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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Thank you, but for those of us who (for various reasons grrr) can't access that right now, can someone post a text synopsis here? Please?

Class FeatureLevelWhat's New
Martial Arts1
  • All Simple Melee weapons are now considered Monk weapons, as well as Martial Melee weapons with the Light property.
  • Martial Arts die starts at 1d6 and goes up to 1d12.
  • Can use Dexterity in place of Strength when you Grapple or Shove.
Monk's Focus2
  • Patient Defense allows Disengage as a Bonus Action for free, or spend a Focus Point to Disengage and Dodge as a Bonus Action.
  • Step of the Wind allows Dash as a Bonus Action for free, or spend a Focus Point to Disengage and Dash as a Bonus Action and have your jump distance doubled.
Uncanny Metabolism2
  • Once per Long Rest, regain all Focus Points when you roll Initiative.
Deflect Attacks3
  • Reduce the damage of melee or ranged attacks that deal Bludgeoning, Piercing, or Slashing damage by 1d10+ Dexterity + Monk level.
  • If damage is reduced to 0, spend a Focus Point to redirect damage.
  • Melee attacks can be directed at a creature within 5 feet, while ranged against a creature within 60 feet.
  • Target makes a Dexterity saving throw or takes damage equal to two rolls of your Martial Arts die plus your Dexterity modifier.
Monk Subclass3
  • Warrior of Mercy: First appearing in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, this subclass is largely unchanged. Flurry of Healing Hands can now be used a number of times per Long Rest equal to Wisdom modifier.
  • Warrior of Shadow: Shadow Arts now offers greater flexibility with how you manipulate and use shadows, although Pass Without Trace and Silence have been removed. New feature Cloak of Shadows replaces Opportunist and grants a much more persistent invisibility effect.
  • Warrior of the Elements: Way of the Four Elements has been entirely reworked. Much more flexible and efficient with its use of Focus Points, allowing you to create torrents of elemental damage.
  • Warrior of the Open Hand: A few subtle changes: Open Hand Technique blocks Opportunity Attacks rather than all Reactions, Wholeness of Body now a Bonus Action, and Quivering Palm no longer reduces a target to 0 Hit Points.
Stunning Strike5
  • Requires a Monk weapon or Unarmed Strike.
  • Stunned condition lasts until the start of your next turn rather than the end.
  • On a successful save, the target's Speed is halved, and the next attack against them has Advantage.
  • Can be used once per turn.
Empowered Strike5
Heightened Focus10
  • Improves Flurry of Blows, Patient Defense, and Step of the Wind when you expend a Focus Point.
  • Flurry of Blows becomes three attacks.
  • Patient Defense grants Temporary Hit Points equal to two rolls of your Martial Arts die.
  • Step of the Wind allows you to move a willing creature with you.
Self-Restoration10
Deflect Energy13
  • Deflect Attacks now applies to all damage types.
Perfect Focus15
  • If you don’t use Uncanny Metabolism and have fewer than 4 Focus Points, go back up to 4 Focus Points when rolling Initiative.
Superior Defense18
  • Spend 3 Focus Points at the start of your turn to gain resistance to all damage types except Force for 1 minute.
Epic Boon19
  • Receive one of twelve Epic Boons or another feat.
Body and Mind20
  • Increase your Wisdom and Dexterity scores by 4 each, up to a maximum of 25.

Martial Arts — Level 1​

Changes to the Monk come early with adjustments to Martial Arts. The biggest change is that the Monk’s Martial Arts die starts one size larger at 1d6 and now goes all the way to 1d12. Next up, Monk weapons have been simplified. Now any Martial Melee weapon with the Light property qualifies as a Monk weapon. All Simple Melee weapons are also considered Monk weapons. Finally, you can now use Dexterity instead of Strength when attempting to Grapple or Shove a creature.

Monk's Focus — Level 2​

Monk's Focus is a new name for a familiar level 2 feature where you’ll find Flurry of Blows, Patient Defense, and Step of the Wind, the last two having seen some fun improvements.

