Monks are one of the twelve standard D&D classes. The Monk Class was introduced to the game in 1975 as a supplement. The class is a combination of support and melee fighters.
Today, we’re diving deep into the Monk class, how to play this type of character, and their role in the party.
The Monk Class
The Monk Class in D&D 5e is based on martial arts and martial arts movies from pop culture. When you think of the Monk class, Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Naruto, and even Dragonball Z may come to mind.
These people and characters have heavily influenced the Monk class and their abilities in D&D. They are martial arts experts and can channel a special power called Ki that’s exclusive to the Monk class.
By expanding their Ki, Monks can perform incredible physical feats that seem like magic. And in a world where characters can shoot fire and lightning from their fingertips, that’s pretty impressive.
Key Abilities of the Monk
The Monk in D&D has a special pool of resources called Ki points. These are expended to power up the Monk’s abilities and perform particular actions. It’s similar to mana or spell slots. Once a Monk’s Ki points run out, they won’t be able to perform many of their abilities until they rest.
Their Ki powers their martial arts abilities that let them perform incredible feats. In Stunning Strike 5e lets, a Monk paralyze their opponents with a single hit. With their Deflect Missile ability, they can knock away arrows or bullets or even catch them straight out of the air. At higher levels, they’ll even be able to run across water and straight-up vertical walls.
How to Play as a Monk and Party Roles
Monks can fill multiple roles within a party, and the different subclass options can help specialize them even further. The party’s tanks will soak up damage with high armor and high hit points.
Monks have neither of those things. They don’t have many hitpoints (HP), and they typically don’t wear armor, but they make decent tanks. Instead, Monks rely on their increased dodge ability to stand in the middle of a fight and never get hit.
Monks make great damage dealers and crowd-control characters as well. They’re the only class in D&D 5e that can effectively fight unarmed without any weapons, and they have a host of monk weapons that make them incredibly dangerous.
They have an ability called Flurry of Blows that lets them hit multiple enemies at once on a single turn. This lets them wipe out a squad of enemies single-handedly.
Monk Ability Scores
Each character in D&D has 6 significant ability scores that determine their abilities. They are:
Most character classes have one or two that they rely on to power their abilities, but the monk has 3 significant ability scores they need to be effective. The Monk’s most important ability scores are dexterity, followed by constitution and wisdom.
Dexterity affects all of the Monk’s combat abilities. This includes their ability to hit enemies accurately, as well as the amount of damage that they do.
Constitution is necessary for a hit-point boost. Since the Monk doesn’t have many hit points to start, a high constitution stat will help mitigate their low hit point count.
The last important ability score is Wisdom. Many of the Monk’s Ki abilities rely on a high wisdom score. The higher the wisdom score, the easier it will be for the Monk to use their abilities.
The Monk is a very versatile class in D&D 5e. They’re a martial class with incredible support abilities. Other D&D characters like the Barbarian or the Rogue can deal higher damage with each attack, but the Monk can hit an enemy dozens of times to their one hit. They can’t take as many hits as a Paladin in full plate mail, but they can dodge and weave through a battlefield without ever getting a scratch.
Monks are great characters for players looking for a class different from the standard D&D classes. With their Ki abilities and martial arts, they can solve problems asymmetrically instead of relying on standard solutions.