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D&D 5E The Esoteric Warrior (Monk sans Orientalism)+


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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Yeah, that works as a catchall term for prana, chi, and ki - all of which are basically the same thing, just in different languages.

My only quibble, though, is that "essence" implies that which is central - the core, if you will. Prana, chi and ki aren't the essential self - they are the subtler, energetic bodies that are part of the total being.

In the Vedic traditions, the "prana-maya-kosha" is the second of five layers or sheaths to the being. It is the second most dense, after the "anna-maya-kosha" (or physical self). But there are three subtler sheaths, so prana isn't really the "essence" of a person.
Chi means breath. It isn’t actually the same thing as prana.

There is a great discussion of chi from the perspective of a Eastern martial artist in the podcast Three Black Halflings with James Mendez Hodes.

I definitely wouldn’t use “essence” for it.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Chi means breath. It isn’t actually the same thing as prana.

There is a great discussion of chi from the perspective of a Eastern martial artist in the podcast Three Black Halflings with James Mendez Hodes.

I definitely wouldn’t use “essence” for it.
Actually prana means breath, too, or "breath of life." They are basically synonymous, just different systems and languages, and understood differently by their respective traditions.
 

Argyle King

Legend
Have you considered an unarmed subclass of Paladin?

Lose heavy armor and gain the ability to add Charisma to AC (while not wearing armor or using a shield).

Lose the usual weapon proficiencies of a paladin, instead being limited to unarmed, club, and quarterstaff.

Gain a small pool of ki points, and allow spell slots and ki points to be exchanged with each other (like the sorcerer).

Allow channel divinity, lay on hands, protective auras, and Shield of Faith* to be powered with ki.

*Allowed anyway via exchanging ki and spell slots, but I'd specifically spell it out.

Ki could be renamed to Indulgences if deemed necessary.

This is a rough idea which I just now considered. In my mind, it's loosely based on Friar Tuck being a "monk" but being one which is tied to more occidental views of spirituality.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Actually prana means breath, too, or "breath of life." They are basically synonymous, just different systems and languages, and understood differently by their respective traditions.
“Understood differently by their respective traditions” = different concepts.

We aren’t Ancient Rome, there’s no need to tell other people that their thing is actually just a different facet of this other thing from outside their culture.

They’re similar, not the same. And that similarity is most likely largely a result of breath being the starting point of nearly all esoteric traditions that focus on physical movement and forms, because breath is physically central to all exertion of the human body.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Have you considered an unarmed subclass of Paladin?

Lose heavy armor and gain the ability to add Charisma to AC (while not wearing armor or using a shield).

Lose the usual weapon proficiencies of a paladin, instead being limited to unarmed, club, and quarterstaff.

Gain a small pool of ki points, and allow spell slots and ki points to be exchanged with each other (like the sorcerer).

Allow channel divinity, lay on hands, protective auras, and Shield of Faith* to be powered with ki.

*Allowed anyway via exchanging ki and spell slots, but I'd specifically spell it out.

Ki could be renamed to Indulgences if deemed necessary.

This is a rough idea which I just now considered. In my mind, it's loosely based on Friar Tuck being a "monk" but being one which is tied to more occidental views of spirituality.
To me, that is more work to build and to use than making a new class, but something like that would be a really cool idea to explore fully as a Paladin.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
“Understood differently by their respective traditions” = different concepts.

We aren’t Ancient Rome, there’s no need to tell other people that their thing is actually just a different facet of this other thing from outside their culture.

They’re similar, not the same. And that similarity is most likely largely a result of breath being the starting point of nearly all esoteric traditions that focus on physical movement and forms, because breath is physically central to all exertion of the human body.
I understand where you’re coming from, but isn’t (part of) the goal here to come up with a unified power source that can work for esoteric martial arts characters of any cultural tradition?

I don’t suppose calling them “breath points” would work?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I understand where you’re coming from, but isn’t (part of) the goal here to come up with a unified power source that can work for esoteric martial arts characters of any cultural tradition?

I don’t suppose calling them “breath points” would work?
It actually might.

I think that what is needed is a solid answer to the question, “how does it work when they make a magical effect happen?”

Because that leads to the answer, I think. Do they use their body to to channel the energy of the weave through themselves and their weapons, by executing complex and precise forms that start with breath in the same way that performing a leaping spinning kick to break a wood plate starts with breath? Do they practice drawing a well of power into themselves via meditation, complex ritual movements, and the drawing of sigils and ritual circles, and then draw from that well to power thier abilities? Etc
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Maybe steal some disciplines from the Mystic to have them as ''ki'' fueled maneuvers, such as Celerity, Brute Force, Aura Sight, Adaptive Body, Iron Durability, Mantle of Fear, Mantle of Command, Mantle of Fury, Nomadic Arrow, Third Eye, etc (The 4E monk could have the different elemental mastery disciplines). Each ''Adept'' would know 2-3 disciplines and some archetypes might give access to 1 or 2 special ones.

Each disciplines comes with a focus which is a passive ability that must be focused on to use the related discipline. I'd change the name to Stance.

For the name of the class, I would suggest something like Exemplar or Challenger.
I don’t know why I didn’t dig into this idea more fully when you first posted it. This is great stuff.

Different forms, each with a stance and some abilities that cost different amounts of ki/focus/breath.

One thing I think is very important is that each subclass doesn’t just give new options for spending ki that are basically on par with base class stuff of the same cost.

Drunken Master makes Flurry of Blows more powerful, for instance, while Sun Soul increases your range at will, and makes your attacks deal a less commonly resisted damage type. Shadow is odd because it basically just gives some utility options at level 3, and then gives a big ability at level 6.

4elements sucks because the abilities are costly and don’t add to your power, so you’d be better off using feats to get spells and using Open Hand or something.

Idk just musing.
 

Horwath

Legend
I have few attempts to salvage the monk. both mechanically and as an idea.

And that class just need to be removed and unarmed combat be molded into one feat with combining Grappler, tavern brawler and unarmed style.

Feat:
Unarmed training:
  • your unarmed damage is 1d6 or 1d4 if using dex for attack and damage(built in finesse). If both your hands are free damage is 1d8 or 1d6 for finesse.
  • you can make one unarmed attack, grab or shove attempt as Bonus action.
  • number of times per day equal to your proficiency bonus you can make two unarmed attacks as a Bonus action.
  • you are proficient with improvised weapons.
  • you have advantage on your unarmed attacks vs target you are grappling.
 

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