Tempered Ki Monk (5e Class)

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Monk, Variant (Tempered Ki)[edit]

Design Notes[edit]

This Monk variant is an effort to improve on the Monk's core mechanics and level progression with the introduction of the Tempered Ki feature. This gives Monks more tactical choices when spending ki and allows multiclassed Monks to benefit even from a small pool of ki.

There are 3 levels where players can choose to multiclass with this design: 3, 9, and 14. Level 3 introduces players to their subclass and the tempered Ki mechanic. The basic temperaments allows characters with only 3 levels to enjoy a passive benefit for tactical use of their ki. Level 9 is the second stepping point, and allows monks to maintain the basic temperaments they have learned indefinitely. Level 13 and 14 see a power spike in the utility and damage potential with the introduction of systems that temporarily break the balance of temperament combos and the introduction of the final temperament tier. Level 14 is also the last stepping point for characters who wish to multiclass.

The Way of the Four Elements also gains a new feature at level 7 that makes it less expensive to cast spells, although it requires that monks can only cast their spells cheaply every other round, and cast it at the current rate if they need to cast successively.

You are encouraged to change the name of specific temperaments according to your liking. I followed an elemental theme because of the manner I planned to use this new feature to make the Way of the Four Elements subclass more accessible, but there is no other meaning to the names.

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 or Constitution. Second, choose the Hermit background. Third, choose a shortsword and the explorer's pack.

Class Features

As a you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

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

Proficiencies

Armor: none
Weapons: Simple Weapons, shortswords
Tools: artisan's tools or musical instrument
Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity
Skills: Choose two from Acrobatics, Athletics, History, Insight, Perception, Religion, Stealth, or Survival

Equipment

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

Table: The

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

Martial Arts[edit]

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, increasing to 1d6 at 5th level, 1d8 at 11th level, and 1d10 at 17th level.
  • 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).

Unarmored Defense[edit]

Beginning at 1st level, while you are wearing no armor and not wielding a shield, your AC equals 8 + your Dexterity modifier + your Wisdom modifier.

Ki[edit]

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: Deflect Missiles, 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

Deflect Missiles

As a reaction when you are hit by a ranged weapon attack roll, you can spend 1 ki point to deflect the missile. When you do so, the damage you take from the attack is reduced by 1d10 + your Dexterity modifier + your monk level. If you reduce the damage to 0, you can catch the missile if it is small enough for you to hold in one hand and you have at least one hand free. You can take the Attack action on your turn to throw the missile, which is considered to have a range of 20/60 feet unless otherwise stated.

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 5 feet while you are not wearing armor or wielding a shield. This bonus increases when you reach certain monk levels, increasing to 10 feet at 9th level and 15 feet at 17th level.

Monastic Tradition[edit]

When you reach 3rd level, you commit yourself to a monastic tradition, such as the Way of the Open Hand. Your tradition grants you features at 3rd level and again at 6th, 11th, and 17th level.

Monastic Tradition features

Tempered Ki[edit]

You have learned the secret arts needed to temper ki. Tempered ki circulates constantly through the monk’s body, granting monks with preternatural martial prowess. Each temperament provides a passive effect to the monk. This effect persists until you choose to end the temperament or until the you are incapacitated. You can only benefit from one temperament at any given time.

At 3rd level, you gain two temperaments of your choice. When you gain certain monk levels, you gain additional temperaments of your choice, as shown in the Temperaments Known column of the Monk table. You may activate any temperament you know by spending 2 ki points as a bonus action.

Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the temperaments you know and replace it with another temperament that you could learn at that level.

A level prerequisite in an Temperament refers to monk level, not character level.

.

Ability Score Increase[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 the sum of 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.

Stunning Strike[edit]

Starting at 5th level, you can interfere with the flow of ki in an opponent's body. When you hit another creature with a melee weapon attack, you can spend 1 ki point to attempt a stunning strike. The target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or be stunned until the end of your next turn.

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.

Evasion[edit]

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.

Flowing Ki[edit]

Starting at 9th level, you can willingly end an ongoing Temperament effect in lieu of the Ki cost for the following features: Deflect Arrows, Flurry of Blows, Patient Defense, Step of the Wind.

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.

Perfect Balance[edit]

At 13th level, you can use this feature as a free action to gain a brief moment of enlightenment for 3 rounds. During this time, you may activate any of your known Temperaments after you spend ki on one of the following features: Deflect Arrows, Flurry of Blows, Patient Defense, Step of the Wind. You regain the use of this feature after a long rest.

This improves at 18th level to two uses of this feature for every long rest.

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.

Empty Body[edit]

Beginning at 18th level, you can use your action to spend 4 ki points to become Invisible for 1 minute. During that time, you also have Resistance to all damage but force damage.

Additionally, you can spend 8 ki points to cast the Astral Projection spell, without needing material Components. When you do so, you can't take any other creatures with you.

Perfect Soul[edit]

At 20th level, when you roll for initiative and have no ki points remaining, you regain 4 ki points (up to your maximum).

Temperaments[edit]

You can know the following Temperaments starting from 3rd level.

Fire

One enemy you attack has a -2 penalty to their attack rolls until the start of your next turn.

