All monk party - what should I play?


Advice

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For an upcoming one shot (Ruby Phoenix Tournament) we've decided to put together an all monk party. The character I have in mind is a chubby human monk with a lisp and a tendency to stutter, which is why our party is registered in the tournament as the "Five Fifths of Fa-fa-fa-fury".

I'm leaning toward a sensei build but I'm not seeing what I should do with him in combat aside from give my fellows advice. Also, if it helps one of the other players is playing a Zen Archer monk so I'd prefer to stay melee-oriented.

The Exchange

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a tetori monk that is rather plump with no shirt and his first action in every combat is to smear honey on his body


Well there aren't even five monk archetypes worth playing without multiclassing so an intelligent exercise in group functionality is pointless. Tetori, sensei, and grappler are pretty much your only picks so its rapid attacks, wanna be bard, or grappler.

I know that's an over simplification and harsh but monks stink as a group. My advice is to scorching ray build. It's crap but at least its different.

Scarab Sages

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countchocula wrote:
a tetori monk that is rather plump with no shirt and his first action in every combat is to smear honey on his body

Sure, and your name could be Win Neh Te Pu. :P

First off, Bogey, ignore the evidently-inevitable Monk-bashers. Moving on, one thing that comes to mind for me is the Sohei, since they're meant to be so different (i.e. clearly meant to prefer weapons to unarmed fighting) from most Monks. Drunken Master also sounds like a natural choice for your character - I've never played one (I've got a Hungry Ghost Monk, but that's it), but no doubt they're fun. As a matter of fact, it appears that Drunken Master and Sensei are compatible, so how's that sound? You could be stereotypical Chinese Buddha.

Silver Crusade

countchocula wrote:
a tetori monk that is rather plump with no shirt and his first action in every combat is to smear honey on his body

so much this,

another option-
Monk of the empty hand, you are a cook, if someone steps up in your kitchen show them how you do with your flaming, slashing, shocking frying pan of DOOOOM


Zen Archer, Sensei, Sohei and either a Tetori or Maneuver Master would be cool.

Sensei in back giving advice while Zen Archer unloads on the enemy. Maneuver Master Trips and Dirty Tricks or Tetori Grapples whiel Sohei flurries with a polearm.

Can you guys have an anime team attack called Monastic Massacre? Please? For me?


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A reach monk is a good addition. (More so with lots of potions of enlarge person...)

Depending on which level you start, a sohei (lvl6+) or a unarmed fighter 1 / monk X, preferably hungry ghost monk (for punishing kick).


what level is this btw? some monks cant function as intended until a certain level. for example, no ki mystic is worth his salt until level 3 and zen archers also don't hit their sweet spot till the same level.


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Humphrey Boggard wrote:

For an upcoming one shot (Ruby Phoenix Tournament) we've decided to put together an all monk party. The character I have in mind is a chubby human monk with a lisp and a tendency to stutter, which is why our party is registered in the tournament as the "Five Fifths of Fa-fa-fa-fury".

I'm leaning toward a sensei build but I'm not seeing what I should do with him in combat aside from give my fellows advice. Also, if it helps one of the other players is playing a Zen Archer monk so I'd prefer to stay melee-oriented.

Many good suggestions already given. However having a Sensei in a monk party is absolutely GOLDEN. You're all looking to +hit as monks, so that's the most valuable resource.

HAMMER
Sohei Monk wielding a Nagitana/longspear or similar, staying out of reach and pumping damage. Or high crit weapon? Anything really, they do damage with reliable saves and decent skills.

MoMS. Dragon Style combined with a few others can be very potent (if you can multiclass into Sacred Fist or Brawler, Dragon+Pummeling is good). Gives you a lot of flexibility depending on what you want to build. Damage Dragon Style, or AoO master with Panther+Snake+Crane/Dragon. This guy fits in Anvil too.

Weapon Adept. This one can pump some damage too, with weapon spec and Perfect Strike. Less mano a mano, more cleavy slashy.

If getting to level 11 or starting there, a Four Winds monk is fun. Grab Vital Strike, Dragon Style, Marid/similar and twice a day punch someone to oblivion in a single turn with that stop time ability.

ANVIL
Grappler Tetori. These are vicious. Pick two people never let them go, oh baby never gonna let you down, never go away and...ahem

Maneuvre Master. As above but with trips, disarms.
Flowing Monk. If you will fight a lot of people at once this is great.

