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Thread: Drunken Master

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    RogueGuy

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    Default Drunken Master

    As I understand it if monks could use magic weapons effectively they would be greatly improved so a
    Drunken Master (Complete Warrior) wielding adamantine rod that was magically enhanced could add unarmed damage of monk to improvised weapon damage and beat damage reduction adamantine and magic and overcome this problem.

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    Default Re: Drunken Master

    You're technically correct but also kinda wrong. Drunken Master has two crap feat taxes and a nigh-impossible fluff requirement (unless you're basically ignoring it). Objects made of adamantine are now masterwork improvised weapons, it's true, and that makes them enchantable, but going Drunken Master is a trap at that point, because DMs that roll nat 1 when attacking with an improvised weapon break the weapon. I will point out that this isn't Drunken Master reiterating a general rule about improvised weapons, which means part of the implication is that becoming a Drunken Master makes improvised weapons even worse than they already were. "But it's adamantine, how is it breaking just because of a nat 1" it doesn't matter. This is a rule specific to drunken masters wielding improvised weapons, and specific trumps general. Technically speaking, if there's anything to abuse here that might make high-level monks more valuable, it's that if you squint at this hard enough you can maybe convince yourself that it works for destroying anything wielded as an improvised weapon long enough (up to and including artifacts), and thus lets you destroy basically anything with enough attack roll attempts.

    Also, this is kinda a minor point, but DM doesn't give you the ability to flurry with improvised weapons. Not only does this feel like an oversight, but it means that using improvised weapons is losing you some DPR potential.
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    Default Re: Drunken Master

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    Also, this is kinda a minor point, but DM doesn't give you the ability to flurry with improvised weapons. Not only does this feel like an oversight, but it means that using improvised weapons is losing you some DPR potential.
    That bit can at least be solved with the Unorthodox Flurry feat (Dragon Compendium). Of course, now you're another feat in the hole.
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    Default Re: Drunken Master

    The natural 1 clause can be mitigated by making your Masterwork Improvised Weapon out of Aurorum from BoED (get someone with Craft (Sculpture) to make you a nice piece of art to smash with), which can be reconstituted after destruction as a full round action.

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    Question Re: Drunken Master

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    You're technically correct but also kinda wrong. Drunken Master has two crap feat taxes and a nigh-impossible fluff requirement (unless you're basically ignoring it). Objects made of adamantine are now masterwork improvised weapons, it's true, and that makes them enchantable, but going Drunken Master is a trap at that point, because DMs that roll nat 1 when attacking with an improvised weapon break the weapon. I will point out that this isn't Drunken Master reiterating a general rule about improvised weapons, which means part of the implication is that becoming a Drunken Master makes improvised weapons even worse than they already were. "But it's adamantine, how is it breaking just because of a nat 1" it doesn't matter. This is a rule specific to drunken masters wielding improvised weapons, and specific trumps general. Technically speaking, if there's anything to abuse here that might make high-level monks more valuable, it's that if you squint at this hard enough you can maybe convince yourself that it works for destroying anything wielded as an improvised weapon long enough (up to and including artifacts), and thus lets you destroy basically anything with enough attack roll attempts.

    Also, this is kinda a minor point, but DM doesn't give you the ability to flurry with improvised weapons. Not only does this feel like an oversight, but it means that using improvised weapons is losing you some DPR potential.
    how does a thick piece adamantine break?

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    Default Re: Drunken Master

    Quote Originally Posted by el minster View Post
    how does a thick piece adamantine break?
    Questions are ever troubling the mind. How does a thick piece of adamantine break? What is this place? Where are my pants? What happened last night?

    The true Drunken Master understands that knowing the answers to these questions will only make their head hurt more. They simply accept that such things are, and ask for another round.

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    Default Re: Drunken Master

    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarVecna View Post
    because DMs that roll nat 1 when attacking with an improvised weapon break the weapon.
    I've heard of a fumble on a nat one but outright breaking the weapon? Time for a new DM...

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    Default Re: Drunken Master

    Quote Originally Posted by RNightstalker View Post
    I've heard of a fumble on a nat one but outright breaking the weapon? Time for a new DM...
    DM there = Drunken Master, not Dungeon Master. It's actually a part of the class feature that the improvised weapons (that give the Drunken Master bonus damage) break if you roll a 1.

