Thursday, April 19, 2018

Thoughts on a DCC monk

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The monks of the far east rarely venture from their secluded monasteries, but from time to time a young monk will be too consumed with curiosity about the world or wanderlust to stay within their quiet and contemplative confines. These monks venture out into the world with very little to their name, a handful of coppers gained by begging in a nearby village, a stout stave, and the clothing typical of their order. Most of these monks eventually make their way back to the monasteries, but a truly scant few, of those scant few, decide to stay in the world, and of those few a bare handful pass their knowledge, incomplete as it is, on to a small number of worthy students. These students may seek out the monasteries in time to properly complete their own training and to complete the journey of spirit their teacher began. Others will take the lessons of inner strength and martial prowess into the world as adventurers.

Hit Dice: d8

Attack Bonus & Mighty Deed of Arms: as warrior

Weapons and Armor: The monk is trained only in the use of staves and unarmed combat. Monks rarely wear any armor and never armor with a fumble die greater than 1d8.

Flurry of blows: When fighting unarmed the monk may treat their fists and feet as dual weapons using the two weapon fighting rules. At first level a monk is always considered to have a minimum Agility of 16 (unless it is naturally higher) when fighting with bare hands and feet, at fifth level this increases to a minimum Agility of 18. When attacking unarmed and using the two weapon fighting rules the monk's unarmed attacks do 1d3 damage.

Chi Healing
Through meditation and mindful manipulation their internal energies a monk is able to speed up the healing of their own body. Once per day per level the monk may spend 1 turn in meditation to focus on healing themselves. Treat this effect as Lay on Hands (DCC pg. 30), rolling 1d20+Per+level. The monk is treated as "adjacent" and failure does not trigger disapproval, but does consume the use of the ability upon failure.

Be Like Water
Monks eschew armor in favor of staying mobile and nimble. On their turn a monk may add the result of their deed die to their Armor Class, and to their speed. This is in addition to any other effects of their Mighty Deed.


Now my thoughts on the design side.

  1. Hit Dice - While Monks are a martial class I knew I wanted to give them a recovery power and stepping down twice from the Warrior's d12 felt appropriate since they can self heal outside of combat.
  2. Armor and Weapons - I decided to take a hard stance here and basically rule out almost all forms of both armor and weapons. Weapons is a stylistic approach as I wanted to have them make many attacks with less damage per attack (at 5th level they can make 4 attacks per round but are still limited to 1d3 damage + STR and Deed Die). This might end up a little too powerful, but I'm unsure without playtesting.
  3. Flurry of blows - I copped this flat out from halflings and then added the 5th level boon since the monk is limited to their unarmed 1d3 damage. Again, this might end up a little too powerful, but I'm unsure without playtesting.
  4. Chi Healing - My sole concession to "mystical monks." My hope is that the 1 turn requirement and the limited uses per day will keep this from making them too durable compared to a warrior. 
  5. Be Like Water - This was the idea that spurred me to do this. Rather than approach "the armor problem" with a flat AC bonus scaled to their level why not utilize the existing Deed Die mechanic. This also means that the monk will occasionally roll poorly and be caught flat footed or in an open stance. The bonus movement was my way to also spice things up and allow these unarmored warriors to really move around the battlefield when they wanted. 

Feedback and comments are welcome, so long as they are constructive.