Medusa's Wrath Clarification (Unchained Monk)


Rules Questions


I just wanted to check on something.

I'm GMing a campaign at level 11 with an Unchained Monk who is admittedly giving me a bit of a headache. With some group buffs he regularly does 45+ damage per hit with 7 attacks per round (with Ki spent) and has done 300+ damage in a single round with no crits.

On top of that, he'll attempt to Stunning Fist enemies (makes sense as a Monk) with his first attack on a round. If he hits and the enemy fails its Fort save, the enemy is then stunned, that then (and this is the rules question) apparently triggers Medusa's Wrath which gives him another two attacks at full AB.

This means, going off his BAB, that his attack schedule is potentially

1. +11 (normal attack)
2. +6 (first iterative)
3. +1 (second iterative)
4. +11 (first Flurry attack)
5. +11 (second Flurry attack)
6. +11 (Haste)
7. +11 (Ki point)
8. +11 (first Medusa's Wrath)
9. +11 (second Medusa's Wrath)

So that's 7 attacks at full BAB potentially plus two iteratives.

Given being stunned also lowers your AC, usually by a considerable amount, this seems to often turn his Stunning Fist into Save or Die.

Is any of this incorrect?


That's correct, except the attack schedule is incorrect.

Quote:
If you get multiple attacks because your base attack bonus is high enough, you must make the attacks in order from highest bonus to lowest. If you are using two weapons, you can strike with either weapon first. If you are using a double weapon, you can strike with either part of the weapon first.

So he has to attack with his full bab attacks, before the iteratives.


45+ dmg is a bit much for a d10 punch. Even a 3d6 one. How does he get that ?
If he does get that high though, a classic two hander should get higher still.

That aside, that is indeed the right number of attacks (order I disagree with, but not a big deal). It's what monks do. Assuming the fort save is failed, which implies a non-martial target because anyone with a good fort (monsters included) should save somewhat reliably.
He could add a couple aoos even, say if he went into maneuvers against an eligible target.

Grand Lodge

As others have said, that is the correct number of attacks, though the iteratives would come at the end of the sequence.

I too am curious how he is getting 45 damage per hit on a 1d10 attack (2d6 if he's got Monk's Robes).

Even with the Dragon Style feat chain and a huge Str (Figure ~24 Str with a belt at that level), he'd only be doing 1d10+14 on his first hit and 1d10+10 on the rest...add 9 more if he is power attacking with every attack...maybe an extra 1d6 acid or fire with gloves. +2 Amulet of Mighty Fists for 2 more...Enlarged he'd be doing 2d8 instead of 1d10, which is an average gain of 4 damage...Still doesn't get you close to 45 per hit.

EDIT: I have an unchained monk build that takes advantage of Enforcer+ Shatter Defenses to stack Shaken and Flat-Footed, triggering Medusa's Wrath, and I don't do anywhere near that kind of damage...I just debuff the heck out of things and twink away at their health pool.


Slyme wrote:

I too am curious how he is getting 45 damage per hit on a 1d10 attack.

Even with the Dragon Style feat chain and a huge Str (Figure ~24 Str with a belt at that level), he'd only be doing 1d10+14 on his first hit and 1d10+10 on the rest...add 9 more if he is power attacking with every attack...maybe an extra 1d6 acid or fire with gloves. +2 Amulet of Mighty Fists for 2 more...Enlarged he'd be doing 2d8 instead of 1d10, which is an average gain of 4 damage...Still doesn't get you close to 45 per hit.

EDIT: I have an unchained monk build that takes advantage of Enforcer+ Shatter Defenses to stack Shaken and Flat-Footed, triggering Medusa's Wrath, and I don't do anywhere near that kind of damage...I just debuff the heck out of things and twink away at their health pool.

i guess large size and wearing a monk robe is 3d8, dragon ferocity as noted would be +14, power attack is just +6 and probably not worth it but I’ll take it anyway, and deliquescent gloves + flaming frost AoMS is...44 average damage per hit.


willuwontu wrote:
Quote:
If you get multiple attacks because your base attack bonus is high enough, you must make the attacks in order from highest bonus to lowest. If you are using two weapons, you can strike with either weapon first. If you are using a double weapon, you can strike with either part of the weapon first.
So he has to attack with his full bab attacks, before the iteratives.

That's specifically referring to BAB attacks, though, which only seems to apply to the first three attacks. So he has to go +11/+6/+1, can't go +1/+11/+6 or something.

Otherwise they could have simply said

"If you get multiple attacks, you must make the attacks in order from highest bonus to lowest."

That's the understanding we're under, at least (this subject has come up before, also for Hasted attacks in general).

Nyerkh wrote:
45+ dmg is a bit much for a d10 punch. Even a 3d6 one. How does he get that?

He has 22 strength, this turns into 30 when Beast Shaped or Monstrous Physiqued by the Brown Fur Transmuter. That's a 10 modifier. He also has the Dragon Style feats so that's 20 on the first hit and 15 on the rest.

He has 1d10 base unarmed damage which becomes 2d8 thanks to a Monk's Robe. That 2d8 becomes 4d8 due to being Huge size. That's another 18 average per hit for 33 total (ignoring the +5 DMG bonus on the first hit).

He has Greater Magic Weapon cast on him for +2 ATK/DMG, so 35 damage.

He has an Axiomatic AoMF so that's 42 versus most enemies.

He often has Weapon of Awe cast on him so that's 44.

Prayer is usually active so that's 45.

On top of that 45, there's technically some other ways for it to go even higher such as +11 from the Paladin's group Smite Evil or another +7 from the cleric's Holy Lance, so vs a CE enemy like a demon (demon themed campaign) he can be doing 62 per hit. This is prior to Power Attack and I'm sure there's probably some other ways to boost his damage I might be forgetting.

That's why I "just" went with 45.

Slyme wrote:
maybe an extra 1d6 acid or fire with gloves.

Yeah, he actually picked up the Deliquescent Gloves last session but hasn't used them yet. So versus a lot of enemies that's another 3.5 damage that I haven't included above.

Grand Lodge

Lelomenia wrote:
Slyme wrote:

I too am curious how he is getting 45 damage per hit on a 1d10 attack.

