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D&D 5E Most fun of these three Monk Subclasses?

rgoodbb

Adventurer
I am looking at Monks. (To be clear I am not actually stood outside a monastery right now looking at monks). That would be a bad abbot...

Specifically the three subclasses below.

Open Hand, Long Death and Drunken Master

Which one of these for you provides most fun to fight as mechanics wise?
 

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Arvok

Explorer
I have very little experience with 5e monks as yet so I won't get specific. However, my general advice for any question like this is talk to your DM to see if your character concept will work with his campaign and with what the other players are playing. If your DM has a very specific campaign planned without much flexibility, that might have a huge impact on what subclass (or class, even) will be more fun to play.

For example, if you choose Open Hand and you wind up mostly fighting a bunch of minions that rarely even survive your flurry of blows a lot of the crunchy fun of that subclass will be wasted. Likewise Long Death sounds good until you find out that you'll mostly be fighting undead (which can't be frightened).
 


6ENow!

The Game Is Over
I am looking at Monks. (To be clear I am not actually stood outside a monastery right now looking at monks). That would be a bad abbot...

Specifically the three subclasses below.

Open Hand, Long Death and Drunken Master

Which one of these for you provides most fun to fight as mechanics wise?
This is SO crazy! In our online "monk" game, we have three monks and they are exactly these three subclasses!

So, I can tell you from our games' experience, the Drunken Master player has been having a lot of fun. He loves using his ability to disengage after a flurry of blows and having faster movement. Also, making your enemy strike one of their own is hilarious, especially when the hit takes that enemy out of the fight! :)

The Long Death is probably the least fun. That player has talked about asking to switch subclasses because he isn't really enjoying it.

I am playing Open Hand and I like it over all. The ability to knock opponents prone or back has been useful.

The biggest thing, particularly with three monks in one party, is Stunning Strikes. Between the three of us, if we burn through the ki, we can stun just about anything every round. Makes BBEG fights really easy, for better or worse. shrug
 


rgoodbb

Adventurer
This is SO crazy! In our online "monk" game, we have three monks and they are exactly these three subclasses!

So, I can tell you from our games' experience, the Drunken Master player has been having a lot of fun. He loves using his ability to disengage after a flurry of blows and having faster movement. Also, making your enemy strike one of their own is hilarious, especially when the hit takes that enemy out of the fight! :)

The Long Death is probably the least fun. That player has talked about asking to switch subclasses because he isn't really enjoying it.

I am playing Open Hand and I like it over all. The ability to knock opponents prone or back has been useful.

The biggest thing, particularly with three monks in one party, is Stunning Strikes. Between the three of us, if we burn through the ki, we can stun just about anything every round. Makes BBEG fights really easy, for better or worse. shrug
That is indeed spooky! I did wonder if redirect attack would be as much fun as it actually sounds. That's good to know, thanks.
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
That is indeed spooky! I did wonder if redirect attack would be as much fun as it actually sounds. That's good to know, thanks.
Yeah, because they automatically hit, it isn't just a rerolled attack against the new target! It is pretty funny IMO. :D

Oh, and I talked to the other player about the Long Death monk, and he did change it to a Sun Soul. 🤷‍♂️
 

Larrin

Entropic Good
I've played drunken master and open hand and between the two drunken master was my preference. The drunken master powers had much more influence over how I played and what I could do. Open hand was nice, but its powers fell into more of a "I can also do this, sometimes" where as the the drunken masters flurry power was sort of what defined my play with him.
 

rgoodbb

Adventurer
Yeah, because they automatically hit, it isn't just a rerolled attack against the new target! It is pretty funny IMO. :D

Oh, and I talked to the other player about the Long Death monk, and he did change it to a Sun Soul. 🤷‍♂️
I have just noticed that Redirect Attack is on a melee attack roll. So I'm assuming that covers spells of that nature as well? If so that's even more awesome!
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I am looking at Monks. (To be clear I am not actually stood outside a monastery right now looking at monks). That would be a bad abbot...

Specifically the three subclasses below.

Open Hand, Long Death and Drunken Master

Which one of these for you provides most fun to fight as mechanics wise?
The Open Hand is the Standard Kung Fu Monk. It will do pretty much exactly what you expect from it.

Drunken Master is the judo master, use the tides or the wind as a metaphor for fighting, monk. Grab insight and consider using a feat to grab manuevers and riposte and parry. Weave through the field of battle untouchable, use the enemy's aggression against them, etc.

Long Death is spooky and goth, I guess? It just doesn't do a great job of...well, doing it's job. It doesn't leverage it's mechanics well toward the goals set out by it's flavor text.
There’s really not that much difference between them.
I couldn't agree more, having played a few monks and seen more in action.
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
I have just noticed that Redirect Attack is on a melee attack roll. So I'm assuming that covers spells of that nature as well? If so that's even more awesome!
Correct. Since the feature does not specify a melee weapon attack, it works on any melee attack, including melee spell attacks. :)

An actual example from our game. A Cult Fanatic cast Inflict Wounds and missed while attacking our Drunken Master monk. The monk spent his ki point and redirected the attack against the other Cultist he was fighting. The Cultist automatically got hit by the Inflicted Wounds--which killed him.

