Friday, February 17, 2017

5e Abyssal Angelic Pixie Monk

Recently I saw a tweet from a Wizards of the Coast staff in response to the following:

The original question was asking where the templates for Celestial, Fiend and Fey referenced in Summon Familiar could be found (I'm assuming they meant either Find Familiar or the Pact of the Chain feature in Warlock). The WotC staff member responded that these were just types, not templates and that a familiar simply had their type changed from Beast to one of the three listed types.

No wings, but some mix of angelic and abyssal traits.
The tweet in response to this was something along the lines of "I'm sure you'll find a way." I saw it and responded with the idea of a halfing/gnome sized Fallen Aasimar that multiclassed into Archfey Warlock, but have since decided to look a bit deeper into this.

The collection of statements here points to two primary focuses: monk and pixie.

The use of monk in this way implies that this is at least the primary class.  Likewise, this implies that pixie is the base race.

Now, pixies are a tiny race and, as of yet, Wizards does not have any stats for races that are tiny that are fitting for PC character. By use of the Reduce option of the Enlarge/Reduce spell a halfling or gnome could drop to tiny size for a period of about one minute, however.

Pixies are also a flight capable race so we'll consider that.

Now, this is somewhat doable given that by a lot of D&D Lore celestial or fiendish half-breeds are at times larger than their non-spiritual parent's type. This is by no means standard, however. Tieflings are people that have either a vastly diluted fiendish heritage or else descend from people that made a society-wide pact with some entity (usually Asmodeus). Actual half-fiends span a wide range of appearances and capabilities such that different types of half-fiends are represented by completely different monster listings, a la Alu-Fiend or Cambion.

Celestials are similarly bizarre in the range of manner that they can appear as. For that matter, the Volo's standard description of an aasimar is a person born to a human family who has been blessed by gods or other such entities and thus are not instantly descended from celestials as they used to be.

As per my normal, I tend to think that any amount of heritage more than "way, way, way, way back when" you get in tieflings is best represented by a class. In this case we're going to stretch a bit around.

Going with the wide variance of part-Celestials and part-Fiends, we can assume that a pixie altered by celestial or fiend heritage or alteration could appear as small or medium style.

Races that are by default lore of Fey ancestry include: Elves, Half-Elves, and Gnomes.  We've already noted Aasimar and Tiefling as connected to celestials and fiends respectively.

While the advice hasn't been reprinted in 5e to my knowledge, prior editions of Dungeons and Dragons including Pathfinder (yes, I consider Pathfinder a version of D&D) as far back as 2nd edition when Tieflings and Aasimar first appeared have taken the advice that a tiefling or aasimar born to a non-human bloodline would still have the same stats as a normal tiefling or aasimar but just change the height/weight and size information. I am going to follow this advice.

This may involve dropping speed from 30ft to 25ft to account for the fact that smaller creatures can attain half and two-thirds cover easier than medium creatures.

This leaves the choice between tiefling and aasimar. Fallen aasimar fits a bit of the abyssal-angel idea, since abyssal being first makes it the modifier. Though the wing-variant tiefling from Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide allows for consistent flight which fits the Pixie concept quite a bit.

While my original thought was the Fallen Aasimar, the Pixie mention is in position of the original statement that makes me think "Pixie" should be the primary determiner of the race. As such, I am going with a Wing-Variant Tiefling for the flight. I considered also going with the Feral variant for the +2 Dex as this is a Monk we're talking about, but in the end decided Charisma fits a pixie better. I will, however, switch out Abyssal for Infernal for the language.

As to class, we have a choice to make as to where to start the character. Monk is at the very least going to be the primary class.

In the long run, I think starting as monk is for the best. But I think we should already start looking at which path to take.

