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Some thoughts on Monks and balance

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  • Some thoughts on Monks and balance

    I know... I know... Another thread about Monks. Sorry. For me personallly, a lot of the mechanics of the magic system and the "feel" of the wizard and sorcerer classes were the biggest "issues" with v1 of the rules. Now that those are addressed, I want to bring up the other point that just feels a little off to me: Monks. Not going to propose a bunch of ideas for tweaks or fixes; I just want to point out what I see as the issue.

    Bottom line: I think Monks are underpowered compared to the rest of the classes. I don't see a good reason for picking a Monk if you want to be a fighter, because the other fighter classes are notably better IMO. I also don't see a good reason for picking Monk over Sorcerer if you want to be an unarmed fighter. Finally, I think that the best straight unarmed fighting Monk build you could put together would actually be a Sorcerer + Monk multiclass instead of a straight Monk.

    Let me illustrate my point with a chart (this only applies to the Novice rank Core edge):

    Fighter Monk Sorcerer (Draconic Bloodline)
    Armor All Armor Cloth Only Cloth Only (+2 Natural Armor)
    Unarmed None (Could gain Brawler with Martial Flexibility) Str+d4 Str+d4
    Powers None None 2 Powers and 15 PP
    Other Martial Flexibility Stunning Fist (only when using unarmed attacks) Free d4 in Spellcasting
    Special None Allowed to take Trademark Weapon with Unarmed Strike Spellcasting tied to Spirit

    In my opinion, the chart above shows that both Fighter and Sorcerer are both better options than the Monk. The Monk has the lowest defense of the three, no powers, and an ability that only works when attacking unarmed for Str+d4 damage. The positives are that the Monk is treated as armed when unarmed and does Str+d4 (so does the Sorc, and the Fighter can use Martial Flexibility to take Brawler and get the same unarmed damage with +1 Toughness although still being considered an Unarmed Defender).

    The Monk has a special exception that allows it to take Trademark and Improved Trademark Weapon with Unarmed Strike, but that's not super impressive considering that no such exception is needed for the Fighter (or Barbarian or any other class) to take Trademark Weapon with their swords, axes, bows, etc. And they don't have limitations placed on their special abilities that require them to use a specific weapon like the Monk.

    Also, keep in mind that the Monk's Unarmed Strike is worth half an edge. In SWADE Core, Martial Artist does everything the SWPF Monk's Unarmed Strike does and also adds a +1 to Fighting rolls when attacking Unarmed. There is also no Martial Warrior edge or equivalent in SWPF, locking the Monk out of Str+d10 unarmed damage (unless the Monk multiclasses into Sorcerer to get claws).

    Higher Levels
    It's true that the Monk gains access to Mystic Powers at higher levels, and some of those Mystic Powers close the the gap. But the other classes improve at higher levels as well. The Draconic Bloodline Sorc will be eligible for all the powers edges, and will also gain AP 2 with their claws in addition to environmental resistances and bonus damage to powers that match the dragon type. The Sorc can also take Arcane Armor and wear better armor than the Monk.

    The Fighter will get straight-up bonuses to weapon damage rolls (ranged and melee) while the Monk can only attack in melee to take full advantage of his abilities (pretty much just Stunning Fist and nothing else). The Fighter can also take 2 combat edges and gain the benefits of Bruiser if needed for a particular barfight.

    I just think that the Monk falls flat compared to any other Monk alternative. Want to be a fighter? Then pick Fighter, Barbarian, etc. Want to be a Mystic Warrior based on Spirit? Be a Draconic or Abyssal Sorcerer. It is my opinion that the Monk class needs an overhaul.

