A Khajiit monk practices the ancient martial arts of their people
Willpower | Agility
Monk class symbol
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5e Modified Class | Martial

Class Overview. The Monk is a martial class that channels their stamina into devastating abilties.
Stamina. Fuels your martial arts.
Martial Arts. Allows you to strike with your hands and feet just as well as any weapon.

Her fists a blur as they deflect an incoming hail of arrows, a Bosmer springs over a barricade and throws herself into the massed ranks of goblins on the other side. She whirls among them, knocking their blows aside and sending them reeling, until at last she stands alone.

Taking a deep breath, a Nord covered in tattoos settles into a battle stance. As the first charging Orcs reach him, he exhales and a blast of fire roars from his mouth, engulfing his foes.

Moving with the silence of the night, a black-clad Khajiit steps into a shadow beneath an arch and emerges from another inky shadow on a balcony a stone’s throw away. She slides her blade free of its cloth-wrapped scabbard and peers through the open window at the tyrant prince, so vulnerable in the grip of sleep.

Whatever their discipline, monks are united in their ability to magically harness the energy that flows in their bodies. Whether channeled as a striking display of combat prowess or a subtler focus of defensive ability and speed, this energy infuses all that a monk does.

The Magic of Stamina

Monks make careful study of a magical energy that most monastic traditions call stamina. This energy is an element of the magic that suffuses the Mundas – specifically, the element that flows through living bodies. Monks harness this power within themselves to create magical effects and exceed their bodies' physical capabilities, and some of their special attacks can hinder the flow of stamina in their opponents. Using this energy, monks channel uncanny speed and strength into their unarmed strikes. As they gain experience, their martial training and their mastery of stamina gives them more power over their bodies and the bodies of their foes.

Training and Asceticism

Small walled cloisters dot the landscapes of Tamriel, tiny refuges from the flow of ordinary life, where time seems to stand still. The monks who live there seek personal perfection through contemplation and rigorous training. Many entered the monastery as children, sent to live there when their parents died, when food couldn’t be found to support them, or in return for some kindness that the monks had performed for their families.

Some monks live entirely apart from the surrounding population, secluded from anything that might impede their spiritual progress. Others are sworn to isolation, emerging only to serve as spies or assassins at the command of their leader, a noble patron, or some other mortal or divine power.

The majority of monks don’t shun their neighbors, making frequent visits to nearby towns or villages and exchanging their service for food and other goods. As versatile warriors, monks often end up protecting their neighbors from monsters or tyrants.

For a monk, becoming an adventurer means leaving a structured, communal lifestyle to become a wanderer. This can be a harsh transition, and monks don’t undertake it lightly. Those who leave their cloisters take their work seriously, approaching their adventures as personal tests of their physical and spiritual growth. As a rule, monks care little for material wealth and are driven by a desire to accomplish a greater mission than merely slaying monsters and plundering their treasure.

Creating a Monk

As you make your monk character, think about your connection to the monastery where you learned your skills and spent your formative years. Were you an orphan or a child left on the monastery’s threshold? Did your parents promise you to the monastery in gratitude for a service performed by the monks? Did you enter this secluded life to hide from a crime you committed? Or did you choose the monastic life for yourself?

Consider why you left. Did the head of your monastery choose you for a particularly important mission beyond the cloister? Perhaps you were cast out because of some violation of the community’s rules. Did you dread leaving, or were you happy to go? Is there something you hope to accomplish outside the monastery? Are you eager to return to your home?

As a result of the structured life of a monastic community and the discipline required to harness stamina, monks are almost always lawful in alignment.

The Monk

Level Proficiency
Class Features Martial
1 +2 Unarmored Defense, Martial Arts 1d4 - -
2 +2 Stamina, Unarmored Movement 1d4 2 +10 ft.
3 +2 Monastic Tradition, Deflect Missiles 1d4 3 +10 ft.
4 +2 Attribute Score Improvement, Slowfall 1d4 4 +10 ft.
5 +3 Extra Attack, Stunning Strike 1d6 5 +10 ft.
6 +3 Empowered Strike, Monastic Tradition Feature 1d6 6 +15 ft.
7 +3 Evasion, Stillness of Mind 1d6 7 +15 ft.
8 +3 Attribute Score Improvement 1d6 8 +15 ft.
9 +4 Unarmored Movement Improvement 1d6 9 +15 ft.
10 +4 Purity of Body 1d6 10 +20 ft.
11 +4 Monastic Tradition Feature 1d8 11 +20 ft.
12 +4 Attribute Score Improvement 1d8 12 +20 ft.
13 +5 Tongues of the Soul 1d8 13 +20 ft.
14 +5 Diamond Soul 1d8 14 +25 ft.
15 +5 Timeless Body 1d8 15 +25 ft.
16 +5 Attribute Score Improvement 1d8 16 +25 ft.
17 +6 Monastic Tradition Feature 1d10 17 +25 ft.
18 +6 Empty Body 1d10 18 +30 ft.
19 +6 Attribute Score Improvement 1d10 19 +30 ft.
20 +6 Perfect Self 1d10 20 +30 ft.
If your group uses the optional rules on multiclassing in the 5e Core Rules and the Basic Rules, here’s what you need to know if you choose monk as one of your classes.

