D&D General Monk: The Past, Present, and Questionable Future of an Iconic Class

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
In terms of the core "ninja esque martial arts guy".... the rogue just does it better. So to differentiate, the monk should go Wuxia. It should be completely mystical, and yes in 5e terms that means it probably shoudl have more spells (I know some people hate that but that's how 5e does the job).
It's how  WotC does the job. 5e doesn't have to use spells for supernatural abilities. Plenty of 3pp prove that.
 

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Voadam

Legend
Where do I drop a monastic order of martial artists based on Caine from Kung-Fu or Remo Williams into the Forgotten Realms? The numbers just didn't add up.
This strikes me as a really funny question.

The Oriental Adventures setting of Kara Tur is literally in the Forgotten Realms, from the 1e FR campaign setting boxed set on.

I also feel that Ilmater, (a reskinned Issek of the Jug from Lankhmar) the near naked martyr god of endurance was a particularly good fit for sponsoring numerous monk orders in the core realms as was fleshed out a bit in his entry in Faiths & Avatars.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Two economists are walking down the street, and they come across a $20 bill.

The younger economist says, "Hey, look, it's twenty dollars!"

The older economist shakes his head at the younger economist, and scoffingly replies, "That's nonsense. If there was a twenty-dollar bill in the middle of the street, someone would have already picked it up by now."
I'm afraid your comment was too focused on being funny for me to get your point. I'm sure it's just me.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
I'm afraid your comment was too focused on being funny for me to get your point. I'm sure it's just me.
It's a classic joke about economics, about how economists specifically (but more broadly other people making similar evaluations) assume too easily that everyone behaves rationally and makes the most optimal decisions all the time.

To the point that we will too easily assume that people must have a good reason for a given decision, even if contrary evidence is staring us in the face.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
It's a classic joke about economics, about how economists specifically (but more broadly other people making similar evaluations) assume too easily that everyone behaves rationally and makes the most optimal decisions all the time.

To the point that we will too easily assume that people must have a good reason for a given decision, even if contrary evidence is staring us in the face.
Fair enough. Regardless, history tells us that WotC has no interest, and certainly no financial incentive, to address these issues, so my opinion stands.
 

On that, I have two responses.

To the first, so? Everyone at the table wants expertise. Everyone at the table wants the extra fighter ASI (or second win). Everyone at the table wants the Paladin's smite. This isn't even an "extra" ASI (like the Fighter gets); instead, it's just allowing the Monk to take a +1 in addition to a feat. Which means that all the way up through 15th level, they still will have only added a total of +3 to their ability scores through this addition. For a MAD class, it's not a gamebreaker- it's just a nice bonus that would actually allow and incentivize Monks to take feats, is in keeping with the class concept, and would provide Monks a unique difference that no other class has. As it stands, the penalty that Monks get for taking feats is arguably more severe than it is for any other class. In addition, it's not like people will "dip" to get it- a Multiclass Monk is rarer than a Monk with a magic item that improves their unarmed attacks.

It is an elegant, and most importantly, simple way to make the Monk a better class!

On the second, I don't worry so much about levels 1 and 2. In 5e, they barely last a blink of an eye, and, honestly, it's kind of keeping with Monk tradition. ;) The issue with ki isn't so much the amount in my experience, and it is addressed with the new ability- it's the lack of short rests in most campaigns. Think of it this way- if Monks had three times the ki, recharged on long rests, it wouldn't be so much of an issue, right? But, to me, that's a short rest issue, and not an overall resource issue (YMMV).

I do think that the bonus action economy does tend to limit monks somewhat, and that it would be great if the Monk had more abilities that would simply be "on" as opposed to trigger from bonus actions. And other simple fixes (again, Monks should be able to use both athletics and acrobatics from the same ability score, and there should be some type of strength monk). But the majority of these other issues are simply playing around with making the Monk more effective in combat; to me, the issue isn't combat. The Monk will never be as tanky as the barbarian, nor as good at straight up figting as the fighter. So, instead, I think it would be great to look at not just the combat, but at something else that would make the Monk stand out.

@Voadam I agree that it disincentives the Monk from taking the +2 ASI. That's the point, and the tradeoff. I suppose the "focus on self" could mean that if they take the +2 ASI, they also gain something small- a single skill, language, tool, that sort of thing.


Again, this is an idea to be workshopped. But what is appealing is its simplicity.
look I have played low level monk giving it more ki changes nothing past doing more cool stuff as they are still limited by the action economy so flat buffing ki will change almost nothing.

giving it more stuff to spend it on would help immensely you gain few fighting options and damn near nothing for other situations giving way more options would be helpful in fleshing them out.
 




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