View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Jedi Monk in 5e

2016-07-24, 02:39 AM
Now, I know this is by no means a new idea. However, I simply must share the details somewhere.

To begin with, the setting: My DM's world, while using 5e as a base, is an entirely custom world. It's basically purgatory. Come to the DM with an idea for a character out of any Fantasy setting, and he'll find a way to fit it in. If you want to be an Orc from World of Warcraft, easy. If you want to be a Whitewalker from Game of Thrones, we'll find a way to make that work. If you want to be a Goron from Legend of Zelda, we'll look it over. Whatever you want to be, as long as it's from a Fantasy setting, you get to be it. But whatever it is you choose to be, whatever backstory you have, you always start at level 3, waking up in a world you're not familiar with, surrounded by skeletons. Eventually you find out that your character died, and something, somewhere, decided your character deserved a second chance at... Whatever it is your character was trying to accomplish in his first life.

It took me two months, but I finally got the DM to admit that Star Wars is Science Fantasy more than it is Science Fiction. Now the only question was... How do we make a Jedi work in 5e?

The first thing that came up was also the most obvious. What to do about the lightsaber. Thankfully for the DM, I had a quick and easy solution. Pablo Hidalgo has admitted on twitter (His tweets are not officially canon, for the record, but can provide some neat insight into the Star Wars lore) that the physics in the Star Wars galaxy, since it is a galaxy far, far away, might not exactly mesh with physics in our galaxy. So, while the physics behind Star Wars power cells work just fine in the Star Wars galaxy, here in my DM's world, it simply doesn't function. So, lightsaber has no power, and is just a shiny metal stick with a neat gem in it.

Next, how do we actually go about building the Jedi Class? Well, quite simple, really! Monk is basically a Jedi already! Replace the word "Ki" with the word "Force" in the Monk descriptions, and it works shockingly well. Replace the starting equipment's shortsword/simple weapon with a dead lightsaber, ditch the darts, throw in a dead datapad, and your Monk is all set to go. The Martial Arts and Unarmored Defense work perfectly well for the Jedi. Just treat the lightsaber as a "monk weapon" that does improvised weapon damage while deactive (You're still beating someone with a heavy stick of metal, even if it doesn't have the glowing blade).

At level 2, when you get "Force Points," you can use them for Flurry of Blows, which you can just call "Jedi Martial Arts" or "Ataru Training" or whatever, "Patient Defense," which could just as easily be "Jedi Foresight" or "Jedi Defense," and "Step of the Wind," which works perfectly well as "Force Speed," especially coupled with "Unarmored Movement".

"Deflect Missiles" works really well for a Jedi's ability to deflect incoming projectiles, "Slow Fall" makes sense given the heights we've seen Jedi falling from, Stun Strike and Ki-Empowered Strikes make sense for Force-driven physical attacks, Evasion makes perfect sense as an additional Force-based defense, Stillness of Mind is perfectly fitting for a Jedi, as are Purity of Body, Tongue of the Sun and Moon, Diamond Soul, Timeless Body, and Perfect Self. The only one I'm not really big on is Empty Body, but perhaps that could be replaced with some sort of mind-trick-like ability to make others not notice you.

3rd level, which is where my character started, has his Monastic Tradition as quite similar to the Way of the Four Elements, of course. For the Elemental Disciplines, Fist of Unbroken Air works perfectly as Force Push, and Fist of Four Thunders works quite well as Force Wave. Change the wording of Water Whip to use compressed air and a Strength save like Fist of Unbroken Air, rather than water and a Dexterity save, and it works excellent as Force Pull.

There are a couple changes to make here, though. First off, replacing Sweeping Cinder Strike with something else. Rather than doing the 1st level spell Burning Hands, I'd rather do the 1st level spell Catapult. They've both got pros and cons that balance out fairly well, so there's no sense in changing the "Force Point" cost for it, and it's much more thematic for a Jedi to be able to throw objects around than to shoot flames from his hands. For another one of the Elemental Disciplines that allows you to cast a spell, I've decided that Clench of the North Wind or Gong of the Summit, both of them casting 2nd level spells, should be replaced with Flame Blade, another 2nd level spell. This is where the Jedi's lightsaber comes in.

You have to be a 6th level Monk to be able to cast either Gong of the Summit or Clench of the North Wind, which would mean you couldn't take Flame Blade until you were level 6 with this change. And when you look in the DMG regarding the creation of magic weapons, in order to craft a "Rare" magic weapon, you have to be a minimum level of 6 and be able to cast the spell you intend to give the item. What I have in mind is a custom magic weapon that is relatively balanced against another "Rare" magic weapon, the Flame Tongue.

As some of you already know, Flame Tongue can be any type of sword. When you say the command word of the sword, it bursts into flames, and does an extra 2d6 fire damage on top of the regular damage. What I have in mind for the "lightsaber" goes more along the lines of how lightsabers first came about in the old Legends continuity. Basically a lightsaber hilt that a Jedi could channel the Force into to create a beam of energy.

