Monks and Dex to Damage


Advice

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I very much appreciate the idea of stepping back from “can we do it?” To “why would we do it?” And in that regard, archetype class feats that do cool stuff with finesse weapons would be even higher on the list for me than just a flat damage bonus. Stuff like adding weapon traits to weapons that don’t have them would be really cool. A handling short sword duelist archetype that got a feat that gave short swords a scaling deadly die would be awesome for a halfling melee fighter build that wasn’t just “here, add your Dex to damage.


As mentioned before (I think) that's basically what swashbuckler does. It says 'Hey, when you meet these conditions here's a bonus damage die'.

It enables you to eschew strength if you really want, but is most effective if you max dex and still have some strength.


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I think it's important to make sure that any dex-to-damage options (or analogues) come at a significant opportunity cost. For the rogue, it's gonna tie you into a specific racket and even if the other two competing rackets aren't phenomenal, there will probably be some strong options coming eventually that aren't dex-to-damage ones.

If it's something like a stance, it should be opposite another, very useful, stance that would come at about the same level. So choosing dex-to-damage would mean giving up more reach, or better defenses, or inflicting conditions, for example.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I think it's important to make sure that any dex-to-damage options (or analogues) come at a significant opportunity cost. For the rogue, it's gonna tie you into a specific racket and even if the other two competing rackets aren't phenomenal, there will probably be some strong options coming eventually that aren't dex-to-damage ones.

One should also note that finesse weapons generally deal less damage than non-finesse weapons. I think the only ones that deal more than 1d6 are the Aldori dueling sword (advanced, so it gets to be a little better) and the elven curve blade and the spiked chain (both of which are two-handed weapons, and 1d8 for a two-hander is pretty low). The rogue doesn't have training in either of these weapons by default either, so without shenanigans they're limited to d6 weapons if they want Dex to damage.


The problem/benefit of dex to damage is how front loaded it is. 16 str vs. 12 str for a dex based character is huge at low levels, but at higher levels the benefit is much less and the cost of getting that str is much less too.

Dex to damage doesn't matter so much at high levels, but it's huge at low levels. This makes building a character for 1-20 problematic, because you have to choose if their ability scores are more suited to low level or high level play.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Monks get the only 1d8 finesse agile forceful weapons in the game (wolf or tiger stance, diamond fists). Dex to damage on top would be going too far; those stances are already very strong compared to the Str stances.


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Dragonstriker wrote:
Monks get the only 1d8 finesse agile forceful weapons in the game (wolf or tiger stance, diamond fists). Dex to damage on top would be going too far; those stances are already very strong compared to the Str stances.

What makes your statement wrong is the word weapons: unarmed attacks are NOT weapons, so any dex to damage for weapons wouldn't do a thing for monk stance attacks...


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The OP is literally talking about giving a tiger stance monk dex to damage though, graystone, so that distinction is kind of irrelevant here.

You're right though, that's the problem Thieves run into if they want to try being unarmed.


Squiggit wrote:

The OP is literally talking about giving a tiger stance monk dex to damage though, graystone, so that distinction is kind of irrelevant here.

You're right though, that's the problem Thieves run into if they want to try being unarmed.

I know what the OP was talking about, but everyone needs to understand unarmed isn't a weapon: I see people all the time trying to use weapon rules on them all the time so I point it out every time I see it even is they might mean attack vs weapon just in case someone else that doesn't know it, reads it. :P

Second, I'm not exactly sure who he's talking to since we've been talking about generic dex to damage too and he didn't quote anyone. Not really sure if it's a comment on generic dex to damage rule or the OP's proposed houserule. My comment is less relevant in the latter but saying weapon for an unarmed attack is still something to comment on. ;)

PS: I can see not wanting to mixing of stance attack and dex to damage for rogues but not allowing the base unarmed attack seems odd to me. I'd like to see "Fist" get an addendum like 'rogues may treat a Fist as a weapon for racket effects' or something like that.


graystone wrote:
Squiggit wrote:

The OP is literally talking about giving a tiger stance monk dex to damage though, graystone, so that distinction is kind of irrelevant here.

You're right though, that's the problem Thieves run into if they want to try being unarmed.