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    Default Re: Drunken Master

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    DM there = Drunken Master, not Dungeon Master. It's actually a part of the class feature that the improvised weapons (that give the Drunken Master bonus damage) break if you roll a 1.
    Ah, thanks for the clarification.

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    Default Re: Drunken Master

    Quote Originally Posted by PoeticallyPsyco View Post
    That bit can at least be solved with the Unorthodox Flurry feat (Dragon Compendium). Of course, now you're another feat in the hole.
    That's debatable. Unorthodox flurry says to choose a light weapon. Improvised weapons are a category of weapons, not a single type of weapon, which can be considered light, one-handed, or two-handed. The adamantine rod proposed would likely be considered comparable to a club, making it a one-handed improvised weapon which wouldn't work.

    Drunken master in general just isn't a good prestige class for monks. Improvised weapon damage does scale decently, but doesn't work with flurry or benefit from ki strike despite dealing damage based on unarmed strike. Their ability to pump strength and con comes at the expense of wisdom, lowering their class AC bonus. The fact that your improvised weapons have a chance of breaking on any given attack roll makes investing in specialized artwork made of special materials and enchanted as weapons a huge money sink.

    If your ultimate goal is to enchant your fists, get gauntlets. They're listed on the weapons table under the "unarmed attacks" category and an attack with a gauntlet, according to the item's description, deals damage as an unarmed attack with the exception of being able to deal lethal damage rather than nonlethal. As it is an unarmed weapon that functions as an unarmed strike, and therefore can be enchanted while retaining unarmed damage and ki strike bonuses (so it'll eventually turn into adamantine, but only while you're wearing it). And it won't break on a nat 1.
    Someone on the forum made an argument about it not working with flurry of blows that I didn't find particularly convincing, but even if you subscribed to that ruling you can't flurry with improvised weapons either. Getting an enchanted gauntlet is a cheaper, easier, and much less roundabout way of getting the job done than what you're trying to do.

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    Default Re: Drunken Master

    Quote Originally Posted by el minster View Post
    As I understand it if monks could use magic weapons effectively they would be greatly improved so a
    Drunken Master (Complete Warrior) wielding adamantine rod that was magically enhanced could add unarmed damage of monk to improvised weapon damage and beat damage reduction adamantine and magic and overcome this problem.
    Sorry, but this consists of some missinformation.

    1: Monk & Magic Weapons
    No that is not the issue with monks. They can easily use magical monk weapons, Shou Disciple can gives em even access to all martial weapons as monk weapons and last but not least you can use a Necklace of Natural Attacks to get any magical enchantments on your unarmed attacks. Pure monk has other problems. Monk dips on the other hand can be really use-/powerful in some builds.

    2: bypassing DR
    bypassing DR is not worth the investment, unless maybe(!) your entire campaign has to deal with a special kind of DR (and even than it's not worth it most of the times). You don't bypass DR, you ignore it with massive amount of dmg boosts. Everything that you would invest into bypassing DR is better invested into raw dmg.

    3: Drunken Master
    As the others have pointed out, the Drunken Master is an odd conception of a prc. It does require monk related abilities, but doesn't progress em further (Flurry..).
    But... there is a reason why a good chunk of my (signature) ubercharger builds did dip 2 lvl into Drunken Master and that is the "Stagger" ability. It gives you total directional freedom on a charge (circle, zigzag, back and forth, looping for dive attacks, anything you can imagine..). This can be abused to charge at almost any given circumstances every round which makes it imho mandatory for ubercharger builds. Further a single DC15 tumble check avoids all AoO due to moving, just the icing on the ability. Well there is actually a second reason to enter DM and that is "Drink like a Demon", I mean it obvious why one would absolutely need this ability! Making money and having fun with drink contests in every tavern^^ I mean, who else gets paid for drinking more than anyone else??
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    Default Re: Drunken Master

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaern View Post
    That's debatable. Unorthodox flurry says to choose a light weapon. Improvised weapons are a category of weapons, not a single type of weapon, which can be considered light, one-handed, or two-handed. The adamantine rod proposed would likely be considered comparable to a club, making it a one-handed improvised weapon which wouldn't work.

