Monks -- Light weapons, two weapons, and discussion

I have some thoughts on the monk.

Should monks' the rules be changed such that monk's unarmed attack now counts as a light weapon?

Doing so would enable certain feats and combat options.   Primarily, it would allow the monk access to feats such as Deflect (turn aside enemy's blow for half damage)

As a consequence, though, and it would also enable monks to try a two-weapon fighting style without any additional feat buy-in.    

The two-weapon style would effectively mean they sacrifice accuracy (-2 per hit) for a chance to hit more often, but for them to currently access this fighting style they would have to take the Dual Wielding feat.

Do you think that monks using a two-weapon fighting scheme is too powerful? 

I would appreciate hearing your thoughts about monks, and two-weapon fighting scheme combinations. 
They currently count as finesse weapons.  I don't think making them light weapons would really break anything right now.  

Looking at the rules for the TWF build tells me that there would be almost no real benefit to doing this since Monks start with Flurry of Blows. 

One could argue for the extra attack, but you can't TWF and Flurry of Blows at the same time (FoB and TWF are each their own distinct actions), and FoB gives you up to two extra attacks with full bonuses and none of the drawbacks of TWF.  You have to give up MDD for each additional attack, but you are giving up 1d6 MDD for 1d6 + 5 (assuming max Dex), and you can still spend MDD for damage on the FoB strikes.

TWDefense is cool, but the weapons in each hand have to be different, and the feat doesn't require either Dual Wielding or a light weapon anyway - it can be taken independently.  So, a monk could wield an actual weapon in one hand and be unarmed in the other and get the benefit of this feat without any changes from the current packet.

TWStrike is nice, but it just means advantage when you make a single attack (states "you cannot make any other attacks on the same turn that you use this feat's benefit"), so again you can't use FoB.  If you really needed to hit, I would rather roll three dice (three attacks) instead of two (advantage).

I haven't done any math on any of this, so take it with a grain of salt, but just from looking at the rules my gut tells me that Monks should stay far away from TWF and pick something more useful for a feat line.  Flurry of Blows more than makes up for two-weapon fighting feats, IMO.
I can't really speak to two-weapon combat, but I found Deflect to be very thematic for the monk class. If Deflect is unbalanced for the monk, I'd imagine it would have a similar problem with the fighter or the rogue.

That said, either the feat or the monk's unarmed attack would need to change to accomodate. I'd side with changing unarmed attack to a 'light' weapon, opening up other thematic options (I had thought two-weapon fighting possible), as well, unarmed attacks could be described as "small and easy," or atleast not a hiderance.

A potential danger would be opening up unarmed attacks to non-sensical or unbalance combinations of feats or other elements.
He who should not speak...

TWDefense is cool, but the weapons in each hand have to be different, and the feat doesn't require either Dual Wielding or a light weapon anyway - it can be taken independently.  So, a monk could wield an actual weapon in one hand and be unarmed in the other and get the benefit of this feat without any changes from the current packet.



The clarification I saw was that the two weapons have to be physically different, not actual different types of weapons.   This was to differentiate between two-handed weapons, and double-weapons.  

Eg.  Equipment, pg. 4, Double weapon -- You are considered to have a different weapon in each hand when you wield the weapon with both hands.

A Quarterstaff is a Double weapon, which can utilize this property.   Wielding a quarterstaff as a double-weapon counts as two "different" weapons, yet obviously you have the same type of weapon in each hand.   Thus, the two ends do not have to be different types, and ergo "different" weapons in each hand can actually be the same type of weapon.

So two fists, one made up of each hand, count as "different" weapons in each hand -- physically different, not type-different.

So Two-Weapon Defense should be an option. 
Oh sure =).  I wasn't saying that monks shouldn't be able to benefit from TWDefense.  I was using an example of an "off-hand" finesse weapon and a "main hand" unarmed strike. 