Even with the Dragon Style feat chain and a huge Str (Figure ~24 Str with a belt at that level), he'd only be doing 1d10+14 on his first hit and 1d10+10 on the rest...add 9 more if he is power attacking with every attack...maybe an extra 1d6 acid or fire with gloves. +2 Amulet of Mighty Fists for 2 more...Enlarged he'd be doing 2d8 instead of 1d10, which is an average gain of 4 damage...Still doesn't get you close to 45 per hit.

EDIT: I have an unchained monk build that takes advantage of Enforcer+ Shatter Defenses to stack Shaken and Flat-Footed, triggering Medusa's Wrath, and I don't do anywhere near that kind of damage...I just debuff the heck out of things and twink away at their health pool.

i guess large size and wearing a monk robe is 3d8, dragon ferocity as noted would be +14, power attack is just +6 and probably not worth it but I’ll take it anyway, and deliquescent gloves + flaming frost AoMS is...44 average damage per hit.

With Dragon Ferocity, your unarmed strikes count as natural attacks dealing 1.5 Str, so work the same as a 2 handed weapon for power attack, hence the +9

Grand Lodge

Ah, so party full of good buffers...that will definitely crank up the damage.

Grand Lodge

As for dealing with it...throw him against things that have spiked armor, elemental auras, etc. that hurt him every time he hits them.

Maybe throw something in there with an Anti-Magic Field up.

Have enemy casters in the back dispel his buffs.

Flying, greater invisible, blurred, mirror imaged, enemies.

Generally give them opponents with similar levels of buffs.

Have a high level Succubus or something cast Dominate Monster on him and set him against the rest of the party.

Lots of fun options.


Slyme wrote:
With Dragon Ferocity, your unarmed strikes count as natural attacks dealing 1.5 Str, so work the same as a 2 handed weapon for power attack, hence the +9

This not not correct - Power Attack asks for a "primary natural weapon that adds 1-1/2 times your Strength modifier on damage rolls", which an unarmed strike never is. Primary natural attacks are made so by general rules, that's most definitely not something a Monk applies to their unarmed strikes.

@Balkoth: Everything seems to be in order. RAW, only the "regular" attacks must be made in descending order, the other attacks can be made at any point (including splitting them up, not that I see a reason to ever do so).

Regarding the damage: With Power Attack, the Monk's average damage against an average CR11 enemy is 106.9, or 79.8 without Medusa's Wrath (139.4/103.9 with Axiomatic active). With GMF, MP3, Prayer, and WoA active, that's 330.5/250.5 (378.8/286.6 with axiomatic). So yeah, if the Monk's not triggering Medusa's Wrath himself, about three quarters of that damage comes from other party members.


Derklord wrote:
So yeah, if the Monk's not triggering Medusa's Wrath himself, about three quarters of that damage comes from other party members.

I got some different numbers, at least when doing some "generic" Unchained Monk calculations, but it still had about 50-60% of the damage coming from group buffs, yeah. Somewhere in the range of a 100-150% bonus...mostly from MP3.

Can quibble over the figures if you want but I get your general point.

Slyme wrote:
As for dealing with it...throw him against things that have spiked armor, elemental auras, etc. that hurt him every time he hits them.

That hurts Sword and Board or Dual-Wielders as much or more than him...unless it's unarmed strikes only, which then means I'm specifically targeting him.

Slyme wrote:
Maybe throw something in there with an Anti-Magic Field up.

That'd be awful and slow the game down to a crawl to do on a regular basis.

Slyme wrote:
Have enemy casters in the back dispel his buffs.

Just how many enemy mages/priests are you expecting? Serious question.

Slyme wrote:
Flying, greater invisible, blurred, mirror imaged, enemies.

Most of that would apply to everyone, not just the monk. Heck, the Monk would be better than most at breaking mirror images with the number of attacks.

Slyme wrote:
Generally give them opponents with similar levels of buffs.

So far that's tended to just trash the rest of the party.

Slyme wrote:
Have a high level Succubus or something cast Dominate Monster on him and set him against the rest of the party.

He has better will than most other frontliners would have (such as a Fighter, Slayer, non-Superstitious Barbarian, etc). Not to mention constantly dominating him would get old fast I imagine.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

You can always send a horde of lesser foes, spread out, against them. A group of 10 archer enemies each CR = APL-4 or so can be quite a challenge for someone who requires full attacks to prosper, and even when he gets them, each foe is individually weak. If they're spaced out, he can only splat one per round.

This type of counter has the advantage that you're not taking away the player's awesomeness, just creating a situation where its less ideal.

Even with relatively poor attack rolls (because of being APL-4), a group of, say, NPC inquisitors with bane on all their arrows and Rapid Shot/Multishot can pump out a lot of arrows in one round. Some will roll well, and plinks of 1d8+2d6+10 or so add up.


Balkoth wrote:
I got some different numbers, at least when doing some "generic" Unchained Monk calculations, but it still had about 50-60% of the damage coming from group buffs, yeah. Somewhere in the range of a 100-150% bonus...mostly from MP3.

That's because I'm apparently forgetful, unobservant, and fail at reading. I forgot Monk's Robe, missed that Possessed Hand was still ticked, and kinda skipped that Medusa's Wrath it triggered by Stunning Fist. With that corrected, my unMonk DPR calculator says that's 107.6 unbuffed (137.0 with axiomatic), vs. 302.2/347.3 buffed, i.e. unbuffed does 35.6%/39.4% of buffed's damage.

Balkoth wrote:
I'm GMing a campaign at level 11 with an Unchained Monk who is admittedly giving me a bit of a headache.

Is there actually a problem? I mean, are some players not having fun?

Slyme wrote:

Have a high level Succubus or something cast Dominate Monster on him and set him against the rest of the party.

Lots of fun options.

Losing control of your character, i.e. being literally unably to participate in the game, is fun for you?


be thankful he doesn't use jabbing master.
at level 16 my monk had 12~ attacks per round. (16/11/6/1 +2 flurry +1 haste + 1 ki + 2 medusa +1 X 2 elbow smash style strike following nonlethal attack at -5 )
with jabbing master the 2nd hit added 2d6 and every other added 4d6.


