Thirsty Thursday: Let’s Homebrew a Monastic Tradition

This post takes the Shadowsun Ninja, a class based on harnessing a soul’s light and darkness, and adapts it into a monk class option.


Today, let’s again return to previous editions for inspiration on creating a class. Tome of Battle was one of the more controversial releases during the lifespan of 3e and introduced a lot of things that would form the foundation of martial characters in 4e. Thematically, the base classes were very close to paladins, fighters, and monks, but some of the prestige classes had interesting flavor. This post takes the Shadowsun Ninja, a class based on harnessing a soul’s light and darkness, and adapts it into a monk class option.

Monastic Tradition: Way of the Shadowed Sun

This tradition focuses on the light and darkness that exists within every creature. By harnessing this inner conflict, the shadowed sun monk achieves balance, wielding the powers of both restoration and destruction to defeat all foes.

Touch of the Shadowed Sun: Starting when you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you can spend up to one-third your monk level (round down) in ki points as a bonus action to empower your unarmed strike with dark energy. On your next successful unarmed strike, you deal an additional amount of necrotic damage equal to your Martial Arts die per ki point spent. On the following turn, you can use a bonus action to give yourself or a friendly creature within 5 feet of you hit points equal to the necrotic damage dealt on the previous turn by this class feature.

Flame of the Shadowed Sun: At 6th level, you can create a protective cloak of energy using your ki. You can spend 2 ki points as a reaction to give yourself advantage on a saving throw against cold or necrotic damage. If you succeed on the saving throw, you can use your action on your next turn to cast the spell guiding bolt.

Void of the Shadowed Sun: At 11th level, you can cast the shield of faith spell using 4 ki points. If you take damage from an attack during the duration of this feature, you lose the shield of faith effect but can use your action to cast the vampiric touch spell on your next turn.

Balance of the Eclipse: At 17th level, you can unleash your inner darkness and transform into a creature of inky blackness. Using your action, you become a spectral force for 1 minute, gaining the following benefits. Your type changes to undead, giving you immunity to being charmed or frightened, receiving levels of exhaustion, and necrotic and poison damage. You gain darkvision out to 60 feet. In areas of dim light or complete darkness, you gain advantage on Stealth checks and attack rolls against creatures. Your unarmed strikes deal necrotic damage, and if you successfully strike an enemy it must make a Constitution saving throw or gain one level of exhaustion. For each level of exhaustion you deal to your enemies, you gain 5 hit points, up to your current maximum. At the end of your transformation, you take 1 point of Constitution damage per level of exhaustion bestowed. If this damage reduces your Constitution to 0 or lower, your body dissipates into an inky cloud. Unless you are restored to life by a true resurrection spell, you rise as an evil vampire under the DM’s control at a nearby location within 1d4 days. Once you use this feature, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Author: lpivellius

I am a gamer of all kinds. Sometimes I write about them.

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