Monk, Is there any reason for it


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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It's always struck me as dumb that monks could potentially kill monsters of Colossal size.

Though ANY martial killing a creature much, much larger than them is kind of dumb, too. A full attack with an adamantine greataxe might sever a vein on a Colossal creature if you're focusing on one spot, but it would still take the creature a HELL of a long time to die.

EDIT: Also, the name is confusing as hell. Monasteries aren't for weaboo nonsense, they're for clerics.


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Thelemic_Noun wrote:

It's always struck me as dumb that monks could potentially kill monsters of Colossal size.

Though ANY martial killing a creature much, much larger than them is kind of dumb, too. A full attack with an adamantine greataxe might sever a vein on a Colossal creature if you're focusing on one spot, but it would still take the creature a HELL of a long time to die.

EDIT: Also, the name is confusing as hell. Monasteries aren't for weaboo nonsense, they're for clerics.

Buddhists would beg to differ...

The monastaries of many monks in Tibet, India, china, and Japan still learn a lot of martial arts... They use martial arts as a way to focus and meditate and to build the soul by building the body....

also

Shaolin Monks... they pretty much are real life Weaboo nonsense... unless you can explain how a monk was able to break a sharpened spear WITH HIS NECK... by pressing down on it... on the pointy end. (it was in an episode of Fight Science on the Science Channel. They had a bunch of medical personnel around just in case. The monk put the spear on the soft spot right in the center of your clavical and had his assistant brace the spear by simply having his foot down and he pressed down on the spear till the spear bent and broke in two... and he has nothing more than a few scratches...)


Colossal just means the creature fits into a 30'x30' area. This typically means they have higher Constitution scores. This is reflected in the ability scores adjustments of things like the giant simple template and Enlarge Animal. More hit points because more mass because bigger, ergo longer for blows from smaller creatures to take them down.

Also, I think it's pretty obvious we're talking about Shao Lin monasteries, not Friar Tuck monasteries. Maybe you could use the more respectful term of Wuxia, since it's appropriate and accurate and not really insulting towards other players who just want to try playing a bad-ass brawler? I mean, does it really make that more sense to you that an old man wiggling his bat-guano encrusted fingers while uttering some nonsense words can reduce a small platoon of hyper-violent, super-durable orcs to ashes in the span of 1.5 seconds? It's a fantasy game, why not let the different fantasy archetypes all fight on the same level as each other but in different ways?


Yeah, personally I think the whole "holy man that runs around like an ascetic and protected by his faith" as a Sacred Fist more than an actual monk xD.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

Colossal probably makes a creature that fits snuggly into a 15 by 15 by 15 foot cube. btw, so not exactly devastatingly huge, but still pretty damn big.


This is one of my favorite builds, based on a really high Stunning Fist DC, high AC, party buffing.
Against Stunning Fist immunes, you just use Crushing Blow.

You are a high priority target because enemies know that if you maul on them, you constantly debuff them. This is what your build should aim for. If you are allowed, take the Adopted-Suicidal (tiefling) trait.

If you ever wanted to enjoy a build, perhaps this one works for you! You want to take feats that make it impossible for the enemy to go past you.

Here's the guy:

Spoiler:
Monkey Sensei
Male Vanara monk 5 Archetypes Ki Mystic, Sensei,
LE Medium humanoid (vanara)
Init +5, Senses Perception +14
=================================================
DEFENSE
=================================================
AC 22, touch 21, flat-footed 18 (+1 armor, +3 Dex, +1 dodge, )
hp 32 ((5d8)+5)
Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +10

=================================================
OFFENSE
=================================================
Speed 30 ft. Climb 30 ft., High Jump, Slow Fall
Melee flurry of blows +7 (1d8+2)
Special Attacks Ki Pool, Stunning Fist (DC 22 with Mantis Style),
=================================================
STATISTICS
=================================================
Str 12, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 22, Cha 5,
Base Atk +3; CMB +11; CMD 25 (29 vs bullrush) (29 vs trip)
Feats Ability Focus (Stunning Fist), Crushing Blow, Dodge, Improved Unarmed Strike, Mantis Style, Stunning Fist
Skills Acrobatics +13, Heal +11, Perception +14, Sense Motive +14, Stealth +13,
Traits Adopted, Forlorn, Reactionary,
Languages Common, Goblin, Vanaran
SQ ac bonus, advice, bonus monk jump skill (5x), climb speed, high jump, insightful strike, ki mystic, maneuver training, mystic insight, nimble, skills, slow fall, weapon and armor proficiency, whitecape,
Combat Gear
Other Gear amulet of mighty fists +1, headband of inspired wisdom +2, bracers of armor +1 (2), flurry of blows, 500.0 gp
=================================================
SPECIAL ABILITIES
=================================================
AC Bonus (Ex) When unarmored and unencumbered, you add +7 to your AC and your CMD. These bonuses apply even against touch attacks or when you are flat-footed. You lose these bonuses when you are immobilized or helpless, when you wear any armor, when you carry a shield, or when you carry a medium or heavy load.

Adopted You were adopted and raised by someone not of your actual race, and raised in a society not your own. You may immediately select a race trait from your adoptive parent's race.

Advice (Ex) A sensei's advice is identical to bardic performance (using oratory), allowing him to inspire courage at 1st level, inspire competence at 3rd level, and inspire greatness at 9th level, as a bard of the sensei's level, usable a total number of rounds per day equal to his level + his Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). This ability replaces flurry of blows, fast movement, and improved evasion.

