Pathfinder and Monks!


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Thomas Long 175 wrote:


Edit; besides who can give up gold like the 7 wis 7 charisma 90 year old senile wizard flying around naked screaming about how he was going to touch them.

Oh man. That's too funny. Our wizard needs to be crazy like this. >.>


Kyaaadaa wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
Also, the "standard" is 20 point buy, not rolled stats.

I thank every god in existence that I've never played the 20 point buy system. It makes truly weak characters in comparison to other methods, considering you have to dump 17/20 to get a single 18 stat, then you get 3 11's, or maybe an 11 and a 12 and you're done. For a MAD class, best to hope for is two 15s, a 14 and an 11. No +3 modifiers? Open a flower shop, you're no hero. I could see classes with two stats going two 16's, but then the rest is garbage. If it doesn't have a +2 or higher, write it off. I'd end up taking a nasty ECL race to make up for all that weakness.

Give me my 4d6 any day, or the system we used. 80 points, 1 for 1 buy, starting at 0. No score under 8, no score over 18 prior to racial bonuses. At least this way you can get decent stats.

Not sure your math really works here. You hate that with 20 point buy you can't have a good spread of stats if you want to start with an ability at 20 (after racial mods) and therefore its a weak system. The problem with the argument is that at least you CAN start with a 20 with point buy when by rolling, there's no guarantee of getting 3 sixes. In fact, on average, you won't get an 18. Now, its true that with your 80 point buy, you can make insanely powerful characters (18, 16, 16, 12, 10, 8) before racials, but then, I would argue that there's a reason that's not standard.

Finally, I realize that everyone's mileage is different, but I've never found it necessary to have a 20 in a stat at char gen. There are some classes where you certainly can get away with it, but even then, they are usually lacking elsewhere. That being said though, I do agree that having an 18 (after racials) is pretty much assumed. You might be able to get by with a 17 and then bump it at 4, but 18 is standard. The irony here of course is that point buy is the only way to ensure you get that all important 18. To be fair though, I do find rolling stats to be far more fun, if not necessarily more powerful.


Actually your stat array there only comes out to like a 54 point buy, not 80, so you didn't need to dump Cha there. You could've gone something like (18, 16, 16, 16, 16, 14) and still had 3 points leftover.


Rynjin wrote:
Actually your stat array there only comes out to like a 54 point buy, not 80, so you didn't need to dump Cha there. You could've gone something like (18, 16, 16, 16, 16, 14) and still had 3 points leftover.

Went with 18, 18, 16, 10, 10, 8 for mine.

Gargs454 wrote:
You hate that with 20 point buy you can't have a good spread of stats if you want to start with an ability at 20 (after racial mods) and therefore its a weak system.

Almost. Its that you have to either low ball everything at 13-14, mid-range a few stats, or go with one great and one good stat with everything else being abysmal. The stat increases given every three levels isn't enough to take someone from scores of 13-16s into 20th level. You'd either end up with a single stat in the low 20s, or several stats at 17-18. My reliance on equipment to enhance my stats is also 0, as a single spellcaster with Mage's Disjuction would wreck the front lines with one or two castings. (Yes, a GM is well within his rights to drop one of these every single fight) At 20th level then, borderline epic, less than mid 20's on primary stats is nowhere near close to cutting it, and that would mean your secondary stats (such as Fighter using CON for HP and Fort saves) would still be mid teens. A secondary stat nearing epic level should be where your highest stat was at level 1, with minimal equipment assistance.

Maybe I'm too 3.5 and not enough Pathfinder, but I always look at builds from pure naked characters 1-20 level. If you rely too much on your trinkets, its a solid, crippling, almost irrecoverable blow when something gets sundered, destroyed, or stolen. Its one reason I like monks (bring this topic back around to OP) in that they can stand in an anti-magic field and continue to pummel unabated. Nothing the characters hold is permanent, irregardless of whether the CRs of equal level are scripted for it. A GM shouldn't be tethered with "I can't mitigate their equipment advantage because it would make this next fight too hard." Hell no, have a sneak thief come in and snag the fighter's gear and run off. See how well the player functions without his shiny stuff, how well the party consolidates their losses and presses forward.

I'm rambling again, going to cut this one here. (Also expecting the flames incoming, and bracing for impact. :3 Good debates though, haven't seen any name calling or such, can't say the same for other forums.)


