D&D General Rebuilding a new monk (+)

What are the concepts you’d like to see a monk have?


CreamCloud0

Adventurer
So there’s been a bit of discussion on the monk in recent threads so i made this thread to facilitate a discussion how you would want to build a new monk and what should go into it, the poll is there help show what are the most popular concepts so vote for as many options as you want, they don’t have to be ‘all at once’ on a single execution of monk just ideas that are monk-y, change your votes if something else comes along, I’ve tried to put everything I could think of but I’ll add to the poll choices if something is suggested to me that isn’t too similar to anything already on the poll
This is a + thread for everyone’s fun so no crapping on other people’s ideas

I, personally think the monk should take the roll of less of a damage dealer and more someone who nullifies damage from the opposition, dodging blows, deflecting arrows and inflicting negative statuses on opponents, damage is more of a quantity over quality thing with them, hitting more times rather than dealing big damage.
I don’t really think there’s something to be said for the monk as a ‘spiritual warrior’ performing exorcisms or contacting spirits and the like
 
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DND_Reborn

Legend
Nice poll.

I like monks to have:

martial skills (unarmed or dedicated weapon)
maneuvers (non-magical)--some of which are ki-related, but others aren't
defensive features, resistances, and immunities
priestly/spiritual
and knowledge expertise in something

I see monks as a blend of Shaolin monk and Friar Tuck, I like the class to be open enough to satisfy multiple approaches, and the subclasses to specialize the features into focus.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
I want the Monk to handle the nonmagic gymnastic Athlete: extraordinary mobility, climbing, jumping, running, etcetera. Plus wrestling, brawling, etcetera.

The base class becomes nonmagical, so its subclasses can handle both nonmagical and magical archetypes.

One of the archetypes uses the psionic power source, but it specifically refers to the ki being the bodily aura.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
The most recent tropes present Monks as really resilient, not necessarily nimble and lite. (Diablo, FF, Pillars etc)
So focus on Con and Wis, achieving perfect mastery of oneself to be able to shed the limitations of body and mind.

In my games, monks have d12 HD, can wield shields without losing their AC bonus, just like barbarians. They are the opposite of the same coin: one is abandon, the other is self-control, the result being the same.

Astral Projection and all that stuff should be given to an archetype, not every monk.
 

Undrave

Hero
One of the biggest thing to fist is the way the Monk is MAD. You gotta do something about it. For one, it needs better Hit Dice so it's not relying so hard on CON to survive hits.

I don't like the way the Monk's defensive and offensive capabilities are based off the same ressource. If you want to not be squishy, you need to spend your Bonus Action and Ki on Dodging or Disengaging, but you need those to keep up your damage and managing you Ki points is just not intuitive.

I don't think the Monk should have to work that hard to be dodgy and hard to pin down (Rogues can just disengage without needing to spend a ressource!)

Spending ressources on your defenses is just not efficient. It doesn't make the fight end faster so it feels like a waste of time.

I think the Monk should actually rely on stances instead? So it's a little more going from one mode to another and once a stance is active you don't need to do anything until you change it. The Monk needs a more meaty signiture class ability that is then further modified as they gain level. As it is, the Monk feels like a pile of disparate features, just a bunch of legacy ideas thrown into a pot. You shouldn't be building the Monk simply by going 'they had that in the past' but instead asking yourself 'what is a Monk doing when a Fight breaks out?' you need to purpose build the class and if a legacy feature doesn't fit, you just don't include it or throw it in a subclass.

And I honestly feel like, as cool as it is, Stunning Strike is WAY too centralizing a feature and it's never really panned out for me. Either it's waste on critters you'd defeat faster by using Flurry of Blows, or you just use it to burn through a boss' Legendary Resistance. It's super rare to have the type of enemy you a) would WANT to stun and that b) would actually FAIL the save. I think it's basically a trap option that drains too much design space. And it's so often cited as THE thing the Monk gets but it only comes online halfway through an average campaign's level range.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
One of the biggest thing to fist is the way the Monk is MAD. You gotta do something about it. For one, it needs better Hit Dice so it's not relying so hard on CON to survive hits.

I don't like the way the Monk's defensive and offensive capabilities are based off the same ressource. If you want to not be squishy, you need to spend your Bonus Action and Ki on Dodging or Disengaging, but you need those to keep up your damage and managing you Ki points is just not intuitive.

I don't think the Monk should have to work that hard to be dodgy and hard to pin down (Rogues can just disengage without needing to spend a ressource!)

Spending ressources on your defenses is just not efficient. It doesn't make the fight end faster so it feels like a waste of time.

I think the Monk should actually rely on stances instead? So it's a little more going from one mode to another and once a stance is active you don't need to do anything until you change it. The Monk needs a more meaty signiture class ability that is then further modified as they gain level. As it is, the Monk feels like a pile of disparate features, just a bunch of legacy ideas thrown into a pot.

And I honestly feel like, as cool as it is, Stunning Strike is WAY too centralizing a feature and it's never really panned out for me. Either it's waste on critters you'd defeat faster by using Flurry of Blows, or you just use it to burn through a boss' Legendary Resistance. It's super rare to have the type of enemy you a) would WANT to stun and that b) would actually FAIL the save. I think it's basically a trap option that drains too much design space. And it's so often cited as THE thing the Monk gets but it only comes online halfway through an average campaign's level range.

Start them with 3 basic Stances: Mobility, Resilience, Damage. You switch between them as bonus action.
When you are in a specific Stance, you gain access to different powers that cost ki.

That could be a fun start.
 

Undrave

Hero
Start them with 3 basic Stances: Mobility, Resilience, Damage. You switch between them as bonus action.
When you are in a specific Stance, you gain access to different powers that cost ki.

