"Monastic Legacy" Feat Problems


There is a series of problems at the moment with the Monastic Legacy feat. I will report them here, the all affect unarmed damage calculation.

[please note that this does not confer any kind of flurry of blows, just the enhanced unarmed damage]

(1) As of the "Inner Seas Combat" guide it is now possible to gain monastic legacy without being a monk. This is done by gaining 2 levels in Ranger while worshipping Irori and selecting the iroran fighting style. Note that rangers do bypass prerequisites while gaining such fighting style feats.

Source: Inner Sea Combat pg. 11
however, since the character never gains this piece of the rules, the unarmed damage stays the normal prescribed by the basic pathfinder rules.

(2) A second problem regards how unarmed damage gets calculated: Apparently if you have Monastic Legacy, unless you have [PRECISELY] the monk class... you add ½ your level to your monk levels to calculate your unarmed damage. This means that with all the "iroran" class archetypes which already (usually) count as ½ monk levels for that you are considered a full monk. This is probably not "as intended"... but it's probably something nice to let the players do. And if you instead take levels in a class that has full monk unarmed damage progression but is not monk (like the "brawler" or the "champion of irori") you end up gaining much more than the intended unarmed damage. Thus with 4 levels of monk and 11 levels of brawler it is possible to deal the same damage per single hit as a level 20 monk. Upon adding one more level and reaching the level 12 in brawler with that combination of classes the unarmed damage has no value anymore. You should deal damage as a level 22 monk and this unarmed damage value does not exist, and thus we get errors.

Honestly i'm not sure if we should remove the combination of "monastic legagy + (class with ½ monk unarmed damage progression)" to get full monk progression but it is most likely probable that they should not add together.

What is sure is that in no case a player should have more than a single 1 level by 1 level equivalent monk level progression.


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Simone Spinozzi
January 22, 2019, 11:57 AM

While i would normally agree. The iroran ranger’s case seems to imply you do acquire the scaling unarmed damage from monk legacy, being it the main feature of the class' combat style. Though i agree that many of Paizo’s rules are… “deficient” at best, i think we should go with “As Intended” rather than “As Written” in this case.

But i see you’ve already closed this case. I trust your judgement.

Andrew Maitland
January 21, 2019, 7:38 AM
Andrew Maitland
January 21, 2019, 7:18 AM

Judging from the rules - You cannot gain the same benefit twice. You either get the 1/2 level from the feat, or the 1/2 level from the class feature, not both. I can fix that easily enough with a proper progression tracker.

As for the Iroran Ranger, unless the class gains an unarmed strike progression as a class feature, I see nothing that says it is granted the feature, or an alternative using weapons such as TWF. We have to follow the rules as presented by the publisher. Please request a FAQ from Paizo to clarify this point.

Based upon rules of precedent, you can gain features that are not optimal for the class, this corner case looks to be such an example.

Andrew Maitland
January 21, 2019, 7:03 AM

Direct from Paizo:

Hi James,

The monastic legacy feat for multiclassed monks:


Benefit: Add half the levels you have in classes other than monk to your monk level to determine your effective monk level for your base unarmed strike damage. This feat does not make levels in classes other than monk count toward any other monk class features.

But how does it interact with Champion of Irori levels which state:


The class levels of a champion of Irori stack with monk levels for determining the effect of his AC bonus, flurry of blows, stunning fist, and unarmed strike class features.

Since a level in CoI is not a level in monk is it considered as a level in a class "other than monk" for the purpose of monastic legacy? (I.e. count 1/2 levels in CoI towards the monk unarmed strike progression)?


It doesn't interact well, because they are both different solutions to the same question. Pick which one you prefer for each character, as makes sense for each character.

Simone Spinozzi
January 6, 2019, 10:07 AM

• Yes, that would remove classes that already have half monk progression on the unarmed damage from having full monk progression by using this feat….. but it’s probably how it was intended. Unfortunately Pathfinder is quite a mess in these cases, and there is no official statement that i could find. Having to chose between allowing classes to have full monk progression and having cases where a class has more than full monk progression, i would remove the stacking.

• What you did not mention reading is the _Iroran Ranger case that has no unarmed damage progression to start with_… and gets none from the feat, which is part of the ruleset for the fighting style. That was most definitively intended to give the ranger the ability to fight unarmed at half the monk’s unarmed strike advancement, using two weapon fighting to “simulate” the flurry. Unfortunately, right now the iroran ranger gets nothing. The TWF ruleset is currently incompatible with the unarmed strike and the unarmed damage does not progress if you did not have a monk class level somewhere.



Andrew Maitland


Simone Spinozzi

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