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View Full Version : Amulet of Mighty Fists=Huge Rip-off?



unre9istered
2010-06-10, 09:59 AM
Is is just me or is the Amulet of Mighty Fists a huge rip-off? Should a Monk really have to pay three times as much for a +1 to his attack and damage as just about anyone else? /retorical question rant

Is there an actual reason for this, or is it just another instance of WotC being clueless regarding game balance?

The Glyphstone
2010-06-10, 10:02 AM
It's a well-known issue that the AoMF is horrifically overpriced. The Necklace of Natural Attacks from Savage Species is much cheaper, and it lets you add weapon enhancements. It's Kensai-in-a-Box, without the code restrictions!

Arakune
2010-06-10, 10:03 AM
Is is just me or is the Amulet of Mighty Fists a huge rip-off? Should a Monk really have to pay three times as much for a +1 to his attack and damage as just about anyone else? /retorical question rant

Is there an actual reason for this, or is it just another instance of WotC being clueless regarding game balance?

It's just a magic "weapon" in a different slot. Normally it costs more/impossible to change one magic enchantment type to an incompatible slot. They already made the magic creation rules and wanted to give it a try to other items.

Maybe.

tyckspoon
2010-06-10, 10:03 AM
It's usable by monks, but I suspect it wasn't really designed for them; it's a much better deal when you put it on a collar and hang it on the Druid's pet tiger, or when it's being carried by a Thri-keen, or a claws+bite Psychic Warrior.. basically, if you're an actual natural attacks user, it's fairly priced. Monks just get rules shafted here, and I would bet the designers/playtesters never thought of it because their playtest games just houseruled in the use of gauntlets or something.

AmberVael
2010-06-10, 10:06 AM
Is there an actual reason for this, or is it just another instance of WotC being clueless regarding game balance?

WotC is clueless when it comes to attacking while unarmed, and attacking with multiple weapons. These options were nerfed when they should have been boosted.

Frankly, even from the perspective of someone who wants to boost a number of different natural weapons, it is overpriced.

Kalirren
2010-06-10, 10:06 AM
Yeah, the AoMF's priced basically according to rules guidelines:

x2 because it affects both your fists
x1.5 because of a strange slot.

I hate the strange slot rules anyway, and the x2 doesn't really do much because you're unlikely to use both your fists for TWF, as feat-starved as you are as a monk.

But the AoMF it's really useful for, say, a dragon, or an illithid body tamer. Natural attacks win.

Hzurr
2010-06-10, 10:06 AM
Typically, I hear about people allowing monks to get enchanted "hand wraps" or something like that. Monks already have to spend enough on magic items as it is, and the AoMF thing is annoying

(That being said, the one time I played a Thri-Kreen, it was pretty awesome)

DragoonWraith
2010-06-10, 10:23 AM
It's useless. I had a character with 16 natural attacks, and I still with Necklace of Natural Attacks over Amulet of Mighty Fists. It's just that bad. I could have put a +4 bonus on every attack, but I preferred to have a +3 equivalent (with +2 worth of special abilities) on four of them, because enhancement bonuses are just bad.

AmberVael
2010-06-10, 10:31 AM
Let me make a comparison here.

Amulet of Natural Attacks:
+1 = 6,000 gold.
+2 = 24,000 gold.
+3 = 54,000 gold.

This simply adds the relevant number to attack and damage on unarmed and natural attacks. It does absolutely nothing else.

So lets compare...

Strength Enhancing Item:
+2 strength (+1 modifier) = 4,000
+4 strength (+2 modifier) = 16,000
+6 strength (+3 modifier) = 36,000

Strength adds to all melee attacks, damage, carrying capacity, strength checks, various other things like trip and grapple and all kinds of nifty stuff.


So yes. Amulet of Might Fists is overpriced. Buy the +1 version and leave it at that (so as to make your weapons magical), and then just go Strength items all the way. Because increasing your strength to get the same damage and attack bonus (and more) is significantly cheaper.

This help explain why it is so ridiculous?

Eldariel
2010-06-10, 10:32 AM
It's useless. I had a character with 16 natural attacks, and I still with Necklace of Natural Attacks over Amulet of Mighty Fists. It's just that bad. I could have put a +4 bonus on every attack, but I preferred to have a +3 equivalent (with +2 worth of special abilities) on four of them, because enhancement bonuses are just bad.

If you allow it to get weapon abilities, it becomes a decent deal for many Natural Weapon-heavy characters though. But no, never for Unarmed types; they prefer Greater Magic Weapon/Greater Magic Fang, and Necklace if neither is available.

Keld Denar
2010-06-10, 11:59 AM
This help explain why it is so ridiculous?

Well, there is the matter of "what do you buy to enhance your damage when you already have a +6 Str item?". Sure, the +str item is a better deal, but then what? The pricing on a +8 Str item is epic. Also, you'd get the best bang for your buck with a +4 Str item and a +1 Amulet (6000+16000=22000 vs 36000).

Its the same thing with AC. Natural Armor is cheaper to buy than Deflection, but there comes a point when you've bought all the NA you can buy, and if you want more AC, you HAVE to buy Deflection, and at the lowest levels, its better to buy +1 Deflection, +1 NA, and +1 Enhancement than +3 of any of the 3.

Thats why the costs tend to be quadratic in nature. Item slots and their respective bonuses becomes more valuable as things start filling up. Its the Law of Supply and Demand, applied to your body.

AmberVael
2010-06-10, 12:07 PM
Well, there is the matter of "what do you buy to enhance your damage when you already have a +6 Str item?"

Well sure, but that doesn't make the enhancement bonus any less stupid in terms of price.

It does less and costs more. Would it be more efficient to get a bit of both? Sure- but that doesn't mean the one that is less worthwhile should be more costly.

Lycanthromancer
2010-06-10, 12:08 PM
Its the Law of Supply and Demand, applied to your body.That's what s/he said.

As for enhancement bonuses? Greater magic weapon or greater magic fang. Chained. Buy a pearl of power for the party caster, or get a constant-use item.

