Willpower | Agility
5e Modified Class | Martial
Class Overview. The Monk is a martial class that channels their stamina into devastating abilties.
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.
|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.|
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.
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.
|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|
|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: |
As a monk, you gain the following class features.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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|
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.
5th-level monk feature
You can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
20th-level monk feature
When you roll for initiative and have no stamina points remaining, you regain 4 stamina points.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 capableof.
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
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.