Dark Monk (5e Class)
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|Work In Progress|
|“||That looks like a nice skull you have there. Would you mind ...lending it to me?||”|
|—Xerrous the Collector, Human Dark Monk|
A Dark Monk is often found lurking around the local graveyard by travelers. He offers to assist them in exchange for the ability to take the “used parts” of his enemies. Parties may be hesitant to add the somewhat shady character to their party, but they tend to be able to use their silver tongue to find their way into the party.
A Dark Monk believes in themselves far more than the power of any gods that loaf around lording themselves over people, and instead choose to worship the devil-figures of most religions, from whom they believe they derive their power. If no devil figures exist, then they tend to worship gods of Chaos. These monks often seem distant and unsociable due to their strange self-harming ways and a strange obsession with the dead, but often have friendly personalities in order to seduce others to their cause, often offering to contract others work for their deity. They do not get along with Paladins, Crusaders, or anybody who has a large amount of respect for the dead.
In combat, they are at their best as an opportunistic combatant, using their maneuverability to get around and out of combat quickly, then launching all-out unholy assaults for brief periods of time rather than using slow attrition tactics, though they contain some skills to wear down their foes’ stats. Outside of battle they also function as great negotiators and sometimes scouts.
Dark Monks are very rare and have no regular interactions with the world, so are somewhat of a mystery. Most live in a secluded area where they might sometimes interact with passerby... for better or for worse. Most Dark Monks are content with living a rather normal life, but are easily attracted to any opportunity to use their skills in combat. Only fights to the death, mind you.
They rarely assembly due to the clashing of their strong personalities, but small groups of Dark Monks whose personalities click may form, and often are best avoided.
Creating a Dark Monk
The Dark Monk functions best as an opportunistic combatant, using their maneuverability to get around and out of combat quickly, then launching all-out unholy assaults for brief periods of time rather than using slow attrition tactics, though they contain some skills to wear down their foes’ stats. Outside of battle they also function as great negotiators and sometimes scouts.
Tieflings are by far the most likely race to undertake the path of a Dark Monk, as their ancestors have already made a blood contract, but as it is a class that is a result of a contract with an evil being, the only pre-requisite is making a literate character. This does not apply to Tieflings because the contract could be handed down through the family.
A Dark Monk’s training requires strict disciple and a certain type of broken mind. Only those who are lawful evil may undertake it safely.
- Quick Build
Charisma powers the Dark Monk’s special offensive and defensive capabilities. Constitution provides the unarmored Dark Monk with a better defense and bonuses to other class skills, and is useful for increasing the health the dark monk has to burn. Strength helps a Dark Monk’s unarmed combat ability.
As a dark monk you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Tools: One artisan's tool of choice
Saving Throws: Strength, Constitution
Skills: Choose three from Acrobatics, Arcana,Athletics, Deception, History, Insight, Investigation,Persuasion, Perception, Religion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
|Rigid Strike||Ki Points||Shadow Slip||Features|
|1st||+2||1d4||—||—||Unarmored Defense, Rigid Strike|
|2nd||+2||1d4||2||10 ft.||Ki, Shadow Slip|
|3rd||+2||1d4||3||10 ft.||Monastic Tradition, Return Fire|
|4th||+2||1d4||4||10 ft.||Ability Score Improvement, Embalmed Body|
|5th||+3||1d6||5||10 ft.||Extra Attack, Dark Exchange|
|6th||+3||1d6||6||15 ft.||Ki-Empowered Strikes, Monastic Tradition feature|
|7th||+3||1d6||7||15 ft.||Evasion, Magic Interference|
|8th||+3||1d6||8||15 ft.||Ability Score Improvement|
|9th||+4||1d6||9||15 ft.||Part Swap|
|10th||+4||1d6||10||20 ft.||Meat Puppet|
|11th||+4||1d8||11||20 ft.||Monastic Tradition feature|
|12th||+4||1d8||12||20 ft.||Ability Score Improvement|
|13th||+5||1d8||13||20 ft.||Recycled Parts|
|14th||+5||1d8||14||25 ft.||What is Dead|
|15th||+5||1d8||15||25 ft.||Rigor Mortis|
|16th||+5||1d8||16||25 ft.||Ability Score Improvement|
|17th||+6||1d10||17||25 ft.||Monastic Tradition feature|
|18th||+6||1d10||18||30 ft.||Draining Fists|
|19th||+6||1d10||19||30 ft.||Ability Score Improvement|
|20th||+6||1d10||20||30 ft.||Full Necrotic Integration|
Dark Monks use dead bodies where Rigor Mortis has set in, granting them considerable advantages when fighting unarmed. At 1st level, your attacks may be with either fist interchangeably or even from elbows, knees, and feet. You gain the following benefits when you are unarmed and you aren't wearing armor or wielding a shield:
- Your body is infused with energy of darkness. You can use Charisma instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls of your unarmed strikes.
