February 23, 2018

Way of the Panther

Monastic Tradition
Comments from the Knuckle: Wakanda forever! Seriously, if you haven’t seen Black Panther yet, you should. Take the whole family!

Way of the Panther

Through ritual combat, you have joined the ranks of the secretive panther monastery. This order of monks defends their jungles and the downtrodden with the might and nobility of their namesake beast. Guided by their ancestors, these monks are blessed by the Panther Goddess with unearthly speed and unparalleled physical might. Despite this, the way to the monastery is forever hidden to outsiders; it seems the goddess is selective with her followers, or can only bestow her gifts on a select few.
     Monks who follow this tradition tend to be deeply spiritual, owing to a strong reverence for their ancestors. They seek to ready their soul and balance their deeds for the day that they join their forebears in the endless paradise prepared for them by the Panther Goddess.

Keen Senses
When you choose this monastic tradition at 3rd level, you imbibe a peculiar heart-shaped herb that enhances your senses and blesses you with the eyes, ears, and nose of the panther. You gain darkvision out to a range of 60 feet. If you already have darkvision from your race, its range increases by 30 feet.
     In addition, you gain proficiency with the Perception skill if you do not already have it. When you make a Perception check you add double your proficiency bonus to the roll.

Panther Claws
Also at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with claw gauntlets, which also count as monk weapons for you. Additionally, when you make a melee attack roll with a weapon that deals slashing damage, you score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20.

Elusive Pounce
Starting at 6th level, you can use your reaction when a creature moves within 5 feet of you to leap away, up to half your movement speed, without provoking opportunity attacks. You can choose to leap up to that distance into the air, but you fall if there is nothing to securely land on.

Ancestral Vision
At 11th level, when you meditate to recover your ki over a short rest, you can send your mind to the afterlife and commune with your ancestors, who tell you cryptic hints of the possible futures to come. You can choose not to recover 3 or more ki points that you would otherwise recover. You gain an Ancestral Vision point for every 3 points you forgo this way. These points lasts until you next take a short or long rest. Whenever you make an ability check or saving throw, you can spend an Ancestral vision point to gain advantage on the roll.

Panther’s Pounce
At 17th level, whenever you use your reaction to leap using your Elusive Pounce feature, you can leap your entire movement speed, instead of only half. In addition, you can make an unarmed strike with advantage against a creature within 5 feet of where you land. On a hit, this attack deals an additional 2d6 piercing damage.

New Weapon
Monks and other unarmed characters might find use of the following weapon:

NameCost Damage Weight Properties
Martial Melee Weapon
  Claw Gauntlet5 gp1d4 slashing2 lb.Light, fist

Weapon Description
     Claw Gauntlet. These weapons are gauntlets or wraps that cover the wearer’s forearms. The main purpose of these gauntlets or wrappings is to hold in place fine metal claws that the wearer uses to slash at their enemies. These claws can be retracted, without being removed, so that their wearers can interact with objects and the environment freely.

Weapon Properties
Many weapons have special properties related to their use, as shown in the Weapons table.
     Fist. Attacks made with this weapon count as unarmed strikes.

Changelog: 2/23/18: Panther Claws: reworded
Ancestral Protection: Replaced with Ancestral Vision


  1. Cool. Black panther was pretty good. Best part was the Rhinos.

    Anyway, this seems pretty nice, and very thematic to the movie. Ancestral Protection, though, seems weak; I don't think I'll ever choose 1 temp hp over 1 ki, or 5 hp over 5 ki. And it doesn't get better with high numbers.

    1. I fully agree. Especially on ancestral protection.

    2. You can use a bonus action whenever you want to replenish those temp hp. That seems really good to me

    3. True. But you’re sacrificing damage for tankiness. Maybe adding additional temp hp equal to their wisdom modifier, perhaps, or giving two temp hp per ki. I am aware that with heavier ki investment this feature is rather nice, but it just doesn’t feel worth it.
      In addition, limiting increased crit to slashing damage feels... it doesn’t feel cool, you know? Maybe make it increased crit with unarmed strikes, or just weapon attacks in general?

    4. Look at the Claw Gauntlet "Fist Weapon". Your unarmed strikes will be dealing slashing damage anyway.

    5. The thing is, a monk has a LOT of things to do with bonus actions, so even though the temp hp is restored it's not much.

      Also, the wording on the crit seems wrong- it should be "when you attack", not "when you deal damage".

    6. I agree with Channel here, adding wisdom mod to the extra temp hp would be nice and I think would make it truly worth it

    7. Instead of dealing with the temp HP nonsense (it was nice on paper, but too many people got rubbed the wrong way by it), we replaced it with a completely different defensive buff.

  2. Awesome class, the only thing I thought is that the Claw Gauntlet damage should scale with your unarmed strikes damage, for that class option exceptionally, because it becomes obsolete at higher levels when your unarmed dtrikes deal a lot more damage.

    1. Claw Guantlets are monk weapons for Panther Monks. Monk weapons use your martial arts die. :)

    2. Oh, sorry didn't recalled that rule lol

    3. I totally understand! Every now and then I have to remind myself. I was a 14th level shadow monk swinging my shortsword at a d6. I got to feel like an idiot when i realized I should've been using a d8 for the last 3 levels.

  3. Ancestral vision seems much better. It's missing the word "ki" though ("you may recover 3 or more points").

  4. Just to be clear, Elusive Pounce does avoid getting attacked by the one who moved within 5 feet of you, right?