Bodyguard Monk idea


Liberty's Edge

I would like to hear some input on a Monk archetype Im considering making in a homegame.

Short and easy, this archetype would replace the first level 'bonus feat' and the 'Stunning Fist' .
Instead gaining the 'Body Guard' Feat & 'Inner Guard' (allows an unencumbered, non Armored creature with the 'Body Guard' Feat to protect herself, counting her as her own ally).

As first level feat, she'd pick Combat Reflexes.
And with the Adopted Halflings Trait 'Helpful' this Monk would be quite the bodyguard.

AC 10+ Dex mod + Wis mod +2+2 =~20 lvl 1, with the means to bodyguard allies +4 to AC.

Im lacking a good name for the Archetype.

Thx in advance

Dark Archive

theres an armor ability (which could be placed on bracers of armor) that adds the enhancement bonus to the amount added with bodyguard. so they'd basically get the +# twice


Liberty's Edge

I forgot to mention..

In addition, I'll use a homebrew Racial Archetype 'Braced Elven Monks' (Elven), prerequisite Proficiency with Branched Elven Spear.
This archetype exchanges all 'Monk' weapon Proficiencies with Weapon Finesse & may add your Dexterity Bonus to Damage rolls with Improved Unarmed Strikes inplace of Strength.
Furthermore, exchanges Monks' second Bonus Feat with the feat: Agile Weapon Wielder (adds Dexterity to damage inplace of Strength to a single Finesse or light weapon, you are proficient with, whilst wielded by a non-encumbered & non-armored user).

Im thinking of having a PC running with this, but also have an encounter where some Orcs face 3 Braced Monks holding a steady line, tripping incoming Orcs, by using the Braced Monks superior reach and then bodyguarding eachother whilst flurrying.

Is this balanced?

Benevolent looks good, thanks

Dark Archive

honestly sound pretty over powered to me

not really an archetype with the first post. Overpowered with the second post.

Dex to damage is a pernicious issue that Paizo had to tinker with and change. I'd review Slashing Grace(cmbt) before altering rules in this area. see also; Boar Style, Crane Style, Snake Style, Tatzlwyrm Claw Style, Tiger Style, Master of Many Styles, then Thousand Cuts, Two-Weapon Grace, Bloodletting, Storm of Blades, Implacable, Aldori Dueling Mastery, Bladed Brush, Bleeding Critical, Bloody Mess, Focused Construct Expertise, Footslasher, Lashing Tail, Shrapnel Strike, Viscous Venom, Weapon Versatility.

Homebrew Cmbt Exprt {rework}
Homebrew Def Wpn Train {rework}

With respect, TorresGlitch, what you really want is the mechanics associated with Bodyguard and Slashing Grace. Trying to force the feats themselves, as well as a very rare background (an Elf adopted by Halflings) in your concept feels, frankly, contrived. Paizo already warns against counting yourself as your own ally when it makes no sense, which would seem to cover being "your own bodyguard." If you envision a monk who is defensively focused but also specializes in the graceful application of a single weapon, then do just that.

The first bit is relatively simple. You'll replace one or more abilities, feats, or class features with the ability to expend an Attack of Opportunity to get a certain bonus to AC. You should play around with more likely sources of synergy to compensate for a lack of Halfling-specific bonuses, like getting another +1 or +2 if you have a certain number of ranks in Acrobatics, or use this ability in the same round as a Flurry of Blows (or something). You'll either exchange something else for Combat Reflexes as a bonus feat, or the archetype will require a character to pick it up early on so that this ability is more worthwhile.

More contentious is what you've got planned for the Elven Branched Spear. You essentially want to give your Monk three feats (Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus, and Slashing Grace), and have it count as a light or one-handed weapon (to qualify for Slashing Grace), plus the ability to count said weapon as having the Monk special weapon quality, AND Dexterity to damage for unarmed strikes. You're not really giving anything in exchange, though:

1. You're trading out a single bonus feat for, what, eight feats' worth of abilities?

2. An Elf already has proficiency in the Elven Branched Spear, so the requirement for an Elf to have it before they can take this Archetype isn't a matter of balance.

