Classes Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying

DnD Classes Monk Overview

Dungeons and Dragons – Mystara

Classes – Monk

This is an series of articles on which 5th Edition classes are available in my campaign and where you will find a teacher. It starts out with Humans and Dwarves being the source of all classes, due to the other races still being in development so this will be updated as that expands as well. Expect to see additions due to those races over the next year or two. This is a long term project so I am not rushing to complete it, doing one sub race at a time.

Classes Available: Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Warlock and Wizard.

5e-wiz-ph DnD Players Handbook
5e-wiz-ph – D&D 5E Players Handbook

Monk Overview

  • Hit Dice: tba
  • Proficiencies:
    • Armour: tba.
    • Weapons: tba.
    • Tools: tba.
    • Saving Throws: tba.
    • Skills: tba.
  • Starting Gear:
    • a tba
  • Class Features

Characters can choose one Secret Craft associated with their Martial Archetype.

Background Elements


Monk Monastic Traditions

Way of the Ascendant Dragon (ftd), Way of the Astral Self (tce50), Way of the Bo’faquan (wll21), Way of the Brawler (ag117), Way of the Cobalt Soul (tcs104), Way of the Crystal Cannoade (urc23, Way of the Drunken Master (xge33), * Way of the Elements (ph80), Way of the Exalted Athlete (ag117), , Way of Iron (br193), Way of the Kensai (xge34), Way of the Leaden Crown (ghpg54), Way of the Long Death (scag130), Way of Mercy (tce49), Way of the Open Hand (ph79, fa179), Way of Pain (fa179), Way of Pride (ghpg55), Way of the Reaving Vortex (urc24), Way of Shadow (ph80), Way of the Shield (ootd329), Way of the Sun Soul (xge35, scag131), Way of the Warrior Monk (ag118)

Way of the Cobalt Soul

Source: Tal’Dori Campaign Setting (tcs104)

Driven by the pursuit of knowledge and their worship of the Knowing Mistress, the monastery of the Cobalt Soul (known as the library of the Cobalt Reserve) stands as one of the most well-respected and most heavily guarded repository of tomes, history, and information across Exandria. Here, young people seeking the clarity of truth and the strength of knowledge pledge to learn the arts of seeking enlightenment by understanding the world around them, and mastering the techniques to defend it. To become a Cobalt Soul is to give one’s self to the quest for unveiling life’s mysteries, bringing light to the secrets of the dark, and guarding the most powerful and dangerous of truths from those who would seek to pervert the sanctity of civilization.

The monks of the Cobalt Soul are the embodiment of the phrase “know your enemy”. Through research, they prepare themselves against the ever-coming tides of evil. Through careful training, they have learned to puncture and manipulate the spiritual flow of an opponent’s body. Through understanding the secrets of their foe, they can adapt and surmount them. Then, once the fight is done, they return to record their findings for future generations of monks to study from.

Secret Crafts: Cryptologist
Locations: Darokin, Glantri, Ierendi, Karameikos, Northern Reaches, Norwold Region, Thyatis, Ylaruam
Races: Human (Heldannic, Thyatian)

Way of the Drunken Master

Source: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (xge33)

The Way of the Drunken Master teaches its students to move with the jerky, unpredictable movements of a drunkard. A drunken master sways, tottering on unsteady feet, to present what seems like an incompetent combatant who proves frustrating to engage. The drunken master’s erratic stumbles conceal a carefully executed dance of blocks, parries, advances, attacks, and retreats.

A drunken master often enjoys playing the fool to bring gladness to the despondent or to demonstrate humility to the arrogant, but when battle is joined, the drunken master can be a maddening, masterful foe.