Right now, a monk's fists aren't considered double-weapons,  nor are they different weapons.  The monk's unarmed striking is akin to wielding two short swords at this time (minus the "light" property...but that's part of what we're discussing =)).  They are both the same types of weapons, so you wouldn't get the benefit of TWDefense.  So, if a monk is unarmed in one hand and wields any other weapon with which they are proficient in the other hand, then using the rules as written, they will get the benefits of TWDefense.
Respectfully, Landale, I disagree, and believe you may have misconstrued my point above.

Your definition of "different" and mine are dissimilar, and I'm trying to show you how the game appears to only use my definition.   I have not found a usage which conforms only to your style of definition, yet.

The game seems to view "different" as "physically separate from on another", and not "distinct in type".   This is the way the Double definition on page 4 under Equipment uses it, as "physically separate from one another", as, in my example, a quarterstaff used as a double weapon is by definition a different weapon in each hand, yet obviously these two weapons are not distinct by type -- they are both quarterstaves.

Thus, two fists *are* different weapons, by that definition -- the only one which I've seen the game use.   

(and please, correct me if I have missed another usage in the packet)

So, two fists are different weapons, one in each hand, and therefore should make a monk eligible for two-weapon defense. 

I see no rules, definitions, or situations which bar a monk from taking 2-weapon defense straightaway, without any extra buy-in, and benefitting from a +1 to AC.

 
Further support -- the halfling rogue in the playtest packet has 2 weapon defense, and they changed the wording to say "while you are wielding a separate* weapon in each hand with which you are proficient ..."

I will grant you that the writeup gives him both a short-sword and a dagger, but I find the change in wording very much supports my interpretation. 
I think (but can't quote) that there is precedent for unarmed counting as a light weapon.

When I made a Monk, I was going to take the Swashbuckler specialty, but realized it would be useless because the feats specify that you need to be wielding a light weapon. I think Deflect and Riposte are exactly the kind of a thing a Monk would use, so their unarmed strike should count as light.

As previously mentioned, they would gain no benefit from two-weapon fighting except for two-weapon defense. Their armor class is already substantial with good Dex and Wis, maxing at 20, so the feat could push them to 21 AC. A Fighter in +1 plate with a +1 shield would also have 21, so that seems fair to me.
Ahhh.  There we go.  See the "separate" vs. "different" wording makes all the difference to me.  I've not looked at the pregens before.

Now, I see what you mean by "different".  To me, "different" implies different not only in being a separate weapon, but also of a different type of weapon.  Your interpretation of it makes a lot more sense.  They should just use "separate" in that case, and note that using double-weapons counts as a "seperate" weapon in each hand.

Even still, I wasn't arguing against your idea ;).  I agree that I think they should count as light weapons, to open up some feat selections.  From what I know there wouldn't be anything game breaking about it.
I feel like it is quite clear that having the unarmed attack function as a light weapon and open up the swashbucker theme is very much in line with the fight concept of the monk, deflecting attacks and quick counter attacks is what people expect to see from a monk.

With DM desgression I have tried to test it at low levels and so far there is nothing over powered about a monk unarmed stike counting as a "light" weapon. If a monk is taking the brunt of the damage in a fight its good to allow them to be a little more durable as they only have the d8 hit dice 
Did they fix the situation where if you go monk it didn't matter what enchanted weapon you had?

Concisely: I want a system where players don't have to pick between mechanics and roleplaying. I hope 5E fails asap so a better system can be made asap.

( I can't believe what they did to the forums. The sterile lack or color is rather depressing. )

 

What prevents the monk from just wielding a shortsword in one of his hands and using riposte, deflect and two-wapon defense?
What prevents the monk from just wielding a shortsword in one of his hands and using riposte, deflect and two-wapon defense?


Nothing.  My monk carries a dagger in off-hand, and only ever uses it to deflect.  Works like a charm!
What prevents the monk from just wielding a shortsword in one of his hands and using riposte, deflect and two-wapon defense?

Well, a monk doesn't have short sword proficiency and the feats require that you have proficiency. Replace shortsword with dagger or handaxe and it'll work.