Monk focus point pool limited to 3, why? / Occult over Divine? / Value of Mtn Stance in this build?


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1. I can't understand why a Monk focus point pool is limited to 3. To be a Ki Monk (Unlike the other classes) a Monk has to pick heavy Ki feats. You can have a pool of 3 as early as 2nd level, however I think level 4 would be the norm. You can't regain 2 focus points until you pick Meditative Focus at level 12. So saying for most combat you will only have 1 focus point to use while Ki is your main weapon in combat. It is almost like they don't want you to be a Ki Monk, just a Monk that can once or twice a fight use Ki. But use a bunch of feats to have options.

I do not understand this restriction, seems very limiting, can some one please explain?

2. The example of a Ki Monk on page 162 in the core book says you should pick occult for your spell like abilities (I say this as occult is one of the skills picked on the build). I do not understand this... is it because occult skill is used versatile in day to day play? Occult is an Int based skill while Divine is Wis based. Seems to me you need the higher stat to be wis for the saves, Ki saves, and perception. Why pick occult over divine?

3. I see no value in Mtn Stance as with the spread of your points across so many ability scores you will not stand and fight toe-to-toe... move, hit, move! It also limits you to one form of attack. Am I missing something?

4. Is a shield and/or Bracers considered Armor. I think a shield is but bracers of def would be okay to use as a monk. Am I correct?

5. General thoughts:
I am an old D&D player from back in the 70's... it seems to me that Stunning Fist, Water Step, Wall Run and (maybe) Deflect Arrow should have been core with feats to enhance them.

I do not understand how the fighter can have a better unarmed strike than a Monk.

I also do not understand the slow progression of monks unarmored defense. 12 levels at your starting proficiency seems very slow for a very core ability.

Thanks in advance for responses.


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Justinian9 wrote:

1. I can't understand why a Monk focus point pool is limited to 3. To be a Ki Monk (Unlike the other classes) a Monk has to pick heavy Ki feats. You can have a pool of 3 as early as 2nd level, however I think level 4 would be the norm. You can't regain 2 focus points until you pick Meditative Focus at level 12. So saying for most combat you will only have 1 focus point to use while Ki is your main weapon in combat. It is almost like they don't want you to be a Ki Monk, just a Monk that can once or twice a fight use Ki. But use a bunch of feats to have options.

I do not understand this restriction, seems very limiting, can some one please explain?

Errrm, every class is limited to max ever a pool of 3 focus points, it says so on pg 300. Sorcerors only have 3, wizards only have 3, so in a way, Monks have the most Focus points of any class...? (3)

Quote:
2. The example of a Ki Monk on page 162 in the core book says you should pick occult for your spell like abilities (I say this as occult is one of the skills picked on the build). I do not understand this... is it because occult skill is used versatile in day to day play? Occult is an Int based skill while Divine is Wis based. Seems to me you need the higher stat to be wis for the saves, Ki saves, and perception. Why pick occult over divine?

Thats kind of a flavour thing, mysterious user of Ki = Occult. Its a trained skill, you don't have to take it if you don't want to.

Quote:
3. I see no value in Mtn Stance as with the spread of your points across so many ability scores you will not stand and fight toe-to-toe... move, hit, move! It also limits you to one form of attack. Am I missing something?

Mountain Stance allows you to focus your ability points in Str, and ignore Dex so I'm not sure why you would be very spread out. Mountain Monks can start with one of the highest starting ACs in the game (23 with a tower shield) so heck, you can just stand there and take it. Let all the enemies pile onto you while you flurry them unconscious with your rock hard fists. (You also are one of the most damaging Monks out there thanks to high Strength)

Quote:
4. Is a shield and/or Bracers considered Armor. I think a shield is but bracers of def would be okay to use as a monk. Am I correct?

Nope. Shields are not armor, you can use them as a monk and still get your unarmored proficiency bonus to AC. Bracers (of armor) are not armor either. So not sure where you are getting this info? Both are great for monks.

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5. General thoughts:

I am an old D&D player from back in the 70's... it seems to me that Stunning Fist, Water Step, Wall Run and (maybe) Deflect Arrow should have been core with feats to enhance them.

Most things are feats now, thats just how it is. You build your character in a modular fashion rather than HAVING to take most abilities. Makes for more customizability. I like it, personally.

Quote:
I do not understand how the fighter can have a better unarmed strike than a Monk.

He has a better unarmed accuracy than a monk, but is:

- Stuck at 1d4 nonlethal damage
- Attacks at -2 if he attempts to do lethal
- Has no ways to boost it (unarmed being not weapon attacks, so literally none of a Fighter's abilities work with it)

I'll... stick with the monk for unarmed, thanks.

Quote:

I also do not understand the slow progression of monks unarmored defense. 12 levels at your starting proficiency seems very slow for a very core ability.

Thanks in advance for responses.

Once again, I am at a loss of how to respond here. Monks (and Champions) are the only class that gets it at this level. They are the FASTEST in the game at advancing armor proficiency. I mean, if that is the case, all the classes are slow as molasses, aren't they?


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Focus powers (all of them, not just monk) are set up mechanically to be something usefull that you can use repeatedly throughout the day, but never something you can use exclusively. I think "ki monk" is a much less accurate description in this edition than "monk with ki." I do think they should have found a better name for their example, because of that.

The occult over divine choice can be aseen much for the flavor you want as anything else, and they had to pick one for their example. There is no reason you'd need to pick occult. Both skills can be useful for their own sake.

