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

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
The difference between d8 and d10 hit dice is one HP per level. Not negligible, but hardly enough to make the difference between a capable frontline combatant and a wimp who needs to avoid combat at all costs. The monk shares its hit die category with the rogue, another class that is meant to be capable in combat but rely more on mobility and avoidance than sheer resilience. They also share it with the cleric and druid, both of whom are support characters who, while not ideal frontliners, are meant to be fully capable of mixing it up in melee when the need arises.

This is all mostly a matter of “feel,” as the 1HP per level will very rarely make a significant difference in the number of times you can get hit before falling unconscious. d8 HD classes are meant to feel more durable than the “squishy” mages but a bit more frail than the “tanky” warriors. And I think that’s an appropriate for a class based around the idea of wearing no armor, relying on nimbleness and an uncanny ability to predict an opponent’s moves should be. It should feel like you can take a hit here and there, but rely more on “dodge tanking” than sheer toughness. And I think d8 hit dice accomplishes that nicely.
 

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Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Monks have a d8 for the same reason Barbarians have a d12 and Rangers and Fighters have a d10... And no one has touched on it, yet...

Rangers have no special defensive abilities such as Rage or the ability to Dodge on every turn. They also have light or medium armor, so 5.5 hit points per hit dice is enough.

Barbarians wear light or no armor and use Reckless Attack so everyone has advantage to hit them. They offset this partially with the defensive benefits of Rage halving damage on a limited basis. So they get hit more often by all non-aoe attacks with a reduction to the majority of them (Non-energy). So they need the average of 6.5 rather than 5.5

Monks wear light or no armor and use Dodge as a bonus action to avoid taking damage on a limited basis. Because they've got more ability to completely negate damage on a given turn than either the Ranger or Barbarian (As all of them will likely have a similar armor class) they need less hit points to survive, by a similar amount to the added HP Barbarians need by exposing themselves to advantaged attacks.

Fighters are meant to be awesome at fighting. So they get the same d10 "Center Die" as the Ranger, but also Heavy Armor so they're hit less often. They neither provide advantage or impose disadvantage.

The problem with this balancing act, however, is that most Monks look at Ki and go "Flurry of Blows is the only real option I have, here..." and forget that Dodging and Disengaging are options.

Meanwhile my Rogue is making Daffy Duck noises as she bounces in and out of melee range, stays at range with a hand crossbow, or dodges, ducks, dives, dips, and dodges around every incoming attack when she -can't- get away from someone.
 


Zubatcarteira

Now you're infected by the Musical Doodle
They're supposed to attack then run back, I guess, but since disengaging costs a ki point and a BA, it's not really worth it in my experience. They really need Flurry to do decent damage themselves. At least Open Hand can hit and take away the enemy's reaction to run away.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
There's a bit of a bias (possibly even racist undertones) with the idea that a nimble martial artist isn't "strong": that kind of speed requires powerful muscles just the same.
There’s a mix of things going on here. First off, the Strength/Dex split in D&D doesn’t make a ton of sense to begin with. It would work if Dexterity actually just represented hand-eye coordination, or even proprioception more generally, but since has come to also encompass speed and reflexes and basically everything a “nimble” character is expected to do, the fact that it isn’t directly correlated with strength has become one of those D&D oddities you just kind of have to accept.

Now, given the weirdness of the strength/dex split, it does make sense within that framework that some characters would rely on dex over strength. The frail waif who can actually kick your ass because they’re small and quick and skilled is a common fantasy trope, and one that I think deserves a place in D&D. Where the potentially racist undertones come in is when all the classes in the game are designed to encompass a variety of cultural influences, but one is pretty specifically East Asian-coded, and that one conspicuously racialized class is inherently linked to martial arts, and also shoehorned into that nimble waif form of fighting, with no built-in way to make them strong, tough fighters.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
They're supposed to attack then run back, I guess, but since disengaging costs a ki point and a BA, it's not really worth it in my experience. They really need Flurry to do decent damage themselves. At least Open Hand can hit and take away the enemy's reaction to run away.
At least the drunken master gets a free disengage whenever it uses flurry of blows. That should probably have been a base monk feature.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
There are a lot of people in this thread saying monks are supposed to use hit-and-run tactics, but I have to ask:

You've never seen those videos of monks getting hit over the head with bars or being kicked repeatedly in the balls?

