Character Question: mobile hit-and-run melee


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


I've always been fascinated by the idea of Monks using martial arts to be an elusive-punch-your-face character while mysterious in social encounters. I have been trying to build this concept and always seem to be just short of what I am looking for in single-class builds. We are looking at multi-class builds and have come up with a magus-monk build that seems to accomplish this.

My question is if there are any other ideas with dual-classing (or single-classing that I missed) for this type of character? It doesn't literally need to be a punch, but having something besides just a weapon is desirable - e.g. grapple with one hand, stab with the other OR sweep legs with a staff weapon and then stomp attack while they are prone are ok also.

Fairly new to the game, so I am sure I have overlooked obvious choices.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Can you share more about why the monk doesn't deliver on what you're looking for? They have the movement and action economy built into their chassis to do what you're describing.

Grand Archive

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I'm really not sure what exactly you are looking for. A great many options could fall into the broad category you are asking about. I think the first place you should start is getting familiar with MAP (multiple attack penalty) and the many things that are affected by it.

Liberty's Edge

The monk is almost purpose-built for this concept, since your flurry of blows and movement speed are built into the core class. From level 3, without any feats, you can run in, strike twice, and then run back out further than most creatures can get to in a single stride action, even with reach. Pick up Flurry of Maneuvers at level 4, and one of those attacks can be a trip. If that's your first attack and it succeeds, then your second attack would only be at a net -2 and you're eating into their action economy even more, since now they've got to stand up to chase you. You can slap almost any multiclass archetype onto this you want, though the magus or other spellcasters will be competing for your actions.

For social situations, it's a bit trickier, since the class doesn't inherently have anything helping you out here, and you'll probably want to max out your Athletics/Acrobatics/Medicine. On the other hand, you're completely unbothered by social situations that require everyone to be disarmed.


OK - I am clearly missing something between paper and play. I'll go back and take a look - thanks.

I think the social situation part I have covered with Monk naturally. I was more concerned if I switch classes keeping that.

Shadow Lodge

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Betim Blackbeard wrote:

OK - I am clearly missing something between paper and play. I'll go back and take a look - thanks.

I think the social situation part I have covered with Monk naturally. I was more concerned if I switch classes keeping that.

Just to clarify, are you playing the classic Pathfinder 1st Edition or the newer Pathfinder 2nd Edition? They play very differently, but your post could fit either version...

In either version, however, you are almost certainly going to run into basic stat issues: Charisma and Intelligence are the traditional 'dump stats' for monks because they tend to NEED* the other four, so neither social skills nor magus spells will fall into your area of 'core competency.'

*Specific builds may vary, of course, but Str, Dex, Con, and Wis are pretty important stats for melee in either edition, while Int and Cha simply aren't.

Liberty's Edge

If you're not using any ki blasts or other monk focus spells, you can actually get by just fine without investing in Wisdom. You don't even need it for your Will saves that much, since you start at Expert and can pick it as your Legendary save.

Sovereign Court

The monk class can definitely do this. But magus also has something to offer. One word really: Haste.

I play a magus multiclassed into monk, and last week we had a big running battle over a pretty large map. Between Haste and Flurry of Blows, as well as spells like Longstrider and Time Jump I was able to be wherever I needed to be. Sometimes that's picking off enemy stragglers, sometimes it's dashing through a Cloudkill (weirdly, it only deals damage if you start in it, so if you're fast enough it's fine), and sometimes it's circling round through a few rooms to come at enemies from behind.

The three-action system in PF2 is great, but abilities that let you do even more like Haste and Flurry of Blows are always welcome. Also, high speed means you don't need as many Strides to get where you need to be. Monk has a lot of this right out of the box.


Betim Blackbeard wrote:

It doesn't literally need to be a punch, but having something besides just a weapon is desirable - e.g. grapple with one hand, stab with the other OR sweep legs with a staff weapon and then stomp attack while they are prone are ok also.

As alternatives to look into, Fighters and Rogues can do this sort of thing pretty well. A Fighter with the open hand feats (stuff like Snagging Strike) makes a pretty good grappler while still packing a major punch with a bastard sword. Rogue has a feat literally called "Head Stomp" that's great for an unarmed build.

I think Monk is the best fit, especially if flitting in and out of melee is your highest priority, but some other things to look at if Monk doesn't suit you for whatever reason.


Monk + Rogue. Monk movement speed with Mobility from a Rogue mean you can Stride half speed > Flurry > Stride half speed away. No AoO, Sneak Attack triggers on many unarmed strikes as well. Doable at level 4 for single class by taking Rogue dedication too.

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