I know what the OP was talking about, but everyone needs to understand unarmed isn't a weapon: I see people all the time trying to use weapon rules on them all the time so I point it out every time I see it even is they might mean attack vs weapon just in case someone else that doesn't know it, reads it. :P

Second, I'm not exactly sure who he's talking to since we've been talking about generic dex to damage too and he didn't quote anyone. Not really sure if it's a comment on generic dex to damage rule or the OP's proposed houserule. My comment is less relevant in the latter but saying weapon for an unarmed attack is still something to comment on. ;)

PS: I can see not wanting to mixing of stance attack and dex to damage for rogues but not allowing the base unarmed attack seems odd to me. I'd like to see "Fist" get an addendum like 'rogues may treat a Fist as a weapon for racket effects' or something like that.

I am not disputing your assertion, but has that been confirmed working as intended by a developer somewhere? Or is it just strictly how it works now with errata or a clarification maybe in the pipes?


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Unarmed is called out, multiple times, in the Core Rulebook as not being a weapon. No abilities or attributes of weapons effect Unarmed unless they specifically say so.


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Artificial 20 wrote:
I am not disputing your assertion, but has that been confirmed working as intended by a developer somewhere? Or is it just strictly how it works now with errata or a clarification maybe in the pipes?

"However, unarmed attacks aren’t weapons, and effects and abilities that work with weapons never work with unarmed attacks unless they specifically say so." Core Rulebook pg. 278

The rules make it pretty clear the intent with no need for developer input: "effects and abilities that work with weapons never work with unarmed attacks unless they specifically say so" is about as straightforward as you can get.

Liberty's Edge

Are you all forgetting about Handwraps for some reason? You seem to be forgetting about Handwraps....


For home games, since it says sneak attack works with unarmed attacks, I would see no reason to not allow it for the ruffian or thief. Obviously PFS is a different story.


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Themetricsystem wrote:
Are you all forgetting about Handwraps for some reason? You seem to be forgetting about Handwraps....

What do they have to do with it?

They aren't weapons. They just allow you to apply runes to something that would otherwise be unable to have them.


so let's say that a monk stance gets released that grants an attack that give dex to damage instead of strength. If it is a d4, at what level does it become a trap option for the monk that starts with STR at 10, rather than a D8 finesse attack, even if neither character ever boost STR?

When you get the +3 handwraps? At level 4 it is 2d4+4 = 9, vs 2d8 = 9 but by level 10 will be 3d4+5 = 12.5 vs 3d8 = 13.5, and it never catches up. All the tiger or wolf stance monk has to do is put 1 attribute boost into STR at level 5 to be ahead for the rest of the game.

I don't think having this option would break the game, but it would add a valueless complexity that would look very appealing to many players early on, but might prevent them from realizing how much better that 10 STR character could be if they invested in strength even a couple times as they level up. Also, with how powerful it would be at level 1, you really aren't going to get any of the cool abilities or traits of the other monk finesse attacks.

I know PF2 has some General feats that are good for x number of levels and then have to be retrained out of, but I would rather avoid adding more of those kinds of feats, especially at the class level.


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Themetricsystem wrote:
Are you all forgetting about Handwraps for some reason? You seem to be forgetting about Handwraps....

Do they allow dex to damage or allow unarmed attacks to be treated as weapons for abilities? What are we forgetting?

Liberty's Edge

No no, my point was that the Monk doesn't need Dex to damage in pretty much... any circumstances as they already have what amounts to the best attacks in the game from a Trait/Handedness/Damage-Die/Enchantability/Cost perspective due to how darn good the Handwraps really are.

Getting dex to damage would disproportionately negate the need for investing in Str in the first place since Monks above and beyond any other Character concept doesn't really need a high Bulk limit, they're not going to be carrying nearly as many weapons, they won't carry Armor, no Spellbooks or other Class required things like the Alchemists Kit/Lab and the like.

Adding this in would effectively cause Athletics to suffer a tiny bit although in MANY cases a Monk may not even have to worry about making those anyhow since they have a fantastic kit of Feats to take that will essentially allow them to negate the need to Swim or Climb and they're already able to use Finesse to add Dex to their "Offensive" Athletics Actions.