Secret Crafts: Chaosologist
Locations: Darokin, Ethengar, Glantri, Karameikos, Northern Reaches, Rockhome, Thyatis, Ylaruam
Races: Dwarf (Craftbound, Hillbound), Human (Ethengarian, Makistani)

Monk Way of the Drunken Master
  • Patrons of
    • Energy – MagicalAlchemy (1)
    • Thought – ScienceAlchemy (1)
    • Dual Energy/Thought – Magical ScienceAlchemy (1)
  • Associated Secret CraftsAlchemologist (Alchemy),
  • Time ImmortalsHymir (Alchemy),
Way of Iron

Source: The Book of the Righteous (br193)

Adherents to the Way of Iron seek tranquillity in the art of combat. Unlike other monastic traditions, the Way of Iron focuses on the use of weapons, treating them as extensions of the monk’s own body. Followers of the Way of Iron are usually front-line combatants, leaving their temples behind to join in the dance of battle shoulder-to-shoulder with the rank and file soldiers. Grandmasters of the Way of Iron wield any weapon with such grace and ease that the weapons seem to have always been a part of them, the way a hand or an eye would be, and their movement and attacks are full of graceful arcs and twirling flourishes that make battle seem to be more of a dance than a conflict. Adherents to the Way of Iron train relentlessly with one another, and are among the most exceptional duellists in the world, having honed their skill against the best warriors their temples have to offer.

Secret Crafts: Weaponologist
Locations: Darokin, Ethengar, Glantri, Ierendi, Karameikos, Minrothad, Northern Reaches, Rockhome, Shadowlands, Thyatis, Ylaruam
Races: Dwarf (Craftbound, Hillbound, Seabound, Shadowbound, Stonebound), Human (Thyatian)

Way of the Kensai

Source: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (xge34)

Monks of the Way of the Kensei train relentlessly with their weapons, to the point where the weapon becomes an extension of the body. Founded on a mastery of sword fighting, the tradition has expanded to include many different weapons.

A kensei sees a weapon in much the same way a calligrapher or painter regards a pen or brush. Whatever the weapon, the kensei views it as a tool used to express the beauty and precision of the martial arts. That such mastery makes a kensei a peerless warrior is but a side effect of intense devotion, practice, and study.

Secret Crafts: Weaponologist
Locations: Darokin, Glantri, Ierendi, Karameikos, Thyatis, Ylaruam
Races: Human (Thyatian)

Way of the Long Death

Source: Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide (swag130)

Monks of the Way of the Long Death are obsessed with the meaning and mechanics of dying. They capture creatures and prepare elaborate experiments to capture, record, and understand the moments of their demise. They then use this knowledge to guide their understanding of martial arts, yielding a deadly fighting style.

Secret Crafts: Bloodologist, Graveologist, Reanimatologist, Shadeologist
Locations: Darokin, Glantri, Karameikos, Thyatis
Races: Human (Nuari, Traladaran)

Way of the Open Hand

Source: Players Handbook (ph79)

Monks of the Way of the Open Hand are the legitimate masters of martial arts combat, whether armed or unarmed. They learn techniques to push and trip their opponents, manipulate ki to heal damage to their bodies, and practice advanced meditation that can protect them from harm.

Secret Crafts:
Locations: Darokin, Ethengar, Glantri, Ierendi, Minrothad, Thyatis, Ylaruam
Races: Human (Ethengarian, Hattian, Makai, Makistani)

Way of Shadow

Source: Players Handbook (ph80)

Monks of the Way of Shadow follow a tradition that values stealth and subterfuge. These monks might be called ninjas or shadow dancers. and they serve as spies and assassins. Sometimes the members of a ninja monastery are family members, forming a clan sworn to secrecy about their arts and missions. Other monasteries are more like thieves’ guilds, hiring out their services lo nobles, rich merchants, or anyone else who can pay their fees. Regardless of their methods, the heads of these monasteries expect the unquestioning obedience of their students.

Secret Crafts: Shadeologist
Locations: Shadowlands, Thyatis
Races: Dwarf (Shadowbound), Human (Nuari)

Way of the Sun Soul

Source: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (xge35), Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide (swag131)

Monks of the Way of the Sun Soul learn to channel their life energy into searing bolts of light. They teach that meditation can unlock the ability to unleash the indomitable light shed by the soul of every living creature.

Secret Crafts: Elvenologist

Design Changes

I have moved these aspects to the level updates and not the class updates.

