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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    RogueGuy

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    Default [PF] Small monk additions

    The biggest problem with monks is that they're designed for both mobility and full-attack, but can't actually do both in the same round. It seems to me that the ki pool makes it easier to remedy this than in 3.5.

    So i'm thinking of the following additions:

    • By spending 2 points from his ki pool, a monk who can use his Fast Movement ability can make additional five-foot steps to a distance equal to one-half of his Fast Movement modifier, for one round. These steps can be taken at any point during the monk's turn that round. For example, a Monk 9 can spend 2 points from his ki pool to take 4 five-foot steps: one standard, and then three (15', half of 30') additional steps. He can take those immediately, take two, perform a full-round action, then take the remainder, or whatever combination.
    • Abundant Step: In addition to the dimension door effect, the monk can spend 3 points from his ki pool to take a single move action as a free action this round.


    I've run through a couple scenarios in my head, and these don't seem too unbalanced, while giving a core monk the ability to shine where he's supposed to.

    Am i missing anything?

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    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: [PF] Small monk additions

    Am i missing anything?
    I think you are missing the part where every other melee class has the same restrictions. They're supposed to land many hits (full bab, dual-wield, both) yet through moving, they are limited to only making the single one, and provoke attacks of opportunity when doing so (moving, that is).

    Is it your opinion that the monk should be exempt from this?

    Casters can (normally) only cast a single spell per round. That is their limitation. Ranged weapon specialists deal less damage per attack, but can normally remain stationary so that they can attack often in a single round. A trade off. Melee, however, needs to move, but the hits they deal do a lot of damage, and they can keep it up all day. That is their trade-off.
    Last edited by Dryad; 2011-05-12 at 10:03 AM.

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    Daemon

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    Default Re: [PF] Small monk additions

    Except, the monk doesn't do much damage. It is not only more difficult for them to gain magical enhancement than regular fighters, but they have to split their stats up further in order to utilize their class features, weakening their ability to hit and damage. The idea behind the monk class is clearly a mobile skirmisher, otherwise why bother giving it abilities like fast movement? This fix is quite good, since it helps solve one of the problems plaguing the monk. If you want to go further, you might give them an ability at third level say, that allows them to replace their to hit and damage bonus in melee with their wisdom modifier. You also may want to drop the price on the fast movement ability to 1 ki point, since monks will probably be using the thing all the time.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Curious; 2011-05-12 at 10:35 AM.

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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: [PF] Small monk additions

    Quote Originally Posted by Dryad View Post
    I think you are missing the part where every other melee class has the same restrictions. They're supposed to land many hits (full bab, dual-wield, both) yet through moving, they are limited to only making the single one, and provoke attacks of opportunity when doing so (moving, that is).

    Is it your opinion that the monk should be exempt from this?
    Not exempt, just able to circumvent it when when needed, in a limited-use way.

    PF fighters can circumvent this limitation, too, if they take the Mobile Fighter archetype.

    One of the criticisms of the Monk class in 3.x, and the reason it is considered lower-tier than other melee classes, is the fact that the increased mobility and flurry simply can't be used together. The other classes are higher tier because their class features are more flexible or actually work together.

    PF improved the Monk, but the problem of mobility/flurry incompatibility remains. I figured burning ki was a good way to allow them to be used together without unbalancing things, since ki is limited. So, with my changes, at Monk 4, you could get a single additional five-foot step, but (assuming Wis 18), at most 3 rounds per day (spending all available ki, and only on this movement option). At Monk 9, that same monk is up to 4 rounds per day when this ability is usable (though the ability itself improves).

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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: [PF] Small monk additions

    Quote Originally Posted by Curious View Post
    If you want to go further, you might give them an ability at third level say, that allows them to replace their to hit and damage bonus in melee with their wisdom modifier. You also may want to drop the price on the fast movement ability to 1 ki point, since monks will probably be using the thing all the time.
    I'm hesitant to give Wis bonus to hit and damage, if only because it's already added to AC. Perhaps with a feat?

    As far as the ki cost goes, i wanted to balance it with other ki powers. If it were only 1 point, would anyone ever spend that point for the AC bonus? You could also combine it with the extra attack on a flurry for only 2 ki points total, which seems a bit strong.

    I'm not set on it yet, though. Two points does seem high, though 1 point does seem too low.

    Quote Originally Posted by Curious View Post
    Hope this helps.
    It does, thank you!

