Monk as a Fighter Subclass

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orobouros
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Monk as a Fighter Subclass

Post Sat May 26, 2018 3:03 pm

I'm starting up a game and want to allow players maximum freedom in character choice. One player wants to be a monk, which I'm fine with. In my mind a monk is a kind of fighter, devoted to martial arts. (Multiclassing a monk with a MU, thief, or cleric could be interesting... if they can gather the XP.) To that end I've had to put in some thought on how a monk would work with enough changes to be distinct from a fighter but neither overwhelmingly needy or incredibly overpowered.

I've come up with the following, which I think balances some of the benefits of the class (can't disarm a monk) with the drawbacks (no access to powerful magic weapons). Italics my thoughts.


​Monk Subclass
​​The Monk is a fighter with specific devotion to martial arts. Because of training focusing on the mind and body Monks fight differently from standard fighters. They may punch (1d3 damage) and kick (1d4 damage, -2 attack roll penalty) as any other character. However, unlike all other classes, the Monk may choose to do (before attacking) subduing or fatal damage. A Monk's attacks never cause fatal damage unless intended, unlike other classes' punches/kicks on an unconscious subject. Similarly, the monk may still inflict punching or kicking damage upon armored targets without taking damage his- or herself, as all other classes would.

​The Monk may combo punches and kicks in a series, up to the Monk's level. Each punch/kick attack/damage is rolled separately, and the combo ends if the player decides to end it or an attack misses. A missed attack causes the combo to do half total damage. Without access to powerful magic weapons, I feel this allows a Monk to become deadly at higher levels. The Monk may also choose to deflect the next attack, granting an AC+1 bonus versus the next attack; the monk may not move after declaring to deflect. Monks also have an inherent +2 AC versus kicks and punches from humanoid creatures.
​​
​​The Monk may not wear any armor or use any weapon other than a quarterstaff or sling, or else fights as a Normal Man (or as the other class, if multi-classed). Weapon specialization is not available to the Monk. Because of the Monk's extensive mental and physical training, he or she gets an inherent AC bonus equal to the attack bonus. To balance out the lack of armor of any sort.

The Monk may channel Ki energy into an attack by focusing during one round and attacking on the next. This Ki energy grants hands and feet magical powers for that one attack, allowing them to attack beings impervious to non-magical weapons. In wrestling situations, the Monk gets a +4 bonus; that is, the Monk gets a +4 bonus when trying to escape a wrestling hold, and the victim of a Monk's wrestling hold suffers a -4 penalty to d20 saving throws. Wrestling attempts may not be used together with a combo attack.

Overall I feel like the Monk is less effective than a fighter in a regular battle, but is particularly adept at unarmed fighting and/or subduing without killing.
Last edited by orobouros on Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Dimirag
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Re: Monk as a Fighter Subclass

Post Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:22 pm

​The Monk may combo punches and kicks in a series, up to the Monk's level.
This means the chance of 20d4 in damage from 20 successful kicks? :o
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
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orobouros
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Re: Monk as a Fighter Subclass

Post Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:10 pm

Well, at level 20 a fighter might only need to roll an 11 or better on d20 to hit a low-level opponent. Rolling 20 consecutive hits has a chance of about 1 in a million. So yeah, if you can get the 1 in a million odds, I'd allow a Monk to do 20d4 damage (which is going to be just about 50 HP).

For comparison, to do 12 HP of damage (which should easily kill a 3 HD monster) that's about five hits. That's still only slightly better than a 3% chance assuming an 11-or-better to hit on d20. As the AC goes up the chance drops exponentially. A regular level 5 fighter probably can hit for about 5 HP of damage with a rate of 33%, which still makes him faster at killing than a monk would be.

Basically, a monk trades overall damage capability for a drop in encumbrance and the ability to fight without weapons; this latter point makes them particularly potent in certain situations. Even a level 20 fighter, with no armor or weapons, is going to be fairly bad off.

I wanted the combo action to allow the player to take a risk at getting a better hit in. If you know your first hit was only 1 HP, might as well go for another.
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