D&D (2024) Does WotC view the Monk class as overtuned from their perspective?

FallenRX

Adventurer
This is something i have been thinking about a lot, and kinda is a serious thought i had, that some would see as crazy! but hear me out, as i feel it contextualizes their weirdness about the monk.

I think there is a chance that they view the monk is a little overtuned, mainly because...well with enough Ki...what cant it do compared to other martials?

No seriously with Ki, they can basically get an extra action to attack as much as a fighter, dodge as a bonus action which increases their defensives by quite a bit, do everything a rogue can do except maybe hide, and on top of this all of the other stuff from subclasses such as casting spells such as darkness and more if your a four elements monk.

This class can do everything every martial can do as a bonus action for the cost of 1 point of a resource they can actively recover, in which we know that in their own words, they balance classes in encounters assuming they are at their best.

Now some people may look at this and say, well their damage then! it sucks, its dpr is too low.

And this is true to extent, but what if we go into another perspective we know they have, Virtual damage! We know they value conditions seemingly as "virtual" damage, stuff that counts as basically doing extra damage due to the power of the effect on hit. And monk has a lot of on hit effects, even the basic monk Open Hand, on hit can immediately proc one of these effects, such as knocking prone(which is strong because in melee it just guarantees advantage for the rest of the attacks a big DPR boon, hence the nerf in 1DnD), among other things.

This goes into Stunning Strike, which for 1 ki gives a chance to stun a target. How much is this worth in virtual damage? Well its hard to gauge, not many spells do this condition, but it can be that much lower then Paralyze which they seem to value around a second level spell, and it cant be worst then a 1st-level spell. So pretty powerful all things consdiered, on average that about 13-14ish "Virtual damage" possibly. And also something they can actively proc with every hit. That is a lot of virtual damage, all things considered.

Some people like to underestimate the power of this ability, I feel it is geniunely overpowered. Some might balk at this idea, but thats because Monk is considered a weak class. But Monk being a weak class and Stunning Strike being an overpowered ability are not mutually exclusive.

But pair this feature which they value as virtual damage, and real "nova" power here, which they value in balancing their game. And we again, know they balance the game around characters at their best, not after X amount of encounters, but assuming that this monk is at their best and using all of its features and ki as much as it can...

From that perspective, what can monk not do that every other martial cant do? It must be seen as some super jack of all trades class, that for 1 ki can do things other classes can do, while also being a stun machine in exchange for damage. Its only real weakness is defenses from that perspective. Even then, with dodge and its mobility to run away and basically kite almost anything, that can be worked around.

And i think, is what im arguing here. WoTC's perspective on it is probably not far from this, hence why they are very careful with any buffs or changes the Monk recieves. Because its not about the resource, they probably see that as super easy to get back and recovery, and they assume it is walking into any serious fight at their best or close too it, while also being able to do all of this. And from that perspective Monk would be seen as more a bit overtuned, as this weird martial that for 1 Ki point, can do almost anything a martial can, with Ki being its only limit in a encounter.

TLDR. WotC might view the Monk as a bit overtuned, looking at the knowledge we know from their perspective on how they balance the game around classes at their best, virtual damage, and what they have said about how they value these bonus actions to do things that would normally be a action, as basically a extra whole action basically. From their perspective(not saying they are right), they may view the monk as quite a bit stronger then what we see it as. As with Ki points, a recoverable resource which they made easier to recovery, they can basically do whatever every other martial can do and more(except maybe barb) with Ki being their only real limitation.
 

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shadowoflameth

Adventurer
I think they see it as way more powerful than it is in play, and I think they are wrong (again). The Play test 6 Monk is the one subject that made me specifically angry at the designers. In 5e, Martial Arts giving a D4 is a non-benefit on everything but Unarmed Strike, Stunning Strike is effective if it works and useless if it doesn't.

My thoughts on fixing it:

TLDR Give the Monk a fighting style at 1st. Keep Monk Weapons and make the Unarmed Strike a Martial Melee Weapon (finally). Create Martial Masteries for Unarmed Strike and let the Monk have more the way a fighter gets more with weapons. Drop the Ki Point requirement for Patient Defense and Step of the Wind entirely instead of changing Step of the Wind. Heightened Metabolism should just be part of what Martial Discipline does. Other abilities should be moved to earlier levels. Don't Nerf Stunning Strike. Bring Back Perfect Self and drop Defy Death. Fix all of the sub-classes. Drop the unneeded renaming of things here and elsewhere in the game.

Give the monk a fighting style at 1st.

Keep the increased damage die to d6. A d4 on unarmed strikes makes unarmed strikes better. All Monk Weapons already do a d4 or better as do almost all weapons in the game, making this a non-ability in 5e at early levels unless the monk uses Unarmed Strikes only. The fighter with Unarmed Fighting style does this better.

Let Martial Arts Dice apply to Monk Weapons. Let any weapon proficiency that the Monk gains make that weapon a Monk Weapon.

Keep Monk Weapons in name and in design both for fun and Backward compatibility with abilities that use the Monk Weapon name.

