D&D's Monk Way of the Sun Soul in 'Xanathar's Guide To Everything'
Todd Kenreck: The Monk: Way of the Sun Soul can channel through energy to perform devastating attacks. I talk to Mike Mearls about this subclass in D&D.
Mike Mearls: The Sun Soul Monk originated in the Scrape Realms. There's this idea of the Sun Soul, the Sun Soul initiate as a Monk and it was originally presented in this Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. We have picked up a few of those subclass options, primarily ones that felt like they have homes outside of the forgotten realms. The Sun Soul's a little bit of a funny one because it is based on a specific element of the realms but we found that it was very popular with players.
I think the idea of the monk who's channeling radiant energy to smite their foes, just really appealed to people. Essentially, what the Sun Soul Monk can do is, if you think of the Monk as a Martial Artist, this is the monk who can hurl energy volts. If you played Street Fighter, I'm not going to try to make the sound but if you played some of the characters they have, they can hurl balls of spirit energy, ki energy, this is the monk that can do that.
The Sun Soul can make short range attacks using, just as a standard thing, they can use their ki to augment, to make more attacks. They can also make cone attacks by spending ki at higher levels and eventually, they can throw a radiant version of a fireball. It's all about channeling their ki into searing, radiant energy and using it to make area of effect or ranged attacks against their enemies. It adds a bit of an element of versatility to the monk that you might not find in other paths that focus on hand to hand combat.
Todd Kenreck: That was already in the Sword Coasts Adventurer's Guide?
Mike Mearls: Yeah. It showed up there. It's tied to an order of monks in the forgotten realms and we just felt like, maybe it's just the Street Fighter influence, who knows, but it was one of those subclasses that seemed to have a lot of traction with people, they liked it. We felt like the flavor in it wasn't so overwhelming and so realm specific that we could pull it out and make it a more general option.
Todd Kenreck: Okay.
Mike Mearls: It's also fits really well with the idea of, we often see monks tied to good Deities. In some campaigns, you'll have orders of monks that are tied to specific gods. This felt like, while it's not overly divine, we don't mention specifically like, "You must choose a God," and things like that. It had a really good match for that kind of monastic order, the monks who are tied to a deity. It could be like Pelor, in the world of Greyhawk, or anything like that. Or even a more general God of Monasticism and inner contemplation.
It's almost like a mid point between the classic, unarmed fighting monk and the idea that we've had in some editions of the monk as a psionics using character. It's not psionics but it's this idea of channeling your ki into pure energy that you're then using to strike enemies with pretty spectacular explosive attacks and things like that.
Todd Kenreck: The Monk: Way of the Sun Soul, appears in both, Xanathar's Guide To Everything and the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. You can purchase both of those books on D&D Beyond by following the link in this video description. I'm Todd Kenreck. Thank you for watching.