    Drunken master in general just isn't a good prestige class for monks. Improvised weapon damage does scale decently, but doesn't work with flurry or benefit from ki strike despite dealing damage based on unarmed strike. Their ability to pump strength and con comes at the expense of wisdom, lowering their class AC bonus. The fact that your improvised weapons have a chance of breaking on any given attack roll makes investing in specialized artwork made of special materials and enchanted as weapons a huge money sink.

    If your ultimate goal is to enchant your fists, get gauntlets. They're listed on the weapons table under the "unarmed attacks" category and an attack with a gauntlet, according to the item's description, deals damage as an unarmed attack with the exception of being able to deal lethal damage rather than nonlethal. As it is an unarmed weapon that functions as an unarmed strike, and therefore can be enchanted while retaining unarmed damage and ki strike bonuses (so it'll eventually turn into adamantine, but only while you're wearing it). And it won't break on a nat 1.
    Someone on the forum made an argument about it not working with flurry of blows that I didn't find particularly convincing, but even if you subscribed to that ruling you can't flurry with improvised weapons either. Getting an enchanted gauntlet is a cheaper, easier, and much less roundabout way of getting the job done than what you're trying to do.
    Sadly this doesn't work. It's in the 3E FAQ p 27.

    Are gauntlets and spiked gauntlets considered weapons? Could a monk wearing a pair of gauntlets attack and still apply her unarmed attack bonus and unarmed damage? Could the monk use her class abilities that require successful unarmed strikes, such as her stun ability, while wearing gauntlets? How much damage would a monk wearing a pair of gauntlets deal? If the gauntlets had an enhancement bonus (such as a +2 enhancement bonus) or a special ability (such as flaming burst), would a monk wearing these gauntlets gain any benefit? Can gauntlets even have weapon enhancement bonuses or weapon special abilities?

    Both gauntlets and spiked gauntlets are weapons (that ’s why they are both listed on Table 7–4 in the Player’s Handbook). A pair of gauntlets or spiked gauntlets can be magically enhanced, just as any other weapon can.

    Although a nonmonk wearing a pair of gauntlets is still considered unarmed (see the next two questions), a monk wearing gauntlets is using a weapon. A monk cannot use any of her special unarmed attack abilities (unarmed damage, stunning attack, and so on) when using a weapon. A monk can use her unarmed attack rate with a special monk weapon, but gauntlets are not a special monk weapon. A monk wearing gauntlets does not provoke attacks of opportunity when striking an armed foe with gauntlets. The monk deals the same damage as any other character of her size (1d3 points of damage for a Medium-size character). The monk would get the benefits of any magical properties the gauntlets might have.
    So a monk would be limited to 1d3 and be unable to benefit from Flurry of Blows, which is useful for a Drunken Master. It's one of the bizarre things about Gauntlets in 3.P. Paizo managed to somehow screw themselves harder by making a gauntlet-fighting style feat chain that literally doesn't work as intended because of this.

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    Default Re: Drunken Master

    What does "A monk can use her unarmed attack rate with a special monk weapon" even mean? Do they mean that, for some reason, the FAQ is granting unarmed damage to special monk weapons even though they aren't unarmed?
    At any rate, I don't have the FAQ available to me as every link I can find to it just sends me to a 404 error on the WotC site. All I have to go on is the PHB and SRD entries saying that gauntlets say that they "let you deal lethal damage with an unarmed strike," indicating that an attack with a gauntlet is still an unarmed strike, and that "a strike with a gauntlet is otherwise considered an unarmed attack," indicating that it is should function as an unarmed attack for mechanics, effects, and abilities.

    That bit of the FAQ infers things that are not written in the core rules and proposes evidence which contradicts its own rulings.
    It concedes that the monk is still considered unarmed, yet claims that they don't get unarmed benefits due to using a weapon. None of the monk abilities specify that the monk must not be using a weapon: Only that she be unarmed, which she is considered to be while wearing a gauntlet. The abilities as they are written don't care if she makes an "unarmed attack with a weapon" or an "unarmed attack without a weapon," only that it is an unarmed attack, which a gauntlet is considered to be. A gauntlet may not be a special monk weapon, but an attack with a gauntlet is still an unarmed strike and flurry works with "unarmed strike or special monk weapons."
    It also says that gauntlets are weapons as evidenced by the fact that they appear on the weapons table in the PHB and can therefore be magically enhanced, but unarmed strikes appear literally right next to gauntlets so you could use the same logic to argue that your fists can be enchanted without having to jump through hoops to get the job done. And since unarmed strike is listed on the weapons table, you could make the same argument to consider unarmed strike a weapon rather than an unarmed attack despite being categorized under "unarmed attacks" along with gauntlets. Therefore, monks shouldn't get unarmed bonuses while using it.

