D&D 5E Homebrew Monk Subclass - Way of the Tempest Feedback

WASDHammer

Explorer
I have wanted to try my hand at a homebrew monk subclass and would love some feedback.

A few points of context:
  • This subclass is intended to be more OP vs. other monk subclasses. I am not going for parity, I'm going for a viable monk from a DPR standpoint, particularly in T3/T4 gameplay.
  • As such, I would never play this homebrew unless I was the only monk at the table. It is meant to compete vs. other subclasses, but would clearly be unfair vs. other monks.
  • I wanted to create a fun class that really embodied the theme of lightning, not only in damage, but in quickness, reflexes, and elemental flavor.
  • I feel monks at their core should be about choice so I give this a subclass lot of options. But, by tying all of that optionality to the same Ki pool, it naturally puts a limit on how frequently those choices can be made (providing a somewhat natural ceiling on its power level).
  • This subclass competes with GWM/PAM or SS/CBE fighters in DPR but still falls short of both. I think that feels right. Monks should be able to dial up DPR when needed for short stints, but also have other utility a normal martial may not.
In any event, I welcome the feedback:

Link on D&D Beyond: The Way of the Tempest
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Note: This Homebrew Subclass was inspired by joshlud130's The Way of the Lightning Storm, which I used as a baseline and made additional tweaks.

The Way of the Tempest
Monks who follow the Way of the Tempest are able to channel the power of the storm to hone their bodies and empower their strikes. They have the ability to use this power to increase their speed and strength, deal elemental damage, and give themselves an advantage over their opponents.

LEVEL 3: FURY OF THE STORM
When you take this subclass, you feel better connected to the elements and those that harness its forces to gain powerful advantages, both in and out of combat. At level 3 you gain the following benefits:

Storm-touched: You are proficient in the Primordial language.
Lightning Strike: When you hit a creature with an unarmed strike or monk weapon, the creature takes an additional roll of your Martial Arts die as lightning damage. You can deal this extra damage only once per turn.

Additionally, when you attack a creature with your Flurry of Blows you can also perform one of the following actions. This feature must be chosen before any attack rolls are made.
  • Lightning Jab: If both unarmed attacks successfully hit the same creature, it must make CON saving throw or become dazed. A dazed creature has disadvantage on all its attack rolls for its next turn.
  • Thunder Blast: The damage type of your unarmed strikes become thunder damage. The creature must make a STR saving throw or be pushed back 15ft.

LEVEL 6: LIGHTNING REFLEXES
At 6th level you gain a quickened sense of your surroundings.
  • In combat, you add your wisdom modifier to your initiative order.
  • Your unarmed strikes can now do lightning or thunder damage instead of bludgeoning and count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.
  • You can spend one Ki point to make an additional reaction per round.

LEVEL 11: EMBODIMENT OF THE STORM
At 11th level you become a conduit of the power of the maelstrom, allowing you to enhance your offensive and defensive capabilities. You gain the following enhancements to your character's skills:

  • Storm's Resilience: You gain resistance to lightning and thunder damage.
  • Chain Strike: When you attack a creature with Flurry of Blows, after your first bonus action unarmed strike you can teleport up to 20ft to another creature and make your second Flurry of Blows unarmed strike. If that second bonus attack hits, you can teleport an additional 20ft to a third creature and make another unarmed strike.
  • Channel Lightning: You can spend three Ki points as an action to cast Lightning Bolt, dealing 8d6 damage. For each Ki point spent above three, add 1d6 to the spell damage. All targets in the area of effect must make a DEX saving throw, taking full damage on a failed save and half damage on a success. The maximum number of Ki points you can spend to cast this spell in this way (including its base Ki point cost and any additional Ki points you spend to increase its level) is determined by your monk level, as shown in the Spells and Ki Points table below.
Maximum Ki Points for a Spell
  • 5th–8th: 3
  • 9th–12th: 4
  • 13th–16th: 5
  • 17th–20th: 6

LEVEL 17: STORM MASTERY
At 17th level you have gained complete command over the power of the tempest. As a bonus action you can spend 4 Ki points to infuse yourself with elemental forces. This state lasts for one minute or until you are incapacitated or take an action to revert back to your normal self. While in this form, you gain the following benefits:
  • Your unarmed strikes deal an additional 2d4 Lightning damage
  • When you take the dash action you move without provoking attacks of opportunity
  • If a creature hits you with a melee attack you can use a reaction to make an unarmed strike against it.
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ChameleonX

Explorer
Looks awesome. The only thing I'd say is for the level 6 feature, saying the damage ignores resistance to nonmagical damage is kind of redundant.

Monk unarmed strikes are magic by then anyway, and lightning or thunder damage isn't going to trigger nonmagical damage resistance.

Also, I don't know if you're keeping up with the One D&D playtest, but Dazed is an actual condition now. It makes it so you can only take one action or bonus action on your turn, not both, and you can't take reactions. Do with that information what you will.

Other than that, it looks good to me. I just wish the published Monk subclasses were anywhere near as good.
 

WASDHammer

Explorer
Thanks. I appreciate the kind words. I felt there was something to this so am glad it resonated.

Good call on the redundancy in language, definitely an opportunity to simplify.

I had not been keeping close enough track of OneD&D so the Dazed condition is certainly interesting. I could see it actually swapping out just as easily to a simlar effect, so perhaps I could do that.

Thanks again for the feedback. I agree about the weakness of published Monk. I love the Monk but always it is so frustrating that it can feel so underwhelming.
 

Clint_L

Legend
I have wanted to try my hand at a homebrew monk subclass and would love some feedback.

