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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Monk Subclass: Way of the Focused Fist (One-Punch Man, Iron Fist, Falcon Punch, Etc)

    While many monastic traditions focus on subtle, careful applications of Ki, those who follow the Way of the Focused Fist learn to channel their inner spirit for singular eruptions of explosive power. Followers of these teachings must be mindful, however: these abilities can quickly deplete one's Ki completely, so judicious application of this technique is required, a lesson hard-learned by the often brash young disciples drawn to its brutal power.


    Singular Strike
    Starting at third level, as an action, you can make a special unarmed attack which deals one extra unarmed damage die. If it hits, you can spend up to half your maximum ki points, rounded up, empowering it. If you do, it deals one more unarmed damage die for every ki point you spend in this way.

    When you gain Stunning Strike at 5th level, when you use Stunning Strike with Singular Strike the target makes its save against the stun with disadvantage.


    Forceful Strike
    Starting at sixth level, after you hit a creature or loose object (an object is loose if it is not held, worn or carried by a creature, nor attached to another object) with your singular strike, it is pushed 5 feet away from you plus another 5 feet for every ki point you spent empowering the strike. At the end of this movement it falls prone if the number of feet traveled exceeds its dexterity score or strength score, whichever is higher.

    In addition, you may add your wisdom modifier to your attack roll when you attack an object with your singular strike. Objects attached to other objects (such as doors, stones in a wall, or the parts of a ship) may be pushed as outlined above as long as the attack deals enough damage to reduce the target object's hitpoints by half or more. Pushing the object in this way will either move all the other attached objects (for example, if you strike the hull of a ship the whole ship would move) or break the target object from the objects it is attached to (such as a door flying off its hinges) at the Dungeon Master's discretion.

    (The rules for attacking and damaging objects can be found in the Dungeon Master's Guide on pages 246-247).


    Focused Strike
    Starting at 11th level, you can restrain yourself from uncontrolled releases of power, storing that energy to release when you choose. Whenever you score a critical hit against a hostile creature, you can choose to treat that attack as a regular hit instead. If you do, you gain focus. You can hold this focus for up to one minute, and you can hold just one focus at a time.

    When you hit with an attack, you can release your focus to turn that hit into a critical hit.


    Limitless Strike
    Starting at 17th level, your attacks gain limitless potential. Whenever a damage die for one of your attacks rolls maximum damage, add another die of the same type to the damage roll (double the added dice if the attack is a critical hit, as normal). Any additional dice added this way which roll maximum damage will also trigger this benefit.
    Last edited by Damon_Tor; 2020-01-10 at 11:43 AM.

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    Default Re: Monk Subclass: Way of the Focused Fist (One-Punch Man, Iron Fist, Falcon Punch, E

    Singular Strike should be moved back a bit, or not do double Martial Arts damage. As-is, at levels 3 and 4, it's better than regular punching for no downside.

    Forceful Strike looks cool.

    Focused Strike should be capped at half proficiency AT BEST, not Wisdom modifier. That lets you crit on a 15-20, for a 30% crit rate. That's positively insane.

    Limitless Strike doesn't actually do much. It adds less than 1 point of damage per die.
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    Default Re: Monk Subclass: Way of the Focused Fist (One-Punch Man, Iron Fist, Falcon Punch, E

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    Singular Strike should be moved back a bit, or not do double Martial Arts damage. As-is, at levels 3 and 4, it's better than regular punching for no downside.
    It's relevant that it uses it's own action, not the attack action, which means you don't get to use martial arts to make a bonus action attack nor do you have the option of flurry of blows. On turns where your bonus action is spoken for, you're correct.

    Forceful Strike looks cool.

    Focused Strike should be capped at half proficiency AT BEST, not Wisdom modifier. That lets you crit on a 15-20, for a 30% crit rate. That's positively insane.
    It's important to remember you only get to apply it to a single attack, unlike features like the hexblade's curse, which applies to any number of attacks while the effect lasts. Over an encounter, the hexblade can expect many more crits to smite on relative to the focused fist monk. And 5 ki is a massive expenditure of resources even at level 20, not to mention level 11 when they get the feature. Also, a monk is unlikely to have 20 Wis until level 16 or 19 anyway.

