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Preamble: Monks have a contradictory design (in my opinion). Their features and flavor make you want to jump into the frontline of combat and masterfully face off against foes like in Kung Fu movies and all. But in practicality, you will be destroyed if you are engaged against more than 1 enemy at a time since monks have low AC and HP compared to any front liners and ironically even some casters (for example Clerics). So I tried to make a subclass to address some problems I have with the Monk core design.

  • They just use Flurry of Blows and Stunning Strike all the time, so I tried to encourage using Patient defense as well to make the monk more survivable, without feeling that it would sacrifice their damage output, or that they are waisting Ki points on a minor defensive boost that only lasts 1 round with their limited pool of ki.
  • Gave some options that can be used freely for a limited amount of times per long or short rest, so you don't drain all ki points in the first round and then become a "bard without spells" for the rest of the combat, making the "frontline" playstyle more reliable like the Barbarian's rage that typically lasts for the entire combat.
  • The low AC and HP without any way of improving your survivability, when most of the Base class features of the Monk encourage you to go into melee against enemies, and then not allowing you to use heavy or two-handed weapons, and not giving options to increase damage, like Rage, smite, Spells, etc, makes you Less effective in damage than other classes, even casters, and also less survivable than they are, making you feel underwhelming in combat when you have a Paladin or a Barbarian by your side and they are dishing enormous amounts of damage and surviving hoards of attackers by having a High AC or resistance to their attacks, and you have neither.
  • Monk really doesn't have a decent role in the party. They are good-ish at stealth, but the Rogue and Ranger can outshine them at that. They are considered "skirmishers", but they put themselves at more risk than casters because their features force them to go into melee range and within the Enemy area, they aren't good front liners for all the above-mentioned, and they don't have social or support capabilities, since all their features are combat or exploration focused.
  • I don't think the "high" mobility really resolves this problem as much as people often tell, since you still either need to pick the mobile feat or spend a ki point to disengage, or your mobility really won't be of any use if you just walk to the enemy and stand there. And then you use your bonus action to use the step of the wind feature, so you won't benefit from the Martial arts or Flurry of blows features that are your source of extra damage, meaning you will be doing less damage when you try to fulfill "your role" as a Skirmisher, making you subpar even trying to do the role you were supposed to excel at.

This is the V8 of this subclass and I want some feedback, I've tried to not be too generous with it, and built-in lots of drawbacks, or limited uses into the features, but I still, want to make the monk more capable of dishing damage and Tanking it like other front liners that use heavy weapons and heavy armor without having to spend all their ki points in a few turns and then become underwhelming after. With that in mind, this is a Subclass designed to make the monk become a Frontliner, and I hope to make it comparable to a Barbarian or a Paladin, without also overshadowing them. So here it is:


The monks who follow the Way of the Iron Body are masters of physical endurance and resilience. They train to harden their bodies, turning their flesh and bones into a living fortress that can withstand even the strongest blows. In battle, these monks stand firm against their enemies, trading blows in a relentless contest of strength and endurance. They are unyielding, unbreakable, and fierce in their determination to protect their allies and overcome their foes.

Iron Body Technique

When you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you learn how to harness your ki to improve your defenses. You can use your ki to dodge attacks with ease or reduce damage with your iron will. You also learn how to use your defensive skills as part of your offensive arsenal. Whenever you use the Patient Defense feature or take the Dodge action, you gain the following benefits until the start of your next turn:

  • If you use the Dodge action, it counts as if you have taken the Attack action on your turn, for the purposes of allowing you to benefit from the Extra Attack and the Martial Arts features. You also can instead of using the Extra Attack feature use the Dodge action after attacking in your turn.
  • Once per Round, you can choose to reduce one instance of damage by your Constitution Modifier, and if the attacker is within 5ft of you, it makes a Constitution saving throw, against your Ki save DC, or receives the amount of damage reduced in Force Damage, with no action or reaction required.

As dodging and defending yourself is part of the base training of this tradition, you can use the Patient Defense Feature without spending Ki points a number of times equal to your Monk Level per short rest.

Iron Shirt Stance

At 3rd level, you learn how to use your ki to fortify your body when you are not wearing armor with a stance that grants you enhanced strength and durability for a short time. As a bonus action on your turn, you can enter the Iron Shirt Stance, only if you haven't moved yet. This stance lasts for 1 minute, or until you move willingly or are knocked unconscious. While in this stance, you gain the following benefits:

  • You have advantage on Strength and Constitution saving throws.
  • You can add your Constitution or Strength modifier to the damage roll of your unarmed strikes.
  • You can add your Constitution modifier to your AC while in this stance. This bonus ends when you move or when the stance ends.

