What classes work well for a unarmed combatant?


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So, I want to make a character who uses Unarmed Combat, But what classes work well for it? I know Monk and Brawler do, But are there any others? Maybe Warpriest with Weapon Focus Unarmed to get sacred weapon damage to fists? Does that even work?


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Uh most martials honestly. You want static bonuses generally speaking. So the smaller dice on the punch matters less.
So fighters and barbs can get a ton.

magus with spell strike can be enjoyabe as well.

Oddly enough. Mesmer aren't the worst, not the best of course but can get some fun tricks to set up mrtial arts.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Warpriest works, as does fighter with the advanced weapon training abilities.


Lately, kineticist has gotten more support for unarmed (I think). And Vigilante is overall really good for static bonus unarmed builds.


Zwordsman wrote:

Uh most martials honestly. You want static bonuses generally speaking. So the smaller dice on the punch matters less.

So fighters and barbs can get a ton.

For comparison, a first level barbarian’s strength gives +2 to its damage. So, its raging unarmed strike does 1d3+2, before other modifiers, for an average 4 damage. The 1st level monk does 1d6 with its unarmed strike for an average 3.5 damage. On average, every jump of the monk’s damage die is just an effective +1 to damage. Now, consider that the barbarian is not only getting a bonus to its damage but also to its accuracy and you can see that the barbarian can punch things as good as or better than the monk. And then add in the barbarian rage powers for unarmed strike and the monk just starts looking bad.

And other classes have their own ways of doing this. The fighter would get its bonuses from weapon specialization and advanced weapon training.


(Why is the monk not adding his str to the attack? Is he Dex based and only got 10 Str? Also if you added Rage, you should take into account Flurry of Blows adding an extra attack: Aka, more accuracy vs more chances to hit.)


Temperans wrote:
(Why is the monk not adding his str to the attack? Is he Dex based and only got 10 Str? Also if you added Rage, you should take into account Flurry of Blows adding an extra attack: Aka, more accuracy vs more chances to hit.)

The point was to just compare class features. Factoring in base stats and magic items isn’t helpful for comparison. Though counting base stats would probably just reflect badly on the monk who is more multiple ability dependent than the barbarian.

Counting flurry is complicated, but ultimately doesn’t make up much for the lack of accuracy. The unchained flurry is better and might be superior to the barbarian but I haven’t run those numbers.

Note that with the brawler rage power, the barbarian could have a base 1d6 unarmed damage at level 2, and with the greater brawler rage power could have its own flurry at level 4 or level 3 if you take an extra rage power feat.


There are ways of making unarmed paladins and rogues besides those classes mentioned. If you're willing to allow spells as your means of unarmed combat then bad touch clerics (and similar classes) exist. If you're willing to accept natural attacks as unarmed then many more classes open up as possibilities.


Well, I was thinking more a character that uses martial skill with fists and kicks and stuff rather then natural attacks and bad touch spells (Though I do realy want to make a natural attacker Alchemist some time with that nic emutagen...)

And a higher damage die then 1d3 feels more satisfying, Yes you could roll low, But you could also roll high. And you still add your strength and magic items and such to help buff your accuracy and damage..

Sorry for the dumb question...


Nowadays, a lot of classes (and archetypes) work quite well with unarmed strikes. Of course, unarmed strikes start very weak (they take a feat, do pathetic damage, and have the worst possible crit stats), so unless you have something that specifically boosts unarmed strikes, a weapon would be just plain better. Even with the increased unarmed damage progression that many archetypes and some classes grant, using a weapon is usually better unless you can get additional mileage out of your unarmed strikes.

First up there's the fairly new handwraps. Not only do they mean you no longer have to pay twice the price to enchant your unarmed strikes, and lack material for DR penetration, but they actually have a benefit over weapons: They come as a pair without being a double weapon or such, which means you can use fists for TWF at the enchantment cost of a single weapon. Likewise, many class features that grant temporary weapon enchantments (e.g. Paladin's Divine Bond) fully work for unarmed TWF, because "a creature's unarmed strike is its entire body". For these reasons, most classes/archetypes that lean towards TWF (e.g. Ranger/Slayer, but also dex based ones like Rogue or Swashbuckler) have some extra incentive to go unarmed.