A few points of context:
  • This subclass is intended to be more OP vs. other monk subclasses. I am not going for parity, I'm going for a viable monk from a DPR standpoint, particularly in T3/T4 gameplay.
  • As such, I would never play this homebrew unless I was the only monk at the table. It is meant to compete vs. other subclasses, but would clearly be unfair vs. other monks.
  • I wanted to create a fun class that really embodied the theme of lightning, not only in damage, but in quickness, reflexes, and elemental flavor.
  • I feel monks at their core should be about choice so I give this a subclass lot of options. But, by tying all of that optionality to the same Ki pool, it naturally puts a limit on how frequently those choices can be made (providing a somewhat natural ceiling on its power level).
  • This subclass competes with GWM/PAM or SS/CBE fighters in DPR but still falls short of both. I think that feels right. Monks should be able to dial up DPR when needed for short stints, but also have other utility a normal martial may not.
In any event, I welcome the feedback:

Link on D&D Beyond: The Way of the Tempest
***************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
Note: This Homebrew Subclass was inspired by joshlud130's The Way of the Lightning Storm, which I used as a baseline and made additional tweaks.

The Way of the Tempest
Monks who follow the Way of the Tempest are able to channel the power of the storm to hone their bodies and empower their strikes. They have the ability to use this power to increase their speed and strength, deal elemental damage, and give themselves an advantage over their opponents.

LEVEL 3: FURY OF THE STORM
When you take this subclass, you feel better connected to the elements and those that harness its forces to gain powerful advantages, both in and out of combat. At level 3 you gain the following benefits:

Storm-touched: You are proficient in the Primordial language.
Lightning Strike: When you hit a creature with an unarmed strike or monk weapon, the creature takes an additional roll of your Martial Arts die as lightning damage. You can deal this extra damage only once per turn.

Additionally, when you attack a creature with your Flurry of Blows you can also perform one of the following actions. This feature must be chosen before any attack rolls are made.
  • Lightning Jab: If both unarmed attacks successfully hit the same creature, it must make CON saving throw or become dazed. A dazed creature has disadvantage on all its attack rolls for its next turn.
  • Thunder Blast: The damage type of your unarmed strikes become thunder damage. The creature must make a STR saving throw or be pushed back 15ft.
Although your goal is to increase monk performance at T3-4, this actually makes them very high DPR at T1. For example, a level 3 Tempest monk would do (D8+3 attack)+(2d4+6 FoB)+d4 per turn, for an average of 21 DPR, which I think is higher than any other class/subclass aside from a frenzied berserker barbarian (24 DPR). That plus the neat combat utility is very strong - I would be tempted to give them something defensive instead, such as a lightning shield that allows them to do patient defence as a reaction.
LEVEL 6: LIGHTNING REFLEXES
At 6th level you gain a quickened sense of your surroundings.
  • In combat, you add your wisdom modifier to your initiative order.
  • Your unarmed strikes can now do lightning or thunder damage instead of bludgeoning and count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.
  • You can spend one Ki point to make an additional reaction per round.
The additional reaction seems a bit redundant, though my recommendation above would pair with it well (but chew through ki). Right now, that additional reaction seems like it is there to eventually pair up with the level 17 ability. I would rather have something that gave more ki to play with, such as the ability to recharge off an attack - as a reaction you can regain 1 ki point when you take damage, or something like that.
LEVEL 11: EMBODIMENT OF THE STORM
At 11th level you become a conduit of the power of the maelstrom, allowing you to enhance your offensive and defensive capabilities. You gain the following enhancements to your character's skills:

  • Storm's Resilience: You gain resistance to lightning and thunder damage.
  • Chain Strike: When you attack a creature with Flurry of Blows, after your first bonus action unarmed strike you can teleport up to 20ft to another creature and make your second Flurry of Blows unarmed strike. If that second bonus attack hits, you can teleport an additional 20ft to a third creature and make another unarmed strike.
  • Channel Lightning: You can spend three Ki points as an action to cast Lightning Bolt, dealing 8d6 damage. For each Ki point spent above three, add 1d6 to the spell damage. All targets in the area of effect must make a DEX saving throw, taking full damage on a failed save and half damage on a success. The maximum number of Ki points you can spend to cast this spell in this way (including its base Ki point cost and any additional Ki points you spend to increase its level) is determined by your monk level, as shown in the Spells and Ki Points table below.
Maximum Ki Points for a Spell
  • 5th–8th: 3
  • 9th–12th: 4
  • 13th–16th: 5
  • 17th–20th: 6
It's thematically on point. However, lightning bolt is an overrated spell, especially by this level, and would likely be a DPR loss in most situations. Chain strike is super cool. This is the level where I would have their unarmed attacks do an additional martial arts die damage one/turn.
LEVEL 17: STORM MASTERY
At 17th level you have gained complete command over the power of the tempest. As a bonus action you can spend 4 Ki points to infuse yourself with elemental forces. This state lasts for one minute or until you are incapacitated or take an action to revert back to your normal self. While in this form, you gain the following benefits:
  • Your unarmed strikes deal an additional 2d4 Lightning damage
  • When you take the dash action you move without provoking attacks of opportunity
  • If a creature hits you with a melee attack you can use a reaction to make an unarmed strike against it.
***************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************
The "add 2d4" lightning damage clashes with the ability to add lighting damage once/turn. I would combine them and just say that at this level all unarmed strikes do an additional martial arts die lightning damage. By dash do you mean step of the wind? If so, be aware that it automatically including disengage is likely being made baseline in One D&D.

Overall, I think there are a few tweaks you could make but this sub-class looks fun and thematically on point (kind of clashes with four elements monk, but no one plays that anyway). I don't think the damage is excessive; Way of Mercy monk is still arguably better.
 

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