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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Way of the Dragon (Monk Martial Archetype) Completed



Requilac
2018-05-19, 08:44 PM
Greetings all. Today I am going to be taking a slight departure from some of my weirder things to work on something a little more classic. On the request of A Fat Dragon (another user on this forum), I have made a monk archetype based around dragons. Most of the features of this class I stole from the Adult Red Dragon's stat-block and adapted for a PC. Nothing too new or exciting about this sub-class, but hopefully it presents the flavor well enough. All the information you need is in the homebrewery link below, or if that doesn't work for you, in the Google Doc. Any suggestions on how to improve this class are very much appreciated.

Homebrewery: http://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/Hk6-GOC6z

Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tGId22NvUXmE41502CWVHCWt10yFnC5XYcuLCyte7HY/edit?usp=sharing

demonslayerelf
2018-05-20, 05:18 PM
This sucks.

At 3rd level, you get a cantrip and a language(And fire resistance). Blazing Soul is just a slightly more powerful than normal cantrip. Not offensively good like EB, but it's boring. It's better than any attack+FoB you'll make, unless you use weapons, so you'll do this every round, unless the enemy is fire-resistant. It removes all of the monk-ness of attacking people.

It's also not very dragon-y. Yeah, you breath fire, but you might as well learn the "Firebolt" cantrip, but you cast it with your mouth.

At 6th level, you get a slightly different version of the Fighter's Indomitable. Instead of a reroll, you succeed automatically, and you also have to spend Ki. Also it only works once/day, even with Ki expenditure. It also makes the 14th level monk feature less relevant, and vice-versa.

Frightful Presence is just bad. It takes 3 ki for a 30 foot aura for a not-great condition. Chance of Instant Death is only 4 ki, why is this 3? It's also just a little stupid. Monks want to get in close to hit people, so why chase them AWAY with a fear aura?

Limited Flight at 17th level. It's almost as though you never noticed that several classes get ACTUAL flight at this point or sooner, and that the totem barbarian can pick this up 3 levels sooner.

So, to reiterate the very first line; This sucks.

Requilac
2018-05-20, 06:12 PM
I have also got to admit that I wasn't greatly impressed with the outcome of this project either, but I was working under constraints and didn't have full artistic freedom so I suppose that was inevitable. Thank you for the input though and hopefully I can improve this a little. But my fears where apparently recognized.


This sucks.

At 3rd level, you get a cantrip and a language(And fire resistance). Blazing Soul is just a slightly more powerful than normal cantrip. Not offensively good like EB, but it's boring. It's better than any attack+FoB you'll make, unless you use weapons, so you'll do this every round, unless the enemy is fire-resistant. It removes all of the monk-ness of attacking people.

I think you are under-estimating the power of the monk's weapon attacks. They get both extra attack and the bonus action attack from martial arts, so odds are that most turns a monk would have a DPR of 3dX+3Y where X equals the martial arts die and Y equals their dexterity modifier. The fire breath only deals 3dX ,half damage on a failure, where X equals martial arts die. By level five it is almost guaranteed that making attacks with weapons is superior when in melee. At level five the fire breath deals 13.125 damage, while at level five a monk with a dexterity modifier of +1 is dealing 13.5. Most monks have even higher dexterity, so that damage would probably be a higher. Not to mention that the fire breath doesn't work with flurry of blows or stunning strike. Saying that a dragon monk would use this every turn is more than a little inaccurate. Past level five making weapon attacks is almost always going to be the better option in melee. Blazing Soul is meant to be an effective way for monks to attack at a range, not a replacement for their attacks.



At 6th level, you get a slightly different version of the Fighter's Indomitable. Instead of a reroll, you succeed automatically, and you also have to spend Ki. Also it only works once/day, even with Ki expenditure. It also makes the 14th level monk feature less relevant, and vice-versa.

It is a little redundant yes with diamond soul yes, but for levels 6-13 its still a great option. And even when diamond soul comes online, this is still a better option as it is an automatic success. That being said, I can see where your complaints are coming from and while reduce the ki cost to 1.



Frightful Presence is just bad. It takes 3 ki for a 30 foot aura for a not-great condition. Chance of Instant Death is only 4 ki, why is this 3? It's also just a little stupid. Monks want to get in close to hit people, so why chase them AWAY with a fear aura?

It has its uses. As many people have pointed out, when a group of enemies is ganging up on a monk, they are pretty toasted at that point. Frightful Presence isn't always useful, but in the scenarios when it comes up it is a great panic button. It can effect a lot of people too. And also keep in mind that if a frightened target is seeing the dragon monk, they have disadvantage on the check. This can be devastating in the right circumstances. And I feel as if pairing its cost with the Quivering Palm which only effects one creature and comes online six levels later is more than a little unfair.