You can use the Iron Shirt Stance a number of times equal to your Constitution modifier per long rest, Once you have used this feature that number of times, you can spend 1 ki point to use it again.

Defensive Flurry

At 6th level, you learn how to use your reaction to deflect or reduce damage from melee attacks. You can also spend ki to disarm or knock prone your foes when you block their strikes. When you are hit by a melee weapon attack, you can use your reaction to roll your Martial Arts die and activate Defensive Flurry. You gain a number of Defensive Flurry uses equal to the die roll until the start of your next turn.

Each Defensive Flurry use reduces the damage by an amount equal to your Dexterity modifier plus one roll of your Martial Arts die. You can apply Defensive Flurry multiple times against one creature’s attacks, but only once per attack.

Additionally, if you reduce the damage to 0 with Defensive Flurry, you can choose one of the following effects:

  • Spend 1 ki point to force the attacker to make a Strength saving throw against your Ki save DC or drop its weapon. If it fails by 5 or more and the weapon is nonmagical, it takes a -1 penalty to attack rolls. If this penalty reaches -2, the weapon breaks.
  • Spend 1 ki point to force the attacker to make a Strength saving throw against your Ki save DC or fall prone. It also takes force damage equal to your Defensive Flurry roll.

You can use Defensive Flurry a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus per short rest. You can spend 1 ki point to use it again after reaching this limit.

For example, If you are being attacked by a Bandit Captain and one Bandit, and you rolled a 4 on your Martial art die, you will have 4 uses of Defensive Flurry until the start of your next turn, so if all three attacks of the Bandit Captain hits, you can apply the Defensive Flurry feature to his three attacks, and then when the Bandit attacks you can apply your forth and last use of the Defensive Flurry on his attack as well.

Counter Stance

At 11th level, you learn how to create a ki barrier around yourself that harms anyone who tries to harm you. You can also use your ki to cast spells that retaliate against your enemies with forceful blasts. As an action, you can spend 2 Ki points to cast the Armor of Agathys spell on yourself without requiring any material components. The spell does Force damage instead of Cold damage. You can spend additional Ki points to cast the spell at a higher level, spending 1 additional Ki point for each level above the first.

Additionally, when you use the Deflect Missiles feature and successfully reduce the damage to 0, you can spend 2 Ki points to cast the Hellish Rebuke spell as part of that same reaction, dealing Force damage instead of Fire damage. The spell uses your Ki save DC. You can spend additional Ki points to cast the spell at a higher level, spending 1 additional Ki point for each level above the first.

Finally, while under the Iron Body Technique feature effects, you also gain the benefit of the true strike cantrip once per turn, without requiring concentration.

Perfect Defense

At 17th level, you master the defensive techniques of the Iron Body tradition. You can maintain your iron body technique for longer periods of time, and apply your defensive flurry against any damage type. You can also use your ki to protect others from Area of Effect damages.

  • When you use the Iron Body Technique feature, you keep their effects for 1 minute, not requiring to use the Dodge action or the Patient Defense feature on the following turns to reactivate it, unless you are unconscious, incapacitated or your speed is reduced to 0.
  • The Deflect Missiles and Defensive Flurry now can be used against all sources of damage.
  • You can use your action to spend 3 ki points and cast Stoneskin on yourself without requiring material components.
  • When the Evasion class feature reduces damage from a Spell or another area effect to zero, and you can see the source of the area effect, you can use your reaction to spend one available use of Defensive Flurry, if you have any, to cast Hellish Rebuke as a 9th level spell using only 3 Ki points against the attacker if it is in reach of the spell. In doing so, you grant the benefits of the Evasion feature to any creatures you choose inside the area of effect, as you protect them from the damage by masterfully controlling the flow of Ki in the ambient and within yourself to redirect and unleash all harmful effects at the aggressor with concentrated power.

