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Lizardfolk Monk 5e D&D Guide

Lizardfolk Monk 5e D&D Guide

With eyes gleaming like gems in the darkness and a serpentine grace that dances upon the battlefield, the Lizardfolk Monk is an exotic fusion of reptilian cunning and martial prowess.

Born from the swamps and murky depths, these agile warriors have honed their bodies into living weapons. With the discipline that rivals the most devout of monks, they have mastered the art of unarmed combat.

Their tails, normally used for balance and agility, become extensions of their will, gracefully lashing out to disarm foes or deliver a crippling strike.

These scaly warriors are a reminder that heroes come in all sizes and that true strength lies not in brawn alone but in the harmony of body, mind, and spirit.

Creating a Lizardfolk Monk


Lizardfolk possess an inscrutable and alien mindset, as their thoughts and desires are driven by a different set of basic principles compared to warm-blooded creatures.

The dreary homes of Lizardfolk are mainly found in swamps hundreds of miles away from human or other warm-blooded settlements. This distance is nothing compared to the gap between the Lizardfolk’s thinking and that of the smooth-skins.

SkinSquamous skin varying from dark green to shades of gray and brown
Hair Different sizes of frills on the top of their heads, usually varying in color from yellow to red
EyesDifferent shades of yellow
NoseSmall nostrils, much like snakes or iguanas
MouthSharp teeth, much like those of other reptiles
HandsFitted with sharp claws
TailNon-prehensile muscular tails that usually grew 3 to 4 feet in length (their tails are mainly used for balance)

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

Lizardfolk Subraces

Lizardfolk don’t have any playable subraces, although you can always ask your DM to incorporate a subrace into the game for your character.

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 Lizardfolk

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 Lizardfolk Subrace

Lizardfolk have bonuses to their Constitution (2) and Wisdom (1) scores, which isn’t too bad if you’re becoming a Monk.

Even though Monks don’t really use Constitution, having it gives them extra HP, which isn’t bad considering they only start with 8 HP + their Constitution modifier.

The Wisdom bonus is actually quite good, as Monks use Wisdom to harness their mystical energy known as Ki.

The Lizardfolk’s features, like Natural Armor (fits extremely well with a Monk’s Unarmored Defense feature by increasing AC when not wearing armor) and Hungry Jaws (gain temporary HP), make a Lizardfolk an exceptional candidate for becoming a Monk.

Your Lizardfolk Monk Background

Your Lizardfolk 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 Lizardfolk 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).

Lizardfolk Monk Examples:

  • I make sure always to have a plan prepared for when things go wrong.
  • I am incredibly slow to trust. Those who seem the fairest often have the most to hide.

Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws

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

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

Bonds – Think of a single bond that your Lizardfolk 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 Lizardfolk 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.

I am cold to others, new and known. Winning my trust isn’t easy, so don’t expect me to blindly follow orders without getting loyalty in return.

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 Lizardfolk 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

Lizardfolk are naturally some of the best Monks you can find. It’s not only because of their primal nature that they find harmony as a Monk, but it relies a lot on their skills as well.

The Lizardfolk have racial features which work extremely well with the features of a Monk. Racial features like Bite, Natural Armor, and Hungry Jaws are the best examples of this.

You’ll make no mistake taking in a Lizardfolk Monk, as they’ll make excellent Strikers for your party!

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