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    Default Re: [PF] Small monk additions

    Making all of the additional movement 5-foot steps has the unfortunate side-effect of giving the monk immunity to attacks of opportunity. My option would just give them pounce by spending ki points.

    This however makes one of the alt-monks from advanced players handbook less good as its high level ability is given to all. You should probably replace it with something else if someone wants to use it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dryad View Post
    I think you are missing the part where every other melee class has the same restrictions. They're supposed to land many hits (full bab, dual-wield, both) yet through moving, they are limited to only making the single one, and provoke attacks of opportunity when doing so (moving, that is).

    Is it your opinion that the monk should be exempt from this?

    Casters can (normally) only cast a single spell per round. That is their limitation. Ranged weapon specialists deal less damage per attack, but can normally remain stationary so that they can attack often in a single round. A trade off. Melee, however, needs to move, but the hits they deal do a lot of damage, and they can keep it up all day. That is their trade-off.
    Umm... You do realize that theory of balance doesn't work at all with 3.5 or pathfinder in its current state right.
    Last edited by nyarlathotep; 2011-05-12 at 11:01 AM.
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    Default Re: [PF] Small monk additions

    I'm hesitant to give Wis bonus to hit and damage, if only because it's already added to AC. Perhaps with a feat?
    I'd say make them get Wis to damage in place of (not in addition to) strength. And make it come a bit further in (between 3 and 5) and be limited to Monk level, to prevent Clerics and Druids from dipping into Monk to get it. Then give weapon finesse as a bonus feat.

    That way you have Dexterity to Hit, AC, and Init. Wisdom to Damage, AC, and special abilities. Those are your two primary stats, strength is removed completely, helping the MAD, and you can get by with just a little bit of con.


    Also, instead of that fast movement ability, might I suggest allowing Flurry to apply to all attacks? That way if you stand and full attack, you get your full 5 (6? I dunno does pathfinder monk get full BAB?) but on a standard action attack you still get your 3 hits thanks to flurry, so your biggest damaging class feature isn't going to waste while you're moving.
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    DruidGirl

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    Default Re: [PF] Small monk additions

    However, this 'mobile fighter' template only provides the mobility (but not the immunity to attacks of opportunity) at 11th level, and at the expense of the primary attack.
    And the fighter would need an intelligence score of at least 13, a dexterity score of probably nineteen, a main stat in strength (so higher than dex), and a nice con score to remain alive.
    Furthermore, the fighter might want a somewhat higher intelligence because she doesn't get much in terms of skill points, and not that many class skills, either. If you want to fill prereqs as fighter, you better be smart.

    A monk needs wisdom, strength, a dex minimum of thirteen, an int minimum of 13 to fill feat prereqs, and, depending on your likelihood of being focussed, a nice con score for hit points.

    Seems to me that they're pretty much in the same boat, even though a monk gets 'dual-wield with full strength on both weapons, and both weapons dealing 2d10 damage that ignore nearly all forms of damage reduction' relatively for free.

    It's a matter of opinion, I'm sure, but where the monk gets a whole lot of class features, the fighter doesn't get these things (as mentioned in the link) standard. They are alternative class features, and it doesn't say in the link what it is they actually replace.

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    Default Re: [PF] Small monk additions

    And the fighter would need an intelligence score of at least 13, a dexterity score of probably nineteen, a main stat in strength (so higher than dex), and a nice con score to remain alive.
    Why on earth would a Fighter need a dex of 19? 13 is pushing it. Unless you're going for two weapon fighting... in which case why are you a fighter? Other classes simply fill that niche better because the Fighter lacks bonus damage.

    Similarly, no Fighter is going to go for above 13 int, the extra skillpoints simply aren't enough reward to justify it, unless you're rolling stats and rolled exceptionally on at least 4 of them.
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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: [PF] Small monk additions

    Quote Originally Posted by nyarlathotep View Post
    Making all of the additional movement 5-foot steps has the unfortunate side-effect of giving the monk immunity to attacks of opportunity. My option would just give them pounce by spending ki points.
    I'm torn on that, actually. Monks tend to be resistant to AoO by Acrobatics-ing around, so offering immunity during a limited-use, limited-distance move doesn't strike me as too bad. Charge/pounce comes up as a common remedy, but it's less flexible (requiring room to charge). It's also covers far more distance. I was envisioning this as primarily a tactical-maneuvering power, rather than a close-the-distance power.

