D&D 5E Buffing monks: with simple changes.

Horwath

Hero
I am thinking about buffing monks for next campaign:


But I want to keep it simple and not trying to introduce any new mechanics/abilities for the class.

Just working with adding little for current abilities/features:


1. increase hit die to d10. d8 feels a little low for melee class with low armor.

2. martial arts damage die increase from 1d4->1d10 to 1d6->1d12.

3. wis mod(if positive) to ki pool.

4. extra skill proficiency at 1st level.

5. AC calculation. AC is calculated as 10 + two modifiers from STR, DEX, CON or WIS.
This would give more room for diverse types of monks and still keep their starting AC at 15/16.


Would all 5 changes be too much or monk is so bad that it might need more than these 5 simple fixes?
 

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NotAYakk

Legend
I'd dip 1 level into it.

Doesn't do anything of importance after level 1. Which is most of when the monk has problems.

For example, Barbarian 5/Monk 1 could use Str+Con to calculate AC, and get a bonus action headbutt. OTOH, the Barb really wants a heavy weapon, so maybe no headbutt.
 

The only thing I would change about Monk is to modify subclasses so that subclass abilities powered by Ki get one (or more?) free uses, with additional uses costing Ki. (Which is in line with changes we are seeing from WotC.) The major flaw of monk (and sorcerer) is that so many subclass abilities share a resource pool with base class abilities.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I am thinking about buffing monks for next campaign:


But I want to keep it simple and not trying to introduce any new mechanics/abilities for the class.

Just working with adding little for current abilities/features:


1. increase hit die to d10. d8 feels a little low for melee class with low armor.

2. martial arts damage die increase from 1d4->1d10 to 1d6->1d12.

3. wis mod(if positive) to ki pool.

4. extra skill proficiency at 1st level.

5. AC calculation. AC is calculated as 10 + two modifiers from STR, DEX, CON or WIS.
This would give more room for diverse types of monks and still keep their starting AC at 15/16.


Would all 5 changes be too much or monk is so bad that it might need more than these 5 simple fixes?
- I personnaly give them 1d12 HD myself. Fits more with the idea of peak physical mastery.

- I would not give them more ki point, but instead give them the feature that grant ki points when you roll initiative and have none remaining way sooner (say level 10ish), give them a real capstone instead.

- I give them 1d6 fist at 1st level, with a bump to 1d8 and 1d10 later (fighter's now have a figthing style that does that)

- I give them light/medium/shield proficiency, like the barb to avoid pigeonholing them into one style only.

- Extra skills is always welcome, since both Athletic and Accrobatic are nearly must haves.
 

One thing I think might help monks, fit their themes, and not be front-loaded is to give them extra ASIs. Rogues get one ASI more than is standard and fighters get two. I think monks should have that too, though I'm not sure if it should be just one or should it be two. They're pretty MAD so that would help there and it would fit 'the perfect body and perfect mind' theme.
 

Horwath

Hero
One thing I think might help monks, fit their themes, and not be front-loaded is to give them extra ASIs. Rogues get one ASI more than is standard and fighters get two. I think monks should have that too, though I'm not sure if it should be just one or should it be two. They're pretty MAD so that would help there and it would fit 'the perfect body and perfect mind' theme.
Yeah.

6th and 10th levels are good candidates for ASI's

except way of the mercy and way of shadows, 6th level subclass abilities are bad.
And base abilities for 6th and 10th levels are not any better.
 

ECMO3

Hero
I am thinking about buffing monks for next campaign:


But I want to keep it simple and not trying to introduce any new mechanics/abilities for the class.

Just working with adding little for current abilities/features:


1. increase hit die to d10. d8 feels a little low for melee class with low armor.

2. martial arts damage die increase from 1d4->1d10 to 1d6->1d12.

3. wis mod(if positive) to ki pool.

4. extra skill proficiency at 1st level.

5. AC calculation. AC is calculated as 10 + two modifiers from STR, DEX, CON or WIS.
This would give more room for diverse types of monks and still keep their starting AC at 15/16.