Or just be a monk/psychic warrior. Or a druid. Or a totemist. Or an unarmed swordsage/jade phoenix mage. Or something.

nedz
2010-06-10, 12:12 PM
x2 because it affects both your fists
x1.5 because of a strange slot.


So if we removed the x2 costing as a Houserule we would get :-

Amulet of Natural Attacks:
+1 = 3,000 gold.
+2 = 12,000 gold.
+3 = 26,000 gold.

Would this be a fairer price ?

Starbuck_II
2010-06-10, 12:13 PM
Yeah, the AoMF's priced basically according to rules guidelines:

x2 because it affects both your fists
x1.5 because of a strange slot.

I hate the strange slot rules anyway, and the x2 doesn't really do much because you're unlikely to use both your fists for TWF, as feat-starved as you are as a monk.

But the AoMF it's really useful for, say, a dragon, or an illithid body tamer. Natural attacks win.

No, it is X2 for Weapon costs (multiplied because at least 2 natural attacks).
x1.5 for wrong slot (not strange slot but wrong).

A shirt, belt, or ring (any slot) would be x1.

Check: +1 weapon is 2K x2 is 4K.
Add 1.5 for wrong slot is 6K.

Check +2 Weapon x2 =16K.
Add 1.5 for wrong slot is 24K.

Now what would a Shirt of Mighty Fists cost?
+1= 4K
+2 = 16K
+3= 32K

Surprisingly, this is same as Str boost item.

Kalirren
2010-06-10, 12:19 PM
It would be fairer, yes. Still not fair. It's still expensive as a magic weapon goes. The 1.5x slot restriction is not friendly.

And there's certainly no reason to have AoMF cost double for affecting both your fists, because a monk striking unarmed can only declare unarmed attacks as part of the primary hand's attack sequence anyway - a monk can't TWF with the unarmed strike alone. ("There's no such thing as an offhand attack for a monk striking unarmed." -SRD)

Edit: Ninja'ed. Starbuck_II, how is what you said different from what I said? The price of an AoMF is 6K * bonus squared = 2K * 1.5 for wrong slot (we agree on this) the other factor of 2 comes from (as you say it) "weapon cost" for at least 2 natural attacks, whereas I say 2 fists. Same thing.

Starbuck_II
2010-06-10, 12:21 PM
It would be fairer, yes. Still not fair. It's still expensive as a magic weapon goes. The 1.5x slot restriction is not friendly.

And there's certainly no reason to have AoMF cost double for affecting both your fists, because a monk striking unarmed can only declare unarmed attacks as part of the primary hand's attack sequence anyway - a monk can't TWF with the unarmed strike alone. ("There's no such thing as an offhand attack for a monk striking unarmed." -SRD)

FAQ says otherwise.
I'd rather not nerf a Monk; feels like kicking a kid when he is down.

AmberVael
2010-06-10, 12:26 PM
FAQ says otherwise.
I'd rather not nerf a Monk; feels like kicking a kid when he is down.

That implies that TWFing is actually a good choice for the Monk. It isn't really a nerf to disallow them a power that is bad for them to use. =P

Kalirren
2010-06-10, 12:29 PM
Regardless about what the FAQ may or may not say, or whether or not it would be a comparative nerf, RAW is quite explicit on the matter. The capacity to TWF or MWF comes from offhand attacks. Monks striking unarmed never strike offhand. Monks therefore cannot use unarmed strikes in an offhand extra attack sequence derived from TWF/MWF. (Paradoxically, non-monks can.) QED.

Any sensible DM, of course, would houserule this.

TheThan
2010-06-10, 12:31 PM
It's just a magic "weapon" in a different slot. Normally it costs more/impossible to change one magic enchantment type to an incompatible slot. They already made the magic creation rules and wanted to give it a try to other items.

Maybe.

so not only is it overpriced, its also underpowered because its taking up something other than your weapons spot. So a monk can't use that amulet of natural armor, or amulet of health he just found.

AstralFire
2010-06-10, 12:32 PM
I've never seen anyone actually ban this, and I don't think that was the intent of the statement in saying the monk has no off-hand. So. I don't really care about RAW.

Grommen
2010-06-10, 12:59 PM
Regardless about what the FAQ may or may not say, or whether or not it would be a comparative nerf, RAW is quite explicit on the matter. The capacity to TWF or MWF comes from offhand attacks. Monks striking unarmed never strike offhand. Monks therefore cannot use unarmed strikes in an offhand extra attack sequence derived from TWF/MWF. (Paradoxically, non-monks can.) QED.

Any sensible DM, of course, would houserule this.

Ok kid. I am a monk (well modern day equivalent). Their referring to the fact that neither hand is considered "Off hand" for anything. They are not saying that monks only use one hand and one only to fight. My right attacks just as often as my left, as well as both feet, elbows, knees, head. Still I do not think I would take Two weapon fighting with a monk due to their lower BAB, however I would not prevent one from doing so. At least in 3.5..

Pathfinder's Flurry of Blows is just TWF with full BAB. Works out pretty good on paper, I have yet to play a monk in this fashion.

Besides that you all realize that monks can pick up an actual weapon right? For a long, long time you don't need an amulet of the mighty fist cause the damage from your unarmed attacks will not do that much more damage than a weapon.

Still on the expensive side for those little buggers, and you have to give up amulets of natural armor (that robs monks of their AC). I think I would agree with everyone else (and several of the video games that use 3.5 rules) and say that you should enchant (gauntlets/arm wraps) or something of the like for your monks to gain attack and damage bonuses. or make Amulets of the Defensive and mighty fist (doing AC, attack and damage). Coarse "Boots of the mighty azzwhoopen" wold be fun too....:smallbiggrin:

Hay that is why we have enchantment rules.

Keld Denar
2010-06-10, 01:04 PM
As far as an Amulet that affects ALL of your natural weapons...well, people who TWF still need to buy 2 magic weapons. A person with multiple natural weapons should too, to a limit. That said, Neck is already a VERY valuable slot. There are LOTS of good necks, and even with the MICs rules about adding various bonuses to items with body slot afinity, there are still a number of very nice necks.

