[RPG] How to effectively use monk weapons in Pathfinder


I'm playing a monk for the first time and I'm curious as to why anyone would even use monk weapons when unarmed damage is so much better? I'd like to use sai's for flavour but I only ever get 1d4 with them, even though you use them very similarly to fists (blunt). Is there a way to make monk weapons matter or is it best to just stick with fists?

Best Answer

There are multiple reasons a monk might use a monk weapon instead of their unarmed strikes.

  • You've taken an archetype that replaces your unarmed strike damage or allows you to deal damage with another weapon as if you were unarmed,
  • You are more focused on battlefield control than damage and prefer a weapon with the disarm, trip, reach, grapple, or brace quality.
  • You have another, more unusual focus and prefer a weapon with the performance, distracting, or blocking quality,
  • You have a specific build that benefits from other weapon quality or statistic (higher critical range or damage, special material you can't replicate with your fists),
  • You are fighting a creature with a DR that you can overcome with a monk weapon but not your unarmed strikes (most likely if you've looted an enchanted monk weapon, but carrying a S/P weapon made of a special material is a good idea anyway)
  • You are fighting a creature that damages you if struck with an unarmed strike,
  • You are fighting an evasive creature and need the range of a thrown weapon,
  • You have been swallowed whole and need a cutting weapon.
  • I nearly forgot this one: at low levels, some monk weapons do more damage than your unarmed strikes anyway. I think one of them is a d10, which you don't tie until 8th or beat until 12th.

I'm sure there are more, but those come to the top of my head.