One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
On May 11th, the Monk Playtest (subscription only) was released to DDI subscribers.
This 13 page PDF is a taste of what's to come in the Player's Handbook 3 in 2010.
Secondary Roles: Lean towards Controller depending on class features chosen.
Power Source: Psionic
Armor Proficiencies: Cloth
Weapon Proficiencies: Club, dagger, quarterstaff, shuriken, sling, spear
Implements: Monk weapons
Bonus to Defense: +1 Fortitude, +1 Reflex, +1 Will
Hit Points at 1st Level: 12 + Constitution score
Hit Points per Level Gained: 5
Healing Surges per Day: 7 + Constitution modifier
Trained Skills: From the class skills list below, choose four trained skills at 1st level.
Class Skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Athletics (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Endurance (Con), Heal (Wis), Insight (Wis), Perception (Wis), Stealth (Dex), Thievery (Dex)
Class Features: Monastic Tradition, Unarmed Combatant, Unarmored Defense
The Striker role comes as no surprise, the monk was filling that role in previous editions long before it was defined in 4e. You are lightly armored and have movement to burn with interesting movement abilities that are part of the Full Discipline abilities (see below).
However, the psionic power source was unexpected. In the accompanying Design & Development article (subscription only) Mike Mearls explaines why the predicted Ki power source was tossed out.
Mike Mearls wrote:
As we worked on concepts for the monk, we found that the ki power source grew thinner and thinner. The monk's central, mechanical conceit, full disciplines (more on those later), didn't lend itself well as the umbrella mechanic for a power source. It functions better for a class that likes to move around in interesting ways, but that doesn't necessarily point to an entire source. Instead, it points to the striker role. That's not a good leg for an entire power source to stand on.
An interesting note, Monk Weapons are the following: unarmed attacks, clubs, daggers, quarterstaffs, and spears. That means you are proficient with Shurikens but cannot use them with powers that require a Monk Weapon.
Most of the powers (referred to as Disciplines) are melee, touch or close burst attacks.
When creating your monk you choose a monastic tradition that gives you a their version of Flurry of Blows (they only give one tradition, Centered Breath in the playtest).
There is also powers with the "Full Discipline" listing. These abilities have an attack and movement component and so long as you have the actions available you can use one or both, but you can only use a Full Discipline power once per round. So one power might give you +2 to move or let you trade places with an enemy when using a move action and then have an attack power that is used with a Standard action.
Since I haven't put a character together and run it I don't have any actual play experience to give, but it should be an interesting edition to the game.
Yeah I was surprised by the psionic power source too. I didn't really like the idea of a ki source and would rather have opted for martial, but okay. I do wish they'd just kept the keyword "psychic" to match prior "psionic" attacks in the MM. Are they going to change that in later MM printings? Or are they going to draw some distinction between psionic and psychic? From a marketing standpoint I guess "psionic" does have a certain cachet with D&D folks.
Twilight Touch Monk Attack 9 You press your fingers against your enemies, disrupting the
flow of energy through them and clouding their vision.
Daily ✦ Implement, Psionic, Psychic Standard ActionMelee touch Target: One, two, or three creatures
Attack: Dexterity vs. Reflex
Hit: 3d6 + Dexterity modifier psychic damage, and the dtarget is blinded until the end of your next turn.
Miss: Half damage.
Note: This is one of two monk powers that does psychic damage.
If I understand this correctly, Psionic is a power source and not a damage type.
The monk is more about internal discipline of the mind, not projecting your mind onto someone else. So I will imagine that one or more of the other Psionic character classes (i. e. the leader, controller, and/or defender) will be doing a lot more psychic damage with their powers.
I will also bet there are a series of feats that will modify powers with the Psionic type.
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