Then there are feats that only work with unarmed strikes. They mainly come in two flavors, style feats, and feats for special attacks, e.g. Hex Strike (or Stunning Fist and the likes). The good unarmed specific style feats mostly come with annoying prereqs (Dragon Ferocity needs Stunning Fist, Jabbing Master needs Dodge, Mobility, and Power Attack), but there is one notably exception: Pummeling Style+Pummeling Charge are very strong (PStyle almost ignores DR, PCharge is pounce).

Lastly, the classes/archetypes that grant a boon for using unarmed strikes:
Monk, especially unMonk, has plenty of unarmed-only class features.
Brawler has early access to Pummeling Charge.
Okayo Corsair Swashbuckler has early access to Pummeling Charge and the ability to use Precice Strike with TWF (you aren't wielding a weapon in your other hand).
Medium of the Master has style strikes as well as increased US damage.
Bloody-Knuckled Rowdy Bloodrager has early access to Pummeling Charge, plus bonus style feats and increased US damage.
Jistkan Artificer Magus has a robo-arm with free enhancement bonus.
Constructed Pugilist Brawler similarily has a robo-arm that can be customized.
Sacred Fist Warpriest has a bunch of cMonk abilities.
There are plenty of others (search AoN for improved unarmed strike), but those above are the ones where I see real a mechanical reason to go unarmed.

I've also omitted some unarmed-only-stuff that just isn't good. For instance, Vigilante has Fist of the Avenger for +1/2 level as damage bonus to unarmed strikes, max. +5 (and IUS as a bonus feat). You may think "hey, sounds good", but at the maximum (10th level), the unarmed strike has same average damage as a greatsword, only the latter doesn't require spending a vigilante talent, and works form 1st level on.
Kineticist has a special form infusion for unarmed strikes (Kinetic Fist), but I lack the experience with the class to properly evaluate it.


I think the ninja and the rogue work well whit the unarmed attack. 1d3+1d6 at lv 1, whit an average DMG of 5 it's pretty good


Derklord wrote:
Cut for space

Awesome! Thank you so much for the information! =D It is very helpful, A lot of things I dident know of (Like the handwraps!) Thank you. =)


Vigilante is more like a really deep dip. After you have all the talents you want you just leave and get something else, it's also great for saving on feats and getting out of combat utility; Which is why I mentioned it.

Kineticist is on the weaker side for unarmed strike damage (it's only +1d6/6 lvs), but it's on the stronger side for non-combat. (Plus it's a lot like Avatar, the show).

**********
@Melkiador
I dont really want fight and cause problems for the poster, but I was indeed curious as to why you gave the barbarian +2 Str but gave the Monk +0. Also, it seems counter productive to mention how the barbarian rage + rage powers are better than a monk without even talking about the monk: While also saying that comparing base stats is unhelpful. Even if the monk is MAD, it doesn't mean the stats are meaningless.

In terms of accuracy, Flurry of Blows is no different than full BaB TWF. So I dont see how there is an accuracy problem (besides people who use Power Attack all the time).

Finally, I never mentioned anything about magic items. But even if I did, using magic items can definetly useful if done correctly, since each class has a set they prefer which can definetly be compared.


Merellin wrote:
Derklord wrote:
Cut for space
Awesome! Thank you so much for the information! =D It is very helpful, A lot of things I dident know of (Like the handwraps!) Thank you. =)

Happy to help!

Just so that there's no misunderstanding, almost every martial character functions with unarmed strike, and most of them well enough so that the choice to go unarmed doesn't make or break the character. Most people overvalue damage dice and critical hits, and in practice, the loss in damage from going unarmed isn't really that big even with no specific support from class/archetype. My post above was specifically for those instances were you have an actual mechanical reason to go unarmed, and there is no such loss in the first place.

@Melkiador: There's no reason to play an unarmed, damage based cMonk. UnMonk does very well when it comes to damage, being able to go toe-to-toe with even well build Barbarians (ignoring any cheesy stuff). Check out my calculator if you like.

@Temperans: For what Melkiador did, the ability scores are indeed irrelevant - 1d3+2+X is greater than 1d6+X, no matter the value of X. Ignoring Flurry ruined the comparison, though.