This subclass is published also on D&D Beyond: Way of the Iron Body

I hope to receive some constructive feedback and opinions on how to better balance the features to reach the goal of making a Monk decent front liner, without making other Tank characters feel less effective, so tell me if this is too much or not, I'm doing lots of rewriting on this subclass and I'm open to criticism and opinions.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I noticed some grammar and poorly written parts on the question, but i also read here on RPGSE that editing the post is "Frown upon", should i only correct those mistakes after 72 hours? or can i fix those minor mistakes? For example the "Saving throw" on the "Iron body Technique" doesn't specify that it is against your Ki save DC (even though that's probably obvious) I used the word "stance" instead of "Instance"... And the Defensive Flurry has some parts that I could make a little bit clearer... So should I Wait and fix it on the next post? Or are those safe to edit? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 28, 2023 at 15:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ In general, editing the post is only frowned upon when you are changing it based on answers or feedback in order to get even more feedback. If it is just grammar and formatting and clarification, editing is good. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 1, 2023 at 14:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ But where are my manners? Welcome to the stack! You've already gone through the tour, so if you need any additional information take a look at the help center. Good luck and happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$ Mar 1, 2023 at 14:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ Low AC? Monks tend to have one of the highest ACs, starting with 16 and bumping by one every four levels. Not quite as high as a fighter, but usually higher than a Barbarian. Plus, they have tons of features that let them disengage quickly, so it is by intent that they have low HP, as (like a character from a martial arts movie), they engage quickly and then retreat before the opponent can retaliate…. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 2, 2023 at 15:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ A few things to notice: 1. Counter Stance. 'Hellish Rebuke' says 'in response to being damaged' - if you have reduced damage to 0 through any means (including 'deflect missiles') - you can't cast Hellish Rebuke. You, probably need to add something like 'as if you've been damaged by that attack.' 2. Iron Body Technique - 'Extra Attack' allows to make 2 attacks as part of a single attack action. If you have already taken attack action - 'Extra Attack' doesn't let you anything else. What you mean is, probably, 'you can use Dodge instead of any of your unarmed or monk weapon attacks' \$\endgroup\$
    – Sarge
    Mar 2, 2023 at 19:59

2 Answers 2

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This sub class is a mixed bag.

The ability to Dodge instead of 1 attack is pretty good. Bonus action, for a monk, is basically 1 attack but allows things like using ranged weapons and then bonus action to Dodge etc. Now, it's not actually as powerful as it looks - monks can't use shields with their class abilities, so compared to any heavy armour wearer they are typically missing 1-2ish AC once full plate has been attained (18 vs +4/+3). Full plate wearers can typically equip a shield as well if not great weaponing, giving them 3-4ish more AC. Advantage or disadvantage is typically thought of as +5, but for AC it matters what number you're trying to hit - if you have +8 and you're trying to hit AC 16, a roll of 8 or better hits - disadvantage hurts far less.

Anyway, the semi-permanent disadvantage from dodging probably doesn't help or hinder the iron body monk compared to a plate wearer - it puts them on a different but comparable level. Which is good, both for theme and for balance.

Iron Shirt Stance is.. eh. Unlike barbarian rage, you can't activate it pre combat or move during combat while using it. It grants +2-3 to AC, which is comparable to a shield and vastly improves the Dodge ability you already have, and grants +2-3 to damage, which is very nice to keep you more in line with people who only need 1-2 stats. It locks in Constitution as your third required high stat which is rough. The inability to move means you must activate it on the turn you move into melee contact with an enemy. That means your whole turn on levels 3-4 is setup, no attacks at all. If the enemy simply moves away you are out a use/ki point and get at most an opportunity attack out of your entire turn. This ability basically requires the Sentinel feat which is bad design to shoehorn so heavily. It's a big enough bonus you will basically want it running all the time and how much of a cost in uses/ki points and dead turns that will be depends on the type of encounters the DM runs heavily. Extremely heavily. Many published adventures involve eg groups of goblins with bows where this ability will have little (or zero) use.

The flipside of this is that it adding to AC and damage could be super great if you face off against the 'melee only, single monster only, inflated hp total and inflated damage' enemies that are beloved of quite a few DMs. It's hard to rate for that reason but i'm going to assume that based on published adventure encounters you're going to not get to use this all the time, and will sometimes waste ki and actions setting it up to no gain.

Defensive Flurry is another weird one. Using your reaction (mostly relevant because of the requirement for Sentinel) to get 1d6+3-4 (average 6-7) damage reductions that themselves typically reduce damage by 6-7 is... potentially pretty good? That's, if everything goes well, like being healed for 36-49 hp which is a pretty solid healing spell. Enemies with single high damage attacks obviously this is worse, but this helps shore up the monk's lacklustre hp compared to SAD classes with d10-d12 hitdice. It's a very competitive use for Ki after you run out of uses, even comparing it to Stunning Strike. Like, this feels like a relevant class ability for an iron body monk. It should always be on, and it competes for reaction with Sentinel so you have some reason at least not to take that feat.

