"Bonus" style feats for the Master of Many Styles and Unarmed Fighter archetypes


Rules Questions


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Both the Monk and the Fighter have archetypes in Ultimate Combat that allow them to pick up Style feats without the prerequisites. But the text is a little confusing. For example, the Master of Many Styles says:

Quote:
Bonus Feat: At 1st level, 2nd level, and every four levels thereafter, a master of many styles may select a bonus style feat or the Elemental Fist feat. He does not have to meet the prerequisites of that feat, except the Elemental Fist feat. Alternatively, a master of many styles may choose a feat in that style's feat path (such as Earth Child Topple) as one of these bonus feats if he already has the appropriate style feat (such as Earth Child Style). The master of many styles does not need to meet any other prerequisite of the feat in the style's feat path. This ability replaces a monk's standard bonus feats.

Now on one hand, it says "he does not have to meet the prerequisites of that feat, except the Elemental Fist feat". So any Style feat is game. But then it says that you can choose a feat in the style's feat path only if you have the appropriate style feat. So in order to get Dragon Ferocity (which is a Style feat), you have to have Dragon Style. So it partially contradicts the earlier statement that "he does not have to meet the prerequisites".

Then we have the Unarmed Fighter, which is a bit more succinct:

Quote:
Unarmed Style: At 1st level, a unarmed fighter gains the Improved Unarmed Strike feat and any single style feat (see Chapter 3) as a bonus feat. The unarmed fighter need not meet all the prerequisites of the style feat he chooses, but style feats that grant additional uses of the Elemental Fist feat cannot be taken until the unarmed fighter has that feat. This ability replaces the bonus feat at 1st level.

This text does not contain any caveats, so are we to assume that an Unarmed Fighter could begin the game with Dragon Roar (the third feat in the chain) if he/she wanted to? Or is a similar caveat implied for the Unarmed Fighter?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Go to the Feats chapter of Ultimate Combat.

Find a Style feat chain, such as Dragon Style and its successors.

Look each of them up individually.

Count how many of them have the "Style" descriptor (right next to the "Combat" descriptor).

Unarmed Fighter now makes sense.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Jiggy wrote:

Go to the Feats chapter of Ultimate Combat.

Find a Style feat chain, such as Dragon Style and its successors.

Look each of them up individually.

Count how many of them have the "Style" descriptor (right next to the "Combat" descriptor).

Unarmed Fighter now makes sense.

. . .

I'm going to go hide under a rock now. ;_;

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Hey, it's a pretty common mistake. Don't feel bad. :)
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BONUS PRO TIP: If you start with a level of Unarmed Fighter, then follow up with 2 levels of Master of Many Styles Monk, you can have the entire feat chain for any style that doesn't involve Elemental Fist. That's what, half a dozen styles? You can just pick one and have the entire feat chain in three levels, without spending any of your normal feat slots.


I have a question too. I can't understand the part about elemental fist in the Master of Many Styles. Does it mean that he still needs the prerequisites of the elemental fist, or does it mean that he can't take the feats with elemental fist as a prerequisite before he has got elemental fist?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

You know, the syntax of the sentence works either way. I'm not sure.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Yeah, I was considering something along those lines...thinking about rocking a martial arts style character in PFS. I got to try out an Unarmed Fighter at level 1 with Snapping Turtle Style, and later with Dragon Style.

The problem I have with Unarmed Fighter as an archetype is that after level 1 it's sort of awful. All of the abilities are geared towards grappling, which is why I initially looked at Snapping Turtle style. The problem is that Snapping Turtle style is incredibly boring at level 1, and grappling larger creatures is pretty much always a pain in the neck. Dragon Style on an unarmed Fighter is beautiful, and you hit like a truck.

