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

ECMO3

Adventurer
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).
It is not a feat it is a fighting style (which can be gained through a feat), but a Monk can get that too or take a dip in fighter and get it.
For me what makes the Monk are the subclass abilities (some of which are good and some aren't), movement, stunning strike and free bonus action attacks. I think taken as a whole these things bring the class up to be comparable with most other classes (provided you take a good subclass).

What I really want to do is combine a Kensei Monk with a bladesinger. That would be pretty awesome I think, rocking a dex-based warhammer or longsword booming blade with bladesinger extra attack and then a bonus action martial arts attack on top of that. You can have a screaming high AC, awesome movement and deal awsome damage without using any ki. Start with a 15 intelligence and pick up fey touched and hex for even more damage. It would take 10 levels to really come fully online though, 11 if you want stunning strike.

I had one I started playing, she died at 2nd level though (level 1 wizard, level 1 Monk) when she rolled a 1 on a death save and then took another hit while down.
 

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Greg K

Hero
The more time I spend playing and talking about 5e, the more I realise that it's basically a bodge job which got lucky. And not a perfectly and elegantly designed system.
The more I look at 5e classes and those of Fantasy Craft, I think, overall, that I prefer FC's classes- especially, when adding in the Crusader and Martial Artist base classes from Call to Arms and the Emissary base class from Adventure Companion along with the additional expert classes from Call to Arms.

I am not claiming that FC classes are handled perfectly. There are a few class mechanics among some 5e classes that I prefer. I also do not like that FC expert classes cannot be taken until 5th level.* However, the classes and the choices built within (along with several being Feat chains open to a variety of classes) they better cover a number concepts, in my opinion. The setup is also better for non-magic or low magic campaigns that go beyond levels 1-5 or so , imo.

* With base classes, and possibly, correct feats one can model the concept behind an Expet class making the transition feel natural. However, I find waiting until 5th level for the Expert class is ridiculous (as was the case of PrCs in 3e)
 

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.
The most common non-monk usage of Dodge I've seen is the "cautious advance" – you want to close with the enemy, but they're between one and two moves away. So you can't get up there and hit them, and dashing just means presenting an easier target. So instead, move and Dodge.
 


ECMO3

Adventurer
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.
THIS!

Not saying you should never use FOB, but it is rarely a good use of ki, especially when you get martial arts attack anyway without using any ki. Dodge or stunning strike are almost always a better way to use ki.
 


Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
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.
That just kicks the can down the road one turn. Would you rather give up your attack(s)/spell -this- turn or -next- turn? People would still choose to attack, by and large. Even making it eat a Bonus Action would be rough for a lot of players... but at least it would be -somewhat- reasonable, then.

That said... yeah. I -use- Dodge. And it's -so- satisfying to play a Cleric who throws Healing Word as a Bonus Action while Dodging as an Action. And if I could Bonus-Action Dodge as a Bard I'd spend a whole fight, sword in hand, launching Vicious Mockery and ducking every retaliation.
THIS!

Not saying you should never use FOB, but it is rarely a good use of ki, especially when you get martial arts attack anyway without using any ki. Dodge or stunning strike are almost always a better way to use ki.
Stunning Strike is OP. sagenod
 

Ashrym

Hero
Too much overthinking going on.

Every class runs from the d8 baseline as hardy adventurers. From that point a class is slightly less hardy (sorc, wiz) or slightly more hardy (fighter, ranger, paladin). Barbarians are exceptionally hardy.

The die itself only makes a small difference in total hit points and d8 does not indicate low hit points.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
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.
I think the monks have a hint of how I would go more conditions. The stun is good but perhaps too costly/infrequent to be enough, ... see if you can dash by (with low/no incident of opportunity attacks) a bunch of enemies and launch attacks that hit pressure points and slow the enemies so its hard for them to follow and close on the monk or move in general to where they really want to be.

It seems that a monk can be a melee combatant without extra hit points... but they need to amp up their effectiveness other ways which they seem to not have enough of.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
That just kicks the can down the road one turn. Would you rather give up your attack(s)/spell -this- turn or -next- turn? People would still choose to attack, by and large.
It doesn’t just kick the can down the road though, it reverses the sequence, changing the question from “do I give up my attack now for a better chance to avoid if I get attacked later?” to “do I give up my attack later for a better chance to avoid avoid this attack now?” Psychologically, the former is an extremely unappealing proposition because it asks you to trade immediate gratification for potential future reward. The latter does the opposite, offering you immediate gratification in exchange for a future drawback. It also eliminates the ambiguity because you at least know you’re getting attacked. I actually think it would be even better if you got to see the result of the attack roll before choosing to Dodge or not, like with Shield.
 
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ECMO3

Adventurer
The die itself only makes a small difference in total hit points and d8 does not indicate low hit points.
Not only is the difference small it is not even always negative.

