View Full Version : Pathfinder Pathfinder Rebuild: Monk

2015-10-01, 08:18 AM
As a companion to the ongoing rebuild (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?442682-Pathfinder-Rebuild-Fighter) of the Pathfinder fighter, the most maligned class:

The Monk (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1O90aoVPHCiW0dQbunpdwQv1hiZJKgwlshHOPkKWPgRc/pub)

There's a few modifications that go along with this in the next post, including new enchantments for weapons, new magic items, several modifications to feats, and a few new feats to replace some old monk tricks that have been removed.

2015-10-01, 08:22 AM
New and Modified Feats

Deflect Arrows
Prerequisites: Dex 14, Combat Reflexes
Benefit: Once per round when you would normally be hit with an attack from a ranged weapon, you may deflect it so that you take no damage from it. You must be aware of the attack and not flat-footed. Attempting to deflect a ranged attack doesn't count as an action. Unusually massive ranged weapons (such as boulders or ballista bolts) and ranged attacks generated by firearms, natural attacks or spell effects can't be deflected.

Deflect Ray
Prerequisites: Dex 16, Deflect Arrows
Benefit: Once per round when you would normally be hit by a ranged touch attack from a spell with the [ray] descriptor, you may deflect it with your weapon, causing it to have no effect. You must be aware of the attack and not flat-footed. Attempting to deflect a ray does not count as an action. Other ranged touch attacks which do not produce a visible ray, and attacks that merely use a line, such as dragonís breath weapons cannot be deflected.

Snatch Arrows
Prerequisites: Dex 16, Deflect Arrows, Improved Unarmed Strike
When using the Deflect Arrows feat you may choose to catch the weapon instead of just deflecting it. Weapons and ammunition caught this way can immediately be thrown back as an attack against the original attacker (even though it isn't your turn) or kept for later use. Arrows, bolts and sling bullets fired in this way can be thrown as a dart. Firearm bullets cannot be caught.
You must have at least one hand free (holding nothing) to use this feat.

Prerequisites: Dodge, 3 Ranks in Acrobatics
You gain a +4 bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity. When you use Acrobatics to move through an opponent's threatened area or space without provoking an attack of opportunity from that opponent, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus on your next melee attack roll against that opponent and that opponent is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC, as long as you make that attack before the start of your next turn.

Spring Attack
Prerequisites: Dodge, BAB +6
As a full-round action, you can move up to your speed and make a single melee attack or combat maneuver without provoking any attacks of opportunity from the target of your attack. You can move both before and after the attack, but you must move at least 10 feet before the attack and the total distance that you move cannot be greater than your speed. You cannot use this ability to attack a foe that is adjacent to you at the start of your turn.

Slow Fall
Prerequisites: Acrobatics 8 Ranks
So long as you are within armís reach of a wall, you can slow your fall by a factor equal to half your total move speed.

Abundant Step
Prerequisites: Martial Pool, Wis 16 or Cha 16
By expending two points from their martial pool, a character can slip between spaces, as if using the spell dimension door. Using this ability is a move action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. The caster level for this effect is equal to their level in classes which grant a martial pool. A character with this feat cannot take other creatures with him when he uses this ability.

Taken from the fighter rebuild notes.
I've borrowed a couple cues and alterations from this (http://theworldissquare.com/feat-taxes-in-pathfinder/)post over at The World is Square.

Among other things Combat Expertise, Deadly Aim and Power Attack are all simply combat options available at +1 BAB and any feats that require them as pre-reqs now require +1 BAB. I haven't implemented any of the other changes from TWiS yet.

For the sake of legibility the Deft Maneuvers and Powerful Maneuvers are feats republished here.

