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Dralnu
2017-02-25, 03:00 PM
Way of the Four Elements Remastered (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ttoyMfsaC7eFhVenpwZ0R4ZmM/view)

It's been a long time since I touched my remaster for the Way of the Four Elements subclass for Monks. Recently, however, there's been a resurgence of interest thanks to redditor /u/IrishBandit whipping up a reformatted version, which cleaned up the formatting and made it a lot shorter/concise. Due to feedback from the new version, I ended up making some new tweaks:

LATEST CHANGELOG:


Fangs of the Fire Snake: Updated text.
Fist of Unbroken Air: Updated text; changed from ranged attack to increased reach and added a STR saving throw.
Water Whip: Removed the ability to cast cantrips on the same turn.
Eyes of Fire: Removed.
Golden Snake's Icy Path: Moved to 3rd level disciplines and text changed.
Avatar of the Elements: Now you learn all the investiture spells if you learn the discipline a second time.
Change the Tide: Removed.
Clench of the North Wind: Removed.
New class feature: Elemental Mastery


Elemental Mastery was added by IrishBandit and gives the subclass 3 additional disciplines known. The intent is to bring number of disciplines known in line with how many ET/AK know. I personally don't know if that's a good addition as it does add extra power to the subclass and I'm not sure if that's warranted.

Dralnu
2017-03-15, 10:09 AM
PENDING CHANGES


Elemental Mastery removed. I empathize with the desire to have more disciplines known, but the entire subclass was balanced under the assumption of having only 2 per milestone, with the end result being roughly equal to Open Hand and Shadow in terms of power level. Adding extra disciplines known throws that out of whack. Also, this is not a 1/3 caster subclass.
Avatar of the Elements redesigned. The Investiture spells fit the theme perfectly, but giving the W4E access to 6th level spells ended up being controversial. Additionally, the Investiture spells are just not very good -- they're okay for a Wizard/Sorcerer, but are much worse for a Monk. So I'm making a custom discipline specifically for the W4E.
New discipline: Spellfist Stance. I was asked for a way to let characters mix striking and spellcasting together. This seems like an elegant method to do so. I put it at 11th level because up until this point the Monk's damage output is already high.


Avatar of the Elements (17th level)
As an ultimate display of your mastery of the elements, you temporarily merge your body and soul with them. You can spend 5 ki as a bonus action an action to have the elements of earth, fire, air, and water form a protective sphere around your body, gaining multiple benefits for 1 minute. While this ability is active, you have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, slashing, cold, fire, lightning, and thunder damage. You also gain a burrow, fly, and swim speed equal to your movement speed. Lastly, you can use the following abilities as a bonus action:

You create a small earthquake on the ground in a 15-foot radius around you. Each creature in that area must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 2d6 bludgeoning damage and is knocked prone.
You create a line of fire 15 feet long and 5 feet wide extending from you in a direction you choose. Each creature in the line must make a Dexterity saving throw. A creature takes 4d8 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
You create a 15-foot cube of swirling wind centered on a point you can see within 60 feet of you. Each creature in that area must make a Constitution saving throw. A creature takes 2d10 bludgeoning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. If a Large or smaller creature fails the save, that creature is also pushed up to 10 feet away from the center of the cube.
You create a 15-foot cone of ice shards extending from your outstretched hand in a direction you choose. Each creature in the cone must make a Constitution save throw. A creature takes 4d6 cold damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. A creature that fails its save against this effect has its speed halved until the start of your next turn.


Spellfist Stance (11th level)
You effortlessly flow between striking out with spells and fists. When you cast a spell on your turn, you can make one unarmed strike as a bonus action, or you can use your Flurry of Blows.

Dralnu
2017-03-15, 01:48 PM
Here are a few more discipline ideas that I'd love feedback on:

Cloak of Air (3rd level)
While taking a defensive stance, you seize control of the air around you to create a protective veil. Whenever a creature you can see misses you with a melee attack while you are taking the Dodge action, you can use your reaction to force the creature to repeat the attack roll against itself or a different creature within its reach.

(You can similarly do Cloak of Fire target takes fire damage, Ice target takes less cold damage and is chilled, Earth target is rooted)


Fire Form (11 or 17th level)
You ignite your ki, spending X ki as a bonus action to become wreathed in flames for 1 minute. Any creature that starts or ends its turn within 5 feet of you takes X fire damage.


