View Full Version : Home-brew Monk Tradition: Way of the Beast

2019-06-03, 02:18 AM
This home-brew tradition is one which is still a bit of a work in progress, but far enough along to where I feel like it can get some constructive criticism. Please know that this does borrow heavily from Brandes Stoddard’s own created tradition “Way of the Wild”, which I will link in this post for reference.


Now, with this tradition I wanted to incorporate the 5 iconic Kung-fu animal styles that are usually displayed in various forms of media while also keeping it in theme with the D&D fantasy aspects. Likewise, the styles chosen were ones which I felt fit in most with other class’ sub-classes and the monk traditions as well. Essentially, I wanted to make this a balanced sub-class to play at home alongside the official material.

Way of the Beast

At 3rd level when you choose this tradition, you gain proficiency in animal handling if you don’t already have it. Your martial arts technique mixes typical movements with those developed to mimic those of various creatures. You also attain the ability to cast speak with animals as a ritual

At 3rd level you can also choose 2 of the following animal styles. Each style requires varied ki points and a bonus action to activate. Only one style can be active at a time.

Dragon: As a bonus action, you may spend 2 Ki points to deal an additional 1d4 elemental damage for the next minute when you hit a creature with your Flurry of Blows attacks. The damage type is one draconic type of your choice that may be switched as a Bonus Action with the additional cost of 1 Ki point.

Eagle: As a bonus action, you may spend 1 Ki point to harness the swiftness of an eagle for the next minute. As a reaction, if you are missed with a melee attack, you can move at 1/2 speed away without triggering an opportunity attack.

Monkey: As a Bonus Action, you may spend 2 Ki points to use the Patient Defense ability for the next minute without additional cost of Ki points.

Snake: As a bonus action, if you have used the Patient Defense or the Dodge action you can spend 1 Ki point to make an unarmed attack as a reaction when missed by a melee attack for the next minute.

Tiger: As a Bonus Action you may make an unarmed attack at the end of a Step of the Wind or Dash action for the next minute at the cost of 1 Ki point.

At 6th level your chosen styles gain an additional ability:

Dragon: You have gained a permanent resistance to one dragon type of damage (acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison). If one of these resistances is already possessed, it cannot be selected again and you may not switch the type of resistance.


Monkey: When you hit with an unarmed attack you can spend 1 ki point to distract your opponent. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw or be distracted for 1 minute. Any attacks the target makes against any other than you will be at disadvantage and attacks made against it by any others will be at advantage.


Tiger: When you hit an opponent with an unarmed attack after at least 2 melee weapon attacks, you can spend 1 ki point per unarmed attack to add 1 martial arts die bonus damage the attack(s) with a maximum of 2 per turn.

At 11th level you can add another style to your list along with its additional ability.

At 17th level, you are able to summon a spectral avatar of a chosen creature related to your respective style(s) for 10 minutes. The summoned creature is friendly to you and your companions. Roll initiative for the summoned creature, which has its own turns. It obeys any verbal commands that you issue to it (no action required by you). If you don't issue any commands, it will defend itself from hostile creatures, but otherwise takes no actions. The DM has the creatures' statistics.

You must spend 8 ki points to be able to summon the creature and you can not summon it again until you take a short or long rest.

Dragon: Dragon Wyrmling (modified)
Eagle: Giant Eagle (modified)
Monkey: Gorilla (modified)
Snake: Giant Constrictor Snake
Tiger: Saber-Toothed Tiger

For the 17th level summons along with both Snake and Eagle’s 6th level bonuses, I am still working on those. If anyone has suggestions feel free to share.