Monk proposed "Refocus" class feature

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
This is the main thing. Ki points should've been 10 + half monk level from the start.
So landing in the same place, but a lot more over the relevant levels... not too bad. I definitely feel that the correct approach to addressing ki limits is just plain increase them, rather than creating a class feature or something that restocks them.

I've vacillated over whether to include Refocus in my next campaign. From what I read in this thread I think I'll go ahead with it.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
@Salthorae, I don't see how some of the scenarios you describe would work; though I'm not sure I'm entirely clear on what you're saying you could do. RAW, if you cast a bonus action spell, you cannot cast another bonus action spell, even a cantrip: If you cast a BA spell, you're limited to cantrips with a casting time of one action during that turn. So Sun Soul couldn't cast burning hands twice, and the sorcerer couldn't quicken two spells.

Action surge and this, yes, you could do two regular action spells and two non-spell bonus actions, but not burning hands.
So, 1) I didn't remember that the text under Searing Arc Strike & Way of Four Monks stuff was "cast" and "Spellcasting", so you're right that you couldn't combine those Burning Hands with other BA spells or itself, I just remembered they could do burning hands as a bonus action.

With this you could still attack 4 times with flurry of blows AND do burning hands in the same round though.

When you get into multiclassing, You could cast a bonus action spell or a quickened spell and still get 4 attacks in as well. Action surge and this would allow you to attack 4 times, cast a bonus action spell, and cast a standard spell. Or you could cast 2 standard action spells a quickened spell and dodge/disengage/dash.

A super MAD Fighter/Monk/Sorc combo with twin and quicken could effectively generate 5 spells in a single round AND still get a bonus action to do something else with.

My post even said that something like this wouldn't be super OP, just that it could have some wonky consequences on encounter balance because of breaking action economy, especially when combined with other things that break action economy.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
A super MAD Fighter/Monk/Sorc combo with twin and quicken could effectively generate 5 spells in a single round AND still get a bonus action to do something else with.
That sounds pretty cool :)

My post even said that something like this wouldn't be super OP, just that it could have some wonky consequences on encounter balance because of breaking action economy, especially when combined with other things that break action economy.
I know. I think you raise reasonable points. It's not my aim to power-creep, only to offer monks (and monk-multiclasses) the ability to play more creatively by alleviating some of their present bonus action contention.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
That sounds pretty cool :)
It does. It's pretty nova.

'Would it outshine other characters who weren't this "optimized"?' I think is the question I'd ask myself.

Probably not. Throw it out there and see how it goes in actual gameplay. Let us know how it works.

Personally I'd rather just have more ki points :)
 

Esker

Explorer
With this you could still attack 4 times with flurry of blows AND do burning hands in the same round though.
True. Though a sorcerer/fighter could do the same thing with quicken burning hands + action surge + extra attack. Granted that's a multiclass build vs a single class monk, but it's a single class monk that just isn't very good otherwise.

When you get into multiclassing, You could cast a bonus action spell or a quickened spell and still get 4 attacks in as well.
Yes, though again, you don't need monk to do this. Sorcerer + Action Surge gets you this already

Action surge and this would allow you to attack 4 times, cast a bonus action spell, and cast a standard spell.
This is more powerful, but requires 2 ki points, 2 SP and action surge, and a level 10 character with at the bare minimum, with a caster level of only 3. At level 10 as a Monk 5 / Sorcerer 3 / Fighter 2, you're spending 2/3 of your daily SP, your one action surge / SR, your one bonus bonus action / SR, and both your highest level spell slots to do something like 10d6+2d10+16 damage on hits (assuming a scorching ray, a firebolt, and four punches). Figure a 60% chance to hit, that's about 37 damage total, possibly with some conditions inflicted if you spend more ki. That's roughly on par with what Animate Objects can do every round with a bonus action at that level. The fact that to get this you're restricting yourself to 2nd level spells at level 10 is a big factor.

Or you could cast 2 standard action spells a quickened spell and dodge/disengage/dash.
I doubt anyone is going to complain about somebody getting a free dodge/disengage/dash once per short rest.

A super MAD Fighter/Monk/Sorc combo with twin and quicken could effectively generate 5 spells in a single round AND still get a bonus action to do something else with.
Yes, but four of them have to be cantrips, and the other one is 2nd level max, unless we're going to even higher levels. And the bonus action is the only new part here. So a lot turns on how powerful that thing is. What bonus action options would you have with that build? Other than dodge/disengage/dash for more ki?

My post even said that something like this wouldn't be super OP, just that it could have some wonky consequences on encounter balance because of breaking action economy, especially when combined with other things that break action economy.
There might be some combos I'm not thinking of, but that's what this thread is for, right? Can you come up with any that are beyond what a character can normally do at a corresponding level? And if they're not beyond, are they sufficiently close that you'd argue that getting to do it on top of other things that build can do makes it OP at all even?
 

