Obsidian Blade (Monk)

obsidian_blade_class_iray_1200bSystem: D&D5e

The Monk is exactly as it is in D&D5e.  However, they are not “monks,” but more agents for a secret society called the Obsidian Blades.  A very old society, it was originally founded as an assassination guild, but is now a huge network of contacts, insiders and spies.  Its main goal is finding and selling information, or using it as blackmail.  It sometimes is called to be a mediator between guilds or corporation disputes, as they have turned to a more diplomatic society rather than a full assassination guild.

Role: ????

Class Features

As a Monk, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per Monk  level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 6) + your Constitution modifier per Monk level after 1st

Proficiencies

Armor: None
Weapons: Simple weapons, pistols
Tools: Choose one type of artisan’s tools or one musical instrument
Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity
Skills: Choose two from Acrobatics, Athletics, History, Insight, Religion, and Stealth

Level Proficiency Bonus Features Martial Arts Ki Points Movement
1st +2 Unarmored Defense, Martial Arts 1d4
2nd +2 Ki, Unarmored Movement 1d4 2 +10 ft
3rd +2 Monastic Tradition, Deflect Missiles 1d4 3 +10 ft
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement, Slow Fall, Craft Blade 1d4 4 +10 ft
5th +3 Extra Attack, Stunning Strike 1d6 5 +10 ft
6th +3 Ki-­Empowered Strikes, Monastic Tradition feature 1d6 6 +15 ft
7th +3 Evasion, Stillness of Mind 1d6 7 +15 ft
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement 1d6 8 +15 ft
9th +4 Unarmored Movement improvement 1d6 9 +15 ft
10th +4 Purity of Body 1d6 10 +20 ft
11th +4 Monastic Tradition feature 1d8 11 +20 ft
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement 1d8 12 +20 ft
13th +5 Tongue of the Sun and Moon 1d8 13 +20 ft
14th +5 Diamond Soul 1d8 14 +25 ft
15th +5 Timeless Body 1d8 15 +25 ft
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement 1d8 16 +25 ft
17th +6 Monastic Tradition feature 1d10 17 +25 ft
18th +6 Empty Body 1d10 18 +30 ft
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement 1d10 19 +30 ft
20th +6 Perfect Self 1d10 20 +30 ft

Unarmored Defense

Beginning at 1st level, while you are wearing no armor and not wielding a shield, your AC equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Wisdom modifier.

Martial Arts

At 1st level, your practice of martial arts gives you mastery of combat styles that use unarmed strikes and the following monk weapons: Dagger (including their obsidian blade crafted at level 4 or any other knife or dagger), Baton/Nightstick/Club, Alak, Alhulak, Quarterstaff, Chatkcha, Blowgun (special)*.

You gain the following benefits while you are unarmed or wielding only monk weapons and you aren’t wearing armor or wielding a shield:

  • You can use Dexterity 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 on the table above.
  • 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.

*Blowgun (special): Though the darts themselves still do no damage, but are just a delivery method for poison/toxins, the Obsidian Blade may use the Blowgun as they would a Baton in melee combat. So again, they do NOT do the Monk’s unarmed damage with the darts (or as a ranged attack). Instead, they can use the blowgun as a melee weapon with the equivalent stats of a Baton or Club without risk or breaking or damaging the blowgun.

Ki

Starting at 2nd level, your training allows you to harness the mystic energy of ki. Your access to this energy is represented by a number of ki points. Your monk level determines the number of points you have, as shown in the Ki Points column on the table above.

You can spend these points to fuel various ki features. You start knowing three such features: Flurry of Blows, Patient Defense, and Step of the Wind. You learn more ki features as you gain levels in this class.

When you spend a ki point, it is unavailable until you finish a short or long rest, at the end of which you draw all of your expended ki back into yourself. You must spend at least 30 minutes of the rest meditating to regain your ki points.

Some of your ki features require your target to make a saving throw to resist the feature’s effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows:

Ki save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier

Flurry of Blows

Immediately after you take the Attack action on your turn, you can spend 1 ki point to make two unarmed strikes as a bonus action.

Patient Defense

You can spend 1 ki point to take the Dodge action as a bonus action on your turn.

Step of the Wind

You can spend 1 ki point to take the Disengage or Dash action as a bonus action on your turn, and your jump distance is doubled for the turn.

Unarmored Movement

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 on the table above.

At 9th level, you gain the ability to move along vertical surfaces and across liquids on your turn without falling during the move.

