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I'm wanting to mix archetypes (traditions) for my monk. I'm wanting specifically the 3rd and 17th level feats from Way of the Open Fist and the 6th and 11th level feats from the Way of the Shadows. I know we can't multiclass into the same class to gain both but in the PHB page 79 2nd column "Monastic Traditions" reads "Three traditions of monastic pursuit are in common in the monasteries scattered across the multiverse." I'm fine with that but where I question is "Most monasteries practice one tradition exclusively, but a few honor the three traditions and instruct each monk according to his or her aptitude and interest."

So my question would be can I build a monk that is split like that without homebrewing to much?


marked as duplicate by David Coffron, Sec SE - clear Monica's name, Sdjz, Oblivious Sage, PixelMaster May 28 '18 at 12:32

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You can only choose one Monastic Tradition

The Monastic Tradition monk class feature on PHB 78 reads (emphasis mine):

When you reach 3rd level, you commit yourself to a monastic tradition [...]

This shows that you cannot choose features from each as you please. However, you cite that:

Most monasteries practice one tradition exclusively, but a few honor the three traditions and instruct each monk according to his or her aptitude and interest.

which discusses monasteries themselves and not the individuals within. That line states that a monastery may practice more than one monastic tradition, but that they'll instruct any given monk through only one of those, based on his/her own aptitude and interest.

Three levels in Wizard, Warlock, or Sorcerer gives you what you want

These three classes all have access to Misty Step and Invisibility as 2nd level spells, which nearly replicate the 6th and 11th level features you want from Way of the Shadow. This does come at a cost, however, as you'll need at least 13 INT or CHA in order to take the multiclass, and it will delay the rate at which you learn your monk features. You'll also likely need DM approval, and may not appreciate the thematic aspects of such a multiclass.


I believe the quote you cite is trying to convey that there are a few rare monasteries that teach more than one monk tradition, but even those still only train any given monk in a single tradition "according to his or her aptitude and interest", not that they train any given monk multiple traditions.

Regardless, no, you would not be able to make a monk that mixes multiple traditions without homebrewing; that would, as you mention, require multiclassing into the same class which is not possible by RAW, or it would require essentially creating a custom tradition that has the parts you want.

If you seek to homebrew and do a simple version of the latter by mixing and matching features (I.E., saying that at 6th level I want to take the Shadow Step feature from the Way of Shadow, and at 11th level I wish to take Tranquility from Way of the Open Hand), be aware that subclass features aren't meant to be directly equivalent like that. Some subclasses get their power earlier or later than others, some get flavor or out of combat abilities at the same level as others get combat abilities, etc.

As such, directly swapping one tradition's feature with another is prone to making an imbalanced character- and not just in the power level sense, but in the sense of having a character that is lacking features for certain parts of D&D gameplay due to swapping them out for other features.


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