Esker

Explorer
I know. I think you raise reasonable points. It's not my aim to power-creep, only to offer monks (and monk-multiclasses) the ability to play more creatively by alleviating some of their present bonus action contention.
The monk needs a little power-creep, let's be honest. Nobody plays a monk to powergame.
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
Is there a way to make that also interesting for multiclass characters? One thing I like with my version (aside from simplicity, so I guess that's two things I like) is that it can be used to creatively multiclass.
I thought your original version was fine. This idea was more for people who specifically had multi class concerns.
 
I know. I think you raise reasonable points. It's not my aim to power-creep, only to offer monks (and monk-multiclasses) the ability to play more creatively by alleviating some of their present bonus action contention.
If your aim is give monks more creative play, I don't think this is the best option. As many other have posted, I think the two most common ways it will be used are using Flurry of Blows twice, or using the extra bonus action to disengage after attacking. So even ignoring whether or not it is too powerful, I think most people will just see it as an extra Flurry of Blows, which I would guess isn't what you want when you mean more creative play. To me, more attacks isn't really creative.
I think being able to recharge ki points once per day or using ki points in ways that would give bonuses to other people would lead to more creative play experiences.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
If your aim is give monks more creative play, I don't think this is the best option. As many other have posted, I think the two most common ways it will be used are using Flurry of Blows twice, or using the extra bonus action to disengage after attacking. So even ignoring whether or not it is too powerful, I think most people will just see it as an extra Flurry of Blows, which I would guess isn't what you want when you mean more creative play. To me, more attacks isn't really creative.
From observing a monk over about a year and a half in play at my table, I noticed many occasions where the ability to take Step of the Wind or Patient Defense after a Flurry (or Flurry into Stunning Strike) would have been valuable. There were times when Step of the Wind twice could have opened up the fight.

Many monk disciplines have bonus action options, and in his case Shadow Step twice or Shadow Step into Flurry, or Step of the Wind into Shadow Step could have opened up some amazing plays.

There were many times when the contention for his bonus action choked off options that could have been a lot of fun. It's probably not just me who is sensitive to "glitches" or "sticky points" in mechanics: I often felt that, watching him play. The glitch or sticking point was his bonus action: I wanted to say "Hey, have another bonus action this turn and let's see what you can do!"

So I guess I do not agree about this not being a good option for creative play. It is very simple to use, based closely on a mechanic already in the game so kind of rides on the playtesting for that mechanic, and I think speaks to a pain point monks truly have.
 

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
I was thinking of a Monk 8/ Paladin 12 combo with Refocus. Go Kensei for a non-rapier d8 weapon, like a battleaxe or longsword or whatever, but now using it as a DEX-based weapon instead of STR-based. Take Dueling Fighting Style for your Kensei weapon. You'll get to add improved divine smite on the Kensei weapon as well, but not your unarmed strikes (some might still debate this, but that is my take anyway). Regardless, you can add divine smite on any hit as well with 4/3/3 spell slots to use.

Assuming DEX 20:
Attack action (2d8+7 dmg)
Extra Attack (2d8+7)
Flurry of Blows (d6+5 x2) as bonus action (KI point)
Flurry of Blows (d6+5 x2) via Refocus (2 KI points)

Also, assuming you hit at least once, you can add your Kensei Deft Strike for an extra d6 by spending another KI point (3 points total).

So, say you hit with one weapon (2d8+7) and 3 FoB (d6+5 each), tacking on divine smite of +4d8 x3 and +3d8. Don't forget that extra d6 for Deft Strike. Average on 4 hits of 6 would be:

34 + 30 (includes Deft Strike) + 26.5 + 22 = 112.5 damage.

Not a bad nova IMO. :)

You can drop a couple levels to get Action Surge, of course, adding another 19-20 damage (assuming 60% hit probability) + any extra divine smites (you still have a couple 2nd level slots most likely, but if not there are 4 first level slots as well).

Oh, and if you have time and the right Oath, your CHA bonus (minimum +1, maybe better...) will make you more likely to hit with the kensei weapon... so slightly more damage there, too.

I'm sure there are better nova builds, but that was my thought today at work. :D

(Also, it is late after a 14-hour work day, my apologies if I messed up anywhere. I'm sure there's a good chance I did someplace.)

EDIT: So, this was supposed to post last night. Apparently I was so tired, I actually didn't post it...
 
From observing a monk over about a year and a half in play at my table, I noticed many occasions where the ability to take Step of the Wind or Patient Defense after a Flurry (or Flurry into Stunning Strike) would have been valuable. There were times when Step of the Wind twice could have opened up the fight.

Many monk disciplines have bonus action options, and in his case Shadow Step twice or Shadow Step into Flurry, or Step of the Wind into Shadow Step could have opened up some amazing plays.

There were many times when the contention for his bonus action choked off options that could have been a lot of fun. It's probably not just me who is sensitive to "glitches" or "sticky points" in mechanics: I often felt that, watching him play. The glitch or sticking point was his bonus action: I wanted to say "Hey, have another bonus action this turn and let's see what you can do!"