    Limitless Strike doesn't actually do much. It adds less than 1 point of damage per die.
    On a critical hit it's far more potent: there are more dice rolled to trigger it in the first place, (24d10 at level 20 if the monk is going all in) 10% of which we can expect to "explode". Each exploded die turns into TWO added dice because the crit doubles them as well, so we can expect an extra 6d10 extra damage or so from the feature on a critical hit.

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    Default Re: Monk Subclass: Way of the Focused Fist (One-Punch Man, Iron Fist, Falcon Punch, E

    Best assault-style subclass Iíve seen for the monk. I cup my hands and bow to your sir. It is moderately balanced between resource costs and that beloved damage most of us crave.
    Last edited by Ogrillian; 2019-12-09 at 09:50 AM.

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    Default Re: Monk Subclass: Way of the Focused Fist (One-Punch Man, Iron Fist, Falcon Punch, E

    I did some playtesting last night, and I've decided to significantly change Focused Strike, not because it's overpowered (it isn't) but because it feels bad. It sucks when you blow 1/2 to 1/4 of your resources on something and it doesn't land. You spend 5 ki to get your crit rate to 15+ and roll a 13 anyway. Terrible, just awful. Now, It's quite satisfying when playing with a Diviner wizard: he tells you "your next attack will be a 17" so you know for sure you can spend 3 ki to get your crit threshold at exactly the right place and ONE PAAAAAUNCH but the subclass shouldn't rely on a particular team setup to feel good.

    Right now I'm considering a "stored crit" mechanic, where he can turn a critical hit into a regular hit, which lets him later turn a regular hit into a crit. This would give him some incentive to use the typical monk fighting style more (more attacks = more chances to crit) so he can collect those crits for when he wants them, then use his Singular Strike once he has a crit in his pocket and an enemy worth nuking. I'm not sure how this ability should be costed in terms of ki, or if it should have a ki cost at all (the "cost" is turning the crit into a hit in the first place) and I'm not sure if he should be able to store more than one crit at a time and how long the stored crit(s) should last (WisMod minutes? MonkLevel Minutes? All day?).

    I'm largely satisfied with Limitless Strike, though I think I'll apply it to all attacks, not just the Singular Strike.

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    Default Re: Monk Subclass: Way of the Focused Fist (One-Punch Man, Iron Fist, Falcon Punch, E

    I'd say store crits equal to half max prof bonus, and it should cost Ki based on how many Ki you're spending on the hit. Probably equal to 1/5th the Ki spent, rounding up.

    So, if you crit a goblin mook, you store it for free. Then, you hit the boss with a normal hit-turn it into a crit for free, since you spent zero Ki on that hit. But, if you use your Singular Strike, spending 5 Ki, it costs 1 extra Ki.

    Reasoning for that is that a crit on a normal hit is worth WAY LESS than a Singular Strike crit.

    Also, how long should you be able to store crits for? There's the bag of rats problem, potentially.
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    Default Re: Monk Subclass: Way of the Focused Fist (One-Punch Man, Iron Fist, Falcon Punch, E

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    I'd say store crits equal to half max prof bonus, and it should cost Ki based on how many Ki you're spending on the hit. Probably equal to 1/5th the Ki spent, rounding up.

    So, if you crit a goblin mook, you store it for free. Then, you hit the boss with a normal hit-turn it into a crit for free, since you spent zero Ki on that hit. But, if you use your Singular Strike, spending 5 Ki, it costs 1 extra Ki.

    Reasoning for that is that a crit on a normal hit is worth WAY LESS than a Singular Strike crit.