I think an AoMF should get rid of EITHER the 1.5x multiplier for wrong slot, as the loss of other neck slots is a steep cost as it is, OR the 2x multiplier, and I'm more inclined to go with the 1.5. Maybe have a 1x neck that applies to 1 natural weapon (like a monk's UAS, no matter what you hit with, its all considered your UAS), and then have another neck with a 2x cost that applies if you have 2 or more natural weapons. That would still keep it on par with TWF with regards to price, but doesn't cripple someone with a claw/claw/bite/tenticle/tenticle/gore/tail routine.

With Monks and TWF, its really grey, and I've debated it before. Its a matter of what you consider specific and what you consider general. If you consider the TWF rules in the combat chapter of the PBH as the specific rule, then RAW, you can TWF with UASs, even as a monk, since TWF explicitly gives you an offhand attack, even if you normally wouldn't have one. If you consider the monk rules in the character chapter to be the specific rules, then a monk never has, and can never gain, an offhand attack. Either is an equally valid reading. Since the FAQ sides with allowing it, and it can go either way, I'm inclined to believe that it is possible. And if you stack enough size modifiers onto your Unarmed Strike, its WAY worth whatever penalties you take to gain extra attacks per round, as with a Tashalatoran Monk/PsyWar blend or anyone on the receiving end of a Greater Mighty Wallop spell.

Kalirren
2010-06-10, 01:08 PM
Their referring to the fact that neither hand is considered "Off hand" for anything. They are not saying that monks only use one hand and one only to fight. My right attacks just as often as my left, as well as both feet, elbows, knees, head. Still I do not think I would take Two weapon fighting with a monk due to their lower BAB, however I would not prevent one from doing so. At least in 3.5..


Oh I completely agree. My point was that even within the RAW itself, the rationale for the increased cost of the Amulets is extremely weak. RAW is silly, as is the FAQ. Within RAW, monks don't even have proficiency with their unarmed strike.

Re: Keld Denar

In any case, when interpreting RAW, my philosophy is that when two rules interact, "specific" should only trump "general" when at least 1 of 2 circumstances holds:

1) The "specific" lists itself as an exception to a referenced "general" rule.

2) There's no ruling that would be consistent with both rules.

In this case there exists a ruling that is consistent with both Rules As Written, so "specific trumps general" doesn't come into play. The two weapon fighting special attack grants an extra attack when a weapon is being wielded offhand. In the case of a monk using only UAS, no weapon is being wielded offhand, because a monk simply cannot declare an offhand UAS. (A silly proposition, but that's the RAW for you.) So an entirely consistent interpretation of the RAW is that a monk can't TWF using UAS alone.

Keld Denar
2010-06-10, 01:52 PM
In the case of a monk using only UAS, no weapon is being wielded offhand, because a monk simply cannot declare an offhand UAS. (A silly proposition, but that's the RAW for you.) So an entirely consistent interpretation of the RAW is that a monk can't TWF using UAS alone.

Ah, but a Fighter doesn't have an offhand either. No where in the rules for fighters does it state that he has one, or can ever have one. You could convievably "wield" somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-10 weapons at any given time, but none of them are considered offhand so long as the fighter is only making the number of attacks that his BAB allows him (IE, BAB 1-5 = 1 attack, BAB 6-10 = 2 attacks, BAB 11-15 = 3 attacks, etc). Even if hes holding a weapon in each hand, neither of them is considered "offhand", because he hasn't invoked the TWF attack action in the combat section of the PHB. If he had a BAB of 11, he could attack with his "main hand" longsword, his "offhand" flail, and his armor spikes, once each, and none of them are considered offhand attacks with the applicable penalties. Thats ALL that means.

Similarly, a monk is armed at all times with an unarmed strike that is considered to be EVERY part of his body. As long as hes making attacks that don't exceed what he's entitled to with BAB and his flurry ability, he's not making offhand attacks either. If he has a BAB of +6 and uses a Flurry, he could hit once with his left hand, once with the kama in his right hand, and once with his left knee. None of these attacks are considered offhand attacks, just like the fighter in the example above. That doesn't prevent the monk from GAINING an offhand attack by invoking the TWF rules.

Reading it that way, the text in the monk class description is simply a reminder that TWF normally doesn't apply to a monk, just like it normally doesn't apply to a fighter, regardless of how many weapons he's wielding. The difference is that its implied with the fighter, and explicit with the monk. Fundamentally, they are the same though.

Make sense? Like I said, it can go either way. Your interpretation is just as valid as mine, but mine has the support of the FAQ. All else being equal, I'd rather side with the FAQ.

Grommen
2010-06-10, 02:05 PM
And I think that is also implying that for purposes of damage bonus from high STR they don't get their off hand x1/2, monks get the full STR bonus for every attack.

I can show you and example of that as well if needed :smallwink:

Keld Denar
2010-06-10, 02:16 PM
And I think that is also implying that for purposes of damage bonus from high STR they don't get their off hand x1/2, monks get the full STR bonus for every attack.

See, the thing is, NOBODY does, normally. In my example above with the fighter who has a longsword in his right hand and a flail in his left hand. If he has the BAB to attack with both, neither of them are considered offhand attacks, and both recieve FULL +1x Str bonus to damage and both are considered "main hand". Its only when he uses the TWF action in the combat section of the PHB that one is designated as main hand, and the other is designated as offhand, to which the main hand gets +1x Str bonus and the offhand gets +0.5x Str bonus.

Same thing with the monk in my example. None of this attacks are considered "offhand" no matter which hand, or body part he uses, unless he, like the above fighter, gains extra attacks through the use of the TWF combat option in the combat section of the PHB. If he does claim extra attacks, those attacks would only gain +0.5x Str bonus to damage.

Kalirren
2010-06-10, 03:02 PM
Make sense? Like I said, it can go either way. Your interpretation is just as valid as mine, but mine has the support of the FAQ. All else being equal, I'd rather side with the FAQ.