It might lead the iron body monk to be as tanky as a fighter, vs lots of smaller hits. 6th isn't super early (paladins get an aura that gives +cha to the saves of their entire party at this level, and fighter/barbs can be putting the gwampam 6 attack 146 damage combo into effect at around this level). Still not really getting to druid or barb or paladin levels of tank, but far closer than most monks ever see.

Counter Stance is okay. It's not great. Getting armour of agathys gives a bit more hp/damage at the cost of Ki (keep in mind, every single Ki point is potentially a saving throw vs one full round of being stunned), and the hellish rebuke thing gives damage as a reaction although it's weird. Why give them a spell (it can be counterspelled amongst other things) instead of beefing up the already extant ability to spend ki to catch and throw a missile back? Like the Mercy monk is at this level getting to add their touch of death (1 full round of being poisoned) to every single flurry of blows for free. I'm unsure why you reference true strike instead of simply saying that one attack per turn gains advantage. That opens it up to antimagic fields, counterspell, people thinking it needs an Action to cast the cantrip. Advantage on an attack is nice, but at level 11 it's not particularly huge potatoes as many class options give advantage to all attacks made that turn. Also it's unclear what 'iron body technique effects' means. Better to phrase that as 'having taken the dodge action or used the patient defense technique'.

Perfect Defense is a level 17 ability so I don't really care about it. Level 20 oneshots are the major place I see people playing the game at this level. Your third bullet point for it would be better designed if it just negated the area attack. After making successful evasion saving throw, you can spend ki to do negate the area attack. If it's a spell of above X level, you have to roll, like dispel/counterspell, but breath weapons are outta luck. Second bullet point currently allows you to defensive flurry and THEN deflect missiles on the same attack. Need to specify it's for ranged attacks, and clarify that includes ranged spell attacks, for deflect and melee spell attacks or traps or w/e for defensive flurry. Stoneskin's nice or w/e. At level 17 it's a bit less exciting given the barbarian has been doing it since level 2.


In conclusion, it's a pretty good subclass. It's been written with a clear understanding of the monk's varied weaknesses and it gives almost enough power to make a style of play that many monk players default to but the monk is not very good at viable compared to generic well built characters of other classes.

The problem is, perhaps due to awareness of the pushback against any homebrew that seems like it adds power to any class or option, some of the options are conservative and others are hobbled by mechanics like standing still forever which in actual play might be a bit too much to ask.

If I was changing this subclass, i'd do a few things. First of all, i'd make defensive flurry available at level 3. Reducing the amount of damage reductions it gives to proficiency bonus times or dex mod times instead of martial arts die + dex, this still gives a fair bit of staying power to the class especially at the pre level 5 times when it is struggling a bit with the attack reduction caused by dodging.

Iron Shirt would be available at level 6. Instead of granting con mod to AC, it would give resistance to bludgeoning, slashing, and piercing. This is more in theme and combined with fewer defensive flurries would result in a very hard to kill monk.. until ki runs out or the monk has to move. At level 6, there's enough stuff the monk has to do that the iron shirt would be a sometimes food - a strong one, but they'd be able to run around defensively flurrying and stunning things the rest of the time at least.

Secondly, there's a lot of verbiage and ability spam that could be removed. Allowing someone to use Dodge instead of an attack could be summed up in a few sentences - instead we have a complex two part ability to allow different things at different times in different ways when 'instead of making 1 attack (not attack action, just a single attack) you can instead gain all the benefits of taking the Dodge action. This can be used on any attack, including opportunity attacks and those granted by the Martial Arts ability' would pretty much do.

Thirdly, i'd remove the references to spells etc and spend more words there to sum up those abilities as actual class abilities. Specifically, given this is the Iron Body monk and not the 'Ranged Blaster Monk' i'd have the level 11 ability provide the ability to shrug off certain conditions using your action (restrained, paralyzed, blinded, that kind of thing) to add to what Still Mind gives you, and further add a 1/long rest ability to not fall down at 0 hp but instead keep fighting for a period (like a minute), instead of Hellish Rebuke and Armour of Agathys which both hurt people rather than making the monk tougher except for the small amount of temp hp A of A gives.

