bonus increases to +4 upon reaching 10th level as a monk and again to +6 at 17th level.

Stunning Fist (Ex): Starting at 3rd 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 gained as a monk thereafter, the monk gains the ability to apply a new condition to the target of his Stunning Fist. This condition replaces stunning the target for 1 round, and a successful saving throw negates the effect. At 4th level, he can choose to make the target fatigued. At 8th level, he can make the target sickened for 1 minute. At 12th level, he can make the target staggered for 1d6+1 rounds. At 16th level, he can permanently blind or deafen the target. At 20th level, he can paralyze the target for 1d6+1 rounds. The monk must choose which condition will apply before the attack roll is made. These effects do not stack with themselves (a creature sickened by Stunning Fist cannot become nauseated if hit by Stunning Fist again), but additional hits do increase the duration of the effect.

Ki Pool (Su): At 4th level, a monk gains a pool of ki points, supernatural energy that he can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in a monk’s ki pool is equal to his monk level + is Wisdom modifier.

As long as he has at least 1 point in his ki pool, he can make a ki strike. At 4th level, ki strike allows a monk’s unarmed strikes to be treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and striking incorporeal creatures. Ki strike improves as the character gains additional levels as a monk. At 7th level, his unarmed strikes are also treated as cold iron or silver weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. At 10th level, his unarmed strikes are also treated as lawful weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. At 16th level, his unarmed strikes are also treated as adamantine weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and bypassing hardness.

By spending 1 point from his ki pool, a monk can make one additional attack at his highest base attack bonus, but only with unarmed strikes or when wielding a special monk weapon that can be used in a flurry of blows (see flurry of blows above). In addition, he can spend 1 point to gain a +20’ enhancement bonus to his speed for 1 round. He can spend 1 point to take a second 5’ step in a round where he has already taken a 5’ step. He can spend 1 point to gain a +4 bonus to the saving throw DC of his Stunning Fist ability for 1 attack (this option must be used before the attack is rolled); this use also applies to his Quivering Palm ability, once the monk gains the use of that class feature. Finally, a monk can spend 1 point from his ki pool to give himself a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 round. Each of these powers is activated as a swift action. A monk gains additional powers that consume point from his ki pool as he gains levels.

The ki pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation; these hours do not need to be consecutive.

Catfall (Ex): At 4th level or higher, a monk always lands on his feet after a fall (but not when deliberately tripped). In addition, a monk is capable of falling great distances without harm. When this ability is first gained, the monk may spend 1 ki point as an immediate action to reduces the damage taken from a fall by 4d6. For each additional level gained thereafter as a monk, the falling damage is reduced by an additional 1d6, to a maximum reduction of 20d6 for a 20th level monk, along a monk of such a level to fall any distance without suffering harm. A monk using this ability is not slowed when falling, nor does he require a wall or other surface within arm’s length.

High Jump (Ex): At 5th level, a monk adds his level to all Acrobatics checks made to jump, both for vertical jumps and horizontal jumps. In addition, he always counts as having a running start when making jump checks using Acrobatics. By spending 1 point from his ki pool as a swift action, a monk gains a +20 bonus on Acrobatics checks made to jump for 1 round.

Purity of Body (Ex): At 5th level, a monk gains immunity to all diseases, including supernatural and magical diseases.

Monastic Weapons Training (Ex): Starting at 6th level, a monk gains a +1 bonus on all attack rolls (not damage rolls) made with unarmed strikes and special monk weapons. Every four levels gained as a monk thereafter (10th, 14th, and 18th), this bonus increases by an additional +1.

A monk also adds this bonus to any combat maneuver checks made with unarmed strikes or special monk weapons, as well as any grapple checks which he makes. When wielding a special monk weapon, this bonus also applies a monk’s CMD against disarm and sunder attempts.

Wholeness of Body (Su): At 7th level and higher, a monk can heal his own wounds. By spending 2 points from his ki pool as a swift action, the monk will heal 1d6 points of hit point damage for every two monk levels he possesses (round up, to a maximum of 10d6 at 19th level). If the monk instead spends 3 points from his ki pool to activate this ability, he adds his Monk level as a bonus to the amount of healing rolled.

Starting at 14th level, a monk using wholeness of body can instead spend 2 ki points as a swift action to restore 1 point of ability damage he has suffered for every two monk levels he possesses (round up, to a maximum of 10 at 19th level). The monk may split this restoration between as many ability scores as he chooses, but no score can be raised above its normal maximum value. Any excess ability score damage healing is lost.

Improved Evasion (Ex): At 9th level, a monk’s evasion ability improves. He still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth he takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Diamond Body (Su): At 11th level, a monk gains immunity to poisons of all kinds.

Abundant Step (Su): At 12th level, a monk can slip magically between spaces, as if using the spell dimension door. Using this ability is a move action that consumes 2 points from his ki pool. His caster level for this effect is equal to his monk level. He may take other creatures with him when he uses this ability. Unlike the spell, using this ability does not end the character’s turn.

Diamond Soul (Ex): At 13th level, a monk gains spell resistance equal to his current monk level +10. In order to affect the monk with a spell, a spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the monk’s spell resistance. Once per round, as a free action that the monk can take even when it is not his turn, he may voluntarily lower his spell resistance in order to receive a single spell (typically from an ally, but it is possible for the monk to be tricked and receive a harmful spell). An unconscious monk retains his spell resistance and cannot voluntarily lower it, however a deceased monk is no longer so protected.

By spending 1 point from his ki pool as an immediate action, a monk can gain a +4 bonus to his spell resistance for 1 round.

Quivering Palm (Su): Starting at 15th level, a monk can set up vibrations within the body of another creature that can thereafter be fatal if the monk so desires. He can use this quivering palm attack once per day, and he must announce his intent before making his attack roll. Creatures immune to critical hits cannot be affected. Otherwise, if the monk strikes successfully and the target takes damage from the blow, the quivering palm attack succeeds. Thereafter, the monk can try to slay the victim at a later time, as long as the attempt is made within a number of days equal to his monk level. To make such an attempt, the monk merely wills the target to die (a free action), and unless the target makes a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + one-half the monk’s level + the monk’s Wisdom modifier), it dies. If the saving throw is successful, the target is no longer in danger form that particular quivering palm attack, but it may still be affected by another one at a later time. A monk can have no more than 1 quivering palm in effect at one time. If a monk uses quivering palm while another is still in effect, the previous effect is negated.

At 16th level, and every level gained thereafter, a monk gains one additional daily use of this ability.

Timeless Body (Ex): At 17th level, a monk no longer takes penalties to his ability scores for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any such penalties that he has already taken, however, remain in place. Age bonuses still accrue, and the monk still dies of old age when his time is up.

Tongue of the Sun and Moon (Ex): A monk of 17th level or higher can speak with any living creature.

Empty Body (Su): At 19th level, a monk gains the ability to assume an ethereal state for 1 minute as though using the spell etherealness. Using this ability is a move action that consumes 3 points from his ki pool. This ability only affects the monk and cannot be used to make other creatures ethereal.

Perfect Self: At 20th level, a monk becomes a magical creature. He is forevermore treated as an outsider rather than as a humanoid (or whatever the monk’s creature type was) for the purpose of spells and magical affects. Additionally, the monk gains damage reduction 10/chaotic and magic, which allows him to ignore the first 10 points of damage from any attack made by a nonchaotic weapon or by any natural attack made by a creature that doesn’t have similar damage reduction. Unlike other outsiders, the monk can still be brought back from the dead as if he were a member of his previous creature type.

EX-MONKS
A monk who becomes nonlawful cannot gain new levels as a monk, but retains all monk abilities.


SUMMARY OF CHANGES

A quick summary for those who don't want to read the entire thing. Not very detailed (that is what the above is for).

Base Attack Bonus: I went ahead and gave the monk full BAB, but I did NOT increase Hit Die. The monk already had virtual full BAB for a flurry of blows and when performing combat maneuvers.

Bonus Feat: Added some new choices from the CRB to the list, including all of the Greater Maneuver feats (from the CRB).

Fast Movement: Swapped with stunning fist. Doesn't go as high, but it starts earlier and is no longer an enhancement bonus. Applies to all modes of movement.

Flurry of Blows: Added the latest FAQ and also cleared up some issues regarding Power Attack and what "full Strength bonus" means. I have also gone ahead and clarified that monks take a -2 penalty when using FOB and that penalty applies to AoOs as well as combat maneuvers made during the same round. Added the simple weapons that a monk is proficient with to the special monk weapons, so your monk can flurry with a club, dagger, handaxe, shortspear, or short sword. Since the spear is d8 weapon, I didn't add that.

Monastic Skill Training: Added this ability. Gives a little boost to a monk's skills, but only in a limited fashion.

Unarmed Strike: Just clarified two things. First, the monnk can make head-butts (heh) and second that haste grants an additional attack with a monk's unarmed strike.

Maneuver Training: Removed. No longer needed.

Stunning Fist: Swapped with fast movement. The monk doesn't get this to 3rd level now.

Ki Pool/Ki Strike: Added the new feature (cold iron/silver DR at 7th) and changed some of the powers. Now the monk can gain an additional attack by spending ki, but not limited to flurry of blows. This means he can move and attack twice. Also added gain a SECOND 5' step for 1 ki.

Slow Fall/Catfall: Changed to use my catfall instead of standard slow fall.

Monastic Weapons Training: Added this feature. Far less powerful than the Weapon Training class ability of the Figher class, and gained later.

Wholeness of Body: Changed to resemble a paladin's lay on hands, but for the monk only. Added a couple of options, including the healing of ability score damage.

Abundant Step: Made it work.

Diamond Soul: Added an option to lower SR as a free action to recieve an allies spell once per round.

Quivering Palm: Added more uses as a monk gains levels.

Perfect Self: Minor change to DR 10/chaotic and magic.


Surprised you didn't put Cockatrice Strike into the 14th level bonus feats

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

That might give people the idea that it is worth taking. :P


Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
Surprised you didn't put Cockatrice Strike into the 14th level bonus feats

I kept to the CRB only for bonus feats and weapon proficencies; not everyone has later books.

MA


Nothing looks wrong to me. Giving him full BAB is a good move, I think. Not having just feels like he has situations where he's weaker (not making a full-attack), not a situation where he's stronger (giving him flurry).


I like the change to BAB, flurry, skills, and ki. I think, however, that you've gone too far while not addressing one of the problems with the current monk. I don't like the direction you clarified power attack.

Monastic Weapon Training is stepping on the Sohei's toes. Leaving power attack as it is puts the two handed weapon monk at acceptable damage output considering their other benefits, especially now that fast movement is untyped, and there's an alternate fix for two weapon and unarmed monk damage.

I'm not sure swapping stunning fist and fast movement is a good idea. Fast movement, especially untyped, makes an already outstanding dipping class even better. Swapping them also mucks up a whole lot of archetypes.

Abundant Step doesn't need to let you take others through if it lets you make a standard action after arriving.

The remaining problem is that monks are punished more than anyone else for TWF and must TWF with unarmed strike. I would put Two Weapon Rend on the level 10 bonus feat list with a clarification that it applies any time the monk hits with two weapons in an attack sequence or with unarmed strike twice.

That will let two weapon monks and unarmed monks stack on a nice extra chunk of damage that, at 20 strength or higher (which even a MAD medium creature should be able to have easily at level 10 if belts are available), will make up for the power attack gap when not critting. It's a solution that does make two weapon weak at low level, but it is in line with the usual relationship between single and two weapon combat: single weapon is usually better until level 11 (possibly 10 for rangers) when two weapon rend brings it ahead. This, unlike power attack always being 2:1, gives two weapon and unarmed builds an actual advantage to look forward to to offset paying twice as much for enhancement and having either smaller dice than a temple sword or an inferior crit range. Without keeping power attack as it is, however, it's too large an advantage to late game two weapon or unarmed builds.


