Alternate Monk

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Alternate Monk

The Monk

The man took a deep breath
and calmed his Ki as the ogre
ran toward him. Thinking back
to his training, he prepared to
counter the incoming blow. As
the club struck the dirt where
he had been moments before, the
warrior drew channeled spiritual
power and let fly a flurry of blows on
the beast. Before the ogre knew what
had happened, it lay flat in the mud.

Moving silently through the darkness
of a moonless night, the hobgoblin assassins
approached the enemy general's tent. Trained
in Martial Arts from birth, the warriors slew the
enemy guards without a sound. As the general rose
from sleep, his eyes widened as his foes appeared
from the darkness itself. He tried to call for help, but
no sound came from his mouth as his life was snuffed
out by the assassins. As quietly as they had arrived, the
hobgoblin assassins disappeared into the night.

The Grand Master stepped forward to block the pass. As her students fled into the mountains, she studied the horde of goblins that would soon be upon her. Though she was one of the most powerful masters of the Way of the Wu Jen, even in her prime she could not hope to defeat half this many foes. She dropped her cloak from her shoulders, and her tattoos glistened with elemental magic as she gathered up her Ki to bring the mountain itself down upon her and the pass.

All three of the warriors described above are considered Monks, spiritual masters of body and soul, who channel the mystical Ki to fuel wondrous feats of martial skill.

Masters of Body, Mind, & Spirit

While most warriors work toward physical perfection, Monks hone body and mind to work in tandem. With both aspects of themselves mastered, a Monk is able to channel the spiritual energy within themselves, their Ki. Drawing upon this power, these reclusive warriors can perform supernatural feats.

Looking always inward, Monks often eschew any material possession they cannot carry on their backs, instead focusing on immaterial riches. Whether enlightenment, happiness, a challenging foe, or tests of might, all Monks have an ideal or goal that propels them to greater heights of spiritual mastery.

Mystic Asceticism

Often trained in hidden monasteries or by reclusive masters, Monks must often give up any inheritance or titles in order to be accepted as monastic students. Some grandmasters even require years of servitude and dedication to the monastery before they will even begin to train a new pupil. Once begun, a Monk's training does not stop until they die. They put all of their heart, mind, and soul into their quest for a perfect self.

Even the greatest monastic masters will sometimes seek out other monasteries, entering as a novice, even in old age. The quest for perfection is never ending, and despite great spiritual progress, the greatest view themselves as novices,
    eager to progress on the next step to enlightenment.

Creating
Your Monk

When creating your Monk, there are a few things you should consider. Firstly, who (or what) first taught you in the ways of martial arts? Were you the final apprentice of a grand master, spending years at his side learning all you could? Were you trained as part of an elite military unit that had total mastery of body, mind, and soul? Or, were you a self-taught warrior who found spiritual enlightenment in the solitude of nature?

Secondly, you should consider what has motivated you to master yourself, and what you have sacrificed in pursuit of your skills. Are you the scion of a fallen noble house who has given up everything to train for your revenge? Were you an orphan, left at the feet of a martial arts master by a family that you never knew? Or, did an event in your life motivate you to pursue absolute mastery over body, mind, and soul?

Multiclassing and the Monk

If your group uses the optional multiclassing rule, here is what you need to know should you choose to take your first level in the Monk class.

Ability Score Minimum. As a multiclass character, you must have at least a 13 in both Dexterity and Wisdom to take a level in this class, or to take a level in another class if you are already a Monk.

Proficiencies. If Monk isn't your initial class, here are the proficiencies you gain when you take your first level as a Monk: simple weapons, shortswords.

Ki Points. If you have a feature from another class that allows you to learn and use Techniques, you can use your Ki Points to use the Techniques you gained through that feature, and you can use Ki Points from that feature to use Monk Techniques.

The Monk
Level      PB      Features     Martial    
Arts
    Unarmored    
Movement
Techniques
Known
1st +2 Martial Arts, Unarmored Defense 1d6
2nd +2 Ki, Flurry of Blows, Unarmored Movement 1d6 +10 ft. 3
3rd +2 Monastic Tradition 1d6 +10 ft. 3
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement 1d6 +10 ft. 3
5th +3 Extra Attack 1d8 +10 ft. 4
6th +3 Enlightened Fist, Tradition Feature 1d8 +15 ft. 4
7th +3 Evasion 1d8 +15 ft. 5
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 1d8 +15 ft. 5
9th +4 Spirit of Tranquility 1d8 +15 ft. 6
10th +4 Tradition Feature 1d8 +20 ft. 6
11th +4 Ki Adept 1d10 +20 ft. 7
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 1d10 +20 ft. 7
13th +5 Purity of Body 1d10 +20 ft. 8
14th +5 Purity of Mind 1d10 +25 ft. 8
15th +5 Timeless Body 1d10 +25 ft. 9
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 1d10 +25 ft. 9
17th +6 Tradition Feature 1d12 +25 ft. 9
18th +6 1d12 +30 ft. 10
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 1d12 +30 ft. 10
20th +6 Purity of Spirit 1d12 +30 ft. 10

Class Features

Hit Points


  • Hit Dice: 1d10 per Monk level
  • Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + your Constitution modifier.
  • Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per Monk level after 1st

Proficiencies


  • Armor: None
  • Weapons: Simple weapons, shortswords
  • Tools: One set of artisan's tools or a musical instrument

  • Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity
  • Skills: Choose two of the following: Acrobatics, Athletics, History, Insight, Nature, Religion, and Stealth

Equipment

As a Monk, you start with the following equipment:

  • (a) a shortsword or (b) any simple weapon
  • (a) a shortbow and 20 arrows or (b) 20 darts
  • (a) a dungeoneer’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
  • (a) a holy symbol or (b) a musical instrument

Quick Build

You can make a Monk quickly by using these suggestions. First, make Dexterity your highest ability score, followed by your Constitution if you wish to focus on physical might, or your Wisdom if you wish to focus on spiritual enlightenment.
   Second, choose either the Acolyte or Hermit background.

Martial Arts

You honed your body into a weapon, mastering many styles of martial arts. For the purposes of your Monk abilities, Martial Arts attacks are unarmed strikes, and any attacks with melee weapons that lack heavy or special properties.

