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I’ve found a combination that seems rather broken to me, and I can’t find anything stating that the combination itself isn’t RAW, although it definitely seem like it isn’t RAI. However, the combination seems far too OP to be RAW, and I wanted to confirm that this is truly an acceptable use of Haste and Quivering Palm in a combination. There’s a second part to the question, assuming the first is correct.

To make this simple: a level 17 Way of the Open Hand Monk (with Quivering Palm) and a level 17 Sorcerer are in the party. The Sorcerer casts Haste on the Monk. The Monk now has 2 actions (Normal Action + Haste Action). The Monk uses his Haste Action to make one Unarmed Strike against an opponent and spends 3 Ki Points to set up the Quivering Palm vibrations in the enemy. The Monk then uses his regular action to trigger said vibrations and either drop the enemy to 0 HP if it fails the Con save, or do 10d10 damage if it succeeds.

Assuming that the Haste stays up, the Monk may do that 5 turns in a row before he runs out of Ki Points. Thinking of high-level enemies, unless they have crazy good Con saves, even with Legendary Resistances they have a decent rate of failure and this seems like an abuse.

If a 17th-level Open Hand monk has Haste cast on them, can they set up and trigger Quivering Palm in the same turn?

Assuming that the answer to that question is yes:
If that same Monk also had 2 levels in Fighter, could they not also use their bonus action and their Action Surge for an additional Quivering Palm setup and trigger in the same turn?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Mar 12 at 6:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zoma Please see this meta for why your comment was deleted. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Mar 12 at 10:52
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Yes, a hasted Monk 17 / Fighter 2 could set up and trigger Quivering Palm twice in a round.

Your reasoning all checks out:

  1. Use your hasted action to Attack with an unarmed strike and spend three ki points to set up Quivering Palm (the action granted by haste can only be used for a limited set of actions - Attack being one of them).
  2. Use your normal action to trigger Quivering Palm.
  3. Use your bonus action to make another unarmed strike, spending three ki points to set up a second Quivering Palm effect.
  4. Action Surge to trigger the second Quivering Palm.

But is this overpowered?

There's no denying that it's a strong combination. However, activating does have a pretty high opportunity cost - it requires six ki points (about a third of your total), your action surge (one use per short/long rest), another PC to use a spell slot, and you need to successfully roll to hit with both attacks. The game is balanced around a standard adventuring day consisting of six to eight encounters. If your group actually played the game that way then you'd be running on empty fairly soon.

You also need to be 19th level to activate this (full) combination (17th to do a single Quivering Palm in a round). Statistically, very few campaigns actually reach this level of play but if they do it's likely that most of the PCs will have some kind of ability that seems incredibly OP. At level 17 all the party's full casters get level 9 spells - so, as an example, the party's wizard could be doing 40d6 damage to all of the enemies within an area with meteor swarm (admittedly only once per long rest).

So, I'd say this is RAW and it does feel pretty strong, but if your party reaches 17/19th level you'll probably find that your multiclassed Monk isn't the only PC that can do some pretty gnarly stuff.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So, it's probably more RAI than RAW, but I always maintained the action granted by Haste had to be used last (after any actions and bonus actions granted by your own class/feats). OP could enact this as a table rule if he is worried about the stated combination being too powerful. \$\endgroup\$ – BobbitWormJoe Mar 12 at 8:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you can find any justification for that reading as RAI feel free to post it as your own answer. Playing it that way would certainly prevent this combination. \$\endgroup\$ – Tiggerous Mar 12 at 8:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ To me, this is comparable to a Paladin and their smite nova damage. Sure, they can pump out a lot of damage, but when they're all out of spell slots, then what? Hence I agree that this is powerful, but not overpowered. \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Mar 12 at 8:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you, I definitely understand your argument against it being OP as the cost is quite high to pull off such combinations and with things like Wishing for an immediate Simulacrum of a Sorlock can give them 200 damage a round and etc, definitely more broken combinations exist. At my table we tend to do only a couple of encounters a day, so this combination would likely work better at my table than most. \$\endgroup\$ – BloodySprinkles Mar 12 at 15:38
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Yes

It is RAW. The important part here is:

The Monk then uses his regular action to trigger said vibrations and either drop the enemy to 0 HP if it fails the Con save, or do 10d10 damage if it succeeds.

Emphasis mine

Although it doesn't seem like it, arguably, it is balanced. Most monsters at that level would make the CON save, and 10d10 isn't as much damage as a wizard of the same level could output. This doesn't mean it's very effective against lower level or lower CON monsters.

And as Zoma mentioned in a comment on the question, a monster doesn't just stand there and take it, especially if it is a boss. It will learn to shift its body in such a way to prevent the vibrations, or some other in world reason it won't work that often. Although this is not recommended

And of course, you can always talk to your players, and discuss it. If it ruins your encounters, it will end up with everyone having less fun.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "It will learn to shift its body in such a way to prevent the vibrations, or some other in world reason it won't work that often" - if you're suggesting that the DM should make monster make its save automatically (other than with legendary resistances) or something like that, I highly advise against that. If a player spends that many resources, they shouldn't be wasted just because the DM doesn't like to have his monsters obliterated. \$\endgroup\$ – PixelMaster Mar 12 at 12:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ As i said, I think it's balanced, but if he really wants to, he can. I just included it since it was already mentioned. And automatically saving will still result in a 10d10 of damage. \$\endgroup\$ – SlimeBolt Mar 12 at 12:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Many abilities have verbiage similar to "Once a creature succeeds on a saving throw against this effect, they cannot be affected by further applications for 24 hours" or some such. That could also be applied here as the in game mechanic of this "body shift". Even though it is not OP, it does seem like the type of ability that would behave that way. \$\endgroup\$ – cpcodes Mar 12 at 21:47

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