If you know this temperament, you can activate it without cost after using Flurry of Blows.

Stone

At the start of your turn, you gain temporary hit points equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1).

If you know this temperament, you can activate it without cost after using Patient Defense.

Water

After you are attacked, you may spend a reaction to roll an attack against your attacker.

If you know this temperament, you can activate it without cost after using Deflect Arrows.

Wind

You gain a +2 bonus to your defenses and AC against attacks of opportunity.

If you know this temperament, you can activate it without cost after using Step of Wind.

Void

You can willingly spend this temperament in lieu of the Ki cost for any action that requires 1 ki point.

If you know this temperament, you can activate it without cost when you roll for initiative.

Smoke

You can ignore penalties to your perception checks and your attack rolls against enemies who are lightly or heavily obscured.

If you know this temperament, you can activate it without cost when you enter any square that is lightly or heavily obscured.

Steel

Your unarmed attacks gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls, and you may inflict your choice of slashing, bludgeoning, or piercing damage with your unarmed attacks.

If you know this temperament, you can activate it without cost after using Flurry of Blows or Stunning Strike.

Flashing Sun

Required: Level 7

After your attack action, you can select one creature you have attacked this round. This creature grants advantage until the end of its turn.

If you know this temperament, you can activate it without cost after using Flurry of Blows.

Flowing River

Required: Level 7

After you are targeted by an attack, you may spend a reaction to move 5 feet.

If you know this temperament, you can activate it without cost after using Deflect Arrow.

Iron Heart

Required: Level 7

You may critically hit on an attack roll of 19 or 20.

If you know this temperament, you can activate it without cost after using Stunning Fist.

Rising Storm

Required: Level 7

When you perform an attack action, your movement between attacks does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

If you know this temperament, you can activate it without cost after using Step of Wind to dash.

Stone Vise

Required: Level 7

When you start a grapple, you may roll a Wisdom check and add your proficiency modifier instead of a Strength check. When you successfully start a grapple, you inflict damage equal to your martial arts die to the grappled creature. Until the grapple ends, you can also deal this damage to the creature whenever you hit it with a melee attack.

If you know this temperament, you can activate it without cost after using Patient Defense.

Blood Moon

Required: Level 14

When you attack a target that grants you advantage, your attacks deal extra damage to the target equal to your martial arts die.

If you know this temperament, you can activate it without cost after using Stunning Fist.

Crashing Wave

Required: Level 14

While this temperament is active and an enemy targets you with an attack, you may spend ki as a reaction to use your Deflect Arrows feature and reduce the damage you receive from a melee attack. If the damage is reduced to 0, you may initiate a disarm attempt as part of your reaction.

If you know this temperament, you can activate it without cost after using Patient Defense or Deflect Arrows.

Feather Step

Required: Level 14

When you spend a move action to move, you gain a fly speed equal to your move speed. You lose the fly speed granted by this temperament when you end your move action.

If you know this temperament, you can activate it without cost after using Step of Wind.

Hundred Ghosts

Required: Level 14

You become Invisible until the end of your turn or until this temperament ends. At the end of your turn, this temperament ends.

If you know this temperament, you can activate it without cost when you roll for initiative.

Rising Sun

Required: Level 14

At the end of your turn, you regain 1 hit point.

If you know this temperament, you can activate it without cost when you fail a death saving throw.

Scouring Flame

Required: Level 14

After your attack action, you can select one creature you have attacked this round. All attacks against this creature gain a bonus to damage equal to your Wisdom modifier until the start of its turn.

If you know this temperament, you can activate it without cost after using Flurry of Blows.

Way of the Four Elements[edit]

Disciple of the Elements

When you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you learn magical disciplines that harness the power of the four elements. A discipline requires you to spend ki points each time you use it. You know the Elemental Attunement discipline and one other elemental discipline of your choice. You learn one additional elemental discipline of your choice at 6th, 11th, and 17th level. Whenever you learn a new elemental discipline, you can also replace one elemental discipline that you already know with a different discipline. “Casting Elemental Spells.” Some elemental disciplines allow you to cast spells. See chapter 10 for the general rules of spellcasting. To cast one of these spells, you use its casting time and other rules, but you don't need to provide material components for it. Once you reach 5th level in this class, you can spend additional ki points to increase the level of an elemental discipline spell that you cast, provided that the spell has an enhanced effect at a higher level, as Burning Hands does. The spell's level increases by 1 for each additional ki point you spend. For example, if you are a 5th-level monk and use Sweeping Cinder Strike to cast Burning Hands, you can spend 3 ki points to cast it as a 2nd-level spell (the discipline's base cost of 2 ki points plus 1). The maximum number of ki points you can spend to cast a spell in this way (including its base ki point cost and any additional ki points you spend to increase its level) is determined by your monk level, as shown in the Spells and Ki Points table.

Elemental Ki

Starting from 6th level, you can spend the ki temperament associated with the element of your spells in lieu of ki points. The spell using a temperament is cast as if you had spent 3 ki points to cast it. This value improves to 4 ki points at 11th level and 5 ki points at 17th level.

Multiclassing[edit]

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

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Monk class, you gain the following proficiencies: Simple Weapons, Shortsword

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