Flowing Monk Redirection Question

Rules Questions

Ok, I'm already imagining the chorus of 'duh's when people read this, but I feel compelled to verify this completely. I'm playing a flowing monk. He's level 4. I took flowing monk for his ability to control the battlefield, but not obviously to do a lot of damage. So I have a question about what strikes me as the flowing monk's core power - Redirection. The feat reads like this:


At 1st level, as an immediate action, a flowing monk can attempt a reposition or trip combat maneuver against a creature that the flowing monk threatens and that attacks him. If the combat maneuver is successful, the attacker is sickened for 1 round (Reflex DC = 10 + 1/2 the monk’s level + monk’s Wisdom modifier to halve the duration), plus 1 additional round at 4th level and for every four levels afterward (to a maximum of 6 rounds at 20th level). The monk gains a +2 bonus on the reposition or trip combat maneuver check and the save DC for redirection increases by 2 if the attacker is using Power Attack or is charging when attacking him. The benefit increases to a +4 bonus and an increase of the saving throw by 4 if both apply.

At 4th level, a flowing monk can use redirection against an opponent that the flowing monk threatens and that attacks an ally with a melee attack. At 8th level, a flowing monk can make both a reposition and a trip maneuver as part of a single immediate action with this ability. At 12th level, a flowing monk can use redirection against any opponent that attacks him in melee, even if the flowing monk is not threatening the opponent who attacks him. A flowing monk can use this ability once per day per monk level, but no more than once per round.

This ability replaces Stunning Fist.

When I first read this I assumed that the once per day applied to the level 12 ability to use this maneuver against pretty much anyone on the field who attacks him. I mean, certainly it couldn't just be once a day (per level) for the ability itself. What would be the point of being a flowing monk if it's core ability is so limited? As flowing monks we know we're giving up basically all of our offensive capabilities in exchange for the ability to control the field. If that control is going to be so severely limited I'm not seeing how the trade off is worth it.

The whole ability replaces stunning fist, has the same uses per day restriction. Just like advanced stunning fist options don't have a separate pool.

Aside from echoing what Cult said regarding uses per day, I would like to point out that you aren't trading away 'basically all of your offensive abilities' to gain Redirection. You still have your unarmed scaling damage, flurry, Ki, etc. All you trade off is stunning fist, and Redirection is a powerful defensive ability that resolves BEFORE your opponent's attack happens. If you build your character around tripping you can easily turn that trade into even more of a positive by flexing the offensive side of it.

Flowing Monk at 1st level, take Improved Trip as your bonus feat, Vicious Stomp as your level one feat. On every successful trip, you now get a free attack on the enemy, on Redirects they also have to pass a reflex save or be sickened. Starting at 2nd level this could be you, during an enemy's turn:

1) Enemy attacks you, you decide to Redirect before they roll for their attack.

2) You trip them before they attack you, they fail their reflex save and are sickened.

3) You take your free attack on them and succeed. They fail their reflex save and are now considered flat-footed until the end of YOUR next turn.

Now that they are damaged, prone, sickened, and flat-footed, they can finish resolving their attack against you at a -6.

You can get into all kinds of fun stuff later with Greater trip as well, gaining two attacks from a trip and allowing your allies to pitch in for one apiece if they threaten the enemy you topple. Trip can also be freely substituted in place of any attack, making it a great situational substitute for your first flurry attack (Trip, Attack of Opportunity, enemy is now prone + flatfooted for your remaining flurry / BAB attacks).

Sovereign Court

I'm pretty sure it's supposed to only be usable once per level per day, just like Stunning Fist.

And I've recently seen it in action, and it's a really powerful ability, much more than Stunning Fist actually.

  • It triggers quite often, especially from L4 onwards when you can defend your allies. This gets you around a traditional tanking problem when enemies ignore the tank.
  • It can stop an entire attack routine, if you move an enemy far away enough. Particularly if the enemy had already moved, cuz then he can't even take a 5ft step to get back to continue a full attack.
  • You can move enemies into positions they don't want to be, during their turn, and then still take a 5ft step on your turn. That's a significant time/action gain when trying to set up flanks or get out of a recurring flanking pattern against you.
  • If enemies are trying to gang up on you, you may be able to move the first attacker so that the other attackers don't get enough room to cluster on you.
  • You can break off a flank before the other flanker also gets to use it.

Compared to Stunning Fist, which rarely goes off (because who can afford wisdom high enough to penetrate Fort saves while keeping physical abilities high enough to hit reliably?), it's an extremely good trade.

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