Struggling with the PHB3 Monk class - clarification needed

11 posts / 0 new
Last post
Hi there,
   This is going to sound particularly noobish but I'm having a 'senior moment' with the rules as written on the Monk class in the PHBR3 and was hoping the forums may rescue me from confusopoly.

The story goes that one of my players has built an unarmed Minotaur Stone Fist Monk using the old CB but she's confused about the nature of some of the features and wording. After reading it over and going over a few threads here on the subject, I'm almost as confused. 

Monk Unarmed Strike
I understand from pages 62 and 63 in the PHB3 that the monk gets this as a class feature and that it counts as a weapon proficiency for the monk (gaining +3 proficiency bonus and 1d8 base damage) but it seems that the Monk Unarmed Strike cannot be used with Monk powers and disciplines. I just don't get this as the character description states clearly that any weapon that the Monk is proficient in can be used as it's impliment.
The CB built power cards are not showing the proficiency bonus for the Monk Unarmed Strike on anything except melee Basic Attack but to me this looks like it should get it. I get the impression I'm missing something really obvious here - can anyone put me straight?

BTW - I know the Monk's unarmed strike isn't technically a weapon, but it is listed as a weapon proficiency and should be a principal attack mode for a martial arts character so common sense dictates this may be intended by the designer.

Flurry of blows
The follow up attack granted by flurry of blows threw up two main questions, easily answered:
1) There is no attack entry for the flurry of blows powers - I take it this is effectively auto-damage against the target of the flurry, as long as the trigger is met? No attack roll neccessary?
2) The trigger is 'You hit with an attack'. Does this trigger go off immediately before any damage or special effects of the power/attack that triggered it are resolved? (good example is a push -  if a monk pushes an enemy does he lose the follow up flurry?)

Full disciplines
I'm sure I've found an answer for this already so I'll just ask for consensus.

Only ONE full-discipline can be in effect in any given round for the Monk unless an action point is used so a Monk can't, for example, use the move action on hist first at-will full discipline and the attack action from the second full discipline. Is this true?

(seems to be from page 217 of the PHB3. Missed it on first reading).


This doesn't seem to prevent you using a standard action as a move and using two move actions on a single full-discipline, however. Looking at other threads i'm not the only one who arrived at this conclusion. Is this a 'legal' move to make (4 shifts at 1st level before racial powers can be quite handy to get out of trouble).

Sorry to ask, but I've only just laid eyes properly on the PHB3 recently and haven't really digested the classes and character races properly yet.

Thanks for your time, folks
"They call me Wraith for I hate the living..." "Play the game, not the ruleset" In April this year, a real force for good was lost to this community - Wrecan, whichever plane your soul now wanders I hope the journey you are now on is as interesting as the writings you shared with this community. Rest in peace. I am Blue/Green
I am Blue/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
Ah-ha!!!

I've found an answer to one of my issues (I think). Top of page 64 has a continuation of the IMPLIMENT section that says:
"When wielding the weapon as an impliment the weapon's characteristics - proficiency bonus, damage die, and weapon properties like defensive or high crit- are IRRELEVANT TO YOUR IMPLIMENT POWERS. (emphasis mine)

this effectively means that although these powers are essentially kung-fu strikes and attacks, frequently described as punches and kicks in the flavour text, they cannot benefit from the +3 proficiency bonus and any enhanced damage dice applied to the monk's Unarmed Strike feature, even if it WERE seen as a 'weapon' for the class.


How the f$$$ did I miss that?

Do we agree on this one? 
"They call me Wraith for I hate the living..." "Play the game, not the ruleset" In April this year, a real force for good was lost to this community - Wrecan, whichever plane your soul now wanders I hope the journey you are now on is as interesting as the writings you shared with this community. Rest in peace. I am Blue/Green
I am Blue/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
Here's what I know from the top of my head:

- You are correct about the implement/punching thing. You don't get the prof bonus of any weapon when you make a monk attack.The +3/1d8 punch is mostly used for melee basic attacks, such as the ones from opportunity actions.

