A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 32
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Waterdeep
    Gender
    Male

    Default Monk base class tweaks

    In light of more recent discussion on the Monk I thought i'd make this for recording and debating my own thoughts on making the Monk a more cohesive class. Normally Rangers and sorcerers get all the attention but here we go:

    Level 1: Martial Arts
    While you aren't wielding a shield you gain the following benefits when using unarmed strikes and monk weapons, which are any weapons that you are proficient in and don't have the heavy or two-handed property.
    - You can use Dexterity instead of Strength for grappling as well as for the attack and damage rolls of your unarmed strikes and monk weapons.
    - You can roll a d6 in place of the normal damage of your unarmed strike or monk weapon. This die changes as you gain monk levels do d8 at level 5, d10 at level 11 and d12 at level 17
    - When you use the Attack action with an unarmed strike or a monk weapon, you can make one additional unarmed strike. When you do so you cannot also use your bonus action to make an attack.
    For example, if you take the Attack action and attack with a short sword, you can also make an unarmed strike as part of the same action, but you cannot also use two weapon fighting to make an attack with a second short sword.
    - Ki save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier

    Spoiler: Explain
    Show

    This is the bulk of the changes really.

    The big one is that your punches don't tie up your bonus action. This makes monk that much more dippable but not much more than other classes I suppose. But much more importantly, now monks don't have to choose between punching and keeping themselves alive by moving or dodging! Monks aren't offensive powerhouses, and there's precedent with Beast Barbarian claws here.

    The die size just makes monks scale a touch better, and monks using natural weapons get a boost to their claws or bites or whatever.

    Notably also is the removal of the armor clause, and I do the same for Barbarians. Casters can cast in armor, and I don't see a mechanical reason to restrict it beyond that's the way it has been previously. Monks can now drop DEX if they want.

    Although Monks still have incentive to go DEX because now they can grapple with it! A touch less MADness, but not removing WIS from the equation.

    I've also just taken out all the weird wording about monk weapons to avoid problems with Tasha's and Kensei. Between this and the armor changes, Dwarf Monks are now much more of a thing!


    Level 2: Dedicated Weapon does not exist (see above).

    Level 2: Flurry of Blows
    You can spend 1 Ki point to make one unarmed attack as a bonus action.

    Level 2: Patient Defence
    You can spend 1 Ki point to take the Dodge action as a bonus action on your turn.

    Level 2: Step of the Wind
    You can take the Disengage or Dash action, as well as double your jump distance, as a bonus action on your turn. You can also choose to spend 2 Ki points to take both the Dash and Disengage actions using this ability.

    Spoiler: Explain
    Show

    PD is unchanged, but now a much more lucrative option now that flurrying doesn't use your BA.

    SotW is a buff, giving monks something to do with their BA for free same as Rogues but also above and beyond that for the extra Ki. Given that melee skirmishing requires you to get in *and* out of range again this doesn't feel overwhelming... unless you're a ranged weapon kensei which will have to be addressed.


    Level 4,7 and 10: Choice
    Pick one from Tongue of Sun & Moon, Purity of Body and Stillness of Mind

    Note: I've been tossing up if I should alter Purity of Body to advantage on saves vs Disease & Poison plus Resistance to Poison and Necrotic damage, but not sure on that as yet. Quite a few poison resistant races would hate it, but on the other hand Necrotic resistance sounds pretty tasty as a bonus. Probably not worth it, i'm trying to keep changes to a minimum.

    Stillness of Mind
    At the beginning of your turn, if you are subject to the Charmed or Frightened condition you can end that condition on yourself. If you choose to do so you cannot use your action on your turn.

    Spoiler: Explain
    Show

    Just a fix so it works when you're under domination or other action-controlling effects that piggyback off the frightened or charmed condition.
    Being able to choose between these secondary features lets you prioritize based on the kind of adventure you're playing.


    Level 5: Extra Attack
    You can attack twice whenever you take the Attack action on your turn. If you already have the Extra Attack feature you instead increase one attribute of your choice by 1, to a maximum of 20.

    Spoiler: Explain
    Show

    Quality of life addition I put into Extra Attack for everyone, for multiclassing martials.


    Level 5: Stunning Strike
    When you hit a creature with a melee attack, you can attempt a stunning strike. The target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or be stunned until the end of your next turn. You can use this feature a number of times equal to twice your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
    This feature improves at level 13.

    Spoiler: Explain
    Show

    Another relatively major change, Stun is separated from Ki entirely. This frees up all the Ki you would otherwise be burning on it and is essentially free Stuns, but the other edge of that sword is that it's a strict limit on how many you can do. You can still use it multiple times per turn, but now you just cannot be the Stunning Strike Spammer.


    Level 6: Focused Aim
    Once per turn, when you miss with an attack roll you can spend 1 Ki point to reroll the attack, potentially turning the miss into a hit.

    Spoiler: Explain
    Show

    Removes static modifiers, which 5e generally doesn't like. A buff in using only 1 Ki, situational in making poor rolls a better use case than good rolls, and a nerf by restricting to once per turn. A mixed bag, hopefully a blessing in disguise.
    It comes later because Tier 1 monks have a stack of features already, and the Martial Arts buffs might make a dip incentive too strong.


    Level 8: Quickened Healing
    Once on your turn when you spend Ki points using an action or bonus action, you can spend 1 Ki point to regain a number of hit points equal to your Martial Arts die plus your Wisdom bonus (minimum 1).

    Spoiler: Explain
    Show

    Much more useful in combat as it doesn't compete with other uses for your actions, exactly the same cost out of combat so you still have something to do with your leftover Ki before resting.
    It comes later because Tier 1 monks have a stack of features already, and the Martial Arts buffs might make a dip incentive too strong.


    Level 10: Ki Strike
    When you use the Attack action with an unarmed strike or a monk weapon, you can spend 2 Ki to add your Martial Arts die to the damage rolls of your attacks until the end of your turn.

    Spoiler: Explain
    Show

    The only real feature I'm *adding* apart from the upper level enhancement to Stunning Strike, this boosts your damage output that would otherwise falter in tier 3/4 and provides a good use for all that Ki you're not using on Stuns. The Ki cost is a little higher because this stacks with other damage increases that you might get from subclass, spells, feats, etc.
    The other option here is tacking on an extra attack to flurrying, but i'm not a fan of that solution. I'd rather enhance the 3-4 attacks you have already than add another to the pile, the result is largely the same.


    Level 13: Improved Stunning Strike
    When you use your Stunning Strike feature, you can spend 1 Ki point to impose disadvantage on the creature's saving throw. In addition, if you have no uses remaining of this feature you can spend 2 Ki points to use it.

