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    Default Gifts for four elements monk player

    Monk in my group is starting to fall behind the other players, so I want to give them a couple of techniques to give them a feeling of character progression.

    As an idea, I'm thinking of having some ancient technique manuals from a forgotten monk temple (blah blah blah) that will teach then some new spells not listed under Elemental Disciplines.
    Name and spell recommendations wanted.

    ??? (1 ki point); cast Firebolt as a bonus action after taking the attack action (fire hadouken )

    ??? (1 ki point); cast Lightning Lure as a bonus action (discount Water Whip, pre-errata)

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    Default Re: Gifts for four elements monk player

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhorn View Post
    ??? (1 ki point); cast Firebolt as a bonus action after taking the attack action (fire hadouken )
    Compare to flurry which may add 1d10+5, for a 2d10+10 BA.
    Even at level 4, 2d4+6 is much better than 1d8 flat.
    Firebolt is ranged though, but how often do you use a bow?


    Fists of Fire: BA adds 2d8 to next hit.
    Which suffers from the same "weaker than flurry" problem, but a smite-like approach seems nice.
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    Default Re: Gifts for four elements monk player

    Are you using the PHB 4E Monk?
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    Default Re: Gifts for four elements monk player

    Not exactly what you asked for, but two buffs/items you could offer are something that discounts all Four Elements ki techniques by one less ki, or an item that allows you to cast any known ki spell as a bonus action 1/short rest.

    Other ideas:
    Flaming Fist: When you hit a creature with a melee attack, you can spend 1 ki to deal 1d6 additional fire damage to your target. This damage increases by 1d6 for each additional ki spent.

    Soul of the Seasons: Spend 5 ki to cast Fire Shield on yourself as a bonus action.

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    Default Re: Gifts for four elements monk player

    Do they feel like theyíre fallkng behind? Talk to them see what they feel is lacking. If itís spells then just give them expanded knowledge (+1 spell known per milestone) and let them fill in the gaps
    -you can expand that list with druid list bringing it down to 2 types like transmutation and evocation (-healing?)

    But if magic isnít their problem then magic wont fix their problem

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    Default Re: Gifts for four elements monk player

    Quote Originally Posted by bid View Post
    Compare to flurry which may add 1d10+5, for a 2d10+10 BA.
    Even at level 4, 2d4+6 is much better than 1d8 flat.
    Firebolt is ranged though, but how often do you use a bow?
    Firebolt being a 1d10 cantrip felt like the scaling wouldn't be too bad
    They're almost 11th level, so that'll be 3d10 (firebolt) and 3d8 (lighting lure).
    FoB using their primary stat (Dex) will be stronger than a ranged attack with their secondary (Wis), but the cheap ranged option will open them up to getting some more varied attacks in, and at 1 ki point fairly cheap compared to many of the Elemental Discipline abilities.
    Throwing in more flat damage is how you get the power creep problem, so i am a little hesitant about using that as the first thing I offer the player. It may be totally fine, but I figures these two options would make a good starting point for testing the waters.
    Firebolt was just for some ranged fun. Throw a few fisticuffs at the close combat targets, and weave in a hadouken over at a range target a few spaces away.
    Lightning Lure is pretty much Water Whip light, lower range, lower damage, for a lower cost and on a different save.
    For both though, the ranged attack as a bonus action was the main thought I had.

    Quote Originally Posted by Petrocorus View Post
    Are you using the PHB 4E Monk?
    I'd feel pretty silly posting in the 5e forum then, wouldn't I? (i kid)
    Does 4E have things I should be looking at for monks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Desteplo View Post
    Do they feel like theyíre fallkng behind? Talk to them see what they feel is lacking. If itís spells then just give them expanded knowledge (+1 spell known per milestone) and let them fill in the gaps
    -you can expand that list with druid list bringing it down to 2 types like transmutation and evocation (-healing?)

    But if magic isnít their problem then magic wont fix their problem
    They have not voiced it, but as DM tracking damage on the party I know they are. This is a bit of a preempt.
    As far as offering new spells, I'm interesting is staying on-brand for the elemental theme, since that's the subclass they picked, so non-elemental spells don't really fit. Still, I'll look into the druid list and see what 3rd level or lower spells might be good (specific recommendations are still good).


    Quote Originally Posted by Nidgit View Post
    Not exactly what you asked for, but two buffs/items you could offer are something that discounts all Four Elements ki techniques by one less ki, or an item that allows you to cast any known ki spell as a bonus action 1/short rest.

    Other ideas:
    Flaming Fist: When you hit a creature with a melee attack, you can spend 1 ki to deal 1d6 additional fire damage to your target. This damage increases by 1d6 for each additional ki spent.

