Monks in Pathfinder


Rules Discussion

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
lordcirth wrote:
MerlinCross wrote:


The multiclass part sounds like it could just ripe for abuse in practice. But they'd(hopefully) figure out how to restrict it a bit. Like Brawler 9/Fighter 1 shouldn't qualify for Certain Strike as a fast example.
With the way multiclassing now works, "Brawler 9 / Fighter 1" isn't really accurate. "X with Y Dedication" is the closest concept.

I think the quick way to right it will be [MAIN CLASS AND CHARACTER LEVEL]/[Dedications and Feats expended]

So If I'm a level 10 Wizard who gished by putting three feats in Fighter I can write it as Wiz10/Fight3


In my experiance most groups tend to actually complete Adventure Paths, but said Adventure Paths generally never went to 20 in the past (like Starfinder where every AP ends at 13). IIRC the first AP of 2e is ment to go all the way to 20.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
lakobie wrote:
In my experiance most groups tend to actually complete Adventure Paths, but said Adventure Paths generally never went to 20 in the past (like Starfinder where every AP ends at 13). IIRC the first AP of 2e is ment to go all the way to 20.

All 2E APs are meant to go all the way to 20 :-)

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:

So this might be a little mystic for your tastes, but I'm going to share anyway. Last night, the 10th level monk in my playtest game was fighting wvyern riders. He ran up a building and wall jumped off of it to reach and injured wvyern and hit it with a flurry in one turn, slaying it and dropping the rider out of the sky. The other riders took heed of this and gained altitude to 75 feet and started raining arrows.

The next round, the monk combined 2 ki powers to leap 75 feet straight up, landing on a wvyern and flurrying the rider. Another rider flew over to try nd help fight this crazy monk.

The next round, the monk flurries the hurt rider, killing him with a flaming headbutt. Then he reaches over and grapples the other rider, and uses his Whirling Throw feat to toss him off the wvyern and at a huge sized enemy on the ground. At this point, the wyverns don't have their riders, so they just try and buck him off. One succeeded in doing so... but the monk used a grab edge reaction to snag onto the other wvyern. That is where we paused for the night.

Monks are doing pretty good, is what I'm saying. :)

This reminds me so fondly of my Crane Hengeyokai Unarmed Kensai in original Oriental Adventures that I now want to play it again in PF2.

Something I never even thought of attempting in any system.

Thank you

Scarab Sages

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Seisho wrote:
graystone wrote:
Seisho wrote:

Just one thing about the monk I will probably houserule:

If a character picks his racial weapons prophiciency and the monastic weaponry they can consider their racial weapons as monk weapons, should add a nice spin too it and open some interesting option
Expect to see a LOT of elf monks: Flurry with a bow blows the other monk ranged option out of the water and dex elves will love the curve blade. About the only competition for other races is 2 handed dwarf waraxe strength monks for a 1d12.
good thing my players go for whats fun to them and not for min-maxing

To be fair, both of those sound really fun as well.


citricking wrote:

Well you don't need wisdom at all for monks now, even if you want to use ki powers.

Str monks are definitely fine, and Dex monks don't need str at high levels, but it helps at low levels.

There is a stance so Str monks don't need as much Dex, but using that means they do less damage.

Weapon using monks probably won't be able to do as much damage as unarmed monks.

Question: Is there a way to get Dex to unarmed damage?


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Jesikah Morning's Dew wrote:
Question: Is there a way to get Dex to unarmed damage?

As of right now, the only way for anyone to get dex to damage is "be a rogue." But it's also not a huge deal, since by 20th level your damage for a dex monk is going to be 4d8+8+StrMod while the str monk is going to be doing 4d8+8+strmod (4d10 with dragon style, which might not be the best choice). Highest strength or dex can possibly be is 24 (start at 18, get an apex item for the stat) and since stats go up 4 at a time a dex-monk can manage an 18 Str pretty easily by endgame. So the damage difference between a max-str monk and a max-dex monk at the endgame is like 3 damage/hit, 7 with dragon style.