    While trying to find the FAQ itself I happened to stumble across a couple of threads about using it as a rules source. It seems that a lot of people consider it to be on par with the advice column from Dragon Magazine, regarding it as the rulings of an experienced player or DM rather than official errata, and may refer to it when all else fails but don't consider it to be RAW. It seems to me that a monk using her monk abilities with gauntlets should be perfectly RAW legal any way you look at it, but the writer of the FAQ didn't like the idea and was just reaching to make an argument against it.

    But even then, gauntlets are classified as an unarmed attack on the weapons table and the weapon category descriptions say that an unarmed strike is always considered a light weapon. That would make them a valid choice for unorthodox flurry, making gauntlets a special monk weapon which, according to the FAQ, gives them the monk's unarmed attack rate, whatever that means... but I'm assuming it's referring to their unarmed damage since that's really the only thing I can think of that it could be referring to. Which again is something that's not specified in any of the monk's ability descriptions, but the FAQ doesn't really seem to care about that.
    Last edited by Vaern; 2020-02-23 at 08:47 AM.

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    Default Re: Drunken Master

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaern View Post
    What does "A monk can use her unarmed attack rate with a special monk weapon" even mean? Do they mean that, for some reason, the FAQ is granting unarmed damage to special monk weapons even though they aren't unarmed?
    At any rate, I don't have the FAQ available to me as every link I can find to it just sends me to a 404 error on the WotC site. All I have to go on is the PHB and SRD entries saying that gauntlets say that they "let you deal lethal damage with an unarmed strike," indicating that an attack with a gauntlet is still an unarmed strike, and that "a strike with a gauntlet is otherwise considered an unarmed attack," indicating that it is should function as an unarmed attack for mechanics, effects, and abilities.

    That bit of the FAQ infers things that are not written in the core rules and proposes evidence which contradicts its own rulings.
    It concedes that the monk is still considered unarmed, yet claims that they don't get unarmed benefits due to using a weapon. None of the monk abilities specify that the monk must not be using a weapon: Only that she be unarmed, which she is considered to be while wearing a gauntlet. The abilities as they are written don't care if she makes an "unarmed attack with a weapon" or an "unarmed attack without a weapon," only that it is an unarmed attack, which a gauntlet is considered to be. A gauntlet may not be a special monk weapon, but an attack with a gauntlet is still an unarmed strike and flurry works with "unarmed strike or special monk weapons."
    It also says that gauntlets are weapons as evidenced by the fact that they appear on the weapons table in the PHB and can therefore be magically enhanced, but unarmed strikes appear literally right next to gauntlets so you could use the same logic to argue that your fists can be enchanted without having to jump through hoops to get the job done. And since unarmed strike is listed on the weapons table, you could make the same argument to consider unarmed strike a weapon rather than an unarmed attack despite being categorized under "unarmed attacks" along with gauntlets. Therefore, monks shouldn't get unarmed bonuses while using it.

    While trying to find the FAQ itself I happened to stumble across a couple of threads about using it as a rules source. It seems that a lot of people consider it to be on par with the advice column from Dragon Magazine, regarding it as the rulings of an experienced player or DM rather than official errata, and may refer to it when all else fails but don't consider it to be RAW. It seems to me that a monk using her monk abilities with gauntlets should be perfectly RAW legal any way you look at it, but the writer of the FAQ didn't like the idea and was just reaching to make an argument against it.

    So first of all, let me clear up some things.

    "A monk can use her unarmed attack rate with a special monk weapon" means "you can use Flurry of Blows with a special monk weapon".

    As for the FAQ not being up on their website, alas, that's an issue covered in another thread, the archive was taken down during the Long Dark.

    As for your assertion that a Gauntlet is equal to an Unarmed Strike, they are listed separately in the Weapons table, and you also left out the part of the line that says "lets you deal lethal damage rather than nonlethal damage with unarmed strikes.A strike with a gauntlet is otherwise considered an unarmed attack." A gauntlet doesn't alter a monk's Unarmed Strike in a positive way because the gauntlets don't let a monk use their Unarmed Strike properly. This was and always has been a big issue with 3.P, and was a constant discussion on the WotC forums (may they rest in peace). You can even find discussions on this forum, with the consensus being, RAW and without houserule, a gauntlet does not work with Flurry of Blows.

