HELP! I'm a Monk on a Pirate Ship!


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So i joined a group of players who are playing Skulls & Shackles campaign which will eventually go on after the campaign book, 1 player dropped out so i was given his char sheet to play.

Jacob "Iron fist" Human
Unchained monk 1

(stats were rolled with 4d6 reroll 1's & 2's take highest 3 no stats higer than 18)

Str 12
Dex 16 (18)
Con 16
Int 14
Wis 18
Cha 16

feats

1C: IUS, Stunning fist,
1CB: Dodge
1H: Weapon finesse
1: Weapon focus (unarmed strike)

now this is where i need the help, the char backstory says 2 things which the DM is strict on for this char.

1). he's sworn to use nothing but his fists only

2). he is appointed as a scout on the ship (meaning taking scout archtype for rogue)

While i'm ok with this, it just leaves me very limited to what i can use, should i go monk 1/scout 19?, do i go balanced 10/10, what can i do to achieve the best i can do in later levels to be a benefit rather than a hinderance to the group?

iirc the team is

Lizardfolk barberian
Tengu swashbuckler
Human Corsair (fighter)
Gnome bard.

your thoughts experts?


...Why do you need to be a Scout Rogue to scout? Monks already make great scouts. Better scouts than Rogues of any sort. You can teleport and turn Ethereal and move much much faster than normal and have Stealth and Perception as a class skill and a high Wis for chrissake why in the hell would he force that on you?

The best mix for this is Monk 19/Rogue 1 because if you're forced into doing something pointless it may as well hurt as little as possible.


I'm with Rynjin, there's no good reason to blow levels on Rogue.

Please petition your GM not to force you to do that. A role is NOT a class [let alone an Archetype of a Class.] The Archetype is named after a role and supposedly designed to fill it better than the base class... maybe... barely... really it was more Paizo's half-baked legal imitation of Wizard's Scout Class from 3.5


kyrt-ryder wrote:

I'm with Rynjin, there's no good reason to blow levels on Rogue.

Please petition your GM not to force you to do that. A role is NOT a class [let alone an Archetype of a Class.] The Archetype is named after a role and supposedly designed to fill it better than the base class... maybe... barely... really it was more Paizo's half-baked legal imitation of Wizard's Scout Class from 3.5

I've left my petition giving a clear reason as to not multiclass with a rogue(scout), i've just to awat a reply now, but it still leaves me with unarmed combat, so i should focus on specific fighting styles like the crane right?


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3 levels of Rogue isn't a bad idea, at least, so you can deal Dex damage with your fists.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

If your GM is forcing you to take a specific class in order to be a "scout," find a new GM.


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Nitemare wrote:


I've left my petition giving a clear reason as to not multiclass with a rogue(scout), i've just to awat a reply now, but it still leaves me with unarmed combat, so i should focus on specific fighting styles like the crane right?

At the risk of spoiling some stuff, unarmed combat is great in this AP, since it gives you a very effective way of defeating people without killing them. That can be a marvelous way of proving just how badass a pirate you are without depopulating the ship or making unnecessary enemies.

One thing I have found very effective with monks is to focus not so much on fists as on maneuvers. When Magentabeard steps up to you saying "Arrrrrrgh!" and waves his cutlass around, you simply take the cutlass away from him, throw salt water in his eyes, dump him on his fundament, and put him in a hammerlock -- and then say "All right, me hearties, we be havin' an election for cap'n now!"


mplindustries wrote:
3 levels of Rogue isn't a bad idea, at least, so you can deal Dex damage with your fists.

That seems a good idea, but wouldn't it be better in the long run to get an agile weapon(s)?

also GM has come back to me and said it's ok to not take rogue as a multiclass, and has given me the opportunity to reroll his base stats,

so now i have the following

Str 16(18)
Dex 15
Con 16
Int 13
Wis 18
Cha 13

but in return i must stick with his story as writtin, so it means sticking with an unarmed monk, now i have room to breathe, now i need to think of a plan to maximize his potentional as the only unarmed fighter in the party.

EDIT: sorry for my spelling mistakes.


Nitemare wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
3 levels of Rogue isn't a bad idea, at least, so you can deal Dex damage with your fists.
That seems a good idea, but wouldn't it be better in the long run to get an agile weapon(s)?

