Any Monk News?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Your "but is that not just a Fighter" arguments are kind of funny to me because that applies to your own definition of Monk, too. Fighters are entirely capable of "personal self-discipline in the sense of a set of beliefs", and that doesn't actually inform any sort of mechanics in how a Monk operates.

What really differentiates a Monk from other classes is being an unarmored, (usually) unarmed martial with significant magical abilities that aren't traditional spellcasting. Not really anything in there that prevents Monks from being charismatic, that's just a holdover from old editions of a game that isn't Pathfinder.


Arachnofiend wrote:
Your "but is that not just a Fighter" arguments are kind of funny to me because that applies to your own definition of Monk, too. Fighters are entirely capable of "personal self-discipline in the sense of a set of beliefs"

Except not really, because the "set of beliefs" portion is what defines the monk. Monks were originally alignment restricted, and often had mechanics that came with more restrictions (like the vows).

If you want to get really pedantic, you could say Ranger/Paladin fall into that as well.

The difference there being they are "Fighter + Nature" or "Fighter + Holy/Good".

It's how much the + comes into effect that defines them as different from a Fighter.

Painting something a "Monk" because it uses Fists is a problem for me, because Classes shouldn't be defined solely by a single mechanic. There should be a distinct narrative difference.

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What really differentiates a Monk

A bit abrasive and dismissive to say you have the real answers and what I said is wrong, but I'll just move on.

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is being an unarmored

Wizards, Sorcerors, Duelists, etc.

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(usually) unarmed martial

Not even true in the traditional context of the Monk. Zen Archers, Weapon Master Monks, Monk Weapons.

The fact that you had to add "usually" should already prove that point.

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significant magical abilities that aren't traditional spellcasting

This edition has certainly bolstered Ki, but they don't have claim to this either. Alchemist, Rogues, Rangers, Paladins, all have abilities that are magical in nature that not constitute traditional spellcasting.

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Not really anything in there that prevents Monks from being charismatic, that's just a holdover from old editions of a game that isn't Pathfinder.

I didn't say Monks couldn't be charismatic, I infact said the Fate based Monk and the Hungry Ghost Killer Monk were good examples.

What I did say, was the Scaled Fist seemed like a hollow representation of a Monk, and is really just a way to give a Monk a breath weapon and dragon-like abilities that slapped a "Cha" paint job on it.

Nothing about that archetype is particularly "monk-like" to me other than it uses a fist.

I digress. I never said CHA based monks weren't possible, just that they have niche concepts and could possibly just be another Class masquerading as a Monk.

To put your "holdover from old editions" comment, I would say your definition of "Unarmed" is a hold-over. Many Monks in literature/media do not use simply fists, nor are all of them unarmored.

Limiting the concept of a "Monk" to someone that uses fists and doesn't wear armor is silly. Monks have more narrative presence in "Ki" and "Self Discipline" than that.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Midnight, while I think you make good points, your most recent post reads a little hypocritical, I think unintentionally - you are calling out Arachnofiend for telling you what defines a monk, but you are in the same post telling them what defines a monk.

Liberty's Edge

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This just in- More exciting wild speculation!

Tonight at 11:

Jackie Chan wrote:
Everything is a weapon!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The Name of the Rose's monks are definitely INT-based ;-)

Practicing kata by rote again and again sounds like INT-based too.

What always struck me in the Monk was how good its saves were. And its mechanics tended to encourage this by focussing on CON, WIS, DEX

Paizo Employee Designer

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One time I was at a meeting where I was demoralized because it seemed that no matter what we did for monks, inevitably someone would be upset that it didn't do even more or cover some other particular case, in a way that didn't apply to any other class. Erik Mona said something extremely insightful that is relevant here: Most other classes fit a particular fictional archetype we have in our mind. Gandalf or Merlin might be our wizards, for instance, but Aragorn or Arthur are not. But monk? That class, unlike all the others in our collective imaginations is not trying to be that one character from our stories. Instead, it's trying to be everything in the wuxia genre at once, a genre that if we picked apart as finely as we did western fantasy when we separated in PF1, say, the fighter from the cavalier from the champion from the ranger and so on, you'd find wuxia is a rich and vibrant genre full of potential classes. So, Erik said, every time you write a monk, there's going to be an iconic wuxia moment where that monk doesn't handle it the same way, maybe a character with the greatest willpower known to humankind vs low willpower and highly adaptive, crazy fortitude and strength vs the sickly mystic who somehow kicks butt, and so on. So really, to follow Erik's insight at that meeting, everyone here is right about their vision of monk because of monk's unique scope in our collective imagination. It's also one reason why Logan's innovation for monks to be the class in the playtest that could choose their own path for saving throw progression was inspired, as it helped cover more ground.


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Mark Seifter wrote:
One time I was at a meeting where I was demoralized because it seemed that no matter what we did for monks, inevitably someone would be upset that it didn't do even more or cover some other particular case, in a way that didn't apply to any other class. Erik Mona said something extremely insightful that is relevant here: Most other classes fit a particular fictional archetype we have in our mind. Gandalf or Merlin might be our wizards, for instance, but Aragorn or Arthur are not. But monk? That class, unlike all the others in our collective imaginations is not trying to be that one character from our stories. Instead, it's trying to be everything in the wuxia genre at once, a genre that if we picked apart as finely as we did western fantasy when we separated in PF1, say, the fighter from the cavalier from the champion from the ranger and so on, you'd find wuxia is a rich and vibrant genre full of potential classes. So, Erik said, every time you write a monk, there's going to be an iconic wuxia moment where that monk doesn't handle it the same way, maybe a character with the greatest willpower known to humankind vs low willpower and highly adaptive, crazy fortitude and strength vs the sickly mystic who somehow kicks butt, and so on. So really, to follow Erik's insight at that meeting, everyone here is right about their vision of monk because of monk's unique scope in our collective imagination. It's also one reason why Logan's innovation for monks to be the class in the playtest that could choose their own path for saving throw progression was inspired, as it helped cover more ground.

