D&D (2024) My proposed fix for the Monk


Oh don't even get me started on components!
There's no good reason for every magical or psionic tradition to be based on words and gestures.
I don't see why any tradition other that Arcane should need components at all. Divine and Primal magic are both essentially drawing their magic from an outside entity, instead of directly manipulating the Weave themselves.

The best I could think of is that "Verbal and Somatic" components in a Divine or Primal spell are basically lifting your hands to the heavens and saying, "[Deity/Spirit X], I beseech thee! Lend me thy power!"

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One of the biggest complaints people have with Monk is its MAD. Insead of adding Wisdom to AC, why not give them a bonus that increases every few levels. +2 at 1st level, capping out at +6 at 12th or 15th.


I've seen this used

When recreating a spell through a Psionic effect (using a Psionic discipline to cast the spell) the spell has no Material or Verbal components, but using any psionic ability requires Somatic components and causes the Psion to vibrantly glow with the otherworldly psionic energies they are controlling.

The gesture makes sense, it is like talking with your hands. It doesn't seem strictly necessary, but it eases the mental load to move and use that movement to spell intent.
Let's be honest this is the only reason:

That makes sense. In 4th edition, Psionic power was rebranded as a kind of "cosmic immune response" to Far Realm incursions. The basic idea was that since creatures of the Far Realm, like Mind Flayers, Beholders, and so forth tend to be associated with mental powers and madness, Psionic potential started to appear in mortal creatures as a way of combating the Far Realm's corruption.

Alternatively, it could be viewed as a side-effect of that corruption. As in, Psionic power spreading among the people of the material plane could open them up to the influence of aberrant creatures, or somehow draw more of them to our world, and so on.

It was left to the DM which way they wanted to spin it.

But the overall idea was that Arcane power came from The Weave, Divine power came from the Upper Planes, Primal from the spirits of nature and the Feywild, and Elemental and Shadow from the Inner Planes and the Shadowfell, respectively.

Psionics was the only source that came from within. It was the power of your mind to directly shape reality without any intermediary necessary.
Yes, I played 4e, but not a monk!


One of the biggest complaints people have with Monk is its MAD. Insead of adding Wisdom to AC, why not give them a bonus that increases every few levels. +2 at 1st level, capping out at +6 at 12th or 15th.

That's why my original version let them use Wisdom instead of Constitution to determine their hit points.

Monks as/is use Dex for attacks, damage, skills, and AC, and Wisdom for AC, skills, and their Ki Save DC. Constitution is only needed for hit points, so that's where the MAD kicks in.

My version requires Wisdom for everything except AC, so putting a few points into CON is less of a burden, especially since they can wear light armor.

EDIT: I forgot to mention in an earlier response, that the reason I didn't add WIS to Ki Points is because the way they scale in this version, I didn't have to.

Giving you 2 per level for the first few levels basically accomplished the same thing (that being more Ki at low levels, but tapering off later once ki supply is no longer an issue), but doesn't interact with MC in such wonky ways. Also doesn't necessarily require WIS investment for niche builds.
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Imagine playing a STR based monk. Wouldn't that be a treat

With my version it's doable, since martial arts doesn't forbid you from wearing armor or a shield. Just MC into Fighter to get Heavy Armor and a Shield, dump Dex and go STR and WIS focus.

You loose Unarmored Movement, but if your goal is to be a tank you're probably not going to run away anyway.


Laws of Mordenkainen, Elminster, & Fistandantilus
I like it, and I think that monk has always been a psionic class since 1st edition. Their powers are almost all psionic-inspired, just granted without a point cost. And if someone can explain to me a meaningful difference between discipine, ki/qi/chi, psionics, and the Force as power sources I'll give them a cookie. Psionic powers are a superset of monking/psychic warrior powers.
Hit Points
Hit Points at 1st Level:
10 + CON score
Hit Points per level: 1d10 (or 5) + CON mod per level
Hit Dice: 1d10 per level

Armor: Light Armor
Weapons: All simple and martial weapons
Saving Throws: Dexterity and Strength
Skills: Choose two from Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, History, Insight, Perception, Persuasion, Religion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth
Tools: one of your choice.