They probably chose mountain stance, because a mountain stance monk can afford to have low DEX, to free up points for WIS. You can only make one type of Strike, in the stance. You can still use Attacks that include Strikes, like Flurry of Blows, as long as the included Strikes are the ones used by mountain stance. You can also still use actions that are Attacks but are not Strikes at all, like Ki Blast, or combat maneuvers.

You can use both a shield and bracers and still not be wearing armor.

All classes have been built to be very modular, so that future additions will expand their breadth of options, instead of building power on top. The monk has had a lot of core abilities in the past. In this format, they are things that you can select as abilities that you gain, taking a multiclass archetype into monk, or abilities that you lose, archetyping away from monk.

Regarding the fighter getting a higher unarmed attack proficiency, remember, absolutely no class reaches Legendary with both weapon and armor. Not all of the martial classes reach Legendary with even one of the 2.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
prototype00 wrote:
Justinian9 wrote:

1. I can't understand why a Monk focus point pool is limited to 3. To be a Ki Monk (Unlike the other classes) a Monk has to pick heavy Ki feats. You can have a pool of 3 as early as 2nd level, however I think level 4 would be the norm. You can't regain 2 focus points until you pick Meditative Focus at level 12. So saying for most combat you will only have 1 focus point to use while Ki is your main weapon in combat. It is almost like they don't want you to be a Ki Monk, just a Monk that can once or twice a fight use Ki. But use a bunch of feats to have options.

I do not understand this restriction, seems very limiting, can some one please explain?

Errrm, every class is limited to max ever a pool of 3 focus points, it says so on pg 300. Sorcerors only have 3, wizards only have 3, so in a way, Monks have the most Focus points of any class...? (3)

Quote:
2. The example of a Ki Monk on page 162 in the core book says you should pick occult for your spell like abilities (I say this as occult is one of the skills picked on the build). I do not understand this... is it because occult skill is used versatile in day to day play? Occult is an Int based skill while Divine is Wis based. Seems to me you need the higher stat to be wis for the saves, Ki saves, and perception. Why pick occult over divine?

Thats kind of a flavour thing, mysterious user of Ki = Occult. Its a trained skill, you don't have to take it if you don't want to.

Quote:
3. I see no value in Mtn Stance as with the spread of your points across so many ability scores you will not stand and fight toe-to-toe... move, hit, move! It also limits you to one form of attack. Am I missing something?
Mountain Stance allows you to focus your ability points in Str, and ignore Dex so I'm not sure why you would be very spread out. Mountain Monks can start with one of the highest starting ACs in the game (23 with a tower shield) so heck, you can just stand there and take it. Let all the enemies...

I am new to Pathfinder, just trying to get this system in my head. So I ask questions and read the thoughts of people like you who know and understand the system better than I d

How do you ignore dex? How do you live through the first round if you have not had time to get into Mtn Stance to get your +4 to AC. A 15 AC for a round would suck, bad! I also was not thinking a Monk could use a shield so that helps. A shield would use one action to keep raised, might be worth it. I will have to think about that.

Yes, Sorcerers, Wizards, and Monks have a pool of 3 focus points. I see this differently, I see focus points enhancing the Sorcerers and Wizards spell abilities however, it just limits a Ki Monk... if a Sorcerer or Wizard had to use a focus point to cast a spell and could only regain 1 focus point (one spell use) after a battle than could only use cantrips the comparison would be the same. A Ki Monk is limited to 3 uses of spell like ability (his main damage attacks) and after that has to use other weapons which are comparable to cantrip damage.

Thanks for the info on Occult as I could not see the point... flavor I understand! I would have understood that it was a better skill in game play also.

I am not arguing a point on any of this... just trying to understand.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
HammerJack wrote:

Focus powers (all of them, not just monk) are set up mechanically to be something usefull that you can use repeatedly throughout the day, but never something you can use exclusively. I think "ki monk" is a much less accurate description in this edition than "monk with ki." I do think they should have found a better name for their example, because of that.

The occult over divine choice can be aseen much for the flavor you want as anything else, and they had to pick one for their example. There is no reason you'd need to pick occult. Both skills can be useful for their own sake.

They probably chose mountain stance, because a mountain stance monk can afford to have low DEX, to free up points for WIS. You can only make one type of Strike, in the stance. You can still use Attacks that include Strikes, like Flurry of Blows, as long as the included Strikes are the ones used by mountain stance. You can also still use actions that are Attacks but are not Strikes at all, like Ki Blast, or combat maneuvers.

You can use both a shield and bracers and still not be wearing armor.

All classes have been built to be very modular, so that future additions will expand their breadth of options, instead of building power on top. The monk has had a lot of core abilities in the past. In this format, they are things that you can select as abilities that you gain, taking a multiclass archetype into monk, or abilities that you lose, archetyping away from monk.

Regarding the fighter getting a higher unarmed attack proficiency, remember, absolutely no class reaches Legendary with both weapon and armor. Not all of the martial classes reach Legendary with even one of the 2.

I think you are right it is a monk with Ki not a Ki Monk! Yet the abilities are strong.... you would have to retrain all the time to keep your other Monk abilities strong enough to be a a viable build.

I watched a PF1 show on you tube I think it was Markofthedragon and there was a Monk in it that was just plain awesome. I think back to the Monk in the old days of D&D and they were also awesome, I think this Monk can also be awesome but requires a very good understanding of synergy of core, feats, and archetypes abilities to accomplish. I don't have that skill right now... I have to read and understand more.