That could be a fun start.
Yeah that could work! Give them some traditional sounding names, like they're a specific tradition. Each of them would also grant a specific passive bonus until you change stance, and you keep the Monk able to do unarmed strikes with a bonus action (I would simplify it and just say you always can do this because the conditions are just not that impactful).

Another idea would be to have a default 'Balanced' stance, then one that would be described as focusing your Ki within you to affect your body and one where you project your Ki outward to affect/perceive the world around you, feels thematic that way.
 

Stormonu

Legend
While the Shaolin-style monk is foremost in my mind, I want the monk to be as flexible as the wizard as a supernatural fighter. To me, the main issue I have with the class is that many of their abilities are fixed. I want more control on what they can do, and how they do it. If I want to build an offensive brawler, I should be able to. If I want to build a tank that can take whatever is thrown at them, let me do that. If I want to make a contemplative guru with a repertoire of supernatural abilities, let me do that.

This is what I've been working on - focusing on "styes" to customize the martial portion and a suite of selectable ki abilities akin warlock invocations.
 

Attachments

  • Monk (Advanced) - The Homebrewery.pdf
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DND_Reborn

Legend
I know many people favor styles or techniques, but IMO you have to keep them simple for 5E--you can't get too fiddly with them.

To be clear, I think something could work, but it would be delicate work.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
To me, the monk is enhanced "humanity".

A unarmored, unarmed humanoid runs, jumps, dodges and punches. The focus should be on movement, dodginess, and non-martial weapon.

I think the monk should learn from fighting games and have non-resource special moves. Infinite Dragon punches
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
1. Subclass abilities that don't compete with base class abilities for Ki
2. Less emphasis on colorful but rarely used abilities at higher levels
3. Damage that scales a bit better at higher levels
4. Some kind of unique "thing" other than Stunning Strike that really plays differently than other classes

There are lots of ways to achieve these things (more Ki, faster scaling martial arts dice, special abilities, bonus feats from a prescribed list, etc.). But those would be my design goals.

For the unique thing, my vote has always been for one or more bonus reactions.
 

kapars

Explorer
I’ve put a lot of thought to this topic and a few months ago I’d have wanted this or the other mechanical improvement. I think it is more important however that the class has a core identity. To me that should be the power of self - body and mind, amplifying the innate. The are classes for telling the stories of how one deals with external sources of power (Divine, Arcane, Pacts) but I’d like if the Monk could be about unlocking your inherent potential. For better or worse you are your own Patron.
 

CreamCloud0

Adventurer
Something I forgot to mention earlier is that I think the monk could really borrow something from the style of warlock’s eldritch invocation but martial flavoured, unarmed attack is the monks eldritch blast equivalent which has a bunch of specific ‘invocations’ that modify it, other invocations include a whole array of martial goodies like manoeuvres or skills or similar
 

Stormonu

Legend
If it could be pulled off, I'd like to see the inverse of the current ki system. Instead of starting with a pool ki, you build it up as the fight goes on. The more things you do, to more power you get, building up to that "nine finger exploding heart" technique, rather than opening the combat with it.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I think a potential issue, Stormonu, with a "back loaded" class is that there is a lot of variance in how long combats last. And I can see this creating more difficulties in discussing the power of the Monk class.

I mean, I like the idea in theory, but in practice, I wonder if it would end up being like the Warlock problem, where the power of a Warlock is tied to how many rests you have in a day- if you find yourself in a group that is either very good at dealing with encounters (or a DM who prefers short encounters), would the Monk struggle for relevance?
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
If I was going to overhaul monks, I would start with a new resource mechanic: Combos. Simply put, you generate Ki by hitting things, then use a bonus action to unleash a special attack. With mitigating factors such as start of encounter allowances and/or focusing as an action to generate a bunch of Ki all at once when they need it, I think that would go a long way to making a much more fun class.

Then I would address the MADness. Allowing them to wear armor, using WIS to attack, and other such mechanics can be experimented with.
 

Deekin

Explorer
Honestly, what should be done and what people are open to being done are different things.


I think the idea situation would be the monk eating up all the Supernatural Martial combat archetypes, so you have the everyman fighter, and Book of 9 Swords Mystic Adept/Monk.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Honestly, what should be done and what people are open to being done are different things.


I think the idea situation would be the monk eating up all the Supernatural Martial combat archetypes, so you have the everyman fighter, and Book of 9 Swords Mystic Adept/Monk.
I am along these lines for a consolidation.

For me, a salient distinction is between:
• heavy infantry, heavy armor and heavy weapons, Knight.
• light infantry, light armor and mobility, Skirmisher.

So supernatural martial types include:
• Knight: Paladin, Eldritch Knight
• Skirmisher: Monk, Ranger, animalistic Barbarian

Unlike a Dex Rogue, a Skirmisher features Strength for athletic mobility.
 

I'm about to go out so I do not have time to post what I want to post but this is what I have been waiting for.
It's why I am here.
1660376118772.png
 

Raduin711

Adventurer
I am a little iffy on the boxer/brawler archetype. While it seems like it should fit with the monk class, It seems like the monk wants to "pop the top off" of what a normal human can achieve physically, while a Boxer/Brawler wants to be down to earth. a "low magic" monk without the arrow catching. And the more fantastic abilities we put in the Monk, the harder that Boxer/Brawler archetype is to fit.

I would probably say it would be easier to make an unarmed subclass in Barbarian instead for the boxer/brawler. Rage makes a pretty decent substitute for all of the fancy "ki" tricks that don't fit with a brawler. You just need to teach the barbarian how to punch.
 

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