    Spoiler: Explain
    Show

    It's not really a ribbon, but it's a valuable improvement to Stunning strike that lets you land them more consistently seeing as monster Con saves are generally good (except for casters), you have more limited numbers of Stun attempts and this is around the level where legendary resistance becomes a significantly larger factor.
    It also gives you back that Ki-for-stuns function, but at a higher cost. I consider this a compromise and olive branch to the players that really just want to Stun freely.


    Level 18: Empty Body
    This ability is usable as a Bonus Action instead of as an Action

    Spoiler: Explain
    Show

    So it doesn't get in the way of the punching. It's a costlier but more powerful alternative to Patient Defense plus carries that utility in enabling hiding during the same turn you enable the invisibility.


    Level 20: Perfect Self
    At the start of each of your turns you gain 1 temporary Ki point, which lasts until you expend it or the end of your turn.

    Spoiler: Explain
    Show
    Capstone sucks, this noticeably better. It achieves the same effect that the original wanted to, you're never out of Ki. It's just not quite enough to abuse out of combat for infinite self-healing though.
    Last edited by Kane0; 2021-09-28 at 02:37 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    No time for a full reply ATM, but I would point out that the current wording of martial arts makes it compatible with twf. I don't think your intent is to allow the monk to have three attacks at level one without flurry.

    Secondly, I do have concerns that giving hands of harm to monks makes those classes look weird. Landing a hit for 3d10 + 5 + 4 just feels more like the paladins style.

    Finally, I raise this is a controversial opinion but I think people who whine about all their ki getting eaten by SS need to show some restraint. It's a powerful situational tool that grows easier to use as the game goes on. I also don't really love having an entirely separate archive ki pool for stunning, I'd rather just get a few extra ki.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Waterdeep
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    No time for a full reply ATM, but I would point out that the current wording of martial arts makes it compatible with twf. I don't think your intent is to allow the monk to have three attacks at level one without flurry.

    Secondly, I do have concerns that giving hands of harm to monks makes those classes look weird. Landing a hit for 3d10 + 5 + 4 just feels more like the paladins style.

    Finally, I raise this is a controversial opinion but I think people who whine about all their ki getting eaten by SS need to show some restraint. It's a powerful situational tool that grows easier to use as the game goes on. I also don't really love having an entirely separate archive ki pool for stunning, I'd rather just get a few extra ki.
    Oh my. Yes you are correct, this version isnt supposed to double up with other bonus action attacks.

    As stated, i will be taking a look at subclasses with these changes taken into consideration. Thats why Ki fueled attack is still there, for shadow monks and such using Ki to cast spells and so on.

    Having been DM to a few monk players I guess i dont share that same optimism. The generalization that flurry and stun are the optimal way to use Ki has some truth to it in my opinion/experience.
    Adding more Ki without addressing the fact that some uses for Ki are better than others (whether you consider that to be stun, pat defense, subclass options, whatever) will just lead to players using those same options even more often rather than spreading it around.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2019

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    Can we propose some changes too or should we concentrate on yours?

    I must admit that i'm not a major fan overall, but i do like the idea of freeing the bonus action, although i do think there is also a way to keep the flurry tied to the BA and still provide valuable options. However i do think your ideas work well with each others. While i don't like the number of use tied to the proficiency, i feel it's appropiate in this case.
    One of the major problem is that it makes multiclassing into monk extremely powerful. Sure it would be 5 or 6 levels, but the powercreep is real.

    While i do think the monk need more damage and would benefit from a lesser opportunity cost on some options, i also think that like most monk rework i have seen, they seriously lack out of combat options.
    Last edited by Chronic; 2021-09-20 at 07:51 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Amechra's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Where I live.

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    While I'm pretty neutral on most of these changes, I think I'll be stealing your version of Step of the Wind and Quickened Healing.
    Quote Originally Posted by segtrfyhtfgj View Post
    door is a fake exterior wall
    I'm back to playing videogames for the internet! Current games: Farethere City and The Frog For Whom The Bell Tolls.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post

    Having been DM to a few monk players I guess i dont share that same optimism. The generalization that flurry and stun are the optimal way to use Ki has some truth to it in my opinion/experience.
    Adding more Ki without addressing the fact that some uses for Ki are better than others (whether you consider that to be stun, pat defense, subclass options, whatever) will just lead to players using those same options even more often rather than spreading it around.
    I'm not really a fan of this design philosophy. Conventionally speaking my favorite thing about the monk is how different you can make it play from turn-to-turn. You can just wake up one day and decide you're a tank, or a hit-and-run character, or a striker. This change enforces usage of stunning strike and I don't really love that, even while its strictly a buff.

    For comparison consider how people wanted another way to spend wildshape uses for years, feeling that wildshape didn't really fit their character's identity.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2021

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    I'm not sure combining free step of the wind, with martial arts attacks not taking your bonus action and increased starting damage is a good idea. At low levels, monks with an increased MA die size will have more damage than pretty much any other characters, while also having better ability to pop in and out of melee than a rogue. This runs back into what a monk is supposed to do. Having a very high damage yet fragile melee class could be fine. Having a skirmish class like the rogue would be fine. I think either disallowing versatile from being used with martial arts would be the easiest fix to keep damage in check at low levels, but free disengages and bonus movement is a little concerning.

    You've also want to smooth out the level curve-you've buffed much of the monks low level abilities, including the pretty minor ones. Consider bumping some of the abilities from more crowded levels to some of the emptier levels (Level 5 is looking super stacked with the buffed focused aim, quickened healing and die scaling). Shuffleing some abilities to fill out the disappointing later levels like 13 and 15 is something to look into.

    I'm not really a fan of this design philosophy. Conventionally speaking my favorite thing about the monk is how different you can make it play from turn-to-turn. You can just wake up one day and decide you're a tank, or a hit-and-run character, or a striker. This change enforces usage of stunning strike and I don't really love that, even while its strictly a buff.
    One thing I've been an advocate for in the past would be putting a once per turn restriction on stunning strike. That stops the most abusable part of SS, forcing 3 high priority saves on a creature in one round, and reduced the speed monks can blow through their ki doing that maneuver. This encourages monks spending Ki on other things because they don't need to save up for a full stun volley just in case.
    Last edited by mr_stibbons; 2021-09-20 at 01:57 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Waterdeep
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronic View Post
    Can we propose some changes too or should we concentrate on yours?
    I don't mind either way. I'm all for the free exchange of ideas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronic View Post
    I must admit that i'm not a major fan overall, but i do like the idea of freeing the bonus action, although i do think there is also a way to keep the flurry tied to the BA and still provide valuable options. However i do think your ideas work well with each others. While i don't like the number of use tied to the proficiency, i feel it's appropiate in this case.
    One of the major problem is that it makes multiclassing into monk extremely powerful. Sure it would be 5 or 6 levels, but the powercreep is real.

