I got a question for those playing Pathfinder regularily. The AC bonus you get from the Monk / Unchained Monk class is worded as:
- When unarmored and unencumbered, the monk adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his AC and his CMD.
- In addition, a monk gains a +1 bonus to AC and CMD at 4th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every four monk levels thereafter, up to a maximum of +5 at 20th level. (column on the character AC Bonus)
- These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the monk is flat-footed. He loses these bonuses when he is immobilized or helpless, when he wears any armor, when he carries a shield, or when he carries a medium or heavy load.
I would have understood that a first lvl Monk would get the wisdom modifier flat out added to the AC / CMD as long as no armor is worn or he is unencumbered. "In addition" according to lv up further AC Bonus would be gained according to the column. Therefore two AC Bonus sources would be there.
After chatting with another player who seemed to be offended at this statement, stated that the bonus you would get from the modifier if any is related to the column so you would only benefit for a +5 AC Bonus at lvl 20 even if you i.e. got a modifier of 10. I hope anyone reading this won't take it personal.
I have yet to play a monk, but my understanding seems to the same as yours.
A 1st level monk with a wisdom of 20 would get +5 to their AC provided that they are unarmored and unencumbered.
A 4th level monk with a wisdom of 20 would get to add +6 to their AC provided that they are unarmored and unencumbered.
At least that's how I understand it.
As for taking a level dip in monk. Keep in mind that you'll have to adhere to the classes alignment restrictions and that you wouldn't be able to gain those benefits while wearing armor. Depending on your build there are probably better options.
I agree with Lord Kailas. That is how I have always seen it.
Sadly I cant find any dev opinion on that matter in the internet.
You'll probably not find anything because it's extremely obvious that you're supposed to add your whole Wisdom modifier to AC at level 1. So if you want proof you should check out the pre-generated monks that add their Wis to AC even though the column shows a different amount.
Look here at the lv 1 Monk pre-gen. Even though the column shows "+0", they add their +1 Wis modifier to AC.
The other guy's reading makes no sense under the rules of the english language. The last paragraph of the description uses "these bonuses" twice, which means there is more than one bonus. This, in part, means the term "this bonus" (in the third sentence) only refers to the last mentioned bonus, which is the one gained at 4th level. The limitation cannot refer to both bonuses because it's worded as singular.
Also, the additional bonus is +0 before 4th level, and yet you gain the ability at 1st level. That simply makes no sense.
The other player is probably misremembering the rules for other classes that get AC bonuses.
AC Bonus (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, the monk adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his AC and his CMD.In addition, a monk gains a +1 bonus to AC and CMD at 4th level.
This bonus increases by 1 for every four monk levels thereafter, up to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.
I've seperated the sentences to (hopefully) make it easier.
Then let's look at the Duelsit prestige class (also from the core rulebook).
Canny Defense (Ex): When wearing light or no armor and not using a shield, a duelist adds 1 point of Intelligence bonus (if any) per duelist class level as a dodge bonus to her Armor Class while wielding a melee weapon.If a duelist is caught flat-footed or otherwise denied her Dexterity bonus, she also loses this bonus.
EDIT: The Kensai Magus (a popular archetype for un-armoured combat) uses the Duelist's Canny Defence ability. There may be other classes that also use it, so it could be this ability on another class thast the other player is remembering.
So these are similar abilities, but you can see that they're worded very differently. The duelist has a maximum cap to the bonus granted - equal to her level - while the monk gets the full stat-bonus at level 1, and then gets bonuses on top of that which are dependant on level.
I have literally never met anyone who disagreed with how this works, so the only thing I can think of is someone misremembering these two rules.
If the other player wants to be offended by this he can, but since everyone else around you (including the GMs) should agree with you it shouldn't be a problem.
I asked him twice about this but with no results. He hosts himself one game as a DM and takes part in 2 as a player. In the game in which I am taking part in he himself plays a Warscholar Monk, so he should know this as far as I am concerned. Although he only adds the lv bonus (now still zero) and the light armor with dex.
He likes to teach others as he "knows everything in the game" but won't change his look at this as he always played like this. It's 'mildly' infuriating.
Hopefully the DM will have mercy with me as I also put up a question on the roll20 forum. Before posting here I even tried looking at the Pathfinder Kingmaker Game on steam forum...
For the record you're definitely right, and he's definitely wrong.
I'd say don't play a Monk in the game he GMs, but otherwise you should be ok. Ask the GM before you play a Monk (show them the text, it's pretty clear).
Don't worry about convoncing that player - it's not worth the frustration - just play your character and let him play his.
(Also a Monk loses the AC bonus and flurry if he wears armour, so unless he's got an archetype that changes that the other player is getting that wrong as well.)
Also for the record.
In my group I'm the rules-guy. I spent ~8 years without a group to play with so my gaming fix was sated by pooring over rules and getting involved in forums. As a result I know some of the rules inside-out.
If someone challenges your understanding of the rules it's important to take another look with fresh eyes. I discover all the time that I've been misreading something, or misremembering something, or that I just straight up didn't know something. Getting angry about it is not the way to go.
If this is normal behaviour for this player I would recommend checking a lot of his "rules" as that kind of mindset is not coducive to effective study.
You might find a lot of the rules are "wrong" but be totally ok with it because the "house-rules" are actually more condusive to fun.
You also might find that he's mostly only nerfing his own characters. If he's not interrupting the game to tell you why you're wrong then there's not really a problem.
Really any set of rules is ok as long as everyone understands them going in. Know your groups and their rules and adjust accoringly.