If the Monk spends the same number of feats (Dragon Style needs one fewer feats, so we should add Possessed Hand or Jabbing Style*), it wouldn't really change much. With axiomatic active, Dragon Style w/ Possessed Hand is actually better.

*) Yes, that works - the initial feat can be used alongside another style. For normal unMonks, if you want to invest four feats, Possessed Hand plus Jabbing Style is actually best, although with the buffs, Power Attack + Possessed Hand is better. Likewise, the Monk in question here could take Pummeling Style to ignore DR and still gain all the bonuses from Dragon Style+Ferocity.

Grand Lodge

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Was just tossing out some ideas...use them, or don't...not going to bother me one way or another.

You can either try to do something to shut down your monk player, or you can let him stomp everything you throw at the party into oblivion.

The higher level the campaign goes, the worse it gets to maintain a balance, especially with players who know how to min-max the rules. That monk isn't even all that bad compared to some of the builds I've seen.


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Is it an issue ?

A big chunk of the entire group's strategy seems to revolve around making the monk a murder-machine. That kind of focus gets results, no matter who's the recipient. Most other martials would be scary too.
I mean, unless the paladin went for a really defense oriented build, he should also be wrecking demonface.

Having a specific kind of enemy dominating the campaign helps them prepare, it's only normal they get that kind of efficiency. And that's without a bane or holy weapon. Bane alone is still affordable and would do a lot more for him than those deliquescent gloves.
Which is another point, btw : at level 11, you're not a nobody anymore. Smart foes should take notice and be prepared. PCs are not the only ones who can adapt.

And for the other question : spell-casters aren't uncommon, in the default setting (in a homebrew, that's up to you).
Maybe especially so in an outsider focused campaign : not only can they themselves grab spells, cultists often do too.
And if they're in the abyss, Demodands often have dispel or greater dispel as a SLA. Even CE beasts can hire their neighbors to help get rid of a notable bunch of troublemakers.

Shadow Lodge

Medusa's Wrath has Scorpion Style as a pre-req. Unless you have something for multiple styles, wouldn't that preclude Dragon Style and Jabbing Style?


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thistledown wrote:
Medusa's Wrath has Scorpion Style as a pre-req. Unless you have something for multiple styles, wouldn't that preclude Dragon Style and Jabbing Style?

Medusa's Wrath does not require you to be in Scorpion Style to function. Most feats with style feat prereqs say something like "while using dragon style" but Medusa's Wrath does not.

It's much like how improved trip requires you to have combat expertise, but not to be using it.

Sovereign Court

Also, Scorpion Style is not actually a style feat. It was created long before style feats were a thing.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Medusa's Wrath does not require you to be in Scorpion Style to function. Most feats with style feat prereqs say something like "while using dragon style" but Medusa's Wrath does not.

That's not correct. The style feat rules explicitly say "You can use a feat that has a style feat as a prerequisite only while in the stance of the associated style."

A style feat is something with "Style" in parentheses after the name, just like a combat feat is a feat with "Combat" in parentheses after the name.

You can use Medusa's Wrath without Scorpion Style, but not because of anything lacking in Medusa's Wrath's description, but because Scorpion Style isn't tagged as a style feat.


I don't believe that is correct. Style feats are feats which have style in the name and which have (style) tags. Like Crane Style is (Combat, Style). Scorpion Style is just (Combat). With errata you could make it a style feat, but it isn't one.

It's just an unfortunate naming convention thing, if the feat tree were "Scorpion Sting", "Gorgon's Fist", and "Medusa's Wrath" it would be clearer though.


Er, you misunderstand me. I'm not saying you need Scorpion Style, but that the reason you've given isn't correct.
The "while using X style" language is utterly redundant for followup feats of style feats. It's only relevant for style feats themself. If Scorpion Style would count as a style feat, you couldn't use Medusa's Wrath without being in it's stance, even without any such wording.

Let me edit my post for clarity.


So just laying it all out:

If Scorpion Style were a style feat, it would be a problem because you need to have a base style feat active to use subsequent feats in the chain (it would also defeat the purpose of letting monks skip prereqs on it via bonus feats).

Scorpion Style is however not a style feat, because it lacks the style tag (and in fact predates style feats existing by years.) Morever, the text of the feat does not specify that you need to have activated scorpion style to trigger the effect; you simply need to be punching someone who has one of the specified conditions.

So Medusa's Wrath will work fine even if "Scorpion Style" isn't even on your character sheet (assuming you chose it with a 10th level or later monk bonus feat).

Grand Lodge

Medusa's Wrath is also available as an unchained monk bonus feat at 10th level, allowing you to bypass the feat requirements.


ryric wrote:
If they're spaced out, he can only splat one per round.

Define spaced out. He can Flying Kick 30 feet right now and that'll go up to 40 feet next level.

ryric wrote:
Some will roll well, and plinks of 1d8+2d6+10 or so add up.

He pretty consistently has 41 AC at level 11. What kind of level 7 Inquisitor is going to be hitting on something besides a natural 20?

Not to mention Deflect Arrows would completely defeat that.

Derklord wrote:
Is there actually a problem? I mean, are some players not having fun?

I mean, for starters I mentioned it being frustrating for me so I regard that as being pretty important. For example, like I mentioned above he consistently has 41 AC. And he's not not a Dex based monk or using something like Crane Style -- in other words, his AC could be higher. Also, this is after a small house rule nerf that currently is reducing his AC by 1 (larger difference at higher levels).

To put that in perspective, to have an enemy have a 50% chance of hitting him on its best attack you have to go up to a [url]CR 18 monster on average[/url].

But at this point even that bothers me less -- I've more or less come to terms with the fact that the game's math is broken in terms of CR. The larger problem is discrepancy within the party. Anything that can challenge the monk can run roughshod over the rest of the party...and their AC is perfectly fine from the standard I've been repeatedly told of "Level +15 is good, level +20 is excellent."

That said, looking at the numbers I also worry that the monk is "capping" his AC very early compared to other players. He's probably only going to gain 2 more Deflection, 1 more Natural, 1 more Armor, 1 more Wisdom, and 1 more Dex AC. That's only a 5 AC gain over the next 9 levels, compared to 10ish for many other classes.

