Elemental Disciplines (5A)

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Elemental disciplines for use with the Way of the Four Elements and Way of the One Element monastic traditions.

Elemental Disciplines Table

Elemental Disciplines
Monk Level Ki Cost Spell Discipline Air Earth Fire Water
3 0 #Elemental Attunement Air Earth Fire Water
3 1 #Fangs of the Fire Snake Fire
3 1 #Fist of Unbroken Air Air
3 1 #Stone Fist Earth
3 1 #Water Whip Water
3 1 Absorb Elements #Shell of the Turtle Air Earth Fire Water
3 1 Burning Hands #Sweeping Cinder Strike Air Fire Water
3 1 Catapult #Gift of the Giant Air Earth
3 1 Earth Tremor #Giant's Step Earth
3 1 Fog Cloud #Concealing Breath Air Fire Water
3 1 Ice Knife #Ice Knife Water
3 1 Searing Smite #Touch of the Dragon Fire
3 1 Thunderwave #Fist of Four Thunders Air Earth Fire
3 1 Water Breathing #Breath of the Deep Water
5 2 Branding Smite #Mark of the Dragon Fire
5 2 Dragon's Breath #Breath of the Dragon Air Earth Fire Water
5 2 Dust Devil #Dancing Leaves Air
5 2 Earthbind #Claw of the Earth Dragon Earth
5 2 Gust of Wind #Rush of the Gale Spirits Air
5 2 Hold Person #Clench of the North Wind Air Earth Water
5 2 Misty Step #Grasshopper's Leap Air Earth Fire Water
5 2 Pyrotechnics #Dragon's Laughter Fire
5 2 Scorching Ray #Fire Dart Fire
5 2 Shatter #Gong of the Summit Earth
5 2 Spider Climb #Stance of the Newt Earth
5 2 Warding Wind #Protective Wings of the Dragon Air
5 2 Water Walk #Tranquillity of the Pond Water
9 3 Fire Shield #Final Burns Fire Water
9 3 Fireball #Flames of the Phoenix Fire
9 3 Fly #Ride the Wind Air
9 3 Gaseous Form #Mist Stance Air Fire
9 3 Lightning Bolt #Spear of Heaven Air
9 3 Meld into Stone #Nest of Stone Earth
9 3 Sleet Storm #Winter Tears Water
9 3 Thunder Step #Return of the Phoenix Air Earth Fire
9 3 Tidal Wave #Tidal Wave Water
9 3 Wall of Sand #Dune Strike Earth
9 3 Wall of Water #Eternal Wave Water
13 4 #Shape the Flowing River Water
13 4 Blight #Desert Thirst Fire
13 4 Elemental Bane #Falling Tower Air Earth Fire Water
13 4 Ice Storm #Heaven's Fury Earth Water
13 4 Stoneskin #Eternal Mountain Defense Earth
13 4 Storm Sphere #Shield of Heaven Air
13 4 Wall of Fire #River of Hungry Flame Fire
13 4 Watery Sphere #Cradle of the Deep Water
17 5 Bigby's Hand #Hand of the Enlightened Air Earth Fire Water
17 5 Cone of Cold #Breath of Wrath Air Earth Fire Water
17 5 Control Winds #Dance of Furious Storms Air
17 5 Dawn #Heavenly Sun Fire
17 5 Hold Monster #Clench of the North Wind Air Earth Water
17 5 Maelstrom #Doom of the Deep Water
17 5 Move Earth #Earth Dragon Awakens Earth
17 5 Passwall #Heart of the Mountain Earth
17 5 Steel Wind Strike #A Thousand Swords Air Fire
17 5 Wall of Stone #Wave of Rolling Earth Earth

Elemental Disciplines

Disciplines may have a prerequisite, this gives the minimum monk level you must be to learn the discipline. All disciplines also list one or more elements. This matters mostly if you follow the Way of the One Element, then you can only take the discipline if your element is listed. Some disciplines have a different effect depending on the element, often different types of damage. If you follow the Way of Four Elements, you can choose which elemental effect you want each time you use the discipline. Physical damage (bludgeoning, piercing, slashing) inflicted by disciplines is magical damage.

