April 7, 2017

Way of the Wheel

Monastic Tradition
Comments from the Nails: if any of you remember the classic games Dungeon Keeper and Dungeon Keeper 2, you might remember a creature called the 'dark mistress'. Recently, I got to wondering if I could implement Dungeon Keeper in Dungeons and Dragons (the overlap in the names being an obvious prompt), and I figured that the mistress must be a monk - she's fast, fights with her hands, doesn't wear armor, casts a couple of spells and is very dedicated to her rituals.

Way of the Wheel

In the dank and reeking donjons and gaols of countless towns, forts and temples, an order of monks plies their trade. These are not the somber and disciplined ascetics one would normally associate with the better-known monasteries of the world, however. No, these leather-clad lunatics are dedicated to interrogation and torture, gleefully extracting confessions, repentance and even loyalty from their victims.
     Whether by burning brand, electric shock, rack or Catherine wheel, the Monks of the Wheel are unrivaled in their chosen profession, and command a mighty reputation among the warlords, tyrants and monsters who employ them. No evil overlord gets far without the dedicated - and scarily eager - service of one of these masters of pain.

Scissorhand Technique
When you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you learn the techniques of the Way of the Wheel, including their signature weapon. You can choose to deal slashing instead of bludgeoning damage for your unarmed strikes. If you deal slashing damage to a target that is not a construct or undead, you can also spend 1 ki point to make the target bleed. A bleeding target loses 1d4 hit points at the start of each of its turns until it uses an action to staunch the bleeding. While a target is bleeding, it can't regain lost hit points.

Torturer's Arts
At 6th level, you can apply double your proficiency bonus to any ability check relating to torture or torture devices.
     In addition, you learn the shocking grasp cantrip, which you can cast in place of one of your attacks when you take the Attack action on your turn. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability.

Addicted to Pain
By 11th level, you are so accustomed to pain that enter a rapturous frenzy when wounded. Whenever you take the Attack action on your turn while you have fewer than half of your maximum hit points, you can make one additional unarmed strike.

Dark Seduction
When you reach 17th level, you can spend 5 ki points to cast dominate person, using your ki save DC.

17 comments:

  1. Whoa. Dark and cool.

    I have one question and one problem:
    Question- Can scissorhand technique work more than once each turn (or cause the target to bleed more than once)? If so, I think it is overpowered, as it has no saving throw and would require a turn for each wound, and a monk has a LOT of attacks every turn. I suppose the term 'bleeding' here is used as a condition, but I'm not sure.

    Problem- Shocking grasp scales with your level. At 6th level, when you get the feature, it already replaces 1d6 damage with 2d8, and 1t 11th it replaces 1d8 with 3d8. This seems too powerful- cantrips are good enough to be a valid standard attack at any level, so being able to use it in addition to the monk's three standard attacks for 1 ki (which is essentialy what you can do with FLurry) is definitely too strong.

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    1. Number crunch for Scissorhand:
      5th lvl monk, dex +4, flurry of blows, without scissorhand:
      4x(1d6+4)= 30 damage.
      with, assuming each attack causes bleed:
      30 damage +10 damage (4d4) each turn. Increases the monk's damage by at least 33%, probably more (depending on number of turns of bleeding.

      Number crunch for Shocking grasp:
      6th level monk, dex +4, flurry of blows, without grasp:
      30 damage (same math as above).
      with grasp:
      3x(1d6+4)+2d8=31.5
      I'm sorry, I forgot that grasp does not include ability mod. At 11th level (assuming dex +5) the damage difference would be 4, and at 17th it would be 7.5. I was wrong about the shocking grasp, it seems completely ok.

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    2. Ah, you ninja'd me. Yeah, the Dex mod is the key.

      And bleeding costs a ki point each time, so it's hardly at-will. I mean, if it's a choice between bleeding and flurry, which do you go for?

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    3. I didn't notive the ki cost. Well, for 1 ki per wound I suppose it would become very expensive to use for every hit, even at high levels, so it also isn't overpowered- it actually means that at higher levels, the healing prevention is a much bigger issue than the wounds.

      Does each wound take an action to close, or does one action close them all? The feature is good anyway, I'm just wondering what you had in mind.

      Also, something I forgot to mention- It's really nice to finally see a really damage-oriented monk, it's something I haven't really seen yet in 5e and have been aching for.

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    4. My *intention* is that bleeding wounds don't stack; a given creature can only have one at a time.

      If you wanted to allow stacking (which is fine by me), I'd rule that one action closes all wounds, though I don't think it'd be game-breaking if you ruled the other way.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Hey guys its Xela. I opened up a blog for some of my own stuff and now it posts with this ID. Comments wouldn't open on mobile though so I'm a little late to the party.

      The class looks good. Reminds me of the Mord Sith from the Sword of Truth series.

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  3. I have been iffy on the other monk subclasses on here and I have to say this one sounds like something official. It seems relatively balanced and different. The choice to cause a bleeding wound is an opportunity cost that 5e loves so much. Great job.

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    1. Thank you! This whole subclass was a bit of a brainwave for me, really. It all came to me, fully formed, in about 5 minutes. The interplay between D&D mechanics and the DK fluff works perfectly, and I'm hoping it will be genuinely compelling to play. ^___^

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  4. Nails ya did it again,I'm gonna test this one quite a few times.Sarielvailo will rise again to slash her independence across her kins throats.

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  5. aww, i was expecting a dark souls skelewheel like monastic tradition

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    1. Sorry darling, this one is Catherine wheels all the way.

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  6. The shocking grasp thing is super cool. It's one of my favorite attack cantrips and it works so well with monks. I was a little worried about the damage but then I looked at Idan bhk's numbers and I guess it's fine. It does also prevent reactions, but I don't think that is broken and it just adds to the utility of the class as a whole. Nice work!

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    1. Removing reactions and still getting your other attacks isn't too powerful - especially on a class that can Stun creatures 5 times/short rest ^_^

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    2. Also, way of the open hand also gets to prevent reactions without a save.

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  7. The nails I love this. it's fun i tested I get to cut open wounds. And shock people. Someone said don't shock me bitch he got shocked more.

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