But if the fact that I'm unhappy means nothing, then yes I know at least one other player is quite frustrated (a sorcerer) at the moment and I strongly suspect a second player is also annoyed (a paladin archer). Others may be annoyed too, a lot of them have either died or spent a lot of time unconscious in recent battles while the monk basically soloed everything.

zza ni wrote:
be thankful he doesn't use jabbing master.

Not seeing why I should be "thankful" for something you consider broken? Think about what you're saying.

Slyme wrote:
You can either try to do something to shut down your monk player, or you can let him stomp everything you throw at the party into oblivion.

Well, so far the first has resulted in mainly the rest of the party suffering. I'm literally in the middle of rewriting/rebalancing the monster creation table to be more suited to what players actually do -- for example, enemies having more AC will impact the monk more due to lack of accuracy boosters.

Nyerkh wrote:
Most other martials would be scary too.

Something like a 2H fighter would be doing comparable damage but would also have something like 8ish less AC as well. And be lacking things like Stunning Fist/Medusa's Wrath.

Nyerkh wrote:
I mean, unless the paladin went for a really defense oriented build, he should also be wrecking demonface.

He does wreck demonface. But it looks rather anemic compared to the monk.

In large part to the Brown Fur Transmuter adding 15 damage per hit to the monk, in all fairness, which is an equal bonk to the paladin's Smite Evil (paladin has bracers that increase smite level by 4).

I'm really not liking the result of the polymorphs on the martials, but even if I didn't allowed Brown Fur Transmuters then technically the martials could still UMD scrolls if they build around it (much harder in all fairness).


High level monks are the biggest pain in the butt as a DM. Don't even bother trying to beat their saves or AC, go for TAC and FFAC. Hit him with No Save effects like Quickened True Strike + Enervation, Quickened True Strike + Empowered/Maximized Touch of Idiocy, Power Word: Blind, and Forcecage. Feinting can also help to make the Monk flatfooted, so build a bluff/feint monster and let him have it.


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Balkoth wrote:
I mean, for starters I mentioned it being frustrating for me so I regard that as being pretty important.

If you have some "me against the players" mentality, quite frankly, it's not the Monk (or the BFT) that's the problem here.

Balkoth wrote:
I know at least one other player is quite frustrated (a sorcerer) at the moment and I strongly suspect a second player is also annoyed (a paladin archer).

If players are frustrated by somethign other palyers do, a forum is not where you need to discuss this. Talk to your players about it, e.g. ask the BFT player to maybe stay away from polymorph spells because that's ruining other players fun!

Balkoth wrote:
Others may be annoyed too, a lot of them have either died or spent a lot of time unconscious in recent battles while the monk basically soloed everything.

That's the logical result of the GM fighting against the players.

Let me reapet it for absolute clarity, your problem is not something to be solved in the game. You need to find a solution together with your players. The question you have to ask yourself is not "how can I defeat the Monk" but "how can I make the game more fun for everyone". If you constantly hit the Monk with some specialized enemies, you will only have more players not having fun.


Hmm.
Are the other characters as highly optimized as the monk ? (I'm guessing not)
Players not coming to the table with the same mindset tends to create that kind of situation. Sounds like what is happening here.

You've reached a point where you can't challenge the party, and that's an issue. This time specifically, it's not really something outsiders can help with, as it's a table thing.
Not much of a good way out either. Asking the monk to tone it down will only frustrate him, doing nothing means your campaign (at best) might end up imploding.

Take the time to talk to everyone.
Maybe you need to help the others optimize their characters so they're relevant again. Maybe you have to find a glorious end for the monk, with his player, so that he can bring in a more reasonable replacement. Maybe you need to work on concluding the campaign soon, and get started on something new.

Tone aside, I'll point out that while "a GM shouldn't play against his players" is very, very true, I'm not convinced that's what is happening here. Also, it goes both ways : players trying to win at RPGs are bad news for everyone involved.


Nyerkh wrote:

Hmm.

Are the other characters as highly optimized as the monk ? (I'm guessing not)
Players not coming to the table with the same mindset tends to create that kind of situation. Sounds like what is happening here.

The Monk isn't actually that optimized, the problem lies more with the Brown-Fur Transmuter. I mean, there's a reason these spells are personal!

As I recall from the other thread, the archery Paladin was pretty well optimized (as far as the OP's bazillion houserules allow) and one-round-killing (smitable) enemies with a CR above their level.

For the record, the Monk could've taken Weapon Focus (Bite), Feral Combat training, and either Improved Natural Attack (Bite) or have someone UMD a Wand of Strong Jaw, than use the BFT's MP2 to turn into Yig to flurry with a 12d8 bite (Imp.NA) or 16d8 (Strong Jaw), while using the bonus ki attack to make a (regular unarmed) flying kick. Yes, that's an average damage of 54 (iNA) or 72 (SJ) before strength etc. (and hey, it even profits from Dragon Style)!


As someone who's been rocking a Monk/Paladin build, I can tell you that my biggest weakness are large monsters. For frontliners AC is the big hurdle, and many of the the big tanky characters have huge natural armor bonuses, Fort saves high enough to laugh off stunning fist, and attacks of their own that make standing toe to claw a very bad idea.

The monk's an excellent dpr guy, but in my exp they can't go blow for blow with big monsters at their CR the way other melee builds can.

Scarab Sages

I agree with Derklord, this sounds like a discussion solution, not a game solution.

Personally, I would suggest to the brown-fur transmuter player that he rotates the targets of his buffs from session to session so that everyone gets the opportunity to be a buff-lusted killing machine.

If you REALLY want to try addressing this in-game, consider dropping some loot that would help bring the non-monk characters up in terms of defenses and damage, and then you can calculate the party cr as one or two higher and balance around that.


First of all, I realize we're getting rather away from the rules part here, but whatever the thread's going at this point.

Ryze Kuja wrote:
Don't even bother trying to beat their saves or AC, go for TAC and FFAC. Hit him with No Save effects like Quickened True Strike + Enervation, Quickened True Strike + Empowered/Maximized Touch of Idiocy, Power Word: Blind, and Forcecage.