So I guess I do not agree about this not being a good option for creative play. It is very simple to use, based closely on a mechanic already in the game so kind of rides on the playtesting for that mechanic, and I think speaks to a pain point monks truly have.
I'm not saying it doesn't open up creative options. I'm saying that 90% of the time it won't be used for those creative options. Yes there are probably many times where Patient Defense or Step of the Wind would have been beneficial after using Flurry. But if you give them the option for an extra bonus action in those cases, most of the time I would bet the player would've just used Flurry again. Maybe your table is different and they would've jumped on those options. But they could also have just attacked and then used Patient or Step anyway. Similar to Action Surge, which could be used for interesting options for another action, but most of the time people just attack more.
It's not that this wouldn't allow for creativity. I just don't think you would see it actually play out that way. When you give people the option that can be used for more attacks, my experience is that they will use it for more attacks and not something else.

I also don't think the competing bonus actions is a glitch, but a design choice of the class. They are given a lot of options and part of playing a monk is knowing when to use each of those options.
 

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
I'm not saying it doesn't open up creative options. I'm saying that 90% of the time it won't be used for those creative options. Yes there are probably many times where Patient Defense or Step of the Wind would have been beneficial after using Flurry. But if you give them the option for an extra bonus action in those cases, most of the time I would bet the player would've just used Flurry again. Maybe your table is different and they would've jumped on those options. But they could also have just attacked and then used Patient or Step anyway. Similar to Action Surge, which could be used for interesting options for another action, but most of the time people just attack more.
It's not that this wouldn't allow for creativity. I just don't think you would see it actually play out that way. When you give people the option that can be used for more attacks, my experience is that they will use it for more attacks and not something else.

I also don't think the competing bonus actions is a glitch, but a design choice of the class. They are given a lot of options and part of playing a monk is knowing when to use each of those options.
I agree completely, especially with the bolded statement. I look at refocus, because it is so limited, as more of a nova ability when it is really needed. Sometimes, defending or moving might save the day in a way extra attacks/damage won't, but I don't see it happening often.

It is for this reason you don't see fighters using their attacks often to do unarmed strikes instead of using their weapon, it just isn't as efficient.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
I agree completely, especially with the bolded statement. I look at refocus, because it is so limited, as more of a nova ability when it is really needed. Sometimes, defending or moving might save the day in a way extra attacks/damage won't, but I don't see it happening often.
I think if that turns out to be true, I would not see the cost of change to be justified.

My remedy to monk damage efficiency is captured in my version of the Tavern Brawler feat. When I think about how the monk class is differentiated from other martials, I think about endurance over attritional campaigns through innate powers, rather than being a nova striker. Which of course is one of the real disappointments with their current ki budget in the first two tiers.

So I am not interested in creating something that in principle can support creative plays, but in practice might be used just to go nova. So... maybe I won't bother with Refocus and will just trial some version of a ki increase.
 

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
I think if that turns out to be true, I would not see the cost of change to be justified.

My remedy to monk damage efficiency is captured in my version of the Tavern Brawler feat. When I think about how the monk class is differentiated from other martials, I think about endurance over attritional campaigns through innate powers, rather than being a nova striker. Which of course is one of the real disappointments with their current ki budget in the first two tiers.

So I am not interested in creating something that in principle can support creative plays, but in practice might be used just to go nova. So... maybe I won't bother with Refocus and will just trial some version of a ki increase.
Yeah, sorry. I like your intent but I just don't see this as being used to accomplish you goal. It could depending on how the player uses it, but for a lot of games IME combat is king and doing more damage to win is paramount. :(
 

Esker

Explorer
When I think about how the monk class is differentiated from other martials, I think about endurance over attritional campaigns through innate powers, rather than being a nova striker.
Interesting. I would have said that this is more the rogue's niche, since they do almost everything at-will. Though the fighter is also competitive here, particularly in tier 3, between getting three attacks and extra feats.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
Interesting. I would have said that this is more the rogue's niche, since they do almost everything at-will. Though the fighter is also competitive here, particularly in tier 3, between getting three attacks and extra feats.
Well, I certainly haven't observed any nova bursts of damage from a monk over about 40 sessions! I'm thinking of paladin smite, or barbarian frenzy. The monk develops all kinds of innate resilience.
 

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Well, I certainly haven't observed any nova bursts of damage from a monk over about 40 sessions! I'm thinking of paladin smite, or barbarian frenzy. The monk develops all kinds of innate resilience.
True, the only reason that build really novas well is more due to the Paladin smiting abilities.

I've always thought of monks more as being about control. I would love to see things like knocking them prone, grappling or restraining, etc. as a default for all monks and not just one subclass.

Having more martial art features, like a whirlwind attack, etc. would be cool, too.

Increasing Ki points to 10 + level or something would help make use of other ki abilities, but a LOT of that is situational. If the DM doesn't make movement a priority in combat, even more ki points will simply be used for dodging and flurry of blows IMO.
 

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