    Also, how long should you be able to store crits for? There's the bag of rats problem, potentially.
    I opted for a pretty mellow version of the ability:

    Focused Strike
    Starting at 11th level, you can restrain yourself from uncontrolled releases of power, storing that energy to release when you choose. Whenever you score a critical hit against a hostile creature, you can choose to treat that attack as a regular hit instead. If you do, you gain focus. You can hold this focus for up to one minute, and you can hold just one focus at a time.

    When you hit with an attack, you can release your focus to turn that hit into a critical hit. You can do this a number of times equal to your wisdom modifier, and you regain all uses when you complete a long rest.

    One charge at a time, and it lasts for just a minute, with a cap on daily releases (if the charge expires you don't lose a use) equal to your wis mod. No ki cost (the singular strike is expensive enough)

    My hope is that this encourages the monk to play like a typical monk, even spending ki to flurry, to start a given encounter. This creates a feel where the Singular Strike is kind of a "combo finisher", which is a cool thing.
    Last edited by Damon_Tor; 2019-12-09 at 02:52 PM.

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    Default Re: Monk Subclass: Way of the Focused Fist (One-Punch Man, Iron Fist, Falcon Punch, E

    Quote Originally Posted by Damon_Tor View Post
    I opted for a pretty mellow version of the ability:

    Focused Strike
    Starting at 11th level, you can restrain yourself from uncontrolled releases of power, storing that energy to release when you choose. Whenever you score a critical hit against a hostile creature, you can choose to treat that attack as a regular hit instead. If you do, you gain focus. You can hold this focus for up to one minute, and you can hold just one focus at a time.

    When you hit with an attack, you can release your focus to turn that hit into a critical hit. You can do this a number of times equal to your wisdom modifier, and you regain all uses when you complete a long rest.

    One charge at a time, and it lasts for just a minute, with a cap on daily releases (if the charge expires you don't lose a use) equal to your wis mod. No ki cost (the singular strike is expensive enough)

    My hope is that this encourages the monk to play like a typical monk, even spending ki to flurry, to start a given encounter. This creates a feel where the Singular Strike is kind of a "combo finisher", which is a cool thing.
    Yeah. This feels good.
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    Default Re: Monk Subclass: Way of the Focused Fist (One-Punch Man, Iron Fist, Falcon Punch, E

    I've been poking through other classes to make sure I'm not overlooking some interactions that will cause problems in multiclassing. I was a bit worried about how the tempest cleric's CD would interact with Limitless Strike should you figure out a way to add lightning or thunder damage to the attack, but reading through the feature they shouldn't interact at all (the tempest's ability is explicitly instead of rolling, while Limitless Strike requires you to roll maximum damage).

    Action Surge is obviously very appealing, but then again it's very appealing for a ton of classes, and I don't think it really breaks anything.

    Both the Warlock and the Paladin are prevented from stacking their smites on top of the Singular Strike because both of those require a weapon, and Singular Strike is unarmed, though I suppose certain races with natural weapons that can be used for unarmed attacks could make the combo work with a paladin. A Tabaxi Monk 17 with Paladin 3 with a stored crit could cast Thunderous Smite, then auto-crit and apply a first level smite to a 9-ki Singular Strike, dealing 4d6 Thunder Damage, 4d6 Radiant Damage, and 22d10 Smashing Damage, all of which explode for two more dice on a max roll. That's a pretty significant expansion on the core concept, but within acceptable norms for multiclass cheese, especially due to how MAD such a build would be, and how it narrowly applies to a subset of races.

    Can anyone else spot any place where this build is broken by multiclassing?

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    Default Re: Monk Subclass: Way of the Focused Fist (One-Punch Man, Iron Fist, Falcon Punch, E

    Quote Originally Posted by Damon_Tor View Post
    Both the Warlock and the Paladin are prevented from stacking their smites on top of the Singular Strike because both of those require a weapon, and Singular Strike is unarmed, though I suppose certain races with natural weapons that can be used for unarmed attacks could make the combo work with a paladin. A Tabaxi Monk 17 with Paladin 3 with a stored crit could cast Thunderous Smite, then auto-crit and apply a first level smite to a 9-ki Singular Strike, dealing 4d6 Thunder Damage, 4d6 Radiant Damage, and 22d10 Smashing Damage, all of which explode for two more dice on a max roll. That's a pretty significant expansion on the core concept, but within acceptable norms for multiclass cheese, especially due to how MAD such a build would be, and how it narrowly applies to a subset of races.
    Well only warlocks can't smite with the unarmed strike. Since the unarmed strikes do perform a weapon attack you should be able to apply the divine smite. But that's really mad and the monk doesn't really have all that need for that extra damage at the expense of the main class progression.


