Monk, Simple Variant (5e Class)
From D&D Wiki
Monk (Simple Variant)
This variation is a simple rework for the Monk's base class in order to align them closer to the unarmed Martial Artist fantasy and to better average out their damage to be a little more on-par with other classes, especially during the early levels; without forcing players into using weapons to compensate slow progression. No new features or abilities have been added, instead it is the Monk's main progression table that has seen an upgrade; but the Monk Weapons section of the Martial Arts feature has been turned into its own standalone Optional feature (the reasoning being the new progression table makes the weapons irrelevant for base class since fighting unarmed does considerably more damage than before; and are only needed for personal flavor/preference or weapon-focused subclasses).
Creating a Monk
- Quick Build
You can make a Monk quickly by following these suggestions. First, Dexterity should be your highest ability score, followed by Wisdom. Second, choose the Acolyte background. Third, choose whichever equipment options sound appealing to you. As a Monk, you do not make use of weapons or armor in the same manner that other classes do.
As a Monk you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Weapons: Simple, Shortsword
Tools: Choose one type of artisan's tools or one musical instrument
Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity
Skills: Choose two from Acrobatics, Athletics, History, Insight, Religion, and Stealth
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) a dagger or (b) a quarterstaff
- (a) Sling and 20 sling bullets or (b) 10 darts
- (a) a dungeoneer's pack or (b) an explorer's pack
|Martial Arts||Ki Points||Unarmored Movement||Features|
|1st||+2||1d6||--||--||Unarmored Defense, Martial Arts, Monk Weapons (Optional)|
|2nd||+2||1d6||2||10'||Ki, Unarmored Movement, Dedicated Weapon (Optional)|
|3rd||+2||1d6||3||10'||Monastic Tradition, Deflect Missles, Ki-Fueled Attack (Optional)|
|4th||+2||1d6||4||10'||Ability Score Improvement, Slow Fall, Quickened Healing (Optional)|
|5th||+3||1d8||5||10'||Extra Attack, Stunning Strike, Focused Aim (Optional)|
|6th||+3||1d8||6||15'||Ki-Empowered Strikes, Monastic Tradition feature|
|7th||+3||1d8||7||15'||Evasion, Stillness of Mind|
|8th||+3||1d8||8||15'||Ability Score Improvement|
|9th||+4||1d8||9||15'||Unarmored Movement improvement|
|10th||+4||1d8||10||20'||Purity of Body|
|11th||+4||1d10||11||20'||Monastic Tradition feature|
|12th||+4||1d10||12||20'||Ability Score Improvement|
|13th||+5||1d10||13||20'||Tongue of the Sun and Moon|
|16th||+5||1d10||16||25'||Ability Score Improvement|
|17th||+6||1d12||17||25'||Monastic Tradition feature|
|19th||+6||1d12||19||30'||Ability Score Improvement|
Beginning at 1st level, while you are wearing no armor and not wielding a shield, your AC equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Wisdom modifier.
At 1st level, your practice of martial arts gives you mastery of combat styles that use unarmed strikes.
You gain the following benefits while you are unarmed and you aren't wearing armor or wielding a shield:
- You can use Dexterity instead of Strength for attack and damage rolls with unarmed strikes.
- You can roll a d6 in place of the normal damage of your unarmed strike. This die changes as you gain monk levels, as shown in the Martial Arts 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. For example, if you take the Attack action and attack with a quarterstaff, you can also make an unarmed strike as a bonus action, assuming you haven't already taken a bonus action this turn.
Monk Weapons (Optional)
At 1st level, your practice of the martial arts gives you mastery of combat styles using monk weapons, which are shortswords and any simple melee weapons that don't have the two-handed or heavy property.
You gain the following benefits while you are wielding a monk weapon and you aren't wearing armor or wielding a shield:
- You can use Dexterity instead of Strength for attack and damage rolls with monk weapons.
- You can roll a d6 in place of the normal damage of your monk weapon. This die changes as you gain monk levels, as shown in the Martial Arts column of the Monk table.
- When you use the Attack action with an monk weapon on your turn, you can make one unarmed strike as a bonus action. For example, if you take the Attack action and attack with a quarterstaff, you can also make an unarmed strike as a bonus action, assuming you haven't already taken a bonus action this turn.
