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Monks are masters of unarmed combat. They train in small, isolated monasteries where they pursue personal perfection through action and contemplation. Monks have no need for weapons and armor because their relentless practice has allowed them to unlock their physical and spiritual abilities.
While all monks are lawful-the focus and discipline needed to master their arts demands rigid dedication-they vary among good, neutral, and evil alignments. Lawful evil monks are schemers and conquerors. The insidious Scarlet Brotherhood of GREYHAWK is the most notable example of an evil monk tradition in D&D. Lawful neutral monks focus on inner mastery and care little for the world at large. Lawful good monks are tireless champions of the common folk.
Alignment: A monk must be lawful good, lawful neutral, or lawful evil. You cannot enter or continue to gain levels in this class if you do not have one of those three alignments.
Creating a Monk
When you create a character whose first class is monk, you gain these benefits.
Ability Adjustment: +1 to your Wisdom or Dexterity score. You need Wisdom to improve your special monk abilities and Dexterity for unarmed combat.
Starting Hit Points: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Armor and Shield Proficiencies: None
Weapon Proficiencies: Club, dagger, hand axe, light crossbow, longspear, quarterstaff, sling, spear
|Level||Weapon Attack||Expertise Dice||Save DC Bonus||Class Features|
|1||+3||1d4||+1||Expertise, Ki (1/Day), Mindful Defense, Monastic Training, Way of the Fist|
|5||+4||2d6||+2||Purity of Body|
|7||+4||2d6||+2||Clear Mind, Maneuver|
You can make a monk quickly by following these suggestions.
Suggested Background: Commoner
Suggested Specialty: Ambush specialist
Suggested Equipment: Quarterstaff, dagger, light crossbow, 20 bolts, adventurer’s kit, caltrops, climber’s kit, silk rope (50 feet), and belt pouch containing 74 gp and 8 sp
A monk gains the following class features.
Hit Dice: 1d8 per monk level
Hit Points: 1d8 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per monk level gained
Level 1: Expertise
Your extensive training makes you deadly on the battlefield. You demonstrate your martial expertise in the way you move, strike, and dodge. This expertise is represented by maneuvers that you have mastered.
Benefit: You gain a single expertise die, a d4. You can spend an expertise die to use a maneuver that you know.
Maneuvers: At 1st level, you know two maneuvers, Flurry of Blows and Step of the Wind. You gain an additional maneuver at 4th, 7th, and 10th level, which you choose from the monk's maneuver list.
Using Expertise Dice: You must be able to take actions to spend an expertise die. At the end of each of your turns, you regain all of your spent expertise dice. As you gain levels, the size of the die increases (from a d4 to a d6 for instance), and you gain additional dice as noted on the Monk table.
Saving Throws: Some of your maneuvers call for a saving throw. If a maneuver calls for a saving throw, the DC equals 10 + your Wisdom modifier + the save DC bonus noted on the Monk table.
Level 1: Ki
Ki is an energy that flows through all living things. Your intense training and unmatched mental focus allow you to draw forth this energy and channel it into extraordinary effects.
Benefit: Once per day, you can use your ki. You gain an additional daily use of ki at 3rd, 6th, and 9th level.
You gain particular ki abilities as you gain levels. If a ki ability calls for a saving throw, the DC equals 10 + your Wisdom modifier + the save DC bonus noted on the Monk table.
Level 1: Stunning Strike
When you hit a creature with an unarmed attack, you can expend a use of your ki to try to stun that creature. The creature must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be stunned until the end of your next turn. A creature that is a nonhumanoid or of a size larger than yours makes this saving throw with advantage.
Level 5: Wholeness of Body
As an action, you can expend a use of your ki to magically regain hit points equal to your monk level + your Wisdom modifier.
Level 1: Mindful Defense
You use intuition and your sense of your surroundings to protect yourself from harm. You move a moment before an enemy attacks or steel yourself before a spell affects you.
Benefit: While you are wearing no armor and are not using a shield, your Armor Class equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Wisdom modifier.
Level 1: Monastic Training
Your difficult training placed great demands on you and allowed you to achieve an unmatched level of mastery in some skills.
Benefit: You gain training in two skills of your choice: Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Listen, Sneak, Spot, or Tumble.
Level 1: Way of the Fist
You have trained in the art of unarmed combat and excel at fighting without weapons.
Benefit: Your unarmed strike functions as a finesse weapon with which you have proficiency. It deals 1d6 bludgeoning damage.
Level 2: Undaunted Strike
Your command of your ki has allowed you to attune your strikes so that they overcome your enemies' resistances.
Benefit: Your unarmed strike counts as being magical, adamantine, cold iron, and silver for the purposes of overcoming resistance.
Level 5: Purity of Body
The ki that flows through you provides an indomitable defense against disease.
Benefit: You are immune to disease.
Level 7: Clear Mind
Your mastery of the ki energy within you grants you a nearly impervious mental defense.
Benefit: You cannot be charmed or frightened.