We already have some of the Pixie and Abyssal nature in the winged tiefling variant but we could really use a better link to a Fey nature and we lack any sort Celestial link. So let's look at some of the Monk Paths available to us:

  • Open Palm - Very much in the tradition of Chinese Yuxia/Streetfighter/Bruce Lee/Celtic Brawler type of character.
  • Shadow - This is the Ninja/Shadowdancer route. This could be done with a fey-linkage, especially if you go with the Shadowdancer concept.
  • Four Elements - This is the Avatar style martial artist and with lots of elemental sorts of abilities.
  • Long Death - This is another thing we could link to the Fey or Shadowfell. It could also connect us more to the Fiendish aspects though necrotic damage is more characteristic of undead connections than fiendish ones.
  • Sun Soul - Radiant damage...radiant damage everywhere. This could seriously underscore the angelic aspect of the proposed character.
  • Kensei - Weapon based warriors. This is in the nature of characters like Himura Kenshin or the historical Miyamoto Musashi.
  • Tranquility - A pacifist/healer based character and one with a hint of that divine rage that occurs when someone sees another person injured.
This taken into consideration, the short list for me here is Shadow and Sun Soul.

Long Death feels more tied to death and while it could do Fey or abyssal, it leaves Celestial out.

Tranquility seems too calm and focused for the brief description, especially with Pixie and Abyssal both being rather capricious and chaotic concepts.

Four Elements could be refluffed as either of the three types since all of them make heavy use of elemental abilities but that's just the problem, it can so easily be applied to any of them that it doesn't really add to the theme.

Open Palm and Kensei are too much along the idea of the transcendental skill and not really what I am looking for.

Now, this is heavily going to affect my choice for a secondary class. Shadow monk will very heavily hit the Fey points of the character given that it will provide illusions, teleportation and invisibility. Sun Soul will very heavily hit the angelic concepts of the character.

That said, I am going to default again to the description of Pixie and err on the side of the Fey for now.

Which brings me to the idea for the secondary class. I have little to no celestial themes to this character yet, so that is what I am going to add at this point. Toward that end I am looking at the following:

  • Zealot Barbarian - hits a rather vicious bit of celestial.
  • Trickery Cleric - adds the angelic bits and also hits heavily on the Fey concept again
  • Ancients Paladin - as with Cleric hits both Fey and Celestial notes
  • Favored Soul Sorcerer - depending on spell choices, again hits heavily to Fey and angelic
  • Undying Light Warlock - very heavy on the radiant and celestial connection
At this point, I am going to go with the Ancients Paladin as dove-tailing with the Monk's melee focus. Barbarian doesn't dove-tail well with Monk with each class having a lot of abilities that overlap without adding to each other.

Note, had I chosen the Sun Soul Monk, I'd have been looking at the following secondary classes:

  • Glamour Bard
  • Whisper Bard
  • Trickery Cleric
  • Dreams Druid
  • Ancients Paladin
  • Vengeance Paladin
  • Treachery Paladin (which I think can do a Trickster paladin as well as an oathbreaker)
  • Arcane Trickster
  • Wild Sorcerer
  • Archfey Pact Warlock
  • Fiend Pact Warlock
For background, I am going to choose Urchin.

Using the normal array I use of 15,14,13,12,11,10. Unlike my other theoreticals I am going to repeat that I am aware that the default array is a 27 pt array, but I just prefer a 30 pt array as it creates a little bit more flexibility in terms of choosing how to use Ability Score Improvements while still providing low scores for personality bits.

1st Level Tiefling Urchin Monk
Str: 10
Dex: 15
Con: 13
Int: 12
Wis: 14
Cha: 14

HP: 9
AC: 14

Size: Small
Height: 3'
Weight: 40 lbs.