    Edit: limitless strike feels like a really weak capstone. Even if you use focused strike+all 20 ki points to make a 48d10+Dex you would deal on average 269 damage and the capstone would add on average 11d10 for another 60 damage. Which does sounds good but you are looking at the capstone that adds less than 1/5th of your uber nova attack while the 3rd and 11th level feature make for 4/5th of it.
    Last edited by Trandir; 2019-12-10 at 06:18 AM.

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    Default Re: Monk Subclass: Way of the Focused Fist (One-Punch Man, Iron Fist, Falcon Punch, E

    Quote Originally Posted by Trandir View Post
    Edit: limitless strike feels like a really weak capstone. Even if you use focused strike+all 20 ki points to make a 48d10+Dex you would deal on average 269 damage and the capstone would add on average 11d10 for another 60 damage. Which does sounds good but you are looking at the capstone that adds less than 1/5th of your uber nova attack while the 3rd and 11th level feature make for 4/5th of it.
    Minor point: you can only spend half your total ki on a Singular Strike, so 10 is the maximum.

    A good point of comparison would be the assassin, I guess. His capstone doubles the damage he deals under certain conditions, bringing him from around 86 (2d10+20d6+Dex) Damage on his surprise auto-crit to 172 Damage.

    The problem there is that the Focused Fist Monk can already do around 132 (24d10+Dex) Damage on his focused auto-crit. With Limitless Strike we can expect 10% (2.4 on average) of those dice to explode for two extra dice each, so we'll have an average of 4.8 added d10s (which can themselves explode, adding another .96) for something like 29.76d10+Dex total damage, or around 163.68 damage.

    There are a few mitigating factors to consider, one is that the Assassin's damage is gated by an initiative roll, a stealth roll, an attack roll, and a con save, all of which have to be in his favor. So while his burst damage is marginally higher, in practice he's rarely going to be able to make it happen. The Focused Fist's damage is gated by getting a crit sometime in the last minute, one additional attack roll against the desired target, and an expenditure of a short-rest resource, a much more likely scenario.

    That said, if I were to consider boosting the damage potential of Limitless Strike I would maybe add a boost to our martial arts die from 1d10 to 2d6. This would not only act as an overall boost to our damage, but would also ensure that dice are more likely to explode more often, increasing the damage of a crit by 33% up from 20%. This would put us well ahead of the assassin in terms of burst damage, however, so I'm not sure that's the way I want to take it.

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    Default Re: Monk Subclass: Way of the Focused Fist (One-Punch Man, Iron Fist, Falcon Punch, E

    "When you gain Stunning Strike at 5th level, when you use Stunning Strike with Singular Strike the target makes its save against the stun with disadvantage."

    Every dm who read this just died a little inside.

    I'd put disadvantage only when they spend the max amount of ki possible on the ability else people will spend ki two at a time for disadvantage stun rolls.
    Last edited by MagneticKitty; 2019-12-11 at 11:28 AM.

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    Default Re: Monk Subclass: Way of the Focused Fist (One-Punch Man, Iron Fist, Falcon Punch, E

    Another round of testing incoming tonight. I'm going to see how I feel about increasing the martial arts damage dice to 2d6 at level 17, perhaps also reducing the number of ki points you can spend on a singular strike from 1/2 your total to your proficiency bonus (this would align precisely with the 4-elements' limits on ki expenditure for upcasting spells).