    While i do think the monk need more damage and would benefit from a lesser opportunity cost on some options, i also think that like most monk rework i have seen, they seriously lack out of combat options.
    As long as it's past the dipping stage i'm OK with that, feels about right compared to 4-6 levels of pally, ranger, rogue, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    While I'm pretty neutral on most of these changes, I think I'll be stealing your version of Step of the Wind and Quickened Healing.
    By all means, it's why I put it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    I'm not really a fan of this design philosophy. Conventionally speaking my favorite thing about the monk is how different you can make it play from turn-to-turn. You can just wake up one day and decide you're a tank, or a hit-and-run character, or a striker. This change enforces usage of stunning strike and I don't really love that, even while its strictly a buff.

    For comparison consider how people wanted another way to spend wildshape uses for years, feeling that wildshape didn't really fit their character's identity.
    You can still decide to put all your Ki into say Patient defence instead of flurry, or step of the wind instead of focused aim, it's only Stuns that I disconnected for just that reason (and to avoid recalculating how much Ki a monk should be getting). You can still dump stuns on all your attacks in one turn too, if that's what you feel the situation calls for. The difference is that you can't then take a short rest and do it again another 1-3 times the same day and be left largely Ki-less except for those turns.

    Quote Originally Posted by mr_stibbons View Post
    I'm not sure combining free step of the wind, with martial arts attacks not taking your bonus action and increased starting damage is a good idea. At low levels, monks with an increased MA die size will have more damage than pretty much any other characters, while also having better ability to pop in and out of melee than a rogue. This runs back into what a monk is supposed to do. Having a very high damage yet fragile melee class could be fine. Having a skirmish class like the rogue would be fine. I think either disallowing versatile from being used with martial arts would be the easiest fix to keep damage in check at low levels, but free disengages and bonus movement is a little concerning.

    You've also want to smooth out the level curve-you've buffed much of the monks low level abilities, including the pretty minor ones. Consider bumping some of the abilities from more crowded levels to some of the emptier levels (Level 5 is looking super stacked with the buffed focused aim, quickened healing and die scaling). Shuffleing some abilities to fill out the disappointing later levels like 13 and 15 is something to look into.
    Bonus action dodge + disengage for 1 ki is certainly potent, no doubt. It's the thing i'm most unsure of at the moment and want to fully playtest it (lockdown prevents that right now). That said, melee 'skirmishing' is not an optimal tactic a lot of the time since you need to A) spend movement to get into melee, B) make your attacks and C) spend more movement to get away from counter-melee range (usually about 30-40 feet, though it could exceed 60) while D) also having some way to avoid taking an opportunity attack on your way out. So in a lot of cases you definitely do want to move twice as fast as normal plus a bit more, and have the benefits of disengage on top of that. Of course, this assumes *melee* so getting to use this with a bow, sling, sun monk rays, etc gets pretty wild and will have to be adjusted, probably by giving those types of monks something else to use their BA on I think.

    Good point with the ability layout, Monk certainly gets a lot and we can spread that some. Perhaps two each at levels 2, 4 and 6 or something. I want to avoid taking too long to get all the things that make you feel like a proper monk (varies player to player), an alternative could be picking the ones you want at certain levels ala metamagic, maneuvers, etc. Considering there are 6-7 Ki abilities and another 3-4 that we could also put into the selectable category there is definitely enough to fit in that way but I think that goes beyond 'tweak' and into 'rewrite' territory.

    Quote Originally Posted by mr_stibbons View Post
    One thing I've been an advocate for in the past would be putting a once per turn restriction on stunning strike. That stops the most abusable part of SS, forcing 3 high priority saves on a creature in one round, and reduced the speed monks can blow through their ki doing that maneuver. This encourages monks spending Ki on other things because they don't need to save up for a full stun volley just in case.
    As above, I don't mind monks being able to dump stuns on a single high priority target if need be. What I wanted to avoid was monks that *only* do that.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    In light of more recent discussion on the Monk I thought i'd make this for recording and debating my own thoughts on making the Monk a more cohesive class. Normally Rangers and sorcerers get all the attention but here we go:

    Level 1: Martial Arts
    While you aren't wielding a shield you gain the following benefits when using unarmed strikes and monk weapons, which are any melee weapons that you are proficient in and don't have the heavy or two-handed property.
    - You can use Dexterity instead of Strength for grappling as well as for the attack and damage rolls of your unarmed strikes and monk weapons.
    - You can roll a d6 in place of the normal damage of your unarmed strike or monk weapon. This die changes as you gain monk levels do d8 at level 5, d10 at level 11 and d12 at level 17
    - When you use the Attack action with an unarmed strike or a monk weapon, you can make one additional unarmed strike. When you do so you cannot also use your bonus action to make an attack.
    For example, if you take the Attack action and attack with a short sword, you can also make an unarmed strike as part of the same action, but you cannot also use two weapon fighting to make an attack with a second short sword.
    - Ki save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier

    Spoiler: Explain
    Show

    This is the bulk of the changes really.

    The big one is that your punches don't tie up your bonus action. This makes monk that much more dippable but not much more than other classes I suppose. But much more importantly, now monks don't have to choose between punching and keeping themselves alive by moving or dodging! Monks aren't offensive powerhouses, and there's precedent with Beast Barbarian claws here.

    The die size just makes monks scale a touch better, and monks using natural weapons get a boost to their claws or bites or whatever.

    Notably also is the removal of the armor clause, and I do the same for Barbarians. Casters can cast in armor, and I don't see a mechanical reason to restrict it beyond that's the way it has been previously. Monks can now drop DEX if they want.

    Although Monks still have incentive to go DEX because now they can grapple with it! A touch less MADness, but not removing WIS from the equation.

    I've also just taken out all the weird wording about monk weapons to avoid problems with Tasha's and Kensei. Between this and the armor changes, Dwarf Monks are now much more of a thing!


    Level 2: Dedicated Weapon does not exist (see above).

    Level 2: Patient Defence
    You can spend 1 Ki point to take the Dodge action as a bonus action on your turn.

    Level 2: Step of the Wind
    You can take the Disengage or Dash action, as well as double your jump distance, as a bonus action on your turn. You can also choose to spend 1 Ki point to take both the Dash and Disengage actions using this ability.

    Spoiler: Explain
    Show

    PD is unchanged, but now a much more lucrative option now that flurrying doesn't use your BA.

    SotW is a buff, giving monks something to do with their BA for free same as Rogues but also above and beyond that for the extra Ki. Given that melee skirmishing requires you to get in *and* out of range again this doesn't feel overwhelming... unless you're a ranged weapon kensei which will have to be addressed.
    Up to here, I don't see how flurry works, but it sounds like it's supposed to be just like the change to martial arts. Spend 1 ki and make two extra unarmed attacks along with your Attack action. So, other classes don't really have a "defensive fighting" option, but defensive options like using a shield, or not using reckless attack, or disengaging instead of using TWF all come at a cost of some offense that turn too. The monk being able to do both Flurry and Patient Defense could be fine, like a wizard casting shield with their reaction, or it could be overwhelming like a heavily armored EK casting shield with their reaction.