Proficiency Bonus: +2

Speed: 25 ft (small)
Darkvision 60ft
Hellish Resistance
Wings - 30 ft Fly Speed

Armor Proficiencies:
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Short Swords
Tools: Pan Pipes, Disguise Kit, Thieves Tools
Saving Throws: Strength and Dexterity
Languages: Common, Abyssal, Sylvan, Celestial

Proficient Skills
Acrobatics (Monk) +4
Insight (Monk) +4
Sleight of Hand (Urchin) +4
Stealth (Urchin) +4

Background: Urchin

Unarmored Defense: Wisdom
Martial Arts: 1d4


2nd to 5th Level



2nd Level - Paladin 1st Level: Divine Sense, Lay on Hands (5), Proficiencies, +7 HP (16)

3rd Level - Monk 2nd Level: Ki Unarmored Movement, +6 HP (22)

4th Level - Monk 3rd Level: Way of the Shadow, Shadow Arts, Deflect Missiles, +6 HP (28)

5th Level - Proficiency Bonus +3, Monk 4th Level: Slow Fall, Ability Score Improvement: +1 Dex, +1 Con, +11 HP (39)

Reasoning: I've decided to run up the Monk first, but wanted to at least hit a bit of the Paladin immediately in order to have that angelic nature in there as soon as possible. Since Dex and Con were both odd and both are useful to this character, I increased those by 1 each with the Ability Score Improvement.

5th Level Statistics


Tiefling Urchin 4th Level Shadow Monk/1st Level Paladin
Str: 10
Dex: 16
Con: 14
Int: 12
Wis: 14
Cha: 14

HP: 39
AC: 15
Ki: 4

Size: Small
Height: 3'
Weight: 40 lbs.

Proficiency Bonus: +3

Speed: 35 ft (small)
Darkvision 60ft
Hellish Resistance
Wings - 30 ft Fly Speed (40 ft if Unarmored Movement applies to flight)

Armor Proficiencies: Light Armor, Medium Armor, Shields
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Short Swords, Martial Weapons
Tools: Pan Pipes, Disguise Kit, Thieves Tools
Saving Throws: Strength and Dexterity
Languages: Common, Abyssal, Sylvan, Celestial

Proficient Skills
Acrobatics (Monk) +6
Insight (Monk) +5
Sleight of Hand (Urchin) +6
Stealth (Urchin) +6

Background: Urchin

Unarmored Defense: Wisdom
Martial Arts: 1d4
Flurry of Blows
Patient Defense
Step of the Wind
Unarmored Movement: +10 ft
Deflect Missiles
Way of the Shadow
Shadow Arts (2 Ki each): Darkvision, Darkness, Pass Without Trace, Silence
Shadow Arts Cantrip: Minor Illusion
Slow Fall

Divine Sense
Lay on Hands: 5 pts

6th to 10th Level


6th Level - Monk 5th Level: Extra Attack, Stunning Strike, Martial Arts: 1d6, +7 HP (46)

7th Level - Paladin 2nd Level: Fighting Style: Dueling, Spellcasting, Divine Smite, +8 HP (54)

8th Level - Paladin 3rd Level: Divine Health, Sacred Oath: Ancients, Oath Spells, Channel Divinity, +8 HP (62)

9th Level - Paladin 4th Level: Ability Score Improvement: +2 Wis, Proficiency Bonus +4, +8 HP (70)

10th Level - Monk 6th Level: Ki-Empowered Strikes, Shadow Step, Unarmored Movement +15, +7 HP (77)

Reasoning: I pushed up to get the Paladin oath this time, and since I rarely skip Ability Score Improvements in these theoreticals I went on to the 4th level and took a +2 to Wis. I took the Dueling Fighting Style because Defense and Protection don't work with the Unarmored Defense and the Great Weapon Master is also something that a monk isn't often going to get use out of. Dueling does add some basic damage to their fist attacks now. There isn't much else in the nature of choice on these levels other than which class to go with. I should also note that the +2 damage from the Dueling style more than makes up for the fact that this character won't reach 1d10 martial arts damage.

10th Level Statistics


Tiefling Urchin 6th Level Shadow Monk/4th Level Paladin of the Ancients
Str: 10
Dex: 16
Con: 14
Int: 12
Wis: 16
Cha: 14

HP: 77
AC: 16
Ki: 6
Paladin Save DC: 14

Size: Small
Height: 3'
Weight: 40 lbs.