    Soul of the Seasons: Spend 5 ki to cast Fire Shield on yourself as a bonus action.
    Might do something a little alternative to Flaming Fists. Not a bad one, just the fire part is a little too close to Fangs of the Fire Snake. Same idea, just using a different element.
    Along that line of thought, Absorb Elements would be a good reaction spell to give them, perhaps? Sounds like it should be on brand.

    The 4th level spells are still a fair ways off at level 17, so while a good pick with Fire Shield, it'll be a while before I would throw that their way.
    Last edited by Zhorn; 2019-09-21 at 12:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Gifts for four elements monk player

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhorn View Post
    It may be totally fine, but I figures these two options would make a good starting point for testing the waters.
    Firebolt was just for some ranged fun. Throw a few fisticuffs at the close combat targets, and weave in a hadouken over at a range target a few spaces away.
    Lightning Lure is pretty much Water Whip light, lower range, lower damage, for a lower cost and on a different save.
    For both though, the ranged attack as a bonus action was the main thought I had.
    Yeah, it's easy to adjust afterward.

    I think it compares well to EK war magic. 2 bow attacks + firebolt is stronger than firebolt + 1 bow attack, but EK doesn't have to lose 1 ki for it. Overall, it's 1 ki for an extra 1d6+5 over the free EK.
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    Default Re: Gifts for four elements monk player

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhorn View Post
    I'd feel pretty silly posting in the 5e forum then, wouldn't I? (i kid)
    Does 4E have things I should be looking at for monks?
    I think they were just checking whether you were using one of the many homebrewed versions of the class, e.g. Way of the Four Elements: Remastered.

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    Default Re: Gifts for four elements monk player

    I don't think I'd give them another ability. I think if I were going to do something to boost them I'd give them an opportunity to earn a boon that gave them a few more ki points so they get to use their toys a little less conservatively. An alternate idea to a boon would be them finding an magic quarterstaff or spear that once belonged to a monk of legend that had a ki store that they can draw on to power their kung-fu goodness. Basically a monk equivalent to a wizard's staff or wand.
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    Default Re: Gifts for four elements monk player

    Elemental Monks donít need more blasts they need spells that buff and more ki. So items that fill those gaps would be my suggestion.

    I also argue that both Monk and Barbarian should get at least one more ASI. They are more MAD than Rogue.

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    Default Re: Gifts for four elements monk player

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhorn View Post
    Monk in my group is starting to fall behind the other players, so I want to give them a couple of techniques to give them a feeling of character progression.

    As an idea, I'm thinking of having some ancient technique manuals from a forgotten monk temple (blah blah blah) that will teach then some new spells not listed under Elemental Disciplines.
    Name and spell recommendations wanted.

    ??? (1 ki point); cast Firebolt as a bonus action after taking the attack action (fire hadouken )

    ??? (1 ki point); cast Lightning Lure as a bonus action (discount Water Whip, pre-errata)
    4E Monks would be okay/good if their spells were all Bonus Actions.
    So my suggestion is give them a Tome that makes all their 4e spells Bonus Actions.

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    Default Re: Gifts for four elements monk player

    Quote Originally Posted by PhantomSoul View Post
    I think they were just checking whether you were using one of the many homebrewed versions of the class, e.g. Way of the Four Elements: Remastered.
    That's an interesting read.
    So main takeaway I've got from that is to reduce Elemental Discipline costs by 1, going from 'Spell Level + 1' to just 'Spell Level' in ki cost. This is the smallest change I can offer the player that will feel like a simple reward rather than a massive overhaul of their class, ie:

    "Ignore the PHB, here's a new pdf on how to run your class"
    vs
    "In the treasure hoard, one of the items you find is a tome on using ki to manipulate elements. Combined with your prior training, this allows you to use ki more efficiently, reducing all your Elemental Discipline costs by 1 (to a minimum of 1) as you become more in tune with the flow of energy"

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    Default Re: Gifts for four elements monk player

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhorn View Post
    That's an interesting read.
    So main takeaway I've got from that is to reduce Elemental Discipline costs by 1, going from 'Spell Level + 1' to just 'Spell Level' in ki cost. This is the smallest change I can offer the player that will feel like a simple reward rather than a massive overhaul of their class, ie:

    "Ignore the PHB, here's a new pdf on how to run your class"
    vs
    "In the treasure hoard, one of the items you find is a tome on using ki to manipulate elements. Combined with your prior training, this allows you to use ki more efficiently, reducing all your Elemental Discipline costs by 1 (to a minimum of 1) as you become more in tune with the flow of energy"
    I mean, bonus action speed is arguably just a simple reward and just as small a change (plus it makes the spells match Flurry of Blows).

