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D&D 5E What most needs revision for the (hypothetical) 50th anniversary core books?


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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Why "mystic" tho?
That doesn't sound much better and doesn't give a good idea what the class is
Mystic sounds too occult. Like a spiritualist or a medium

Why not something like "brawler?"
In Basic Dungeons & Dragona, the Monk equivalent Class was called the "Mystic," so it has historic resonance in D&D, and captures the half-caster nature of the Class (do the math for the Kinpoimt progression, comparing it to the Spell Point progression in the DMG: if you give Rangers and Paladins Spell Points, at any given level they would have the same Daily Spell Points as a Monk would get Ki points at 2 Shirt Rests a day). Changing the name would be a priority, because "Monk" should be a Background that any Class can take.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Hmm. I agree with the general goal, but I think it is better as it is, with a different name. I would really hate for it to be “spell points”, though. Even leaning into the “Mystic”, the non-Spellcasting subclasses are not a spellcaster, conceptually. They should live in the same space as battle masters, having a resource pool that is not spell-related, representing focus, stamina, and determination. The mystic can also connect to other living things with their spirit, spending Focus to do things like stun a creature.
For my take, I would lean heavily into the aspect of the Class as a half-caster, which it is even ifnmost of the the current uses of Spell resources are not currently flavored as Spells (except for the Fpur Elements and Sun Monks). So, it's a weird balance, where I want to see the Class not be Orientalist...but want the Class to have Wuxia style abilities fueled by a less culturally charged Spell resource (Slots, Points what have you).

It was specifically in contemplating the problematic use of Ki based on the criticisms out there that I saw the true beauty of bland Spell Slots as used in 5E: they allow Msgix to be reflavored by Setting, if needs be.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Why "mystic" tho?
That doesn't sound much better and doesn't give a good idea what the class is
Mystic sounds too occult. Like a spiritualist or a medium

Why not something like "brawler?"
Brawler is the opposite of what the class is.

It is a Mystic, however. So that or some synonym would work.


Changing the name would be a priority, because "Monk" should be a Background that any Class can take.
Acolyte is already a background. The only reason to change the name is that it is too clearly based on the pop culture idea of the Shoalin Monk.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
For my take, I would lean heavily into the aspect of the Class as a half-caster, which it is even ifnmost of the the current uses of Spell resources are not currently flavored as Spells (except for the Fpur Elements and Sun Monks). So, it's a weird balance, where I want to see the Class not be Orientalist...but want the Class to have Wuxia style abilities fueled by a less culturally charged Spell resource (Slots, Points what have you).

It was specifically in contemplating the problematic use of Ki based on the criticisms out there that I saw the true beauty of bland Spell Slots as used in 5E: they allow Msgix to be reflavored by Setting, if needs be.
I’d rather see the monk moved further away from spells than closer to it. The monk is balanced against half-casting. That doesn’t make it a half caster. It’s not a spellcaster. It should never be made a spellcaster, IMO.

Renaming Ki to Focus accomplishes the goal of making it not appropriative, without making the class incompatible with books other than the PHB.

And the Monk is a really fun class as it is. It would be less fun if made more like other classes.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Brawler is the opposite of what the class is.

It is a Mystic, however. So that or some synonym would work.



Acolyte is already a background. The only reason to change the name is that it is too clearly based on the pop culture idea of the Shoalin Monk.
Well, Acolyte covers priestly characters, so you can have a Cleric who is not a formal priest, or a Fighter who is a formal priest (making an Elf Fighter who was a priest without Supernatural powers was something my Brother in Law did for our very first 5E session in July 2014, it was awesome).

Monastacism and priesthood are different life paths, however,, different narratives for a charac, and it is notable that Hermit does actually have many elements of being a member of a Monastic order already baked in. Making being a Monk something that a Cleric or Druid can do just as easily as the Martial Arts Class, just as it is currently with priesthood...that would be a logical furtherance of the positive developments in 5E for Backgrounds.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I’d rather see the monk moved further away from spells than closer to it. The monk is balanced against half-casting. That doesn’t make it a half caster. It’s not a spellcaster. It should never be made a spellcaster, IMO.

Renaming Ki to Focus accomplishes the goal of making it not appropriative, without making the class incompatible with books other than the PHB.

And the Monk is a really fun class as it is. It would be less fun if made more like other classes.
Yeah, I don't expect that to happen at any rate, or anything else so radical (though I do hope in the future that they disentangle the Orientialist elements, and make Monastacism more of a Background).
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Well, Acolyte covers priestly characters, so you can have a Cleric who is not a formal priest, or a Fighter who is a formal priest (making an Elf Fighter who was a priest without Supernatural powers was something my Brother in Law did for our very first 5E session in July 2014, it was awesome).

