Wherein prototype00 considers the Monk Stances.


Advice

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So as a prelude to more serious optimizing, I thought I’d go through and grade the Monk Stances (as Monks have the most stances in the game). Ranking is from * to ***** and I might say a thing or two about synergies, and you can tell me what I missed!

So without further ado…

Crane Stance ** Feat 1 – Crane Strikes only.

Is not really that impressive, the damage is lackluster (1d6) and the +1 AC is the same as a buckler/parrying weapon with the benefit that you don’t have to spend an action on it. Hey at least it’s accurate (Agile)

Crane Flutter *** Feat 6

All right, this is what you’re here for, and it does several things really well. AC is boosted for that reaction to over what a Shield can provide, and if they miss it’s a counterattack. I’m not sure it makes up for the meh-ness of the basic Stance though.

Crane Style Overall **

Lackluster damage, and the meat only comes in at level 6 do not make me pleasantly disposed to this tree.

Dragon Stance **** Feat 1

Now this is Nice! Highest damage for Monks in the game, it’s Backswing so if you missed with the first blow of your flurry, your second is more accurate and you get to ignore one square of difficult terrain. A top pick for Str Monks.

Dragon Roar **** Feat 6

This lets you debilitate theoretically a whole bunch of foes around you (Frightened is -1 to everything) and as long as you stay next to one sucker, he will always take that penalty. A strong opener I feel.

Dragon Style Overall ****

Quite a strong tree for Str monks only (no finesse) but certainly a good pick both damage and tactics wise.

Mountain Stance ***** Feat 1 – Mountain Strikes only

Now hear me out, I’m giving Mountain stance a five star rating because it allows a whole different build to be played, the tanky Str only monk. Its even a Status bonus so it stacks with a shield or *gasp* a tower shield for truly top tier AC. The damage is more than decent (1d8, increasing to 1d10 at lvl 18 with Diamond Fists) and its Forceful, which means a scaling buff to damage always with your Second attack. A stellar choice.

Mountain Stronghold **** (if you don’t have a shield) ** (if you do) Feat 6

This is exactly as good as Raise a Shield. No more, no less. So if you have a shield already, you kind of wasted a feat. It does make your Dex cap +1 in Mountain Stance, however so not a total loss, and it is a pre-req for…

Mountain Quake **** Feat 14

This is hilarious. You stamp the ground and out to 20ft from you, enemies (and friends!) fall on their asses. Just pick your favorite target and start pummeling away. Then 1d4 rounds later, do it again! Not 5 star because it’s not party friendly. Oh, and icing, your Dex cap in Mountain Stance goes to +2. *ALERT: THIS ISN'T EVEN AN ATTACK!!!*

Mountain Style Overall ****

A stellar choice for a tanky monk, and really no weaknesses. Even the penalty to speed will disappear soon enough with the Monk’s bonus Stride Speed.


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Tiger Stance **** Feat 1

Decent damage (1d8) and Agile and Finesse plus a bleed damage rider if you crit makes this a more than good choice for a Dex Monk looking to hurt someone. Step 10 instead of Step 5 is the real winner here.

Tiger Slash *** Feat 6

So this is an interesting Feat, you make one attack for two actions, and if you hit, it does 3d8 (base) + whatever Striking Rune you have – 4d8 (base) + Striking runes and it pushes your foe 5ft away (over a cliff maybe?) And if you crit, it does a whole hecking helping of bleed damage. However it requires 2 hands, which precludes use of a Shield, and obviously Flurry is no go here.

Tiger Style Overall ***

So far, the best choice for a Dex Monk, a good range of options that actually might lead to a lot of damage.

Wolf Stance **** Feat 1

Once again decent damage 1d8 and Finesse, and oh, would you look at that. One of the Rarest Weapon Traits in the game, Backstabber. Two weapons have this and neither do 1d8 damage. So add +1 (and +3 eventually) to your damage every time you are flanking, and this weapon can Trip Foes with your dex mod as well. Overall an interesting choice.

Wolf Drag ** Feat 6

So this is basically a lot of ifs. If you Crit, your attack is fatal d12, if you hit, you knock your enemy prone e.t.c. It takes two actions and I’d like it a lot more if it knocked prone first like Mountain Quake.

Wolf Style Overall **

I like the Stance by itself, but taking the whole tree seems a bit… not so great to me.

Ironblood Stance ***** Feat 8 (Edit all this: I'm an idiot)

Decent damage (1d8) for Str Monks and you can Parry, Sweep, (which is if you attack a different creature with your second attack, you gain a +1 to hit) which is really just a more conditional agile, which is nice. The Damage Resistance is the real draw here, and the way shield block works, you can have the DR of the damage applied to the Shield, then halved and applied to you, and you get to apply your own DR from Ironblood Stance to it! Super Tankiness!