Limited Flight at 17th level. It's almost as though you never noticed that several classes get ACTUAL flight at this point or sooner, and that the totem barbarian can pick this up 3 levels sooner.

I know some classes can get it sooner, but a lot of DMs considered flight overpowered so I wanted to limit it. Seeing as how it is a little underpowered though, I will remove that last clause.


So, to reiterate the very first line; This sucks.

I am sorry to hear that I did not do as well as I could. That being said, I did make some changes. I decreased the ki cost of Legendary Resistance to 1, got rid of the part about it requiring a reaction to use, and removed the last sentence of Master of the Winds. I think you are highly underestimating some the dragon monk's power though if I am being honest. Regardless, thank you for being so helpful.

Composer99
2018-05-20, 06:45 PM
I really don't like the idea of PCs getting legendary resistance, I have to say.

I also concur that this tradition really doesn't evoke the idea of dragons in D&D as well as it could.

I think you'd be better off doing the following:
1) At 3rd level, you (the monk) can choose to deal bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage with your unarmed strikes, and be able to deal extra damage on a limited-use basis.
2) At 6th level, some kind of dragon fear effect, maybe use ki to emulate the fear spell.
3) At 11th level, an actual breath weapon. Dragonfire, not fire bolt, dragon edition.

Requilac
2018-05-20, 07:33 PM
I really don't like the idea of PCs getting legendary resistance, I have to say.

I also concur that this tradition really doesn't evoke the idea of dragons in D&D as well as it could.

I think you'd be better off doing the following:
1) At 3rd level, you (the monk) can choose to deal bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage with your unarmed strikes, and be able to deal extra damage on a limited-use basis.
2) At 6th level, some kind of dragon fear effect, maybe use ki to emulate the fear spell.
3) At 11th level, an actual breath weapon. Dragonfire, not fire bolt, dragon edition.

I don't believe I fully understand what you all mean by the fact that this homebrew isn't representative of dragons enough. Could either of you care to explain why you believe that?

as for your suggestions I am grateful to hear them, and hear all my thoughts on all of them

1) This is a fine feature and all, but how does it relate to dragons? And also I can't say I am a big fan of the static damage boost. I am just not seeing see the reason for this feature to exist. Its a little flavorful I guess, but doesn't do a whole lot of anything.
2) So you basically just want me to give Frightful Presence at level six instead? Okay, that seams reasonable, but I think that with the current setup its a better choice to give that at its current state.
3) As much as I love this idea, I think that such a feature would have to be fueled by ki to be balanced, which sort of makes it begin to step on the toes of the Way of the Four Elements monk. I suppose it could be recharged on a short rest or short and long rest sort of thing, but that still seems too similar.

May I ask what you would personally replace legendary resistance with though?

demonslayerelf
2018-05-20, 09:25 PM
I think you are under-estimating the power of the monk's weapon attacks...<Snip>
Maybe a little. But to be on par, the monk has to use both action and bonus action, and be close. This is only an action, and allows the monk more ability to Kite the enemies, and still deals damage close to the weapon attacks.(Well, if the monk has a magical bonus and/pr high dex score, that does win out, but it's still close)

(Edit: You did change it from 4 dice to 3, so it's better mechanically, but still bad on a basis of flavour and overall synergy)


It has its uses. As many people have pointed out, when a group of enemies is ganging up on a monk, they are pretty toasted at that point. Frightful Presence isn't always useful, but in the scenarios when it comes up it is a great panic button. It can effect a lot of people too. And also keep in mind that if a frightened target is seeing the dragon monk, they have disadvantage on the check. This can be devastating in the right circumstances. And I feel as if pairing its cost with the Quivering Palm which only effects one creature and comes online six levels later is more than a little unfair.

I'm not saying it doesn't have uses, just that it's overpriced for the uses it does have. A monk who gets surrounded in the first place is just a bad monk. They're fast as balls and have the best movement options(Aside from flight) in all of 5th edition. And, if they ARE surrounded, this won't help them. At higher levels, the DC is only 19 or 20 or so, which is easily made by healthy competitors. Even if they did fail, there's no clause that forces them to run. They can still fight, they just have disadvantage on attacks, which is easily remedied by Flanking rules, if you use those, especially when the monk is surrounded.

And alright, it's unfair to compare them in your eyes. Searing Sunburst(Sun Soul Monk) and Cloak of Shadows(Shadow Monk) both utterly crush this ability. Searing Sunburst, at 3 Ki, is the equivalent of a radiant/constitution fireball,and Cloak of Shadows is free invisibility unless you're in bright light. If you point out that Frightful Presence is basically just the fear effect, a 3rd level spell, hypothetically making it and fireball equal; Think SO HARD again. Fear forces people to run away, and doesn't give saves unless they can't see the monk.

