5e Way of the Long Death for Monks
Monks of the 5e Way of the Long Death are captivated with the meaning and technicians of dying. They capture creatures and prepare complex experiments to capture, record, and understand the moments of their death. They then use this information to guide their knowledge of martial arts, yielding a deadly fighting style.
Source: Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide
Touch of Death
Starting when you choose this myth at the 3rd level, your study of death allows you to obtain vitality from another creature as it nears its demise. When you overcome a creature within 5 feet of you to 0 hit points, you get temporary hit points equal to your Wisdom modifier + your monk level (at least one temporary hit point).
Hour of Reaping
At the 6th level, you gain the capacity to disrupt or terrify those around you as an action, for the shadow of death has touched your heart. Suppose you take this action, each creature within 30 feet of you that can see you must result on a Wisdom saving throw or be frightened of you continuously at the end of your next turn.
Mastery of Death
Beginning at 11th level, you accept your comprehension of death to escape its grip. When you are reduced to 0 hit points, you can expend one ki point (no action required) to own one hit point instead.
Touch of the Long Death
Starting at the 17th level, your impact can channel the energy of the end into a creature. As an action, you touch one creature within 5 feet of you, and you disburse 1 to 10 ki points. The target must obtain a Constitution saving throw, and it takes 2d10 necrotic damage per ki point allocated on a failed to save or half as much damage on a prosperous one.
How good is the 5e Way of the Long Death for a monk?
Way of the Long Death 5e receives arguably their most beneficial ability at level 11, Mastery of Death. When you are reduced to 0 HP, you can use one ki as a free action instead of decreased to 1 HP. That is excellent if you have a DM that loves to abuse things like disintegrate or finger of death. If you’re fighting a creature that makes one Tremendous attack each turn and you are not fighting any other creatures, it also is one of the craziest abilities in the game, guaranteeing you won’t die. However, odds are at this point in the game.
Enemies are going to be tapping out three attacks per turn. It may be more beneficial to go down and get healed than to burn multiple points of ki to ensure you don’t die to a fundamental multi-attack. However, I don’t want to undersell this ability. It’s fantastic if you ever want to decide, “I don’t want to go down quite yet.” Suppose your DM is the type to only throw one confrontation at you in a day. You may almost guarantee you won’t die of unnatural causes.
Level 17 Way of the Long Death for 5e Monk
Their capstone ability at level 17 is called Touch of the Long Death. That ability lets you take action and expend 1 to 10 ki points and force the target to obtain a Constitution saving throw. It takes 2d10 necrotic damage per ki point spent or half as much on a successful save if it fails. On paper, this ability is insane. A potential 20d10 necrotic damage for one action is exceptionally appealing.
However, there are a few flaws with the ability. One, unless you’re using patient defence or step of the wind, you won’t be doing much else on your turn. Two, this facility, to get the most out of it, costs more than half your available ki points all at once. Odds are if you want to do fat damage but still conserve. You would use five ki points and instead deal 10d10 necrotic damage. However, that spans into our third flaw, where we realize this applies a Constitution saving throw, which most creatures you will be using this ability on having seemingly a +12 too, at least.
Flurry of Blows
Many giant monsters you would use this on also have either customary resistance or immunity to necrotic damage. At this point, you’d end up dealing more damage just using Flurry of Blows on your turn since your martial arts die a d10, and you grow to add a guaranteed +5 each time you hit. Sadly, as cool as this capacity is, it just seems to fall kind of flat on its own. It is the story of the 5e Way of the Long Death for a monk.