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    Default Re: Gifts for four elements monk player

    Quote Originally Posted by Yunru View Post
    I mean, bonus action speed is arguably just a simple reward and just as small a change (plus it makes the spells match Flurry of Blows).
    This was a similar think behind the Firebolt and Lighting Lure as Bonus Actions rather than Actions. As an Action it is not worth the ki cost when compared to the Attack Action (free). But going for Bonus Action, it's stronger than the single Martial Arts hit (free), not as strong as Flurry of Blows (1 ki), but has an extra benefit in range, damage type, and additional effect (Lightning Lure's drag effect), so the 1 ki cost feels about right.

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    Default Re: Gifts for four elements monk player

    Quote Originally Posted by PhantomSoul View Post
    I think they were just checking whether you were using one of the many homebrewed versions of the class, e.g. Way of the Four Elements: Remastered.
    That is indeed what i meant. And i was thinking about this particular homebrew that seems popular.

    And 4E Monk referred indeed to 4 Elements Monk, not 4th Edition Monk.
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    Default Re: Gifts for four elements monk player

    Just brainstorming but what if they had a reaction ability that triggers whenever they take fire, cold, lightning, or thunder damage that allows them
    to regain Ki equal to the damage /5 or something?

    Or an absorb elements at will type power?

    Or something that let them enchant their blows with a different element, not unlike the nature cleric.

    Or lastly, some kind of upgraded elemental attunement that let them gain passive abilities when in contact with their element?

    Or go gonzo and give them a capstone of immunity to fire, cold, lightning, and thunder.

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    Default Re: Gifts for four elements monk player

    Give him a ring/necklace/headband of "extra ki".

    Give him a bonus feat like 3rd's Psionic Focus that lets him regain his Ki as an action.

    The Elements Monk works, it's just Ki-intensive. Instead of decreasing spending, increase the budget.
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    Default Re: Gifts for four elements monk player

    Any of the walls seem petty cool. As do the investitures (you can add armor of agathys in there for similarity sake). Flame blade would be cool thematically if you could actually use it as a weapon; elemental weapon is as close as youll get. Otherwise thunder step and ice knife seem the most fitting.

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    Default Re: Gifts for four elements monk player

    I homebrewed these water whip bracelets. Bonus action to activate, lasts for a minute, on subsequent turns can bonus action attack up to X feet away (15-20 feet) away for martial arts die damage, and can trip or pull them closer (10 ft) w/ str save vs monk DC. Has wis mod number of uses per day.

    Small boost in power (just made the bonus action attack move powerful, can't stunning strike or flurry on it), very flavorful (waterbending like Katara and her flask of water), feels good.
    Last edited by micahaphone; 2019-09-22 at 01:34 AM.

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    Default Re: Gifts for four elements monk player

    One easy way, give them Mold earth, Shape Water, Gust, and either Control Flames or Produce Flame. This can significantly add to the feeling of being an elemental Monk while providing pretty much no combat power at all. Four cantrips may seem like a lot, but theyíre cantrips that are largely for fun and a little utility, so itís not nearly as much as it seems. Even Produce Flame compared unfavorably to a shortbow. Move Earth can be used to create cover on-demand, Gust gives you a 5 ft. shove that uses Wisdom, thatís about it. Since you havenít yet heard any complaints about balance yet, this is a good preemptive move. Adds fun without adding power, giving you room to addd more stuff later.
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    Default Re: Gifts for four elements monk player

    @AdAstra, I'm thinking I like your response the best as far as initial implementation is concerned.

    @ImproperJustice, Capstone sounds fancy, but that's a long way off. The party just had most players hit level 10 last session, and while I'm using the Adjusted XP values, I don't see anyone reaching cap by the end of this campaign. While I could reward an item that does the same function, it's just as likely to go to one of the other players instead. best to progress with baby steps.

    @False God, inflating the ki budget I worry will have unintended consequences, mostly in just having the character pure-monk more rather than 4-elementing. Also if another player starts taking monk levels there's going to be an expectation to give them a ki boost also. Ki efficiency is a more favourable precedence to set that ki abundance.

    Regarding the elemental spell recommendations people have made, thankyou, I'll be sure to present them as a list to my player as an expanded option list for their Elemental Disciplines. Not the ones of 5th level and higher though, I'm staying within the bounds of the spell levels the subclass had intended.

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    Default Re: Gifts for four elements monk player

    Quote Originally Posted by AdAstra View Post
    Mold earth, Shape Water, Gust, and Control Flames
    Definitely this.



    Then, if you're worried about the amount of Ki they have available, also add in an Absorb Elements effect, with an added ability that when they use AE, they gain temporary ki point(s) for 1 minute, probably a set amount (level cast? proficiency?) or something like "equal to half the damage dealt by AE".

    This'd allow them to essentially have a "deflect missiles" for elemental attacks, which is very on-brand.
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