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I was playing a game of D&D 5e the other day and got into a disagreement with the DM. I have a monk character that made a long jump off a wall using Step of the Wind. The plan was to do Flurry of Blows after landing, but the DM said that I couldn't use Flurry of Blows because I had burned my bonus action on Step of the Wind.

The description of Step of the Wind in the monk's Ki feature says:

You can spend 1 ki point to take the Disengage or Dash action as a bonus action on your turn, and your jump distance is doubled for the turn.

My DM said that I have to take a bonus action before getting the jump bonus. I believe that taking a bonus action is optional and you can get double-jump without using a bonus action.

It does not explicitly say you have to take the bonus action like Flurry of Blows and the Way of Shadow monk's Shadow Step feature do. The description of Shadow Step says (PHB, p. 80):

When you are in dim light or darkness, as a bonus action you can teleport up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space you can see that is also in dim light or darkness. You then have advantage on the first melee attack you make before the end of the turn.

The description of Flurry of Blows says:

After you take the Attack action on your turn, you can spend 1 ki point to make two unarmed strikes as a bonus action.

You can see that Shadow Step says that "You then" (after teleporting), and Flurry of Blows says that "After you take the Attack action". If you go back to "Step of the Wind", you can see that it doesn't say anything about your jump distance being doubled only after you Dash or Disengage as a bonus action.

Am I correct that Step of the Wind allows a monk to double their jump distance even without using Dash or Disengage as a bonus action?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Oh, and Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already and see the help center or ask us here in the comments (use @ to ping someone) if you need more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Aug 16 at 16:11
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To benefit from Step of the Wind, you must use your bonus action.

Step of the Wind says:

You can spend 1 ki point to take the Disengage or Dash action as a bonus action on your turn, and your jump distance is doubled for the turn.

At the end of the ability description it says "for the turn." This means that step of the winds jump distance is limited to a single turn.

If your contention is that the section about your jump distance being doubled is a completely separate and distinct feature from the first half of the ability (using a bonus action and ki point to dash/disengage). Then the second half of the ability would literally only last for a single turn when you gained second level in monk.

As that would be an improbable interpretation, its reasonable to read the two halves of the ability as connected: If you spend a ki point and bonus action, you get the benefits of disengaging, or dashing, as well as double your jump distance for the turn.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ But that wouldn't happen. It goes like this: "If you spend one ki point, you may take one of the bonus actions, then get double jump for the turn" I think that only once you use that ability and spend a ki point, you may take one of the bonus actions, then get double jump for the turn. The "double jump" comes AFTER the ki point spend not before. \$\endgroup\$ – Revel Carlberg West Aug 16 at 17:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RevelCarlbergWest That's not what is written in the ability. The ability says "You can spend 1 ki point to take the Disengage or Dash action as a bonus action". Notably "You can spend 1 ki point to take [...] as a bonus action". This taking a bonus action part is not optional. if you spend the ki point, you have to take the bonus action. \$\endgroup\$ – findusl Aug 16 at 18:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Oh, ok, this was very confusing to me. Thank you. \$\endgroup\$ – Revel Carlberg West Aug 16 at 18:40
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As it is written, you can only spend the ki point to take a bonus action with this ability. If you spend the ki point, indeed your jump distance is doubled, but no other way to spend the ki point is given, except to take the action as a bonus action.

To have your interpretation, it would have to be written as something like "By spending 1 ki point, your jump distance is doubled for the turn and you can take the Disengage or Dash action as a bonus action."

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