View Full Version : (Pathfinder) What if the Monk used his CMD as his AC?

2011-10-14, 09:53 PM
Quick thought: Monks have issues, could this feasibly and thematically fix his glaringly low AC? Or should the CMB/CMD mechanics be used only for Tripping/Avoiding being Tripped, etc?

If 'yes', would it be reasonable to create Monk specific feats that enhance his base CMD?


2011-10-15, 01:41 AM
IIRC, the Improved Feats for Combat Maneuvers also increase the CMD of the character by 2 against that specific attack. Meaning if you take Improved Trip, your CMD increases by 2 if someone tries to use Trip on you. Not to mention that you no longer take AoO's when making those attacks. AND, you also get a +2 bonus when performing those things. Here's an example, though I'm pretty sure all the Improved Feats for combat maneuvers work the same way.

Improved Trip (Combat)
You are skilled at sending your opponents to the ground.

Prerequisite: Int 13, Combat Expertise.

Benefit: You do not provoke an attack of opportunity when performing a trip combat maneuver. In addition, you receive a +2 bonus on checks made to trip a foe. You also receive a +2 bonus to your Combat Maneuver Defense whenever an opponent tries to trip you.

Normal: You provoke an attack of opportunity when performing a trip combat maneuver.

On top of that, at 3rd level Monks replace their BaB with their Monk level when using their CMB.

Maneuver Training (Ex): At 3rd level, a monk uses his monk level in place of his base attack bonus when calculating his Combat Maneuver Bonus. Base attack bonuses granted from other classes are unaffected and are added normally.

Not to mention the AC bonus they get from Wisdom (which also stacks on their CMD) and they get a small +1 bonus every 4 levels.

AC Bonus (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, the monk adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his AC and his CMD. In addition, a monk gains a +1 bonus to AC and CMD at 4th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every four monk levels thereafter, up to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.

These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the monk is flat-footed. He loses these bonuses when he is immobilized or helpless, when he wears any armor, when he carries a shield, or when he carries a medium or heavy load.

Finally, Monks get Ki pool points that they can spend to give themselves a bonus to AC, and IIRC on that, dodge bonuses to AC also add into your CMD.

Ki Pool (Su): At 4th level, a monk gains a pool of ki points, supernatural energy he can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in a monk's ki pool is equal to 1/2 his monk level + his Wisdom modifier. As long as he has at least 1 point in his ki pool, he can make a ki strike. At 4th level, ki strike allows his unarmed attacks to be treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. Ki strike improves with the character's monk level. At 10th level, his unarmed attacks are also treated as lawful weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. At 16th level, his unarmed attacks are treated as adamantine weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and bypassing hardness.

By spending 1 point from his ki pool, a monk can make one additional attack at his highest attack bonus when making a flurry of blows attack. In addition, he can spend 1 point to increase his speed by 20 feet for 1 round. Finally, a monk can spend 1 point from his ki pool to give himself a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 round. Each of these powers is activated as a swift action. A monk gains additional powers that consume points from his ki pool as he gains levels.

The ki pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation; these hours do not need to be consecutive.

So my question is, what else could Monks possibly need to increase their CMB/CMD higher? Those three things right there make them grapple/trip/disarm/feint/bullrush masters. And most of the Improved feats are bonus feats taken from a list available to the class at certain levels. Every 4 levels after 1st, I believe.

Now, if you're just worrid about their basic AC, a few magic trinkets, like Bracers of Armor or Amulet's of Natural Armor, or even a Wizard/Sorcerer with the Mage Armor spell, can give them basic boosts to their regular AC.

All those things I put in spoilers are from the Core Rulebook. I'm sure the APG and other sources might have other available class features or feats that could further enhance what you're wanting. But I personally don't think it would be worth the time/effort to comepletely make something homebrew when there's already so much out there available that does what you're wanting. I hope this helps. And who knows, maybe there's someone else out there that knows more about Monks than I do. Best of luck. :smallsmile:

2011-10-15, 02:48 AM
Ah perfect :) Had tunnel vision when thinking about CMD feats.

But yeah, I see a ton of posts on how to fix the monk (3.5 mostly, but Pathfinder didn't do much for them). I'm just wondering what some simple but thematically appropriate fixes could be.

