Way of the Monkey King (5e Subclass)

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Way of the Monkey King[edit]

Tôn Ngộ Không by Hai Dang Quang
Monk Subclass

The Way of the Monkey King is an esoteric sect that follows the teachings of the god Sun Wukong. Born from a magic stone atop a sacred mountain, this stone monkey quickly mastered the ways of the druids as well as every known monastic tradition. Obsessed with himself, he tore his way through heaven, gaining immortality from 5 separate methods before being sealed away. After his eventual liberation at the hands of a Tao cleric, he gradually grew wise and dependable before ascending to godhood himself. Practitioners of this monastic tradition are few, and typically come from troubled upbringings. While some see this tradition as a collection of troublemakers, those who meet a practitioner find them to be both reliable and charming.

Disciple of Sun Wukong[edit]

The Monkey King's first lessons teach the basics to his fighting style. When you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you learn Compliant Rod, plus one more of the following abilities:

Compliant Rod. You learn a mystic ritual to turn an ordinary quarterstaff into a facsimile of the legendary Ruyi Jingu Bang. You perform the ritual over the course of 1 hour, which can be done during a short rest. The quarterstaff must be within your reach throughout the ritual, at the conclusion of which you touch the staff and it transforms into a Compliant Rod. You can also transform a magic quarterstaff into a Compliant Rod, adding the compliant staff abilities to any it held previously. A Compliant Rod is typically made of iron and weighs 135 pounds for others, but only 7 pounds for you.

While wielding your Compliant Rod, you can change its size to suit your needs. In combat, it can take any of the forms detailed below in the compliant rod table, each counting as a monk weapon in your hands. You may change its size at any time using a free action, or as part of drawing or sheathing the weapon. The force behind its growth is not strong enough to deal damage, and sizes not detailed in the below are treated as improvised weapons (not monk weapons) if used in combat.

Outside of combat, you can alter your Compliant Rod's size even further. Its length can be set from anywhere between 1 foot and a length in feet equal to 5 × your monk level.

You can have only one Compliant Rod at a time. If you attempt to convert a second quarterstaff, the first staff returns to its original state.

Compliant Rod
Form Damage Properties
Club 1d4 bludgeoning Light
Quarterstaff 1d6 bludgeoning Versatile(1d8)
Longstaff 1d8 bludgeoning Reach, two-handed

King of Fools. You gain proficiency in the Performance skill if you don't already have it. The Monkey King teaches one to never be too serious.

Strength of the Mountain. You can add a bonus to your Strength score when determining your carrying capacity and the maximum weight you can push, drag, or lift. This bonus equals your your monk level.

Handsome Troop Leader. You have an innate ability to communicate with apes, lemurs, and monkeys, and they recognize you as a kindred spirit. Through sounds and gestures, you can communicate simple ideas to such a creature as an action, and can read its basic mood and intent. You learn its emotional state, whether it is affected by magic of any sort, its short-term needs (such as food or safety), and actions you can take (if any) to persuade it to not attack.

You cannot use this ability against a creature that you have attacked within the past 10 minutes.

Gold-Ringed Staff Technique[edit]

At 6th level, you learn more masterfully wield your Compliant Rod, granting you the following benefits.

Ki-Infused Rod Strikes. Your attacks made with your Compliant Rod count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.

Heavy Blow. When you hit a target with your Compliant Rod, you can spend 1 ki point to greatly increase its mass and girth at the moment of impact, applying one of the following effects to the target:

  • It takes bonus damage equal to your martial arts die.
  • If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or be knocked prone.
  • If the target is a creature, it must make a Strength saving throw. If it fails, you can push it up to 15 feet away from you.

You can use this feature only once on each of your turns.

Great Sage[edit]

Starting at 11th level, Sun Wukong's teachings allow you to use your ki to replicate certain spells or spell-like effects, as detailed below. Choose two of the following abilities:

Body Outside of Body. You can spend 3 ki points to cast the mirror image spell, using only your own plucked hairs as components.

Golden Gaze of Fiery Eyes. You can cast spend 2 ki points as an Action to mystically bolster your vision for up to 1 minute. For the duration, you can see up to 1 mile away with no difficulty, being able to discern even fine details as though looking at something no more than 100 feet away from you.

Additionally, you can see the magical aura of any aberration, celestial, elemental, fey, fiend, or undead within 60 feet of you, allowing you to instantly discern its creature type, even if it has shapeshifted or is magically disguised.

This ability does not work if a target is heavily obscured. It also does not directly allow you to see through illusions, and cannot see through the effects of Nystul's Magic Aura. Maintaining this ability requires concentration, as if on a spell. This concentration is immediately broken if you get smoke in your eyes.

Trickster Magic. You can cast spend 2 ki points to cast either disguise self or silent image without any components.

72 Earthly Forms. You can spend 3 ki points as an action to polymorph into a beast with a challenge rating no higher than 1/2. You can maintain this transformation for up to 10 minutes. You then revert to your normal form unless you expend another 3 ki points. While you are transformed, the following rules apply:

  • Your game statistics, including mental Ability Scores, are replaced by the statistics of the beast, but you retain your alignment and personality. You also retain all of your skill proficiencies, in addition to gaining those of the creature. If the creature has the same proficiency as you and the bonus in its stat block is higher than yours, use the creature's bonus instead of yours. If the creature has any legendary or lair actions, you can't use them.
  • When you transform, you assume the beast's hit points and Hit Dice. When you revert to your normal form, you return to the number of hit points you had before you transformed. However, if you revert as a result of dropping to 0 hit points, any excess damage carries over to your normal form, For example, if you take 10 damage in animal form and have only 1 hit point left, you revert and take 9 damage. As long as the excess damage doesn't reduce your normal form to 0 hit points, you aren't knocked unconscious.
  • You are limited in the Actions you can perform by the nature of your new form, and you can't speak, cast Spells, or take any other action that requires hands or Speech.
  • You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so. However, you can't use any of your special senses, such as darkvision, unless your new form also has that sense.
  • Your gear melds into your new form. You can't activate, use, wield, or otherwise benefit from any of your Equipment.

Victorious Fighting Apostle[edit]

At 17th level, you learn the Monkey King's final and most coveted teachings. Through them, you gain the following abilities:

Five Paths to Immortality. Your trainings have strongly strengthened your life force. For every 5 years that pass, your body ages only 1 year. Additionally, the first time you would drop to 0 hit points as a result of taking damage, you may use spend 5 ki points to instead drop to 1 hit point. Alternatively, If you are subjected to an effect that would kill you instantaneously without dealing damage, you may spend 5 ki points to negate this effect.

Each time you use this feature after the first, the ki point cost for both options increase by 5. When you finish a long rest, the costs reset to 5.

Cloud Walk. You gain the ability to stand atop clouds, as well as the ability to conjure a small cloud beneath your feet. You can create this cloud as a bonus action on your turn. While atop this rolling cloud, you have a flying speed equal to your current speed. It lasts until you are knocked prone, land, lose consciousness, or dismiss it as a bonus action on your turn.

(one vote)

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