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D&D 5E Thoughts on a 5e Lizardfolk Monk

Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
Hello fellow forum goers.

I am looking for thoughts on a Lizardfolk Monk I am making for an upcoming online game.

27 point buy is what we are set at.

So far thinking:

10
15
14 + 2 Racial
10
14 + 1 Racial
8

I know... I know... Two key stats not starting at +3. We do however get to start at 3rd level. So I expect to bump up both soonish.

Probably using the Lizardfolk natural scales for defense. 13 + Dex mod (2) = 15 AC.

Thinking of taking Kensei as I have never tried that sub-class.

So, let me know any thoughts. Am I missing something? Does anyone have a cool idea that could be mentioned?
 

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Esker

Hero
Just a quick initial thought for now: it seems to me you have nothing to lose by putting 15 in WIS and 14 in DEX before racials. At level 3 you at least get +3 WIS that way and can bump DEX to +3 at level 4 just as easily as you could bump both to +3.
 

Chryssis

Explorer
would be more optimal to start 10, 14, 14 +2, 10, 15 +1, 8 at lvl 4 will be identical however gives you that extra +1 to wis for all of level 3.
 

Esker

Hero
Another observation: it seems to me that you are gaining almost nothing mechanically by going lizard folk here, and you are sacrificing DEX by not being able to start with +3. The lizard folk benefits are very redundant with monk features: unarmored AC boost (does nothing if you have WIS of 16 or higher), unarmed strike feature (slightly more powerful than monk martial arts die at low levels, but quickly becomes irrelevant), and a bonus action attack (you are usually doing that anyway). I guess this one gives you a few temp HP. So that leaves skill proficiencies, which, great, but lots of other races get skills.

Now if you are interested in lizardfolk for non-mechanical reasons, that's another story. Are you looking to optimize a lizardfolk monk, or are you looking to optimize a monk?
 

Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
Another observation: it seems to me that you are gaining almost nothing mechanically by going lizard folk here, and you are sacrificing DEX by not being able to start with +3. The lizard folk benefits are very redundant with monk features: unarmored AC boost (does nothing if you have WIS of 16 or higher), unarmed strike feature (slightly more powerful than monk martial arts die at low levels, but quickly becomes irrelevant), and a bonus action attack (you are usually doing that anyway). I guess this one gives you a few temp HP. So that leaves skill proficiencies, which, great, but lots of other races get skills.

Now if you are interested in lizardfolk for non-mechanical reasons, that's another story. Are you looking to optimize a lizardfolk monk, or are you looking to optimize a monk?
Not entirely looking to optimize, but if I had to choose between the two, I am looking to optimize a Lizardfolk Monk specifically.

I am pretty much already hard sold on going Lizardfolk, and wanting to finally give Monk a fair shake.

I do realize some redundancies exist, but I probably should take the point about just dumping a 15 into wis to get to 16 to heart. Not sure what I was thinking there.

This is for certain my first time going Monk. Probably the first time I have ever even really looked at Monk for more than a cursory glance. Not normally my cup of tea. So any and all help is appreciated.
 
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RogueJK

It's not "Rouge"... That's makeup.
Would you consider doing the same concept with a Tortle?

Similar reptile race. More useful stat bonuses, allowing you to make a STR/WIS Monk with a Moderate CON and a minimal DEX/INT/CHA. Higher AC than Lizardfolk, even though you're dumping DEX.

Plus... y'know... Ninja Turtles, dude.


Point buy stats would be something like:
STR 15+2
DEX 12
CON 14
INT 8
WIS 15+1
CHA 8

ASIs would be something like +1 STR/+1 WIS at 4th, Resilient WIS at 8th, and +2 STR at 12th.

The Natural Armor of 17 is equal to or higher than nearly all standard Monks using DEX+WIS in Tier 1 and Tier 2 (where 90% of D&D play occurs). And if you want even higher, the Kensai subclass gets you another +2 to AC from Agile Parry on most rounds, for a 19 AC from levels 3+.

And having a high STR allows you to use Athletics to grapple/shove, which is nice for non-Open Hand subclass Monks.
 
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Esker

Hero
If you are committed to Lizardfolk, you might consider asking your DM whether they'd be ok with you moving one of the +2 from CON into DEX. I would think most reasonable DMs would allow you to do that when you're taking a race for flavor reasons (and clearly not picking it to powergame).

Other than that, as a Kensei, keep in mind that your melee weapon can be wielded with two hands as long as it doesn't have the heavy property; in particular, as a Kensei, this can be a versatile weapon, like a longsword, battleaxe, or warhammer. And because it is free to switch between a one- and two-handed grip, using it with two hands doesn't prevent you from immediately also making unarmed strikes.

So I'd take your pick of one of those three for your melee weapon, and may as well pick longbow as your ranged weapon. Then when you can, get in and whack enemies with your sword then punch them. Or, if you want more defense, use one of your regular attacks for an unarmed strike so you get agile parry AC bonus. If you can't close to melee or are low on HP and want to stay back, fire longbow shots and boost the damage with Kensei's shot.
 

Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
I considered Tortle. Alas, my heart belongs to Lizardfolk. Probably the only odd race, outside of a Kenku that I want to play. And I understand a Kenku could make a potentially good Monk as well.

Interesting, I wasn't really aware about being able to two-hand the weapon and still get the finesse like bonus to it. Probably will go with a longsword in that case. Thanks.

I can ask about the racial stats I suppose. I didn't want to be that guy. It isn't that much of an ask though so why not try right?
 

Esker

Hero
I can ask about the racial stats I suppose. I didn't want to be that guy. It isn't that much of an ask though so why not try right?

Yeah, I think it's particularly not much of an ask when you are picking a race/class combination that means you are not benefiting from half of your racial features. You could get the same stats as a wood elf, plus get 5' extra movement, darkvision, charm resistance, and some extra weapon proficiencies, at the expense of one skill and a mostly redundant 1/SR bonus action attack ability. It seems to me that even granting the stat rearrangement you're still mechanically weaker than you could be with a different race, so it shouldn't be a problem to let you do that.
 

Kiriel

First Post
I think previous commenters are missing the benefit being a monk lizardfolk brings, your bite counts as an unarmed strike which means that it could use your martial arts die when the die outpaces the bite, pair that with the fact that you don't need your hands to make this particular bite means that you could be a grapple monk biting the **** out of your opponents, any monk features that apply to unarmed strikes/martial arts die can be used on the bite, your unarmored movement also applies to your swim speed so that means you have an amphibian that's fast af on land and in the water, which can make for an interesting time for any aquatic/sea faring campaigns. The con increase will help you be a bit more durable as well meaning you just have to focus on increasing dex. wis if you want to make the ki features like stunning strike more effective. Granted if it's not an aquatic or coastal campaign then that swim speed won't get as much chance to seem ridiculous. But a lizardfolk grapple monk seems like it would make for quite the amusing character
 

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