- You can roll a d4 in place of the normal damage of your unarmed strike. This die changes as you gain dark monk levels, as shown in the Rigid Strike column of the Monk table.
- When you use the Attack action with an unarmed strike on your turn, you can make one unarmed strike as a bonus action.
Starting at 2nd level, your training allows you to harness the mystic energy of ki. Your access to this energy is represented by a number of ki points. Your monk level determines the number of points you have, as shown in the Ki Points column of the Monk table.
You can spend these points to fuel various ki features. You start knowing three such features: Skeletal Barrage, , and . You learn more ki features as you gain levels in this class.
When you spend a ki point, it is unavailable until you finish a short or long rest, at the end of which you draw all of your expended ki back into yourself. You must spend at least 30 minutes of the rest meditating to regain your ki points.
Some of your ki features require your target to make a saving throw to resist the feature's effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows:
Ki save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier
- Skeletal Barrage
As an action, you can spend 1 ki point and use your profane powers to summon skeletal arms from your body, to unleash a barrage of attacks against your opponents.
You can make a number of attacks using this action up to your proficiency bonus. You can target a single creature with all attacks or up to one creature per strike, within a 15-foot cone.
Starting at 2nd level, when unarmored and in an area of dim light or darkness, you can assume a shadow form and slip past obstacles and opponents. This ability counts as a special movement speed, and it count against your total movement speed on this turn (subtract the amount of movement done in shadow slip by your regular movement speed), and the amount you can move in this shadow form is shown on the Shadow Slip column in the Dark Monk table.
When moving in this manner, your movement doesn't provoke opportunity attacks, and you can pass trough the space occupied by other creatures without any hindrance on your movement. You can't use this movement if it would cause you to end on a occupied space. You can also move trough a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.
When you reach 3rd level, you commit yourself to a monastic tradition, such as the Way of the Pact Maker. Your tradition grants you features at 3rd level and again at 6th, 11th, and 17th level.
Starting at 3rd level, when you succeed on a Dexterity saving throw, you can immediately make an attack of opportunity against the opponent who launched the attack, using your reaction. If the enemy is not in melee range, you can strike as if using Necrotic Pulse if the enemy is within range of it.
Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
At 4th level, the necrotic energies flowing through the Dark Monk’s body reach such a point that they kill any diseases, granting the Dark Monk immunity to all diseases except supernatural and magical diseases.
Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
At 5th level, you can trade your own vitality for power. Whenever a Dark Monk feature requires you to spend ki points, you can spend 5 hit points per ki point required instead.
Starting at 6th level, your unarmed strikes count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.
At 7th level, your instinctive agility lets you dodge out of the way of certain area effects, such as a blue dragon's lightning breath or a fireball spell. When you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you instead take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, and only half damage if you fail.
At 7th level, your body courses with necrotic energies, which interfere with hostile magic. You have advantage on all saving throws against spells from the enchantment school.
