Monk : Way of Kung Fu
Way of Kung Fu
Traditional Kung Fu is based on techniques and stances that reflect the way animals behave and fight in nature. The Monks that choose the Way of Kung Fu observe and draw inspiration from the nature to enhance their fighting style, but also to strengthen their mind.
Starting at 3rd level, you learn how to use your accuracy, your balance and your speed instead of relying on the limited strength of your body. You can use your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier for Athletic checks.
Animal Fighting Styles
Starting at 3rd level, you learn 2 Animal Fighting Styles. During your turn, you can, as a Bonus action, expend 1 ki point to adopt one of the Animal Fighting Styles you know, gaining the associated benefits for the next 10 minutes or until you use this feature again to adopt an other style.
You learn 2 additional Animal Fighting Styles at 6th level, 2 more at 11th level, and you finally know all the 7 styles when you reach 17th level in this subclass.
Beginning at 6th level, you can visualize one of your fetish animals in your head to help you focus your mind, and think like that animal. You can visualize any of the animals you know the fighting style by using this feature and expending 3 ki points. When you do so, you gain a proficiency in one of the following skills for 10 minutes, until you loose your concentration (as if you were concentrating on a spell) or until you visualize an other animal. The skill proficiency you gain depends on the animal you visualize :
- Tiger : Investigation
- Crane : Nature
- Snake : Performance
- Mantis : Insight
- Leopard : Intimidation
- Monkey : Deception
- Dragon : History
Starting at 11th level, when you roll for initiative, you can immediately choose to adopt an Animal Fighting Style you know. It doesn't take you any action and it doesn't cost you any ki point. If you want to change for an other style later during the fight, you still need to expend a ki point and a bonus action as normal.
When you reach 17th level, you become a true master of the martial art. When you adopt an Animal Fighting Style, you now gain additional benefits.
Animal Fighting Styles
The tiger style is aggressive and offensive. A monk adopting this fighting style generally uses a lot of grappling techniques, curling up his fingers to mimic the claws of a tiger, and using them to pull and restrain his opponent while striking him with powerful punches.
You make grapple and shove attacks with advantage. You also make Athletic checks to maintain a grapple with advantage.
- Grandmaster technique : Starting at 17th level, while using the Tiger Style, every time you shove or grapple a creature, it takes 1d10 bludgeoning damage. Moreover, a creature grappled by yourself takes 1d10 bludgeoning damage at the start of each of its turn until the grapple ends.
The crane style is entirely based around balance and dodges. A monk adopting that style takes aerial postures, standing often on one leg with his arms wide open as the wings of a crane. The masters of that style also tighten their fingers to mimic the beak of a crane, aiming at the eyes of their opponents to debilitate them.
You have advantage on Acrobatic checks. Moreover, you are always treated as behind a half cover when targeted by a range attack or when you are in the area of a spell, even if there is no cover before you.
- Grandmaster technique : Starting at 17th level, while using the Crane Style, when you hit a target with a melee attack, you can aim at the eyes of your opponent. When you do so, the target of your attack must succeed on a dexterity saving throw or be blinded until the start of your next turn.
The snake style revolves around defensive postures. A monk adopting that style waits patiently for an error of its opponent, an opening in its guard. Once the occasion occurs, the monk strikes suddenly and violently, aiming on a vital point with an extreme precision.
When an enemy within your reach misses you with an attack, you can use your reaction to make an opportunity attack against it. Moreover, when you take the dodge action during your turn, you can add a number of d6 equal to half your monk level to the damage of any opportunity attack you do before the start of your next turn.
- Grandmaster technique : Starting at 17th level, while using the Snake Style, when you don't take the attack action during your turn, your reach increases by 10 feet until the start of your next turn.
The mantis style is extremely aggressive. A monk adopting that style focus purely on his speed, striking his opponent as fast as he can in order to overwhelm him under a rain of blows.
Once on each of your turns, if you hit a target twice with melee attacks, you can make one additional melee attack against that target (no action required). If that attack hits, the target takes bludgeoning damage equal to your Martial Art Die.
- Grandmaster technique : Starting at 17th level, while using the Mantis Style, your attacks deal an extra 1d4 damage to stunned targets.
The leopard style is recognizable by its numerous circular blows and its wide movements as it favors fast rotations of the body.
Every time you can make a melee attack, you can choose to make a Rotational Kick instead. If you do so, each creature within 5 feet of you must succeed on a Dexterity savind throw with a DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your dexterity modifier or it takes bludgeoning damage equal to your proficiency bonus.
- Grandmaster technique : Starting at 17th level, while using the Leopard Style, every time a creature fails a saving throw against one of your Rotational Kicks, you can choose to knock it prone or to push it 5 feet away from you.
The monkey style favors mischief and acrobatics. The goal of a monk adopting this style is to destabilize his opponent while always remaining unpredictable.
You gain a climbing speed equal to your walking speed and the maximum length of your long and high jumps are increased by 10 feet. Moreover, every time you would make an attack against a creature, you can replace that attack by a Distraction instead. When you do so, the next attack that targets this creature is made with advantage.
- Grandmaster technique : Starting at 17th level, while using the Monkey Style, you gain proficiency in Improvised weapons. Moreover, Improvised weapons count as monk weapons for you.
The dragon style is based around focus. The focus of the mind, on a first hand, in order to stay imperturbable during the fight; but also the focus of the body, to deliver spectacular explosive blows.
You make wisdom saving throws with advantage. Moreover, the size of your Martial Arts die is increased by one rank (a d4 become a d6, d6 become a d8 etc.).
- Grandmaster technique : Starting at 17th level, once on each of your turn, while using the Dragon Style, you can add one Martial Art die to the damage of one of your melee attacks.
Why only those 7 styles ?
Their are many other styles in kung fu, and some that aren't even based on animals ! I chose to limit the subclass to those 7 Animal Fighting Styles because they are the most iconic and flavorful in my opinion, and most of the other existing styles are actually some mix between those; like the eagle style is actually a mix between tiger and crane for instance.
Art Credit : Wizards of the Coast
(And silhouettes by LeRoiDeCarreau)
Homebrew lovingly made by LeRoiDeCarreau
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