A Thousand Swords

Prerequisite: 17th level
Elements: Air, Fire

You can spend 5 ki points to cast Steel Wind Strike.

Breath of Wrath

Prerequisite: 17th Level
Elements: Air (electricity), Earth (piercing), Fire (fire), Water (cold)

You can spend 5 ki points to cast Cone of Cold. The damage type varies by element.

Breath of the Deep

Elements: Water

You can spend 1 ki point to cast Water Breathing, targeting only yourself.

Breath of the Dragon

Prerequisite: 5th Level
Elements: Air (electricity), Earth (acid or poison), Fire (fire), Water (acid or cold)

You can spend 2 ki points to cast Dragon's Breath on yourself. The damage type depends on your element.

Claw of the Earth Dragon

Prerequisite: 5th Level
Elements: Earth

You can spend 2 ki points to cast Earthbind.

Clench of the North Wind

Prerequisite: 5th Level
Elements: Air, Earth

You can spend 2 ki points to cast Hold Person. At 17th level you can instead use 5 ki points to cast Hold Monster. The target is encased in a layer of earth or ice that disappears when the spell ends.

Concealing Breath

Elements: Air, Fire (smoke), Water

You can spend 1 ki point to cast Fog Cloud. Fire creates smoke to the same effect.

Cradle of the Deep

Prerequisite: 13th level
Elements: Water

You can spend 4 ki points to cast Watery Sphere.

Dance of Furious Storms

Prerequisite: 17th Level
Elements: Air

You can spend 5 ki points to cast Control Winds.

Dancing Leaves

Prerequisite: 5th Level
Elements: Air

You can spend 2 ki points to cast Dust Devil.

Desert Thirst

Prerequisite: 13th level
Elements: Fire

You can spend 4 ki points to cast Blight.

Doom of the Deep

Prerequisite: 17th Level
Elements: Water

You can spend 5 ki points to cast Maelstrom.

Dragon's Laughter

Prerequisite: 5th Level
Elements: Fire

You can spend 2 ki points to cast Pyrotechnics.

Dune Strike

Prerequisite: 9th Level
Elements: Earth

You can spend 3 ki points to cast Wall of Sand.

Earth Dragon Awakens

Prerequisite: 17th Level
Elements: Earth

You can spend 5 ki points to cast Move Earth.

Elemental Attunement

Elements: Air, Earth, Fire, Water

You can use your action to briefly control elemental forces within 30 feet of you, causing one of the following effects of your choice:

  • Create a harmless, instantaneous sensory effect related to air, earth, fire, or water such as a shower of sparks, a puff of wind, a spray of light mist, or a gentle rumbling of stone.
  • Instantaneously light or snuff out a candle, a torch, or a small campfire.
  • Cause earth, fire, water, or mist that can fit within a 1-foot cube to shape itself into a crude form you designate for 1 minute.

If you have an elemental specialization, this discipline changes slightly. When you gain this elemental discipline at third level, the effects you can achieve are keyed to your element of choice.

Air
  • Create a harmless, instantaneous sensory effect related to air, such as a shower of electric sparks, a puff of wind, or a spray of mist.
  • Instantaneously snuff out a candle, a torch, or a small campfire.
  • Cause vapors that can fit within a 3-foot cube to shape itself into a crude form you designate for 1 minute.
Earth
  • Create a harmless, instantaneous sensory effect related to earth such as a shower of sparks, an image on a stone surface, or a gentle rumbling of stone.
  • Instantaneously snuff out a small campfire.
  • Cause earth that can fit within a 1-foot cube to shape itself into a crude form you designate for 1 minute.
Fire
  • Create a harmless, instantaneous sensory effect related to fire such as a shower of sparks, a puff of smoke, or a spray of light.
  • Instantaneously light or snuff out a candle, a torch, or a small campfire.
  • Chill or warm up to 1 pound of nonliving material for up to 1 hour.
  • Cause fire that can fit within a 1-foot cube to shape itself into a crude form you designate for 1 minute.
Water
  • Create a harmless, instantaneous sensory effect related to water such as a puff of mist, a shower of water, or a gentle wave.
  • Instantaneously snuff out a candle, a torch, or a small campfire.
  • Chill up to 1 pound of nonliving material for up to 1 hour.
  • Cause water that can fit within a 1-foot cube to shape itself into a crude form you designate for 1 minute.

