Unchained monk rules problem


Rules Questions

Liberty's Edge

So I was talking to my DM about my spare character which was going to be a monk. I made mention that I was going to be making him a long spear user. The reason was that I could strike with reach the if they tried getting close (AOO or close combat) I would be able to use my legs or knees with out dropping the spear or without penalty. Do you guys know if this is correct or if there is a FAQ? My DM doesn't fully agree with me and wants to see something rule wise that proves my thinking.

Thanks for all responses!

Scarab Sages

At 1st level, a monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A monk's attacks may be with fist, elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a monk may make unarmed strikes with his hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed. A monk may thus apply his full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all his unarmed strikes.

Straight from the monk class description.. Not sure what yhe DM is complaining about..

Liberty's Edge

Lol well he doesn't agree with the fact that I can use the long spear to make a attack then my legs for a AOO. Is there anything other then in the book I can use to show him?


I am sure there's an official affirmation somewhere, but Yuri is correct. You don't need a better example than the one he gave you from the Monk class description of their Unarmed Strike.

The monk is specifically allowed to make his unarmed strikes with knees, feet, fists, or elbows. He can make unarmed strikes even with his hands full. Your GM may be justified in ruling that you can't use your fists or even your elbows (for purposes of AoO) since your limbs are occupied holding the longspear, but your feet or knees are valid choices for unarmed AoOs provoked by adjacent opponents.


It's completely, 100%, unambiguously, RAI as well as RAW, with both precedent and a long history, legit.

UMonk is not proficient with Longspear, though, but he has access to other reach weapons.

Liberty's Edge

I was burning a feat for long spear for the flare of the concept


if you're burning a feat you should get a better reach weapon than the longspear. Get an exotic reach weapon, or at least a martial one.


Yeah, snag something better than a longspear if you're spending a feat.

Elven branched spear: reach, brace and finessable.
Fauchard 18-20/x2 crit, reach, trip
dwarven Longhammer 2d6 damage, reach
Sarissa, 15' reach

plus there are several monk reach weapons but you'll have to agree with your DM how they work...


Stalarious wrote:
Lol well he doesn't agree with the fact that I can use the long spear to make a attack then my legs for a AOO. Is there anything other then in the book I can use to show him?

So,

Quote:


Threatened Squares: You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn. Generally, that means everything in all squares adjacent to your space (including diagonally). An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you. If you're unarmed, you don't normally threaten any squares and thus can't make attacks of opportunity.

Reach Weapons: Most creatures of Medium or smaller size have a reach of only 5 feet. This means that they can make melee attacks only against creatures up to 5 feet (1 square) away. However, Small and Medium creatures wielding reach weapons threaten more squares than a typical creature. In addition, most creatures larger than Medium have a natural reach of 10 feet or more.

See? nothing in there about reach weapons taking away your ability to attack with other weapons.


You're good. Others with improved unarmed strike may have to fidget with changing hands and suffering strength penalties or whatever. Nothing in the description talks much about kicking there. The monk is very specific in that almost all parts of his body are lethal.


As long as you're not trying to two-weapon fight with your unarmed strikes and the longspear (Or whichever two-handed weapon), you're fine.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I think i can see what your GM is thinking there.
When an AoO is triggered because you threaten someone with the reach weapon, meaning that foe is moving more than 5 feet in your reach weapon threatened area, then yes, you have to do the AoO with your reach weapon.
It doesn´t matter if the foe is moving around you, closing in on you or leaving that area.
This is because you threaten with the reach weapon only there and have no means to threaten with Improved Unarmed Strike.

It does have advantages though:
-You can still attack well when someone is within 5 feet of you.
-Take knockback kick at level 5 to "bullrush" them back (it´s not a bullrush maneuver though!)

A level of cleric of a deity with a reach weapon (Shelyn for glaive? Or a Tian Xia one?) with the feat crusaders flurry lets you flurry with that weapon as if it were a monk weapon.

Give the ki enchantments to the weapon and profit.


Its easy for a GM to look at this on the surface and initially be frustrated. You're going to be wrecking guys as they come in, and then still getting AoOs at range, and not have to "change weapons" once they get inside. So he may be thinking - this is going to make encounters tough. I assume he's thinking its a little OP.

Maybe play-test it out a couple scenarios with him to demonstrate its not really going to be game breaking. Essentially the most likely scenario is someone moving through your threatened square on their turn, you get your AoO and life goes on. So you get 1 extra attack at the opening of combat. Unless you burn another feat to get more than 1 AoO, 2 or more creatures could approach and you only get a shot at 1.

The key line from monk description is:

Unarmed Strike (Ex): wrote:
At 1st level, a monk gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A monk's attacks can be with fists, elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a monk can make unarmed strikes with his hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed.