That ain't no dodgy-dodgy lower half of the HD spectrum kind of thing I'm telling you.

That said, if there was some kind of perpetual actual active defense ability in D&D instead of AC, monks would totally have it.
 
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Undrave

Hero
Monks have a d8 for the same reason Barbarians have a d12 and Rangers and Fighters have a d10... And no one has touched on it, yet...

Rangers have no special defensive abilities such as Rage or the ability to Dodge on every turn. They also have light or medium armor, so 5.5 hit points per hit dice is enough.

Barbarians wear light or no armor and use Reckless Attack so everyone has advantage to hit them. They offset this partially with the defensive benefits of Rage halving damage on a limited basis. So they get hit more often by all non-aoe attacks with a reduction to the majority of them (Non-energy). So they need the average of 6.5 rather than 5.5

Monks wear light or no armor and use Dodge as a bonus action to avoid taking damage on a limited basis. Because they've got more ability to completely negate damage on a given turn than either the Ranger or Barbarian (As all of them will likely have a similar armor class) they need less hit points to survive, by a similar amount to the added HP Barbarians need by exposing themselves to advantaged attacks.

Fighters are meant to be awesome at fighting. So they get the same d10 "Center Die" as the Ranger, but also Heavy Armor so they're hit less often. They neither provide advantage or impose disadvantage.

The problem with this balancing act, however, is that most Monks look at Ki and go "Flurry of Blows is the only real option I have, here..." and forget that Dodging and Disengaging are options.

Meanwhile my Rogue is making Daffy Duck noises as she bounces in and out of melee range, stays at range with a hand crossbow, or dodges, ducks, dives, dips, and dodges around every incoming attack when she -can't- get away from someone.
Yup, this situation wouldn't be so glaring if the defensive abilities of the Monk didn't come at the cost of their already limited offensive ability. Flurry of Blows should either stop costing Ki or get extra hits at later levels, and also allow to not provoke opportunity attack from anyone you hit with it. Then the 'hit and run' tactics would make sense and work as envisioned. I think that's something the Open Hand Monk does no? but I'd want it as a basic ability.

They're supposed to attack then run back, I guess, but since disengaging costs a ki point and a BA, it's not really worth it in my experience. They really need Flurry to do decent damage themselves. At least Open Hand can hit and take away the enemy's reaction to run away.
Maybe Monk should have the Mobile feat for free?
There’s a mix of things going on here. First off, the Strength/Dex split in D&D doesn’t make a ton of sense to begin with. It would work if Dexterity actually just represented hand-eye coordination, or even proprioception more generally, but since has come to also encompass speed and reflexes and basically everything a “nimble” character is expected to do, the fact that it isn’t directly correlated with strength has become one of those D&D oddities you just kind of have to accept.

Now, given the weirdness of the strength/dex split, it does make sense within that framework that some characters would rely on dex over strength. The frail waif who can actually kick your ass because they’re small and quick and skilled is a common fantasy trope, and one that I think deserves a place in D&D. Where the potentially racist undertones come in is when all the classes in the game are designed to encompass a variety of cultural influences, but one is pretty specifically East Asian-coded, and that one conspicuously racialized class is inherently linked to martial arts, and also shoehorned into that nimble waif form of fighting, with no built-in way to make them strong, tough fighters.
Yah. They've done a good job of removing a lot of the East Asian tropes from the Monk and move into a more mystical directions, even if the basics are still felt.
 

Undrave

Hero
There are a lot of people in this thread saying monks are supposed to use hit-and-run tactics, but I have to ask:

You've never seen those videos of monks getting hit over the head with bars or being kicking repeatedly in the balls?

That ain't no dodgy-dodgy lower half of the HD spectrum kind of thing I'm telling you.

That said, if there was some kind of perpetual actual active defense ability in D&D instead of AC, monks would totally have it.
There should be a Monk subclass about taking hits!
 

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.

Slightly more complicated than that. :)

When Supplement II introduced the monk and assassin classes late in '75, these were the first classes that had a built-in level cap for human characters but which got one hit die per level all the way up to their cap (rather than transitioning from hit dice to bonus hp the way fighting men, magic-users, clerics, and thieves all did). The monk had 16 levels and got 1d4 hp per level (max 1d6d4), and the assassin had 13 levels (not counting the pseudo-14th level of "guildmaster," which didn't get a hit die) and 1d6 hp per level (max 13d6).