Just pointing out that all of this works against everyone else for the most part, these aren't monk weaknesses or something.

Derklord wrote:
If you have some "me against the players" mentality, quite frankly, it's not the Monk (or the BFT) that's the problem here.

I'm "against" the players in the sense a golf course designer is against the players, a puzzle creator is against the players, or a video game developer is against the players. The goal is to provide a challenge to the players, particularly in this campaign where challenging combat was the primary pitch.

But I've been having to massively recalibrate my expectations since it's become abundantly clear the game's math is wildly off at high levels.

Some players may like the default game's power trip. I hate it -- as a PLAYER. The end of Strange Aeons was very much not fun for me, especially when we had two new players join who vastly threw off the game's power curve. I felt that I might as well just skip my turns as a Bard since doing my buffs would take more time than one of their turns and the buffs weren't needed. I know the GM and another player were unhappy as well.

And frankly I have no interest in GMing that kind of game either. I'd rather just handwave combat and focus on story/character development than have fiddly/complicated combat that is slow to run.

Derklord wrote:
Talk to your players about it, e.g. ask the BFT player to maybe stay away from polymorph spells because that's ruining other players fun!

I did. I had been assuming there were other Transmutation spells he could still use -- especially since the archetype gives up very little. He's claiming there isn't and that the whole point of his character is to polymorph others.

Frankly I'm strongly considering changing the polymorph rules at this point if anything -- in principle I have no objection to him being able to give others a buff, it's the raw power of the buff that worries me. But I don't want to mess up other characters like Druids accidentally.

Derklord wrote:
The question you have to ask yourself is not "how can I defeat the Monk" but "how can I make the game more fun for everyone".

Defeating the monk is trivial. Challenging the monk while not running roughshod over the rest of the party, there's the problem.

Nyerkh wrote:
You've reached a point where you can't challenge the party, and that's an issue.

To be clear, I can easily challenge the party as a whole. But doing it in a way that isn't unfun for the non-monk is the tricky bit.

Nyerkh wrote:
Maybe you have to find a glorious end for the monk, with his player, so that he can bring in a more reasonable replacement.

To be fair, without the polymorph he's not nearly as bad, though he's still very strong. The Monk's robe he has and some other stuff he's doing is also really frontloading his AC -- he won't gain nearly as much AC as others over the remaining levels but that's small comfort for the next several levels.

Nyerkh wrote:
Also, it goes both ways : players trying to win at RPGs are bad news for everyone involved.

I know the Brown Fur Transmuter has stated in the past that he's used to being able to "carry" groups -- which is definitely the opposite of what I want here in a campaign that's supposed to be about challenging combat and teamwork.

Derklord wrote:
As I recall from the other thread, the archery Paladin was pretty well optimized (as far as the OP's bazillion houserules allow)

I mean, unless you count "limited to CRB/APG/ACG without GM approval" as a houserule then there's a ton, but otherwise they're fairly limited and mostly buffs to weaker classes.

Derklord wrote:
For the record, the Monk could've taken Weapon Focus (Bite), Feral Combat training, and either Improved Natural Attack (Bite) or have someone UMD a Wand of Strong Jaw, than use the BFT's MP2 to turn into Yig to flurry with a 12d8 bite (Imp.NA) or 16d8 (Strong Jaw), while using the bonus ki attack to make a (regular unarmed) flying kick. Yes, that's an average damage of 54 (iNA) or 72 (SJ) before strength etc. (and hey, it even profits from Dragon Style)!

Laying aside any RAI or balance issues, I see several RAW problems here.

1, no Bite in base form ergo no proficiency ergo no Weapon Focus.

2, Ditto no Improved Natural Attack (though Strong Jaw would work and would be better)

3, per Polymorph rules:

"Unless otherwise noted, polymorph spells cannot be used to change into specific individuals. Although many of the fine details can be controlled, your appearance is always that of a generic member of that creature’s type. Polymorph spells cannot be used to assume the form of a creature with a template or an advanced version of a creature."

Yig is a unique creature so can't polymorph into him -- there is no such thing as a "generic" Yig.

Halcyon_Janissary wrote:
The monk's an excellent dpr guy, but in my exp they can't go blow for blow with big monsters at their CR the way other melee builds can.

Like I said he's consistently at 41 AC even with some nerfs, and 37 the rest of the time. While hitting like a 2H Fighter/Barbarian. To be fair 3 of that AC is from group buffs.

Magicdealer wrote:
Personally, I would suggest to the brown-fur transmuter player that he rotates the targets of his buffs from session to session so that everyone gets the opportunity to be a buff-lusted killing machine.

Party is...

Unchained Monk
Archer Paladin
Draconic Sorcerer
Brown Fur Transmuter
Time Oracle
Cleric

No one else really benefits from his buffs to remotely the same degree.

Magicdealer wrote:
If you REALLY want to try addressing this in-game, consider dropping some loot that would help bring the non-monk characters up in terms of defenses and damage, and then you can calculate the party cr as one or two higher and balance around that.

Possible, though I suspect the party would just sell some of it to buy other stuff.


Balkoth wrote:
I did. I had been assuming there were other Transmutation spells he could still use -- especially since the archetype gives up very little. He's claiming there isn't and that the whole point of his character is to polymorph others.

If a player's character make the game unfun for others, the "point of [the] character" is irrelevant. It's not really different from the cliche "backstab and steal from your party members" CN Rogue. Characters disruptive to the gaming environment have to be changed, period.

I can basically only repeat myself: Talk to your players. Not one-on-one, but in the group. Ask the players what they're thinking about the BFT trivalizing most encounters (that should make it clear that it's not a "I don't like your PC" thing, but rather a "your PC is disruptive" thing).

Balkoth wrote:

Unchained Monk

Archer Paladin
Draconic Sorcerer
Brown Fur Transmuter
Time Oracle
Cleric

So many full casters! Quite frankly, if the full casters can't find a way to provide a meaningful contribution, that's only because the player's aren't smart or creative enough (or too lazy).


Balkoth wrote:

1, no Bite in base form ergo no proficiency ergo no Weapon Focus.