RANGED HAMMER
Far Strike Monk. Works well enough, has versatility. Throw Chakrams at them with Flurry or move and shoot to kite.

Zen Archer. One of the best archers in the game. Look at the "One" guide for this archetype.

ARMS
Sensei/Ky Mystic. As written above, a facilitator. Please, pick Qinngong with this too. You may also become a Blaster then (Scorching Ray) if in a pinch.

Slap Qinngong whenever you can, be it for Barkskin, True Strike (trip/grapple) or any other great improvement.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Would recommend the Sensei/Ki Mystic as suggested above with Qinnqong monk at least, so you can cast some spells.

As for fighting style...well to be quite honest, there isn't any fighting style better than pummeling style right now. The style is so much stronger than any other fighting styles and low investment.


Renegadeshepherd wrote:
what level is this btw? some monks cant function as intended until a certain level. for example, no ki mystic is worth his salt until level 3 and zen archers also don't hit their sweet spot till the same level.

Level 11 and our group tends to be fairly generous with the point buy (25 pts).

Scarab Sages

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Renegadeshepherd wrote:
Well there aren't even five monk archetypes worth playing without multiclassing so an intelligent exercise in group functionality is pointless.

This is completely false. Sensei, Martial Artist, Hungry Ghost, Drunken Master, Sohei, Zen Archer, Far Shot Monk, Harrow Warden, Hamatulatsu Master, and Tetori are all very good archetypes and worth playing.


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I seriously recommend you try out Sensei. Not only is Bardic Performance so awesome, but it's also the best user of Stunning Fist in this game, because all this guy wants to do is stack Wisdom for attack, AC and Stunning Fist DC.

Take Mantis Style and such for additional power when Stunning, and take Crushing Blow to do something when the enemy is immune to Stunning Fist effects (if you are anything like me, you will yell CRUSHINGGGG BLOWWWWW every time you use it.)
You actually want to get all the feats leading up to Medusa's Wrath too, you are the best Scorpion Style (not a style feat, curiously) user as well.

I do recommend you pick a Small race so you can make the best of Mountain-Splitting Strike (extra 2 DC to your already high DC Stunning Fists).

You will never regret going Sensei.


Fake it and play a sacred fist war priest


Having a Sensei in play will be absolutely necessary for this team to function. If you don't play one you will need to convince someone else to do so.


I like Secret Wizard's idea on the Sensei. I can build entirely around WIS and focus on serving up enemies on a platter to the rest of the party instead of focusing on doing damage.

What do you guys think of a sensei/drunken master/qinggong build where I take Scorpion Style, Gorgon's Fist, Medusa's Wrath and Crushing Blow? What should I do with the feats at 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 11th level?

Scarab Sages

Toughness is good for anyone, would be especially good for a tubby Monk. Drunken Masters also get a few feats meant specifically and solely for them. Weapon Focus (Unarmed Strike) is seldom a wrong choice for any Monk. Extra Ki would help with your qigong.

Scarab Sages

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As a sensei, you might want to dip a level of unarmed fighter. It gives you both a free style feat, and proficency in every single monk weapon which you will have wis to hit with. The seven branched sword is very nice for making an opponent flat footed for everyone else.


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Sensei + Qinggong

The Sensei allows you to give anyone any ability you can activate with a Ki point. For example, you can take replace one of your monk abilities with the Qinggong archetype to get Barkskin. Then for 1 ki point, you can give any ally barkskin. Once you hit level 12, you could give ALL your allies barkskin for 1 ki point (you'd have to use it a second time for yourself).

We ran an adventure last year, I ran a character like this for the adventurer and I was the only healer. I was able to do a fair amount of healing using Wholeness of Body as kind of an alternative to channeling.

In melee combat, your primary job is assistance. I focused heavily on defense and provided flanking for allies. I used a temple sword with the guided property. I dumped Strength and focused on Wisdom and Dex and some Con.

Sovereign Court

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Perhaps you could use... a caster?

Be a Qinggong Drunken Master, get your Con up to 18, take the Fast Drinker feat, and start turning alcohol into an unlimited supply of Scorching Ray, Dragon's Breath, Spit Venom, or flurry of blows.

Okay, so your DPS isn't all that great, but nobody expects the Blaster Monk!