    This would take the damage on a crit from 24d10 (132 avg) to 32d6 (112 avg) but the average damage increase expected due to Limitless Strike would go from +24% to +44%, so 163.68 vs 161.28. Very similar numbers, but more of that can be directly attributed to the capstone than before. The monk would also be able to falcon pawnch three times between short rests instead of two.

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    Default Re: Monk Subclass: Way of the Focused Fist (One-Punch Man, Iron Fist, Falcon Punch, E

    Quote Originally Posted by MagneticKitty View Post
    "When you gain Stunning Strike at 5th level, when you use Stunning Strike with Singular Strike the target makes its save against the stun with disadvantage."

    Every dm who read this just died a little inside.

    I'm put disadvantage only when they spend the max amount of ki possible on the ability else people will spend ki two at a time for disadvantage stun rolls.
    Making one save against stun with disadvantage isn't better than making two saves normally, and is worse under some circumstances (Legendary Resistance, for example). This feature came into being when it was brought to my attention that Focused Fist monks would be quite a bit worse than other monks when it came to landing stuns while they were using their singular strike, which struck me as kind of backwards. So this is the compromise: they get a more ki efficient stunning strike (1 ki buys them two attempts) while losing out on being able to make 3 or 4 attempts like other monks. The slight uptick in ki efficiency doesn't bother me: this subclass is a ki hog, so giving them a small edge in another area seems okay to me.

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    Default Re: Monk Subclass: Way of the Focused Fist (One-Punch Man, Iron Fist, Falcon Punch, E

    How better would focused strike be if after a long rest you already had a charge that doesn't expire?

    Then after that fist charge is used the feature works as it's written now. So you can choose when to go full on if you hold the best for last.
    Last edited by Trandir; 2019-12-11 at 03:11 AM.

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    Default Re: Monk Subclass: Way of the Focused Fist (One-Punch Man, Iron Fist, Falcon Punch, E

    Another playtest last night. I liked the feel of boosting the MA die to 2d6 and limiting the Singular Strike to the same ki restrictions as the Four Elements monk, but it also felt like way too many dice. With a roller app it was great, but for physical dice it was too much of a chore to roll 30+ dice and add them all up.

    I still want a way to make the damage of the subclass theoretically unlimited via exploding damage dice, but I don't want to have to roll so many dice to make it viable. 2D6 was great for making the capstone add more damage, but it made the actual rolling burdensome. I'm trying to limit myself to rolling no more than 22 dice (what the assassin rolls on a crit). If that means I keep the MA die at 1d10 but increase explosions some other way that's what I'm going to explore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trandir View Post
    How better would focused strike be if after a long rest you already had a charge that doesn't expire?

    Then after that fist charge is used the feature works as it's written now. So you can choose when to go full on if you hold the best for last.
    I feel like that would be too strong. I'm walking a pretty thin line here on the power level, and I'm very conscious of stepping on the assassin's toes. Being able to start combat with a super-lethal massive damage strike is the assassin's core identity: requiring the Focused Fist monk to do some kung-fu before he can do similar damage is a way to make sure the assassin doesn't become obsolete. Even if the FF monk can only do a reliable opener punch once per day, that's still encroaching on the assassin's turf: the assassin sometimes goes a whole day without being able to use his core features simply because the situation makes a surprise impossible or the rolls don't go his way.

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    Default Re: Monk Subclass: Way of the Focused Fist (One-Punch Man, Iron Fist, Falcon Punch, E

    It occurs to me that the Savage Attacker feat could be decent on this subclass. Official ruling affirms that Savage Attacker works with unarmed attacks. Because the extra damage dealt by Singular Strike is just more unarmed attack damage, you should be able to roll the whole thing twice and pick the result you prefer. This becomes especially relevant once you get Limitless Strike: by rolling twice and picking the result you prefer, you can choose the result that nets you more dice explosions.

    Always nice to see an unappreciated feat find a home.

    EDIT: I made a slight alteration to the wording of Singular Strike to make this combo less ambiguous.
    Last edited by Damon_Tor; 2019-12-11 at 02:02 PM.

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