Bonus Monk Jump Skill (5x) Monk: Add a +1 bonus on Acrobatics checks made to jump.

Climb Speed (Ex) You have Climb speed of 30 feet.

Forlorn Having lived outside of traditional elf society for much or all of your life, you know the world can be cruel, dangerous, and unforgiving of the weak. You gain a +1 trait bonus on Fortitude saving throws.

High Jump (Ex) You can adds +5 to all Acrobatics checks made to jump, both for vertical jumps and horizontal jumps. In addition, you always count as having a running start when making jump checks using Acrobatics. By spending 1 point from your ki pool as a swift action, you gain a +20 bonus on Acrobatics checks made to jump for 1 round.

Insightful Strike (Ex) At 2nd level, a sensei may use his Wisdom bonus in lieu of his Strength or Dexterity on attack rolls and combat maneuver checks with unarmed strikes or monk weapons. This ability replaces evasion and the bonus feat gained at 2nd level.

Ki Mystic (Su) At 3rd level, a ki mystic gains a pool of ki points equal to his Wisdom modifier. The pool increases to 1/2 his monk level + his Wisdom modifier + 2 at level 4. If the monk has at least 1 point of ki in his ki pool, he gains a +2 bonus on all Knowledge skill checks. As a swift action, the monk can spend 1 ki point immediately before making an ability, or skill check to gain a +4 insight bonus on the check. This ability replaces still mind.

Ki Pool (Su) You have a pool of 8 ki points, supernatural energy you can use to accomplish amazing feats. As long as you have at least 1 point in your ki pool, you can make a ki strike. Ki Strike allows your unarmed attacks to be treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. By spending 1 point from your ki pool, you can make one additional attack at your highest attack bonus when making a Flurry of Blows attack. In addition, you can spend 1 point to increase your speed by 20 feet for 1 round. Finally, you can spend 1 point from your ki pool to give yourself a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 round. Each use of these powers is activated as a swift action. The ki pool is replenished after 8 hours of rest or meditation; these hours do not need to be consecutive.

Low-Light Vision A vanara can see twice as far as a human in dim light.

Maneuver Training (Ex) A monk uses his monk level in place of his base attack bonus when calculating his combat maneuver bonus. Base attack bonuses granted from other classes are unaffected and are added normally.

Monk Bonus Feat

Mystic Insight (Su) At 5th level, a ki mystic becomes apt at giving just the right word of advice in just the nick of time. As an immediate action, the monk can spend 2 ki points to grant an ally within 30 feet the ability to reroll a single attack roll or saving throw. The ally must be able to hear the monk to gain the reroll benefit. This ability replaces purity of body.

Nimble (Ex) Vanara have a +2 racial bonus Acrobatics and Stealth checks.

Reactionary You were bullied often as a child, but never quite developed an offensive response. Instead, you became adept at anticipating sudden attacks and reacting to danger quickly. You gain a +2 trait bonus on Initiative checks.

Skills A sensei gains Diplomacy, Linguistics, and all Knowledge skills as class skills.

Slow Fall (Ex) If you are within arm's reach of a wall, you can use it to slow your descent. You take damage as if the fall were 20 feet shorter than it actually is.

Stunning Fist (Ex) You gain Stunning Fist as a bonus feat. You can choose to make the target of your Stunning Fist fatigued. This condition replaces stunning the target for 1 round, and a successful saving throw still negates the effect. You must choose which condition will apply before the attack roll is made. These effects do not stack with themselves, but additional hits do increase the duration.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency Monks are proficient with club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, siangham, and sling. 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 her AC bonus, as well as her fast movement and flurry of blows abilities.

Whitecape Gain +4 to CMD to resist bull rush or trip.


Bandw2 wrote:
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
PIXIE DUST wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
PIXIE DUST wrote:

@Dark Immortal

I do have to say though, your build actually looks pretty creative and fun to try.

But it also show cases the HUGE problem with monks. Like Lormyr and his builds, your monk build requires a LOT of system mastery and how to mix things together to take advantage of their ALL OVER THE PLACE mechanics. To the average person, they would never figure out your build.

The fact that the monk NEEDS TO DO THAT to meet the other classes is kinda rough. Makes the monk a very underwhelming class to all but the most advanced players.

I'd rather have a Monk and be good with supplements than a Rogue or a Fighter that still sucks with supplements.
Well to be honest, with the archetypes in ACG, the fighter is actually pretty decent now. Granted, you are effectively trading away everything but your feats but meh.
You keep BRAVERY!
no you don't, you gave that up the moment you never had to roll a fear roll. :P

You think it's rare, but I appreciate it for at-least giving me a good will save against the frightful presence of dragons.

And mummies, and Cthulhu's kill aura, and a bunch of stuff.


PIXIE DUST wrote:
Yeah, personally I think the whole "holy man that runs around like an ascetic and protected by his faith" as a Sacred Fist more than an actual monk xD.

Well, no. The sacred fist use the power of his faith, true. But it's a divine faith: a god protect him. And all his power go that way. While the wanderer monk use what is in him. For that reason, I would never go with something else than a Monk if I want to do some wandering master or some shaolin monk, even if something else may do it better in term of power.