Liberty's Edge

Jesikah Morning's Dew wrote:
Question: Is there a way to get Dex to unarmed damage?

No. You can get Sneak Attack in theory, but not Dex to damage.


I don't even see a "Weapon Finesse"-style "Dex to damage" under Rogues. What am I missing?

But that doesn't sound too bad. The couple of points that you lose out on from not specializing in Strength doesn't seem like it makes a big difference, other than a little bit of flavor: trading a little more defense for raw power, but both can strike pretty accurately. Cool.

Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything.


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Here you go

It's one of the three rogue subclasses (i.e. rackets), competing with "can use medium armor/sneak attack with any simple weapon + crit spec if flat-footed" and "trained in an extra skill, your feints make people flat-footed until the end of your next turn."


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Jesikah Morning's Dew wrote:
Question: Is there a way to get Dex to unarmed damage?
No. You can get Sneak Attack in theory, but not Dex to damage.

To further explain, the rules say "However, unarmed attacks aren’t weapons, and effects and abilities that work with weapons never work with unarmed attacks unless they specifically say so." So unarmed attacks don't act like a weapon except for monk effect/ability and handwraps. So this means that the rogue racket doesn't work on unarmed as it isn't a weapon.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Jesikah Morning's Dew wrote:
Question: Is there a way to get Dex to unarmed damage?
As of right now, the only way for anyone to get dex to damage is "be a rogue." But it's also not a huge deal, since by 20th level your damage for a dex monk is going to be 4d8+8+StrMod while the str monk is going to be doing 4d8+8+strmod (4d10 with dragon style, which might not be the best choice). Highest strength or dex can possibly be is 24 (start at 18, get an apex item for the stat) and since stats go up 4 at a time a dex-monk can manage an 18 Str pretty easily by endgame. So the damage difference between a max-str monk and a max-dex monk at the endgame is like 3 damage/hit, 7 with dragon style.

I'll need to wait for people better at math to crunch the numbers but I think for strength Monks Falling Stone is going to be the go-to unarmed strike; Forceful is a really good ability, much better than Backswing. And the benefit of being able to ignore dexterity for another stat cannot be understated.


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Math-wise I'm not sure it competes with the Agile d8 attacks, especially with the lower cap on damage dice and that Wolf Jaw also has backstabber.

Being able to drop Dex is definitely a reason to take Falling Stone, but you also have to worry about circumstances where you can't activate it in the first place (especially as you get to higher levels and 'touching the ground' isn't as simple and straightforward as it used to be. Or just the start to Oblivion Oath- a Mountain Stance monk would have been nigh-useless on that boat).

On the other hand, a strength monk who doesn't sacrifice dex is all of 1 point behind in AC and quickly catches up. And doesn't have a reduced speed, which is big deal before the +10 speed comes in at level 3. At levels 1 and 2 faster enemies can kite you and drop your damage down to just flurry, as you'll need to spend two actions to get back into melee.


Arachnofiend wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Jesikah Morning's Dew wrote:
Question: Is there a way to get Dex to unarmed damage?
As of right now, the only way for anyone to get dex to damage is "be a rogue." But it's also not a huge deal, since by 20th level your damage for a dex monk is going to be 4d8+8+StrMod while the str monk is going to be doing 4d8+8+strmod (4d10 with dragon style, which might not be the best choice). Highest strength or dex can possibly be is 24 (start at 18, get an apex item for the stat) and since stats go up 4 at a time a dex-monk can manage an 18 Str pretty easily by endgame. So the damage difference between a max-str monk and a max-dex monk at the endgame is like 3 damage/hit, 7 with dragon style.
I'll need to wait for people better at math to crunch the numbers but I think for strength Monks Falling Stone is going to be the go-to unarmed strike; Forceful is a really good ability, much better than Backswing. And the benefit of being able to ignore dexterity for another stat cannot be understated.

Unless I messed up the math, Dragon Tail actually comes out a bit on top in terms of damage, which makes enough sense considering that only your third and further Falling Stone attacks actually deal more average damage.