- flurry of blows is autodamage, yes

- flurry comes after resolving the trigger power. If you push someone out of reach, you can't use it against that target

- yes, if you do the Move action from any of your at-wills, you can only use the matching at-will attack technique (or make a melee basic attack) during that turn unless you use an action point. And vice versa if you use the attack first.

- I think you can only use each of the two once. But I'm going to look it up because I'm not sure.
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
And here's the answer to your last question:

The number of times a creature can use a technique during a round is determined by the power’s type (at-will or encounter) and by the actions the creature has available in that round. For example, a creature can use the techniques of an at-will full discipline power as many times during a round as it likes, provided it has enough of the required actions. If a creature uses an encounter full discipline power, the creature can use both techniques, but can use each technique only once during that round.

Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
As I understand it, the monk was initially playtested as a hybrid weapon/implement class - which made a free +3/d8 (upgradable to d10) weapon very valuable - but revisions led to all its class powers becoming implement-based, but nothing really changng about MUS, which rendered the feature fairly useless.

Thankfully, a Dragon article released last month game them back something to do with MUS; namely take a feat, and get Dexterity-based MBAs when using it, which makes the whole feature very useful.  A good MBA is very useful to a good striker.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Ah, so if you do generate two move actions you could spend them on an at-will full discipline to get (for example) 4 shifts or two leaps but couldn't spend them both on the more powerful encounter full-disciplines.

OK - I think that just about wraps it up

Seems to me that the Monk at low levels is a great minion killer but not a brilliant striker (certainly less powerful than the likes of the Warlock). It does seem to have good flebility, however, and a great set of manouever options. That said, I'm fairly sure that my player won't be too happy to find this lot out. Might have to look in CharOp for some good builds to start her towards.

Thanks very much for the swift and concise response, Pluisjen

Loving your Kindom rules blog, BTW - great work there.
"They call me Wraith for I hate the living..." "Play the game, not the ruleset" In April this year, a real force for good was lost to this community - Wrecan, whichever plane your soul now wanders I hope the journey you are now on is as interesting as the writings you shared with this community. Rest in peace. I am Blue/Green
I am Blue/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
As I understand it, the monk was initially playtested as a hybrid weapon/implement class - which made a free +3/d8 (upgradable to d10) weapon very valuable - but revisions led to all its class powers becoming implement-based, but nothing really changng about MUS, which rendered the feature fairly useless.

Thankfully, a Dragon article released last month game them back something to do with MUS; namely take a feat, and get Dexterity-based MBAs when using it, which makes the whole feature very useful.  A good MBA is very useful to a good striker.

Ah, good to see you're still here, spaceinvader. it's been a long time since we spoke on the forum or blogs.

Funnily enough the character was provided with a 16 in STR, DEX and WILL and that evens the bonuses very nicely at +3 regardless of the power she's using but it isn't optimal by any stretch.

I can see the value in a good MBA, particularly for OA's. I do, however, think that the Monk is hobbled somewhat - it's fist/feet powers should all be usable with the unarmed strike proficiency and damage or it doesn't feel genuine somehow (imagine the monk throws an accurate punch, flooring an orc as hard as the fighter's longsword. Then the same monk uses a roundhouse kick technique (part of a power) but suddenly is less accurate and might not get the same damage. Doesn't really gel for me). Your explaination goes a long way to tell me why it feels this way.

Ah, power balancing and concice wording? Will you ever be easy   
"They call me Wraith for I hate the living..." "Play the game, not the ruleset" In April this year, a real force for good was lost to this community - Wrecan, whichever plane your soul now wanders I hope the journey you are now on is as interesting as the writings you shared with this community. Rest in peace. I am Blue/Green
I am Blue/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
- flurry comes after resolving the trigger power. If you push someone out of reach, you can't use it against that target

I disagree with this completely. The Monk was created before the whole "free actions function as reactions" thing, and Flurry of Blows was clearly intended to be able to function as an "interrupt" so that powers like Crane's Wing that push a target aren't totally useless. The Monk was certainly designed with the idea in mind that Flurry of Blows could be applied during the resolution of the trigger's effects, and continuing to allow this is not in any way overpowered or problematic. If anything, not allowing it is a ridiculous nerf.

