D&D (2024) ANOTHER Possible Monk "Fix"


It might be too powerful in the sense that I was growing concerned that I was giving the Monk too much at level 1—it's hard to judge how many features are too much and how many are just right.

I was also trying to keep in mind multiclassing. Now, I'm personally a fan of multiclassing-friendly features, but providing too many (and too good) features at level 1 runs the risk of making your class an automatic dip for a lot of builds. Is taking 1 level of Monk better than spending an ASI on Mobile? (Assuming that feat survives into OneDnD.) I dunno, but pushing some features into level 2 ups the opportunity cost and reduces the risk of multiclassing shenanigans.

We had this conversation before, and I think the answer is no. There is basically NOTHING in level 1 monk that appeals to anyone who would want mobile. Monks are very hard to multi-class in general.

Different strokes for different folks and all that. I liked that Weapon Masteries have the potential to give your Unarmed Strikes interesting properties that, unlike grappling and shoving, don't reduce your damage while using (and don't limit you to one subclass if you want interesting properties AND damage, per your Open Hand suggestion). It also gives the Monk more versatility, and I like options.

Yeah, I can see the appeal. I'm just moving the weapon masteries out and into a different more versatile system right now, so it is easy for me to not include them.

I agree that it needs playtesting to see if this idea is viable. Everything I have done here is all theory.

Martial features are far too limited, especially ones with really restricted use—like Monk Ki. Martial powers tend to be less powerful then spells and more restricted, which... limits fun, fantasy, and flavor. They should be less powerful and usable way more often, or be about balanced in power and use. Personally, I lean toward the opinion that martial powers should be recharged at the beginning of each encounter, and I tried to emulate that here. 8 might not be a good cap, but I figured it was balanced out by the Monk basically being guaranteed a full 8 every encounter—needs tweaking for sure.

Maybe I misunderstood then, but your proposal doesn't give them the full 8 every encounter. You can do a five-minute meditation... but only twice per day. Which are the same number of assumed short rests in the original design. Now, obviously, you've made the short rest easier, but if you want to simply recharge it per fight it would be better to simply say that monk's can use five minutes to restore all ki, with no daily limit.

I view Monks as strikers and skirmishers, so I leaned into more damage and less defense in this proposal. I think this suggestion accomplishes that, but it is just a theory build. (That said, it changes Monk damage very little since they already get a d6 for their Martial Arts die now anyway, and the few Monk weapons that let them use a d8 only boost DPR by 1 per hit.)

Well, like I said, this only helps early on. From levels 1 to 4, the monk can use the d8 instead of their d6. But after level 5 it is a d8 instead of... a d8. No change. And by level 11-ish it would be worse, dropping from a d10 to a d8.

And monk damage is absolutely not an issue from levels 1 to 4. It is from levels 5 and up that monk damage needs examined. So your suggestion doesn't address the pain point, it just gilds the early lily.

Very interesting. I think your suggested change for Flurry has a lot of potential. Maybe it can be a scaling feature—at higher levels you can spend more Ki for additional punches? Maybe not necessary, but I think the idea is worth exploring.

As for making Patient Defense a Reaction rather than a Bonus Action, it would see more use at my tables if that were the case, while also giving certain Monks decision paralysis about what to do with all of their options for Reactions.

I think the paralysis would be less, not more. Even at higher levels the choice would be "do I catch this ranged attack, or patient defense" but in melee, there is only one option. Now, maybe a player could want to save their reaction, but that is simply always going to be true.

The idea of more ki allowing a storm of punches is nice. Probably would need severe limits, but nice.

I cannot plan for every possible variant of the rules, just the standard rules, when speaking to a mass audience.

Oh yeah, I don't expect you to, but I was going over all your proposals and it seemed rude to skip one just because it didn't apply to me. So I made a note.

I think these are pretty good fixes for Open Hand, if the Monk were to move this direction.

I don't have much time to work on class revisions like this, but if I get free time I'm curious to see what I'd come up with if I incorporated some of the ideas from this conversation. Most of all, I really like your suggestion of having Flurry add an attack to your Action, rather than your Bonus Action.

I keep meaning to continue refining my own version of the monk, but free time is something that is slipping away from me.

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So I've been playing around with a few monk changes for my table. I've not yet fully incorporated weapon masteries because we're not yet fully switching to the playtest but I've sort of done it? Tentatively I like the idea of monks getting masteries at level one like other martials and then having an ability to just apply either mastery to their unarmed attacks or attacks with a monk weapon. I'm okay with this sort of infringing on fighter's "thing" or switching out masteries with weapons because I feel like it's simply just the easiest solution to letting monks get mastery with unarmed Strikes.

...that all said, there are a number of other things I've chosen to test at my table that I think the playtest monk could benefit from. For context I've got a player who really likes monks. Like a lot. He has played no less than five of them in the last year alone. When asking him of his core issues with the class alongside some of my own concerns we've sort of come up with a few key issues:
  • The monk needs a bit more survivability. I agree with some of the sentiments on these forums that the monk need not be a "tank", but the simple unavoidable truth is that a group should not be hindered if they decide to have a group with three casters/ranged characters with a monk as the only melee. I'd wager the monk is the only martial that has this issue. A d10 fixes this. Yes, I get that monks are still MAD and have lower AC, but the giving them even a slight health boost helps.
  • Stunning strike, like it or not is a problematic feature in its 2014 incarnation. Stun is simply an incredibly powerful status effect, and as written this is an incredibly potent feature. I get that ki is a limited resource, just as I also get the similar argument with paladin smite being "balanced" by spell slots, but at the end of the day what matters is that in actual play Stunning Strike makes boss fights anticlimactic and makes balancing the game problematic DMs if a monk chooses to nova their ki. This is a legitimate issue and needs to be fixed. Yes, the monk does need other fixes. Yes, the monk is weak without Stunning Strike, but anyone who argues that Stunning Stike as written is fine I suspect has never had the misfortune of running a game with monks. No other class is capable of forcing legendary creatures to blow all three of their legendary reactions in a single round (which feels like a "screw you" to the monk fyi) or have the fight instantly be over. A DM should not have to deal with that, or be forced to ask a player to just not use their class features in order to keep the game fun for the rest of the table.
  • The monk has little to no out of combat features. While I am historically one to defend the design of 5e in terms of not "needing" features strictly dedicated to out of combat stuff (frankly I will argue their are no "dump stats" in 5e, but that is a whole tangent), but a point I've not seen suggested that my friend was quick to bring up: part of why he always feels so tempted to just spam Stunning Stike is that he just simply feels there are no other real actual options for spending ki on. Yes, he perhaps does not use patient defense or step of the wind as often as others might, and he tends to be an offensive minded player, but it does bring up an interesting point. I took at look at some of the new playtest abilities and stuff like the new barbarian and got to brainstorming this, and an idea I am currently playing with is adding another more generic use of ki:
  • Mystical insights. "As a reaction, when you fail an ability check, you may spend one ki point to roll a martial arts die, and add to the roll, potentially turning it into a success.
  • The name is something that could be tweaked but I'm curious if something like this would alleviate more issues with the monk than people might realize. Especially for those who view the monk more like a second rogue than a tank. If it's supposed to be a melee skirmisher with finesse and being good at grappling, this would not only aid with that, but also grants them a way to aid themselves out of combat as monks lack the raw number of skill proficiencies other "expert" classes due. If they aren't allowed to be a true "martial" in health, weapons, or defense, at least that way we could grant them the side benefit of something to help with skills or exploration.

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