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Revised Monk
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Revised Monk

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A revised version of the monk for those who wish the monk felt more like a martial artist.

The monk's key feature is their ability to dish out multiple attacks in a round... which they are quickly out-classed at by fighters. 

Stunning strike feels great when it works, but flurry of blows and stunning strike just soak up ki points with no interesting choices to be made.

This revision aims to fix that by making Flurry of Blows a core class feature and providing more options for using ki points or bonus actions. This gives the monk competitive damage and choices to make during combat. This revision has got as far as it can without playtesting, so I'm releasing it out into the wild.

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Discussions (3)
Customer avatar
Roy T January 12, 2021 4:06 pm UTC
This class revision is really well thought out, great job. Long response incoming, this revision is fantastic so I think it merits a good bit of analysis.

I think the flurry of blows change is incredible both mechanically and flavor wise, you're right it makes much more sense for monks to be dishing out a ton of lower damage attacks. I think that Kensei should be able to use monk weapons for the flurry but other than that I think that having flurry be unarmed strikes only just feels better for most monks. It's a clever balance trade off, more attacks but you lose access to things like magic weapons with special effects.

My only two balance worries are the ability to use patient defense as a bonus action with no Ki cost and the lasting effects of slowing and silencing strike.

Patient defense being an unlimited resource, especially after the flurry of blows change that completely frees up a monk's bonus action, is incredibly strong. You have no opportunity cost when deciding...See more
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Stephen H January 13, 2021 9:15 am UTC
This is a fantastic analysis and matches a few things I've experienced from playtest as well. The latest version (which this comment prompted me to finish and upload) addresses most of these issues.
- Concentration for slowing and silencing strike is a fairly reasonable restriction to prevent a possibly indefinite effect (decided against a hard duration though, between saves and concentration it seemed redundant.)
- Was still finding the action economy on stillness of mind was irksome even with a reward attached. It now requires a ki point and a reaction, allowing the monk to shrug off the effect but still costing a resource.
- Taken patient defense back to bonus action /and/ a ki point, matching complete the form. Leaving Step of the Wind as is, because the mobility is not as troublesome as being unhittable.
- Not putting any limits on number of attempts at ki strikes. Forcing the same save over and over is usually a trap at lower levels and at higher levels gives the monk something to...See more
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Roy T January 14, 2021 12:33 am UTC
Thank you for considering my points! I've thought about it more and I think you're right about not putting any limits on the Ki strikes. Also the stillness of mind as a reaction change is a really good idea and I think it'll feel much better in use that way.

I've played a lot of RAW monk and I love the concept but it constantly falls short mechanically so I really appreciate the work you put into this revision. This feels mechanically perfect now and I can't wait to try it out in a game, I'll be sure to update you with feedback on how it all goes when I get the chance to use it! Thanks again!
Customer avatar
Walter D January 08, 2021 6:35 pm UTC
Ki Empowered Strikes looks a bit overpowered. "You can use this ki empowerment to interfere with the flow of ki in an opponent's body, granting you the following options which you may use one of each time you hit a creature with an unarmed strike or a monk weapon". I understand that i would be able to slow, stun and silence a creature in one turn, or am i misunderstanding something?
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Stephen H January 08, 2021 7:28 pm UTC
Assuming you hit with 3 strikes, spend 3 ki, and your target fails a wisdom, intelligence and constitution save. Sure.

It doesn't sound like the most efficient ki use, though.
Customer avatar
Utkarsh G September 07, 2020 3:59 am UTC
Love the revision to Flurry of Blows and expanded options for control. Some concern that number of strikes will be broken when combo'd with Hex / Hunter's Mark, but honestly it's still not as broken as some sharpshooter / Great weapon master builds. And a bit surprised that Unarmoured Defense was removed entirely. Still, other changes are elegant. And I really like Iron Soul as a precursor to Diamond Soul.
Customer avatar
Stephen H September 07, 2020 2:49 pm UTC
... Unarmoured Defense was not supposed to be removed. Update incoming. XD

The number of strikes shouldn't be substantially different from the base monk until higher levels. I'll look at fixing that if I or anyone else testing it finds it over-tuned.
Customer avatar
Utkarsh G September 07, 2020 7:24 pm UTC
Yeah, I'd say leave the number of strikes as is for now. Unarmed attacks can't get the benefit of great weapon master or sharpshooter bonus, so Hex / Hunter's Mark leaves the door open for one type of optimization.

Whenever I've tried to fix flurry of blows, I have kept it as a Bonus Action because I find that most of 5e is pretty elegantly designed that bonus damage comes in via bonus actions. But then I find that I need to move around patient defense & step of the wind and it just ends up being a huge hassle. So, I much prefer your design when I read it because it preserves (and enables!) all the other uses of Bonus Action by the monk. If only I had your revised monk to use when I built my Shadow Monk (RIP Shadowstep, bonus action, never used).
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File Last Updated:
January 13, 2021
This title was added to our catalog on September 06, 2020.