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I think at level 1 most classes will start round 1 with low AC if they don’t have a shield raised . I believe medium armour would be 15 as well

Occult as a skill is just as useful as Divine but for different things - identifying different types of spells and monsters


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just to note, you only have to use mountain stance once in combat and then you maintain it for the combat. eventually you can go into the stance when you roll initiative(at level 12).

the 2nd mountain stance feat also gives it the ability to basically raise a shield without a shield equiped and gives you a dex cap of 1.

so you can ignore dex, while having heavy armor AC while using your unarmored prof.


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Do note that occult and divine aren't only knowledge skills, but may also be active skills for protecting against certain hazards, like haunts.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Lanathar wrote:

I think at level 1 most classes will start round 1 with low AC if they don’t have a shield raised . I believe medium armour would be 15 as well

Occult as a skill is just as useful as Divine but for different things - identifying different types of spells and monsters

Let use Fighter as an example as they are also a melee class.

A 1st lvl Fighter, in med armor let say scale has a +3 to armor class and +2 dex cap, let say he has a +1 ability bonus from dex.... that is a 14 AC... than add in +2 for proficiency 16 AC plus level 17 AC... shield? +2,
19 AC

4 AC higher than a Monk with a str build.... unless the monk also uses a shield (which I did not consider in this post). A 20% higher chance of a crit and a hit on a monk than a fighter.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Also remember that unless that fighter was using a specific exploration tactic, or took Reactive Shield as their 1st level feat, they don't have that shield bonus before they act, anymore than the monk is in stance before acting.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
HammerJack wrote:
Do note that occult and divine aren't only knowledge skills, but may also be active skills for protecting against certain hazards, like haunts.

True, but if you take Stace Savant than you don't have Meditative Focus to regain 2 focus points after a battle.great!. and there is always Disrupt Ki at that level that is just plain.

Please explain this active skills for protecting against certain hazards or where do I read on this ability... I have missed this!

Liberty's Edge

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Justinian9 wrote:
How do you ignore dex? How do you live through the first round if you have not had time to get into Mtn Stance to get your +4 to AC. A 15 AC for a round would suck, bad! I also was not thinking a Monk could use a shield so that helps. A shield would use one action to keep raised, might be worth it. I will have to think about that.

Well, remember that Initiative isn't Dex-based. It's based on Perception, which is to say Wisdom. So foregoing Dex for higher Wisdom makes this less of a drawback, since you're only down AC until your turn. If you go first, this isn't a drawback at all.

Your Con can also likely be higher (again, due to needing to invest less in Dex) giving additional HP.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
HammerJack wrote:
Also remember that unless that fighter was using a specific exploration tactic, or took Reactive Shield as their 1st level feat, they don't have that shield bonus before they act, anymore than the monk is in stance before acting.

Thanks, I forgot about that... so a 10% higher AC not 20. and a monk with a shield would also not get that bonus to AC prior to his turn.

Thanks for the reminder


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Just to make sure everyone understands me. I think Monks are great, I am focusing on the negative to help me mitigate the effects and build a good character.

I have to go for a bit, I will be back later. Thanks in advance for assisting me in my understanding of this system.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Justinian9 wrote:
HammerJack wrote:
Do note that occult and divine aren't only knowledge skills, but may also be active skills for protecting against certain hazards, like haunts.

True, but if you take Stace Savant than you don't have Meditative Focus to regain 2 focus points after a battle.great!. and there is always Disrupt Ki at that level that is just plain.

Please explain this active skills for protecting against certain hazards or where do I read on this ability... I have missed this!

The section on hazards starts on page 520. Most of the example hazards are more "classic" style traps, and use thievery as the skill needed to disable them, or the option of attempting to use Dispel Magic, for magical traps. There's only one example of a haunt type trap in the CRB, where religion or diplomacy can be used to attempt to calm the spirits, and disable that hazard. However, depending on the nature of a hazard, a lot of skills can be relevant as a way to disable them. The few adventures published by Paizo so far do include hazards where other skills, like religion and occultism, are relevant.


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Justinian9 wrote:
Lanathar wrote:

I think at level 1 most classes will start round 1 with low AC if they don’t have a shield raised . I believe medium armour would be 15 as well

Occult as a skill is just as useful as Divine but for different things - identifying different types of spells and monsters

Let use Fighter as an example as they are also a melee class.

A 1st lvl Fighter, in med armor let say scale has a +3 to armor class and +2 dex cap, let say he has a +1 ability bonus from dex.... that is a 14 AC... than add in +2 for proficiency 16 AC plus level 17 AC... shield? +2,
19 AC

4 AC higher than a Monk with a str build.... unless the monk also uses a shield (which I did not consider in this post). A 20% higher chance of a crit and a hit on a monk than a fighter.

I forgot proficiency *facepalm*


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The max AC that any non-monk can have at level 1 is 18. A dex monk can have 19, and a strength monk can have 15 base, 19 with mountain stance. And the strength monk can easily have a lot of HP to handle a possible first-round attack.


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To the OP, others have addressed the points as well as I could or better, but one thing I don't get is the comment about Mountain Stance monks needing to "stand there and take it". Mountain Stance doesn't impose any movement penalties or anything.

