Kensai Weapons, and Monk Weapons In General

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Do the polearms on a kensei outperform long bows (an allowed weapon)?

Yes, reach weapons are significantly better than a long bow. Much of it is how it interacts with other monk abilities, and opportunity options.

Until 17th level Monk they do more damage on every hit.

By being in melee they enable the option to make one attack an unarmed attack to use Agile Parry for +2 to AC as well as the monk bonus action attack. Being in melee also allows Flurry of Blows. Stunning Strike requires a melee attack.

While GWM and SS are a wash, there are other feats such as Sentinel available for melee weapons but not ranged weapons. (And a monk able to stop someone outside of their reach to prevent an attack on them is a nice ability.)
 

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Al2O3

Explorer
A non-heavy glaive dealing 1d8 instead of 1d10 might be a reasonable martial weapon. Maybe not a good idea for the game as a whole, but for a single table it should absolutely be fine.

I assume that for a single table it would be possible to discuss potential pros and cons beforehand and stop it if there are problems.

Maybe even go all the way and call it a Kensei glaive. Proficiency can only be gained by selecting it as a Kensei weapon. It has 10 ft reach and all the properties granted by being a Kensei weapon. Maybe 1d6 damage die as minimum.

Edit/adding:
I had a look at Glaive, Greataxe and Battleaxe.
Compared to Greataxe, removing "Heavy" gives a Battleaxe held in two hands and is worth reducing the die one size.
Greataxe Vs Glaive suggests adding reach reduces the damage die one size.

Taking a Glaive and removing the heavy tag would then make it a 1d8 two-handed martial melee weapon with reach. Reducing one damage die size further would make it reasonable as a simple weapon. It would still only be usable as a monk weapon for Kensei, because it has the two-handed property.

Keeping it martial (1d8, two-handed and reach) or do a weird simple 1d4 (versatile 1d6) damage weapon with reach to let all monks use it as a monk weapon might be the way to go.
 
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Al2O3

Explorer
Kensei is already restricted from using 2h and special properties weapons as Kensei weapons.
Nothing prevents a Kensei using two-handed weapons. The restriction is not using heavy Kensei weapons (so they can add the greatclub).

Also, if they are benefitting from reach, they can't really use unarmed attacks against the same enemy in that turn.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
A non-heavy glaive dealing 1d8 instead of 1d10 might be a reasonable martial weapon. Maybe not a good idea for the game as a whole, but for a single table it should absolutely be fine.

I assume that for a single table it would be possible to discuss potential pros and cons beforehand and stop it if there are problems.

Maybe even go all the way and call it a Kensei glaive. Proficiency can only be gained by selecting it as a Kensei weapon. It has 10 ft reach and all the properties granted by being a Kensei weapon. Maybe 1d6 damage die as minimum.

Edit/adding:
I had a look at Glaive, Greataxe and Battleaxe.
Compared to Greataxe, removing "Heavy" gives a Battleaxe held in two hands and is worth reducing the die one size.
Greataxe Vs Glaive suggests adding reach reduces the damage die one size.

Taking a Glaive and removing the heavy tag would then make it a 1d8 two-handed martial melee weapon with reach. Reducing one damage die size further would make it reasonable as a simple weapon. It would still only be usable as a monk weapon for Kensei, because it has the two-handed property.

Keeping it martial (1d8, two-handed and reach) or do a weird simple 1d4 (versatile 1d6) damage weapon with reach to let all monks use it as a monk weapon might be the way to go.

I think that all makes sense. Some people are really worried about a monk-weapon with reach being OP and horning in on strength characters' territory, but IMO that just isn't a compelling argument. Using reach weapons isn't exclusive to concepts that 5e models as strength concepts. I'm willing to compromise with them to get a d6 finesse reach weapon, but that's it. I'm all for rogues getting in on the action, too.

Nothing prevents a Kensei using two-handed weapons. The restriction is not using heavy Kensei weapons (so they can add the greatclub).

Also, if they are benefitting from reach, they can't really use unarmed attacks against the same enemy in that turn.

They actually can, by splitting up their movement. I don't think it overpowers them, though.
 

Al2O3

Explorer
In my opinion, "horning in on strength characters' territory" is what the Kensei is about. And making reach available for non-monk dex characters just feels wrong to me.

Using a reach weapon from 10 feet and then moving in to 5 feet to attack the same enemy gives no benefit compared to moving in to 5 feet right away and make all the attacks from there. That is why I consider reach to be a very situational benefit for monks and less useful than for other classes.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
In my opinion, "horning in on strength characters' territory" is what the Kensei is about. And making reach available for non-monk dex characters just feels wrong to me.

