Is monk still useless?


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Liberty's Edge

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OCEANSHIELDWOLPF 2.0 wrote:

I’m very sorry to derail the thread.

So Power Attack is only one action, a Melee Strike but it causes the following attack (if there is one) to receive a penalty as if two attacks had been made instead of one.

Is that right?

That's correct, yes.

OCEANSHIELDWOLPF 2.0 wrote:
Multiple Attack Penalty wrote:
Every check that has the attack trait counts toward your multiple attack penalty, including Strikes, spell attack rolls, certain skill actions like Shove, and many others.
Just a question on nomenclature. Why “check”? Is this a shorthand/code for making a roll? I’m still trying to wrap my head around Actions, attacks, Strikes etc. It’s simple, eventually, but the capitalisations and their usage are awkward, even though they are meant to be keywords.

Check has long been a term for a roll, yes.

Ramanujan wrote:

Are the dedications pure feat taxes for particular classes?

I.e. is there at least one class for which a particular dedication provides absolutely no benefit except access to that archetype’s other dedication feats?

I’m not sure I’m comfortable with this.

All at least provide access to one additional Trained Skill, but otherwise, yes, some are rather superfluous (Fighter Dedication for Ranger or Barbarian, for example).


@Thanks to FowlJ, Garretmander and Deadmanwalking for the patience. And Paul Watson, though I think that almost confused me all over again. I’ll carefully bow out and do some more reading armed with your explanations, and return you to your thread! Thanks again folks!


OCEANSHIELDWOLPF 2.0 wrote:
@Thanks to FowlJ, Garretmander and Deadmanwalking for the patience. And Paul Watson, though I think that almost confused me all over again. I’ll carefully bow out and do some more reading armed with your explanations, and return you to your thread! Thanks again folks!

just to clarify, power attack is TWO actions but ONE attack.

the symbols on top of the feats/activities indicate the amount and type of actions it takes


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shroudb wrote:
OCEANSHIELDWOLPF 2.0 wrote:
@Thanks to FowlJ, Garretmander and Deadmanwalking for the patience. And Paul Watson, though I think that almost confused me all over again. I’ll carefully bow out and do some more reading armed with your explanations, and return you to your thread! Thanks again folks!

just to clarify, power attack is TWO actions but ONE attack.

the symbols on top of the feats/activities indicate the amount and type of actions it takes

Yep, thanks shroudb, I neglected to look at that, though I had checked the symbols on FoB. Good catch, and beneficial for my understanding!!!


Back to the original topic at hand, I feel pure Ki monks are no longer viable, as with a max of 3 Focus points, you completely crap out on your magic juice halfway through the fight if you're using one Focus Spell a turn, so you can't take a Ki ability feat every chance you get, or you'll have no use after round 3. This is quite saddening, I wish at least monks specifically got a higher cap than 3, or else you're forced to make a hybrid monk, well that's well a good, I'm sad to see my all-powerful mystic who's body is crap but mind is sharp has to be relegated to a casting class. Cest la vie I guess, Z-Fighter knock offs are more viable now though :)


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nick1wasd wrote:
Back to the original topic at hand, I feel pure Ki monks are no longer viable, as with a max of 3 Focus points, you completely crap out on your magic juice halfway through the fight if you're using one Focus Spell a turn, so you can't take a Ki ability feat every chance you get, or you'll have no use after round 3. This is quite saddening, I wish at least monks specifically got a higher cap than 3, or else you're forced to make a hybrid monk, well that's well a good, I'm sad to see my all-powerful mystic who's body is crap but mind is sharp has to be relegated to a casting class. Cest la vie I guess, Z-Fighter knock offs are more viable now though :)

trying to build a character that his main thing is JUST focus abilities is a trap either way.

since you can only regenerate 1 focus until level 12, and only at level 18 you can regenerate all 3 of them either way. (you can't "refocus 2-3 times in a row")

focus abilities are better seen as a thing you can do once per fight, with the option to "burst" once per day until VERY high levels at least.

as an example, ki blast is an excellent ability to open up EACH fight and then proceed to pummel your foes to death. And in a pinch, you may indeed blast 3 times in a row, but then you're back to 1/fight till next day.