It's a difference of 4-5 damage over an entire round of attacking, so it probably doesn't make up for the other benefits of Mountain Stance.

EDIT: Also, the forceful damage is a circumstance bonus, so if you already have a circumstance bonus to damage somehow Dragon Tail pulls further ahead as well.


I think what's going to make dragon style not the go-to style is the effects of the other stances unrelated to what happens when you roll to attack. Like tiger stance lets you 10' step, tangled forest keeps people close, an ironblood can give you some beefy resistance.

I can see a lot of str monks wanting to start with mountain stance and 16 dex so you can retrain after getting ironblood and hitting 20 dex (max for bracers) at 15.


I'm abit disappointed that high wisdom is useless for a monk. It only looks like wisdom Only matters for the DC of quivering touch and ki blast.


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Milo v3 wrote:
I'm abit disappointed that high wisdom is useless for a monk. It only looks like wisdom Only matters for the DC of quivering touch and ki blast.

Perception is still the most useful skill even though it's not a skill since it covers default initiative and sense motive, and will is still the most important save, plus you can cast rituals with enough religion or nature...

But I wish monks had more in-class that made wisdom matter, since all of those things apply to everybody.

Liberty's Edge

Milo v3 wrote:
I'm abit disappointed that high wisdom is useless for a monk. It only looks like wisdom Only matters for the DC of quivering touch and ki blast.

Well, it's still useful for all the normal stuff (most notably Perception and Will Save), but yeah it's not super relevant to most actual Class stuff.


Yeah I don't really see much reason to play a wise monk, when I could play an actual class that benefits from wisdom like druid or cleric.

Getting just the base things like perception don't really interest me when it means I'll be worse at actually doing my classes thing compared to dumping wisdom, especially since I am one of the few players who seems to not always put full ranks into perception.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I think what's going to make dragon style not the go-to style is the effects of the other stances unrelated to what happens when you roll to attack. Like tiger stance lets you 10' step, tangled forest keeps people close, an ironblood can give you some beefy resistance.

I can see a lot of str monks wanting to start with mountain stance and 16 dex so you can retrain after getting ironblood and hitting 20 dex (max for bracers) at 15.

Dragon Stance does let you ignore a square of difficult terrain as well. That's not to be underestimated, especially if it lets you step in difficult terrain.


Milo v3 wrote:

Yeah I don't really see much reason to play a wise monk, when I could play an actual class that benefits from wisdom like druid or cleric.

Getting just the base things like perception don't really interest me when it means I'll be worse at actually doing my classes thing compared to dumping wisdom, especially since I am one of the few players who seems to not always put full ranks into perception.

Multiclass Cleric of Irori? XD


Seems like it'd be better to just go pure cleric of a philosophy to try and cover a wise monk character, than multiclass monk just for slightly better punching.


I think the eventual way to restore concepts that got lost in the shuffle in the new edition (e.g. mystic monks, non-deific paladins, sword wizards) is more with class archetyping than multiclassing.


I can't really see them adding in non-deific options through class archetypes given it is a golarion-flavour taking precedence over legacy-rules situation. So that will probably just need to be houseruled.


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But I mean, we have non-deific religions in Golarion. So why shouldn't I be able to play a Rivethun Champion, or a Green Faith Champion, or an Animist Champion, a Shamanic Champion etc.?


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Milo v3 wrote:
I'm abit disappointed that high wisdom is useless for a monk. It only looks like wisdom Only matters for the DC of quivering touch and ki blast.

This is something that'll get fixed over time; it doesn't even need archetypes, high wis monks will improve as more ki powers with save DC's are published.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
But I mean, we have non-deific religions in Golarion. So why shouldn't I be able to play a Rivethun Champion, or a Green Faith Champion, or an Animist Champion, a Shamanic Champion etc.?

I think you should, but the setting people seem to prefer the idea that philosphies and faiths are just beliefs that don't actually do anything and that if you want to be a paldin in 1e in golarion you need to have a god, so they added in the "You Need A God" to Champion in 2e.