    I'm personally attached to dedicated weapon. I played a halfling monk entertainer who would always have a sling, and I would have been making that my dedicated weapon every day. The interaction of Dedicated Weapon with Ki-fueled Attack for ranged monks is very dear to me. I've been a fan of monks using their ranged weapons before Tasha's, so acting like they can only melee skirmish, should only melee skirmish is weird.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    Level 5: Focused Aim
    Once per turn, when you miss with an attack roll you can spend 1 Ki point to reroll the attack, potentially turning the miss into a hit.

    Spoiler: Explain
    Show

    Removes static modifiers, which 5e generally doesn't like. A buff when using 1 Ki as a reroll is generally more valuable than a +2, but also a nerf in that you can't burn through your Ki and do this multiple times per turn with all your monk attacks. Forced longevity, sort of a blessing in disguise.
    In effect, this is another flurry of blows. You can spend 1 ki and make another attack roll, with the only benefit being that it applies to weapon attacks. As it was, it was like flurry of blows, spend ki to deal more damage, but not exactly like it. You could know the target's AC and know that you would hit if you spend 1 ki, which is better than the uncertainty of making an attack roll.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    Level 5: Quickened Healing
    When you spend Ki points on the Patient Defence, Step of the Wind or Empty Body ability, you can spend 1 Ki point to regain a number of hit points equal to your Martial Arts die plus your Wisdom bonus (minimum 1).

    Spoiler: Explain
    Show

    Much more useful in combat as it doesn't compete with other uses for your actions, exactly the same cost out of combat so you still have something to do with your leftover Ki before resting.
    I really like how you combined this. I never gave any thought to changing the ability before, but this is really good.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    Level 5: Stunning Strike
    When you hit a creature with a melee attack, you can attempt a stunning strike. The target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or be stunned until the end of your next turn. You can use this feature a number of times equal to twice your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

    Spoiler: Explain
    Show

    Another relatively major change, Stun is separeted from Ki entirely. This frees up all the Ki you would otherwise be burning on it and is essentially free Stuns, but the other edge of that sword is that it's a strict limit on how many you can do. You can still use it multiple times per turn, but now you just cannot be the Stunning Strike Spammer.
    Aside from the change to martial arts damage die, this is the only other change to the monk's damage. Giving them free uses of stunning strike, and only that many uses of stunning strike.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    Level 10: Ki Strike
    When you use the Attack action with an unarmed strike or a monk weapon, you can spend 2 Ki to add your Martial Arts die and add it to the damage rolls of your attacks until the end of your turn.

    Spoiler: Explain
    Show

    The only feature I'm *adding*, this boosts your damage output that would otherwise falter in tier 3/4 and provides an alternative usage for all that Ki you're not using on Stuns.
    This is actually more or less a third flurry of blows. Spend ki and deal more damage if you hit. It's also almost exactly the same value as flurry, but only if you also use it with flurry.
    See: Level 10 - Martial arts 3d8+15, flurry adds 1d8+5 for 1 ki [9.5/1], ki strike adds 3d8 for 2 ki [13.5/2], flurry with ki strike adds 5d8+5 [27.5/3]
    Level 11 - Martial arts 3d10+15, flurry adds 1d10+5 for 1 ki [10.5/1], ki strike adds 3d10 for 2 ki [16.5/2], flurry with ki strike adds 5d10+5 [32.5/3]
    And level 17 - Martial arts 3d12+15, flurry adds 1d12+5 for 1 ki [11.5/1], ki strike adds 3d12 for 2 ki [19.5/2], flurry with ki strike adds 5d12+5 [37.5/3]

    So classic monk can use all their ki between stunning and flurry. Ki strike enables this monk to spend all their ki on extra damage that is just about always comparable to flurry more. It doesn't much change the amount of damage their Ki can be spent for, just enable it to be spent in a more useful timeframe. So the only direct damage difference between the two is the stunning attempts, and the larger martial arts die.

    Overall, I don't want to remove the ability to have a ranged monk weapon, don't like the change to focused aim, and don't like the specific implementation of Ki Strike.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Waterdeep
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Zalabim View Post
    Up to here, I don't see how flurry works, but it sounds like it's supposed to be just like the change to martial arts. Spend 1 ki and make two extra unarmed attacks along with your Attack action. So, other classes don't really have a "defensive fighting" option, but defensive options like using a shield, or not using reckless attack, or disengaging instead of using TWF all come at a cost of some offense that turn too. The monk being able to do both Flurry and Patient Defense could be fine, like a wizard casting shield with their reaction, or it could be overwhelming like a heavily armored EK casting shield with their reaction.
    Yes that's the intent. I'd like to open the floor for debate however: Should Flurry be added to the Attack Action like Martial Arts or should it still require your Bonus Action?
    At this stage I don't think it will be out of line seeing as you're spending Ki to do it, disadvantage can still be countered and you cannot use a shield nor get a fighting style natively so your AC won't usually be quite as high.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zalabim View Post
    I'm personally attached to dedicated weapon. I played a halfling monk entertainer who would always have a sling, and I would have been making that my dedicated weapon every day. The interaction of Dedicated Weapon with Ki-fueled Attack for ranged monks is very dear to me. I've been a fan of monks using their ranged weapons before Tasha's, so acting like they can only melee skirmish, should only melee skirmish is weird.
    *Squints* I believe I have misread Dedicated Weapon, I was under the impression you couldn't pick a ranged weapon with it. I'll edit out the 'melee' restriction in Martial Arts to allow this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zalabim View Post
    In effect, this is another flurry of blows. You can spend 1 ki and make another attack roll, with the only benefit being that it applies to weapon attacks. As it was, it was like flurry of blows, spend ki to deal more damage, but not exactly like it. You could know the target's AC and know that you would hit if you spend 1 ki, which is better than the uncertainty of making an attack roll.
    Well it's not an additional attack, but it does apply to all attacks which is helpful for certain monk subclasses and interesting for some clerics/druids. This was largely to get rid of the +2s that 5e tends to shy away from, and I know a few tables that discourage the players trying to figure out the stats of creatures (I don't care, but it does promote combat metagaming).
    You know, we could change it to 'Once per turn if you roll an attack and miss (except for a natural 1), you can spend 2 Ki to turn that miss into a hit'. Similar effect, greater benefit at higher cost. Open for debate!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zalabim View Post
    I really like how you combined this. I never gave any thought to changing the ability before, but this is really good.
    Why thankyou