Starting at 1st level, so long as you are not wearing heavy armor, wielding a shield, or wielding a heavy weapon, your Martial Arts attacks gain the benefits listed below:

  • You can use your Dexterity, in place of Strength, for the attack and damage rolls or your Martial Arts attacks.
  • You can make a Dexterity (Athletics) check to grapple or shove in place of the normal Strength (Athletics) check.
  • You can roll your Martial Arts die in place of the normal damage of a Martial Arts attack. This die starts out as a
    d6 and changes as you gain Monk levels, as indicated in the Martial Arts column of the Monk table above.
  • When you take the Attack action on your turn and make a Martial Arts attack, you can use your bonus action on that same turn to make a single unarmed strike attack.

Some styles of Martial Arts make use of exotic weapons like nunchaku (clubs), kamas (sickles), or sai (daggers).

Unarmored Defense

You have trained to defend yourself from deadly strikes even when unarmored. Beginning at 1st level, so long as you aren't wearing armor and not wielding a shield, your Armor Class equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Wisdom modifier.

Ki

At 2nd level, you learn to manipulate the spiritual energy that resides within you, known as Ki. You can draw on your Ki to perform supernatural physical feats known as Techniques.

Ki Points

Your inner reserve of Ki is represented by a pool of Ki Points. This pool has a total number of Ki Points equal to your Monk level + your Wisdom modifier. You regain expended Ki Points when you finish a short or long rest, so long as you spent at least 30 minutes of that rest in spiritual meditation.

Techniques Known

At 2nd level, you learn three Techniques of your choice from the list at the end of this class description. You can only use one Technique per each attack, ability check, or saving throw.

The Monk table shows when you learn more Techniques of your choice. When you gain a Monk level, you can replace one Technique you know with another Technique of your choice.

Saving Throws

Techniques rely on your mastery of body and spirit, and grow in proportion to your self-control. When a Technique requires a saving throw, its saving throw DC is calculated as follows:

Technique save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus
+ your Wisdom modifier

Flurry of Blows

You can draw on your spiritual power to strike with blinding speed. Starting at 2nd level, when you take the Attack action and make a Martial Arts attack, you can spend 1 Ki Point to
    make two unarmed strikes as a bonus action on that turn.

Unarmored Movement

Your pursuit of physical perfection has awakened the hidden potential of your body. At 2nd level, your speed increases by 10 feet so long as you are not wearing armor or a shield.

This speed bonus increases as you gain levels, as indicated in the Unarmored Movement column of the Monk table.

Monastic Tradition

At 3rd level, choose one of the following Monastic Traditions that best represents your training and philosophy as a Monk: the Way of the Open Hand, Shadow Arts, or Wu Jen.

At the end of this class are Traditions inspired by official Monk options: the Ways of the Astral Warrior, Drunken Fist, Radiance, Reaper, Rising Dragon, Wuxia, and Yin & Yang.

The Monastic Tradition you choose grants you features at 3rd level, and again when you reach 6th, 10th, and 17th level.

Signature Techniques

Each Monastic Tradition has a list of Signature Techniques that you learn at the Monk levels as noted in your Tradition's description. These Techniques don't count against your total number of Techniques Known and they cannot be replaced with other Techniques when you gain a level in this class.

Even More Options!

Check out the Alternate Monk: Expanded for nine additional Monastic Traditions, including the Way of the Boulder, Ferocity, Hurricane, and Vigilante!

Ability Score Improvement

At 4th level, and again when you reach 8th, 12th, 16th,
and 19th level, you can increase one ability score by 2,
or two ability scores by 1. As normal, you can't increase
one of your ability scores above 20 using this feature.

Extra Attack

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead
of once, when you take the Attack action on your turn.

Enlightened Fist

Your spirit empowers your strikes. Starting at
6th level, your unarmed strikes count as magical
for the purposes of overcoming resistances and
immunities to non-magical attacks and damage.

Evasion

Starting at 7th level, your instinctive agility
lets you dodge out of the way of certain area
effects, such as a black dragon's acid breath or
a lightning bolt spell. When you are subjected to an effect
that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take
only half damage, you take no damage if you succeed on
the saving throw, and only half damage if you fail.

Spirit of Tranquility

Beginning at 9th level, you can draw upon your spiritual
vitality to bolster your physical and mental defenses. When you are forced to make a saving throw, you can spend 1 Ki Point to add your Wisdom modifier to the result of your roll.

Ki Adept

You have mastered favored Ki Techniques. Starting at 11th level, once on your turn, you can use a Technique you know that costs 1 Ki Point, or Flurry of Blows without spending Ki.

Purity of Body

Your mastery over your body protects you from ailments. At 13th level, you gain proficiency in Constitution saving throws, and immunity to all disease and to the poisoned condition.

Purity of Mind

Starting at 14th level, if you are charmed or frightened when you start your turn, you can spend 1 Ki Point to instantly end either the charmed or frightened condition for yourself.

Timeless Body

You have completely detached yourself from all desires of the flesh. Beginning at 15th level, you no longer require food or water and you suffer none of the frailty of old age. Also, for every 10 years that pass your physical body only ages 1 year

Purity of Spirit

You have gained such mastery over your spirit that you can meditate even while performing other simple actions. At 20th level, if you spend 10 minutes meditating or performing only light activities, such as traveling, eating, talking, or exploring,
    you regain all of your expended Ki Points.

A Goliath Monk
channels his Ki into
his deadly fists!

Monastic Traditions

Choose the Monastic Tradition that best represents the skills, philosophy, and training of your Monk: the Way of the Open Hand, Way of the Shadow Arts, or Way of the Wu Jen.

Way of the Open Hand

While all Monks are warriors, the disciples of the Open Hand train relentlessly, honing their body itself into a weapon. They don't neglect their spiritual training but pride themselves on their skill with martial arts, and it is exceedingly rare to see an Open Hand Monk using a weapon other than their fists.

Open Hand Techniques

3rd-level Way of the Open Hand feature
You learn certain Techniques at the Monk levels noted in the table below, but they do not count against your total number of Techniques Known. Moreover, each time you gain a Monk level, you can replace one strike Technique you learned from this feature with another strike Technique of your choice.