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Milo v3 wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
But I mean, we have non-deific religions in Golarion. So why shouldn't I be able to play a Rivethun Champion, or a Green Faith Champion, or an Animist Champion, a Shamanic Champion etc.?
I think you should, but the setting people seem to prefer the idea that philosphies and faiths are just beliefs that don't actually do anything and that if you want to be a paldin in 1e in golarion you need to have a god, so they added in the "You Need A God" to Champion in 2e.

As I understood it, the objection was to "clerics of philosophies" which is not something I disagree with them on, considering that they eventually gave an Oracle and Shaman class for some of these non-deific religious spellcasters, and we should get something like that again. But if your ancestors, or the spirits, or w/e are able to grant full progression spellcasting, they should for sure be able to endow martial champions too.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
As I understood it, the objection was to "clerics of philosophies" which is not something I disagree with them on, considering that they eventually gave an Oracle and Shaman class for some of these non-deific religious spellcasters, and we should get something like that again. But if your ancestors, or the spirits, or w/e are able to grant full progression spellcasting, they should for sure be able to endow martial champions too.

Part way through 1e they change it so paladins needed a god in the setting. Which was abit weird because earlier into the 1e life cycle you could see posts by James Jacobs saying paladins don't need to worship gods.

Neither Oracles or Shamans were available for clerics of philosophies because they got their power from divine figures just like clerics do... it's just that they don't need to worship those divine figures. But homebrewing clerics of philosophies back in is pretty easy.

Silver Crusade

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

There was alwasy this disconnect between pure rules and Golarion Lore.

By Pathfinder 1e rules, Clerics and Paladins could worship a philosophy.
By Golarion Lore, Clerics and Paladins needed to worship a god to gain divine features.

With Pathfinder 2 putting the setting info more in the rulebooks, that distinction seems to be gone.

Liberty's Edge

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Franz Lunzer wrote:

There was alwasy this disconnect between pure rules and Golarion Lore.

By Pathfinder 1e rules, Clerics and Paladins could worship a philosophy.
By Golarion Lore, Clerics and Paladins needed to worship a god to gain divine features.

With Pathfinder 2 putting the setting info more in the rulebooks, that distinction seems to be gone.

As is mentioned above, this isn't strictly true. Paladins without Gods were very much canonical to Golarion per James Jacobs (who would know) for quite some time. I'm not at all sure when that particular change happened.


Just FYI, there is literally nothing in the new book about requiring Wisdom for DC on Ki spells of monks that we could find. It only references the class casting DC which the only DC skill of a monk is Strength or Dexterity. You can have a Wisdom of 3 and still blast people with Ki spells just fine with RAW. I don't know if it was intentionally changed or they forgot to add the changes with removing the wisdom bonus power stuff from playtest.


SpawnLQ wrote:
Just FYI, there is literally nothing in the new book about requiring Wisdom for DC on Ki spells of monks that we could find. It only references the class casting DC which the only DC skill of a monk is Strength or Dexterity. You can have a Wisdom of 3 and still blast people with Ki spells just fine with RAW. I don't know if it was intentionally changed or they forgot to add the changes with removing the wisdom bonus power stuff from playtest.

Mark Seifert, on the development team, reportedly told multiple people who asked him at Gencon that it was a mistake, and monk focus spell DCs are supposed to key off wisdom.


Xenocrat wrote:
SpawnLQ wrote:
Just FYI, there is literally nothing in the new book about requiring Wisdom for DC on Ki spells of monks that we could find. It only references the class casting DC which the only DC skill of a monk is Strength or Dexterity. You can have a Wisdom of 3 and still blast people with Ki spells just fine with RAW. I don't know if it was intentionally changed or they forgot to add the changes with removing the wisdom bonus power stuff from playtest.
Mark Seifert, on the development team, reportedly told multiple people who asked him at Gencon that it was a mistake, and monk focus spell DCs are supposed to key off wisdom.

