Elemental Monk is seriously janked


Rules Questions


Can we get some kind of clarification on what the dev responsible for the Elemental Monk archetype wanted to do with it? Because as it stands, you trade Stunning Fist and all of your bonus feats for Elemental Fist. It says you can use any element when you attack with it, but Elemental Fist does that anyways, it doesn't force you to choose a specific element. So what's up?


If by Elemental Monk you mean Monk of the Four Winds you don’t trade away any bonus feats. You still get all your bonus feats, what you don’t get are the additional conditions you can impose with stunning fist. Instead of gaining extra conditions you increase the damage you can do with Elemental Fist.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

You are not reading the details correctly there, sir. Elemental Fist, by default, forces you to select your element before rolling to hit. The Elemental Monk allows you to, instead, select the element after hitting. (note - not sure what value this adds, but it is a difference)

Apart from that - yes, you are trading all bonus feats and stunning fist for the capability to add an extra d6 damage to some of your attacks every day. The later levels also effectively give you access to any one of five different feats while using the Elemental Fist, so this might serve to balance out the lost bonus feat, by adding some flexibility.


Why would I type Elemental Monk if I meant Monk of the Four Winds? That makes no sense.

That alleged change is meaningless, as you still need to declare that your attack is going to be an Elemental Fist attack beforehand. If it let you declare an Elemental Fist after hitting, that would be something. Still not worth six bonus feats, but it'd be something. And the later genie feat power already replaces evasion, purity of body, and diamond body/10th level ki power. They put the bonus feat replacement under the Elemental Strikes power, showing that they consider it ("it" being "literally nothing") to be worth six feats. And from the way it's worded it's clear that they thought Elemental Fist required you to pick an element upon taking the feat.

Elemental Monk wrote:

Elemental Strike (Ex): An elemental monk gains Elemental Fist as a bonus feat, even if she doesn’t meet the prerequisites. She does not have to select an element; instead, each time she hits with an Elemental Fist attack, she can choose acid, cold, electricity, or fire for the type of the additional damage granted by that feat.

This replaces all of the monk’s bonus feats and stunning fist.

I could also bring up how the Planar Guide ability lets you go to an elemental plane, but not return, or how this planar-themed monk doesn't get Knowledge: Planes, but lets stick with the things that are completely worthless for now.


My only guess is that the writer was thinking of Dragon Ferocity.

Dragon Ferocity wrote:
Special: Taking this feat allows you to qualify for the Elemental Fist feat even if you do not meet that feat’s prerequisites. If you do not meet that feat’s prerequisites, you must choose one of the damage types that feat offers, and you can use only that damage type with your Elemental Fist attacks until you meet the feat’s normal prerequisites. A monk with this feat can use Elemental Fist as if he were a monk of the four winds.

Apparently someone thought the bolded part applied to any means of getting Elemental Fist w/o the prereqs?

Of course Dragon Ferocity is totally unrelated to the Elemental Monk as written, so, yeah... it's all pretty messed up.


Yeah, Elemental Monk is so ridiculously and obviously bad, I'm surprised it's not out of Ultime Wilderness. I wonder if it's by the same writer who wrote the Shifter, or the Oozemorph.

To c&p from another thread:

The first problem with the archetype is that Elemental Fist sucks. Hard. It's pretty low damage: Let's say we're level 8, with 18 wisdom, 4 encounters á 4 rounds a day. Flurry is 3 attacks a round, plus one more from Ki half the rounds. That's 56 attacks per day. Elemental Fist does an average of 7.5 damage 10 times, for 75 theoretical bonus damage over the course of the day. That's an average of 1.34 damage per attack, i.e. not much more than a trait.

The five style chains are all pretty bad as well: The damage bonus via Elemental Fist from the first feats is minuscule compared to other styles. The triggered effects from the second feats tend to have problems (entangled allows fort save, catching fire has a neigh-irrelevant effect, and deafen is a small effect against only a small number of enemies). The elemental style third feats, as well as all three Janni feats, don't work with a full attack, and thus work against the very foundation of your class.
Shaitan Skin is normally OKish because it can trigger Medusa's Wrath on a failed reflex save (easier to stick than Stunning Fist), but this archetype removes all your bonus feats, so you can't grab said feat.

I didn't even see that you lose all bonus feats without gaining anything in return on my first read, and considered the archetype crap even than. Now, I consider it abysmal.


It would make more sense that every time the Monk would have gotten a bonus feat the elemental Monk gained another d6 in damage.


RAW is what it is.
If you want to fix stuff then you should use the Homebrew forum.


I think this is as case where you the ability you are giving up is being used to balance other abilities you gain later. You give up 6 feats, but Genie Style gives you a pool of 5 feat lines that you can change as needed. The flexibility to be able to change feats is more powerful than gaining a static feat. You do have to give up other abilities to gain those powers, but the fact is that you have access to 15 feats instead of 6.

Elemental Precision actually seems stronger than the power it replaces. Creatures with DR lawful are fairly rare, so the ability to treat your unarmed attacks as lawful is usually not that good. Being able to ignore any DR except DR/- and DR-epic on the other hand is fairly good. There are a lot of creatures besides elementals that have an elemental subtype, especially fire. Almost all dragons have an elemental subtype.

Also, at 18th level when using one of your feat lines you gain either immunity to an elemental damage (based on the style), or the effects of an enlarge person or reduce person. Now this is a fairly high-level ability, but getting enlarge person basically at will an unlimited number of times per day is well worth 3 feats.


Elemental monk swaps being Lawful for being True Neutral. That could be an upgrade for some.

I guess the Elemental Monk could hit with a multiple elements in a single round. Not a great benefit, but it could be useful sometime and might just "look cool"


Redanto, if you want a Monk whose elemental fist scales up in damage, you will need to play a Monk of the Four Winds or take the Dragon Ferocity feat.

Also, you cannot use Elemental Fist more than once per round, not unless you use special attacks that take up a use of Elemental Fist, and those are standard actions.


It’s unclear if monks have the once per round limitation.

Quote:
You may attempt an elemental fist attack once per day for every four levels you have attained (see Special), and no more than once per round.

That comma means that that statement is linked. And then the special for monk doesn’t include it, so it is implied to no longer be used.

Quote:
A monk may attempt an Elemental Fist attack a number of times per day equal to his monk level, plus one more time per day for every four levels he has in classes other than monk.

So since the monk doesn’t have the round limit listed and since that limit was part of the sentence for the whole limit. You could infer that monks don’t have the once per round limit.


Melkiador wrote:

Elemental monk swaps being Lawful for being True Neutral. That could be an upgrade for some.

I guess the Elemental Monk could hit with a multiple elements in a single round. Not a great benefit, but it could be useful sometime and might just "look cool"

I'd agree NN is less restrictive than LN.

hitting with different elements would be a way to test DR, resistances, & vulnerabilities. The character may not have (sufficient) ranks in appropriate knowledge skills.


Actually, monks do have a round limit, it is just higher than other classes. Since there is nothing stating a monk can use this ability more than once a round, I would assume that restriction still applies.

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