Proficiency Bonus: +4

Speed: 40 ft (small)
Darkvision 60ft
Hellish Resistance
Wings - 30 ft Fly Speed (45 ft if Unarmored Movement applies to flight)

Armor Proficiencies: Light Armor, Medium Armor, Shields
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Short Swords, Martial Weapons
Tools: Pan Pipes, Disguise Kit, Thieves Tools
Saving Throws: Strength and Dexterity
Languages: Common, Abyssal, Sylvan, Celestial

Proficient Skills
Acrobatics (Monk) +7
Insight (Monk) +7
Sleight of Hand (Urchin) +7
Stealth (Urchin) +7

Background: Urchin

Unarmored Defense: Wisdom
Martial Arts: 1d6+2 (Dueling Fighting Style)

Flurry of Blows
Patient Defense
Step of the Wind
Unarmored Movement: +15 ft
Deflect Missiles
Way of the Shadow
Shadow Arts (2 Ki each): Darkvision, Darkness, Pass Without Trace, Silence
Shadow Arts Cantrip: Minor Illusion
Slow Fall
Extra Attacks
Stunning Strike: 1 Ki
Ki-Empowered Strikes
Shadow-Step

Divine Sense
Lay on Hands: 20 pts
Fighting Style: Dueling
Spellcasting
Divine Smite
Divine Health
Oath of the Ancients
Channel Divinity: Nature's Wrath, Turn the Faithless

Spell Slots: 3 (1st Level)

Oath Spells 1st Level: Ensnaring Strike, Speak with Animals

 

11th to 15th Level


11th Level - Monk 7th Level: Evasion, Stillness of Mind, +7 HP (84)

12th Level - Monk 8th Level, Ability Score Improvement: +2 Wis, +7 HP (91)

13th Level - Paladin 5th Level: Proficiency Bonus +5, +8 HP (99)

14th Level - Paladin 6th Level: Aura of Protection, +8 HP (107)

15th Level - Paladin 7th Level: Aura of Warding, +8 HP (115)

Reasoning: I was tempted to leave Paladin at 4th level and go primarily Monk, but the two Auras as well as the 2nd Level Oath Spells were very interesting to add (more teleportation and remote controlled orbital death moon laser). And since I went to 5th level I might as well go to 8th in order to make sure I still have five Ability Score Improvements. That said, this means that this character will not have proficiency in all Saving Throws. Due to the fact that Wisdom, Charisma and Dexterity are all very useful to this character, I doubt that there will be much room for feats in this theoretical. An actual campaign might adjust that based on discovered magical items or the possibilty of acquiring Feats as a non-treasure reward via training as suggested by the DMG.

15th Level Statistics


Tiefling Urchin 8th Level Shadow Monk/7th Level Paladin of the Ancients
Str: 10
Dex: 16
Con: 14
Int: 12
Wis: 18
Cha: 14

HP: 115
AC: 17
Ki: 8
Paladin Save DC: 15

Size: Small
Height: 3'
Weight: 40 lbs.

Proficiency Bonus: +5

Speed: 40 ft (small)
Darkvision 60ft
Hellish Resistance
Wings - 30 ft Fly Speed (45 ft if Unarmored Movement applies to flight)

Armor Proficiencies: Light Armor, Medium Armor, Shields
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Short Swords, Martial Weapons
Tools: Pan Pipes, Disguise Kit, Thieves Tools
Saving Throws: Strength and Dexterity
Languages: Common, Abyssal, Sylvan, Celestial

Proficient Skills
Acrobatics (Monk) +8
Insight (Monk) +9
Sleight of Hand (Urchin) +8
Stealth (Urchin) +8