  • #2
    So what can be done to improve the Monk without unbalancing it? Well, let's first define what the Monk does in the source material (PF1e/other D&D 3.5-esque games):
    • Reliant primarily on Dexterity (Agility) and Wisdom (Spirit) for defense and offense (Stunning fist save DC, etc)
    • Fast movement
    • Attacks many times
    • Very high unarmed damage die (even higher than the highest weapon damage dice in the game)
    • Mystical power type stuff (slow fall, etc)
    • Very hard to hit

    Of those above things listed above, how does the SWPF Monk compare?
    • Reliant on Strength/Vigor/Agility. Spirit is a requirement for the class edge, but it doesn't come into play at all after that point. Not a match
    • Fast movement can be accomplished by taking the Fleet Footed edge, and the Speed Mystic Power/Hurry power mod. Good enough for me - I don't expect the class edge to give you absolutely everything without the need for taking other edges, though it is funny that the Barbarian gets a Pace boost and the Monk doesn't...
    • Attacks many times: No more than any other character. Still has to take Ambidextrous, Two-Weapon Fighting, Frenzy, and Improved Frenzy to attack 4 times without penalty.
    • Very high unarmed damage die. Without multiclassing and getting claws, no. Has to use the same edges available to everyone else to get up to d8 unarmed damage. The Monk also has no other bonuses for Grappling, which seems odd to me.
    • Mystical Powers Yes! Good Match!
    • Very hard to hit. Requires using Mystic Powers and/or the same edges available to every other character. This is like a 50% solution IMO.

    So what things need to be addressed to get a viable Monk that also feels like a Pathfinder/3.5 Monk?
    • Make it so that the Monk is more reliant on Spirit than Strength and Vigor.
    • Make it easier for the Monk to attack many times when unarmed.
    • Make higher unarmed damage accessible to the Monk.
    • Provide some kind of defensive buff (since Armor Class doesn't translate directly to Parry, Toughness, or Soaking)

    Possible suggestions to address these things:
    • Multiple Attacks: Just like with allowing Trademark Weapon for a Monk's Unarmed Strike, specify that a Monk is effectively Ambidextrous when attacking Unarmed, thus saving the cost of one edge if you're trying to go for a Two-Weapon/Improved Frenzy combo. Perhaps even make it so that a Monk can Two-Weapon Fight as an Ambidextrous character when attacking unarmed (though I can certainly understand if that's overkill, even with the limitation that you can only do it Unarmed)
    • Higher unarmed damage: Perhaps make Wholeness of Body also increase unarmed damage one die type? Making an attempt at healing once per day isn't a terribly impressive Heroic edge IMO. Maybe rename it from "Wholeness of Body" to "Perfect Self" and allow the healing attempt + a damage die increase. Give a buff to grappling (no MAP to Fighting attacks while grappling to enable easier Ground & Pound, allow Unarmed Damage to apply to the crush maneuver, allow Grappling to count as an option for purposes of Two Weapon/Ambidextrous so that a Two-Weapon Monk can grapple AND crush or grapple and Fight without MAP, etc)
    • Reliance on Spirit/Defensive Buff: These are the toughest to tackle without upsetting balance too much, I think. Perhaps give some type of boost to Soaking damage. Like a free reroll or something. Perhaps allow certain other things to be tied to Spirit vs. Vigor or Strength (use Spirit to calculate Toughness, roll to Soak, and serve as the natural healing roll for Wholeness of Body; perhaps also let Spirit substitute for both Strength and Vigor for purposes of obtaining the Brawler Edge). Don't let it substitute for anything else (environmental hazards, normal natural healing, overcoming spell effects based on Vigor, etc) so that the character can't just get by with a d4 in Vigor. But you also have to let it do more than just straight substitute for Vigor (meet Strength requirement for Brawler/Bruiser) otherwise you just shift the need for Agility/Strength/Vigor to Agility/Strength/Spirit. I think establishing Agility and Spirit as being core to the concept with Strength being a "nice to have" for purposes of boosting Unarmed damage makes sense.

    The developers and you guys may all disagree with my analysis and suggestions. But I really believe that the Monk is the only class remaining that doesn't really feel like a Monk from the source material and it also seems so weak as to not be worth taking IMO. The game is great as-is, but this design really feels off to me. I would like to see some of these things addressed if possible.


