Yet Another 'Feral Combat Training' Question - Seeking Developer Answer


Rules Questions


I didn't see this mentioned in the FAQ, though I admit it's possible I missed it.

Again back to natural weapons and unarmed attacks... let's say I have claws that do d4 from my race. I am a monk, and I pick up Feral Combat Training.

Feral Combat Training allows one to use natural attacks to qualify for unarmed feats, as well as allows them to be used in Flurry of Blows. The question here is; do they get the increased damage that monks' unarmed strikes get as they gain levels?

I'd like James Jacobs or another actual developer to chime in here, if only because I've seen this question in a few threads, and I've heard various answers. I -try- to run as close to RAW as I can, so an "official" answer would be most appreciated. Thank you.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

Draven Torakhan wrote:
do they get the increased damage that monks' unarmed strikes get as they gain levels?

No, and I'm pretty sure this is directly covered in the FAQ, is it not?


Again, I didn't see it in the FAQ. If you'd like to find it and copy-paste, that'd be helpful.


No. Dude, that is literally the main thing FCT was changed to not do anymore.

Is the Monk's Unarmed Strike damage progression a "feats that have Improved Unarmed Strike as a prerequisite"? No, it isn't. It isn't a feat.

Is the Unarmed Strike damage progression part of the Flurry of Blows class feature? Again, no.

There is absolutely zero ambiguity. What is it that makes you think you have a case?


Tetchy much? It's a simple question, and I'm starting to wonder if anyone reads the entire post before going off.

"I've seen this question in a few threads, and I've heard various answers."

So yeah, sorry my wanting clarification has apparently ruined your day.


FAQ

FAQ wrote:
Yes. The feat says you can apply "effects that augment an unarmed strike," and the monk's increased unarmed damage counts as such.

Has this been superceded as this seems to pretty clearly indicate you do get the increased damage?


Thank you, dragonhunterq. First post in this thread that offers actual content and isn't aggro. Though again, this is the entire point. That makes me think yes, they say no.. it's all a cluster at this juncture.


dragonhunterq wrote:

FAQ

FAQ wrote:
Yes. The feat says you can apply "effects that augment an unarmed strike," and the monk's increased unarmed damage counts as such.
Has this been superceded as this seems to pretty clearly indicate you do get the increased damage?

The erratta removed that line so the faq is invalid.


Yeah, I just worked out that they changed the wording. They removed the line to the effect of "or augments the unarmed strike".

You're out of luck Draven, this does not work.

Would be good if they cleaned out the obsolete FAQs maybe.


dragonhunterq wrote:

FAQ

FAQ wrote:
Yes. The feat says you can apply "effects that augment an unarmed strike," and the monk's increased unarmed damage counts as such.
Has this been superceded as this seems to pretty clearly indicate you do get the increased damage?
Yes, it has been superceded.
Ultimate Combat, 3rd printing wrote:
Choose one of your natural weapons. While using the selected natural weapon, you can apply the effects of feats that have Improved Unarmed Strike as a prerequisite.

Again, if you actually look up the book and the errata, the question is already settled.


Then why have the feat? To me the feat was created for races that have natural attacks to use them if they choose to be a Monk. I think while the rules seem screwy the intent was clear. If not then I'd never play a race with natural attacks as a Monk I'd go fighter or Ranger. Without this feat a race with natural attacks is screwing itself not being a Monk and I think Pazio meant for races to use this feat so they would consider the Monk Class.
Until an official ruling I as a GM would allow this feat to serve as intended.


Derek Dalton wrote:

Then why have the feat? To me the feat was created for races that have natural attacks to use them if they choose to be a Monk. I think while the rules seem screwy the intent was clear. If not then I'd never play a race with natural attacks as a Monk I'd go fighter or Ranger. Without this feat a race with natural attacks is screwing itself not being a Monk and I think Pazio meant for races to use this feat so they would consider the Monk Class.

Until an official ruling I as a GM would allow this feat to serve as intended.

There is an official ruling. The feat lets you use the natural attack with IUS feats and flurry. And that's it and that's what is intended.


Why not improve the damage since a Monk's flurry improve?


Derek Dalton wrote:
Why not improve the damage since a Monk's flurry improve?

Flurry does not improve damage that is a separate class feature.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

Derek Dalton wrote:
Why not improve the damage since a Monk's flurry improve?

Because it was never intended to increase the damage, and the original FAQ didn't intend to increase the damage (people universally misinterpreted that FAQ.) They noticed it was being widespread misinterpreted and issued Errata to take out the offending line.


