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DnD’s new Monk rules make you a bonus action machine

Holy crap, is the Dungeons and Dragons Monk good now? Wizards of the Coast reveals the changes coming for this problem child in One D&D.

The 2024 version of the D&D Monk has been revealed, and the rules are filled with buffs. In a YouTube video from July 8, Wizards of the Coast explains that the Monk in the new Player’s Handbook is “largely a new class”, so much has changed. Many of the Monk’s enhancements involve impressive bonus actions.

For example, take the first-level Martial Arts feature. A DnD Monk could always use an unarmed strike as a bonus action with this ability, but they had to make an unarmed strike or quarterstaff attack with their main action first. Now, Dungeons and Dragons designer Jeremy Crawford says “you can make an unarmed strike as a bonus action regardless of what else you’re doing on your turn”.

Unarmed Strikes themselves have had a redesign for One DnD, so you can choose to make a shove or a grapple instead of dealing damage. This applies to all DnD classes, but the Monk has the special opportunity to use these as a bonus action.

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Monks can even use Dexterity instead of Strength when setting the DC for these actions. Plus, the size of their Martial Arts die has been buffed to improve overall damage output, so that regular unarmed strike is still worth it too.

The actions you can spend Focus Points (formerly called Ki) on have been redesigned to buff the Monk’s bonus actions, too. At level two, Patient Defense lets you Disengage as a bonus action, and Step of the Wind lets you Dash as a bonus action – but the new version lets you perform these actions without spending a Focus Point.

You can spend a Focus Point to enhance them, though. For example, Crawford says you can spend a Focus Point on Patient Defense, and you’ll be able to Disengage and Dodge at the same time.

Similarly, spending a Focus Point on Step of the Wind doubles your jump distance for the rest of the turn, and you can Disengage and Dash simultaneously. You still have to spend a point to activate Flurry of Blows, your third Focus Point option at level two, but it allows you to make two unarmed strikes as a bonus action instead of one.

Wizards of the Coast art of a DnD Monk Dragonborn

All three of these options improve again at level 10. Flurry of Blows gives you three attacks for the cost of one bonus action, while Patient Defense gives you Temporary Hit Points. Step of the Wind even lets you move a willing creature along with you – all this for a bonus action and some Focus Points.

The 2014 Monk was a little starved for resources when it came to Ki Points, but at level two, the 2024 Monk can replenish all spent Focus Points once per day when they roll Initiative. This means more bonus action shenanigans for everyone.

Some DnD Monk subclasses further enhance the class’ bonus actions. The Warrior of Shadow can teleport and make an unarmed strike as part of the same bonus action, for example.

Additionally, the Warrior of the Open Hand now gets to use their Wholeness of Body feature as a bonus action, which makes for a tasty healing option. Later, the subclass picks up Fleet Step, which allows them to use the Monk’s Step of the Wind feature after they’ve used their bonus action to do literally anything else.

For more tabletop updates, be sure to follow Wargamer on Google News. And if you’re itching to build a Monk character, be sure to check out which DnD races would work best for your build.