Ki Monk advice?


Advice


So i am having a look at monk as i have never done one before i understand that ki works of wisdom but what do the normal monk attacks go of should it be dex or str? or does it not matter?

any help is greatly appreciated


First off, ki spells work off wisdom if they need to work off something. That's things like Ki Blast or Quivering Palm (the victims make a save vs your wis-based dc) or Wholeness of Body (you make a wis-based counteract roll vs the poison or disease). OTOH Ki Strike, Ki Rush, and Abundant Step don't care about your Wis at all. So whether you need Wis depends on what kind of ki spells you plan to get (or vice versa).

Normal monk attacks still go off whichever of Dex or Str you chose as your key ability, and I think either one can be a fine choice for a ki monk.


Monk ki abilities all seem to run on focus points. So you will only have 1 - 3 per battle at most.

If you want to be a fist-fighting combatant that throws around mystical ki energy regularly, you will want to pick up a cantrip or three (electric arc, produce flame, ...) from some option (sorcerer multiclass, otherworldly magic, or something like that) and re-skin it.


If I wanted to do a more combat focused monk that then use Ki occasionally to apply effects like ki strike and elemental fist, I should put skills more in STR and DEX?


Hidden one wrote:
If I wanted to do a more combat focused monk that then use Ki occasionally to apply effects like ki strike and elemental fist, I should put skills more in STR and DEX?

You want both as high as you can, especially at low levels

18 in one and 16 in the other is best. But either is fine put 18 in.


fair enough a good idea but why is that?


Because they matter for your ac, damage, and to hit bonus. Those are very important, the damage bonus is especially important at low levels because it is a large portion of your damage.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Here's what Wisdom matters for:

1. Counteracting a poison or disease with Wholeness of Body
2. Your Save DCs for Ki Blast and Quivering Palm
3. Your Save DC is also used to determine the difficulty of counteracting your Ki Spells such as if they are counter-spelled or if the stuff like Wind Jump that have a duration are subjected to Dispel Magic.

I think even if you want to make Ki Blast and Quivering Palm an important part of your character starting with a 14 in Wisdom is still pretty good. As long as you keep putting Boosts in Wisdom you will only end up 1 bonus behind a class that has Wisdom as a main stat except for the vast majority of play (5-19). Having a high Wisdom from 1-4 pretty much only matters for counteracting diseases and poisons with Wholeness of Body which you can gain at level 3. The heal does not care about your stats.

I would probably do something like this for a Strength focused Ki Monk

Strength 18
Dexterity 14
Constitution 12
Intelligence 10
Wisdom 14
Charisma 10

You hit hard and still have the same AC as a raging barbarian. Unlike the Barbarian your relative AC will increase as you level. By the time your save DC matters you will be in a pretty good place.

If you do not care so much about Ki Blast or Quivering Palm a Wisdom of 12 should probably be adequate.


Drop wisdom and use your focus points for wholeness of body,if you want s balanced setup in terms of stats.

Or use the standard setup

18
14
14
14
8
8

For a human. Or

18
14
14
14
10
8

For a dwarf

By lvl 10 you will have 20 str, 18 dex, 18 const, 18 Wis.


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citricking wrote:
Hidden one wrote:
If I wanted to do a more combat focused monk that then use Ki occasionally to apply effects like ki strike and elemental fist, I should put skills more in STR and DEX?

You want both as high as you can, especially at low levels

18 in one and 16 in the other is best. But either is fine put 18 in.

Or you can just pump up Str and use Mountain Stance.

Paizo Employee

Gisher wrote:
citricking wrote:
Hidden one wrote:
If I wanted to do a more combat focused monk that then use Ki occasionally to apply effects like ki strike and elemental fist, I should put skills more in STR and DEX?

You want both as high as you can, especially at low levels

18 in one and 16 in the other is best. But either is fine put 18 in.
Or you can just pump up Str and use Mountain Stance.