I have played a lot of reach weapon wielding characters. The times having or not having a close form of threatening mattered has been quite low so far.

Silver Crusade

There's one thing I can say that might be what's causing his rule confusion and it comes from the whole "I'm wearing a Cestus and a 2-handed reach weapon" stuff.

Keep in mind that this paragraph how it is for a normal character. At the end of your turn you need to say how you're holding your weapons in order to know where your threatened space is. This has to do with wielding rules and such. If you're wielding the spear when you end your turn, both hands (meaning the Cestus hand by extension) is being used to wield the spear and so you aren't wielding the Cestus. If you aren't wielding the Cestus then you aren't threatening the adjacent space. However, you can decide that you're just simply holding the spear (not wielding it) with one hand and instead wielding the Cestus, meaning you are threatening adjacent spaces but not the spaces covered by a reach weapon. In essence, you can't threaten with both weapons at once (since you can't wield both of them at once) so you have to decide which weapon you are wielding until your next turn to know which area you're threatening.

Now, this gets flipped around if you're using something like Armor Spikes. Since Armor Spikes aren't wielded in your hands, you can still use both hands to wield the spear as well as wield the Armor Spikes at the same time. You are wielding both at the same time, and so you are threatening with both at the same time. You are threatening both near and far.

We now extend this to Monks. A monk's Unarmed Strikes, as stated above, can be done with pretty much any part of the body. That means you don't need to use your hands to "wield" an Unarmed Strike as it can be done with feet and other body parts and in fact it is specifically called out that a Monk can make these Unarmed Strikes when their hands are full. This makes them fall into the same category as Armor Spikes in the scenario above: you are always wielding them, so you are always threatening with them, meaning you threaten with both the reach weapon at a distance as well as the Unarmed Strikes right next to you at all times.

He may be scared that it's a little overpowered since it lets you kind of bypass a normal restriction... but it really, really isn't. When you think about it, most things trying to move up to you generally don't have things in their arsenal that make them provoke up close. No archer or mage is going to want to come up close to an enemy and then start doing their thing regardless of whether you're packing a reach weapon, or a normal weapon, or both. A normal beatstick enemy is just going to walk right up to you anyway and then not let you get too far away with 5-foot steps, so they take the one AoO that they would have anyway from a normal spear-user and that's it. The only thing this really nets you over someone only using the spear is that it makes people not able to just make a 5-foot step away from you in the middle of a brawl to drink a potion/use a spell-like ability. And honestly, it just makes combat so much easier for everyone involved if you're not trying to find the best place to 5-foot step to every single round to keep the enemy in a threatened space.

Sczarni

Stalarious wrote:

So I was talking to my DM about my spare character which was going to be a monk. I made mention that I was going to be making him a long spear user. The reason was that I could strike with reach the if they tried getting close (AOO or close combat) I would be able to use my legs or knees with out dropping the spear or without penalty. Do you guys know if this is correct or if there is a FAQ? My DM doesn't fully agree with me and wants to see something rule wise that proves my thinking.

Thanks for all responses!

I recommend pelvic thrusts, headbutts, or butt-butts; but Yes, you're thinking is correct. This is one of the great joys of being a Monk :)


Yes, unfortunately headbutts, belly-bounces, and butt-bumps are not included in the 'fist, elbow, knees, or feet' family. Sad (kung-fu) panda!

Liberty's Edge

A longspear is not usable in your Flurry of Blows so you could be giving up some attacks. There are weapons that have reach and also usable with Flurry of Blows.

Also, it is important for the unchained monk to define what they are attacking with because of the Style Strikes.


Gary Bush wrote:

A longspear is not usable in your Flurry of Blows so you could be giving up some attacks. There are weapons that have reach and also usable with Flurry of Blows.

Also, it is important for the unchained monk to define what they are attacking with because of the Style Strikes.

I think the idea is to use the Longspear for AoOs on incoming enemies then beat them up with unarmed flurries the next turn. No Longspear flurries necessary.


Snowblind wrote:
Gary Bush wrote:

A longspear is not usable in your Flurry of Blows so you could be giving up some attacks. There are weapons that have reach and also usable with Flurry of Blows.

Also, it is important for the unchained monk to define what they are attacking with because of the Style Strikes.

I think the idea is to use the Longspear for AoOs on incoming enemies then beat them up with unarmed flurries the next turn. No Longspear flurries necessary.

Yep, that's what I do with my brawler as they already get simple weapons. Pummeling charge some poor bad guy and use the spear when others close in.

As to reach weapons that are usable in flurries, there are but they are all wonky rules wise. For some, it's easier to use a non-monk weapon that everyone can agree on how it works.

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