Monk-Rogue Build; Need AC


Advice


I'm trying to finish up a Monk-Rogue build in PFS.

Stunning Fist + Flurry of Blows + Sneak Attack is godly. Sap Adept at level one.

Currently, I just reached level 2.

My AC is 18. Wis=3, Dex=4, +1 Dodge bonus from Dodge. I have no extra feat slots available, and roughly 1,400 gold to spend.

UMD is a rogue skill, but not an option.

The best solution I got so far was a suggestion from a really old thread; "get a wand of Mage Armor and give it to somebody else."

Not only is that majorly inconsistent, but I can't make head or tails of it from a role-playing perspective. I don't have knowledge arcane or spellcraft.

"I went to a magic item store and told the guy at the counter I get hurt too often. He handed me this wand. Not sure what it does. Poke me with it and we'll see what happens."

Maybe AC potions? Shield or Mage Armor? I vaguely remember some spells are arbitrarily banned in PFS as potions, like True Strike, so I'm not sure how that would work.

Any ideas?


Bracers of Armour.

Be mobile, don't get into the front line (this is good advice for all Monks and Rogues).

One more level Rogue gets you Minor Magic and Major Magic as an extra rogue talent for Mage Armour.

More levels in monk get you closer to Barkskin.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

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Ditto on holding out for barkskin as a ki power. You should be able to get it at your 4th level of monk, but of course it won't scale as well if you multiclass.

Surely, after the 3 years of training that a Pathfinder goes through, you'd have a passing familiarity with basic buff spells. I don't see that as a role-playing issue. You're a professional adventurer, not some wide-eyed farm boy fresh out of the countryside.

Spells with a range of personal, such as true strike, cannot be made into potions. That's part of the Core rules, not a PFS-specific rule, but it is hidden and many people miss it. So mage armor is good (worth having as a back-up if nobody can use a wand on you), but you'll need UMD if you want a shield.

Grand Lodge

You have the dodge feat so you might also want to check out the Crane style feat because you meat the prerequisites. My Between that and barkskin my lv 12 monk was getting very respectable AC his whole career.


Crane Style rocks but the Rogue level pushes the chain back.

Plus, I think he'd be better served with Mantis Style. He wants the DC and the extra attack.

Grand Lodge

That's probably true. Mantis style would be better if he plans on using stunning fist a lot


I swear by Crane Style for pure monks though. Never get hit by any spells ever again.

Grand Lodge

Also carrying a wand of Mage armor is not a bad idea. I almost always had some one who was able to cast or umd it on my monk and it has a 1 hour duration for only 2 prestige points. It is a worthwhile investment imho.

Sovereign Court

Another vote for Mage Armor. Remember - magic in Pathfinder isn't really all that mystical for those in the know. I figure that for an adventurer - it's like being a mechanic. I don't very little if anything about how the internal combustion engine works - that doesn't stop me from buying/driving a car.

I'd probably get up to 3rd level in rogue first to get your dex to damage (I'm assuming you're unchained) - and I wouldn't worry too much about the Barkskin ki power. It's amazing for straight monks - especially unarmed ones - but as RainyDayNinja pointed out - it won't scale well for you. In addition, you shouldn't be going unarmed anyway, as the unarmed damage won't scale enough to be valuable, which means you won't be using up your neck slot on an Amulet of Mighty Fists.

One thing you may consider - since you JUST reached level 2 - you might rebuild to have your monk level be in Sohei archetype (usual for multi-class monks) - then just wear armor. If you go this route - revamp your stats away from so much Wis as it doesn't apply when armored. (NOT saying you need to do this last - just giving options.)

Grand Lodge

The only thing is if he goes sohei he wouldn't be able to use Stunning fist which is what I think he is trying to utilize. But if the OP changes his mind and doesn't want to use stunning fist sohei is one of the best monk archetypes because he can always act in the surprise round which is great because of your sneak attack, and just great in general.

Scarab Sages

Seriously, Wand of Mage Armor is two PP, and will give you a +4 to AC. Combine it with the Barkskin Qinggong power and you will have +6 AC, that will increase as you level.
Also fight defensively. You should have acrobatics trained so if you can't flurry a target on round one, throw a shuriken at it. You don't need to hit, you just need to make an attack to get +3 AC for the round.


I don't want dive too deep into the build since that's not the question I asked about and I don't want to waste anyone's time, but I've decided that potions of Mage Armor are the way to go. Perhaps I should have explicitly stated from the beginning that the AC I was looking for was one I needed ASAP; my bad for not being more specific.

While I have a few ranks in UMD, charisma is my dump stat, so there is no way that would go. I don't have any levels to spare taking a magic class; rogue/monk multi-class needs to be leveled carefully.

Potions of Mage Armor are dirt cheap; 50gp each. I have 5 of those, 5 Tanglefoot Bags(always sooooo good) and a wand of Cure Light. Besides thieves essentials like MTW thieves tools, I honestly can't even think of needing anything else. I have 1,000 extra gold and I just got to second level.