(Adding someone whose primary gig is to get drunk and spit fire/acid/etc. may or may not make your adventures very, very interesting.)


One time adventure Irontruth, sadly. Your idea is great but wasted in this instance :(


I played an oread Monk of the Sacred Mountain to great effect as the party tank. Built like Andre the giant, played like Kung Fu Panda, lol


Renegadeshepherd wrote:
One time adventure Irontruth, sadly. Your idea is great but wasted in this instance :(

If the party is really fun we might take some time away from our existing campaigns to continue with that group.

Current campaigns:

Homebrew #1 - Wild adventure in Kaer Maga. Our bard disappears for weeks at a time only to emerge from an ether binge with a treasure map on his back before becoming an unintentional paladin of Adabar.

Homebrew #2 - Lovecraftian Horror mixed with high technology. The Many Worlds hypothesis + Traveller's from Beyond the Stars + Crashed Alien Ship churning out evil clones.

Curse of the Crimson Throne - Just started with a colorful cast, featuring a brand spanking new GM who is rocking it so far.


Quote:
What do you guys think of a sensei/drunken master/qinggong build where I take Scorpion Style, Gorgon's Fist, Medusa's Wrath and Crushing Blow? What should I do with the feats at 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 11th level?

Drunken Master is a great option... Druken Strength allows you to make up for your lower damage.

For feats, besides Mantis Style, Mountain-Splitting Strike, and possibly Ability Focus, if the DM allows it, you probably want the likes of Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Lingering Performance and, later on, the Dimensional feats to be able to Abundant Step right next to the enemy caster and Stunning Fist their face.


Here's what I'm looking at so far:

Monk 11 - Sensei/Drunken Master/Qinggong.

Feats
1H - Crushing Blow
1 - ?
1M - Scorpion Style
2M (replaced, Sensei)
3 - ?
5 - ?
6M (replaced, Sensei)
7 - ?
9 - ?
10M - Medusa's Wrath (considering replacing)
11 - Drunken Ki

Qinggong replacements:

Slow fall 20' -> barkskin
High Jump -> feather step
Slow fall 30' -> gaseous form
Slow fall 40' -> dragon's breath
Slow fall 50' -> restoration

25 pt buy will be heavily invested in wisdom. He should be acting as a party buffer with Advice (i.e., Inspire Courage +3) and Mystic Wisdom (using Ki to hand out Barkskins like Halloween candy). He'll have a nice secondary portfolio based around debuffing opponents with DC 10 + 1/2 level + WIS mod abilities like Stunning Fist and friends. I don't expect him to do much damage but being able to do damage would be a plus. Scorpion style is a nice way to limit opponent's mobility to enable my full-attacking monk buddies to avoid having to move more than 5' a round.


no handing out barskin. self only

Silver Crusade

Renegadeshepherd wrote:
no handing out barskin. self only

"At 6th level, a sensei may use his advice ability when spending points from his ki pool to activate a class ability (using the normal actions required for each) in order to have that ability affect one ally within 30 feet rather than the sensei himself. At 12th level, a sensei may affect all allies within 30 feet rather than himself (spending points from his ki pool only once, not once for each target). "


Im playing a Sensei/Monk of the four winds in CC with efreeti style. It is working very nicely.

On another note. You count as your own ally.


Sensei with Kata Master can make some interesting things happen.

Sensei with Four Winds can also give mini-time stop to the entire team.

Sensei is just really great I guess.


LoneKnave wrote:

.

Sensei is just really great I guess.

VERY true. without it a monk party could not function. a sensei turns a bunch of watered down solo acts into a unit.


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Humphrey Boggard wrote:

Here's what I'm looking at so far:

...
Qinggong replacements:

Slow fall 20' -> barkskin
High Jump -> feather step
Slow fall 30' -> gaseous form
Slow fall 40' -> dragon's breath
Slow fall 50' -> restoration
...

Is that how replacing slow fall really works? I though you swapped it out once and it's gone.

Scarab Sages

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jakebacon wrote:
Humphrey Boggard wrote:

Here's what I'm looking at so far:

...
Qinggong replacements:

Slow fall 20' -> barkskin
High Jump -> feather step
Slow fall 30' -> gaseous form
Slow fall 40' -> dragon's breath
Slow fall 50' -> restoration
...