Does it matter if your character uses armor? A lot of characters can do unarmed combat well, but not many can also do unarmored combat well. Being able to do decent damage with your fists does not do you much good if you are easily taken down.

Zworddsman is right about the static bonuses. In the long run they matter more than having a larger damage dice. The problem is that it may take a few levels to get enough static bonuses to make it viable. This means that your unarmed build may not really work until mid to high level. When pathfinder first came out I did a comparison build between a monk and a fighter using unarmed combat. At high levels the fighter did a lot more damage, but sucked at low levels. Since it relied on two weapon fighting the fighter needed both STR and DEX to be very high. With all the books that have come out since I imagine it would probably be easier to do now, but it is still going to take a while for everything to come online.


Temperans wrote:


@Melkiador
I dont really want fight and cause problems for the poster, but I was indeed curious as to why you gave the barbarian +2 Str but gave the Monk +0. Also, it seems counter productive to mention how the barbarian rage + rage powers are better than a monk without even talking about the monk: While also saying that comparing base stats is unhelpful. Even if the monk is MAD, it doesn't mean the stats are meaningless.

In terms of accuracy, Flurry of Blows is no different than full BaB TWF. So I dont see how there is an accuracy problem (besides people who use Power Attack all the time).

Finally, I never mentioned anything about magic items. But even if I did, using magic items can definetly useful if done correctly, since each class has a set they prefer which can definetly be compared.

The barbarian was raging, so had an additional +2 to his attack and damage rolls from +4 to strength from rage. It didn’t matter what his base stats are because both classes have base stats and magic items. I was only comparing the class abilities in a vacuum because almost anything else that you can give to one class, you could give to the other, and those numbers cancel out.

If I said the barbarian had the maximum starting strength of 20, then you could say the monk has the same strength, but when raging, the barbarian is still +4 more, with corresponding +2 to attack and damage. So, the 20 never actually mattered to the comparison. That +2 to attack and damage from strength is a class feature that the monk does not have, the same that the monk’s bigger damage die is a class feature that the barbarian doesn’t have.


The paladin archetype I was thinking of is the Iroran paladin (which gets scaling unarmed damage and a ki pool), and for a rogue it's the sylvan trickster (hexes therefore hex strike). Sneak attack can give you plenty of dice to roll if that's your favourite thing. I'm sure there's other ways to make an unarmed rogue sing too.

One more I forgot is that samurai have the brawling blademaster archetype which does TWF with an unarmed strike and a manufactured weapon.


@Derklord Thank you again. I do admit that I value big dice a bunch.. Dunno, Feels great to have a big die and roll well. Though I guess if you manage to find ways to buff up your bonuses a lot you can do as well or better on the base d3 die.

@Mysterious Stranger Armored or not mathers not, Be is a unarmored monk, Or a heavily armored fighter, I just realy like the idea of someone going into combat and punching his way through the greatest foes.. xD

@avr Thank you, I'l take a look at them archetypes. =)


Derklord wrote:
@Temperans: For what Melkiador did, the ability scores are indeed irrelevant - 1d3+2+X is greater than 1d6+X, no matter the value of X. Ignoring Flurry ruined the comparison, though.

I’ve ran the numbers before, but there are too many variable for a clean comparison. It depends on your chances to hit which varies a lot by enemy and total attack bonus. You have to build a nearly complete character which someone will always tear apart for not having this-or-that option.

But also if you just move the comparison to level 4 then the barbarian also has “flurry”

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Another option, if we're going for your theme, could be kineticist, there's a few varieties to choose from. I've gone water kineticist, no archetypes, focusing on Kinetic Blade. It can be used to manifest light or one handed weapons, which include gauntlets, for psuedo unarmed fighting.


Val'bryn2 wrote:
Another option, if we're going for your theme, could be kineticist, there's a few varieties to choose from. I've gone water kineticist, no archetypes, focusing on Kinetic Blade. It can be used to manifest light or one handed weapons, which include gauntlets, for psuedo unarmed fighting.

Kineticist sounds realy intresting but when I tried to read the class my brain dibbled out my ears and it took a few hours before I regained the ability to think..

