May 22, 2019

Way of Sumo

Monastic Tradition
Comments from the Finger: I've been stewing on this for a while, tinkering with the mechanics to get a working set of features. The monk is designed with a wuxia bent in mind, so even though sumo wrestlers are without a doubt monks, they'll have to refrain from using the patently absurd monk abilities, like Step of the Wind and their greatly expanded movement speed to roleplay this type of character correctly.

This post has next to nothing to do with Hero Club's new season Here There Be Monsters, but you should go listen to that anyway!

Way of Sumo

Sumo is the ultimate contest of might, a bout where two enter a ring and only one remains within it seconds later. The Way of Sumo teaches its students to stand their ground and maintain perfect discipline and form to meet whatever challenge they face. In contrast to other monks, who are typically lithe and nimble, sumo wrestlers are rotund and rippling with muscle, a necessity for grappling with the mightiest contenders of the sport without surrendering any ground.

Sumo Defense
Starting when you choose this tradition at 3rd level, while you are wearing no armor and not wielding a shield, your AC equals 10 + your Strength modifier + your Wisdom modifier.

Implacable Stance
At 3rd level, if you move 5 feet or less on your turn, you can anchor your heels into the ground. Until the beginning of your next turn, you can't be moved against your will. Additionally, for the duration, you can spend a ki point whenever you take damage to reduce the damage taken by 1d8.
     Additionally, you are considered one size larger for the purposes of grappling and have advantage on Strength checks.

Huge Presence
By 6th level, your enormous silhouette causes even hardened warriors to take pause. You gain proficiency in the Intimidation skill. If you already had proficiency in this skill, you can add twice your ability score to ability checks made using it.
     Additionally, attacks made against you before you have taken a turn in combat have disadvantage.

Colossus Slam
Beginning at 11th level, you can drop your full weight on a foe like a falling meteorite. Once on each of your turns when you make a unarmed strike, you can deal twice the number of damage dice on a hit, but also knock yourself prone after the attack.

Yokozuna
By 17th level, you are a master of the art of sumo, an unmovable titan. Whenever you take damage, you can expend any number of ki points to reduce the damage by 1d8 per ki point expended.


15 comments:

  1. Awesome. It's the kind of thing that once you see, you can't believe it hasn't happened yet.

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    1. I know, right? I believe someone suggested it on Discord, but I couldn't remember who.

      By the way, I'm thinking of revising the capstone to something a little different to the 3rd level feature. Any thoughts?

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    2. Hmm. Something like the Sentinel feat seems appropriate, but, well, there's a feat for that.

      How about a charge kinda thing? Move up to your speed, damage everyone caught in the movement?

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    3. I like the idea of a charge, but Sumo itself isn't about damage as much as movement and control. Maybe it would allow you to knock your opponent prone and prevent them from rising, or multiple opponents

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  2. Are the grappling benefits from Implacable Stance separate from the stability benefits, or do you only get them if you anchor yourself?

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    1. They're separate; it's implied by the nature of it being a second paragraph, but I suppose it could be more clear.

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  3. Combining this with a Paladin to get smites would be both hilarious and devastating.

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  4. Huge presence seems... idk. Why not just go with straight expertise for that one skill. It gives the monk an extra skill with a boost to compensate for the fact that charisma is not a main stat for the class?

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  5. I'm assuming it is meant to say "twice your ability modifier" on Huge Presence and not "twice your ability score".

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    1. I was assuming it meant twice your proficiency bonus. Nothing in core gives you twice your ability score.

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    2. Damn it.

      *twice your ability bonus

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    3. Twice your ability bonus could then be stacked with expertise, and that would then give the highest bonus available for any skill. So it should just be "expertise".

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  6. I'm definitely very late for this, but Colossus Slam makes no sense from a flavor standpoint. In fact much of the class is a bit lost from the flavor of the fighting style it's trying to adopt. The point of sumo is to either knock your foe down or push them out of the ring, and to never get knocked down yourself. If you purposefully knock yourself down to weaken an opponent, it doesn't matter because you already lost at that point.
    Sumo is about shoves, grapples, and striking your opponent with your palm not to deal damage in particular but to knock them off balance, though some use strength to do damage regardless of the reason behind palm strikes in sumo. That said, this class really has very little synergy with such a style of fighting, giving a singular grapple ability (which only enhances base grapple, not really giving a new ability at all), and no push attacks. If anything I would give it flurry of blow synergy for pushing or grappling, ways to knock others prone, and get rid of knocking yourself prone because that just makes zero sense. In my opinion this class is neat, but it's not Sumo, and I'd love to see a rewrite with more accurate research done in the future.

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    1. Edit: In fact, this whole class feels more like Judo than sumo.

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