From what I'm reading, his AC is sub-par even though he should be a master of avoiding physical attacks.

Now, if you're just worrid about their basic AC

Equally so, baddies can simply fill those same slots with +Attack/Damage items, relatively negating his AC bonuses. I think he's just inherently flawed with his No Armor requirement.

I'm wondering if this little tweak would free up feats/item slots, allowing him a little latitude to improve the effectiveness of his combat maneuvers and DPR. We'll see :)


2011-11-03, 11:50 PM
I'm having the opposite problem in my campaign. The monk in my party is hard to hit most of the time, but she can't hit any of my monsters at all. Maybe one attack out of her full Flurry of Blows and extra attacks from the TWF feats along with Haste and a few other items that give her like 8 attacks in one round with FoB. 1 out of 8 attacks in a round is crap and makes her feel more worthless than the class actually is.

Since you're issue is slightly different than mine, you could house-rule that they could wear light armor so long as its not made of metal. Like padded or leather, or even studded leather with wooden studs instead of metal. Just an idea. A combat class that sucks at combat is no fun to play. I have yet to come up with a way to fix my player's monk issues. I thought about giving them the favored enemy like the rangers get so this way they have some kind of advantage fighting a few things.

2011-11-04, 10:03 AM
Cool, my players sat down and thought out a couple of solutions. First we made a general change to the Monk, and then tweaked a monster feat to fix our issue with Iteratives and Two-weapon fighting styles (compared to Natural Attacks).

1. Martial Arts
Add your Wisdom to your CMB and CMD. Use your CMB as your Melee Attack modifier. Use CMD as your AC. When making unarmed strikes, treat your target as flat-footed unless it has Uncanny Dodge, Improved Uncanny Dodge, or Improved Unarmed Strike.

Playtested, works well, a decent but not huge improvement to DPS, and a perfect correction to the Monk's AC problem. Simply add this as a level 1 class feature for all Monks. The gist is that you fight in an unconventional way, you're not blocking with a weapon, more so you're moving inside their reach, wrist locking, stealing their inertia, etc. You don't wear armor, you don't fight with weapons... you shouldn't be using the conventional AC and BaB modifiers because everything you do is some sort of Combat Maneuver, even your way of dealing damage. So this is thematically appropriate as well as balanced.

And then

2. Multiattack
Multiattack (Combat)
You are particularly skilled at making Iterative attacks.

Prerequisite: One or More Iterative or Off-hand attacks, or Flurry of Blows.
Benefit: Your extra weapon swings take only a 2 penalty.
Normal: Without this feat, when making a full-round of attacks, your consecutive (iterative) attacks suffer a -5 penalty.
Special: When using the Two-weapon Fighting feat or a Flurry-of-Blows, Multiattack further reduces the penalty by 2 (becomes +0/+0, in stead of -2/-2)

This is basically the Multiattack feat found in the Bestiary applied to iterative weapon strikes. Compared to Natural Attacks, Iteratives are a joke; and so by adding this feat, Iterative fighters (Such as Fighters, Rogues, Barbs, etc) can keep up in DPR.

Our Monk is happy as a clam and these changes work well with the Style feats in Ultimate Combat. I'd say these changes bump him up to high T4/low T3ish.

Morph Bark
2011-11-04, 11:22 AM
CMD? :smallconfused:

Tanuki Tales
2011-11-04, 11:50 AM
CMD? :smallconfused:

Combat Maneuver Defense.

2011-11-13, 10:00 PM
Add your Wisdom to your CMB and CMD. Use your CMB as your Melee Attack modifier. Use CMD as your AC. When making unarmed strikes, treat your target as flat-footed unless it has Uncanny Dodge, Improved Uncanny Dodge, or Improved Unarmed Strike.
1. Do you have your monk add his wisdom to AC/CMD twice? Or do you remove the original Monk AC/CMD bonus?
2. Battle-long flat-footedness seems a little extreme (Medusa's Wrath is a possible bonus feat for a monk at lvl 10, and would give a Monk with this CA pretty much unlimited access to it). Perhaps make it last for a particular foe until the Monk hits him in battle?
3. BAB, Strength, Dexterity, and Wisdom(x2?) to AC seems like overkill as well. Can your monsters handle such a creature?