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Way of Many Forms

As the name of the monk subclass suggests, a monk that chooses the Way of Many Forms focuses on multiple fighting styles, becoming proficient in several but truly only mastering one, switching between these forms in the middle of a fight to not only confuse their opponents but to access a different set of abilities that may be better suited than the one they chose to begin the fight with.

Forms

3rd-level

Starting when you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you choose forms, or fighting styles with abilities that are fueled by your Ki points.

Forms. You learn two forms of your choice, which are detailed under “Forms” below. Each form grants advantage on all skill checks of a given skill as well as access to all the given abilities for the form for your monk level. You can only have one form active at a time, choosing at the beginning of each battle which form you have active. Activating and switching between forms requires a bonus action.

You learn an additional form of your choice at 6th, 11th, and 17th level. When you learn these additional forms, you can also replace one form you already know with a different one.

Saving Throws. Some of your abilities require your target to make a saving throw to resist the ability’s effects. The saving throw DC for these abilities is the same as your Ki save DC.

Steady as the Mountain

3rd-level

The constant exercise to perfect the movements of your forms has allowed you to shrug off effects that would otherwise leave you disoriented. You roll saving throws against effects that could give you the stunned condition with advantage.

At 11th level, you become immune to the stunned condition.

Burn Like the Flame

6th-level

You have learned how to strike at an opponent while switching between forms. When you use your bonus action to switch between forms, you may make a single unarmed strike or a melee attack with a monk weapon against a creature within 5 feet of you.

Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you complete a short or long rest.

Flow Like Water

11th-level

You may switch between forms as a free action instead of a bonus action. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you take a short or long rest.

Bend With the Wind

17th-level

You have learned to use aspects of all the forms you know without having to switch between those forms.

When you activate a form or switch between forms, you may activate a second form. The second form remains active for one minute or until you use your bonus action to change your active form. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you take a short or long rest.

Forms

The forms are presented in alphabetical order.

Crane

Speed and mobility are the hallmarks of the monks who practice this form, combining flurries of blows, quick charges, and agile footwork to make opponents overreach themselves or underestimate their own skill.

Active. While you have this form active, your unarmed strikes deal an additional 1d4 piercing damage. You also have advantage on Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks.

  • 3rd Level [Crane Sweep]. When you make a successful attack as part of the Attack action with an unarmed strike or monk weapon, you may spend 1 Ki point and make a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check against either the opponent’s Strength (Athletics) and Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (opponent’s choice), and if you succeed you knock the opponent prone. You can use this feature only once on each of your turns.
  • 6th Level [Crane’s Riposte]. When a creature misses you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction and spend 1 Ki point to make an unarmed strike or a melee attack with a monk weapon against the creature. If the attack hits, it deals additional damage equal to your Martial Arts die.
  • 11th Level [Crane’s Stride]. You may spend 2 Ki points and use the Dash action on your turn, gaining a flying speed up to your movement without provoking opportunity attacks, making an unarmed strike or a melee attack with a monk weapon as a bonus action. If the attack hits, it deals extra damage equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1).
  • 17th Level [Crane’s Flurry]. You may spend your bonus action and 3 Ki points to attempt to strike any number of creatures within 5 feet of you. Make a single attack roll and compare it to the AC of each target, and if the attack hits, it deals extra damage equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1) to each creature hit. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

Dragon

Monks of the dragon form believe that pure raw power is the path to true physical enlightenment, striking opponents with enough force to finish them as quickly as possible. The methodical and relentless application of force allows a student of this form to defeat any foe.

Active. While you have this form active, your unarmed strikes deal an additional 1d4 bludgeoning damage. You also have advantage on Strength (Athletics) checks.

  • 3rd Level [Dragon’s Fury]. When you make a successful attack as part of the Attack action with an unarmed strike or monk weapon, you can spend 1 Ki point to deal extra damage to the creature equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). You can use this feature only once on each of your turns.
  • 6th Level [Dragon Whip]. When you hit a creature with an unarmed strike or monk weapon, you can spend 1 Ki point to attempt to damage another creature with the same attack. Choose another creature within 5 feet of the original target and within your reach. If the original attack roll would hit the second creature, it takes damage equal to your Martial Arts die.
  • 11th Level [Dragon’s Scales]. As a bonus action, you can spend 2 Ki points to choose one of the following damage types: bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing. Your attacks with unarmed strikes or monk weapons ignore resistance of the chosen damage type until the beginning of your next turn.
  • 17th Level [Crane’s Flurry]. As an action, you can spend 3 Ki points to make a single attack with an unarmed strike or monk weapon against a creature with advantage on the attack roll. If the attack hits, the attack deals extra damage equal to your Martial Arts die. If both die results would result in a hit, then the attack is considered a critical hit; if one or both die result in a critical hit, then the attack deals triple damage. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

Mantis

Students of the mantis form learn to use their appendages for both offense and defense to great effect, defending themselves while at the same time punishing their opponents with retaliatory strikes.