Alright, Overexaguarting aside, Trying to read kineticist makes my head hurt.. I just cant wrap my mind arround it.. Sounds realy cool! But I cant wrap my mind arround it..

Grand Lodge

The Medium class is a really interesting one, having a few advantages over many of the martial characters. Through the champion spirit they have one of the best scaling damage bonuses in the game, an extra full-BAB attack that stacks with TWF and haste which puts you at a better position BAB-wise to almost every other martial, and pounce. It makes for a really good contender as a character who can utilize unarmed strike fairly well

Medium of the Master archetype makes unarmed strike even more of an option.


Rogues (and other sneak attacker like the Vivisectionist or the Slayer) can make very good unarmed strikers due to Sap Adept, Sap Master, and Knockout Artist. It takes a long time to get enough Sneak Attack to qualify for the feats but the Sanctified Slayer archetype for the Inquisitor can be a good way to set up the Sap Adept line, having a massive Intimidate bonus for Shatter Defenses, a bonus feat via Slayer talents at the level you qualify for Shatter Defenses, and native Invisibility

Depending on how averse your DM is to cheese, the Iroran Paladin might be able to double stack CHA-to-AC with the Scaled Fist Monk, since Iroran Paladin's CHA-to-AC is added to the DEX bonus rather than directly to AC, which makes the two bonuses come from different sources.


Syries wrote:

The Medium class is a really interesting one, having a few advantages over many of the martial characters. Through the champion spirit they have one of the best scaling damage bonuses in the game, an extra full-BAB attack that stacks with TWF and haste which puts you at a better position BAB-wise to almost every other martial, and pounce. It makes for a really good contender as a character who can utilize unarmed strike fairly well

Medium of the Master archetype makes unarmed strike even more of an option.

Medium you say... Medium does seem like a intresting class, I do like classes that deal with spirits and ghosts.. I'l take a look at it. Thanks!

Also, Thanks to everyone who has been kind enough to post and reply in this thread! Thank you all!


Kineticist can be a lot to take in.

1. You have the blast. That part is pretty straight forward.
2. You have burn, which is like a resource pool but you also take non-lethal damage for how much you’ve used it.
3. You have infusions that modify the blast. These usually cost burn, but the cost goes down as you level because of infusion specialization.
4. You have overflow which gives buffs based on your level and how much burn you've taken.
5. You have metakinesis, which is like metamagic for the blasts, and it uses burn.
6. You have gather power, which can lower the final burn cost of a blast.
7. You have utility powers which may or may not cost burn, with typically no way to avoid the burn if there is any.
8. You have defense powers that are free but you can improve with burn.
9. You have composite blasts which are a lot like regular blasts but usually do multiple damage types with slightly more damage and have burn.
10. You have internal buffer which lets you pay tomorrow’s burn costs today.


Melkiador wrote:

Kineticist can be a lot to take in.

1. You have the blast. That part is pretty straight forward.
2. You have burn, which is like a resource pool but you also take non-lethal damage for how much you’ve used it.
3. You have infusions that modify the blast. These usually cost burn, but the cost goes down as you level because of infusion specialization.
4. You have overflow which gives buffs based on your level and how much burn you've taken.
5. You have metakinesis, which is like metamagic for the blasts, and it uses burn.
6. You have gather power, which can lower the final burn cost of a blast.
7. You have utility powers which may or may not cost burn, with typically no way to avoid the burn if there is any.
8. You have defense powers that are free but you can improve with burn.
9. You have composite blasts which are a lot like regular blasts but usually do multiple damage types with slightly more damage and have burn.
10. You have internal buffer which lets you pay tomorrow’s burn costs today.

That all sounds realy cool and realy fun! =D Mayhaps I shall take the time to try and figure it out. It seems like a realy nice class. =)


Druids work really well as unarmed combatants.


I recently ran a barbarian with the brawler rage powers and dragon style feats that did really well. Fighters are also capable of really high damage with any weapon they choose to specialize with.
I remember seeing a ninja build using the scout rogue archetype to do sneak attack damage on charging punches that looked pretty fun.
Vigilantes have good unarmed options as well.