I have to say, I don't really get all the scorn dumped on Monks at this point, what with all of the things they've had added to them bit by bit. Take a Sohei using a Nodachi to flurry-of-blows, using Qinggong to cast Barkskin and put a Scorching Ray into his spell-storing weapon, and getting free silver/coldiron through ki strike, etc, etc... saying that just feels like a light-armor fighter to me seems pretty bizarre.

Personally I really like a lot of things you can do with a weapon Monk and a little dipping, both for flavor and mechanics; maybe I'll post something later.


Thelemic_Noun wrote:

It's always struck me as dumb that monks could potentially kill monsters of Colossal size.

Though ANY martial killing a creature much, much larger than them is kind of dumb, too. A full attack with an adamantine greataxe might sever a vein on a Colossal creature if you're focusing on one spot, but it would still take the creature a HELL of a long time to die.

EDIT: Also, the name is confusing as hell. Monasteries aren't for weaboo nonsense, they're for clerics.

Have you ever read berserk? Guts is effectively a 2 handed fighter and kills something the size of an island. He also does what is effectively able to full attack under the feet of a diamond dragon well over 30 by 30 and the only magic items he's ever had are his weapon and his armor.

Martial characters do things 200x more absurd than 1v1ing a colossal creature in general fiction. This doesn't even require much searching.


As a big fan of using weapon monks to create sword-sage mystic types, I'd definitely miss the Monk, both as a 1 level dip and as something like the following Sohei build (though it wouldn't have to be Sohei):

Qinggong Sohei 10 / Cleric of Pharasma 1
Human (Dual Talent)
Traits: Whatever... maybe Fate's Favored to get a +2 Divine Favor and a bonus AC lucky hat?

STR 16/18++, +item
DEX 12
CON 14
INT 10
WIS 14/16, +item
CHA 8

1. +Dodge / Crane Style
2 - Cleric of Pharasma. Repose Domain: Gentle Rest power & Conversion Inquisition (Bluff, Diplomacy and Intimidate with Wisdom)
3. +Mounted Skirmisher / Domain Strike: Gentle Rest
5. Power Attack
7. +Trick Riding / Crane Wing
9. Crane Ripose
11. +Medusa's Wrath / Cornugon Smash

When making a Flurry of Blows attack with a Nodachi, substitute one Unarmed Strike to inflict stagger and trigger Medusa's Wrath, for a total of 3 Nodachi attacks and 3 Unarmed Strikes. Staggered targets make a single attack on their turn ... against Crane Style, with a shaken penalty.

By 11, General AC is something like +2Monk, +5WIS, +1Dodge, +XBracers = 8+X 'armor', before the benefits of Barkskin, Crane Style and the usual other assorted stuff. A staggered enemy facing Crane Wing is looking at an AC well into the 30's for their one attack, and failing earns a punch in the face.

Demoralizing in combat and general social skills are viable with Monk skill points and the Conversion Inquisition.

Spell-Storing can be used to place Qinggong Scorching Rays into a Nodachi, a Bodywrap of Mighty Strikes, and/or an Amulet of Mighty Fists. A Cruel property thrown in there somewhere sickens shaken foes.

Monastic Mount allows any mount to gain many monk abilities, bonus hp, and the benefits of Barkskin.

Dark Archive

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Dark Immortal wrote:
PS. Monks are solid even if you drop the favored 3-4 'best' archetypes (take your pick).
I don't find this to be true, from my first 3.5 monk all the way to now.

Pretty sure you can pick any 4 archetypes and someone can whip up an effective monk with what is left. I'm betting Zen Archer, Tetori, Sensei and Qinggong are on the list. But telling me the Monk of the sacred mountain, Kata master maybe, maneuver master, master of many styles, sohei, drunken master and maybe a few others are all 'ineffective' or not solid is completely untrue. Numerous builds exist where these versions can consistently hit the numbers needed to do whatever job they were built to do. Are they easy for a new player to figure out? Not likely. But they exist. Several high performance monk builds of many different archetypes all exist. Again, I repeat; the class is solid. Now, if the people playing your monks are not familiar with how to make them function well, aren't bleeding the system a bit dry and twisting as many things as they can to make it all come together, then yeah, you'll experience shaky monks with 16 wisdom attempting to rely on stunning fist while using a flurry of blows. Blech!

What, in your experience, is so unsteady about the class? Do you find it is the way they have been built or what? Again, fundamentally, I don't see the class as weak. Even a core monk can perform very well without archetypes. If you are a subscriber to the philosophy that you have to be able to end a fight and/or do damage/offense is the best or most important thing, then disregard everything I am saying and most of the things I ever will say as we will fundamentally disagree if that is the case.


Dark Immortal wrote:
Even a core monk can perform very well without archetypes.

Indeed, for what it's worth, a basic monk pulling an unarmed flurry of blows attack is essentially a full-bab, two-weapon fighting character who gets to two-weapon fight with a single weapon, paying no price but the -2ab. A basic monk 8 flurrying with a Temple Sword gets to make up to five attacks, and all of them get not only normal strength, but full-bab two-handed power attack bonus as well.

Monks may have their issues, but I don't really get why people consider them so hopelessly ineffective. Perhaps it's because when you look at them in oversimplified generalities - medium bab* two-weapon fighting* ability pool monkey* without armor* - they sound like total crap. It's just that every * has a big silver lining...


No love for my Sensei build? 3:


5 people marked this as a favorite.

