Monks are students of the ancient martial arts of hand-to-hand combat and unarmored self defense. Monks avoid detection by stealth, mobility, and Agility, and are skilled with a variety of ranged and close-combat weapons.
You can make a monk quickly by following these suggestions. First, make Agility your highest attribute score, followed by Willpower. Second, choose the hermit background.
As a monk, you gain the following class features:
Hit Dice: 1d8 per monk level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8+ your Endurance modifier
Hit Points At higher levels: 1d8 (or 5) + your Endurance modifier per monk level after 1st.
Weapons: hand-to-hand, staves
Tools: Choose one type of artisan's tools or one musical instrument.
Saving Throws: Strength, Agility
Skills: Pick two from Acrobatics, Athletics, History, Insight, Religion, and Stealth
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
(a) a quarterstaff or (b) a hand-to-hand weapon
(a) a dungeoneer's pack or (b) an explorer's pack
Beginning at 1st level, while you are wearing no armor and not wielding a shield, your AC equals 10+ your Agility modifier + your Willpower modifer.
At 1st level, your practice of martial arts gives you mastery of combat styles that use unarmed strikes and monk weapons, which are hand-to-hand weapons, short blades, and staves that don't have the two-handed or heavy property.
You gain the following benefits while you are unarmed or wielding monk weapons and you aren't wearing armor or wearing a shield:
You can use Agility instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls of your unarmed strikes and monk weapons.
you can roll a d4 in place of the normal damage of your unarmed strike or monk weapon. This die changes as you gain monk levels, as shown in the Martial Arts column of the Monk table.
When you use the Attack action with an unarmed strike or a monk weapon on your turn, you can make one unarmed strike as a bonus action. For example, if you take the Attack action and attack with a quarterstaff, you can also make an unarmed strike as a bonus action, assuming you haven't already taken a bonus action this turn.
Certain monstaries use specialized forms of the monk weapons. For example, you might use a club that is two lengths of wood connected by a short chain (called a nunchaku) or a sickle with a shorter, straighter blade (called a kana). Whatever name you use for a monk weapon, you can use the game statistics provided for the weapon in chapter 5, “Equipment.”
Starting at 2nd level, your training allows you to harness the energy of stamina. Your access to this energy is represented by a number of stamina points. Your monk level determines the number of points you have, as shown in the Stamina Points column of the Monk table.
You can spend these points to fuel various stamina features. You start knowing three such features: Flurry of blows, Patient Defense, and Step of the Wind. You learn more stamina features as you gain levels in this class.
When you spend a stamina point, it is unavailable until you finish a short or long rest. You regain stamina equal to your Willpower modifier, minimum of 1, for each hour spent resting during a long rest, and half as much, minimum of 0, each hour spent resting during a short rest.
Some of your stamina features require your target to make a saving throw to resist the feature's effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows:
Stamina Save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus +
your Willpower modifier
Flurry of Blows
Immediately after you take the Attack action on your turn, you can spend 1 stamina point to make two unarmed strikes as a bonus action.
You can spend 1 stamina point to take the Dodge action as a bonus action on your turn.
Step of the Wind
You can spend 1 stamina point to take the Disengage or Dash action as a bonus action on your turn, and your jump distance is doubled for the turn.
Starting at 2nd level, your speed increases by 10 feet while you are not wearing armor or wielding a shield. This bonus increases when you reach certain monk levels, as shown in the monk table.
At 9th level, you gain the ability to move along vertical surfaces and across liquids on your turn without falling during the move.
When you reach 3rd level, you commit yourself to a Monastic Path: the Way of the Exposed Palm, the Way of the Whispering Fang, or the Way of the Voice, all detailed at the end of the class description. Your path grants you features at 3rd level, and again at 6th, 11th , and 17th level.
Starting at 3rd level, you can use your reaction to deflect or catch the missile when you are hit by a ranged weapon attack. When you do so, the damage you take from the attack is reduced by 1d10 + your Agility modifier + your monk level.
If you reduce the damage to 0, you can catch the missile if it is small enough for you to hold in one hand and you have at least one hand free. If you catch a missile in this way, you can spend 1 stamina point to make a ranged attack with the weapon or piece of ammunition you just caught, as part of the same reaction. You make this attack with proficiency, regardless of your weapon proficiencies, and the missile deals damage equal to your unarmed strike, which has a normal range of 20 feet and a long range of 60 feet.
