cloistered traditions are more than kicks, punches, catching arrows, and looking cool, but trying to interpret and understand the broad depths of these traditions. Understanding this can take a life meter – which is precisely why some people give up all their possessions to dedicate their lives to an order !
But you ’ re just playing a game, and just want to get a extremum into what these traditions are supposed to represent .
D & D 5E has many sub-classes to choose from, spanning several kernel books. here are some promptly summaries of each Monk subclass, which will give a piece of insight to the theme, generalized game mechanics, and the probable play style to expect. This list international relations and security network ’ t the manner you are expected to play the subclass, but our own rendition of what the subclass original is trying to be. Your interpretation may differ, and if it does, please share how !
Way of the Open Hand (PHB)
Ip Man – Martial Artist (Trained Bruce Lee) subject : iconic soldierly artist, able to hold their own in any scenario without any need for weapons. heavily inspired by Dim-Mak – the soldierly art of using an opponents pressure points against them .
game Mechanics : extra effects can be added to your bustle of blows which can allow you to travel your enemies, knock them prone, or prevent them from using reactions. Later levels gain ability to heal, cast a spell-like effect to prevent enemies from targeting you with attacks, and finally gain an attack which can kill a target days after the attack is made .
Play-style : You want your torso to be the merely weapon and the entirely armor that your character needs. You are evenly brawny clothed and naked .
Way of Shadow (PHB)
Shadow – Final Fantasy 3/6 root : Like a rustle in the tip, this monk moves with iniquity to become just another apparition. Practicing the art of invisibility without the necessitate of magic trick, the darkness monk is an artist of deceiving their opponents senses .
game Mechanics : able to cast spell-like abilities alike to darkness, pass without a tracing, silence, and minor delusion. At late levels, you ’ re able to teleport between shadows and can finally turn inconspicuous when entering a apparition. Their last ability gained is to make attacks as a reaction when allies are targeted next to you .
Play-style : arguably the most ninja-like option. You love to be a dangerous number in the dark who waits for their casual to act, either with blade or fist, and then disappearing american samoa promptly as they came .
Way of the Four Elements (PHB)
The Avatar – The Last Airbender & The Legend of Korra theme : Aligned with nature, the Elemental Monk sees themselves as depart of the universe and working with it to find deviate degrees of balance .
game Mechanics : able to use Ki points to cast versatile elemental spells and a few custom abilities, such as a water whip and fire snakes. Starts off with a custom-made cantrip to manipulate the assorted elements .
Play-style : You like passive abilities which manipulate the elements and love the theme of a character who is connected to nature .
Way of the Long Death (SCAG)
The Bride – Kill Bill theme : Focused on nothing else but death, demise, and ephemeral, these monks walk the path of life with the end always in their focus. Their obsessive-like focus of death can either be a beginning of intimidation or compassion .
game Mechanics : Gain health from killing opponents. As an action, frighten opponents in your sphere. At late levels, they can go to 1HP rather of becoming unconscious. Their survive ability is to channel death itself into a punch, causing significant amounts of wrong which scales to amount of ki points spent.
Play-style : This quality heavily relies on targeting opponents like raven. You want to make your opponents fear you, toying with your opponents like a vomit does a mouse, controlling space and movement, so you can pounce precisely when you want to .
Way of the Drunken Master (XG)
Bo Rai Cho – Mortal Kombat composition : A complete facade, the bibulous master uses the artwork of being undervalue. Opponents are never sealed if the bibulous monk is measuredly falling or not. This monk, though, is decidedly constantly in control .
game Mechanics : Gains extra skills in operation and brew. Flurry of Blows gets extra impression to disengage, with an extra 10 ft. of bowel movement. Later levels allows this monk to get up from being prone fast, and to redirect an enemies missed attack against your hope target. Their late abilities allow them to remove deprived rolls, and add more attacks as separate of the bustle of blows .
Play-style : You want to have a commodity clock time in battle, if not mock it. Drunken-like behavior is a capital way to break tension and a playfulness way to bring opponents ’ defenses down. Combat doesn ’ thymine have to be dangerous – it can be an opportunity for a good fourth dimension .
Way of the Kensei (XG)
Miho – Sin City root : These monks wield their weapons good like their own torso : expertly attuned to every inch of their strengths and flaws, and understand how to best utilize them in any scenario .
game Mechanics : able to use non-Monk weapons, including the longbow, and gain extra weapon choices as they level. Weapon of choice can give AC bonus if not used in an attack. Later levels enhance your weapon to do extra damage and be charming. Their late abilities allow them to add ki points to their weapons attack and price, and to turn a lost assail into a reroll .
Play-style : soldierly arts are great and all, but fight would be much better if you could throw a weapon into the mix .
Way of the Sun Soul (SCAG, XG)
Goku – Dragonball Series theme : Summoning their own qi department of energy as a weapon, these monks train on how to send their department of energy in an outward break to defeat their opponents .
game Mechanics : Gains the ability to make a range approach in the kind of concenter ki energy. This ranged attack can late be turned into a spell-like equivalent to burning hands, which is an area of effect attack. At late levels, this monk can create an ball of searing energy which will cause damage in a big radius. last, this monk finally radiates energy itself which causes damage to anyone who attacks them .
Play-style : You enjoy the close-combat of martial arts, but you besides want to be able to attack from afar. You are a monk purist, and don ’ t want to rely on weapons for range attacks.
Way of the Ascendant Dragon (FTD)
Iroh – Avatar the Last Airbender theme : Draconic monks connect and embody their elemental dragon energies in their soldierly discipline .
game Mechanics : You start off with respective benefits, such as being able to re-roll fail intimidation or opinion checks, change the type of wrong for your unarmed strikes ( eg. acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison ), and learn how to speak Draconic. You besides start off being able to exhale dragon breath. At flush 6, you can temporarily fly when using the step of the Wind ability. At floor 11, you can create an aura that is either frightening to enemies, or grants immunity to you and allies. ultimately, at level 17, your breath ’ south potency is increased, you gain blindsight, and your aura ability can damage enemies .
Play-style : You like the idea of playing a Bruce Lee like quality, and want to be able to have actual dragon hint .