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Synthesist/Monk

Qik

First Post
Hi All.

I've been contemplating a synthesist/monk build. I've always liked the idea of playing a character built around natural weapons, and I find the idea of a living fighting suit to be, to put it in sophisticated terms, "super cool." So I'm becoming real taken by this idea, and was hoping to get some input.

Here's what I have thus far:

Human

Str: 10 (0) --- 18 (Biped Eidolon)
Dex: 10 (0) --- 12 (Biped Eidolon)
Con: 10 (0) --- 13 (Biped Eidolon)
Int: 12 (2)
Wis: 19 (13)
Cha: 14 (5)

Traits: Magical Knack (Synthesist), Ease of Faith?

Level 1: Synthesist 1
- Feats: Extra Evolution (level) & Weapon Focus (Claws) (human)
- Eidolon:
--- Biped
--- Evolutions: Improved Natural Armor (1), Ability Increase: Str (2), Bite (1)
Level 2: Master of Many Styles of the Sacred Mountain 1
- Feats: Dragon Style (class) & Improved Unarmed Strike (class)
Level 3: Master of Many Styles of the Sacred Mountain 2
- Feats: Feral Combat Training (level), Dragon Ferocity (class), Toughness (class)

Some scattered thoughts of note:
- I could see an argument for choosing the quadruped over the biped: basically, the access to pounce plus the awesome synergy with Dragon Style. I'm currently favoring biped for the flat +1 to to-hit and damage, especially since that +1 to damage gets multiplied when you start picking up the Dragon Style feats; that said, I'm open to hearing otherwise.
- I'm quite uncertain about where to progress after level 3. I could see leaning heavily on the Fighter (Brawler) - the extra feats would be great (would allow for goodies like Arcane Strike), and the bonuses from Close Combatant synergize great with using natural weapons. Otherwise, I could see oscillating between Synthesist and Monk (would probably do Synthesist at 4 & 5, then back to monk, etc).
- Thought it worth mentioning that I'm pretty married to using Synthesist and Monk as a base; I would definitely want to avoid classes like the alchemist which don't have access to their natural weapons at all times for this build. The only other viable alternative I see to a build like this would be Ranger/Monk, using the natural weapons fighting style, but I see Sythnesist as offering far more goodies than Ranger.

Thoughts? They'd be appreciated!
 
Last edited:

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Drathir

First Post
you dont qualify for Weapon focus claws, James Jacobs has gone over it in his ask James thread on the Paizo site. You do not have the +1 atk bonus unless your eidolon is out and as such can't take the feat as it would be rendered completely inert by unsummoning unconciousness etc. Also you dont technically have claws (or their prof) your eidolon does and yes when its summoned you get them but you do not have them at all times Both of these things are Required for feat taking.

In short because you do not qualify at all times (barring debuffs like a negative lvl or ray of enfeeblement since we cannot control these) you do not qualify at all. Sorry if that seems mean or something but I myself have made a synthesist, so I suppose you can take it up with your GM but that is the rules as written and clarified by Paizo staff.
 

StreamOfTheSky

Adventurer
I suggest you be a Half-Elf. This does a few things for you. You get two favored classes, you get the unique to Half-Elves Summoner favored class option of +1/4 evolution point, and you get immunity to sleep magic. This partly helps protect against losing your mobile suit in the middle of combat:
"If the summoner is unconscious, asleep, or killed, his eidolon is immediately banished."
If not doing Half-Elf (maybe even if a Half-Elf, too), absolutely take this feat: Resilient Eidolon - Pathfinder_OGC

You may want to lower some of those mental scores to boost Con and Dex to 12 at least. Unless you're seriously not afraid of ever being attacked at night or something.

Definitely do Quad form and get Pounce. If you get Flurry from monk, it means you can charge and flurry. Even if you stick with MoMS Monk, you have quite a few natural weapons. Get pounce!