There's a trend developing here and it's this:

Side A - "Man, monk has some problems, the class itself just doesn't make a lot of sense or function right in some cases."
Side B - "Wrong, look at all these archetypes and/or multiclassing combinations. The class works just fine."
Side A - "We weren't talking about multi-classing and archetypes, though. We were looking at the core product and why we think it doesn't function as it should for its role."
Side B - "Well, why are you calling the class subpar if you're not willing to be creative and put your nose to the grindstone with it?"
Side A - "Because we shouldn't HAVE to do in-depth, complicated number-crunching just to make a workable front-liner with a Core Rule Book class?"
Side B - "Sorry but that's not really an issue for most people, they can play solid and entertaining monks without worrying about being the best at things."

Yes, the content released for monks over the years in the form of archetypes, feats, items, etc. has helped a lot. This is a good thing and Paizo deserves some praise for it. However, it does nothing to address the fact that the core class itself is still wonky as heck. Either people need to start addressing the real meat of each others arguments or this entire thread is, as some called much earlier, pointless.

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Dark Immortal wrote:
Again, fundamentally, I don't see the class as weak. Even a core monk can perform very well without archetypes.

And again, I don't see them as a solid class. Maybe I need to actually sit down and play it out, but my experiences so far have been pretty negative.


We'd be more than happy to show you some builds that could be much of your liking.

What kind of characters do you like playing?


Undone wrote:
Weslocke wrote:

I wish all of you who are having problems with monks the best of luck sorting that out in your games.

This is a non-issue both at the table where I play and at the table where I GM.

Monks perform, play and prosper at both these tables just fine.

I presume you allow non core options, have bad players, have a high system mastery monk vs a low system mastery party, play games below level 10, and so on. The warrior isn't that bad at low levels. That doesn't mean the monk is ok.

Because they are able to enjoy a class that you think is not enjoyable, they are bad players?

I mean, I get your point here, and it's not wrong. But there's an attitude underlying it that you might want to consider carefully.

Enjoying the game makes a good player. You might be thinking of a bad character builder, or a bad tactician, but not a bad player.

In fact, I'd say that players who feel very strongly about class balance and allow those feelings to interfere with the actual gameplay experience are much more likely to be "bad" players.

I'm not accusing you of such, nor do I want to imply that tactical acumen and character building are not crucial to Pathfinder gameplay. But let's not take it so far as "only bad players would like the monk".


BadBird wrote:

I have to say, I don't really get all the scorn dumped on Monks at this point, what with all of the things they've had added to them bit by bit. Take a Sohei using a Nodachi to flurry-of-blows, using Qinggong to cast Barkskin and put a Scorching Ray into his spell-storing weapon, and getting free silver/coldiron through ki strike, etc, etc... saying that just feels like a light-armor fighter to me seems pretty bizarre.

Personally I really like a lot of things you can do with a weapon Monk and a little dipping, both for flavor and mechanics; maybe I'll post something later.

To repeat something that's been said a bunch of times before nobody's denying viable monk builds can be made with enough system mastery. It's that it takes so much system mastery to bring the monk up to par, and that it usually involves stepping away from the classic monk flavor. The default flavor for monks is that don't wear armor, don't use weapons, and don't cast spells.


I wonder, Drow Noble Monk.. that would be good right?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Secret Wizard wrote:

We'd be more than happy to show you some builds that could be much of your liking.

What kind of characters do you like playing?

I've done fine so far without using the monk that I don't really see a need to now.

Although getting my first character to work would be nice. He was a spiked chain monk. In 3.5.

Silver Crusade

chaoseffect wrote:
Petty Alchemy wrote:

Harrow Warden Monks trade Stunning Fist for Misfortune punches, which target will and (nearly) nothing is immune.

And besides that, at lvl 15 they get to punch enemies so hard they turn into adorable puppies forever.

So that's basically infinity reasons to be a monk.

I have to say that is one of the coolest archetypes I have ever seen, and it stacks with Master of Many Styles. I'd actually consider staying Monk for it on an unarmed character instead of just doing the two level dip.

LOL. This is fantastic. Is it PFS legal?


Kazumetsa_Raijin wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:
Petty Alchemy wrote:

Harrow Warden Monks trade Stunning Fist for Misfortune punches, which target will and (nearly) nothing is immune.

And besides that, at lvl 15 they get to punch enemies so hard they turn into adorable puppies forever.

So that's basically infinity reasons to be a monk.

I have to say that is one of the coolest archetypes I have ever seen, and it stacks with Master of Many Styles. I'd actually consider staying Monk for it on an unarmed character instead of just doing the two level dip.
LOL. This is fantastic. Is it PFS legal?

Yes! The tricky part is getting high enough attack too.

Dark Archive

PIXIE DUST wrote:

@Dark Immortal

I do have to say though, your build actually looks pretty creative and fun to try.

But it also show cases the HUGE problem with monks. Like Lormyr and his builds, your monk build requires a LOT of system mastery and how to mix things together to take advantage of their ALL OVER THE PLACE mechanics. To the average person, they would never figure out your build.

The fact that the monk NEEDS TO DO THAT to meet the other classes is kinda rough. Makes the monk a very underwhelming class to all but the most advanced players.

Yes, I admit, almost any monk you make is going to require a lot more work and tricks and crazy character building to make it function on par with other more easily optimized character classes. And yes, the fact we (monk players) have to go through such lengths demonstrates that from a design standpoint, there is something wrong because we should not have to do so much just to make them functional to that degree...at least in theory.