Deft Maneuvers
You do not provoke an attack of opportunity when performing a trip, disarm, dirty trick, feint, reposition, or steal combat maneuver. In addition, you receive a +2 bonus on checks with these combat maneuvers. Now a prerequisite for the relevant greater combat maneuver feats.
This feat replaces the following: Improved Trip, Improved Disarm, Improved Dirty Trick, Improved Feint, Improved Reposition, Improved Steal

Powerful Maneuvers
You do not provoke an attack of opportunity when performing a bull rush, drag, overrun, or sunder combat maneuver. In addition, you receive a +2 bonus on checks with these combat maneuvers. Now a prerequisite for the relevant greater combat maneuver feats.
This feat replaces the following: Improved Bull Rush, Improved Drag, Improved Overrun, Improved Sunder

I've also revamped the Cleave and Great Cleave chain to make them a little more ammenable to martial characters. A caster is capable of dropping spells that manage more than one enemy at first level, I think improving great cleave to drop the penalty to AC is also worth it. Dropping the strength requirement also means that these feats are now more available to builds that don't rely on strength, and to races that take a strength penalty.

Prerequisite: BAB +1
On your turn as a standard action you may attempt to strike an enemy at your highest attack bonus, forgoing any other attacks you may have. If this attack lands, you may attempt to strike another enemy adjacent to you at your highest attack bonus -2 (min 0). When using cleave, you take a -2 penalty to AC for the rest of the turn.

Great Cleave:
Prerequisite: Cleave, BAB +5
On your turn as a standard action you may attempt to strike an enemy at your highest attack bonus, forgoing any other attacks you may have. If your attack hits, you deal damage normally and may attempt to strike another enemy adjacent to you, at your highest attack bonus, you may attempt to strike other adjacent enemies at your highest attack bonus for each successful hit. You may not strike the same enemy more than once during this attack action.

2015-10-01, 08:56 AM
New Magic Item Enchantments

Attuned +1
An attuned weapon stores a single martial pool point determined by its creator at the time of creation. Attuned weapons typically have religious symbols or fetishes hanging from the weapon or engraved into grips or guards. This point is replenished daily and can be used to fuel any abilities that may require a point from a martial pool. In addition, any wielder of an attuned weapon, regardless of whether or not they can use points from a martial pool can spend the stored point to reroll a missed attack.

Martial Siphon +2
When a weapon this enchantment strikes a creature with a martial pool, it trains drains a single point from their martial pool, regardless of type, and converts it to a type of martial pool point (determined at creation by the creator) for use by the wielder. A successful critical hit also generates a point of martial pool. In addition a martial siphon weapon can store up to a single martial pool point, which can be spent by any wielder, regardless of whether or not they can use points from a martial pool, to reroll a missed attack.

Greater Attuned +2
As Attuned, but its reservoir for martial pool points holds 3 points instead of one. A greater attuned weapon cannot also be an attuned weapon.

New Magic Items

Martial Charm
A martial charm takes many shapes, whether military honours, holy symbols, grisly battlefield trophies, colourful tassels and wraps for the grip, or good luck tokens from loved ones. A martial charm must be attached to a weapon or shield to function. While attached, the martial charm increases the DC to resist any martial powers the wielder uses (Ki strikes, a samuraiís shout) by its bonus. A martial charm also stores a single martial pool point, which a wielder can draw on. While wielding a weapon or shield with a martial charm attached, a character with a martial charm is considered to have at least one point left in their martial pool for the purposes of abilities which require a point reserved. A wielder who does not use a martial pool cannot benefit from a martial charm.
Moderate Necromancy (Ki Leech, creator must have a martial pool)

Meditation Mat
A monk, samurai or other character with a Ki pool meditating on this simple, woven mat finds it easier to regain Ki points. By making a wisdom check (DC 10+Current Ki points) a character meditating on the mat can regain double their usual allowance of Ki points. Alternatively, a character may perform the meditation to regain their usual allowance of ki points in half the normal amount of time. Regardless of the usage, a meditation mat may only be used this way once per day.
Moderate Transmutation and Enchantment (Recharge Innate Magic, Keep Watch, creator must have a Ki pool)

