Spellcasting ability score for ki spells


Rules Discussion


Am I completely and utterly blind, or is there no listed ability score for ki spells? No ki spells state an ability score, and the sidebar is similarly blank.

Does this mean they're a Str/Dex caster, is it an unfortunate omission, or am I just blind?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I believe they are all Focus abilities now. which means you spend a Focus point to use them. (I stayed away from the terms "Spell" and "Cast" intentionally)


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it is likely wisdom based, is there a sample Ki monk in the book? judging from the alchemist that might give you an idea even if the text is missing


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RAW it seems to be str or Dex which would be cool, but Logan in a stream hinted at Wis being important for save DCs I think.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I agree that the actual words "your ki spells are based on [ability]" might be missing for the monk.

The section in the spells chapter says that "the ability that gives you focus spells and also provides your proficiency rank for spell attack rolls and spell DCs, as well as the magical tradition of your focus spells" and goes on to reference monks but not specify the relevant ability.

The Ki Spells section in the monk tells you to pick between divine and occult, but doesn't specify the ability.

The "Ki Monk" sidebar with some recommended choices says for ability scores, "Prioritize Strength. Wisdom empowers your ki spells, Perception, and Will saves. Constitution and Dexterity help your physical defenses."

That sure makes it look like they intended the relevant ability to be Wisdom (as it was in the playtest). This is probably another early FAQ candidate.

Also, spell attack/DCs are clearly separate from class DCs, gain proficiency separately, etc.


RicoTheBold wrote:

I agree that the actual words "your ki spells are based on [ability]" might be missing for the monk.

The section in the spells chapter says that "the ability that gives you focus spells and also provides your proficiency rank for spell attack rolls and spell DCs, as well as the magical tradition of your focus spells" and goes on to reference monks but not specify the relevant ability.

The Ki Spells section in the monk tells you to pick between divine and occult, but doesn't specify the ability.

The "Ki Monk" sidebar with some recommended choices says for ability scores, "Prioritize Strength. Wisdom empowers your ki spells, Perception, and Will saves. Constitution and Dexterity help your physical defenses."

That sure makes it look like they intended the relevant ability to be Wisdom (as it was in the playtest). This is probably another early FAQ candidate.

Also, spell attack/DCs are clearly separate from class DCs, gain proficiency separately, etc.

So you're saying they left it out by accident? Are you sure? That seems surprising to me.


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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Bardic Dave wrote:
So you're saying they left it out by accident? Are you sure? That seems surprising to me.

I'm not sure, which is why I said "might be missing." I don't see it, at any rate, and I've looked through for it a couple times. It's hard to prove a negative, though.

Considering it's one of the rare instances where they have feats referring to a section (ki spells sidebar) referring to another section for the "common" rules (focus spells), it's entirely possible it got dropped from one without realizing that it wasn't in the other.


Thanks for the info. I hope you're just missing it, but I suspect you aren't.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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RicoTheBold wrote:
Bardic Dave wrote:
So you're saying they left it out by accident? Are you sure? That seems surprising to me.

I'm not sure, which is why I said "might be missing." I don't see it, at any rate, and I've looked through for it a couple times. It's hard to prove a negative, though.

Considering it's one of the rare instances where they have feats referring to a section (ki spells sidebar) referring to another section for the "common" rules (focus spells), it's entirely possible it got dropped from one without realizing that it wasn't in the other.

Agreed. I just did a quick glance-through to see if I could find it, and I didn't. Definitely annoying, that.


For those with the book: Are there any ki spells in the book for a monk to select?

And for ki powers that an opponent is to make a save against, I assume the class DC is used?

Because although I have yet to get the book I have been following the info flow quite studiously. And I was getting the impression the Monk would use its class DC for effects and that is derived from the choice of STR or DEX.

For comparison, on the casters, does their spell DC differ from their class DC ?

Note: Logan Bonner referencing saving throws was in regards to the Monk making savings and not inflicting saves on others. And WIS was important for Will saves (but like for anyone really)


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kitmehsu wrote:
it is likely wisdom based, is there a sample Ki monk in the book? judging from the alchemist that might give you an idea even if the text is missing

Sample ki monk does note that Wisdom is supposed to empower your ki spells.

Silver Crusade

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I don't have the book yet, but do the other classes that grant focus powers make explicit mention of the stat used for their DCs/Attacks? I'm not asking for examples/spoilers, just asking for clarification.

If they don't mention the stat apart from a blurb like the monk does then the assumption might have been that the description provides the necessary stat (which I hope is not the case). If they do call the stat out then yeah FAQ candidate for sure for Monk, I'd agree.


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Arrendis Lionheart wrote:

I don't have the book yet, but do the other classes that grant focus powers make explicit mention of the stat used for their DCs/Attacks? I'm not asking for examples/spoilers, just asking for clarification.