Levels, in order:
Monk of the Sacred Mountain, Rogue, Monk, Rogue, Rogue, Monk, Monk, Rogue, the rest monk.

Yeah, I'm going Unchained. At 5th level, he'll get +4 Dex damage on his flurry, as well as 2D6+4 Sneak Attack on each hit. I've had this Dex-based aasimar monk sitting on the shelf for like two years without really knowing what to do with it once I got to second level. Once Unchained came out, I had some interesting ideas about a monk-rogue build, and then remembered that he existed. XD

Next level I'll be getting toughness and nat. armor +1 from my archetype, which makes my AC 23; that should be enough. I'll also take the Mantis Style feat(I had totally forgotten about that feat; thanks for the reminder!). The foes that aren't immune to non-lethal should be down before they even become a threat with 2D6+2 or 3D6+4 damage a round and the stun making my allies attacks pretty much auto-hit..

My fourth rogue level(8th level) will entail Rogue Talent->Ninja Talent->Vanishing Trick, because better late than never, right?

I don't know about Barkskin with this build... I'm multi-classing and already have a static +1 nat armor starting next level. Since the archetype replaces my 4th level ki power, I won't get to use Qinggog until my 6th monk level, at which I have many other options. I'll definitely be going Qingging though... they are so broken... WHY ARE THERE NO DOWNSIDES???

I can always wait to take Barkskin when the caster level overcomes the inconvenience of nat armor bonuses not stacking. Since I have 4 non-monk levels stymieing my growth in that area(totally worth it though!), Barkskin won't really get the chance to reach the caster level it needs to be really good(6th-9th monk level).

I want to save up for a (PERFECT for Multiclass), but that may need to be a long-term plan since 13,000 is so much at this level.

Bracer's of Armor, as good as they are, will likely never be relevant to a monk that spams Mage Armor. Items that increase Dex/Wis, items that give miscellaneous AC bonuses(such as Ring of Protection) as well as the aforementioned robe are what I think I'll go for in the long run.

RainyDayNinja wrote:
Surely, after the 3 years of training that a Pathfinder goes through, you'd have a passing familiarity with basic buff spells. I don't see that as a role-playing issue. You're a professional adventurer, not some wide-eyed farm boy fresh out of the countryside.

Excellent Point! Man, Seekers of Secrets is an awesome book; I need to read it again. It explains Pathfinder initiation in detail and I really recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about that process as well as almost all the venture captains and some really cool items.

Scarab Sages

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IQuarent wrote:


While I have a few ranks in UMD, charisma is my dump stat, so there is no way that would go. I don't have any levels to spare taking a magic class; rogue/monk multi-class needs to be leveled carefully..

There is no need for UMD, give the wand to any arcane caster in the party to use on you. Buy a few potions in case there isn't a wizard/sorcerer/witch/someone who didn't dump umd, but the wand should be usable for 95% of your adventures.

Scarab Sages

Also, since this is for PFS, you cannot take monk of the sacred mountain. You can't multiclass old monk and unchained monk, and unchained monk can't take any archetypes.

The Exchange

Hey man if you're going to use potions of mage armor, or any potions with regularity, I recommend either or both of the following:

Trait: Accelerated Drinker. You keep a potion in your hand then only need a move action to quaff it. Leaves you a standard action for a thrown weapon or a readied action trip/wings of the androsphinx reposition/whatever the heck else against the enemy's charge.

Feat: Potion Glutton. You can drink potions as a swift action. Requires worshipping Urgathoa, which means you either need to be done with monk levels by then (so the lawful req is gone and you can be true neutral) or being the old Martial Artist archtype (not unchained).

Imbicatus is right, you cannot use old archtypes on unchained monk.

Or take both. Full round drink 2 potions then 5' step Ki Throw to Vicious stomp w/ stunning fist.

-Goh


Imbicatus wrote:
Also, since this is for PFS, you cannot take monk of the sacred mountain. You can't multiclass old monk and unchained monk, and unchained monk can't take any archetypes.

I'm not using Unchained Monk. I'm using Unchained Rogue + regular monk archetype.


Gohaken wrote:

Hey man if you're going to use potions of mage armor, or any potions with regularity, I recommend either or both of the following:

Trait: Accelerated Drinker. You keep a potion in your hand then only need a move action to quaff it. Leaves you a standard action for a thrown weapon or a readied action trip/wings of the androsphinx reposition/whatever the heck else against the enemy's charge.

Feat: Potion Glutton. You can drink potions as a swift action. Requires worshipping Urgathoa, which means you either need to be done with monk levels by then (so the lawful req is gone and you can be true neutral) or being the old Martial Artist archtype (not unchained).

That won't really be necessary. The Mage Armor potions last an hour. If I don't take them before a fight(like at a cave entrance, or right before we meet whats-his-face and my Sense Motive check tells me things might not go as planned), the most it would inconvenience me is a move-standard, after which I would then probably be set for all/most the fights that happen for the rest of module as well as the one I'm in.