Also I think either unarmed strikes or Cantrips are being notably underestimated. Cantrips do nice damage but cost two actions, which is a big deal. Especially for casters whose main thing is spells and most Spells also take two actions. Strikes may do a little less damage per hit but you're gonna be landing more hits. Especially monks, who can get two attacks for one action once per turn with Flurry. So even when they aren't using ki, a ki-focused Monk is going to be a great fighter, better than Cantrip attacks.

I also don't get the comment about having to retrain abilities constantly to keep them effective, I can't think of any Monk abilities offhand that really get worse at higher levels.


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Mountain Stance reduces all your speeds by 5 feet.


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Mountain Stance does slow you a little, but you're a monk. Moving is cheap when you have Flurry of Blows, and at level 3 it will barely matter anymore. Also, dwarves with Unburdened Iron won't care.


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Red Metal wrote:
Mountain Stance reduces all your speeds by 5 feet.

And Monks get +10' movement at 3rd level and +5' every four levels thereafter.

It's not that terrible a negative for two whole levels.

Liberty's Edge

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Red Metal wrote:
Mountain Stance reduces all your speeds by 5 feet.

Firstly, as others say, you're a Monk, you can counteract this long term.

Secondly, as lordcirth notes a Dwarf you could take Unburdened Iron to ignore this penalty. Dwarves created Mountain Style and a lot of their abilities synchronize really well with it.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
HammerJack wrote:
Justinian9 wrote:
HammerJack wrote:
Do note that occult and divine aren't only knowledge skills, but may also be active skills for protecting against certain hazards, like haunts.

True, but if you take Stace Savant than you don't have Meditative Focus to regain 2 focus points after a battle.great!. and there is always Disrupt Ki at that level that is just plain.

Please explain this active skills for protecting against certain hazards or where do I read on this ability... I have missed this!

The section on hazards starts on page 520. Most of the example hazards are more "classic" style traps, and use thievery as the skill needed to disable them, or the option of attempting to use Dispel Magic, for magical traps. There's only one example of a haunt type trap in the CRB, where religion or diplomacy can be used to attempt to calm the spirits, and disable that hazard. However, depending on the nature of a hazard, a lot of skills can be relevant as a way to disable them. The few adventures published by Paizo so far do include hazards where other skills, like religion and occultism, are relevant.

Interesting! Thank you, I will read this. I have not read this part as I did not think any of my characters would be involved in traps. Thanks again


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Edge93 wrote:

To the OP, others have addressed the points as well as I could or better, but one thing I don't get is the comment about Mountain Stance monks needing to "stand there and take it". Mountain Stance doesn't impose any movement penalties or anything.

Also I think either unarmed strikes or Cantrips are being notably underestimated. Cantrips do nice damage but cost two actions, which is a big deal. Especially for casters whose main thing is spells and most Spells also take two actions. Strikes may do a little less damage per hit but you're gonna be landing more hits. Especially monks, who can get two attacks for one action once per turn with Flurry. So even when they aren't using ki, a ki-focused Monk is going to be a great fighter, better than Cantrip attacks.

I also don't get the comment about having to retrain abilities constantly to keep them effective, I can't think of any Monk abilities offhand that really get worse at higher levels.

10th level monk with 20 str unarmed strike 1d6 +5 twice so 2d6+10 if you hit both times as you do have the multi-attack penalty on the second attack

10th level MU, 20 in key spell ability, the first cantrip in the book is acid Splash so let see what that does... (I don't normally play Magic Users so I may not have the dam correct).

2d6 +5, if crit + 3 points persistent dam, + 2 splash damage to everyone in 5 ft of target.

Pretty close on damage, I agreeI think I will have to play a monk to see how it works out on the grid.

As to retraining as you level you are picking Ki feats as you go.... if you can only use 3 focus points a day (plus 1 after every fight if you used a focus point), why do you want to keep the lower level ki feats if your main attacks are unarmed strikes? So you pick new Ki feats as you go and retrain the lower level ones you no longer want. this way you can pick feats that increase your main force... unarmed strikes. That is my thought process, don't know if it is correct, but it make sense to me. Am I wrong?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
lordcirth wrote:
Mountain Stance does slow you a little, but you're a monk. Moving is cheap when you have Flurry of Blows, and at level 3 it will barely matter anymore. Also, dwarves with Unburdened Iron won't care.

I did not think about that, good call.

I will tell you why I did not go with Dwarf... If you require Ki Strike and Mtn Stance they are both 1st level class feats. So as a dwarf I would have to pick my seconf 1st level feat at 2 level and I would always be 2 level behind on class feats. As a Human I can get 2 1st level class feats at 1st level. That is the only reason I built a Ki Monk as a human. I am going to have to think about this some more.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Justinian9 wrote:
lordcirth wrote:
Mountain Stance does slow you a little, but you're a monk. Moving is cheap when you have Flurry of Blows, and at level 3 it will barely matter anymore. Also, dwarves with Unburdened Iron won't care.

I did not think about that, good call.

I will tell you why I did not go with Dwarf... If you require Ki Strike and Mtn Stance they are both 1st level class feats. So as a dwarf I would have to pick my seconf 1st level feat at 2 level and I would always be 2 level behind on class feats. As a Human I can get 2 1st level class feats at 1st level. That is the only reason I built a Ki Monk as a human. I am going to have to think about this some more.