They'd be trading what is essentially a non-penalty in nearly every circumstance for a massive bonus to their Saving Throws, Initiative, most other Skills, AC, Perception, Ranged Attacks, etc etc. There is essentially no tradeoff, it would basically just be a straight upgrade across their character abilities if they could eschew the need for Strength.


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Firstly to the op if you ever come back to look at this. Ignore the haters imo. Just do Dex to damage. Or reflavor the lizardfolk to catfolk and give them Dex to damage that way.

I can guarantee you it won't break a single solitary thing.

Now that said.

Secondly as far as Monk's are concerned. If ki spells didn't function the way they did in 2e on top of requiring wisdom if they have a DC (I know only one does right now) essentially making them once again mad. I'd agree. Don't give them Dex to damage.

My reasoning is because I'd like to put more points into some other stat like wisdom or charisma. But I don't really get that option. Aye you get more stats to place at ASI and that's great. But it doesn't ever make up for it due to the games tight math.

Cloistered cleric can ki blast better than monk. Wich is funny.

Every monk I ever make is 18dex or str. 16 into the other one. 12con. Just depends on the fighting style.

That's not an interesting System of choices.

If I had Dex to damage I could do 18dex 16con 12 Wis. Or lower con and get more wisdom. Or if I don't want to use ki blast I could go 16cha and be a face and use demoralize effectively.

But no I need to cripple my early progression damage to achieve that. Sure it don't matter much by mid game. But before that it matters.

As such,. I pretty much just punch things. Or have to limit my style selection to mountain style to dump Dex so I can make a more interesting character... But only with that style.

Love 2e overall. But I disagree with the majority here


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If I had Dex to damage on a monk, I'm pretty sure I would never play Str, because Dex is straight up better in every way.

Consider: A Dex-to-damage Wolf Style monk vs a Str one. The Dex one has the same to-hit and damage, has better Ref, has better AC. The Str one...has higher Athletics?

A Dragon Style monk has +1 damage at the cost of lower Ref, lower AC, and lower other stats because they can't afford to completely dump Str.

A Mountain Stance monk has to pay 1 action for the ability to catch up to Dex monks.


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Cyouni wrote:
Consider: A Dex-to-damage Wolf Style monk vs a Str one. The Dex one has the same to-hit and damage, has better Ref, has better AC. The Str one...has higher Athletics?

Which can be a powerful debuffing build when you do a trip/flurry combo with stunning fist- leading to an enemy that will only have 1 effective action per round, AND draws a reaction attack.

Athletics is traditionally strength based, except when you have finesse trip weapons (if I remember correctly). But even wolf stance, the finesse trip focused feat, doesn't get both of those traits together consistently (only when flanking).


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Developer commentary in the past has been that you can finesse maneuvers with unarmed. So in terms of tripping and grappling the Str monk doesn't gain anything. They can climb and swim better, though at least.

Martialmasters wrote:

That's not an interesting System of choices.

If I had Dex to damage

The 14/18 str/dex monk build would basically cease to exist. Instead you'd ignore strength and get an extra point in a save or something.

I don't see how that's supposed to be interesting.

Frankly, it's also kind of a lopsided attempt at a fix anyways. Dex monks are already inherently less stretched on stats by virtue of naturally prioritizing a high-value stat.
Any non-mountain stance Str monk is going to be even more MAD than your Dex monk but receives no benefit from this change. I mean, Dragon Stance monks who take the level 6 feat want everything except Int, even.

A fix aimed at making the class less MAD that doesn't help the most MAD builds the class has and functionally invalidates an entire category of character while buffing builds that are already strong seems like a pretty sorry fix to me.


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Squiggit wrote:

Developer commentary in the past has been that you can finesse maneuvers with unarmed. So in terms of tripping and grappling the Str monk doesn't gain anything. They can climb and swim better, though at least.

Martialmasters wrote:

That's not an interesting System of choices.

If I had Dex to damage

The 14/18 str/dex monk build would basically cease to exist. Instead you'd ignore strength and get an extra point in a save or something.

I don't see how that's supposed to be interesting.