The idea is that the magic weapon looks like just a round metal cylinder with a single button on it. Inside is a crystal of a certain gold value that is part of the 5000 gp required to construct a "Rare" magic item. The weapon must be attuned to someone of the Monk Class, and instead of having a command word, the Monk/Jedi presses the button and channels 3 Ki/Force points into it to ignite the "lightsaber," which is effectively just a longer lasting version of the Flame Blade spell. When you deactivate the blade, the 3 Ki/Force points return to the user. The weapon would be a finesse weapon for hitting opponents (Similar in concept to the Sun Sword), but when it comes to damage, it would simply be the 3d6 fire damage. Purely on a statistical level, this would make the damage weaker than a Flame Tongue shortsword, which would get to roll 1d6 weapon damage, 2d6 fire damage, then add a stat modifier. Not to mention a Flame Tongue rapier, longsword, or greatsword. I'm sure the number of downsides would more than balance out the 3d6 fire that the weapon is capable of, when compared to some other "Rare" magic weapons. If anything, I'd kind of hope the DM would come up with something I hadn't to make it a bit more effective. Perhaps the ability to spend an extra 2 Force points to add an extra d6, sort of how Flame Blade can be cast two levels higher to add an extra d6?

However the DM decides to work the lightsaber, it's something that would require 5000 gp and 200 days of downtime for my character to complete it. There's also no definitive formula for it, since it's a brand new magic item, but since my character was a Jedi in his past life, and already knows how to build a lightsaber, we can probably hand-wave that as something my character already knows. He just has to modify what he knows about building a lightsaber to make up for the fact that he has no power cell for it, and will instead be using the Force to power it.

Another fun detail to the character that I almost forgot to mention! The Magic Initiate feat! Thanks to Magic Initiate, my character will be able to use True Strike and Mage Hand as cantrips, and the Charm Person spell as his version of a Jedi Mind Trick, granting him even more Jedi-like abilities.

With all that said, the best part about this character so far hasn't even been the mechanics behind how it works. Roleplaying a Jedi in a Medieval Fantasy setting has just been ridiculously fun. Mistaking Orcs for some sort of branch of Gamorean, seeing skeletons for the first time and assuming they're some sort of messed up battle droid, seeing zombies and immediately assuming that they're innocent civilians inflicted with some sort of terrible disease like leprosy, being able to speak "Common" just fine, but when it comes to writing, I write in Aurebesh, and just countless other little details like that, have made this one of the most memorable characters I've ever roleplayed. I've got great plans for the future of this lost padawan. One day, he hopes to establish his own Jedi Temple here in this bizarre world, once he realizes he will never be able to return to Coruscant. Until then, he will be training and helping others, doing everything he can to earn the (now meaningless) title of Jedi Knight.

Hoepfully some of you out there will get a real kick out of this, even if you never plan on trying it out in your campaign. Let me know what you all think. Got any sweet ideas for little changes I could do to make it more Jedi-like? My DM is pretty flexible on this kind of thing, as long as it leads to good roleplaying moments and doesn't make the character overpowered. Preferably the changes still use things straight out of the books, nothing 100% homebrewed. The lightsaber idea, for example, is basically a combination of how Monks casting the equivalent of 2nd level spells work (spending 3 Ki points), and a particular 2nd level spell (Flame Blade), then applying those to a magical weapon (And given the stats, said magical weapon falls under "Rare" in the DMG).

2016-08-08, 02:48 AM
Seems balanced as most if it is re-skinned from PHB. The hard part would be balancing the use of lightsaber, as in the movies it is an all or nothing kind of attack, as most enemies are one-shotted if it hits, using 2ki per swing, so maybe more damage if it lands, say 3-4D8, with a reflex save for no damage automatically? Would two swings of 32 damage upset party balance? My other idea would be following a melee spell attack cantrip, with use of ki to activate and more damage as you level to keep it balanced: level 1-4 1D8, 5-10 2D8, 11-16 3D8 17+ 4D8 (as shocking grasp). Other possible nerfs would be to maintain concentration to keep ignited or drop it possibly.. also maybe an action to turn it on so you have to wait a turn to start cutting enemies down? just thoughts no criticism behind what you already laid out.
To make it a weak attack you could follow Shillelagh, which would allow u to use wisdom to hit and damage, though it would be at-will but only 1D8. I would then say you could count it a as a basic attack and stunning strike or use ki how you would use with any other monk weapon (flurry after).

Very fun idea though i think dawnforgedcast has a youtube video but i think he may have used a warloc (can't remember).

2016-08-08, 03:32 AM
did you look warlock as candidate lightsaber basicly in class pact blade and eldricth blast can be replaced as force blast( same damage) and good old invocations can handle nearly all jedi powers at will( mind trick already has invocation form already) if you want ki based add on powers just pop jedi tradition in place of pact powers
if you want jna has already made sith lord using warlock chassis just search in home brew or pm me so I can send you how jedi can done without monk powers

2016-08-08, 10:27 AM
I'd recommend the sith and jedi from https://www.reddit.com/r/UnearthedArcana/comments/4hwvhi/may_the_fourth_be_with_you_updated_versions_of_my/?st=irm6xvc0&sh=e24e4c7b

Monk Subclass: Way of the Jedi v2.3 (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1pdYIcfHauweWdfcFZNaVF4Zjg/view?usp=sharing)
Warlock Patron: The Sith v1.2 (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1pdYIcfHauwWGQ1eWxyRFlicWs/view?usp=sharing)