The Fallen Monk (5e Class)
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The monk was once a peaceful man, dedicated to the teachings of his temple and the pursuit of enlightenment. But that all changed the day his temple was brutally slaughtered by a group of extremists. The monk survived the attack, but the memory of the loss of his comrades has stayed with him and fueled his anger to a point where it cannot be contained. The rage that he feels empowers him, giving him strength beyond what he had previously thought possible. The image of the corpses and destruction has been stained into his mind, feeding his rage. The monk has taken up his blades and sworn to track down those who killed his comrades, no matter what it takes.
The monk knows that the road of retribution he has taken is a betrayal of the code of his people, but he cannot turn back now. His anger drives him forward, giving him a sense of purpose that he never felt before. The storming weather seems to reflect his demeanor, with the howling winds and crashing thunder symbolizing his inner turmoil. The monk knows that he is capable of great violence, but he is determined to use that violence to exact justice for his fallen brothers and sisters.
The monk's journey takes him through dark forests, scorching deserts, and treacherous mountains. Despite the danger, he never wavers in his resolve. His enemies tremble at the mere mention of his name, for they know that the monk is a force to be reckoned with. The power that lies within his bladed weapons is unmatched, and he wields them with deadly precision. The monk's anger is a fire that burns within him, fueling his determination to bring his enemies to justice.
The monk's quest for vengeance is not a simple one. His enemies are many and they are powerful. But the monk is not afraid. He has faced impossible odds before and come out victorious. He knows that his journey will not be easy, but he is determined to see it through to the end. The storming weather may rage around him, but he remains steadfast in his mission. The monk's final confrontation with those who killed his comrades is a battle for the ages. The clashing of steel on steel echoes through the land, and the earth trembles beneath their feet. But in the end, the monk emerges victorious, having taken his revenge and honored the memory of his fallen brothers and sisters. Though his anger may have subsided, he knows that the journey has changed him forever. He has betrayed the code of his people, but he has found a new path, one of justice and retribution.
Creating a Fallen Monk
|Sketch by Noah Bradley|
What happened to the Monk that caused his fall? Were his comrades slaughtered or was he betrayed by the people he called family? Describe in detail the events that caused this monk to become corrupt.
- Quick Build
You can make a Fallen Monk quickly by following these suggestions. Firstly, Dexterity or Wisdom should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution.
As a Fallen Monk you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields
Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
Tools: Choose one tool or musical instrument
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Dexterity
Skills: Acrobatics or Athletics and choose two from Initiative, Investigation, Intimidation, Perception, Stealth, and Survival
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) a shortswords or (b) two shortswords
- (a) chain shirt or (b) leather armor, longbow, and 20 arrows
- (a) a dungeoneer's pack or (b) an explorer's pack
- one type of artisan's tools or one musical instrument
- If you are using starting wealth, you have 5d4 x 10 gp in funds.
|1st||+2||Immovable Guard, Mental Gymnastics, Battle Edge|
|2nd||+2||Monk Styles, Karma, Karmic Powers|
|3rd||+2||Karmic Paths, Evasion|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement, First Strike|
|5th||+3||Extra Reaction, Extra Attack|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement|
|13th||+5||There’s An Opening!|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement|
|17th||+6||Until the End|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement|
|20th||+6||Sayonara, Old Friend.|
As a Fallen Monk, you have a nearly impenetrable guard that works similarly to armor. While you are not wearing any armor, your Armor Class equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Constitution modifier. You can use a shield and still gain this benefit.
Starting at 1st level, your mind is filled with knowledge that allows you to think fast in battle to resist all logic and reason against foes. You are capable of performing any Charisma or Intelligence save, using Wisdom instead.
Any other features of this class that require a saving throw are calculated with the following Fallen DC: 8 + Proficiency Bonus + Dexterity Modifier. Any critical failures against your saves will promote critical successes on your behalf.
Starting at 1st level, you are always three steps ahead in combat, granting you an edge that always leads to victory. Foes are completely unable to gain advantage against you for the first round, and you are unable to gain disadvantage for the first round of combat.