At 9th level, you gain the ability to exchange injured limbs with parts found on the battlefield. You can spend 1 ki point and 1 minute removing a fallen humanoid's limb of same size as yours, and replace your own with it. You regain 2d6 hit points, and for the next 10 minutes you have Disadvantage on Constitution checks and saving throws.
If the limb has natural weapons that can be used to make unarmed strikes, you can use those limbs to change the damage type of your strikes (for example claws, to cause slashing damage).
At 10th level, when you reduces a beast, giant, monstrosity or humanoid creature of Large size or lower, and reduce it to zero hit points, you can use your reaction to convert that creature into your puppet. The animated creature gains 1 hit point, using the statblock of the Zombie or Ogre Zombie (for large creatures) as appropriated, in the monster manual. It remains under your control for 1 hour, after which time it collapses and dies.
In combat, the zombie's turn comes immediately after yours. It obeys your mental commands, and the only action it can take is the Attack action, making one melee attack.
You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of once), and you regain all expended uses of it when you finish a long rest.
At 13th level, you gain the ability to augment your body using skeletal limbs. You can choose one of the following options:
- Skeletal arms
You gain a pair of additional skeletal arms. They have the same function of your normal arms, but they can't be used to wield shields or weapons that don't have the light property.
In addition, whenever you have advantage on an unarmed strike, you can choose to forgo your attack, to make two attacks with the skeletal arms without advantage instead.
- Skeletal Shell
You gain a protective exoskeleton constructed of various bone parts. You can don or doff this exoskeleton as a bonus action. While donning it, you gain the following benefits:
- Your unarmored AC can't be lower than 20.
- Both your Strength and Constitution raise to 19, if they are lower.
- Skeletal wings
You can grow a pair of skeletal wings. You gain a flying speed equal to your movement speed and you can hover.
- Skeletal Tail
You grow a long skeletal tail, that improves your balance and the reach of your attacks. You can make unarmed strikes at a reach of 10 feet.
In addition, you can use your bonus action to gain advantage on the next Dexterity (Acrobatics) or Strength (Athletics) you make until the end of this turn.
What is Dead
Starting at 14th level, you have advantage on saving throws against spells.
Furthermore, you have resistance against the damage of spells.
At 15th level, the energies coursing through the Dark Monk’s body still their development and preserve their current appearance. You can hold your breath indefinitely, and you don't require food, water, or sleep, although you still require rest to reduce exhaustion and still benefit from finishing short and long rests. You age at a slower rate. For every 10 years that pass, your body ages only 1 year, and you are immune to being magically aged.
In addition, you can't be blinded, deafened, frightened, or poisoned, and any critical hit against you counts as a normal hit instead, unless you're incapacitated. Finally, you gain resistance to necrotic damage.
At 18th level, you have honed your skills with the necrotic energies you wield, to the point that anyone touched by you can have their vitality drained. On your turn, whenever you hit a creature with an unarmed strike while at half your maximum hit points or lower, you regain 3 hit points.
In addition, whenever a creature fails a grapple contest against you, or end its turn grappled by you, that creature takes 5 necrotic damage, and you regain hit points equal to the necrotic damage dealt. You must be at half your maximum hit points or lower to benefit from this ability, and can only cause this damage once per turn.
Full Necrotic Integration
At 20th level a Dark Monk has tuned their body with the necrotic energies that flow through it to the point that the two become one entity and the Dark Monk becomes a magical creature. Your creature type change to undead, rather than humanoid. You can't no longer be brought back to life with a spell other than a Wish or True Resurrection spell.
When you are reduced to zero hit points, you can have your body disintegrate and assume a form of pure necrotic energy. You are still at 0 hit points, but are no longer prone, unconscious or incapacitated, but all the other effects of being at 0 hit points still apply. While in this form, whenever you hit a creature with an unarmed strike, you cause necrotic damage, instead of bludgeoning, and regain a number of hit points equal to the damage dealt. Abilities that require a cost in hit points to activate can no longer be used in this form.