Not to mention the fact that I don't actually know if I'll still be using potions far down the road, making these possibly obsolete...

Liberty's Edge

Just wanted to point out that the natural armor from the Monk of the Sacred Mountain archetype is a +1 natural armor bonus. Barkskin provides a +2 enhancement bonus to your existing natural armor. So they stack. If they didn't, Barkskin would be almost useless to any wildshaping druids, or combat animal builds.


Deighton Thrane wrote:
Just wanted to point out that the natural armor from the Monk of the Sacred Mountain archetype is a +1 natural armor bonus. Barkskin provides a +2 enhancement bonus to your existing natural armor. So they stack. If they didn't, Barkskin would be almost useless to any wildshaping druids, or combat animal builds.

Well then... Barkskin it is! I always forget the wording because almost nothing else works like that.

I've looked at the Qinggong list dozens of times after all the monks I've made, and it's just kind of hilarious how nothing even remotely compares to Barkskin. Even when you get to level 8 Barkskin still holds up, if it's not still better.

His AC is looking like it's going to scale nicely. Almost perfectly 1 a level.

Mage Armor throughout:
2->3 +1 Nat Armor (plus Toughness and Deflect Arrows!)
3->4 +1 from increased WIS
4-> Probably some items; increase DEX
7->Butt loads of AC options; Barkskin, Dodge, and Shield bonuses available next level
->Higher levels: Monk's Robe

Silver Crusade

Here's a crazy idea. Half elf with the Arcane Training (race/racial...whatever) trait.

You lose your (dual) Favored Class Bonus, but gain the ability to cast wands from one class' spell list, like say...wizard.

Combine this with your Quinggong ideas for arcane awesomeness.

Sovereign Court

IQuarent wrote:
I've looked at the Qinggong list dozens of times after all the monks I've made, and it's just kind of hilarious how nothing even remotely compares to Barkskin. Even when you get to level 8 Barkskin still holds up, if it's not still better.

It was intentional. As a whole - Qinggong was a stealth patch for the monk. Barkskin was added in because an unarmed monk's neck slot is used up by the Amulet of Mighty Fists, so they don't have a slot for the Amulet of Natural Armor. So - monks use Barkskin instead.

Again though - grab the wand of Mage Armor in addition to the potions. It's 1/4 the price per usage (if you don't just burn 2 PP) - and 95% of the time someone in the party will be happy to use it on you (wizard/sorcerer/witch/arcanist/UMD character etc). My PFS monk has yet to need to use any of the Mage Armor potions he has.


Brad McDowell wrote:

Here's a crazy idea. Half elf with the Arcane Training (race/racial...whatever) trait.

You lose your (dual) Favored Class Bonus, but gain the ability to cast wands from one class' spell list, like say...wizard.

Combine this with your Quinggong ideas for arcane awesomeness.

I'm in PFS and I just reached second level with this character. His first level is already locked in pretty much...

Thanks for all the suggestions guys!

The Exchange

IQuarent wrote:

That won't really be necessary. The Mage Armor potions last an hour. If I don't take them before a fight(like at a cave entrance, or right before we meet whats-his-face and my Sense Motive check tells me things might not go as planned), the most it would inconvenience me is a move-standard, after which I would then probably be set for all/most the fights that happen for the rest of module as well as the one I'm in.

Not to mention the fact that I don't actually know if I'll still be using potions far down the road, making these possibly obsolete...

Understood. Still, the action economy of drinking 2 potions and still having both your 5' step and a standard action attack left is pretty phenomenal... way better than wands. It's more expensive on the wallet, but for a "nova" round it can be great.

Even just having access to one of those two options is great --you can always take the "Additional Traits" feat to grab Accelerated Drinker and something else useful (Heavy Hitter? Quaint Martial Artist? Careful Combatant? Martial Manuscript? the list goes on) and then retrain that feat to a different Additional Traits later for the low cost of 5 prestige and some pocket change.

Heck if you take Mr. Brad McDowell's excellent suggestion, as well Accelerated Drinker, you can keep a potion in one hand and a wand in the other to pull off "buff round" shenanigans like: Qinggong True Strike (swift), drink a potion of Haste (move action: for those damned PFS tables that don't have a respectable mage), and then wand yourself with Longarm spell (standard). when stupid Gnoll Chieftain charges into your now 10' reach and provokes, you hit him with +20 (errr... +21 w/ the Haste) Trip attack. Now he's prone and his charge is screwed.

Oh look, your turn now?? 5' step and Flurry for 4 hits w/ your haste attack and your Ki attack... against his prone AC. Hoo-rah.

Sovereign Court

IQuarent wrote:

I'm in PFS and I just reached second level with this character. His first level is already locked in pretty much...

Thanks for all the suggestions guys!

If you just reached 2nd level you can still change him. It's only after you've played a module at 2nd level that he's locked in.

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