In that light, I almost feel like there should be a wuxia archetype or series of wuxia archetypes that covers the wuxia setting rather than try to fit all of it into the monk class. "Brawler" would be the non-setting-specific unarmed class in that paradigm. I imagine that ship has sailed though.


So I'm left to wonder, is it necessary to try to fit the entire Wuxia genre into a single class? After all other genres that the game borrows from or dabbles in (e.g. horror, intrigue) belong to a number of different classes.

I mean, if I want to build Tang Sanzang as a Pathfinder character, well yeah that should be a monk. But if I wanted to build a Pathfinder character based on, say, Zhuge Liang does that need to be a monk? Could he be a wizard or a druid or a rogue or an alchemist instead? Do we have or should we supply the tools to make that character feel like a Wuxia character that inspired it, and not the iconic western character that inspired it? I mean other than "multiclass monk" that is.

Paizo Employee Designer

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PossibleCabbage wrote:

So I'm left to wonder, is it necessary to try to fit the entire Wuxia genre into a single class? After all other genres that the game borrows from or dabbles in (e.g. horror, intrigue) belong to a number of different classes.

I mean, if I want to build Tang Sanzang as a Pathfinder character, well yeah that should be a monk. But if I wanted to build a Pathfinder character based on, say, Zhuge Liang does that need to be a monk? Could he be a wizard or a druid or a rogue or an alchemist instead? Do we have or should we supply the tools to make that character feel like a Wuxia character that inspired it, and not the iconic western character that inspired it? I mean other than "multiclass monk" that is.

The issue is, the fandom is so invested in monk as a wuxia singularity, at this point, that many different people have many different sections of wuxia that most iconically mean "monk" to them. It's why even if you design the monk by looking at complaints and criticisms people had about a previous monk, you will always find a new segment that isn't quite happy with the new monk because you've moved out of their sweet spot. Think of it as everyone having a circle somewhere in the wuxia ideaspace that represents "monk" to them, forming an enormous Venn Diagram where's there's not really a shape you can pick that overlaps them all.

That's not to say that monk is a formless amalgamation of those ideas; each time a monk is iterated, it attempts to cohere a solid core that can cover a good region and also introduce newcomers to what it means to be a 'monk.' It just means intrinsically you won't cover everyone's best idea of monk in that coherent definition, but new archetypes and options will help. Honestly with the way rarity and genre overlays can work, I'd be fascinated to see a wuxia genre overlay that covers all the niches with new common classes designed to tell those wuxia stories (pretty niche so likely a 3rd party product).


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MaxAstro wrote:
Midnight, while I think you make good points, your most recent post reads a little hypocritical, I think unintentionally - you are calling out Arachnofiend for telling you what defines a monk, but you are in the same post telling them what defines a monk.

Fair.


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Because of it's connection to the Wuxia genre, and lack of connection to monks in general, I do wish the class was named something else. Like Youxia for example. So we could still have the word Monk to refer to religious acetics, who aren't martial artists. Brother Cadfael wouldn't be the monk class, no face-punching or hadukens (maybe some investigator subtype would fit). I know I'm really tilting at windmills here, it's too well ingrained to change now. Barbarian should also be renamed Berserker and Spell Levels should be called... well almost anything but spell levels. I also wish for a billion dollars, world peace and more wishes.


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I feel like we're stuck with "monk" for legacy reasons like how it's always going to be "longsword" not "arming sword" and how the falchion in this game is nothing like a real one.


If monk is doing so much heavy lifting, I hope the monk multiclass feat gets spiced up enough to carry some monkness to the other classes.

Paizo Employee Designer

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ErichAD wrote:
If monk is doing so much heavy lifting, I hope the monk multiclass feat gets spiced up enough to carry some monkness to the other classes.

I feel like the rogue with monk multiclass I built is incredibly powerful, but I also felt that way about the one I built in the playtest. I never got to play it though, so didn't test to see if it was as good as it looked on paper. Did anyone here test it in the playtest? Flurry of sneak attacks with Wolf or Tiger Style to give you a very powerful agile finesse attack is really good.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Did anyone here test it in the playtest? Flurry of sneak attacks with Wolf or Tiger Style to give you a very powerful agile finesse attack is really good.

I was going to, but we discussed it and it was decided that wolf jaw or tiger claw attacks would not benefit from finesse striker (and indeed should not, lest the rogue become a better unarmed combatant than the monk) the interest waned. I did play a monk who multiclassed rogue, but that was for skills and to get all three saves at master- this was my first playtest character who took the rogue dedication to grab stealth as a signature skill, back when we had those.


Mark Seifter wrote:
I feel like the rogue with monk multiclass I built is incredibly powerful, but I also felt that way about the one I built in the playtest. I never got to play it though, so didn't test to see if it was as good as it looked on paper. Did anyone here test it in the playtest? Flurry of sneak attacks with Wolf or Tiger Style to give you a very powerful agile finesse attack is really good.

I think of Monk of the Mantis when I think of the Monk/Rogue, which is a fun way to try and capture the feel of Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star. Striking vital points to do massive damage.

My personal Monk eventually went from Vanilla Unchained Monk to a Serpent Fire Adept, all for spiritual reasons after recognizing his flaws from focusing on the body moreso.

I saw so many posts just dogging Chakras, but man, they were both amazing and fun for me, plus a great opportunity to explore a more non-religious spirituality.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished Monk in 2E, as I enjoyed a lot of the concepts from the playtest, but want to see where it's fallen.

Being a Monk tank is a special kind of fun, glad to see that's being helped early game.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like we're stuck with "monk" for legacy reasons like how it's always going to be "longsword" not "arming sword" and how the falchion in this game is nothing like a real one.