I figured that was the case. But still, pretty big mistake for release, and while experienced players may understand the lack of clarity in print, anyone newer trying to learn it will not. Hopefully they fix it in print to stop a gap in translation of RAW and RAI.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SpawnLQ wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
SpawnLQ wrote:
Just FYI, there is literally nothing in the new book about requiring Wisdom for DC on Ki spells of monks that we could find. It only references the class casting DC which the only DC skill of a monk is Strength or Dexterity. You can have a Wisdom of 3 and still blast people with Ki spells just fine with RAW. I don't know if it was intentionally changed or they forgot to add the changes with removing the wisdom bonus power stuff from playtest.
Mark Seifert, on the development team, reportedly told multiple people who asked him at Gencon that it was a mistake, and monk focus spell DCs are supposed to key off wisdom.
I figured that was the case. But still, pretty big mistake for release, and while experienced players may understand the lack of clarity in print, anyone newer trying to learn it will not. Hopefully they fix it in print to stop a gap in translation of RAW and RAI.

To head that off, the example Ki user in the Monk section specifically calls out needing Wisdom.


Rysky wrote:
SpawnLQ wrote:
I figured that was the case. But still, pretty big mistake for release, and while experienced players may understand the lack of clarity in print, anyone newer trying to learn it will not. Hopefully they fix it in print to stop a gap in translation of RAW and RAI.
To head that off, the example Ki user in the Monk section specifically calls out needing Wisdom.

You're absolutely right, except it's an example box for a sample build. Just like Crane build recommends Dex primary but you can pick Str if you want, any of the sample builds are just that....examples. I can say I'm building a Crane Monk and learn Ki skills to still use the book RAW. Basing an entire mechanic on a sample build in a side box isn't practical.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SpawnLQ wrote:
Rysky wrote:
SpawnLQ wrote:
I figured that was the case. But still, pretty big mistake for release, and while experienced players may understand the lack of clarity in print, anyone newer trying to learn it will not. Hopefully they fix it in print to stop a gap in translation of RAW and RAI.
To head that off, the example Ki user in the Monk section specifically calls out needing Wisdom.
You're absolutely right, except it's an example box for a sample build. Just like Crane build recommends Dex primary but you can pick Str if you want, any of the sample builds are just that....examples. I can say I'm building a Crane Monk and learn Ki skills to still use the book RAW. Basing an entire mechanic on a sample build in a side box isn't practical.

It is since it's sensical. Historically, Monks have used Wisdom, the example Ki User explicitly calls out using Wisdom, and the Designers have stated they use Wisdom.


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SpawnLQ wrote:
Rysky wrote:
SpawnLQ wrote:
I figured that was the case. But still, pretty big mistake for release, and while experienced players may understand the lack of clarity in print, anyone newer trying to learn it will not. Hopefully they fix it in print to stop a gap in translation of RAW and RAI.
To head that off, the example Ki user in the Monk section specifically calls out needing Wisdom.
You're absolutely right, except it's an example box for a sample build. Just like Crane build recommends Dex primary but you can pick Str if you want, any of the sample builds are just that....examples. I can say I'm building a Crane Monk and learn Ki skills to still use the book RAW. Basing an entire mechanic on a sample build in a side box isn't practical.

It recommends certain attributes, then says specially your ki spells are powered by wisdom.


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Right, you guys are missing the point. Experienced players like us KNOW this. However, leaving it open to interpretation to a new player to figure out that Wisdom is needed for Monk Ki power is the problem, because the ONLY mention is in an example, which anyone reading the guide with no tabletop experience could easily ignore that and still go by the book RAW.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

And the example is clear cut and informative.

Note, neither of us are claiming this wasn't a slip up not listing this info outside of the example, it's just not a major one.


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Rysky wrote:

And the example is clear cut and informative.

Note, neither of us are claiming this wasn't a slip up not listing this info outside of the example, it's just not a major one.

That's where i disagree, because no one reads a rulebook and uses claims in an example as a rule. That's silly. It needs to be listed in the main class somewhere. I know people that ignore side bars and example boxes completely, to speed read through stuff.

