Monk "Subclasses" and Action Economy Breakdown


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Hello all!

I wrote A Thing! Monks don't have subclasses per se, and are often not seen as having much of a strength, since fighters specializing in Brawling hit more accurately than a Monk. I did a breakdown of the class looking at it from the standpoint of having three de facto subclasses - Ki Discipline, Stance Discipline, and Weapon Discipline - and a rather specific focus unique to the class - master of action economy. I also sought to organize things into an easy reference, grouping like feats together, listing available weapons for feats, etc.. I hope you all find it interesting and/or helpful! Please let me know if there are things to add/fix/etc..

JAM's Monk "Subclass" & Action Economy Breakdown


Tried to see it but all I got was a sorry this file does not exist. I’m pretty interested in the monk class.

Edit: nvm the link got broken


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Dargath wrote:

Tried to see it but all I got was a sorry this file does not exist. I’m pretty interested in the monk class.

Edit: nvm the link got broken

It should be good now.


That's a good reorganization of options. Very helpful for considering the different directions you can go with a monk. I'll have to come back and try using the guide for a few builds.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Updated the Guide adding verbiage clarifying basic action support theory, a list of one action spells, basic dedication criteria, and Dedication information for Fighter, Magus, and Psychic.

Here is the new wording for the basic premise: In its simplest form, a standard example of a round for most martials is as follows: <Do Something> <Attack at full accuracy> <Attack at a penalty>. <Do Something> may occur at the beginning or at the end, and <Do Something> could be movement; raising a shield; or some class specific ability. In any case, this is an incredibly common combination of actions for most martials.

A monk’s standard example of a round of actions is as follows: <Do Something> <Attack at full accuracy and attack at a penalty> <Do Something>. The Monk can often do in two actions what other characters do in three; the real question to ask is “What should be done with that extra third action?”.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Updated the guide with a summary of action economy/unarmed attack/movement benefits from all of the multiclass dedications, one action spells for domains, arcane schools, lessons, etc., a link of all spells NOT affected by Enlightened Presence (it's much easier to say what it doesn't help with than what it does), and removed all of the Press/Flourish activities, as they are really incompatible with monk's flurry of blows.

It looks like, in terms of being "more of a monk", that Barbarian, Bard, Fighter, Magus, Oracle, Psychic, Rogue, Sorcerer, and Swashbuckler have the most synergy.

Optimization Special Shout Out goes to the Ranger and the Animal Feature focus spell. Let's start with "It's Wind Jump, one of the absolute best Monk feats, except two levels earlier and without any worries of staying in the air". We could just stop there. Add on Slashing and Piercing unarmed attacks (thus flurry-able) for getting past resistances. The swim speed and enhanced vision just become gravy at this point. Aaaaaaaaaaand... you can refocus and do it all day. The only real problem is that most of the Ranger feats either modify a weapon (and thus don't enhance unarmed attacks) or enhance your animal companion (which, while great, isn't strictly making you a "better monk" as it were), so I don't know about the rest of what you can get but... wow... Animal Feature is powerful on a monk.

My final phase is to go through the combat and mystical archetypes.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

This is excellent, I'm looking to play a monk soon so I'll be coming back to this guide often!


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Last update planned for a while... added analysis of Combat and Mystical Dedications.


Other things to include...
- Monks are one of the better classes out there at grapple and trip, with a decent bit of feat support for grapple in particular. As such, archetype synergies with same (mostly from wrestler and barbarian, though there's also some interesting stuff in swashbuckler) potentially have real value.

- Monks are in an unusual place to put their two <Do Something> actions together as a single two-action thing... like casting a spell. Even better, dropping a single feat into ki spells will give you scaling proficiency in your choice of Divine or Occult... either of which will work just fine on the spells your ancestry gives you. Obviously you can't run punch/punch/EArc *every* turn (you do need to move sometimes), and it does mean that you have to sink some into charisma, but it's a nice combo when you can. It also give you a nice little ranged option, for when you want ranged options.

- If you're investing in charisma, then Stumbling Feint may be worth a look, for the free feint. Alternately, there are a few stances with an intimidate component. Either of these can be a way to gain panache for a swashbuckler archetype.

- Speaking of the swashbucker, both Agile Maneuvers and Combination Finisher can offer a degree of relief for MAP issues. Combination Finisher works well with Stumbling stance, where the build-in feint gives you the panache to fire off a fairly accurate third attack (only -6!). Agile Maneuvers works well by itself, if you're the sort of monk who'd spend a feat on flurry of maneuvers anyway.

- Martial Artist is laregely useless for monks, because the monk gets almost all fo that stuff automatically already, at a lower level. Might want to go through and filter out the monk feats. You'll need to do the same with wrestler, if you add it.

- Your notes on Dragon Disciple *really* ought to include Scales of the Dragon - one of the best ways available for str-monks to get their AC up where it should be, if you can manage the cost of entry.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Sanityfaerie wrote:


- Martial Artist is laregely useless for monks, because the monk gets almost all fo that stuff automatically already, at a lower level. Might want to go through and filter out the monk feats. You'll need to do the same with wrestler, if you add it.

Oops! I had a specific scenario for that one. It should have had the following note:

Quote:
Note: This analysis assumes the Free Archetype optional rule is in use. In this scenario, the Martial Artist Feats are evaluated as Monk Feats.

Thanks for bringing that to my attention!

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