Eternal Mountain Defense

Prerequisite: 13th level
Elements: Earth

You can spend 4 ki points to cast Stoneskin, targeting yourself.

Eternal Wave

Prerequisite: 9th level
Elements: Water

You can spend 3 ki points to cast Wall of Water.

Falling Tower

Prerequisite: 13th level
Elements: Air, Earth, Fire, Water

You can spend 4 ki points to cast Elemental Bane.

Fangs of the Fire Snake

Elements: Fire

When you use the Attack action on your turn, you can spend 1 ki point to cause tendrils of flame to stretch out from your fists and feet. Your reach with your unarmed strikes increases by 10 feet until the end of your turn. A hit with such an attack deals fire damage instead of bludgeoning damage, and if you spend 1 ki point when the attack hits, it also deals an extra 1d10 fire damage.

Fist of Four Thunders

Elements: Air, Earth, Fire

You can spend 1 ki point to cast Thunderwave.

Fist of Unbroken Air

Elements: Air

You can create a blast of compressed air that strikes like a mighty fist. As an action, you can spend 1 ki point and choose a creature within 30 feet of you. That creature must make a Strength saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 3d10 bludgeoning damage, plus an extra 1d10 bludgeoning damage for each additional ki point you spend, and you can push the creature up to 20 feet away from you and knock it prone. On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage, and you don't push it or knock it prone.

Fire Dart

Prerequisite: 5th Level
Elements: Fire

You can spend 2 ki points to cast Scorching Ray.

Final Burns

Prerequisite: 9th level
Elements: Fire, Water

You can spend 3 ki points to cast Fire Shield. Fire produces a hot fire shield, Water produces a cold fire shield.

Flames of the Phoenix

Prerequisite: 9th level
Elements: Fire

You can spend 3 ki points to cast Fireball.

Gift of the Giant

Elements: Air, Earth

You can spend 1 ki point to cast Catapult.

Giant's Step

Elements: Earth

You can spend 1 ki point to cast Earth Tremor.

Gong of the Summit

Prerequisite: 5th Level
Elements: Earth

You can spend 2 ki points to cast Shatter.

Grasshopper's Leap

Prerequisite: 5th Level
Elements: Air, Earth, Fire, Water

You can spend 2 ki points to cast Misty Step. If you are tied to an element, the spell looks like you disappear and reappear in a shower of that element.

Heart of the Mountain

Prerequisite: 17th Level
Elements: Earth

You can spend 5 ki points to cast Passwall.

Heaven's Fury

Prerequisite: 13th level
Elements: Earth, Water

You can spend 4 ki points to cast Ice Storm. If you are tied earth, the spell causes a rain of stones and the damage types are 2d8 bludgeoning and 4d6 thunder.

Hand of the Enlightened

Prerequisite: 17th Level
Elements: Air, Earth, Fire, Water

You can spend 5 ki points to cast Bigby's Hand. The appearance of the hand matches the element used.

Heavenly Sun

Prerequisite: 17th level
Elements: Fire

You can spend 5 ki points to cast Dawn.

Ice Knife

Elements: Water

You can spend 1 ki point to cast Ice Knife.

Mark of the Dragon

Prerequisite: 5th Level
Elements: Fire

You can spend 2 ki point to cast Branding Smite.

Mist Stance

Prerequisite: 9th level
Elements: Air, Fire

You can spend 3 ki points to cast Gaseous Form, targeting yourself. If fire is your element, you turn to smoke with the same effect.

Nest of Stone

Prerequisite: 9th level
Elements: Earth

You can spend 3 ki points to cast Meld Into Stone, targeting yourself.

Protective Wings of the Dragon

Prerequisite: 5th Level
Elements: Air

You can spend 2 ki points to cast Warding Wind.

Return of the Phoenix

Prerequisite: 9th Level
Elements: Air, Earth, Fire

You can spend 3 ki points to cast Thunder Step. You appear to be caught in the explosion, only to reappear elsewhere.