Make Unarmed Strikes a Melee Weapon giving them access to the Martial Mastery properties in the playtest. Give Monks Mastery of Unarmed Strikes, and make them both a Monk Weapon and a Martial Weapon (to qualify for combat feats that require the use of one). Giving the monk only simple weapon Martial Mastery is a bad design choice that appears to be deliberate to avoid monks gaining access to combat feats. Monks are already mechanically weaker than other martial classes. Stop it. If this is not fixed, there is disparity between the monk and other martial classes will be larger than ever and the monk will be unplayable as it is.

Drop the Ki Point requirement for Patient Defense and Step of the Wind entirely. Instead of changing Step of the Wind, make Disengage or Dash have no Ki cost and make it 1 Ki point to do both as part of the same bonus action.

Give the Monk 2 plus Wisdom Bonus Ki Points at 2nd Add a 1st level feat to let the Monk gain more.

Don’t Nerf Stunning Strike It’s already hard to pull off. Making it 1/turn uncouples it from Flurry of Blows and thereby Nerfs both. These are the only combat features that the 5e monk has in 5e that work well. This is no longer true in this playtest for either ability. Making Stunning Strike end at the beginning of the monks next turn further weakens the ability. Make it the end of the next turn so that the monk can take advantage of the stunned opponent. Stop it. If these changes stand, monk will be less fun for the monk player and no one will play monk at all. This is a bad design choice in every way. Clarify the language to make it melee only.

Drop the awkward, un-fun and pointless name changes of things.

The name changing is silly, confusing, and unnecessary.

Heightened Metabolism should just be part of what Martial Discipline does and come at 2nd level not 7th.

Perfect Discipline and Superior Defense are good but need to be at earlier levels. Perfect Discipline at 7th is much more level appropriate than 15th and Superior Defense at 15th instead of 18th.

Bring Back Perfect Self at 18th.

Defy Death is bad. There is already a Monk subclass that does something like this at 11th, and a race (Orc) that can do something like this at 1st. Stop it.

Fix the 5E Sub-classes. They are ALL bad. Just different levels of bad.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Here's the thing about the Monk: if you take their Ki/Discipline points, and assume they are alloted as Spell points per the DMG Spell Points variant, then reverse them to Spell Slots after multiplying for 3 (assuming two Short Rests with Novas in between them, obviously)...then a Monk is a half-caster with the same Spell casting capacity as a Paladin, Ranger or Artificer. And this is supported by the design of the 2014 Way of the Four Elements Monk, and how the Ki budget matches their Spell Point value.

So, as far as the designers are concerned, Monks are half-casters who have the capacity to continually mini-Nova like a Warlock.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
On top of this, I think WotC overvalues being able to operate without having to rely on equipment. We’ve seen it with species that grant natural weapon attacks as well. For whatever reason, they think that being able to do baseline-effective damage without a weapon or have middle-of-the-road AC without armor is inherently very valuable.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
On top of this, I think WotC overvalues being able to operate without having to rely on equipment. We’ve seen it with species that grant natural weapon attacks as well. For whatever reason, they think that being able to do baseline-effective damage without a weapon or have middle-of-the-road AC without armor is inherently very valuable.
I mean...yes..?

Ever been ambushed at night in game? Sucks to be a Paladin in that situation, speaking from experience.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
If something only matters in nighttime ambushes and the party being imprisoned and denied their gear, it’s not an especially powerful ability.
The always on weapon is slightly ahead of a Cantrip, amd the armor is strictly speaking better than a Level 1 Spell but is also Lways on? Those abilities are pretty huge.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The always on weapon is slightly ahead of a Cantrip, amd the armor is strictly speaking better than a Level 1 Spell but is also Lways on? Those abilities are pretty huge.
No, they aren’t. They’re moderately good. The Warlock’s Armor of Shadows isn’t generally praised as a really powerful invocation, or as soemthing you have to take, it’s just solid. It’s good.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I mean...yes..?

Ever been ambushed at night in game? Sucks to be a Paladin in that situation, speaking from experience.
Obviously there is some value to not needing weapons or armor to function. But It’s not unlike features that only function in specific terrain or against specific types of creatures, in that the value is dependent on the DM making it valuable. Only, DMs are socially encouraged to work things like the players’ favored terrain and enemy types into a campaign, whereas they are socially discouraged from depriving the PCs of access to their equipment, with only brief periods of such restrictions sometimes tolerated when they serve the story.

So, yeah, such features aren’t entirely without value. But I do think WotC over values them, significantly.
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
No, they aren’t. They’re moderately good. The Warlock’s Armor of Shadows isn’t generally praised as a really powerful invocation, or as soemthing you have to take, it’s just solid. It’s good.
So, yes, they are good, and require zero prep and cannot be taken away.ar or of Shadows is, in fact, great, same as any other Invocatoionthat turns a Level 1 Spell into an at-will. The Monk AC ability is, first, better than the Level 1 Spell, and secondly, always on is better than at-will. I'm not saying thst it is "OP," but it is valuable.
 

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