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James Risner wrote:
Derek Dalton wrote:
Why not improve the damage since a Monk's flurry improve?
Because it was never intended to increase the damage, and the original FAQ didn't intend to increase the damage (people universally misinterpreted that FAQ.) They noticed it was being widespread misinterpreted and issued Errata to take out the offending line.

What? The FAQ wasn't misinterpreted. The question was "does the monk improved damage apply" and the answer was yes. Really hard to misinterpret that.

It doesn't apply now due to the erratta but your claim it was misinterpreted is wrong.

Scarab Sages

It's still very useful for the right builds, druid/monk in particular. Being able to use feats that use IUS is great, and being able to use a high damage natural attack like a trex, behemoth hippo, or crystal ooze in a flurry is great because it does more damage than the unarmed strike anyway.


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James Risner wrote:
Derek Dalton wrote:
Why not improve the damage since a Monk's flurry improve?
Because it was never intended to increase the damage, and the original FAQ didn't intend to increase the damage (people universally misinterpreted that FAQ.) They noticed it was being widespread misinterpreted and issued Errata to take out the offending line.

I'm really not sure how you can misinterpret "Yes. The feat says you can apply "effects that augment an unarmed strike," and the monk's increased unarmed damage counts as such."

It was clearly intended to increase damage and they made a concious decision to change it.


Somehow misread it. Long weird week.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

dragonhunterq wrote:

I'm really not sure how you can misinterpret "Yes. The feat says you can apply "effects that augment an unarmed strike," and the monk's increased unarmed damage counts as such."

It was clearly intended to increase damage and they made a concious decision to change it.

People took that to mean that you take the 1d6 Bite damage and you increase it by X steps that the 1d3 unarmed strike damage is increased.

They simply meant that you can apply your current Monk damage in place of your 1d6 Bite damage. So if your unarmed damage is currently 1d6 and your Bite is 1d6, it is a no op.

This was mentioned a couple times after that FAQ came out.

Since it was being actively misinterpreted, they abandoned the problematic wording.


Would it have been so difficult to state "...a monk with feral combat training can use the listed unarmed strike damage for its level in lieu of the chosen natural attack's base damage if the monk so chooses"

I came up with that in 1 minute... If there were a team of designers that wanted to make clear the intent, I am sure they could have managed it.

But that's not what they decided to do - they decided to completely change how FCT worked compared to the previously issued ruling.


Reminds you of how they handled the "dipping master of many styles to get crane wing on a non-monk", doesn't it? Well, Paizo is not the first game developer that goes the "kill it for everyone instead of adressing the actual problem" route.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies, Representative - D20 Hobbies

Derklord wrote:
"kill it for everyone instead of adressing the actual problem" route.

This happens because when they address the precise issue, people squirm around still trying to assert it isn't dead yet.

Here are three from the top of my head of direct answers to one question that had that answer interpreted to continue allowing:

Quote:
  • Level 6 Hell Knight at 6th level - retraining rules for PrC to get only one PrC supplying it's own pre-reqs.
  • Spiked Shield isn't a "as if one size larger" effect despite saying it is - stacking of "as if one size larger" effects
  • Gang Up FAQ on ranged flanking means no ranged flanking - but required an official response this week to stop people from saying you can range flank

You can't ever directly answer a question apparently without covering every corner case. If a rules requires too many corner cases to be answered, kill it.


No reason to give in. Like there's no reason to nerf pummeling style/charge just because some people think they can combine it with ascetic style.
I know that balancing isn't easy, but that's no excuse for picking the lazy road. If MoMS+Crane Wing is too strong you don't need nerf the archetype or the feat, you can make an exception. "A master of Many Styles can't pick up Crane Wing as a bonus feat." Or, if you think the archetype's ability is too strong on a dip, add something like "You can only use these bonus feats if you have no more levels in any other class than you have levels in monk."

Although you probably could remove most of these question with a consistent, concise language. To pick up one of your examples, in an ideal world, every single "as if one size larger"-thing would have the exact same wording.
Come to think of it, a name for that might be a good idea (like League of Legends has names for some item non-stacking abilities where it's crystal clear that the "greed" ability of two items doesn't stack). That would also make all those "doesn't stack with haste" and "doesn't stack with keen weapon" things a lot more concise. WotC does that a lot in Magic: The Gathering(too much in the last years, to be honest) - I'm surprised they didn't put it into D&D.

­
"Special: If you are a monk, you can use the selected natural weapon with your flurry of blows class feature and can decide to to use your unarmed strike damage instead of the natural attack's base damage—this must be declared before the attack roll is made."

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