Considering a Monk / MC Druid


Advice


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Trying to explore what might synergize in a Monk/MC Druid.

1) Stances that limit your strikes, or only have riders if you use their strikes don't end up as useful. The higher level stances (ironblood/tangled tree) looks like they may work.

2) Flurry of blows should work with wild-morph/wild-shape forms as far as I can tell. Wild-shape versions, using your own modifiers, plus the bonus +2 from wild-shape, would let the monk match fighter's accuracy (effectively one level of proficiency jump)

3) Ki powers probably won't be super useful, given that wild-shape or morph is already consuming ki points. Once you can get to the regain 2 at once they become possible useful, but typically need to be used before you shape.

4) With focus spells auto-heightening, you don't need to ever take any of the spell casting feats w/in druid. And while your access to additional forms is pretty limited with the level/2 bits, those that you get start off pretty highly heightened. I don't think it stays competitive with handwarps or potency runes on monk weapons, but might stay close enough.

5) Wild-morph's heightening however don't look like they stay competitive for damage.

6) I'm still chasing down rules for how a lot of the monk maneuver feats would/wold not work in wild-shapes.

On balance I think its not going to combine as much as I had liked, but the equal to fighter accuracy w/ monk flurry might be an interesting aspect to explore.

Other pros/cons to consider?


You're investing a lot to get one good bonus a limited amount of the time.
You effectively lose a round changing to a form that adds little to your ability, and then hoping you get a 10-minute lull to recharge it for the next battle.
Odds are you gave up Stunning Fist to jump into Druid immediately, another cost.
Wild Shape's biggest draw isn't its power, but rather its utility & mobility, things intrinsic to Monks already.
If you want a Fighter's attack bonus, you could build a punchy Fighter or Fighter/MCD Monk (though that'd be vulnerable unarmored).

Of course, that's all coming from a mechanical perspective. If you want a ninja bear or whatever, then you likely have the best route, though if a singular animal consider Barbarian.

Compare this to a full caster Druid not getting that +2 or Flurry (until 10th at least), but having the best battle forms available which will surpass the Monk's forms. Heck, the Monk will surpass his battle forms too!

So yeah, you could do this and gain some breadth, but unless doing it for the flavor, the mechanical advantages don't support the cost.


1: Stances does not stop you from casting spells as I read it.

2: WildShape + mountain form = 21 AC, +2 to hit, for 1d8+4 (about the same as 2d6+1). Seems extremely good. Nope. Can't use other attacks while in wild shape.
But since they are unarmed attacks, flurry of blows seems good. As would Stunning Fist, and lots of other feats.

3: Ki Strike will give you 1 extra focus point, which you can for druid stuff (i.e. wild shape twice). They are all in the same pool.

4: The big thing is that you can avoid MAP with spells. So electric arc (no MAP) + a flurry should be pretty good combo.

5: I would't take those for damage. But you can get some other nice effects.

6: I see nothing that prevents it. Except the "must attack with" stances.


NielsenE wrote:
3) Ki powers probably won't be super useful, given that wild-shape or morph is already consuming ki points. Once you can get to the regain 2 at once they become possible useful, but typically need to be used before you shape.

As Mellored pointed out, being able to increase your Focus Pool through both Druid and Monk feats lets you increase it faster than either class alone. Also consider that the Familar Focus master ability on a Leshy Familiar basically gives you a reserve Focus Point. That would let you use up to 4 Focus Points in one battle.


Mellored wrote:

1: Stances does not stop you from casting spells as I read it.

...

6: I see nothing that prevents it. Except the "must attack with" stances.

Technically stances like Mountain and Crane don't have phrases like "you must attack with." Instead they state "the only Strikes you can make are..." Since spell attacks and maneuvers are attacks but not Strikes they can be used while in any of the stances.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Gisher wrote:
NielsenE wrote:
3) Ki powers probably won't be super useful, given that wild-shape or morph is already consuming ki points. Once you can get to the regain 2 at once they become possible useful, but typically need to be used before you shape.
As Mellored pointed out, being able to increase your Focus Pool through both Druid and Monk feats lets you increase it faster than either class alone. Also consider that the Familar Focus master ability on a Leshy Familiar basically gives you a reserve Focus Point. That would let you use up to 4 Focus Points in one battle.

Most of the early druid feats don't grant extra point though, only a pool if you don't already have one. They have the full verbiage that doesn't added a point. Grabbing a plant familiar to combo would require an extra feat/order explorer on top of wild which will take a long time to come online.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Gisher wrote:
Mellored wrote:

1: Stances does not stop you from casting spells as I read it.

...

6: I see nothing that prevents it. Except the "must attack with" stances.

Technically stances like Mountain and Crane don't have phrases like "you must attack with." Instead they state "the only Strikes you can make are..." Since spell attacks and maneuvers are attacks but not Strikes they can be used while in any of the stances.

That's why Tiger/Dragon are the better level one stances to combo if trying to use wild-shape/morph. They don't preclude other strikes, and have always active bonuses.

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