    Hm. Definitely something to think about. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Also, instead of that fast movement ability, might I suggest allowing Flurry to apply to all attacks? That way if you stand and full attack, you get your full 5 (6? I dunno does pathfinder monk get full BAB?) but on a standard action attack you still get your 3 hits thanks to flurry, so your biggest damaging class feature isn't going to waste while you're moving.
    PF Monks get full BAB for Flurry only, not for other attacks (where they're at 3/4 full), so there's a bit more at stake. If they can Flurry at-will, that makes them significantly more powerful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dryad View Post
    However, this 'mobile fighter' template only provides the mobility (but not the immunity to attacks of opportunity) at 11th level, and at the expense of the primary attack.

    ...

    It's a matter of opinion, I'm sure, but where the monk gets a whole lot of class features, the fighter doesn't get these things (as mentioned in the link) standard. They are alternative class features, and it doesn't say in the link what it is they actually replace.
    The mobile fighter gives up their big attack to have multiple attacks in a standard action, but they can do it whenever they want to once they get that ability.

    Also, the link points out that Rapid Attack replaces Armor Training 3, and links to the Armor Training explanation (PF Core fighters have actual class features, though they're not super-flexible).

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Unless you're going for two weapon fighting... in which case why are you a fighter? Other classes simply fill that niche better because the Fighter lacks bonus damage.
    PF Fighters do get additional bonus damage from Weapon Training, and relatively in theme with the class concept -- it's a lower bonus than favored enemies or smites, but applicable to any enemy, and equipment-centric.

    I tend to agree, though, that in PF Rangers are still better TWFers than Fighters.

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    Default Re: [PF] Small monk additions

    Why on earth would a Fighter need a dex of 19? 13 is pushing it. Unless you're going for two weapon fighting...
    Yes; two-weapon fighting. Why? Because magical bonusses from many attacks eventually catch up with 1.5x str mod, unless you're running the kind of campaign where everyone and their mom gets strength thirty.

    Similarly, no Fighter is going to go for above 13 int, the extra skillpoints simply aren't enough reward to justify it, unless you're rolling stats and rolled exceptionally on at least 4 of them.
    Many prestige classes require skills not on the fighter skill list. So the fighter pays double the number of skill points to get those skills to the required level. Fighters only get 2 skill points + int per level, which isn't a whole lot, and I don't know about you, but I kind of value being able to swim, climb, balance and many, many more things. Like know stuff. Or being able to craft them. Or being able to actually see the world around me.
    What you're saying is that a fighter can only max out three skills, or take a max of six at half value, which won't increase that quickly either. Personally, I don't really like the image of the 'hulk smash!' type of fighter. Maybe it's a testosterone thing; I just can't see it. :P

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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: [PF] Small monk additions

    Quote Originally Posted by Dryad View Post
    Many prestige classes require skills not on the fighter skill list. So the fighter pays double the number of skill points to get those skills to the required level.
    PF changed the skill system a bit -- no more double cost for cross-class skills. In a nutshell, all skill ranks cost a single skill point, and if it's a class skill, you get a +3 bonus.

    PF also encourages staying with a single class, both by handing out capstone abilities and by having the archetype options (like 'mobile fighter') where some class features are swapped for others (and the analogous bloodlines, domains, and specialization powers for casters). Consequently, they also buffed a bunch of the core prestige classes in order to make them worth taking. I encourage you to read the online SRD, as they made many good changes (and many which prompt debate).

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    Default Re: [PF] Small monk additions

    Yes; two-weapon fighting. Why? Because magical bonusses from many attacks eventually catch up with 1.5x str mod, unless you're running the kind of campaign where everyone and their mom gets strength thirty.
    Strength 30 isn't anything special at level 20.... you can get that with a starting strength score of 14 (+5 level, +5 inherent, +6 enhancement = 30).

    And magical bonuses from multiple attacks require extra money, unless Pathfinder made enchanting light/one-handed weapons cheaper than enchanting two handers. Money you could better invest elsewhere.

    Many prestige classes require skills not on the fighter skill list. So the fighter pays double the number of skill points to get those skills to the required level. Fighters only get 2 skill points + int per level, which isn't a whole lot, and I don't know about you, but I kind of value being able to swim, climb, balance and many, many more things. Like know stuff. Or being able to craft them. Or being able to actually see the world around me.
    I just checked the pathfinder SRD, and I realized that Pathfinder was even worse than I remembered. I had been under the impression they bumped it to 4 skillpoints per level and improved the skill list, it looks as though they just copy pasted from D&D, which is really sad.