Frankly, it's also kind of a lopsided attempt at a fix anyways. Dex monks are already inherently less stretched on stats by virtue of naturally prioritizing a high-value stat.
Any non-mountain stance Str monk is going to be even more MAD than your Dex monk but receives no benefit from this change. I mean, Dragon Stance monks who take the level 6 feat want everything except Int, even.

A fix aimed at making the class less MAD that doesn't help the most MAD builds the class has and functionally invalidates an entire category of character while buffing builds that are already strong seems like a pretty sorry fix to me.

Let's be frank. If they wanted to reduce MAD on monk they wouldn't of used wisdom for anything. But they did.


I like Wisdom being a monk thing.


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Maybe I will be proven wrong, but everything about the way PF2 has been built tells me you will never get a general access to Dex to damage, nor the ability to apply it to wolf stance or tiger stance.

Finesse weapons only go to D8 for rogues with weapons that require multiple feats to keep up training with, use 2 hands or give up most interesting traits, and sacrifice agile. Just adding Dex to damage to 2 power house attacks for the cost of 1 feat is far too unbalancing at level 1 to happen, and in the later game, it would be a feat to add less than 10% damage to attacks. Math boost feats are something the game avoids consistently, and this one’s decreasing significance just isn’t worth it.

The only place where Dex to damage is really noticeable is in the first 4 to 5 levels of the game, and it’s effect is too extreme there to make available. Without sneak attack, the thief rogue falls out on damage at higher levels even with Dex to damage. The Dex based monk certainly isn’t going to be needing or even trying for higher than 20 in more than 1 attribute, which means having plenty of extra attribute boosts left, probably by level 10.

The idea that attribute bonus to damage is a character defining/limiting ability is a negative mental hold over from PF1, exacerbated by the fact it is significant at level 1. But a 10 STR monk can pretty easily catch up to within 1 point of damage to a 14 or even 16 STR monk by level 15. It is just not the glaring game absence that it might seem like to people who had low STR monks in PF1.


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In any game that doesn't make it to 10+it's an issue.

Levels 1-5 it's a glaring issue.

But I'm not in this to convince anyone. Nor has anything I've read in this thread has convinced me.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Squiggit wrote:
I mean, Dragon Stance monks who take the level 6 feat want everything except Int, even.

They can still dump Wis too.


Dumping WIS is not a good idea for any character, perception and will makes it very desirable.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Henro wrote:
Dumping WIS is not a good idea for any character, perception and will makes it very desirable.

Meh only one person needs high perception really, will saves are important but you can cover a lot of that with items/path to perfection.


Vlorax wrote:
Meh only one person needs high perception really,

Perception governs initiative, and is used to "resist" a smallish selection of effects (illusions being one of them). I don't think every character needs a high perception, but every character most definitely benefit from raising it.


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Henro wrote:
Perception governs initiative

The rules give examples of dex, int and cha skills being used for initiative rolls: for instance, a monk using Avoid Notice would "usually roll a Stealth check instead of a Perception check both to determine your initiative".

Henro wrote:
every character most definitely benefit from raising it.

Sure but that doesn't mean you need to focus on it every stat increase. There is a LOT of ground between leaving it at 10 and going between con and wis with stats increases to full on increasing every chance you get: this is especially true once you've hit your soft cap of 18 and you might think about moving bonuses to get a full +2.


So what would a 1st level monk feat that gave an attack that granted DEX to damage look like?

I am thinking the best case scenario would be a D6+dexterity mod, with the finesse trait, and maybe agile. I don't think you could get any more out of it, without overshadowing every other finesse based attack.

Personally, that sounds incredibly boring, but if it magically made people feel like old character ideas suddenly became possible, I could see it happening, I just think people would end up feeling disappointed when they realize that a monk built with a 12 STR / 18 Dex / 14 Con / 10 INT / 14 WIS / 10 CHA will be doing the same damage as the Monk with this feat and a 10 STR by level 5, and have way cooler and more interesting things to do with their attacks than just damage, which will be a wash on.