Active. While you have this form active, your unarmed strikes deal an additional 1d4 piercing damage. You also have advantage on Strength (Athletics) checks.

  • 3rd Level [Mantis’ Deflection]. When another creature damages you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction and spend 1 Ki point to reduce the damage by the number you roll on your Martial Arts die + your Dexterity modifier (minimum 1).
  • 6th Level [Mantis’ Gambit]. When you damage a creature with a melee attack, you can spend 1 Ki point to either add additional damage to the attack equal to your Strength modifier (minimum 1) or add a bonus to your AC equal to your Strength modifier (minimum 1). You can use this feature only once on each of your turns.
  • 11th Level [Mantis’ Grace]. When a creature attacks you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction and spend 2 Ki points to cause the attacker to roll the attack with disadvantage. You may use this ability after the attack roll but before knowing the results of the attack. You can use this feature only once on each of your turns.
  • 17th Level [Mantis’ Majesty]. When a creature misses you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction and spend 3 Ki points to make a melee attack against the creature. If the attack hits, you may continue making attacks against the same creature, but with disadvantage, up to a number of attacks equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1), as long as each attack hits. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

Monkey

The monk that studies the monkey form seeks to neutralize their opponent’s maneuvers in combat, thwarting them at every turn until they become so frustrated that they make a crucial error, using an adversary’s power and speed against them.

Active. While you have this form active, your unarmed strikes deal an additional 1d4 bludgeoning damage. This damage is multiplied on a critical hit. You also have advantage on Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks.

  • 3rd Level [Monkey’s Draw]. When a creature misses you with a melee attack, you can spend your reaction and 1 Ki point to cause the attacker to overextend. The target must make a Dexterity saving throw or you have advantage on your next attack roll against that creature. You can use this feature only once on each of your turns.
  • 6th Level [Monkey’s Ruse]. When a creature attacks you, you can use your reaction and 1 Ki point to act as if you took the Dodge action during your turn. Or, if you took the Dodge action on your turn, you gain advantage on Dexterity saving throws and attackers still have disadvantage on attack rolls even if you cannot see them.
  • 11th Level [Monkey’s Parry]. When a creature attacks you, you can spend 2 Ki points and use your reaction to make a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check against the result of your opponent’s attack roll. If you succeed, the attack misses; if you succeed and another creature other than the attacker is within 5 feet of you, you can have the attack hit that creature instead.
  • 17th Level [Monkey’s Bravado]. You may spend your bonus action and 3 Ki points to make a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check against either an opponent’s Strength (Athletics) and Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (opponent’s choice) you are in melee combat with; if the opponent fails, the creature cannot take the Attack action against you on its next turn. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

Phoenix

Practitioners of the phoenix form believe that there is a balance between life and death, seeking to strike that balance through purity of body and mind. Monks who practice this form try to harness a spiritual strength and channel that into their combat style.

Active. While you have this form active, your unarmed strikes deal an additional 1d4 slashing damage. You also have advantage on Strength (Athletics) checks.

  • 3rd Level [Phoenix’s Flames]. When you damage a creature with a melee attack, you can spend 1 Ki point to heal yourself by a number of hit points equal to your Wisdom modifier. You can use this feature only once on each of your turns.
  • 6th Level [Phoenix Force]. You can channel your Ki to help or harm other living creatures. For 2 Ki points, you can cast either the cure wounds or inflict wounds spell at their lowest level on a creature other than yourself. You may spend additional Ki points, up to a maximum equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum 0), to increase the spell’s level by 1 for each point spent.
  • 11th Level [Phoenix’s Wail]. For 1 Ki point, any creature hostile to you within 20 feet must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is frightened of you until the start of its next turn. If a creature’s saving throw is successful, the creature is immune to this ability for the next 24 hours.
  • 17th Level [Phoenix’s Rise]. When an attack drops you to 0 hit points, you can use your reaction and spend 3 Ki points to deal either radiant or necrotic damage (your choice) equal to your Martial Arts die + your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1) to all creatures within 10 feet of you and you heal the same number of hit points. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

Tiger

The tiger form emphasizes deception, misdirection, and surprise. It favors a quick, first-strike approach, preferably from a position of ambush. Monks of this form believe that the most effective blow is one struck against an enemy who does not even know he is in danger.

