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


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TheOneGargoyle

Explorer
It would be incredibly powerful defensively, it’s close to the +5 of Shield and it reduces the chance of getting a critical hit. You’d not do much offensively but you would be a very good dodge tank.
Sure, so on the rounds where they choose to be very defensive, they'd be good at that but do very, very low damage. That seems like a good trade off decision to me, and they'd be unlikely to choose that every round.

Then we'd just need some better offense options for the rounds they chose to go the other way. Maybe.

1. Deflect Missiles becomes Deflect Attacks. Works against any attack. Full stop. If a melee attack is reduced to 0 damage, you can make one unarmed strike as part of the same reaction by spending 1 ki. If a spell attack is reduced to 0 damage, your next successful unarmed strike before the end of your next turn deals extra damage of the same type equal to your unarmed strike damage die plus your wisdom modifier.
This idea of generalising deflect missiles to deflect all attacks seems very interesting too. That could be a good way of achieving the same goal. A Ki free way of reducing incoming damage once per round starting at L3 but at the cost of the reaction. With the option to spend a Ki to return the attack for a damage boost. I kind of like that. I also like that it's an existing ability just altered in how accessible it is to be used. This is the sort of thing I like.

II'd be curious, @doctorbadwolf have you used this in play? How did it work out?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Sure, so on the rounds where they choose to be very defensive, they'd be good at that but do very, very low damage. That seems like a good trade off decision to me, and they'd be unlikely to choose that every round.

Then we'd just need some better offense options for the rounds they chose to go the other way. Maybe.


This idea of generalising deflect missiles to deflect all attacks seems very interesting too. That could be a good way of achieving the same goal. A Ki free way of reducing incoming damage once per round starting at L3 but at the cost of the reaction. With the option to spend a Ki to return the attack for a damage boost. I kind of like that. I also like that it's an existing ability just altered in how accessible it is to be used. This is the sort of thing I like.

II'd be curious, @doctorbadwolf have you used this in play? How did it work out?
I’ve used it in a space adventure that was very Star Wars, and it worked really well. I also allowed the PC to spend 1 ki to make it not use their reaction 1/LR.

It works well enough that I’ve considered making it a feat instead, replacing defensive duelist lol. But then the monk would need some other defensive trick probably.

The thing with the monk is, they’re well within the normal power band of the game, but at the mid-lower end. So, you can increase damage and defense a decent amount without even hitting the top 1/4 of classes, in terms of power.

To me, the simplest route is the idea we’re discussing, up martial arts due by one step, and increase damage of any attack made as a reaction when you are benefiting from the Dodge Action by adding martial arts due plus wisdom mod.
 


TheOneGargoyle

Explorer
I’ve used it in a space adventure that was very Star Wars, and it worked really well. I also allowed the PC to spend 1 ki to make it not use their reaction 1/LR.
Interesting!
It works well enough that I’ve considered making it a feat instead, replacing defensive duelist lol. But then the monk would need some other defensive trick probably.
Hehe yeah I'm probably not looking at buffing other melee classes relative to the monk.
The thing with the monk is, they’re well within the normal power band of the game, but at the mid-lower end. So, you can increase damage and defense a decent amount without even hitting the top 1/4 of classes, in terms of power.
Yeah I agree with this for tier 1 & 2, but not for tier 3 & 4, they fall well short there.
To me, the simplest route is the idea we’re discussing, up martial arts due by one step, and increase damage of any attack made as a reaction when you are benefiting from the Dodge Action by adding martial arts due plus wisdom mod.
I haven't done the math but my gut says that bumping the MA die by one category won't do much. In Tiers 1 & 2 they will be using a weapon for their Attack action with higher dmg die than the MA die anyway, and won't have enough ki to fuel FoB very often, so the MA die will rarely be used. In T3 & 4 it will come into play most of the time, but by then they're so far behind the dmg curve that this won't even start to close the gap. Maybe I need to do the math to verify though ...
Oh! Another idea a player had was to give them a “use a ki feature that costs 1 ki without spending any ki, proficiency bonus per long rest”.
Wouldn't just adding PB to Ki pool accomplish the exact same thing but without the additional bookkeeping to track how many times they've used it ?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Interesting!

Hehe yeah I'm probably not looking at buffing other melee classes relative to the monk.

Yeah I agree with this for tier 1 & 2, but not for tier 3 & 4, they fall well short there.
I disagree, but it really doesn’t matter. Tier 3 might as well be the end game as far as worrying about balance goes. Give your monk two martial arts die on every attack at level 13, make stunning strike cost nothing at level 17, it doesn’t matter.
I haven't done the math but my gut says that bumping the MA die by one category won't do much. In Tiers 1 & 2 they will be using a weapon for their Attack action with higher dmg die than the MA die anyway, and won't have enough ki to fuel FoB very often, so the MA die will rarely be used. In T3 & 4 it will come into play most of the time, but by then they're so far behind the dmg curve that this won't even start to close the gap. Maybe I need to do the math to verify though ...

Wouldn't just adding PB to Ki pool accomplish the exact same thing but without the additional bookkeeping to track how many times they've used it ?
It’s dramatically more fun. We’ve also done “regain half your ki as an action pb/long rest”. I avoid changes that make the class table innacurate, which is why while increasing their damage die (which remember will be rolled up to 4 times a turn) is simple, I probably won’t do it.

But really the main thing is that my group all enjoy the resource management strategy element of classes like the monk.
 

TheOneGargoyle

Explorer
I disagree, but it really doesn’t matter. Tier 3 might as well be the end game as far as worrying about balance goes. Give your monk two martial arts die on every attack at level 13, make stunning strike cost nothing at level 17, it doesn’t matter.
That's cool, we can agree to disagree there. I've just finished DM-ing a 7 yr long campaign that started at L1 and went all the way to L19 and levels 17-19 were probably the last 2 yrs of that. So T4 very much matters to my group.
It’s dramatically more fun.
Well, dramatically more fun is the entire point to me so that sounds like a win.
We’ve also done “regain half your ki as an action pb/long rest”. I avoid changes that make the class table innacurate, which is why while increasing their damage die (which remember will be rolled up to 4 times a turn) is simple, I probably won’t do it.
Oh, I misunderstood, I thought you were advocating for bumping MA die. Were you just saying it's simpler but you wouldn't probably do it ?
But really the main thing is that my group all enjoy the resource management strategy element of classes like the monk.
Ok, that's fair. Not sure all players would though.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
That's cool, we can agree to disagree there. I've just finished DM-ing a 7 yr long campaign that started at L1 and went all the way to L19 and levels 17-19 were probably the last 2 yrs of that. So T4 very much matters to my group.
Fair enough. I find that in the high level games I’ve played in or run, the monks do fine, but they also have just as many magic items as anyone else, and they’re tailored to the character, as all our homebrew magic items are.
Well, dramatically more fun is the entire point to me so that sounds like a win.
Oh yes.
Oh, I misunderstood, I thought you were advocating for bumping MA die. Were you just saying it's simpler but you wouldn't probably do it ?
Yeah I mean it’s not a bad addition, IME it dramatically changes mid-level play, and leads to more no-weapon monks earlier on. When I run the game, though, I prefer other stuff, like regaining ki more easily so you can flurry more, etc.
Ok, that's fair. Not sure all players would though.
Yeah it’s best to tailer your homebrew to the group, for sure.
 

kapars

Explorer
In terms of adding features that are fun, what about reworking the Charger feat so that you don’t have to dash with your main action to make the bonus attack that gets the +5 to damage, just requiring they move X ft before the attack instead? This would allow the Monk class to turn mobility into damage by essentially doing a flying kick. It would also boost mounted combat, I guess.

It would give the class some much needed Feat synergy.
 
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