Considering the distribution 17% of 10th level Monks will have as many or MORE hps than a 10th level fighter with the same constitution. That is assuming you take max hps at 1st level, if you roll at 1st level too that number goes up to 20%.

So it is very possible for your d8 monk to have MORE hps than your d10 fighter.

Right now I am playing a level 8 Wizard, level 4 Rogue with a 13 constitution and 81 hps. I rolled 61hps on 8d6 and 3d8 or an average of 5.5 per roll and remember most of these were d6s

At the other extreme, I was DM for a guy who was a 8th level fighter 4th level assassin who had 35hps.
 

pming

Legend
Hiya!

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,

FYI, Monks did make a semi-come back in 2e...but it was in "The Scarlet Brotherhood" book for Greyhawk. The Scarlet Brotherhood is an organization of Suloise-Supremacist Monk/Assassins who use diplomacy, contracts, intimidation and, obviously, assassination, as a means to an end. They are a bit of a 'big thing' in Greyhawk (as far as anything is "big" in the Flanaess), so when 2e came out and they were all reduced to "just fighters and thieves being meanies" it kind of sucked the life out of them. I don't think any Greyhawk DM liked or accepted that (none I've ever heard about anyway), and so... they put out "The Scarlet Brotherhood" sourcebook that included the new Monk AND Assassin Classes (because, another FYI, Assassin was the other class they killed off when they went to 2e).

For me, I let my players use "Monk" classes from either the PHB, the "Monk" class from a Dragon Magazine (Best of..., the gold one iirc, "He's got a Lot to Kick about!" was the article), or the "Monk" class from Oriental Adventures (with the additional MA schools from another Dragon Magazine). The PHB Monk, if someone chooses, are all Psionic, however....so there is that. ;)

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
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.
Ugh, no. Reactive dodging has been factored into AC since the early days. It doesn’t need the boost.
 


ECMO3

Adventurer
I’m just saying, if you want people to use the Dodge action, that’s how you do it.
I don't know if I agree. Players, especially Wizards and Monks use dodge pretty frequently in my games (Wizards when concentrating on something like sickening radiance).

NPCs, familiars and mounts use dodge a lot.

As DM I will have monsters in a large battle take dodge to nerf a sneak attack if I know who the Rogue will want to attack or if he is only positioned to attack one or two enemies easily. This can be really, really effective at either taking away the Rogue's SA completely or make him dash across the battlefield and end his turn in area he can get easily counterattacked instead of kiting in and out of danger.
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I don't know if I agree. Players, especially Wizards and Monks use dodge pretty frequently in my games (Wizards when concentrating on something like sickening radiance).
I haven’t seen this myself. Monks (as we’ve been discussing) would rather use Flurry of Blows than dodge, and everyone else would rather either Attack, Cast a Spell, or Ready an action to do one of those things.
NPCs, familiars and mounts use dodge a lot.
Sure, but I’m talking about PCs.
As DM I will have monsters in a large battle take dodge to nerf a sneak attack if I know who the Rogue will want to attack or if he is only positioned to attack one or two enemies easily. This can be really, really effective at either taking away the Rogue's SA completely or make him dash across the battlefield and end his turn in area he can get easily counterattacked instead of kiting in and out of danger.
Oh that’s a nifty trick! I had never thought of that.
 

Mirtek

Hero
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.
Then they should cut down their mobility and other class features.

Monks are not supposed to outperform fighters and barbarians.

They trade combat progress for other stuff
 


Nefermandias

Adventurer
Then they should cut down their mobility and other class features.

Monks are not supposed to outperform fighters and barbarians.

They trade combat progress for other stuff
I don't know what monks are "supposed" to do, I was just mentioning my experience observing that kind of character in the hands of new players.

That said, I don't believe that "mobility and other class features" should be an excuse for being outclassed in combat by other characters.

Utility is a meme anyway, but if you are really willing to make this argument, then take a look on how monks fare against wizards in the utility department.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Seriously, Dungeon Masters, why all the hate for Sneak Attack? What did Sneak Attack do to you to deserve so much effort to disable it?

I don't hate sneak attack, I would just like to point out that, like a lot of things in the game, it went into full "easy mode", as it went from something that took skill to use (backstab) to something that still took some skill (3e implementation with its restrictions) to something that is so basic that it has to be included in every round so that the rogue meets its DPR objective. Having clever adversaries noticing a rogue and taking appropriate countermeasures is also something that I do as well, in particular because it would be really stupid for most monsters to ignore the shifty character who you know is just waiting for an opportunity to sink his dagger into your kidneys...

After that I agree that for both rogues and monks other pillars of the game should also be a compensation for maybe slightly less efficiency in frontal combat than other martial classes. I find it a bit annoying that people don't care about their other advantages but still want to be the equal to the best in others' areas of expertise.
 

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