D&D 5E The Monk - What is the monk to you and why?

TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
It's not. But as I noted in an earlier post, I'm not a fan of the 'Druid' implementation either. I would prefer not to have an Ainu Shaman or a Vodoo Witch Doctor or any other animist priest concept statted as a 'Druid'. Likewise, I would prefer not to need a separate base class for Celtic Druids, Ainu Shamans, Vodoo Witch Doctors, Greek Witches, Finnish Bards, North American Shamans, or anything remotely inspired by any sort of animist priest or magic user or any similar such thing. I would prefer instead to have a flexible and powerful base class from which, if you wanted, you could make a 'Druidic' character but wouldn't constrain you from making anything else you could imagine either from fiction or within the conceit of the particular setting.
I'm almost getting the feeling you prefer generic base classes to specific ones, but I'm probably just reading you wrong.
 

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Celebrim

Legend
I'm almost getting the feeling you prefer generic base classes to specific ones, but I'm probably just reading you wrong.

Very strongly so. :)

The only justification I can see for a non-generic base class is that there is a class that is archetypal in the setting but which would not be generally shared across settings - like a class with magic and attacks built around folding and animating paper, or a class with powers solely around shape-changing into plants, or something of that nature. And in any event, such classes shouldn't appear in core books, but in setting specific material.

Conversely, the classes that appear in the core books should be suitable for basically any fantasy setting and generic enough that it encourages would be setting designers to conceive unique archetypes as variations of core classes requiring minimal support. For example, maybe if your setting features origami-mancery, you'd be inclined to feel the core sorcerer or wizard needs only minimal extension via a feat or two or a bloodline and some spell support to achieve this.
 

TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
Conversely, the classes that appear in the core books should be suitable for basically any fantasy setting and generic enough that it encourages would be setting designers to conceive unique archetypes as variations of core classes requiring minimal support. For example, maybe if your setting features origami-mancery, you'd be inclined to feel the core sorcerer or wizard needs only minimal extension via a feat or two or a bloodline and some spell support to achieve this.
While I more or less agree with you, I can also see the argument that D&D benefits from a certain aesthetic messiness. If the route of 6-8 generic classes with expandable subclasses/archetypes isn't followed, I'd rather see WotC embrace the Lego-block feel of 3e style multiclassing and release lots of classes, with variable length, with stacking class features. Let them function almost like talent trees. Down with symmetry, embrace the madness!
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
The justification for many classes is the rigidity of the classes you'd want to fold them into. Folding a class into another much be a primary and early goal of the system during the parent class.

For example the monk. Both the fighter and the rogue have be written in ways where you cannot swap out their class features easily or with any sort of balance for iconic monk features. The druid exist as a class because the cleric was never given anything worth wildshape and the expanded spell list witch could be easily swapped.

If fighters or rogues had a class feature or two you could swap out for Ki and Martial arts, you wouldn't need a monk. Sadly D&D classes are built very uneven.
 

Salamandyr

Adventurer
Actually, he does. The third level thing where you pick your special focus that gives you special benefits at various levels (I'm blanking on what it's called-but the weaponmaster/warrior thing) could easily provide for monk like abilities... Call it the "Mystic Warrior" specialty, that adds things like the ability to add wisdom to AC, flurry, possibly even unarmed attacks...with the understanding that mystic warriors might not be appropriate in every game world.
 

Remathilis

Legend
If somebody wants to play a Jet Li or Crouching Tiger style character, then maybe they should play in a campaign that caters to that kind of style, rather than trying to insert them into a game where their power level makes the other characters look like losers.

I know! I tell anyone who wants to roll up a wizard to go play Mage: The Ascention so they don't make the other characters look like losers.
 

Remathilis

Legend
So in a fantasy world, such as greyhawk, where does that concept fit in? So should we generate little ecosystems where there is a cultural mindset to create monks?

I am certainly not saying that monks should not exist. The concept is fertile, however, I think the niche it represents is one that is better embodied in other areas of the game. For instance, I think that there should be an Oriental adventures or kara-tur adventures or rokugan adventures. I certainly would rather have the standard classes adapted to fit the mold of that culture rather than have to warp standard classes to fit the mold or worse, create all new "oriental" classes for that culture. This should be strictly the area of backgrounds.

Funny you should mention Greyhawk...
 

Gadget

Adventurer
I know I'm late to the party, but I have always thought of the monk as a contemplative ascetic who, through discipline, self-denial and rigorous meditation and study has managed to develop mystic abilities of mind and body in the quest for enlightenment. I do not picture them as 'warriors' in the traditional sense, though I can see them filling that niche mechanically in the system as perhaps a pysonic-warrior type. They are not interested in worldly things, almost by definition of the archetype, though there might be room for more worldly version, especially an evil Sith-like variant.

I certainly don't wont a 'martial artist' class that is merely a warrior who doesn't wear armor and fights with his hands. All the fighter variants are martial artists to a degree, and having a guy who just chooses to fight with his fists seems inherently silly to me; give me some mystical mumbo jumbo to go along with it please.
 


Sadrik

First Post
I completely agree. I think just like many of the other concepts that have been moved into backgrounds or subclasses or even feats the monk could move there too.

Unarmed fighting could be done very well with one of 5e's triple sized feats.

The mystical abilities could be completely subsumed into the spell system. Rather than D-door 1/day make the monk character multi-classes into a caster type of some ilk and gets the abilities. To this end I think there could be a casting method that venerates the monk better than vancian magic. Allow them to select that.

The ascetic foreigner trope needs to be for any class not just a monk. I can see an ascetic wizard from a foreign land being a very good concept or an ascetic fighter, rogue... you name it. So pull this trope out of the monk and turn it into a background that can be selected. Also this makes sense because in greyhawk the monk runs around in the setting and are not foreigners, they are just a mystic set of guys with a certain unique and rare power, they are jedi in the setting, and the scarlet brotherhood are the sith. They are not foreign, this needs to be pulled out of the class and made a background.


I agree stepping back from the I punch you as the default for the class and everything else for them is sub-par is the wrong approach. If you want to make them only use "peasant" weapons in a world where swords and spears are the norm, I suppose. But if they are a martial class then would they not typically use the best weapons available to them?

Which brings me to I dont want to see a whole asian list of weapons. Sickle can be kama etc. There really is no need for a long list of different weapon rules. I would not object to adding an equivalency chart, tetsubo is great club, Ono is great axe, No-dachi is great sword, longsword is katana etc. These are flavor differences not mechanical differences that need to be teased out of the rules. I think the scimitar and rapier could be incorporated into the other swords as just other versions of longswords and shortswords...


I am aware, but my fault for making my tongue and cheek argument not so clear as to not let you know it was one.
 

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