I'm confused why you didn't give the Monk proficiency in all monk weapons. Wasn't that one of the big complaints most people have?

I think Monastic Skill Training is awkwardly worded, unprecedented, and unnecessary. If they really need more skill points, just give them 6+ per level and add those skills to their class list. I also think Monastic Weapon Training is unnecessary, but not harmful, awkward, or anything.

I think you did a lot of little things right, but yeah, it's missing a few things I consider important and/or a simpler fix.

For one, as I mentioned, make Monks proficient in all Monk weapons.

Give monks either Pounce or the Mobile Fighter's Rapid Attack ability (possibly costing Ki).

And one of the most important in my opinion--allow Monks to enchant their Unarmed Strike directly. Then you can just flat out have a +1 Unarmed Strike or a +3 Holy Unarmed Strike or whatever else.


Atarlost wrote:
I like the change to BAB, flurry, skills, and ki. I think, however, that you've gone too far while not addressing one of the problems with the current monk. I don't like the direction you clarified power attack.

I realize that a lot of people WON'T like it. But my reasoning is this: if the monk already deals full Strength modifier with weapons wieled in two-hands as well as off-hand weapons, it makes sense to put the same thing in for PA. Now, the whole concept of the monk wielding a temple sword two-haded for 3-1 PA bonuses is gone. On the bright side, you no longer get 1-1 PA bonuses with unarmed strikes. To me, it makes sense, but I know that others will not care for it.

Quote:
Monastic Weapon Training is stepping on the Sohei's toes. Leaving power attack as it is puts the two handed weapon monk at acceptable damage output considering their other benefits, especially now that fast movement is untyped, and there's an alternate fix for two weapon and unarmed monk damage.

Not really. The Sohei gets full-blown weapons training, at the same level (including the bonus on damage). AND he can pick up two more weapon groups (at +2 and +1). The Sohei winds up having +3/+3 on attacks/damage with his top group, whereas this monk gets +4/+0; but the sohei also has +2/+2 on a second group and +1/+1 on a third group; which can incude weapons with a far larger damage and threat range than most monk weapons.

Quote:
I'm not sure swapping stunning fist and fast movement is a good idea. Fast movement, especially untyped, makes an already outstanding dipping class even better. Swapping them also mucks up a whole lot of archetypes.

Barbarian's get fast movement (which is untyped and stacks) at 1st level. Making that clas faster than a monk prior to 3rd level. I hated that. And the barbarian fast movement is only lost when wearing heavy armor or carrying a heavy load.

Quote:
Abundant Step doesn't need to let you take others through if it lets you make a standard action after arriving.

Perhaps. I think that it should. Remember, they must be willing.

Quote:

The remaining problem is that monks are punished more than anyone else for TWF and must TWF with unarmed strike. I would put Two Weapon Rend on the level 10 bonus feat list with a clarification that it applies any time the monk hits with two weapons in an attack sequence or with unarmed strike twice.

That will let two weapon monks and unarmed monks stack on a nice extra chunk of damage that, at 20 strength or higher (which even a MAD medium creature should be able to have easily at level 10 if belts are available), will make up for the power attack gap when not critting. It's a solution that does make two weapon weak at low level, but it is in line with the usual relationship between single and two weapon combat: single weapon is usually better until level 11 (possibly 10 for rangers) when two weapon rend brings it ahead. This, unlike power attack always being 2:1, gives two weapon and unarmed builds an actual advantage to look forward to to offset paying twice as much for enhancement and having either smaller dice than a temple sword or an inferior crit range. Without keeping power attack as it is, however, it's too large an advantage to late game two weapon or unarmed builds.

No, they can use two-weapons as well as anyone with the full TWF chain and double-slice. Two Weapon Rend would be nice, but is it really needed? Does it fit the theme of the monk?

With the bonus to hit provided by Monastic Weapons Training, this monk now hits ALMOST as good a Fighter or Paladin or Barbarian or Ranger . . . before strength. His MAD doesn't matter (quite) as much anymore, because he doesn't have to bulk out on Strength just to stay in the same ballpark.

Will he deal as much damage as those others? No. Will he deal MORE damage than the current monk? Yes. He will be able to hit better and that means that he will deliver more damage than before (except against some types of DR, at least until he gets a +5 AoMF).

He's not BETTER than a Fighter or a Barbarian or a Ranger or a Paladin, but now he is able to perform in combat without being an anchor on the party.

At least, that is how I see it.

MA


mplindustries wrote:

I'm confused why you didn't give the Monk proficiency in all monk weapons. Wasn't that one of the big complaints most people have?

I think Monastic Skill Training is awkwardly worded, unprecedented, and unnecessary. If they really need more skill points, just give them 6+ per level and add those skills to their class list. I also think Monastic Weapon Training is unnecessary, but not harmful, awkward, or anything.

I think you did a lot of little things right, but yeah, it's missing a few things I consider important and/or a simpler fix.

For one, as I mentioned, make Monks proficient in all Monk weapons.

Give monks either Pounce or the Mobile Fighter's Rapid Attack ability (possibly costing Ki).

And one of the most important in my opinion--allow Monks to enchant their Unarmed Strike directly. Then you can just flat out have a +1 Unarmed Strike or a +3 Holy Unarmed Strike or whatever else.

Fair point. I wanted to stay with the CRB and they ARE proficient with all monk weapons in the CRB (and can flurry with the club, dagger, handaxe, shortspear, and short sword, as well). I think the designers should have put a little blurb in more weapon descriptions than the temple sword that says "monks are proficient with this weapon", when they introduce new monk special weapons.

Really though, do you need more weapons than what are listed?

I thought about boosting the skill points to 6 + Int modifier (ala the Ranger), but then I said . . . what will the player do? He's going to put that in Acrobatics, Escape Artist, Perception, Sense Motive, and Stealth, splitting the last point between Climb and Swim. Not many monks spend points in Knowledges or Perform or Craft. So, I decided on this. He gets to pick two skills he might not have otherwise picked. From then on, they are maxed out class skills for him. And his other skill points get to go where he wants them. EVERY monk will have at least TWO non-combat skills at good levels. I thought that was a worthy goal.

Read ki pool again.

Quote:
By spending 1 point from his ki pool, a monk can make one additional attack at his highest base attack bonus, but only with unarmed strikes or when wielding a special monk weapon (see flurry of blows above).

He can do this at any time, not just when making a flurry of blows. He can charge, spend a point of ki and get two attacks. He can use Spring Attack, spend a point of ki and get two attacks. He can move 25' and spend a point of ki and get two attacks. He can take a 5' step and spend a point of ki and get an additional attack WITH flurry of blows. It is all already in there.

I didn't want to go TOO far. The AoMF has just gotten a cost reduction, and I want to see how it works with that. If it doesn't, then examining being able to enchant a monk's body might be worth a second look.

MA


master arminas wrote:

No, they can use two-weapons as well as anyone with the full TWF chain and double-slice. Two Weapon Rend would be nice, but is it really needed? Does it fit the theme of the monk?

With the bonus to hit provided by Monastic Weapons Training, this monk now hits ALMOST as good a Fighter or Paladin or Barbarian or Ranger . . . before strength. His MAD doesn't matter (quite) as much anymore, because he doesn't have to bulk out on Strength just to stay in the same ballpark.

Will he deal as much damage as those others? No. Will he deal MORE damage than the current monk? Yes. He will be able to hit better and that means that he will deliver more damage than before (except against some types of DR, at least until he gets a +5 AoMF).

He's not BETTER than a Fighter or a Barbarian or a Ranger or a Paladin, but now he is able to perform in combat without being an anchor on the party.

The problem with not giving two weapon rend isn't about being weaker than the ranger and fighter. It's about being unavoidably weaker than the two handed monk at all levels.

The two handed weapon monk pays half as much for enhancement. That's generally +1 to attack and damage. The two handed weapon monk will have a better crit range than the unarmed monk. Two weapon and unarmed monks need an exclusive benefit. Putting Two Weapon Rend on the monk bonus feat list is the simplest way to do that. Doing that while changing power attack is excessive, so don't change power attack. The current power attack/flurry synergy has the elegance of unconnected rules working together to produce the right DPR numbers without any extra bonuses required. Allowing monks to get the capstone of the TWF chain requires a little bit of clarification because of bad legacy terminology about off-hand weapons, but is also a simple use of an existing mechanic that gives the right DPR numbers.

And I am still very much unconvinced that monastic weapon training is desirable. The full BAB monk does not need accuracy assistance because he can, if need be, not flurry. He winds up with similar accuracy to a ranger against unfavored enemies or a cavalier. That's a perfectly fine level of accuracy for a big damage/low accuracy paradigm, which is what the monk is stuck with unless scaling unarmed strike damage is removed. If you don't like that paradigm the first thing to do is get rid of scaling unarmed strike.


Atarlost wrote:

The problem with not giving two weapon rend isn't about being weaker than the ranger and fighter. It's about being unavoidably weaker than the two handed monk at all levels.

The two handed weapon monk pays half as much for enhancement. That's generally +1 to attack and damage. The two handed weapon monk will have a better crit range than the unarmed monk. Two weapon and unarmed monks need an exclusive benefit. Putting Two Weapon Rend on the monk bonus feat list is the simplest way to do that. Doing that while changing power attack is excessive, so don't change power attack. The current power attack/flurry synergy has the elegance of unconnected rules working together to produce the right DPR numbers without any extra bonuses required. Allowing monks to get the capstone of the TWF chain requires a little bit of clarification because of bad legacy terminology about off-hand weapons, but is also a simple use of an existing mechanic that gives the right DPR numbers.

And I am still very much unconvinced that monastic weapon training is desirable. The full BAB monk does not need accuracy assistance because he can, if need be, not flurry. He winds up with similar accuracy to a ranger against unfavored enemies or a cavalier. That's a perfectly fine level of accuracy for a big damage/low accuracy paradigm, which is what the monk is stuck with unless scaling unarmed strike damage is removed. If you don't like that paradigm the first thing to do is get rid of scaling unarmed strike.

I am not sure how the two-handed weapon monk will have a higher crit range. Certainly not with the CRB weapons, at least. Besides, most monks want to keep a free hand for Deflect Arrows; I would imagine that a combination of unarmed strikes and a one-hand weapon would be how most monks generally operate, if they do not choose to rely on the weapon only. Look at films. How often do you a monk two-handing a sword? Very seldom. Why? Because they don't NEED to. Neither does this rendition of the class.

All of the other marital classes (Anti-Paladin, Barbarian, Cavalier, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, Samurai) have a bonus (situtional or otherwise) that increases their attacks and damage.

Anti-Paladin/Paladin has Smite Good/Smite Evil.

Barbarian has Rage.

Cavalier/Samurai has Challenge.

Fighter has Weapons Training, Greater Weapon Focus, and the Weapon Specialization feat chain.

Ranger has favored enemy.

The monk's damage increase comes from his scaling unarmed damage. But he has nothing that provides him with that bonus on attack rolls that EVER OTHER martial class posesses. Combined with MAD (Monks need good Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, and Wisdom, and cannot afford to dump Intelligence) his attacks are lower than other martials. Monastic Weapons Training fixes that, making up for his (generally) lower abilty scores.

