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Tabaxi Monk 5e D&D Guide

Tabaxi Monk 5e D&D Guide

The Tabaxi Monk is a feline warrior guided by the elusive rhythms of the moon. With agile grace and a keen instinct honed in the moonlit jungles, this enigmatic warrior blends the primal prowess of a predatory cat with the disciplined strikes of a Monk. 

They traverse the ethereal boundary between the material and the mystical with unparalleled finesse, embarking on a quest to unravel the celestial mysteries that bind their destiny. 

Together, the Tabaxi Monk, a harmonious fusion of raw instinct and spiritual enlightenment, becomes a mesmerizing force, a guardian of ancient secrets, and a silent whisper in the dark.

Creating a Tabaxi Monk


Tabaxi are catlike humanoids who came from a distant and strange land, driven by their curiosity to collect fascinating artifacts, listen to stories, and understand ancient tales – laying their eyes on all the wonders of the world.

These felines are the ultimate nomads, never staying in one place too long, as they want to see and explore as much as they can. Their nature pushes them to find long-lost legends, discover treasure, and leave no secrets uncovered.

SkinBeautiful spotted pelts ranging in colors from Brownish red to light yellow
EyesFeline-like eyes of Green or yellow
NoseSmaller black or brown noses, similar to a jaguar or leopard
MouthSharp teeth and larger canines
HandsSharp retractable claws

Note: Many Tabaxi use their claws as their primary weapons

TailThe tail of a jaguar or leopard

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

Tabaxi Subraces

The Tabaxi are similar to their feline brethren, the Leonin, as they also have no subraces. Their lack of subraces is probably due to their reluctance to settle, always being on the move and seldom seeking refuge, even with their own kind.

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 Tabaxi

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 Tabaxi Subrace

Fortunately, the Dexterity (2) score bonus fits quite well with a Monk, and their other features, like Feline Agility or Cat’s Talent, are also very useful for a Monk.

Otherwise, the Charisma (1) bonus won’t get much use, so if you’re very worried about that, you might want to go for the MPMotM Tabaxi instead of the VGtM Tabaxi.

Even though Tabaxi don’t have subraces, these two variations are more than enough to play as one, as much isn’t really known about them, so playing them is already like playing a rare subrace!

Your Tabaxi Monk Background

Your Tabaxi 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 Tabaxi 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 your 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

Tabaxi Monks are incredibly illusive creatures. Seeking to take refuge in the most faraway places where no one, not even their brethren, can reach them.

They are masters of martial arts and combine their feline agility with their martial training, becoming living, breathing weapons.

Tabaxi Monk Examples:

  • I make sure always to have a plan prepared for when things go wrong.

Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws

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

All people deserve to be handled with respect and dignity.

Bonds – Think of a single bond that your Tabaxi 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’ve been discerning my whole life for the answer to a certain question.

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

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


Inspiration is used by the DM to reward you for playing according to your bond, personality traits, ideals, and flaws.

My positive attitude has gotten me through tough times, and my love for adventure has kept me young!

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 Tabaxi 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

Tabaxi Monks might not be the most well-known combo, but their effectiveness knows no bounds, and their flavor is spectacular.

I would urge anyone who wants an agile assassin-like one-on-one combatant in their party to find an able Tabaxi Monk!