ATTRIBUTE SCORE IMPROVEMENT
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one attribute score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two attribute scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
Beginning at 4th level, you can use your reaction when you fall to reduce any falling damage you take by an amount equal to five times your monk level.
Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
Starting at 5th level, you can interfere with the flow of stamina in an opponent's body. When you hit another creature with a melee weapon attack, you can spend 1 stamina point to attempt a stunning strike. The target must succeed on an Endurance saving throw or be stunned until the end of your next turn.
Starting at 6th level, your unarmed strikes count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.
At 7th level, your instinctive agility lets you dodge out of the way of certain area effects, such as a fireball spell. When you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make an Agility saving throw to take only half damage, you instead take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, and only half damage if you fail.
STILLNESS OF MIND
At 7th level, you can use your action to end one effect on yourself that is causing you to be charmed or frightened.
PURITY OF BODY
At 10th level, your stamina mastery makes you immune to disease and poison.
TONGUES OF THE SOUL
Starting at the 13th level, you learn how to touch the minds of others so that you can understand all spoken languages. Moreover, any creature that can understand a language can understand what you say.
Beginning at 14th level, your mastery of stamina grants you proficiency in all saving throws.
Additionally, whenever you make a saving throw and fail, you can spend 1 stamina point to reroll it and take the second result.
At 15th level, your stamina sustains you so that you suffer none of the frailty of old age, and can't be aged magically. You can still die of old age, however. In addition, you no longer need food or water.
Beginning at 18th level, you can use your action to spend 4 stamina points to become invisible for 1 minute. During that time, you also have resistance to all damage.
Additionally, you can spend 8 stamina points to cast the astral projection spell, without needing material components. When you do so, you can't take any other creatures with you.
At 20th level, when you roll for initiative and have no stamina points remaining, you regain 4 stamina points.
Most monasteries practice one path exclusively, but a few honor multiple traditions and instruct each monk according to their aptitude and interest. Every monastery relies on the same basic techniques, diverging as the student grows more adept.
WAY OF THE EXPOSED PALM
Monks of the Way of the Exposed Palm understand how small objects can create more harm than larger ones. They tell of the parable of a person struck with the blunt side of a plate. The person is left with a small bruise, but is otherwise left unharmed. However, if the plate is broken, and the person is struck with one of the shards, the person may be grievously wounded. This is the first essential point of the Way of the Exposed Palm.
Each finger on the hand represents a fundamental belief: concentration, reaction, equilibrium, speed, and breath control. To truly become a master of the Exposed Palm, one must perfect all five digits.
In the parable of the plate, it tells the story of the first aspect of concentration. A blow that is concentrated into a small point becomes more potent. A highly trained fighter can be more deadly with just the thumb than to strike with the whole fist.
The second aspect of concentration notes that with enough mental discipline, distraction can be ignored as the will maintains the ultimate goal. A truly deadly fighter can even block out their own pain.
EXPOSED PALM TECHNIQUE
Starting when you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you can manipulate your enemy's stamina when you harness your own. Whenever you hit a creature with one of the attacks granted by your Flurry of Blows, you can impose one of the following effects on that target:
It must succeed on an Agility saving throw or be knocked prone.
It must make a Strength saving throw. If it fails, you can push it up to 15 feet away from you.
It can't take reactions until the end of your next turn.
A 6th level, you gain the ability to use stamina to absorb direct damage against you. As a reaction, when you are struck with an attack that only strikes you, and deals bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage, you can reduce the damage by ten times the amount of stamina spent. Once you use this ability, you must finish a long rest to use it again.
Beginning at 11th level, you can attack three times, instead of twice whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
At 17th level, you gain the ability to set up lethal vibrations in someone's body. When you hit a creature with an unarmed strike, you can spend 3 stamina points to start these imperceptible vibrations, which last for a number of days equal to your monk level. The vibrations are harmless you use your action to end them. To do so, you and the target must be on the same plane of existence. When you use this action, the creature must make an Endurance saving throw. If it fails, it is reduced to 0 hit points. If it succeeds, it takes 10d10 bludgeoning damage.
You can have only one creature under the effect of this feature at a time. You can choose to end the vibrations harmlessly without using an action.
WAY OF THE WHISPERING FANG
Monks of the Way of the Whispering Fang follow an order shrouded in mystery. This monastic tradition has its origins deep in the jungles and deserts of Elsweyr. Here, the Khajiit perfected the deadly art of fang and claw.
