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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Drunken Mistress.

How is that for Click bait?
Fantastic right?

Sorry no tipsy adulteresses here, at least not this post. Next time.

My Friend Jay has started up a fresh new D&D using the 5th ed rules.
My new character is a female monk named, Yuen Qiu.*
Who I plan on  playing her as a practitioner of Drunken Boxing.

Well that's great I hear you saying, "That's nice, there are some  pretty nifty drunken boxing traditions for D&D 5th  written up over at En World."
I agree there are.

Yuen Siu-tin as the Drunken Master
My only issue is trying to integrate a Kung fu movie style fighting aesthetic into a fantasy RPG is sort
of pounding a square peg into a round  jug of sake. I think the Monk , much like the  Druid, is the perfect character to play in it's own setting. Druids kind of require a certain flavor of adventure to shine. Monks are the same. Place a the  5ht ed monk in a setting that focuses on "kung-fu movie" style action, and they are great. Put one in Grey Hawk and they get eaten by a balisk. D&D is mostly weapon based and if my character is going to be a drunken master, I'm going to have to figure out how she is dealing with  all the  long swords swinging around.







As with most things in RPG's it comes down to narration and description.
My monk has an ac of 17, Without Armour.
But why?
Well I would love to say it's because she can block incoming blows, which I'm sure she can. Most of the blows in a D&D game however are going to need to be avoided, such a great-ax or whatnot. It's just silly to describe a character blocking one of those with her forearm.
This is where describing Drunken boxing comes in. Every video I have watched shows the form as being one of misdirection and  evasion, more than offensive capability. So when a knight swings his big sword at my character he will not simply miss, she will, "sway drunkenly out of range," or "stagger away from the blow, or Lurch in closely shouldering the  opponents sword arm causing the blow to  swing wide."

This kind of thing needs no mechanical back up beyond the un-armored AC benefit given to all monks. Its what separates an RPG from any other medium. Our characters can be made better and more interesting without any mechanics at all. The player has a large amount say over how good a character is, just through their own creativity.

Now that I have said what I love about RPG's let me tell you what I hate about  D&D.

Good or interesting does not always equate to effective. In an effort to keep pace we get "Monastic traditions."

A class like the monk needs things like Way of the open hand  to provide  (Kewl Powerz) all the way through level 17.  If the level 17 monk did not have a monastic tradition  the player would be left with a character that gets D8 hp per level and whose single attack damage maxes out at 1d10+ strength or dexterity depending on which is better. The other monk skills, like getting a bonus unarmed attack after a successful attack are excellent, but not enough to  make this fighter light useful at higher levels.

In fact I have a hard time seeing a 20th level monk standing toe to toe with a 20th level  fighter under any circumstance. Having played a 15th level fighter in 5th ed already, I know that shit is real, and those three attacks per round are no joke.


Here is my idea for monks in general:
An open  frame of "mechanical bonuses" on the character sheet that they  player can fill in as they  go along.
Every time the  player comes to an ability gaining level they pick one of the mechanical options presented for that level.
Somethig like this:

The monk (basic monk abilits found on PHB pg 78 -79
Level Prof bonus Unarmed strike ki Unarmored movement Features
PHB (pg 77-79)
Monastic Styles:
Pick one option at each bench mark level 3 ,6,11,17
1 +2 1d4



Unarmored def
martial arts


2



2 +10 Ki,
Unarmored Move


3



3

Deflect missiles Gain advantage on any attacks of opportunity you make.


Or

May use any object as a monk weapon for damage = to your physical attack damage.


Or
You may add ki directly to your damage or AC at the beginning of your turn.


Or


You may choose to inflict one of the following conditions on any target by spending 2 ki points.
The target may save.
Knock down to prone. (save dex)
Knock back 15 feet (save str)
Target may not take attacks of opportunity for the rest of the round. (no save)

4



4

Atrib Improvement
Slow fall





5 +3 1d6 5

Extra atack
stunning strike


6



6 +15 Ki strikes May use your reaction to make an unarmed attack.

Or

You may heal your self = to 3x your monk level between long rests.



Or


You may use your reaction to give your attacker disadvantage to any physical attacks he or she makes against you in the next round.


OR
You suffer no penalties for being prone.


OR

you suffer no penalties for being out numbered.

Or another level 3 option.
7



7

Evasion
Stillness OM


8



8

Atrib Improvement

9 +4

9

movement

10



10 +20 Purity of body

11

1d8 11



Spend 5 ki to gain resistance to physical damage. For rounds = to your prof bonus.


OR


You may heal another person for 1d6 per 2 ki points spent.


OR


You may spend 2 ki points to gain advantage on your next attack


Or
For 4 ki points You may inflict one of the following conditions on the target with a successful.
Blinded
Deafened
Poisoned

lasts rounds = to the prof bonus. (Con save for a 1 round duration)


OR
Any single lower level option.

12



12

Atrib Improvement

13 +5

13

Tongue sun & moon

14



14 +25 Diamond soul

15



15

Timeless body

16



16

Atrib Improvement

17 +6 1d10 17



You may use more than one reaction per turn by spending 4 ki per reaction.

Or


You may make an unarmed attack of opportunity on any target that misses you in melee.


OR


May make a disarm maneuver as per the fighter rules for 2 ki (PHB 74) the monk may disarm with a armed or unarmed attack.


OR

May spend ki to add 1d10 damage to any single attack. You gain 1d10 damage per 5 ki spent.


Or
any lower level benefit
18



18 +30 Empty body

19



19

Atrib Improvement

20



20

Perfect self Pick any remaining single option of level 11 or lower

That might not be "perfect" mathematically or system wise (Not that I have EVER care about a system's magic formulas, break that shit please..) 


Here is what it does do. Its simply mechanical so the  Player needs to fill in the  What and hows of whats going on with their own description during play.

Say a player takes the option to have the disarm maneuver.
One player may say,
"My monk uses the Black Crane style so  I use my quickness and lock the  opponents wrist twist hard causing  her to drop her dagger at my feet!"

Another player may take the same style choices and say,
"My monk uses drunken master style, so when he draws his sword I stumble forward and  fall drunkenly onto the table in front of him, knocking the table up into his arm and sending his  sword flying."


Sort of a build your own mechanical style menu.
Where the player has to work a bit and decide what those number mean to their character.

Thank you fore reading
Let me know what you think.



Stuff:
https://youtu.be/Zd67EYqHnNw    
https://youtu.be/eZYBxjwc7eE
https://youtu.be/iBBE4JjBrO8


(*Which is the name of the  actress who played the landlady in "Kung Fu Hustle", with the names parts reversed. Who for the record is an amazing physical comic, genius.)