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  • Monk Unarmed Strike and Weapon Master/Master of Arms

    Something new for monks in the 1.2 version of SWPF is, *in addition to* making their victims Distracted or Vulnerable on a raise with an unarmed strike, monks now get a bonus d10 damage(!!!) on their raises instead of the normal d6.

    So, assuming this characteristic lasts, and good lord that’s strong, how does this interact with Weapon Master and Master of Arms?

  • #2
    Nice! But its an interesting question. I guess they should reword the Edges to increase the bonus damage by "one die type". That would make the bonus damage with Master of Arms a d12+1. Seems strange.

    RAW, the monk would not get any benefit from these Edges. Maybe that's intended?

    Comment


    • ellipses
      ellipses commented
      Editing a comment
      They would get the parry bonus, but that’s it. It’s strange though that Sajan on pg. 57 would take both edges if he’s only getting a bonus to his party.

      Honestly, I think the d10 bonus damage is too good. That’s the equivalent of a Legendary edge for a Novice character. It’s a little nutty. And this is on top of giving them now getting 10 power points instead of 5 *and* giving them access to the Power Points edge.

    • Tumola
      Tumola commented
      Editing a comment
      Everyone gets 10 PP with Mystic Powers, so that seems to be a general change rather than a monk fix. I think d10 bonus damage is fine, since the Armor Restriction actually acts like a major Hindrance.

      I would rather see a defensive bonus rather than an offensive one (like +1 Parry) to compensate for the lack of armor, but the d10 bonus damage is excellent.

  • #3
    I agree with the OP that the d10 bonus damage sounds overpowered. Instead, I think something that would benefit the monk and be more in keeping with the PF description would be (as suggested in another thread) giving them the equivalent of the Ambidextrous edge when using unarmed attacks.
    From the Pathfinder monk: “A monk's attacks may be with fist, elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a monk may make unarmed strikes with his hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed.”

    (Of course, rereading this I see that the OP didn’t exactly say it was op; perhaps I read too much into the !!! )
    Last edited by Dogfisc; 05-04-2021, 10:38 PM.

    Comment


    • ellipses
      ellipses commented
      Editing a comment
      Oh, I definitely think it’s over powered. That’s more or less getting the equivalent of a Legendary edge at Novice. Plus, when I hear Monk, I don’t think massive damage dealer. It seems out of place.

      Personally, I thought Monks were fine as is in 1.1.

  • #4
    One thing to keep in mind is that they said they intentionally overpower new design ideas. I believe the phrase they used was “double it or half it”. Then they dial it I’m to where it needs to be after testing. So I wouldn’t be enormously surprised to see the d10 dialled back to a d8 after testing. Or maybe it will stay if it works out okay.

    Comment


    • Donald Schepis
      Donald Schepis commented
      Editing a comment
      I said that! Some folks consider it a Sid Meier quote, but I think it's one of those convergent design tools folks figure out naturally, he's just the most famous designer to say it. Long before I ever heard anyone say it aloud I was doubling and halving variables in college working on video games.

  • #5
    I agree with Tumola that I would rather see a defensive bonus but would not want it to be something that wizard/sorcerers pick up just for the defense. So maybe something like, "When a monk makes an unarmed attack they get +1 parry (+2?) until the start of their next turn."
    Last edited by Compost; 05-05-2021, 03:55 AM.

    Comment


    • eXaminator
      eXaminator commented
      Editing a comment
      I really prefer flat out bonuses instead of "when x then y for z", because imho it's a pain to keep track of. How often have I heard "oh, I forgot X when I did Y" after the player has concluded their turn in many different games. I say: If the player wants to take a class edge just for a single bonus and the GM allows it (that's always a prerequisite for class edges beyond the first), let them do it. As a GM I would request the player to invest time into learning these skills in game.

  • #6
    "oh, I forgot X when I did Y" after the player has concluded their turn

    That’s when I say as gm, “oh, darn. please try to remember it for your next turn” and move on. My players are responsible for their own characters and if they forget a bonus or edge, too bad for their character.