If they don't mention the stat apart from a blurb like the monk does then the assumption might have been that the description provides the necessary stat (which I hope is not the case). If they do call the stat out then yeah FAQ candidate for sure for Monk, I'd agree.

Champion does. While the spellcasting classes technically do not, they do note that the key ability is used for the classes's spells.

Silver Crusade

Cyouni wrote:
Arrendis Lionheart wrote:

I don't have the book yet, but do the other classes that grant focus powers make explicit mention of the stat used for their DCs/Attacks? I'm not asking for examples/spoilers, just asking for clarification.

If they don't mention the stat apart from a blurb like the monk does then the assumption might have been that the description provides the necessary stat (which I hope is not the case). If they do call the stat out then yeah FAQ candidate for sure for Monk, I'd agree.

Champion does. While the spellcasting classes technically do not, they do note that the key ability is used for the classes's spells.

If Champion does list it I'd expect Monk to do the same, so that sounds erroneous to me. Most likely an oversight in the final editing process (it is one big honkin' book, to be fair).

I assume Champ is Cha? I'll likely use Wis at my table, for Monk ki focus, though I can understand that might not be a solution for everyone.


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Do Focus spells on a caster use their spellcasting proficiency or their class DC? That seems like a relevant thing to consider.


I mean the side bar does clearly say that wisdom empowers your ki spells. I dont know if it can get more clear than that. it's gonna be the same for any monk. monks like fighters dont have archetypes.


Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
Do Focus spells on a caster use their spellcasting proficiency or their class DC? That seems like a relevant thing to consider.

The section that talks about focus spells breaks these apart super clearly. I summarized it above, but how it works for casting classes is actually not pertinent when looking at the rules that are there.


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ikarinokami wrote:
I mean the side bar does clearly say that wisdom empowers your ki spells. I dont know if it can get more clear than that. it's gonna be the same for any monk. monks like fighters dont have archetypes.

Eh, it should probably explicitly say in the Ki Spells description that your spellcasting ability is Wisdom, just as it does for the Champion in the description of Devotion Spells. I agree that it's almost certain that was the intent though, based on the Ki Monk sample description and since it worked that way in the playtest. It was probably overlooked for the monk because Ki Spells are described in a sidebar of key terms instead of given their own section as a class feature (monks don't gain Ki Spells unless you specifically take a monk feat that provides them).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kolyarut wrote:
ikarinokami wrote:
I mean the side bar does clearly say that wisdom empowers your ki spells. I dont know if it can get more clear than that. it's gonna be the same for any monk. monks like fighters dont have archetypes.
Eh, it should probably explicitly say in the Ki Spells description that your spellcasting ability is Wisdom, just as it does for the Champion in the description of Devotion Spells. I agree that it's almost certain that was the intent though, based on the Ki Monk sample description and since it worked that way in the playtest. It was probably overlooked for the monk because Ki Spells are described in a sidebar of key terms instead of given their own section as a class feature (monks don't gain Ki Spells unless you specifically take a monk feat that provides them).

Nothing in the monk area that talks about Ki Spells states WIS other than the "Ki Monk" sample. Which isn't exactly a rules reference.


Rhyst wrote:
Nothing in the monk area that talks about Ki Spells states WIS other than the "Ki Monk" sample. Which isn't exactly a rules reference.

Yep, it's possible they want you to use your class DC, so STR or DEX. But the Ki Monk sample text indicates they either forgot to list Wisdom as the spellcasting ability, or they forgot to remove that blurb from the sample text.

I'd put my money on the Ki Spells using Wisdom to set DC's, but it's not completely clear.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kolyarut wrote:
Rhyst wrote:
Nothing in the monk area that talks about Ki Spells states WIS other than the "Ki Monk" sample. Which isn't exactly a rules reference.

Yep, it's possible they want you to use your class DC, so STR or DEX. But the Ki Monk sample text indicates they either forgot to list Wisdom as the spellcasting ability, or they forgot to remove that blurb from the sample text.

I'd put my money on the Ki Spells using Wisdom to set DC's, but it's not completely clear.

Hint #2 that it may have been missed, the class specific character sheet for monk lists "Spell DC" and has WIS as it's heading.


Rhyst wrote:
Kolyarut wrote:
Rhyst wrote:
Nothing in the monk area that talks about Ki Spells states WIS other than the "Ki Monk" sample. Which isn't exactly a rules reference.

Yep, it's possible they want you to use your class DC, so STR or DEX. But the Ki Monk sample text indicates they either forgot to list Wisdom as the spellcasting ability, or they forgot to remove that blurb from the sample text.

I'd put my money on the Ki Spells using Wisdom to set DC's, but it's not completely clear.

Hint #2 that it may have been missed, the class specific character sheet for monk lists "Spell DC" and has WIS as it's heading.

Great catch!


a Sample character is a rule reference. in fact the word "reference" tells you is a rule. The reference character can only be created by the rules.

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