I agree. But doesn't everyone need an entirely impossible (and kind of trivial) cause that they care about and nobody else does? Or is that just me?


Excaliburproxy wrote:


In that light, I almost feel like there should be a wuxia archetype or series of wuxia archetypes that covers the wuxia setting rather than try to fit all of it into the monk class. "Brawler" would be the non-setting-specific unarmed class in that paradigm. I imagine that ship has sailed though.

An unarmed only class isn't really "enough" of a Class to me.

If the only thing that defines you is your weapon of choice, that's an archetype at best to me, since no other Class operates that way.

Classes generally have a strong underlying concept that shapes them, not just a "I use fists", especially since there are plenty of characters that are not "Brawlers" that do use fists (Indiana Jones, Ethan Hunt, James Bond, The Mountain, etc.) that are most certainly not "unarmed unarmored" combatants.

Now I think the "Wuxia everything" into Monk is a bit of an overstep, but certainly the idea of a Class centered on mysticism and inner strength is a concept you could work with.

When I think of all the Classes, I feel like Monk is less of the "wuxia" class (though it is that for sure) and more of the antithesis to the Barbarian.

Instead of bursts of raging fury with ostentatious displays of raw power, they could be an inverse to that paradigm (or various other things I'm sure).

But more than all of that, I think the "little slice of wuxia" would be multiclassing into Monk and making your concept work instead of trying to morph Monk into being all those concepts.

Those are just my opinions of course, and Monk is one of the more controversial classes in regards to what it is expected to "be".

Unarmed Combatant just doesn't feel like enough of a Class concept, especially when I think about Classes that should be able to use fists that will likely never be able to if such a Class's only concept was that it used fists.

Ki/Discipline are the fundamentals of the Monk for me (and honestly of most martial arts in general) so that's what they will be to me. That doesn't mean I think everyone from Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon is a Monk, but maybe some of those people have multiclass monk and maybe some don't.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

As an example of how much Monk opinions vary, people keep mentioning fists.

The thing I care about with Monk is having hands free while I go around kicking people. Then I can do something stylish, like play the flute in melee combat.


My current thought process of the monk is it is the action movie class. That can be wuxia, but the current model can also do high octane western action as well, stuff like the Winter Soldier.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Oh, that's a good point. Bucky is absolutely a monk. For that matter, Black Widow is a monk/rogue multiclass of some variety, and Cap is probably a fighter multiclassed into monk.

Liberty's Edge

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MaxAstro wrote:
Oh, that's a good point. Bucky is absolutely a monk. For that matter, Black Widow is a monk/rogue multiclass of some variety, and Cap is probably a fighter multiclassed into monk.

Captain America is a Paladin (or at least a Champion...he can be argued as NG, though I disagree) and I will fight anyone who says otherwise.

Well, not really, but I do feel strongly about it. :)


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I think PF2 can make a really good cap using monk and paladin for Multiclassing.

Silver Crusade

I have been wanting to play a Captain America shield-and-fists warrior concept. Maybe I'll try that for my first PF2 character, see how the system handles it.


Mark Seifter wrote:
ErichAD wrote:
If monk is doing so much heavy lifting, I hope the monk multiclass feat gets spiced up enough to carry some monkness to the other classes.
I feel like the rogue with monk multiclass I built is incredibly powerful, but I also felt that way about the one I built in the playtest. I never got to play it though, so didn't test to see if it was as good as it looked on paper. Did anyone here test it in the playtest? Flurry of sneak attacks with Wolf or Tiger Style to give you a very powerful agile finesse attack is really good.

This was more a concern over flavor. It's been a while since I looked at the multiclass feats and I no longer have a copy, but if my memory is accurate, that first feat gave most players only an unarmed strike damage boost which didn't seem like enough to convey the multiclassing through play. If we're talking about the monk concept not being purely about unarmed strikes, then the multiclass feat isn't or wasn't doing the job.

Just going from memory, I believe it was pretty late before you could pick up anything like mobility or unarmored defenses(8 or 11?), and it wasn't enough to support the monk idea in either case. I could be wrong though.

With the monk stances being so similar to exotic weapon proficiencies the multiclass monk didn't have enough of a draw for my table to use it. That being the case, I didn't get a chance to see it in action.


ErichAD wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
ErichAD wrote:
If monk is doing so much heavy lifting, I hope the monk multiclass feat gets spiced up enough to carry some monkness to the other classes.
I feel like the rogue with monk multiclass I built is incredibly powerful, but I also felt that way about the one I built in the playtest. I never got to play it though, so didn't test to see if it was as good as it looked on paper. Did anyone here test it in the playtest? Flurry of sneak attacks with Wolf or Tiger Style to give you a very powerful agile finesse attack is really good.

This was more a concern over flavor. It's been a while since I looked at the multiclass feats and I no longer have a copy, but if my memory is accurate, that first feat gave most players only an unarmed strike damage boost which didn't seem like enough to convey the multiclassing through play. If we're talking about the monk concept not being purely about unarmed strikes, then the multiclass feat isn't or wasn't doing the job.

Just going from memory, I believe it was pretty late before you could pick up anything like mobility or unarmored defenses(8 or 11?), and it wasn't enough to support the monk idea in either case. I could be wrong though.

With the monk stances being so similar to exotic weapon proficiencies the multiclass monk didn't have enough of a draw for my table to use it. That being the case, I didn't get a chance to see it in action.

I doubt Mark was trying to make his rogue unarmored. Probably just going for stances and eventually flurry.

Which I think is fairly fine. If you don't want to wear armor, you should be a monk and Multiclass into whatever else. (Unless you're going for some thing like Draconic Sorcerer.) But if you are fine with wearing armor Multiclassing lets you cherry pick the monk stuff that works with it.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Oh, that's a good point. Bucky is absolutely a monk. For that matter, Black Widow is a monk/rogue multiclass of some variety, and Cap is probably a fighter multiclassed into monk.