I don't think it makes sense. There are presumptions that we're forced to make, and when we argue about the rules like this, ought to make explicit. D&D rules are clearly written with the presumption of having two hands. See, for example, this:


When you deal damage with a weapon in your off hand, you add only Ĺ your Strength bonus.

Clearly this, the most general rule, presumes that you have a primary hand and an off hand, and establishes the basis for their being different in terms of system mechanics. The existence of primary hand and off hand is further elaborated below:



Light

A light weapon is easier to use in oneís off hand than a one-handed weapon is, and it can be used while grappling. A light weapon is used in one hand. Add the wielderís Strength bonus (if any) to damage rolls for melee attacks with a light weapon if itís used in the primary hand, or one-half the wielderís Strength bonus if itís used in the off hand. Using two hands to wield a light weapon gives no advantage on damage; the Strength bonus applies as though the weapon were held in the wielderís primary hand only.

An unarmed strike is always considered a light weapon.

One-Handed

A one-handed weapon can be used in either the primary hand or the off hand. Add the wielderís Strength bonus to damage rolls for melee attacks with a one-handed weapon if itís used in the primary hand, or Ĺ his or her Strength bonus if itís used in the off hand. If a one-handed weapon is wielded with two hands during melee combat, add 1Ĺ times the characterís Strength bonus to damage rolls.

I also think -it's presumed that when you declare an attack, you choose a drawn weapon and a handing for it, consistent with all previous attacks made during the round and any additional restrictions you may have. A weapon used in the primary hand is presumed unavailable for the off-hand.


...a Fighter doesn't have an offhand either. No where in the rules for fighters does it state that he has one, or can ever have one. You could concievably "wield" somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-10 weapons at any given time, but none of them are considered offhand so long as the fighter is only making the number of attacks that his BAB allows him (IE, BAB 1-5 = 1 attack, BAB 6-10 = 2 attacks, BAB 11-15 = 3 attacks, etc). Even if hes holding a weapon in each hand, neither of them is considered "offhand", because he hasn't invoked the TWF attack action in the combat section of the PHB.

Contrary to what you claim, the idea of an offhand attack does not stem from the TWF special attack. It stems from the presumed difference between offhand and primary hand. TWF is enabled by and requires the wielding of a weapon in the offhand.

Drawing a weapon and readying a shield are the actions that make it clear that a weapon/shield is being wielded. You can't use a weapon that isn't drawn, or a shield that isn't readied. D&D doesn't keep track of which hand you draw a weapon into, as long as it's drawn at all. UAS and gauntlets are an exception to this rule in that you're presumed not to need to draw them. Armor spikes are an even more heavily detailed exception:


You can also make a regular melee attack (or off-hand attack) with the spikes, and they count as a light weapon in this case. (You canít also make an attack with armor spikes if you have already made an attack with another off-hand weapon, and vice versa.)

So with regard to this:


If he had a BAB of 11, he could attack with his "main hand" longsword, his "offhand" flail, and his armor spikes, once each, and none of them are considered offhand attacks with the applicable penalties. Thats ALL that means.

I concur with your holding, assuming you meant that these attacks occur in 3 different rounds. But I think this is a result of D&D not keeping track of which weapon is drawn in which hand, and the specific rule that states that armor spikes can be used in a regular melee attack, not the lack of a difference between primary and off hand as you claim.


Similarly, a monk is armed at all times with an unarmed strike that is considered to be EVERY part of his body. As long as hes making attacks that don't exceed what he's entitled to with BAB and his flurry ability, he's not making offhand attacks either. If he has a BAB of +6 and uses a Flurry, he could hit once with his left hand, once with the kama in his right hand, and once with his left knee. None of these attacks are considered offhand attacks, just like the fighter in the example above.

I concur.


That doesn't prevent the monk from GAINING an offhand attack by invoking the TWF rules.

Agreed. This is where the RAW gets stupid. By RAW, a monk can TWF with any weapon besides the unarmed strike; the unarmed strike is the ~only~ weapon that the monk cannot declare as a weapon being wielded in the offhand. Any other weapon will do.

If you have an off-hand weapon, you may choose to make an extra attack with it during a full attack routine by using the TWF special attack. But since there is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed, the monk can't possibly use the UAS as an off-hand weapon, and thus can't get the extra attack from TWF.


Reading it that way, the text in the monk class description is simply a reminder that TWF normally doesn't apply to a monk, just like it normally doesn't apply to a fighter, regardless of how many weapons he's wielding. The difference is that its implied with the fighter, and explicit with the monk. Fundamentally, they are the same though.

I have to disagree with the notion that wielding weapons in D&D is as flexible as you put to be. I think the more succinct RAI interpretation is that the "no such thing as an offhand strike" remark refers simply to a monk's UAS never being penalized with off-hand damage.

Edit: Interesting! On the basis of RAI I'd rule that a TWF'ing monk got 1x Str to damage on the TWF attacks.

Keld Denar
2010-06-10, 04:24 PM
Which "hand" is a bootblade (Complete Scoundrel) held in? Which "hand" are armor spikes held in? Which "hand" do you wield a Mouth Pick weapon (Lords of Madness) in?

In reality, 3.5 got rid of handedness, most notably by the lack of the Ambidexterity feat. All hands are considered equally proficient, even if they aren't hands. 3e had handedness, 3.5 does not.

Thats why I've tried to impress a difference between offhand (descriptive, references one of two hands) and offhand (mechanical, weapon used as part of the TWF attack routine). They look the same, but they aren't the same thing.



I concur with your holding, assuming you meant that these attacks occur in 3 different rounds. But I think this is a result of D&D not keeping track of which weapon is drawn in which hand, and the specific rule that states that armor spikes can be used in a regular melee attack, not the lack of a difference between primary and off hand as you claim.

Why do they have to occur in 3 different rounds? What stops you from making a single attack with any number of weapons you have, so long as have a BAB high enough to support it? D&D doesn't keep track of which hand a weapon is drawn in, or any such rule. If it does, cite it. I've never seen such a rule. Heck, if you wanted to, you could wield any of the half dozen weapons that don't require hands, while leaving your hands open to hold wands or potions or a ranged weapon. Then how is any hand supposed to remember which it is, since none are used. Thats the part that makes no sense.