Melkiador wrote:
I’ve ran the numbers before, but there are too many variable for a clean comparison. It depends on your chances to hit which varies a lot by enemy and total attack bonus. You have to build a nearly complete character which someone will always tear apart for not having this-or-that option.

I hear you, I really do, but it's necessary for any remotely accurate assessment.

What's usually done is pit the character against an enemy with the average stats of a monster with CR equal to the character's level.
For my unMonk DPR comparison, I started with 18 strength, all pips into strength, weapon or AoMF costing ≤1/3rd WBL, and belt costing ≤1/5th WBL (in effect, weapon upgrades at levels 4/8/10/12/14, AoMF upgrades at levels 6/9/12/15/16, and belt upgrades at levels 7/11/14).
Figuring out what feats and selectable class features to pick is still pretty hard sometimes, of course, and some characters have special needs. Some classes want more feats (e.g. Raging Vitality), some want special items (e.g. Gloves of Dueling), some want multiple stats (e.g. archers). For my unMonk comparison, I presumed four (regular) feats being used on damage, although for the bunch of sample 12th level characters I made I chose only three (and for some, selecting three useful feats that show in damage is surprisingly hard), on the presumption that many need a non-showing feat like Precise Shot, Raging Vitality, or Natural Spell.

Melkiador wrote:
But also if you just move the comparison to level 4 then the barbarian also has “flurry”

Well, at that point, the Monk has ki pool for another bonus attack when it counts, but even without that I don't see an unarmed Barbarian being able to keep up with an unMonk.

At 4th level, presuming an 18 starting strength, the unMonk (still saving for an AoMF) has Possessed Hand and Dragon Style as feats, for +9/+9 with 1d8+7/1d8+5 (14.3 DPR, 20.8 with ki attack). The Barbarian has Raging Vitality and, er, Weapon Focus? For +10/+10 with 1d3+7/1d3+4 (11.0 DPR). Even an unBarb with ERP (Accurate Stance) is still a tad behind a Monk without the ki attack (13.4 DPR).

Merellin wrote:
Medium you say... Medium does seem like a intresting class, I do like classes that deal with spirits and ghosts.. I'l take a look at it. Thanks!

Hey, I mentioned Medium of the Master first, I demand credit! ;-)

@Trevs: For Fighter, I'd definitely check with the GM whether handwraps count for the training enchantment.


I was never talking about the unMonk. Those are a bit house-rule-ish, and I've seen multiple DMs not allow them. But yes, the unMonk mostly did what it set out to do, and is actually a good unarmed attacker. The base monk has "issues", but it's the monk that people know and most accept as "the monk". My actual point was to show that having a big damage die can be misleading as to how powerful a class is, which the base monk was handy for displaying.


Derklord wrote:
Hey, I mentioned Medium of the Master first, I demand credit! ;-)

You did, You did. Sorry! I'v been distracted and between readings of new replies forgot what people said in old replies. Sorry! Been a bit stressed lately. I do apreciate all the help from you and everyone else!


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Disclaimer: None of this is intended as hostility towards you!

Melkiador wrote:
[unMonks] are a bit house-rule-ish, and I've seen multiple DMs not allow them.

Every GM who doesn't allow unMonk is an idiot and a jerk (presuming cMonk is allowed, i.e. not counting flavor reason cases). There is absolutely nothing "house-rule-ish" about the unchained classes. Sure, the book says "which parts of this book you incorporate into your game, and which parts you leave on the shelf, are entirely your call", but the same is true for literally every other book (including the CRB) just as much.

Melkiador wrote:
it's the monk that people know and most accept as "the monk".

Not if I have anything to say about that!

Seriously, Pathfinder is an ever-changing game. I don't pander to people who are mentally stuck in how it used to be over four years ago (or worse, how 3.x was); if anything, I try to change their view. I indicate whether I'm talking about cMonk or unMonk, but I talk about what's more relevant for the topic, not what people might be more familiar with.
If people can't accept the unMonk as a valid Monk, that's their problem, not mine.