    Even so, getting extra int simply won't get you enough skill points to make that difference. Getting up to 14 int might be reasonable to see, since it's only one extra point in a point buy, but even that gets you 4 skillpoints, with a still horrid skill list...if you're looking for a skill intensive prestige class, you're better off dipping into a heavier skill class, such as the Ranger (especially if you're going for TWF or Archery) to get those skills.

    PF Monks get full BAB for Flurry only, not for other attacks (where they're at 3/4 full), so there's a bit more at stake. If they can Flurry at-will, that makes them significantly more powerful.
    Okay wasn't aware of that. What if you just gained the bonus attacks from flurry at will? That way if you attack while moving you get +13/13/13, if you attack while standing still, it's +18/18/18/18/13/8/3, assuming access to haste or the speed enhancement, and TWF, making a pretty large difference between the two, but making moving and attacking not as bad.

    PF Fighters do get additional bonus damage from Weapon Training, and relatively in theme with the class concept -- it's a lower bonus than favored enemies or smites, but applicable to any enemy, and equipment-centric.
    Weapon Training is basically just a more widely applicable Weapon Specialization. It translates into +4 to hit and +4 to damage from what I see. Ironically a 3.5 fighter can get +4/+6, so PF finder is even worse at getting bonus damage for TWF than a D&D fighter. It's still bad in both cases.
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    Default Re: [PF] Small monk additions

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Okay wasn't aware of that. What if you just gained the bonus attacks from flurry at will? That way if you attack while moving you get +13/13/13, if you attack while standing still, it's +18/18/18/18/13/8/3, assuming access to haste or the speed enhancement, and TWF, making a pretty large difference between the two, but making moving and attacking not as bad.
    That might work, though i'll have to think on it and do some math.

    Weapon Training is basically just a more widely applicable Weapon Specialization. It translates into +4 to hit and +4 to damage from what I see. Ironically a 3.5 fighter can get +4/+6, so PF finder is even worse at getting bonus damage for TWF than a D&D fighter. It's still bad in both cases.
    Where's the +4/+6 come from? If it's feats like Focus and Specialization, Weapon Training stacks with those.

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    Daemon

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    Default Re: [PF] Small monk additions

    You know, Seerow, if you don't like Pathfinder you don't need to participate in a discussion about Pathfinder. Fixing some of it's problems is the reason we are here, not to rag on it because of perceived wrongs and hate. Anyways, the PF fighter doesn't need to spend feats to get that bonus damage, and they can swap it out- since it's an actual class feature -for ACF's that can expand what they do quite excellently. Better, overall. I'm just getting kind of sick of hearing people calling PF total crap because it 'didn't fix enough.' It's main goal was backwards compatibility, not to fix every problem in the game.

    Hoo, okay, retreating from thread for now, got class to go to.

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    Default Re: [PF] Small monk additions

    Where's the +4/+6 come from? If it's feats like Focus and Specialization, Weapon Training stacks with those.
    Yeah it was Focus/Spec/Greater Foc/Greater Spec/Melee Weapon Mastery.

    You know, Seerow, if you don't like Pathfinder you don't need to participate in a discussion about Pathfinder. Fixing some of it's problems is the reason we are here, not to rag on it because of perceived wrongs and hate. Anyways, the PF fighter doesn't need to spend feats to get that bonus damage, and they can swap it out- since it's an actual class feature -for ACF's that can expand what they do quite excellently. Better, overall. I'm just getting kind of sick of hearing people calling PF total crap because it 'didn't fix enough.' It's main goal was backwards compatibility, not to fix every problem in the game.
    Pathfinder suffers in large part the same problems that D&D 3.5 has. My biggest problem that it advertises itself as something it is not. I started my contribution in this thread with suggestions for the OP to help the Monk. I only moved from that when someone started talking about Fighters going with more than 13 intelligence because of their dire need for skill points, which is something I had previously thought PF addressed.
    Last edited by Seerow; 2011-05-12 at 12:32 PM.
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    Default Re: [PF] Small monk additions

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Pathfinder suffers in large part the same problems that D&D 3.5 has. My biggest problem that it advertises itself as something it is not. I started my contribution in this thread with suggestions for the OP to help the Monk. I only moved from that when people started talking about changes PF made, and me suddenly realizing PF didn't change even as little as I had already thought it did.
    Yeah, this turned into a "what's new in PF" thread, which was far from my intent. I did get some good feedback on my proposal, though, thanks.