At 2nd level, you have knowledge on multiple ways to damage foes. Your fists count as both light and finesse weapons. You gain various benefits when doing specific types of damage. There are four options, but only choose two. Entering a style is free for the first instance, but changing styles will cost a bonus action.
Slasher: Choosing the slashing style allows for you to enhance any slashing damage done to enemies. If chosen, you can enhance your slashing damage with the modifier of an extra ability score of choice as a passive. For example, you could add your Constitution Modifier for bonus damage on slashing attacks.
Duelist: As a Duelist, any piercing damage done to opponents is enhanced. When hitting an enemy with a piercing attack– you may roll to hit them again with another piercing attack.
Boxer: Choosing the Boxer style allows for any bludgeoning damage done to be upgraded. When performing unarmed strikes that do bludgeoning damage, force opponents into a save. If they fail, they’re knocked prone.
Esper: As an Esper, any psychic damage done to enemies is amplified greatly. Doing psychic damage to enemies typically allows for the bypassing of resistances, as it isn’t a common resistance to have. If opponents don’t have resistance, deal 1.5x damage.
Starting at 2nd Level, the path of retribution leads you to new capabilities. You may begin a battle with a single point. Each time you strike a foe or take a hit from one, you gain a Karma point. For criticals, you gain two Karma points. The maximum amount of Karma that you can hold is equal to 8 + Dexterity Modifier.
You always start the first round of initiative (beginning of fights) with 0 stacks of Karma, resetting whenever you enter a new fight, but staying with until that happens.
- Karmic Powers
- Your betrayal of your monk code has led to the awakening of new techniques, meant to aid you on your road to vengeance. Initially, you can learn 4 of these and obtain a new Karmic Power with each subclass feature you obtain (Lvls: 3, 6, 10, 14, 18). At Level 19, you learn all of these which means you can use any of them; however, you cap at 10 at once and can only swap out after taking a short or long rest.
Determined: You are determined to avenge your friends and family, pushing beyond any obstacles that may be ahead. When being attacked, you can expend a Karma point and a reaction to perform a dodge against an attack, this is rolled via an acrobatics check against the roll to hit you.
Dissuasion: As an Ex-Monk, your capabilities are widely known. Enemies are weary of you and your skills. You can expend a Karma point as a reaction to impose disadvantage upon enemies for a singular instance/action.
Immovable: Your will is unwavering and your body is immovable. You may expend a Karma point to avoid getting knocked prone or moved by an attack imposed by an enemy.
Clear Mind: As an Ex-Monk, your level of mental fortitude is unmatched. You can expend two Karma points as an action to clear a single status effect, debuff or disadvantage that may be imposed onto you.
Reinforcement: Your body is at its peak, the only way to push it further is through unnatural means. Using a Karma point and a bonus action, you may create a guard around yourself which consists of 10 Temporary Hit Points. For every Karma point invested, 10 Hit Points can be added to this pool.
Calculated Approach: When you hit an opponent, expend an stack of Karma to make a daunting taunt against your enemies, and cause any opponent within your speed's range into a Wisdom Save. If they fail, they will be forced to move as close as possible and attack with disadvantage. If the enemy has already moved their max speed but isn't near you, then they will take a ranged attack with disadvantage instead. Afterward, you are able to immediately follow up to return the favor with any attack at your disposal with advantage. If you leave the reach of the person you hit on your recent turn, they can't hit you with opportunity strikes; however, if someone else is near then they can.
Resist: The images of your fallen comrades stain your mind and strengthen your will. For one Karma, you may gain resistance to a single damage type for a minute.
Vengeful: On hit, you can choose to expend a Karma point to increase your damage rolls by one. (1d2>>2d2) This can be used up to your proficiency bonus at once, so a 1d2 could only be increased to a 6d2 if your proficiency bonus was equal to 5.