Also, I agree that if someone makes a general claim about what they want to play such as 'stealthy guy who wears a cloak or robes and likes to go invisible and is super hard to catch' then yeah, the gate is wide open on suggestions because hey, that's a slayer archetype, a ninja, a rogue, a Sorceror with grease and invisibility, a ranger, etc.

But when a player says that they want to play a rogue or that they want to use or do a few specific things conceptually, then the default suggestion is to tell them to play the classes that can actually do those things.

And to contradict myself a little, if you tell me that you wish to play a hard hitting guy in a cloak who likes to use his trusty two-hander and knocks people out in a single whack, I will default you to fighters, paladins, magus even but not wizard. Sure, I could make a scythe using wizard who drops a color spray followed up with the coup Dr grace. But that is largely not what people mean or want to play even with what was said above.

For what it is worth, I have the inklings of making a staff master full plate wearing wizard, though. But I am always looking to innovate and try creative things that are memorable before I even add a personality. So you can suggest a ninja who is not a ninja to me and I might go for it. I just don't think it is nearly as appropriate as a general rule when suggesting to others. YMMV.


Monk is a class with issues, but it is a class that was patched. I much more prefer that over classes like the rogue.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:

We'd be more than happy to show you some builds that could be much of your liking.

What kind of characters do you like playing?

I've done fine so far without using the monk that I don't really see a need to now.

Although getting my first character to work would be nice. He was a spiked chain monk. In 3.5.

Here you go!

Spoiler:
Snakey Biter
Male Human monk 14 Archetypes Maneuver Master, Qinggong Monk (High Jump), Qinggong Monk (Wholeness of Body),
LE Medium humanoid (human)
Init +6, Senses Perception +23
=================================================
DEFENSE
=================================================
AC 21, touch 21, flat-footed 19 (+2 Dex, )
hp 67 ((14d8))
Fort +9, Ref +11, Will +15
Defensive Abilities improved evasion, SR 24;
=================================================
OFFENSE
=================================================
Speed 70 ft., Abundant Step, Fast Movement
Melee flurry of blows +11/+6 (2d6+3)
Special Attacks Ki Pool, Stunning Fist,
=================================================
STATISTICS
=================================================
Str 16, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 7, Wis 22, Cha 7,
Base Atk +10; CMB +17 (+21 trip) (+21 dirty trick); CMD 34 (40 vs trip)(+40 dirty trick)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Dirty Trick Master, Greater Dirty Trick, Greater Trip, Improved Dirty Trick, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Improved Unarmed Strike, Medusa's Wrath, Skill Focus (Sense Motive), Snake Fang, Snake Sidewind, Snake Style, Stand Still, Stunning Fist
Skills Acrobatics +23, Perception +23, Sense Motive +32,
Traits Survivor, Wisdom in the Flesh (Irori) - Dexterity (Acrobatics),
Languages Common
SQ abundant step, ac bonus, bonus feat, bonus feat, bonus ki (14x1/6), diamond soul, fast movement, flurry of maneuvers, ki leech, maneuver defense, maneuver training, meditative maneuver, reliable maneuver, restoration, skilled, sweeping maneuver, true strike, weapon and armor proficiency,
=================================================
SPECIAL ABILITIES
=================================================
Abundant Step (Su) You can slip magically between spaces, as if using the spell Dimension Door. Using this Ability is a move action that consumes 2 points from your Ki pool. Your caster level is 14. You cannot take other creatures with you when you use this ability.

AC Bonus (Ex) When unarmored and unencumbered, you add +9 to your AC and your CMD. These bonuses apply even against touch attacks or when you are flat-footed. You lose these bonuses when you are immobilized or helpless, when you wear any armor, when you carry a shield, or when you carry a medium or heavy load.

Bonus Feat Humans select one extra feat at 1st level.

Bonus Feat In addition to normal monk bonus feats, a maneuver master may select any Improved combat maneuver feat (such as Improved Overrun) as a bonus feat. At 6th level and above, he may select any Greater combat maneuver feat (such as Greater Grapple) as a bonus feat. At 10th level and above, he may select any maneuver Strike feat (such as Tripping Strike) as a bonus feat.

Bonus Ki (14x) Add +1/4 to the monk's ki pool.

Diamond Soul (Ex) You gain spell resistance 24. 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.

Evasion

Fast Movement (Ex) You gain a +40 feet enhancement bonus to your land speed. If you wear armor or carry a medium or heavy load, you lose this extra speed.

Flurry of Maneuvers (Ex) At 1st level, as part of a full attack action, a maneuver master can make one additional combat maneuver, regardless of whether the maneuver normally replaces a melee attack or requires a standard action. The maneuver master uses his monk level in place of his base attack bonus to determine his CMB for the bonus maneuvers, though all combat maneuver checks suffer a -2 penalty when using a flurry. At 8th level, a maneuver master may attempt a second additional combat maneuver, with an additional -3 penalty on combat maneuver checks. At 15th level, a maneuver master may attempt a third additional combat maneuver, with an additional -7 penalty on combat maneuver checks. This ability replaces flurry of blows.

Improved Evasion (Ex) You can avoid damage from many area-effect attacks. If you make a successful Reflex save against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, you instead take no damage, and even on a failed saving throw you take only half damage. If you are helpless, you do not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

Improved Evasion

Ki Leech (Sp) Spend 0 ki points to use ki leech (self-only) as a spell-like ability (caster level 14).