Monastic Tradition

When you reach 3rd level, you commit yourself to a monastic tradition. The Order of the Obsidian Blade started as a monastic order and evolved into a secret society of assassins, which then evolved into the various law firms they are today. Some parts of the order carry on the monastic lifestyle and will chose the Way of the Open Hand or the Way of Shadow monastic traditions. The parts of the order that are part of law firms (or run them entirely) will choose the Investigator monastic tradition. Your tradition grants you features at 3rd level and again at 6th, 11th, and 17th level.

Deflect Missiles

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 Dexterity 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 ki 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 counts as a monk weapon for the attack, which has a normal range of 20 feet and a long range of 60 feet. This only counts for slow moving missiles such as arrows from bows or thrown weapons. It does not count for bullets or anything traveling at or faster than ballistic speeds.

Ability Score Improvement

When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Slow Fall

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.

Craft Blade

At level 4, the Monk crafts their signature blade. It is the mark of their initiation into the Order and a weapon that they will never be without. It is considered a “monk weapon” for the purposes of damage and thus does the Monk’s unarmed damage appropriate for their level. Additionally, they can spend 2 points from their Ki Pool to gain the following effects:

Keen — Increases critical range to 19 or 20
Flaming/Frost/Shocking (only one at a time) — adds 1d6 of damage of the type chosen
Defending — adds +2 to AC

These effects last for a number of rounds equal to 1/2 their Monk level + their Wisdom modifier.

Extra Attack

Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.

Stunning Strike

Starting at 5th level, you can interfere with the flow of ki in an opponent’s body. When you hit another creature with a melee weapon attack, you can spend 1 ki point to attempt a stunning strike. The target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or be stunned until the end of your next turn.

Ki-Empowered Strikes

Starting at 6th level, your unarmed strikes count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.

Evasion

At 7th level, your instinctive agility lets you dodge out of the way of certain area effects, such as a blue dragon’s lightning breath or a fireball spell. When you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity 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

Starting 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 mastery of the ki flowing through you makes you immune to disease and poison.

Tongue of the Sun and Moon

Starting at 13th level, you learn to touch the ki of other minds so that you understand all spoken languages. Moreover, any creature that can understand a language can understand what you say.

Diamond Soul

Beginning at 14th level, your mastery of ki grants you proficiency in all saving throws.

Additionally, whenever you make a saving throw and fail, you can spend 1 ki point to reroll it and take the second result.

Timeless Body

At 15th level, your ki sustains you so that you suffer none of the frailty of old age, and you can’t be aged magically. You can still die of old age, however. In addition, you no longer need food or water.

Empty Body

Beginning at 18th level, you can use your action to spend 4 ki points to become invisible for 1 minute. During that time, you also have resistance to all damage but force damage.

Additionally, you can spend 8 ki points to cast the astral projection spell, without needing material components. When you do so, you can’t take any other creatures with you.

Perfect Self

At 20th level, when you roll for initiative and have no ki points remaining, you regain 4 ki points.

Obsidian Blade Ranks

These are the ranks for the Obsidian Blades:

Initiate — You must be sponsored by a Master for at least one year, serving as his student. This usually counts as 1st through 3rd levels. Once you have chosen a Monastic Tradition, you move to the next rank.
Blade Errant — This is the most common rank for the “soldiers” of the Obsidian Blades. If any sort of assassination or just physical confrontation is required for a situation, it is the Blades Errant who fill this capacity. You also receive your Blade, which is a sleek, black knife. However, it has all the properties of a dagger. It is mastercraft quality and thus provides a +1 bonus.
Master — You must take at least one student on for one year and be level 8 or higher. Once done, you are considered a Master and you can form your own Conclave, which will act just as any other Obsidian Blade Conclave and will be recognized as such.
Ebon Blade — This rank is the Diplomatic Rank of the society. They are the mediators and negotiators for the Society. It is at this point that the Obsidian Blade now takes a vow of pacifism, but they still keep their Blade. You do have to be a Master before you are considered for this position.
Legendary Blade — This rank is the Administrative rank of the Society. There is a council of Legendary Blades that meets once per year to discuss the Society’s policies and stances on varying issues, oh yeah, and share secrets too.

Monastic Traditions

Three traditions of monastic pursuit are common among the Obsidian Blades. Most monasteries practice one tradition exclusively, but a few honor the three traditions and instruct each monk according to his or her aptitude and interest. All three traditions rely on the same basic techniques, diverging as the student grows more adept. Thus, a monk need choose a tradition only upon reaching 3rd level.

Way of the Open Hand

Monks of the Way of the Open Hand are the ultimate masters of martial arts combat, whether armed or unarmed. They learn techniques to push and trip their opponents, manipulate ki to heal damage to their bodies, and practice advanced meditation that can protect them from harm.