Monk Level Technique
3rd empowered strike
5th stunning strike
9th indomitable spirit

Practiced Strikes

3rd-level Way of the Open Hand feature
Your discipline has made strikes second nature to you. Once per turn when you hit with an unarmed strike, you can use a strike Technique you know without spending a Ki Point.

You can use your strike Techniques in this way a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of once), and you regain all expended uses each time you finish a long rest.

Ebb and Flow

6th-level Way of the Open Hand feature
You have trained to redirect your enemy's momentum against them. When a creature you can see misses you with a melee attack, you can use one of the following reactions:

  • You force it to make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, it is knocked prone and has its speed reduced to 0 until the end of its turn. Any creature that is at least one size larger than you has advantage on its saving throw.
  • You can make one unarmed strike against the creature.

Open Hand Strike

10th-level Way of the Open Hand feature
Your fists strike with such force as to disrupt the flow of your foe's Ki. When you score a critical hit with an unarmed strike, the creature has disadvantage on any saving throw that you force it to make as part of that unarmed strike attack.

Master of Many Forms

10th-level Way of the Open Hand feature
You are able to master new Techniques with ease.
During the course of a long rest, you can spend 10
minutes practicing your martial arts forms and
replace a Technique you currently know with
another Technique of your choice for which
     you meet the prerequisites.

Master of the Open Hand

17th-level Way of the Open Hand feature
You have become an unparalleled master of unarmed martial arts and are able to strike with both overwhelming power and wondrous speed. You gain the benefits listed below:

  • Whenever you use Flurry of Blows you can make three unarmed strikes instead of the normal two.
  • When you make an opportunity attack against a creature, you can make two unarmed strikes in place of that attack.
  • When you use Ebb and Flow to make an unarmed strike against a creature, you can make two unarmed strikes.

Way of the Shadow Arts

While most traditional martial artists value honorable tactics and combat styles, disciples of the Shadow Arts exploit every weakness, no matter how dishonorable. Assassins, spies, and infiltrators, Shadow Monks twist darkness to their advantage and will only strike when their success is absolutely assured.

Eyes of Night

3rd-level Way of the Shadow Arts feature
You gain darkvision out to a radius of 60 feet. If you already have darkvision, its range increases by 30 feet.

In addition, you have advantage on any Dexterity (Stealth)
      checks you make while you are in dim light or darkness.

              Shadow Arts

                     3rd-level Way of the Shadow Arts feature
                          You can channel your Ki to cast the following
                                spells: darkness, darkvision, pass without
                               trace, or silence. You can see through the
                             magical darkness produced by your spells.

                                 You can cast each spell once, and you
                         regain the ability to cast them when you finish
                        a long rest. If you have no uses of a spell left,
                          you can spend 2 Ki Points to cast it again.

A Shadow Monk
prepares to strike!

Shadow Techniques

3rd-level Way of the Shadow Arts feature
You learn certain Techniques at the levels noted in the table below. They don't count against your number of Techniques Known and they cannot be switched upon gaining a level.

Monk Level Technique
3rd slow fall
5th gentling touch
9th heavenly step

Shadow Step

6th-level Way of the Shadow Arts feature
You move undetected through the darkness, and can step from one shadow into another. When you are in dim light or darkness, you can use a bonus action to teleport up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space you can see that is also in dim light or darkness. After teleporting, you have advantage on the first Martial Arts attack you make before the end of that turn.

Cloak of Shadows

10th-level Way of the Shadow Arts feature
You can cloak yourself with Ki and merge with the shadows. When you are in dim light or darkness, you can use an action to become invisible, and you remain invisible until you attack, cast a spell, or move into an area of bright light.

Also, when a creature moves into your reach while you are invisible, you can use your reaction to make an opportunity attack. Finally, opportunity attacks only end your invisibility if
    you hit the target. If the attack misses, you remain invisible.

Master of Shadows

17th-level Way of the Shadow Arts feature
You are an unrivaled master of the Shadow Arts, and have unlocked dark Ki powers which mark you as a true Master
of the Shadows. You gain the benefits listed below:

  • You can cast your Shadow Arts spells at will.
  • The range of your Shadow Step increases to 120 feet.
  • You can use your Cloak of Shadows as a bonus action.
  • You can cast both greater invisibility or shadow of moil without expending a spell slot or material components. You can cast each spell once, and you regain the ability to cast them when you finish a long rest. If you have no uses of a spell left, you can spend 4 Ki Points to cast it again.

Way of the Wu Jen

Rather than focus inward, some Monks attune themselves to the forces of nature. Known as Wu Jens, these primal sages augment their skills with the power of the five elements; Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Wood. Through meditation, they can learn to channel their Ki into displays of elemental power.

Disciple of the Elements

3rd-level Way of the Wu Jen feature
You learn ancient monastic arts that allow you to cast spells.

Cantrips. You learn two cantrips of your choice from the Wu Jen spell list at the end of this Tradition description. You learn one additional Wu Jen cantrip at 10th and 17th level.

Spell Slots. The Wu Jen Spellcasting table shows how many spell slots you have, and the level of those slots. All of your spell slots are the same level. To cast a Wu Jen spell of 1st-level or higher, you must expend a spell slot. You use the spell's casting time and other rules, but your body becomes the spellcasting focus for these spells, and you don't need to provide any material components. You regain all expended Wu Jen spell slots when you finish a short or long rest.

For example, at 7th level, you have two 2nd-level spell slots. To cast the 1st-level spell burning hands, you must spend one of these Wu Jen spell slots, and you cast it as a 2nd-level spell.

Ki Casting. You can draw upon your Ki to regain your elemental powers. As a bonus action on your turn, you can expend a number of Ki Points equal to 1 + your Slot Level
to regain one of your expended Wu Jen spell slots.

Spells Known of 1st-Level and Higher. You learn two
1st-level spells of your choice from the Wu Jen spell list at the end of this Tradition. The Spells Known column of the Wu Jen Spellcasting table shows when you learn more Wu Jen spells. A spell you choose must be of a level no higher than what's shown in the table's Slot Level column for your level.