Kazumetsa wrote:
Thomas Long 175 wrote:


Edit; besides who can give up gold like the 7 wis 7 charisma 90 year old senile wizard flying around naked screaming about how he was going to touch them.
Oh man. That's too funny. Our wizard needs to be crazy like this. >.>

Sounds like a Entropomancer I had in a 3.5 game. He'd ramble about the great nothingness at the center of the universe, and would praise it like a crazed evangelist every time it got dark or someone cast a darkness spell on the party.

Liberty's Edge

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Kyaaadaa wrote:

I thank every god in existence that I've never played the 20 point buy system. It makes truly weak characters in comparison to other methods, considering you have to dump 17/20 to get a single 18 stat, then you get 3 11's, or maybe an 11 and a 12 and you're done. For a MAD class, best to hope for is two 15s, a 14 and an 11. No +3 modifiers? Open a flower shop, you're no hero. I could see classes with two stats going two 16's, but then the rest is garbage. If it doesn't have a +2 or higher, write it off. I'd end up taking a nasty ECL race to make up for all that weakness.

Give me my 4d6 any day, or the system we used. 80 points, 1 for 1 buy, starting at 0. No score under 8, no score over 18 prior to racial bonuses. At least this way you can get decent stats.

Well, I guess I will take the "hero" off my business card and keep adventuring then. Just hit sixth level too!


Auris Deftfoot wrote:
Well, I guess I will take the "hero" off my business card and keep adventuring then. Just hit sixth level too!

Heh. I'm not saying the system doesn't work, if it didn't Paizo would have re-published their books with something that did. What I am saying is that, with that buy system, classes like Monk get shafted royally. With an increased point buy, you get better MAD classes, where as the stat boost is only a marginal increase for classes that would just dump it into their primary stats anyway, or increase a score that doesn't overly affect the way they operate.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Oh, I agree. I've just been playing 20PB for the last year without a problem is all.


It has the advantage that every character of any class can have the same chances at stats, but the classes were not originally designed with this system in mind. The core classes were imported from 3.5, and tweaked to Pathfinder with some new perks. 3.5 was not built with the 20PB in mind, so while the stat system works for some classes, its a failure with others. Fighters and spellcasters have it great, they can boost one stat, put an 11 or 12 in a stat they could benefit from, then proceed with little care. A monk needs more. Any MAD class needs more. A Fighter with an 18 STR and 15 CON with a 7 CHA is good to go. He's not going to Bluff many enemies into being flat-footed, but he'll punish with a passion. Same goes for a spellcaster. A Sorcerer with a 17 CHA and 15 DEX is going to be set for a while, maybe drop INT a point for one in STR to carry a few more pounds.

Try that with a Monk or Ranger, someone who needs STR, DEX and WIS, maybe some CON to boot. Its a nightmare. Stating up all the stats that we'd like to have sub-pars them all, while neglecting one or another can limit effectiveness as Dabbler pointed out.

I had originally thought about different "bonus" points in the buy based on class, but that would just make people power play those classes to death. (Unless the players are cool and can be with the spirit of the bonus) I'm sure I'll come up with a solution in time. I don't like moaning about something without having a viable solution, its annoying.


While I'm not going to claim the monk doesn't get shafted by point buy it's still the default (actually, 15 point buy is the default for published APs). If it's a problem at 15 point buy that isn't there with your lucky 24d6 it's not something that can be ignored just because some people have weighted dice for stat rolling.


Atarlost wrote:
While I'm not going to claim the monk doesn't get shafted by point buy it's still the default (actually, 15 point buy is the default for published APs). If it's a problem at 15 point buy that isn't there with your lucky 24d6 it's not something that can be ignored just because some people have weighted dice for stat rolling.

Nah, I'm not a cheater. Thanks for playing.

I do agree that MAD classes being weak in the PB system is something that can't be ignored. I think it was Dabbler who pointed out that even Paizo has said that Monks are too weak and need to be re-thought. I bring that back to my previous post where we can see that the core classes were imported from D&D 3.5, a system that was not built on a 20 PB system, or any point buy system of any kind for that matter, but the 24d6. Even the Pathfinder Core book has the 24d6 listed as the first option, the PB system as a secondary. These are the choices for Ability Scores, in order:

Core Rulebook wrote:

Standard: Roll 4d6, discard the lowest die result, and add the three remaining results together. Record this total and repeat the process until six numbers are generated. Assign these totals to your ability scores as you see fit. This method is less random than Classic and tends to create characters with above-average ability scores.

