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D&D’s New Experimental (and Free) Rules For Monks

D&D’s New Experimental (and Free) Rules For Monks

The folks who work on D&D’s Unearthed Arcana have been busy the last few weeks. They again are keeping the rules train running by offering up new Monastic Traditions for the Monk class, giving more options to players. As with all their experimental rules, they’re looking for players to try them out and provide feedback.

The two new traditions offer additional options, including a combat beast option and a roleplaying-heavy option for the Monk class. Here are my impressions on the new traditions:


Let’s say you want to be the kind of monk who can train displaced European explorers to fight alongside Mongolians, who has mastered the use of several weapons, and successfully assassinates Chinese chancellors who are masters of Mantis-style Kung Fu. Way of the Kensei offers you the ability to be that monk, wielding martial weapons, which in previous Monastic traditions you would not be able to wield while still benefiting from your class benefits.

This Monastic Tradition lets the monk choose three martial type weapons, gain proficiency with them, and can choose whether to use strength or dexterity on the attack and damage rolls. Additionally, you can also use said weapon as a defensive weapon while also making an unarmed strike to increase your AC +2, so when combined with the Monk benefit of Unarmored Defense (10 + Dex mod  + Wis mod) you can crank up that AC and be even more elusive to your enemy’s attacks. At higher levels, you can also make your weapon magical, increase the likelihood your attack will hit your target, and focus Ki into your attacks, making for some crazy damage output. Not bad for a blind (or not) guy.


Path Of Tranquility


I am in utter love with this roleplaying-heavy monk, as this path offers some unique and interesting benefits to players who choose to play a monk who abhors violence. When choosing this path, the monk gains the ability to cast Sanctuary on themselves, making them both an unlikely and inopportune target for enemies. Furthermore, they additionally gain the ability Healing Hands which creates a pool of healing points equal to ten times their monk level that they can dole out like candy to their party (or other creatures).  At 18th level, when combined with the base Monk benefit Empty Body, a tranquil monk will have 180 freaking HP to toss around your party, and can turn invisible.

On the roleplaying side, Emissary of Peace gives advantage on rolls using Charisma to calm violent emotions or counsel peace, provided your intentions are pure and you are not using Deception or Intimidation.

At the highest levels of this path, Monks get the benefit Anger of a Gentle Soul which basically ensures that if a creature kills another creature in line of sight of your Monk, that creature is dead meat, with the monk having a significant Ki pool to draw from, innumerable strikes with which to levy against the creature, and the additional damage (starting at 17 extra points per hit) to throw at said creature. It’s literally the opposite of healing hands, and is fun as all get out to roll out.  There’s no anger like righteous anger, after all.

What do you think about these new paths? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured Image Credit: Wizards of the Coast (Magic: The Gathering)
Blog Image Credits: Netflix (Marco Polo – gifed by Teri Litorco),  Wizards of the Coast (Magic: The Gathering)

Teri Litorco preaches the calm that monks on the Path of Tranquility exhibit in her book, The Civilized Guide to Tabletop Gaming, which gives you techniques to keep your calm even when your opponent is a table-flipping, raging Barbarian. She also overshares on social media: FacebookTwitter, Instagram and YouTube

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