May 19, 2017


Monastic Tradition
Comments from the Finger: Until now, there wasn't a good way of doing Los Tiburon in 5e. (Seriously, this is required reading for all D&D fans.) So, here's some masked wrestler stuff!

Way of the Mask

When you put on your mask, you're not an ordinary, if impossibly handsome, commoner anymore; you're the greatest wrestler the world has ever known. You'll wrestle anyone -- or anything -- that comes within arm's reach. Sometimes you wrestle inanimate objects, just to prove that you can. That one time you wrestled an owlbear? Totally happened. For real.
     People come from all around to get a shot against you, to unmask you and take your championship belt. Women want you, and men want to be you. But above all, everyone wants to beat the champ; too bad no one ever will.

Sidebar: Mask and Wrestling Gimmick
People know you far and wide by the mask that you wear. Whenever you are in combat (and in much of your time outside combat) you wear a tight mask, made of leather or cloth, ornately decorated in a theme of your choice. Your mask's theme must tie into your wrestling persona, which you adopt to stir crowds and build your legend. For example, your mask might include furs to look like a werewolf, a fin to resemble a shark, or dark colors to resemble an executioner's garb.

Crowd Favorite
The roar of the crowd lives inside you. Starting when you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you can choose to add your Charisma modifier, instead of your Wisdom modifier, to your Ki Save DC and AC from Unarmored Defense. Additionally, you can add your Strength modifier, instead of your Dexterity modifier, to your AC from Unarmored Defense.

Heavyweight Champion
When presented with an obstacle, your first instinct is to wrestle it, even if the obstacle in question is not conventionally wrestle-able, like a dragon, an ooze, or an awkward conversation. At 3rd level, you gain the following features:
  • You are considered one size larger for the purposes of grappling.
  • You can attempt to grapple any creature, regardless of its size.
  • You can use your action to try to pin a creature grappled by you. To do so, make another grapple check. If you succeed, you and the creature are both Restrained until the grapple ends.
  • If you have the Grappler feat, you can choose whether a target grappled by you must make a Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to escape.

Signature Move
At 6th level, you master a signature move, which soon becomes synonymous with your exploits. Choose one of the following features of your choice. Each of these features has a suggested name, but you can choose any name for your signature move, preferably one that sounds good being chanted by a crowd and yelled by you when you perform it.
     Foreign Object. You are proficient with improvised weapons and can use an improvised weapon when you use Flurry of Blows. Once on each of your turns, you can spend 1 ki point to add your proficiency bonus to the damage of an improvised weapon.
     Headbutt of Justice. Once per turn when you miss with an unarmed strike, you can spend 1 ki point to follow it up with a quick headbutt. Make a second unarmed strike against the same target. The damage die of this attack is 1d8.
     Infinity Suplex. While you are grappling another creature, you can use your action and spend 1 ki point to end the grapple early by hurling your opponent over your shoulder and slamming them into the ground. Make an attack roll against the creature you are grappling. On a hit, the creature takes 2d10 damage. The grapple ends and the target is prone.

Off the Top Rope
At 11th level, whenever you fall 5 feet or more immediately before making and unarmed strike, you can choose to make a stunning strike without expending ki, or to knock the target prone and automatically grapple the target on a hit.

Choked Out
At 17th level, when you make a grapple check on your turn, you can spend 1 ki point to make that check with advantage.

Changelog: 5/21/17: Crowd Favorite: Unarmored AC equals 10 + Str + Cha
Signature Move: Headbutt of Justice: Damage reduced to 1d8


  1. Heh. This is pretty neat. It's good to finally have a good spec for grappling.
    Now I can bring back my 3.5 Kenku wrestler, that may or may not have been inspired by Hawlucha.

    1. Kenku wrestler is an amazing image.

      The luchador takes off his crow mask, revealing... yet another crow mask! Except, like, this time it's his face.

  2. I like the idea here, but there's a couple of points that I'd like to bring up:

    1. Crowd Favorite is very appropriate to the character, but it doesn't synchronize well at all with the rest of the class; the Monk is strapped for stats as is, relying on both Dexterity and Wisdom to perform (and of course no one can afford to drop Constitution), so building in Charisma for this feature is going to make the character very dependent on multiple ability scores. Maybe this feature would work better if it allowed the player to base their Ki Save DC off of Charisma as well; that way they can drop Wisdom to invest in Charisma instead without gimping important features like Stunning Strike. One could rationalize the Charisma-based Ki save DC by saying that being up against the crowd favorite makes things more psychologically difficult for the enemy. Even then, however, the character's going to be pretty weak for the first two levels as the Charisma investment won't pay off until they reach level 3 and get this feature.

    2. I'm pretty sure the rule about not being able to grapple something more than one size category larger than yourself was removed in the final release of the PHB; only the Grappler feat still mentions it, and that was errata'd out. Maybe "Heavyweight Champion" could allow a Way of the Mask monk to grapple creatures that are normally immune to the Grappled condition, but at disadvantage to reflect how difficult a task it is to grapple, for example, a ghost.

    Other than those two points, I really like this archetype, particularly the "Signature Move" feature and all the cool descriptions that can no doubt come out of it.

    1. Thanks for comments.

      Crowd Favorite /does/ base your ki save DC on Charisma. I agree that it make the first two levels of investment less useful, but fewer feature in those levels call for a Ki saves, so it doesn't hamper the class too much.