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shroudb wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
Back to the original topic at hand, I feel pure Ki monks are no longer viable, as with a max of 3 Focus points, you completely crap out on your magic juice halfway through the fight if you're using one Focus Spell a turn, so you can't take a Ki ability feat every chance you get, or you'll have no use after round 3. This is quite saddening, I wish at least monks specifically got a higher cap than 3, or else you're forced to make a hybrid monk, well that's well a good, I'm sad to see my all-powerful mystic who's body is crap but mind is sharp has to be relegated to a casting class. Cest la vie I guess, Z-Fighter knock offs are more viable now though :)

trying to build a character that his main thing is JUST focus abilities is a trap either way.

since you can only regenerate 1 focus until level 12, and only at level 18 you can regenerate all 3 of them either way. (you can't "refocus 2-3 times in a row")

focus abilities are better seen as a thing you can do once per fight, with the option to "burst" once per day until VERY high levels at least.

as an example, ki blast is an excellent ability to open up EACH fight and then proceed to pummel your foes to death. And in a pinch, you may indeed blast 3 times in a row, but then you're back to 1/fight till next day.

Where is THAT stated? I haven't seen it, and we have some pretty compelling evidence it isn't the case since Jason told the Champion she could refocus back to back several times in a row.


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So many people talking about the Flurry, but I'm surprised no one actually mentioned how it interacts with Incredible Movement (well I saw one mention of the tactic but not details). With Flurry and Incredible Movement Monks become nearly unmatched in hit-and-run tactics, eventually able to move up, hit twice, and retreat far enough that most enemies will probably need to burn 2 actions to catch up. And of course you can play this up as an Elf, with a potential 70 foot move speed eventually. And while it might not be the most likely choice, if you add in their capstone option that gives them permanent Quickened for moving, you can basically get to the point that in a large enough arena a Monk can probably kite any melee opponent to their doom.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
shroudb wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
Back to the original topic at hand, I feel pure Ki monks are no longer viable, as with a max of 3 Focus points, you completely crap out on your magic juice halfway through the fight if you're using one Focus Spell a turn, so you can't take a Ki ability feat every chance you get, or you'll have no use after round 3. This is quite saddening, I wish at least monks specifically got a higher cap than 3, or else you're forced to make a hybrid monk, well that's well a good, I'm sad to see my all-powerful mystic who's body is crap but mind is sharp has to be relegated to a casting class. Cest la vie I guess, Z-Fighter knock offs are more viable now though :)

trying to build a character that his main thing is JUST focus abilities is a trap either way.

since you can only regenerate 1 focus until level 12, and only at level 18 you can regenerate all 3 of them either way. (you can't "refocus 2-3 times in a row")

focus abilities are better seen as a thing you can do once per fight, with the option to "burst" once per day until VERY high levels at least.

as an example, ki blast is an excellent ability to open up EACH fight and then proceed to pummel your foes to death. And in a pinch, you may indeed blast 3 times in a row, but then you're back to 1/fight till next day.

Where is THAT stated? I haven't seen it, and we have some pretty compelling evidence it isn't the case since Jason told the Champion she could refocus back to back several times in a row.

Page 300, the requirements for the refocus action:

Quote:
You have a focus pool, and you have spent at least 1 Focus Point since you last regained any Focus Points.


FowlJ wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
shroudb wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
Back to the original topic at hand, I feel pure Ki monks are no longer viable, as with a max of 3 Focus points, you completely crap out on your magic juice halfway through the fight if you're using one Focus Spell a turn, so you can't take a Ki ability feat every chance you get, or you'll have no use after round 3. This is quite saddening, I wish at least monks specifically got a higher cap than 3, or else you're forced to make a hybrid monk, well that's well a good, I'm sad to see my all-powerful mystic who's body is crap but mind is sharp has to be relegated to a casting class. Cest la vie I guess, Z-Fighter knock offs are more viable now though :)

trying to build a character that his main thing is JUST focus abilities is a trap either way.

since you can only regenerate 1 focus until level 12, and only at level 18 you can regenerate all 3 of them either way. (you can't "refocus 2-3 times in a row")

focus abilities are better seen as a thing you can do once per fight, with the option to "burst" once per day until VERY high levels at least.

as an example, ki blast is an excellent ability to open up EACH fight and then proceed to pummel your foes to death. And in a pinch, you may indeed blast 3 times in a row, but then you're back to 1/fight till next day.

Where is THAT stated? I haven't seen it, and we have some pretty compelling evidence it isn't the case since Jason told the Champion she could refocus back to back several times in a row.

Page 300, the requirements for the focus action:

Quote:
You have a focus pool, and you have spent at least 1 Focus Point since you last regained any Focus Points.

Huh, I missed that. That certainly shifts their paradigm, and also explains why feats like Meditative Focus are worth having. And that's consistent with how they were used in Oblivion Oath.