MA


The change in BAB should go hand in hand with changing the HD to a d10 to keep in line with the general rule. (Even though I don't like that change to full BAB at all)


Isil-zha wrote:
The change in BAB should go hand in hand with changing the HD to a d10 to keep in line with the general rule. (Even though I don't like that change to full BAB at all)

True, in general it should. I made a conscious decision NOT to do that in this case however. Much as the Barbarian has a d12, I think that the Monk needs to be a little more fragile than other full BAB classes, with his d8. He moves fast, he strikes fast, but if someone gets a good hit on him, the Monk is going to feel it more than a Fighter, Paladin, or Barbarian.

In many respects, the monk already HAD full BAB to begin with. The problem is that the split-virtual BAB screws up a lot of things. AoOs, for example, were always made at the monk's normal BAB, even if he used flurry of blows within a round. His Power Attack and Combat Expertise changed depending on whether he was making one attack or a flurry of blows. If he declared a full attack and his opponent dropped on the first strike made, he had to recheck the numbers against his (generally lower normal BAB) to see if he could then change to a standard attack and move (something no other class has to worry about).

Going ahead and giving the class TRUE full BAB does change a few things. But it also allows for feats that have a prerequiste of (for example) BAB +8 OR Monk level 8 to no longer need those extra words.

MA


I've always houseruled that monks are proficient with all monk weapons. I'm pretty sure that RAI, even if they forgot to add in a blurb.


I'm really sick right now or I'd comment more on this. I'll get back to it later when I'm feeling better. But I do like it.


master arminas wrote:
Atarlost wrote:

The problem with not giving two weapon rend isn't about being weaker than the ranger and fighter. It's about being unavoidably weaker than the two handed monk at all levels.

The two handed weapon monk pays half as much for enhancement. That's generally +1 to attack and damage. The two handed weapon monk will have a better crit range than the unarmed monk. Two weapon and unarmed monks need an exclusive benefit. Putting Two Weapon Rend on the monk bonus feat list is the simplest way to do that. Doing that while changing power attack is excessive, so don't change power attack. The current power attack/flurry synergy has the elegance of unconnected rules working together to produce the right DPR numbers without any extra bonuses required. Allowing monks to get the capstone of the TWF chain requires a little bit of clarification because of bad legacy terminology about off-hand weapons, but is also a simple use of an existing mechanic that gives the right DPR numbers.

And I am still very much unconvinced that monastic weapon training is desirable. The full BAB monk does not need accuracy assistance because he can, if need be, not flurry. He winds up with similar accuracy to a ranger against unfavored enemies or a cavalier. That's a perfectly fine level of accuracy for a big damage/low accuracy paradigm, which is what the monk is stuck with unless scaling unarmed strike damage is removed. If you don't like that paradigm the first thing to do is get rid of scaling unarmed strike.

I am not sure how the two-handed weapon monk will have a higher crit range. Certainly not with the CRB weapons, at least. Besides, most monks want to keep a free hand for Deflect Arrows; I would imagine that a combination of unarmed strikes and a one-hand weapon would be how most monks generally operate, if they do not choose to rely on the weapon only. Look at films. How often do you a monk two-handing a sword? Very seldom. Why? Because they don't NEED to. Neither does this rendition of the class.

Temple sword is the only non-CRB monk weapon that has a line in its description stating that monks are proficient in it. It's a flat out superior choice to everything in the CRB. As a one handed weapon it can be two handed. Even if it's not all attacks will be made with it because it costs twice as much to enchant a second weapon (which would just be another temple sword) and three times as much (and your neck slot, which you'd really like for an amulet of natural armor) to enchant unarmed strike. I'm also not sure why monks want to keep a hand free for deflect arrows. If they're not using unarmed strike they can get AC on par with a sword and board ranger, and can close with archers far faster than other melee characters. It's not like there aren't other good choices for the first bonus feat.


you monk class table:

Spoiler:

1 - unarmed strike (1d6), AC bonus, flurry of blows, bonus feat, fast movement (10), monastic skill training
2 - bonus feat, evasion
3 - still mind, stunning fist
4 - unarmed strike (1d8), ki pool (magic), slow fall, AC bonus +1
5 - high jump, purity of body
6 - bonus feat, monastic weapons training +1
7 - ki pool (silver/cold iron), wholeness of body, fast movement (20)
8 - unarmed strike (1d10), AC bonus +2
9 - improved evasion
10- bonus feat, ki pool (lawful), monastic weapons training +2
11- diamond body
12- unarmed strike (2d6), abundant step, AC bonus +3
13- diamond soul
14- bonus feat, fast movement (30), monastic weapons training +3
15- quivering palm
16- unarmed strike (2d8), ki pool (adamantine), AC bonus +4
17- tongue of the sun and moon, timeless body
18- bonus feat, monastic weapons training +4
19- empty body
20- unarmed strike (2d10), perfect self, AC bonus +5

your 1st monk level is front-loaded with six goodies and a BAB point! (not to mention three good saves...)

the monk will always be front-loaded, but i felt this was ok to err on the heavy side back as a 3/4 BAB. no more! you need to spread out more. i would recommend either removing or bumping up three maybe four of the goodies:

1) get rid of the 1st level bonus feat. full BAB structure will grant them earlier access to combat feats, so restricting bonus feats by a single notch should shore up the balance. the monk now gets to select the feats he likes, without having to use feats to compensate for the 'flurry of misses' phenomenon (no more Weapon Focus).

2) plus do two of the following:
*revert fast movement back to original spread (maybe 3/9/15 or 3/10/17 or even 3/8/13/18)
*bump flurry to level two
*bump or remove monastic skill training


The canon monk has AC Bonus, Bonus Feat, Flurry of Blows, Stunning Fist, and Unarmed Strike (1d6) at 1st level.

Mine moves Stunning Fist to 3rd and puts Fast Movement instead.

Same number of abilities. Monastic skill training is basically having 6 skill points (like the Ranger, also a full-BAB class) BUT with 2 of those skills drawn from a more restrictive list. AND no ability to switch the points at later levels (once chosen, the two skills ALWAYS go up when you add another monk level, no choice).

Does having full-time full BAB change THAT much? The class already had virtual full-BAB when using flurry of blows?

I would be open to moving flurry of blows to 2nd (or even 3rd) level. But the rest? I don't see it as a problem.

MA

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Why not just give your monk 6 skill ranks instead of Monastic Skills? It would be easier, and easier is usually better.

I would keep monks at 3/4 BAB, but give them an enhancement bonus equal to 1/4 their level to their unarmed strikes (and/or monk weapons, maybe) when they have at least 1 point in their ki pool. This would also simplify the various material and alignment DR bit. Also, feel free to use some wiggle room with this, like granting ki pool at 1st level (like magus) and having the bonus go up by +1 at 1, 5, 9, 13, 17 or 2, 6, 10, 14, 18, etc. etc.

I would also keep the traditional fast movement. It's really fun to have a super fast PC sometimes. Maybe add a ki power similar to the choker's quickness? Then you can move in and flurry, or simulate Spring Attack, etc. etc.


master arminas wrote:

The canon monk has AC Bonus, Bonus Feat, Flurry of Blows, Stunning Fist, and Unarmed Strike (1d6) at 1st level.

Mine moves Stunning Fist to 3rd and puts Fast Movement instead.

Same number of abilities. Monastic skill training is basically having 6 skill points (like the Ranger, also a full-BAB class) BUT with 2 of those skills drawn from a more restrictive list. AND no ability to switch the points at later levels (once chosen, the two skills ALWAYS go up when you add another monk level, no choice).

Does having full-time full BAB change THAT much? The class already had virtual full-BAB when using flurry of blows?

Fast movement is THAT much better than stunning fist for a dip. Monk dips often don't have the wisdom to take advantage of stunning fist and even on something like a cleric they won't get the uses per day a monk would, but fast movement -- especially untyped fast movement -- is pure bonus.


A Monk/Barbarian could have a movement of 50 at level 2 just by dipping both classes as long as they get around the alignment restrictions somehow.

Dark Archive

I actually agree with rainzax as far as moving feats. While I'm fully in favour of full BAB for the monk, the way you have it now makes the monk AMAZING for a single level dip. A fighter could grab a monk level without any BAB penalty and get a bonus feat, +2 to all saves and a large number of class skills (this is discounting the abilities they probably wouldn't use for wearing armour).

Moving the bonus feats to level 2, 5, 8, 11, 14 instead of 1, 2, 6, 10, 14 would alleviate a bit of this.


ranger has Combat Style feats at 2/6/10/14/18 so there is precedent

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

MA, if you ever get a job in game design let me know, so I will never purchase anything you have a hand in balancing. The strength of the monk is his mobility, which your redesign limits. The current monk is balanced when compared to other classes, you are just throwing in new abilities without losing anything.

BAB - I like the monk BAB the way it is. Something must be given up for the godly saves and other goodies this class recieves.

FoB - Was fine as written, unneeded change.

Bonus Feats - Didn't need changed.

Monastic Skills - You realize most of those are already class skills for the monk? Plus 2 free skill ranks? That is better than increasing the skill points per level, because you could somehow get a -3 Int modifier and still have 3 skill ranks per level.

Ki Pool - Allowing an extra 5' step for 1 ki when combined with the Step Up feat chain is too good. I don't like the moving and attacking twice.

Still Mind - Why more save bonuses at higher levels? If so, should be modeled after bravery.

Stunning Fist - If the ability is delayed, why are the additional conditions not delayed in level?

Catfall - Just sucks. 1 ki negates 4d6 falling damage? OP, same without needing a surface to reduce damage. Should be (Su).

Monastic Weapon Training - OP, what is given up to gain this ability?

Wholeness of Body - What other class gets to round up? That alone makes it OP. 2 ki to heal that many points of ability is also overboard.

Abundant Step - I almost liked this one, until you allowed him to take another creature with him.

Diamond Soul - OP changes, no other class gets anything similar. Why should the monk get a version better than racial SR?

Quivering Palm - Extra uses aren't really needed and the amount given seems OP.

Perfect Self - DR vs magic don't make sense. Why would a Wookie be on Endor?

Why do MA monk threads seem like elaborate trolling?


Decent changes, MA, while trying to remain as close to the original class as possible (I'd find a way to completely divorce Monks from Wis, but obviously that's a far larger re-write). Not really seeing the worth of swapping Fast Movement and Stunning Fist. Just give monks 2 more skill points per level, not seeing the worth of adding an entire new ability for that. I'd drop some of the extra healing abilities from Wholeness of Body and bringing people along with Abundant Step. Keep it simple when making improvements.

Rest seems decent.

Despite what some others have (rudely) said, if you take an terrible ability and make it worthwhile, that doesn't make it OP. Just not pure archetype swap bait. I'd actually consider playing a base monk, because the base abilities aren't *god awful* anymore.


Thomas LeBlanc wrote:

MA, if you ever get a job in game design let me know, so I will never purchase anything you have a hand in balancing. The strength of the monk is his mobility, which your redesign limits. The current monk is balanced when compared to other classes, you are just throwing in new abilities without losing anything.

BAB - I like the monk BAB the way it is. Something must be given up for the godly saves and other goodies this class recieves.

FoB - Was fine as written, unneeded change.

Bonus Feats - Didn't need changed.

Monastic Skills - You realize most of those are already class skills for the monk? Plus 2 free skill ranks? That is better than increasing the skill points per level, because you could somehow get a -3 Int modifier and still have 3 skill ranks per level.

Ki Pool - Allowing an extra 5' step for 1 ki when combined with the Step Up feat chain is too good. I don't like the moving and attacking twice.

Still Mind - Why more save bonuses at higher levels? If so, should be modeled after bravery.

Stunning Fist - If the ability is delayed, why are the additional conditions not delayed in level?

Catfall - Just sucks. 1 ki negates 4d6 falling damage? OP, same without needing a surface to reduce damage. Should be (Su).