Merellin wrote:
Medium you say... Medium does seem like a intresting class, I do like classes that deal with spirits and ghosts.. I'l take a look at it. Thanks!

as mentioned, Medium of the Master Archetype is rather good if you want to use it for unarmed. Its main trade off is that you can only use the champion spirit (but if you just want 'hit things good' build, this mostly just means you lose a pocket cleric).

It increases the number of places you can summon the spirit at, and gives you an option to trade the class resource (influence) in return for an emergency 1 summon that lasts a minute (a "attack in the middle of the night" option, basically).

The rest of the archetype changes are largely small but nice bonuses (such as adding spirit bonus to AC when light/no armor).

As for the class in general... the attack/damage numbers you play with as a champion basically mean you hit like a full BAB class...and you still get an extra full BAB hit and a pseudo pounce option. You also have a spell list filled with the kind of buffs that make even bards drool (haste, heroism, enlarge, long arm, fly, etc).


Derklord wrote:

Disclaimer: None of this is intended as hostility towards you!

Melkiador wrote:
[unMonks] are a bit house-rule-ish, and I've seen multiple DMs not allow them.
Every GM who doesn't allow unMonk is an idiot and a jerk (presuming cMonk is allowed, i.e. not counting flavor reason cases). There is absolutely nothing "house-rule-ish" about the unchained classes. Sure, the book says "which parts of this book you incorporate into your game, and which parts you leave on the shelf, are entirely your call", but the same is true for literally every other book (including the CRB) just as much.

Most of those books don't override other existing rules though. The usual complaints I see from DMs about unchained are something like:

1) It's overpowered. And you really can't can't deny that the unchained rogue and monk are more powerful than their core counterparts, and many DMs think the core versions are fine as they are.
2) You can't use Unchained whole cloth. The DMs feel like if they have to use part of the book, namely the classes, then they are supposed to use the other parts of the book, like background skills and automatic bonus progression. It's a bit of a slippery slope argument, but a lot of time pressed GMs just don't want to take the time to sort through it all, and prefer to say 'yay' or 'nay' to an entire book.
3) Bloat. Some GMs only allow a handful of sources and unchained is just bloat to them

I'm just saying that you should never assume that the unchained monk is the monk being discussed when someone is talking about the monk. When people mean the unchained monk, they almost always specify that it is the unchained monk, usually with a contraction of umonk or unmonk.


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Note: My post should actually say "an idiot and/or a jerk".

Melkiador wrote:
1) It's overpowered. (...) many DMs think the core versions are fine as they are.

Hence, "idiot". unRogue is still one of the weakest classes in the game, unBarb is a significant downgrade at high optimization levels (and a much smoother play for beginners), unSummoner is a strict downgrade period (although still too strong), and unMonk, although a lot stronger than melee damage based cMonk, is still not the strongest martial (that's Barbarian for strict martial*, or Paladin when including 4/9 casters sans Medium, i.e. the whole tier 4).

Quite frankly, everyone who thinks cRogue or unarchetyped cMonk is "fine as they are" does not understand the game and should not be a GM. Because that's pretty basic stuff and almost impossible not to realize.

*) I said well build unMonk can go toe-to-toe with well build Barbarian, but the ceiling for the former is still notably lower.

From what I see on the forum, unMonk is usually considered a sidegrade at best anyway, because many people focus on the few negative aspects like the weakened will save (especially when the book came out that was the main focus point). unSummoner and unBarb are generally accepted as downgrades from what I see.

Melkiador wrote:
2) You can't use Unchained whole cloth. The DMs feel like if they have to use part of the book, namely the classes, then they are supposed to use the other parts of the book, like background skills and automatic bonus progression.

Once again, "idiot". If they don't understand the book and what it does, I question their mental ability to be a good GM.

Melkiador wrote:
It's a bit of a slippery slope argument, but a lot of time pressed GMs just don't want to take the time to sort through it all, and prefer to say 'yay' or 'nay' to an entire book.

Hence, "jerk". They don't need to read the entire book, even I have never done that. If they're too lazy to read the few pages for the classes (without Summoner, not really that many), they are too lazy to be a good GM. Also partially "idiot"; because the 'material to read vs. improvement to game balance' ratio of these pages is among the highest in all Pathfinder books (in other words, if you don't want to read too much stuff, you should actually start with the unchained classes, at least the three classes originating in the CRB).