Ironblood Surge ***** Feat 14

Forget the Parry Bonus, you can increase your own personal DR to +7 at the maximum end as an action meaning that if you Flurry, Raise your Shield and Ironblood Surge, you are taking only ((Incoming Damage - Shield DR)/2) - 7 damage!

Ironblood Stance Overall *****

A great tanking stance, and I'm sorry I ever said anything bad about this.

Wild Winds Stance *** Feat 8 – Wild Winds Strike Only

So this is a bit of an odd duck in a lot of ways, it lets you use your unarmed strike at 30ft (neat), ignores cover and concealment (neat, but situational, note Invisibility is not Concealment) but does very basic damage 1d6 and will halve your Str Damage (!!!) due to propulsive (well it’s better than getting no bonus at all).

I’ll say, if you need to use it against a concealed/flying foe, its probably worth it, but otherwise, you’ll want another stance.

Tangled Forest Stance **** Feat 8

Interesting Stance, basically all foes are locked down around you unless they can beat your Class DC (which should be stellar) with either Reflex, Athletics or Acrobatics. The damage is nice but about the same as Tiger Style by this point.

Tangled Forest Rake *** Feat 14

Well, moving foes around is interesting, but here is the bummer. This is forced movement and it is neither pushing nor pulling, it is repositioning. You can’t move them somewhere dangerous. Good for getting them into a flank, I suppose.

Tangled Forest Style Overall ***

Once again another decent Dex based style, the lockdown feature is especially appreciated.


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As someone who has created a strength-based dwarven monk, I decided against taking Mountain Stance because of the "touching the ground" requirement. I understand that flying will be less of a thing in 2E, but this is a restriction that makes me nervous. For example, is standing on the 2nd floor of a wooden building considered to be "touching the ground?" Under most definitions of ground, I don't think it would be.

Thanks for this mini-guide though. It provides much food for thought.


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pjrogers wrote:

As someone who has created a strength-based dwarven monk, I decided against taking Mountain Stance because of the "touching the ground" requirement. I understand that flying will be less of a thing in 2E, but this is a restriction that makes me nervous. For example, is standing on the 2nd floor of a wooden building considered to be "touching the ground?" Under most definitions of ground, I don't think it would be.

Thanks for this mini-guide though. It provides much food for thought.

Mountain Stance "Touching the Ground" is the Trigger (keyword), but you don't have to be touching the ground once you're in it.

As to what constitutes ground... I'm going to ask Mark Seifter that in the appropriate thread.


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So winners:

Str Monks:

- Dragon Style: Excellent Damage and a good debilitation effect.

- Mountain Style: Excellent Tanking and a good debilitation effect.

- Ironblood Style: Top Tier Tanking and prime contender to Fuse with either Dragon or Mountain Style.

Dex Monks:

- Tiger Style: Some interesting tricks, and the potential to cause some heinous damage on a crit. Shame about the no-shields though.

- Tangled Forest Style: Excellent Lockdown and might be a good contender to fuse with Mountain Style or Ironblood Style to keep enemies around you while your party massacres them.


I think you should mention weapon using monks.

Ironblood is pretty great for any weapon monk since it has a strong ability that doesn't rely on attacking.

Also, Tangled Forest becomes a bit ridiculous if used with reach and a bo staff is the easiest way to always have reach.


prototype00 wrote:
pjrogers wrote:

As someone who has created a strength-based dwarven monk, I decided against taking Mountain Stance because of the "touching the ground" requirement. I understand that flying will be less of a thing in 2E, but this is a restriction that makes me nervous. For example, is standing on the 2nd floor of a wooden building considered to be "touching the ground?" Under most definitions of ground, I don't think it would be.

Thanks for this mini-guide though. It provides much food for thought.

Mountain Stance "Touching the Ground" is the Trigger (keyword), but you don't have to be touching the ground once you're in it.

As to what constitutes ground... I'm going to ask Mark Seifter that in the appropriate thread.

Thanks for the clarification and willingness to chase down Mark for additional information.


Blave wrote:

I think you should mention weapon using monks.

Ironblood is pretty great for any weapon monk since it has a strong ability that doesn't rely on attacking.

Also, Tangled Forest becomes a bit ridiculous if used with reach and a bo staff is the easiest way to always have reach.

Ooh, that bo staff with Tangled Forest is a tasty combo. Just lock down 10ft around you in all directions. But other than that maybe Mountain Style because of tankiness and thats it for Weapon Style Stance Synergy?

prototype00

Edit: Nix Mountain Stance, you can't Strike with anything else but Falling Stone Strike. Good for combining, bad for support.


It's situational, but there might be something to be said about Crane stance in terms of mobility.