Monastic Weapon Training - OP, what is given up to gain this ability?

Wholeness of Body - What other class gets to round up? That alone makes it OP. 2 ki to heal that many points of ability is also overboard.

Abundant Step - I almost liked this one, until you allowed him to take another creature with him.

Diamond Soul - OP changes, no other class gets anything similar. Why should the monk get a version better than racial SR?

Quivering Palm - Extra uses aren't really needed and the amount given seems OP.

Perfect Self - DR vs magic don't make sense. Why would a Wookie be on Endor?

Why do MA monk threads seem like elaborate trolling?

Not to sound like an MA apologist or anything, but with regard to limiting mobility... were we reading the same revisions?

MA's monk:

- Changes the movement bonus to untyped so it now stacks with other movement bonuses.
- No longer costs the remainder of the monk's action when using Abundant Step
- Bumps the monk to full BAB, allowing standard attack actions to receive full BAB bonuses to hit instead of 3/4 BAB bonuses, thus reducing penalties when moving and attacking.

And... I don't see any other changes which take away the mobility of the monk in this revision. Can you be more specific?

As for the position that the monk is already balanced vs. the other classes, well that is a matter of considerable debate on these boards, yet you speak as though the matter has already been settled.

That you have the opinions regarding whether these changes are over powered or not is, of course, completely legitimate. Claiming that your opinion is based on established fact or even commonly accepted opinion is a bit harder to accept.


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I do listen to the constructive critcism of others. And I thank all of you that offered such. Here is the revised version of my new take on the monk, incorporating some of the suggestions that you made.

First off, I ditched the Monastic Skill Training and instead just went ahead and gave 6 skill points. I also added Diplomacy and Linguistics to the class skill list. Yes, it is now simpler, but I think that the player will just select the skills that most benefit him. How many monks do you see that take Perform, for example? Or Craft?

Second, I restored Stunning Fist to 1st level and pushed Fast Movement back to 3rd.

Third. I eliminated the 1st level bonus feat. He still gets five (2nd, 6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th) and that should be enough.

Fourth. I changed fast movement slightly to explain WHY it isn't a supernatural ability.

Fifth, I clarified somethings in ki pool.

Sixth, reworked Wholeness of Body again, which uses the same progression as Cleric channeling (for those who say nothing rounds up).

And last, I cleaned up some of the text, but without major alterations (a word here and there).

Hope that works a little better.

MA

The Pathfinder Monk: A New Take (Version 1.01)
For the truly exemplary, martial skill transcends the battlefield—it is a lifestyle, a doctrine, a state of mind. These warrior-artists search out methods of battle beyond swords and shields, finding weapons within themselves just as capable of crippling or killing as any blade. These monks (so called since they adhere to ancient philosophies and strict martial disciplines) elevate their bodies to become weapons of war, from battle-minded ascetics to self-taught brawlers.
Monks tread the path of discipline, and those with the will to endure that path discover within themselves not what they are, but what they are meant to be.

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

Alignment: Any lawful.

Base Attack Bonus: Full.

Hit Die: d8.

Good Saves: Fort, Ref, and Will.

CLASS SKILLS
The monk’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (History) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier (but see monastic skill training, below).

CLASS FEATURES
All of the following are class features of the monk.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Monks are proficient with the club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shortspear, short sword, shuriken, siangham, sling, and spear.

Monks are not proficient with any armor or shields.

When wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, a monk loses his AC bonus, as well as his fast movement and flurry of blows abilities (see below).

AC Bonus (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, the monk adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his AC and his CMD. In addition, a monk gains a +1 bonus to AC and CMD at 4th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every four monk levels thereafter. These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the monk is flat-footed. He loses these bonuses when he is immobilized or helpless, when he wears any armor, when he uses a shields, or when he carries a medium or heavy load.

Flurry of Blows (Ex): Starting at 1st level, a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action. When doing so he may make one additional attack using any combination of unarmed strikes or attacks with a special monk weapon (club, dagger, handaxe, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shortspear, short sword, shuriken, and siangham) as if using the Two-Weapon Fighting feat (even if the monk does not meet the prerequisites for the feat).

Unlike Two-Weapon Fighting, a monk may make all of his attacks (normal as well as the additional attack(s) from this ability) with just one weapon chosen from those above, or with two weapons. When using two weapons (or a double weapon), a monk may choose which weapon to use when making any individual attack. He may substitute an unarmed strike for any number of his attacks during a flurry of blows.

A monk takes a penalty of -2 on the attack roll of all attacks made during a flurry of blows and any attacks of opportunity that he may make during the same round he uses a flurry of blows, as well as all combat maneuvers made during that round. This penalty does not increase if the monk wields a one-hand weapon in his off-hand.

Starting at 8th level, the monk can make two additional attacks when he uses flurry of blows, as if using Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (even if the monk does not meet the prerequisite for the feat.)

At 15th level, the monk can make three additional attacks using flurry of blows, as if using Greater Two-Weapon Fighting (even if the monk does not meet the prerequisites for the feat).
A monk applies his full Strength bonus (his Strength modifier) to his damage rolls for all successful attacks made with a flurry of blows, whether the attacks are made with an off-hand or with a weapon wielded in both hands. A monk using the Power Attack feat during a flurry of blows treats all weapons, regardless of how they are wielded, as one-handed weapons wielded in a single hand, for the purpose of determining the bonus damage granted by that feat.
A monk may substitute disarm, sunder, and trip combat maneuvers as part of a flurry of blows.

A monk cannot use any weapon other than an unarmed strike or a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows. A monk with natural weapons cannot use such weapons as part of a flurry of blows, nor can he make natural attacks in addition to his flurry of blows attacks.

Stunning Fist (Ex): Starting 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 gained as a monk thereafter, the monk gains the ability to apply a new condition to the target of his Stunning Fist. This condition replaces stunning the target for 1 round, and a successful saving throw negates the effect. At 4th level, he can choose to make the target fatigued. At 8th level, he can make the target sickened for 1 minute. At 12th level, he can make the target staggered for 1d6+1 rounds. At 16th level, he can permanently blind or deafen the target. At 20th level, he can paralyze the target for 1d6+1 rounds. The monk must choose which condition will apply before the attack roll is made. These effects do not stack with themselves (a creature sickened by Stunning Fist cannot become nauseated if hit by Stunning Fist again), but additional hits do increase the duration of the effect.

Unarmed Strike: At 1st level, a monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A monk’s attacks may be performed with fist, elbows, knees, feet, and head. This means that a monk may make unarmed strikes with his hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed. A monk may thus apply his full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all his unarmed strikes.

Usually a monk’s unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but he can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on his attack roll. He has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.

A monk’s unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural attacks (including the bonus attack granted by the spell haste).

A monk also deals more damage with his unarmed strikes than a normal person would, as shown on Table 3-9: Monk. The unarmed damage values listed on Table 3-9 is for Medium monks. A Small monk deals less damage than the amount given there with his unarmed strikes, while a Large monk deals more damage; see Table 3-10: Small or Large Monk Unarmed Damage.

Bonus Feat: At 2nd level, and every four levels gained thereafter as a monk, a monk may select a bonus feat. These feats must be chosen from the following list: Catch Off-Guard, Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Improved Grapple, Improved Sunder, Scorpion Style, and Throw Anything.

At 6th level, the following feats are added to this list: Gorgon’s Fist, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Trip, and Mobility.

At 10th level, the following feats are added to this list: Greater Grapple, Greater Sunder, Improved Critical, Medusa’s Wrath, Snatch Arrows, and Spring Attack.

At 14th level, the following feats are added to this list: Greater Bull Rush, Greater Disarm, and Greater Trip.

A monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.

Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level or higher, a monk can avoid damage from many area-effect attacks. If a monk makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a monk is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Fast Movement (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, when a monk is not wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, his base speed is increased by 5 feet. This ability does not stack with the fast movement granted by virtue of taking levels as a Barbarian (it overlaps, with only the higher bonus applying). Except as stated above, this is otherwise identical to the benefit granted by the Fleet feat and thus stacks with any enhancement bonus to the monk’s speed.
At 6th level, and again at 9th level, and every three levels gained as a monk thereafter, the monk's speed increases by an additional +5 feet (to a maximum bonus of +30 feet at 18th level).

Still Mind (Ex): A monk of 3rd level or higher gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against enchantment spells and effects. This bonus increases to +4 upon reaching 10th level as a monk and again to +6 at 17th level.

Ki Pool (Su): At 4th level, a monk gains a pool of ki points, supernatural energy that he can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in a monk’s ki pool is equal to his monk level + is Wisdom modifier.

As long as he has at least 1 point in his ki pool, he can make a ki strike. At 4th level, ki strike allows a monk’s unarmed strikes to be treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and striking incorporeal creatures. Ki strike improves as the character gains additional levels as a monk. At 7th level, his unarmed strikes are also treated as cold iron or silver weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. At 10th level, his unarmed strikes are also treated as lawful weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. At 16th level, his unarmed strikes are also treated as adamantine weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and bypassing hardness.

By spending 1 point from his ki pool, a monk can make one additional attack at his highest base attack bonus when he performs a flurry of blows attack (see above). He may instead spend 1 point when he is charging, using the Spring Attack feat, or moves 10 feet or more in a round to gain one additional attack at his highest attack bonus. This additional attack must be made with an unarmed strike or a special monk weapon and suffers the same -2 penalty given under flurry of blows (and all attacks of opportunity and combat maneuvers performed in the same round also suffer a -2 penalty). The additional attack granted by spending a point of ki stacks with that provided by a speed weapon or by the spell haste.

In addition, the monk can spend 1 point to gain a +20’ enhancement bonus to his speed for 1 round. He can spend 1 point to take a second 5’ step in a round where he has already taken a 5’ step. He can spend 1 point to gain a +4 bonus to the saving throw DC of his Stunning Fist ability for 1 attack (this option must be used before the attack is rolled); this use also applies to his Quivering Palm ability, once the monk gains the use of that class feature. Finally, a monk can spend 1 point from his ki pool to give himself a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 round. Each of these powers is activated as a swift action. A monk gains additional powers that consume point from his ki pool as he gains levels.

The ki pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation; these hours do not need to be consecutive.

Catfall (Ex/Su): At 4th level or higher, a monk always lands on his feet after a fall (but not when deliberately tripped); this part of the ability is exceptional in nature. In addition, a monk is capable of falling great distances without harm. When this ability is first gained, the monk may spend 1 ki point as an immediate action to reduce the damage taken from a fall by 4d6. For each additional level gained thereafter as a monk, the falling damage is reduced by an additional 1d6, to a maximum reduction of 20d6 for a 20th level monk, along a monk of such a level to fall any distance without suffering harm. A monk using this ability is not slowed when falling, nor does he require a wall or other surface within arm’s length; this part of the ability is supernatural.

High Jump (Ex): At 5th level, a monk adds his level to all Acrobatics checks made to jump, both for vertical jumps and horizontal jumps. In addition, he always counts as having a running start when making jump checks using Acrobatics. By spending 1 point from his ki pool as a swift action, a monk gains a +20 bonus on Acrobatics checks made to jump for 1 round.

Purity of Body (Ex): At 5th level, a monk gains immunity to all diseases, including supernatural and magical diseases.

Monastic Weapons Training (Ex): Starting at 6th level, a monk gains a +1 bonus on all attack rolls (but not damage rolls) made with unarmed strikes and special monk weapons. Every four levels gained as a monk thereafter (10th, 14th, and 18th), this bonus increases by an additional +1.