I guess it allows for you to build a halfling monk with an 8 STR and stay somewhat relevant damage-wise, being able to end up with a 8 STR / 18 DEX / 14 CON / INT 10 / WIS 16 / CHA 12, but even that seems pretty minor. I guess if was an uncommon halfling only monk attack that also had the grapple trait, it could make for an interesting titan wrestler archetype that had an interesting place in the game without creating big problems.


Unicore wrote:
and have way cooler and more interesting things to do with their attacks than just damage

What do you mean by that? What variable of str involves "interesting" or "cool"?


graystone wrote:
Unicore wrote:
and have way cooler and more interesting things to do with their attacks than just damage
What do you mean by that? What variable of str involves "interesting" or "cool"?

Wolf Jaw has backstabber and gains trip with flanking.

Tiger Claw does extra bleed damage on a crit.
Crane gives you a bonus to AC and the ability to jump further.

I think the special trait of the Dex to damage monk attack would be that it grants you dex to damage.


Unicore wrote:
So what would a 1st level monk feat that gave an attack that granted DEX to damage look like?

A stance. A stance that does less than other stances, and one you'd probably train out of sooner or later, unless you only punch people.


Unicore wrote:

Wolf Jaw has backstabber and gains trip with flanking.

Tiger Claw does extra bleed damage on a crit.

So backstabber does extra damage and it's cool? tigerclaw does extra damage and it's cool? extra damage from dex isn't cool because it does the wrong damage? I'm missing the cool factor here.

Secondly, trip, backstabber and the like are weapon traits and something that could be on the stance attack that grants it: even if it JUST uses the normal Fist attack, Agile, Finesse and Nonlethal aren't bad.

Garretmander wrote:
Unicore wrote:
So what would a 1st level monk feat that gave an attack that granted DEX to damage look like?
A stance. A stance that does less than other stances, and one you'd probably train out of sooner or later, unless you only punch people.

I think it's depend on the backup stance feat it has.


Backstabber is interesting because it pushes you to get flanking, which stacks with the trip ability in an interesting way. Yes it is damage, but it damage that requires strategy to get.

Tiger claw bleed damage is less interesting, but there are other class abilities that play with bleed in interesting ways, as well as the fact that it doesn't stack with other bleed, so you have incentive as a party not to over do it. There are interesting choices at play there.

Dex to damage is just always damage for the character without any thought or strategy. That is what I mean by less cool or interesting.

I agree that the attack would have to come in the form of a stance (to make it a choice that meaningly excludes other choices), but I don't think the stance is going to be able to grant very much or it is really going to make crane stance look bad. Which means the thing that it grants has to be less useful that a +1 to AC.

That was why my suggestion was for it to be a halfling stance that maybe grants the ability to grapple creatures 3 sizes larger and gets the grapple trait.

So 1d6 damage + dex modifier. with the traits, agile, finesse, nonlethal, grapple.

To me the point needs to be that the stance is interesting and unique to the world and not just be the Monk with a low strength option.


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Personally, I would much rather them have left Dex to Damage out entirely so it didn't come up as a possible comparison. And I'm a person who typically plays a Thief Racket Rogue.

The amount of damage gain that you get out of Dex instead of Strength is negligible as you get higher in levels. The only time where it really makes sense is from level 1-4. Once you get Weapon Specialization and you start using a striking weapon the amount of damage that you gain from your Dexterity being a couple points higher than your Strength doesn't seem to really matter much anymore.

It would have been better off just being left out entirely and compensating damage in another way similar to what Swashbuckler got.


graystone wrote:
Sure but that doesn't mean you need to focus on it every stat increase. There is a LOT of ground between leaving it at 10 and going between con and wis with stats increases to full on increasing every chance you get: this is especially true once you've hit your soft cap of 18 and you might think about moving bonuses to get a full +2.

My original point was aimed at someone suggesting to dump WIS. If you're raising it to 18 that really doesn't seem like a dump to me. I 100% agree it'd be silly for every character to max out WIS though, my point was simply that it's not a good stat to dump for Monks or almost anyone.


Martialmasters wrote:
Let's be frank. If they wanted to reduce MAD on monk they wouldn't of used wisdom for anything. But they did.

Okay, but we're not talking about what 'they' want, we're talking about your house rule.


