Help me understand the Unchained Monk


Rules Questions


Hi everyone. I'm planning to play an unchained monk soon. More specifically, I'm looking at the ascetyc build (home game) and have a few questions:

For the sake of discussion, let's assume I pick the urumi as my weapon (weapon focus)which is part of the monk fighter weapon group. I will take ascetic style ans later ascetic form.

1) Is the urumi's base damage die (1d8) increased by ascetic style when my unarmed damage besomes 1d10 and above? (I've seen many discussion and debate on this, but I don't know if there was a concessus). What is the current accepted interpretation/rule?

2: The special ability of ascetic style indicates that at 5th, it "can use Ascetic Style with any monk weapon, in addition to the chosen melee weapon." Since shuriken is a monk weapon, would it's base damage also increase with ascetic style?

3)If I get an amulet of might fist, does its bonus also apply to the urumi through ascetic style? What if the urumi's is also enchanted?

4)If I wield the urumi two-handed, can I still use Elbow smash? (I understand that the name of the ability relates to an elbow, but the text explicitly indicates that: "The monk must attack with a fist to use this style strike." Since your hand is occupied in wielding the urumi 2-handed, it would seem to prevent the use of a fist???

Thanks you for your help


Interesting questions. For those who need the style feat link, here is Ascetic Style. Here is the urumi

1) Does base damage of urumi when using Ascetic style in relation to unarmed damage? Yes. The Ascetic feat specifically says: "...as well as effects that augment an unarmed strike, as if attacks with the weapon were unarmed attacks". You are augmenting the the unarmed strike damage to something else.

2) Use Ascetic style with shurikens at 5th level? (Editing this answer) Yes I have to say yes to this now (thank you Bacondale for pointing that out). I have to say I'm a bit scared of shuriken using unarmed damage, but it appears you can.

3) Amulet of Mighty fists and Ascetic style: Yes, as per the same rules as #1 above. However, unless otherwise stated, enhancement bonuses do NOT stack. So if your AoMF is +1 enhancement and the urumi is also has a +1 enhancement, they will overlap, you don't get +2. You could have a +1 flaming urumi and a +1 shocking AoMF, and you would then have a +1 flaming shocking urumi.

4) Two handed urumi and Elbow Smash: This one is a bit trickier, I'll admit, but I would say No, and here's why: The Ascetic Style feat says that you can apply the effects of FEATS that have Improved Unarmed Strike as a prereq, as well as effects that augment IUS, to the weapon chosen. Elbow Smash is neither a feat nor an effect that augments IUS. It is a Style Strike ability gained at 5th level.

Grand Lodge

Regarding #4, if you pick up the next feat in the chain (Ascetic Form) then you'd be able to use Elbow Smash with the Urumi.


shalandar wrote:


2) Use Ascetic style with shurikens at 5th level? Only if you have weapon training (monk), which is generally a fighter ability. If you have that, then I would say yes.

It's 5th level monk or a character with weapon training (monk)


Thanks for the answers...

For #4, i forgot to mention that indeed it would be in conjonction with ascetic form (my bad). My question is more on the two-handed aspects.

So ascetic form let me use elbow smash with the chosen weapon of ascetic style (urumi), but if I use it two-handed, can I still make a elbow smash since BOTH my hands I occupied with wielding the urumi and elbow smash requires a FIST ???


It's a free action to let go of your weapon with one hand, so yes? You can then immediately re grab your weapon and continue using it two-handed

Grand Lodge

Cuttler wrote:

Thanks for the answers...

For #4, i forgot to mention that indeed it would be in conjonction with ascetic form (my bad). My question is more on the two-handed aspects.

So ascetic form let me use elbow smash with the chosen weapon of ascetic style (urumi), but if I use it two-handed, can I still make a elbow smash since BOTH my hands I occupied with wielding the urumi and elbow smash requires a FIST ???

It's no longer being made with your elbow once you have ascetic form. You'd make it with the urumi so there's no issue with handedness at all.

To clarify more, your fist is a type of unarmed strike and because of ascetic you get to treat you urumi as an unarmed strike. So elbow smash is made with the urumi.

Some people may try to be pedantic and say it doesn't work because it specifies fist specifically, but Ascetic Form specifically says it works with style strikes and every single style strike calls put a specific body part, so that argument makes no sense.


As written, Ascetic Style works like this for an unchained Monk:

Monk class features that now work with the weapon:
● Stunning Fist
● Ki Pool's DR penetration
● The scaling damage (works like Warpriest's Sacred Weapon)
● Dealing full strength on off hand attacks (almost never relevant).

Other things that now work with the weapon:
● Feats that enhance US, e.g. Weapon Focus [Unarmed] (no stacking, though)
● Feats that have IUS as a prereq, e.g. Hex Striker
● Traits that enhance US, e.g. Bullied
● Spells that enhance US, e.g. Magic Fang
● Items that enhance US, e.g. Amulet of Mighty Fist (multiple enhancement bonuses don't stack, but other magic weapon abilities can be stacked with them)

Monk class features that do not work with Ascetic Style:
● The extra attack from Ki Pool
● Style Strikes
● Ki Blocker, One Touch, and Quivering Palm
● Flurry of Blows (relevant for tri-point double-edged sword, urumi, and the versatile design modification).
­All of these are 'unlocked' by Ascetic Form, though.

Thing I'm not sure about:
● The ability to deal nonlethal damage without penalty (on one hand, that basically comes from the general rules for US, but on the other hand, it it explicitly mentioned in the Unarmed Strike class feature)
● Weapon Finesse
● Effects that only apply to natural attacks - the "is treated as (...) a natural weapon [blah]" line does make US better, but only indirectly.


Jurassic Pratt wrote:
every single style strike calls put a specific body part

Not actually true - Dirty Strike and Overbearing Assault from Blood of the Beast do not specify a body part.

I still wholeheartedly support your argument, though - that book was written way after WMH. Also, if your GM disallows an option that's explicitly called out to work on the grounds that the respective softcover book (which are known for lack of space and lack of editing) only name drops it and doesn't include further explanatory text, I say it's time to apply a style strike of your choice against him/her (Elbow Smash, Foot Stomp... take your pick!).


Jurassic: I forgot that ascetic form now let you applied your abilities to the urumi...great explanation.

Deklord: very good list! It helps a lot to summarize...already copied it to my character sheet to remmember....

thanks to you guys!! big help....

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