April 2, 2018

Way of the Sphinx

Monastic Tradition
Comments from the Knuckle: Monks don't really have a reason to hold a monk weapon in both hands, even though it's a really cool and iconic visual. I set out to fix this, and along the way attached a desert theme to it. Then the Finger suggested I focus in on a more Egyptian specific theme to compliment the Avia-Ra and their culture. Once we made that change, the image of TWF monks who protect the tombs of god-kings became too much to pass up, and here we are.

Way of the Sphinx

Even now, millennia after their construction, the dusty tombs and forgotten crypts of the god-kings are still sacred locations. The monasteries of the sun have endured, safeguarding the tombs from harmful interlopers, with generation after generation of stalwart guardians, ensuring the pharaohs' rest is not disturbed. These monks are trained in the Way of the Sphinx, a fluid but aggressive style of martial arts, focused squarely on the use of scimitars, and take a sacred oath to guard the tombs until their deaths. These monks leave the bounds of the desert only if one of their number has failed in their duties, and a sacred artifact must be recovered.

Flurry of Blades
When you choose this monastic tradition at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with scimitars, which count as monk weapons for you.
     In addition, when you engage in two-weapon fighting, you add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack. When you use your Flurry of Blows feature while wielding a light monk weapon in each hand, you can use your light weapons for the additional attacks.

Inscrutable
Also at 3rd level, you are immune to any magical effect that would sense your emotions or read your thoughts. Wisdom (Insight) checks made to ascertain your intentions or sincerity have disadvantage.

Divine Guardian
Starting at 6th level, your monastery teaches divine magic. Some of the spells they practice hamper their enemies, others help the caster survive in their harsh surroundings. You can spend ki points to cast the spells create or destroy water, dust devil, or shield of faith.
     When you cast a spell in this way, you must expend a number of ki points equal to the spell's level. If the spell can be cast at higher levels, you can spend additional ki points to cast the spell at a higher level, at a cost of one additional ki point per spell level. You can expend ki points equal to no more than one third of your monk level (rounded down) on any spell granted by this feature.

Claws of the Sphinx
Also at 6th level, you are marked by the gods to defend the mortal world against the spirits of the dead and other unholy creatures. Attacks you make with a light monk weapon count as magical for the purposes of overcoming resistance and immunity to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.

Whirling Blades
Starting at 11th level, as an action while you hold a light monk weapon in both hands, you can spend movement equal to your Unarmored Movement bonus to whirl around in a lethal flourish. When you do so, each creature within 10 feet of you must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes damage equal to your Martial Arts die + your Dexterity modifier, and is pushed 5 feet away from you in a straight line. On a successful save, a creature takes half as much damage and isn't pushed away from you.

Pharaoh's Judgement
Starting at 17th level, your voice booms with divine authority, causing hostile creatures to freeze when you claim the right to pass judgement upon them. As an action you can cast the spell hold person, targeting a number of creatures up to your Wisdom modifier.
     Once you use this ability, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.



Changelog: 4/3/18: Whirling Blades: Radius increased to 10 feet

15 comments:

  1. I would strongly suggest changing instances of "A monk weapon in both hands" to "a monk weapon in each hand" to avoid confusion. I thought the archetype was about wielding a single monk weapon in two hands until the last sentence of the Comment.

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    1. Ah, yish. That would make more sense, wouldn’t it? I’ll change it as soon as I’m by my computer.

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    2. I love how you accidentally made a better Kensai than the Kensai.... TWICE.

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    3. What was the first time?

      And, I mean, personally I quite enjoy the Kensei. I do realize it has flaws, though. I very strongly wish that they weren’t trying to simultaneously make it the Swordmaster Monk AND the Zen Archer Monk.

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    4. I recall it having maneuvers and proficiency in all martial weapons.

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    5. Think that's their Swordsage Monk you're thinking of there, A Channel.

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  2. I... Still see no reason this monk would want to use two weapons after 5th level (when your unarmed strikes catch up to scimitars). Claws of the sphinx don't help either.

    Whirling blades cost more when you level up, which is weird. Also, dealing damage with part of a move action (to multiple creatures!) really breaks the action economy. It's basically an extra attack which is also a whirlwind.

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    1. As far as the whirling blades issue goes, it says:
      "Starting at 11th level, as an action while you hold a light monk weapon in both hands, you can spend movement equal to your Unarmored Movement bonus to whirl around in a lethal flourish."

      So it costs an action to do it, and the currency is bonus movement speed. You still get 30 ft. of movement (or 25 for my shorter friends) in the turn that you use this ability. And you also don't get any extra attacks. I don't think the action economy is broken here.

      That said, the scaling cost does kinda suck. Perhaps a set amount would be better? 20ft. of movement?

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    2. Oooor just make it work like the hunter ranger’s whirlwind? Which the ranger gets at eleventh level? The same level the monk would get this feature? H M M M M M?

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    3. Oh, ok, I didn't see it's an action to use. Well, my first point still stands.

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    4. Guys, I may be wrong here, but my understanding is that the "you can spend movement equal to your Unarmored Movement bonus to whirl around in a lethal flourish" means that you spend it TO MOVE IT said distance as well, so is not that the price goes up, but the "range" of the ability goes up. I think it's just weird wording.

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  3. If a monk gained proficiency in a double weapon, would it count as a monk weapon, first of all? Second of all, would get count as wielding two light weapons for the purpose of this subclass?

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    1. Considering the wording on this subclass, and the Kensei subclass, a weapon is only a monk weapon if an ability claims it to be such. So you would need more than just proficiency.

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  4. Idea for the level eleven monk ability: make the knockback increase as the unarmored movement speed bonus increases, to make up for the cost.

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