With earlier but more limited in number defensive flurry and iron shirt stance literally halving incoming damage for 'standing on top of a bridge denying all comers' situations, the class would probably flow a bit better for the typical levels of play. Probably still underpowered, but at least not waiting until level 6 for it's major subclass ability.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you so much for Answering! I'll be taking notes, and I'm glad to see that at least, it seems like I didn't overdo it and made it too OP, I was really worried about that! I'll keep waiting to see if I get any new answers to gather some more viewpoints on the matter, but if not This Awnser alone, already gave me plenty of things to rework! Thank you so much for your time! \$\endgroup\$ Mar 2, 2023 at 16:53
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Frame Challenge

I've attempted to address the second iteration of this class you posted here. However, now that I'm reviewing this original post, I think you have a fundamental misconception on the efficacy of Monks which needs to be addressed.

In your preamble section, you've made the following assertions which I think are notably incorrect (I've paraphrased). I would like to address those assumptions to try and give you some perspective on things based on my experience playing a Monk through the Strahd campaign.

  • Using Patient Defense wastes their Ki points for a minor defensive boost.
  • Low AC and HP without any way of improving your survivability.
  • Feel underwhelming in combat when you have a Paladin or Barbarian dealing massive damage against hoards of attackers.
  • All their features are combat or exploration focused.
  • Monks' high mobility doesn't solve the above problems since you need to pick the mobile feat or spend a ki point to disengage.
  • You hope to make a frontliner comparable to a Barbarian or a Paladin.

First of all, as mentioned in the comments, Monks often have one the higher starting ACs. Assuming a 16 in both Dex and Wis, they can reliably have a 16 AC from the get go. I'd argue, that's probably on par with most other front liners through 4th level. But Patient Defense lets Monks do what few other front liners can and force ALL attackers to roll with Disadvantage. In general, Disadvantage is considered to penalize your roll by 5, this is like having a Shield spell but even better because it also drops the risk of a successful crit to 1/400.

During our Strahd game, there were several times when we were faced with overwhelming odds either by numbers or raw force. Being able to pick and choose when to substantially penalize enemy attack rolls kept me alive plenty of times.

You stated that Monks lack ways of improving their survivability, and I would point you to some of the features gained by Traditions. Way of the Open Hand gives you multiple ways to impede your enemies' ability to attack you by knocking them prone (so Disadvantage on OA if you move), knock them 15' back (can't even attack you if you want to move out of their range), or just straight up take away their reactions (which isn't just a boon for you, but your whole team). Way of Shadow can just teleport (again denying OA). Drunken Masters gain Drunken Technique to allow them to freely disengage. Kenseis gain Agile Parry, which is just a straight boost to their AC. In general, Monks have a lot of different ways to survive provided you don't perceive them as a front line brute.

In my Strahd game, I found tons of additional survivability by just taking away enemies' reactions. Doing this meant my allies became free to reposition themselves and in doing so, they could more efficiently deliver damage. This meant the group as a whole had better survival.

The presumption that Monks aren't able to deal massive damage against hordes of attackers isn't necessary wrong, per se, but it is misguided. A Barbarian that deals 25 damage in a single swing against an enemy with 6 points isn't necessarily doing better than the Monk on the front line; it's mostly a lot of overkill, and Monks don't do overkill. Instead, Monks attack...a lot. Bear in mind, at 1st level, Monks are one of the few classes who can attack twice on their turn using their Action and Bonus Action. At 2nd level when they gain their Flurry of Blows, they can now attack 3 times in a turn. At 5th level, they can now attack 4 times in a turn. It's important to note, that every single one of their attacks adds their full Dexterity modifier on the damage roll. So if the party is dealing with a swarm of weak creatures, a Barbarian that charges in and utterly annihilates 2 enemies, isn't actually doing better than the Monk who deftly drops 4.

In my Strahd game, I don't have any examples of myself dealing a ton of damage. It's Strahd, so survival was the primary goal. However, there were a few instances of us being attacked by hordes of CR 1/4 enemies and my character opting to take out just 1 or 2 at a go and then throwing down Patient Defense so that the next dozen attacks on me would miss. I was cognizant that I could've easily been taking out twice as many per turn, but that wouldn't have led to our group's survival and in time, one of my allies was able to find the Macguffin that instakilled the entire horde. And this was made possible because as the Monk, I held the line.