    • #3
      A Sorcerer who wants to be a good fighter is both skill and edge taxed in a way that a regular Monk isn’t. A Monk just has to be good at Fighting and can focus their skills and edges around that. A Sorcerer would probably want to at least be a decent spell caster. Also, don’t sleep on auto succeeding spellcasting rolls and buying raises if you want them. RAW, there’s nothing stopping a Monk from “casting” multiple spells on their turn with no penalty to their activation.

      Also, there’s something to be said for a character that can both never be caught unarmed, be disarmed, or lose their trademark weapon (unless it happens literally, in which case, you have bigger problems). Sure, such conditions don’t often come up, but when they do, the Monk is at an advantage.

      IMO, a Monk/Eldritch Knight is probably one of the nastier combos you could come up with, because of the hit with a raise interactions, and you could buy an all but guaranteed raise on your attack roll if you wanted at Eldritch Knight II.

      I’m also pretty sure a monk should be able to buy “Arcane Armor” since there’s no such thing as “Arcane Interference” (Bards, Wizards, Sorcerers, etc. have *Armor* Interference, not *Arcane* Interference).
      Last edited by ellipses; 04-03-2021, 05:48 PM.


      • Leatherneck556
        Leatherneck556 commented
        Editing a comment
        What I may not be getting across is that a Sorcerer absolutely doesn't have to pay that huge edge and skill tax. Yes, if you want an optimal Sorcerer, then you must do that. But if you are using a Sorcerer to make a better Monk, then you don't really need as much of that.

        Good point with the Eldritch Knight interaction and the auto succeed.

        I have two main issues: one is that the Monk is just weak by itself (yes, it can make a great character in combination with other classes like Eldritch Knight, Thief, or Sorcerer), and it really doesn't "feel" like a PF1e monk.

    • #4
      Agree and disagree. I agree that the monk is missing something, but I think it is not much.

      1. I believe you are underestimating the power of Trademark Weapon. It gives +1 Parry and +1 to Fighting rolls. And compared to the other classes, the monk can never be disarmed or otherwise get their trademark weapon taken away from them.
      2. Ambidextrous/Two Weapon fighting could be interesting.
      3. Reliance on Spirit. When you look at the current build of Sajan, this goes in the opposite direction in my opinion. Sajan has Strength d8 and Spirit d6. That's not a monk in my opinion. Since the monk is essentially required to take the Brawler Edge, it would be good to make this Edge more easily accessible to the monk, maybe by replacing the Strength requirement with Spirit for the monk. This would be much more fitting, and steers the monk into a direction of having more Spirit.
      4. To me, the monk seems more like a support melee class. They are not intended to do very high base damage, but get raises on their Fighting rolls to trigger Stunning Fist. Maybe Wholeness of Body could increase the d6 damage die you get on a raise to a d8 when making unarmed attacks? This seems more in line with the current design.

      I feel the monk is very close and I love Stunning Fist, especially when combined with the new Desperate Attack.


      • Leatherneck556
        Leatherneck556 commented
        Editing a comment
        You make a good point about the Monk being a support fighter moreso than a primary damage dealer. To clarify something I don't think I communicated clearly: I don't think every suggestion I proposed should be incorporated, and I don't think the Monk should just be an unarmed version of the Fighter. The Monk should have his own role: I think of the Monk as being most useful in situations where high mobility is required, and Supporting in melee while still doing some damage (Stunning Fist and Grappling).

        Re: Trademark Weapon, I fully respect it. I don't ever have a single "fighter" in any campaign I run not take it. And I understand the benefits of Unarmed Strike in regards to never being disarmed and being able to "sneak a weapon" into secure areas. My only point is that allowing Monks to take TM Wpn just helps them keep up with the other fighters vs doing anything special for them.

        Re: Ambidextrous for "free" with unarmed strikes, I think that's one of my proposed changes I am most convinced is worthwhile. It's not crazy powerful, but it perfectly matches the original game and lowers the barrier of entry for a Flurry of Blows.