    Quote Originally Posted by Zalabim View Post
    This is actually more or less a third flurry of blows. Spend ki and deal more damage if you hit. It's also almost exactly the same value as flurry, but only if you also use it with flurry.
    See: Level 10 - Martial arts 3d8+15, flurry adds 1d8+5 for 1 ki [9.5/1], ki strike adds 3d8 for 2 ki [13.5/2], flurry with ki strike adds 5d8+5 [27.5/3]
    Level 11 - Martial arts 3d10+15, flurry adds 1d10+5 for 1 ki [10.5/1], ki strike adds 3d10 for 2 ki [16.5/2], flurry with ki strike adds 5d10+5 [32.5/3]
    And level 17 - Martial arts 3d12+15, flurry adds 1d12+5 for 1 ki [11.5/1], ki strike adds 3d12 for 2 ki [19.5/2], flurry with ki strike adds 5d12+5 [37.5/3]

    So classic monk can use all their ki between stunning and flurry. Ki strike enables this monk to spend all their ki on extra damage that is just about always comparable to flurry more. It doesn't much change the amount of damage their Ki can be spent for, just enable it to be spent in a more useful timeframe. So the only direct damage difference between the two is the stunning attempts, and the larger martial arts die.
    Very similar yes, though they stack to help damage output at the level it starts to wane compared to other martials. Something I learned when looking into TWF is just tacking on more attacks is often a poor decision; monks already sit on the upper end of attacks-per-round, so adding a per-hit damage boost instead would likely be better balanced. It's like a Paladin casting Hunter's Mark vs a Fighter casting Hunter's Mark.
    But if it's damage-per-ki that seems off, i'm happy to consider alternatives.
    Last edited by Kane0; 2021-09-21 at 01:02 AM.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    Very similar yes, though they stack to help damage output at the level it starts to wane compared to other martials. Something I learned when looking into TWF is just tacking on more attacks is often a poor decision; monks already sit on the upper end of attacks-per-round, so adding a per-hit damage boost instead would likely be better balanced. It's like a Paladin casting Hunter's Mark vs a Fighter casting Hunter's Mark.
    But if it's damage-per-ki that seems off, i'm happy to consider alternatives.
    The thing that feels off is that it's very chunky and doesn't feel very interesting. The middle road is so much less efficient that you're either spending 3 or 4 ki doing everything or spending 0 or 1 ki doing the bare minimum. I share some concern about just throwing more attacks at it too, though actually making 5 or 6 attacks compares well thematically with the fighter going up to 5 attacks (four attacks and bonus action) without action surge.

    As a new thought, you could deliver it as a small smite: Once per turn, spend 2 ki when you hit to deal 3 martial arts dice of damage. What that lacks in maximum possible damage it makes up for in not needing to roll to hit. The problem is there isn't an easy way to divide 3 dice of damage into 2 ki.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Waterdeep
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Zalabim View Post
    As a new thought, you could deliver it as a small smite: Once per turn, spend 2 ki when you hit to deal 3 martial arts dice of damage. What that lacks in maximum possible damage it makes up for in not needing to roll to hit. The problem is there isn't an easy way to divide 3 dice of damage into 2 ki.
    Wouldnt that be even less efficient though? Existing proposal would be 1 Ki for 1-4 die worth of damage depending on how many hits you get in on your turn (3 attacks, 1 ki for another if you want to flurry and 1 more ki if you miss and want to retry).
    What about 1 Ki for 2 dice? Lower ceiling, higher floor, you can choose when to use it like a smite (read: wait until crit)

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2019

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by mr_stibbons View Post
    One thing I've been an advocate for in the past would be putting a once per turn restriction on stunning strike. That stops the most abusable part of SS, forcing 3 high priority saves on a creature in one round, and reduced the speed monks can blow through their ki doing that maneuver. This encourages monks spending Ki on other things because they don't need to save up for a full stun volley just in case.
    That was one thing I was wanting to propose. However since the monk do need more damage at higher level, I was wondering if making flurry of blow free wasn't a good a idea. I was also thinking of adding either profiency or wisdom bonus to attack damage for a turn for a Ki cost.
    And the possibility to boost the DC of stunning strike for a Ki cost. Which might be necessary since stunning strike dc isn't that high usually and limiting stunning strike to once per turn is a big nerf to a classe that many find underwhelming.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    As a fix to the MA attack stacking with other BA attacks, I would just have PD and other abilities include a MA attack.

    The level 10 ability seems too strong to me. Like 3 ki to do 8d10+20 damage seems like too much, especially because of how much subclasses add on top of this and because ki's been made more commonplace. I would just give them an ASI here so that they have a little more flexibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    You can still decide to put all your Ki into say Patient defence instead of flurry, or step of the wind instead of focused aim, it's only Stuns that I disconnected for just that reason (and to avoid recalculating how much Ki a monk should be getting). You can still dump stuns on all your attacks in one turn too, if that's what you feel the situation calls for. The difference is that you can't then take a short rest and do it again another 1-3 times the same day and be left largely Ki-less except for those turns.
    I just don't think we'll agree on this. To me it feels like a hand-holding mechanic that makes things less flexible for people who know what they're doing.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Waterdeep
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronic View Post
    I was also thinking of adding either profiency or wisdom bonus to attack damage for a turn for a Ki cost.
    Yep, that's basically what I did with Ki Strike. Spend 1 Ki, all your attacks that turn deal +1dM damage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronic View Post
    And the possibility to boost the DC of stunning strike for a Ki cost. Which might be necessary since stunning strike dc isn't that high usually and limiting stunning strike to once per turn is a big nerf to a classe that many find underwhelming.
    Not a bad idea, at later levels (post-10 somewhere) spend 1 extra Ki to impose disadvantage on the save against your Stunning attack

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    As a fix to the MA attack stacking with other BA attacks, I would just have PD and other abilities include a MA attack.
    That defeats the point of the MA attack not costing you Ki. I just worded the ability to not allow a BA attack with it, which oddly enough the Beast Barbarian Claw option doesn't specify.

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    The level 10 ability seems too strong to me. Like 3 ki to do 8d10+20 damage seems like too much, especially because of how much subclasses add on top of this and because ki's been made more commonplace. I would just give them an ASI here so that they have a little more flexibility.
    Eh, ASI seems phoned in to me but Monks could use an extra one. It wouldn't help damage output in Tiers 3-4 though, which is specifically what I'm trying to address.
    Astral and Mercy monks definitely add to your attack damage, but none of the others do (unless you count sun soul fireballs and kensei weapon enhancement?) I think the Devs were acknowledging the same thing we are here, and put it in the Tasha's subclasses instead of an optional monk feature.