 LevelFeaturesMartial Arts DiePsi Points Movement Bonus
1Martial Arts, Psionic Power, Unarmored Combatant, Weapon Mastery1d62---
2Deflect Missiles, Unarmored Movement1d64+10ft
3Monk Subclass1d66+10ft
4Feat, Slow Fall1d68+10ft
5Extra Attack1d810+10ft
6Psi Strike, Subclass Feature1d811+15ft
9Acrobatic Movement1d814+15ft
10Psionic Restoration1d815+20ft
11Subclass Feature1d1015+20ft
13Soul Speech1d1016+20ft
14Diamond Soul1d1017+25ft
15Perfect Self1d1017+25ft
17Subclass Feature1d1218+25ft
18Empty Body1d1219+30ft
20Mind Beyond Death1d1220+30ft

Martial Arts
You have mastered a style of combat using unarmed strikes and simple weapons. Your study of martial arts grants you the following benefits:

Bonus Unarmed Strike. When you use the Attack action with an Unarmed Strike or weapon that lacks the two-handed or heavy property on your turn, you can make one Unarmed Strike as a bonus action on the same turn.
- Insightful Attacks. You can use Wisdom instead of Strength or Dexterity for the attack and damage rolls of Unarmed Strikes and attacks using weapons that lack the two-handed or heavy property.
Martial Arts Dice. You can roll a d6 in place of the normal damage of your Unarmed Strikes and attacks with Simple Weapons. This die changes as you gain levels, as noted on the table.

Psionic Power
(As Martial Discipline, but with Discipline Points renamed to Psi Points, and with the following paragraph added)

Alternatively, you can take 1 minute to meditate and recover all of your Psi Points. You must then finish a long rest to do so again.

Unarmored Combatant
While you aren't wearing armor, your AC is equal to 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Wisdom modifier. You can still gain the benefit of using a shield.

Weapon Mastery
(Unchanged from UA)

Deflect Missiles
(As UA, but with Deflect Energy added in.)

Unarmored Movement
(Unchanged from UA)

Slow Fall
(Unchanged from UA)

Extra Attack

Psi Strike
(As the UA Stunning Strike and Empowered Strikes features, United into one)


Acrobatic Movement
(Unchanged from UA)

Psionic Restoration
(As Self-Restoration, but with the following paragraph added)

In addition, when you meditate to recover Psi Points, you also gain all of the benefits of a Short Rest.

Soul Speech
You can now speak telepathically to any creature you can see that knows at least one language, and you can allow that creature to respond in kind.

Diamond Soul
(As Disciplined Survivor)

Perfect Self
(As Perfect Discipline)

Empty Body
As a Bonus Action, you can spend 3 Psi Points to transform into a being of pure mental energy for 1 minute, or until you gain the Incapacitated condition. You gain the following benefits:
  • Incorporeal. You are invisible, and you can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. You take 1d10 damage if you end your turn inside a solid object.
  • Insubstantial. You gain resistance to all damage except for force damage.
  • Defy Gravity. You gain a flying speed equal to your walking speed, but you move at only half speed (round down) when you are flying upwards.

Mind Beyond Death
You do not fall unconscious when you drop to 0 hit points as long as you have at least 1 Psi Point left.

You can continue to act normally while at 0 hit points for a number of rounds equal to your Wisdom modifier, or until you run out of Psi Points, at which point you fall unconscious.

You still must make death saving throws at the end of each of your turns while at 0 hit points, and you can still die as normal.
I independently had the thought a few days ago that I was going to recommend in the playlets feedback that they change "Discipline Points," which I do not prefer, with "Psi Points," so I like seeing this here...quite confirming.


Laws of Mordenkainen, Elminster, & Fistandantilus
I would save that for a Psionic "full-caster" class. Also, probably a more tanky "Warmind" class that took the Barbarian or Paladin role, rather than the Monk's Ranger/Rogue role.
But psionics need not be the power source for only a single class. There can be a psionicist as well as the monk, just as there is the cleric and paladin for divine power or the druid and the ranger for primal power.

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