        Re: Spirit. I agree. I think the key to making the Monk reliant on Spirit lies in rewarding the player for having a high spirit rather than punishing the player for not having it. Therefore, I think it needs to provide some kind of 2-for-1 benefit or what's the point? You're just shifting one stat to another for no reason other than flavor. I can think of three benefits that hit a lot of wickets: Spirit replaces Strength for Unarmed Damage (including Crush damage), Spirit can be used to Soak, and Spirit d8 is the only Attribute requirement for Brawler and Bruiser for Monks.

        You still benefit from Vigor for Toughness, natural healing, and environmental hazards, and you still benefit from Strength for carrying capacity and thrown/melee weapon damage. So neither becomes a straight dump stat, but neither is terribly important either.
        Last edited by Leatherneck556; 04-03-2021, 10:10 PM.

    • #5
      I agree in general that Spirit is not important enough to the Monk class. Maybe one of their starting class abilities could be something along the lines of, “Choose either Strength or Vigor and permanently substitute your Spirit die type for the purposes of meeting Edge requirements.” Something relatively simple without all these exceptions written into it.


      • Leatherneck556
        Leatherneck556 commented
        Editing a comment
        ellipses I feel you on not giving them a dump stat. But what I am trying to express is that simply allowing Spirit to sub for edge requirements is all downside and no upside. Effectively, you could just say "No thanks" and keep Spirit at d6 like v1.1 Sajan has it.

        For example: why sub Spirit for Strength only to meet Edge requirements when I could just boost Strength instead and get the melee damage boost/etc

        That's the main reason I think there has to be some other benefit. I completely agree with you on the "no dump stat" idea, but enforcing the need for 4 good stats is punishing to a class that I (personally) think is already underpowered.

        I appreciate your insight! You make great points and this is a good discussion.

      • ellipses
        ellipses commented
        Editing a comment
        Leatherneck556 A monk would potentially raise their Spirit because you roll Spirit to unshake and also to resist powers. Also, Spirit is tied to skills like Persuasion and Intimidation, which you may want to invest in.
        Last edited by ellipses; 04-03-2021, 07:17 PM. Reason: Edited because upon reflection it sounded more combative than intended.

      • Leatherneck556
        Leatherneck556 commented
        Editing a comment
        ellipses You are correct, but it still wouldn't help you with dealing damage, etc. I think that for it to be worth taking advantage of, you would still want some other perk. Not a total replacement for all uses of Str or Vigor, but something else. If it's only meeting edge requirements, then you're still just right back to making the decision of "would I rather be better at unshaking and resisting powers, or would I rather deal more damage/have more Toughness?"

    • #6
      As a result of Tumola's comments, I would say here is my refined proposed list of changes:

      -Monks do not have an off-hand when attacking unarmed (and a Two-Weapon Monk can consider grappling as one of his Two-Weapon fighting attacks)
      -Monks can substitute Spirit for Strength when dealing Unarmed damage (including Crush damage)
      -Monks can roll Spirit to soak wounds
      -Monks only need Spirit d8 (instead of Strength and Vigor d8) to meet the attribute requirements for the Brawler and Bruiser edges.
      Last edited by Leatherneck556; 04-03-2021, 07:03 PM.


      • Tumola
        Tumola commented
        Editing a comment
        Leatherneck556 You have to limit the additions to the Monk Edge to a reasonable amount. A bonus to Grappling is not necessary imho as the monk can just boost their Athletics with Mystic Powers.

      • Leatherneck556
        Leatherneck556 commented
        Editing a comment
        Tumola Again, I just disagree on this point. I mean, I'm not the one making the final design decisions, so I am cool with whatever they decide. But I think Monks should have a grapple boost. The idea that the edge is doing too much is kind of surprising to me when you compare the Monk to some of the other classes, especially the Sorcerer (as referenced in my original post).

        Fair enough that they get the ability to use Boost Trait on Athletics, but so do all the Arcane classes. And a Monk can take the Acrobat edge, but so can anybody else. Allowing Two-Weapon fighting to apply to both Unarmed Strike and Grappling would give the Monk a unique option that nobody else gets, and it still requires investing in a separate edge (Two Weapon Fighting) to take full advantage of it. It's not just a gimme.

