What Happens When I Level Up – Monk (D&D 5e)

This guide only presents the Traits, Feats, and additional Abilities that your character will acquire when they gain a level. The character progression is broken down per level to facilitate the tracking of incremental changes that can be made for a character. This is to help avoid repeatedly jumping through different sections of the Player’s Handbook every time an additional level is gained.

Before using this guide, please take note of any and all applicable feats, racial traits or background bonuses that your character might gain before choosing a class. Most of these are one time numerical bonuses to Ability Scores or are persistent abilities that your character can use all throughout their adventuring life.

The Monk Class Advancement Table

Monk New
Death by a thousand punches. Higher res here.

General notes on Monks:

  • Along with the extra movement bonuses for speed and surface restrictions, Monks also get a lot of combat reaction options. This make them a class that can dictate strategic positioning and threat control. Having a monk in the party makes it less likely for some mid-boss to run away in the middle of the fight.
  • Using Ki Points, Monks can disable enemies through stunning them, knocking them prone, or even pushing them off a cliff. Compared to the raw damage-dealing Barbarians, the Monk class gives more emphasis on game mechanics that disable or control enemies.
  • An example of a Monk with maximized number of attacks.

Monastic Traditions

Created by DM Matthew Mercer:

*Featured in expansions, homebrew material and Unearthed Arcana. Ask your DM for permission if they’ll allow the use of these Monastic Traditions for your campaign. These options may have additional requirements and/or special features/bonuses when chosen.

Character Advancement – Gaining Levels

1st Level Monk

  • Initial HP = 8 + Constitution (CON) Modifier
  • Armor Proficiency: None
  • Weapon Proficiency: Simple Weapons, Shortswords
  • Tool Proficiency: Choose one type of artisan’s tools or one musical instrument
  • One (1) 1d8 Hit Die
  • +2 Proficiency Bonus
  • Proficiency Bonus added to STR and DEX saving throws
  • Choice of Proficiency Bonus to Acrobatics, Athletics, History, Insight, Religion, or Stealth (Choose two)
  • Unarmored Defense
  • Martial Arts (1d4)

2nd Level Monk

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • Ki (2 Points)
  • Unarmored Movement (+10 ft.)

3rd Level Monk

4th Level Monk

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional Ki Point
  • Slow Fall
  • Ability Score improvement (additional 2 points for one ability or 1 point for two abilities) OR a Feat of your choice

5th Level Monk

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional Ki Point
  • Martial Arts die increased to 1d6
  • Extra Attack
  • Stunning Strike
  • Proficiency Bonus is increased by 1

6th Level Monk

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional Ki Point
  • Unarmored Movement increased to +15 ft.
  • Ki-Empowered Strikes
  • New Monastic Tradition Feature

7th Level Monk

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional Ki Point
  • Evasion
  • Stillness of Mind

8th Level Monk

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional Ki Point
  • Ability Score Improvement OR a Feat of your choice

9th Level Monk

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional Ki Point
  • Unarmored Movement Improvement
  • Proficiency Bonus is increased by 1

10th Level Monk

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional Ki Point
  • Unarmored Movement increased to +20 ft.
  • Purity of Body

11th Level Monk

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional Ki Point
  • Martial Arts die increased to 1d8
  • New Monastic Tradition Feature

12th Level Monk

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional Ki Point
  • Ability Score Improvement OR a Feat of your choice

13th Level Monk

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional Ki Point
  • Tongue of the Sun and Moon
  • Proficiency Bonus is increased by 1

14th Level Monk

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional Ki Point
  • Unarmored Movement increased to +25 ft.
  • Diamond Soul

15th Level Monk

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional Ki Point
  • Timeless Body

16th Level Monk

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional Ki Point
  • Ability Score Improvement OR a Feat of your choice

17th Level Monk

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional Ki Point
  • Martial Arts die increased to 1d10
  • New Monastic Tradition Feature
  • Proficiency Bonus is increased by 1

18th Level Monk

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional Ki Point
  • Unarmored Movement increased to +30 ft.
  • Empty Body

19th Level Monk

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional Ki Point
  • Ability Score Improvement OR a Feat of your choice

20th Level Monk

  • Max HP increase. Add 1d8 + CON Modifier to the current total Max HP
  • One (1) additional 1d8 Hit Die
  • One (1) additional Ki Point
  • Perfect Self

Please take note of all ability score and bonus increases as your Monk gains levels and experience. These changes must be properly reflected on your character sheet to show improvements for character statistics like skill checks and attack rolls. Make sure to update the character’s armor class, hit points, bonus initiative, passive perception and other skills that they are proficient with whenever any relevant changes allow you to do so.

For additional information on Monastic Traditions and the features they grant, refer to resources like the Player’s Handbook, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything or expansion and online material like the ones from Roll20 or The DnD 5e Wikidot website.

– D

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