I don't know how often it would come up, but you can leap over difficult terrain to avoid the negatives of it. A monk using crane stance and built for mobility purposes could have a much easier time negating terrain difficulties in combat.

Though this benefit would probably become less over time if other monks invested in athletics and picked up some other mobility options.


prototype00 wrote:

Ironblood Stance ***** Feat 8 (Edit all this: I'm an idiot)

Decent damage (1d8) for Str Monks and you can Parry, Sweep, (which is if you attack a different creature with your second attack, you gain a +1 to hit) which is really just a more conditional agile, which is nice. The Damage Resistance is the real draw here, and the way shield block works, you can have the DR of the damage applied to the Shield, then halved and applied to you, and you get to apply your own DR from Ironblood Stance to it! Super Tankiness!

Ironblood Surge ***** Feat 14

Forget the Parry Bonus, you can increase your own personal DR to +7 at the maximum end as an action meaning that if you Flurry, Raise your Shield and Ironblood Surge, you are taking only ((Incoming Damage - Shield DR)/2) - 7 damage!

I think you're confused about how shields work. When you shield block reaction you reduce the damage by the hardness of the shield, but then you fully apply the remaining damage to both you (which reduces your HP and may kill you) and your shield (which reduces its HP and may break or destroy it). There is no halving going on.


Xenocrat wrote:
prototype00 wrote:

Ironblood Stance ***** Feat 8 (Edit all this: I'm an idiot)

Decent damage (1d8) for Str Monks and you can Parry, Sweep, (which is if you attack a different creature with your second attack, you gain a +1 to hit) which is really just a more conditional agile, which is nice. The Damage Resistance is the real draw here, and the way shield block works, you can have the DR of the damage applied to the Shield, then halved and applied to you, and you get to apply your own DR from Ironblood Stance to it! Super Tankiness!

Ironblood Surge ***** Feat 14

Forget the Parry Bonus, you can increase your own personal DR to +7 at the maximum end as an action meaning that if you Flurry, Raise your Shield and Ironblood Surge, you are taking only ((Incoming Damage - Shield DR)/2) - 7 damage!

I think you're confused about how shields work. When you shield block reaction you reduce the damage by the hardness of the shield, but then you fully apply the remaining damage to both you (which reduces your HP and may kill you) and your shield (which reduces its HP and may break or destroy it). There is no halving going on.

Ah, my mistake. Still the Hardness of the Shield and the Damage Reduction of the Stance should both apply, yes?

prototype00


Yes, those stack.


prototype00 wrote:
Blave wrote:

I think you should mention weapon using monks.

Ironblood is pretty great for any weapon monk since it has a strong ability that doesn't rely on attacking.

Also, Tangled Forest becomes a bit ridiculous if used with reach and a bo staff is the easiest way to always have reach.

Ooh, that bo staff with Tangled Forest is a tasty combo. Just lock down 10ft around you in all directions. But other than that maybe Mountain Style because of tankiness and thats it for Weapon Style Stance Synergy?

prototype00

Edit: Nix Mountain Stance, you can't Strike with anything else but Falling Stone Strike. Good for combining, bad for support.

I'd aim for iron blood + tangled forest at 20.

A bo staff with stand still also has a chance to stop anyone who tries to approach you in their tracks. Add stunning fist and assurance athletics (for the occasional trip at 10 ft) to all this and you are pretty good at locking enemies in place.


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i think you're undervaluing Wolf drag by a ton.

imo this feat alone makes wolf stance superior to tiger stance for dex monks in every way.

it's basically an added trip attack, that autosucceeds, bypasses size limits, and doesn't increase MAP.

So, it's basically like a "1 action: You drop whatever enemy prone. Only usable if you hit with your Strike before."

plus, Fatal d12 is a huge amount of damage, the little bleed of tiger stance doesn't even come close to how much damage this adds. I mean, it's +11 damage +4 per striking rune. Even before Striking runes it'd take 4 rounds+ of bleed to come close to that, and after Striking it just keeps scaling.

(plus i think it's totally biased to say "it has a lots of if's", and listing "hitting" like an "if". I mean, by the same standards, every sinlge style attack has the same amount of "ifs", if they don't hit, they equally do nothing)


Huh, I'll have a review of Wolf Drag tomorrow then, no worries.

prototype00


prototype00 wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
prototype00 wrote:

Ironblood Stance ***** Feat 8 (Edit all this: I'm an idiot)

Decent damage (1d8) for Str Monks and you can Parry, Sweep, (which is if you attack a different creature with your second attack, you gain a +1 to hit) which is really just a more conditional agile, which is nice. The Damage Resistance is the real draw here, and the way shield block works, you can have the DR of the damage applied to the Shield, then halved and applied to you, and you get to apply your own DR from Ironblood Stance to it! Super Tankiness!

