I’m not really happy with this, I’ve just been trying to write it for too long and wanted to get it over with 🙂
I really want to make a waterbender type of character — Katara or Korra from the Avatar franchises, or to a lesser degree, Kaldur’ahm from Young Justice. The PHB’s Way of the Four Elements monk comes close, but is just slightly out of alignment with what I want, because it treats each technique as a special rules widget; the problem is that it doesn’t feel like you can manipulate the fluid element, because your techniques are too rigid. It’s egregious because the Way of Shadow monk works more or less the way I want, treating “shadow” as an element to be manipulated instead of a theme to drive powers. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the great community-provided patch for the Wot4E monk; it doesn’t fill my needs because it still themes powers by technique instead of just allowing direct manipulation of water. That said, for most purposes that’s probably good enough… Ah well!
So: Way of Tides.
At 3rd level, you gain the ability to cast several spells using your ki. You can cast fog cloud, create or destroy water, and shape of the flowing river** at a base cost of 1 ki point.
Also at 3rd level, you are continuously subject to water walk unless you decide not to be or are incapacitated. Being underwater imposes no penalties to your movement or attacks.
At 6th level, you can use water as a weapon.
- At any time you are in contact with a gallon of water, you can create a water whip as a monk weapon as though drawing it from a container (reach +10 feet, deals slashing or bludgeoning damage).
- When you are in contact with a volume of water, you can make shove attacks from any space within 30 feet that is in contact with the same body.
- When you target a foe with stunning strike, they are coated in ice and restrained until they escape (the ice has AC 5 and 15 hit points, vulnerability bludgeoning and fire).
At 11th level, you can use air as a lesser monk might use water. You can fly using your walking speed, treating vertical movement as difficult terrain, and falling if you do not end your turn on a stable surface. Your unarmed strikes can fling shards of ice or small objects (as though from a sling, 30/120, bludgeoning or cold) or lashes of air (select a point within 15 feet to attack from; reach +15 feet from that point). You can grapple and shove with lashes of air.
When you use step of the wind, you gain a fly speed equal to your walk speed, hover, and immunity to normal missiles until you touch the ground. When you use patient defense while touching a volume of water, creatures which miss you while touching the same volume of water must make a strength saving throw or fall prone. When you use
* And scimitar and trident. But those are equivalent to short swords and spears, and you already had those.
** Pretend it’s a spell; druid, sorcerer, wizard 1 (transmutation, ritual). Pretend further that each spell level invested beyond the first gives you a 5 ft. larger cube.