While in this form, you are semi intangible, and are resistant to all damage types. If you reach half your hit point maximum while in this form, you return back to normal and this form ends, and you are not able to use this form again until you complete a long rest.
When you choose your monastic tradition, you can choose any of the options offered to the Monk class, plus the following one:
Way of the Undeath
Way of the Undeath dark monks are masters in the use of necromancy and death to enhance their abilities. Monasteries of dark monks are necropolis, were undeads roam around alongside with the living, and the undeath is just part of their martial path for them.
Way of the Pact Maker
Pact makers are Dark Monks trained in monasteries who worship entities from the lower planes. These monasteries tend to be used as temples of infernal and abyssal entities, and have been created by tieflings who seek to master their heritage powers.
- Soul Stealer
Starting at 3rd level, when you reduce a creature to 0 hit points, you gain a number of temporary hit points equal to Charisma modifier + your Monk level.
- Dark Pact
At 6th level, you have received the dark blessing of your patron. You can add your Charisma modifier as a bonus to your Intelligence and Dexterity checks and saving throws.
- Hell's Wrath
At 11th level, your strikes are imbued with infernal power. You cause additional 1d8 damage with your unarmed strikes. This damage is either fire or necrotic (make a choice with each hit).
- Persuasive Contractor
At 17th level, you learn how to fulfill the desires of a creature in exchange of a favor or the creature's soul. You can't have more than one contract at the same time. You gain the following benefits for stroking a contract:
- You can grant a wish to a willing creature, using your action. The creature decide the nature of the wish. After granting the wish, the creature is under the effect of the spell geas, carrying out a specific service you decide. After stroking a contract with a creature, you can't do it again with the same creature for the next 10 years.
- Alternatively, you can claim the soul of the creature, after the creature dies. The death of the creature can't be cause directly or indirectly by you, and doing so breaks the contract. While you have a creature under contract, you can ask for a nightly sacrifice to enhance your powers. Doing so grant's you the benefits of enhance ability when you finish a long rest, until your next short or long rest.
- A creature whose soul is under your possession can be resurrected by anything lesser than a true resurrection or a wish spell. You can live for additional 10 years for each hit die the creature's whose soul you possesses had, and while consuming a soul, you ignore all the effects of old age. You can also consume the soul to fuel magical abilities. You can spend one soul to cast infernal calling, being unable to do it again until you finish a long rest.
Darkness Wrath Abilities
Necrotic Strike Cluster
While focusing on darkness wrath, your unarmed strikes cause necrotic damage, instead of bludgeoning. In addition, you gain the following abilities:
- Necrotic Channeling
Once per turn when you hit a creature with an unarmed strike, you can spend 1 ki point to cause additional damage equal to two rolls of your rigid strike dice.
- Dooming Strike
When you cause necrotic damage to a creature with your rigid strike, you can spend 1 ki point to cause the target to have Disadvantage on Strength, Constitution or Intelligence (choose one) checks and saves until the end of your next turn.
- Dying Force
When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can spend 1 ki point to infuse your strikes with deadly energy. Until the start of your next turn, you cause additional damage equal to your Intelligence modifier on a hit with your unarmed strikes.
- Necrotic Pulse
You can spend 1 ki point at the start of your turn to project bolts of necrotic energy from your strikes. Until the start of your next turn, the reach of your unarmed strikes increases by 5 feet x your proficiency bonus. The damage of attacks made at a reach further than 5 feet is necrotic, and creatures provoke opportunity attacks when leaving your extended reach.
- Corpse Shield
Cost: 12 hp
Benefit: +4 AC this round, any enemies using a melee that fail to beat the Dark Monk’s AC suffer 2d6 + Intelligence modifier damage and must pass a Fortitude test of DC 10 + Intelligence Modifier + ½ Dark Monk level or suffer d6 + Intelligence modifier Strength and Constitution damage.