If you have access to the Lost Omens World Guide you could join a House of Perfection. Get Ki Strike at lvl 2 with the Student of Perfection dedication which then gives you access to Perfect Strike (Reaction to reroll a missed attack) and 4 other Ki Spells (based on school)


Justinian9 wrote:
10th level monk with 20 str unarmed strike 1d6 +5 twice so 2d6+10 if you hit both times as you do have the multi-attack penalty on the second attack

Most of the time, you will be using a stance that increases your damage to 1d8 or possibly more. In addition, by 10th level you probably have +1 or +2 striking handwraps of mighty blows giving you one more die of damage, so with one action the monk makes two attacks for 2d8+5 (with the second either being -5 to hit and +2 damage, or -4 to hit). You could be making more attacks, but you'd be eating a double multiple attack penalty which would pretty much remove your chance of actually hitting. So that leaves two actions open for movement, letting you dash both in and out of combat.

Quote:

10th level MU, 20 in key spell ability, the first cantrip in the book is acid Splash so let see what that does... (I don't normally play Magic Users so I may not have the dam correct).

2d6 +5, if crit + 3 points persistent dam, + 2 splash damage to everyone in 5 ft of target.

With the handwraps included, the monk is pretty far ahead on damage. But then again, the monk doesn't have the nova capacity of a caster.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Vlorax wrote:
Justinian9 wrote:
lordcirth wrote:
Mountain Stance does slow you a little, but you're a monk. Moving is cheap when you have Flurry of Blows, and at level 3 it will barely matter anymore. Also, dwarves with Unburdened Iron won't care.

I did not think about that, good call.

I will tell you why I did not go with Dwarf... If you require Ki Strike and Mtn Stance they are both 1st level class feats. So as a dwarf I would have to pick my seconf 1st level feat at 2 level and I would always be 2 level behind on class feats. As a Human I can get 2 1st level class feats at 1st level. That is the only reason I built a Ki Monk as a human. I am going to have to think about this some more.

If you have access to the Lost Omens World Guide you could join a House of Perfection. Get Ki Strike at lvl 2 with the Student of Perfection dedication which then gives you access to Perfect Strike (Reaction to reroll a missed attack) and 4 other Ki Spells (based on school)

OH Dang, I have been spending so much time trying to figure out the hellknight I did not think to look in it for Monk stuff.. Great info, Thanks!


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Staffan Johansson wrote:
Justinian9 wrote:
10th level monk with 20 str unarmed strike 1d6 +5 twice so 2d6+10 if you hit both times as you do have the multi-attack penalty on the second attack

Most of the time, you will be using a stance that increases your damage to 1d8 or possibly more. In addition, by 10th level you probably have +1 or +2 striking handwraps of mighty blows giving you one more die of damage, so with one action the monk makes two attacks for 2d8+5 (with the second either being -5 to hit and +2 damage, or -4 to hit). You could be making more attacks, but you'd be eating a double multiple attack penalty which would pretty much remove your chance of actually hitting. So that leaves two actions open for movement, letting you dash both in and out of combat.

Quote:

10th level MU, 20 in key spell ability, the first cantrip in the book is acid Splash so let see what that does... (I don't normally play Magic Users so I may not have the dam correct).

2d6 +5, if crit + 3 points persistent dam, + 2 splash damage to everyone in 5 ft of target.

With the handwraps included, the monk is pretty far ahead on damage. But then again, the monk doesn't have the nova capacity of a caster.

That is true! And I should have had the damage die 1d10 as Mtn strikes (i can't remember there name) are d10


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I think it would be cool if they release a feat for monks to be able to regain Ki a lot more effectively or even mid-combat so that they can "spam" their Ki stuff more regularly. Even the Sorcerer style "regain all 3 focus" would be pretty helpful! Perhaps could even achieve a higher limit somehow.


ChibiNyan wrote:
I think it would be cool if they release a feat for monks to be able to regain Ki a lot more effectively or even mid-combat so that they can "spam" their Ki stuff more regularly. Even the Sorcerer style "regain all 3 focus" would be pretty helpful! Perhaps could even achieve a higher limit somehow.

"Gain a focus point, but lose an action every round for 1 minute" would be fun.


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Secret Wizard wrote:
ChibiNyan wrote:
I think it would be cool if they release a feat for monks to be able to regain Ki a lot more effectively or even mid-combat so that they can "spam" their Ki stuff more regularly. Even the Sorcerer style "regain all 3 focus" would be pretty helpful! Perhaps could even achieve a higher limit somehow.
"Gain a focus point, but lose an action every round for 1 minute" would be fun.

I could see some kind of faster ki mechanic showing up for an archetype like the Serpent Fire Adept.


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Justinian9 wrote:
That is true! And I should have had the damage die 1d10 as Mtn strikes (i can't remember there name) are d10

No, Falling Stone strikes deal 1d8, which seems to be the default. Dragon Tail deals 1d10, but have the worst traits and the stance itself has fairly weak benefits.

Out of the level 1 stance strikes, we have:

d6: Crane stance. This is the defensive stance, since it has a straight up AC bonus, and as payment you deal less damage.

d8: Falling stone, Tiger claw, and Wolf Jaw. Falling stone is the odd one out, as it does not have either Agile or Finesse - Agile is somewhat compensated for by Forceful so it does more damage on multiple attacks, and since it's intended for monks with bad Dex Finesse isn't needed. It also comes with a very strong stance benefit, giving an AC bonus without the need for Dexterity. Tiger Claw has a pretty strong benefit in potentially dealing persistent bleed damage, and gives good mobility against wary foes (i.e. those with AoOs). And Wolf Jaw is pretty awesome, with Backstabber and potentially Trip, but the stance doesn't really do anything else.

d10: Dragon tail. Agile is replaced with Backswing, which is a straight up downgrade. You also don't get Finesse. So this is the stance for monks who have both good Strength and Dexterity - Dex for AC, Strength for attacking. I'm not sure how good the stance benefit is, ignoring the first square of difficult terrain on a Stride - that seems like a very context-dependent ability. It would be very helpful with hit-and-run attacks though: Stride over some terrain with Incredible Movement, kick'em twice with Flurry of Dragon Tail strikes, and then Stride back.