A monk also adds this bonus to any combat maneuver checks made with unarmed strikes or special monk weapons, as well as any grapple checks which he makes. When wielding a special monk weapon, this bonus also applies a monk’s CMD against disarm and sunder attempts.

Wholeness of Body (Su): At 7th level and higher, a monk can heal his own wounds. By spending 2 points from his ki pool as a swift action, the monk will heal 4d6 points of hit point damage that he has take. This ability cannot be used on others. The amount of damage healed increases by +1d6 for every odd level gained as a monk thereafter (i.e., 5d6 at 9th level, 6d6 at 11th level, etc.), to a maximum of 10d6 at 19th level.

If the monk instead spends 3 points from his ki pool to activate this ability, he may add his Monk level as a bonus to the amount of healing rolled.

Starting at 14th level, a monk using wholeness of body can instead spend 2 ki points as a swift action to restore 3d6 points of ability damage that he has taken. This ability cannot be used on others. The monk may split this restoration between as many ability scores as he chooses, but no score can be raised above its normal maximum value. Any excess ability score damage restoration is lost.

Improved Evasion (Ex): At 9th level, a monk’s evasion ability improves. He still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth he takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Diamond Body (Su): At 11th level, a monk gains immunity to poisons of all kinds.

Abundant Step (Su): At 12th level, a monk can slip magically between spaces, as if using the spell dimension door. Using this ability is a move action that consumes 2 points from his ki pool. His caster level for this effect is equal to his monk level. He may take other creatures with him when he uses this ability. Unlike the spell, using this ability does not end the character’s turn.

Diamond Soul (Ex): At 13th level, a monk gains spell resistance equal to his current monk level +10. In order to affect the monk with a spell, a spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the monk’s spell resistance. Once per round, as a free action that the monk can take even when it is not his turn, he may voluntarily lower his spell resistance in order to receive a single spell (typically from an ally, but it is possible for the monk to be tricked and receive a harmful spell). An unconscious monk retains his spell resistance and cannot voluntarily lower it, however a deceased monk is no longer so protected.

By spending 1 point from his ki pool as an immediate action, a monk can gain a +4 bonus to his spell resistance for 1 round.

Quivering Palm (Su): Starting at 15th level, a monk can set up vibrations within the body of another creature that can thereafter be fatal if the monk so desires. He can use this quivering palm attack once per day, and he must announce his intent before making his attack roll. Creatures immune to critical hits cannot be affected. Otherwise, if the monk strikes successfully and the target takes damage from the blow, the quivering palm attack succeeds. Thereafter, the monk can try to slay the victim at a later time, as long as the attempt is made within a number of days equal to his monk level. To make such an attempt, the monk merely wills the target to die (a free action), and unless the target makes a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + one-half the monk’s level + the monk’s Wisdom modifier), it dies. If the saving throw is successful, the target is no longer in danger form that particular quivering palm attack, but it may still be affected by another one at a later time. A monk can have no more than 1 quivering palm in effect at one time. If a monk uses quivering palm while another is still in effect, the previous effect is negated.

At 16th level, and every level gained thereafter, a monk may make additional quivering palm attacks by spending 3 points from his ki pool on each attack after the first made in a single day.

Timeless Body (Ex): At 17th level, a monk no longer takes penalties to his ability scores for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any such penalties that he has already taken, however, remain in place. Age bonuses still accrue, and the monk still dies of old age when his time is up.

Tongue of the Sun and Moon (Ex): A monk of 17th level or higher can speak with and understand any living creature.

Empty Body (Su): At 19th level, a monk gains the ability to assume an ethereal state for 1 minute as though using the spell etherealness. Using this ability is a move action that consumes 3 points from his ki pool. This ability only affects the monk and cannot be used to make other creatures ethereal.

Perfect Self: At 20th level, a monk becomes a magical creature. He is forevermore treated as an outsider rather than as a humanoid (or whatever the monk’s creature type was) for the purpose of spells and magical affects. Additionally, the monk gains damage reduction 10/chaotic and magic, which allows him to ignore the first 10 points of damage from any attack made by a nonchaotic weapon or by any natural attack made by a creature that doesn’t have similar damage reduction. Unlike other outsiders, the monk can still be brought back from the dead as if he were a member of his previous creature type.

EX-MONKS
A monk who becomes nonlawful cannot gain new levels as a monk, but retains all monk abilities.


I liked the Monastic Skill training, I'm going to use it in my campaign. Everything else is effin awesome.


Well, the problem with removing the level 1 bonus feat is you've caused a great number of issues with any archetype that has lvl 1 feat requirements. There's an obvious benefit to remaining close enough to the original class that you can use it as a new base and still add in archetypes.

Again, I'd look at trimming some abilities as opposed to flat out adding or removing, so that it remains compatible. It is much more appealing to use material that works with what is already in the game.

"A monk also adds this bonus to any combat maneuver checks made with unarmed strikes or special monk weapons, as well as any grapple checks which he makes. When wielding a special monk weapon, this bonus also applies a monk’s CMD against disarm and sunder attempts." seems like a really long way to say "Add this bonus to your CMB". Drop the CMD vs Sunder and Disarm (again, simple is better).

Just some food for thought.


From the Fighter, CRD:

Quote:
A fighter also adds this bonus to any combat maneuver checks made with weapons from this group. This bonus also applies to the fighter's Combat Maneuver Defense when defending against disarm and sunder attempts mades against weapons from this group.

And mine says

Quote:
A monk also adds this bonus to any combat maneuver checks made with unarmed strikes or special monk weapons, as well as any grapple checks which he makes. When wielding a special monk weapon, this bonus also applies to the monk’s CMD against disarm and sunder attempts.

Other than monk instead of fighter, and that bit about grapple, it is the same language.

As far as archetypes, only the Flowing Monk, Maneuver Master, Master of Many Styles, Sohei, Tetori, and Zen Archer are affected by the loss of the bonus feat at 1st level.

And of those, the Flowing Monk, Sohei, Maneuver Master, Master of Many Styles, and Zen Archer just changed the available bonus feats.

That leaves Tetori.

The Tetori receives set feats instead of options; to me that is worth less than being able to pick. So I would do no change there.

Everything else is at the same level received prior to my changes, so the archetypes should not be affected.

MA


bonus feats:
two reasons why monks get bonus feats in the first place is:

1) they lacked the BAB to qualify for BAB-intensive prerequisites
2) they lacked the ability scores to qualify for ability-score-intensive prerequisites

when one considers the role* of the monk, we see that he is stretched thin trying to fulfill it given the tools of his class.

expected to be a "warrior-artist," a "battle-minded ascetic," or a "self-taught brawler," (*see below) he is given a 3/4 BAB. thus he needs to compensate by investing in a striking stat (Strength or Dexterity). next, he is given d8 Hit Points, and needs to compensate by investing in a defense stat (Constitution and/or Dexterity), and what more, instead of armor proficiency he receives a defense which requires investment in Wisdom. finally, in order to succeed with combat maneuvers, he needs to purchase feats mostly all of which require Combat Expertise which in turn requires investment in his Intelligence score. in short, he needs at least decent scores in ST, DX, CON, INT, and WIS. his ability scores are stretched. he is a mad monk. (multiple ability dependent).

but most of you already knew that. because you have a relative amount of 'system mastery' - try explaining that to somebody who is new to the game!

what i want to get to is that i may be changing my mind about the monk and granting him Full BAB. having Full BAB significantly relieves the pressure of the system. feats become more accessible, point-buy and/or rolled ability score priority assignment becomes less constrained. this 'looseness' will allow an old player or a new player who is not familiar with the far-reaching consequences of initial build to get by with more customization while fulfilling the monk's role*. let the training (BAB), not the ability-score 'tax', do the heavy hitting.

the question now is what to take away in exchange...

my gut says to keep Skills at 4 and HD at d8. why? they get all good saves. this is a major major advantage. especially combined with full BAB. this in addition to removing that 1st bonus feat. Stunning Fist is a bonus feat, after all.

*role of monk:

Spoiler:

Monk

For the truly exemplary, martial skill transcends the battlefield—it is a lifestyle, a doctrine, a state of mind. These warrior-artists search out methods of battle beyond swords and shields, finding weapons within themselves just as capable of crippling or killing as any blade. These monks (so called since they adhere to ancient philosophies and strict martial disciplines) elevate their bodies to become weapons of war, from battle-minded ascetics to self-taught brawlers. Monks tread the path of discipline, and those with the will to endure that path discover within themselves not what they are, but what they are meant to be.

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

Alignment: Any lawful.


rainzax wrote:
my gut says to keep Skills at 4 and HD at d8. why? they get all good saves. this is a major major advantage. especially combined with full BAB. this in addition to removing that 1st bonus feat. Stunning Fist is a bonus feat, after all.

HD is still d8. I think that this version is fine as is. Let' compare to the ranger.

Ranger has full BAB, a d10 hit die, and two good saves. Skill points are 6 + Intelligence. All simple and martial weapons, light and medium armor, and shields.

At 1st: FAVORED ENEMY (gets a total of 5 over 20 levels, with a minimum bonus of +2 on attacks and damage and certain skills and a maximum of +10, or one at +2 and four at +4, or any other combination), track, and wild empathy.

At 2nd: Combat Style Feat. Five over the course of 20 levels.

At 3rd: Endurance (total of six bonus feats now) and FAVORED TERRAIN (+2 on initiative and those skills; gets four eventually, could all be at +2 and one at +8, or three at +4 and one at +2).

At 4th: Hunter's bond (which really means ANIMAL COMPANION; does anyone pick the other option? Ever?), and SPELLs.

At 7th: Woodland stride.

At 8th: Swift Tracker.

At 9th: Evasion.

At 11th: Quarry.

At 12th: Camouflage.

At 16th: Improved Evasion.

At 17th: Hide in Plain Sight.

At 19th: Improved Quarry.

At 20th: Master Hunter.

I think my version of the monk compares well to the Ranger; he certainly doesn't overshadow him or is more powerful than the Ranger, but isn't as far behind any more.

MA

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I think it would be cool if the monk had combat styles like ranger, but more monkish.

Like Stunning Fist, Grappler, Mobility (eventually including the Dimensional Skirmish feats), Magic Warrior (Arcane Strike, etc.), Combat Maneuver Master, Critical Hit Master, etc. etc.

Also, you can probably combine 3/4 BAB and Ki Pool (+1 enhancement bonus per 4 levels (15+5)....this also helps with overcoming DR (materials and alignment). This would give a fake-Full BAB, and thus you could also simplify flurry of blows (no need to Full BAB-ify it). It also saves money on those super expensive amulets and/or helps bolster MAD (by reducing reliance on Strength by a little bit).

The Skill Point vs. Monastic Skills issue: 6 is better than 4+2 because, as you stated before, no one normally chooses skills from the +2 you were giving. So you were kind of forcing sub-optimal choices. Giving actual choices is better...they may even CHOOSE to dabble in the skills you were "giving" out. So that's a big improvement you made.

Maybe require the expenditure of additional ki points to bring others with you when you abundant step.


SmiloDan wrote:

I think it would be cool if the monk had combat styles like ranger, but more monkish.

Like Stunning Fist, Grappler, Mobility (eventually including the Dimensional Skirmish feats), Magic Warrior (Arcane Strike, etc.), Combat Maneuver Master, Critical Hit Master, etc. etc.

I thought about that, but decided folks would say it was a rip-off of the Ranger. LOL

Quote:
Also, you can probably combine 3/4 BAB and Ki Pool (+1 enhancement bonus per 4 levels (15+5)....this also helps with overcoming DR (materials and alignment). This would give a fake-Full BAB, and thus you could also simplify flurry of blows (no need to Full BAB-ify it). It also saves money on those super expensive amulets and/or helps bolster MAD (by reducing reliance on Strength by a little bit).