Ironblood Surge ***** Feat 14

Forget the Parry Bonus, you can increase your own personal DR to +7 at the maximum end as an action meaning that if you Flurry, Raise your Shield and Ironblood Surge, you are taking only ((Incoming Damage - Shield DR)/2) - 7 damage!

I think you're confused about how shields work. When you shield block reaction you reduce the damage by the hardness of the shield, but then you fully apply the remaining damage to both you (which reduces your HP and may kill you) and your shield (which reduces its HP and may break or destroy it). There is no halving going on.

Ah, my mistake. Still the Hardness of the Shield and the Damage Reduction of the Stance should both apply, yes?

prototype00

I'm guessing the idea is you're using a shield here instead of the Parry trait, and taking the Shield Block general feat? Because Parry weapons don't shield block.


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I was going to say some things about Wolf Drag, but shroudb covered it.

On Crane Stance, I think the AC boost is a bit undervalued. "It's like a buckler or parrying weapon, with the benefit that you don't have to spend an action". It's worth noting that not having to spend an action on a shield/parry is valued as a level 12 Stance Feat for Fighters. Getting it, albeit a noticably weaker version, as a level 1 Stance is nothing to sneeze at. I know I'd seriously consider that as a quite possibly worthwhile trade for the -1 damage per die compared to Tiger/Wolf. Of course the later feats separate the function of the stances more, so it comes more to offend vs. defense.

Mountain Stronghold and Crane Stance both it's worth acknowledging the lack of hands needed for their defensive effect compared to shield.

Tiger Slash, if you're already in melee or have Haste, actually works great with Flurry. Tiger Slash is not a Flourish, so both can be used in the same round. And on top of that TS only counts as one attack towards your MAP (there are plenty of two action strikes that count as two), so you can TS at full accuracy and then Flurry at -4/-8.


Yeah I was about to chime in with the undervaluing of wolf.

In a full attack set up you would strike with it first when your accuracy is at its best. If the opponent is downed you effectively get +2 to the follow up flurry and if they attempt to stand they lose an action and you get an ao


I'm not entirely sure when I'm going to be able to fit a 2 action attack into my round and have it look better than flurry. I guess if I'm hasted, but that won't be regularly.

Every monk I've built with Wolf or Tiger style just took Abundant Step or something else at 6.


shroudb wrote:

i think you're undervaluing Wolf drag by a ton.

imo this feat alone makes wolf stance superior to tiger stance for dex monks in every way.

it's basically an added trip attack, that autosucceeds, bypasses size limits, and doesn't increase MAP.

So, it's basically like a "1 action: You drop whatever enemy prone. Only usable if you hit with your Strike before."

plus, Fatal d12 is a huge amount of damage, the little bleed of tiger stance doesn't even come close to how much damage this adds. I mean, it's +11 damage +4 per striking rune. Even before Striking runes it'd take 4 rounds+ of bleed to come close to that, and after Striking it just keeps scaling.

(plus i think it's totally biased to say "it has a lots of if's", and listing "hitting" like an "if". I mean, by the same standards, every sinlge style attack has the same amount of "ifs", if they don't hit, they equally do nothing)

I don't think it's quite as good as described here - it has the 1E Stunning Fist problem of being required to commit to it. Missing the attack means you lost both of those actions.


Arachnofiend wrote:
shroudb wrote:

i think you're undervaluing Wolf drag by a ton.

imo this feat alone makes wolf stance superior to tiger stance for dex monks in every way.

it's basically an added trip attack, that autosucceeds, bypasses size limits, and doesn't increase MAP.

So, it's basically like a "1 action: You drop whatever enemy prone. Only usable if you hit with your Strike before."

plus, Fatal d12 is a huge amount of damage, the little bleed of tiger stance doesn't even come close to how much damage this adds. I mean, it's +11 damage +4 per striking rune. Even before Striking runes it'd take 4 rounds+ of bleed to come close to that, and after Striking it just keeps scaling.

(plus i think it's totally biased to say "it has a lots of if's", and listing "hitting" like an "if". I mean, by the same standards, every sinlge style attack has the same amount of "ifs", if they don't hit, they equally do nothing)

I don't think it's quite as good as described here - it has the 1E Stunning Fist problem of being required to commit to it. Missing the attack means you lost both of those actions.

that's the same for every 2 action activity though, like power attack and etc.

plus, monk still has the 1 action flurry to follow up so not everything is wasted even if you miss the 2 action activity.

Giving the enemy effectively both "slowed 1" (he needs to get up) and flat footed for the whole party, as well as potentially enabling AoO, without an extra "attack roll" to actually succeed, is actually quite worth it imo.

plus, it's your first attack, it's far more likely to actually land, and prone makes it easier for the followup attacks to connect.