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Staffan Johansson wrote:
Justinian9 wrote:
That is true! And I should have had the damage die 1d10 as Mtn strikes (i can't remember there name) are d10
d10: Dragon tail. Agile is replaced with Backswing, which is a straight up downgrade. You also don't get Finesse. So this is the stance for monks who have both good Strength and Dexterity - Dex for AC, Strength for attacking. I'm not sure how good the stance benefit is, ignoring the first square of difficult terrain on a Stride - that seems like a very context-dependent ability. It would be very helpful with hit-and-run attacks though: Stride over some terrain with Incredible Movement, kick'em twice with Flurry of Dragon Tail strikes, and then Stride back.

Falling Stone becomes 1d10 at lvl 18 with Diamond Fists, quite a tempting feat for Mountain Monks.

Dragon Style has Dragon Roar which with some clever multiclassing can net you +3 to every attack by lvl 8.

prototype00


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Dragon Styles Dragon Tail attack is also compatible with a Barbarians fury which (damage) benefit is halfved for agile weapons - and backswing is the next best thing


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Seisho wrote:
Dragon Styles Dragon Tail attack is also compatible with a Barbarians fury which (damage) benefit is halfved for agile weapons - and backswing is the next best thing

How do you justify (in your mind... not to me) the mix of the barbarian losing control (rage) and the disciplined nature of a monk? A weakness/ mental issue? Which one would be the archetype?

I thought about mixing these 2 classes but I cannot get past that mix in the nature of the class. The only way I would do it would be if I had the Moment of Clarity barbarian feat. This is also my issue with a monk using a tower shield, I think I could see a buckler shield but not a tower. I might try the tower shield to see if I can enjoy this style.

Most of the 1st level stances do not allow use of any other attacks except the one allowed by the stance, so in most cases weapons are out. Unless I misunderstand the stances/ rules.


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Justinian9 wrote:
Seisho wrote:
Dragon Styles Dragon Tail attack is also compatible with a Barbarians fury which (damage) benefit is halfved for agile weapons - and backswing is the next best thing
How do you justify (in your mind... not to me) the mix of the barbarian losing control (rage) and the disciplined nature of a monk? A weakness/ mental issue? Which one would be the archetype?

So way back in PF 1e, there was this monk archetype called the Scaled Fist that was the absolute antithesis of the wise, disciplined, contemplative monk. These guys were based off of Charisma and were total self-aggrandizing show-offs, cowing others with their intimidation and infinite self confidence. That's what Dragon Monk in part draws it's inspiration from, and I could definitely see these guys drawing out the dragon's fury and raging.

There was also the monk martial artist who eschewed the philosophical trappings of all these martial arts and who concentrated solely on beating people's skulls in.

Martial arts is not all Kwai Chang Kaine self knowledge and wisdom. Pathfinder has always had all sorts of ways to beat face with fist and some of them interfaced very well with Barbarian (I recall Martial Artist/Barbarian was considered to be a very potent combo).

Quote:
I thought about mixing these 2 classes but I cannot get past that mix in the nature of the class. The only way I would do it would be if I had the Moment of Clarity barbarian feat. This is also my issue with a monk using a tower shield, I think I could see a buckler shield but not a tower. I might try the tower shield to see if I can enjoy this style.

More than likely, the first Mountain Stylist was a half-naked Dwarf heaving with rock like muscle and sheer stubbornness. Why wouldn't they also wield a giant slab of metal the size of a barn door?

Quote:
Most of the 1st level stances do not allow use of any other attacks except the one allowed by the stance, so in most cases weapons are out. Unless I misunderstand the stances/ rules.

Actually only Mountain and Crane require unarmed, all the others (3, dragon, wolf, tiger) you can use with weapons.


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prototype00 wrote:
Justinian9 wrote:
Seisho wrote:
Dragon Styles Dragon Tail attack is also compatible with a Barbarians fury which (damage) benefit is halfved for agile weapons - and backswing is the next best thing
How do you justify (in your mind... not to me) the mix of the barbarian losing control (rage) and the disciplined nature of a monk? A weakness/ mental issue? Which one would be the archetype?
So way back in PF 1e, there was this monk archetype called the Scaled Fist that was the absolute antithesis of the wise, disciplined, contemplative monk. These guys were based off of Charisma and were total self-aggrandizing show-offs, cowing others with their intimidation and infinite self confidence. That's what Dragon Monk in part draws it's inspiration from, and I could definitely see these guys drawing out the dragon's fury and raging.

This archetype is much, much older than the Scaled Fist, than tabletop games, and even than the printing press.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
prototype00 wrote:
Justinian9 wrote:
Seisho wrote:
Dragon Styles Dragon Tail attack is also compatible with a Barbarians fury which (damage) benefit is halfved for agile weapons - and backswing is the next best thing
How do you justify (in your mind... not to me) the mix of the barbarian losing control (rage) and the disciplined nature of a monk? A weakness/ mental issue? Which one would be the archetype?

