Monk Stances - Can one voluntarily leave a stance without entering another?


Rules Questions


So, the rules state "A stance lasts until you get knocked out, until its requirements (if any) are violated, until the encounter ends, or until you enter a new stance, whichever comes first."

Say I'm a Level 1 Monk with Mountain Stance, so I know no other stances. If I want to lose the -5 foot speed penalty for being in Mountain Stance, how can I do that? The rules don't seem to indicate that I can choose to leave a stance voluntarily, and I have no other stance to change into.

I figured if anything I could break the Requirement to be touching the ground by jumping, but upon researching it turns out this was deliberately made a Trigger for Mountain Stance so that one *can't* drop out of Mountain Stance by leaving the ground after entering it.

Is there anything I may have missed that would indicate I could choose to leave a stance without going into another one? Thanks!


I'm not sure why you would want to.

If the restrictions become burdensome, do something that violates them and that automatically ends the stance. For example, the monk stances that only allow certain attacks - just make a different attack. Do the attack that you want to use. It is still available, it just ends your stance in the process.

So what stance has a penalty that you want to end that you can't end by violating the stance requirements?


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breithauptclan wrote:

I'm not sure why you would want to.

If the restrictions become burdensome, do something that violates them and that automatically ends the stance. For example, the monk stances that only allow certain attacks - just make a different attack. Do the attack that you want to use. It is still available, it just ends your stance in the process.

So what stance has a penalty that you want to end that you can't end by violating the stance requirements?

As I mentioned, Mountain Stance. Here is the full wording:

Trigger - You are unarmored and touching the ground.
You enter the stance of an implacable mountain—a technique
first discovered by dwarven monks—allowing you to strike
with the weight of an avalanche. The only Strikes you can
make are falling stone unarmed attacks. These deal 1d8
bludgeoning damage; are in the brawling group; and have the
forceful, nonlethal, and unarmed traits.
While in Mountain Stance, you gain a +4 status bonus to
AC and a +2 circumstance bonus to any defenses against
being Shoved or Tripped. However, you have a Dexterity
modifier cap to your AC of +0, meaning you don’t add
your Dexterity to your AC, and your Speeds are all reduced
by 5 feet.

It actually doesn't have a Requirement like other stances, but a Trigger: must be unarmored and touching the ground. It was apparently designed this way so that activating Mountain Stance and then leaving the ground (e.g. due to a shove, jumping, etc) would not drop you out of the stance. So unfortunately I cannot intentionally violate it to drop out of the stance.

As for only allowing certain attacks, is that how it works? I took that to mean you simply *cannot* use other attacks while in that stance, rather than "using attacks other than this will drop the stance." For example, Mountain Stance says "the only Strikes you can make are falling stone unarmed attacks"; I took this to mean that I simply cannot take any other type of Strike action while in Mountain Stance.


That trigger issue seems weird and might be a mistake in the book.

While I'm happy if you can still fly/jump/air walk in Mountain Stance after activating it, having a trigger brings along some VERY strange implications.

First of all, entering the stance is an action. Actions don't have triggers, Reactions (and some free actions) do. I don't think there's another action or acivity with a trigger in the book.

And second, if you only need to be on the ground and unarmored when you enter the stance, you could enter the stance in the first round and then equip some full plate. I mean, it's not practical by any means because it takes forever but it would work. Could cause trouble if there's ever going to be any spells or magic items that summon armor quickly (an there have been such things in PF2 starting quite early with the APG).


I agree, it's very bizarre that Mountain Stance has a Trigger rather than a Requirement, and the only rules I've seen regarding triggers are like you mentioned with reference to Reactions. But looking through other threads here where people have asked about it, it does appear to be a deliberate choice by Paizo. Not sure why they decided to make it a Trigger that you can only use an Action to activate, rather than just adding another line of text stipulating that leaving the ground doesn't drop the stance.

And yes it seems like equipping armor mid combat might be the only way to drop the stance! Which is truly bizarre. I feel like this must be an oversight and would probably have to ask a GM if they're ok to just add voluntary stance dropping.


spiralshadow wrote:
And yes it seems like equipping armor mid combat might be the only way to drop the stance!

My point was that equipping armor doesn't drop the stance. The trigger condition doesn't cause you to drop stance if you no longer fulfill the "be on the ground" requirement. So the same would be true for the "being unarmored" requirement.


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AFAICT having an (non-Free) Action with a Trigger isn't even defined. Reactions have triggers; Free Actions can have triggers, in which case they operate like Reactions; and that's all that's ever mentioned of Triggers (pages 461-462). So if they made Mountain Stance a Triggered Action on purpose, they forgot to provide rules support for what that means. Unless I've missed something?

I agree that not being able to drop out of a stance voluntarily is an oversight and should be houseruled. I'm not sure if I'd houserule it to be an Action or a Free Action.

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