D&D (2024) 2024 Player's Handbook reveal: "New Monk"

"Largely a new class!"

Video Breakdown

Base Monk Class Notes
  • Knew monk was going to get a lot of attention - both satisfaction scores and actual play numbers have historically tended to be a bit low
  • Similar to ranger, monk is largely a "new class"
  • Martial Arts feature at 1st level
    • Monk weapons have been broadened to all simple melee weapons and martial melee weapons with light property
    • Can make an unarmed strike as bonus action
    • Can choose to use Dex to set DCs for unarmed strike grapple and shove options (see general notes below)
    • Martial Arts die - starts at d6 at level 1, scales to d12 at level 17
  • Monk's Focus feature at 2nd level
    • Ki/Discipline Points are now Focus Points
    • Patient Defense - can Disengage as bonus action for free
      • Spending 1 Focus Point lets you both Disengage and Dodge at the same time
    • Step of the Wind - can Dash as bonus action for free
      • Spending 1 Focus Point lets you both Dash and Disengage at the same time, and additionally your Jump distance is doubled for the rest of your turn
    • Flurry of Blows - Spend 1 Focus Point to make two unarmed strikes as bonus action
  • Uncanny Metabolism feature at 2nd level ("I didn't hear no bell.")
    • When rolling initiative, can regain all expended Focus Points and restore a number of hit points (1/long rest)
  • Redesigned Deflect Attacks feature at 3rd level
    • Roll d10 + Dex + Monk level to reduce damage from any attack that deals bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage
    • If damage is reduced to zero, can spend Focus Point to redirect force of attack to someone else - target makes a saving throw and on failure suffers an amount of Force damage based on your Martial Arts die
    • Upgrades to Deflect Energy at 13th level - can deflect any damage type
  • Self Restoration feature at 10th level
    • Can end Charmed, Frightened, or Poisoned condition on self at end of monk's turn for free
  • Heightened Focus feature at 10th level - further enhancements to Patient Defense, Step of the Wind, and Flurry of Blows (not detailed)
  • Superior Defense feature at 18th level - mentioned as example of ways they've increased monk survivability, but not detailed
  • Disciplined Survivor feature (level not mentioned) - mentioned as example of ways they've increased monk survivability, allows monk to reroll saving throws
  • Stunning Strike feature
    • Can only be used once per turn, but always does something
    • If target fails saving throw, they are stunned
    • If target succeeds on saving throw, their speed is halved and the next attack roll against them has advantage
  • Epic Boon at 19th level - no example specified

Subclass Notes
  • Warrior of Mercy
    • Largely the same, save for tweaks to better integrate subclass with new version of the base monk class
  • Warrior of the Elements
    • Completely replaces Way of the Four Elements
    • Elemental Attunement - not always active, costs Focus Points to "turn on"
      • Can increase reach of unarmed strikes using elemental power ("Not a Mr. Fantastic or One Piece style stretchy punch" :p)
      • Can change damage type to one of elemental themed options (not specified, but generally guessable)
      • Can force target to make a saving throw and move them around battlefield on a failure
    • Gain Elementalism cantrip
    • At 6th level, can take Magic action and expend some Focus Points to cause elemental explosion in 20-foot radius sphere up to 120 feet away, dealing damage based on Martial Arts Die
    • Themed around tapping into Elemental Chaos as a whole, rather than just one of the Elemental Planes
    • At 11th level, gain fly and swim speed when Elemental Attunement is active
    • Elemental Epitome at 17th level
      • Further improves Elemental Attunement
      • Gain elemental damage resistance (can be changed at start of every turn)
      • When using Step of the Wind, speed is increased and you can cause damage to enemies you pass
      • Additional option to deal bonus elemental damage once per turn (not elaborated)
  • Warrior of Shadow
    • Can cast Darkness spell as before, but can now see through that darkness
    • Improved Shadowstep at 11th level
      • Can expend Focus Point to remove requirement to start/end teleportation in dim light or darkness, and can make an unarmed strike as part Shadowstep bonus action
    • Cloak of Shadows at 17th level
      • Turn invisible and partially incorporeal (can pass through occupied spaces as difficult terrain), and Flurry of Blows does not cost Focus Points while Cloak of Shadows is active
    • Kendrick: "Would love to see the Archfey Warlock and Shadow Monk teleporting around the battlefield fighting each other."
      • Crawford: "Not a PvP game." :p
  • Warrior of the Open Hand
    • Wholeness of Body feature at 6th level
      • Now a bonus action and can be used multiple times per day
    • Fleet Step feature (level not specified)
      • Whenever you take a bonus action to do anything other than Step of the Wind, you can also use Step of the Wind immediately after that bonus action
    • Revised Quivering Palm
      • Deals a "truckload" of damage on failed save and a "smaller truckload" of damage on a successful one, but can no longer instantly drop creatures down to 0 hp

General Notes
  • Baseline (gold?) dragonborn monk iconic art has a tail.
  • Unarmed strike redesigned, intended to grant similar tactical versatility to that offered by weapon mastery - now includes three options:
    • Deal damage
    • Attempt to start a grapple
    • Attempt to shove target

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Jedi Master
Super excited for this one. Love what they did in the last UA but do think it needs to be dialed back a bit.

It would be funny if they start with 'we increased Monk's starting unarmed damage from d4 to d6, and thought that was enough, enjoy'.

I'm curious if they left the subclasses as they were in the playtest, because they were very bland. 'activate reach by spending 1 ki, congrats, you're done with your subclass'

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