Captain America is a Paladin (or at least a Champion...he can be argued as NG, though I disagree) and I will fight anyone who says otherwise.

Well, not really, but I do feel strongly about it. :)

No, that's totally fair. Civil War certainly showed that he's LG in the truest since - he has an incredibly strong personal code, and he honestly doesn't care what other people tell him is right, because he knows better.

EDIT: Also while Smite Evil doesn't quite fit his style, Retributive Strike absolutely does; I think PF2e Paladin is an even better fit for him than PF1e Paladin.

Imagine a feat that lets you throw your shield to make a Retributive Strike at a distance and you pretty much have Cap right there. :)


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MaxAstro wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Oh, that's a good point. Bucky is absolutely a monk. For that matter, Black Widow is a monk/rogue multiclass of some variety, and Cap is probably a fighter multiclassed into monk.

Captain America is a Paladin (or at least a Champion...he can be argued as NG, though I disagree) and I will fight anyone who says otherwise.

Well, not really, but I do feel strongly about it. :)

No, that's totally fair. Civil War certainly showed that he's LG in the truest since - he has an incredibly strong personal code, and he honestly doesn't care what other people tell him is right, because he knows better.

EDIT: Also while Smite Evil doesn't quite fit his style, Retributive Strike absolutely does; I think PF2e Paladin is an even better fit for him than PF1e Paladin.

Imagine a feat that lets you throw your shield to make a Retributive Strike at a distance and you pretty much have Cap right there. :)

I'd probably make him with monk as the base and multiclass into Paladin, because unarmed combat and mobility are a big part of his fighting style and magical healing and heavy armir are not. But he'd certainly be taking stuff like Retributive Strike and Righteous Ally for his shield. Flurry also seems really nice when paired with raising a shield.

The main thing we need back is throwing shields, and the returning rune does the rest of the work for us.


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MaxAstro wrote:
Oh, that's a good point. Bucky is absolutely a monk. For that matter, Black Widow is a monk/rogue multiclass of some variety, and Cap is probably a fighter multiclassed into monk.

I would argue that Bucky isn't a Monk, that he is just a Fighter for a variety of reasons.

For one, he's proficient with firearms, something a Monk probably isn't proficient with.

Two, he's an expert covert ops person, which sort of makes him Rogue-like.

Now this is going to sound out there but I would call him a Ranger that is proficient in a variety of weapons and hand-to-hand combat.

But on the note of superheroes:

Daredevil to me is the epitome of a Monk, down to the AC bonuses, the uncanny dodge, the fists and bow-staff/nunchucks, the training he receives from Stick, etc.

And Daredevil isn't a "wuxia" type to me.

But again, just stirring the pot.

List of super heroes that use fists to fight that I don't think qualify as "Monks":

- Hulk - gotta be a barb
- Cap - As DMW said Pal-adin for sure
- Black Widow - Probably a Rogue (firearms and covert ops)
- Black Panther - Probably a Ranger but maybe a Monk, hard to say

Now for another favorite "Monk" type that isn't Wuxia and is a Superhero to me:

Spiderman! Uncanny senses, extra sensory perception, proficient throw anything and fists, unarmored, etc.

Now superheroes aren't the most amazing for Classes, since they also get powers (which you could argue isn't Class related) but if anything to me this furthers the point that simply being good at Unarmed Strikes is not the same as being a Monk.

Of course all of the above comes with a asterisk* of my opinion, but this "make your heroes" via Classes has been something since I watched Scorpion King with the Rock and my siblings and I were classifying his Longbow as a Mighty Composite +5, so it's a lot of fun to think in that space.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I think the thing is that no one thinks of "unarmed combat" as what defines the monk, but what many people do think of is "superhuman martial arts".

The Hulk fights with his bare hands, but is certainly not a martial artist. Meanwhile, Black Widow often uses a variety of weapons but I still think of her as a monk because her fighting style is very much "superhuman martial arts".


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Captain Morgan wrote:
ErichAD wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
ErichAD wrote:
If monk is doing so much heavy lifting, I hope the monk multiclass feat gets spiced up enough to carry some monkness to the other classes.
I feel like the rogue with monk multiclass I built is incredibly powerful, but I also felt that way about the one I built in the playtest. I never got to play it though, so didn't test to see if it was as good as it looked on paper. Did anyone here test it in the playtest? Flurry of sneak attacks with Wolf or Tiger Style to give you a very powerful agile finesse attack is really good.

This was more a concern over flavor. It's been a while since I looked at the multiclass feats and I no longer have a copy, but if my memory is accurate, that first feat gave most players only an unarmed strike damage boost which didn't seem like enough to convey the multiclassing through play. If we're talking about the monk concept not being purely about unarmed strikes, then the multiclass feat isn't or wasn't doing the job.

Just going from memory, I believe it was pretty late before you could pick up anything like mobility or unarmored defenses(8 or 11?), and it wasn't enough to support the monk idea in either case. I could be wrong though.

With the monk stances being so similar to exotic weapon proficiencies the multiclass monk didn't have enough of a draw for my table to use it. That being the case, I didn't get a chance to see it in action.

I doubt Mark was trying to make his rogue unarmored. Probably just going for stances and eventually flurry.

Which I think is fairly fine. If you don't want to wear armor, you should be a monk and Multiclass into whatever else. (Unless you're going for some thing like Draconic Sorcerer.) But if you are fine with wearing armor Multiclassing lets you cherry pick the monk stuff that works with it.

My point is that you only get access to the attacks portion of the monk kit. And since the monk's attack and defense set up is pretty mutually integrated you end up with a character that is just a punching version of their original class rather than one that feels like X+monk.