One of the ideas that I did consider, based upon a lot of the responses in other threads about the monk. But I finally made the decision to see what a full-BAB monk would (or could) look like.

Quote:
The Skill Point vs. Monastic Skills issue: 6 is better than 4+2 because, as you stated before, no one normally chooses skills from the +2 you were giving. So you were kind of forcing sub-optimal choices. Giving actual choices is better...they may even CHOOSE to dabble in the skills you were "giving" out. So that's a big improvement you made.

Glad you approve. :) Seriously, for my own, I would probably still go the MST route; but using 6 skill ranks does give the class more options.

Quote:
Maybe require the expenditure of additional ki points to bring others with you when you abundant step.

You know, that is something I hadn't thought of . . . and it is brilliant! Brilliant, I say! Say +1 additional point of ki for every person you take?

MA

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

+1 or +2 per person for abundant step.

I guess archetypes can be designed to simulate combat styles.


master arminas wrote:

From the Fighter, CRD:

Quote:
A fighter also adds this bonus to any combat maneuver checks made with weapons from this group. This bonus also applies to the fighter's Combat Maneuver Defense when defending against disarm and sunder attempts mades against weapons from this group.

And mine says

Quote:
A monk also adds this bonus to any combat maneuver checks made with unarmed strikes or special monk weapons, as well as any grapple checks which he makes. When wielding a special monk weapon, this bonus also applies to the monk’s CMD against disarm and sunder attempts.

Other than monk instead of fighter, and that bit about grapple, it is the same language.

As far as archetypes, only the Flowing Monk, Maneuver Master, Master of Many Styles, Sohei, Tetori, and Zen Archer are affected by the loss of the bonus feat at 1st level.

And of those, the Flowing Monk, Sohei, Maneuver Master, Master of Many Styles, and Zen Archer just changed the available bonus feats.

Because the third (now second) bonus feat waits until level 6 removing the level 1 feat kills the ability of MoMS to put together multiple style chains in a timely manner. It also pretty severely curtails the early versatility of the maneuver master. Making it a weaker dip is not worth making the archetypes not work. Remember, the first level bonus feat selection for the base monk sucks for dips so the question that matters is if the archetypes with better feat selection will be unable to live up to their role when they don't get their second bonus feat until level 6. I think they won't.

The change to fast movement does more to combat dipping than dropping the first bonus feat would. The popular definitions seem to indicate that 3 levels are more than a dip and monk 3 is good now. 3 levels is a quarter of a PFS career.


Only four real issues, I think.

1: The alignment restriction is still there. Why? There's a whole class out there, as well as a number of archetypes for other classes that can use ki and not have to be lawful (in fact, the Monk is the only case of a ki-using character that has to be lawful; i.e., it is the oddity now, not the rule). I'm focusing on the ki since that's what Martial Artists lose when they lose their alignment restrictions.

2: The unarmed archetype for the Fighter gains proficiency with every single Monk weapon (every Monk weapon published prior to Ultimate Combat, every Monk weapon published concurrently in Ultimate Combat, and every Monk weapon that ever will be created in the future). And he's the archetype of Fighter intent on giving up the use of weapons. If any class should have a blanket automatic proficiency with every Monk weapon ever, it should be the Monk.

3: Monastic Weapons Training. Yes, the Full BAB is a good and necessary change (especially since we still don't know what's supposed to happen if you start an FoB full attack sequence, make one such attack, and then trade in your remaining attacks for a move action; does the first attack retroactively drop to Medium BAB?). But I never felt that anything beyond was necessary. Or rather, yes, the issue with the Monk getting an enhancement bonus to his unarmed attacks was an issue, but that doesn't seem to be this.

4: Diamond Soul. If my Monk character is dead, he is unconscious. Therefore, his spell resistance is up. And Raise Dead pays attention to spell resistance, and the helpful Cleric in the party trying dearly to bring me to life (which I ostensibly want him to do) could still be hampered by no one so much as I myself. Your change is some progress in the right direction, but right now, it's still something that I'm trading out with Qinggong Monk automatically.


Let me address these, Tectorman:

1. Because monks have ALWAYS been required to be of a lawful alignment. Just like Paladins are required to be lawful good, barbarians cannot be lawful, assassins must be evil, anti-paladins must be chaotic evil, and druids must have a neutral component. Does that restrict players? YES. Is that a bad thing? NO.

2. I don't think that the Unarmed Fighter archetype should have automatic proficiency with every monk weapon either. Here is every monk special weapon that I know of:

Quote:

shuriken (1d2; x2)

brass knuckles (1d3; x2), dan bong (1d3; 19-20/x2), emei piercer (1d3; 19-20/x2), wushu dart (1d3; x2)

bich'hwa (1d4; 19-20/x2), butterfly sword (1d4; 19-20/x2), cestus (1d4; 19-20/x2), fighting fan (1d4; x3), kyoketsu shoge (1d4/x2), lungchuan tamo (1d4; x2), rope dart (1d4; x2), sai (1d4; x2), shang gou (1d4; x2)

double chicken saber (1d6; 19-20; x2), jutte (1d6; x2), knuckle axe (1d6; x3), kama (1d6; x2), nunchaku (1d6; x2), siangham (1d6; x2), tonfa (1d6; x2)

kusarigama [sickle-and-chain] (1d6/1d3; x2)

bo staff (1d6/1d6; x2), double-chained kama (1d6/1d6; x2), quarterstaff (1d6/1d6; x2), monk's spade (1d6/1d6; x2)

nine ring broadsword (1d8; x3), nine-section whip (1d8; 19-20/x2), temple sword (1d8; 19-20/x2), tiger fork (1d8; x2)

sansetsukon (1d10; 19-20/x2), seven-branched sword (1d10; x3)

Except for the 1d8 and 1d10 damage weapons, what do the rest bring to the table? My monk above can flurry with a hand axe (1d6; x3) or a short sword (1d6; 19-20/x2). As per its description, all monks ARE proficient with the temple sword (1d8; 19-20/x2).

Why should you NEED any other proficencies? If you want them, spend a FEAT. That is my view.

3. All other martial-focus characters have full BAB AND a special feature that gives them a bonus to attack and damage rolls. Except the monk. Monastic weapon training fixes that; giving the bonus on attack rolls only means that the scaling unarmed strike doesn't overpower other weapons. But now the monk can hit on the same level as others (well, as another full-BAB wielding two-weapons if he flurries or spends ki on an additional attack). AND, it compensates in part for the monk's MAD.

4. Dead is NOT the same as unconsciousnss. Your spell resistance ends the moment you become dead. Which I said in the text:

Quote:
An unconscious monk retains his spell resistance and cannot voluntarily lower it, however a deceased monk is no longer so protected.

A deceased monk IS NO LONGER protected by spell resistance; it ceases to function.

MA


simple weapons, monk weapons and archetypes:

the following is an argument for proficiency with "simple and monk weapons" to be given unrestricted to the monk

interesting that with each successive splatbook (APG and UC), monk weapons diversify and some increase damage die by one step (to d8 and d10 respectively). and yet fortunate. because these books also introduce two divisions of archetypes, which also ramp up in power in a similar fashion.

so lets look at book by book what my proficiency proposal might yield, as well as what archetypes emerge.

Core (only):

monk gains access to longspear (both 1d8-20x3, reach!), and a few essentially inconsequential weapons (blowgun, gauntlet, dart, heavy mace, light mace, morningstar, punching dagger, spiked gauntlet) all of which may not actually be used with flurry of blows. overall a marginal gain over monk proficiencies as written.

no archetypes

Advanced Player's Guide:

adding this book gives us some solid options for monk weapons. brass knuckles allow you to use your monk unarmed damage dice. nice. but most notably the introduction of the temple sword (1d8, 19-x2, monk!), which in it's description 'grandfathers' itself onto the monk-as-written's proficiency list. (take note as well that it is the first monk weapon that is neither light nor ranged). all in all, no big change.

archetypes: Drunken Master, Hungry Ghost Monk, Ki Mystic, Monk of the Empty Hand, Monk of the Four Winds, Monk of the Healing Hand, Monk of the Lotus, Monk of the Sacred Mountain, Weapon Adept, and Zen Archer.

of these, none modifies the bonus feats, except Monk of the Empty Hand and Zen Archer, and only to increase or change options. again, no big change. i suspect every archetype would willingly trade out a single bonus feat for full BAB. duh!

Ultimate Combat:

the new monk weapons explode out of this book. more one-handed and even two-handed options emerge. as well as weapons with base damage 1d10 coupled with advanced critical mechanics (19-20 or x3) and/or even a special quality or two. a monk with proficiency in "all monk weapons" here will see a significant power-up compared to the previous two books. it is this book that would cause one to caution handing out proficiency with "all monk weapons" vs standard monk proficiencies.

archetypes: Flowing Monk, Maneuver Master, Martial Artist, Master of Many Styles, Sensei, Sohei, and Tetori.

of these, as Atarlost has pointed out, the MoMS and Tetori will be the most impacted by the loss of the 1st level bonus feat. it is only these two that actually depend on the early feat spread of 1/2/6/etc to "switch out" for their archetype benefits. so we have a problem.

and so, i have two proposals for these two archetypes, or possibly by extension, for any other archetype. choose one:

1) switch out Stunning Fist for a bonus feat
2) switch out proficiency with Temple Weapons (hereafter defined as one-handed and two-handed monk weapons) for a bonus feat

what do you all think? shall we substitute the following:

Spoiler:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Monks are proficient with all simple and monk weapons.

Monks are not proficient with any armor or shields.

When wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, a monk loses his AC bonus, as well as his fast movement and flurry of blows abilities.


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Frankly, I think it's odd that people are so against the Monk gaining automatic proficiency with Monk weapons, claiming it's a power-up (disregarding any other proposed changes).

No one complains that Rangers, Barbarians, Paladins, Cavaliers, or Fighters get automatic power-ups each time a new martial or simple weapon comes out with each splat-book. All of the above classes are far more powerful than the Monk as-is, yet no one complains about them.

If the above classes don't have to pay a feat simply to use a new weapon that wasn't included in the Core Rule Book, then why is it that the Monk does? The weapons are all specifically designed with the Monk in mind, yet, he can't use them without paying a feat to use a single weapon. When you pay a feat to get a weapon proficiency, you gain access to a single weapon, so anyone that gains automatic proficiency with all martial weapons gains some 80-odd feats for free.

Not to mention, it boggles my mind that a guy who was trained in longswordss, bows, and axes, automatically knows how to throw a frisbee-of-death (Chakram) simply because he has martial weapon proficiency. The actual Chakram was mainly only used in the region of what is today India, yet, according to 3rd edition rules an Pathfinder, those English knights know how to use them just as well as Rajput warriors of which the Chakram was a cultural weapon invented by their ancestors and the English Knight had never-before-seen such a thing, but, magically, knows how to use it. The above Rajput and English Knight would probably hail from Vudran and Lastwall respectively in Golarion. Two completely alien and different peoples will know how to use each others weapons because they are in the same category of 'Martial weapons'.

When you take all this into account, I think it's h+&@!@$~~ that the monk isn't proficient with his own brand of weapons. That's like saying a blacksmith doesn't know how to use a blacksmiths tools. Or a painter can't use a paintbrush and easel. It's stupid and annoying and makes absolutely no sense what-so-ever.