Would all 5 changes be too much or monk is so bad that it might need more than these 5 simple fixes?
That is mostly OK IMO. I would be against Con for AC.

I would also be against getting both an extra proficiency and a d10. It should be either-or. If they are a "melee class" centered around the combat pillar they should not have any more proficiencies, since they already get an extra tool and that seems more thematically accurate. If they are a "skill class" they should not get a d10 IMO.

As an aside, IMO Monks I see played do not use bonus action-dodge enough. If they use that ability more (cost 1 ki) their hps and AC are usually not a problem. The issue I see is Monks, especially at low level, will attack with that 1d4 unarmed strike when their enemy is doing 20 DPR.
 

Horwath

Hero
That is mostly OK IMO. I would be against Con for AC.

I would also be against getting both an extra proficiency and a d10. It should be either-or. If they are a "melee class" centered around the combat pillar they should not have any more proficiencies, since they already get an extra tool and that seems more thematically accurate. If they are a "skill class" they should not get a d10 IMO.

As an aside, IMO Monks I see played do not use bonus action-dodge enough. If they use that ability more (cost 1 ki) their hps and AC are usually not a problem. The issue I see is Monks, especially at low level, will attack with that 1d4 unarmed strike when their enemy is doing 20 DPR.
If they are use ki for dodge, they are not using it for attacks. And it's not like ki grows on trees for monks.

as for skills, rangers with d10 get light-medium-shields and get 3 skills, barbarians with d12 get also light-medium-shields plus additional unarmed option and get 3rd skill at 3rd level in Tasha's.

Monks get only unarmed option and only 2 skills.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I am thinking about buffing monks for next campaign:


But I want to keep it simple and not trying to introduce any new mechanics/abilities for the class.

Just working with adding little for current abilities/features:


1. increase hit die to d10. d8 feels a little low for melee class with low armor.

2. martial arts damage die increase from 1d4->1d10 to 1d6->1d12.

3. wis mod(if positive) to ki pool.

4. extra skill proficiency at 1st level.

5. AC calculation. AC is calculated as 10 + two modifiers from STR, DEX, CON or WIS.
This would give more room for diverse types of monks and still keep their starting AC at 15/16.


Would all 5 changes be too much or monk is so bad that it might need more than these 5 simple fixes?

I think the Extra skill is fun, and the wis mod ki pool is good. I don't mind the AC calculation, but it isn't something I'm really concerned about

However, I don't see what this does for the monk at 11th level, which is when they actually start having serious problems mechanically. A low level monk, while ki starved (hence the wis mod) is still really really good. I might look at the scale going from 1d4 to 1d12, but the d4 doesn't seem bad to me usually (unless I remember the fighting style)

The Extra ASI's make a LOT of sense.


In the end, I think these are all fine, but they don't address the area I think is really more problematic.
 

ECMO3

Hero
If they are use ki for dodge, they are not using it for attacks.
That is kind of the point. They use it for attacks for very little payoff instead of using it for dodge (or disengage) which generally are better options.


as for skills, rangers with d10 get light-medium-shields and get 3 skills, barbarians with d12 get also light-medium-shields plus additional unarmed option and get 3rd skill at 3rd level in Tasha's.
Monks get a tool to balance the skill Rangers get at 1st and Barbarians get at 3rd and are generally better in melee than Rangers (subclasses not withstanding) and more versatile than Barbarians.

I think Monks are ok as is. I don't really see a need for any of these plus ups, but I find giving them a d10 and another skill on top of their already above average starting proficiencies to be more than they should get. There are other ways to make a Monk into a skill monkey (Half Elf, hexblood, multiple feats).
 

The monk needs short rests. The problem usually is that long rests are too easy to do.
You could just make ki points long rest abilities and give them an ability that they can use 2 prof modifier per day that takes 1 minute (refocus) that replenishes al ki points.

Also just give them every tasha optional ability.
 

However, I don't see what this does for the monk at 11th level, which is when they actually start having serious problems mechanically.