Whenever you gain a Monk level, you can choose one Wu Jen spell you know and replace it with another spell of your choice from the Wu Jen spell list, which must be of a level for which you have spell slots on the Wu Jen Spellcasting table.

Spellcasting Ability. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for your Wu Jen spells, so you use your Wisdom whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability, when setting a saving throw DC, and when making a spell attack roll.

Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus
+ your Wisdom modifier

Spell attack modifier = your proficiency bonus
+ your Wisdom modifier

Fist of
the Five Ways

6th-level Way of the Wu Jen feature
You can infuse your fists with the power of the five elements. Whenever you make an unarmed strike, you can choose for it to deal bludgeoning, cold, fire, poison, or thunder damage.

In addition, when you empower an unarmed strike in this way, your reach with that unarmed strike increases by 5 feet.

Finally, when you use your action to cast a Wu Jen spell, you can make one unarmed strike attack as a bonus action.

Spiritual Flow

10th-level Way of the Wu Jen feature
You weave your martial arts with spiritual magic. When you cast a Wu Jen spell with a casting time of 1 action, you can expend 2 Ki Points to cast it as a bonus action instead.

Master of the Elements

17th-level Way of the Wu Jen feature
As an action, you can draw all five elements into yourself to take on an Elemental Form, gaining the following benefits:

  • You gain a flying speed equal to your walking speed.
  • You resist bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.
  • Critical hits against you become normal hits.
  • Opportunity attacks against you have disadvantage.
  • You can gain temporary hit points equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of 1) at the start of each of your turns.

Your Elemental Form lasts for 1 minute, but it ends early
if you are incapacitated or use a bonus action to end it. Once you use this feature you must finish a long rest before you can use it again. When you have no uses remaining, you can
    expend 6 Ki Points to take on your Elemental Form again.

Wu Jen Spellcasting
Monk Level Spells Known Spell Slots Slot Level
3rd 2 1 1st
4th 2 2 1st
5th 3 2 1st
6th 3 2 1st
7th 4 2 2nd
8th 4 2 2nd
9th 5 2 2nd
10th 5 2 2nd
11th 5 2 2nd
12th 5 2 2nd
13th 6 2 3rd
14th 6 2 3rd
15th 6 2 3rd
16th 6 2 3rd
17th 7 2 3rd
18th 7 2 3rd
19th 7 2 4th
20th 7 2 4th

Wu Jen Spell List

Here's the list of spells you consult when you learn a Wu Jen spell. Spells are organized by spell level, not character level. The spells below are from the Player's Handbook, Xanathar's Guide to Everything*, and Tasha's Cauldron of Everything**.

Cantrips (0-Level)

blade ward
control flames*
create bonfire*
druidcraft
frostbite
gust
light
magic stone*
mold earth*
produce flame
ray of frost
shape water
thorn whip
thunderclap*

1st-Level

absorb elements
armor of agathys
burning hands
create or destroy water
earth tremor*
ensnaring strike
entangle
fog cloud
frost fingers**
hail of thorns
hellish rebuke
ice knife*
sanctuary
thunderwave
witch bolt

2nd-Level

barkskin
continual flame
dust devil*
earthbind*
earthen grasp*
flame blade
flaming sphere
gust of wind

hold person
levitate
misty step
scorching ray
shatter
snowball swarm*
spike growth
warding wind*

3rd-Level

call lighting
erupting earth*
fireball
fly
gaseous form
lighting bolt
meld into stone
minute meteors*
plant growth
sleet storm
speak with plants
thunder step*
tidal wave*
wall of sand*
wall of water*
wind wall

4th-Level

control water
elemental bane*
fire shield
freedom of movement
grasping vine
guardian of nature (tree)*
ice storm
resilient sphere
stone shape
stoneskin
storm sphere*
wall of fire
watery sphere

Techniques

Listed below are the Techniques available to the Monk. If a Technique has a Monk level prerequisite you can learn that Technique at the same time you meet its prerequisite.

Each time you gain a Monk level, you can replace one Technique you know with a Technique of your choice.

Arresting Strike

When you hit a creature with a melee Martial Arts attack, you can spend 1 Ki Point to stunt its mobility and force it to make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the target's speed is reduced to zero until the beginning of your next turn.

Crippling Strike

When you hit a creature with a melee Martial Arts attack, you can spend 1 Ki Point to cripple its senses and force the target to make a Constitution saving throw. On a failure, the target is either blinded, deafened, or unable to speak (your choice) until the beginning of your next turn.

Empowered Strike

When you hit a creature with a melee Martial Arts attack, you can spend 1 Ki Point to strike with great power and force the target to make a Strength saving throw. On a failed save, it is knocked back from in a straight line a number of feet equal to five times your Wisdom modifier (minimum of 5 feet), where it falls prone. A creature that is at least one size larger than you has advantage on its saving throw to resist this effect.

Mystic Healing

You can draw on your Ki to stimulate natural healing. As an action, you can spend 2 Ki Points to regain hit points equal
to one roll of your Martial Arts die + your Wisdom modifier.

Patient Defense

You quiet your spirit, entering a defensive stance to better defend against incoming blows. You can spend 1 Ki Point
to take the Dodge action as a bonus action on your turn.

Slow Fall

You move through the air as light as a feather. Any falling damage you would take is reduced by an amount equal to
five times your level, so long as you are conscious.

Step of the Wind

You move with the speed of the wind. You can take the Dash or Disengage action as a bonus action. When you do so, your jump distance is doubled until the end of your current turn.

Deflect Missile

Prerequisite: 5th level Monk
When you are hit by a ranged weapon attack, you can use your reaction to attempt to catch the projectile. Reduce the damage by an amount equal to your Monk level + one roll of your Martial Arts die + your Dexterity modifier. If you reduce the damage to zero, you catch the projectile in a free hand.

If you catch the projectile, you can make a ranged (20/60) Martial Arts attack with that projectile as part of the same reaction. You are proficient with this ranged weapon attack.

Beginning at 11th level, you can spend 1 Ki Point to use this reaction whenever you are hit by a spell attack.