I also looked at stacking the Martial Artist/Master of Many Styles archetypes, which results in lower damage/less bonus to hit at level 1 (poor base attack bonus, plus having to split ability focus among strength, dex, con, and wisdom) but results in a character with higher survivability (high touch AC, high flat-foot AC, higher CMD, better saves). So I'll probably head in that direction.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Unfortunately the martial artist and master of many styles archetypes do not stack since they each replace Perfect Self from the base monk abilities. (I was disappointed myself since I wanted to play that combination as well.) The martial artist exchanges perfect self (and a couple of other class features) for exploit weakness while the master of many styles monk receives perfect style.

From what I understand, it doesn't matter that you replace the same ability at different levels for the two archetypes and you're not likely (or maybe it's not possible) to reach 20th level in PFS.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Garaliel wrote:

Unfortunately the martial artist and master of many styles archetypes do not stack since they each replace Perfect Self from the base monk abilities. (I was disappointed myself since I wanted to play that combination as well.) The martial artist exchanges perfect self (and a couple of other class features) for exploit weakness while the master of many styles monk receives perfect style.

From what I understand, it doesn't matter that you replace the same ability at different levels for the two archetypes and you're not likely (or maybe it's not possible) to reach 20th level in PFS.

This is correct. Martial Artist and MoMS are not compatible archetypes since MA trades out Perfect Self for Extreme Endurance and MoMS trades it out for Perfect Style, and definitely can't be taken together in PFS.


Different but related - I've never been 100% on this. Does master of many styles let you jump the middle feat in a chain?

ie:
Lvl 1: Unarmed fighter 1, snake style
Lvl 2: MoMS monk 1, snake fang

Legal?

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Legal, yes, but might not always work as well as one would hope. For instance, Crane Riposte wouldn't do much without Crane Wing. :/


Yeah, I used snake style as the example because that's the one that really has the huge boon for skipping to the end.

I made a Snake and Crane guy I called the pinball halfling because he'd just run around provoking AoO on purpose and counter striking. We could never decide if he was legal though because we didn't know if I could skip to the end of snake like that and we didn't know if blocking with crane style really counts as being "missed" for the crane riposte double snake fang 3-for-1 retort. Also it didn't really matter because he was terrible (his damage was a joke and enemies would just stop taking their AoOs at him once they saw what was happening). Hehe.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Scrynor wrote:

Yeah, I used snake style as the example because that's the one that really has the huge boon for skipping to the end.

I made a Snake and Crane guy I called the pinball halfling because he'd just run around provoking AoO on purpose and counter striking. We could never decide if he was legal though because we didn't know if I could skip to the end of snake like that and we didn't know if blocking with crane style really counts as being "missed" for the crane riposte double snake fang 3-for-1 retort. Also it didn't really matter because he was terrible (his damage was a joke and enemies would just stop taking their AoOs at him once they saw what was happening). Hehe.

I wouldn't think you could combo up Snake Fang and Crane Riposte, since the attack has to "hit" you to trigger Crane Wing which triggers Crane Riposte, whereas Snake Fang is triggered on a miss.


Yeah, that's the part we weren't sure about. We were going on whole "first it hit, then you made it miss" thing so first it triggered crane wing into crane riposte and then snake fang. It always did seem a bit sketchy yet arguable since the wording on crane wing says "that would normally hit you" implying that since you winged it the attack did not hit you and therefore missed.

I'm sure we would have searched for a real answer if the character actually did any damage.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

I think the Snake Fang only triggers if you were missed while using the Snake Style "sense motive is my armor class" bit, but I can see it being read as "if you are missed while snake style is active, but not necessarily used". In either case, I don't think converting a hit into a miss with Crane Style causes it to trigger. Guess there's more FAQ fodder here than I thought.


I'm pretty sure Snake Fang always gives you an AoO every time you are missed while in the style. It really can't only work when doing the "sense motive is my armor class" thing because you have to burn an immediate action to activate the sense motive thing and you also need an immediate action to activate the 2nd free attack granted by snake fang (assuming your AoO hits).

The crane feeding snake thing I still don't know. I can see it both ways. I will say that the Hong Kong cinema lover in me wants to assume they were written to be purposefully synergistic to harken back to the many films (especially early Jackie Chan movies) featuring blended snake and crane kung fu styles.

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