13
\$\begingroup\$

One thing that came up in a session I was playing was when our Drunken Monk was fighting three enemies, one in front and two behind.
The one in front missed and the Monk used redirect to hit an enemy behind her. The issue I'm having is that by RAW this seems OK, but the baddie (A) has a reach of only 5ft and the second baddie (B) was 10ft away from baddie (A).

enter image description here

This doesn't seem like it should be allowed. In realistic terms, if a monk in the real world did something like this, bad guy A would probably fall prone from being taken so far from his footing.
Is this allowed by RAW and RAI? Am I missing something?

\$\endgroup\$
  • 8
    \$\begingroup\$ I added a small graphic to make it a bit more clear what is going on. If you don't want the graphic in the question, feel free to revert my change \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Aug 1 at 17:44
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @DavidCoffron The graphic is great. \$\endgroup\$ – Eternallord66 Aug 1 at 17:50
19
\$\begingroup\$

The target must be within 5' of YOU and visible

The distance between enemies has no bearing on this ability.

The 6th level Tipsy Sway feature of the Drunken Master states (emphasis mine):

When a creature misses you with a melee attack roll, you can spend 1 ki point as a reaction to cause that attack to hit one creature of your choice, other than the attacker, that you can see within 5 feet of you.

The distance of the first attack doesn't have a bearing on your ability. The only trigger required is that you are are missed by a melee attack. Once that trigger has been met, you simply have to meet the next requirement which is the target you use your reaction on for the Tipsy Sway reaction must be visible and within 5' of of yourself.

Suspension of disbelief

I totally get how this doesn't 'seem right.' It's difficult to come up with narrative explanations for a lot of the crazy stuff these characters can do. What we can choose to do is suspend our disbelief and have fun with whatever mental imagery we have in converting the mechanics into experience.

That mental imagery is going to be pretty personal. And honestly, the monk can be the most fun to do this with. I briefly played a goblin monk and the monk abilities are really kinda gonzo and I had a lot of fun coming up with narrative for what I was doing - especially things that really made little to no sense in terms of realism.

A personal narrative

As an example, maybe the original attacker comes in with their sword and misses. My tipsy monk sways around, slightly shifting the attacker closer while at the same time slightly moving the other enemy closer. The attack completes and everyone returns to their original positions before the next round begins.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @Eternallord66 The rules don't really concern themselves with realism to that degree; it's largely up to the DM and players to figure out how a given interpretation actually looks in canon. For example, for an effect like that I could say that the monk grabs the creature's fist, spins it around and sends it hurtling into the new target, but afterwards it brushes itself off and returns to its previous position. All the rules care about is that your new target was in range of you. Trust me, this is far from the only case where you'll think the rules don't make realistic sense. :P \$\endgroup\$ – John Clifford Aug 1 at 17:59
  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ @Eternallord66 Or another interpretation to piggyback off of John Clifford's - remember that actions are all "resolving" in-universe in real time. For all we know, A & B moved in to attack at the same time, so your monk got out of the way from A's attack while B was overextended - so A managed to chop B's arm (or whatever). Or the monk pulled B forward a bit into the attack, or whatever \$\endgroup\$ – Delioth Aug 1 at 18:14
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If this doesn't seem like it feels right, I recommend you watch any Jackie Chan movie for a visual explanation of exactly how easy this is to do for a martial arts master. I also recommend Jackie Chan movies to show how easy it is to beat somebody to a pulp that you have grappled (youtube Who am I Final Fight Scene Jackie Chan) \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Aug 1 at 22:30
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ When people (meaning martial artists) use someone else's momentum against them, they can find themselves stumbling quite a fair few number of feet, so I'd say a creature moving 10 feet is quite believable. What it less believeable, perhaps, is that, RAW, they're still where they were, even though they ought to have moved (i.e. in the graphic in the question, it might make more sense for them to be to the right of the monk now). \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Aug 2 at 7:38
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS Yes, that is one of my problems with this. How can they still be in the same place afterword? \$\endgroup\$ – Eternallord66 Aug 5 at 13:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.