Gentling Touch

Prerequisite: 5th level Monk
In place of an attack, you can expend 1 Ki Point and touch
a creature, and manipulate its Ki to put it to sleep. Roll your Martial Arts die five times. If the target's remaining hit points are less than or equal to the amount you rolled, it instantly falls unconscious for 10 minutes. The creature wakes up if it takes damage or another creature uses an action to wake it.

You can expend additional Ki Points (up to your Wisdom modifier) to empower this Technique, rolling an additional Martial Arts die for each additional Ki Point you spend.

Seeking Strike

Prerequisite: 5th level Monk
Your spirit will guide your strikes when your body fails. When you miss with a Martial Arts attack, you can spend 1 Ki Point to re-roll your attack. You must use the new result.

Slowing Strike

Prerequisite: 5th level Monk
When you hit a creature with a melee Martial Arts attack, you can spend 1 Ki Point to interrupt the flow of its Ki and force the target to make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature suffers the effects of the slow spell until the start of your next turn. You don't need to concentrate on this effect.

Stunning Strike

Prerequisite: 5th level Monk
When you hit a creature with a melee Martial Arts attack, you can spend 1 Ki Point to strike with relentless force, forcing it to make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is stunned until the beginning of your next turn.

Aura Sight

Prerequisite: 9th level Monk
You can reach out with your Ki to sense your surroundings. You gain blindsight with a range of 20 feet. Within that range, you can see anything that isn't behind total cover, even if you are blinded or in darkness. You can see invisible creatures in that range unless the creature successfully hides from you.

As you gain levels in this class the range of this blindsight increases; at 13th level (30 feet) and 18th level (60 feet).

Heavenly Step

Prerequisite: 9th level Monk
You can move along vertical surfaces, across liquids, and upside down on ceilings without falling during the move.

If you end your movement on a vertical surface, liquid, or upside down on a ceiling, you can spend 1 Ki Point to remain
    in place without falling until the start of your next turn.

Indomitable Spirit

Prerequisite: 9th level Monk
You can augment your physical abilities with spiritual power. When you make a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Athletics) check you can spend 1 Ki Point to add your Wisdom modifier (minimum of +1) to your roll. You can use this Technique after you roll, but before you know if your roll succeeds or fails.

Mantle of Courtesy

Prerequisite: 9th level Monk
You gain proficiency in Persuasion, and whenever you make
a Charisma (Persuasion) check, you gain a bonus to your roll equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of +1).

Armor of the Ascetic

Prerequisite: 13th level Monk
You exude an aura of peace. At the end of a short or long rest, you gain the effects of sanctuary, which lasts until the start of your next short or long rest. This spell ends early as normal.

Mystical Integrity

Prerequisite: 13th level Monk
Your sense of self and strength of your will are unshakable. You are immune to any spell or effect that would alter your form or force you to teleport, unless you wish to be affected.

Tongue of Sun & Moon

Prerequisite: 13th level Monk
You can touch the Ki of other minds and communicate with any creature that speaks a language. Creatures that speak no languages can communicate and understand simple ideas.

Empty Body

Prerequisite: 18th level Monk
As a bonus action on your turn, you can spend 4 Ki Points to become invisible for 1 minute. While invisible in this way, you gain resistance to all damage except for force damage.

You can also spend 8 Ki Points to cast astral projection, without needing material components. When you do so, you target only yourself and can't take other creatures with you.

Quivering Palm

Prerequisite: 18th level Monk
When you hit a creature with a melee Martial Arts attack, you can spend 5 Ki Points to infuse its soul with vibrations, that last for a number of days equal to your Monk level. While you and the creature are on the same plane of existence, you can use an action to end the vibrations and force the creature to make a Constitution saving throw. It is reduced to 0 hit points on a failure and takes 10d10 necrotic damage on a success.

You can only have one creature under the mystical effects of this Technique at a time. Using this Technique on another creature harmlessly ends the effect on any previous creature.

Master even more Techniques!

Want to master even more mystical or supernatural Techniques for your Monk? Make sure to check out the Alternate Monk: Expanded, a free supplement for the Alternate Monk that includes a multitude of additional Techniques for your Monk to learn and ten additional Monastic Traditions to choose from!

Additional Traditions

Also included here are Traditions based on official options for the Monk included in Xanathar's Guide to Everything, Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, and Fizban's Treasury of Dragons:

Official Tradition Alternate Tradition
Astral Self Astral Warrior
Drunken Master Drunken Fist
Sun Soul Radiance
Long Death Reaper
Ascendant Dragon Rising Dragon
Kensei Wuxia
Mercy Yin & Yang

Way of the Astral Warrior

Focusing almost completely on the development of the spirit, disciples of this Tradition learn to manifest their inner selves into the world through Ki. With great dedication and practice these esoteric warriors learn to manifest their Astral Self, a luminescent projection of their Ki that covers them in armor.

Astral Self

3rd-level Way of the Astral Warrior feature
You manifest your Ki as a luminescent set
of armor that resembles your true self.
As a bonus action, you can expend 2 Ki
Points to manifest your Astral Self.

When you do so, creatures of your
choice within 10 feet of you must make
a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save,
they take force damage equal to two rolls
of your Marital Arts die.

While your Astral Self is manifested you
gain the benefits listed below:

  • You can use your Wisdom modifier, in
    place of Strength whenever you make a
    Strength check or Strength saving throw.
  • When you make an unarmed strike attack,
    you can use Wisdom in place of Strength
    or Dexterity for the attack and damage rolls.
    Moreover, the reach of your unarmed strikes
    increases by 5 feet and they deal force damage.

This manifestation of your Astral Self lasts for 10
minutes. It is instantly dispelled if you die or become incapacitated, or you use your bonus action to dismiss it.

Astral Techniques

3rd-level Way of the Astral Warrior feature
You learn certain Techniques at the levels noted in the table below. They don't count against your number of Techniques Known and they cannot be switched upon gaining a level.

Monk Level Technique
3rd mystic healing
5th deflect missile
9th mantle of courtesy

Astral Visage

6th-level Way of the Astral Warrior feature
You can draw on the presence of your Astral Self even when it is not manifested. You learn the thaumaturgy cantrip and Wisdom is your spellcasting modifier for it. Also, whenever you make a Wisdom (Insight) or a Charisma (Intimidation) check you add one roll of your Martial Arts die to your roll.