Unicore wrote:
Backstabber

I don't think anyone is strategizing JUST to get that extra point of damage... People are in it for the flanking -2 to AC. The extra damage is just that. It's not in itself pushing strategy in the least. People aren't flanking JUST so they get that extra point of damage.

Unicore wrote:
bleed damage

It's good and bad [like non-lethal crits that kill by bleed damage]. The fact that it's typed isn't what I'd call interesting. As for stacking, bleed is generally on crits, so even if multiple people have bleed affects you don't run into stacking unless you're always critting and then you don't really need the bleed anyway. If that's called thought/strategy, it's not enough to count for much IMO.

Unicore wrote:
to damage is just always damage for the character without any thought or strategy. That is what I mean by less cool or interesting.

Yeah, not really. It's pretty much a name change from what I see and that's not 'cool/interesting'.

Unicore wrote:
I agree that the attack would have to come in the form of a stance (to make it a choice that meaningly excludes other choices), but I don't think the stance is going to be able to grant very much or it is really going to make crane stance look bad. Which means the thing that it grants has to be less useful that a +1 to AC.

WHy? Look at the thief racket and the weapons it can use: Parry, versatile, agile, trip, backstabber, forceful, deadly, disarm and backswing are all traits that can be used with that ability and dex to damage. I don't see why a stance attack for this would have to be just damage and no traits: crane stance has more going for it than the weapon traits on it's attacks: people are their for the +1 ac and Crane Flutter and would still take it even if the attack seemed 'bad'.

Unicore wrote:
That was why my suggestion was for it to be a halfling stance that maybe grants the ability to grapple creatures 3 sizes larger and gets the grapple trait.

I'd rather not see race locked options that aren't ancestry feats. There is usually little reason a gnome, goblin, ect couldn't take it too even if you could somehow justify it for just small creatures and even a size restriction seems lame IMO.

Unicore wrote:
To me the point needs to be that the stance is interesting and unique to the world and not just be the Monk with a low strength option.

We have a stance SPECIFICALLY for monks with a low dex already: why is an option for a low str option bad if it's balanced? Is parity bad?


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I feel like the reason for Mountain Stance is that low AC is much worse because of how crits work than "1-4 less damage per hit" is for a frontliner.

One of my playtest characters was a Tiger Style monk with 12 strength at level 1. Rolling 1d8+1 instead of 1d8+3 wasn't the worst thing in the world.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like the reason for Mountain Stance is that low AC is much worse because of how crits work than "1-4 less damage per hit" is for a frontliner.

It's to compensate for the lack of a stat to one of the games basics: stats added to the combat math. A few less damage isn't the end of the world but neither is AC: dev's have said that a mobile monk that uses movement to avoid damage instead of a good AC works and you could also use Parry weapons to boost AC. IMO, making one stance to compensate for a low stat is enough reason for there to be stances to compensate for other low stats: I'd be fine with one for a low wis too.


The issue with dex to damage is that it is more related to how big a difference it makes at low levels and how little a difference it makes at higher levels. A +1 to to +4 to AC is still super valuable at higher levels. The Percentage of how much that bonus helps you in relationship to the attack rolls of the enemies you are facing stays pretty linear.

the static damage bonus from ability score in PF2 becomes a decreasingly significant number. If the Dex to damage build became a whole big mutli-feat investment build, it would probably end up looking more like a trap option at higher levels.

The thing about the finesse weapons that rogues get access to, is that they have terrible damage die. The ones that have lots of useful traits, AND finesse AND AGILE are D4s. A D4 monk attack, even with dex to damage, becomes an awful limitation past level 4-5. A rouge can have one of these in their off hand to take advantage of finesse trip or disarm or other cool feature, but still rely on a higher damage die weapon as their main thing.

Monks in a stance don't get options like that. It limits all their strikes to that one attack. There is very little wiggle room for giving Dex to damage to attacks as robust as Wolf Jaw or Tiger Strike.


Unicore wrote:
The issue with dex to damage is that it is more related to how big a difference it makes at low levels and how little a difference it makes at higher levels. A +1 to to +4 to AC is still super valuable at higher levels. The Percentage of how much that bonus helps you in relationship to the attack rolls of the enemies you are facing stays pretty linear.

