Fixing monks for my homebrew setting

Homebrew and House Rules

Sorry, it's another monk thread ;)

I am trying to revise the monk class for my homebrew setting, while keeping the changes as simple as possible for the players to understand (I would rather have a list of 2 or 3 bullet points than completely rewrite the class)

For the purposes of the setting, monks are scholars and advisors - often found in positions of authority such as magistrates or chamberlains. There are no clerics (it's complicated) so non-casting monks fill much the same role in society.

I am looking at crudely balancing the monk against the ranger (also a non-casting class in this setting - they use the Skirmisher archetype by default), while also reducing the insane MADness of the class, so:

* Full BAB/d10 Hit dice This puts the monk on a par with the Ranger for BAB/HP, and also reduces their dependence on CON; the Maneuver Mastery class feature is now redundant
* 6 Skill points per level Again, this puts them on a par with the Ranger; it also makes INT a more viable dump-stat which mitigates against the MADness
* Sensei Archetype by default. This fits their role in the setting. It also reduces the MADness as Sensei get to use their WIS bonus in combat, and the fact that Linguistics is on the Sensei's skill list helps to make INT a viable dump

In that form, Monks need high WIS and DEX, reasonable STR and CON, and can afford to dump INT and/or CHA.

But using the archetype as written they swap out Flurry of Blows, Fast Movement, Evasion (and Improved Evasion) and all but one of their bonus feats for the Advice, Insightful Strike, and Mystic Wisdom abilities. I feel this still leaves them relatively weak compared to the Ranger (Skirmisher).

I am therefore tempted to put some of the core monk abilities (that would normally be swapped out for Sensei) back into the mix - maybe just drop the bonus feats but keep the other class features. But would it then be too powerful?


Grand Lodge

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Im not sure I agree with anything except the d10 hit die and maybe full BAB

By level 3, monk have Full BAB on flurry and maneavuers, which is what they should always be doing anyway. IMO, it wont change much but it would help for feat prerequisites.

More skill ranks is nice, but I would leave it at 4. There is a reason the ranger has more skills. You don't need to dump INT as a monk, you can leave it at ten and still be more than great.

I don't understand why you would force an archetype. Why not just leave it and let your players pick it if they want? I can see from a story telling perspective, but by forcing an archetype, this limits the players on taking another archetype, and archetypes are what REALLY helped pull monks up.

If you really wanted to improve the monk, here is what I would do. Expand their bonus feats. Give your monk player 2-3 more bonus feats to choose from at each level that they get them. Make sure they fit the archetype if he picks one, or more generic ones for the core monk.

Another option is to add a ki ability that as a swift adds half his monk level to attack rolls for 1 turn for 1 ki, full level for 2 or 3 ki. Think of it like judgment from the inquisitor class. This will help with the flurry of misses problem.

This is all my opinion, but its your campaign.

Given what you described them as in the setting, I feel like their current BaB and Hit Dice fit better... Instead of that, I think are more flavorful option would be to give every monk a free Ki power off the Qinggong archetype list at the indicated levels. This makes them more powerful and, imo, fits your fluff better, as they are not described as super-fighty individuals that would justify full BaB and a d10. Furthermore this adds options to the class, offsetting the limitations you are putting on it by making every monk a sensei.

Can I suggest checking out this thread in which I'm actually test-running my own tweaks for the monk, and so far they balance out fairly well, although I did modify my original ideas slightly.

My changes:
1) Zen Warrior: A monk may choose to use their Wisdom bonus rather than their strength or dexterity bonus for attacks made with special monk weapons, combat maneuvers, or with the monk’s unarmed strike.

2) A monk’s unarmed strike treats the hardness or damage resistance (of any type) of a target as less by one point for every level of monk the character possesses. (The monk loses the ki-strike options for bypassing DR using ki-strike below).

3a) Amending the Ki-Pool entry as follows:
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 his unarmed attacks to gain a +1 enhancement bonus as if empowered with greater magic fang. At 7th level this increases to +2, at 10th level, his unarmed attacks are +3, at 13th level +4, and at 16th level his unarmed attacks gain a +5 enhancement bonus.

3b) By spending 1 point from his ki pool, a monk can make one additional attack a round at his highest attack bonus whenever taking any form of attack action.

3c) In addition, he can spend 1 point to move 20 feet in a swift action. (As opposed to just +20' movement).

4) The monk is proficient with all monk-type weapons.

I haven't changed hit dice or BAB at all, I've found these changes to be more than sufficient so far in all my testing (which includes live play tests with my groups). Not saying your ideas are bad or anything, but if I've already got a good set of changes that are tried and tested, why not use them?

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