Patient Defense now allows you to take the Disengage action as a Bonus Action without spending any Focus Points, but if you do spend a Focus Point, you can Disengage and Dodge as the same Bonus Action.

Likewise, Step of the Wind allows you to Dash as a Bonus Action, no Focus Point required, but spending one allows you to Disengage and Dash as part of the same Bonus Action. Using a Focus Point for Step of the Wind also doubles your jump distance for a turn, so go ahead, you can definitely clear that gap.

Uncanny Metabolism — Level 2​

This new level 2 feature allows a Monk character to regain all expended Focus Points when they roll Initiative once per Long Rest. Additionally, when you use this feature, you also regain Hit Points equal to your Monk level plus a roll of your Martial Arts die.

Deflect Attacks — Level 3​

Formerly Deflect Missiles, as the name might suggest, Deflect Attacks now has much more usability. No longer limited to Ranged weapon attacks, Deflect Attacks allows you to reduce the damage of any attack that includes Bludgeoning, Piercing, or Slashing damage. The damage is reduced by 1d10 plus your Dexterity modifier and Monk Level, and if you reduce that damage to 0, you can use a Focus Point to redirect the attack.

Depending on if the attack was a melee or ranged attack, you can target a creature within 5 feet or 60 feet, respectively, and force them to make a saving throw against damage based on your Martial Arts die and your Dexterity modifier.

At level 3 the Monk class gets to pick its subclass, choosing from four options: Warrior of Mercy, Warrior of Shadow, Warrior of the Elements, or Warrior of the Open Hand.

  • Warrior of Mercy: First appearing in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, the 2024 Warrior of Mercy subclass has seen the fewest changes of all the Monk subclasses. The familiar features such as Hand of Harm and Implements of Mercy return, albeit with some minor tweaks. Hand of Healing, for example, is now classed as a Magic action, a new action classification to improve clarity of the rules. The most significant change is that Flurry of Healing and Harm can now be used a number of times per Long Rest equal to your Wisdom modifier.
  • Warrior of Shadow: The Warrior of Shadow really shines in 2024, pun intended. Shadow Arts has been reworked, allowing you to cast Darkness and Minor Illusion, and you can move the field of Darkness you create. The feature also gives you Darkvision (or upgrades yours if you have it). As you level up, your level 11 Improved Shadow Step allows you to spend a Focus Point to ignore the Dim Light or Darkness restriction of Shadow Step and make an Unarmed Strike immediately after you teleport as part of the same Bonus Action. Finally, Cloak of Shadow is a new level 17 feature that allows you to wreath yourself in shadows. This effect lasts for 1 minute, until you’re Incapacitated, or you end your turn in Bright Light. While it’s active, you have the Invisible condition, which persists even if you attack or cast a spell; you can move through occupied spaces as if they were Difficult Terrain; and you can use Flurry of Blows without needing to spend any Focus Points.
  • Warrior of the Elements: The Warrior of the Elements has had the most number of changes and has received a lot of new and exciting changes. Elemental Attunement now gives you 10-foot reach of your Unarmed Strikes and deals your choice of Acid, Cold, Fire, Lightning, or Thunder damage. You can also push or pull a target 10 feet on a failed save. On top of that, you learn the new Elementalism cantrip. As you level up, you'll get the ability to create AoE elemental bursts, fun ways to navigate the battlefield, and damage resistances to aid survivability.
  • Warrior of the Open Hand: Open Hand Technique remains largely unchanged, with the exception of one of its options only blocking Opportunity Attacks rather than all Reactions. Wholeness of Body has been moved to a Bonus Action and now heals a number of Hit Points equal to a roll of your Martial Arts die plus your Wisdom Modifier, rather than three times your Monk level. However, you can now use it a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier per Long Rest rather than just once. The new Fleet Step feature allows you to use Step of the Wind as part of any Bonus Action that wasn’t already used to perform Step of the Wind, and Quivering Palm has been rebalanced. It now costs 4 Focus Points and does 10d12 Force damage on a failed save rather than reducing the target to 0 Hit Points, and half as much on a successful save.