Is that how replacing slow fall really works? I though you swapped it out once and it's gone.

Slow Fall is a single ability, you can't swap out each improvement of it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber

Be a Grippli, great AC synergy plus You can be a drunk frog. Sensei/drunken master/qinggong feat choices:

Combat Reflexes (B) + Bodyguard + Adopted Trait + Helpful
Lingering Song
Swift Aid
Archon Style/Chain

Also Deific Obedience to Irori and a bunch of knowledge skills.
Possible 2 level dip into Inquistor for more Wis Synergies.

Get a Banner of the Ancient Kings (increase bonus from inspire courage) and Ring of Ki Mastery.


Imbicatus wrote:
jakebacon wrote:
Humphrey Boggard wrote:

Here's what I'm looking at so far:

...
Qinggong replacements:

Slow fall 20' -> barkskin
High Jump -> feather step
Slow fall 30' -> gaseous form
Slow fall 40' -> dragon's breath
Slow fall 50' -> restoration
...

Is that how replacing slow fall really works? I though you swapped it out once and it's gone.
Slow Fall is a single ability, you can't swap out each improvement of it.

Thanks for pointing that out.

Silver Crusade

My Sensei (played to 12th level) was

Sensei, Ki Mystic, 4 Winds, Quinggong.

I did TWF and the Marid Style Feats. Combine this with Scorching Ray from Quinggong (and Barkskin and another of your choosing).

I was only able to give Slow Time to the group twice before the adventure finished.

Sovereign Court

One thing I'd make sure of - have the whole group's defenses be through the roof.

Monks can, past the first few levels, have the best defenses in the game. (With the possible exception of a shifted druid.)

Normally - the disadvantage of putting many resources towards defense is that there's often at least one or two characters who have weak defenses, and therefore you're better off focusing on offense to some extent to kill enemies faster - doing the old 'the best defense is a good offense' shtick.

However, since the entire group are monks, the entire group can have disgustingly high defenses. The main thing is to have a high defense monk is to dump strength and get an agile amulet ASAP. Monks are too MAD to have to worry about strength. (I know some swear by Dragon Style - but especially with Pummeling Style around now - it's not worth sacrificing your AC.)

One point of note - you might consider someone in your group being a brawler in order to make the group a bit more diverse while keeping the theme. Perhaps with the two level dip in MoMS. That character could say that he didn't want to deal with all that fancy smancy ki nonsense - while the other characters complain that he lacks discipline for true mastery of the martial arts.


If you've got one monk using maneuvers, skip trip and go for dirty trick instead. It's far more versatile and doesn't have a size limit. Disarm and Dirty Trick ftw. I'm also a bit more partial to Flowing Monk over Maneuver Master. If you really want someone using Trip, go for the Halfling archetype Underfoot Adept as it slowly ups your effective size for trip maneuvers.

Silver Crusade

If Quinggong isn't enough spellcasting...consider Half Elf with the Arcane Training trait.


Here's what I've got as a draft character:

Sun "The Cage Potato" Wei, Master of Shuai Jiao

11th level Sensei/Drunken Master/Qinggong Monk, LN Human

STR 12, DEX 14, CON 18 (16 + 2 from belt), INT 10, WIS 24 (16+2 racial+2 advancement+4 headband), CHA 8

Makes the following Qinggong replacements:

Slow Fall -> Barkskin
High Jump -> Scorching Ray
Wholeness of Body -> Restoration

Feats:

1 Defensive Combat Training
1H Crushing Blow
1M Improved Grapple
3 Stunning Pin
5 Lingering Performance
7 Fast Drinker
9 Greater Grapple
10M Spring Attack
11 Deep Drinker

Gear:
Belt of Con +2
Headband of Wis +4
Monk's Robe
Wand of Mage Armor
Winged Boots
Cloak of Resistance +4
Ring of Ki Mastery
Body Wrap of Mighty Strikes

Before combat: Buff the rest of the party before fights with Barkskin (delivered via the Sensei Advice class feature with Drunken Ki ensuring that there's enough Ki points to go around).

During combat: Buff the rest of the party with Advice (Inspire Courage), using lingering performance to get the most out of his limited rounds/day (level + WIS). After starting up his Advice, he rushes in to grapple and deliver stunning fists (or crushing blows). Unarmed strikes have +16 to hit and a saving throw with DC 22. Grappling CMB is 18 and CMD is 39. He also has the option of hanging back and attacking with Scorching Rays.

