If you want a monk that specializes in poisons, are you in for a treat! I am really excited to bring this monastic tradition to you guys! Ever since I created an NPC monk style villain in my D&D game, I was really interested in creating this subclass. I’ll admit, Monks are a tricky subclass to write for, but I am pretty confident in this first version of it. As always, let me know what you think in the comments or over on Twitter!
Fun fact: Egyptian Asps are a type of viper, in case any of you sticklers take ire with the use of the word viper.
Art: Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons – Tyler Jacobson, Wizards of the Coast
Monastic Tradition: Way of the Black Asp
A poisonous snake doesn’t waste its time and energy fighting to the death, and neither do monks who follow the Way of the Black Asp. By mastering poisons and even controlling poisonous magic fueled through their ki, these monks defeat their enemies from the inside out.
Where some see the use of poisons dishonorable, Black Asp monks, also called vipers, see it as nature in action. It is only natural that the deadliest predators kill as quickly and quietly as possible.
Black Asp Techniques
When you choose this tradition at 3rd level, you master the use of poisons and can create magical poisons through the use of your ki. You gain the following benefits.
Trained in Toxins. You gain proficiency with poisoner’s kits.
Venomous Magic. You can spend 2 or more ki points to cast ray of sickness. The maximum number of ki points you can spend to cast a spell in this way (including its base ki point cost and any additional ki points you spend to increase its level) is determined by your monk level. The spell’s level increases by 1 for each additional ki point you spend. At 5th level, you may spend up to 3 ki points; this increases to 4 ki points at 9th level, 5 at 13th level, and 6 at 17th level. If a creature is within 5 feet of you when you cast the spell, you don’t have disadvantage on the attack roll. Additionally, you gain the poison spray cantrip if you don’t already have it.
Envenomed Strike. As a bonus action, you can coat your weapons in a deadly poison. Until the end of your turn, your melee weapon attacks deal an extra 1d4 poison damage on a hit.
Starting at 6th level, you begin to weave your mastery of poisons into your fighting style and your very being, granting the following benefits.
Asp’s Resistance. You have resistance to poison damage and advantage on saving throws against poison.
Snake’s Bite. When you cast one of your Venomous Magic spells, you can use your bonus action to make an unarmed strike or you can spend 1 ki point to use your Flurry of Blows.
Your poisons not only harm others, but act as a gateway to shutting down their resistance to your more deadly toxins. Starting at 11th level, when you deal your Envenomed Strike damage to a creature, until the end of your next turn, the target has disadvantage on saving throws made against your Venomous Magic spells.
The lethality of your poison infused magic is strong enough to claim two lives with a single casting. Beginning at 17th level, when you cast one of your Venomous Magic spells, you can target a second creature within the spell’s range.