View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Monk Subclass: Way of the Jedi (1/3 Spellcaster)

2017-04-05, 12:37 PM
Monk Tradition: Way of the Jedi (PDF) (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1pdYIcfHauwM20tcWpiOVRhVkU/view?usp=sharing)

I've posted my Discipline Tree version of the Jedi. This is the 1/3 Spellcaster version. The primary goal of both versions is to make a subclass that can emulate most of the iconic Jedi abilities while also being roughly equal in power to the other Monk subclasses, Open Hand and Shadow. Both versions give a lot of different things and are inherently complex, which makes balancing difficult. But I like complex things, so this is a fun project for me! Also the PHB has succeeded in balancing complex subclass with simpler ones, so it's possible. For example, the Fighter subclass Champion only gets 5 things, while the Eldritch Knight gets 21 things (3 cantrips + 13 spells known + 5 other features), and yet they're still roughly balanced to each other. That's what I'm going for here, with both versions.

This 1/3 Spellcaster Jedi was created to directly parallel the Eldritch Knight and Arcane Trickster. If the EK and AT are roughly the same power level, then their base classes are also roughly the same power level. If the Monk base class is also the same power level as the Fighter and Rogue (I think so), then we can make a subclass that directly parallels the EK/AT and shoot for the same power level there too.

So the 1/3 spellcaster Jedi was made. The EK/AT learn 21 things, and the Jedi learns 21 things. The EK/AT learn their spells from a restricted access of the Wizard list (two schools of magic), but 4 of their spell choices have no restrictions. The Jedi has a custom spell list cobbled together from all the spellcasters to properly represent iconic Jedi powers. I took inspiration from the Star Wars wiki, the movies, and video games such as KOTOR. The list is not 100% complete and is subject to change.

Monk Tradition: Way of the Jedi
You follow a monastic tradition that teaches you to use the mystical energies of the Force. With a lightsaber in hand and command of the ever-present and limitless potential of the Force, you are a force to be reckoned with in both might and magic.

When you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you augment your martial prowess with the ability to cast spells using the Force. See chapter 10 for the general rules of spellcasting.
Cantrips. You learn three cantrips: mage hand and two other cantrips of your choice from the jedi spell list. You learn an additional jedi cantrip of your choice at 10th level.
Spell Slots. The Jedi Spellcasting table shows how many spells slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spellís level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.
For example, if you know the 1st-level spell jump and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast jump using either slot.
Spells Known of 1st-Level and Higher. You know three 1st-level jedi spells of your choice.
The Spells Known column of the Jedi Spellcasting table shows when you learn more jedi spells of 1st level or higher. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. For instance, when you reach 7th level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd level.
Whenever you gain a level in this class, you can replace one of the jedi spells you know with another spell of your choice from the jedi spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have spell slots.
Spellcasting Ability. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your jedi spells, since you learn your spells through enlightenment and attunement to the Force. You use your Wisdom whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your Wisdom modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a jedi spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.

Window of Opportunity
Beginning at 3rd level, if a creature attacks you and misses or subjects you to a Dexterity saving throw and you succeed on it, that creature has disadvantage on the next saving throw it makes against a spell you cast before the end of your next turn.

Window of Opportunity is the Jedi version of the Eldritch Knight's Eldritch Strike and the Arcane Trickster's Magical Ambush, which all temporarily give the target disadvantage on your next spell saving throw. Eldritch Strike is tied to hitting things which Fighters are the best at (being able to hit up to 4 people or 8 with Action Surge) and Magical Ambush is tied to hiding which Rogues are best at. So I decided the Jedi's version would be tied to dodging things, which Monks are quite good at. The ability comes earlier for a Jedi but is far more conditional because the ability only happens based on your opponents actions against you, not your own actions against them.

