Skip to Content

Goblin Monk 5e D&D Guide

Goblin Monk 5e D&D Guide

Goblin Monks are masters of stillness and chaos, blending tranquility with unpredictable mischief.

One moment, they gracefully float through the air with the lightness of a summer breeze, and the next, they vanish into thin air, leaving behind nothing but a mischievous giggle that echoes through the forest.

In their pursuit of enlightenment, Goblin Monks embrace a variety of disciplines, channeling their ki into awe-inspiring feats.

But don’t be fooled by their sharp teeth and pointy ears; Goblin Monks are not your ordinary miscreant goblins. They defy convention and reshape the perception of their kind.

Creating a Goblin Monk


Goblins are found throughout the entire world, often living in caves, abandoned mines, and destroyed villages – some even build villages.

The Goblins occupy an uneasy position in the world, as they are very instinctive and tribal, lashing out at any creature they think they are strong enough to bully.

Even though they might seem unintelligent, they can be cunning on the battlefield, being exceptionally cruel in their victories and becoming servile in their defeats. 

Thus, they often become the servants of powerful evil entities or join the ranks of Orcs.

SkinLeathery skin in shades of Red, orange, yellow, and the occasional green

Note: Most tribes share the same skin color because of their strong familial link

Hair (Including their Beard)Goblins either have short black hair or no hair
EyesRed or yellow in color
NoseBulbous noses of many sizes
MouthSharp rotten teeth
HandsSharp black nails

Note: The nails aren’t sharp enough to be used in combat

Note: These features can be slightly changed or modified if some variations don’t fit your character.

Goblin Subraces

Goblins have 1 other subrace outside of the Plane Shift expansion.

Dankwood Goblin – Dankwood Goblins are very similar to normal Goblins; however, they are much more artistic and gentle. 

Most Dankwood Goblins prefer living in peace among their furry friends of the forest, whom they have a magical bond with. They are also quite fast, very nimble, and eager explorers, making them excellent adventurers.

Monk Class Features

Hit Points

Hit Dice1d8 per Monk level
HP at level 18 + Constitution modifier
HP at Higher levels1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Monk level after level 1


WeaponsSimple weapons, Shortswords
ToolsChoose one type of Artisan’s tools or one Musical instrument
Saving ThrowsStrength, Dexterity
SkillsChoose two – Acrobatics, Athletics, History, Insight, Religion, and Stealth

Monastic Traditions

Upon reaching level 3 as a Monk, you commit yourself to one of the 10 Monastic Traditions of your choice, each granting you specific features.

Astral Self – Monks of the Astral Self see their bodies as an illusion, finding their ki to be the representation of their true astral self. These monks are trained to either protect the weak or be of service to the mighty.

Ascendant Dragon – Monks of the Ascendant Dragon emulate dragons, making them a more integrated part of its magic and the world.

These monks alter their spirits to resonate with draconic might, augmenting their prowess in battle, soaring through the sky, or bolstering their allies.

Drunken Master – Monks of the Drunken Master tradition are taught to move with jerky movements that are unpredictable, much like that of a drunkard.

Drunken masters are frustrating to engage as they are often seen as incompetent combatants with their unsteady feet, tottering, and sways, but this only conceals their carefully executed dance.

Four Elements – Monks of the Four Elements harness the elements, focusing their ki on aligning themselves with the forces of creation, bending the four elements to their will, and using them as an extension of your physical body.

Members can focus on dedicating themselves to a single element or weaving all the elements together.

Kensei – Monks of Kensei train relentlessly with their weaponry to the point that the weapon becomes an extension of their physical body. Their tradition was founded on the mastery of sword training but has expanded to include many different weapons as well.

Long Death – Monks of the Long Death are obsessed not with death itself but with the mechanics of dying. These monks will capture creatures to experiment on them, recording and understanding the moments of their death.

They use this knowledge to guide them in understanding what creates a deadly fighting style.

Mercy – Monks of Mercy are taught how to manipulate the life force of others in order to give aid to those in need. They are traveling physicians; however, to those beyond their help, they bring a swift end as a final act of mercy.

Open Hand – Monks of the Open Hand are unmatched when it comes to martial arts combat, whether they are unarmed or armed. 

They learn various techniques allowing them to strengthen their bodies through meditation, heal damage using their ki and push or trip enemies.

Shadow – Monks of the Shadow value stealth and subterfuge, often called shadowdancers or ninjas, and serve as assassins and spies.