Using this feat first puts your Flurry attacks at -5/-10.

Like, I don't think it's bad, and it's something that I could see people using, but it's wrong to portray it as a "1 action free trip" since there's a significant amount of risk involved. I think my main problem with it though is that, since wolf jaw has backstabber on it, you've likely already found a means to get consistent flat-footed enemies prior to qualifying for Wolf Drag.


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I find Wolf Drag good, hit the attack and the target is automatically tripped meaning that they have to spend an action to get up in their turn or suffer the penalties of being prone, that makes the other party member very happy as well because of flat footed enemie to take advantage.


I think the mobility crane stance grants has been underestimated here especially with skill feats like quick jump.


Arachnofiend wrote:

Using this feat first puts your Flurry attacks at -5/-10.

Like, I don't think it's bad, and it's something that I could see people using, but it's wrong to portray it as a "1 action free trip" since there's a significant amount of risk involved. I think my main problem with it though is that, since wolf jaw has backstabber on it, you've likely already found a means to get consistent flat-footed enemies prior to qualifying for Wolf Drag.

Minor nitpick, it's -4/8 because Agile. But still, for stay-in-melee rounds I like +0/-4/-8 with a Trip rider and Fatal d12 on the first hit over +0/-4/-8/-8. Granted you'd typically do something else with that last action in the second scenario.


In the playtest, at level 9, I used Wolf Drag + Flurry several times. The one time I landed a Drag crit, I think I did more damage that round than several of my party members did the whole fight. Although the change to Striking Runes has lowered that a bit, I think it's still a lot.

Either you get frequent crits against lower-level enemies, that likely one-shot them, or you hit a boss and knock them prone. I think it's pretty good.


Don't forget wild winds gust. Pretty cool to have a 2 action aoe attack, imo.


Edge93 wrote:
prototype00 wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
prototype00 wrote:

Ironblood Stance ***** Feat 8 (Edit all this: I'm an idiot)

Decent damage (1d8) for Str Monks and you can Parry, Sweep, (which is if you attack a different creature with your second attack, you gain a +1 to hit) which is really just a more conditional agile, which is nice. The Damage Resistance is the real draw here, and the way shield block works, you can have the DR of the damage applied to the Shield, then halved and applied to you, and you get to apply your own DR from Ironblood Stance to it! Super Tankiness!

Ironblood Surge ***** Feat 14

Forget the Parry Bonus, you can increase your own personal DR to +7 at the maximum end as an action meaning that if you Flurry, Raise your Shield and Ironblood Surge, you are taking only ((Incoming Damage - Shield DR)/2) - 7 damage!

I think you're confused about how shields work. When you shield block reaction you reduce the damage by the hardness of the shield, but then you fully apply the remaining damage to both you (which reduces your HP and may kill you) and your shield (which reduces its HP and may break or destroy it). There is no halving going on.

Ah, my mistake. Still the Hardness of the Shield and the Damage Reduction of the Stance should both apply, yes?

prototype00

I'm guessing the idea is you're using a shield here instead of the Parry trait, and taking the Shield Block general feat? Because Parry weapons don't shield block.

You would assume rightly, fellow forumite. You stack the hardness of, say, a sturdy shield and your own inherent DR all to mitigate a bunch of damage.


Gaulin wrote:
Don't forget wild winds gust. Pretty cool to have a 2 action aoe attack, imo.

Ah, completely missed this one, I’ll add it in when I’m back home.


lordcirth wrote:

In the playtest, at level 9, I used Wolf Drag + Flurry several times. The one time I landed a Drag crit, I think I did more damage that round than several of my party members did the whole fight. Although the change to Striking Runes has lowered that a bit, I think it's still a lot.

Either you get frequent crits against lower-level enemies, that likely one-shot them, or you hit a boss and knock them prone. I think it's pretty good.

I must admit, I wasn’t considering the possibility of knocking any boss prone, no questions asked. I’ll bump up the rating of Wolf one or two dots.

Wolf Stance **** Feat 1

Once again decent damage 1d8 and Finesse, and oh, would you look at that. One of the Rarest Weapon Traits in the game, Backstabber. Two weapons have this and neither do 1d8 damage. So add +1 (and +3 eventually) to your damage every time you are flanking, and this weapon can Trip Foes with your dex mod as well. Overall an interesting choice.

Wolf Drag *** Feat 6

With the recent comments on how this can knock down automatically a foe that is of any size this seems better to me (I was just thinking originally that trey could get up right after if initiative was unfortunate).

Wolf Style Overall ***

I would put Wolf Style on par or slightly better than Tiger, and both are definitely better than Crane.


vestris wrote:
I think the mobility crane stance grants has been underestimated here especially with skill feats like quick jump.

