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The Iroran Paladin gains the following ability:

Unarmed Strike: At 1st level, an Iroran paladin gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. In addition, he gains the unarmed strike monk ability, treating his monk level as half his paladin level (minimum 1) for calculating his unarmed strike damage.

If he wears a Monk's Robe, does the 1/2 paladin level stack with the 5 levels gained from the robe?

For example, if the paladin is level 6 when he gets his robe, does he deal 1d10, 1d8 or another number?

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This character is not a Monk. Therefore, wearing the robe has him work as a Monk 5/Iroran Paladin 6.

The wording of the Iroran Paladin is a bit weird - it makes it look like the half-your-Paladin-level number entirely replaces your current monk level, rather than being added to whatever the character already has, but I don't believe that's the intended meaning.

I would rule you function as a Monk 8.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The Iroran paladin gives you an actual monk level (for calculating unarmed strike damage, anyway), not just count as. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jan 2 '17 at 23:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KRyan Reading treated as differently from counting as? That's… I don't know, man. Can you back that up with another example or something? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jan 2 '17 at 23:31
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Yes. An Iroran paladin treats his monk level as half his paladin level, and monk's robe then adds to that.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I see where you're going, but the robes say, "If the wearer has levels in monk, her AC and unarmed damage are treated as a monk of 5 levels higher," yet the unarmed strike of the Iroran paladin says that "he gains the unarmed strike monk ability, treating his monk level as half his paladin level." So what about the AC? :-) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jan 2 '17 at 23:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a similar problem like the sohei monk in regards to monk's robes as the sohei archetype trades away increases to unarmed strike damage from level 4 on. So a Sohei higher than level 4 should have different effective levels for damage and AC. And monk's robes would then have to deal with them independently. \$\endgroup\$ – Umbranus Feb 2 '17 at 15:27
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RAW, the Paladin would have a monk AC/Damage bonus of monk level 5 because he doesn't have 'Monk levels', he has an unarmed strike that gains a bonus that references Monk levels.

That being said, I believe most would homerule it as +1 AC (Monk level 5) and unarmed damage based on 1/2 Paladin levels + 5 because other cases of gaining a class ability treat you as having that class ability for Feats and anything else.

Archetype: If an archetype replaces a class ability with a more specific version of that ability (or one that works similarly to the replaced ability), does the archetype's ability count as the original ability for the purpose of rules that improve the original ability?

It depends on how the archetype's ability is worded. If the archetype ability says it works like the standard ability, it counts as that ability. If the archetype's ability requires you to make a specific choice for the standard ability, it counts as that ability. Otherwise, the archetype ability doesn't count as the standard ability. (It doesn't matter if the archetype's ability name is different than the standard class ability it is replacing; it is the description and game mechanics of the archetype ability that matter.)

Example: The dragoon (fighter) archetype (Ultimate Combat) has an ability called "spear training," which requires the dragoon to select "spears" as his weapon training group, and refers to his weapon training bonus (even though this bonus follows a slightly different progression than standard weapon training). Therefore, this ability counts as weapon training for abilities that improve weapon training, such as gloves of dueling (Advanced Player's Guide), which increase the wearer's weapon training bonus.

Example: The archer (fighter) archetype gets several abilities (such as "expert archer") which replace weapon training and do not otherwise refer to the weapon training ability. Therefore, this ability does not count as weapon training for abilities that improve weapon training (such as gloves of dueling). This is the case even for the "expert archer," ability which has a bonus that improves every 4 fighter levels, exactly like weapon training.

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