2, Ditto no Improved Natural Attack

You only need to fulfill feat prereqs at the time you take them (and when you want to use the feat). Levelling up while under the effects of a polymorph spells works. Nothing in the rules says you need to have these things permanently. It's even RAI as far as we can tell, because lead designer comment during the ACG playtest explicitly stated that the Brawler's temporarily gained TWF feats do count for fulfilling prereqs.

Balkoth wrote:
Yig is a unique creature so can't polymorph into him

Every creature is a generic creature. Literally every single one. The polymorph rules mean you can't use the spells to impersonate e.g. the king. If you can't use an individualc reature as a "base", then you can't every use a polymorph effect, ever.

Balkoth wrote:
there is no such thing as a "generic" Yig.

Rule quote please. Because every creature is a member of some species. The ones with a specific mutation or something are excluded via the "no templated or advanced version" clause. Just because we only know one member of the species doesn't change anything. Even if there is only one member of the species polymorph spells still work. It's not the first time I have to argue that point, you know? I have yet to hear a convincing argument against it.


Derklord wrote:
If a player's character make the game unfun for others, the "point of [the] character" is irrelevant. It's not really different from the cliche "backstab and steal from your party members" CN Rogue. Characters disruptive to the gaming environment have to be changed, period.

I do see a difference.

The first is using the rules as written (and even the rules as intended, that's literally the description of the archetype) to make a powerful character...it just happens to be breaking the game because the system is flawed. This isn't a corner case rules abuse or technicality or something. And if the polymorph spells were written differently we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

The second is deliberately setting out to be a jerk on a meta level (except in rare parties where they enjoy that style of play). That's not a flaw of the system, that's a flaw of the player.

Derklord wrote:
So many full casters! Quite frankly, if the full casters can't find a way to provide a meaningful contribution, that's only because the player's aren't smart or creative enough (or too lazy).

Meaningful contribution isn't the general concern here. The casters can be providing meaningful contribution while still having the monk breaking the math of the game.

Derklord wrote:
It's even RAI as far as we can tell, because lead designer comment during the ACG playtest explicitly stated that the Brawler's temporarily gained TWF feats do count for fulfilling prereqs.

Source?

Derklord wrote:

Every creature is a generic creature.

Even if there is only one member of the species polymorph spells still work.

I mean, unless there's a Pathfinder specific definition of "generic" then the general definition is something like:

"characteristic of or relating to a class or group of things; not specific."

If there's only one member of a species then you can't have a group of things. And it would be quite specific -- which contradicts the definition of generic. This isn't RAI or a balance argument, simply RAW.

Imagine there was a spell that let you turn into a demon (might very well be). You could turn into a Succubus, but you couldn't turn into Nocticula specifically. You could also obviously turn into a Balor since there's lot of them out there.


Balkoth wrote:

The first is using the rules as written (and even the rules as intended, that's literally the description of the archetype) to make a powerful character...it just happens to be breaking the game because the system is flawed. (...)

The second is deliberately setting out to be a jerk on a meta level (except in rare parties where they enjoy that style of play).

Ignoring the fact that it's an ill-thought off archetype, if one player is knowingly making the game un-fun for others and doesn't want to change their character, I call them "a jerk on a meta level". What do you clal someone who knowingly continues ruining other people's fun?

Balkoth wrote:
Meaningful contribution isn't the general concern here. The casters can be providing meaningful contribution while still having the monk breaking the math of the game.

So, is the game unfun for them because they do all the work out of combat while the Monk does the dirty job in combat? Then see above. If not, I don't see the problem.

Balkoth wrote:
Source?

"A brawler can use the feats granted by brawler's flurry to qualify for other feats, but can only use those other feats when using brawler's flurry (as that's the only time she actually meets those prerequisites)." Jason Bulmahn, Lead Designer

­

Derklord wrote:
Every creature is a generic creature.

Er, that should say "Every creature is a unique creature".

Balkoth wrote:
If there's only one member of a species then you can't have a group of things.

First, that's not how biology works. There are real life species where scientists have found only a single member.

Second, what you're refering to is for a rule explanation, not a stated limitation! The only stated limitations to the rule of "Each polymorph spell allows you to assume the form of a creature of a specific type" are "Unless otherwise noted, polymorph spells cannot be used to change into specific individuals.", which is about apperance, not mechanical stuff (all the mechanical stuff talks about "form", this sentence doesn't!), and "Polymorph spells cannot be used to assume the form of a creature with a template or an advanced version of a creature." (no template given, and no base creature given, so neither applies).

Also, since the Great Old Ones are literally from outer space, how the hell are you even supposed to know there aren't others? Maybe there's an entire planet of those things? The entry in Bestiary 4 even explicitly states "countless others exist on distant worlds or other dimensions"! Countless others but all of them mysteriously popped into existence completely different from each other so that there're no discenable specieses? Doesn't sound likely!

Scarab Sages

Actually, I do believe that bit about changing into specific individuals would prevent you from turning into a specific named creature, like Yig, who is identified in the entry as a specific creature and not a race of creatures.

Take a peek at the organization entry for yig: solitary (unique).

Now, if we got a book of great old ones that had a generic version of Yig, sure, go to town. But since Yig is unique, there's no generic version of that race to turn into.

Pulling back from the abstract and applying a little common sense, Yig is a deity-tier being that is worshipped. We know there are other great old ones, and each one is vastly different in form, abilities, and powers.

Each one is also presented as a unique creature, an individual, not as a member of a race with formulaic powers. Even if there IS a world of creatures out there from the same race that spawned Yig, you don't have a generic member of that race to use as a base to determine what the default abilities are.

Of course that doesn't stop you from creating a simulacrum or trompe of one and then possessing it.


Magicdealer wrote:
Even if there IS a world of creatures out there from the same race that spawned Yig, you don't have a generic member of that race to use as a base to determine what the default abilities are.

Where is the rule that says you need this?