    But, in PF's defense, they changed more than is obvious from a first glance. It's tough to get a real sense of those changes without really playing the game for a while.

    Yes, wizards are still quadratic (though many of their low- and mid-level go-to spells have been tweaked to not be as powerful). With the addition of the Critical feats, Vital Strike feats, and a few other neat options, even core fighters are no longer linear. They're not quadratic, mind you, but they're a sight better than linear. I'm honestly impressed they managed to do that and still have it clearly recognizable as a 3.x fighter (as opposed to a major overhaul like bringing in ToB ideas or whatnot).

    Fighter skill points are regrettable, but remember that 1- there are 10 fewer skills in PF, so skill points go further, and 2- cross-class spending isn't cut in half. So your Fighter 10 can have 10 ranks in Stealth if you want (and with Armor Training, might even be able to do it in reasonable armor). A Rogue 10 is still going to be better at it (it's a class skill, so it gets +3, plus Dex, etc), but being able to stay somewhat in step with other characters is pretty handy.

    It is definitely true that the optimization techniques of 3.5 just don't work as well any more (hence, for example, the complaints about nerfing Power Attack). In part, though, that's true because optimization is just less necessary: the non-god classes remain more useful, for longer, and are more likely to be single-classed, because the core classes are more flexible.

    So, yeah, if they advertised it as "Core 3.5, but better! (and better balanced!)", then, having played it, i would agree. Claims beyond that are much more debatable.

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    Default Re: [PF] Small monk additions

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post

    Pathfinder suffers in large part the same problems that D&D 3.5 has. My biggest problem that it advertises itself as something it is not. I started my contribution in this thread with suggestions for the OP to help the Monk. I only moved from that when someone started talking about Fighters going with more than 13 intelligence because of their dire need for skill points, which is something I had previously thought PF addressed.

    Okay, I reread your posts, and I'm sorry if I sounded confrontational. I am readily willing to admit that Pathfinder has it's problems, but I do believe it improves many things over 3.5 core. As Melesky said though, bringing into account splat-books, the issue beomces much more clouded. Anyway, sorry for dragging it off-topic, I'll try to offer some more suggestions for the monk.

    I think Seerow's suggestion of giving strength to damage, and then the weapon finesse feat for free is a pretty good fix. It reduces MAD while still maintaining a balance between useful attributes.

    For the ki abilities, perhaps it costs one point five ki, if you don't mind tracking a few more numbers. One the first time you use the fast movement, two the next. I still think just one is quite reasonable, considering it makes the monk good at what they are supposed to do, and most monks will want to be using it all the time.

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    Default Re: [PF] Small monk additions

    To solve the Flurry of blows/Mobility problem change this:

    From Ki Pool class feature:
    By spending 1 point from his ki pool, a monk can make one additional attack at his highest attack bonus when making a flurry of blows attack.
    to this:
    By spending 1 point from his ki pool, a monk can make one additional attack this turn at his highest attack bonus -2. Each time you use this ability after the first one in the same turn, you gain an aditional attack which takes a -2 cumulative penalty to its attack bonus. This is a free action.

    What do you think?
    It's kind of flurry as a standard action but has a cost you can decide to pay or not, and you can make lots of attacks if you are willing to spend your ki.

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    Default Re: [PF] Small monk additions

    Quote Originally Posted by NamelessNPC View Post
    By spending 1 point from his ki pool, a monk can make one additional attack this turn at his highest attack bonus -2. Each time you use this ability after the first one in the same turn, you gain an aditional attack which takes a -2 cumulative penalty to its attack bonus. This is a free action.
    Interesting. It might work, though it runs into the alternate BAB problem: during a standard action attack, monk BAB is only 3/4, while during Flurry it's full. So there's still that tradeoff.

    Also, at high levels, Flurry gives a huge number of attacks -- 7 starting at 16th level. This might be a good compromise to allow extra attacks occasionally, but it's not going to be able to replicate move-then-Flurry without a huge expenditure.

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    Default Re: [PF] Small monk additions

    You would still get normal flurry as a full round, but now you can move a lot and make more than 1 attack. Heck, the first attack paid for with ki points could be free of penalty, or the penalty could be -1 per attack. It wouldn't be overpowered

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