Dungeons & Dragons Online

Reflavouring Monk as Card-throwing Mage (a la Gambit)

Content of the article: "Reflavouring Monk as Card-throwing Mage (a la Gambit)"

TL;DR: Using Magic Initiate and Sun Soul Monk to make a card-throwing, card-reading ranged spell attacker, with most monk abilities reflavoured (but mechanically unchanged) to use cards, and the following homebrew:

  1. One homebrew spell for 1/day use with Magic Initiate, very similar to Bardic Inspiration
  2. Slashing damage for cards, replacing unarmed strikes/daggers,
  3. Force damage for the arcane card throws replacing Radiant for the Sun Soul beams (it's a Strahd campaign so there's some give & take here)
  4. Some new 1-ki options at L6 for magically augmented card throws, replacing Sun Soul's Bonus Action burning hands.

I've been trying to help one of my players come up with a card-reading & cardthrowing character for a L1-10 Strahd campaign. Originally we were keen to write a whole class, but as the idea developed and we worked out what she really wanted to play, we've realised that Sun Soul Monk could be really easily adapted to make it work. I'm just looking for opinions and advice on the idea!

The goal: a human woman, with card-reading and card throwing as her core abilities, and some availability for magic card manipulation later. On further discussion, maneuverability and magic card attacks would be desirable, and leaving divination to mostly outside of combat is expected.

  • Variant Human, taking Magic Initiate (Druid) for Wis casting &
    • Magic Stone: Bonus Action cast to allow 3 card spell attacks over 2 turns
    • Frostbite or Thorn Whip: reflavoured as the first magic card throw effect
    • "Reading": a homebrewed divination spell, meant to represent a card reading. Kinda like a L1 mashup of Bane/Bless, Bardic Inspiration, and Portent. Name a specific creature & a type of roll (attack, check, or save), and get a d6 to add or subtract if you are aware of such a roll, once in the next 24 hours before you cast again. It also uses Scrying-inspired rules for how well you know the creature, to allow a smaller die to negatively impact enemies you know are ahead. The feat only allows casting once a day only, & it's a 10min casting.
  • Use Monk, reflavour daggers & unarmed strikes as cards and swap to slashing damage. At L1, bonus actions only to strike with hands or cast MS.
  • Ki: Reflavour. FoB is a short-range card barrage, SotW is stepping off the cards to propel, and Patient Defense (Dodge) is a flurry of cards obscuring the caster. At L3, Deflect Missiles becomes a card shield, either shattering and slowing the attack, or perfectly reflecting it.
  • L3: Sun Soul! Reflavour the beams; now all her "card throws" are spell attacks. Swap damage to Force (it's Strahd so I see this as a nerf). She gets her full-damage b.a. attack and ranged FoB equivalent. She no longer needs Magic Stone, but since many caster classes can swap out cantrips on level up, I was going to allow her to do so here too, probably to Guidance for the divination vibe.
  • We would swap out the 6th-level Sun Soul feature (2ki for BA Burning Hands) for two 1ki magic card effects, balanced just under Stunning Strike. I realise SS is very good but swingy, so the aim is to offer more consistent alternatives that work with the spell attacks. Current thoughts are along the lines of
    • an Ice Knife-style AOE, with a choice of elemental damage types – maybe also changing the damage type of the first card hit?
    • a marginally powered-up Booming Blade clone, which notably has no save, in contrast to SS
    • an Ensnaring Strike-like restraint card (trap card hehe)
    • …or something else that both does damage and has an extra effect, like .
Read more:  LMoP What Would Iarno Do?

That's it. From there the monk abilities just get reflavoured. If she wants more spellcasting, she can multiclass to get some more options – something with ritual casting would also allow more uses of Reading (resets on recast, only one die available at a time) and reinforce out-of-combat casting, and again, the spells can be flavoured.

Does this sound like a good plan? Anyone have ideas, suggestions, concerns? Especially would love ideas for the L6 replacement ki options, and opinions on balance and the cantrip choice! Thanks for reading.

Source: reddit.com

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