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Halfling Monk 5e D&D Guide

Halfling Monk 5e D&D Guide

The Halfling Monk, often underestimated due to their unassuming stature, is a master of martial arts and the embodiment of serenity.

Equipped with lightning-fast reflexes and an uncanny ability to dodge attacks, the Halfling Monk is like a gust of wind dancing through a field of danger. Their dexterity is unmatched, evoking envy from the most graceful of elves and awe from the mightiest of warriors.

Never underestimate the power of a hero who, despite their size, stands as a towering testament to the boundless potential that resides within us all.

Creating a Halfling Monk


Halflings love nothing more than the comfort of their own homes, a place of peace, far from those who would do them harm. Some Halflings do the opposite of staying home, forming bands of nomadic travelers lured by the open road.

Even though they like their peace and quiet, Halflings work well with others, treating their friends exceptionally well, even if they aren’t a Halfling. They can become unexpectedly fierce when their family, friends, or community becomes threatened.

SkinRanging from tan to pale
Hair (Including their Beard)Brown or sandy brown (often wavy)

Men usually have sideburns, but beards and mustaches are very rare

EyesBrown or hazel eyes
NoseSmall, human-like 
MouthHuman-like teeth

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

Halfling Subraces

Halflings have 6 subraces, some being only slightly different and others being completely different from common Halflings.

Lightfoot Halfling – Lightfoot Halflings are the most common Halflings filled with wanderlust and often found living among other races, always getting along with everyone they meet. 

Stout Halfling – Stout Halflings are hardier than your average Halfling, even having resistance to poison. There are rumors of Stout Halflings having dwarven blood, but that’s never been proven.

Ghostwise Halfling – Ghostwise Halflings are some of the rarest Halflings, existing only in the Chondalwood and a handful of other forests.

They are usually clannish and very mistrustful of outsiders, making Ghostwise Halfling adventurers rare but not unheard of.

Lotusden Halfling – Lotusden Halflings are found in the Lotusden Greenwood and have adapted to their chaotic wilds, often becoming druids or at least learning about druidic magic.

Mark of Hospitality Halfling – Mark of Hospitality Halflings are gifted with unrivaled hospitality, evident by the spells they learn and the Charisma-orientated skill focuses.

Mark of Healing Halfling – Mark of Hospitality Halflings are some of the best healers you can get. 

Their inherited Wisdom, focus, and spell list make them exceptional druids, and their size makes it easy for them to accomplish these healing tasks without being hit (or just hiding behind their Paladin).

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.

Many different monasteries 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 allow them to unleash the indomitable light that resides within every living creature’s soul.

Combining Monk With Halfling

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 Halfling Subrace

Halflings have quite a few subraces to choose from, some being much better than others if you’re choosing a Monk and others being much worse. 

Standard Halflings have a bonus to their Dexterity (2) score, which Monks use primarily. None of its subraces have Strength bonuses, so you’ll have to look for Wisdom bonuses, which the Ghostwise Halfling (1), Lotusden Halfling (1), and Mark of Healing Halfing (1) all have.

You should first look at those three if you want to make a Halfling Monk, then you should decide what fits your background and subclass.

Your Halfling Monk Background

Your Halfling 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 Halfling 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 

Halfing Monks aren’t the strongest creatures, but they sure are tough. These creatures are quite reclusive, but when provoked, they use their honed martial arts to take down anyone in their path.

Halfling Monk Examples:

  • I make sure always to have a plan prepared for when things go wrong.
  • I’d rather befriend someone than make an enemy.

Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws

Ideal – Express one ideal that is a driving force in a Halfing Monk’s life – their conviction, ethical principle, and moral standing (probably something about nature).

The ancient traditions of worship and sacrifice must be preserved and upheld.

Bonds – Think of a single bond that your Halfling 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.

I’ll do anything to protect the temple where I once served.

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

I have a ‘tell’ that reveals when I’m lying.


The DM can use inspiration to reward you for playing according to your bond, personality traits, ideals, and flaw.

As a Halfling Monk, I know others underestimate my usefulness, so I use their disbelief to my advantage.

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 Halfling 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

Halfling Monks are quite similar to Gnome Monks. However, they are much friendlier due to being Halfings.

These creatures are great Healers and exceptional Strikers, bringing not only their skills to a party but also their hospitality.

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