Lets have a little story, shall we? Bob the fighter is wielding a glaive, a great weapon for a fighter. He is also wearing full plate, which have armor spikes installed in them, because being able to claim AoOs is important. Bob has a BAB of +11, allowing him to make 3 attacks. He takes a 5' step adjacent to an orc warrior and attacks an orc wizard who is 10' away with his glaive. With a tremendous hit, he cleaves the orc wizards head square off. But poor Bob, he still has 2 attacks (at +6 and +1) but the only orc left is too close to attack with his glaive. So he attacks with his armor spikes, twice.

Now, would you say that the armor spikes count as offhand attacks? They arn't, because Bob isn't TWFing with them. He's mearly taking the iterative attacks he's alotted. He doesn't get the 1.5x Str bonus that he enjoys with his glaive, since the armor spikes aren't a 2handed weapon, but neither is he penalized with 0.5x Str bonus with them either.

That is because there is no handedness in 3.5. There just isn't. Each hand is the same, and each non-hand-whatever-is-wielding-a-weapon is the same as well.



But since there is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed, the monk can't possibly use the UAS as an off-hand weapon, and thus can't get the extra attack from TWF.

And like I said, this is a valid reading of the rules. Its basically stating that the monk rules trump the TWF rules. My belief is the other way around, that the TWF rules trump the monk rules. Which one is right? I dunno. Send an email to one of the devs and ask them. I doubt you'll get a response back. Without that, it IS grey, and it IS indefinite, and trying to rule it any other way is biased.

That said, because the FAQ sides with the idea that the TWF rules trump the monk rules, and all other things being equal, I'm inclined to follow the FAQ. You have every right to do the contrary, but to state that the other arguement is wrong is invalid.

Runestar
2010-06-10, 07:03 PM
Does the amulet actually factor in a 1.5 price multiplier for occupying an odd slot? I thought it was simply priced off 3 natural weapons. :smallannoyed:

Occupying the neck slot isn't really an issue, if you use the common-slot pricing mechanic in MIC (it lets you add the common stat-enhancing bonuses to your existing magic gear at no extra cost). So I could have an amulet of mighty fists+1 that also grants +2con and +1NA at 6000+4000+2000 or 12000gp, same as if I had purchased them separately. :smallsmile:

Yet on the other hand, it is cheaper compared to an amulet of natural weapons if used on a creature with more than 3 natural attacks, such as a dragon PC. :smallbiggrin:

Keld Denar
2010-06-10, 07:09 PM
Yea, but there are a couple of other really good amulets that you can't combine with Mighty Fists or Natural Attacks. For example, Heartseeking Amulet. Those touch attacks are NICE sometimes. There are a few others, but I don't feel like whipping out my copy of the MIC atm.

DragoonWraith
2010-06-10, 07:15 PM
Plus, even with 4 or more Natural Attacks, I'd rather get my money's worth of Special Abilities than straight enhancement bonuses.

Kalirren
2010-06-10, 08:53 PM
Why do they have to occur in 3 different rounds? [etc.]

I'm sorry, you're right, I don't know what I was thinking. I somehow mentally parsed the string "BAB of 11" that as a "BAB of 1," which completely changes the outcome.


Which "hand" is a bootblade (Complete Scoundrel) held in? Which "hand" are armor spikes held in? Which "hand" do you wield a Mouth Pick weapon (Lords of Madness) in?

In reality, 3.5 got rid of handedness, most notably by the lack of the Ambidexterity feat. All hands are considered equally proficient, even if they aren't hands. 3e had handedness, 3.5 does not.

Thats why I've tried to impress a difference between offhand (descriptive, references one of two hands) and offhand (mechanical, weapon used as part of the TWF attack routine). They look the same, but they aren't the same thing.

That's not true. There are still clear references to one's primary and one's off hand in the text. I've already copied and emphasized the relevant portions. The primary hand does more damage, and ought to be well-defined. If you disagree with this, you really ought to say why. It's just that most of the time, you're either holding a weapon with two hands (so it doesn't matter which), you're doing one-handed weapon and shield (for which the sword is presumed to be the stronger primary hand, but need not be situationally), or you're two-weapon fighting (and everyone actually remembers the rules in this case.)

I don't have the relevant sources, so I can't comment on them directly, but I will say this; if Boot-blades and Mouth-picks are like Armor Spikes in that they are weapons that don't require hands to use, then they should have supplementary rules text, just like Armor Spikes does, which clearly specify how they interact with the primary-hand/off-hand damage mechanics. Otherwise they're ill-specified and require houseruling by default.


And like I said, this is a valid reading of the rules. Its basically stating that the monk rules trump the TWF rules. My belief is the other way around, that the TWF rules trump the monk rules.

That said, because the FAQ sides with the idea that the TWF rules trump the monk rules, and all other things being equal, I'm inclined to follow the FAQ. You have every right to do the contrary, but to state that the other argument is wrong is invalid.

I'm glad we agree that this is a valid reading of the rules. But I don't see what it has to do with the monk rules "trumping" the TWF rules. I don't see how they do trump the TWF rules in this interpretation.

The structure of my argument is not, "Generally, TWF would grant an extra attack when an offhand weapon is being wielded. However, the monk rules specifically state that a monk's unarmed strike is never considered an offhand weapon. Since specific trumps general, the monk rules prevail and no TWF attack sequence exists." My argument is, "by definition of a monk's UAS, no offhand weapon is being wielded when the monk wields no other weapon, so the monk cannot choose to use the special attack Two Weapon Fighting." Both rules hold simultaneously.

How does the other way, the TWF rules supposedly trumping the monk rules, work? The rules of TWF state that if you're wielding a weapon in the off hand, then you can gain an extra attack by choosing the special attack action "TWF". There is a clear order of evaluation here. First determine if you're wielding a weapon in the off hand, then the choice becomes available or not depending on the result. The TWF rules effectively demand that the monk rules be checked for consistency with TWF preconditions. The monk rules do not place a similar demand upon the TWF rules. The rules are not on equal footing with one another.