The monk class is really well designed, and I think that makes it hard to pull out pieces and add them to other classes without losing the monk feel or over powering the parent class. That said, fighter with punches or wizard with punches, doesn't really work out to a mix of the two classes. Like you say, you need to start with monk in most scenarios, a trait sort of unique to the monk in multiclassing.


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MaxAstro wrote:
Black Widow often uses a variety of weapons but I still think of her as a monk because her fighting style is very much "superhuman martial arts".

I think I can agree with that to a point, it just depends on the mix of multiclass I suppose.

That said I do wish there were options for non-monks to break out into the UAS space, that way you could firmly define Monks in the "Martial Arts/Ki" territory instead of the "I have to be a Monk, because otherwise I can't punch people effectively"

The latter is certainly the go-to reason to pick a Monk, and while I am not saying give all Monk goodies to everyone, I do think there should be a way for non-monks to get UAS and UAS Damage increases.

Then you can reserve the "Monk" flavored pieces (stances, Ki, strikes, monk weapons, striking those with your hands full, expert grappling, etc.) to just the Monk and give the other classes the option.

After all, the first weapon most people learn to use even in IRL is often their own fist (even if it's a primitive method). To me, an adventurer should be trained in an Unarmed Punch in the same way that all adventurers are trained in being Unarmored.

Again personal opinions, and like Doktor Weasel, this might be the hill I die on that's never going to happen.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I enjoyed the Monk a lot in the playtest.
I actually try to play a Monk at least once in every iteration of D&D/Pathfinder and this was the first Monk that operated and felt unique from core content which I was really pleased by.
The highly mobile hard hitter concept was actually realised in the new three action economy and it felt good.
I also multiclassed rogue and it was handy, though my hopes are for some more tempting Class and Skill feats in the full second edition.


Midnightoker wrote:


I would argue that Bucky isn't a Monk, that he is just a Fighter for a variety of reasons.

For one, he's proficient with firearms, something a Monk probably isn't proficient with.

Two, he's an expert covert ops person, which sort of makes him Rogue-like.

Now this is going to sound out there but I would call him a Ranger that is proficient in a variety of weapons and hand-to-hand combat.

You say he's not a monk, but you also can't decide between 3 other classes in this post. :P I actually think Monk who picks up firearm proficiency pretty well cover Bucky, because while he's good with the gun he is better hand to hand and doesn't incorporate into his CQC a la John Wick. (John Wick would be a decent example of a Zen Archer but with guns instead of bows, I think, though you could also play him as something tankier.)

Quote:

But on the note of superheroes:

Daredevil to me is the epitome of a Monk, down to the AC bonuses, the uncanny dodge, the fists and bow-staff/nunchucks, the training he receives from Stick, etc.

And Daredevil isn't a "wuxia" type to me.

Daredevil's training is explicitly rooted in Eastern martial arts practices. The fact that he's appropriating it as a white man doesn't feel like enough to disqualify him from being wuxia, although it is possible that I am misinterpreting you and what you mean is that not all Eastern martial arts mechanic strike you as "wuxia."

I do agree that Daredevil and Spider-Man would be monks though.

ErichAD wrote:

My point is that you only get access to the attacks portion of the monk kit. And since the monk's attack and defense set up is pretty mutually integrated you end up with a character that is just a punching version of their original class rather than one that feels like X+monk.

The monk class is really well designed, and I think that makes it hard to pull out pieces and add them to other classes without losing the monk feel or over powering the parent class. That said, fighter with punches or wizard with punches, doesn't really work out to a mix of the two classes. Like you say, you need to start with monk in most scenarios, a trait sort of unique to the monk in multiclassing.

Isn't that sort of the point of multiclassing though? Or at least under the new super flexible system? You get to pick the parts of the class that you want without just becoming that class entirely?

Like, a fighter can spend two feats to multiclass into monk and then have better accuracy with fists than the monk does. He's still not the total monk package, because that's why you play the monk in the first place.

I think you're right that the monk has a stronger flavor niche than, say, the fighter, but that's mostly because the fighter has always been the bland one. Paladins are pretty similar to the monk-- to really be a paladin you need to have the amazing defenses, the holy flavor, the healing, the combat prowess, the ability to shield your allies... If you only get one or two of those things from multiclassing you won't really feel like a paladin.

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That said I do wish there were options for non-monks to break out into the UAS space, that way you could firmly define Monks in the "Martial Arts/Ki" territory instead of the "I have to be a Monk, because otherwise I can't punch people effectively"

There already are some-- ape totem barbarian basically just punches people. But as is, you really just need the dedication and a single stance feat to punch good, so the multiclass rules cover this pretty well.

But I'm sure we will get more class specific options as well, much as we got the Brawler as a fighter archetype and eventually the brawler class in PF1.

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After all, the first weapon most people learn to use even in IRL is often their own fist (even if it's a primitive method). To me, an adventurer should be trained in an Unarmed Punch in the same way that all adventurers are trained in being Unarmored.

They are now? All characters are trained in unarmed strikes. PF1 was the version where you needed a feat to avoid provoking and such. Most characters don't deal nearly as much damage with their fists as their magic sword, but they also are usually better off in their magic armor than simply relying on being trained in unarmored. Learning to make your fists as effective as a longsword is still doable, but you actually have to learn it, which seems pretty consistent with both genre expectations and how the monk and multiclassing currently operates.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Midnightoker wrote:


Except not really, because the "set of beliefs" portion is what defines the monk. Monks were originally alignment restricted, and often had mechanics that came with more restrictions (like the vows).

Just pointing out that absolutely nothing in the playtest version of the monk reinforces this point. Barbarians (of all characters) are forced by mechanics to be more disciplined in the playtest than monks. I agree with you that monks should be defined by their self discipline, but in the playtest that was a flavor, RP prompt that could use as easily have been attached to any other set of class mechanics.

