Last week, I laid out a faction of super-serious, heavily muscled monks, the Order of the Searing Sun. They devote themselves to harsh physical training, creating a sort of Fight Club aesthetic.
Today, let's stat up one of these monks. They're based on the Way of the Sun Soul monk from Xanathar's Guide to Everything, so given D&D 5th Edition's design we won't stat up a full PC but will instead design a monster that has similar powers.
As exceptionally muscled people -- they're basically gym rats -- they shouldn't be extremely low-level foes. But if we set the CR too high, it'll be very hard for an individual PC to take one down in a one-on-one duel (which the concept favors). Let's put them at CR 3, so an individual PC will need to be fairly high-level to take one down.
First I looked through the CR 3 creatures, and settled on the yeti, which feels like a good analogue for a muscled brute. Its claw attack will change to a fist attack with the same stats (folding the cold damage into the regular damage). I feel comfortable removing its fear of fire, keen smell, snow camouflage, and chilling gaze effects, replacing them with the Sun Soul's radiant sun bolt and searing arc strike powers, but beefing the latter up a bit.
This brings up an important aspect of D&D monster design. A monster should be less complicated than a PC to run. PCs have lots of options they can juggle in combat, while a monster should collapse many of those options into simple mechanics that are less flexible but much easier for the DM to hold in his or her head.
So, instead of including all of radiant sun bolt's options (like spending ki to use it as a bonus action), we'll just make it a ranged attack that deals radiant damage, and since the monk is low on Dexterity, we'll give it a low attack roll but more damage. Looking at other CR 3 monsters like the veteran and knight, we see that they have simple ranged attacks, so I'm comfortable using that as a template. Similarly, the monk will always cast burning hands as a 2nd-level spell.
Finally, let's look at the yeti's six core ability scores. The relatively high Dexterity and low Intelligence and Charisma don't fit my monk concept, so I'll use the knight's six basic stats, but with the yeti's crazy 18 Strength.
I think we're done! Let's stat it up.
Homebrewery stat block:
Monk of the Searing Sun
Medium humanoid, lawful neutral
- Armor Class 12
- Hit Points 51 (6d10 + 18)
- Speed 30 ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA 18 (+4) 11 (+0) 14 (+2) 11 (+0) 11 (+0) 15 (+2)
- Senses passive Perception 10
- Languages Common
- Challenge 3 (700 XP)
Multiattack. The monk can make two melee weapon attacks.
Shining Fist. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit 10 (2d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage.
Radiant Sun Bolt. Ranged Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, ranged 30/60, one target. Hit 14 (2d6 + 8) radiant damage.
Searing Arc Strike. Bonus Action. Each creature in a 15-foot cone must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC 13). A creature takes 4d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
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