The rules on deflecting are as follows for 3rd level Monks (PHB, p. 78, bold added):

You can use your reaction to deflect or catch the missile when you are hit by a ranged weapon attack. When you do so, the damage you take from the attack is reduced by 1d10 + your Dexterity modifier + your monk level.

If you reduce the damage to 0, you can catch the missile if it is small enough for you to hold in one hand and you have at least one hand free. If you catch a missile in this way, you can spend 1 ki point to make a ranged attack with the weapon or piece of ammunition you just caught, as part of the same reaction.

A net counts as a ranged weapon, and requires an attack roll to hit (so far so good), but it's unclear to me whether or not it counts as a "missile" since it isn't thrown with the intent of transferring kinetic energy to a target. Similarly, I considered it less than obvious whether you could be said to "reduce the damage to 0" when the net's initial attack never did any damage in the first place.

So I'm throwing this question to the stack. Is an attack with a net an attack which a monk could "deflect", in the sense of catching it and throwing it back at an enemy (with a reaction and a ki point)?

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  • Usually a net that can restrain you is not small enough to hold in one hand. It might be able to be held in one hand, but not when it is thrown against you. This requires a DM ruling that makes sense, though.

  • You do not reduce the damage to 0, because there is no damage to reduce. You don't roll any damage for net. This is different with a dart thrown by someone with -1 dexterity modifier and with damage roll of 1. The damage is 0, but there is damage to reduce, so you can still catch it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Note nets are one handed weapons by the rules, so you can hold it in one hand. this even makes sense in the real world where nets were traditionally used with another weapon in the other hand. \$\endgroup\$ – John Apr 29 '19 at 1:39

No (at least unless you have a Huge monk)

Regardless of a net classifying as a missile or whether 0 can be reduced to 0, the monk is enveloped in the net:

A Large or smaller creature hit by a net is restrained until it is freed. A net has no effect on creatures that are formless, or creatures that are Huge or larger. A creature can use its action to make a DC 10 Strength check, freeing itself or another creature within its reach on a success. Dealing 5 slashing damage to the net (AC 10) also frees the creature without harming it, ending the effect and destroying the net.

Thus the monk that is still hit by the net, and so is captured by it until it is freed (the conditions to do so being unattainable as part of a reaction). If the monk in question is Huge though (and the assailant in question hoped the net would work) it might be free to catch it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ A creature hit by the net is restrained. The restrained condition does not prevent the affected character from making attacks. I think your argument is very reasonable in a "spirit of the rule" way but it seems to me that a reasonable argument could also be made that a restrained monk is not legally prevented from making a reaction attack. \$\endgroup\$ – Rykara Apr 12 '19 at 16:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rykara: They're not prevented from making any other attack; they just can't throw the net back because they are stuck in it. They'd have to spend a turn getting untangled from it first. \$\endgroup\$ – Mark Wells Apr 12 '19 at 20:48

Yes, The net weapon can be thrown one handed thus a monk can hold it in one hand.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi and welcome, Vukodlak! This answer would be greatly improved if you could provide a bit more support based on the rules. Specifically, does the net's restraining effect, which takes effect on a successful hit (which does happen), not impede the Deflect Missiles ability regardless of whether it can be held in one hand or not? \$\endgroup\$ – Rykara Jun 27 '19 at 22:00
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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. As Rykara mentioned, you should edit your answer to support it by citing evidence. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jun 27 '19 at 22:33

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