Water Jet (6th level)
You can spend X ki as an action to unleash a jet of water in a line that is 30 feet long and 5 feet wide. Each creature in the line must make a Strength saving throw, taking bludgeoning damage equal to your Martial Arts die + your Wisdom modifier on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. In addition, you can move each target that fails its saving throw to any unoccupied space touching the line.


Animate Elements (17th level)
When you call out to the elements, they always answer. You may spend 5 ki points to cast conjure elemental, choosing between air, earth, fire, and water elementals.


Eyes of Fire (17th level)
Your foes may try to hide in darkness, but their ki lights up like a torch to you. You may cast see invisibility without expending any ki. In addition, while under the effects of see invisibility, you may spend 2 ki points as a bonus action to gain truesight until the end of your next turn.

Speverban
2017-05-02, 12:37 PM
Hello,

I am a big fan of this remastered version and I am looking to use this in an upcoming Princes of the Apocalypse campaign. I especially like the abilities that directly interact with monk abilities or enhance them in some way and I am glad to see a mix of these sort of unique abilities and buffs along with straight up spells.

1) An older version of this had the ability Hurricane Throw which allowed for the use of ranged weapons with Martial Arts that seemed to work very similarly the Sun Soul's ranged attack options, any interest in returning that option as there is an official ranged monk on the books? Or is that more of a reason to keep it out?

2) Is there any requirement for the Avatar of the Elements ability to require either a short or long rest after casting? My DM is concerned it is a little too powerful without this sort of restriction.

3)The ability to conjure elementals has cool flavor but feels a little outside of the the monk's kit for my taste, I picture the monk herself being the instrument of the elements. But I don't really see it being a huge issue except for the risk to the monk being in melee range while concentrating on the elemental that could break free and rampage.

Do the Eldritch Knight or Arcane Trickster get any conjure spells?

4)I like the ability to redirect damage, feels very monk-ish and I see that in the cloak of air, perhaps the redirect could be baked an enhancement the Deflect Missiles? Was a big fan of the old water stance ability that allowed the redirection of missed attacks, why was that removed?

5)I really the option for the monk to take on the a specific element, fire form, water form, cloak of air etc. and would love to see one for each element.

6) Played an enhancement shaman in WoW for many years and I see some of that flavor here along with avatar, which is awesome! Did any version of this ever have lightning spells?

Great work!

Dralnu
2017-05-02, 07:31 PM
Hey! Glad you like it and are willing to try it out! Let me know how it goes:

1) On Hurricane Throw, I'm not sure, I'd need to look at the exact ability. Treating a certain set of ranged weapons as Monk weapons could be fine as a discipline.

2) The latest update of Avatar of the Elements in the PDF link significantly nerfed the discipline, which was certainly too strong when I first pitched it. I might have even nerfed the damage too much. Regardless, adding a recharge time of short/long rest is fine.

3) Others shared that sentiment of not getting into summoning minions so I never added it.

4 and 5) All those Cloak of X and stances ended up getting cut from the latest version. The other person working with me on this, Redditor /u/IrishBandit, didn't like them and so they never got added. The argument for the water redirection discipline was that the flavor / magic aspect of it felt forced and it didn't "feel" like something the subclass should be doing. I dunno.

6) Lok'tar Ogar, fellow ex-WoW player! Lightning was never added to the subclass. I stuck to the elements the original subclass in the PHB had, which was fire, water (+ice), earth, and air. I could easily see lightning fitting in though. You can add Lightning spells easily to the discipline list, like Lightning Bolt as an 11th level discipline for 3 ki.

AngryJesusMan
2017-05-02, 11:30 PM
Hi. I am also a big fan of this remaster.

I found another version, or something very similar, of this online at https://archive.4plebs.org/dl/tg/image/1433/19/1433195829577.pdf

Is that an early version of your work, something that was developed in parallel to your work, an inspiration for your version, or something that robbed you of your material? I notice that there's a tremendous amount of overlap so I can't imagine that it was developed completely independent of your material. :smallsmile:

I have a couple of questions for you, if it's not too much to ask for some insight. I'll offer my thoughts on the matter, just so you know where I'm coming from.

1) That other version includes Moth's Demise that allows the character to cast Immolation. Was the removal or omission of this spell/discipline made in the interest of balance changes, preference, or some other design choice? In particular, omitting this removes the single fire-based attack that had previously been available as a 17th level discipline, so it stands out as a possible oversight in my mind. Other removals/omissions are completely understandable. Hold Person is hardly thematic, and the Investitures, while fitting, are 6th level spells and too powerful by comparison to the other choices.