Style Vest
This simple sleeveless vest is embroidered with designs that evoke iconic beasts. Hidden in amongst these designs are, to the keen observer, images that explain the rudiments of a style of fighting.
A character wearing this vest that possesses a style feat matching its tree may utilize feats of that style an additional time per day and adds a +2 bonus when making attacks using their style. A character without a style feat matching this tree gains the base style feat. All characters wearing a style vest gain a +2 bonus when making attacks using that style and can shift into their style as a swift-action.
Moderate Conjuration (Blade Tutor's Spirit, Share Memory, creator must possess 3 feats from the combat style.)

Ethereal Gears
2015-10-02, 03:16 PM
I think this looks spiffy overall. Spiritual harmony is a nice power boost whose flavor I like.

Flowing ki is definitely an improvement on wholeness of body, which is again necessary.

I'm liking the ki strikes too.

I'm not sure about the increased AC bonus. Admittedly I have not played too many monks, but I am GMing for an unchained dex-based one in a current campaign, and the last thing he seems to have is AC problems. Anyway, this could just be my ignorance.

My only concrete note otherwise is I find the proficiencies weird. Why aren't they proficient with all monk weapons?

Otherwise, looking good. I'll give it a second read-through later and check out the feat tweaks and the other stuff as well, see if any other questions or notes come up.

- Gears

2015-10-02, 06:06 PM
A lot of the monk weapons featured in pathfinder I've stripped out as part of an ongoing project to simplify and add interest to the weapons. The ones remaining are proficiency

I wanted to eliminate the dependance monks have on bracers of armor and amulets of natural armor to boost their AC when they're ostensibly meant to be a combat class. I've never worked with the unchained monk as far as building one, but when you consider that the monk is stuck with the equivalent of light armor early on and can't simply buy a better suit of armor, advancing that progression should keep them up with rogues moving onto mithral breastplates and so on. It could probably do with a better cap, perhaps by actually limiting the access that Monks have to those items by making their AC bonus replace the armor bonus somehow. I might need to nerf it a little to prevent the monk from ignoring touch AC but that also feels right given that making unarmed attacks is a monk's thing and avoiding someone touching them shouldn't be difficult.

Basically, the monk is going to make a really good tank at later levels if they are allowed to invest in armor boosting items.

I'm glad spiritual harmony isn't too much. I felt like Still Mind was a pretty lame boost in power and when paladins get a scaling boost to all of their saves, immunity to this one group didn't seem unfair for a class that is supposed to be Wisdom focused.

The Ki strikes are wholesale taken from feats to avoid making a monk spend those feats to get more options for their unarmed strike and at the same time weapon using monks don't get shafted.

There's an update to the combat style feats (as used by Master of Many Styles) that should go along with this at some point.

Ethereal Gears
2015-10-02, 06:33 PM
Well, it seems very sad to me to strip a class based around Eastern martial arts of so many of the unique and flavorful weapons related to that. I mean, no rope dart? No seven-branched sword? No kusarigama? I mean, those are weapons with interesting mechanical abilities as well as badass fluff. Instead of reducing the monk's weapon options to a bunch of rather generic tools, I think it would be a lot more fun to expand on and improve some of the existing monk weapons, maybe create cool feats to boost their utility. I would personally make monks proficient with both all monk and all eastern weapons (these being a specific subclass in PF, after all, at least according to d20pfsrd.com).

Other than that, as I said, I like the direction you're going with this. I think I see your point about the AC bonus, furthermore.

- Gears

2015-10-02, 09:40 PM
There's several reasons why the weapons mentioned aren't included.

Many of the weapons on the eastern weapon list are iconic to that region, those used by monks exist because proper weapons (weapons made to be used explicitly for martial purposes) were often beyond the means or illegal for persons of a certain class to own. Without the historical precedent of those restrictions, many of these don't make sense to exist because they are very specialized and unwieldy weapons. Katanas, and the means to create them exist because of the remarkably poor quality of iron. Too much carbon makes traditionally forged weapons in the style of european swords too brittle to work, so means were developed to make a weapon that worked. If that need doesn't exist and you aren't trying to make an asian analogue, eastern weapons may not need to exist.

