Monk proposed "Refocus" class feature

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
I noticed many occasions where the ability to take Step of the Wind or Patient Defense after a Flurry
I guess we differ here, but I don't consider being able to dodge or dash after an attack routine to be "creative play", which is your stated goal for the ability.

Now if you said, "running up a wall, leaping off, punching a flying foe, stunning them with stunning strike, and safely falling the 20' to the ground". THAT is creative play to me.

But you can already achieve all of that with the existing # of actions at 9th level.
Move: up to 45' up a vertical surface
Bonus: Step of the wind to move/jump up to another 45'
Action: Attack twice with extra attack
- Free: spend a ki point per hit to do a stunning strike
Free: fall the rest of your movement back to the ground
Any extra bonus actions would then go into... probably attacking more as others have said.

(some might still debate this, but that is my take anyway
Some debate it because Crawford issues conflicting statements on the matter.



So Unarmed Strikes are Melee Weapon Attacks, and Divine Smite is triggered by Melee Weapon Attacks, but Divine Smite doesn't work with Unarmed Stikes because it requires a weapon? Nonsensical at best.
 

keynup

Explorer
Just my 1 cent,
A weapon can count as a "melee weapon attack",
But
That does not mean every "melee weapon attack" counts as a weapon.
 

dnd4vr

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Just my 1 cent,
A weapon can count as a "melee weapon attack",
But
That does not mean every "melee weapon attack" counts as a weapon.
Yeah, I am not commenting about this issue simply because I don't want to derail the thread. :)
 

Esker

Explorer
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.
At low levels they are in between a sustained class (like the rogue) and a true nova class (like the paladin), since they have short-rest resources that give them the ability to do damage in "mini-bursts" reasonably frequently, but not all the time. At 3rd level, using flurry of blows they can do three attacks a round three times per short rest for something like 2d4+1d8+9, averaging about 18.5 on hits. On those turns at that level, that's competitive to what a GWF paladin (w/o feats) can do with a smite (2d6(reroll 1s and 2s)+2d8+3, or about 20), and they can do it three times per short rest instead of three times per long rest. When not flurrying but still making a BA attack, they are doing 1d8+1d4+6, or about 13 on hits, which is comparable to a (non-TWF) melee rogue's at-will damage at that level, of 1d8+2d6+3, or 14.5 on hits. So at 3rd level, their damage potential (w/o feats) is top notch (though the rogue both benefits more from, and has more ways to get, either advantage or another chance to-hit to get all of that damage).

Problem is, (1) to get that damage output they have foregone the paladin's armor, hitpoints, and lay on hands, and the rogue's cunning action (they get their own weaker version of this, but they're using their bonus action already) -- and so they're going to be more fragile -- and (2) they don't benefit much from the main damage feats at those levels, namely PAM (which is great for Paladins) and Crossbow Expert (which is great for rogues).

As these characters level, the rogue is getting a steady increase in their at-will damage, along with some very nice damage avoidance features; the paladin is getting more and bigger smites (and one more attack); and the monk is getting one more attack, the ability to flurry more often, and a mix of some control and damage avoidance things.

The rogue and the paladin both end up nearly at the monk's flurry damage with their at-will attacks: at level 11, a rogue who has picked up booming blade (with their bonus feat, e.g., or by being an elf or arcane trickster) is doing 3d8+6d6+5, or 30 damage on hits (without their bonus action); the paladin is doing 4d8+10 at will (28), whereas the monk with flurry is only doing 2d8+2d4+20, about 34... but the rogue has better defenses (cunning action disengage and uncanny dodge) and the paladin is just getting started with damage, and also has better defenses. The monk gets some situational defenses against charms, disease, etc., but the paladin had most of that long before.

Mostly what the monk is getting is mobility (nice, but less so if you can't disengage) and stunning strike (open hand gets some nice control options too), which is a great ability, but goes quick.

Here's a thought; if you want to promote more creative monk play without giving a feature that will just be used for moar flurriez, just let Flurry of Blows be part of the attack action, on turns when you have not used your martial arts bonus action attack; thereby keeping your BA free to do other cool stuff. Everything still costs ki as normal, but you can flurry and step of the wind in the same turn if you spend the ki for it.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
I guess we differ here, but I don't consider being able to dodge or dash after an attack routine to be "creative play", which is your stated goal for the ability.

Now if you said, "running up a wall, leaping off, punching a flying foe, stunning them with stunning strike, and safely falling the 20' to the ground". THAT is creative play to me.
For me, it is using the mechanics in an interesting way in the right situation. The fluff isn't as important because after all a player can describe anything they do with panache: that doesn't make it creative play.

EDIT To call out a distinction I am making here between "play" and "narrative". Creative narrative is not creative play.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
At low levels they are in between a sustained class (like the rogue) and a true nova class (like the paladin), since they have short-rest resources that give them the ability to do damage in "mini-bursts" reasonably frequently, but not all the time. At 3rd level, using flurry of blows they can do three attacks a round three times per short rest for something like 2d4+1d8+9, averaging about 18.5 on hits. On those turns at that level, that's competitive to what a GWF paladin (w/o feats)...
I'm designing only for a context that is using feats. So our comparisons won't relate very well.
 

Quartz

Explorer
Does this seem like a good feature?
This is the sort of thing I would reserve for a much higher tier, but I'm not sufficiently knowledgeable to say which level. Do note that it stomps all over the Fighter's defining class feature, the Action Surge.
 

Advertisement

Top