I appreciate mobility as much as the next guy Vestris, but does that really warrant bumping up crane style? I’m not so sure, especially since I don’t think IIRC stances can be used in Exploration mode?


prototype00 wrote:
vestris wrote:
I think the mobility crane stance grants has been underestimated here especially with skill feats like quick jump.
I appreciate mobility as much as the next guy Vestris, but does that really warrant bumping up crane style? I’m not so sure, especially since I don’t think IIRC stances can be used in Exploration mode?

Mobility is important in combat too, the ability to leap over difficult terrain can make a big difference in how much distance you can travel in a turn as an example.

This could be good if the enemies use difficult terrain, or even if your party creates difficult terrain to make movement difficult for enemies. You could possibly leap over enemies instead of attempting a tumble too or such things.


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Arachnofiend wrote:

Using this feat first puts your Flurry attacks at -5/-10.

Like, I don't think it's bad, and it's something that I could see people using, but it's wrong to portray it as a "1 action free trip" since there's a significant amount of risk involved. I think my main problem with it though is that, since wolf jaw has backstabber on it, you've likely already found a means to get consistent flat-footed enemies prior to qualifying for Wolf Drag.

IMO, the main reason you trip bosses is for the benefits of prone beyond flat-footed. You can get that a dozen different ways, but trip also reduces actions or attack bonuses (and you want the boss to have less of both). Also if the monk can fly wolf drag can knock the enemy down to the ground for the party and eat up the enemy reaction or do extra falling damage, depending on if they arrest the fall.


prototype00 wrote:
vestris wrote:
I think the mobility crane stance grants has been underestimated here especially with skill feats like quick jump.
I appreciate mobility as much as the next guy Vestris, but does that really warrant bumping up crane style? I’m not so sure, especially since I don’t think IIRC stances can be used in Exploration mode?

I don't see why you couldn't use a stance in exploration mode.

But even so, if there is something that your group is encountering that requires movement skill checks like that where stance-improved mobility features are useful, the players should be able to request running it as a non-combat encounter mode instead.


Valestrix wrote:
prototype00 wrote:
vestris wrote:
I think the mobility crane stance grants has been underestimated here especially with skill feats like quick jump.
I appreciate mobility as much as the next guy Vestris, but does that really warrant bumping up crane style? I’m not so sure, especially since I don’t think IIRC stances can be used in Exploration mode?

Mobility is important in combat too, the ability to leap over difficult terrain can make a big difference in how much distance you can travel in a turn as an example.

This could be good if the enemies use difficult terrain, or even if your party creates difficult terrain to make movement difficult for enemies. You could possibly leap over enemies instead of attempting a tumble too or such things.

I agree with all of this, but:

1. It seems kind of situational, and doesn’t excuse at all the bad damage.
2. Monks were already pretty great at Athletics?

I just can’t in good conscience say that Crane is on par with Tiger, Wolf or Tangled Forest. But that’s just my opinion.


prototype00 wrote:
Valestrix wrote:
prototype00 wrote:
vestris wrote:
I think the mobility crane stance grants has been underestimated here especially with skill feats like quick jump.
I appreciate mobility as much as the next guy Vestris, but does that really warrant bumping up crane style? I’m not so sure, especially since I don’t think IIRC stances can be used in Exploration mode?

Mobility is important in combat too, the ability to leap over difficult terrain can make a big difference in how much distance you can travel in a turn as an example.

This could be good if the enemies use difficult terrain, or even if your party creates difficult terrain to make movement difficult for enemies. You could possibly leap over enemies instead of attempting a tumble too or such things.

I agree with all of this, but:

1. It seems kind of situational, and doesn’t excuse at all the bad damage.
2. Monks were already pretty great at Athletics?

I just can’t in good conscience say that Crane is on par with Tiger, Wolf or Tangled Forest. But that’s just my opinion.

Yeah it is absolutely situational. Though as I mentioned, you could potentially use it in tandem with your party if people want to make use of spells to create difficult terrain, so there is a tactical value there.

As for Monks being already pretty good at Athletics:

Crane adds 5 feet to the long jump on top of reducing the long jump dc by 5. Essentially any actual long jump is 10 DC less to make. As monks get higher and higher move speeds, they need to hit a higher dc to have a long jump match their speed, which crane makes into a significantly easier check.

An example Lvl 3 monk: 35 move speed requires a dc 35 check to make a full jump, or a dc 25 check for crane. At this point a monk could have expert athletics, so +11 with max possible str mod. Crane monk can make a full jump if they roll a 14, while a non-crane monk can't make a full jump even if they rolled a 20.