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    I just don't think we'll agree on this. To me it feels like a hand-holding mechanic that makes things less flexible for people who know what they're doing.
    Could you expand on 'know what theyre doing'? I don't want to make assumptions.
    Last edited by Kane0; 2021-09-21 at 08:58 PM.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    That defeats the point of the MA attack not costing you Ki. I just worded the ability to not allow a BA attack with it, which oddly enough the Beast Barbarian Claw option doesn't specify.
    I'm not sure I follow. My ruling would be "you can make an MA attack as a bonus action.... Patient defense allows you to dodge as a bonus action and take an attack"

    The only difference is that my version still requires you to use a bonus action no matter what. Either way not a big deal
    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    Eh, ASI seems phoned in to me but Monks could use an extra one. It wouldn't help damage output in Tiers 3-4 though, which is specifically what I'm trying to address.
    Astral and Mercy monks definitely add to your attack damage, but none of the others do (unless you count sun soul fireballs and kensei weapon enhancement?) I think the Devs were acknowledging the same thing we are here, and put it in the Tasha's subclasses instead of an optional monk feature.
    The simplicity is what appeals to me tbh.

    But yeah, most subclasses get something good. Long Death gets the 'never die' feature, Kensei gets +3/+3 which is a massive damage buff, albeit one that skews toward high AC foes. IDK if casting fireball every round is good but sun soul monks can do it.

    that leaves 4e, open hand, drunken master, and shadow. And the 4e monk's problem isn't damage its just a lack of ki (ironically its insane in a 1 encounter-a-day game that multiples SR resources by 3) IMO these subclasses need help, and that's the place to add damage.
    • Open Hand can get your 10th level feature, they need it.
    • Drunken feels like something that should get a visceral, stupid damage buff. Something like "reroll all damage and take the higher result" though perhaps that's bad design.
    • Shadow Monk can just get greater invisibility for five ki, I don't think that'd be a seriously issue if they also get their normal level eleven feature.


    Obviously just my preference though, I'm really just quibbling here.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    Could you expand on 'know what theyre doing'? I don't want to make assumptions.
    Just don't spam stunning strike unless its winning you the encounter. Which tbc it can but there's a lot of enemies that aren't worth using SS on. It's a powerful niche lockdown tool, not the end-all be-all of your kit.
    Last edited by strangebloke; 2021-09-22 at 10:58 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

    Join Date
    Aug 2021

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    It hasn't been mentioned here, but I like tweaking Flurry to give a third strike at 11 and a fourth at 17. It's simple, builds upon a core technique, and helps damage keep up with other martials. And getting more strikes as you reach higher monk levels fits the theme.

    If you wanted to make a more drastic change, make Flurry of Blows the monk's cantrip. It costs no ki. Comes online at 1st level. Scales the same as other attack cantrips- 1 strike at 1st, 2 at 5th, 3 at 11th, and 4 at 17th. Take it off MA die and lock it at d8 or d10. Subclass features that add riders to FoB still can, costing ki.
    Last edited by Foolwise; 2021-09-22 at 02:38 AM. Reason: Expanding the thought

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    ElfRogueGirl

    Join Date
    Apr 2021

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    dropped this in a different thread, but i'll add it here; i would foresee it coming on around, say, level 9.

    Deflect Blows

    Starting at X level, you can use your reaction to blunt or avert an attack that hits you in melee combat. When you do, you reduce the damage you take from the attack by 1d10+your Dex modifier+your monk level.

    If you reduce the damage to zero, you can spend 1 ki point to make one unarmed strike against the creature that attacks you as part of the same reaction.


    in addition to giving this feature to all monks, I'd replace the Open Hand monk's not-very-interesting Tranquility feature with the ability to use the Open Hand techniques (knock back/knock prone/remove reactions) with your Deflect Blows unarmed strike (to represent, a la aikido, a throw or control).

    i really like Kane0's level 10 extra damage feature.
    "Although our intellect always feels itself urged toward clearness and certainty, still our mind often feels itself attracted by uncertainty." - Charles Payne

    "Why do we call all our generous ideas illusions, and the mean ones truths?" - Edith Wharton

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Waterdeep
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    Something else I've considered but would like input on, either rearranging when some features are attained or making the monk choose between one or the other.

    For example:
    - Quickened Healing at level 8-10 instead of 4 (because it acts as an upgrade to your initial Ki powers and have a larger Ki pool now)
    - Focused Aim at level 8-10 instead of 5 (because you already get a higher monk die and Stunning strike at that level)
    - Swapping Purity of Body to level 7 and Stillness of Mind to level 10 (former because Poison and Disease are lower level threats, mental attacks become more common at higher levels and this is a closer stepping stone to Diamond Soul)

    or alternatively something like
    - At level 2 choose between Flurry and Focused Aim
    - At level 6 choose between Ki-Empowered Strikes and Tongue of Sun & Moon. You get the other at 13.
    - At level 6 choose between Purity of Body and Stillness of Mind. You get the other at 10)
    - At level 10 choose between Ki Strike and Enhanced Stunning Strike (1 Ki to impose disadvantage on the save, when your LR uses are expended you can spend 2 Ki to use it again). You get the other at 15.

    Potentially even a mix of the two approaches, so everything is spaced nicely but also allows for some customization depending on the kind of game a Monk finds themself in.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

    Join Date
    Aug 2021

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    Group Stillness of Mind, Purity of Body, and Tongues of Sun and Moon together and give the player the option to take them in any order at 4, 7, and 10.

    Allow the player to grab as early as possible whichever ribbon ability will help them most. Purity of Body will likely be the first pick for most campaigns, but a Feywild adventure would go for Stillness of Mind or a political intrigue one shot would grab Tongues first.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    Something else I've considered but would like input on, either rearranging when some features are attained or making the monk choose between one or the other.

    For example:
    - Quickened Healing at level 8-10 instead of 4 (because it acts as an upgrade to your initial Ki powers and have a larger Ki pool now)
    - Focused Aim at level 8-10 instead of 5 (because you already get a higher monk die and Stunning strike at that level)
    - Swapping Purity of Body to level 7 and Stillness of Mind to level 10 (former because Poison and Disease are lower level threats, mental attacks become more common at higher levels and this is a closer stepping stone to Diamond Soul)

    or alternatively something like
    - At level 2 choose between Flurry and Focused Aim
    - At level 6 choose between Ki-Empowered Strikes and Tongue of Sun & Moon. You get the other at 13.
    - At level 6 choose between Purity of Body and Stillness of Mind. You get the other at 10)
    - At level 10 choose between Ki Strike and Enhanced Stunning Strike (1 Ki to impose disadvantage on the save, when your LR uses are expended you can spend 2 Ki to use it again). You get the other at 15.

    Potentially even a mix of the two approaches, so everything is spaced nicely but also allows for some customization depending on the kind of game a Monk finds themself in.
    I'm always a fan of the warlock-like structure of getting multiple choices at multiple levels, but getting access to advanced options at higher levels. It massively increases the build options available to a character and the advanced options mean that the level-ups continue to be interesting.