My rebuild rules for weapons attempts to cut down the number of exotic weapon options because of an overwhelming number that have built up over the course of various sourcebooks. Drowning in options is a polite way to put it. A lot of these weapons don't have an appreciable difference from their non-exotic counterparts (the kama and sickle are identical in every way but the monk special weapon category and price)

The unchained monk, by virtue of being proficient with all monk weapons, has 33 weapons they are proficient in. The monk special weapon quality means that a monk can use flurry of blows with the weapon. By removing the restriction on which weapons a monk can use flurry with, that category of weapons doesn't really need to exist any more.

Last, I'm not trying to model every weapon you could use when you play a tabletop game, precisely to avoid the issues involving drowning in options. Rebuild is adding rules to a lot of individual weapons, and the idea is to encourage players and GMs to model weapons they want to see, rather than to model every possible weapon.

Ethereal Gears
2015-10-03, 08:13 AM
Well, that's a difference of taste, obviously. I have zero interest in the historical accuracy or viability of weapons. I just want my monks and ninjas to be able to use wacky weapons I've seen used in action movies and stuff. Anyway, since I'm not privy to these new rules you're devising for weapons et al, I can only judge this monk rebuild by what I see here.

I agree that the list of weapon options in PF is very cluttered, and I would certainly approve of a means of streamlining it. As long as this streamlining process still allows (whether via feats or class features or selectable weapon properties or whatever system is being implemented) for swinging nutty cool unique weapons, it's all good. The rope dart, for instance, is a fun weapon because it's a throwing weapon that doesn't expend ammunition, without requiring magic, which is neat. So as long as a rebuild of the weapon system retains the possibility of using weapons like that, I'm all for it!

Anyway, sorry for this slight derail. I imagine you'll be starting a separate thread to discuss your non-class-specific rewrites, so that would probably be more the place for this discussion. The one thing that struck me when looking over your monk again is that one thing I'm missing a bit from the unchained monk is access to selectable abilities (the ki powers (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/unchained-classes/monk-unchained#TOC-Ki-Power-Su-) granted to the unmonk). I'm not sure whether or where such a system would fit into your current set-up, but being able to nab a few cool monastic mysticism-themed powers and some of the qinggong monk's SLAs I think would be very fun.

- Gears

2015-10-03, 08:24 AM
That's what archetypes are for. I agree that the ability for a monk to select neat magic-like powers is one that they could do with. The combat style feats are also going to get into that a little with some vaguely avatar inspired stuff based on the elemental fist feat.

I totally understand the desire for the weapons like that. I do think they're cool, and it's entirely possible that I might go back and work out some additional rules for them so that they fit.

Also I've added the magic items. I'm at a loss for pricing them unfortunately.

2015-10-05, 07:25 PM
Trying to make the document more legible seems to have caused some problems, if anyone has any advice regarding fixing this, it'd be appreciated. Specifically, the image I'm using for the unarmed strike damage table seems to have decided not to wrap

2015-10-21, 12:21 PM
Trying to figure out how to price the magic items here. Will probably go through and work out the requirements to create them later.

Ethereal Gears
2015-10-22, 08:55 AM
I'm afraid magic item pricing is not something I'm especially qualified at, otherwise I'd offer up some advice. As for your formatting issues, though (pardon the late response on that), I don't suppose you have access to some kind of word processing program like Microsoft Word or OpenOffice or similar? Maybe I'm wrong, but it looks like your document was created using Google Drive/Docs? What I always do is create a document using another program, and then upload that file (usually as a .pdf). I'm not sure if this is helpful, but I've noticed a lot of issues with documents created directly within the drive when other people have done so, so I thought it worth mentioning.

- Gears