Active. While you have this form active, your unarmed strikes deal an additional 1d4 slashing damage. You also have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks.

  • 3rd Level [Tiger’s Claw]. When you make a successful attack as part of the Attack action with an unarmed strike or monk weapon, you can spend 1 Ki point to deal extra damage to the creature equal to your Martial Arts die. You can use this feature only once on each of your turns.
  • 6th Level [Tiger’s Pounce]. You may spend 1 Ki point to double your movement when you move on your turn in combat. This movement does not provoke opportunity attacks. If you take the Attack action after you move, the first attack you make this turn is made with advantage.
  • 11th Level [Tiger’s Roar]. When another creature damages you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction and spend 2 Ki points to make the creature succeed on a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature rolls the attack and any additional attacks for the rest of the turn against you with disadvantage. If a creature’s saving throw is successful, the creature is immune to this ability for the next 24 hours.
  • 17th Level [Tiger’s Fury]. When you make a successful attack as part of the Attack action with an unarmed strike or monk weapon, you may spend 3 Ki points and make a Wisdom (Insight) check against either the opponent’s Strength (Athletics) and Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (opponent’s choice), and if you succeed you deal additional damage with the attack equal to your monk level. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

Tortoise

Monks of the tortoise form believe in patience above all else. They work to outlast their opponents in combat, using their training and mental focus to score a telling blow at just the right moment. For these monks, true quickness lies in the mind, not the body.

Active. While you have this form active, your unarmed strikes deal an additional 1d4 bludgeoning damage. You also have advantage on Wisdom (Insight) checks.

  • 3rd Level [Tortoise’s Shell]. When another creature damages you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction and spend 1 Ki point to reduce the damage by the number you roll on your Martial Arts die + your Wisdom modifier.
  • 6th Level [Tortoise’s Alacrity]. When an opponent provokes an opportunity attack, you may spend 1 Ki point to automatically deal damage equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1) to that opponent without using your reaction to perform an opportunity attack. You can only use this feature once per opponent.
  • 11th Level [Tortoise’s Clarity]. Once on each of your turns, you may spend 2 Ki points as a bonus action to make a Wisdom (Insight) check against either an opponent’s Strength (Athletics) and Dexterity (Acrobatics) check (opponent’s choice) you are in melee combat with; if the opponent fails, the next attack you make against that opponent is made with advantage.
  • 17th Level [Tortoise’s Strike]. Whenever you move half your speed or farther before you take the Attack action, you may spend 3 Ki points to have advantage on all attack rolls during the Attack action, and your movement after the attack does not provoke opportunity attacks. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

Viper

Monks who specialize in this form are agile and prefer defense over offense, counter-striking when an opponent misses. By making themselves hard to pin down, the monks of this form force their enemies to fight on their terms.

Active. While you have this form active, your unarmed strikes deal an additional 1d4 piercing damage. You also have advantage on Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks.

  • 3rd Level [Viper’s Retort]. When a creature misses you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction and spend 1 Ki point to make an unarmed strike or a melee attack with a monk weapon against the creature. If you hit, you add your Wisdom modifier (minimum 1) to the attack‘s damage roll.
  • 6th Level [Viper’s Strike]. When you hit an enemy with an unarmed strike or a melee attack with a monk weapon as part of the Attack action, you may spend 1 Ki point and that enemy must make a Wisdom saving throw or it has disadvantage on attack rolls against you until the beginning of your next turn.
  • 11th Level [Viper’s Escape]. When a creature hits you with an attack, you can use your reaction and spend 2 Ki points to roll a die equal to your Martial Arts die. On a 5 or higher, the attack instead misses you, regardless of its roll.
  • 17th Level [Viper’s Coils]. When you make a successful attack as part of the Attack action with an unarmed strike or monk weapon you may spend your bonus action and 3 Ki points to try and hinder the target’s actions. The creature must make a successful Constitution saving throw or it gains the restrained condition for 1 minute. The creature may make a Constitution saving throw at the beginning of each of its turns to remove the condition. This effect also ends immediately if you or your companions do anything harmful to it.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Class Acts, Volume 1: New Subclass Options For Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition © 2021 Krepolegion Press; Author: Mike Rainey.

Section 15: Copyright Notice
Class Acts, Volume 1: New Subclass Options For Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition © 2021 Krepolegion Press; Author: Mike Rainey.