Monks' having a heavy focus on combat or exploration suggests that the other classes don't. I'd argue just about 95% of most class features are focused on combat and Monks are no different. Players are burdened to make the class more than that. In my game, I took the Criminal background for my Monk and played him as a cat burglar whom was always worried about mimics. He always had a crowbar and even if the situation didn't warrant a crowbar, he'd find a way to make it warrant one. But none of that stemmed from class features, just roleplay.

Your concerns about Monks' high mobility being negated by their preference for melee combat, again I refer you to the variety of ways that Monks can mitigate the risks of OA without using additional ki. Furthermore, I would note that, the Monk's mobility can grant you substantial access to the battlefield provided you are cognizant of the jumping rules. So a clever Monk should be able to get themselves up close and personal with an enemy caster whenever they want.

At a point in our Strahd game, an enemy wizard attacked us from high up on a ledge. Our Fighter and Ranger weren't going to be able to get there and drop him, but as a Monk, I was up there so damn fast hitting him with Stunning Fists that what might have wiped the party turned into a cakewalk.

Another time:

When fighting Baba Lysaga, being a Monk meant I had plenty of movement to be able to get into her hut and rip the controlling gem from it, thereby insta-killing an enemy whose first hit on me dropped me from full to half health.

Finally, let's consider your stated goal of making the Monk a front-liner like a Barbarian or Paladin. It's important to realize that being a Barbarian or Paladin is not the Monk's job. The Monk's job is to deal small amounts of damage a lot of times. The Monk's job is to disable enemies and enable their team. There are startlingly few things in the game which can deliver the Stunned condition, Monks can hand that out like candy. When combat, on average, lasts 3 rounds it is utterly devastating to be Stunned until the end of the Monk's next turn. When a swarm of small enemies show up, a Monk can deliver a Flurry of Blows that spread out damage among individuals either killing them or making a fireball much more likely to clean up. When a massive brute shows up, Monks can choose to stand toe to toe and draw misses using their Patient Defense feature, letting the rest of their team focus on dealing additional damage; and assume said brute wants to just eat the OA the Monk has the choice to tack on a Stunning Fist to make such a proposition more risky. When an enemy caster is raining fire and buffing allies, the Monk is the one who vaults the front line and unloads plenty of small attacks, each one forcing a save for Concentration and maybe throwing some extra ki into the mix to force saves against Stun. Casters being forced to make Constitution saves over and over are bound to fail.

To summarize, Monks aren't Barbarians, don't expect them to play as such.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I understand the points made, but maybe our disagreement might come from this: "When combat, on average, lasts 3 rounds". In the games I've been playing i think most combats tend to take at least 8 rounds, so the monk's ki points really never get through the whole combat to be as effective as you suggest. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 26, 2023 at 10:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LuizTomikawa that sounds like it might be a separate question. I'm curious how many combat encounters you're dealing with each day that last that long. In our Strahd game, often we were able to rest when we wanted (that was probably the DM's choice), so I didn't find myself having issues often going into combat with full ki and ending it nearly depleted but able to take a short rest for the purposes of recovery. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 27, 2023 at 13:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Normally its 1 per session since the combat is so long, and we have a wide time for progressing the plot and downtime in the world and then comes a giant battle, but sometimes if we are in a dungeon might have lots of combats (3 or more) without a short rest in between most of them. Maybe is just our DM preference, in this game i'm actually playing as a Barbarian but i noticed that their feature Rage is more reliable than the monk's ki based defenses, since most times Rage lasts for the entire combat per use, but monks only get their "boost" to defense in 1 round. That's what sparked this. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 27, 2023 at 16:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm playing a Monk in another campaign and there we are level 11. At that point I think monks are perfectly fine. And then they are good as a front liner. This is a campaign I've been playing for 3 years, we started at level 4. The early levels of a Monk is terrible. That's the reason I wanted to give some "freebies" on patient defense per short rest and only require Ki usage on later features when the monk already have more than enough Ki to spare, and gave a lasting benefit that can be used CONxLG like rage, so you have something for each combat that won't drain your ki at level 3. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 27, 2023 at 16:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ So let me give a timeline of what motivated me to make this subclass. My first character was a Monk. then I played Barbarians, Druids, Clerics, Warlocks, Rogues. And after playing Barbarian, and Warlock I noticed something. When you are level 3: Barbarian have a very limited resource (Like 2 uses per day) but they tend to last for the entire combat. Warlocks have only 2 spell slots, but, You use them on Spells that tend to last for the entire combat EACH. and then you recover them on a short rest. Monks 3 ki points, each last 1 round. and that's it. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 27, 2023 at 17:06

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