Cost: 24 hp
Benefit: Replaces all the Dark Monk’s attacks this round. Uses the opponent’s Touch AC to determine if it hit, attack modifier is equal to the Dark Monk’s base attack modifier + Intelligence modifier + number of attacks Dark Monk normally can make. Deals (2 x number of attacks) d8 + Intelligence modifier damage to target, and pushes the target back 50 feet. The target must pass a Fortitude test of DC 10 + Intelligence modifier + Strength modifier + ½ Dark Monk level or suffer d6 + Intelligence modifier damage to Strength, Intelligence, and Constitution.
- Magic Disrupting Shell
Grants the Dark Monk spell resistance +10 for one round. Can only be used twice per round
- Skeletal Grapple
Cost: d8 hp
Benefit: Summons a skeleton that immediately grapples the target (touch range). The skeleton’s grapple bonus is equal to the Dark Monk’s base attack bonus. Can be added to a grapple the Dark Monk is in to give them a +2 bonus to their grapple rolls. For each turn the opponent remains in a grapple with a skeleton they must pass a Fortitude save of DC 10 + Intelligence modifier + ½ Dark Monk level or suffer d3 damage to strength and constitution. Uses a move action.
- Ghastly Exploitation
Cost: d10 hp
Benefit: For each successful attack of opportunity made this round the target must pass a Fortitude save of DC 10 + Intelligence modifier + ½ Dark Monk level or suffer d6 + Intelligence modifier constitution damage.
- Wendigo Strike
Cost: d20 hp
Benefit: Unarmed attacks made this round restore health equal ½ of the damage done.
- Demonic Fists
Cost: 2d20 hp
Benefit: Unarmed attacks made this round roll damage using twice as many dice as they normally could. Can only be used once per round.
- Living Voodoo Doll
Cost: ¼ current hp (rounded down)
Benefit: Opponent must pass a DC 15 + Intelligence modifier + ½ Dark Monk level Fortitude test or suffer Constitution damage equal to the amount of health used to activate this ability.
- Dampening Field
Cost: 1/3 current hp (rounded down)
Benefit: All opponents within 15 feet must pass a DC 15 + Intelligence modifier + ½ Dark Monk level Fortitude test or suffer Strength and Intelligence damage equal to ½ the health used to activate this ability
- Exploding Leeches
Cost: ½ current hp (rounded down)
Benefit: Replaces all attacks, all opponents that have taken physical damage from the Dark Monk must pass a Fortitude test of DC 15 + Intelligence modifier + ½ Dark Monk level or lose health equal to 2/3 of the health used to activate this ability rounded down and suffer ½ of that amount of damage to Constitution, Strength, and Intelligence.
- Devil’s Advocacy
Cost: ¼ maximum hp (rounded up)
Benefit: adds +10 to DC of all effects that cause the enemy to take a Fortitude test
- Debilitating Graveyard
A spectral graveyard full of unholy energies and undead minions springs up around the Dark Monk and his assailants
Cost: 1/3 maximum hp (rounded up)
Benefit: All enemies within 30 feet must pass a Fortitude test of DC 10 + Intelligence modifier + ½ Dark Monk level or have their Strength and Intelligence halved for any action they take within the field. Enemies must also pass a Will test of DC 10 + Intelligence modifier or be unable to use any special abilities or spells of casting level over ¼ of their current level, rounded down. Enemies ending their round in the graveyard must pass a Fortitude test of DC 10 + Intelligence modifier + ½ Dark Monk level or lose health equal to 1/12th of their maximum HP, rounded down.
- Funeral Bells
Cost: ½ maximum hp (rounded up)
Benefit: Target enemy must pass a Will test of DC 20 + Intelligence modifier + ½ Dark Monk level or suffer damage equal to ¼ of the health spent activating this ability (rounded down) every round at the start of their turn and suffer d3 damage to Strength, Intelligence, and Constitution.
Burn All cluster:
- Early Burial
Cost: all but one hp (must have at least 2 hp)
Benefit: d3 enemies with fewer hit dice than the Dark Monk die instantly if they fail a DC 20 + Intelligence modifier + ½ Dark Monk level Fortitude test. If targeted enemies have the same or fewer hit dice they must pass a DC 5 + Intelligence modifier + ½ Dark Monk level Fortitude test.