Agile amulet of mighty fists, in your case. Or simply not worry about it. Especially with the new stats, you're better off using Strength as your combat stat.

Quote:


also GM has come back to me and said it's ok to not take rogue as a multiclass, and has given me the opportunity to reroll his base stats,

but in return i must stick with his story as writtin, so it means sticking with an unarmed monk, now i have room to breathe, now i need to think of a plan to maximize his potentional as the only unarmed fighter in the party.

That shouldn't be an issue.

I would suggest taking the master of many styles archetype (which is still compatible with the unchained monk) and pick some styles to focus on. There are a lot of styles that will either enhance your AC (e.g., crane style) or maneuverability (e.g pumelling style, dragon style). You can also easily pick up a number of Improved Maneuver feats that, while they may not be very useful against monsters, will let you be absolutely terrifying against humanoids. For example, Improved/Greater Grapple is an "I win on easy mode" button against spellcasters. Let the barbarian go toe-to-toe and testicle-to-testicle with the hydra, while you take care of its pet druid.

If you can't go MOMS, you can still do the same thing, only not all at once. I think Crane Style is (as you identified) one of the best for skirmisher monks. Use your mobility to rush the caster, use Crane Style to ignore the attacks of opportunity, and then shut him down.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Nitemare wrote:
barberian

wasn't going to comment until i saw this.

edit: now that i've looked stuff over go dragon style, unchained monk isn't necessarily compatible with any normal monk archetypes. get the kick thing that lets you move during your flurry and then just flurry at enemies (even start flurries with no one near by and just jump kick at them)

rest do as normal damage feats. maybe focus on a type of combat maneuver.


You're Unarmed in a skull and shackles game? You're the best member in the party currently. Just take it easy and after the first part it's clear sailing.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Bandw2 wrote:
Nitemare wrote:
barberian
wasn't going to comment until i saw this.

He gets really mad and then cuts your hair.


be adviced that master of many styles may be compatible with unchained monk, but he loses the strikes which are kinda awesome imho

Scarab Sages

shroudb wrote:
be adviced that master of many styles may be compatible with unchained monk, but he loses the strikes which are kinda awesome imho

Unchained monk is unable to take any existing monk archetypes.

Pathfinder Unchained, Pg.8 wrote:

Finally, with the

exception of the monk, these classes should work with any of
the archetypes from previous books as long as the classes still
have the appropriate class features to replace.


Imbicatus wrote:
shroudb wrote:
be adviced that master of many styles may be compatible with unchained monk, but he loses the strikes which are kinda awesome imho

Unchained monk is unable to take any existing monk archetypes.

Pathfinder Unchained, Pg.8 wrote:

Finally, with the

exception of the monk, these classes should work with any of
the archetypes from previous books as long as the classes still
have the appropriate class features to replace.

for pfs sure. but from the OP i gathered that it is for a home campaign. i doubt any gm would have a problem with an archetype that actually replaces only things that the unchained version has.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Perhaps, but, RAW, the monk cannot take any archtypes. Any alteration to that rule is a houserule, and must be dealt with by the GM.

Scarab Sages

Even with a house-rule, I wouldn't allow a Unchained Monk to take an archetype that traded out Flurry of blows unless the player agreed to be 3/4 BAB. MoMS and Sensei lose far less by giving up flurry when they already have full BAB.


Imbicatus wrote:
Even with a house-rule, I wouldn't allow a Unchained Monk to take an archetype that traded out Flurry of blows unless the player agreed to be 3/4 BAB. MoMS and Sensei lose far less by giving up flurry when they already have full BAB.

First, it's not a houserule unless the Unchained Monk really lacks all the things MoMS gives up. That note in Unchained does nothing more than mention that most archetypes remain compatible with some classes while many do not with the Monk. It does not prohibit Archetypes from the Unchained Monk.

Second, you're forgetting that Unchained Flurry is *better* than the default flurry. It's no longer that crappy pseudo-two-weapon-fighting.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

i agree full BAB is worth the bad will save anyway with any archetypes.

Scarab Sages

kyrt-ryder wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
Even with a house-rule, I wouldn't allow a Unchained Monk to take an archetype that traded out Flurry of blows unless the player agreed to be 3/4 BAB. MoMS and Sensei lose far less by giving up flurry when they already have full BAB.