Classic: Roll 3d6 and add the dice together. Record this total and repeat the process until you generate six numbers. Assign these results to your ability scores as you see fit. This method is quite random, and some characters will have clearly superior abilities. This randomness can be taken one step further, with the totals applied to specific ability scores in the order they are rolled. Characters generated using this method are difficult to fit to predetermined concepts, as their scores might not support given classes or personalities, and instead are best designed around their ability scores.

Heroic: Roll 2d6 and add 6 to the sum of the dice. Record this total and repeat the process until six numbers are generated. Assign these totals to your ability scores as you see fit. This is less random than the Standard method and generates characters with mostly above-average scores.

Dice Pool: Each character has a pool of 24d6 to assign to his statistics. Before the dice are rolled, the player selects the number of dice to roll for each score, with a minimum of 3d6 for each ability. Once the dice have been assigned, the player rolls each group and totals the result of the three highest dice. For more high-powered games, the GM should increase the total number of dice to 28. This method generates characters of a similar power to the Standard method.

Purchase: Each character receives a number of points to spend on increasing his basic attributes. In this method, all attributes start at a base of 10. A character can increase an individual score by spending some of his points. Likewise, he can gain more points to spend on other scores by decreasing one or more of his ability scores. No score can be reduced below 7 or raised above 18 using this method. See Table: Ability Score Costs for the costs of each score. After all the points are spent, apply any racial modifiers the character might have.

The number of points you have to spend using the purchase method depends on the type of campaign you are playing. The standard value for a character is 15 points. Average nonplayer characters (NPCs) are typically built using as few as 3 points. See Table: Ability Score Points for a number of possible point values depending on the style of campaign. The purchase method emphasizes player choice and creates equally balanced characters. This system is typically used for organized play events, such as the Pathfinder Society (visit paizo.com/pathfinderSociety for more details on this exciting campaign).

The classes have had some tweaks, like weapon and armor training for Fighters, clerics gaining Channel Energy instead of Turn Undead, etc, but the vast majority of class development has not changed. At their core, the basic classes differ in how they jive with the point buy system because of their varied stat score requirements. Non-MAD can thrive on the 20 or 15 PB system because they don't need much to work. MAD classes are tossed away in the garbage unless they receive GM boons for equipment during the course of gameplay. Mercifully, crafting equipment no longer carries the experience requirement that 3.5 pasted on them, so the party furnishing themselves is at the cost of GP and not future levels. This still doesn't change the core decay that is the underlying and true statistics of the character, its merely a bandaid, one that gets ripped away anytime they lose an item, enter an anti-magic field, have something stolen by NPC rogues, or get Disjunctioned.


I actually do agree with the sentiment that 20 point buy tends to screw over the MAD classes, but I feel that rolling for stats can do the same thing. I know going back to old school D&D, that was kind of what was supposed to make say, rangers, special was that you really needed a special stat roll in order to even play a ranger, much less play them well. It was presumed that there would be fewer rangers running around than fighters, clerics, wizards, and rogues.

That's changed to an extent now in that the general assumption among players at least is that if its in the Core book, it should be more or less equally common. Maybe that was the intent of the designers, maybe it wasn't. Either way, I can't say I argue with those who feel as though each of the core classes should be equally played.

Referring to monks in particular, I agree that 20 point buy is one of their main problems. I think the other main problem that monks have is that a lot of the "cool" things that have been associated with monks over the years just are not that powerful in game terms. Take Slow Fall for instance. The imagery behind it is pretty cool. The monk is more or less running down a vertical wall. The problem is, its likely that over the course of a 20 level campaign, this is really only going to come into play a handful of times at most. It can be great for certain sneak situations, or if pushed off a ledge, etc. But overall, very situational. Fast Movement. Being able to run really fast, "looks" pretty cool, and certainly the extra movement can be useful, but you can also get to the point where its a bit overkill (at least until things like Dimensional Dervish come into play). To me, that's the biggest problem. The goodies the monk gets just are not enough to keep up with the other classes most of the time, and the MADness only amplifies the problem.

That being said though, I personally still love monks. Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment. :p

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

My first character was a 3.5 monk. I rolled a 16, a 13, and four 10s.


aaaaaaannnnnnd that's why I do point buy. that and one character at the table always has two 18's or some such. With point buy, no one PC is gonna dominate through attributes alone.


Anburaid wrote:
aaaaaaannnnnnd that's why I do point buy. that and one character at the table always has two 18's or some such. With point buy, no one PC is gonna dominate through attributes alone.

Actually, the very is issue is that every non-MAD class will dominate every MAD class through attributes alone. While the real numbers won't have disparity, the effectiveness of two different PCs, one playing a Fighter and one playing a Monk, will be brutally apparent.


