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|
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.
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)
Pick one option at each bench mark level 3 ,6,11,17
advantage on any attacks of opportunity you make.
May use any object as a monk weapon for damage = to your physical attack damage.
You may add ki directly to your damage or AC at the beginning of your turn.
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)
use your reaction to make an unarmed attack.
You may heal your self = to 3x your monk level between long rests.
You may use your reaction to give your attacker disadvantage to any physical attacks he or she makes against you in the next round.
You suffer no penalties for being prone.
you suffer no penalties for being out numbered.
Or another level 3 option.
|10||10||+20||Purity of body|
5 ki to gain resistance to physical damage. For rounds = to your
You may heal another person for 1d6 per 2 ki points spent.
You may spend 2 ki points to gain advantage on your next attack
For 4 ki points You may inflict one of the following conditions on the target with a successful.
lasts rounds = to the prof bonus. (Con save for a 1 round duration)
Any single lower level option.
|13||+5||13||Tongue sun & moon|
may use more than one reaction per turn by spending 4 ki per
You may make an unarmed attack of opportunity on any target that misses you in melee.
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.
May spend ki to add 1d10 damage to any single attack. You gain 1d10 damage per 5 ki spent.
any lower level benefit
|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..)
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.
(*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.)