At 6th level, you learn an attunement ritual that transforms a one-handed melee weapon into a lightsaber. You perform the ritual over 1 hour, which can be done during a short rest. The weapon must be within your reach throughout the ritual, during which the weapon breaks apart into thousands of tiny floating shards that reconfigure themselves into a lightsaber hilt. If the lightsaber was made from a weapon with magical properties, those properties persist.
The lightsaber is a martial melee weapon with the Finesse and Light properties and sheds dim light in a 15-foot radius. It is considered a monk weapon and can be used with any monk ability that requires an unarmed strike or free hand, such as Flurry of Blows and Deflect Missiles.
The weapon is comprised of a hilt that, while held in your hand, can emit a blade of pure radiant energy without requiring an action. The bladeís damage is radiant, and its damage die is a d6. This die changes as you gain Monk levels, as shown in the Martial Arts column of the Monk table.
You can have up to two lightsabers created this way. If you attempt to create a third lightsaber, you must break your attunement with one of the other two lightsabers, which reverts the transformation back into the weapon it was previously.

It's the iconic Jedi weapon. It starts as a 1d6 which is the same as a Monk's staff and then scales with Martial Arts dice. It has two tangible benefits. The first is your damage is radiant. This does bypass basic damage resistance to nonmagical weapons that you find on some monsters, but the Monks bypass this resistance by 6th level with Ki-Empowered Strikes anyway. There is also some monsters that are particularly vulnerable to radiant so the damage type will be situationally beneficial in certain encounters.
The next benefit is a loot benefit. Monks typically get shafted in terms of magical weapons. IIRC there's nothing in the DMG that boosts a Monk's unarmed strikes even though we're drowning in magic swords. So the Lightsaber can be forged from one-handed melee weapons, which means they are eligible for more loot options, which is a benefit to DMs and people running pre-made adventures.

At 11th level, when you use your action to cast a spell, you can make one melee weapon attack as a bonus action.

Bladeweaving is the EK's Improved War Magic. It comes significantly earlier than the EK's, but the base Monk gets bonus action attacks at level 1 so I felt this was okay to do.

Deflect Spells
At 17th level, you can use your Deflect Missiles ability to also deflect and redirect damaging spell attacks that target you. If you reduce the damage to 0, you can spend 1 ki point to immediately redirect the spell attack as part of the same reaction.

Jedi initiates learn to deflect basic ranged attacks like blaster fire, which is mechanically represented by the Monk's baseline Deflect Missiles ability. Jedi masters, however, take this even further by being able to deflect powerful spells such as force lightning.

Jedi Spell List

Cantrips (0 Level)
Mage Hand
Minor Illusion
Shocking Grasp
True Strike

1st Level
Absorb Elements*
Animal Friendship
Burning Hands (damage type is lightning instead of fire)
Charm Person
Cure Wounds
Detect Magic
Force Push **
Force Repulse **
Sense Emotions

2nd Level
Calm Emotions
Detect Thoughts
Enhance Ability
Hold Person
Lesser Restoration
Locate Object
Magic Weapon
Saber Throw **
See Invisibility

3rd Level
Aura of Vitality
Beacon of Hope
Call Lightning
Crusaderís Mantle
Force Blast**
Hypnotic Pattern
Lightning Bolt
Plant Growth
Protection from Energy
Vampiric Touch

4th Level
Aura of Life
Aura of Purity
Dominate Beast
Freedom of Movement
Hallucinatory Terrain
Locate Creature

* Spell located in Elemental Evil: Playerís Companion.
** New spell located below.

2017-04-05, 12:44 PM
New Jedi Spells

Force Blast
3rd-level evocation

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self (30-foot cone)
Components: S
Duration: Instantaneous

A blast of pure Force-energy erupts from your hands. Each creature in a 30-foot cube originating from you must make a Strength saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 5d8 bludgeoning damage and is pushed 20 feet away from you and knocked prone. On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage and isnít pushed or knocked prone.
In addition, unsecured objects that are completely within the area of effect are automatically pushed 20 feet away from you by the spellís effect.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 3rd.

Force Blast requires a bit more explanation. I started with, of course, Fireball. Fireball is 20 feet radius sphere with a 120 feet range. I wanted a cone with a range 0 (self), so to compensate for the huge range difference I increased the radius to 30. Fireball does 8d6 (28) fire damage. I wanted my spell to push and knock prone so it has to do less damage, so I made it 5d8 (22.5) damage. That's my thought process. Agree, disagree?