This is partly why I want monk schools, and why I said anathemas would fit the class lore. They’d be able to tie the flavor stated in the introduction to the class into the class itself.


I, for one, love that Monks don't have any anathema associated with them and don't feel like its inclusion would do the class any favors. It's there in the fluff, making the character's adherence to any behavioral strictures 100% an opt-in choice on the part of the player, rather than something I'd have to bribe the GM into ignoring when it doesn't suit a given character.


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Midnightoker wrote:
Int is hard for me to visualize, perhaps someone else can paint the picture for me there.

I could see a martial art based around prediction and precision - you might not hit people super-hard, but you hit them in just the right place. Your opponents miss you, because you have analyzed their fighting style and determined the perfect counter.

I mean, I'm not sure it's a good idea, but it can be done.


AnimatedPaper wrote:
Just pointing out that absolutely nothing in the playtest version of the monk reinforces this point.

Oh sure, the current Playtest kind of deviates from this, but previous editions certainly had that motif.

The idea that Monks aren't dictated by a set of beliefs makes the term "Monk" even less appropriate.

Captain Morgan wrote:
Daredevil's training is explicitly rooted in Eastern martial arts practices. The fact that he's appropriating it as a white man doesn't feel like enough to disqualify him from being wuxia, although it is possible that I am misinterpreting you and what you mean is that not all Eastern martial arts mechanic strike you as "wuxia."

It is certainly the latter, but also to add to that his ideology is firmly rooted in Catholicism as opposed to Eastern Philosophies.

His perception based powers are also very "monk-like" but have little to nothing to do with his training.

And lets not forget, he was also trained as a boxer (like his father) which is a western style of fighting.

BTW I am speaking more about the comics DD than I am the popular Netflix show, though I will say the show, which is decidedly more "wuxia".

Captain Morgan wrote:
You say he's not a monk, but you also can't decide between 3 other classes in this post. :P

Indeed my comment is a bit of stream of consciousness lol

I think I feel comfortable saying Ranger as a final though, especially due to his field operative skills (honestly a lot of soldiers fit well there).

Captain Morgan wrote:
John Wick would be a decent example of a Zen Archer but with guns instead of bows, I think, though you could also play him as something tankier

I think John is a great example of a Monk, especially because of how advanced his martial arts are (Keanu is mad good at BJJ and Judo) and I could certainly see the Zen Archer working. He also has other Monk like characteristics (his mysticism is not eastern, but still there) with perception and ideology.

Bucky is a bit harder to pin down, but I think Monk multiclass might make sense.

Captain Morgan wrote:
they are now?

I should clarify that I mean lethal, and for damage to be possible to be increased (and not as truncated due to non-magical applications for damage).

Now while I don't think the damage should increase by default, I don't think all fist strikes should be automatically nonlethal (but the choice should exist). If you are trying to be lethal with a fist, that's not something that takes martial arts to be able to do (accidental deaths due to punching can certainly occur before the person goes unconscious IRL, let alone game logic).

But all this really boils down to one thing CM:

We view what role the monk fills differently. To me, there needs to be more narrative oomph with stances, ki, ideology, and martial arts. Being able to damage/kill something with your bare hands is not a Monk for me, that's just a warrior.

And here I stand on the hill to die X.X


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Tectorman wrote:
I, for one, love that Monks don't have any anathema associated with them and don't feel like its inclusion would do the class any favors. It's there in the fluff, making the character's adherence to any behavioral strictures 100% an opt-in choice on the part of the player, rather than something I'd have to bribe the GM into ignoring when it doesn't suit a given character.

I feel like if you're only concept of respecting your "school/order" anathema is it's an "inconvenience" then that sort of defeats the purpose of the Monk.

In fact, I'd wager that you'd opt not to play the Monk at all if there were other options available (ala a Fighter that can effectively kill things with his fists/kicks).

Ultimately, a "Monk" is supposed to be governed by some kind of belief system, because the term is "Monk" and they are Martial Artists.

Anyone that has studied martial arts knows that there are "rules" and ideologies associated with those martial arts. Concepts underlying the art itself.

It's theorized that Yoga was the original branch from which all martial arts eventually grew, and it is heavily rooted in ideologies and concepts. To no surprise, 3 centuries later the oldest martial art is founded in the same region.

Lots of MA seek inner peace, personal growth, and other things of those nature.

Thus the divide I have with "I can punch" to "I am a martial artist".

If a Monk is meant to represent the latter and not the former, then ideologies and anathema's have a place in them.

Not to say I'd be crazy about Anathema's over say just a certain set of motives, but the point of ideologies being a cornerstone of a martial artist stands.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I stand by you on "being able to kill someone with your bare hands is not a Monk", but my take is "being able to kill someone with your bare hands in such a way that onlookers are saying 'WTF just happened?!' is a Monk."

:P

I don't feel that Ki and ideology have to be part of it, though. Like I would definitely say John Wick has monk as his class, but he definitely doesn't really have the Ki or ideology thing going on.

EDIT: Also, that's narrative; mechanically speaking I think Paizo has hit upon exactly the right niche for the monk. Highly mobile heavy hitter that prefers not to take hits is 100% right in my opinion.


MaxAstro wrote:
I stand by you on "being able to kill someone with your bare hands is not a Monk", but my take is "being able to kill someone with your bare hands in such a way that onlookers are saying 'WTF just happened?!' is a Monk."

Thus the art part of the martial art.

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Like I would definitely say John Wick has monk as his class, but he definitely doesn't really have the Ki or ideology thing going on.

I actually firmly disagree on the ideology aspect, as he belongs to an order that has a very specific set of rules that he has adhered to for quite a long time.

If that's not ideology, idk what you could say qualifies.

As for the ki bit, he's certainly lucky and perceptive, but Ki is optional in the new edition so it's technically not necessary.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Staffan Johansson wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
Int is hard for me to visualize, perhaps someone else can paint the picture for me there.