When your Astral Self is manifested you can see normally in both magical and mundane darkness in a 120-foot radius.

Mystical Defense

10th-level Way of the Astral Warrior feature
Your mystical connection with your Astral Self allows you to channel the elements. When you take acid, cold, fire, force, thunder, or lighting damage, you can use your deflect missile Technique to reduce the damage. If you reduce the damage to zero, you can make a ranged Martial Arts attack as part of the same reaction, which deals the triggering damage type on hit.

Also, once per turn when you hit with an unarmed strike while your Astral Self is manifested, you can deal additional force damage equal to one roll of your Martial Arts die.

Master Astral Warrior

17th-level Way of the Astral Warrior feature
You have come to know who you truly are and are one with your Astral Self. While your Astral Self is manifested, you gain resistance to all damage except for force.

Moreover, while your Astral Self is
manifested, you can use your action
to unleash a barrage of punches in
an adjacent 20-foot cone. Targets
in the area must make a Dexterity
saving throw. Creatures take force
       damage equal to four rolls of
             your Martial Arts die on a
                  failed save, and half as
                         much on a success.

Way of the Drunken Fist

Where most Monks are serious and contemplative, students of the Drunken Fist seek out joy wherever they go. Masters of a style that mimics the unpredictable movements of a drunk, these Monks will use their considerable skills to play the fool and make others laugh or to embarrass haughty nobles.

Drunken Fist Techniques

3rd-level Way of the Drunken Fist feature
You learn certain Techniques at the levels noted in the table below. They don't count against your number of Techniques Known and they cannot be switched upon gaining a level.

Monk Level Technique
3rd step of the wind
5th deflect missile
9th heavenly step

Jovial Performer

3rd-level Way of the Drunken Fist feature
You use your unique style of martial arts to bring joy with your antics. You gain proficiency in Performance, brewer's supplies, and with improvised weapons. Also, your attacks with improvised weapons count as Martial Arts attacks.

Drunken Style

3rd-level Way of the Drunken Fist feature
You move about the battle with chaotic grace. On your turn, when you hit a unique creature with a Martial Arts attack, your speed increases by 5 feet until the end of that turn.

Also, when you hit a creature with a Martial Arts attack, that creature has disadvantage on any opportunity attacks it makes against you until the beginning of your next turn.

Unpredictable Sway

6th-level Way of the Drunken Fist feature
Your erratic movements have become more complicated and even harder to predict. You gain the benefits listed below:

  • When you are prone you can stand up without expending movement, rather than expending half your movement.
  • When a creature misses you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction to spend 1 Ki Point and force it to
    attack a creature of your choice within 5 feet of you,
                           that is also within range of its attack.
A Monk of Radiance
unleashes a Radiant Bolt!

Chaotic Luck

10th-level Way of the Drunken Fist feature
You have an almost comical way of turning the misfortunes that befall you on their head. Whenever you make an attack roll, an ability check, or saving throw with disadvantage, you can spend 1 Ki Point to cancel the disadvantage on that roll.

Master of the Drunken Fist

17th-level Way of the Drunken Fist feature
You fly about the battle with an unparalleled level of chaos. When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can make a single Martial Arts attack against each creature you move past that is within range of your unarmed strikes, even if the number of attacks you make would exceed the normal limit.

Way of Radiance

Legends tell of wandering sages that channel bursts of light from within their bodies. These students of Radiance have such fine control over their spirit that they can assault others with luminous blasts of Ki. These wondrous warriors travel the land promoting harmony and justice among all peoples.

Radiant Techniques

3rd-level Way of Radiance feature
You learn certain Techniques at the levels noted in the table below. They don't count against your number of Techniques Known and they cannot be switched upon gaining a level.

Monk Level Technique
3rd empowered strike
5th stunning strike
9th indomitable spirit

Radiant Bolt

3rd-level Way of Radiance feature
You have trained to focus your Ki into bolts of searing light. Whenever you would be able to make an unarmed strike, you can replace the unarmed strike attack with a Radiant Bolt.

Radiant Bolts are ranged (30/90) Martial Arts weapon attacks that you are proficient in and deal radiant damage equal to your Martial Arts die + your Dexterity modifier.

                                   Finally, you learn the light cantrip, and
                                          you use Wisdom as your spellcasting
                                                             modifier for it.

Searing Blast

6th-level Way of Radiance feature
You can channel searing blasts of radiant Ki. As a bonus action, you can expend 1 Ki Point to force all creatures
in an adjacent 15-foot cone to make a Dexterity saving
throw. Creatures take radiant damage equal to three rolls
of your Martial Arts die on a failed save, and half as much
radiant damage on a successful save.

Beginning at 11th level, you can use your Ki Adept
feature to use Searing Blast without expending Ki.

Luminous Burst

10th-level Way of Radiance feature
Your spirit brims with a luminous radiance that you can
channel to purify the world. As an action, you can unleash
a wondrous blast of radiant Ki in a 5-foot wide, 100-foot
long line, forcing all creatures within that area to make a
Dexterity saving throw. They take radiant damage equal
to six rolls of your Martial Arts die on a failed save, and
half as much radiant damage on a successful save.

You can expend Ki Points (up to your Wisdom modifier)
to empower your Luminous Burst, adding one roll of your Martial Arts die to the damage for each Ki Point spent.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to
your Wisdom modifier (a minimum of once), and
you regain all expended uses when you complete
a long rest. When you have no uses left, you can
spend 3 Ki Points to use Luminous Burst again.

Master of Light

17th-level Way of Radiance feature
Your radiant spirit is a shining beacon of hope for all
who stand against evil. You gain the benefits below:

  • You gain a flying speed equal to your movement speed.
  • You become wreathed in light. You shed bright sunlight
    in a 30-foot radius and dim sunlight 30 feet beyond that. You can extinguish or restore the light as a bonus action.
  • The radiant damage of your Radiant Bolt, Searing Blast, and Luminous Burst features all count as true sunlight.
  • You gain resistance to necrotic damage, immunity to all radiant damage, and immunity to the blinded condition.

