Making monks cool again

TheCosmicKid

Adventurer
I'm playing a monk in a campaign right now so I'm sure as hell biased, but there's a couple of things I would love to do with my STR 10 monk that'd make him feel super cool.

1) give monks at a certain level (maybe 2) the ability to use DEX acrobatics to grapple and push enemies. Maybe I've watched too many kung fu movies, but this is monk essence in my mind. Monks get a number of attacks and this would be a cool way for them to use one or two up. I envisage tripping two enemies followed up by a flurry when they're down. Cool.

2) also be able to use dex acrobatics to climb and jump long distances. Again too many kung fu movies.

Yes there will be naysayers who claim that I should just pump my strength and choose athletics as a proficency, but it's very limiting and I can't choose other important proficiencies like nature and medicine. You wouldn't put your cat in a box would you? You wouldn't do the same to my poor monk, would you?

No, I say freedom to monks! Make them the zany martial class for people who like fun!
What would you say to a monk player who did pump their Strength and choose Athletics as a proficiency? I feel like players who make different decisions ought to be rewarded in different ways.
 

S'mon

Legend
It feels to me like the OP maybe screwed up his character build a bit, since it's certainly possible to build a Monk PC that does what he wants. It's just that eg knocking someone over normally uses STR (Athletics) - you can certainly have a Monk who attack action trips foes with his quarterstaff, then bonus action Flurries them while they're prone, all in one round. If he's 5th level he gets 2 attempts to trip, since with Extra Attack each trip attempt only counts as one attack. So you could eg sweep down 2 foes with a single sweep of your quarterstaff (2 x Athletics vs STR), then jump on both and kick them both in the windbox (bonus action - flurry of blows - 1 Ki) and Stun them both (2 Ki)!

Likewise, Open Hand Monks are the most Wuxia, though all Monks get some nice mobility powers.

So maybe talk to your GM about a redesign. STR 10 is workable (12 would be better, & still cheap), but you'll want to have Athletics proficiency at the very least.
 
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Maestrino

Explorer
There's a whole section in the DMG about using alternate stats for ability checks, so any of this is allowable by RAW.

Talk about it to the DM and then describe it appropriately: "I climb the wall using my dextrous monk training to find footholds and handholds invisible to my clumsy fighter allies..." or "I use my extensive martial arts training to gracefully turn my enemy's momentum against him, grappling and tossing him across the room."

A DM that wouldn't allow monks to use DEX for anything like that needs to do some reading on Baguazhang.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Since a recent errata any stunned creature will automatically fail to escape grapples.

So even an 8 str monk can grapple with impunity as long as they stun their foe first.
 

Cyan Wisp

Explorer
I loved playing a grapple monk. I was Str 10 and way of shadow, and I only took up the challenge when no one in the party wanted the gauntlets of ogre power we found. Luckily I'd taken athletics proficiency at the start. Dragging enemies around at high speed was super useful. Track down some gauntlets!
 

jgsugden

Explorer
I've seen all of the classes (except artificer) multiple times. They've all been fun and can be effective when their abilities are used well (including, it seems, the artificer). No classes needs to be fixed or made cooler...

I'm playing a 3rd level monk. He is insanely fun. He is an efficient build (Open Hand - human variant [warlock / hex / prest / mage hand]), but not opimized. I've actually ony used hex 3 times in his entire career so far, and one of those times had nothing to do with combat (he gave a guard disadvantage on wisdom checks to make it easier to sneak past it).
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
I'm playing a monk in a campaign right now so I'm sure as hell biased, but there's a couple of things I would love to do with my STR 10 monk that'd make him feel super cool.

1) give monks at a certain level (maybe 2) the ability to use DEX acrobatics to grapple and push enemies. Maybe I've watched too many kung fu movies, but this is monk essence in my mind. Monks get a number of attacks and this would be a cool way for them to use one or two up. I envisage tripping two enemies followed up by a flurry when they're down. Cool.

2) also be able to use dex acrobatics to climb and jump long distances. Again too many kung fu movies.

Yes there will be naysayers who claim that I should just pump my strength and choose athletics as a proficency, but it's very limiting and I can't choose other important proficiencies like nature and medicine. You wouldn't put your cat in a box would you? You wouldn't do the same to my poor monk, would you?

No, I say freedom to monks! Make them the zany martial class for people who like fun!
If you switch to an ability foursome:

• Str-Con
• Dex-Athletics
• Int-Perception
• Cha-Wis

Then Dex-Athletics works as intended.
 

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