Open Hand Technique

Starting when you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you can manipulate your enemy’s ki 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 a Dexterity 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.

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.

Tranquility

Beginning at 11th level, you can enter a special meditation that surrounds you with an aura of peace. At the end of a long rest, you gain the effect of a sanctuary spell that lasts until the start of your next long rest (the spell can end early as normal). The saving throw DC for the spell equals 8 + your W isdom modifier + your proficiency bonus.

Quivering Palm

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 ki points to start these imperceptible vibrations, which last for a number of days equal to your monk level. The vibrations are harmless unless 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 a Constitution saving throw. If it fails, it is reduced to 0 hit points. If it succeeds, it takes 10d10 necrotic 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 Shadow

Monks of the Way of Shadow follow a tradition that values stealth and subterfuge. These monks are part of the older sects of the Obsidian Blade who cling to the old ways of assassination and intimidation. They are spies and assassins for these older sects.

Shadow Arts

Starting when you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you can use your ki to duplicate the effects of certain spells. As an action, you can spend 2 ki points to cast darkness, darkvision, pass without trace, or silence, without providing material components. Additionally, you gain the minor illusion cantrip if you don’t already know it.

Along with mimicking spells by using ki, you can also use your ki to create devastating stealth attacks.  These attacks work just like the Rogue’s sneak attack.  However, instead of being “always active” like with the Rogue, the Monk must use their ki.  Provided you meet the proper conditions as detailed in sneak attack, at the beginning of your turn you declare how many ki points you will use.  For every 2 ki points spent you gain +1d6 damage to all attacks for that round (however many you have).  This effect lasts for a number of rounds equal to half your level (rounded up).  Once that time is up, you will need to spend more ki points to gain sneak attack damage.  If you do not have enough ki, you cannot activate sneak attack damage.

Shadow Step

At 6th level, you gain the ability to step from one shadow into another. When you are in dim light or darkness, as a bonus action you can teleport up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space you can see that is also in dim light or darkness. You then have advantage on the first melee attack you make before the end of the turn.

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.

Opportunist

At 17th level, you can exploit a creature’s 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.

Investigator

The monks who choose this path are the main investigator for their Law Firm. They go and collect evidence, with our without the help of the Templarate, and any evidence they collect, provided protocols are followed, is admissible in any court. Because of this special status, the detectives of the Enforcers or constabulary are usually quite unhelpful and distrustful.

Eagle Eye

At level 3, you gain the skill Investigation and you can add x2 your Proficiency Bonus to the roll.

Subdual Techniques

At level 3, you gain the feat Grappler, as a bonus feat even if you do not meet the prerequisites.

Extract Information

At level 6, you can use your Stunning Strike to cause pain (and damage if you prefer) to persuade tight-lipped informants or suspects to give you information that they would rather you not have. To do so, perform a Stunning Strike normally and the target also makes a Constitution save normally. If they fail, instead of being stunned, they are “compelled” to give you the information you asked. As mentioned, you can do this and cause no damage. This is the preferred method as with interrogations in our world, courts frown on information “beaten out of” suspects and it will not be admissible in court.

Passive Aggression

As mentioned in Extract Information, brutality towards suspects is usually frowned upon. So, it’s best to let them attack first so you can claim “self-defense”. Thus at level 11, you have adjusted your style to be more defensive. You can go into full Defense at any time on your turn and when you do, if an attacker misses you you get your full attacks on that target as a reaction. However, if you use your full attacks as a reaction, you must go full Defense for the following round and for that full Defense you cannot make a full attack as a reaction. You are allowed any other reactions for that round, but you cannot attack during the second full Defense even if the attacker misses. The next round after that is treated normally and you may attack or go full Defense again with the possibility of attacking as a reaction.

Advanced Subdual Techniques

At level 17, you can attempt and (if successful) sustain a grapple with only one hand.  Additionally, you can also pin while using only one hand.  You also gain the use of the maneuver Choke Hold.  This maneuver can be used in the following ways.

Knock Out.  Once you have sustained a successful grapple for one round, the target must make a Constitution save vs 10 + 2 x your proficiency bonus + your Strength Modifier.  If they fail, they are rendered unconscious regardless of how many hit points they have currently and will remain unconscious for a number of rounds equal to 1/2 of your Monk levels rounded down.

Stealth Incapacitation.  This is the same as Knock Out, but if you successfully sneak up on the target (you beat them on a Stealth skill check), then you do not need to roll for the grapple.  You automatically grapple and the target must make the Constitution save.