There are many different monasteries that teach this tradition; some are akin to thieves’ guilds, and others are more like familial clans.

Sun Soul – Monks of the Sun Soul are taught to channel their life essence into searing bolts of light. They teach their disciples that meditation will give them the ability to unleash the indomitable light that resides within every living creature’s soul.

Combining Monk With Goblin

Determining Your Monk Subclass

Choosing your ideal subclass is subjective, but if your objective is optimization, try understanding what your character wants to do and what stats fit best with their subclass.

Way of the Astral SelfStriker/Support
Way of the Ascendant DragonDefender/Striker/Support
Way of the Drunken MasterStriker
Way of the Four ElementsBlaster/Striker
Way of the KenseiStriker
Way of the Long DeathStriker
Way of MercyHealer/Striker
Way of the Open HandStriker
Way of ShadowScout/Striker
Way of the Sun SoulStriker

Optimal Goblin Subrace

Standard Goblins have bonuses to their Dexterity (2) and Constitution (1) but their subrace, the Dankwood Goblin, has a bonus to its Wisdom (1) instead. 

Both Goblin races are actually very good when becoming a Monk, but in my opinion, the standard Goblin is better, even though the Dankwood Goblin has an increased Wisdom stat which Monks use for their Ki.

This is because of the Fury of the Small feature standard Goblins have, which gives them extra damage to foes larger than them. Since most Monks are strikers, they excel when loaded up with damage, so having extra makes them even more deadly.

Your Goblin Monk Background

Your Goblin Monk needs a unique background that will affect its choices, as well as the way it sees the world and what it wants to achieve.

Start by asking yourself some basic questions: Where were they born, and where did they come from? Do they have any goals, bonds, or ideals, and what are their flaws? Where do they belong in social circles and society as a whole? What inspires them?

Place of Birth

Think of the environment a Goblin Monk grew up in and how it affected them physically and emotionally and eventually shaped their view of the world.

Try to make their place of birth and upbringing correspond with their personality traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws – this will truly bring their character alive.

Note: The birthplaces of races are usually mentioned in the Player’s Handbook or some of its expansion books.

Characteristics and Personality Traits

(Short outline of characteristics; are they proud, violent, or angry, and how does their class affect their personality).

Goblin Monk Examples:

  • I make sure always to have a plan prepared for when things go wrong.
  • I lie about almost everything, even when there’s no good reason to.

Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws

Ideal – Express one ideal that is a driving force in a Goblin Monk’s life – their conviction, ethical principle, and moral standing.

If I become strong, I can take what I want – what I deserve.

Bonds – Think of a single bond that your Goblin Monk has to an event, person, or place. Bonds will tie them to their background and can inspire bravery or stimulate memories driving them against their ideals.

My weapons are symbols of my past life. I must carry them so that I will never forget my roots.

Flaws – Choose a single flaw for a Goblin Monk – their unhealthy compulsion, greatest fear/weakness, or most vile vice.

I judge others harshly and myself even more severely.


Inspiration can be used by the DM to reward you for playing according to your bond, personality traits, ideals, and flaw.

Things have always gone wrong for me, and it’s probably because I’m a Goblin. Nobody seems to trust me; I have to show them they can rely on me by becoming strong and taking what I want.

Note: If you’re struggling to create your background or just don’t want to think, the Player’s Handbook has well-thought-through backgrounds that you can use for your character or use as a mold.

Supplies and Gear For Goblin Monks

Monks start with the following equipment, together with the equipment from their background. Choosing equipment based on your situation and your character’s proficiencies is the easiest way to go about things.

  • (a) Shortsword or (b) Any simple weapon
  • (a) Dungeoneer’s pack or (b) Explorer’s pack
  • 10 Darts

You can decide how your character came about these goods – whether they stole, inherited, or purchased them some time back – adding to your character’s background.

Note: By using your starting wealth, you can buy your own equipment (5d4 GP for Monks).

Final Thoughts

Goblin Monks are very similar to other Goblin combinations like the Fighter or Barbarian. These little rascals use their natural agility combined with the forceful training of a Monk to deal deadly blows.

One of their best features is the Fure of the Small which allows them to put out a ton of damage against larger enemies, working exceptionally well in one-on-one combat.

Even though Goblin Monks are the largest or scariest creatures around. They are invaluable Strikers, and as time passes, they can become extremely attached to their friends.

You might also be interested in the following:

Goblin Fighter 5e D&D Guide

Monday 4th of December 2023

[…] Goblin Monk […]