First, it's not a houserule unless the Unchained Monk really lacks all the things MoMS gives up. That note in Unchained does nothing more than mention that most archetypes remain compatible with some classes while many do not with the Monk. It does not prohibit Archetypes from the Unchained Monk.

Second, you're forgetting that Unchained Flurry is *better* than the default flurry. It's no longer that crappy pseudo-two-weapon-fighting.

No, it's a house rule, the book specifically denies the monk from taking existing archetypes.

Secondly, I know the new flurry is much better than the old flurry, I am am playing a UC Monk that is currently level 8. That said, the archetypes that trade out Flurry are balanced on not being pseuo-full BAB. Being full BAB and having access to the Inspire Courage or Graceful Grappler or Blend Styles is extremely powerful if the player know how to build a Tetori or Sensei.

Tetori is already the strongest grappler in the game. All they are giving up for full BAB and extra hitpoints by going unchained is a good Will save.


A good Will Save is a pretty big deal.

Also are you sure that's the only thing those archetypes give up? If there's anything they give up that Unchained Monk doesn't have they're nonviable.

Sovereign Court

kyrt-ryder wrote:

A good Will Save is a pretty big deal.

Also are you sure that's the only thing those archetypes give up? If there's anything they give up that Unchained Monk doesn't have they're nonviable.

I believe that they're already nonviable. Unchained says specifically that no archetypes mesh with the Unchained Monk.

But at OP - as a STR monk - I'd suggest going Unchained even sans archetypes. They get 1.5x STR when they flurry a weapon. Also - unlike most STR monks - with your (rather high) rolling - you aren't sacrificing too much defense for your increased damage. Not nearly the defenses of a dex monk, but you'll be competitive or a bit ahead of other martials.

Just make sure to get the arcane caster to cast mage armor on you - perhaps gifting them with a wand of it to use on you - or perhaps a pearl of power.

Edit: Just noticed the 'sworn to use nothing but his fists only' - that kinda sucks that the GM is forcing you to stick with the RP choices of the previous player.


Nitemare wrote:
mplindustries wrote:
3 levels of Rogue isn't a bad idea, at least, so you can deal Dex damage with your fists.

That seems a good idea, but wouldn't it be better in the long run to get an agile weapon(s)?

also GM has come back to me and said it's ok to not take rogue as a multiclass, and has given me the opportunity to reroll his base stats,

so now i have the following

Str 16(18)
Dex 15
Con 16
Int 13
Wis 18
Cha 13

but in return i must stick with his story as writtin, so it means sticking with an unarmed monk, now i have room to breathe, now i need to think of a plan to maximize his potentional as the only unarmed fighter in the party.

EDIT: sorry for my spelling mistakes.

This Can be a fantastic character. I am not sure the Unchained monk is better than the old qingong archtype but both are behind the sacred Fist. But no matter what i would Pick pummeling style. with stats like the Ones you have monk is a exelent class.

Sovereign Court

Cap. Darling wrote:


This Can be a fantastic character. I am not sure the Unchained monk is better than the old qingong archtype but both are behind the sacred Fist. But no matter what i would Pick pummeling style. with stats like the Ones you have monk is a exelent class.

If he goes Unchained - pummeling style isn't required. Unchained monks generally grab Flying Kick instead.


imo unchained is just a collection of "optional systems", it even has different ways to run the same thing and etc. so in the end, everything in unchained is "houserule territory"

pummeling strike isn't really needed yeah.
better go with dragon style for unchained (unarmed) monk


I'd nab Dragon Style and Dragon Ferocity ASAP then work on Snake Style if you want another.

With Combat Style Master you can swap to Snake Style as a Free action off your turn (or while moving) to get its benefits, and then swap to Dragon for attacking.

Very potent combo I always enjoy using.


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Edit: Just noticed the 'sworn to use nothing but his fists only' - that kinda sucks that the GM is forcing you to stick with the RP choices of the previous player.

I don't mind this tbh, it gives me something new and fresh to work with compared to my other characters who mix from summoners, wizards and a samurai which the GM hates :D.

