Monk, 2nd Variant (5e Class)

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This is a tweaked version of the Monk's original class, changing some aspects that I believed didn't synergize well with the class concept.

Creating a Monk[edit]

Quick Build

You can make a MONK quickly by following these suggestions. First, DEXTERITY should be your highest ability score, followed by WISDOM. Second, choose the ACOLYTE background. Third, choose the Quarterstaff and the explorer's pack.

Class Features

As a Monk you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per Monk level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Monk level after 1st


Armor: none
Weapons: simple weapons, shortsword
Tools: Choose one type of artisan's tools or one musical instrument
Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity
Skills: Choose two from Acrobatics, Athletics, History, Insight, Religion, and Stealth


You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) shortsword or or (b) any simple weapon
  • (a) a dungeoneer's pack or or (b) an explorer's pack
  • 10 darts

Table: The Monk

Level Proficiency
Martial arts Ki points Unarmored movement Features
1st +2 1d4 - - Unarmored Defense, Martial Arts
2nd +2 1d4 2 +10ft Ki, Unarmored Movement
3rd +2 1d4 3 +10ft Monastic Tradition
4th +2 1d4 4 +10ft Ability Score Improvement, Slow Fall
5th +3 1d6 5 +10ft Extra Attack, Ki detection
6th +3 1d6 6 +15ft Ki-Empowered Strikes, Monastic Tradition Feature
7th +3 1d6 7 +15ft Evasion, Stillness of Mind
8th +3 1d6 8 +15ft Ability Score Improvement
9th +4 1d6 9 +15ft Unarmored Movement Improvement
10th +4 1d6 10 +20ft Purity of Body
11th +4 1d8 11 +20ft Monastic Tradition Feature
12th +4 1d8 12 +20ft Ability Score Improvement
13th +5 1d8 13 +20ft Tongue of the Sun and Moon
14th +5 1d8 14 +25ft Diamond Soul
15th +5 1d8 15 +25ft Timeless Body
16th +5 1d8 16 +25ft Ability Score Improvement
17th +6 1d10 17 +25ft Monastic Tradition Feature
18th +6 1d10 18 +30ft Spiritual Will
19th +6 1d10 19 +30ft Ability Score Improvement
20th +6 1d10 20 +30ft Perfect Self

Unarmored Defense[edit]

Beginning at 1st level, while you are wearing no armor and not wielding a shield, your AC equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Wisdom modifier.

Martial Arts[edit]

At 1st level, your practice of martial arts gives you mastery of combat styles that use unarmed strikes and monk weapons, which are shortswords and any simple melee weapons that don't have the two-handed or heavy property.

You gain the following benefits while you are unarmed or wielding only monk weapons and you aren't wearing armor or wielding a shield:

  • You can use Dexterity instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls of your unarmed strikes and monk weapons.
  • You can roll a d4 in place of the normal damage of your unarmed strike or monk weapon. This die changes as you gain monk levels, as shown in the Martial Arts column of the Monk table.
  • When you use the Attack action with an unarmed strike or a monk weapon on your turn, you can make one unarmed strike as a bonus action. For example, if you take the Attack action and attack with a quarterstaff, you can also make an unarmed strike as a bonus action, assuming you haven't already taken a bonus action this turn.

Certain monasteries use specialized forms of the monk weapons. For example, you might use a club that is two lengths of wood connected by a short chain (called a nunchaku) or a sickle with a shorter, straighter blade (called a kama). Whatever name you use for a monk weapon, you can use the game statistics provided for the weapon.


Starting at 2nd level, your training allows you to harness the mystic energy of ki. Your access to this energy is represented by a number of ki points. Your monk level determines the number of points you have, as shown in the Ki Points column of the Monk table.

You can spend these points to fuel various ki features. You start knowing three such features: Flurry of Blows, Patient Defense, and Step of the Wind. You learn more ki features as you gain levels in this class.

When you spend a ki point, it is unavailable until you finish a short or long rest, at the end of which you draw all of your expended ki back into yourself. You must spend at least 30 minutes of the rest meditating to regain your ki points.

Some of your ki features require your target to make a saving throw to resist the feature's effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows:

Ki save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier

Flurry of Blows

Immediately after you take the Attack action on your turn, you can spend 1 ki point to make two unarmed strikes as a bonus action.

Patient Defense

You can spend 1 ki point to take the Dodge action as a bonus action on your turn.

Step of the Wind

You can spend 1 ki point to take the Disengage or Dash action as a bonus action on your turn, and your jump distance is doubled for the turn.

Unarmored Movement[edit]

Starting at 2nd level, your speed increases by 10 feet while you are not wearing armor or wielding a shield. This bonus increases when you reach certain monk levels, as shown in the Monk table.

At 9th level, you gain the ability to move along vertical surfaces and across liquids on your turn without falling during the move.

Monastic Tradition[edit]

At 3rd level, you chose a Monastic Tradition. Your choice grants you features at 3rd level and again at 6th, 11th and 17th level.

Ability Score Improvement[edit]

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Slow Fall[edit]

Beginning at 4th level, you can use your reaction when you fall to reduce any falling damage you take by an amount equal to five times your monk level.

Extra Attack[edit]

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Ki Detection[edit]

Starting at 5th level, you gain the ability to detect other creatures ki. As an action you close your eyes and focus, feeling the presence of a number of creatures equal to your wisdom modifier that are within 120 feet of you. Adittionally, you can sense the ki of a certain indiviual if you have interacted with them or a close possession of them before.

Ki-Empowered Strikes[edit]

Starting at 6th level, your unarmed strikes count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.


At 7th level, your instinctive agility lets you dodge out of the way of certain area effects, such as a blue dragon's lightning breath or a fireball spell. When you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you instead take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, and only half damage if you fail.

Stillness of mind[edit]

Starting at 7th level, you can use your action to end one effect on yourself that is causing you to be charmed or frightened.

Purity of Body[edit]

At 10th level, your mastery of the ki flowing through you makes you immune to disease and poison.

Tongue of the Sun and Moon[edit]

Starting at 13th level, you learn to touch the ki of other minds so that you understand all spoken languages. Moreover, any creature that can understand a language can understand what you say.

Diamond Soul[edit]

Beginning at 14th level, your mastery of ki grants you proficiency in all saving throws.

Additionally, whenever you make a saving throw and fail, you can spend 1 ki point to reroll it and take the second result.

Timeless Body[edit]

At 15th level, your ki sustains you so that you suffer none of the frailty of old age, and you can't be aged magically. You can still die of old age, however. In addition, you no longer need food or water.

Spiritual Will[edit]

Beginning at 18th level, you can take a moment to meditate and draw power back into your body. As an action you can regain half your missing ki points (rounded down) by entering a meditative state that lasts for 1 minute. You must complete the meditation for the feature to take effect. Adittionally, you can instead spend 8 ki points while meditating to cast the astral proyection spell on yourself without needing verbal, sometic or material components. You regain this feature after a short or long rest.

Perfect self[edit]

At 20th level, when you roll for initiative and have no ki points remaining, you regain 4 ki points.


Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Monk class, you must meet these prerequisites: Dexterity 13, Wisdom 13

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Monk class, you gain the following proficiencies: Simple weapons, shortsword.

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