Background: Urchin

Unarmored Defense: Wisdom
Martial Arts: 1d6+2 (Dueling Fighting Style)
Flurry of Blows
Patient Defense
Step of the Wind
Unarmored Movement: +15 ft
Deflect Missiles
Way of the Shadow
Shadow Arts (2 Ki each): Darkvision, Darkness, Pass Without Trace, Silence
Shadow Arts Cantrip: Minor Illusion
Slow Fall
Extra Attacks
Stunning Strike: 1 Ki
Ki-Empowered Strikes
Shadow-Step
Evasion
Stillness of Mind

Divine Sense
Lay on Hands: 35 pts
Fighting Style: Dueling
Spellcasting
Divine Smite
Divine Health
Oath of the Ancients
Channel Divinity: Nature's Wrath, Turn the Faithless
Aura of Protection (+2 to Saves)
Aura of Warding
Spell Slots: 4 (1st Level) 3 (2nd Level)

Oath Spells 1st Level: Ensnaring Strike, Speak with Animals
Oath Spells 2nd Level: Moonbeam, Misty Step

 

16th to 20th Level


16th Level - Paladin 8th Level: Ability Score Improvement: +2 Cha, +8 HP (123)

17th Level - Proficiency Bonus: +6, Monk 9th Level: Unarmored Movement Improvement, +7 HP (130)

18th Level - Monk 10th Level: Purity of Body, Unarmored Movement +20, +7 HP (137)

19th Level - Monk 11th Level: Cloak of Shadows, Martial Arts: 1d8, +7 HP (144)

20th Level - Monk 12th Level: Ability Score Improvement: +2 Dex, +7 HP (151)

Reasoning: As suspected, I ended up not taking a Feat and focused mostly on increasing stats. I did decide to increase Charisma because of the impact it has on all of my saving throws now. Other than that, this set of levels is mostly a result of the choices from earlier levels.

20th Level Statistics


Tiefling Urchin 12th Level Shadow Monk/8th Level Paladin of the Ancients
Str: 10
Dex: 18
Con: 14
Int: 12
Wis: 18
Cha: 16

HP: 151
AC: 18
Ki: 12
Paladin Save DC: 17

Size: Small
Height: 3'
Weight: 40 lbs.

Proficiency Bonus: +6

Speed: 45 ft (small)
Darkvision 60ft
Hellish Resistance
Wings - 30 ft Fly Speed (50 ft if Unarmored Movement applies to flight)

Armor Proficiencies: Light Armor, Medium Armor, Shields
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Short Swords, Martial Weapons
Tools: Pan Pipes, Disguise Kit, Thieves Tools
Saving Throws: Strength and Dexterity
Languages: Common, Abyssal, Sylvan, Celestial

Proficient Skills
Acrobatics (Monk) +10
Insight (Monk) +10
Sleight of Hand (Urchin) +10
Stealth (Urchin) +10

Background: Urchin

Unarmored Defense: Wisdom
Martial Arts: 1d8+2 (Dueling Fighting Style)
Flurry of Blows
Patient Defense
Step of the Wind
Improved Unarmored Movement: +20 ft
Deflect Missiles
Way of the Shadow
Shadow Arts (2 Ki each): Darkvision, Darkness, Pass Without Trace, Silence
Shadow Arts Cantrip: Minor Illusion
Slow Fall
Extra Attacks
Stunning Strike: 1 Ki
Ki-Empowered Strikes
Shadow-Step
Evasion
Stillness of Mind
Purity of Body
Cloak of Shadows

Divine Sense
Lay on Hands: 40 pts
Fighting Style: Dueling
Spellcasting
Divine Smite
Divine Health
Oath of the Ancients
Channel Divinity: Nature's Wrath, Turn the Faithless
Aura of Protection (+3 to Saves)
Aura of Warding
Spell Slots: 4 (1st Level) 3 (2nd Level)

Oath Spells 1st Level: Ensnaring Strike, Speak with Animals
Oath Spells 2nd Level: Moonbeam, Misty Step
 

Some 5e Builds

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