So way back in PF 1e, there was this monk archetype called the Scaled Fist that was the absolute antithesis of the wise, disciplined, contemplative monk. These guys were based off of Charisma and were total self-aggrandizing show-offs, cowing others with their intimidation and infinite self confidence. That's what Dragon Monk in part draws it's inspiration from, and I could definitely see these guys drawing out the dragon's fury and raging.

There was also the monk martial artist who eschewed the philosophical trappings of all these martial arts and who concentrated solely on beating people's skulls in.

Martial arts is not all Kwai Chang Kaine self knowledge and wisdom. Pathfinder has always had all sorts of ways to beat face with fist and some of them interfaced very well with Barbarian (I recall Martial Artist/Barbarian was considered to be a very potent combo).

Quote:
I thought about mixing these 2 classes but I cannot get past that mix in the nature of the class. The only way I would do it would be if I had the Moment of Clarity barbarian feat. This is also my issue with a monk using a tower shield, I think I could see a buckler shield but not a tower. I might try the tower shield to see if I can enjoy this style.

More than likely, the first Mountain Stylist was a half-naked Dwarf heaving with rock like muscle and sheer stubbornness. Why wouldn't they also wield a giant slab of metal the size of a barn door?

Quote:
Most of the 1st level stances do not allow use of any other attacks except the one allowed by the stance, so in most cases weapons are out.
...

wow, you know what you just told me? All (or most) of my issues are from my own (D&D) preconceived view of what a class is and what it is not. And I think you are right!!

I keep reading Pathfinder info and trying to understand it from a pre-AD&D, AD&D and 5e D&D lens. I am not sure I can overcome that for awhile. As I think about it, almost everything I question is because it does not match/conform to D&D.

I think you guys are going to keep getting this kind of questions/opinions from me until I can open my mind to a new world of options in the Pathfinder system. I did not think this was going to be so hard, but it is... I have got to find some PF2e players here and start playing and not just reading...that will help.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Justinian9 wrote:
Seisho wrote:
Dragon Styles Dragon Tail attack is also compatible with a Barbarians fury which (damage) benefit is halfved for agile weapons - and backswing is the next best thing

How do you justify (in your mind... not to me) the mix of the barbarian losing control (rage) and the disciplined nature of a monk? A weakness/ mental issue? Which one would be the archetype?

I thought about mixing these 2 classes but I cannot get past that mix in the nature of the class. The only way I would do it would be if I had the Moment of Clarity barbarian feat. This is also my issue with a monk using a tower shield, I think I could see a buckler shield but not a tower. I might try the tower shield to see if I can enjoy this style.

There's nothing saying a Monk has to be a disciplined lawful character. Maybe they're a well trained boxer or wrestler. Could be somebody like Braum from League of Legends.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Vlorax wrote:
Justinian9 wrote:
Seisho wrote:
Dragon Styles Dragon Tail attack is also compatible with a Barbarians fury which (damage) benefit is halfved for agile weapons - and backswing is the next best thing

How do you justify (in your mind... not to me) the mix of the barbarian losing control (rage) and the disciplined nature of a monk? A weakness/ mental issue? Which one would be the archetype?

I thought about mixing these 2 classes but I cannot get past that mix in the nature of the class. The only way I would do it would be if I had the Moment of Clarity barbarian feat. This is also my issue with a monk using a tower shield, I think I could see a buckler shield but not a tower. I might try the tower shield to see if I can enjoy this style.

There's nothing saying a Monk has to be a disciplined lawful character. Maybe they're a well trained boxer or wrestler. Could be somebody like Braum from League of Legends.

Monk's were always Lawful! I just assumed, I never looked for an alignment requirement, it has always been! Another blow to my idea's of what is!! Dang! How much of what I think I know of Pathfinder have I assumed... I have no idea! LOL


Drunken master feats for the monk could be fun. (Though that is often more about pretending to be drunk, but either way would work for me)


Justinian9 wrote:

Monk's were always Lawful! I just assumed, I never looked for an alignment requirement, it has always been! Another blow to my idea's of what is!! Dang! How much of what I think I know of Pathfinder have I assumed... I have no idea! LOL

There were background traits and archetypes that allowed non-lawful monks in PF1.


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Pathfinder 2nd edition is not descended from the D& D you know. PF1 could definitely trace its lineage across the D&D editions. Pathfinder 2e is a knockdown/rebuild of an RPG set.

It’s more like the new coke of D&D. Not inherently a bad thing (unless you don’t like D&D new coke). But you would definitely do well to try to shed any assumptions your bringing into the new edition.


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One thing that helped me to wrap my head around it is to stop thinking of the 'class' as the basis of the character. A class in PF2 is a broad generalization of an entire category of characters.

A D&D druid is best represented by a druid class, but a hermit farmer is too. I could build a witch (not the PF1 witch class, a witch from brothers grimm fairy tales or something similar) using the druid class too.

A bard may be a musician. Could also represent a paranormal investigator as a bard.

And yes, the monk class would be used to represent a shaolin kung fu warrior, but could also be used for a tavern brawler.

And as has been pointed out previously, the monk class currently doesn't work well for representing Dragonball style (ki warrior) characters. You can't throw out multiple ki powers every fight all day. For that you might consider multiclassing sorcerer and re-skinning some of the cantrips.


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breithauptclan wrote:
And as has been pointed out previously, the monk class currently doesn't work well for representing Dragonball style (ki warrior) characters. You can't throw out multiple ki powers every fight all day. For that you might consider multiclassing sorcerer and re-skinning some of the cantrips.