Composer99
2018-05-21, 12:34 AM
I also concur that this tradition really doesn't evoke the idea of dragons in D&D as well as it could.

I don't believe I fully understand what you all mean by the fact that this homebrew isn't representative of dragons enough. Could either of you care to explain why you believe that?

Powerful blows with claws, tails, bites. Breath weapons. Flying. Dragon fear. Those are all iconic dragon abilities that have endured across most editions of D&D.

What the original version of this tradition gave was:
- Firebolt, more or less, at 150 feet at 3rd level
- One free saving throw! Yay! at 6th level
- Dragon fear at 13th level
- Limited flight at 17th level (Revised to flight later.)

The 3rd level ability in particular just doesn't fit the theme of "being like a dirty great fire-breathing (or anything-breathing) dragon". The free saving throw, in addition to being out of line with pretty much any other feature that lets PCs manipulate saving throws, isn't quite as evocative of "this is a dragon", nor as iconic an ability of dragons as are breath weapons, flight, dragon fear, and their natural weapons.


I think you'd be better off doing the following:
1) At 3rd level, you (the monk) can choose to deal bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage with your unarmed strikes, and be able to deal extra damage on a limited-use basis.

1) This is a fine feature and all, but how does it relate to dragons? And also I can't say I am a big fan of the static damage boost. I am just not seeing see the reason for this feature to exist. Its a little flavorful I guess, but doesn't do a whole lot of anything.

Tail sweeps, crushing stomps or swipes with clawed feet, and nasty bites are all staples of dragon combat. Since tactically, dragons want to hit and run (well, fly), it fits well with the monk combat style, too.

At 3rd level, a feature that lets your unarmed strikes emulate what dragons can do is less of a concern, balance-wise, than features that emulate dragon fear or breath weapons (or flight, for that matter), so that was the road I went on.

If you wanted to emulate things like wing buffets or tail sweeps/slaps, you could add in options to get free shoves, or knock enemies prone, or some similar rider instead of or as part of the static damage bonus, if you thought the feature needed it.

Anyway, I'm sure you could come up with something better with more consideration, but I think what I suggested, or something like it, is a superior option to "150-foot firebolt" for actually calling to mind the idea of dragons.


I think you'd be better off doing the following:
2) At 6th level, some kind of dragon fear effect, maybe use ki to emulate the fear spell.

2) So you basically just want me to give Frightful Presence at level six instead? Okay, that seams reasonable, but I think that with the current setup its a better choice to give that at its current state.

I would say either give a breath weapon at 6th and a fear effect at 13th, or vice versa.


I think you'd be better off doing the following:
3) At 11th level, an actual breath weapon. Dragonfire, not fire bolt, dragon edition.

3) As much as I love this idea, I think that such a feature would have to be fueled by ki to be balanced, which sort of makes it begin to step on the toes of the Way of the Four Elements monk. I suppose it could be recharged on a short rest or short and long rest sort of thing, but that still seems too similar.

Four elements monk can emulate burning hands, cone of cold, and thunderwave as options that resemble breath weapons in terms of their area of effect. Of these, only burning hands does fire damage. I really don't see any concern with toe-stepping. If you make a breath weapon do piles of damage (relatively speaking) but recharge on a short or long rest, you automatically distinguish it from burning hands, which the four elements monk can cast many times per short rest if desired but is a much weaker effect. Also, the "fluff" makes the two pretty distinct.

Just as importantly, if not moreso, the other features the two traditions get at other levels are wildly different, making this one point of similarity far less significant.


I really don't like the idea of PCs getting legendary resistance, I have to say.

May I ask what you would personally replace legendary resistance with though?

... I... I'm pretty sure I covered that with my suggested alterations? You gave legendary resistance at 6th level, I suggested moving "dragon fear" to 6th level, yes?

Ogrillian
2018-05-22, 12:42 AM
I like this class overall, I generally like playing as a type of dragon descendent, (usually a fang dragon to talk my DM into letting me have the choice of S,P, or B for unarmed damage) so I like most of this, but if the fear goes off your Charisma then thereís problems as mine is generally an 8, and I havenít heard of a monk with a score higher than 12, and will be as effective as Performance was for WotDM, as for making targets flee or just get disadvantage, you could have them stunned until end of round (or say paralyzed from fear for fluff) from a massive cone roar per use to equal out the costs and time.