Attribute Score Minimum. As a multiclass character, you must have at least an Agility and Willpower scores of 13 to take a level in this class, or to take a level in another class if you are already a monk.

Proficiencies Gained. If monk isn’t your initial class, here are the proficiencies you gain when you take your first level as a monk: hand-to-hand, short blades, staves, one type of artisan's tools or one musical instrument.

Quick Build

You can make a monk quickly by following these suggestions. First, make Agility your highest attribute score, followed by Willpower. Second, choose the hermit background.

Class Features

Hit Points
Hit Dice 1d8 per Monk level
HP at 1st Level 8 + your Endurance modifier
HP at Higher Levels 1d8 (or 5) + your Endurance modifier per Monk level after 1st
Armor None
Weapons Bo staff, hand-to-hand, nunchaku, quarterstaff, short blades
Tools Choose one type of artisan's tools or one musical instrument
Saving Throws Agility, Strength
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:
  • 10 darts
  • (a) any quarterstaff or (b) a hand-to-hand weapon
  • (a) a dungeoneer's pack or (b) a explorer's pack

As a monk, you gain the following class features.

Unarmored Defense

1st-level monk feature

While you are wearing no armor and not wielding a shield, your AC equals 10+ your Agility modifier + your Willpower modifier.

Martial Arts

1st-level monk feature

Your practice of martial arts gives you mastery of combat styles that use unarmed strikes and monk weapons, which are hand-to-hand weapons, short blades, and staves that don't have the two-handed or heavy property.

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

  • You can use Agility 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 kana). Whatever name you use for a monk weapon, you can use the game statistics provided for the weapon in chapter 5, “Equipment".


2nd-level monk feature

Your training allows you to harness the energy of stamina. Your access to this energy is represented by a number of stamina points. Your monk level determines the number of points you have, as shown in the Stamina Points column of the Monk table.

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

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

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

Stamina save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Willpower modifier

Flurry of Blows

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

Patient Defense

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

Step of the Wind

You can spend 1 stamina 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

2nd-level monk feature

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

3rd-level monk feature

You commit yourself to a Monastic Tradition. Additionally, you can choose any monk's Monastic Tradition outlined in the 5e Core Rules. Your path grants you features at 3rd level, and again at 6th, 11th, and 17th level.

Monastic Path Source
Way of the Exposed Palm Basic Rules
Way of the Whispering Fang Basic Rules
Way of the Voice Basic Rules
Way of the Desert Wind Enemies of Elsweyr
Way of the Contender Legionnaire's Guide to Cyrodiil
Way of the Hidden Motives Legionnaire's Guide to Cyrodiil
Way of the Spirit Sword Legionnaire's Guide to Cyrodiil

Deflect Missiles

3rd-level monk feature

You can use your reaction to deflect or catch the missile when you are hit by a ranged weapon attack. When you do so, the damage you take from the attack is reduced by 1d10 + your Agility 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. If you catch a missile in this way, you can spend 1 stamina point to make a ranged attack with the weapon or piece of ammunition you just caught, as part of the same reaction. You make this attack with proficiency, regardless of your weapon proficiencies, and the missile deals damage equal to your unarmed strike, which has a normal range of 20 feet and a long range of 60 feet.

Attribute Score Improvement

4th-level monk feature

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


4th-level monk feature

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

5th-level monk feature

You can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Stunning Strike

5th-level monk feature

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

Empowered Strike

6th-level monk feature

Your unarmed strikes count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.


7th-level monk feature

Your instinctive agility lets you dodge out of the way of certain area effects, such as a fireball spell. When you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make an Agility 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

7th-level monk feature

You can use your action to end one effect on yourself that is causing you to be charmed or frightened.