This is in comparison to the four basic classes, which had no upper limit on levels, but hit dice capped out as follows: 9d8 for fighting men (+2 hp per level above 9th), 11d4 for magic-users (+1 hp per level above 11th), 8d6 for clerics (+1 hp per two levels above 8th), and 10d4 for thieves (+1 hp per two levels above 10th). The cleric and the thief only gained a bonus hit point every other level above name level because fighting men and magic-users needed considerably more XP to gain levels. (In AD&D, this discrepancy was resolved by increasing the XP needed for clerics and thieves to reach high levels, brining them in line with white box OD&D fighters and magic-users. Whereas in basic D&D, the opposite was done, and fighters and magic-users needed less XP above name level, more in line with the original cleric and thief.)

So in AD&D, you had nearly all the classes other than magic-user get their hit points bumped up.
• Fighters now got 9d10 (+3 per level after), clerics 9d8 (+2), thieves 10d6 (+2), and magic-users 11d4 (+1).
• Paladins had the same hit dice as fighters (which made sense, since paladins began as a set of tacked-on abilities for Lawful fighters with Cha 17+); whereas rangers (which originally, in The Strategic Review, had 2 hit dice at 1st level and went up to 10 dice at 9th, +2 thereafter; but could have either d6 or d8 dice depending on whether the DM's campaign was using the original LBB rules for hit dice where everyone had d6s, or the revised rules from Sup I that gave fighters d8s) were settled on d8s for hit dice, 2 at 1st level and then up to 11d8, still +2 above that.
• Illusionists were pretty much like MUs, except that they capped out at 10d4 instead of 11d4 dice (whereas the original illusionist from SR didn't specify beyond saying "sub-class of magic-user").
• Druids had 14 levels, and so (like the monk and assassin) they wound up with one per level — in this case, 14d8 hp (bumped up from the original 13d6 in Supplement III; both versions' highest levels were still called "The Great Druid," because Grand Druids and Hierophants wouldn't be a thing until Unearthed Arcana; but AD&D inserted the "Ovate" rank at 2nd level between Aspirants and 1st Circle Initiates).
• Assassins now had 15 levels (with "guildmaster" becoming a real 14th level, and "grandfather of assassins" the new 15th level, so up to 15d6 for hit dice).
• And bards, originally 1d6 per level up to 10d6 (+1 hp thereafter) were changed into that weird prestige class, apparently able to earn those 10 six-sided hit dice on top of any fighter or thief hit dice acquired first.

Which brings us to the monk. The Supplement II monk was very clearly noted a sub-class of cleric, same as the druid. If you had all the supplements and newsletters, the classes in OD&D were fighting man (paladin, ranger), magic-user (illusionist), cleric (monk, druid), thief (assassin), and bard. AD&D pulled the monk out and made it its own class, gave it an extra experience level (just like the assassin and the druid), and also gave it an extra hit die at level 1, the same as the ranger had. So AD&D monks had 17 levels and could have up to 18d4 for hit points, but with each die getting its own Con adjustment (and monks needed at least Con 15+ to qualify for the class in AD&D, so if you were a monk, you had at least +1 hp per die from Con, and very possibly +2 per die if your Con was 16 or better!).

This was the state of things for early 1st edition; of course late 1st edition was a different beast thanks to Unearthed Arcana and Dragon Magazine. I won't go into all the changes wrought on the classes by UA (like druids raising their level limit but not their hit dice, or the introduction of the barbarian), but I'll point out that the Dragon #53 variant monk was very popular, and it raised the class's level limit from 17th to 21st and bumped the hit dice to d6s, so this monk capped out with 22d6 hit dice!

There's also basic D&D to consider, which reintroduced a version of the monk with a human monster entry called the "mystic," which could have anywhere from 1 to 16 (eight-sided) hit dice (just like the original Sup II monk's 16 levels) in both its original form and as an optional PC type in the D&D Master Set. When the mystic was revised for the Rules Cyclopedia, it retained its limit of 16 experience levels, but now its hit dice were six-sided like a cleric's and capped at 9 just like all the other classes. (In basic D&D, the fighter gets 9d8, +2 thereafter; the mystic, 9d6, +2; the cleric, 9d6, +1; the thief, 9d4, +2; and the magic-user, 9d4, +1 thereafter. Dwarves get 9d8, then +3 for levels 10–12; elves get 9d6 and then either +1 or +2 at 10th level depending on the version; and halflings cap out at 8th level, so they only ever get 8d6.)