    I would say that Ki Empowered strikes probably shouldn't be possible to delay until 13. That ability is literally just "let my archetype function normally" and as such it shouldn't really be considered a 'feature' at all. Just something you get.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Yakk's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    I did something a bit different with similar goals.

    For example, I kept the bonus action monk stuff intact, but I start allowing the monk to take more than one bonus action as they gain levels.

    Like, as an early T2 feature:

    "Speed of Ki":
    When you use a monk class feature to take a bonus action and spend Ki, you may also do a 2nd monk class feature bonus action that costs Ki immediately afterwards.

    So you can burn a bonus action (and a Ki) on flurry of blows, then the 2nd Patient Defence.

    At the start of T3, I add in the ability to double the Ki you spend on a monk class feature bonus action to do that action twice. So you can double-flurry, then double step of the wind (the first one being a dash, the second a disengage), for 4 Ki. Double patient defence doesn't do anything interesting (so don't do it).

    At T4, you get a free Ki every on your turn. Basically the first ki you spend, you don't pay for, each turn.

    For Stunning Strike:

    When you hit a creature on your turn with an unarmed strike, they must make a constitution saving throw or be stunned. You can only make a specific creature make this saving throw once on your turn. If the attack is a critical hit, the save is at disadvantage, and you can make them take the save even if they have already saved this turn.

    The idea is to remove the stun-spam and decouple Ki from it. So monks can do more interesting things with their Ki. If they attack multiple foes, each one of them can be stunned.
    Last edited by Yakk; 2021-09-23 at 01:45 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Waterdeep
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Foolwise View Post
    Group Stillness of Mind, Purity of Body, and Tongues of Sun and Moon together and give the player the option to take them in any order at 4, 7, and 10.
    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    I'm always a fan of the warlock-like structure of getting multiple choices at multiple levels, but getting access to advanced options at higher levels. It massively increases the build options available to a character and the advanced options mean that the level-ups continue to be interesting.
    Excellent, I've edited the original post to include this and changed level 13 to improve upon stunning strike now that the ribbons have moved down some levels.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post
    I did something a bit different with similar goals.

    For example, I kept the bonus action monk stuff intact, but I start allowing the monk to take more than one bonus action as they gain levels.

    Like, as an early T2 feature:

    "Speed of Ki":
    When you use a monk class feature to take a bonus action and spend Ki, you may also do a 2nd monk class feature bonus action that costs Ki immediately afterwards.

    So you can burn a bonus action (and a Ki) on flurry of blows, then the 2nd Patient Defence.

    At the start of T3, I add in the ability to double the Ki you spend on a monk class feature bonus action to do that action twice. So you can double-flurry, then double step of the wind (the first one being a dash, the second a disengage), for 4 Ki. Double patient defence doesn't do anything interesting (so don't do it).

    At T4, you get a free Ki every on your turn. Basically the first ki you spend, you don't pay for, each turn.

    For Stunning Strike:
    When you hit a creature on your turn with an unarmed strike, they must make a constitution saving throw or be stunned. You can only make a specific creature make this saving throw once on your turn. If the attack is a critical hit, the save is at disadvantage, and you can make them take the save even if they have already saved this turn.

    The idea is to remove the stun-spam and decouple Ki from it. So monks can do more interesting things with their Ki. If they attack multiple foes, each one of them can be stunned.
    I do find it interesting how most have been on largely the same core points, just different ways to achieve them.

    That capstone is really good, going to add that in!

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Iceland
    Gender
    Female2Male

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    There's something I'm now dubbing the Keno0 syndrome.

    This is the millionth time my oblivious ass thinks a class is just fine, and then Kane0 writes a post like this and honestly makes me believe every single class in 5e is **** 😂

    Keep up the good work. Whenever I have a player who's not quite feeling his class, I always know in what direction to guide him ;)

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Waterdeep
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjarkmundur View Post
    There's something I'm now dubbing the Keno0 syndrome.

    This is the millionth time my oblivious ass thinks a class is just fine, and then Kane0 writes a post like this and honestly makes me believe every single class in 5e is **** 😂

    Keep up the good work. Whenever I have a player who's not quite feeling his class, I always know in what direction to guide him ;)
    Hah! I appreciate the sentiment, but i probably wouldnt go that far in the case of the monk. Its very solid already really, its just that
    - Its features sometimes trip on the action economy
    - It has very heavy Ki usage which can sometimes overwhelm it
    - After level 10ish most martials get a noticable damage bump but the monk largely doesnt

    Many also note some squishiness but i think if the monk can get more movement and dodging in instead of using their bonus action to martial arts or flurry that largely solves itself

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    I'm not really a fan of this design philosophy. Conventionally speaking my favorite thing about the monk is how different you can make it play from turn-to-turn. You can just wake up one day and decide you're a tank, or a hit-and-run character, or a striker. This change enforces usage of stunning strike and I don't really love that, even while its strictly a buff.

    For comparison consider how people wanted another way to spend wildshape uses for years, feeling that wildshape didn't really fit their character's identity.
    I feel like there's an important difference there: baseline competency. A druid, even a Moon druid, doesn't need to wildshape to catch up to the baseline performance expected of a caster. It's an extra thing, so it makes sense to be able to choose what you want to be extra about. Like, I definitely think that 5e as a whole is way too permissive about not having to choose between damage and defense (ask me about my feelings on finesse weapons and heavy armor). I love the idea of a monk choosing whether she wants to be extra tanky this turn or do some extra murder. But the problem is, the monk is the only one making that choice.

    Say we're at level 11, and everyone started with 16 in their main damage stat, and no one has magic items. The rogue adds 24 damage to one 1d8 attack, and still gets 18 AC, a bonus action hide/disengage, and a reaction uncanny dodge. The GWF paladin adds 11 damage to two 2d6 attacks (12 if you let GWF work on smites) and still gets 18 AC and 22 more hp. The barbarian adds 5 damage to two 2d6 attacks and still gets 18 AC and 22 more hp or 17 AC and 32 more hp. The S&B fighter adds 7 damage to three 1d8 attacks and still gets AC 20 and 22 hp. The monk adds 5 damage to three 1d8 attacks, and is sitting at AC 17 with no other protections, and can then choose to either catch up to the paladin's defensiveness or the rogue's damage.

    But if we're spending resources, now the fighter can action surge, or the paladin can spend spell slots, and both of them can, like the monk, choose to augment either offense or defense with those resources, while the barbarian can spend a single resource to augment both; they can't do this as often as the monk can flurry+stun, certainly, but the results are also more dramatic. What we see is a pattern for a baseline level of simultaneous attack power and defense power for martials, and then they can put resources on top that to augment one or the other, and the monk just doesn't quite meet that baseline. It's fine if their resource spending doesn't do as much for them as a paladin's per expenditure, because paladins have fewer spell slots (assuming rest equity, but that's a different debate); but what isn't fine is that they don't start from the same base.