I could see a martial art based around prediction and precision - you might not hit people super-hard, but you hit them in just the right place. Your opponents miss you, because you have analyzed their fighting style and determined the perfect counter.

I mean, I'm not sure it's a good idea, but it can be done.

So this scene from 1:40? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGCMfprPJoA


Malk_Content wrote:
Staffan Johansson wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
Int is hard for me to visualize, perhaps someone else can paint the picture for me there.

I could see a martial art based around prediction and precision - you might not hit people super-hard, but you hit them in just the right place. Your opponents miss you, because you have analyzed their fighting style and determined the perfect counter.

I mean, I'm not sure it's a good idea, but it can be done.

So this scene from 1:40? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGCMfprPJoA

Haha

Spot on Malk, spot on.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tectorman wrote:
I, for one, love that Monks don't have any anathema associated with them and don't feel like its inclusion would do the class any favors. It's there in the fluff, making the character's adherence to any behavioral strictures 100% an opt-in choice on the part of the player, rather than something I'd have to bribe the GM into ignoring when it doesn't suit a given character.

Well, I would definitely also want to see a "Brawler" school with an anathema of "meh. Don't die I guess" so that people could opt out easily, assuming they even went that way at all.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Midnightoker wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:
Staffan Johansson wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:
Int is hard for me to visualize, perhaps someone else can paint the picture for me there.

I could see a martial art based around prediction and precision - you might not hit people super-hard, but you hit them in just the right place. Your opponents miss you, because you have analyzed their fighting style and determined the perfect counter.

I mean, I'm not sure it's a good idea, but it can be done.

So this scene from 1:40? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGCMfprPJoA

Haha

Spot on Malk, spot on.

I loved that movie, but even if I didn't, it would be awesome just for that scene. It was showing a very important facet of Sherlock that have been traditionally completely ignored... his combat prowess. Hell, he event did some Bartitsu... (ok ok, that was mostly Conan Doyle jumping the bandwagon of the popularity of the martial art fad, but still.)


Midnightoker wrote:
Tectorman wrote:
I, for one, love that Monks don't have any anathema associated with them and don't feel like its inclusion would do the class any favors. It's there in the fluff, making the character's adherence to any behavioral strictures 100% an opt-in choice on the part of the player, rather than something I'd have to bribe the GM into ignoring when it doesn't suit a given character.

I feel like if you're only concept of respecting your "school/order" anathema is it's an "inconvenience" then that sort of defeats the purpose of the Monk.

In fact, I'd wager that you'd opt not to play the Monk at all if there were other options available (ala a Fighter that can effectively kill things with his fists/kicks).

Ultimately, a "Monk" is supposed to be governed by some kind of belief system, because the term is "Monk" and they are Martial Artists.

Anyone that has studied martial arts knows that there are "rules" and ideologies associated with those martial arts. Concepts underlying the art itself.

It's theorized that Yoga was the original branch from which all martial arts eventually grew, and it is heavily rooted in ideologies and concepts. To no surprise, 3 centuries later the oldest martial art is founded in the same region.

Lots of MA seek inner peace, personal growth, and other things of those nature.

Thus the divide I have with "I can punch" to "I am a martial artist".

If a Monk is meant to represent the latter and not the former, then ideologies and anathema's have a place in them.

Not to say I'd be crazy about Anathema's over say just a certain set of motives, but the point of ideologies being a cornerstone of a martial artist stands.

I think there's a distinction that I need to make. You appear to be talking about Monk the Concept (and I don't have a problem with Anathemas being associated with the Concept). I'm just hoping Anathemas don't come anywhere near Monk the Class.

And just to be clear, I do not and will never consider Class to equal Concept. Concept can inspire Class and hopefully the Class will both do justice to expressing that Concept and allowing it to stay relevant at all levels (one of the reasons for a new edition), but forcibly marrying a collection of class features and abilities to any interpretation, even the one that originally inspired the Class, is a step too far. This means I consider the character who got all of his Fighter Class abilities from a monastery to be Monk the Concept, even if the character doesn't even have a Monk Dedication feat. And in like fashion, having class features from Monk the Class doesn't mean the character need ever have seen the inside of a monastery.

As an example, consider the Spirit Bomb homebrew featured in this very thread. Thematically, it's a technique that requires the user to feel a deep connection with the natural world. One could require such a technique to only be available to those who abide by a requirement to respect all life, even to the point of treating the consumption of meat as an Anathema, and that would be a plausible interpretation of the technique even if the source material doesn't have that be the case. Yet, once you've done that, you've curtailed the very character this homebrewed technique is made for (after all, Goku doesn't take kindly to not being allowed to eat bacon). It's fine as an opt-in choice; it's detrimental as something the player has to duck out from under.

And just in case you're thinking that that's hyperbole on my part, remember the Druid in the playtest. The playtest Druid has four major routes he can go, one of which is weather-centric (for all the players itching to use the Druid Class to have fun playing with the weather and going all Storm or Thor on their adversaries). Yet, to avoid having to duck out from under a GM imposing an Anathema violation on them, such a player is best advised to not touch the Storm order with a ten-foot pole. Go Wild order or Leaf order and then ignore those abilities so you can throw hurricanes around like you wanted to anyway.

Now, if Paizo were to put in big and explicit text that all Anathemas (with the possible exception of Superstitious, since that's actually supposed to be a trade on a game mechanics level) were entirely opt-in on the player's part, then it'd be fine to put Anathema suggestions on pretty much anything in the game. I don't see that happening, though.


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When I read the post about the Int monk I was thinking about that very Sherlock Holmes scene...


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Tectorman wrote:
I think there's a distinction that I need to make. You appear to be talking about Monk the Concept (and I don't have a problem with Anathemas being associated with the Concept). I'm just hoping Anathemas don't come anywhere near Monk the Class.