This is why it's a big problem, it's only a small problem for us that already know how it should be.


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SpawnLQ wrote:
Right, you guys are missing the point. Experienced players like us KNOW this. However, leaving it open to interpretation to a new player to figure out that Wisdom is needed for Monk Ki power is the problem, because the ONLY mention is in an example, which anyone reading the guide with no tabletop experience could easily ignore that and still go by the book RAW.

Mistakes are going to be made with a book this size; eventually there will be errata and they will be corrected in another printing. In the meantime people can ask people who would know, or they can infer it from a number of places. It's not all that dire, really.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
SpawnLQ wrote:
That's where i disagree, because no one reads a rulebook and uses claims in an example as a rule.
We disagree. If the example went against rules it would defeat the purpose of being in there.
Quote:
I know people that ignore side bars and example boxes completely, to speed read through stuff.
Ignoring examples and sidebars is on them, not the book.
Quote:
This is why it's a big problem, it's only a small problem for us that already know how it should be.

Again, it's listed in the example, so it's easy to infer even if you've never dealt with Monks before.


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As PossibleCabbage pointed out, there will definitely be mistakes and corrected in print for a new rulebook of this size, which was the whole point of my argument - until they do correct it, it could be interpreted to use a Monk's primary stat quite easily for their Ki. I really don't see how you think one example box of a sample build can be a staple for new players to base a mechanic on, but it's pointless to continue this argument.

Yes, new players can ask around/find experienced people to clarify. They could also stick to RAW. Or they may not care about asking veteran PF players. It may be a big deal to some, and a small deal to others. Most will probably not care.

The whole point of having this book is to teach you how to play and mechanics behind character abilities with as little open interpretation as possible, which it fails on the Monk. Whether you agree if it's a big deal or not is not the point, it's just a fact that we know they are already aware of.

Until they do fix it in print though, I also know people that will play it RAW on purpose knowing it should be wisdom but getting away with not needing to boost the extra stat to exploit it.

That's all I wanted to say :)

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Rysky wrote:
SpawnLQ wrote:
I know people that ignore side bars and example boxes completely, to speed read through stuff.
Ignoring examples and sidebars is on them, not the book.

Without weighing in on other elements of this conversation, I want to note that skipping sidebars is often a terrible idea. Sidebars are where developers and designers get to talk most directly and freely to the reader, and the information in them is often very important for contextualizing and framing some element of the product. We wouldn't put those things in there if they weren't important.

Silver Crusade

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Michael Sayre wrote:
Rysky wrote:
SpawnLQ wrote:
I know people that ignore side bars and example boxes completely, to speed read through stuff.
Ignoring examples and sidebars is on them, not the book.
Without weighing in on other elements of this conversation, I want to note that skipping sidebars is often a terrible idea. Sidebars are where developers and designers get to talk most directly and freely to the reader, and the information in them is often very important for contextualizing and framing some element of the product. We wouldn't put those things in there if they weren't important.

Reading sidebars is usually the very first thing I read on a page, they're usually very important and/or insightful.


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SpawnLQ wrote:
ignore that and still go by the book RAW.

I don't think ignoring what's written in the book is ever RAW, by definition.


swoosh wrote:
SpawnLQ wrote:
ignore that and still go by the book RAW.
I don't think ignoring what's written in the book is ever RAW, by definition.

I didn't say ignore the base text, they would be following the exact wording in the class description, which does not say anywhere about using Wisdom for Ki. They would ignore the sample boxes that are meant to be possibilities, not rules. I would have thought that was obvious?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Why do you consider the examples to not be rules?


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SpawnLQ wrote:
I would have thought that was obvious?

RAW means 'rules as written.'

Picking and choosing which bits of text you consider valid and which you don't isn't following RAW. It's houserules.

There's nothing wrong with playing the game however you want, of course, but don't tell people you're going to ignore what the book says and then immediately afterwards say you're following strict RAW. Those are completely incompatible statements.

However, yes the monk's class entry needs to more clearly state this somewhere and hopefully future printings of the book will fix this omission.

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