Between Mountain Stance for AC and the right ki powers or abilities to negate the need for Acrobatics (ki rush, wall run, wind jump, etc.) you can pretty much ignore Dex completely as a monk if you want to. You'll need to select Reflex as one of your Path to Perfection options so you don't fall too far behind there, but it's very doable and leads to one of the highest AC options available (since Mountain Stance stacks with bracers of armor and shield/parry bonuses while still allowing you to use your unarmored AC proficiency, which scales up to Legendary).


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

Sample progressions:

Strength route (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 normally, 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).

Dexterity route:
Human (Versatile) monk, 14+ Str, 18 Dex, 14+ Wis
1st- Fleet, Natural Ambition (Ki Strike), Monastic Weaponry
2nd- Elemental Fist, Quick Jump
3rd- Expert Athletics, Feather Step
4th- Flying Kick, Powerful Leap
5th- General Training (Titan Wrestler), Expert Acrobatics
6th- Ki Blast, Cat Fall
7th- Master Acrobatics, Incredible Initiative
8th- Wild Winds Initiate, Kip Up
9th- Multitalented (Rogue Dedication), Master Athletics
10th- Sneak Attacker, Wall Jump
11th- Expert Diplomacy, Toughness
12th- Meditative Focus, Hobnobber
13th- General Training (Fast Recovery), Expert Stealth
14th- Wild Winds Gust, ?
15th- Legendary Athletics, Cloud Jump

Reach (with bo staff), ranged (shuriken until Wild Winds Initiate), mobility (including leaps), energy damage (with Elemental Fist), and area damage (Ki Blast, Wild Winds Gust).


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breithauptclan wrote:

Monk ki abilities all seem to run on focus points. So you will only have 1 - 3 per battle at most.

If you want to be a fist-fighting combatant that throws around mystical ki energy regularly, you will want to pick up a cantrip or three (electric arc, produce flame, ...) from some option (sorcerer multiclass, otherworldly magic, or something like that) and re-skin it.

If you go with multiclass wizard, sorcerer, or druid for cantrips, it's worth considering picking up a familiar for the familiar focus master ability. It basically lets your familiar store a backup focus point for you. That would potentially let you use 4 focus points in one battle.


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If you don't have any plans for other dedications, you might want to grab the Student of Perfection line.

It is pretty much a straight upgrade for a monk- the base feat not only grants the usual smattering of skill training, but it also just directly grants you the ki strike feat as well. So you are basically taking the ki strike feat, but you also gain access to later feats in the archetype.

Perfect Ki adept (the last feat in the line) has some interesting options for ki spells. Of note, the water option is an AoE shove, and the wind option gives pseudo flight (that 'fall at end of turn or after an attack' kind) while also leaving a wall of wind spell in the areas you pass through (rough terrain, blocks arrows, and has a save to block fliers). These are the kind of things you aim for once you get high wisdom.


Gisher wrote:
citricking wrote:
Hidden one wrote:
If I wanted to do a more combat focused monk that then use Ki occasionally to apply effects like ki strike and elemental fist, I should put skills more in STR and DEX?

You want both as high as you can, especially at low levels

18 in one and 16 in the other is best. But either is fine put 18 in.
Or you can just pump up Str and use Mountain Stance.

That's a trap if there's a bard or anyone who buff AC.

Humbly,
Yawar


YawarFiesta wrote:
Gisher wrote:
citricking wrote:
Hidden one wrote:
If I wanted to do a more combat focused monk that then use Ki occasionally to apply effects like ki strike and elemental fist, I should put skills more in STR and DEX?

You want both as high as you can, especially at low levels

18 in one and 16 in the other is best. But either is fine put 18 in.
Or you can just pump up Str and use Mountain Stance.

That's a trap if there's a bard or anyone who buff AC.

Humbly,
Yawar

AC bonuses are pretty rare though, and since bards don't get that particular composition as a default option and can't use two compositions at once barring another feat... It seems fairly easy to avoid. Like you might run into it occasionally for PFS, but otherwise you would just coordinate with your bard to not take that spell.

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