      I did not realize that section of Grappler was errata'd away. I'll do some research and see if I can figure out why that was removed and what it could be replaced with.

    2. You could make it Finessable, or double your proficiency bonus when attempting to use grappling.

  3. Pretty cool. Grappling is less annoying and obscure in 5e than in previous editions, so a grapple-based class seems good (would combo well with SCAG battlerager barbarian).

    Headbutt of justice seems very powerful. It doesn't allow extreme damage or anything like that, but it's basically a better advantage (since you use it only if you miss, and it stacks with advantage) with slightly increased damage.

    Does infinity suplex count as an attack for Flurry of Blows? I think it should, but I'm pretty sure RAW it doesn't (you don't take the attack action, but rather a special action that includes an attack).

    1. I had to ballpark the features for all the signiture moves, since there really isn't anything like them.

      My logic on Headbutt of Justice is that the ki cost would quickly become a hindrance if you tried to use it every round (plus, it's not a huge damage increase when you pull it off.) I could make it a bonus action, so it conflicts with Flurry, but I think that's too much of a nerf. Perhaps it just needs a d8 damage die.

      Because Infinity Suplex leaves the target prone, I didn't want to also give extra attacks on the same round that you use it, since those attacks are all at free advantage. I might be overvaluing the Prone condition as a benefit, though. What do you think?

    2. For headbutt of justice, d8 sounds like enough of a nerf.

      As for infinity suplex- I didn't see the prone part, it does make other attacks on the same turn seem too powerful. Another option is to leave both the target AND the luchador prone, but the luchador would still probably still just get up on the same turn.

    3. Wouldn't it just be best to base the damage of of the unarmed strike damage though?
      Headbut of justice simply takes the place of a missed attak for a shortrest resource, Infinity supplex uses all your attacks and inflicts prone which is a less potent condition than stunned and well foreign object is DM reliant.

  4. He's personally going to stab you in the eye, with a foreign object?

    I have been wanting to play/DM a series of characters based around Beat The Champ since I discovered The Mountain Goats. Chavo Guerrero, coming off the top rope, defender of the downtrodden and king of the hill (paladin); Bull Ramos, that old wrestler with a bull whip (Fighter), and The Werewolf Gimmick... well that one tells itself.

    Anyway... I love this. But. As a monk you are now going to have to invest in dex, cha, con... and STR above all. Unless I missed something grappling is always STR check from the initiator, and so the luchadore monk will always be hamstrung since his coolest/flavoursome ability is dependent on a stat other than dex. I guess you can have proficiency on your athletics but it would feel wrong not to have a burly luchadore. Still I am not sure of the answer there.

    My other note would be in regards to the grappler feat - maybe just give it them for free. Or make the ability to decide acrobatics or athletics non dependent on the feat, or make it cost a ki point if you feel that's overpowered.

    1. My first favorite band is the Mountain Goats, and my second favorite band is the Mountain Goats. Saw those guys live a few years back -- best show ever. If you know the song Lovecraft in Brooklyn, that song played almost the entire time I wrote the Lovecraft Handbook. Give it a listen!

      This monk shouldn't have to invest in Wisdom whatsoever -- Crowd Favorite replaces AC and saves with Charisma, and those are literally the only two places Wisdom shows up in the entire class.

      But, you're correct, it does have to invest in Strength as well as Dexterity, which is a problem. I can see two reasonable solutions for this:

      Solution A: Allow the Luchador to use Dexterity (Acrobatics) for grapple checks, as opposed to Strength (Athletics.) This is mechanically cohesive with the traditional monk, but it means that Luchadors won't be big, beefy strongmen.

      Solution B: Don't do anything. Monks /can/ go the Strength route, since unarmed strikes can totally be Strength based; their AC just suffers somewhat. A very unorthodox patch here is to make their AC = 10 + Str + Cha, which is weird, but reduces the MADness somewhat.

    2. Also, I should mention that the Mother Beast warlock is based on Werewolf Gimmick, which is one of my hands-down favorite songs of all time.

    3. Never heard of the Mountain Goats before...and I must say thank you for awakening me to their music.

    4. You, sir, are welcome. I should recommend the album Tallahassee: my single favorite album ever.

    5. Yeah I noted WIS = CHA for the luchadore:) I kind of like the STR + Cha for AC... I think the MAD is only bad because the lower the AC the more you need that CON, so without doing anything you end up with high STR, middling Dex and Cha, and at best average con. I think I would make STR + CHA given this monk is going to be trying to grapple dragons and giants.

      Lovecraft in Brooklyn and Psalms 40:2 inspired my warlock/fighter character. (He has fixed his sign in the sky! He has raised me from the pit, and set me high.... no one at my table knows the mountain goats so they think I made the ramblings up off the top of my head)

  5. the 17th level feature seems particularily weak when compared to the core traditions like open hand. though I guess if you were taking this tradition you wouldn't really care about that

  6. I'll be taking this path and modifying it a bit to fit my vision. You do amazing work, sir.

  7. Barbarian Monk multiclass! Smack them with an axe, kick them, then grapple with that nifty bonus action unarmed attack!

    1. Although I've always wondered what a barbarian esque monk would like like. This fits that bill almost perfectly

  8. I finaly read los tiberon and i lost my shit its time to pin for los going goliath los lucha pendejos.