    And if you throw in feats that only exacerbates the problem; if the barb or paladin want to skip a Str boost for PAM, or the fighter just wants to grab it, period, that's a damage jump that does not impact their defensive ability whatsoever, while the monk loses AC if she tries to pick up a feat. Monks do get a lot of cool non-resource non-melee protections, of course (assuming you allow Still Mind to actually work, or manage to make it to 18th level), but then again, so do rogues and paladins. Magic armor and weapons obviously make it worse, too.

    I'm not sure the answer is messing with the bonus action, though - I do like the elegance of putting the extra attack in the main action, but I agree with strangebloke that the per-turn BA choice is more interesting in play. I think I'd rather expand catch arrows to block any weapon attack (spend a ki point to trip/disarm instead of deflect, if it's melee), or maybe have them auto-disengage when they spend any ki, or if that's too strong, prevent OA by anything they hit at least like a built-in Mobile. Then alter Step of the Wind to augment those built-in defenses instead of providing them to begin with. If they're skirmishers who use their unique very fast, terrain-indifferent, unexpected movement to do damage without getting hurt, let's design them so that their movement can actually prevent them from getting hurt.
    Last edited by Sindeloke; 2021-09-25 at 03:38 PM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    strangebloke's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sindeloke View Post
    Say we're at level 11, and everyone started with 16 in their main damage stat, and no one has magic items. The rogue adds 24 damage to one 1d8 attack, and still gets 18 AC, a bonus action hide/disengage, and a reaction uncanny dodge. The GWF paladin adds 11 damage to two 2d6 attacks (12 if you let GWF work on smites) and still gets 18 AC and 22 more hp. The barbarian adds 5 damage to two 2d6 attacks and still gets 18 AC and 22 more hp or 17 AC and 32 more hp. The S&B fighter adds 7 damage to three 1d8 attacks and still gets AC 20 and 22 hp. The monk adds 5 damage to three 1d8 attacks, and is sitting at AC 17 with no other protections, and can then choose to either catch up to the paladin's defensiveness or the rogue's damage.
    Sorry but
    1. how does the rogue have 18 AC?
    2. why does the monk only have 17?
    3. why is everyone assumed to have +2 CON relative to the monk
    4. why are we comparing at level eleven without subclasses when that's a very late level relative to most people's play and also a very weak level for monks if subclasses aren't considered?

    It's not a fair or balanced analysis at all. With that said monks are a little anemic, but this BA tradeoff isn't the issue imo. Just give them 1 more hp per level, an ASI at level 10, and then work on some subclasses and IMO you're there.

    Monks aren't alone in being able to pick offense or defense. Fighters can be S&B or GWF. Barbarians can be naked or S&B. Barbarians can use reckless or not. This sort of tradeoff is common.
    Last edited by strangebloke; 2021-09-25 at 05:02 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Waterdeep
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    why are we comparing at level eleven without subclasses when that's a very late level relative to most people's play and also a very weak level for monks if subclasses aren't considered?
    Complete aside, but most of the time I compare at levels 2, 6, 12 and 20. Its arbitrary but I feel its a good spread that saves me doing every level.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    Quote Originally Posted by strangebloke View Post
    Sorry but
    [LIST=1][*]how does the rogue have 18 AC?[*]why does the monk only have 17?[*]why is everyone assumed to have +2 CON relative to the monk
    The monk had to budget for wisdom, which everyone else could dump to take Con instead. You're right about the rogue's AC, that's a typo, it should only be 17. If you think the monk has more, though, I'm not sure where you're getting it; you put both ASIs into Dex so your wis is still sitting at 14-15. Unless you're on Tasha's rules and guarantee your +1 is also in a useful place, but in that case everyone else gets an extra 10 hp.

    Monks aren't alone in being able to pick offense or defense. Fighters can be S&B or GWF. Barbarians can be naked or S&B. Barbarians can use reckless or not. This sort of tradeoff is common.
    Yes. As I said. Everyone can choose to augment their defense or offense. Past a baseline that they all share. Monk is the one that has to augment to that baseline.

    Anyway, I'm not particularly interested in further litigating the failings of monks. That's what that other thread is for. This thread is for poking at Kane0's solution to them. My feedback is that I agree with you that tradeoffs are good in theory, but if you want that to be part of the monk playstyle you need to boost the base first. Simple enough.
    Last edited by Sindeloke; 2021-09-25 at 08:08 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RedKnightGirl

    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Monk base class tweaks

    I agree with Sindeloke, the monk can absolutely enjoy the per-turn flexibility of using their bonus action to augment their various strengths, but they still need to have a base strength that is on par with every of class so that their augmenting isn't used to bring them up to an unaugmented martial, but is instead used to augment their already adequate base levels. Currently their base power is too low, so the base class needs a bump, and from there they can focus on the flexibility via bonus action.

    I see both the appeal of keeping the attack on a bonus (since it's nice to make decisions about your style each turn) and to have them intrinsically built into the main attack action (since it's easy) However, I was thinking (remembering how monk's worked in 4e dnd) that you could maybe not explicitly give them extra attacks each round and instead change how their martial arts die is used. For example, give the monk unarmed punch a flat d6 that does not grow, then word their martial arts something like, "Each time you hit a target with a melee attack, you strike out with a flurry of blows. Add your martial arts die to your melee damage when you hit with an attack." That way you don't have to spend the extra time rolling for the attacks, it allows fist monks to be played alongside weapon monks elegantly and then stacks on your "flurry" by just making it so that effectively every attack you make is followed by a punch or two that stack onto the damage (Similiar in effect to a rogue's sneak attack, but applying to all attacks and scaling slower.) Then at later levels when martials get their big power spike in damage, you can allow it to apply double your martial arts die as you become even faster.

    I'm not sure on the numbers, and i'm not exactly sure how to keep the baseline fist damage in line with weapon damage since at this point you could grab a two-hander and flat out gain a d6, but, yeah that's just my idea for it. I thought DnD4e handled flurry really well, and while I don't think it should have the targeting freedom that 4e's had, I did like the built in extra quite a lot.

    Something else you could do for monk is maybe give it a martial arts style choice, similar to fighting styles (maybe including some fighting styles) which could allow them to just have a player chosen bump. Like, you could tie weapon prof into this saying like "Weapon Arts: You become trained in a weapon of your choice and can use it for monk features." or "Lethal Weapon: Your fists are deadly weapons when you want them to be. The damage dice for your unarmed attacks becomes a d10." or "Mobile Defense: When you spend a Ki Point to take the Dodge action, you do not provoke opportunity attacks until the start of your next turn."

    I don't really think all of these things should be added exactly as written because it would probably make the monk way overtuned, but I do think these would be things you could maybe incorporate into the base class to bring it up a bit.

    Feel free to tear this apart and tell me why it won't work if you deem it as such, it will only make me better at making further suggestions! :D

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •