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

You could do variant Monks, that use different styles.

Hard style (striking etc)
Increase unarmed strike damage by 1 step (d4-d6-d8-d10-d12-2d8 at 20th)

Soft style (defence)
Gain an additional +1 to unarmored defence AC at levels 1, 5, 11 and 17.

Etc
 

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Iry

Hero
I still stand by my answer from one year ago.
Divorce Stunning Strike from Ki. Make it usable 1+Proficiency per short rest. :p
 

kapars

Explorer
Nah. The issue would be more of a lack of action economy to spend your ki. It might actually be better if Flurry of Blow was just an extra unarmed attack as part of the attack action so long as you use a Monk Weapon/Unarmed Strike. Then you could spend your Ki on your bonus action stuff if you don't use the Martial Arts bonus action (which I would keep in this situation). By freeing the Ki and Bonus Action I think the defensive options would see more use. Also put HD at D10.
Now you’re more or less back to where they were in the dndnext playtest before bonus actions became a thing except that HD was not d10 and martial arts started at d6.

I wish I could’ve been a fly on the wall to see what the feedback was back then.
 
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jgsugden

Legend
...It sounds cool in concept but in reality it doesn't work.
This is 100% false. You can say that you've not been able to make it work, but you can't say it does not work overall as it has worked for me very well, and for monk PCs in my games as well. There are a lot of DMs out there that will share their experiences where it has worked as intended, and been a lot of fun.[/quote]'Lock down one guy' is NOT a real party role. It's not something a mobile skirmisher should do! That's more of a defender's schtick.[/QUOTE]This is narrow thinking. You're essentially saying the monk should not do it because you don't like monks doing it. There is nothing inherent in the monk class that would make it inappropriate for the stun legacy that goes all the way back to AD&D and is the core mechanic of the class, historically, to be the central feature of the class in 5E.
 

Undrave

Hero
his is narrow thinking. You're essentially saying the monk should not do it because you don't like monks doing it. There is nothing inherent in the monk class that would make it inappropriate for the stun legacy that goes all the way back to AD&D and is the core mechanic of the class, historically, to be the central feature of the class in 5E.

I'm saying 'Lock down a dude' shouldn't be your entire class. That's like making a Caster who only gets Sleep or something.

And the Legacy IS the problem with the Monk. It wasn't designed with a clear gameplay loop in mind the someway all the other class clearly were, even the Sorcerer and Ranger, but rather it's just a pile of features that existed in the past so 'we better have them here' with no real thought on how they interact and what character they build.

The playtests one I'm hearing about who had at-will stuff that gained bonus with Ki spending sounds a LOT like the 4e Monk to me...maybe they got spooked by that association?
 

OB1

Jedi Master
Two simple monk buffs
1. Flurry of blows - When you take the attack action, you can spend 1 ki point to make an unarmed attack
2. Additional Ki - Add 2x your Wis modifier to you maximum number of Ki points
 

TheOneGargoyle

Explorer
Two simple monk buffs
1. Flurry of blows - When you take the attack action, you can spend 1 ki point to make an unarmed attack
Instead of 2 attacks as a bonus action ?

Although this would free up your BA to use PD or SotW, wouldn't this put monks even further behind in the damage dept than they already are ?
 

jgsugden

Legend
I'm saying 'Lock down a dude' shouldn't be your entire class. That's like making a Caster who only gets Sleep or something.
Barbarians, Fighters, and (to a large extent paladins) just deal damage. Warlocks and rogues, too, honestly. Classes having a primary focal technique isn't exactly unusual for D&D.
And the Legacy IS the problem with the Monk...
It is only a problem to those who subjectively do not like it. There are a lot of players, myself included, that have had a lot of fun playing a monk. While stunning is their primary shtick, my most recent one has also used the Open Hand knock downs and pushes, as well as his mobility to be in the right place to do things, often.

I don't know what to tell you other than that there are a lot of people that are having a really good time playing monks, so it is plainly false to say the class can't be fun - and if it can be fun, it is fine.
 

For the record, I don't think that "locking down dudes" is the monk's role, let alone "the entire class". Yes, it is something useful and unique (for martials) that they can do, but it's not the purpose of the class. Stunning Strike is just one of the cool tools they have.

Nor do I think classes need to have, or are designed to have, their one thing.

That said, I'll reiterate that I think some of their abilities could and should be tweaked and improved. But the class isn't an ill-defined hot mess with no role. It's a lot of fun to play, even with no changes at all.
 

TheOneGargoyle

Explorer
I don't know what to tell you other than that there are a lot of people that are having a really good time playing monks, so it is plainly false to say the class can't be fun - and if it can be fun, it is fine.
Ahh no. By this yardstick, OG PHB rangers are fine (because some people could have fun with them), which they clearly weren't.

Not every class has to be mechanically the strongest, obviously, but just saying they can be fun so they're fine is the other extreme. Some people can have fun with a mechanically weak class purely from the thematics and don't care if they're weak mechanically. But many people want theme & mechanics to match and being weak mechanically detracts from that fun.

It's fine if your experience and opinion are different, everybody's will be, but let's not get into arguing about whether those who think it's fine vastly outnumber those who don't. Monks are widely understood to be both thematically strong but mechanically weak, and need some tweaks to bring them up to par mechanically.

Let's keep the discussion to that plskthxla.
 

jgsugden

Legend
Ahh no. By this yardstick, OG PHB rangers are fine (because some people could have fun with them...
They were. They were not a great design, but they were fine. I played rangers early in 5E that DMs considered to be overpowered. The contempt and mockery of the class was more a perception problem than an actual one.
 

I'm not sure if this has been mentioned but, with the new unarmed fighting style that Fighters get, a monk's unarmed damage scales too slowly. It seems to encourage a 1 level Fighter dip or a feat to get that fighting style to get a 1d8 unarmed damage at 1st. A monk starts at a d4. It's really pathetic. I think a Monk should start at a d6 get a d8 damage much sooner and they should cap out at a 2d10 at 20th.

That said, I find a Way of the Fist Monk to be an encounter killer with the ability to Stun Lock a boss. And their movement is insane if paired up with mobility which allows them to save Ki points in order to move in and out of combat without provoking attacks of opportunity. I'm not sure how the other archetypes do at higher levels but, in my experience, Way of the Fist is pretty strong.
 

I'm not sure if this has been mentioned but, with the new unarmed fighting style that Fighters get, a monk's unarmed damage scales too slowly. It seems to encourage a 1 level Fighter dip or a feat to get that fighting style to get a 1d8 unarmed damage at 1st. A monk starts at a d4. It's really pathetic. I think a Monk should start at a d6 get a d8 damage much sooner and they should cap out at a 2d10 at 20th.

That said, I find a Way of the Fist Monk to be an encounter killer with the ability to Stun Lock a boss. And their movement is insane if paired up with mobility which allows them to save Ki points in order to move in and out of combat without provoking attacks of opportunity. I'm not sure how the other archetypes do at higher levels but, in my experience, Way of the Fist is pretty strong.
I think it is totally outrageous that they gave that fighting style to the fighters. It may not be mechanically unbalanced, but it is basically robbing the main shtick of another class.
 


Horwath

Hero
Agreed. I like how it scaled in older editions(3e):
1st: 1d6
4th: 1d8
8th: 1d10
12th: 2d6
16th: 2d8
20th: 2d10
I would not give monks unarmed damage higher than that of a greatsword.
No matter how much we want to indulge into shaolin mysticism.

That is why I suggested that it maxes out at d12.
That also might be too much, but it's is needed for game balance.
 

I would not give monks unarmed damage higher than that of a greatsword.
No matter how much we want to indulge into shaolin mysticism.

That is why I suggested that it maxes out at d12.
That also might be too much, but it's is needed for game balance.
Sure, fair enough. But they should at least be able to keep up with an unarmed fighter without having to multi-class. I don't think it's too much. A great sword is a d12 and they can't synergize many feats with it like a fighter can with a heavy weapon.
 


Horwath

Hero
With all the images of martial artists punching through bricks and boards and stuff, I'm surprised none of the editions ever gave monks the ability to do double damage to structures/objects or some similar power.
3.0 Oriental Adventures had Iaijutsu focus skill that gave you bonus +Xd6 damage, depending on skill check roll vs. flat-footed opponents and objects.
 


akr71

Hero
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 like it. In a previous campaign of mine, the monk found a magical ring that increased Ki by their Wisdom modifier. It required attunement, so there was a cost associated with the buff.

Alternatively, you could remove the Ki cost from some abilities and make it a 'Proficiency Bonus times per [long or short] rest' like so many other class design mechanics seem to be moving to. Stunning Strike would probably be at the top of my list here.

Number 5 is definitely interesting and could make for diverse types of martial arts characters.

Having studied karate for a number of years, I feel like the monk is missing some sort of Reaction for a temporary AC boost. Deflecting and blocking blows is such a key part of most martial arts. I know patient defense and unarmored defense are supposed to mimic this, but it is lackluster and at the table doesn't really capture the 'quick reflexes' feel. Maybe rework patient defense to spend 1 Ki as a reaction and increase your AC by your Martial Arts die until the end of your next turn?
 

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