Melkiador wrote:
Bloat. Some GMs only allow a handful of sources and unchained is just bloat to them

And we're back to "idiot". Unless you ban the respective 'chained' versions as well, there is almost no bloat, as their whole concept is that they aren't new/additional classes. Unchained is literally the least 'bloaty' book Pathfinder has, as it mostly replaces instead of adding.

Also, it is a fact that 'CRB only' is just about the most unbalanced state of Pathfinder you can play, as the full casters operate at almost full capacity (most of the super powerful spells are in the CRB), while martials are significantly weakened. The result of not allowing more classes is that more people play stronger classes, so instead of having Monk and Rogue PCs, the GM now has to create challenges for Wizards, and Clerics (and if they are martials, Paladins and Barbarians).

­
I know what I say sounds hard, but seriously, it's not rocket science. All four classes are better for game balance than the 'chained' version, and using them (and mostly instead of the original) improves almost every game. I refuse to belive that the average Pathfinder GM is too stupid to understand how Unchained works, and that you can use the classes without using the rest.

Edit:

Melkiador wrote:
I'm just saying that you should never assume that the unchained monk is the monk being discussed when someone is talking about the monk.

I didn't, actually. I explained why I am talking about unMonk and not cMonk in my very first response to you.


I'm just telling you what I have seen in various places, from various GMs. Mostly from the looking for group on roll20, which I scan through regularly to see what's happening in the game in general, but seen it in other places too. Most of the GMs have not seemed stupid or malicious. People just have different tastes and desires. The unchained classes aren't as widely accepted as you want them to be.


I have a Unarmed melee character build in mind where at least several levels Unchained Rogue would be especially appropriate.

Unchained Rogues get Dex to Damage, and they can do that with Unarmed Strikes.

What I'm envisioning is a Goblin named Bonzai. He would start with a couple of levels in Snakebite Striker Brawler, Feinting as part of his Move to lock in Sneak Attack Damage. Then he would take levels in Unchained Rogue with the Scout Archetype to get more Sneak Attack Damage. He would take Panther Style as a Ninja Trick and also Underhanded Trick as a 3rd way to lock in SAD. Later, he might dip a level in MOMS Monk and use Snake Style and Panther Style at the same time. This character would get multiple attacks/round by running around the battlefield provoking lots of Attacks of Opportunity. He would have to take Dodge, Mobility, and Spring Attack, increasing his AC by +5, and Panther Parry imposes a -2 Attack Penalty on his opponents. He can take Tangle Feet and Vicious Stomp. He can take Roll with It, giving himself a sort of saving throw vs. Melee Hits. He will reliably do his Sneak Attack Damage as a Scout, using Snake Feint, or Dirty Tricks.

I'm thinking he'll be quite effective and super fun, a little green pinball bouncing around the battlefield, lighting everybody up!


@Melkiador: I don't see a reason not to use them that isn't either stupid or malicious.


Derklord wrote:
@Melkiador: I don't see a reason not to use them that isn't either stupid or malicious.

It’s easy to think anything is stupid if you don’t like the result.


Melkiador wrote:
Derklord wrote:
@Melkiador: I don't see a reason not to use them that isn't either stupid or malicious.
It’s easy to think anything is stupid if you don’t like the result.

However in this case it is just stupidity.

Arguments include

Rogue and chained monk are fine = wrong
Unchained classes are overpowered = wrong
Slippery slope fallacy = fallacy
Bloat = If we’re ignoring classes because bloat, then the bloat is worse than I thought. I thought bloat was to do with having literally thousands of spells and feats. Not a few balanced up/side grades to well established classes.


I mean, multiple teams of designers designed the core classes over multiple iterations. So multiple groups of professionals thought they were fine how they were. It’s not shocking that some DMs would agree with all of those experts from over all of that time.


Either way "this option doesn't count because some GM might ban it" seems like a weird argument to completely disregard or class or claim it's a "house rule". I mean, the GM could ban Barbarians too.


No one said to disregard it in terms of advice. But that advice has to be couched in the reality that unchained isn’t an option at every table. Meanwhile the classes in core are part of the default assumption. As an aside, many of the DMs who ban unchained also ban the summoner.