Stunning Strike — Level 5​

Stunning Strike, a popular Monk feature, has received a rebalance in the 2024 version of the class. It now requires the use of a Monk weapon or Unarmed Strike. If successfully applied, the Stunned condition now ends at the start of your next turn rather than the end, and it can only be used once per turn. However, if the target succeeds on their saving throw against Stunning Strike, their Speed is halved until the start of your next turn, and the next attack made against them is done so with Advantage.

Empowered Strike — Level 5​

With this new version of Ki-Empowered Strike, you can change the damage type of your Unarmed Strikes to Force damage. Handy for getting around those resistances.

Heightened Focus — Level 10​

Heightened Focus is a new level 10 feature that improves several of your core Monk features. First, Flurry of Blows gains an additional attack, bringing the total to three per Bonus Action. Next up, Patient Defense now grants you Temporary Hit Points based on two rolls of your Martial Arts die. Finally, when you use Step of the Wind you can move one willing creature that’s Large or smaller along with you until the end of your turn, and they don’t provoke Opportunity Attacks as you do.

Self-Restoration — Level 10​

Another new level 10 feature, Self-Restoration lets you avoid the levels of Exhaustion you would normally accumulate when going without food or water, and at the end of your turn, end the Charmed, Frightened, or Poisoned condition on yourself.

Deflect Energy — Level 13​

An upgrade to Deflect Attacks, Deflect Energy allows you to reduce the damage of attacks of any damage type.

Perfect Focus — Level 15​

If when you roll Initiative, you’re below 4 Focus Points and don’t use Uncanny Metabolism, you immediately regain enough Focus Points to bring you back up to 4, perfect for when you’re on your fifth or sixth encounter of the day!

Superior Defense — Level 18​

At the start of your turn you can expend 3 Focus Points to gain Resistance to all damage types except Force for 1 minute, or until you’re Incapacitated. It’s ideal when you’re up against high-level enemies that are pummeling you with elemental damage, like the Ancient White Dragon’s Cold Breath, or a Fire Giant Dreadnought's Shield Charge

Epic Boon — Level 19​

In the 2014 Dungeon Master’s Guide, Epic Boons were a special reward handed out at the Dungeon Master’s discretion. Now they’ve made their way over to the 2024 Player’s Handbook as a new type of feat with the prerequisite of being level 19+. While Monks can take any Epic Boon, the recommended pick is the Boon of Irresistible Offense, which we’ll look at here:

  • Boon of Irresistible Offense: First, increase your Strength or Dexterity ability score by 1, up to a maximum of 30. Next, Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing damage you deal always ignores resistance. Additionally, when you roll a 20 on an attack roll, you can deal additional damage equal to the ability score you increased with this feat.

Body and Mind — Level 20​

As the level 20 feature of the Monk, Body and Mind increases your Dexterity and Wisdom scores by 4 each, up to a maximum of 25.
 

FYI, I think Kobold Stew is off for a little while, so someone has to step up and provide the full written analysis. So that we can better argue with each other.

WHO WILL BE OUR HERO?!!!???
If no one else has started, I'll see what I can write up after the video's over.

May take a bit - want to go through it again with a fine-tooth comb.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
Brief thoughts.

The biggest and most welcome changes that I see are as follows:

1. Increase in the damage die for martial arts.

2. Disengage as a bonus action (no focus points required).

3. Recover all focus points 1/long rest (level 2).

4. Deflect attacks now works on melee. To quote Keanu, Woah.

That's a lot that will improve the low-level monks. Good. Can't wait to play it!
 


A few moments ago, I watched the portion of the clip that talked about the Warrior of the Elements subclass. It sounds better than the 2014 Way of the Four Elements subclass. However, I think the subclass should have offered the player the option to control a single element. As not everyone wants to be the Avatar. ;) I would rather be a simple Earthbender. ;)

Currently I am a fan of the Manual of Adventurous Resources: Complete Elementalist class. An A5e take on PF1's Kineticist class.
 


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