3. You have no intent for this Monk to use any weapon besides the Elven Branched Spear and unarmed strikes, so losing other weapon proficiencies doesn't balance anything. Quite the opposite, the fact that you wouldn't have Dexterity to damage with any other manufactured weapon would actively discourage your character from using them even if he WAS proficient in them.

4. Finally, the Monk's AC bonus, evasion, and fast movement don't function when he's armored and/or encumbered to begin with.

The bottom line is that you're trying to create a dual-threat combat monster: an unarmed tank that also minimizes MAD by way of Dexterity to damage by level 2. You should really consider some relative equivalents for examples of give-and-take. Take, for example, the Magus Kensai, who is also an unarmored master of single weapon. He gives up proficiency with armor, period, as well as all martial weapons, AND has to cast one less spell of each level than normal in exchange for Weapon Focus, Canny Defense (which is effectively weaker than the Monk just getting his Wisdom bonus to AC), and an Exotic Weapon Proficiency (which, if he's an Elf, he probably already had to begin with).

Dark Archive

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instead of bodyguard, look at things like the feats for archon style or snake style

Liberty's Edge

Thanks both for your shared input,
When I Craft an idea I leave my wits aside at first.
I can see now how going full Dexterity-build is not supposed to be as simple/cheap as I first figured, in full right, as it saves stat points, adds to Ref Saves & AC.

I figured if any class should have 'Own's Bodyguard' it would be the Monk because of the whole 'mind over body' approach and learned Improved Unarmed Strikes with full body options.
Also, adding some AC to the unarmored early on inplace of Armor still makes me think its a rather balanced concept.
In exchange of Stunning Fist, a bonus feat, a trait and your first feat into Combat Reflexes, +4 to AC trice per round doesnt sound so cheap, as an early Strength-Monk only has about 13 to 14 AC, it doesnt seem gamebreaking, especially when one considers options like crane wing.

Im completely convinced to put aside the Elven Braced Monk idea for lower levels.

It can still work but it would need the Agile Weapon enhancement applied on both Improved Unarmed Strikes & the Elven Branched spear, and with this set of 'weapons' which is 3x the cost in total compared to a solo weapon Wielder, it can get a bit pricy.

there are several ways to get to about the same place.
Since your want is feat based I'd go with fighter & polearms weapon group. Another way is to try to wedge in polearms to brawler....
focusing on branched spear makes it an elven class... a bit restrictive.

Liberty's Edge

So in the end, as I stubbornly want to use Bodyguard...
I ended up sacrificing/replacing Monks' first Bonus feat & the Monk class feature Wisdom Bonus to AC and gained
Own's Bodyguard;
Grants the Bodyguard feat & whilst unencumbered, unarmored & not wearing a shield, may aid herself evade attacks using Bodyguard.
She retains the Monks' AC, CMD & Touch AC bonuses granted as she gains levels.

Halflings Racial Trait: Helpful
Item: Bracers of Armor: Benevolent

Good in low level to mid level games and when facing few foes.
Facing multiple low-tier opponents at once.

I wish this would become official =D
Thanks for all your input

This character will also fear archers.

Liberty's Edge

Java Man wrote:
This character will also fear archers.

Good point !

Edit: Actually...
Ranged attacks can be evaded using Bodyguard as its intent.

This is the Feat's Author and his intent on how the feat is supposed to work, as well as the view of what PFS or RAW games would take into account.

Edit 2.
But apparently not per RAW, so...

Own's Bodyguard 1.1;
Grants the Bodyguard feat & whilst unencumbered, unarmored & not wearing a shield, may aid herself (and allies) evade attacks using Bodyguard, even versus attackers she doesnt threaten.
She retains the Monks' AC, CMD & Touch AC bonuses granted as she gains levels.

Have you looked at a multiclassed scaled fist monk/ swashbuckler?

Liberty's Edge

Java Man wrote:
Have you looked at a multiclassed scaled fist monk/ swashbuckler?

I have now, the swashbuckler is as always cool, though the scaled fist Monk isnt very appealing except for Draconic Fury.

I really like the idea of any Merchant worth their salt could be a Monk, Armor & weapon less, yet fully ready.
Also, Monks forming lines of lawful defenses using multiple allies, all equipped with Bodyguard is appealing to me. It would make the Rogues and thieves think twice before rushing headlong into the midst.

The reason to use scaled fist to to run both sets of class abilities off of cha.

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