    As for Monk,
    the d10 seems high, but with a no armor major hindrance as stated above, it may balance out, but I am going to see it played out tonight.
    Last edited by rschweik; 05-05-2021, 02:02 PM.

    Comment


    • eXaminator
      eXaminator commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, they are responsible, I handle it the same way. BUT it's neither fast, furious not fun if that happens. That's why I favor fixed bonus instead of context sensitive bonuses, especially for "passive" stuff that is easy to forget and hard to keep track of on a character sheet.

  • #7
    I have to admit I sort of like the d10 (at least more than the idea of swapping it for a defensive ability). It feels very martial arts to me: they may not do as much raw damage as a weapon, bu if they hit the right point it can be devastating.

    I can’t say one way or another on the balance of it though​​​​​​.

    Comment


    • #8
      Here's some ideas I had today: First, what if Monks that get a Raise on a Fighting attack get a free (no-PP) use of the Stun power once per round? (This would replace Stunning Fist as currently written) Unlike the normal Stun power, it would have no range, no additional targets, and the target gets no penalty on their Vigor check for the fact that the monk's attack got a Raise (since it only activates on a Raise). This is not an actual "Mystic Power" (as I had first been considering), so it doesn't open up Monks for multi-classing earlier than other classes, as some had warned me. The target would need to make it's Vigor roll or actually be Stunned (as the power) instead of just Distracted or Vulnerable, and even if he makes his Vigor roll vs the Stun, the damage might still make him Shaken unless he chooses to soak that too.

      Second, what if whenever a Monk takes the Defend action for his turn, in addition to the normal +4 Parry, they also get the effects of the Counterattack edge for free? (I see this as replicating a version of the Monk's Patient Defense ability) This is not exactly the same as the full edge (which still allows normal actions on your turn), so a Monk would still have an incentive to take the actual edge (if for nothing else than opening up the Improved Counterattack edge afterwards)

      What are your thoughts on these ideas?
      Last edited by Samurai007; 05-05-2021, 09:01 PM.

      Comment


      • ellipses
        ellipses commented
        Editing a comment
        1) I feel like giving Monks the opportunity to essentially cast Stun for free whenever they get a raise on their Fighting attack (which is already a bad thing for their victim) is broken in half. Being Stunned sucks. I cannot stress enough how bad it is to get Stunned.

        2) a Monk who wants to take advantage of defend and counterattack should just take counterattack.

      • Samurai007
        Samurai007 commented
        Editing a comment
        ellipses, there is quite a bit of talk about how to give the Monk a bit more class abilities. That's why I'm proposing these. But I agree being stunned sucks for the players. Hopefully the PCs won't face many enemy Monks at once. Note that the Stunning Fist power as written in 1.2 now makes the target Distracted or Vulnerable on a Raise, with no save, and can't be avoided by Soaking all the damage. But it's not as nasty as a real Stun. Stunning Fist is a classic Monk ability, and one of the reasons players enjoy playing the class. All characters can make a target Distracted or Vulnerable with tests, so it doesn't feel as special for the Monk to me. What if there were another limitation on the Stun, such as it can be done only once per combat, or once every 10 minutes? Or what if instead of getting it with the base class features, it was a Mystic Power with a PP cost each time it is used? (Maybe only 1 PP each time, because it already says you must get a raise on your attack, it has no range, no additional targets, no chance to penalize the enemy save, so those are all limitations too.)

        Well, I'll keep thinking about Stunning Strike, I'm just floating ideas here and noting what the opinions/reactions are.

        As far as the Counterattack when defending, I'm trying to create a special feel to the Monk class. I've heard several folks saying they need more defenses or a boost to their Parry score. I agree they need more on defense, and this free counterattack gives them the +4 Parry bonus when defending (that costs them a ki point in Pathfinder), and allows them a chance to still make an attack too, if someone dares attack the unarmed, unarmored guy in robes...

        Some of my others have been proposing a permanent +1 Parry bonus for the Monk class to help with their defense, and that is 1 option, but I think this is another choice worth considering too, as it doesn't actually increase their Parry all the time. It uses the Savage Worlds rules for defending and part of an edge.