They could both take dancing leaf for another 5 ft. added to their jump if they wanted, which makes a 35 ft jump require a dc 30 check without crane, so now they would need to roll a 19. With crane they could make a 35 ft jump with a dc 20 check, which means they only need to roll a 9.

That said, as athletics skill increases and upon acquiring some later skill feats for it, this benefit could eventually become obsolete. Cloud Jump in particular, though you don't have access to that until level 15. This does mean that the whole mobile aspect is definitely something more valuable at lower levels than later.

I won't argue that it is on par with those other stances, but having essentially a -10 on all long jump DC's is pretty significant for someone who might want a very mobile monk regardless of the situation.

Edit: Though thinking on it a bit, I do question it a bit, cause it says when you leap you can add the 5 feet horizontally, I am considering that the intention there may be that you don't actually add this to a long jump, but only to a regular leap, which would just mean you could do a regular leap for 20 ft with no DC check. Though it does say you leap in the long jump action itself. Yet Dancing leaf specifically calls into mention both long jump and leap with it's +5.

I'm not sure :P


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breithauptclan wrote:
prototype00 wrote:
vestris wrote:
I think the mobility crane stance grants has been underestimated here especially with skill feats like quick jump.
I appreciate mobility as much as the next guy Vestris, but does that really warrant bumping up crane style? I’m not so sure, especially since I don’t think IIRC stances can be used in Exploration mode?

I don't see why you couldn't use a stance in exploration mode.

But even so, if there is something that your group is encountering that requires movement skill checks like that where stance-improved mobility features are useful, the players should be able to request running it as a non-combat encounter mode instead.

"Stance: A stance is a general combat strategy that

you enter by using an action with the stance trait, and
you remain in for some time. 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. After you take an action with the
stance trait, you can’t take another one for 1 round. You
can enter or be in a stance only in encounter mode.
"


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The thing with Crane Stance is that it's the only stance that let you reach Champion AC with heavy armor and with the Crane reaction you reach Champion AC with the shield raised.

Basically a defensive stance that let you do cool jump stuff as bonus.


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One other thing on Wolf Drag, there is a lot if synergy available there in the core book to compound its power.

If you grab Brawling Focus as a level 2 feat you get access to the crit specializations of the Brawling weapon group which is Fort save on a crit or be stunned 1.
Get a Grievous Rune on your gloves and that save is made at a chunky -4.

If you are facing a tough opponent, a successful Wolf Drag puts him prone requiring an action to stand up. A critical Wolf Drag is a Fatal hit, which puts them prone and a Fort Save at -4 or be stunned as well potentially taking 2 actions off a boss.

That can be fight winning.


Kyrone wrote:

The thing with Crane Stance is that it's the only stance that let you reach Champion AC with heavy armor and with the Crane reaction you reach Champion AC with the shield raised.

Basically a defensive stance that let you do cool jump stuff as bonus.

Mountain Stance + 2 from dex and a Tower Shield taken cover behind doesn't reach? Just curious?

Edit: Though Mountain Stance will always do more damage than a crane stylist, so I guess its a bit of a trade off.


HidaOWin wrote:

One other thing on Wolf Drag, there is a lot if synergy available there in the core book to compound its power.

If you grab Brawling Focus as a level 2 feat you get access to the crit specializations of the Brawling weapon group which is Fort save on a crit or be stunned 1.
Get a Grievous Rune on your gloves and that save is made at a chunky -4.

If you are facing a tough opponent, a successful Wolf Drag puts him prone requiring an action to stand up. A critical Wolf Drag is a Fatal hit, which puts them prone and a Fort Save at -4 or be stunned as well potentially taking 2 actions off a boss.

That can be fight winning.

I'll need to make sure my cousin remembers that, he's about to join my game as a Goblin Bounty Hunter Monk with Wolf Style, among other things.


prototype00 wrote:
Kyrone wrote:

The thing with Crane Stance is that it's the only stance that let you reach Champion AC with heavy armor and with the Crane reaction you reach Champion AC with the shield raised.

Basically a defensive stance that let you do cool jump stuff as bonus.

Mountain Stance + 2 from dex and a Tower Shield taken cover behind doesn't reach? Just curious?

Edit: Though Mountain Stance will always do more damage than a crane stylist, so I guess its a bit of a trade off.

it takes 2 actions to take cover behind a tower shield, it takes 1 reaction to crane, they are not really comparable.


shroudb wrote:
prototype00 wrote:
Kyrone wrote:

The thing with Crane Stance is that it's the only stance that let you reach Champion AC with heavy armor and with the Crane reaction you reach Champion AC with the shield raised.

Basically a defensive stance that let you do cool jump stuff as bonus.

Mountain Stance + 2 from dex and a Tower Shield taken cover behind doesn't reach? Just curious?