Corruption: For breaking your vow of peace, you are viewed as a corrupted monk. You may expend a Karma point to apply a poisoning effect to one of your attacks, requiring a successful con save to avoid being poisoned.
Unyielding: You are unyielding in nature and your path of retribution is unstoppable. Whenever an opponent uses any type of dice or class feature in an attempt to autopass a save/check, reroll a die or edit their roll in any way, you may expend three Karma points to make them unable to do so. This also applies to opponents who attempt to make you auto fail a save/check or stop you from rerolling. You may use this an amount of times equal to your proficiency bonus.
Fatebreaker: When you fail a saving throw or ability check, you can expend a Karma point to reroll it.
Pursue: You won’t let your enemies get away. You may expend a Karma point to remain locked onto a single target that you can see. This target will be unable to escape your sight and unable to make any movements without you knowing. You have advantage on Perception checks against them, and they have disadvantage on Stealth checks against you.
Malice: Whenever an opponent you can see casts a spell, you can expend a Karma point to make an opportunity attack against that creature.
Release: Whenever you are restrained or grappled, you may expend a Karma point to escape the grapple.
Finishing Blow: While enemies are below 50% of their total hit pool, expend 2 Karma points to aim your next attack for the target's most vital area in an attempt to finish them off. On success, it turns a regular successful strike into a critical hit. Also, Critical Rolls with this bonus will do triple damage instead. This must be used before an attack is revealed to-hit or not.
No Return: Whenever an opponent uses an ability that allows them to return from death at 1 hit point or more, you may use a Karma point to perform an opportunity attack against them.
Reprisal: Whenever an opponent would succeed on a saving throw, check, or attack against you, expend one Karma point and render said attempt futile, causing either no damage or a failure on the attack/check/save. Alternatively, you can use this for yourself to succeed or fail any roll automatically. You may perform this once and regain use after a short or long rest.
Discipline: Whenever you hit an opponent with a melee attack, you may use a Karma point to make them roll a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, they gain 1 level of exhaustion.
At 3rd level, you choose a path that shapes the way you fight and the road you follow. Choose the Path of Grace or the Path of Malice, both detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th levels.
At 3rd level, you can nimbly dodge out of the way of certain area effects, such as a red dragon's fiery breath or an ice storm 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.
You learn to strike before anything else. At 3rd level, you gain advantage on initiative rolls and you gain proficiency in initiative. If you already have expertise, add proficiency bonus. In order to strike first, you may also add the total of a 1d10 to your initiative roll.
Ability Score Increase
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 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the attack action on your turn.
Beginning at 5th level, you can react twice, instead of once, whenever you take the reaction action on your turn.
Beginning at 6th level, your conviction to survive and get retribution pushes you forward. You may enter a state of ultimate focus for the remainder of the fight. This state is fueled by adrenaline and allows you to overcome more powerful attacks. Each benefit costs the use of a bonus action or action, and Karma point. These benefits are listed below:
- Your movement speed is doubled.
- You gain immunity to one damage type of choice, including that of magical damage.
- You have advantage on all rolls.
- You may add your proficiency bonus to a single ability score of choice.
- Your AC increases by your proficiency bonus.
- You may regain health equal to the total of a roll. The roll is calculated by your remaining Karma and Fallen level. If you were Level 6 in Fallen and have 5 Karma left, the roll would be 6d5.
You can use Utmost Focus a number of times equal to your level, refreshing your uses after a long rest and last until the end of combat. Each one can only be performed once.
Beginning at level 7, you blame yourself for the deaths of your comrades and the guilt has hardened your mind. You gain advantage on any Wisdom saving throw, and gain a proficiency in Wisdom saves. If you have expertise, you gain an additional proficiency, making the added bonus your proficiency bonus tripled.
You give your enemies no mercy and no opportunity to recover. Beginning at 9th level, you can expend three Karma stacks to ignore someone's temporary hit points and attack their health directly instead. You may do this an amount of times equal to your proficiency bonus. You get all uses after a long or short rest.