(1st) Secret Craft (House Rule)

Starting at 1st level, you gain a secret craft based on the associated Secret Crafts listed with your selected Domain. At 4th/8th/12th/16th/20th you can increase one existing Secret Craft (linked to your known domains) one step or learn a new one. If you learn a new one, you select it from your crafts based on your known domains.

Each time you gain this class feature the maximum you can increase the secret craft too increases by one. These are at 4th (1st Circle), 8th (2nd Circle), 12th (3rd Circle), 16th (4th Circle) and 20th (5th Circle). This is part of your class level and more Secret Crafts can be learnt with Downtime activities.

(3rd) Weapons Mastery (House Rule)

Starting at 3rd level, you can increase your proficiency in one weapon every 3 class levels (6th, 9th, 12th, 15th and 18th). You still need to meet the level requirements to advance the weapons as normal. Learning these weapon proficiencies are part of gaining the class level, and further weapon proficiencies can be learned with downtime activities.

The advanced versions of weapon proficiencies and the required tiers: Skilled (Tier 1), Expert (Tier 2), Master (Tier 3), and Grand Master (Tier 4).

Character Build Shortcuts

  • Attributes – Monk – Level 01 (Starting)
    • 8 HP + Con Mod
    • Proficiencies:
      • Armour: None
      • Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity
      • Skills: Choose any three from Acrobatics, Athletics, History, Insight, Religion and Stealth.
      • Tools: One type of artisan tools or one musical instrument of your choice
      • Weapons Mastery: Gains proficiency with simple weapons and one martial weapons of your choice. (Standard: shortsword)
    • Equipment:
      • shortsword or any simple weapon
      • Dungeoneers pack or explorers pack
      • 10 darts
      • Leather armour and a dagger
    • Martial Arts (ph78) You have mastery over combat style that uses unarmed strikes and monk weapons (simple or melee weapons that don’t have the two handed or heavy property). While unarmed or using monk weapons you have the following benefits.
      • You can use Dex instead of Str for the attack and damage rolls of your attacks (unarmed and monk weapons only)
      • You can roll a d4 in place of the normal damage for the weapon, upgraded with your Weapons Mastery and with each character tier.
      • When you use the Attack action with unarmed strike or monk weapons on your turn, as a bonus action you can make an additional unarmed strike.
      • Your Weapons Mastery adds proficient for Base DC effects for Unarmed and Monk weapons.
    • Unarmoured Defence (ph78) While wearing no armour and not wielding a shield, your AC equals 10 + your Dex bonus + your Wis bonus.
  • Attributes – Monk – Level 02
    • 5 HP + Con Mod
    • Dedicated Weapon (Tashias) Whenever you finish a short or long rest, you can touch a monk weapon (simple or melee weapons that don’t have the two handed or heavy property), focusing your ki which treats the item as magical and an extension of yourself allowing it to do additional damage equal to your elemental attunements. If you are not proficient with that weapon you also gain proficiency, if you are proficient, then you gain one level of weapon mastery expertise (up to the character Tier cap) or +1 to hit if already at the maximum proficiency for your level.
    • Ki (ph78) Ki Pool 2 (equal to level). You recover spent Ki points when you finish a short of long rest.
      • Ki Save DC = 8 + prof + Wis
      • Flurry of Blows (1 ki) As a bonus action after you have made an attack action this turn, you can make two unarmed attacks.
      • Patient Defense (1 ki) As a bonus action you can take the effects of a Dodge action this turn.
      • Step of the Wind (1 ki) As a bonus action, you can take the effects of a Disengage or Dash action doubling your jump distance this turn.
    • Unarmoured Movement (ph78) Your speeds increases by 10ft while you are not wearing armour or wielding a shield.
  • Attributes – Monk – Level 03
    • 5 HP + Con Mod
    • Ki (ph78) Ki Pool +1
    • Deflect Missiles (ph78) As a reaction you can deflect or catch a ranged attack (not area effect). When you do so, the damage you take from the attack is reduced by 1d10+dex mod+monk level. If the damage is reduced to 0, you can catch the missile and redirect it with Ki (1 Ki) making a ranged attack with proficiency, and the missile counts as being a monk weapon for the attack.
    • Ki-Fueled Attack (Tashias) On a round in which you have already spent one or more ki points, you can make a unarmed or monk weapon attack as a bonus action. If using your Dedicated Weapon you gain advantage on this attack.
    • Monastic Traditions: A character selected a way of the monk to follow.
  • Attributes – Monk – Level 04
    • 5 HP + Con Mod
    • Ability Score Improvement (gain both) Abilities and Feat
    • Ki (ph78) Ki Pool +1
    • Quickened Healing (Tashias) As an action, you can spend 2 ki points and roll a Martial Arts die. You regain the number rolled plus your proficiency bonus.
    • Slow Fall (ph78) You can use your Reaction when you fall to reduce your damage taken by 5 x Monk Level.
  • Attributes – Monk – Level 05
    • 5 HP + Con Mod
    • Ki (ph78) Ki Pool +1
    • Extra Attack (ph79) When you take the Attack action, you can attack twice.
    • Focused Aim (Tashias) When you miss with an attack roll, you can spend 1 to 3 ki points to increase your attack roll by 2 for each point spent, potentially turning a miss into a hit.
    • Stunning Strike (ph79) When you hit another creatures with a Unarmed Strike or melee monk weapon, you can spend 1 Ki point to attempt a stunning strike. The target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or be stunned until the end of your next turn.
  • Attributes – Monk – Level 06
    • 5 HP + Con Mod
    • Ki (ph78) Ki Pool +1
    • Ki Empowered Strikes (ph79) Your unarmed strikes count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.
    • Martial Arts Upgrade (ph78) Damage dice increased to d6.
    • Tool Improvement – You choose one artisan tool or musical instrument and gain proficiency or you can increase one you already know to expertise.
    • Unarmoured Movement Upgrade (ph78) Movement increase by 5ft.
    • Monastic Traditions Upgrade: Gain the new feature of your tradition.
  • Attributes – Monk – Level 07
  • 5 HP + Con Mod
    • Ki (ph78) Ki Pool +1
    • Evasion (ph79) When subject to an damage effect with a Dexterity saving throw you only take half damage, and if successfully save no name.
    • Stillness of Mind (ph79) As an action you can end one effect on yourself that causes the charmed or frightened condition.
  • Attributes – Monk – Level 08
    • 5 HP + Con Mod
    • Ability Score Improvement (gain both) Abilities and Feat
    • Ki (ph78) Ki Pool +1
  • Attributes – Monk – Level 11
    • 5 HP + Con Mod
    • Ki (ph78) Ki Pool +1
    • Tool Improvement – You choose one artisan tool or musical instrument and gain proficiency or you can increase one you already know to expertise.
  • Attributes – Monk – Level 16
    • 5 HP + Con Mod
    • Ki (ph78) Ki Pool +1
    • Tool Improvement – You choose one artisan tool or musical instrument and gain proficiency or you can increase one you already know to expertise.