If your trying to make the melee version of the Dragon-Bloodline Sorcerer I would suggest the Level 6 ability be the Dragon Resistance boost to AC

Requilac
2018-05-22, 10:35 PM
Alright, I have made a couple of changes so far. First of all, I changed Blazing Soul that it only works once per short or long rest, but it targets everything in a 30 ft. cone. instead of just one target. Second, I made Frightful Presence cause the target to run away like with the Fear spell.




(Edit: You did change it from 4 dice to 3, so it's better mechanically, but still bad on a basis of flavour and overall synergy)

Woops, I am very sorry about that. I must have made a change to the document before responding and forgot to mention it please. Please forgive me for that slip up of mine, I didn't mean to make you sound like an idiot or anything else malicious.



Tail sweeps, crushing stomps or swipes with clawed feet, and nasty bites are all staples of dragon combat. Since tactically, dragons want to hit and run (well, fly), it fits well with the monk combat style, too.

At 3rd level, a feature that lets your unarmed strikes emulate what dragons can do is less of a concern, balance-wise, than features that emulate dragon fear or breath weapons (or flight, for that matter), so that was the road I went on.

If you wanted to emulate things like wing buffets or tail sweeps/slaps, you could add in options to get free shoves, or knock enemies prone, or some similar rider instead of or as part of the static damage bonus, if you thought the feature needed it.

So, I basically make a carbon copy of the Open Hand Monk's level three ability which works on hits not scored through Flurry of Blows? As much as I love the imagery of this, those abilities are already kind of covered by Open Hand monks. That being said, I will try to see what I can do with natural weapons. Nothing clever comes to mind immediately but I am sure I can come up with something. Perhaps a sort of ability which mimic's the Tail Attack Legendary Action. No that doesn't sound great either. Hopefully I can create some sort of good idea. Do you have any which don't look like I copied the text off of Open Hand Tecnique?
[/QUOTE]


I like this class overall, I generally like playing as a type of dragon descendent, (usually a fang dragon to talk my DM into letting me have the choice of S,P, or B for unarmed damage) so I like most of this, but if the fear goes off your Charisma then thereís problems as mine is generally an 8, and I havenít heard of a monk with a score higher than 12, and will be as effective as Performance was for WotDM, as for making targets flee or just get disadvantage, you could have them stunned until end of round (or say paralyzed from fear for fluff) from a massive cone roar per use to equal out the costs and time.

I think you slightly misinterpreted how Frightful Presence works. The fear effect triggers a charisma saving throw, but the Save DC is equal to your Ki Save DC (which is based on Wisdom). The monk's charisma itself doesn't effect the power of the feature at all. The target's charisma though is crucial.

And I would be extremely hesitant to give the monk another ability which stuns things other than Stunning Strike.



If your trying to make the melee version of the Dragon-Bloodline Sorcerer I would suggest the Level 6 ability be the Dragon Resistance boost to AC

Monk's already get Unarmoed Defense so a further AC boost seems unnecessary.

Ogrillian
2018-05-23, 03:57 AM
Whoops misread that my bad in that case wouldnít change a thing, although Iím curious if the pirates ability stacks with this outside of combat🤞Many ways to to role play the Fear skill if so, was thinking something like the blue dragon anime popping out and scaring the crap from corrupt guards or annoying kobolds.

demonslayerelf
2018-05-23, 10:53 AM
Looking at Blazing Soul and some of the suggestions, I have a thought. Right now, Blazing Soul is almost as bad as the Dragonborn racial feature, it just has a longer range. Technically speaking, it's a 2nd level spell once/short rest at 17th level.

You could have a sort of "Dragon Breath Healing Light", only instead of additional healing dice, it's dragon breath. But in my mind, it's 1/Monk level, recover on a long rest, etc. They're the size of the martial arts die, and you can turn upto half of them into a single blast(As per the first iteration of Blazing Soul) or upto half to use the cone(As per this iteration of Blazing Soul), only you only roll half of them as damage.

I'm making this while slightly dipsy and sleep deprived, so it's not formatted.

Requilac
2018-05-24, 09:11 PM
Alright, I made some slight changes. I increased the damage of Blazing Soul to 4dX, moved Frightful Presence to sixth level and made the 11th level feature a Tail Attack similar to a dragon's Tail Legendary Action.




You could have a sort of "Dragon Breath Healing Light", only instead of additional healing dice, it's dragon breath. But in my mind, it's 1/Monk level, recover on a long rest, etc. They're the size of the martial arts die, and you can turn upto half of them into a single blast(As per the first iteration of Blazing Soul) or upto half to use the cone(As per this iteration of Blazing Soul), only you only roll half of them as damage.



My apologies Slayerelf but I don't believe I understand what you wrote. Are you saying Blazing Soul should consume hit die to fuel the damage of the attack? This seems like an awful strange mechanic to me.