Ride the Wind

Prerequisite: 9th level
Elements: Air

You can spend 3 ki points to cast Fly, targeting yourself.

River of Hungry Flame

Prerequisite: 13th level
Elements: Fire

You can spend 4 ki points to cast Wall of Fire.

Rush of the Gale Spirits

Elements: Air

You can spend 2 ki points to cast Gust of Wind.

Shape the Flowing River

Prerequisite: 13th level
Elements: Water

As an action, you can spend 4 ki point to choose an area of ice or water no larger than 30 feet on a side within 120 feet of you. You can change water to ice within the area and vice versa, and you can reshape ice in the area in any manner you choose. You can raise or lower the ice's elevation, create or fill in a trench, erect or flatten a wall, or form a pillar. The extent of any such changes can't exceed half the area's largest dimension. For example, if you affect a 30-foot square, you can create a pillar up to 15 feet high, raise or lower the square's elevation by up to 15 feet, dig a trench up to 15 feet deep, and so on. You can't shape the ice to trap or injure a creature in the area.

Shell of the Turtle

Elements Air (electricity, thunder), Earth (acid, thunder), Fire (fire), Water (acid, cold)

You can spend 1 ki point to cast Absorb Elements. This discipline has an element depending on the energy absorbed.

Shield of Heaven

Prerequisite: 13th level
Elements: Air

You can spend 4 ki points to cast Storm Sphere.

Spear of Heaven

Prerequisite: 9th level
Elements: Air

You can spend 4 ki points to cast Lightning Bolt].

Stance of the Newt

Prerequisite: 5th Level
Elements: Earth

You can spend 2 ki points to cast Spider Climb, targeting yourself.

Stone Fist

Elements: Earth

You can spend 1 ki to encase your fists in stone until the end of your current turn. When you strike with a stone fist, you slow the target. For each hit you score with an unarmed attack, the opponent's speed drops by 10 ft. until the beginning of your next turn, and if you spend 1 ki point when the attack hits, it also deals an extra 1d10 fire damage. The movement loss of multiple stone fist attacks stacks.

Sweeping Cinder Strike

Elements: Air (electricity), Fire (fire), Water (cold)

You can spend 1 ki point to cast Burning Hands. This discipline does damage of a type depending on your element.

Tidal Wave

Prerequisite: 9th level
Elements: Water

You can spend 3 ki points to cast Tidal Wave.

Touch of the Fire Dragon

Elements: Fire

You can spend 1 ki point to cast Searing Smite.

Tranquility of the Pond

Prerequisite: 5th Level
Elements: Water

You can spend 2 ki points to cast Water Walk targeted on yourself.

Water Whip

Elements: Water

You can spend 1 ki point as an action to create a whip of water that shoves and pulls a creature to unbalance it. A creature that you can see that is within 30 feet of you must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 3d10 bludgeoning damage, plus an extra 1d10 bludgeoning damage for each additional ki point you spend, and you can either knock it prone or pull it up to 25 feet closer to you. On a successful save, the creature takes half as much damage, and you don't pull it or knock it prone.

Wave of Rolling Earth

Prerequisite: 17th Level
Elements: Earth

You can spend 5 ki points to cast Wall of Stone.

Winter Tears

Prerequisite: 9th level
Elements: Air

You can spend 3 ki points to cast Sleet Storm.

Designer's Notes

Lots of things done here, lots of disciplines added.

  • Added lots and lots of new spells, both from new sources and just in general.
  • When there was a choice of similar spells, I went for the simplest one from the oldest book.
  • I strove to give each element the same number of spells each level, and also the same number of utility spells. There are still differences, fire generally has a little less versatility.
  • With the die type upgrades in the class, damage spells stay competitive even compared to same level sorcerers and wizards. Fireball especially is a monster, tough it never comes up to Meteor Swarm damage.
  • Made many spells work with more than one element with small alterations per the element.
  • Used half-caster levels throughout.
  • Shape the Flowing River got a major cost increase, it is basically the water version of Move Earth, but its fair that it costs less since ice is not normally permanent.
  • I included one 6th level spell, Move Earth, to match Shape the Flowing River.