Why do you want to be a MoMS Sacred Mountain Monk? MoMS is pretty pointless if you're only taking one style feat tree anyway, and I don't care for sacred mountain archetype. Is there a 2nd style feat you were looking towards? Depending on the style feat pre-reqs, you may want to wait to enter/advance Monk. Basically if you wanted the 3rd feat in a style tree but don't like the 2nd.
Say for example you liked Snake Fang/url]. If you wait until level 3 to take that 1st Monk level for the bonus feat, you can meet the requirements for [url=http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/snake-style-combat-style]Snake Style. You level up in Monk and gain Imp. Unarmed Strike and your 3rd rank in Acrobatics and take Snake Style as your general feat then use your Monk bonus feat on Snake Fang, getting it much earlier than normal and cutting out the extremely subpar Snake Sidewind completely.

You like Dragon Ferocity, so you wouldn't need to skip to the 3rd feat for that style, but perhaps for your other style that trick might be helpful.

Past 3rd level, I would just go straight Synthesist. It's a really good class. Just use natural attacks and use the monk levels for the bonus feats and AC bonus. If you do stick to this plan and only use Monk as a small dip, you may also want to consider the Sohei archetype. It's pretty hilariously front-loaded. Lots of proficiencies, and trade the Stunning Fist you'd have had few uses of anyway for the ability to always act in the surprise round (and with pounce, you'll still be able to full attack on your partial charge!).
 

StreamOfTheSky

Adventurer
you dont qualify for Weapon focus claws, James Jacobs has gone over it in his ask James thread on the Paizo site. You do not have the +1 atk bonus unless your eidolon is out and as such can't take the feat as it would be rendered completely inert by unsummoning unconciousness etc. Also you dont technically have claws (or their prof) your eidolon does and yes when its summoned you get them but you do not have them at all times Both of these things are Required for feat taking.

In short because you do not qualify at all times (barring debuffs like a negative lvl or ray of enfeeblement since we cannot control these) you do not qualify at all. Sorry if that seems mean or something but I myself have made a synthesist, so I suppose you can take it up with your GM but that is the rules as written and clarified by Paizo staff.

RAW, you are correct. However, Sean K. Reynolds does no think it should be that way. I happen to agree with him. Worth asking the DM about.

[sblock]
SKR said:
I'm a proponent of the school of "you can *select* it if you sometimes qualify, but you can only *use* it when you actually meet all the requirements."
[/sblock]
 

Qik

First Post
Thanks for the feedback.

First, this build is for LPF here. The current ruling on the synthesist, outlined here, is that, as Stream said, the synthesist can use the eidolon's statistics to qualify for feats " just as a Str 11 character wearing a belt of strength +2 bumps him to Str 13 and allows him to take Power Attack." So Weapon Focus (Claws) is not a worry.

Half-elf is a solid idea, particularly for the immunity to sleep. Truth be told, the attraction to the human was mainly for the extra feat: since this is for a play-by-post game, I put a premium on front-loading abilities and builds (should have mentioned that). Especially if I go quadruped (which I'm increasingly convinced is the way to go), losing that extra evolution point early hurts, especially if I don't take MoMS and therefore need to rely on my normal odd-level feats to pick up Dragon Style (which is an important part of this build).

MoMS was primarily to get Dragon Style as early as possible, with the possibility of picking up an additional, prerequisite-light style tree later on (like Snapping Turtle or Crane). I can see the advantages of other archetypes, though: Maneuver Master would be wicked when coupled with pounce (trip, then full attack). I had thrown Monk of the Sacred Mountain in there primarily because there didn't seem to be any reason not to: gain toughness and a small NA bonus for when I'm un-eidoloned in exchange for evasion, which I'm going to get from the Synthesist anyway.

I think the issue right now is to find a class to focus on. Really, I just want a bad mother in combat, which is why I had thought going Brawler after level 3. I'll have to look on down the line for the eidolon a bit more to see what the advantages of each is.
 

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