Ki Pool (Su) You have a pool of 13 ki points, supernatural energy you can use to accomplish amazing feats. As long as you have at least 1 point in your ki pool, you can make a ki strike. Ki strike allows your unarmed attacks to be treated as magic, cold iron, silver and lawful weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. By spending 1 point from your ki pool, you can make one additional attack at your highest attack bonus when making a Flurry of Blows attack. In addition, you can spend 1 point to increase your speed by 20 feet for 1 round. Finally, you can spend 1 point from your ki pool to give yourself a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 round. Each use of these powers is activated as a swift action. The ki pool is replenished after 8 hours of rest or meditation; these hours do not need to be consecutive.

Maneuver Defense (Ex) At 3rd level, if a maneuver master has an Improved combat maneuver feat, any creature attempting that maneuver against the maneuver master provokes an attack of opportunity, even if it would not normally do so. This ability replaces still mind.

Maneuver Training (Ex) A monk uses his monk level in place of his base attack bonus when calculating his combat maneuver bonus. Base attack bonuses granted from other classes are unaffected and are added normally.

Meditative Maneuver (Ex) At 5th level, as a swift action, a maneuver master can add his Wisdom modifier on any combat maneuver check he makes before the beginning of his next turn. He must choose which combat maneuver check to grant the bonus to before making the combat maneuver check. This ability replaces purity of body.

Reliable Maneuver (Ex) At 4th level, as a swift action, a maneuver master may spend 1 point from his ki pool before attempting a combat maneuver. He can roll his combat maneuver check for that maneuver twice and use the better result. This ability replaces slow fall.

Restoration (Sp) Spend 2 ki points to use restoration (self-only) as a spell-like ability (caster level 14).

Skilled Humans gain an additional skill rank at first level and one additional rank whenever they gain a level.

Stunning Fist (Ex) You gain Stunning Fist as a bonus feat. You can choose to make the target of your Stunning Fist fatigued, sickened for 1 minute, or staggered for 1d6+1 rounds. This condition replaces stunning the target for 1 round, and a successful saving throw still negates the effect. You must choose which condition will apply before the attack roll is made. These effects do not stack with themselves, but additional hits do increase the duration.

Survivor Gain +1 to Sense Motive and +1 to Initiative.

Sweeping Maneuver (Ex) At 11th level, a maneuver master can make two combat maneuvers as a standard action, as long as neither maneuver requires the maneuver master to move. He may perform two identical maneuvers against two adjacent enemies, or he may perform two different combat maneuvers against the same target. This ability replaces diamond body.

True Strike (Sp) Spend 1 ki points to use true strike (self-only) as a spell-like ability (caster level 14).

Weapon and Armor Proficiency Monks are proficient with club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, siangham, and sling. 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 her AC bonus, as well as her fast movement and flurry of blows abilities.

Wisdom in the Flesh (Irori) - Dexterity (Acrobatics) Your hours of meditation on inner perfection and the nature of strength and speed allows you to focus your thoughts to achieve things your body might not normally be able to do on its own. Select any Dexterity-based skill. You make checks with that skill using your Wisdom modifier instead of the skill's normal ability score. That skill is always a class skill for you.

It's at level 15, because you clearly care about high level play, but it's viable at all levels.

What it do: remember how the Spiked Chain Monk used to disable every enemy in the room while being untouchable? Well, this guy is similar.

First, you use Sense Motive instead of your AC. That'd be a cool unbuffed 32. Pretty g~$@#%ned respectable.

Second, you add Wisdom in addition to Strength to CMB, and not only that! You can also Flurry of Maneuvers, getting extra maneuvers as you go.

This is cool at early levels to trip dudes and Vicious Stomp them (not taken here but very viable). But at higher levels, it's outright deadly. Using Dirty Trick Master and your ki powers to ensure the Trick hits (adding Wisdom to CMB, rolling two dice and picking the highest, and just in case, TRUE STRIKE), you can Flurry to Dirty Trick twice, activating a stronger condition, then use your next Maneuver to Trip the flat-footed sucker, triggering a nice AoO, but not only that! Triggering dazed with Dirty Trick Master enables Medusa's Wrath, ensuring the enemy's swift demise.

If you REALLY need to Dirty Trick Master, you can use Sweeping Maneuver to double Dirty Trick as a standard action! You will want to get the Dimensional Agility featline soon so you can Abudant Step into an enemy and then disable them.

But all of this is very ki demanding! WHO CARES, WE GOT KI LEECH. Start delivering Coup de Graces on dying enemies to refill your pool.

There's also all the great tricks from Snake Style. Enemy fails to hit you? AoO! Perhaps a trip or dirty trick attempt! Then you get another unarmed strike if you hit... perhaps another dirty trick!

All good saves finish up this awesome package.

FOR HYPER MEGA CHEESE, ADD MONK OF THE FOUR WINDS TO PERFORM 6 DIRTY TRICKS AT FULL BAB IN A SINGLE TURN.


Monks do very well in the group. But we tend to see the Monk as a mobile class, not a brawler class.
90% of the fights I and the other Gm run are open board free for alls with little or no time for the players to prepare with lots of Mooks running around. And in those types of battles the Monks ability to get to the Drow Sorceress and toss her face down into the Mud out weighs the Barbarian fighter doing a gazillion points of damage to a mook.
Monks might not do as well when fighting in a typical 10 ft wide corridor against one big bad guy, but it different when fighting 3 times your number of lower level monsters who have Magical support on an forest board, which is what I tend to do.Mobility becomes more important then being able to kill the mook 3 times over.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Secret Wizard wrote:
remember how the Spiked Chain Monk used to disable every enemy in the room while being untouchable?

