All About The Monk Class

The Monk is an unusual choice of character which first turned up in D&D during the Oriental Adventures settings.  It was liked so much that it then made a full appearance and it’s survived the test of time.  They channel ‘energy’ through their bodies is the best way of explaining how they do such unusual things, but they can!  They can do some really unusual stuff and they hit hard enough to make any DM wince!

Martial Arts experts capable of causing some real damage and surviving a lot they are a bit of a hard one to balance for a DM and player alike.  This said, when using your Ki ability you can kick off a lot of great fun.

Class Mechanics

Hit Points – you get 1D8 per level, which is respectable, but keep in mind you are a melee character so you want to pick your fights wisely.  Use that Monk wisdom and don’t get careless.

Armour – None, but don’t panic, you have abilities to help this.

Weapons – Simple and Shortswords but you don’t really need them.

Class Features

Martial Arts are your thing and you can do some great stuff with them.  Using your Dex instead of Str to hit and for damage is a nice little thing.  It gives you one stat to boost.  Your punches do 1D4 damage per hit, which is nice.  This goes up and scales fairly well.

From your Ki you can do all kinds of defensive or offensive work.  There are some nice thing here as well, Flurry of Blows being good for a free bonus action among others.

Here we don’t want to list stuff just from the Players Handbook but there is plenty to enjoy now.  The Monk is a good and very useful character but living up to the lifestyle could be a hard but rewarding role playing element.

Monastic Tradition

At level 3 you pick a temple or tradition.  The Way of the Open Hand, The Way of the Shadow or the Way of the Four Elements are your main choices.

Way of the Open Hand – possibly the best of the options here.  A bit of healing, a bit more attacking and you are set.  A nice Quivering Palm technique also has some fun in it as well.

Way of Shadow – Stealth on a empty hand ninja, yes this is the I want to play a ninja theme.  Shadow Step lets you get around the battle and deliver some nice attacks.  Also, Opportunist is nice also.  Take some Rogue levels here as well and Sneak Attack opens up more fun.

Way of the Four Elements – You can quickly get through your Ki points with this Tradition.  This said, you can do some area effect damage and some cool flight stuff as well.  It seems a bit, The Last Airbender for me though.


When you look in the Players Handbook you will find out there is a lot of feats to choose from.  The Monk will benefit from Lucky and Alert which is worth doing, also Observant for the weird Monk lip reading and other stuff.

To get the very best out of a Monk though consider Multiclassing.