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D&D 5E Why do Monks only have d8 HP instead of d10 HP?

Slit518

Explorer
I am often curious as to why the Monk, which is essentially a Martial Artist only a d8 for Hit Points?

Classes like the Fighter; Paladin; Ranger get a d10 because it is supposed to symbolize their rugged life style and hard training.

But, have you ever seen a Shaolin Monk or any other martial artist where training is their life style, which the D&D Monk is obviously based off of those life style choices and troupes.

When one lives that life style they train for a large portion of the day, putting their body to extreme limits. Not only that, but you spar constantly. Heck, even in the USA when you take a martial art, such as Taekwondo for example (which I did, I also did Boxing; Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; Hapkido), you spar 3 times a week minimum, except BJJ and Hapkido where you need an opponent to learn moves with every class.

So, with that reasoning, of constantly being at warfare (albeit within your temple, monastery, dojo, school, etc), putting your body through rigorous exercise and training, why is the Monk only a d8? Would you not agree it should be a d10?

I just picture Fighters; Paladins; Rangers going out, doing their armor and weapon training, their drills, and sparring with weapons with some light hand-to-hand. Mainly protected because they're using armor or training weapons (blunted edges, not full force techniques, wooden tips, etc).

Monks or Martial Artists spar, and in a lot of them they have full contact, though, some instances you use padding and protection, with boxing for example with gloves, helmet, and mouth piece. But, even then you can still get messed up pretty bad.

I am sure if you search the internet you fan find tons of examples of various culture training their Martial Art, the Human Weapon for example, Fight Quest, even documentaries on various ones around the world. You can see how rigorous it can be.

Well, anyways, enough of my rambling, thoughts?
 

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Aldarc

Legend
Fiddler On The Roof Broadway GIF by GREAT PERFORMANCES | PBS
 



Blue Orange

Adventurer
Back in the day they had 2d4 at level 1, then got 1d4 (like mages!) per level up to 18d4 at top level (this when fighters were capped at 9d10 plus 3 points per level). In 1st ed it was sort of an add-on/optional class with random thief abilities, disappeared entirely in 2nd ed, then came back in 3rd with a (more) logical d8 as it is now. Even the title is somewhat off-brand, conjuring up ideas of cloistered scholars in most parts of the world for what is, essentially, a martial artist. Monks in most cultures (including non-Shaolin Buddhist monks in China, the site of the original inspiration, which is the Shaolin monastery) are a lot closer to the stereotypical magic-user or sage than anything else.

I think it has to do, as billd91 says, with people mentally filing the paladin and ranger (and barbarian) with the fighter (who have the biggest hit dice) and the monk still being kind of 'its own thing'. If you accept the fighter-mage dialectic as sort of the organizing principle of D&D classes, with other classes falling somewhere along the spectrum, the monk is seen as 'almost at the fighter end' rather than 'at the fighter end' as it really should be.

I think OP's original argument is sound, and you could make a pretty good case for a d12, as the monk relies on their own toughness rather than armor. ;)
 

Undrave

Hero
So, with that reasoning, of constantly being at warfare (albeit within your temple, monastery, dojo, school, etc), putting your body through rigorous exercise and training, why is the Monk only a d8? Would you not agree it should be a d10?

Totally agreed! the Monk is NOT solid enough to properly stand in melee and has to constantly decide between improving their abysmal damage through Ki or use their Ki to get out of dodge (or INTO dodge). It's really annoying and makes the skill floor of the class too high.

AUGH. The 5e Monk is a stupid pile of legacy features that barely synergize together.
 


Slit518

Explorer
Totally agreed! the Monk is NOT solid enough to properly stand in melee and has to constantly decide between improving their abysmal damage through Ki or use their Ki to get out of dodge (or INTO dodge). It's really annoying and makes the skill floor of the class too high.


AUGH. The 5e Monk is a stupid pile of legacy features that barely synergize together.

And speaking about abysmal damage, I hate how Monk, a trained fighter only starts with d4, where as any Sloppy Joe can take the Tavern Brawler feat and deal d4 with their extremities as well... That would be like Street Kimbo Slice (not UFC trained version) vs Junior Dos Santos but both of their punching power is the same...

And not to mention Tasha's guide made it worse, because now you can start at a d6... or a d8 if you are using no armor or a shield? WTF?!? A Monk has to wait until Level 5 to do a d6, and Level 11 to do a d8... Yet, any old Sloppy Joe can do a d8 with their fists if they take the feat from Tasha's (I forget its name).