Way of the Reaper

While most monastic orders teach their students to live their lives to their full potential, those who practice the Way of the Reaper are obsessed with the ending of lives. Reaper Monks learn to channel deathly Ki to fuel their own martial prowess and are experts at using fear and other sinister techniques to drain the life force from others in order to prolong their own.

Reaper Techniques

3rd-level Way of the Reaper feature
You learn certain Techniques at the levels noted in the table below. They don't count against your number of Techniques Known and they cannot be switched upon gaining a level.

Monk Level Technique
3rd crippling strike
5th slowing strike
9th aura sight
An ancient Reaper
Monk brimming with
dark necrotic power!

Frightful Touch

3rd-level Way of the Reaper feature
You can channel your Ki into other creatures to infect them with fear. When you hit a creature with a Martial Arts attack, you can spend 1 Ki Point to force it to make a Wisdom saving throw or be frightened of you until the start of your next turn.

Beginning at 11th level, you can use your Ki Adept feature to use Frightful Touch without expending any Ki Points.

Necrotic Spirit

3rd-level Way of the Reaper feature
Your affinity with deathly Ki has completely suffused your body, mind, and spirit, granting you the benefits below:

  • You can cause your unarmed strikes to deal necrotic damage in place of the normal bludgeoning damage.
  • You are resistant to necrotic damage.
  • When you are forced to make a saving throw to resist being frightened you have advantage on your roll.

Sinister Vitality

6th-level Way of the Reaper feature
You can infuse your physical form with necrotic vitality. As a bonus action on your turn, you can grant yourself temporary hit points equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of 1).

While these temporary hit points last, you are resistant to non-magical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.

Armor of the Grave

10th-level Way of the Reaper feature
You are so familiar with death that you resist its grasp.
If you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright,
you can spend 1 Ki Point to fall to 1 hit point instead.

Each subsequent time you use this feature before you finish a long rest you must spend 1 additional Ki Point.

Master of Death

17th-level Way of the Reaper feature
You can channel the sinister Ki of death through your
touch. When you take the Attack action on your turn, you
can touch a creature in place of one of your attacks and spend up to 10 Ki Points, forcing it to make a Constitution saving throw. It takes 2d10 necrotic damage per Ki Point
you spent on a failed save, and half as much on a success.

A creature that is frightened of you has disadvantage on
its Constitution saving throw to resist this feature.

Way of the Rising Dragon

Often found in the service of ancient dragons, disciples of
the Rising Dragon learn to use their Ki to mimic the power
of dragons. These draconic warriors vary greatly based on
the dragons they emulate, but despite differences, they all
carry themselves with the regal bearing of a great dragon.

Rising Dragon Techniques

3rd-level Way of the Rising Dragon feature
You learn certain Techniques at the levels noted in the table below. They don't count against your number of Techniques Known and they cannot be switched upon gaining a level.

Monk Level Technique
3rd step of the wind
5th deflect missile
9th indomitable spirit

Draconic Disciple

3rd-level Way of the Rising Dragon feature
Your martial arts are based on a specific type of dragon. Choose the scale color of your dragon from the options
below, which grants you an affinity for a certain Element. Whenever you hit with an unarmed strike, you can deal
that Element damage instead of bludgeoning damage.

Color Element
Black Acid
Blue Lightning
Brass Fire
Bronze Lightning
Copper Acid
Color Element
Gold Fire
Green Poison
Red Fire
Silver Cold
White Cold

    In your training, you have also learned to speak, read,
and write Draconic, the language of the great dragons.

Finally, choose either Intimidation (usually Chromatic
Dragons) or Persuasion (usually Metallic Dragons). You
gain proficiency in that skill, and whenever you make a
Charisma check with the chosen skill, you gain a bonus
    to your roll equal to your Wisdom modifier.

Alternate Rule: Gem Dragons

If your DM agrees that it is appropriate for the setting of your game, Monks of the Way of the Rising Dragon can also choose from the following Gem Dragon scale Color/Element options:

Color Element
Amethyst Force
Crystal Radiant
Emerald Psychic
Color Element
Sapphire Thunder
Steel Acid
Topaz Necrotic

Elemental Breath

3rd-level Way of the Rising Dragon feature
You can channel your Ki into destructive elemental breath reminiscent of mighty dragons. When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can spend 1 Ki to replace one attack with an exhalation of elemental breath, choosing to breathe in an adjacent 20-foot cone or a 30-foot long, 5-foot wide line.

Creatures within the area of your exhalation must make a Dexterity saving throw. They take damage of your Element equal to two rolls of your Martial Arts die on a failed save, and half as much Element damage on a successful save.

Moreover, you can spend additional Ki Points (up to your Wisdom modifier) to increase the damage of your Breath by one roll of your Martial Arts die per Ki Point spent.

Starting at 11th level, you can use Ki Adept to use this feature at its base level without expending any Ki Points.

Ascendant Step

6th-level Way of the Rising Dragon feature
You can use your Ki and mystical Techniques to mimic the wondrous abilities of dragons. Whenever you use step of the wind, you gain a flying speed equal to your walking speed which lasts until the end of your current turn.

Draconic Mantle

10th-level Way of the Rising Dragon feature
Your training has begun to transform you into a true draconic being. You and creatures of your choice within 10 feet of you gain resistance to your Element damage and have advantage on saving throws to resist being charmed or frightened.

In addition, when you use your Elemental Breath, you add your Wisdom modifier (minimum of +1) to the damage roll.

Master of Draconic Might

17th-level Way of the Rising Dragon feature
Your mystical power and combat prowess rivals that of a trueborn adult dragon. You gain the following benefits:

  • You manifest leathery draconic wings which grant you
    a permanent flying speed equal to your walking speed.
  • When you use your Elemental Breath, you can choose for it to be a 30-foot cone or a 60-foot long, 5-foot wide line.
  • The range of your Draconic Mantle becomes 30 feet.

Way of the Wuxia

While all Monks are able to wield the weapons of their style to great effect, those who follow the Way of Wuxia dedicate their lives to complete mastery over a chosen few weapons. These warriors are known for their extreme focus and are always seeking progressively stronger warriors to challenge and test their skill with their chosen weapons of war.