Purity of Body

10th-level monk feature

Your stamina mastery makes you immune to disease and poison.

Tongues of the Soul

13th-level monk feature

You learn how to touch the minds of others so that you can understand all spoken languages. Moreover, any creature that can understand a language can understand what you say.

Diamond Soul

14th-level monk feature

Your mastery of stamina grants you proficiency in all saving throws.

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

Timeless Body

15th-level monk feature

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

Empty Body

18th-level monk feature

You can use your action to spend 4 stamina points to become invisible for 1 minute. During that time, you also have resistance to all damage.

Additionally, you can spend 8 stamina 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 Self

20th-level monk feature

When you roll for initiative and have no stamina points remaining, you regain 4 stamina points.

Monastic Tradition

Most monasteries practice one tradition exclusively, but a few honor multiple traditions and instruct each monk according to their aptitude and interest. Every monastery relies on the same basic techniques, diverging as the student grows more adept.

Monks of the Way of the Exposed Palm understand how small objects can create more harm than larger ones. They tell of the parable of a person struck with the blunt side of a plate. The person is left with a small bruise, but is otherwise left unharmed. However, if the plate is broken, and the person is struck with one of the shards, the person may be grievously wounded. This is the first essential point of the Way of the Exposed Palm.

Each finger on the hand represents a fundamental belief: concentration, reaction, equilibrium, speed, and breath control. To truly become a master of the Exposed Palm, one must perfect all five digits.

In the parable of the plate, it tells the story of the first aspect of concentration. A blow that is concentrated into a small point becomes more potent. A highly trained fighter can be more deadly with just the thumb than to strike with the whole fist.

The second aspect of concentration notes that with enough mental discipline, distraction can be ignored as the will maintains the ultimate goal. A truly deadly fighter can even block out their own pain.

Monks of the Way of the Whispering Fang follow an order shrouded in mystery. This monastic tradition has its origins deep in the jungles and deserts of Elsweyr. Here, the Khajiit perfected the deadly art of fang and claw.

While the Khajiit make up the majority of the order, they are not racially exclusive. Races without the natural weapons of a Khajiit, including the elven appearing Ohmes, learn the Whispering Fang's superior combat methods with the use of awls, katars, and daggers.

The monks of High Hrothgar are the most famous practitioners of the Way of the Voice. These philosophical monks, known as the Greybeards, spend most of their time in silent meditation, isolated atop Skyrim's largest mountain, the Throat of the World.

The Greybeards believe in using the Voice to attain enlightenment, rather than as a tool of war. This doesn't mean that they teach pacifism, only that the Voice can be used more more than just simple violence. They believe that those who can wield the Voice should only do so in times of true need.

Desert Wind and its adepts are dedicated to the Zhan Khaj—literally the order of the desert wind. Built within an ancient subterranean cavern, the adeptorium was created to provide refuge for those fleeing from Darloc Brae, the “Golden Beast”, in the first era. Since then, the Grand Adepts of the Desert Wind have continued to teach their Khajiiti secrets.
Trained in the ways of combat, monks of the Way of the Contender seek for constant improvement, both in body and mind. Sharpening their body to act as a weapon in of itself, those who take to this tradition will find themselves in a constant struggle to overcome their own weaknesses. True victory comes not from on the battlefield, but from within. ‘Conquer yourself, conquer all’ is your mantra.

Learning best through trial and error; blood, sweat, and tears, a Way of the Contender monk will find that contending with others is merely the first step to true conquest.

Monks of the Way of the Hidden Motives are masters of

espionage and disguise. A cloak and dagger are for those who hide in the shadows, whereas monks of this path are experts at hiding in plain sight, learning secrets to sell to those they work for. They learn spy techniques, means of extracting information, and covering their trail in ways that others are not capable

Trained in the ancient Yokudan arts of sword-singing,

some Redguard youth are taught to become Ansei. As both a warrior and a philosopher, monks of this monastic tradition have developed their spiritual energies into a single thought for combat. This thought of pure light takes the form of a greatsword that can surpass any physical weapon crafted by the hands of mortals.

From their religious upbringing and study of the blade, monks of the Way of the Spirit Sword are considered among the greatest warriors Nirn has ever known.

Optional: Community Subclasses

For those that seek to expand upon the available possibilities for this class, there exist several options among the community subclasses. The existing community creations may surprise you and can add a new perspective to your adventures in Tamriel. The community subclasses have yet to be playtested and will require permission to use from your GM.