2) The slow learning of Cantrips that move along with the milestones seems fairly fitting. Your most recent edition has all of the Cantrips front-loaded, having the character learn them all by 6th level. Even though the cantrips included in this subclass aren't particularly powerful, it feels like too much too fast to give them all so early. What was the design thinking on that instead of having them advance steadily? Is there something that I'm missing, or was it a personal choice?

Thanks for listening. I hope to see more of your work in the future!

Speverban
2017-05-03, 11:35 AM
Blood and Honor!

The Hurricane Throw exists in Person_Man's version of the re-work, which I cannot link as I have not yet posted enough on this forum haha.

"You can treat simple thrown weapons as monk weapons for the purposes of Martial Arts. Any simple thrown weapon you make a ranged attack with automatically returns to your hand immediately after the attack is resolved, unless the weapon is stopped from returning (such as being caught).
In addition, you may make attacks with simple thrown weapons in place of unarmed strikes when you use your Flurry of Blows ability."

As far as lightning damage I guess I didn't realize how sparse lightning spells are. Cantrips: Lighting Lure, Shocking Grasp - of course the subclass has steered away from damaging cantrips
Spells below level 5:lighting bolt, witch bolt, lighting arrow reflavor?, elemental weapon?, reflavor some fire spells like you did with the Jedi archetype.

I've been toying with the idea of doing a homebrew of the Enhancement Shaman style character - trying to get that flavor - as a subclass. Perhaps of a fighter, ranger, or barbarian as the base? Like an eldritch knight that only learns elemental spells with some flavorful abilities at 3, 6, 11, and 17. I have never done a homebrew but reviewing what you and others have done has inspired me.

Anyway, keep up the good work!

Dralnu
2017-05-03, 03:01 PM
I found another version, or something very similar, of this online at https://archive.4plebs.org/dl/tg/image/1433/19/1433195829577.pdfp/quote]

This is an older version of mine, yeah. There's a lot of sites out there that upload dnd homebrew to their own pages and I guess it ended up on them.

[quote]1) That other version includes Moth's Demise that allows the character to cast Immolation. Was the removal or omission of this spell/discipline made in the interest of balance changes, preference, or some other design choice? In particular, omitting this removes the single fire-based attack that had previously been available as a 17th level discipline, so it stands out as a possible oversight in my mind. Other removals/omissions are completely understandable. Hold Person is hardly thematic, and the Investitures, while fitting, are 6th level spells and too powerful by comparison to the other choices.

I removed Moth's Demise because I felt Immolation as a spell was so weak that it felt like a trap option. It deals 7d6 fire damage to a single target if it fails its saving throw, and then an additional 3d6 damage each round that it fails additional saves. In comparison, a 5th level Fireball is 10d6 damage in a single round, is a 20ft radius sphere so can easily hit multiple targets, and even has better range. Or another 5th level spell, Cone of Cold, is far superior damage at 8d8 cold and has a 60 foot cone. Immolation is such a terrible 5th level spell that I have no idea how they came up with those numbers. I didn't want people to accidentally take it.

I understand the desire to have a Fire discipline at 17th level. I ended up putting Eyes of Fire as the "fire" discipline for that. Alternatively, an easy addition would be adding Cone of Cold reskinned into Cone of Flame.



2) The slow learning of Cantrips that move along with the milestones seems fairly fitting. Your most recent edition has all of the Cantrips front-loaded, having the character learn them all by 6th level. Even though the cantrips included in this subclass aren't particularly powerful, it feels like too much too fast to give them all so early. What was the design thinking on that instead of having them advance steadily? Is there something that I'm missing, or was it a personal choice?

I felt the progress on cantrips was initially too slow. These are very basic spells with very little practical use other than being flavorful. I didn't want a 17th level master Monk, who can fly and shoot fireballs and whatever else, only now learn how to magically light and extinguish a bonfire flame. I preferred the idea that by level 6 any W4E Monk knows the very basics of each element they are trying to master.

It's fine to change it back to one cantrip per milestone however. Personal taste.


Blood and Honor!

The Hurricane Throw exists in Person_Man's version of the re-work, which I cannot link as I have not yet posted enough on this forum haha.

"You can treat simple thrown weapons as monk weapons for the purposes of Martial Arts. Any simple thrown weapon you make a ranged attack with automatically returns to your hand immediately after the attack is resolved, unless the weapon is stopped from returning (such as being caught).
In addition, you may make attacks with simple thrown weapons in place of unarmed strikes when you use your Flurry of Blows ability."