FowlJ wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
shroudb wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
Back to the original topic at hand, I feel pure Ki monks are no longer viable, as with a max of 3 Focus points, you completely crap out on your magic juice halfway through the fight if you're using one Focus Spell a turn, so you can't take a Ki ability feat every chance you get, or you'll have no use after round 3. This is quite saddening, I wish at least monks specifically got a higher cap than 3, or else you're forced to make a hybrid monk, well that's well a good, I'm sad to see my all-powerful mystic who's body is crap but mind is sharp has to be relegated to a casting class. Cest la vie I guess, Z-Fighter knock offs are more viable now though :)

trying to build a character that his main thing is JUST focus abilities is a trap either way.

since you can only regenerate 1 focus until level 12, and only at level 18 you can regenerate all 3 of them either way. (you can't "refocus 2-3 times in a row")

focus abilities are better seen as a thing you can do once per fight, with the option to "burst" once per day until VERY high levels at least.

as an example, ki blast is an excellent ability to open up EACH fight and then proceed to pummel your foes to death. And in a pinch, you may indeed blast 3 times in a row, but then you're back to 1/fight till next day.

Where is THAT stated? I haven't seen it, and we have some pretty compelling evidence it isn't the case since Jason told the Champion she could refocus back to back several times in a row.

Page 300, the requirements for the refocus action:

Quote:
You have a focus pool, and you have spent at least 1 Focus Point since you last regained any Focus Points.

similarly, the feats allowing to regain 2 focus, have the added requirement of "having spent 2 focus since last time you refocused" so you can't even go "regain 2, use 1, regain 2"


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
FowlJ wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

Where is THAT stated? I haven't seen it, and we have some pretty compelling evidence it isn't the case since Jason told the Champion she could refocus back to back several times in a row.

Page 300, the requirements for the focus action:

Quote:
You have a focus pool, and you have spent at least 1 Focus Point since you last regained any Focus Points.

Huh, I missed that. That certainly shifts their paradigm, and also explains why feats like Meditative Focus are worth having. And that's consistent with how they were used in Oblivion Oath.

I totally missed that too... Thanks for the heads up, it certainly changes things!

For pure Ki focused monks, I think the Wild Winds stance is somewhat viable, since it lets you make ranged ki attacks for the rest of the fight if you stay in it, but that doesn't come online until 8th level...

Has anyone run the numbers on doing just normal unarmed monk attacks, with once per combat ki strike, at low levels to see how it stacks against the stances?


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Hmm... Sure.

Let's see. Monk with just Powerful Fist, and Ki Strike once per battle vs. Monk with Powerful Fist and some stance or other. Stats otherwise identical.

Say, 16 STR. Trained in unarmed attacks.

I think all stances are one action cost, and don't cause attacks. Correct me if I am wrong on that.

OK. First round:
* Ki monk casts Ki strike, moves up, flurry.
* Stance monk triggers stance, moves up, flurry.

Subsequent rounds:

* Ki monk move, flurry, some other non-attack action.
* Stance monk move, flurry, some other non-attack action.

Trying to keep the comparison simple primarily, but also trying to be realistic on what a monk would actually be doing.

Also assuming that all attacks hit, but not crit, just to keep things simple. Could instead factor in the roll percentages, but then I would need to know stats on the AC they are trying to target. Also things would change drastically if the Ki Strike attacks are the ones that miss. Which is actually something to keep in mind when doing the final decision on choosing class feats.

First round:

Ki monk is doing two strikes at (1d6 + 3)B + 1d6{force, lawful, negative, positive} damage and has a +1 attack to each of them. So 20 damage average before dealing with any resistances or weaknesses to damage types.

Stance monk is doing two strikes at usually 1d8 + 3. Some down at 1d6 + 3 and one as high as 1d10 + 3. So going with the 1d8 + 3, that would be 15 damage on the round average.

Later rounds:

Ki monk is doing only the 1d6 + 3 damage twice each round. 13 damage average.
Stance monk is doing 1d8 + 3 damage twice each round. 15

So average damage, the ki monk is doing 5 points more damage on the first round, and the stance monk is doing 2 points more damage on later rounds.

So the ki monk starts out ahead in damage, but the stance monk catches up fairly quickly and passes at round 4. Not counting damage weaknesses, different stances, or missing attacks.

Questions to ask yourself:

How many battles last more than 3 rounds?
How high of a class level will it be before getting more than one focus point?
Would taking both a stance and ki strike be a viable option?


Ki Strike is an action which grants a strike or flurry. So that turn is "move up, ki strike flurry, strike"


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lordcirth wrote:
Ki Strike is an action which grants a strike or flurry.

Ah. So it is.

For the analysis though, I would rather: move up, ki flurry, something else.