That's a really good observation.

How about: at 11th level flurry of blows no longer costs Ki?

That would increase damage output, but would still consume a bonus action, making it mutually exclusive with some other choices. And it would conserve a lot of Ki.
 

Horwath

Hero
That's a really good observation.

How about: at 11th level flurry of blows no longer costs Ki?

That would increase damage output, but would still consume a bonus action, making it mutually exclusive with some other choices. And it would conserve a lot of Ki.
I would rather then have 3 attacks as flurry of blows.

If there is as increase in martial die size, as suggested then for 1 ki, that is 2 extra attacks for 1d10 damage.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I would rather then have 3 attacks as flurry of blows.

If there is as increase in martial die size, as suggested then for 1 ki, that is 2 extra attacks for 1d10 damage.

That's one of the things I did in my overhaul. I added +1 attack to the martial arts bonus action, then made Flurry of Blows three attacks, and tied it to the level 10 Purity of Body feature. (along with some upgrades to the other ki abilities)

Then at level 15 with timeless body I gave them a third attack as their action. So, a full flurry from a monk at level 15 ends up being six attacks at 1d8+mod for 1 ki. Which is a lot, but I think is just about balanced among the other changes I've made.
 

lingual

Adventurer
Would another extra attack at level 11 be too much?

Maybe some options like using Wisdom for Athletics and Acrobatics checks and Attacks could reduce MAD a bit. Make Dex a secondary stat.
 



Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
1 and 3, by themselves, would be a big boost.
4 and 5,in my book, are too much and would be too attractive for a dip.

If you implement 2, then boost daggers to d6 as well.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Granting the higher HD is no problem. It's only an extra 2 HP at 1st level and 1 additional HP each level thereafter (assuming you don't roll for it). Considering you can spend a feat to take Tough and get even more HP than that... giving Monks a small HP boost does not unbalancing anything.

Raising the Martial arts die could be fine-- most Monks use a higher-damage weapon and then the MA die for the off-hand (and flurry) so I've never seen the d4 be an issue personally, but for you it could be different. Personally, I just reduce my duration of Short Rests from 1 Hour to 10 Minutes, and that bumps Monks (and Fighters and Warlocks) up all I need. While the group pauses so that the Wizard could prep a Ritual, the other three are using those 10 minutes to take a Short Rest and get back their class features. That solved my problems easily.

Changing the AC generation? I personally wouldn't do what you proposed. Adding to the Ki pool? The 10 Minute Short Rest solved that issue for me. The extra Skill proficiency? Sure, if it seemed like the Monk character was missing something. A whole heap of subclasses give out bonus weapon, armor, tool, and/or skill proficiencies all over the place... so giving the Monk another one won't be an issue either in my opinion.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Granting the higher HD is no problem. It's only an extra 2 HP at 1st level and 1 additional HP each level thereafter (assuming you don't roll for it). Considering you can spend a feat to take Tough and get even more HP than that... giving Monks a small HP boost does not unbalancing anything.

Raising the Martial arts die could be fine-- most Monks use a higher-damage weapon and then the MA die for the off-hand (and flurry) so I've never seen the d4 be an issue personally, but for you it could be different. Personally, I just reduce my duration of Short Rests from 1 Hour to 10 Minutes, and that bumps Monks (and Fighters and Warlocks) up all I need. While the group pauses so that the Wizard could prep a Ritual, the other three are using those 10 minutes to take a Short Rest and get back their class features. That solved my problems easily.

Changing the AC generation? I personally wouldn't do what you proposed. Adding to the Ki pool? The 10 Minute Short Rest solved that issue for me. The extra Skill proficiency? Sure, if it seemed like the Monk character was missing something. A whole heap of subclasses give out bonus weapon, armor, tool, and/or skill proficiencies all over the place... so giving the Monk another one won't be an issue either in my opinion.

I did 30 minute short rests. Still a lot shorter than an hour, but still a bit more than the 10 minutes you've proposed.
 

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