        Again, just my opinion and I think you make very valid points. I also don't expect my idea(s) will necessarily make it into the final version. Just talking theory.
        Last edited by Leatherneck556; 04-03-2021, 10:13 PM.

      • Leatherneck556
        Leatherneck556 commented
        Editing a comment
        Going back-and-forth on this is forcing me to have to really drill down on why I think it's important. I love these kind of discussions.

        I think that the reason I see this as a priority is because I think the Monk should still have to do things like put a lot of points in Athletics, use boost trait (Athletics), and take the Acrobat edge if he wants to be a master grappler. He shouldn't get all these bonuses for free and one edge shouldn't give 50 benefits...

        BUT, the Monk is the master of unarmed combat, and if he takes all those edges, he should still have some kind of advantage in grappling vs. anybody else that has all those same abilities. As of right now, the raging barbarian that has armor spikes is *most likely* a better grappler than the Monk if the Barbarian also invests heavily in Athletics and the Acrobat edge. The Fighter is in a similar boat.

        I don't want an "I win" button for Monks while grappling, because if another character invests in all those grappling-specific things, then they deserve to be good at it. But I like the idea of a unique option or lateral bonus to give a Monk his own unique advantage in this specific aspect of unarmed combat. Maybe the Two-Weapon Fighting Ground & Pound option, maybe Spirit for opposed Crush rolls & Crush damage, maybe full unarmed damage for Crush damage, maybe TM Weapon bonus on Grapple rolls (my least favorite option), maybe a "reversal" ability where a Monk who wins on an opposed roll to escape or prevent an enemy grapple instead reverses the grapple and makes the enemy Entangled. Just some little boost to set them apart.

        Plus, Improved Grapple was a bonus feat option for Monks in PF1e. IIRC, it was a choice in a binary option for the 3.5 Monk as well. I know PEG is converting tropes and not mechanics, but I think it's worth mentioning.
        Last edited by Leatherneck556; 04-03-2021, 10:46 PM.

    • #7
      I too have been going through version 1.1, and my fixes for the Monk include:
      • Monk's unarmed attacks do Strength + Spirit dice in damage.
      • They begin with 1 Mystic Power: Stun. (Note: This replaces the Stunning Fist ability as written, but see Display Technique below. As written, "stunning fist" doesn't actually Stun the target (which, according to pg 140, makes the target BOTH Distracted AND Vulnerable, and they can't take actions until they recover with a Vigor roll. The Stunning Fist's "stun" is an automatically successful test that makes the target Distracted OR Vulnerable and doesn't hinder their actions at all!)
      • Stunning Fist: This ability is now renamed to Display Technique. You perform a Test using Fighting +2 vs the target's Spirit. If the Monk wins, the target is either Vulnerable or Distracted until the end of the Monk's next turn. If the foe wins, they gain a bit of insight into your fighting style and the Monk suffers the Distracted or Vulnerable effect instead.

      So yes, it does now cost power points to use instead of being an automatic effects on every Raise, but it's a true Stun now. I think the Display Technique ability can be a nice Monk ability in addition to the Stun Mystic Power. Attempts to intimidate/impress foes with your martial arts techniques/weapon displays are very common in martial arts movies, and Monks get a bonus at it, but it's not without risk!
      Last edited by Samurai007; 04-03-2021, 08:24 PM.


      • ellipses
        ellipses commented
        Editing a comment
        Why should the Monk be at risk to use one of their special abilities at all?

        Also, what do you mean Stunning Fist as is doesn’t hinder the target’s actions? If the monk chooses to make their victim Distracted, that’s a -2 penalty to all of their trait rolls until the end of the victim’s next turn.