Monastacism and priesthood are different life paths, however,, different narratives for a charac, and it is notable that Hermit does actually have many elements of being a member of a Monastic order already baked in. Making being a Monk something that a Cleric or Druid can do just as easily as the Martial Arts Class, just as it is currently with priesthood...that would be a logical furtherance of the positive developments in 5E for Backgrounds.
I mean IMO Hermit or Acolyte do “monastic priest” just fine, but adding another one wouldn’t hurt anything. I wouldn’t call it Monk, though. No reason to have that confusion. Use a synonym, IMO.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
I mean IMO Hermit or Acolyte do “monastic priest” just fine, but adding another one wouldn’t hurt anything. I wouldn’t call it Monk, though. No reason to have that confusion. Use a synonym, IMO.
I'm really advocating for the Hermit to just be upgraded to "Monk," I suppose, to also allow the Martial Artist to not be limited to being a Monastic: a Soldier with extreme discipline and focus, or a Noble who has honed their body and mind without needing to belong to a Fantasy Shaolin Order (not that there's anything wrong with that, of course).
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I'm really advocating for the Hermit to just be upgraded to "Monk," I suppose, to also allow the Martial Artist to not be limited to being a Monastic: a Soldier with extreme discipline and focus, or a Noble who has honed their body and mind without needing to belong to a Fantasy Shaolin Order (not that there's anything wrong with that, of course).
To me, the most important thing is to keep the basic identity of the class intact, but without the cliches and appropriation. I don’t really think it needs to model the noble you mentioned, unless that noble is also on the path to mastering some esoteric tradition, like the Spanish Magic Circle.
Well, that would suck.

Ha, I know what you meant: Don't suck...right?! ;)
Ah, no. New versions of the features that suck, not new versions that suck.
 

Aldarc

Legend
Why "mystic" tho?
That doesn't sound much better and doesn't give a good idea what the class is
Mystic sounds too occult. Like a spiritualist or a medium

Why not something like "brawler?"
It seems like one could keep the name "monk," but simply move away from the notion of "ki." For example, one could say that a monk takes their vows, similar to a paladin's oaths, and these vows empower them to ignore the need for sleep, eating, weapons, etc.

In Basic Dungeons & Dragona, the Monk equivalent Class was called the "Mystic," so it has historic resonance in D&D, and captures the half-caster nature of the Class (do the math for the Kinpoimt progression, comparing it to the Spell Point progression in the DMG: if you give Rangers and Paladins Spell Points, at any given level they would have the same Daily Spell Points as a Monk would get Ki points at 2 Shirt Rests a day). Changing the name would be a priority, because "Monk" should be a Background that any Class can take.
Considering that the Asians Represent podcast also has words to say about the association of East Asia with "mysticism," I'm not sure if you're really solving anything with this new name.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
I've been playing 5e since the playtest years and been vastly satisfied. Always said that the only 2 things I didn't like are the Guidance cantrip and the Druid armor restrictions, both of which anyway can be tamed without house rules but just some DM's moderation. Either way, neither of those will be changed by a revision which will certainly change stuff that doesn't need to. So for a 50th anniversary edition I would rather just go with no changes but some "best of" additions from supplementary books.
 

* Rebalance the entire game around the encounter/scene.

* Create a robust conflict/scene resolution system for noncombat encounters that is integrated with thecombat system.

* Create more movement and battlefield interaction.

* A DC procedure system that uses Factors to come to a target number like Burning Wheel/Mouse Guard/Torchbearer.

* More diversified units and synergy for Team Monster.

* XP system that is simplified and that encourages thematically aggressive, bold play (and not simple monster saying).
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
It seems like one could keep the name "monk," but simply move away from the notion of "ki." For example, one could say that a monk takes their vows, similar to a paladin's oaths, and these vows empower them to ignore the need for sleep, eating, weapons, etc.


Considering that the Asians Represent podcast also has words to say about the association of East Asia with "mysticism," I'm not sure if you're really solving anything with this new name.
That's why I'd want to do as much tonremove flavor from the Class and put that on to Background and Class. Shaolin Monks are Mystics, at least.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
It's not necessarily my place to say. I'll leave that for any cultural sensitivity readers to evaluate.
True, just spit balling here. The problem from what I can see isn't the existence of a Martial Artist Class, but the specific coding of the Class as the "Asian" Class full of Asian tropes. As if a Wizard or Cleric couldn't be Asian, or Martial Arts couldn't follow other paradigms.
 

In Basic Dungeons & Dragona, the Monk equivalent Class was called the "Mystic," so it has historic resonance in D&D, and captures the half-caster nature of the Class (do the math for the Kinpoimt progression, comparing it to the Spell Point progression in the DMG: if you give Rangers and Paladins Spell Points, at any given level they would have the same Daily Spell Points as a Monk would get Ki points at 2 Shirt Rests a day). Changing the name would be a priority, because "Monk" should be a Background that any Class can take.
As Aldarc sez, mystic really goes hand-in-hand with "mystical Asians." Still feels offensive

And "mystic" by itself doesn't give you the idea of a class that punches people. Feels more like an occult wizard
Mystic was the name of the divine healer in DRAGONLANCE SAGA and when they added the monk to 3rd Ed they changed the name from Basic DnD, likely cause "mystic" didn't work

Easier to call it the "brawler" and have one subclass option or choice of features be more monastic, but have other non-Eastern builds that will make it work better in Western Fantasy
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
As Aldarc sez, mystic really goes hand-in-hand with "mystical Asians." Still feels offensive

And "mystic" by itself doesn't give you the idea of a class that punches people. Feels more like an occult wizard
Mystic was the name of the divine healer in DRAGONLANCE SAGA and when they added the monk to 3rd Ed they changed the name from Basic DnD, likely cause "mystic" didn't work

Easier to call it the "brawler" and have one subclass option or choice of features be more monastic, but have other non-Eastern builds that will make it work better in Western Fantasy
Mystic works if they lean into the half-caster angle, which is the approach I would take, in addition to removing Asian specific tropes (other cultures have magical warriors who eschew weapons). Making Subclass a Level 1 choice also would open up the design space to let different Subclasses be different. There are more Subclass possibilities for "Magical Martial Artist" than "Brawler" too. "Brawler" sounds redundant with a Fighter using an unarmed fighting style.
 

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