I honestly don't. Never saw it. But I'll try that one out when I get the chance.

Dark Archive

3.5 had/has some pretty disgusting drunken master builds if memory serves. Of course it was a PRC but still. Monk was the core due to the improvised weapon damage being equal to unarmed strike damage. Very dip friendly as you started getting into stupid combinations and having Jackie Chan god.


I can understand all the monk hate. I see why on papaer it is weaker then alot of other options. But I have also seen Rogues, Monks, and Ninja's that did very well. We had a 3.5 game with a Monk that went from 1st to 26th level. He was a very effective member of the party.

On paper I see the point. But in practice I see most Rogues and Monks do pretty well. Its hard to explain. A few facts that might be why. Im not argueing that they are good or bad. Just coming from someone who has played pen and paper for 15 years, and Pathfinder for 4 years or so... I have yet to see them actually perform poorly.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
remember how the Spiked Chain Monk used to disable every enemy in the room while being untouchable?
I honestly don't. Never saw it. But I'll try that one out when I get the chance.

If you want to go for ultra bork, remember to take Monk of the Four Winds. YOU CAN SPEND 6 KI TO GET 3 STANDARD ACTIONS. DID I MENTION YOU CAN SPEND A STANDARD ACTION FOR TWO FULL BAB MANEUVERS?

You lose Abundant Step, which is sad as f$&+, but you can get it again by giving up Tongue of Sun and the Moon (which you want to do anyway).

Silver Crusade

Dragonamedrake wrote:

I can understand all the monk hate. I see why on papaer it is weaker then alot of other options. But I have also seen Rogues, Monks, and Ninja's that did very well. We had a 3.5 game with a Monk that went from 1st to 26th level. He was a very effective member of the party.

On paper I see the point. But in practice I see most Rogues and Monks do pretty well. Its hard to explain. A few facts that might be why. Im not argueing that they are good or bad. Just coming from someone who has played pen and paper for 15 years, and Pathfinder for 4 years or so... I have yet to see them actually perform poorly.

I've run just a plain Qinggong Monk who did Very well overall in the campaign, especially with detecting and catching several important people in a lie! It certainly shifted the outcome of things. In combat he hit for poo, if he hit at all, but when it came to Tripping, Disarming, and Stunning Fist, I was often successful with them. I generally held opponents still, and removed any offenses I could from them. That was my first time ever playing Pathfinder too... back then I had nowhere near the knowledge I do now. Just as well, he was nearly unhittable with his 36AC back around level 6. I protected my party from a lot of damage, as much as I could contain anyways. He fulfilled his role. He accompanied a Magus, Rogue Sniper, and Wizard. His damage was overshadowed by pretty much everyone.

On paper, they do look quite poor. That's theorcraft for ya : P


How did you manage an AC of 36 by level 6?

Silver Crusade

leo1925 wrote:
How did you manage an AC of 36 by level 6?

Dex and Wis based. So starting AC of 18 with Dex and Wis mod of 4.

Ring of Deflection +1. Mage Armor(sp)(+4). Shield(sp)(+4). Total Defense(+6). Ki Point(+4) Barkskin(+3). Dodge(+1)It worked great against the Barghest that couldn't move outside of a specific room. He was desperate enough to try and eat/kill me, revealing himself, which was enough for the rest of the party to acquire a target and pewpew. Sorry, seems like 35 by level 6. Without Total Defense that is. It's nice having everything stack so nicely on a class! That's the one nice advantage of the Monk!


I'd just walk around that Monk.


Except that it requires you to go total defense... i.e. you are not completely useless. If it really wanted to it could walk right by you and completely ignore you (which ideally it should have after the first few failed attempts at attacks).

Silver Crusade

PIXIE DUST wrote:
Except that it requires you to go total defense... i.e. you are not completely useless. If it really wanted to it could walk right by you and completely ignore you (which ideally it should have after the first few failed attempts at attacks).

Thankfully, you don't count as a creature in a game : P The DM was going back Creature Intelligence. It was stuck in a room, with everyone but myself outside of it. Bound to it. Just as well, I was still at 35 without Total Defense, and only using a Swift action. I still had opportunities to attack, stun, trip, disarm, etc.


It can be fun. I've run an entire party of dual classed monks and something else from the party members with a uniquely themed monk monastery under attack and the entire short campaign was involved with somehow defending the monastic stronghold. The game was just for flavor, while its true some brawlers are seemingly better at hand-to-hand than a monk, the choice of playing monks had little to do with class abilities, rather the theme of the campaign.

Also I've used one Rite Publishing's Mystical Site Properties - a permanent condition affecting a specific environment called "Everyone is Kung Fu Fighting" which grants a +5 bonus to all monk weapons used, allows all monk classed PCs to fight at 2 levels higher than normal, and everyone not a monk gets 1 temporary level of monk added to their PC for the duration of the site property in existence.

Monks generally aren't your best PC class choice, but under the right circumstances, they can be fun to play.


Kazumetsa_Raijin wrote:
PIXIE DUST wrote:
Except that it requires you to go total defense... i.e. you are not completely useless. If it really wanted to it could walk right by you and completely ignore you (which ideally it should have after the first few failed attempts at attacks).
Thankfully, you don't count as a creature in a game : P The DM was going back Creature Intelligence. It was stuck in a room, with everyone but myself outside of it. Bound to it. Just as well, I was still at 35 without Total Defense, and only using a Swift action. I still had opportunities to attack, stun, trip, disarm, etc.