Design Details

These are options I had considered for level advancement.

(1st) Renown (House Rule)

Starting at 1st level, a character gains renown of their choice in the nation they train in when they gain a level equal to the class level gained. They also gain renown in their secret craft, and as a weapons master when they advance either weapons mastery or a secret craft using a class feature.

(6th) Tier Upgrade

At 6th/11th/16th your monk gains a Tier Upgrade. tba

Content Updates

  • 2021-10-29 – Added in Tashia’s Cauldron of Everything class options.
  • 2021-10-06 – Adding Character Build Shortcuts
  • 2021-08-22 – Moved Weapons Mastery and Secret Craft features to Character Level and not Class Level. Update to layout and menu.
Mystara 5E Classes

Overview, Downtime for Gaining Level

Artificer: Alchemist, Armourer, Artillerist, Battle Smith, Bombardier, Engineer, Stitcher

Barbarian: Amber’s Enlightened, Ancestors, Ancestral Guardian, Battlerager, Beast, Beast Slayer, Bearsarker, Berserker, Carcharodon, Dreadnought, Fractured, Fungal Hulk, Harrier, Herculean, Juggernaut, Primal Spirit, Primordial Predator, Rager, Storm Herald, Tempest, Totem Warrior, Ulfhander, Wild Magic, Wizard Slayer, Zealot

