How to Play a Monk in Dungeons and Dragons V3.5

This article will help you create and begin to play a monk in Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) V3.5. You will need to be familiar with the basic rules of D&D before you read this article. This article only deals with the nuts and bolts of creating a character; all good characters have personality, hopes, dreams, goals, likes, dislikes, history, and so on. Creating a complete character will greatly improve your gaming experience.


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    Read About Monks. Before you create and play a monk you should read about them in the Player's Handbook (PHB). You should read about all of the monk's abilities, especially if you plan to play this character for a while.
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    Pick a Race. Not every race in the PHB is suited to being a monk. Gnomes and Halflings make terrible monks because of their small size and penalty to strength. Elves may not be a good choice either because of their penalty to Constitution, this will lead to fewer hit points (HP) which means you will not have as much staying power in a fight. The is no reason to avoid or choose a Half-Elf, their advantages are based on social skills not combat however they have no specific drawbacks that would make them bad monks. Humans and Half-Orcs both make excellent monks.
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    Generate and Assign Your Vital Statistics. Before you begin this step you need to consult the Dungeon Master (DM) of your game. They will tell you what systems you may use to generate your vital statistics (stats). Monks are very demanding and require excellent stats to play. Many D&D players hold off playing a monk until they get very lucky when rolling for stats. A monk needs the following stats (listed from most to least important); Strength, Constitution, Dexterity, and Wisdom. If you do not have at least a 14 in each stat you should consider playing a different class and of course, the higher the better.
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    Pick Your Starting Skills and Feats. Movement based skills are a favorite of monks. This means Balance, Climb, Jump, and Tumble. Hide and Move Silently are also good choices. Pick skills according to the personality and style you have in mind for your monk. There are many feats that help a monk fight effectively. Weapon Focus, Improved Initiative, and Improve Natural Weapon Size (found in the Monster Manual (MM)) are all good choices. Keep in mind what feats your monk gets as part of his class and do not take that feat a second time. Some players are fond of the feats Dodge, Mobility, and Spring Attack for a monk. While these feats seem worth it at first level they may be less appealing later so think carefully.
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    Buy Starting Equipment. This is a quick step for monks. You will soon notice that monks have about one tenth as much starting money as other characters. Do not worry though, even naked and empty handed a monk is force to be reckoned with, unlike the other classes. A quarterstaff, a few shuriken, and survival gear (bedroll, rations, etc.) are enough for most first level monks. At later levels you will acquire a large amount of magic items to help you fight, but for now you have few material possessions.
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    Know Your Role in the Party. You are not capable of dealing as much damage or taking as much damage as a fighter or a barbarian, but you can do many things that they cannot. Monks can serve as partners for the party rogue, especially if you took the Hide and Move Silently skills. Monks make excellent advanced scouts. Perhaps most importantly though, monks are very good at combating enemy mages. Your mobility, spell resistance (SR), and high saving throws (saves) make you good and pushing through a mage's spells and taking them out.


  • The Tumble skill is valuable because it lets you avoid Attacks of Opportunity when you move into and out of combat.
  • On your character sheet in the "attacks" section write in your regular attack modifier and your flurry of blows modifiers as well. This will speed up the game.
  • While a quarterstaff is a cool weapon, a monk's unarmed strike soon deals more damage.


  • Remember that you do not have as many hit points as other melee fighters.
  • Your alignment must be one of the three Lawful alignments.

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Categories: Role Playing Games