Otherwise, all answers have pretty much been answered perfectly.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Actually I'm pretty sure Flurry of Blows was designed to be used against someone else then the guy you hit (which is why all of them give bonusses to selecting a new target) so I'm not entirely sure if that was the intention. The Monk is a multi-target striker.

It's not likely to make a huge amount of difference whether you can or cannot hit the primary target from your Crane's Wings, because you're probably in the middle of everyone with plenty of other targets to pick.

I've not yet experienced it as an issue that I can't Flurry someone I push away, at any rate. I don't think it'll hurt much to switch it around either, though. But to say that it's "clearly intended" seems a bit off, especially considering that Flurry is designed to target something else preferably and the fact that they haven't errata'd it to work as an interrupt yet.
Epic Dungeon Master

Want to give your players a kingdom of their own? I made a 4e rule system to make it happen!

Your Kingdom awaits!
Update 5th Sep 2011: Added a sample kingdom, as well as sample of play.
Actually I'm pretty sure Flurry of Blows was designed to be used against someone else then the guy you hit (which is why all of them give bonusses to selecting a new target) so I'm not entirely sure if that was the intention. The Monk is a multi-target striker.

I do not agree with this at all. Flurry of Blows was designed to give you the secondary option of using your striker feature against a target other than the one that you hit, but despite how we tend to look at how the Monks performs its role best, I see nothing to suggest that "multi-target striker" is in any way a core concept of the Monk's design, just what it incidentally excels at in a unique way.

It's not likely to make a huge amount of difference whether you can or cannot hit the primary target from your Crane's Wings, because you're probably in the middle of everyone with plenty of other targets to pick.

I've not yet experienced it as an issue that I can't Flurry someone I push away, at any rate.

I have played one Monk and seen a few others in play in various different groups, and I can tell you with certaintly from my experience that not allowing Flurry of Blows to be use during the resolution of an attack can certainly be quite problematic. Again, despite what we here on the boards know that Monks are best at compared to other strikers, being surrounded by enemies is not a core design assuption of how they "should" be played, and many players do not (and should not need to) play them that way.

they haven't errata'd it to work as an interrupt yet.

Frankly, I don't think that they need to. The new rule is that they should be treated as reactions unless they need to be treated otherwise to function properly. As far as I'm concerned, Flurry of Blows needs to be treated otherwise to function properly, so the reaction rule doesn't apply.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
And another old hand at forum debate appears! Howdy, Crimson - good to see you're still here too

I take your point and agree in principle - the Monks Flurry power does seem to be intended to work before your targets are shoved out of range but that isn't RAW as far as I can see. Free as reaction kills that for sure.

To further muddy things I actually think that Pluisjen is right on the design of the Monk - an awful lot of a Monk's powers seem designed to srtike our at multiple opponents, particularly at the lower levels. With the extra damage the flurry can cause when used against another target, other than the enemy you were originally hitting it seems that Monks were intended to take on more than one enemy at a time, probably to feed on kung-fu film and legend influences.

As far as I'm concerned the Monk RAI seem to not match the RAW and spaceinvaders reasoning may be why. I don't think that it harms anything significant to play the flurry Crimson's way and will certainly be happy to do that if my players want.


"They call me Wraith for I hate the living..." "Play the game, not the ruleset" In April this year, a real force for good was lost to this community - Wrecan, whichever plane your soul now wanders I hope the journey you are now on is as interesting as the writings you shared with this community. Rest in peace. I am Blue/Green
I am Blue/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.