That would be fine as a single discipline I think. It's basically the Sun Soul's feature except without the radiant damage, which is a big factor.


As far as lightning damage I guess I didn't realize how sparse lightning spells are. Cantrips: Lighting Lure, Shocking Grasp - of course the subclass has steered away from damaging cantrips
Spells below level 5:lighting bolt, witch bolt, lighting arrow reflavor?, elemental weapon?, reflavor some fire spells like you did with the Jedi archetype.

There are a few more lightning spells in Elemental Evil but yeah not a lot. Reflavoring is the easiest way to make balanced spell options. Burning Hands can be Shocking Hands, Fireball can be Lightning Ball, etc.


I've been toying with the idea of doing a homebrew of the Enhancement Shaman style character - trying to get that flavor - as a subclass. Perhaps of a fighter, ranger, or barbarian as the base? Like an eldritch knight that only learns elemental spells with some flavorful abilities at 3, 6, 11, and 17. I have never done a homebrew but reviewing what you and others have done has inspired me.

Anyway, keep up the good work!

Personally when I think Shamanism I think an offshoot of Druidism or a Barbarian-like spiritual leader. I'd vote Barbarian for an Enhancement Shaman subclass. Barbarians also are lacking magical subclasses so limited magical enhancements could be sweet!

AngryJesusMan
2017-05-03, 07:01 PM
This is an older version of mine, yeah. There's a lot of sites out there that upload dnd homebrew to their own pages and I guess it ended up on them.


Understood. I can see how that can happen. Though I have to say that I really enjoyed the artwork you chose for that particular version.



I removed Moth's Demise because I felt Immolation as a spell was so weak that it felt like a trap option. It deals 7d6 fire damage to a single target if it fails its saving throw, and then an additional 3d6 damage each round that it fails additional saves. In comparison, a 5th level Fireball is 10d6 damage in a single round, is a 20ft radius sphere so can easily hit multiple targets, and even has better range. Or another 5th level spell, Cone of Cold, is far superior damage at 8d8 cold and has a 60 foot cone. Immolation is such a terrible 5th level spell that I have no idea how they came up with those numbers. I didn't want people to accidentally take it.

I understand the desire to have a Fire discipline at 17th level. I ended up putting Eyes of Fire as the "fire" discipline for that. Alternatively, an easy addition would be adding Cone of Cold reskinned into Cone of Flame.


I caught the Eyes of Fire as the fire discipline. Not my cup of tea, but since you're not wrong with the Fireball math, then that means that you're right on the money with your view of Immolation. I'm a fan of obvious balance, but I can't argue with your logic, and shoehorning a damaging fire discipline in at that level doesn't feel like the right way to go. In the end, I guess this is the best way to go. :smallsmile:




I felt the progress on cantrips was initially too slow. These are very basic spells with very little practical use other than being flavorful. I didn't want a 17th level master Monk, who can fly and shoot fireballs and whatever else, only now learn how to magically light and extinguish a bonfire flame. I preferred the idea that by level 6 any W4E Monk knows the very basics of each element they are trying to master.

It's fine to change it back to one cantrip per milestone however. Personal taste.

I understand. Like I said before, I'm big on obvious balance and getting four cantrips so quickly seems to be far faster than anyone else gets them, even if they're a bit lackluster. I said that the one per milestone approach was cleaner, and that's technically true, but as you said, that doesn't make it a good approach. If I were doing it I think I'd probably give them two up front, then one per milestone, which means they'd have all four at 11th level, which doesn't seem too incongruous with the idea of a master of the elements.

Thanks for the answers and a window into your insights. Keep up the good work!

Dralnu
2017-05-04, 02:57 PM
Always a pleasure. The cantrips have no impact on the subclass balance (they are "ribbons") so no worries about distributing how you see fit.

Pyrotechnical
2018-10-09, 08:15 AM
I'm really liking the look of these revisions. I love the broad set of options, the inclusion of passive abilities, the enhancement of existing monk abilities that let Wot4E stand out from other monks, and the slightly reduced ki costs.

I think the passives are perhaps the most substantial improvements and would recommend their inclusion on as many things as possible. For example, Rush of the Gale Spirits might be improved by:


Rush of the Gale Spirits: You have gained a level of control over the winds, that few can match. You are able to control the direction of the wind within 10 feet of you. You can spend 2 ki points to cast Gust of Wind.

The mentality with this change is that it takes a thematic ribbon ability from the Storm Sorcerer and lowers it further (no control over rain, substantially smaller effect radius), but is thematically appropriate for the combat ability.