Lord Vukodlak
2010-06-10, 09:10 PM
Does the amulet actually factor in a 1.5 price multiplier for occupying an odd slot? I thought it was simply priced off 3 natural weapons. :smallannoyed:

Occupying the neck slot isn't really an issue, if you use the common-slot pricing mechanic in MIC (it lets you add the common stat-enhancing bonuses to your existing magic gear at no extra cost). So I could have an amulet of mighty fists+1 that also grants +2con and +1NA at 6000+4000+2000 or 12000gp, same as if I had purchased them separately. :smallsmile:

Yet on the other hand, it is cheaper compared to an amulet of natural weapons if used on a creature with more than 3 natural attacks, such as a dragon PC. :smallbiggrin:

That was my thought normally say a casting of magic fang effects one natural weapon so say a 12 headed hydra would get a +x on one head. But a single amulet of mighty fist would apply it to all heads.

Grommen
2010-06-10, 10:07 PM
That was my thought normally say a casting of magic fang effects one natural weapon so say a 12 headed hydra would get a +x on one head. But a single amulet of mighty fist would apply it to all heads.

O man...That is the scarryest thing I have seen in a long time.

I'm doing that in my next game. 12 headed hyrda with +4 to attack and damage on each head.....Brilliant!

Keld Denar
2010-06-11, 12:43 AM
That's not true. There are still clear references to one's primary and one's off hand in the text. I've already copied and emphasized the relevant portions. The primary hand does more damage, and ought to be well-defined. If you disagree with this, you really ought to say why. It's just that most of the time, you're either holding a weapon with two hands (so it doesn't matter which), you're doing one-handed weapon and shield (for which the sword is presumed to be the stronger primary hand, but need not be situationally), or you're two-weapon fighting (and everyone actually remembers the rules in this case.)
I read this part. I read the part you listed. It makes sense. If you do not have an offhanded attack (ie, are NOT using TWF), use the 1x +Str bonus. If you DO have an offhanded attack (which you ONLY have while TWFing), then use the 0.5x Str bonus value. Its just repeating the rules to make sure nobody gets confused and applies 1x +Str bonus to both main hand and offhand. There are lots of instances where rules get repeated. It doesn't hold any more significance than that. Its the same redundant comment that is in the monk entry. "A weapon is often a primary weapon and behaves as such, but if its an offhand, it behaves as else." "A monk unarmed strike is often a primary weapon, and behaves as such" The only difference is that the monk description doesn't have the "but if its an offhand, it behaves as else" clause. Does that mean it doesn't behave as "else" when its not a primary weapon? Nothing prevents it from doing so. This is the most critical part of the arguement, is this making sense?

I still don't see any arguements that all D&D characters aren't ambidexterous without application of the TWFing rules to enforce what is and isn't an offhand attack.


The TWF rules effectively demand that the monk rules be checked for consistency with TWF preconditions. The monk rules do not place a similar demand upon the TWF rules. The rules are not on equal footing with one another.

See, now I see this as the fact that you are seeing what you want to see out of the passage. You are stuck on the phrase "THOU SHALT NOT BE A MONK AND MAKE OFFHAND ATTACKS", without recognizing that this is possibly a reminder to DMs and players that during a flurry, a monk can make a jab jab hook combination without the DM crying "FOUL! HOOKS ARE OFFHAND, 1/2 STR FOR YOU". During a normal attack routine, a monk has no offhand. This is true for EVERYONE, not just monks, but monks are most likely to attack with both hands, and feet, and head, and elbows, and whatever, that they felt that they had to clarify that this ISN'T the same as TWF...unless the player IS actually TWFing. Fighters and other martial characters don't have this clause because it is unlikely that either will mix and match weapons during a standard attack routine, but it is certainly possible, by RAW.

You are seeing the connection you want to see. Allow yourself to see the other side, and you'll see that its an equally valid interpretation. If there was only one interpretation of every rule, lawyers would be out of a job in a bad way. This one swings both way, depending on which piece takes precidence, and neither you, nor I, can dictate which way is correct.

Coidzor
2010-06-11, 04:31 AM
Ah, but a Fighter doesn't have an offhand either. No where in the rules for fighters does it state that he has one, or can ever have one. You could convievably "wield" somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-10 weapons at any given time, but none of them are considered offhand so long as the fighter is only making the number of attacks that his BAB allows him (IE, BAB 1-5 = 1 attack, BAB 6-10 = 2 attacks, BAB 11-15 = 3 attacks, etc). Even if hes holding a weapon in each hand, neither of them is considered "offhand", because he hasn't invoked the TWF attack action in the combat section of the PHB. If he had a BAB of 11, he could attack with his "main hand" longsword, his "offhand" flail, and his armor spikes, once each, and none of them are considered offhand attacks with the applicable penalties. Thats ALL that means.

Heh... I'd forgotten about that. I believe that's how most quickdraw builds work, actually, relying on free actions between iteratives in order to do their trick.

Hadn't ever thought about how it'd work for already drawn weapons though.

deuxhero
2010-06-11, 05:55 AM
It's a well-known issue that the AoMF is horrifically overpriced. The Necklace of Natural Attacks from Savage Species is much cheaper, and it lets you add weapon enhancements. It's Kensai-in-a-Box, without the code restrictions!

Note: NoNA has been updated to 3.5 (and is free) in one of the "D&D Fightclub" articles.

Mongoose87
2010-06-11, 06:39 AM
Note: NoNA has been updated to 3.5 (and is free) in one of the "D&D Fightclub" articles.

What changed?

Runestar
2010-06-11, 07:44 AM
What changed?

Seems virtually identical to its 3e version.


Necklace of Natural Attacks (from Savage Species): The enhancement bonus on this necklace is applied to attack and damage rolls involving one or more of the wearer's natural weapons. In addition, any weapon special quality applied to this necklace also applies to those natural weapons. For instance, a +1 throwing returning necklace of natural weapons would apply its enhancement bonus as well as the throwing and returning special abilities to one or more of the wearer's natural weapons.