While the Khajiit make up the majority of the order, they are not racially exclusive. Races without the natural weapons of a khajiit, including the elven appearing Ohmes, learn the whispering fang's superior combat methods with the use of awls, katars, and daggers.
Starting at 3rd level, when you use monk weapons, you can choose to deal damage equal to the weapon's description, or by an amount equal to 1 size of dice larger than the your current martial arts die listed in the Martial Arts column of the Monk table. For example, at 3rd level instead of 1d4, your hand-to-hand weapon attacks deal 1d6 damage. At 17th level, your weapon attacks deal 1d12 damage.
Special. If your race has natural weapons, they are considered monk weapons for you.
WHOLENESS OF BODY
At 6th level, you gain the ability to heal yourself. As an action, you can regain hit points equal to three times your monk level. You must finish a long rest before you can use this feature again.
CLOAK OF SHADOWS
By 11th level, you have learned to become one with the shadows. When you are in an area of dim light or darkness, you can use your action to become invisible. You remain invisible until you make an attack, cast a spell, or are in an area of bright light.
At 17th level, you can exploit a creatures momentary distraction when it is hit by an attack. Whenever a creature within 5 feet of you is hit by an attack made by a creature other than you, you can use your reaction to make a melee attack against that creature.
WAY OF THE VOICE
The monks of High Hrothgar are the most famous practitioners of the Way of the Voice. These philosophical monks, known as the Greybeards, spend most of their time in silent meditation, isolated atop Skyrim's largest mountain.
The Greybeards believe in using the Voice to attain enlightenment, rather than as a tool of war. This doesn't mean that they teach pacifism, only that the Voice can be used more more than just simple violence. They believe that those who can wield the Voice should only do so in times of True Need.
DISCIPLE OF THE VOICE
When you choose this path at 3rd level, you learn how to harness the power of the dragon tongue to form powerful shouts. A shout requires you to spend stamina points each time you use it.
You know the Unrelenting Force shout and one other shout of your choice, which are detailed in the “Dragon Shouts” section below. You learn two additional shout of your choice at 6th, 11th, and 17th level.
Whenever you learn a new shout, you can also replace one shout that you already know with a different shout.
Using Dragon Shouts. The Thu'um is a form of magic which uses words from the draconic language to form powerful shouts. See chapter 10 of the Player's Handbook for the general rules of spellcasting. To cast one of these spells, you use its casting time and other rules, but you don't need to use any magicka to cast it.
Once you reach 5th level in this class, you can spend additional stamina points to increase the level of a
Dragon Shout spell that you cast, provided that the spell has an enhanced effect at a higher level, as unrelenting force does. The spell's level increaes by 1 for each additional stamina points you spend. The maximum number of stamina points you can spend to cast a spell in this way (including its base stamina point cost and any additional stamina points you spend to increase its level) is determined by your monk level, as shown in the Spells and Shouts table.
SPELLS AND SHOUTS
Monk Level Maximum Stamina Points for a Spell
Some of your Dragon Shout features require your target to make a saving throw to resist the feature's effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows:
Dragon Shout save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus
+ your Willpower modifier
The dragon shouts are presented at the level you must be to learn them.
At 3rd level, you learn Unrelenting Force and one other shout of your choice listed below.
Clear Skies (Lok Vah Koor)
You can spend 1 stamina point to use your voice to clear out all thick clouds, overcast sky, poisonous fog, or impeding haze, that is within 1 mile of you.
Throw Voice (Zul Mey Gut)
You use 1 stamina point to throw your voice anywhere within 60 feet of you. You can use your voice to distract or confuse others. Each creature must make a Intelligence saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is fooled by this trick, and is not fooled on a successful save.
You can also use your voice to make an ally appear to insult a target, if the target is capable of understanding your language. On a failed save, the creature has disadvantage on any attacks against targets other than the suspected taunter. The effect lasts for 1 minute or until a creature other than the suspected taunter attacks the target.
Unrelenting Force (Fus Ro Dah)
You use 1 stamina point to cast the alteration spell Thunder Wave. The spell's level increases for each additional shout you spend.
Whirlwind Sprint (Wuld Nah Kest)
You can use a bonus action to spend 1 stamina point to double your speed for one turn. While you are under these effects, any opportunity attacks against you are made with disadvantage.
Starting at 6th level, you can choose to learn two of the shouts listed below or from the previous list.
Animal Allegiance (Raan Mir Tah)
You can spend 1 stamina point to cast the spell Animal Friendship.
