So, you’ve decided you want to play Monk in Baldur’s Gate 3? Good choice! It is the class added most recently, to accompany the game’s full launch out of Early Access, and their class features are extremely potent for the clever brawler. Many of these class features, however, require you to use unarmed attacks or “Monk Weapons” in order to accomplish them. But what counts as a “Monk Weapon”, and do they work with all Monk class features? Read on to find out.
What Counts as a Monk Weapon
Thankfully, Baldur’s Gate 3 provides a helpful tooltip to help clarify what a Monk Weapon is. To quote: “Monk weapons are those which the Monk has Proficiency, and which do not have the two-handed weapons or heavy properties.”
While that is a pretty good explanation, there is a bit of unraveling to do yet, especially for new players. For example, what weapons do Monks have proficiency with? Well, you can find this in a few places, but the easiest is to go to your character sheet and take a look at the “Proficiency Bonus” section. Hovering over “Simple Weapons” or “Martial Weapons” will reveal that Monks are proficient with all 12 Simple Weapon types (Clubs, Daggers, Greatclubs, Handaxes, Javelins, Light Crossbows, Light Hammers, Maces, Quarterstaffs, Shortbows, Sickles, and Spears).
It should also be noted that weapon proficiencies you recieve from other sources still count. That means that, for example, a Githyanki Monk will have proficiency in 3 specific Martial Weapon types (Greatswords, Longswords, and Shortswords) from their Martial Prodigy racial bonus, which means that they can use swords as Monk Weapons, even though they are not made proficient by Monk’s Simple Weapon Proficiency.
What this means is that wielding any weapons of these types can be used as a Monk Weapon… So long as they don’t possess either the Two-Handed Weapon or Heavy quality. It is important to note that many weapons, including the starting Quarterstaff, are versatile, meaning that they can be wielded with two-handed. However, these weapons do not have the specific Two-Handed Weapon quality, so they can still be monk weapons. This means that a Monk can be proficient with a weapon and able to use it to full capacity, but may still be unable to use it as a Monk Weapon.
In order to determine whether or not a weapon has either the Two-Handed or Heavy qualities (or to check what type it is), simply hover over the weapon in your inventory and look at the bottom row of information. Next to the type, the weapon’s qualities will be listed. You can see below that a Longsword can be a Monk Weapon for my Githyanki Monk, for instance, because Githyanki are proficient with Longswords (though non-Githyanki might not be), and because Longswords are not Two-Handed (but are Versatile).
Can All Monk Class Features be Used with Monk Weapons?
Though Monks can, and often do, use weapons, their core strength is in Unarmed Fighting, dealing deadly and debilitating blows with their unarmed attacks rather than with their weapons. As such, many Ki Point abilities require the Monk to use Unarmed Strikes, such as all the variations of the Flurry of Blows class features. Thankfully, many of these abilities (as well as the general ability to do an Unarmed Strike) can be performed as a Bonus Action after using your primary action to attack with a Monk Weapon, thanks to the 1st-Level Passive Monk Class Feature Martial Arts: Bonus Unarmed Strike.
This means that, while special Features such as Flurry of Blows cannot be performed with a Monk Weapon, they can be activated and used after using a Monk Weapon, allowing you to have the best of both worlds (and trust me, you’ll need it to keep up with Fighters and Barbarians).
So, there you have it: now you ought to know what Monk Weapons are, what their limitations are, and how they can be used along side (but not as a part of) many of your class abilities. With that, it’s about time to unleash some kung-fu fury on your enemies. Welcome to Baldur’s Gate, Monk.
Share this article:
Graves is an avid writer, web designer, and gamer, with more ideas than he could hope to achieve in a lifetime. But, armed with a mug of coffee and an overactive imagination, he’ll try. When he isn’t working on a creative project, he is painting miniatures, reading cheesy sci-fi novels, or making music.