Okay. Third time is the charm, right? I changed weapon proficiencies to simple weapons and all weapns with the monk special feature. I added back in the bonus feat at level 1, but I removed Stunning Fist and put it on the level 1 bonus feat chart. Along with a paragraph about how the monk gets other conditions, yada, yada, yada, if he selects Stunning Fist as a bonus feat. Added a ki cost to taking other folks via dimension door and limited it to a maximum of TWO (2). Removed the free action to drop spell resistance. Made monastic weapons training a little slower; the monk gets +3 on attack rolls (levels 6, 12, and 18) instead of +4.

Anyway, let's see if this one is better.

MA

The Pathfinder Monk: A New Take (Version 1.02)

For the truly exemplary, martial skill transcends the battlefield—it is a lifestyle, a doctrine, a state of mind. These warrior-artists search out methods of battle beyond swords and shields, finding weapons within themselves just as capable of crippling or killing as any blade. These monks (so called since they adhere to ancient philosophies and strict martial disciplines) elevate their bodies to become weapons of war, from battle-minded ascetics to self-taught brawlers.

Monks tread the path of discipline, and those with the will to endure that path discover within themselves not what they are, but what they are meant to be.

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

Alignment: Any lawful.

Base Attack Bonus: Full.

Hit Die: d8.

Good Saves: Fort, Ref, and Will.

CLASS SKILLS
The monk’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (History) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 6 + Int modifier (but see monastic skill training, below).

CLASS FEATURES
All of the following are class features of the monk.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Monks are proficient with all simple weapons and all weapons that have the monk special weapon feature.

Monks are not proficient with any armor or shields.

When wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, a monk loses his AC bonus, as well as his fast movement and flurry of blows abilities (see below).

AC Bonus (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, the monk adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his AC and his CMD. In addition, a monk gains a +1 bonus to AC and CMD at 4th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every four monk levels thereafter. These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the monk is flat-footed. He loses these bonuses when he is immobilized or helpless, when he wears any armor, when he uses a shields, or when he carries a medium or heavy load.

Bonus Feat: At 1st, and again at 2nd level and every four levels gained thereafter as a monk, a monk may select a bonus feat. These feats must be chosen from the following list: Catch Off-Guard, Combat Reflexes, Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Improved Grapple, Improved Sunder, Scorpion Style, Stunning Fist, and Throw Anything.

At 6th level, the following feats are added to this list: Gorgon’s Fist, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Trip, and Mobility.

At 10th level, the following feats are added to this list: Greater Grapple, Greater Sunder, Improved Critical, Medusa’s Wrath, Snatch Arrows, and Spring Attack.

At 14th level, the following feats are added to this list: Greater Bull Rush, Greater Disarm, and Greater Trip.

A monk need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.

If a monk selects Stunning Fist as a bonus feat then, as he advances in level as a monk, he gains additional conditions which he may be applied to the target instead of stunning. Starting at 4th level, and every 4 levels gained as a monk thereafter, the monk gains the ability to apply a new condition to the target of his Stunning Fist. This condition replaces stunning the target for 1 round, and a successful saving throw negates the effect. At 4th level, he can choose to make the target fatigued. At 8th level, he can make the target sickened for 1 minute. At 12th level, he can make the target staggered for 1d6+1 rounds. At 16th level, he can permanently blind or deafen the target. At 20th level, he can paralyze the target for 1d6+1 rounds. The monk must choose which condition will apply before the attack roll is made. These effects do not stack with themselves (a creature sickened by Stunning Fist cannot become nauseated if hit by Stunning Fist again), but additional hits do increase the duration of the effect.

Flurry of Blows (Ex): Starting at 1st level, a monk can make a flurry of blows as a full-attack action. When doing so he may make one additional attack using any combination of unarmed strikes or attacks with a weapon that possesses the monk special feature or attacks with a simple melee or thrown weapon as if using the Two-Weapon Fighting feat (even if the monk does not meet the prerequisites for the feat).

Unlike Two-Weapon Fighting, a monk may make all of his attacks (normal as well as the additional attack(s) from this ability) with just one weapon chosen from those above, or with two weapons. When using two weapons (or a double weapon), a monk may choose which weapon to use when making any individual attack. He may substitute an unarmed strike for any number of his attacks during a flurry of blows.

A monk takes a penalty of -2 on the attack roll of all attacks made during a flurry of blows and any attacks of opportunity that he may make during the same round he uses a flurry of blows, as well as all combat maneuvers made during that round. This penalty does not increase if the monk wields a one-hand weapon in his off-hand.

Starting at 8th level, the monk can make two additional attacks when he uses flurry of blows, as if using Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (even if the monk does not meet the prerequisite for the feat.)

At 15th level, the monk can make three additional attacks using flurry of blows, as if using Greater Two-Weapon Fighting (even if the monk does not meet the prerequisites for the feat).

A monk applies his full Strength bonus (his Strength modifier) to his damage rolls for all successful attacks made with a flurry of blows, whether the attacks are made with an off-hand or with a weapon wielded in both hands. A monk using the Power Attack feat during a flurry of blows treats all weapons, regardless of how they are wielded, as one-handed weapons wielded in a single hand, for the purpose of determining the bonus damage granted by that feat.

A monk may substitute disarm, sunder, and trip combat maneuvers as part of a flurry of blows.

A monk cannot use any weapon other than an unarmed strike or a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows. A monk with natural weapons cannot use such weapons as part of a flurry of blows, nor can he make natural attacks in addition to his flurry of blows attacks.

Unarmed Strike: At 1st level, a monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A monk’s attacks may be performed with fist, elbows, knees, feet, and head. This means that a monk may make unarmed strikes with his hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed. A monk may thus apply his full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all his unarmed strikes.

Usually a monk’s unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but he can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on his attack roll. He has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.

A monk’s unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural attacks (including the bonus attack granted by the spell haste).

A monk also deals more damage with his unarmed strikes than a normal person would, as shown on Table 3-9: Monk. The unarmed damage values listed on Table 3-9 is for Medium monks. A Small monk deals less damage than the amount given there with his unarmed strikes, while a Large monk deals more damage; see Table 3-10: Small or Large Monk Unarmed Damage.

Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level or higher, a monk can avoid damage from many area-effect attacks. If a monk makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a monk is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of evasion.

Fast Movement (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, when a monk is not wearing armor, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, his base speed is increased by 5 feet. This ability does not stack with the fast movement granted by virtue of taking levels as a Barbarian (it overlaps, with only the higher bonus applying). Except as stated above, this is otherwise identical to the benefit granted by the Fleet feat and thus stacks with any enhancement bonus to the monk’s speed.

At 6th level, and again at 9th level, and every three levels gained as a monk thereafter, the monk's speed increases by an additional +5 feet (to a maximum bonus of +30 feet at 18th level).

Still Mind (Ex): A monk of 3rd level or higher gains a +2 bonus on saving throws against enchantment spells and effects. This bonus increases to +4 upon reaching 10th level as a monk and again to +6 at 17th level.

Ki Pool (Su): At 4th level, a monk gains a pool of ki points, supernatural energy that he can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in a monk’s ki pool is equal to his monk level + is Wisdom modifier.

As long as he has at least 1 point in his ki pool, he can make a ki strike. At 4th level, ki strike allows a monk’s unarmed strikes to be treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and striking incorporeal creatures. Ki strike improves as the character gains additional levels as a monk. At 7th level, his unarmed strikes are also treated as cold iron or silver weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. At 10th level, his unarmed strikes are also treated as lawful weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. At 16th level, his unarmed strikes are also treated as adamantine weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and bypassing hardness.

By spending 1 point from his ki pool, a monk can make one additional attack at his highest base attack bonus when he performs a flurry of blows attack (see above). He may instead spend 1 point when he is charging, using the Spring Attack feat, or moves 10 feet or more in a round to gain one additional attack at his highest attack bonus. This additional attack must be made with an unarmed strike or a special monk weapon and suffers the same -2 penalty given under flurry of blows (and all attacks of opportunity and combat maneuvers performed in the same round also suffer a -2 penalty). The additional attack granted by spending a point of ki stacks with that provided by a speed weapon or by the spell haste.

In addition, the monk can spend 1 point to gain a +20’ enhancement bonus to his speed for 1 round. He can spend 1 point to take a second 5’ step in a round where he has already taken a 5’ step. He can spend 1 point to gain a +4 bonus to the saving throw DC of his Stunning Fist ability for 1 attack (this option must be used before the attack is rolled); this use also applies to his Quivering Palm ability, once the monk gains the use of that class feature. Finally, a monk can spend 1 point from his ki pool to give himself a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 round. Each of these powers is activated as a swift action. A monk gains additional powers that consume point from his ki pool as he gains levels.

The ki pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation; these hours do not need to be consecutive.

Catfall (Ex/Su): At 4th level or higher, a monk always lands on his feet after a fall (but not when deliberately tripped); this part of the ability is exceptional in nature. In addition, a monk is capable of falling great distances without harm. When this ability is first gained, the monk may spend 1 ki point as an immediate action to reduce the damage taken from a fall by 4d6. For each additional level gained thereafter as a monk, the falling damage is reduced by an additional 1d6, to a maximum reduction of 20d6 for a 20th level monk, along a monk of such a level to fall any distance without suffering harm. A monk using this ability is not slowed when falling, nor does he require a wall or other surface within arm’s length; this part of the ability is supernatural.

High Jump (Ex): At 5th level, a monk adds his level to all Acrobatics checks made to jump, both for vertical jumps and horizontal jumps. In addition, he always counts as having a running start when making jump checks using Acrobatics. By spending 1 point from his ki pool as a swift action, a monk gains a +20 bonus on Acrobatics checks made to jump for 1 round.

Purity of Body (Ex): At 5th level, a monk gains immunity to all diseases, including supernatural and magical diseases.

Monastic Weapons Training (Ex): Starting at 6th level, a monk gains a +1 bonus on all attack rolls (but not damage rolls) made with unarmed strikes, special monk weapons, and simple melee or thrown weapons. Every six levels gained as a monk thereafter (12th and 18th), this bonus increases by an additional +1.

A monk also adds this bonus to any combat maneuver checks made with unarmed strikes, special monk weapons, or simple melee or thrown weapons, as well as any grapple checks which he makes. When wielding a special monk weapon, this bonus also applies to a monks Combat Maneuver Defense against disarm and sunder attempts.

Wholeness of Body (Su): At 7th level and higher, a monk can heal his own wounds. By spending 2 points from his ki pool as a swift action, the monk will heal 4d6 points of hit point damage that he has take. This ability cannot be used on others. The amount of damage healed increases by +1d6 for every odd level gained as a monk thereafter (i.e., 5d6 at 9th level, 6d6 at 11th level, etc.), to a maximum of 10d6 at 19th level.

If the monk instead spends 3 points from his ki pool to activate this ability, he may add his Monk level as a bonus to the amount of healing rolled.

Starting at 14th level, a monk using wholeness of body can instead spend 2 ki points as a swift action to restore 3d6 points of ability damage that he has taken. This ability cannot be used on others. The monk may split this restoration between as many ability scores as he chooses, but no score can be raised above its normal maximum value. Any excess ability score damage restoration is lost.

Improved Evasion (Ex): At 9th level, a monk’s evasion ability improves. He still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth he takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless monk does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Diamond Body (Su): At 11th level, a monk gains immunity to poisons of all kinds.

Abundant Step (Su): At 12th level, a monk can slip magically between spaces, as if using the spell dimension door. Using this ability is a move action that consumes 2 points from his ki pool. His caster level for this effect is equal to his monk level. Normally, he may not take other creatures with him when he uses this ability. However, if monk spends 1 additional point of ki for each willing creature he touches (to a maximum of two), he may transport those as well. Unlike the spell, using this ability does not end the character’s turn.