That is why I said it is really fun, especially when the enemy's missed attack takes out another enemy. ;)
 

G

Guest User

Guest
Long Death is spooky and goth, I guess? It just doesn't do a great job of...well, doing it's job. It doesn't leverage it's mechanics well toward the goals set out by it's flavor text.
I disagree, since the subclass is exploring new thematic ground for a monk, what it lacks are obvious hooks or well established playing tropes, that one can immediately use.

If you go through each ability and ask how does this relate to that, and what is really going on, eventually you will get an answer.

If the Temp HP the subclass gains, are from capturing some part of the departing soul of the slain creature, this has different implications then if the Temp HP are a manifestation of the happiness your character feels when they see "the light go out".

The Long Death subclass is well balanced, it is fairly strong in play, but it does require some Roleplay effort on the part of the player and DM.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I disagree, since the subclass is exploring new thematic ground for a monk, what it lacks are obvious hooks or well established playing tropes, that one can immediately use.

If you go through each ability and ask how does this relate to that, and what is really going on, eventually you will get an answer.

If the Temp HP the subclass gains, are from capturing some part of the departing soul of the slain creature, this has different implications then if the Temp HP are a manifestation of the happiness your character feels when they see "the light go out".

The Long Death subclass is well balanced, it is fairly strong in play, but it does require some Roleplay effort on the part of the player and DM.
If it works for you, cool. IME, it just doesn’t do much to make me feel like I’m playing the character suggested by flavor.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
If it works for you, cool. IME, it just doesn’t do much to make me feel like I’m playing the character suggested by flavor.
I’m not entirely clear on what character the flavor even suggests. Some kind of mad death scientist? Experimenting on people at the time of death? I don’t really get it or how it ties in with the monk class overall.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I’m not entirely clear on what character the flavor even suggests. Some kind of mad death scientist? Experimenting on people at the time of death? I don’t really get it or how it ties in with the monk class overall.
They’re occultists who are obsessed with death, and understanding the esoteric mechanics of the transition from life to death.

So, I imagine skull masks and like, alchemy, and maybe even some sort of Will o the wisp pet. The main combat ability I’d expect would be something involved with reading secrets in the dying light of the enemy’s eyes, gaining some sort of token from interacting with a dying creature that can be used to gain an augury effect.

I’d expect getting speak with dead as a ritual, and maybe gentle repose.

What we get is just a kinda weird soul eater undead-light monk.
 

jgsugden

Legend
They're all fine from mechanical standpoints.

I'd come up with the idea for the PC and then select the subclass that best represents the ideal of the monk you want to build. There is a lot of room for interpretation. For example, I have a PC that is an open hand monk (variant human - magical adept warlock). He is from a traveling tribe of mystical wanderers. They travel Faerun to experience the world as part of their spiritual journey, honing their bodies and their ties to their spiritual ancestors. Those ties allow them to summon the hands of their ancestors (mage hand cantrip) which we use to reskin the monk attacks (I describe the martial arts in terms of the spiritual hands contributing to the attack, with the push and proning of the open hand attacks being a result of those hands). This results in a PC that has a very different feel from the traditional martial arts based monk that most people think of when they picture the Open Hand Monk.

Come up with a good character idea and then see what option best fits it.
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
IIRC (I may not) the Long Death Monk only gets THP if you kill an enemy. That may not happen terribly often if your group is large and knows how to focus fire.

I have played an Open Hand and enjoyed it.

I haven't seen or played a Drunken Master; the concept sounds like an elaborate joke but I lack any experience with one to make a judgement about it.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
Of the three, I have only played Drunken Master (up to level 9), and I love it. The feature I use most often is drunken technique, which gives you a free disengage plus extra move speed when you use flurry of blows. This makes you INSANELY mobile. Tipsy sway is also great--it means that being knocked prone is basically a non-issue. I don't use redirect attack as much as I should!
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
You know, since Way of the Long Death is on blast for having mechanics that don’t really match the fluff, I might as well bring up that I kinda feel the same way about Way of the Drunken Master. Like, don’t get me wrong, I like the subclass quite a lot. But nothing about its abilities really scream “drunken” to me.

On the plus side, that does make Way of the Drunken Master super easy to reskin. Its effects are largely mobility and Judo-like redirection which, which means it can pretty much work with any fluff you like, as long as the associated fighting style incorporates such moves. But still, it would be pretty neat to have a drunken monk that was more explicitly built around intoxication. Like if it gave various benefits that applied when you have the Poisoned condition as a result of alcohol consumption or something. I suppose that would probably not fly with the 10+ recommended age though...
 

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