I'm fine with them not getting an anathema, I'm not fine with them being a blank slate that uses fists (aka just a Fighter but can kick, punch, and grapple better).

But again, I'd state that if you're playing a Class and you select something with an anathema, and your first response is "how do I get out of this?" then maybe you picked the wrong Class option?

Like if I picked a Paladin, but I wanted to kill indiscriminately, then maybe I should just play a fighter.

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And just to be clear, I do not and will never consider Class to equal Concept.

Well, I would consider a Class a vehicle for a concept. They are closely tethered.

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forcibly marrying a collection of class features and abilities to any interpretation, even the one that originally inspired the Class, is a step too far

Define "forcibly marry" I suppose. Fighters are "Forcibly Married" to being good with weapons. Wizards are "Forcibly Married" to using spell books. Champions are Forcibly Married to having a code and being Good.

It sounds like you just don't want the monk to be anything other than the "I kill stuff with my bare hands" guy.

Now I'm all for having that as an option (the anti-school school if you will) but making it the default doesn't sit right with me personally.

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Thematically, it's a technique that requires the user to feel a deep connection with the natural world. One could require such a technique to only be available to those who abide by a requirement to respect all life, even to the point of treating the consumption of meat as an Anathema, and that would be a plausible interpretation of the technique even if the source material doesn't have that be the case. Yet, once you've done that, you've curtailed the very character this homebrewed technique is made for (after all, Goku doesn't take kindly to not being allowed to eat bacon). It's fine as an opt-in choice; it's detrimental as something the player has to duck out from under.

You've created a theoretical slippery slope argument here. How you interpret having a broad stroke anathema to mean "you can't eat meat because you respect nature" is ridiculous.

Druids don't even operate that way, and there are plenty of ways to respect nature while still fitting into the food chain (see Native Americans treatment of the buffalo for instance).

This is a serious reach.

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Now, if Paizo were to put in big and explicit text that all Anathemas (with the possible exception of Superstitious, since that's actually supposed to be a trade on a game mechanics level) were entirely opt-in on the player's part, then it'd be fine to put Anathema suggestions on pretty much anything in the game. I don't see that happening, though.

All of them are optional.

If you don't want the anathema, you don't get the bag of goodies it comes with. It's that simple.

Even in the case of the Storm Druid as you mention, it specifically states destroying the environment and it being unnatural.

That's a pretty niche situation unless you are conjuring snowstorms in the desert and freezing a bunch of the wildlife to death.

Anyways, you have a problem with Anathemas, which I didn't even advise. I said they should have some kind of governing belief system, which Paizo has done with a few ways, one being anathemas.

There is more than one way to deliver that feel.


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Midnightoker wrote:


It is certainly the latter, but also to add to that his ideology is firmly rooted in Catholicism as opposed to Eastern Philosophies.

And lets not forget, he was also trained as a boxer (like his father) which is a western style of fighting.

I'm just saying using a guy with mystical ninja training who fights mystical ninjas seems like a weird case to point to for "not wuxia." Though at this point I suspect we are mostly just talking semantics, as we both agree Dare Devil is a monk.

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His perception based powers are also very "monk-like" but have little to nothing to do with his training.

Actually, its been established in canon (and probably also ignored) that Matt's accident just let him tap into something he could have done anyway with the right training. And even ignoring that, he clearly needed the focus of the training to filter out his noise for his senses to be anything other than a crippling curse.

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BTW I am speaking more about the comics DD than I am the popular Netflix show, though I will say the show, which is decidedly more "wuxia".

The comics have DD swatting bullets out of the air and Stick's peers do stuff like leach the lifeforce out of whole mobs of people. I dunno that that feels less wuxia to me, TBH.

Midnighttoker wrote:
John Wick would be a decent example of a Zen Archer but with guns instead of bows, I think, though you could also play him as something tankier
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I should clarify that I mean lethal, and for damage to be possible to be increased (and not as truncated due to non-magical applications for damage).

Now while I don't think the damage should increase by default, I don't think all fist strikes should be automatically nonlethal (but the choice should exist). If you are trying to be lethal with a fist, that's not something that takes martial arts to be able to do (accidental deaths due to punching can certainly occur before the person goes unconscious IRL, let alone game logic).

You can inflict lethal damage with a fist, you just take a penalty to do it. Which honestly seems fine-- it should be harder to kill someone with a fist than a sword. I think your point about punches being able to kill people IRL is more an issue with the concept of nonlethal damage not actually making much sense. In real life getting knocked unconscious is super bad for you. Realistically, nonlethal damage probably shouldn't be a thing. A fist is just less likely to kill you because it does less damage than a sword or a war hammer.

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But all this really boils down to one thing CM:

We view what role the monk fills differently. To me, there needs to be more narrative oomph with stances, ki, ideology, and martial arts. Being able to damage/kill something with your bare hands is not a Monk for me, that's just a warrior.

And here I stand on the hill to die X.X

Actually, I'm beginning to suspect that we more or less agree on the monk role, as we mostly seem to agree on which characters would be monks. I suspect what we actually disagree on is the definition of the term "wuxia" and what that implies for class design. I don't think a character has to fight barehanded to be a monk, or all barehanded fighters must be monks.

I guess if there's a difference in our opinions it is that I find monks less defined by ki and idealogy per se and more with things like wall running and pulling off sick flips and stunts. Which is often associated with ki powers and wuxia type shenanigans but doesn't have to be.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
A bunch of stuff I agree with

NO I AGREE WITH YOU MORE

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daredevil stuff

I'll have to concede on the DD bit, I was under the impression the backstory and involvement with Stick were not as defined in canon but it's been a while since I've taken a dive into the comics.

Given I mis remember things all the time, this is probably one of those instances. Apologies.

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