Wuxia Techniques

3rd-level Way of the Wuxia feature
You learn certain Techniques at the levels noted in the table below. They don't count against your number of Techniques Known and they cannot be switched upon gaining a level.

Monk Level Technique
3rd patient defense
5th seeking strike
9th heavenly step

Student of Steel

3rd-level Way of the Wuxia feature
You seek mastery with your signature weapons. Choose one melee weapon without the heavy or special properties, and one ranged weapon to become your Wuxia Weapons. If you were not already, you gain proficiency with these weapons, and they qualify for your Martial Arts attacks. You choose an additional Wuxia Weapon at 6th, 11th, and 17th levels.

Your training also allows you to use the features below:

Masterful Aim. As a bonus action on your turn, you can focus your spirit to increase your accuracy, and for the next Wuxia Weapon attack roll you make before the end of your current turn, you can treat a d20 roll of 7 or lower as an 8.

Masterful Parry. While you are wielding a melee Wuxia Weapon and a creature you can see hits you with a melee attack, you can use a reaction to add your Wisdom modifier (minimum of +1) to your Armor Class against that attack.

Ki-Infused Weapons

6th-level Way of the Wuxia feature
Your training allows you to instinctively channel your Ki through your weapons, granting you the benefits below:

  • Your Wuxia Weapons count as magical for overcoming resistance and immunities to non-magical attacks.
  • Once per turn when you hit with a Wuxia Weapon attack, you can spend 1 Ki Point to deal additional damage equal to one roll of your Martial Arts die.
  • When you use Flurry of Blows, you can replace your unarmed strikes with melee Wuxia Weapon attacks.

Spirit Blade

10th-level Way of the Wuxia feature
You can imbue your signature weapons with deadly Ki. As a bonus action, you can touch one of your Wuxia Weapons and infuse it with 1 to 3 Ki Points to increase its critical hit range by an amount equal to the number of Ki Points expended.

For example, if you infused a normal weapon with 3 Ki, its attacks would score a critical hit on a roll of 17-20 on the d20.

This bonus is only usable by you and it lasts for 1 minute. It ends early if you imbue your Ki into another weapon.

Master of Steel

17th-level Way of the Wuxia feature
You are an unquestioned master of your signature weapons. When you make an attack roll with a Wuxia weapon, you can choose to use your Monk level in place of rolling the d20.

If using your Monk level would result in a critical hit for that attack roll, then the attack becomes a critical hit.

Once you use this feature you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.

Way of Yin & Yang

Balance in all things. This is the mantra of Monks that devote their lives to the Way of Yin & Yang. Known for their mystical abilities to manipulate Ki to heal wounds, cure disease, and even disrupt powerful curses, these Monks keep all things in balance. However, when creatures look to extend their lives through unnatural means or cheat death, these warriors will use their powers to destroy said creatures, restoring balance.

Yin & Yang Techniques

3rd-level Way of Yin & Yang feature
You learn certain Techniques at the levels noted in the table below. They don't count against your number of Techniques Known and they cannot be switched upon gaining a level.

Monk Level Technique
3rd mystic healing
5th gentling touch
9th mantle of courtesy

Monastic Healer

3rd-level Way of Yin & Yang feature
In order to learn to heal with Ki, you first had to master the mundane medicinal arts. You gain proficiency with herbalism kits and in Insight and Medicine, and whenever you make an ability check with any of these proficiencies you gain a bonus
    to your roll equal to one roll of your Martial Arts die.

Touch of Life

3rd-level Way of Yin & Yang feature
You have learned to manipulate the Ki of other creatures to heal wounds. Whenever you would make an unarmed strike, you can instead expend 1 Ki Point to touch a creature other than yourself, and restore a number of its hit points equal to one roll of your Martial Arts die + your Wisdom modifier.

Beginning at 11th level, you can use your Ki Adept feature to use Touch of Life without expending a Ki Point. However, when you do so, you grant the creature temporary hit points.

Touch of Death

3rd-level Way of Yin & Yang feature
You have learned to manipulate the Ki of other creatures to inflict pain. When you hit a creature with an unarmed strike, you can spend 1 Ki Point to deal additional necrotic damage to the target equal to one roll of your Martial Arts die.

Beginning at 11th level, you can use your Ki Adept feature to use Touch of Death without expending a Ki Point.

Precise Manipulation

6th-level Way of Yin & Yang feature
Your ability to affect the Ki of others has grown. When you use Touch of Life, you end one of the following conditions: blinded, deafened, paralyzed, poisoned, or stunned.

Also, when you use Touch of Death, you can choose to
also poison the creature until the end of your next turn.

Mystical Touch

10th-level Way of Yin & Yang feature
Your ability to balance life and death grows with your spirit. Whenever you use Touch of Life or Touch of Death, you can expend additional Ki Points (up to your Wisdom modifier), to increase the hit points you restore or damage you deal by one roll of your Martial Arts die per additional Ki Point spent.

Master of Life & Death

17th-level Way of Yin & Yang feature
Your mystical abilities have grown so powerful that you can rebuke death itself. As an action, you can spend 6 Ki Points and touch a creature that has died within the last 24 hours, instantly restoring it to life with a number of hit points equal to your Monk level + your Wisdom modifier. Any conditions afflicting the creature at the time of its death are also ended.

Want more Alternate Monk?

The Alternate Monk: Expanded is a free expansion to the Alternate Monk that includes a multitude of additional content for the Alternate Monk:

Additional Techniques. Fourteen new Techniques for your Monk to choose from, including mystical, magical, and esoteric options that push the limits of what an Alternate Monk is capable of!

Monastic Feats. Increase the versatility and power of your Monk, or allow others to share the mystic power of the Alternate Monk with two new Feats!

Nine Monastic Traditions. Many new options for Monks. Master heavy weapons with the Way of the Hurricane, unleash your bestial power with the Way of Ferocity, or channel the serenity of water with the Way of the Flowing River, and many more!

The Alternate

Monk

Become the master of Martial Arts that you were meant to be with this alternate take on the Monk for 5e! Includes ten revised Monastic Traditions.

Version 3.0.1 - Created by /u/laserllama

Expanded Techniques and Monastic Traditions for the Alternate Monk can be Found Here!

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