Melkiador wrote:
While the classes in core are part of the default assumption.

The reality is that there's no such thing as a default assumption, that's the whole idea behind rule 0 and GM discretion. Plus there's a difference between "not all options are going to be at all tables" and "this class is basically a house rule."


Squiggit wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
While the classes in core are part of the default assumption.
The reality is that there's no such thing as a default assumption, that's the whole idea behind rule 0 and GM discretion. Plus there's a difference between "not all options are going to be at all tables" and "this class is basically a house rule."

Except unchained is house rules, including the classes. This is because they can take a lot of outside rulings by the DM to make them work. For instance, the unchained rogue listed a lot of talents it gets from core series books, but what about all of the player companion options that came before it. Does it get those too? We can't know for sure, because it's house rules. You have to ask the DM. The unchained monk and old archetypes? House rules. It's a very house-rules-y book.


Melkiador wrote:
No one said to disregard it in terms of advice. But that advice has to be couched in the reality that unchained isn’t an option at every table. Meanwhile the classes in core are part of the default assumption. As an aside, many of the DMs who ban unchained also ban the summoner.

Maybe part of your default assumption, but I've had GM's that just straight out ban the Core Monk and Rogue because they don't want to deal with band-aiding it and it's easier to just run the far more straightforward and simply useful Unchained versions. Hell, I've seen a couple games where 9th level vancian casting is banned and you have to go to alternative rulesets if you want to play a full caster...


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I hoped not to prolong the derail, but these statements I can't let stand:

Melkiador wrote:
Except unchained is house rules, including the classes. This is because they can take a lot of outside rulings by the DM to make them work.

This is objectively wrong. The unchained classes require no extra ruling or anything to make them work*. Allowing unchained classes is exactly as much houserule as allowing e.g. occult classes.

*) With one exception: unBarb with archetypes that change rage. Shouldn't be much of a problem, though, especially since you don't need e.g. Urban Barbarian to make a dex-based character.

Melkiador wrote:
For instance, the unchained rogue listed a lot of talents it gets from core series books, but what about all of the player companion options that came before it. Does it get those too? We can't know for sure, because it's house rules.

Wrong, we do know for sure - you don't get them. You only need houserules if you want to change what's written.

Melkiador wrote:
The unchained monk and old archetypes? House rules.

Wrong, the book clearly says they don't work. You only need houserules if you want to change what's written.


Melkiador wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Melkiador wrote:
While the classes in core are part of the default assumption.
The reality is that there's no such thing as a default assumption, that's the whole idea behind rule 0 and GM discretion. Plus there's a difference between "not all options are going to be at all tables" and "this class is basically a house rule."
Except unchained is house rules, including the classes. This is because they can take a lot of outside rulings by the DM to make them work. For instance, the unchained rogue listed a lot of talents it gets from core series books, but what about all of the player companion options that came before it. Does it get those too? We can't know for sure, because it's house rules. You have to ask the DM. The unchained monk and old archetypes? House rules. It's a very house-rules-y book.

Unchained Rogue Talents seems to have everything the character I just proposed needs.


Something that I'm not sure the OP is considering when thinking about Unarmed Combat is Natural Attacks. It is possible, without that much finagling, to get a whole mess of natural attacks, and then, as a Warpriest, your many, many natural attacks do Warpriest Sacred Weapon Damage instead of their normal, pathetic damage. You can have a Full Attack DPR that will be devastating.

With a only a 4 level dip in Druid, then take Shaping Focus, by the time you can Wildshape as if you were a level 8 Druid by the time you are a level 4 Druid/Level 5 Warpriest. Your Base Damage for your Natural Attacks is 1d8 when you are size Medium, but when you are Size Huge, that goes up to 3d6. You could buff yourself with the Strong Jaw Spell, bumping that up to 5d6. Depending on the animal you choose, you can get yourself an embarrassingly large number of Attacks. Druidzilla builds.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Something that I'm not sure the OP is considering when thinking about Unarmed Combat is Natural Attacks.
Merellin wrote:
Well, I was thinking more a character that uses martial skill with fists and kicks and stuff rather then natural attacks

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