      • Samurai007
        Samurai007 commented
        Editing a comment
        Because, ellipses, I think of Stunned as closer to the Stun power (unable to take actions and only able to stand there or maybe move a little, but suffering big penalties it is until gotten rid of). Any character can attempt a Test in SWADE to apply Distracted or Vulnerable on a target, but it's usually done with a skill like Intimidation or Athletics rather than their main Fighting skill, as described on pg 142 of SWADEfinder. If the Monk wins with a Raise, the foe is Shaken, There are Edges to improve your Tests (like Menacing, pg 86) that can be bought, but if the Monk gets the equivalent of the full benefits of another edge, that's making buying that Edge a bit pointless.

        So I decided to include the full +2 bonus, but if you still fail, you suffer the effect rather than the enemy. I think that makes sense, if you are showing off your Fighting techniques to the enemy and they are not frightened/intimidated by it. If your really don't like that, it could instead be at no bonus or just a +1 bonus at no risk to the Monk of having the effect flipped back on him.
        Last edited by Samurai007; 04-04-2021, 03:40 AM.

      • ellipses
        ellipses commented
        Editing a comment
        I'm familiar with both the Stunned condition and how tests work. Also, there's no reason why you couldn't initiate a Fighting test. It's one of the examples given on the same page you cited. How would a Mystic Power of Stun even function? It'd be a multiaction just to use it and require a successful touch attack *and then* it's just a simple Vigor roll to resist the effects. You've also made Monks the only class that start at Novice rank with Mystic Powers which opens them up to prestige edges and other edges that require Mystic Powers as a prerequisite sooner than other similar classes.

        I guess I don't understand the problem you're trying to solve, other than the fact that they could reconsider the name. Are you arguing that Stunning Fist RAW is actually too powerful? I can think of plenty of scenarios why you would initiate a Test instead of just doing a Fighting attack and hoping for a raise, (such as a really skilled Fighter with a high parry who happened to be very stupid) so I could still see a use for taking the edges that enhance your Tests.

        I really don't see why Monks should get a special carve out that gives them a disadvantage when using their abilities. The only other class that comes close to that kind of mechanic is the requirement that a raging barbarian Wild Attack. On top of that, your proposal completely changes the way tests normally work. Fighting tests are resisted by Agility, not Spirit. Distracted/Vulnerable effects end at the end of the victim's next turn, not the person who initiated the test. Why would you add an additional layer of complexity and make exceptions to these rules?

        If you're more interested in forcing Monks to perform straight tests instead of using Stunning Fist RAW, then give them a class ability that lets them ignore a multi action penalty when they do a Fighting test and a Fighting attack on the same turn.
        Last edited by ellipses; 04-04-2021, 04:37 AM.

    • #8
      I think comparison of the classes in the game is forgetting the rest of the system. Its hard to compare two classes when their build paths are going to vary so much.

      Savage worlds is not d20. Its not designed around vertical progression, so much as lateral. With that in mind, your monk will likely build differently than your fighter, just because they want different capabilities.

      The thing is, its always been fairly easy to "break" the system if you want (one trick pony), which to me means the comparisons miss the point.
      Last edited by Robert4818; 04-04-2021, 09:13 PM.


      • #9
        The only thing I’ve seen in this thread that I don’t like is using Spirit for unarmed damage rather than Strength. Punching someone is very physical, and in PF Wisdom gave more mystical bonuses: armor class (Parry), the difficulty for opponent’s saving throws (Tests), and Ki pool (Mystic Powers). I’d like to see the Mystic Powers PP tied to Spirit rather than a flat 5 PP. That would give a reason to raise Spirit without making it a real necessity (something like Spirit / 2 + 2, giving 5 if the character stays with the minimum required Spirit).


        • Samurai007
          Samurai007 commented
          Editing a comment
          What if, on Mystic powers, which activate automatically without the need for a test, any powers that have a duration of 5 rounds is instead Duration Spirit die/2. So, if your Spirit is only a d6, those powers only last 3 rounds instead of 5. If you eventually raise your Spirit to a d12, then congratulations, the duration is now 6 rounds and this is now a beneficial feature to you instead of a drawback.

