D&D 5e: Gnome Monk Guide
When you think of Gnomes, you typically think of a smart, mechanically-minded tinkerer or spellcaster. Can’t Gnomes find inner peace? Think about rolling a Gnome Monk if you want to break the mold of what people usually expect.
How to Make a Gnome Monk
Gnomes don’t have a ton of synergies with the Monk class, but it’s not the worst race/class combo. Go for the Forest gnome for additional DEX and the Minor Illusion cantrip.
Monks should focus on WIS and DEX – WIS powers your abilities and DEX influences your attacks and armor class.
Monks have many subclasses, but a few stand out to fill in for the Monk’s weaknesses.
The Way of the Drunken Master is one of the strongest monk subclasses. Based on the idea of making your enemy think you’re more inept than you are – many of the subclass’ features focus on staying alive throughout fights.
Your small stature as a Gnome means that the Way of the Shadow could be a good option for your character. This stealth-focused subclass lets you spend ki points to move stealthily through combat and attack from the shadows.
How to Play a Gnome Monk
Monks are light and agile fighters that use movement abilities to make up for the fact that they have low hit points and Armor Class. All monks gain Unarmored Defense and Martial Arts features at 1st level, allowing them to fight without weapons or armor.
At 2nd level Monks gain the ability to harness the power of ki – spending a ki point drives ki features. Ki points are determined by your level, and are unavailable once spent but can be refilled during a long or short rest.
Ki gives you a lot of options, for example, Flurry of Blows allows you to make two unarmed strikes as a bonus action after an attack action. Use your heightened movement abilities to stay in motion around the battlefield and strike at an opportune time.
Monks are packed with exciting abilities. You may find that one of your monk class features consistently saves your life, like Deflect Missiles or Slow Fall, or that your Flurry of Blows always seems to strike lethal blows. Lean into these random twists of fate and try bending your character concept to incorporate your favorite traits.
How to Roleplay as a Gnome Monk
Most players don’t connect Gnomes and Monks, but that doesn’t mean it’s an impossible combination. Gnomes typically live in close-knit communities, so a gnomish monastery could be a great start to your character’s backstory.
Maybe you can play as a lone Monk on the run from a clan of assassins that attacked your monastery, using your small stature to stay in hiding.
You could be a young gnome looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of Gnomish life, attempting to find inner peace in a hectic world.
No matter what you decide for your backstory, your Gnome Monk will be a unique character that adds flavor to any session.