I have a player that wants to play a blind elven monk. I have constructed the character below. Anything not specifically mentioned is identical to the normal class/race. Does this character seem mechanically balanced/viable for an introductory campaign (lvl 1–4)?

Class: Blind Monk
Prerequisite Race/age: Elf with at least 100 yrs training to develop base skills.


  • Blind: Immune to effects from blinding and gaze attacks. Blur, displacement, mirror image and other defenses that rely on sight deception have no effect.


  • Blindsight: Noisy environments reduce Blindsight by half.
  • Echolocation: Noisy environments cause disadvantage in locating specific objects, and negates advantage vs surprise.
  • Deafness and hearing attacks negate Blindsight and Echolocation.

Class Proficiencies:

  • Armor: none
  • Weapons: Staff, Quarterstaff, or Spear
  • Tools: one type of artisan’s tools or musical instrument
  • Saving throws: Strength, Dexterity
  • Skills: Choose one of Acrobatics, Athletics, History, Insight, or Religion

  • Blindsight: echolocation (audible frequency)
    Range: 30 ft; increases by 10ft at lvl 4, 8, 12, 16
    Ability: You can locate objects or creatures making sound. By making a specific sound you can locate silent objects such as walls, tables, chairs, etc. Roll with advantage vs. Surprise.

Class Features:

  • Lvl 1 — Blind Fighting, Martial Arts
    Lvl 2 — Unarmored defence, Ki
    Lvl 3 — Monastic Tradition, Unarmored Movement

    Remaining levels are same as normal monk class.

  • Blind Fighting: Your combat, perception and intuitions skills are honed to the point that you no longer suffer penalties from being blind.
    Deafness causes disadvantage on attack rolls. If you kill your opponent while deaf, you are unable to locate a new opponent unless struck.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Feb 12 '18 at 21:50

I think this is pretty reasonable. Having Blind Sight and Echo Location is extremely powerful but if you do get hit with a sound impairing attack it would be devastating to you. Much more then a normal person. Just be prepared to deal with the consequences late game. If you get famous then people will start hearing about this bad ass blind monk that has an uncanny way of sensing his opponents moves. After a while people are going to figure out you use your hearing above all else. A silence spell will mess you up. Bu ti think there has to be a grand negative for you to be able to have blind sense and echo location.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ well the intent is that blindsight is due to echolocation. thus, any impediment to hearing eliminates both. and since the echolocation is in the audible range. environmental sounds qualify as an impediment \$\endgroup\$ – ravery Feb 12 '18 at 6:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note also the loss of dodge missile. And am considering replacing evasion with immunity to surprise at lvl 8 \$\endgroup\$ – ravery Feb 12 '18 at 6:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ Immunity to anything is a HUGE thing to give, @ravery. I would not use that lightly. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Feb 12 '18 at 15:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch - yes but consider that it is replacing an AOE damage evasion \$\endgroup\$ – ravery Feb 12 '18 at 16:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ If sound was removed you would be Blind and Deaf. \$\endgroup\$ – Tyler S. Loeper Apr 18 '18 at 17:12

No sight, huh?

Though looking at this from a simple PoV, it seems to be rather innocuous and benign.

My concern beyond low-level is that there are a lot of monsters that do rely on sight-based attacks/ gaze and very few sound-based ones. Then he negates all invisibility effects within 30+ feet of him. So he made himself immune to all those creatures: basilisks, medusa, invisible stalker.

"But he only sees 30 feet around him" That could be a restriction if you plan to have a lot of fights in the open/ wilderness rather than in tight confines of town or a dungeon.

If you have a campaign with a heavy emphasis on facing orc-humanoids, that may be okay. But if you plan on fighting finesse humanoids (such as drow) or fiends... then he may get OP very quickly.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I believe invisible stalker is non corpral, thus still invisible. Aslo the Monk has lost his doge abilities due to no sight \$\endgroup\$ – ravery Feb 12 '18 at 16:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ You gave your guy supernatural hearing, which would allow him to see the 'stalker \$\endgroup\$ – JP Chapleau Feb 12 '18 at 16:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ a non corporeal entity makes/reflects no sounds thus can not be heard. ghosts and wraiths would also be invisible to this monk \$\endgroup\$ – ravery Feb 12 '18 at 16:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Additionally, he maybe immune to Medusa's Stone gaze, but medusa is also an archer, and he isn't immune to arrows. with the loss of dodge missile. he is more vulnerable to arrows than a normal monk. \$\endgroup\$ – ravery Feb 12 '18 at 18:05

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