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I've created a new version of the Way of the Four Elements monk. I don't have too many friends in the RPG community that could give me some good balance/playability feedback on such a thing, and was hoping the community here could.

In terms of feedback, I'd like to ask the following few questions:

  1. How does this subclass compare to the other subclasses of monk, in terms of overall power?

  2. How does this compare to the original version of the 'Way of the Four Elements' in the way of spell versatility and combat ability?

  3. Compared to other spellcasters, does the cost of ki points properly balance the amount of times this monk can cast its spells?

  4. Are the level 11 spells balanced in terms of power and theme between each element?

The class is as follows:


Monastic Tradition Alternate: Way of the Four Elements

Your ancestry has given you an affinity towards one of the four main elements; Air, Fire, Water and Earth. When you focus your ki, you can control and bend this element to your will. The element of air exemplifies quickness of movement and avoiding the enemy. The element of fire shows a destructive, but exuberant power. The element of water can be used to both heal and control, while having a destructive edge of its own. The element of earth is rock hard by nature, exemplifying defensive and grounded fighting styles.

At 3rd level, choose the element to which you find yourself most attuned to; Fire, Water, Air, Earth.

If you chose the element of Fire, you gain the ability to control fire at a basic level and can cast Control Flames at will. Additionally, when you strike your enemies, you gain the ability to infuse your blows with fire itself. When you spend a ki point to do a flurry of blows, you may spend an additional ki point to engulf your fists in flame and deal an additional martial arts die of fire damage for each successful hit on the bonus action strikes.

If you chose the element of Air, you gain the ability to control the air and wind at a basic level and can cast Gust at will. Additionally, when you strike your enemies, you gain the ability to bend their air to apply more power to your strikes. When you spend a ki point to do a flurry of blows, you may spend an additional kit point to embolden your strikes and deal an additional martial arts die of bludgeoning damage for each successful hi on the bonus action strikes. This damage counts as magical for the purposes of overcoming resistances.

If you chose the element of Water, you gain the ability to control water at a basic level and can cast Shape Water at will. Additionally, when you strike your enemies, you can use a nearby source of water to attempt to disadvantage your foe by freezing the water on their being. When you spend a ki point to do a flurry of blows, you can spend an additional ki point to give your foe disadvantage on their next attack, and lower their speed by 10 ft for one turn.

If you chose the element of Earth, you gain the ability to control the earth at a basic level and can cast Mold Earth at will. Additionally, when enemies attempt to attack you, you can use your reaction and spend one ki point to use the Earth for your defense and gain resistance to that attacks damage.

When you reach 6th level in this class, you become more adept at wielding your element, and have begun to experiment more with how you can use it.

If you train with the element of fire, you learn how to control fire at a longer range. As an action you can use 3 ki points to blast multiple enemies with the power of fire and can cast Scorching Ray. Alternatively, you can create a large ball of fire and can slam it into enemies for as long as you can hold the concentration and can cast Flame Sphere again for 3 ki points. For each ki point spent above 3, you increase the level of the spell to a maximum of your level divided by 2.

If you train with the element of Air, you learn to control the wind a further distance, as well as in close proximity to yourself. By spending 3 ki points, you can blast your opponents with a forceful gust, and can cast Gust of Wind as an action. Alternatively, you can focus the air around you, making you difficult to pin down. As an action you can cast Blur on yourself for 3 ki points.

If you train with the element of Water, you learn to expand your healing and controlling abilities on and off the battlefield. As an action, you can freeze a creature in place, and for 3 ki points you can cast hold person (but can be resisted with a dexterity saving through instead of the usual wisdom). Additionally, when off the battlefield and with access to a large enough body of water, can cast use the water to heal your allies, and can cast Prayer of Healing for 3 ki points. For each ki point spent above 3, you increase the level of the spell to a maximum of your level divided by 2.

If you train with the element of Earth, you learn to use the earth around you to bind creatures to the ground, so you and your allies have an easier time dealing with them. Using 3 ki points, you can cast either Earthbind or Maximillian’s earthen grasp to either ground or grapple a creature. For each ki point spent above 3, you increase the level of the spell to a maximum of your level divided by 2.

When you reach 11th level in this class, your understanding of your element runs even deeper and you learn to harness it on much larger scales.

With the element of fire, your ability to channel its power to levels near unheard of without the use of the arcane. When you focus your ki, you can create large explosions of fire at a large range and can cast fireball by expending 4 ki points. Additionally, you can channel similar energy along a long line and can cast lightning bolt, for 4 ki points as well.

With the element of air, your mastery over the wind currents and air around you allow you the ability to fly. For 4 ki points, you can cast fly on yourself. Additionally, you can create such strong currents of wind that ranged weapons will never hurt you. Again, for 4 ki points, you can cast wind wall.

With the element of water, you learn to control enormous amounts of water, and exert great control over a battlefield. When near a body of water, you can cast tidal wave by spending 4 ki points. Additionally, for the cost of 5 ki points, you can cast control water.

With the element of earth, you learn the ability to infuse yourself with the hardness of the earth itself and can cast stoneskin on yourself as an action for the cost of 5 ki points. Furthermore, you can cause earthquakes in your immediate area and can cast Erupting Earth for 4 ki points.

At 17th level, your mastery of your element becomes unmatched. For 8 ki points, you can wreath yourself in a sphere of power infused with your element. You can cast Investure of Fire/Wind/Water/Stone on yourself, whichever matches your trained element.

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closed as too broad by linksassin, L.S. Cooper, Sdjz, Jason_c_o, Aguinaldo Silvestre Jan 15 at 0:48

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Please see How can I ask a good homebrew review question? \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Jan 14 at 22:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ If possible, you should change the images of text to actual text, to make it more accessible to people who use screen readers and the like. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jan 14 at 23:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ As written this question will get closed as unclear or too broad. Edit in what you hope to achieve with this homebrew that isn't covered by existing material. Add a list of what feedback you are looking for specifically. We can either provide balance advice or wording advice, asking for general feedback is too broad. \$\endgroup\$ – linksassin Jan 14 at 23:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've edited out the part asking for wording changes to make it more fantastical, and focused it specifically on the balance issue. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jan 14 at 23:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ A simple way of balancing this would be asking us to compare it to a similar spellcaster (like the Eldritch Knight) or another Monk subclass. Due to the fact that Monk subclasses are a bit weaker than other subclasses (due to the Monk superclass being more fleshed out), it would likely be best to limit the comparisons to the existing Monk subclasses. \$\endgroup\$ – Daniel Zastoupil Jan 14 at 23:50