If memory serves right, total defense prohibits you from doing anything at all. You are pretty much a turtle in its shell. You don't even threaten the squares around you.

Silver Crusade

PIXIE DUST wrote:
Kazumetsa_Raijin wrote:
PIXIE DUST wrote:
Except that it requires you to go total defense... i.e. you are not completely useless. If it really wanted to it could walk right by you and completely ignore you (which ideally it should have after the first few failed attempts at attacks).
Thankfully, you don't count as a creature in a game : P The DM was going back Creature Intelligence. It was stuck in a room, with everyone but myself outside of it. Bound to it. Just as well, I was still at 35 without Total Defense, and only using a Swift action. I still had opportunities to attack, stun, trip, disarm, etc.
If memory serves right, total defense prohibits you from doing anything at all. You are pretty much a turtle in its shell. You don't even threaten the squares around you.

That is correct, but I'm not sure why you are pointing that out. It's a standard action to Total Defense... when I wasn't in it the entire time and I don't have to be. Without it, I stand at 35, with it, I stood at 41. You can actually still move in Total Defense I believe, and of course swift actions are allowed.

"Total Defense
You can defend yourself as a standard action. You get a +4 dodge bonus to your AC for 1 round. Your AC improves at the start of this action. You can't combine total defense with fighting defensively or with the benefit of the Combat Expertise feat. You can't make attacks of opportunity while using total defense."


If you're in Total Defense and therefore cannot take AoO's, can you even stop enemies from moving through your square?

Even if you can, I don't think I'd want a party member who is only useful when there is a 5' doorway.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Arachnofiend wrote:
If you're in Total Defense and therefore cannot take AoO's, can you even stop enemies from moving through your square?

That requires Acrobatics with a DC of your CMD+5. Which isn't likely for most enemies. (Overrun might work better for huge CMB beasts.)

Larger creatures can bypass this, but then larger creatures usually don't have trouble with 5ft of cover between them and the juicy targets.


Ah, right. My other point stands though. It's kinda frustrating because I do think Monks can be genuinely good and useful to strong parties if built properly but builds like these are a large part of why people think otherwise...


Arachnofiend wrote:
Ah, right. My other point stands though. It's kinda frustrating because I do think Monks can be genuinely good and useful to strong parties if built properly but builds like these are a large part of why people think otherwise...

They are. They are a decent but not great tank and a decent but not great skill monkey, with great saves. A highly mobile scout that wont get dropped by every attack.

In a party with mostly 2SkP spellcasters, a Monk would be very valuable. Not great a Face in most cases, sure, but Perception is high as well as other skills.

He's good as both a 3rd member in a party of three or a 5th member in a party of 5.

The issue is- he's not the best choice as a 4th member in the classic party of 4, since he isnt great at filling any niche.

However, it's still a real fun class to play.

The idea that you MUST play the MOST powerful DPR class to fill any niche otherwise you are a waste of air is ludicrous.


Kazumetsa_Raijin wrote:
leo1925 wrote:
How did you manage an AC of 36 by level 6?

Dex and Wis based. So starting AC of 18 with Dex and Wis mod of 4.

Ring of Deflection +1. Mage Armor(sp)(+4). Shield(sp)(+4). Total Defense(+6). Ki Point(+4) Barkskin(+3). Dodge(+1)It worked great against the Barghest that couldn't move outside of a specific room. He was desperate enough to try and eat/kill me, revealing himself, which was enough for the rest of the party to acquire a target and pewpew. Sorry, seems like 35 by level 6. Without Total Defense that is. It's nice having everything stack so nicely on a class! That's the one nice advantage of the Monk!

How did you get shield? Its a personal range spell.

Also it looks like you forgot the +1 AC bonus that monks get at level 4.


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DrDeth wrote:
The idea that you MUST play the MOST powerful DPR class to fill any niche otherwise you are a waste of air is ludicrous.

In a highly-optimized tactical game, any PC who doesn't pull his weight, on a more or less even footing with clerics and/or druids and/or wizards and/or superstitious ragepounclance barbarians and/or 3.5e halfling flask-hurlers, gets the party killed. It needn't be DPR, but they do need to bring something to the table that does something just as tactically useful. Playing a class that cannot be brought to the same level of optimization as those others is to sacrifice the entire party for the sake of vanity.

I'll happily admit that most games are not like that. However, the rules were written to support those types of games, the origins of the hobby are consistent with those types of games, and a number of people still enjoy those types of games.

Therefore, although the idea is "ludicrous" for your group, it is not thereby automatically ludicrous for everyone else's group, and it's dishonest and insulting to imply that it is.

Which is why I suggest one of two things for classes that can't cut it in ALL types of games, but only SOME games: (1) put a disclaimer to that effect right up front in the class description: e.g., "The monk is a great class to play in games in which not all the participants are playing heavily-optimized characters, and which are scaled for that sort of party. The monk can be brought to a higher level of optimization, but that requires careful picking through a number of supplemental sources and is not recommended for any but the most dedicated players." Alternately, (2) make the Core monk as easily-optimized as the Core cleric, and as capable in ALL styles of games, and then there's no need for a disclaimer. Either approach would end all these types of threads.

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