Aura Whisper (Laas Yah Nir)
You can spend 1 stamina point to whisper a detection spell that allows you you sense the presence of life within 30 feet of you. The spell lasts up to 10 minutes, as though you are concentrating on it.
If you sense life in this way, you can use your action to see a faint aura around any visible creature in the area that bears life.
The spell can penetrate most barriers, but it is blocked by 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of wood or dirt.
Disarm (Zun Haal Viik)
You can use 2 stamina points to use your voice to focus vibrations on a weapon currently being wielded by a creature within 30 feet. The creature must make a Strength saving throw. On a failed save, the creature drops their weapon. On a successful save, the creature has disadvantage on any attacks made with that weapon until the start of your next turn.
If a creature tries to pick up a dropped weapon, they must use half their speed and make a Strength saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is incapable of picking up the weapon. On a successful save, the creature is able to pick up the weapon and the effect is dispelled.
Gale Winds (Ven Mul Riik)
You use one 1 stamina point to cast the alteration spell Gust of Wind.
Kyne's Peace (Kaan Drem Ov)
You can spend 2 stamina points to cast the illusion spell Calm Emotions.
Marked for Death (Krii Lun Aus)
You can spend 1 stamina point to cast the conjuration spell Hunter's Mark.
Spectral Clone (Fiik Loh Sah)
You can spend 2 stamina points to cast the illusion spell Mirror Image.
Starting at 11th level, you can choose to learn two of the shouts listed below or from the previous lists.
Battle Fury (Mid Vur Shaan)
You can spend 3 stamina points to cast the illusion spell Haste on yourself.
Become Ethereal (Feim Zii Gron)
You can spend 7 stamina points to cast the mysticism spell Etherealness.
Call of Valor (Hun Kaal Zoor)
You can spend 1 stamina point to cast the illusion spell Heroism.
Cyclone (Ven Gar Nos)
You can spend 2 stamina points to cast the alteration spell Dust Devil.
Ice Form (Iiz Slen Nus)
You can spend 2 stamina points to attempt to freeze a target that you can see that is within 60 feet of you.
The target must make a Strength saving throw to resist the spell. On a failed save, the target takes 4d8 cold damage and they are encased in a shell of frost. The encased creature is immobilized and can't speak, hear, move, or make any actions. The creature takes this damage again on each subsequent turn while the spell persists.
The creature restrained by this spell must make another Strength saving throw at the start of each of their turns to try and break free. If it successfully saves against this spell three times, the spell ends. If it fails saves three times, the frost hardens and the creature is subjected to the petrified condition for the duration. The successes and failures don’t need to be consecutive; keep track of both until the target collects three of a kind.
On a successful save, the creature takes half of much damage and isn't immobilized.
While the spell is active, the frost shell has an AC of 5 and 60 hit points. When the frost shell reaches 0 hit points the shell breaks, ending the spell effect. A dispel magic spell can also reverse the effects.
Starting at 17th level, you learn the dragon shout Return to Nirn, and you can choose to learn two of the shouts listed below or from the previous lists.
You can spend 6 stamina points to exhale an element of your choice. Choose either cold, fire, lightning, or poison. Each creature in a 60-foot cone must make an Endurance saving throw. A creature takes 8d8 elemental damage on a failed save, and half as much on a successful one. Example shouts are: Fire Breath (Yol Toor Shul), Frost Breath (Fo Krah Diin).
Dismay (Faas Ru Maar)
You can spend 3 stamina points to cast the illusion spell Fear.
Dragon Aspect (Mul Qah Diiv)
You can spend 6 stamina points to take on the aspect of a dragon for 1 minute. While in this form, your AC can't be less than 20. Additionally, each of your melee weapon attack and damage rolls increase by +2.
Return to Nirn (Nahl Dal Vus)
You can spend 9 stamina points to travel instantly from any plane that you are currently on and return to Nirn. You and up to 10 willing creatures can choose to return to a specific location that you have seen before. If you are currently on Nirn, this spell automatically fails.
Slow Time (Tiid Klo Ul)
You can spend 6 stamina to temporarily slow the time around you for everyone else but yourself. For the next 1d4+1 turns, you are able to take 2 turns each round. One turn at your regular initiative, and another at your initiative +10.
When the spell ends, you can't move or take any actions, and you suffer 1 level of exhaustion until after your next turn.
Storm Call (Strun Bah Qo)
You can spend 3 stamina points to cast the destruction spell Call Lighting.