When AD&D 2nd edition came along, it did a big thing: it reorganized all the sub-classes into class groups, and it made all the hit dice uniform within a group (for the most part). When the 2nd edition monk finally appeared in Greyhawk: Scarlet Brotherhood, it was once again a member of the "priest" group. So 2nd edition classes looked like this:

• Warriors (fighters, paladins, rangers, and I think there was even a gladiator class in this group eventually?) all got 1d10 up to 9th level, then +3 hp. (Barbarian fighters were one of two exceptions, getting d12 dice up to 9th level, which was one more than the 8d12 that barbarians originally got back in UA!)
• Priests (clerics, druids, monks, crusaders, shamans, countless other specialty priests) got 1d8 up to 9th level then +2 per level. (NB, the other exception to the general rule also came from the Complete Barbarian's Handbook: this version of the shaman rolled d10s for hit dice, a feature not shared by the Spells & Magic shaman class.)
• Rogues (thieves, bards, assassins, ninjas) got 1d6 up to 10th level, then +2 per level.
• Psionicists got 1d6 up to 9th level, then +2 per level.
• Wizards (mages, the eight school specialists, setting-specific variants like the sha'ir, and countless more types of specialist wizards from later sources—artificers, geomancers, and so forth) all got 1d4 up to 10th and then +1 hp thereafter, just like the 1st edition illusionist (one fewer than the 1st edition magic-user!).

So when 3rd edition came around and obliterated the concept of sub-classes or class groups, the days of this beautiful uniformity were numbered. It held on for a while: with the original PHB classes, you could see a reflection of the old class groups in fighters, paladins, and rangers all having 1d10, the barbarian uniquely still having its d12, the cleric and druid and monk all sharing the d8, the rogue and the bard with d6, and the wizard and sorcerer with d4.

3.5 came along, dropped the ranger back down to d8, and that was pretty much the end of the old system. Whatever new classes were added in 3.5, any hit die type was fair game, and there was no more real logic to it. 4th edition, of course, did away with hit dice entirely, and when 5th edition brought them back, it took a cue from Pathfinder in excising the d4 hit die from the list, which resulted in another system-wide bump of hit points across many of the classes — but one that worked exactly opposite to the original bump that Gary Gygax worked into 1st edition, to the advantage of fighters and the necessary detriment of magic-users.

So… yeah. Thanks for coming to my blog talk. ∎
 
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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.
unless you want to sit there and hammer out a better one nothing will change.

personally, I say the lack of a d10 is bad but is one of several blunders in monk design that I can see which I might be able to remedy if I had knowledge of how to make a class even turn on
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Yup, this situation wouldn't be so glaring if the defensive abilities of the Monk didn't come at the cost of their already limited offensive ability. Flurry of Blows should either stop costing Ki or get extra hits at later levels, and also allow to not provoke opportunity attack from anyone you hit with it. Then the 'hit and run' tactics would make sense and work as envisioned. I think that's something the Open Hand Monk does no? but I'd want it as a basic ability.
Monks attack twice at level 1, With a Quarterstaff that is 1d8 followed by 1d4 unarmed... Their offensive ability, at level 1, is pretty great since they add their Str or Dex to both of those. That, alone, puts their average damage per round at or above the damage of a level 1 Raging Barbarian's DPR. Right about on-line to a level 1 Fighter, and slightly above the damage of a level 1 Ranger...

The real issue isn't that 3rd attack at level 2 that is pretty tempting. It's the opportunity cost of Dodge compared to maintaining their DPR, which a Barbarian doesn't have to choose between.

Monks should've been able to spend 1 ki to activate Dodge as a Reaction to being attacked.
Maybe Monk should have the Mobile feat for free?
Eh. shrugs I don't think it's needed.
 

Rabulias

Hero
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.
While I like both classes, it sounds like Snarf sees the truth that not much separates them:
BARD
BAND
BANK
BONK
MONK
 

Blue Orange

Adventurer
Slightly more complicated than that. :)

When Supplement II introduced the monk and assassin classes late in '75, these were the first classes that had a built-in level cap for human characters but which got one hit die per level all the way up to their cap (rather than transitioning from hit dice to bonus hp the way fighting men, magic-users, clerics, and thieves all did). The monk had 16 levels and got 1d4 hp per level (max 1d6d4), and the assassin had 13 levels (not counting the pseudo-14th level of "guildmaster," which didn't get a hit die) and 1d6 hp per level (max 13d6).