        • Leatherneck556
          Leatherneck556 commented
          Editing a comment
          Again, the problem there is that now you are making a class dependent on 4 attributes to be really good at what it does. My personal assessment is that the Monk is already too weak a class. Now by forcing the Monk to need Agility, Spirit, Strength, and Vigor to be competitive, you've made the class even weaker.

          It might just be a bridge too far to make Monks dependent on Spirt in some way. Again, I haven't seen a better suggestion so far than letting Spirit sub for Strength for Unarmed Attacks and the Strength requirement for Brawler and Bruiser. At least then you can sacrifice Strength if you want since the Monk doesn't need high Strength for weapons or armor. Then you get the benefits of unshaking and power resistance while still doing good Unarmed damage.

          I think the whole thing where you are effectively Ambidextrous while fighting Unarmed is a definite keeper. Some way of weaving Spirit into the class without forcing the Monk to need 4 good attributes would be fantastic to recreate the "spirit" of the original 3.5/PF1e material. Giving some type of lateral boost to Grapple would also be nice bonus points.

        • Robert4818
          Robert4818 commented
          Editing a comment
          Monks have had a problem since 3.5 of needing to be strong in too many attributes at once. I don't think they are served well by bringing that weakness itself into savage worlds.

          I posted a 20-advance monk on face book. The biggest problem I had in meeting my concept, is that to up the "martial arts" aspect, I had to get brawler/bruiser, which required Str D8. It might not be a bad idea to let the monks take certain edges (like bruiser/brawler) using spirit instead of strength.

      • #10
        On a side note, the the Wholeness of Body could be better as just adding Healing (self only) and Relief (self only)to the Mystic Powers list.


        • ellipses
          ellipses commented
          Editing a comment
          Mystic Powers only give you 5 power points to play with. Heal is a 3 PP spell. If Monk’s ability to heal themselves is dependent on whether they have power points, they’re likely going to hold themselves back in any combat encounter so they have the power points to spare, just in case.

          *Or* they can just meditate at the end of the encounter and make a natural healing roll.

      • #11
        Am I the only one who feels the d10
        bonus damage is a lot and steps on Weapon Master and such?


        • Samurai007
          Samurai007 commented
          Editing a comment
          I agree, and plan to make changes to the Monk class to give them other options in combat. (Forget what I posted earlier, this is the current state as of v1.3)

          • Their Unarmed Damage is equal to their Strength + Spirit dice. (Claws and Brawler give +1 dmg ea). A Raise normally adds +1d6 damage (except for Stunning Fist) but that can be increased with edges.
          • If they attack unarmed on their turn, they can choose to attempt either a Stunning Fist or a Flurry of Blows as a limited action.
          • If they choose Stunning Fist, they need to get a Raise on the attack, which provides +1d6+2 dmg, and unless the target soaks all the damage, they must make a Vigor check. If they succeed, they are unaffected. If they fail, they become either Distracted or Vulnerable (Monk's choice) until the end of their next turn. On a crit fail, they also become Shaken before the damage is applied if they weren't already.
          • Flurry of Blows: If the Monk chooses Flurry on his unarmed attacks, he gets effects of the Frenzy edge for that round.
          • Patient Defense: When a Monk uses the Defend action on their turn, they get a +5 Parry (instead of +4), and they get the effects of the Counterattack edge for free that round.
          • Wholeness of Body: The Monk may roll either Vigor or Spirit for the mystic-powered Soak.

          So this gives the Monk 3 main options on their round: Attack with Stunning Fist, Attack with Flurry of Blows, or go on Defense and prepare to Counterattack. This changes the bonus damage back to 1d6 normally, but the Stunning Fist gets a special extra +2 bonus as well. It was a d10, but upon reconsideration, a d6+2 is the same average, it's easier to Ace, and doesn't disrupt the Legendary edges that bump the bonus damage on a Raise (because now the first edge would still give you a Raise of +1d8 for most attacks, and +1d8+2 for Stunning Fist, and the other one will do the same with d10s instead.)

        • ellipses
          ellipses commented
          Editing a comment
          No, you’re not alone