At 10th level, you become capable of reducing damage that comes at you. You may reduce any damage that comes at you by 1d10 by expending a Karma point, by expending multiple you can increase the dice to an amount equal to your proficiency bonus doubled. You can do this equal to your proficiency bonus doubled in a singular instance.
Your experience in battle has led to the development of entire new forms of combat. At 11th level, you gain multiple stances you can enter and switch between throughout a battle. These stances represent different Chinese martial arts and emulate them with the usage of weapons. Each provides different benefits, and requires a Karma point to switch between.
- Tai Chi Stance
- The Tai Chi Stance is a style of combat that focuses on diverting energy and momentum back towards attackers. While in Tai Chi Stance, you can apply half your proficiency bonus to your armor class. It allows for a greater defense through the mitigation and redirection of attacks done towards you. When in Tai Chi Stance, upon taking a hit, you may use a reaction to roll to hit the opponent back with 50% of the damage they dealt to you on top of your base damage. Though, due to this stance not involving any actual force, you receive disadvantage on any strength saving throws.
- Bajiquan Stance
- The Bajiquan Stance is a style of combat that focuses on hitting opponents with speed and precision while staying out of their reach. While in Bajiquan Stance, the reach of your melee attacks is extended to 10ft. This allows for you to hit enemies with strikes and jabs from afar while staying out of their range. In this stance, your strikes count as ranged attacks, making them incapable of being parried.
- Shaolin Stance
- The Shaolin Stance is a style of combat that focuses on pure offense, decimating any opponent who steps in your way with powerful strikes. While in Shaolin Stance, you may add your proficiency bonus again to your roll to-hit, meaning that you get double proficiency on to-hits to attack.
There’s An Opening!
Beginning at 13th level, you learn to take advantage of openings to attack when enemies make mistakes. Whenever an enemy rolls a nat 1, you can use a Karma point to perform a melee attack against them with advantage without using a reaction.
At 14th level, dodging becomes instinct. When an attacker that you can see hits you with an attack, you can use your reaction to halve the attack's damage against you by dodging. If you wish, you can roll a dexterity save during this reaction. If the dexterity save is greater than the hit roll then take no damage. If you fail the dexterity save, lose one of your reactions and take full damage.
Your reflexes have been honed to their max. Nobody can catch you off guard and your reactions are instant. At 15th level, you now gain an additional reaction.
Until the End
At 17th level, your will to slay your enemies reaches its maximum. You can attack your foes even at the brink of death. When reduced to 0 hit points, you can make one attack towards whoever brought you down. This class feature does not bring you back from death, and can be used multiple times assuming you multiclass into another class that can bring you back from 0 hit points. Otherwise, it may only be used once. These uses return after a long or short rest.
At 18th level, you’ve learned to use your Karmic powers to enhance even your mobility. You may use a Karma point in order to teleport a distance equivalent to your maximum speed. The amount of distance you travel will drain your speed by half of said distance.
Sayonara, Old Friend.
At 20th level, you can say farewell to a 'friend'. As an action, you can attempt to deliver a coup-de-grace on a creature you can see within 5 feet of you. Make an attack with absolute advantage. After this attack hits, they must make a Dexterity saving throw. On success, this attack does double damage. If the target has disadvantage on this saving throw from more than one source, they must roll three saves and select the lowest for their result. If the target fails their saving throw by 10 or more, or if they automatically fail it due to being paralyzed, petrified, stunned, or unconscious, or for any other reason, you instead apply the possible maximum damage this attack could have done on-top of the damage of the original attack.
This damage cannot be resisted, reduced, or negated in any way. A creature reduced to 0 hit points by this ability is killed regardless of any other effects (except certain circumstances), and they can be resurrected by nothing short of a wish spell.
You can only successfully use this ability once per long rest. If the enemy succeeds on their saving throw (or uses a legendary resistance to bypass it), this ability is not expended. However, it cannot be used for two rounds.