Caster Level: 3rd; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, Craft Magic Arms and Armor; Market Price: 600 gp, plus the cost of the enhancement bonuses, times by the number of natural weapons affected. (Thus, a +1 necklace of natural weapons that affects one natural weapon costs 2,600 gp. If the same necklace affects six natural weapons, it costs 15,600 gp.) Weight: --.

deuxhero
2010-06-11, 07:49 AM
I think them making the example of using it to make your natural weapons throwing and returning is odd.

Mongoose87
2010-06-11, 07:58 AM
I think them making the example of using it to make your natural weapons throwing and returning is odd.

Seriously. It's like they want Dragonball-Z.

Lycar
2010-06-11, 08:37 AM
Agreed. This is where the RAW gets stupid. By RAW, a monk can TWF with any weapon besides the unarmed strike; the unarmed strike is the ~only~ weapon that the monk cannot declare as a weapon being wielded in the offhand. Any other weapon will do.

If you have an off-hand weapon, you may choose to make an extra attack with it during a full attack routine by using the TWF special attack. But since there is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a monk striking unarmed, the monk can't possibly use the UAS as an off-hand weapon, and thus can't get the extra attack from TWF.

Uhm, aren't you forgetting something here? A monk does indeed get an extra attack. It is built in and does not require a feat. It is called Flurry of Blows.

Mechanically, the monk gets an extra attack, both at -2 to to-hit. Which happens to be the same thing as taking an extra attack via TWF with a light weapon in your off-hand. Except that the monk gets to add his full STR bonus to damage for both attacks.

At level 11 the monk gets Greater Flurry, which is essentially ITWF, except the 2nd bonus attack is at full BAB.

Also, the TWF penalties are reduced at lv 5 and 9. Other classes that try their hands at Two Weapon Fighting need to enter prestige classes to reduce their TWF penalties.

If you compare the attack routines of a monk with a TWFing rogue and a TWFing ranger, you will find that the monk is about on par with the rogue. The ranger pulls ahead starting on lv. 2 though.

Level|Monk attacks |Rogue attacks |Ranger Attacks
1| -2-2|-2-2|+1
2| -1-1|-1-1|+0+0
5| +2+2|+1+1|+3+3
6| +3+3|+2+2|+4+4-1-1
8| +5+5+0|+4+4-1|+6+6+1+1
9| +6+6+1|+4+4-1-1|+7+7+2+2
11| +8+8+3|+6+6+1+1|+9+9+4+4-1-1
15| +11+11+11+6+1|+9+9+4+4-1-1|+13+13+8+8+3+3
16| +12+12+12+7+2|+10+10+5+5+0+0|14+14+9+9+4+4-1
20| +15+15+15+10+5|+13+13+8+8+3+3|+18+18+13+13+8+8+3
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Allowing a monk to add an attack to that via TWF essentially gives him two extra attacks instead of just one. If this is a boost that the class dearly needs or not is debatable.

Would you allow that to stack with flurry and if yes, would you stack the penalties?

Remember that a monk can flurry with monk weapons too. And if he can't afford two magic weapons, his extra attacks can always be unarmed strikes.

This would change the balance quite a bit, even though a monk still lacks a decent damage boost and is MAD like hell. But maybe it helps.

EDIT: Sorry for unreadable table, if I figure out how to get a better format... :smallyuk:

Lycar

Keld Denar
2010-06-11, 08:44 AM
would you stack the penalties?

Yes, you would just stack the penalties. A low level Monk would take a -4 to hit, and a high level monk would only take the -2 because the flurry penalties have gone away.

And why couldn't you combine TWF and Flurry? You can combine TWF and Rapid Shot to throw weapons quickly with both hands, and you can combine Flurry with Rapid Shot to throw Shurikens at a rediculous speed. Each adds its extra attack(s) and its extra penalties.

Lycar, try using the {table] [ /table] commands.

Starbuck_II
2010-06-11, 09:02 AM
Would you allow that to stack with flurry and if yes, would you stack the penalties?

D&D rules that penalties from a different source always stack. It is bonuses thay may or may not (type of bonus matters).

unre9istered
2010-06-11, 09:18 AM
The only problem with 2WF on a monk is that they lack the BAB to pull it off against highly armored foes. Especially at low levels when they still have the Flurry penalties. Full BAB is step 2 to making monks not suck. Step 1 is some form of pounce.

Kalirren
2010-06-11, 10:01 AM
This is true for EVERYONE, not just monks, but monks are most likely to attack with both hands, and feet, and head, and elbows, and whatever, that they felt that they had to clarify that this ISN'T the same as TWF...unless the player IS actually TWFing.

Oh, I think I see what you mean now. The presumption is that characters -are- TWF'ing when they attack with what would be the off hand, but monks' unarmed strikes are not considered to be offhand strikes even if they are made with what would be the off hand, or for that matter, any other part of the body. The handedness matter is one on which the rules are highly suggestive but ultimately silent.

Conceded.

What a horribly written rule.


Uhm, aren't you forgetting something here? A monk does indeed get an extra attack. It is built in and does not require a feat. It is called Flurry of Blows.

Oh, I haven't forgotten about it. As someone else mentioned, sometimes it's sensible to try to combine TWF and Flurry, because it's a great way of getting lots of attacks when you have damage from size and you're fighting a monster with boatloads of HP but not much AC (say a large-HD zombie,) the question arising being if you can TWF the monk's UAS without wielding a second weapon.

Lycar
2010-06-11, 01:46 PM
Thanks Keld Denar, that did the trick. :smallsmile:

Okay, let us see what TWFing adds to a monk then...