Bard: Adventurers, Ancients, Creation, Eloquence, Entropy, Epic Poetry, Fey Magic, Glamour, Grace, Greenleaf, the Jester, Lore, Loremaster, Minstrel, Mirthful Mariarchi, Mountebank, Requiems, Singer of the Deeps, Spirits, Swords, Troubadour, Valour, Virtue, Warchanter, Whispers, Wyrdsingers

Cleric: Aberrance, Alhool Keener, Air, Ambition, Apocalypse, Arcana, Balance, Beauty, Beer, Blood, Cats, Chaos, City, Clockwork, Corruption, Crafts, Creation, Darkness, Death, Dragon, Earth, Eldritch, Enigma, Fire, Force, Forge, Grave, Healer, Hunger, Hunt, Hunting, Inquisition, Justice, Knowledge, Labyrinth, Law, Life, Light, Luck, Lust, Madness, Messiah of Ashes, Moon, Mountain, Mushroom, Naraneus, Nature, Nobility, Oceans, Oracle, Order, Peace, Prophecy, Repose, Sharing, Sickness, Solidarity, Speed, Strength, Sun Priest, Tempest, Time, Travel, Trickery, Twilight, Tyranny, Undeath, Void, War, Warpriest, Water, Winter, Zeal

Druid: Ancestors, Blood, Dreams, Feyfriend, the Forest Kingdom, Guardian, the Land, the Moon, Mushrooms, Mutation, Oaks, Owls, Roses, Sacrifice, the Shapeless and Prime Terror, the Shepherd, Skinchanger, Spirits, Stars, the Stones, the Tree of Life, Treespeaker, Wildfire

Fighter: Arcane Archer, Banneret, Battle Master, Bladebonded, Blind Duelist, Boarder, Brute, Bulwark Warrior, Captain, Cavalier, Champion, Clacking Mercenary, Duelist, Echo Knight, Edjet, Eldritch Knight, Fortune’s Smith, Gholaad’s Translation, Ghost Knight, Gladiator, Griffon Knight, Hoplite Soldier, Hospitaller, Knight, Knight Surgeon, Living Crucible, Living Vampire, Prescient Knight, Psi Warrior, Rune Knight, Samurai, Sapper, Sharpshooter, Shield Bearer, Smithkin, Sword Dancer, Thug, Weapons Master, Woodlands Cavalier

Marshal: Crusader, Gambling General, Guerrilla, Kingpin, Mindbender, Noble, Path (Master, Night, Reaper), Rallier, Reaver, Redeemer, Revolutionary, Strategist, Swift Strategist, Tactician, Talented Tactician, Tyrant, Warbringer

Monk: the Ascendant Dragon, the Astral Self, the Bo’faquan, the Crystal Cannonade, Brawler, the Cobalt Soul, the Drunken Master, the Elements, the Exalted Athlete, Iron, the Kensai, the Leaden Crown, the Long Death, Mercy, the Open Hand, Pain, Pride, Reaving Vortex, Shadow, the Shield, the Sun Soul, the Warrior Monk

Paladin: the Ancients, the Annihilator, the Ascetic, Battle, Conquest, the Crown, Despair, Destruction, Devotion, the Dragonlord, the Eagle, Elimination, the Errant, the Giving Grave, Glory, Green Knight, Holy Champion, Inquisitor, Mercy, Pearl, Pestilence, Perfection, the Radiance, the Raven, Redemption, Spear Maiden, Thunder, Vengeance, the Watchers, Zeal. SpecialOathbreaker

Ranger: Beast Master, Explorer, Fey Hunter, Fey Wanderer, Gloom Stalker, Green Reaper, Hidden Guardian, Horizon Walker, Horse Nomad, Hoyrall Shredder, Hunter, Monster Slayer, Netherworld, Explorer, Privateer, Swarmkeeper, Underminer, Unicorn Charger, Urban Shadow, Vampire Slayer, Vermin Lord, Warden, Wildborn, Zobecker Scout