I asked about using archtypes for unchained classes, the GM's clearly made that he won't allow that, which is fine. (unless its the normal variant)

Dragon style has piqued my interest greatly mainly because it's a low tax style unlike crane style which i will try to work in also, pummeling strike, i'm not sure how it works tbh? (wording confuses me a little) my english isn't the best i'm afraid.

for this AP Skulls & Shackles I know my character was raised in a monk temple as he was left there by his mother who was a renowned pirate (campaign trait Buccaneers blood) which might affect my alignment, unless i go N.E i think.

Originally i was thinking of a grapple type of monk with a few styles to boot (like dragon & crane) any more tips on how i can improve this character.

Btw I appreciate all the feedback i;m geting from everyone you're all a great help.


Rynjin wrote:

I'd nab Dragon Style and Dragon Ferocity ASAP then work on Snake Style if you want another.

With Combat Style Master you can swap to Snake Style as a Free action off your turn (or while moving) to get its benefits, and then swap to Dragon for attacking.

Very potent combo I always enjoy using.

oh this sounds wickedly nasty :)


grabbing two style chains without master of many styles is quite feat intensive though.

another thing you may want to look, if you dont mind the feats, is that the umonk is nice for the dimensional assault feats, especially if retraining is allowed


Put points into Perception and Stealth. Boom, you're a scout. Skills like Climb and Survival will add your scoutiness.

Sovereign Court

Ciaran Barnes wrote:
Put points into Perception and Stealth. Boom, you're a scout. Skills like Climb and Survival will add your scoutiness.

And in Skull & Shackles - take Swim.


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Ciaran Barnes wrote:
Put points into Perception and Stealth. Boom, you're a scout. Skills like Climb and Survival will add your scoutiness.
And in Skull & Shackles - take Swim.

Already have along with Profession (sailor)


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
shroudb wrote:

imo unchained is just a collection of "optional systems", it even has different ways to run the same thing and etc. so in the end, everything in unchained is "houserule territory"

pummeling strike isn't really needed yeah.
better go with dragon style for unchained (unarmed) monk

I agree with this, it's a bad idea to hold anything in unchained as "RAW"

Also back to the monk, Crane style isn't good. just go dragon style, I don't like snake style as it's only useful if you have low AC or want to make one attack against guy when it's not your turn, not worth the feat investment to me.

Sovereign Court

Bandw2 wrote:
I don't like snake style as it's only useful if you have low AC or want to make one attack against guy when it's not your turn, not worth the feat investment to me.

The base style is stupid good against touch attacks. Even better for a tengu nat attack characters (who count as having imp. unarmed strike for feats) than for a monk as monks already generally have a high touch AC, but still very solid.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
I don't like snake style as it's only useful if you have low AC or want to make one attack against guy when it's not your turn, not worth the feat investment to me.
The base style is stupid good against touch attacks. Even better for a tengu nat attack characters (who count as having imp. unarmed strike for feats) than for a monk as monks already generally have a high touch AC, but still very solid.

okay yeah, i should rephrase my statement. :P

I don't like it on monks.


Bandw2 wrote:
shroudb wrote:

imo unchained is just a collection of "optional systems", it even has different ways to run the same thing and etc. so in the end, everything in unchained is "houserule territory"

pummeling strike isn't really needed yeah.
better go with dragon style for unchained (unarmed) monk

I agree with this, it's a bad idea to hold anything in unchained as "RAW"

Also back to the monk, Crane style isn't good. just go dragon style, I don't like snake style as it's only useful if you have low AC or want to make one attack against guy when it's not your turn, not worth the feat investment to me.

Snake style isn't one attack. It's one attack/miss and o e extra attack on a single target.

For a high ac monk it's superb because then it's much easier to make multiple "off round" attacks

Scarab Sages

Snake Fang is good on an unarmed build if you have a very high AC and a large number of AoOs from combat reflexes. Something makes three attacks against you and misses, you get three AoOs on them. It's even better if you are using a Fortuitous AoMF.

Of course you do that once, and it will make things not attack you anymore.


With the new foot stomp style strike you can set up a nice tank build.

Punch them and they can either attack you, potentially counterattacking each single hit, or they need to spend their standard for a chance to just be able to move away.