After combat: He can help with party with restorations (someone else will have to take care of healing hit points).

Any thoughts?


One of you guys can be amartial artist so you can act all "edgy" like an angsty teenager. You get to ignore group meditation sessions and complain about how nobody understands you! Plus you can use the forbidden techniques of "Kicking the enemy in the groin" to bypass their damage resistance! Nothing wiser than exploiting that weakness!


One of you guys can be a martial artist so you can act all "edgy" like an angsty teenager. You get to ignore group meditation sessions and complain about how nobody understands you! Plus you can use the forbidden techniques of "Kicking the enemy in the groin" to bypass their damage resistance! Nothing wiser than exploiting that weakness!


lol, i really like the whole, fat guy with honey thing. Take 13 str maneuver master, agile manuevers, and overrun, or better yet, that tetori and focus on grappling. Grab with one hand; beat down with the other. And all the while, they're getting smothered by a big dude covered in honey (gm should require them to make some sort of morale check, or will save, or lose hope (treat as sickened, lol))


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What you have is a support build. As support goes this is about as good as a monk gets at this level so I could not say much against it. I could only warn that like most supporters you need to have good damage dealers to win.

One thing I would say that you will need to plan for is the fire immune flyer because you don't have a good answer for them and your fellow monks who are not zen archer aren't much better. Someone got a solution to that?


snake style-> the whole tree. retaliation. But otherwise, to answer Renegade, I wonder if taking some reach feats allows upward movement? Otherwise, having a highjumping grappler might be suicidal, but if they succeed in a pin, then when they both fall flat, the rest of the party assumes the position for a gang initiation.

Otherwise, might be stuck with option B) taking spider step, though now you're just praying for a wall or a tree to be in range.

Question; what would a bull rush do to a flying creature? Just push it back a little?

Option C: spit venom? Kinda a stopgap if you ask me, but if anyone keeps flying around while blind they might crash into something.

Option D: pray that someone else took throw anything. make them throw you or preferably another party member who still has high jump, and combine the acrobatics, add Ki, and try to hit the mark on said flying critter. See Option A.

Option E, drink, and hurl insults and empty bottles, whilst doing what you can to lure it to an urban area. Find a pole,hand it to an acrobat, ki pool polevault super deathpunch. No? Well, sh*


@Aemesh: WOW!! I would t have thought of half that list, I'm very impressed. I question the validity or how circumstantial some of those are but you made the point that it is at least possible.


:D it's especially funny if he HAD picked the chubby monk smothered in honey, and he was the guy who gets thrown. Even if he didn't have high jump, or missed the grapple, what's the damage for a sticky, squishy, medium sized object thrown by a monk using ki pool? Whazzat, like 2,3d6 nonlethal damage? And then the all around giggles when both fall to the ground with a splat and a whump. (and he traded out slow fall, hah)


Another fun idea, although it might not work with your current build much is a throwing AoMF, so you can punch people in the face from 10ft away, or more :)
Combined with tetori and you can grapple them from range and then yank them beside you and screwed :)

Grappling wrote:
If you successfully grapple a creature that is not adjacent to you, move that creature to an adjacent open space (if no space is available, your grapple fails).

Also works with lunge :)

(note that it doesn't say the closest open space, co you can whip him over your head and behind you)
And check out frost/forge fist amulet!!


Zen archer and Sohei are different enough to include.


Renegadeshepherd wrote:
What you have is a support build. As support goes this is about as good as a monk gets at this level so I could not say much against it. I could only warn that like most supporters you need to have good damage dealers to win.

The rest of the party is:

- Zen Archer Monk
- Brawler (melee DPR specialist)
- One other monk TBD. The player mentioned that he was hoping to find an archetype that would allow him to dispel magic with Ki points. May end up as a Sacred Fist War Priest.

Renegadeshepherd wrote:
One thing I would say that you will need to plan for is the fire immune flyer because you don't have a good answer for them and your fellow monks who are not zen archer aren't much better. Someone got a solution to that?

Also, I've got winged boots and a pretty good stunning fist + grappling ability. Incidentally, can you grapple a creature out of the sky?

Silver Crusade

If you can reach said creature.

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