The closest rule is the material component line for those spells: "a piece of the creature whose form you plan to assume" You take stuff from an individual creature* and then can assume it's form. That word is really important, because it's the one used in the polymorph rules to talk about mechanics.
"Each polymorph spell allows you to assume the form of a creature of a specific type, granting you a number of bonuses to your ability scores and a bonus to your natural armor." Notice how it says "a creature"? Singular. The 'specific type' being 'monstrous haumanoid' in the case of Monstrous Physique.

*) Which is already included in a spell-oomponent pouch, alternatively, Eschew Materials or False Focus work, too.

Scarab Sages

What? You can't take the form of a specific creature. You have one entry of a specific unique figure. You don't have a bestiary entry of a generic member of the race. Ergo, you don't know what abilities a generic member of that race has versus what abilities are unique to the unique creature.


Magicdealer wrote:
What? You can't take the form of a specific creature.

This is where you're wrong. You can take the form of a specific creature, you just won't look exactly like it. The rule about the "specific individual" does not use the word form, unlike all the sentences that talk about mechanical aspects. The very next sentence, which is undoubtedly a limitation on what you can use as a "base" to polymorph into, does use the word form.

Every human is an individual. If you take the material component, it's from an individual. Doesn't mean you can't use Alter Self to turn into a humen, though. What you can't do, and that's what the respective two sentences in the polymorph description are for, is turn into a carbon copy of the king and impersonate him. Even if you use the king's hair as a material component, you'll only look vague similar at best. if you use Yig as a blueprint for your MP2 spell, you probably won't get the crescent moon on the forehead, have different stripes on the scales, and probably a (slightly) different color. Because those are aesthetic aspects, which you are unable to copy. The natural attacks are based on the "form", which you very much are allowed to copy.

Scarab Sages

Derklord wrote:
Balkoth wrote:
Source?
"A brawler can use the feats granted by brawler's flurry to qualify for other feats, but can only use those other feats when using brawler's flurry (as that's the only time she actually meets those prerequisites)." Jason Bulmahn, Lead Designer

When I have more time, I'll track back to the original conversation around this. What you are quoting is evidence against your earlier claim. They had to issue an exception/clarification for the Brawler to allow them to take feats that require Two-Weapon Fighting, despite not having it constantly. This did not open up the general ability to take feats with prereqs without permanently possessing those prereqs, and it certainly doesn't allow you to temporarily boost an attribute at the time of leveling in order to select an option. You can't, for example, cast bull's strength just before leveling in order to take Power Attack. If you don't have a permanent 13 STR, then you can't select the feat.

Brawler is similar to a sorcerer with claws from their bloodline. While TWF or claws aren't active all the time, the class possesses a permanent ability that activates them. So a Sorcerer can take Eldritch Claws, a Brawler can take Two-Weapon Feint. A particular spell isn't a permanent class feature (even when it's a spell known). If a Sorcerer has alter self, they don't have a "claws" class feature. They have the ability to cast alter self. The spell's effect can't be considered a permanent class feature.

A GM could, of course, allow the character to take Improved Natural Attack (already a monster feat and questionable outside Ranger/Slayer) based on the fact that they can consistently get access to a natural attack to train with it, but that's a house rule.

Grand Lodge

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I'm curious how you plan on getting a pieces of a CR 27 Great Old One to use for your transformation...Plus, any GM who lets you actually do that has no idea what they are doing, that or they just don't care about balance.


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Ferious Thune wrote:
You can't, for example, cast bull's strength just before leveling in order to take Power Attack. If you don't have a permanent 13 STR, then you can't select the feat.

Prove it. Quote some rules that show that. The only thing I can think of that even vaguely hints at such a concept is made obsolete by this FAQ.

Ferious Thune wrote:
Brawler is similar to a sorcerer with claws from their bloodline. While TWF or claws aren't active all the time, the class possesses a permanent ability that activates them. So a Sorcerer can take Eldritch Claws, a Brawler can take Two-Weapon Feint.

First, this is not in any way supported by the rules (I presume you're thinking about how putting ranks in the fly skill works), and second, these are in no way more permanent than spells (which are enough for fly ranks).

Slyme wrote:
I'm curious how you plan on getting a pieces of a CR 27 Great Old One to use for your transformation...
Can you please at least read the entire post before responing?
Derklord wrote:
*) Which is already included in a spell-oomponent pouch, alternatively, Eschew Materials or False Focus work, too.

Scarab Sages

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Generally speaking, you need to permanently have a score, feat, or ability to meet the prerequisites of a feat or prestige class. In the case of a magic item that boosts an ability score, you need to be wearing the item full time for it to be considered a permanent bonus for this purpose. It is one of the few ways you could take a feat that you later do not meet the prereqs for.

Personally, I would say that have claws for a few rounds per day does not meet the prereqs for a feat that requires a claw attack. Just like being able to cast beast shape once per day would not grant you the prereqs. Note though that this is an off the cuff opinion. I would need to investigate further.
Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

LINK

Looks as though we were both wrong.

The FAQ you linked doesn't change what's in Jason's post. The temporary bonuses don't become permanent, and that's the requirement. So no Eldritch Claws for the Sorcerer, but no Improved Natural Attack for the Brown Fur Transmuter, let alone a character that doesn't even possess the spell themselves.

By your logic, anyone can take any feat, because somewhere out there someone has the ability to boost them up high enough to do so (provided they pay the costs to have it done when they advance). Or, for a concrete example, a Brawler could permanently take any combat feat with a combat feat as a prerequisite due to Martial Flexibility.

Scarab Sages

Derklord wrote:

This is where you're wrong. You can take the form of a specific creature, you just won't look exactly like it. The rule about the "specific individual" does not use the word form, unlike all the sentences that talk about mechanical aspects. The very next sentence, which is undoubtedly a limitation on what you can use as a "base" to polymorph into, does use the word form.

Every human is an individual. If you take the material component, it's from an individual. Doesn't mean you can't use Alter Self to turn into a humen, though. What you can't do, and that's what the respective two sentences in the polymorph description are for, is turn into a carbon copy of the king and impersonate him. Even if you use the king's hair as a material component, you'll only look vague similar at best. if you use Yig as a blueprint for your MP2 spell, you probably won't get the crescent moon on the forehead, have different stripes on the scales, and probably a (slightly) different color. Because those are aesthetic aspects, which you are unable to copy. The natural attacks are based on the "form", which you very much are allowed to copy.