Level|Monk attacks w. flurry|Rogue attacks |TWF Monk + flurry Attacks
1| -2-2|-2-2|-4-4-4
2| -1-1|-1-1|-3-3-3
5| +2+2|+1+1|+0+0+0
6| +3+3|+2+2|+1+1+1
8| +5+5+0|+4+4-1-1|+3+3+3-2-2
9| +6+6+1|+4+4-1-1|+4+4+4-1-1
11| +8+8+8+3|+6+6+1+1|+6+6+6+6+1+1
15| +11+11+11+6+1|+9+9+4+4-1-1|+9+9+9+9+4+4-1-1
16| +12+12+12+7+2|+10+10+5+5+0+0|+10+10+10+10+5+5+0+0
20| +15+15+15+10+5|+13+13+8+8+3+3|+13+13+13+13+8+8+3+3
Interesting, the monk pulls ahead with number of attacks from the get-go and equalizes the rogue's AB at level 9, if going for TWFighting.

The advantage of the rogue is that he can add sneak attack damage to every eligible attack. Provided he hits of course. But since this will mostly be achieved by flanking, the flanking bonus pretty much cancels out the TWF penalty.

And the monk gets an attack routine that is about on par with that of a TWF rogue (one less attack but one more attack at full AB), without having to spend a single feat on it.

So what the monk needs is either a way to apply sufficient extra damage to these attacks to overcome DR or a way to apply some kind of status effect with every attack. Even if those effects would have a low save DC, the sheer number of attacks would prove useful. (Too bad that things like Brutal Strike are limited to 1 attack per round. Although Staggering Strike works on every SA in a round. And is strictly better. Yay for rogues, boo hiss for fighters again it seems. :smallsigh:)

Maybe allow monks to get Two-Weapon Rend (PHB2 p. 84) at lv. 12, maybe that helps a bit. Or something like ToB's Girallon Windmill Flesh Rip... Maybe as an ACF instead of Quivering Palm. How about 'useable WIS bonus times per day' or something thereabouts.

Actually, with those options one might wonder if boosting their BAB to full progression is a bit too much. Although it would help them to be less dependent on STR. But then you have to figure out where the drop-off points for the TWF penalties should be. Also Greater Flurry would have to appear a bit later in the level progression.

Personally, I believe that monks and rangers were intended as natural TWFighters. Rogues only are so good because of sneak attack. Imagine SA damage was limited to a single attack per round. Then you would have almost no TWF-rogues at all. :smallamused:

And fighters seem to do just fine dishing our large amounts of HP damage to single foes.

If only the caster types wouldn't throw everything out of whack... :smalltongue:

EDIT: It just occurs to me that an Ascetic Rogue would be pretty brutal, if only the levels would stack for SA progression too... :smallamused:

Lycar

Kalirren
2010-06-11, 02:14 PM
So what the monk needs is either a way to apply sufficient extra damage to these attacks to overcome DR or a way to apply some kind of status effect with every attack. Even if those effects would have a low save DC, the sheer number of attacks would prove useful

Hm. Your analysis raises several interesting points. An old friend of mine once suggested that the natural niche of the monk, if it has any defensible niche at all, is as caster-killer. Some sort of innate poison-on-strike like BoED's afflictions, or a Necklace of Natural Attacks with wounding, or spellstrike (+1d4 extra damage for every magic spell currently active on the target) might be things to consider.

Keld Denar
2010-06-11, 02:23 PM
Please, call me Keld. Or Amazing. Your choice.

And yea, while a rogue gets sneak attack to scale his damage, someone with a monk-like Unarmed Strike progression has the advantage of stacking size modifiers, which, in general, scale MUCH faster than Sneak Attack.

Do a seach for Tashalatora, the feat that combines your monk UAS and flurry abilities with the superior features of something like the Psychic Warrior or Ardent. Nab a couple feats like Superior Unarmed Strike and Improved Natural Attack for virtual size increases, then slap on augmented Expansion, and suddenly those 1d10 fists become 6d6 fists. Thats not even counting getting buffed by a friendly wizard with Greater Mighty Wallop to give yourself MORE virtual size increases, each of which increases your base damage at a rate that would make a rogue blush with envy.

NOW, glue that really high base damage onto a high rate of fire chassis like a TWFing flurrying monk base (fully progressed with Tashalatora). Besides, as Person Man has so graciously pointed out in other threads, increasing your attack bonus is relatively easy, so taking some penalties to increase you number of attacks (and your damage, geometrically) is GENERALLY worth it.

Lycar
2010-06-11, 08:09 PM
Please, call me Keld. Or Amazing. Your choice.
Will 'Amazing Keld' do? :smallwink:



Do a seach for Tashalatora, the feat that combines your monk UAS and flurry abilities with the superior features of something like the Psychic Warrior or Ardent. Nab a couple feats like Superior Unarmed Strike and Improved Natural Attack for virtual size increases, then slap on augmented Expansion, and suddenly those 1d10 fists become 6d6 fists. Thats not even counting getting buffed by a friendly wizard with Greater Mighty Wallop to give yourself MORE virtual size increases, each of which increases your base damage at a rate that would make a rogue blush with envy.

Yes, well, but it would be much better if the monk could do adequate damage without jumping through so many hoops, wouldn't it.

A friendly caster who provides some buff spells would do in most cases.

Unfortunately the prevailing attitude of casters around here seems to be that they don't feel like wasting spell slots on gimps who were too dumb to become full casters like themselves. :smallannoyed:

If one asks me, an arcane caster could be great and shine by making others shine too. Buffing and battlefield control. Maybe some crowd control. So the melee types can play out their strengths. Buffs including protections from hostile magics naturally.

Pwoning entire encounters with simple SoDs? Not so much. Saving the party from a TPK with a 'holdout' SoX? That is another matter entirely.

Lycar

Gametime
2010-06-12, 05:34 PM
A friendly caster who provides some buff spells would do in most cases.

Unfortunately the prevailing attitude of casters around here seems to be that they don't feel like wasting spell slots on gimps who were too dumb to become full casters like themselves. :smallannoyed:


The suggestion you quoted including receiving a buff - specifically, Greater Mighty Wallop - from a friendly caster.

I've always liked the idea of making Flurry usable on any attack action and giving monks skirmish, but size-stacking is a good way to get rules-approved damage out of the monk.