Diamond Soul (Ex): At 13th level, a monk gains spell resistance equal to his current monk level +10. In order to affect the monk with a spell, a spellcaster must get a result on a caster level check (1d20 + caster level) that equals or exceeds the monk’s spell resistance.

By spending 1 point from his ki pool as an immediate action, a monk can gain a +4 bonus to his spell resistance for 1 round.

Quivering Palm (Su): Starting at 15th level, a monk can set up vibrations within the body of another creature that can thereafter be fatal if the monk so desires. He can use this quivering palm attack once per day, and he must announce his intent before making his attack roll. Creatures immune to critical hits cannot be affected. Otherwise, if the monk strikes successfully and the target takes damage from the blow, the quivering palm attack succeeds. Thereafter, the monk can try to slay the victim at a later time, as long as the attempt is made within a number of days equal to his monk level. To make such an attempt, the monk merely wills the target to die (a free action), and unless the target makes a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + one-half the monk’s level + the monk’s Wisdom modifier), it dies. If the saving throw is successful, the target is no longer in danger form that particular quivering palm attack, but it may still be affected by another one at a later time. A monk can have no more than 1 quivering palm in effect at one time. If a monk uses quivering palm while another is still in effect, the previous effect is negated.

At 16th level, and every level gained thereafter, a monk may make additional quivering palm attacks by spending 3 points from his ki pool on each attack after the first made in a single day.

Timeless Body (Ex): At 17th level, a monk no longer takes penalties to his ability scores for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any such penalties that he has already taken, however, remain in place. Age bonuses still accrue, and the monk still dies of old age when his time is up.

Tongue of the Sun and Moon (Ex): A monk of 17th level or higher can speak with and understand any living creature.

Empty Body (Su): At 19th level, a monk gains the ability to assume an ethereal state for 1 minute as though using the spell etherealness. Using this ability is a move action that consumes 3 points from his ki pool. This ability only affects the monk and cannot be used to make other creatures ethereal.

Perfect Self: At 20th level, a monk becomes a magical creature. He is forevermore treated as an outsider rather than as a humanoid (or whatever the monk’s creature type was) for the purpose of spells and magical affects. Additionally, the monk gains damage reduction 10/chaotic and magic, which allows him to ignore the first 10 points of damage from any attack made by a nonchaotic weapon or by any natural attack made by a creature that doesn’t have similar damage reduction. Unlike other outsiders, the monk can still be brought back from the dead as if he were a member of his previous creature type.

EX-MONKS
A monk who becomes nonlawful cannot gain new levels as a monk, but retains all monk abilities.


The only archetypes affected now are the Flowing Monk, Hungry Ghost Monk, Monk of the Four Winds, Monk of the Lotus, Sohei, Weapon Adept, and Zen Archer. All of these give up Stunning Fist. None of them give up their 1st level bonus feat (although several of the archetypes CHANGE the bonus feat list). Simple fix, they give up their 1st level bonus feat instead of Stunning Fist. FIXED.

For the Sohei, I would make him exchange monastic weapon training , quivering palm, timeless body, and tongue of the sun and moon for his archetype weapon training. Let him keep purity of body and diamond body.

MA


Numbered as my original points, though not displayed in the same order.

2. Thank you.

3. That's fine. That was more a quirk I was wondering about.

4. Your V1.02 slipped back (did you mean to take his spell resistance back to the usual version, or did you just copy and paste wrong?). But even if we're going with the first version back in the OP, it's still a hindrance. You made it so that it doesn't apply during death, but it does still apply while unconscious (why yes, I would like the Cleric to not have to fight me just to heal me up while I'm knocked out) and you have to go through steps to power it down.

So it's still a hindrance, still something that a Monk player will at times wish he'd never learned. "Wow, things were better back at 12th level. Why, oh why, did I make the mistake of leveling up" is not something that should enter a player's mind under any circumstances, IMO.

Personally, I'd rewrite the Monk's SR so that it works like a saving throw. For example, a mage may cast Reduce Person on a Monk. Under some scenarios, this is because the Monk is in the same party as the mage, asked to be Reduced so that he could sneak in wherever, and even though Reduce Person has a save, the Monk's player simply decides not to roll the save and allow the effect. In other cases, it's because the mage is an enemy mage, and the Monk is in the middle of a fight and doesn't want to be dealing out reduced damage, so the Monk's player decides to roll the save and contest the effect.

"Diamond Soul (Ex): At 13th level, the Monk gains spell resistance equal to his Monk level + 11. If any effect would call for a caster to roll against the Monk's spell resistance, the Monk has the option to have the spell resistance apply or not."

It shouldn't cost ki, hp, actions, nor should the only time the Monk can make this decision be limited to "consciousness" or "when not dead". I'm under the impression that saves work entirely on an "as desired" basis, so spell resistance should do the same.

... Unless there are, in fact, certain beneficial or potentially beneficial spells or other effects that do not pay attention to spell resistance but do allow a save, and don't in fact allow a save but require one even over the recipient's wishes, in which case, never mind. I just don't think saves work that way.

1. Samurai according to Complete Warrior. Alignment: Any lawful
Samurai according to Oriental Adventures. Alignment: Any lawful
Samurai according to Rokugan Campaign Setting. Alignment: Any lawful
(and just for giggles) Samurai according to a nifty 3PP Mongoose Publishing book "The Quintessential Samurai". Alignment: Any lawful

Samurai according to Pathfinder. Alignment: Any

Oh, they changed Bards, too. And opened up the Paladin to CE, but nothing in between.

So I disagree that "they way things have been done" means anything to "the way we do things moving forward".

I mean, you're writing up a homebrewed Monk class, for goodness' sakes. Why would you let this continue on? I'd love to know what the developers were/are thinking in continuing this farce of "certain ways to play BLANK class" are fine and permissable, but "other ways to play BLANK class" should require the player to gear up for a knockdown, drag-out philosophical war, fighting an uphill battle the entire time, just to play the character they want to play.

Since you're here and making the same sorts of decisions as the developers, I'll ask you your thought process, instead. What is to be gained by keeping the Monk's alignment restricted, as opposed to making it Alignment: Any, letting the players that want to play a Lawful Monk continue to do so, but not requiring other players to be hamstrung by the desires of the first group?

I mean, aren't we reasonably mature human beings? Can we not do better than this?


This is something that has thrown me since I saw the first set of changes. MA, you seem to think that you are at some sort of power threshold that if you add anything more, you need to take something away from the current Monk. Yet adding something to pretty much every level of special ability and adding a completely new ability didn't warrant removing anything.

This power threshold is completely arbitrary. You've made some sweeping changes to significant Monk mechanics (which is a good thing). The power of the Monk is higher now, I'm just confused as to why there is a sudden need for precision balance at this point. And lets be honest, the balance of PF isn't so fine tuned that gaining some weapon profs is going to throw the game out of wack (especially for melee). Mechanically speaking, weapon dice size adds very little in the long run of things, and Monks already have access to the Temple Sword... Basically you are giving the access to niche weapons which are most likely a SIDEGRADE.

So why all the shuffling for such a small thing?

Oh, and I'm 100% against alignment restrictions (just screams "YOURE NOT PLAYING MY GAME RIGHT" to me...), but I know the environment I post in and I pick my battles.


@Tectorman: The reversion in diamond soul was deliberate, because people made such a fuss about it, so I decided to drop it.

@Rathyr: On the point of the monk special weapons, I have already fixed that in the version above (1.02). I bowed to what you guys said you wanted to see and went with it.

And there is a threshold limit on changes. If the monk suddenly turns up and delivers more damage per round than the fighter with his chosen/focused/specialized/mastered weapon . . . that's a problem. I don't think this version does, but he is definately now a martial character in line with non-raging barbarians, non-favored enemy Rangers, and non-smiting Paladins. Which is, in my humble opinion, where the monk needs to be.

MA


SmiloDan wrote:

Why not just give your monk 6 skill ranks instead of Monastic Skills? It would be easier, and easier is usually better.

I would keep monks at 3/4 BAB, but give them an enhancement bonus equal to 1/4 their level to their unarmed strikes (and/or monk weapons, maybe) when they have at least 1 point in their ki pool. This would also simplify the various material and alignment DR bit. Also, feel free to use some wiggle room with this, like granting ki pool at 1st level (like magus) and having the bonus go up by +1 at 1, 5, 9, 13, 17 or 2, 6, 10, 14, 18, etc. etc.

I would also keep the traditional fast movement. It's really fun to have a super fast PC sometimes. Maybe add a ki power similar to the choker's quickness? Then you can move in and flurry, or simulate Spring Attack, etc. etc.

Good points. Like.


Yes, MA, I see that you added Monk weapons, but removed Stunning Fist. For any Monk build that isn't a weapon build, you've just given them a downgrade. And as you've pointed out, a lack of Stunning Fist creates conflicts with a decent number of archetypes, and by moving Stunning Fist to a bonus feat, you actually lose out on all of the alternative Stunning Fist options. With all those new problems, does it seem like the right fix to make?

I can see that you think you are that a power threshold (again, completely arbitrary here). I just think it is a very strange place to try and reel the Monk back in. Neither Monk Weapons nor Stunning Fist are very potent class features. I personally hate Stunning Fist, and look to to trade it out for something that is actually reliable/worthwhile as soon as I can when building a Monk (my first fix for my houserules is to base it off your Str mod, not Wis. Hey, now you don't need to invest 2+ feats to make it connect once in a blue moon! Crazy.).

Don't "bow" to anyone. This is constructive feedback. Evaluate input, and take elements you think will make YOUR house rules better.

Just my 2cp.


If you have an Archetype that replaces or modifies stunning fist, then it instead replaces or modifies your 1st level bonus feat. No big deal, because I don't know of any archetypes that replaces both the bonus feat at 1st AND stunning fist.

If you don't have an archetype and want the feat, you can take it. If you don't want, you don't have to.

It is a downgrade . . . a minor one. But the class gets a +2 on all three saves, a +1 BAB, two feats (UAS and a bonus), AC bonus, flurry of blows, and 6 skill points all for taking a 1-level dip. Putting stunning fist in there would give THREE feats for that one level feat, along with all of the other abilities.

I went along with the suggestion that others made because it does give the class just a bit TOO much right out of the gate.

I mean, look at 1st level fighter who takes his second level in monk. And the goes back to fighter for the rest of his career. Or a cleric (or any other Wisdom-based class). That's a LOT to get for a single dip, and they can (at third level) change their alignment . . . they don't lose their monk abilities after all, just can't get new levels.

MA


Why give up stunning fist? This isn't an archetype where you need to take something away and a full BAB monk is not in the least overpowered. If you're trying to discourage dipping taking away stunning fist accomplishes nearly nothing. It's practically worthless for non-monks because it scales so poorly for them, but monks (especially many styles monks, who are actually a viable 20 level build with full BAB) need it as a prerequisite for style feats.

The only way to stop monk dips without screwing over the monk is to tear up MoMS and Maneuver Master.

Well, that or reconsider the style and stunning fist prerequisites so they aren't so difficult for non-monks to get. If monk access to these wasn't so heavily advantaged people wouldn't have to dip monk to get them.

Improved Unarmed Strike shouldn't count as a feat anyways. It's a weapon proficiency and should be considered as such in balancing. Apart from a couple odd interactions (duelist and dervish dance, and I think the latter was errata'd) it's mostly a flavor choice over other simple weapons even with the monk dip damage die upgrade.

I suppose you could move the bonus feats from 1, 2, 6, 10, 16 to 2, 4, 6, 10, 16. That would let an e6 monk function while making monk a little less dippable, or at least making a monk dip a 4 level thing instead of 2.

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