- Drag Me to Hell
Cost: all hp + 10 (kills user, can only be activated if Dark Monk has at least 5 hp)
Benefit: Target enemy must be grappled to activate this ability. This takes up all of the Dark Monk’s actions each round the ability is active. If, during the ability, any of the required rolls fail, the target may make a Will save of DC 10 + Intelligence modifier + ½ Dark Monk level or suffer 5 damage to Dexterity and Constitution and lose health equal to ¼ of their max HP. After this ability has been activated the target cannot exit the grapple unless they have a grapple result 5 higher than the Dark Monk’s and successfully pass a Fortitude save of DC 20 + Intelligence modifier + ½ Dark Monk level. If the target exits the successfully exits the grapple then on the Dark Monk’s turn they must pass a Reflex save of DC 15 + Dexterity Modifier + ½ Dark Monk level or become grappled again. If they pass this save then the Dark Monk dies and the effect ends. For each turn the target remains in the grapple they must make a Reflex save of DC 20 + Dexterity Modifier + ½ Dark Monk level or suffer Dexterity damage equal to ¼ of their normal Dexterity rounded down. When the target’s Dexterity is zero and at least 4 turns have passed, both the Dark Monk and the target are instantly killed. No effects can prevent this. If either the Dark Monk or the target are resurrected they are treated as an ex-monk and locked at level 1 until either redemption is cast or the patron demon is vanquished or otherwise is made to nullify their contract with the Dark Monk. A Dark Monk killed this way cannot return to being Dark Monks but must be reincarnated as normal monks and lose all their feats.
Dark Monk Exclusive Feats
At 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can choose one of the following feats, instead of gaining an Ability Score Improvement.
- Death Grip
Prerequisites: Charisma 13 or higher
While grappling a target, that creature takes 1d4 necrotic damage at the start of each of your turns. When the grappled creature take this damage, it must roll a d4 and subtract this number from any attack roll, ability check or saving throw based on Strength for the duration of the grapple.
In addition, you have Advantage on your checks made to grapple a creature.
- Sapping Fist
Prerequisites: Charisma 13, 8th level Dark Monk
When you hit a creature with an unarmed strike, you can use your reaction to force that creature to make a Constitution saving throw against your ki save DC. On a failure, the target takes 1d6 necrotic damage.
If you are under half your maximum hit points or lower, you regain the same amount of hit points as the necrotic damage dealt by this attack.
- Dispel Magic Attack
Prerequisites: Charisma 13 or higher
When you are hit by a spell attack, you can attempt to dispel it. As a reaction, make a Charisma check against a DC equal to the result of the attack. On a success, you take no damage from that spell.
If you roll a 20 on this check, you regain 1 ki point.
Benefit: When foes leave themselves open, you may make an additional number of attacks of opportunity equal to your Intelligence modifier. For each successful attack made with this feat the foe must make a Fortitude test of DC 10 + Intelligence modifier + ½ Dark Monk level or suffer your choice of d6 Strength or Intelligence damage in addition to normal damage.
Prerequisites: Int 13, Combat Expertise
Benefit: You do not provoke an attack of opportunity when attempting to disarm an opponent, nor does the opponent have a chance to disarm you. If you succeed the weapon serves you as a Spiritual Weapon would for a number of turns equal to your Dark Monk level + Intelligence modifier.
- Arms of the Damned
Benefit: You do not provoke an attack of opportunity when you attempt to trip an opponent while unarmed. A successful trip causes the opponent to be bound to the ground for d3 + 1 rounds and suffer 2d6 + Intelligence modifier damage per turn bound. A character affected by this cannot be hit by other attacks. This can only be done a number of times per day equal to your Dark Monk level. You no longer get to make an immediate melee attack after a successful trip.
Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the dark monk class, you gain the following proficiencies: one skill, one artificer's tool.