I would suggest Monk have d10 HP, add their Proficiency Modifier to Armor Class if not wearing Armor, and start with d6 to their Unarmed Attacks.
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I am often curious as to why the Monk, which is essentially a Martial Artist only a d8 for Hit Points?

Two reasons-

First, because when they were designing 5e, WoTC thought that they were creating a "MOOK," and not a MONK. Spelling, it's so important.

Second, they were too busy arguing over whether to make the Bard a full-caster, a double-caster, or just another subspecies of Elf to pay attention to design of the good classes.
 


Frozen_Heart

Adventurer
I'm personally not a fan of the idea of the monk getting d10 hit die. They're not meant to be frontline tanks. They're not meant to get hit often at all. Rogues don't get d10s either.
 



Nefermandias

Adventurer
I'm personally not a fan of the idea of the monk getting d10 hit die. They're not meant to be frontline tanks. They're not meant to get hit often at all. Rogues don't get d10s either.
It would be okay for them to have smaller HP pool if they could dish a lot of damage at-will.

It's really frustrating when a new player choses to play as a monk or rogue thinking they're going to be amazingly effective in combat just to be severely outperformed by the fighter and barbarian both in terms of damage and durability.
 

aco175

Legend
The real problem is that fighters suck and need 1d12 and then barbarians will need 1d20 to not suck as well. but then rogues will need 2d6 since they fight a lot and clerics may need 1d12 since god is on their side, but also mages will need 1d8...
 

Greg K

Hero
I am often curious as to why the Monk, which is essentially a Martial Artist only a d8 for Hit Points?

Classes like the Fighter; Paladin; Ranger get a d10 because it is supposed to symbolize their rugged life style and hard training.

But, have you ever seen a Shaolin Monk or any other martial artist where training is their life style, which the D&D Monk is obviously based off of those life style choices and troupes.

When one lives that life style they train for a large portion of the day, putting their body to extreme limits. Not only that, but you spar constantly. Heck, even in the USA when you take a martial art, such as Taekwondo for example (which I did, I also did Boxing; Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu; Hapkido), you spar 3 times a week minimum, except BJJ and Hapkido where you need an opponent to learn moves with every class

Well, anyways, enough of my rambling, thoughts?
MMA fighters are not monks. In my opinion, the Monk needs to be split up into at least two classes- the Martial artist and the Monk (martial artist/ caster hybrid)*. The game also needs a better treatment for tailoring both martial arts styles and special abilities associated with the styles.
*maybe rename monk to Ascetic or something else
 
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MMA fighters are not monks. In my opinion, the Monk needs to be split up into at least two classes- the Martial artist and the Monk (martial artist/ caster hybrid)*. The game also needs a better treatment for tailoring both martial arts styles and special abilities associated with the styles.
*maybe rename monk to Ascetic or something else
I'm against that since what most Fighters do is Martial Arts too. Though they could have used Mystic for Monk, but it's been taken by more spellcasting related classes (Psion in 5e Alpha test, and a divine caster in 3e).
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
MMA fighters are not monks. In my opinion, the Monk needs to be split up into at least two classes- the Martial artist and the Monk (martial artist/ caster hybrid)*. The game also needs a treatment of tailoring both martial arts styles and special abilities associated with the styles.
*maybe rename monk to Ascetic or something else
Yeah, I mostly agree. The D&D monk has never been able to decide exactly what trope it's trying to emulate: the hard-bashing, damage soaking kungfu hero? The lighter-than-air, shadow-stepping assassin? The mystical master of mind-over-matter? Or something else?

I wish they'd just drop the word monk*, and introduce a class does it's own semi-mystical, "inner power" thing. And then let the "martial artist" be a fighter subclass or something.


* Similar to "ranger", I think "monk" is a bad name for a class because different people envision different things when they hear the word. As a result, players (and designers) have differing expectations of what the class can/should do. End result is, well, the D&D monk class.
 

It's really frustrating when a new player choses to play as a monk or rogue thinking they're going to be amazingly effective in combat just to be severely outperformed by the fighter and barbarian both in terms of damage and durability.
Why would anyone associate the Monk or Rogue with a frontline toe-to-toe Fighter?
Who creates this expectation as it doesn't exist in the inspirational literature (books, movies, etc) nor in the rules
 

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