This is in comparison to the four basic classes, which had no upper limit on levels, but hit dice capped out as follows: 9d8 for fighting men (+2 hp per level above 9th), 11d4 for magic-users (+1 hp per level above 11th), 8d6 for clerics (+1 hp per two levels above 8th), and 10d4 for thieves (+1 hp per two levels above 10th). The cleric and the thief only gained a bonus hit point every other level above name level because fighting men and magic-users needed considerably more XP to gain levels. (In AD&D, this discrepancy was resolved by increasing the XP needed for clerics and thieves to reach high levels, brining them in line with white box OD&D fighters and magic-users. Whereas in basic D&D, the opposite was done, and fighters and magic-users needed less XP above name level, more in line with the original cleric and thief.)

So in AD&D, you had nearly all the classes other than magic-user get their hit points bumped up.
• Fighters now got 9d10 (+3 per level after), clerics 9d8 (+2), thieves 10d6 (+2), and magic-users 11d4 (+1).
• Paladins had the same hit dice as fighters (which made sense, since paladins began as a set of tacked-on abilities for Lawful fighters with Cha 17+); whereas rangers (which originally, in The Strategic Review, had 2 hit dice at 1st level and went up to 10 dice at 9th, +2 thereafter; but could have either d6 or d8 dice depending on whether the DM's campaign was using the original LBB rules for hit dice where everyone had d6s, or the revised rules from Sup I that gave fighters d8s) were settled on d8s for hit dice, 2 at 1st level and then up to 11d8, still +2 above that.
• Illusionists were pretty much like MUs, except that they capped out at 10d4 instead of 11d4 dice (whereas the original illusionist from SR didn't specify beyond saying "sub-class of magic-user").
• Druids had 14 levels, and so (like the monk and assassin) they wound up with one per level — in this case, 14d8 hp (bumped up from the original 13d6 in Supplement III; both versions' highest levels were still called "The Great Druid," because Grand Druids and Hierophants wouldn't be a thing until Unearthed Arcana; but AD&D inserted the "Ovate" rank at 2nd level between Aspirants and 1st Circle Initiates).
• Assassins now had 15 levels (with "guildmaster" becoming a real 14th level, and "grandfather of assassins" the new 15th level, so up to 15d6 for hit dice).
• And bards, originally 1d6 per level up to 10d6 (+1 hp thereafter) were changed into that weird prestige class, apparently able to earn those 10 six-sided hit dice on top of any fighter or thief hit dice acquired first.

Which brings us to the monk. The Supplement II monk was very clearly noted a sub-class of cleric, same as the druid. If you had all the supplements and newsletters, the classes in OD&D were fighting man (paladin, ranger), magic-user (illusionist), cleric (monk, druid), thief (assassin), and bard. AD&D pulled the monk out and made it its own class, gave it an extra experience level (just like the assassin and the druid), and also gave it an extra hit die at level 1, the same as the ranger had. So AD&D monks had 17 levels and could have up to 18d4 for hit points, but with each die getting its own Con adjustment (and monks needed at least Con 15+ to qualify for the class in AD&D, so if you were a monk, you had at least +1 hp per die from Con, and very possibly +2 per die if your Con was 16 or better!).

This was the state of things for early 1st edition; of course late 1st edition was a different beast thanks to Unearthed Arcana and Dragon Magazine. I won't go into all the changes wrought on the classes by UA (like druids raising their level limit but not their hit dice, or the introduction of the barbarian), but I'll point out that the Dragon #53 variant monk was very popular, and it raised the class's level limit from 17th to 21st and bumped the hit dice to d6s, so this monk capped out with 22d6 hit dice!