It won't work on fliers and etc, but where it works it can be great (haven't actually tested it in a real game)


Dragon Style will be an absoloute must-have for Jacob, (up to ferocity)
along with power attack later.

Feat wise i have thought about.

1CB: Improved Grapple
1H: Power Attack
1: Weapon Focus (unarmed strike)

what i've planned up to lvl 5 is

2B: Combat reflexes
3: Dragon Style
5: Dragon Ferocity

Is it worth making an investment in another style, although feat heavy,
Combat style mastery might save me, spending a free action instead of a swift, to ensure i can pull of full round actions?


Being forced to stick to unarmed AND not getting to choose your first level is a bit restrictive... but, you are clearly ok with it.

I would just go straight Monk, no multiclass. Load up on the items that raise your monk level or help unarmed damage...

Monk's Robes are a must-have.
Amulet of Mighty fists.

Stuff to boost stats.

I've always wanted to play a monk, but we use point buy, so I can't get stats like you got (equivalent to 50 point buy! WOW!).

Feat wise, pick a role and stick to it. If you wanna be a maneuver monkey, enjoy.

Personally, I go more generic: Toughness, Dodge, etc... stuff that applies all the time and doesn't require actions. Focus: unarmed, for example.

With stats like that, you are gonna be able to punch GOD in the face, so enjoy!


Bandw2 wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
I don't like snake style as it's only useful if you have low AC or want to make one attack against guy when it's not your turn, not worth the feat investment to me.
The base style is stupid good against touch attacks. Even better for a tengu nat attack characters (who count as having imp. unarmed strike for feats) than for a monk as monks already generally have a high touch AC, but still very solid.

okay yeah, i should rephrase my statement. :P

I don't like it on monks.

Snake Fang is the s!#+.

Every time somebody misses you, they provoke an AoO.

EVERY time. Not just when you use Snake Style to make the attack miss.


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Rynjin wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
I don't like snake style as it's only useful if you have low AC or want to make one attack against guy when it's not your turn, not worth the feat investment to me.
The base style is stupid good against touch attacks. Even better for a tengu nat attack characters (who count as having imp. unarmed strike for feats) than for a monk as monks already generally have a high touch AC, but still very solid.

okay yeah, i should rephrase my statement. :P

I don't like it on monks.

Snake Fang is the s%@%.

Every time somebody misses you, they provoke an AoO.

EVERY time. Not just when you use Snake Style to make the attack miss.

that does make it more interesting.

Sovereign Court

@OP

Arrrrrr you now ready for your pirate campaign? (sorry... couldn't resist)


Charon's Little Helper wrote:

@OP

Arrrrrr you now ready for your pirate campaign? (sorry... couldn't resist)

Yarr ye bet yer scurvy sea dog.

already planning to take the 1st captains hat i see be there a body or not.

just have to remember to keep it lawful or else i lose out big time.

Sovereign Court

Nitemare wrote:


just have to remember to keep it lawful or else i lose out big time.

Actually - that's something to check with the GM on. How much of "Lawful" does he see as needing to obey outside laws, and how much is simply having a personal code etc. (I prefer the latter - especially for monks.)

Scarab Sages

Even if you do become non-lawful, you retain all monk abilites. Monk/Barbarian is quite nice.


If your GM wants you to be a scout, just take Profession(Scout).


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Nitemare wrote:


just have to remember to keep it lawful or else i lose out big time.
Actually - that's something to check with the GM on. How much of "Lawful" does he see as needing to obey outside laws, and how much is simply having a personal code etc. (I prefer the latter - especially for monks.)

GM was aware and said if you make a small set of rituals/code to follow such examples as.

never drink, never kill a man while he's unarmed etc.

Then it shouldn't be too much of a problem


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Nitemare wrote:


just have to remember to keep it lawful or else i lose out big time.
Actually - that's something to check with the GM on. How much of "Lawful" does he see as needing to obey outside laws, and how much is simply having a personal code etc. (I prefer the latter - especially for monks.)

i prefer monks not required to be lawful, it's dumb. same inverse with barbarians, why can't a barbarian be a knight. >_> going to stop now before this devolves.

Sovereign Court

Nitemare wrote:
never kill a man while he's unarmed etc.

That one could be an issue. Any other monk will kill you - along with casters for that matter.

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