I agree with using multiclass caster to get that flavor. Though I do thing wild winds stance has a pretty DBZ flavor to it.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

So, Mountain Stance/Ki Monk (based on the sidebar/illustration in the Core Rulebook)...

Human (half-orc) monk (Str); 18 Str, 12 Dex*, 14 Con, 14 Wis at 1st (choose a background with a Str, Con, or Wis boost)
1st- Natural Ambition (Ki Strike), Mountain Stance
2nd- Elemental Fist, (skill feat)
3rd- Fleet, (skill increase)
4th- Wholeness of Body, (skill feat)
5th- Vigorous Vigor, (skill increase)
6th- Ki Blast, (skill feat)
7th- Incredible Initiative, (skill increase)
8th- Mountain Stronghold, (skill feat)
9th- Multitalented (Barbarian Dedication [Spirit Instinct]), (skill increase)
10th- Instinct Ability, (skill feat)
11th- (general feat), (skill increase)
12th- Meditative Focus, (skill feat)
13th- (ancestry feat), (skill increase)
14th- Mountain Quake, (skill feat)
15th- (general feat), (skill increase)
16th- Quivering Palm, (skill feat)
17th- (ancestry feat), (skill increase)
18th- Meditative Wellspring, (skill feat)
19th- (general feat), (skill increase)
20th- Diamond Fists, (skill feat)

*- AC 16, AC 19 in Mountain Stance at 1st level

Alternatively, go with Multitalented (Druid Dedication [Storm Order]) at 9th and Basic Druid Spellcasting at 10th for a more elemental-themed monk (and barkskin).


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dragonchess Player wrote:

So, Mountain Stance/Ki Monk (based on the sidebar/illustration in the Core Rulebook)...

Human (half-orc) monk (Str); 18 Str, 12 Dex*, 14 Con, 14 Wis at 1st (choose a background with a Str, Con, or Wis boost)
1st- Natural Ambition (Ki Strike), Mountain Stance
2nd- Elemental Fist, (skill feat)
3rd- Fleet, (skill increase)
4th- Wholeness of Body, (skill feat)
5th- Vigorous Vigor, (skill increase)
6th- Ki Blast, (skill feat)
7th- Incredible Initiative, (skill increase)
8th- Mountain Stronghold, (skill feat)
9th- Multitalented (Barbarian Dedication [Spirit Instinct]), (skill increase)
10th- Instinct Ability, (skill feat)
11th- (general feat), (skill increase)
12th- Meditative Focus, (skill feat)
13th- (ancestry feat), (skill increase)
14th- Mountain Quake, (skill feat)
15th- (general feat), (skill increase)
16th- Quivering Palm, (skill feat)
17th- (ancestry feat), (skill increase)
18th- Meditative Wellspring, (skill feat)
19th- (general feat), (skill increase)
20th- Diamond Fists, (skill feat)

*- AC 16, AC 19 in Mountain Stance at 1st level

Alternatively, go with Multitalented (Druid Dedication [Storm Order]) at 9th and Basic Druid Spellcasting at 10th for a more elemental-themed monk (and barkskin).

I built a monk off your post with some changes. I found a Pathfinder group here and I will play my first game on Sunday. Thanks everyone for your comments. I also have a second character ready just in case I bone up and die! LOL


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Staffan Johansson wrote:
Justinian9 wrote:
That is true! And I should have had the damage die 1d10 as Mtn strikes (i can't remember there name) are d10

No, Falling Stone strikes deal 1d8, which seems to be the default. Dragon Tail deals 1d10, but have the worst traits and the stance itself has fairly weak benefits.

Out of the level 1 stance strikes, we have:

d6: Crane stance. This is the defensive stance, since it has a straight up AC bonus, and as payment you deal less damage.

d8: Falling stone, Tiger claw, and Wolf Jaw. Falling stone is the odd one out, as it does not have either Agile or Finesse - Agile is somewhat compensated for by Forceful so it does more damage on multiple attacks, and since it's intended for monks with bad Dex Finesse isn't needed. It also comes with a very strong stance benefit, giving an AC bonus without the need for Dexterity. Tiger Claw has a pretty strong benefit in potentially dealing persistent bleed damage, and gives good mobility against wary foes (i.e. those with AoOs). And Wolf Jaw is pretty awesome, with Backstabber and potentially Trip, but the stance doesn't really do anything else.

d10: Dragon tail. Agile is replaced with Backswing, which is a straight up downgrade. You also don't get Finesse. So this is the stance for monks who have both good Strength and Dexterity - Dex for AC, Strength for attacking. I'm not sure how good the stance benefit is, ignoring the first square of difficult terrain on a Stride - that seems like a very context-dependent ability. It would be very helpful with hit-and-run attacks though: Stride over some terrain with Incredible Movement, kick'em twice with Flurry of Dragon Tail strikes, and then Stride back.

I've got a monk with both Dragon and Mountain Stance planned. Dragon is for when I want to hit and run, Mountain is for when I want to hold the line. Pretty good on a monk without ki powers.

I don't think there are a lot of stance pairings that have that kind of synergy. Crane Style certainly could be used in a similar manner with Wolf or Tiger, but I don't think the differences are really great enough to warrant it.


Justinian9 wrote:
1. I can't understand why a Monk focus point pool is limited to 3.

No character has more than 3. Ever.

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