There's also basic D&D to consider, which reintroduced a version of the monk with a human monster entry called the "mystic," which could have anywhere from 1 to 16 (eight-sided) hit dice (just like the original Sup II monk's 16 levels) in both its original form and as an optional PC type in the D&D Master Set. When the mystic was revised for the Rules Cyclopedia, it retained its limit of 16 experience levels, but now its hit dice were six-sided like a cleric's and capped at 9 just like all the other classes. (In basic D&D, the fighter gets 9d8, +2 thereafter; the mystic, 9d6, +2; the cleric, 9d6, +1; the thief, 9d4, +2; and the magic-user, 9d4, +1 thereafter. Dwarves get 9d8, then +3 for levels 10–12; elves get 9d6 and then either +1 or +2 at 10th level depending on the version; and halflings cap out at 8th level, so they only ever get 8d6.)

When AD&D 2nd edition came along, it did a big thing: it reorganized all the sub-classes into class groups, and it made all the hit dice uniform within a group (for the most part). When the 2nd edition monk finally appeared in Greyhawk: Scarlet Brotherhood, it was once again a member of the "priest" group. So 2nd edition classes looked like this:

• Warriors (fighters, paladins, rangers, and I think there was even a gladiator class in this group eventually?) all got 1d10 up to 9th level, then +3 hp. (Barbarian fighters were the sole exception, getting d12 dice up to 9th level, which was one more than the 8d12 that barbarians originally got back in UA!)
• Priests (clerics, druids, monks, crusaders, shamans, countless other specialty priests) got 1d8 up to 9th level, then +2 per level.
• Rogues (thieves, bards, assassins, ninjas) got 1d6 up to 10th level, then +2 per level.
• Psionicists got 1d6 up to 9th level, then +2 per level.
• Wizards (mages, the eight school specialists, setting-specific variants like the sha'ir, and countless more types of specialist wizards from later sources—artificers, geomancers, and so forth) all got 1d4 up to 10th and then +1 hp thereafter, just like the 1st edition illusionist (one fewer than the 1st edition magic-user!).

So when 3rd edition came around and obliterated the concept of sub-classes or class groups, the days of this beautiful uniformity were numbered. It held on for a while: with the original PHB classes, you could see a reflection of the old class groups in fighters, paladins, and rangers all having 1d10, the barbarian uniquely still having its d12, the cleric and druid and monk all sharing the d8, the rogue and the bard with d6, and the wizard and sorcerer with d4.

3.5 came along, dropped the ranger back down to d8, and that was pretty much the end of the old system. Whatever new classes were added in 3.5, any hit die type was fair game, and there was no more real logic to it. 4th edition, of course, did away with hit dice entirely, and when 5th edition brought them back, it took a cue from Pathfinder in excising the d4 hit die from the list, which resulted in another system-wide bump of hit points across many of the classes — but one that worked exactly opposite to the original bump that Gary Gygax worked into 1st edition, to the advantage of fighters and the necessary detriment of magic-users.

So… yeah. Thanks for coming to my blog talk. ∎

Thanks a lot! I had been aware of the max HD limit in 1e (I got a copy of the PHB in junior high and read it cover to cover a few times...), but not the rest of it.

Gosh, there certainly are a lot of artifacts that build up over 45 years of game, aren't there?
 



Iry

Hero
While there are nimble dodge-heavy martial arts, the stereotype (to me) has always been absolutely brutal training above and beyond other class stereotypes. Only Barbarian shares the same stereotype, with its "struggle to survive every day" theme.
 


Gosh, there certainly are a lot of artifacts that build up over 45 years of game, aren't there?

O brother, you ain't kiddin'.

FWIW, even though I don't do any such thing in my own (1e) campaigns at the moment, I quite like the idea of giving monks the d12 hit die alongside barbarians — and in the past, when I've been in the mood to the pare the class list down to only one core class for each ability score, I've generally filled the Constitution niche by folding the monk and the barbarian into a single "brawler" class that benefits from a mix of unarmed and spiritual abilities (including a boost mechanic that can be variously flavored as berserker rage, powering up your ch'i, totem spirit possession, intense martial focus, or anything else either more or less overtly supernatural that the player can think of). This is likely how I would approach a 3rd edition campaign if I were ever to run that system again.
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Monks should've been able to spend 1 ki to activate Dodge as a Reaction to being attacked.
Frankly, Dodge should have been a reaction by default. No one ever uses it because you have to give up your attack (which advances your goals) for a chance to avoid being hit (which doesn’t). It should be a reaction you can take in response to an attack, but makes it so you can’t use an action on your next turn. Then let monks spend a Ki point when they dodge to retain their action on their next turn.
 

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