This is the same issue we have with str to damage and the thief racket: if it's balanced for those, that means it can be balanced other places.

Unicore wrote:
the static damage bonus from ability score in PF2 becomes a decreasingly significant number. If the Dex to damage build became a whole big mutli-feat investment build, it would probably end up looking more like a trap option at higher levels.

Which is why a single scaling feat would be my suggestion: either by level or as a bonus on str damage.

Unicore wrote:
The thing about the finesse weapons that rogues get access to, is that they have terrible damage die. The ones that have lots of useful traits, AND finesse AND AGILE are D4s. A D4 monk attack, even with dex to damage, becomes an awful limitation past level 4-5. A rouge can have one of these in their off hand to take advantage of finesse trip or disarm or other cool feature, but still rely on a higher damage die weapon as their main thing.

So can a monk right? If they only get dex damage with the monk strike and use a monk weapon for parry, reach, disarm, ect then what is the difference? A skill use maneuvers isn't a strike so it isn't limited by stance. A backup stance feat could add something more 'interesting' if the base damage lags: for instance the die could increase, something like precision damage, bonuses on maneuvers, ect.

Unicore wrote:
Monks in a stance don't get options like that. It limits all their strikes to that one attack. There is very little wiggle room for giving Dex to damage to attacks as robust as Wolf Jaw or Tiger Strike.

Yes they DO: nothing stops weapon use skills, only STRIKE is limited.

"the only Strikes you can make are crane wing attacks."
"The only Strikes you can make are falling stone unarmed attacks."

NOTHING stops a dex to damage strike from being a 'can use stance strike' that gains dex to damage thus allowing that strike if needed or another is needed.

For instance: serpent stance[You enter the stance of a serpent and make quick strikes like a coiled serpent. You can make serpent's bite attacks that deal 1d4 + dex piercing damage. They are in the brawling group and have the finesse, agile, nonlethal, and unarmed traits.

If you are in serpent Stance and make a successful serpent strike, if your next action in the round is a grapple do not count increase MAP's on the grapple for the serpent strike.]

6th level backup feat: serpent strike [when using Flurry of Blows and both unarmed Strikes are serpents bites, increase the damage dice of the strikes to 1d6 [1d8 at 14th level]].

So here is a stance that #1 allows for dex to damage, #2 doesn't encourage tanking str and #3 does something 'interesting'. It also makes the 1d4 damage less of an issue.


Squiggit wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
Let's be frank. If they wanted to reduce MAD on monk they wouldn't of used wisdom for anything. But they did.
Okay, but we're not talking about what 'they' want, we're talking about your house rule.

You are mistaking me for the op

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I dislike that the player who wants to play a frontliner with STR 10 (or even 8) has to play a Thief Rogue, great at skills and never Legendary in Defense or Offense.

I understand why and I have come to accept that it will never change. But still I dislike it.


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The Raven Black wrote:

I dislike that the player who wants to play a frontliner with STR 10 (or even 8) has to play a Thief Rogue, great at skills and never Legendary in Defense or Offense.

I understand why and I have come to accept that it will never change. But still I dislike it.

That's untrue.

If you want to play a front liner with Str 10 you have to accept that you will deal less damage than you might otherwise deal, but you'll still be viable as long as you select a finesse weapon to use.

And I think that's okay. You'll be better at different things than a standard issue front line character with high strength.


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A 20th level tiger monk with 10 strength and +3 Major Striking Handwraps with 3 damage adding property runes rolls 4d8+1d6+1d6+1d6+6 for damage.

Sure, they'd do up to 4 more damage with some strength but I think that's enough damage.


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Does a front liner need to be able to do the most damage? Attacks of Opportunity are one source of front line control, but a 10 str monk can do a lot to steal actions away from enemies. with max dex and wolf jaw is still a good front liner, able to trip with dex, and by 5th level your larger damage die is going to start mitigating the damage loss.

Like you point out, getting to legendary in Defense or Offense is kind of its own way to make up for a minor damage loss.

It feels pretty hyperbolic to say that not doing max possible damage means that you can't be a great front liner. If that were true, then only barbarians and fighters using two handed weapons would really qualify as front liners.

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