Though maybe I should count the number of attacks before the stance monk surpasses the damage of a ki strike monk. Rather than the number of rounds.

Still, in general, the ki strike gives a healthy boost of damage on the round you use it, but the stances provide a better overall damage boost with no limit or cost involved. So the stances will eventually provide better damage if the combat goes on long enough.

Though that is only at lower levels. I haven't looked at how things change when taking the advanced stance feats that improve the damage of stance attacks.

And even this analysis is only scratching the surface of the complexity involved in deciding which type of monk is better at dealing damage.

TL;DR: stop trying to min-max. Pick something that is enjoyable. It will almost certainly be viable, and other people will be hard pressed to even argue that what you chose is sub-optimal.


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I think every monk is going to want a stance. For just 1 feat you not only get a die size increase, but you get ancillary benefits like "can 10' step" or "resistance".


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I think every monk is going to want a stance. For just 1 feat you not only get a die size increase, but you get ancillary benefits like "can 10' step" or "resistance".

Agree with that, particularly since you could then use Ki Strike with your special unarmed attacks. I don't see it as needing to be an either/or thing.

breithauptclan wrote:
TL;DR: stop trying to min-max. Pick something that is enjoyable. It will almost certainly be viable, and other people will be hard pressed to even argue that what you chose is sub-optimal.

Never has a truer thing been said on this forum.


Yeah, those monk stances are really good. I would certainly want at least one of them.

But if I saw a character sheet for a monk that didn't have a stance on it, I don't think I could even begin to make a case that they obviously should have picked a stance instead of one of the other feats they chose.


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Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
shadram wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
FowlJ wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:

Where is THAT stated? I haven't seen it, and we have some pretty compelling evidence it isn't the case since Jason told the Champion she could refocus back to back several times in a row.

Page 300, the requirements for the focus action:

Quote:
You have a focus pool, and you have spent at least 1 Focus Point since you last regained any Focus Points.

Huh, I missed that. That certainly shifts their paradigm, and also explains why feats like Meditative Focus are worth having. And that's consistent with how they were used in Oblivion Oath.

I totally missed that too... Thanks for the heads up, it certainly changes things!

For pure Ki focused monks, I think the Wild Winds stance is somewhat viable, since it lets you make ranged ki attacks for the rest of the fight if you stay in it, but that doesn't come online until 8th level...

Has anyone run the numbers on doing just normal unarmed monk attacks, with once per combat ki strike, at low levels to see how it stacks against the stances?

Wow, that Wild Winds Stance looks pretty good. Not only does it give you that ranged attack for the rest of the fight with +1d6 with all those traits in the description, but you can ignore the flat check concealment requires you to make a hit on the concealed target AND it can ignore up to a +4 AC bonus from cover, all while granting you a +2 bonus to your own AC against ranged attacks. Nice!


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shroudb wrote:
FowlJ wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
shroudb wrote:
nick1wasd wrote:
Back to the original topic at hand, I feel pure Ki monks are no longer viable, as with a max of 3 Focus points, you completely crap out on your magic juice halfway through the fight if you're using one Focus Spell a turn, so you can't take a Ki ability feat every chance you get, or you'll have no use after round 3. This is quite saddening, I wish at least monks specifically got a higher cap than 3, or else you're forced to make a hybrid monk, well that's well a good, I'm sad to see my all-powerful mystic who's body is crap but mind is sharp has to be relegated to a casting class. Cest la vie I guess, Z-Fighter knock offs are more viable now though :)

trying to build a character that his main thing is JUST focus abilities is a trap either way.

since you can only regenerate 1 focus until level 12, and only at level 18 you can regenerate all 3 of them either way. (you can't "refocus 2-3 times in a row")

focus abilities are better seen as a thing you can do once per fight, with the option to "burst" once per day until VERY high levels at least.

as an example, ki blast is an excellent ability to open up EACH fight and then proceed to pummel your foes to death. And in a pinch, you may indeed blast 3 times in a row, but then you're back to 1/fight till next day.

Where is THAT stated? I haven't seen it, and we have some pretty compelling evidence it isn't the case since Jason told the Champion she could refocus back to back several times in a row.

Page 300, the requirements for the refocus action:

Quote:
You have a focus pool, and you have spent at least 1 Focus Point since you last regained any Focus Points.
similarly, the feats allowing to regain 2 focus, have the added requirement of "having spent 2 focus since last time you refocused" so you can't even go "regain 2, use 1, regain 2"

I believe the Champion was casting Lay on Hands every 10 minutes and refocusing inbetween. It's why champions make decent out of combat healers, it stacks with medicine too, so you can have a medicine person healing someone every 10 minutes and the champion.

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