The entry entry says, "Unless otherwise noted, polymorph spells cannot be used to change into specific individuals. Although many of the fine details can be controlled, your appearance is always that of a generic member of that creature’s type. Polymorph spells cannot be used to assume the form of a creature with a template or an advanced version of a creature."

First sentence. You cannot turn into specific individuals. This is a blanket ban. It stands by itself as a limitation. It doesn't mention form at all, and is a flat ban on turning into specific individuals.
Second sentence. Although many of the fine details can be controlled, your appearance is always that of a generic member of that creature’s type. Second limitation preventing you from using a generic creature to also look like a specific creature.

You want to interpret the first sentence as something that's not a blanket ban into turning into specific individuals. But that's not what it says. It prevents you from turning into specific individuals, period. It's the entirety of the sentence. The second sentence in no way negates the first one. It adds additional restrictions. That's why you can't turn into Yig, who is a specific individual, and why you would need a bestiary entry for a generic member of Yig's race in order to transform into one. As it is, you don't know if Yig is a typical member of his race, or if he's an advanced version of his race either, which means you also may be violating the third limitation in the entry.

As written, you just can't do it legally. You don't have a valid stat block to use for it. You can, of course, do whatever you like at a home game with gm approval. And, from a more realistic perspective, a gm who isn't going to throw a book at you for turning into Yig in the first place is unlikely to tell you no anyways.


Ferious Thune wrote:
LINK

HM, forum post, not something actually official. It's also older than both the ACG playtest post and the temporary bonuses-FAQ.

Ferious Thune wrote:
By your logic, anyone can take any feat, because somewhere out there someone has the ability to boost them up high enough to do so (provided they pay the costs to have it done when they advance). Or, for a concrete example, a Brawler could permanently take any combat feat with a combat feat as a prerequisite due to Martial Flexibility.

Ignoring that it's not my logic but what's actually written in the CRB, partially yes. You can't cheat level- or BAB-prereqs.

Also, you only benefit from a feat when you fulfill the prerequisites, though, so in practise, it's usually irrelevant. There are some cases where it can help to get feats early so that you have the whole feat tree together by the time you permanently qualify, and of course the case in this thread. In practise, it's not really a significant change.
I personally suggest and advocate what I call the "fly skill aproach": A character can take a feat it they possess a reliable means of fulfilling its prerequisites every day.

@Magicdealer: Repeating an argument I've already disproven doesn't help, you know that? I am not trying to turn into a specific individual!
Please don't respond unless you've actuall read and understood my posts. Untill you do that, and bring something new on the table, I consider this discussion done with. I was only using it as an example of what the extremes of a GM over-allowing things because they're legal by RAW could look like.

Scarab Sages

Your first quote in support of your stance was a forum post by the same person. It’s also from a playtest, and mentions a single class and set of feats, while the one I quoted mentions being the general rule and that there are a very few exceptions. You can’t cite a forum post and then claim that a forum post isn’t valid.

The FAQ, as I mentioned, does not say that temporary bonuses are permanent, and being permanent is the criteria Bulmahn stated is necessary in order to satisfy a prereq. As the designers have said several times, FAQs address only what they say they do. That FAQ does not say anything about changing the way prerequisites work, and prerequisites are not a calculation based on a stat. It doesn’t apply at all to character advancement.

We’ve reached a point in the rules discussion that I find increasingly common. You’ve chosen to interpret the FAQ as doing more than I interpret it does. With PF2 coming, the chances of a second FAQ addressing it aren’t good. So I’ll tell you what I’ve been telling everyone else when it’s clear they are convinced about their position. Feel free to run your game the way you want to run it. If you can convince your GM you are correct, more power to you. And I wish you the best of luck.

To the OP, I’m sorry this got so far off topic. None of this matters at all to your original question, and whether or not Derklord or I are correct doesn’t affect your situation.


Ferious Thune wrote:
Your first quote in support of your stance was a forum post by the same person. It’s also from a playtest, and mentions a single class and set of feats, while the one I quoted mentions being the general rule and that there are a very few exceptions. You can’t cite a forum post and then claim that a forum post isn’t valid.

Sure I can, because I did not use the forum post to determine RAW. I'm saying that what's actually written in then rules is valid; the rules on prerequisites don't make any mention of permanent bonuses or permanent features, thus they're not required. I merely alluded to the forum post to appease the "RAI even if RAW works and tells us something different" crowd.

Ferious Thune wrote:
You’ve chosen to interpret the FAQ as doing more than I interpret it does.

I'm not actually interpreting the FAQ differently then you do - I don't use the FAQ to gauge the RAW, but to gauge the RAI.

Scarab Sages

That's the point. You don't have a stat block to use if you're not turning into a specific creature. You can't just wave your hand and pretend like yig isn't a specific creature, or divorce that specificity from the stat entry.

If you use yig's stats then you're turning into a specific creature, which violates the restriction. Yig is a specific, unique creature. Yig being unique is part of the stat block.

So, again, you don't have a stat block that is a valid option for you to use to gain the same stats as yig without being yig.

You can't use yig as a blueprint because his entry lists him as unique. And even if it didn't, duplicating the stat block of a specific creature is blocked by that first sentence because that stat block is a specific creature. You can't simply claim to change hair color and then functionally duplicate a specific creature.

Stats come in two flavors. Generic entries like goblins, and specific creatures like named npcs and named, unique monsters.

If the stat block is a specific creature then you cannot use it. That first sentence blocks you from doing so. The unique creature is the stat block.

And that first sentence does apply in that manner.

As a player you can't hand wave a version of yig that isn't a specific creature into existence. You have to use the existing stat blocks.

I understand what you're trying to say and do. It just doesn't match what the rules say. You can't create a generic or altered version of a bestiary entry as a player. So you literally can't make yig but with green hair (second sentence) until you have selected yig which you can't do at all because of the first sentence. This whole argument reminds me of the accomplished sneak attacker thread and the posters arguing that, surely, the dice cap must only apply to the dice from the feat.

Anyways, you seem unlikely to acknowledge it so I'll just leave it here for everyone else.

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