Lol, I remember one of my friend's best rolled stats ever.

18, 18, 18, 17, 16, 16

He played a monkey folk ninja from oriental adventures.


Alejandro Acosta wrote:

Suggested Stats ++STR>+WIS/+CON>DEX>-INT>-CHA. Rearranging your rolls would look like this>

STR 18
WIS 16
CON 15
DEX 12
INT 10
CHA 5
If you go DEX and want a range weapon use martial weapon starknife (range 20 ft.). the damage is a little better then shuriken and you don't lose it if it hits (regular ammunition gets damaged, so that leaves out slings/shuriken). I recommend a returning Starknife. Generally you only need to throw 1 before you close in for melee. I prefer reach weapons since I like STR builds.

If you want a reach weapon instead, try this:
Why don't you pick up martial weapon at 1st level and use a Large Guisarme?
Monk w/ reach weapon: You can fight armed or unarmed while wielding a reach weapon using elbows, knees or feet. (*=monk bonus)
Guisarme: 9 gp, 2d4 x3 — 10 lbs. S reach, trip CRB
M1: *stunning fist, flurry of blows, *unarmed strike, *Combat reflexes, martial weapon Guisarme, improved initiative. Use your reach and combat reflexes to trip opponents. you're armed (no attacks of opportunity) and you get +4 bonus for using 2 hand weapon. On the move, use bull rush to knock them prone (same pluses applies). then move in on your prone opponents and follow up with your weapon or FOB (whichever does more damage). If they move or try to get up you get free attacks. If you get grappled, use stunning fist for release and retain your weapon.
M2 *dodge
M3 power attack, use on your prone opponents.
M5 lighten weapon (prerequisite. don't worry about this yet)
M6 *improved bull rush (more pluses for bull rushing)
M7 improved trip (ditto)
M9 improved evasion, greater bull rush gives you a free hit on prone opponents you bull rushed, good time to power attack.
M10 *improved critical, apply to your Guisarme.
M11 Improved lighten weapon, now you can use a Large Guisarme (a large Guisarme does 2d6 damage and your reach is 15-20ft. BTW add another +4 for size on CMB with Guisarme) for people 10 ft., use 5 ft. step, then weapon or FOB, whichever does more damage at...

Edit: forget the starknife. Use a Chakram (martial). You get 1d8 damage, Crit x2 and 30 ft. range. It's a martial weapon so you can use it at first level. Stat priority also changes. Go with ++WIS>+DEX>+STR>CON>-INT>-CHA. I put WIS 1st to boost monk abilities (SF, AC, Ki). going with Mantis style.


Thomas Long 175 wrote:

I don't anymore. I played with him before because he was one of my friend's husband and a friend from highschool if a terrible person to game with.

Edit; besides who can give up gold like the 7 wis 7 charisma 90 year old senile wizard flying around naked screaming about how he was going to touch them.

...yeah, that's pretty good!

Kyaaadaa wrote:
Dabbler wrote:
Also, the "standard" is 20 point buy, not rolled stats.

I thank every god in existence that I've never played the 20 point buy system. It makes truly weak characters in comparison to other methods, considering you have to dump 17/20 to get a single 18 stat, then you get 3 11's, or maybe an 11 and a 12 and you're done. For a MAD class, best to hope for is two 15s, a 14 and an 11. No +3 modifiers? Open a flower shop, you're no hero. I could see classes with two stats going two 16's, but then the rest is garbage. If it doesn't have a +2 or higher, write it off. I'd end up taking a nasty ECL race to make up for all that weakness.

Give me my 4d6 any day, or the system we used. 80 points, 1 for 1 buy, starting at 0. No score under 8, no score over 18 prior to racial bonuses. At least this way you can get decent stats.

ha! You kids have it easy, back in my day it were 3d6, in order, take what you get!

More seriously, you can make heroes with any point buy, the 'point' being everyone is on the same level - +2 where everyone else has a +0, well that's pretty good! The problem is that MAD characters suffer on point buy if they have two or more major stats. One major and few minors, OK. Two majors, bearable. Three majors and many minors, impossible.

That said, my last monk was on 4d6, I rolled great, and yet in some situations they STILL sucked badly for lack of effective options.

Grand Lodge

Dabbler wrote:

ha! You kids have it easy, back in my day it were 3d6, in order, take what you get!

Back in the day monks got d4s for hit dice and had to fight another monk in ritual combat every time they wanted to gain a level after 7th. Now that made for some 'interesting' gaming.

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