        If PEG still wants to increase their Parry, they could say "When a Monk Defends, they get +5 parry instead of the usual +4, and can also make 1 free counterattack (as the edge)" instead of a constant bonus (because Donald Schepis said they worry about players taking 1 level of Monk to get the Parry bonus, but if the bonus only applied when they are defending, that would mean they couldn't get it and still do their other class's actions!)

      • ellipses
        ellipses commented
        Editing a comment
        I’m aware that people feel like the monk class is missing something, I just don’t agree with them, which I’ve been quite vocal about.

        Yes, technically, anyone can perform a successful test to make their target Distracted/Vulnerable, but that’s part of a designated action they have to take, it’s not built directly into their offensive abilities, and it doesn’t automatically succeed. As I’ve already mentioned, the victim is already in trouble if someone scores a raise on their attack, making them automatically Distracted/Vulnerable (assuming they survive) is already really good.

        Also, I feel like folks don’t fully understand the implications of always being armed with Natural Weapons. You’ll never be disarmed (unless literally), no one will ever get an Unarmed Defender bonus against you, no one will ever get a Two Weapon Fighting bonus, while you yourself are always technically armed with two weapons (note that you do not have to attack with both weapons to get the +1 bonus for being armed with two weapons). You can take the Trademark Weapon edges and have a weapon that can never be taken away from you. The only other way to start with Natural Weapons are a couple of the Sorcerer bloodlines.

        The class edges aren’t meant to be 1-1 conversions. Monks are free to take any other combat edges they want to improve their offensive and/or defensive abilities. Once they hit Seasoned, their Mystic Powers kick in, and between Deflection and Boost Trait: Fighting, good luck hitting a Monk, let alone surviving their attacks.

    • #9
      Ok, having thought about the Monk some more, here is where I'm at currently:

      Their Unarmed attacks do Strength die + Spirit die damage. Claws or Brawler add a flat +1 damage per attack each, and a Raise adds +1d6 damage normally (but see Stunning Fist). The Weapon Master and Master of Arms edges work as normal with their unarmed attacks.

      When they attack unarmed on their turn, they can choose to either attempt a Stunning Fist or a Flurry of Blows.
      • If they choose Stunning Fist, a regular hit does normal damage but a Raise adds +1d10 damage (or +2 steps above normal, if you have certain edges) and the target must either Soak all the damage or make a Vigor check. If that check succeeds, he suffers no extra effect. If it fails, he's either Distracted or Vulnerable until the end of his next turn. If it Crit fails, he's is Shaken before the damage is applied (possibly turning a Shaken result into a Wound).
      • If they choose Flurry of Blows, they get the effects of the Frenzy edge on their attacks that round.
      • Or if they choose to Defend instead of attacking, they get a +5 Parry (instead of the usual +4), and they get the effects of the Counterattack edge that round.
      This provides a variety of mutually exclusive options, from multiple attacks, to attempting 1 big attack, to an enhanced defend with a Counterattack (but only 1 option can be used each round). It should make the Monk an interesting class to play, even before they get their Mystic Powers.

      Thoughts?

      Comment


      • ellipses
        ellipses commented
        Editing a comment
        Two separate casters wouldn’t need to cast, one caster could do it, either on two separate turns or as a multi action. And while a caster can Boost any melee attacker’s Strength, there’s no spell they can cast that will also raise the damage die of a weapon.

        And still, you’re not addressing what happens when the Legendary Monk has d12 Strength and Spirit with Expert in both.

        There’s a reason the system doesn’t let you combine two separate Traits to calculate damage, this is why.

      • Samurai007
        Samurai007 commented
        Editing a comment
        Casting Smite on a weapon gives it +2 damage, +4 on a Raise, for 5 rounds. But if you still wanted that you could get a Bane Weapon, which gives a die type boost and +2 AP.

      • ellipses
        ellipses commented
        Editing a comment
        Samurai007 Yes, exactly! A monk could have Boosted Strength, Spirit *and* Smite all active at the same time!
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