Paths of Retribution
Path of Grace
Fallen Monks who follow the Path of Grace forgive their enemies and choose to not let the hatred that boils inside of them take them over. Instead of letting the idea of revenge consume them, they dedicate themselves to supporting the people around them. Following this path has led to the Karmic powers of Fallen Monks becoming centered around supporting both themselves and others around them.
- Forgiving Light
Beginning at 3rd level, you may use your Karmic power to heal yourself and up to two allies.This light is warm and kind, filling those around it with a rejuvenating aura. The amount you and the targets heal by is equal to the amount of Karma points you use * your hit die. You can use up to six Karma points doing this (Ex. 6d12) and it takes an action to heal.
Beginning at 6th level, for a single Karma point, you may roll a 1d6 and add the total to any roll done by yourself or allies. You can do this up to three times before requiring a long rest.
- Perfect Mind
At 9th level, you may clear any one condition, debuffs, status effect or disadvantage from allies as well as yourself for one Karma point. This is an upgraded version of the Clear Mind Karmic power, allowing you to clear conditions as well as use it on allies.
- Saving Brilliance
Beginning at 12th level, you may expend a Karma point to give you and any allies within 30ft advantage on all saving throws and checks until the end of your next turn.
Beginning at 15th level, you may use your reaction to shove your allies out of the way of incoming attacks. Allies will be saved, but you’ll be forced to take the damage. You can use this a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus. These uses are restored after a long or short rest.
- Back from the Brink
Beginning at 18th level, your supportive capabilities have reached their peak. You have achieved eternal peace of mind and helped hundreds, maybe thousands. You vow to never let anyone die again, and may bring allies back from the brink of death. When a single ally in your range has been defeated, reduced to 0 hit points without a way to come back, you may use ten Karma to save their lives and pull them from the brink of death. Allies will be revived at 1 hit point, and this feature can only be used once before requiring a long rest. This doesn't work against those who have failed all their death saves.
Path of Malice
Fallen Monks who follow the Path of Malice will never forgive their enemies for what happened. They let the desire for revenge consume them and transform them into a merciless hunter who will stop at nothing until they get retribution. This path has led to the awakening of an inescapable darkness within them, eating away at them and fueling their rage. Their abilities are centered around thriving from destruction and healing themselves based on the damage they do.
Starting at 3rd level, you learn how to absorb vitality from others through your attacks. You live for the demise of your foes and find yourself enjoying the act of killing. Whenever you deal damage, you may expend a Karma point to revitalize yourself during that attack. This lifesteal works the same as Forgiving Light, for each Karma point used, you may grant yourself temporary hit points by another hit die up to a maximum of six (6d12).
Starting at 6th level, when you hit criticals on opponents, the temporary hit points provided by Lethargic are doubled.
At 9th level, you may expend two Karma points to double the damage of an attack before rolling to see if it hits. Critical rolls will make the damage tripled instead of doubled. This is an upgraded version of the Finishing Blow Karmic power, allowing you to perform it at any time rather than only being capable when an enemy is below 50%.
Beginning at 12th level, your malice and desire for revenge has been incarnated as a curse that can be placed onto foes. For two Karma points, this curse can be placed on a single target – the amount of targets can be increased with more Karma points, up to a maximum of three. This curse will weaken whoever it is placed on, imposing disadvantage onto all of their rolls and decreasing their armor class by your proficiency bonus until they can pass your saves. In order to escape the curse, enemies must roll a Wisdom saving throw against the DC of this feature.
At 15th level, you may deal bonus damage to enemies equivalent to the amount of temporary hit points you currently have. You can does this a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus.
Beginning at 18th level, your wrath and anger strengthens you exponentially. Your strikes are delivered with intent to kill and rage guides you to victory. Your desire for revenge only grows stronger throughout your battles. For two Karma points, you may grant yourself temporary hit points equivalent to 50% of your current health. Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.
Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Fallen Monk class, you must meet these prerequisites: 13 Dexterity, 13 Wisdom
Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Fallen Monk class, you gain the following proficiencies: Light armor, medium armor, shields, simple weapons, martial weapons.