Edit: Though Mountain Stance will always do more damage than a crane stylist, so I guess its a bit of a trade off.

it takes 2 actions to take cover behind a tower shield, it takes 1 reaction to crane, they are not really comparable.

The thing is, Monks can take those two actions much more often than other classes and still get their two attacks in.

Anyway, I'm still not sold on Crane, but if people have fun with it, who am I to argue?

prototype00


shroudb wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
prototype00 wrote:
vestris wrote:
I think the mobility crane stance grants has been underestimated here especially with skill feats like quick jump.
I appreciate mobility as much as the next guy Vestris, but does that really warrant bumping up crane style? I’m not so sure, especially since I don’t think IIRC stances can be used in Exploration mode?

I don't see why you couldn't use a stance in exploration mode.

But even so, if there is something that your group is encountering that requires movement skill checks like that where stance-improved mobility features are useful, the players should be able to request running it as a non-combat encounter mode instead.

"Stance: A stance is a general combat strategy that

you enter by using an action with the stance trait, and
you remain in for some time. 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. After you take an action with the
stance trait, you can’t take another one for 1 round. You
can enter or be in a stance only in encounter mode.
"

Yes. But encounter mode does not equal combat.


lordcirth wrote:
shroudb wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
prototype00 wrote:
vestris wrote:
I think the mobility crane stance grants has been underestimated here especially with skill feats like quick jump.
I appreciate mobility as much as the next guy Vestris, but does that really warrant bumping up crane style? I’m not so sure, especially since I don’t think IIRC stances can be used in Exploration mode?

I don't see why you couldn't use a stance in exploration mode.

But even so, if there is something that your group is encountering that requires movement skill checks like that where stance-improved mobility features are useful, the players should be able to request running it as a non-combat encounter mode instead.

"Stance: A stance is a general combat strategy that

you enter by using an action with the stance trait, and
you remain in for some time. 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. After you take an action with the
stance trait, you can’t take another one for 1 round. You
can enter or be in a stance only in encounter mode.
"
Yes. But encounter mode does not equal combat.

What are you talking about?

I was answering the post that said "I don't see why you couldn't use a stance in exploration mode."

with the direct rule that shows that stances are Encounter Mode ONLY.

what kind of encounter isn't either in the question nor the answer i gave.


shroudb wrote:
lordcirth wrote:
shroudb wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:
prototype00 wrote:
vestris wrote:
I think the mobility crane stance grants has been underestimated here especially with skill feats like quick jump.
I appreciate mobility as much as the next guy Vestris, but does that really warrant bumping up crane style? I’m not so sure, especially since I don’t think IIRC stances can be used in Exploration mode?

I don't see why you couldn't use a stance in exploration mode.

But even so, if there is something that your group is encountering that requires movement skill checks like that where stance-improved mobility features are useful, the players should be able to request running it as a non-combat encounter mode instead.

"Stance: A stance is a general combat strategy that

you enter by using an action with the stance trait, and
you remain in for some time. 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. After you take an action with the
stance trait, you can’t take another one for 1 round. You
can enter or be in a stance only in encounter mode.
"
Yes. But encounter mode does not equal combat.

What are you talking about?

I was answering the post that said "I don't see why you couldn't use a stance in exploration mode."

with the direct rule that shows that stances are Encounter Mode ONLY.

what kind of encounter isn't either in the question nor the answer i gave.

They also said "the players should be able to request running it as a non-combat encounter mode instead. "


(stopping the quote train for obvious reasons)

yeah, but i wasn't responding to that part, hence why i bolded the relevant part.

but... sure? I'm still not seeing how quoting me was relevant to that either, since i didn't mention anything about that part, nor did i disagreed with that.

It would have to be a very short run though.

since encounter mode is not for extended activities (the whole "exploration limits the amount of actions/round to a more reasonable sustained model" and etc)


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I think the point is to say that jumping a pit can probably be run in encounter mode instead of exploration mode, so the mobility aspects of crane stance would apply to non-combat challenges where it would be worthwhile, since no one is Leaping as an exploration mode activity.


Unicore wrote:
I think the point is to say that jumping a pit can probably be run in encounter mode instead of exploration mode, so the mobility aspects of crane stance would apply to non-combat challenges where it would be worthwhile, since no one is Leaping as an exploration mode activity.

well, yeah.

i never refuted that, i even think it's kinda obvious since jumping around is often used to circumvent challenges and the moment a "challenge" appears in 99% of the time you go into encounter mode either way.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

The intent of "encounter mode only" is to stop PF1 arguments/shenannigans where people were trying to walk around in a stance all day to avoid spending the action in combat. You absolutely cannot start combat in PF2 in a stance without the appropriate feat, it's a GM call whether you can use it outside combat to get noncombat benefits.

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