Force Push
1st-level evocation

Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: 30 feet
Components: S
Duration: Instantaneous

You slam a concussive burst of force at one creature within range. The target must make a Strength saving throw. On a failed save, the target is pushed 20 feet away from you and knocked prone. On a successful save, the creature isnít pushed or knocked prone.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, you may target one additional creature for each slot level above 1st. The creatures must be within 30 feet of each other when you target them.

Force Repulse
1st-level evocation

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self (15-foot sphere)
Components: S
Duration: Instantaneous

A 15-foot sphere of pure Force-energy pulses outward from you. Each creature in a 15-foot radius around you must make a Strength saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 2d8 bludgeoning damage and is pushed 10 feet away from you. On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage and isnít pushed.
In addition, unsecured objects that are completely within the are of effect are automatically pushed 10 feet away from you by the spellís effect.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 1st.

(It's reskinned Thunderwave with no BOOM and bludgeoning damage instead of thunder)

Saber Throw
2nd-level transmutation

Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 30 feet
Components: S, M (a lightsaber)
Duration: Instantaneous

You toss your lightsaber, sending it spinning through the air in a line 30 feet long and 5 feet wide in a direction you choose before. Each creature in the line must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 3d8 radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The lightsaber then returns back to your hand.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for each slot level above 2nd.

(It's Aganazzar's Scorcher except damage is radiant instead of fire)

2017-04-05, 01:50 PM
This is actually pretty good, though. :smallsmile:

2017-04-05, 05:33 PM
This is actually pretty good, though. :smallsmile:

Aha! Glad I could convince you!

Quick Update: I will be swapping Window of Opportunity and Lightsaber's positions. I assume that Window of Opportunity being accessible sooner is relatively harmless because the ability's usefulness depends on how many spells you have. Bumping Lightsaber to 6th level, the same level that Monks have Ki-Empowered Strikes, lessens the benefit of upgrading to radiant damage.

I also want to create one more 1st level spell that will allow the Jedi to Read Emotions like my other version has, which is an iconic little power that Jedi show in the movies. This is my first crack at it:

Read Emotions
1st level divination (ritual)

Casting Time: 1 minute
Range: Self
Components: Somatic
Duration: 24 hours

You meditate while casting this spell, opening your mind to the bonds that bind all living things together. Until the spell ends, you can read the aura of living beings around you. As an action, you can concentrate on the aura of one creature you see. While concentrating, you learn its basic emotional state and have advantage on Wisdom (Insight) and Charisma checks you make against it.

2017-04-06, 07:35 PM
Didn't realize there was no PDF link in the OP. Oops.

Made a bunch of new changes:

The class features Lightsaber and Window of Opportunity have swapped places. People didn't like that Lightsabers offered radiant damage at 3rd level. Now you get it at 6th level, the same level that all monks get Ki-Empowered Strikes, so the bump to radiant damage isn't as beneficial. Window of Opportunity being offered earlier doesn't seem like a big deal because it's dependent on the spells you have available.
Shatterpoint has been replaced by Deflect Spells. I didn't like my version of Shatterpoint. It looked a lot more powerful than it was, and what it was wasn't really interesting imo. I think Deflect Spells is a lot cooler. Now you can be Yoda eating up force lightnings and sending them back at silly Sith.
I've removed the spells Staggering Smite (Monks don't want to waste their bonus action on that), Tongues (Monks already get that ability), Comprehend Languages, and Revivify. I'm always open to suggestions for tuning the Spell list. For the record, I use the Star Wars wiki and the Jedi powers from KOTOR as inspiration.

2017-04-14, 09:21 AM
Newest changelog:

Bladeweave is now just the EK's War Magic word for word.
Deflect Spells wording has changed. The previous wording implied that if you get targeted with a one of three rays from Scorching Ray, you could recast the spell with all three rays. That's not the intent. If you deflect one ray, you only get to redirect that one ray.
Read Emotions is replaced by Sense Emotions from the UA. I think Sense Emotions is on the weak side but others think differently and I'd rather stick be cautious and stick with something that might be underpowered rather than something that might be overpowered.

2017-04-17, 02:35 AM
Found it to be a bit odd that the force spells aren't doing force damage. Besides that I like this a lot. I noticed you didn't give the Jedi booming blade. Not sure if they should get it but it's worth considering.