Using a reach weapon from 10 feet and then moving in to 5 feet to attack the same enemy gives no benefit compared to moving in to 5 feet right away and make all the attacks from there. That is why I consider reach to be a very situational benefit for monks and less useful than for other classes.

Rogues can already pick up a whip, tbf. I’m just proposing letting them have a 2hand option that is 1 die step higher.

And yeah, the polearm isn’t a big deal for Monks, one on one. It does let them have more targets with their many attacks, though, which is fun.
 


I determined it's completely within the rules to use a Rapier and a Pistol as Kensai weapons (if the later is allowed in campaigns), especially if you wanted a "swashbuckling" Monk.
 

G

Guest 6801328

Guest
Way of the Glaive

3rd level: Spears are quarterstaves are considered Reach weapons when wielded by you.

6th level: When an opponent enters your reach you may use your reaction to make a single weapon attack against that opponent.

11th level: You can spend an Action putting on a fearsome display of martial prowess with your equipped weapon or weapons. Enemies within 30' who can see you must make a Wisdom save or be frightened of you for 1 minute. They may make an another saving throw at the end of each of their turns, and any creature who saves is immune to this effect from you for 24 hours. Only works against enemies of 3 Int or higher. 1/short rest.

17th level: When using your Stunning Strike with a weapon you are wielding with two hands, expend 3 Ki to impose Disadvantage on the Saving Throw.
 
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Al2O3

Explorer
Rogues can already pick up a whip, tbf. I’m just proposing letting them have a 2hand option that is 1 die step higher.

And yeah, the polearm isn’t a big deal for Monks, one on one. It does let them have more targets with their many attacks, though, which is fun.
I didn't realise that the whip could be used like that. Still, it feels wrong to me. That is not the same as it being overpowered or that anyone else ought to share those feelings.

If the character seems like Indiana Jones I would even be fine with a rogue using the whip as a primary weapon.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I didn't realise that the whip could be used like that. Still, it feels wrong to me. That is not the same as it being overpowered or that anyone else ought to share those feelings.

If the character seems like Indiana Jones I would even be fine with a rogue using the whip as a primary weapon.

Fair enough. I am curious as to why, though?

Speaking of rogue weapons, why the butt aren’t clubs and handaxes available for sneak attacking?
 

Al2O3

Explorer
Fair enough. I am curious as to why, though?

Speaking of rogue weapons, why the butt aren’t clubs and handaxes available for sneak attacking?
For me it's all about the irrational dislike for the mental image I get. If convincing me to change my mind was relevant (it probably isn't), it would probably be a good idea to show pictures of obviously badass rogues using a whip or whatever other weapon I'm against.

I even had to find inspiring pictures to feel fine making my High Elf Eldritch Knight use a greatsword instead of using a longsword with two hands. In that case it was all about the mental image.

TL;DR:
Irrational dislike for the mental image.
 


G

Guest 6801328

Guest
Way of the Glaive

3rd level: Spears are quarterstaves are considered Reach weapons when wielded by you.

6th level: When an opponent enters your reach you may use your reaction to make a single weapon attack against that opponent.

11th level: You can spend an Action putting on a fearsome display of martial prowess with your equipped weapon or weapons. Enemies within 30' who can see you must make a Wisdom save or be frightened of you for 1 minute. They may make an another saving throw at the end of each of their turns, and any creature who saves is immune to this effect from you for 24 hours. Only works against enemies of 3 Int or higher. 1/short rest.

17th level: When using your Stunning Strike with a weapon you are wielding with two hands, expend 3 Ki to impose Disadvantage on the Saving Throw.

Not to toot my own horn (TOOT! TOOT!) but although I was writing this mostly to say, "See...easy to get what you want with a sub-class!" now that I've written it I kind of want to play it.

The capstone is a little weak. I'll work on that.
 



doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I just flat removed the Finesse requirement for sneak attack. Solves this and a couple of other mental image issues in one go.

That’s fair, although I do think that pretty much all the smallish Weapons should be finesse even without considering Sneak Attack, but I also don’t care about protecting strength characters
 

G

Guest 6801328

Guest
How's this for a capstone?

"When making a melee attack with Advantage using a weapon you wield with both hands, your range for critical hits is reduced by your Wisdom modifier."
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Not to toot my own horn (TOOT! TOOT!) but although I was writing this mostly to say, "See...easy to get what you want with a sub-class!" now that I've written it I kind of want to play it.

The capstone is a little weak. I'll work on that.
Unless I'm missing something, isn't the Way of the Glaive monk not proficient with... Glaives? :)

I'd probably add something like "You becomes proficient with all martial weapons with the Reach property, and can treat them as monk weapons for all monk class features. Additionally, the spear and the quarterstaff are considered Reach weapons when wielded by you."
 

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