Certain monasteries use specialized forms of the monk weapons. For example, you might use a club that is two lengths of wood connected by a short chain (called a nunchaku) or a sickle with a shorter, straighter blade (called a kama). Whatever name you use for a monk weapon, you can use the game statistics provided for the weapon on the Weapons page.
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: Flurry of Blows, Patient Defense, and Step of the Wind. 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 Wisdom modifier
- Flurry of Blows. Immediately after you take the Attack action on your turn, you can spend 1 ki point to make two unarmed strikes as a bonus action.
- Patient Defense. You can spend 1 ki point to take the Dodge action as a bonus action on your turn.
- Step of the Wind. You can spend 1 ki point to take the Disengage or Dash action as a bonus action on your turn, and your jump distance is doubled for the turn.
Starting at 2nd level, your speed increases by 10 feet while you are not wearing armor or wielding a shield. This bonus increases when you reach certain monk levels, as shown in the Monk table.
At 9th level, you gain the ability to move along vertical surfaces and across liquids on your turn without falling during the move.
Dedicated Weapon (Optional)
Also at 2nd level, if you have also learned the Monk Weapons feature, you train yourself to use a variety of weapons as monk weapons, not just simple melee weapons and shortswords. Whenever you finish a short or long rest, you can touch one weapon, focus your ki on it, and then count that weapon as a monk weapon until you use this feature again.
The chosen weapon must meet these criteria:
- The weapon must be a simple or martial weapon.
- You must be proficient with it.
- It must lack the heavy and special properties.
Information about Monk subclasses can be found in the official Player's Handbook and supplemental books. No changes have been made to existing subclasses, so you may freely choose any option of your choice.
Starting at 3rd level, you can use your reaction to deflect or catch the missile when you are hit by a ranged weapon attack. When you do so, the damage you take from the attack is reduced by 1d10 + your Dexterity modifier + your monk level.
If you reduce the damage to 0, you can catch the missile if it is small enough for you to hold in one hand and you have at least one hand free. If you catch a missile in this way, you can spend 1 ki point to make a ranged attack with a range of 20/60 using the weapon or piece of ammunition you just caught, as part of the same reaction. You make this attack with proficiency, regardless of your weapon proficiencies, and the missile counts as a monk weapon for the attack.
Ki-Fueled Attack (Optional)
Also at 3rd level, if you spend 1 ki point or more as part of your action on your turn, you can make one attack with an unarmed strike or a monk weapon as a bonus action before the end of the turn.
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.
Beginning at 4th level, you can use your reaction when you fall to reduce any falling damage you take by an amount equal to five times your monk level.
Quickened Healing (Optional)
Also at 4th level, as an action, you can spend 2 ki points and roll a Martial Arts die. You regain a number of hit points equal to the number rolled plus your proficiency bonus.
Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
Starting at 5th level, you can interfere with the flow of ki in an opponent's body. When you hit another creature with a melee weapon attack, you can spend 1 ki point to attempt a stunning strike. The target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or be stunned until the end of your next turn.
Focused Aim (Optional)
Also at 5th level, when you miss with an attack roll, you can spend 1 to 3 ki points to increase your attack roll by 2 for each of these ki points you spend, potentially turning the miss into a hit.
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.
Stillness of Mind
Starting at 7th level, you can use your action to end one effect on yourself that is causing you to be charmed or frightened.
Purity of Body
At 10th level, your mastery of the ki flowing through you makes you immune to disease and poison.
Tongue of the Sun and the Moon
Starting at 13th level, you learn to touch the ki of other minds so that you understand all spoken languages. Moreover, any creature that can understand a language can understand what you say.
Beginning at 14th level, your mastery of ki grants you proficiency in all saving throws.
Additionally, whenever you make a saving throw and fail, you can spend 1 ki point to reroll it and take the second result.
At 15th level, your ki sustains you so that you suffer none of the frailty of old age, and you can't be aged magically. You can still die of old age, however. In addition, you no longer need food or water.
Beginning at 18th level, you can use your action to spend 4 ki points to become invisible for 1 minute. During that time, you also have resistance to all damage but force damage.
Additionally, you can spend 8 ki points to cast the astral projection spell, without needing material components. When you do so, you can't take any other creatures with you.
At 20th level, when you roll for initiative and have no ki points remaining, you regain 4 ki points.
Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into or out of the Monk class, you must meet these prerequisites: you must have both a Dexterity and Wisdom score of 13 or higher.
Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the <!-class name-> class, you gain the following proficiencies: Simple weapons, shortswords