    Gauntlets modify an Unarmed Attack. Improved Unarmed Strike does not use the phrase "unarmed attack" at all in its feat description.

    But even then, gauntlets are classified as an unarmed attack on the weapons table and the weapon category descriptions say that an unarmed strike is always considered a light weapon. That would make them a valid choice for unorthodox flurry, making gauntlets a special monk weapon which, according to the FAQ, gives them the monk's unarmed attack rate, whatever that means... but I'm assuming it's referring to their unarmed damage since that's really the only thing I can think of that it could be referring to. Which again is something that's not specified in any of the monk's ability descriptions, but the FAQ doesn't really seem to care about that.
    As for how this works with Unorthodox flurry, I return to the part of the gauntlet description you omitted and I chose to emphasize: "a strike with a gauntlet is otherwise considered an unarmed attack." Unarmed Attack has no description in the weapons descriptions. Unarmed Strike says "an unarmed strike is always considered a light weapon." It does not say "an unarmed attack is always considered a light weapon." As such, the reasonable reading of the text would say "gauntlets are treated as unarmed strikes for damage type, but in all other ways are unarmed attacks". This is internally consistent with other abilities that modify the way an attack roll works but does not allow a full benefit with an option.

    There is no text basis for Gauntlets being a light weapon. As such, they're not usable with Unorthodox Flurry. However, a Spiked Gauntlet is a light weapon, so in theory that'd work for unorthodox flurry, but spiked gauntlets also use a separate weapon damage die, which means they don't modify the unarmed attack. They are an entirely separate beast, notably because they are a weapon.

    Now, if there was a way to deal unarmed damage (per the monk table) with a Spiked Gauntlet, then it might be worth it, but I highly doubt there is.

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    Default Re: Drunken Master

    I don't know if it's safe to make either assumption as to what it means as, to my knowledge, "attack rate" isn't terminology that is used or defined in any book.

    I didn't leave the second part of the gauntlet description out. Unarmed attack and unarmed strike are used basically interchangeably throughout the books, as they are closely related. An unarmed attack is defined in the glossary as an attack made without a weapon. An unarmed strike is a successful blow on an attack made without a weapon. Thus, a successful unarmed attack is by definition an unarmed strike. I quoted the two halves of the gauntlet's description separately, and in the same sentence, to emphasize that both terms are used to describe the functionality of a gauntlet. An attack made with a gauntlet is an unarmed attack; a successful blow made with a gauntlet is an unarmed strike, and it is therefore treated as a light weapon. If it can not be considered a light, one-handed, or two-handed weapon, then it is somehow in Rules Purgatory where not even regular unarmed attacks can reach it.

    If you look through the description of the monk's abilities you'll see that their unarmed strike ability says that a small or large monk's unarmed attacks, not unarmed strikes, deal damage different from what is shown on the table; even if you don't consider a gauntlet to be an unarmed strike, you still concede that it's an unarmed attack. Therefore monks, at least of small or large races who gain increased damage on unarmed attacks rather than just unarmed strikes, still benefit from their increase unarmed damage when wearing gauntlets.
    Furthermore, the ki strike ability specifies that it applies to unarmed attacks and makes no reference at all to unarmed strikes. Since gauntlets are, at the very least, unarmed attacks, ki strike should still apply to them even if you don't consider them to be an unarmed strike for some reason.

    As for spiked gauntlets, if you can't somehow retain your monk unarmed damage when using an item classified as an "unarmed attack" whose description says you're considered unarmed when using it, then I seriously doubt you'll find a loophole allowing you to retain unarmed damage when using a light weapon that is explicitly defined in its description as being an armed attack.

    Allowing monk abilities to work with gauntlets would be perfectly consistent with all existing mechanics exactly as they are written. Your interpretation that they are "treated as unarmed strike for damage type but are otherwise an unarmed attack" requires rewriting the description of the item and redefining two existing mechanical terms as being distinct actions from each other, when in reality only one of them is an action and the other is merely a result of that action
    Last edited by Vaern; 2020-02-24 at 03:10 PM.

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