Rogue: Arcane Trickster, Assassin, Burglar, Cutthroat, Duelist, Fixer, Highway Rider, Hitman, Infernal Talismancer, Inquisitive, Investigator, Mastermind, Misfortune Bringer, Odyssean, Phantom, Poisoner of Minds, Scout, Soulknife, Spy, Svirf Scientist, Swashbuckler, Thief, Trapsmith, Whisper

Scholar: Alchemy, Mind-Delving

Sorcerer: Aberrant Mind, Aristocratic, Ascendant, Bloodlines (Boreal, Draconic, Dryad, Enigma, Lycanthrope, Mazeborn, Nerid, Norn, Nymph, Satyr, Serophage, Shadow, Wretched), Clockwork Soul, Cunning Woman, Divine Inspiration, Divine Soul,, Draconist Elemental Essence, Facets (Flawless Caster, Gemblade), Farseer, Haunted, Psychic Magic, Pyromancer, Runechild, Shadow Magic, Soul Burner, Spore-cerer, Storm Sorcery, Traveler, Wild Magic

Underterror: Hel Savant, Slaver of the Damned, Underworld Monstrocity

Warlock: Alienist, Archfey, Archfiend, Black Woods, Celestial, Colloid, Diabolist, Fates, Fathomless, Fiend, First Vampire, Fragment Channeler of Zagnexis, Frozen One, the Genie, Genie Lord, Grand Void, Great Machine, Great Old One, Hexblade, Light Eater, Oracle, Parasite, Primeval One, Sargasso Siren, Sibyl, Spellbound, Undead, Undying, Voices of the Ancestors

Wizard: Academy Philosopher, Alkemancer, Angelic Scribe, Aquanaught, Arcane Specialist, Arcanist, Bladesinger, Blood Mage, Castellan, Chronury Magic, Demonologist, Disenchanter, Doom Croaker, Dragon Masks, Elementalist, Entropist, Geomancy, Graviturgy Magic, Illuminator, Mage, Master of Fiends, Mystifier, Necrophagy, Order of Scribes, Plague Doctor, Ring Warden, Rune Caller, Sangromancer, Schools (Abjuration, Artifice, Blood Magic, Clockwork, Conjuration, Divination, Elven High Magic, Enchantment, Entropy, Evocation, Illumination, Illusion, Necromancy, Pyromancer, Transmutation, Void Magic), Ship Mage, Timekeeper, Transgnomamist, War Mage, White Necromancer

D&D 5E in Mystara

D&D MenuAdventures, Artefacts, Backgrounds, Classes, Dominions, Downtime, Feats, Gazetteers, Gods, Magical Items, Monsters, Organisations, Pantheons, Races, Ranks & Titles, Rune Magic, Secret Crafts, Settlements, Spells, Timeline, Weapons Mastery

WRATH: Campaign, Design

Game ManagementAnnotated Stat Block, Character Creation, Choosing a New Campaign, Gaming over Skype, GM’s Luck Roll, Tracking Experience

Class Builds
Artificer – Bombardier (Tinkerkin),
Barbarian – Totem Warrior (Plamin, Camdu),
Bard – College of Valour (Sunfey),
Druid – Circle of Dreams (Woodfey), Circle of the Tree of Life (Seasonfey),
Fighter – Battlemaster (Seashire), Eldritch Knight (Kerendan), Weapons Master (Lani), Weapons Master (Stonebound),
Monk – Way of the Elements (Tidal),
Paladin – Oath of Radiance (Sunfey), Oath of Vengeance (Firechild),
Sorcerer – Wild Magic (Shadowfey),
Warlock – Celestial (Llewell),
Wizard – Bladesinger (Nerye),
Dragon – White (Calcryx).
Multiclass – Cleric/Wizard (Xhall), Rogue/Cleric (Dracnomir), Rogue/Sorcerer (Yodrey), Wizard/Rogue (Traladaran)


Session RecordingsCampaign Journals

Library of Books

B5, d20 System, Pathfinder, SW

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By thedarkelf007

I am a long term gamer, I run 6 RPG's a fortnight, host board game, card game and LANs each about once a quarter and have an addiction to buying more games. Games I am currently running are Pathfinder (1st and 2nd Edition) and Dungeons and Dragons (5th Edition).

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