Monastic Tradition: Way of the Inner Self
Monks who study the Way of the Inner Self are masters of their own minds. These monks harness emotion to build, fight, or overcome their obstacles.
The Way of the Inner Self values personal emotion above all else. It sees beauty and value in every emotion and seeks balance between them all. Monks of this path will spend weeks experiencing sadness or fear in order to truly understand their depths and further their mastery of their own feelings, for all emotion is valuable.
At 3rd level when you choose this tradition, you become a master of your own emotions. You are always in control of your emotions and can choose what emotion you feel at any given time. This is never a performance, you truly experience and feel each one, but you are always in control of what that emotion is and when it ends.
When you focus upon one of your emotions, you can empower your ki with it to perform impressive feats. You have four major emotional tones: Anger, Fear, Joy and Sadness, each of which grants you one of the following effects:
- Anger. You gain a + 1 bonus to melee attack rolls.
- Fear. When you are hit by a melee attack, you can use your reaction to move up to 10 feet in any direction, ignoring attacks of opportunity.
- Joy. You have advantage on saves made to resist all fear effects.
- Sadness. You have advantage on saves made to resist all charm effects.
Each benefit is only active when you are feeling its emotion, and ends when you change to another. You can change emotions as a bonus action on your turn, and can also choose to balance your emotions equally, canceling all emotional benefits.
Your emotions are strong, and with the help of your meditative focus and superior ki, you can spread your emotions through the air itself. At 3rd level when you choose this tradition you gain the ability to temporarily emanate an aura of emotion that matches yours.
As an action on your turn, you can spend 2 ki points to extend the benefits of your Inner Control feature to your allies for up to 1 minute. The effect is applied to all allies within 10 feet of you for the duration, or until the ability is canceled as a bonus action. This ability must be concentrated on as if it was a spell for the full duration.
The range of this aura increases by 5 feet when you reach 6th, 11th, and 17th level.
By 6th level, the strength of your emotional ki has granted you the ability to see strong emotions in others as bright auras of differing colors. Red for anger, green for fear, yellow for Joy, and blue for sadness, with mixtures of these colors for all things in between.
Normally, you can only see the aura of a single humanoid creature within 30 feet of you when you focus on them. If you spend 2 ki points to concentrate on this ability as if it were a spell, you can see all creatures auras within 30 feet of you. You have advantage on insight checks made against a creature whose aura you can see, and you can see that creature even while it is invisible. Creatures fully obscured by objects or obstacles are not revealed by this feature.
This ability is ineffective against creatures under any effect that would hide their thoughts or actions from divination magic, such as a mind blank spell.
Roleplaying as an Inner Self Monk
The Monk of the Inner Self is one who is deeply in tune with their own emotions and sense of being. They are one who relishes the chance to be truly sad or angry as much as they do that to be happy. This non-standard appreciation for emotions as a way to experience themselves and their lives is what makes the Way of the Inner Self what it is, and should be considered its primary attribute.
While the abilities for each emotion can be used as simple combat statistics or abilities, they each hold roleplaying potential. It is encouraged for a player to play out each switch of emotions in a scene, and understand why a monk would switch emotions in that scenario beyond the fact that it would grant them a specific ability.
That said however, a player should understand and choose their own playstyle, similarly to how a monk should understand and choose their emotions.
Roleplaying With an Inner Self Monk
Roleplaying characters in proximity to a monk of the Inner Self can sometimes include being affected by an emotion-altering effect, such as the Infectious Emotion feature. This ability is left vague on its effects so that the table can judge how they wish to play the effect. If the other players agree, then the effect can cause each character to experience an extreme emotion in their own way. If players deem it too cumbersome, or feel it undermines their character, they can choose to simply receive the mechanical benefits without roleplaying the emotion. Players should not feel forced to act a certain way by another player, so be wary of this when playing with a monk of the Inner Self.
Touch of the Inner Self
At 11th level, You begin to learn certain techniques that allow you to channel your ki through your fists. These techniques in combination with certain pressure points allow you to affect your target's emotions, albeit in a minor way. This When you make an unarmed attack against a creature, you can spend 3 ki points to trigger certain fleeting emotions in them. The affected creature must make a Charisma saving throw with a DC equal to 8 + your Wisdom modifier + your proficiency bonus. On a failed save, the creature suffers one of the following effects:
- Anger. You provoke anger in the creature while pointing its attention towards a target within 30 feet of it. The creature enters a blind rage, using its next turn to attempt to make at least one melee attack against that creature. All attack rolls it makes on this turn have disadvantage.
- Fear. You provoke fear in the creature, causing it to become weak-willed. The creature becomes frightened of you until the beginning of your next turn and must use its next turn to move as far as it can away from you.
- Joy. You provoke joy in the creature, causing it to drop its guard momentarily. All attack rolls made to hit this creature have advantage until the beginning of your next turn.
- Sadness. You provoke sadness in the creature, causing it to be debilitated. On its turn, it can use either an action or a bonus action, not both. Regardless of the creature’s abilities or magic items, it can’t make more than one melee or ranged attack during its turn. If the creature attempts to cast a spell with a casting time of 1 action, roll a d20. On an 11 or higher, the spell doesn't take effect until the creature’s next turn, and the creature must use its action on that turn to complete the spell. If it can’t, the spell is wasted.
By 17th level, your power over emotions has grown so strong that you can significantly alter those of another being. After touching the creature for 1 uninterrupted minute, focusing on this ability the entire time, the creature must make a Charisma saving throw with a DC equal to 8 + your Wisdom modifier + your proficiency bonus. Unconscious creatures have disadvantage on this saving throw, and willing creatures can choose to fail it intentionally. On a failed save the target is affected by one of the following conditions:
- Charm. The creature is charmed by you and regards you as a close personal friend to be listened to and protected.
- Emotion Lock. The creature experiences a specific emotion and that emotion only for the duration.
- Targeted Hate. The creature is made to feel an intense hatred for a specific creature it has some knowledge of, such as knowing its name, appearance, or reputation.
- Sleep. The creature is magically forced into a deep sleep for the duration.
The effect lasts for up to 8 hours but can be made to expire after a shorter time. The effect also ends if the target falls to 0 hit points, or if it is canceled early by touching the target as an action and focusing on the effect.
A creature affected by this feature knows it was influenced when the effect ends, and makes its next save to resist this effect with advantage
Way of the Inner Self v0.5
The primary goal of this version of the Inner Self Monk is to gain feedback on the balance, flavor, and variety of the subclass.
This subclass came from one of those simple random thoughts that crept into my mind one day. I wrote it down for later and eventually came back to it, resulting in this subclass!
My first thought was something along the lines of a Jedi, who must control their emotions, lest they become like Kylo Ren, then that idea became a character who has so much control over their emotions that they can always choose what to feel. Finally this blossomed into the subclass here, where that character uses their powerful emotional control to influence themselves and others.
This subclass practically wrote itself for me, so it was quite an enjoyable ride. I hope you like it too!
My Other Works:
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- Spell Rarity System
- Tiefling Subraces for the Lords of the Nine
- Siren and Rusalka monsters
- Thediem, Master of Everything
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- Naeris, The Mythic Dragon Monster
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