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Tag: monk

Removing Monks 2 The Paladin option

So, I am trying this again. Another part of my series of blog posts explaining how you might remove the Monk from D&D and keep some of the playstyle intact. The last post caused a good deal of wailing and gnashing of teeth from those who objected to even the suggestion that there might be a problem with Monks, on a cultural level. I will leave that aside for the moment. I can recognize there are issues with Monks and still love them. I have played them and I have written subclasses for them. I will do so again.

I will instead focus on the purpose of these blog posts. It is a mental exercise. “How do I do a thing?” is reason enough to take on a writing project. In this case, how do I make a version of D&D without Monks, but keeping some of the cooler aspects of monks?

As an additional benefit, all of the subclasses I am writing for this project and other things I am coming up with work just fine in ordinary 5e. Here is my latest entry. Enjoy!

Edit: I am updating the class based on som solid feedback I have received.

Removing Monks

I have written previously about the problems embedded with Monks in D&D. I say that as a guy who has always loved the class. Despite my love, there are some deeply problematic cultural stereotyping embedded in the class. The fact is, they default fiction of the class is a western misunderstanding of East Asian cultures and deeply lacking knowledge of the rich tapestry of martial arts that are found in the world.

I don’t think those original designs, or designers, were coming from a place of hate, maliciousness, or even knowing it was a problem. I think they even meant well. Awareness over the years has improved and now we can recognize the issues. 5th edition D&D did a lot of work to bring a lot of the classic D&D feel into it and the Monk class came along.

So, how do you fix it? could try and rework the theming and naming to make the class a little more culturally neutral. Another option, and one I am going to explore, is just removing the class altogether.

The Way of the Grasping Hand: a Midgard “monastic” Tradition

I am writing this for use in the Midgard setting, but I should state upfront that this can be used for just about any setting. A grappling style Monk would fit in just about any setting that allows monks. I recently wrote a blog post about the weird misconceptions held about martial arts and how they shape their presentation in D&D. One of the reasons I wrote that was because I could see some specific archetypes for Monks in Midgard I wanted to make.

Non East Asian Versions of Monks and Martial Arts

So, there is an idea out there that monks have no place in a western European inspired campaign setting.  Settings like Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk owe a lot to western European history, legends, and literature for their basis, and monks are not part of those traditions, or so the argument goes. This came to mind while looking at the Midgard setting and noticing they had many character options for the range of character classes, but not for monks. I asked about this and was directed to this blog post about monk weapons characteristics, which is awesome, but was also told there was not a lot of places for monks in Midgard to be from. That feels like something I can counter. Note: I love the Midgard setting and I am not offering criticism here.  I am writing this because I feel this is a common sentiment that maybe should be countered.