How balanced is this homebrew flavor modification to the Kensei Monk subclass?

I’ve recently been playing a Way of the Kensei monk (from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything), and am currently level four. While I like the subclass and most of its mechanics, it disappoints me a bit with how those mechanics effect its flavor.

I’m supposed to be a specialized expert in fighting with my chosen kensei weapons, but in practice I seldom use them for my attacks, instead mostly attacking with unarmed strikes, and only throwing in a weapon attack occasionally (such as for opportunity attacks). Even when I get the Extra Attack feature in another level, I expect I’ll usually just make one weapon attack per round, while often making two or three unarmed strikes.

There are two reasons for the prevalence of unarmed strikes:

  1. The Martial Arts and Flurry of Blows monk class features that let me make attacks with a bonus action only allow unarmed strikes.
  2. During my Attack action, I often want to make an unarmed strike in order to activate the Agile Parry Kensei feature (giving me a +2 to AC until my next turn while I’m holding a kensei melee weapon, but only if I make at least one unarmed strike with my Attack action).

I’m contemplating homebrewing an additional mostly-flavor class feature for the Kensei subclass. Before I discus it with my DM, I wanted to assess its balance relative to the normal Kensei (and other Monks). I don’t really want or need a power boost, I just want a way to reflavor my existing powers.

Here’s my proposed subclass feature (available immediately after adopting the subclass at level 3):

An extension of the body

Whenever you could make an unarmed strike, you may instead make a special melee attack with a kensei melee weapon you are holding. This special attack must use your Martial Arts die for damage, even if the weapon could normally use a larger damage die. This special attack counts as an unarmed strike for the purposes of other Monk class features.

The idea is to reflavor the unarmed strikes I’m currently making as underpowered attacks with my kensei weapon, without changing my damage output. With the new feature, all my attacks could be made with my weapon, even when using Flurry of Blows or Martial Arts. It would also let me qualify for Agile Parry without skipping weapon attacks on my Attack action. I can still make normal weapon attacks, they just won’t count as unarmed strikes unless I forgo the weapon’s better damage die.

Known balance issues with the proposed feature:

  • This feature may let a Kensei change the type of a lot of their damage from bludgeoning to piercing or slashing (depending on what kinds of kensei weapons they choose). This probably doesn’t matter much, as according to the answers to this question only a relatively small number of creatures in the Monster Manual have resistances or immunities to specific kinds of physical damage (rather than to all three types), and among the physical damage types, bludgeoning is probably the best. But having extra options is probably a small benefit.
  • The feature would also make using a magic weapon quite a bit better, as you’d gain whatever magical benefits the weapon offers on every attack without giving up the use of any class features. For example, my DM has given my character a magical spear that does extra damage on a critical hit, and I’d get a lot more chances at rolling one with this homebrew than I do using RAW. But note that it’s mostly just the magical effects of the weapon that matter, not so much its being magical for overcoming damage resistances, since a Kensei’s unarmed strikes and kensei weapon attacks will all count as magical at level 6 anyway. The new feature would however give more benefits from the Sharpening the Blade Kensei feature after level 11 if your weapon doesn’t have a magical attack and damage modifier already at that point.
  • Some possible kensei weapons have special properties that you can’t normally replicate with unarmed strikes (such as reach from a whip, or silver plating to bypass certain damage resistances). This rule would let those special properties be used for more attacks each turn.

My questions:

  1. Are there any loopholes, ambiguities or other issues in the wording of the class feature?
  2. Is the modified subclass still reasonably balanced relative to other Monks in terms of combat effectiveness? I’m not sure how to judge how important the balance issues that I’ve identified are. Have I overlooked any other important advantages this homebrewed feature would provide?
  3. Would giving up any of the standard Kensei (or Monk) class features bring the balance back into line? For example, we could pretty easily drop Magical Kensei Weapons, as the Ki-Empowered Strikes feature would make counts-as-unarmed kensei weapon attacks also count-as-magical (at the cost of a little bit of damage for some kinds of weapons at lower levels). A more extreme trade-off would be taking away some or all of the improved damage that Martial Arts gives to unarmed strikes (so you’d need to make weapon attacks instead, and would be quite a lot weaker without access to a weapon).

Can a Player add Detail and Flavor to their Spells and Abilities?

I’m not really sure how to word this so I’ll detail the situation and hopefully I can not only get an answer but a name for this situation.

I was in a game with a regular group doing a one shot as some of our group wasn’t going to be around today. We all had level three characters and I believe one was a Barbarian with the Path of the Totem Warrior which I believe they chose the bear.

So during a moment of combat the person fiddled with a bear amulet they had as they said they’re entering a rage. The player described that as they did so a ethereal visage of a bear enshrouded their character.

The GM had immediately said Rage doesn’t do that and the player became flustered. After the session, the kettle was still boiling. To the player, the GM was outing them and stopping them from being creative. To the GM, they were confused to what the player was doing and then tried to stop them. Apparently there had been a past with the player flavoring spells and abilities in ways unusual to how they are described as written or to how they can be applied.

Part of me thinks this falls into the rule of cool category but it also falls into confusion with mechanics, whether superficial or actually mechanical in nature. That and we had a new player with us so I’m not sure if it was in attempt to stop potential misleading information.

Can a player choose to add such a description to their ability (and spells)?

i cannot find a way to switch my flavor of ubuntu,

I am running a acer chromebook 15 intel, I installed crouton and went through that general process to install Ubuntu 16.04 at the time. I am now running Ubuntu 18.04. To get into Ubuntu i start from chrome os, i do ctrl alt t, i then enter the commands shell

sudo startunity 

my problem is that i wanted to get a less resource demanding desktop environment, but the startup process skips the login screen overall, and in the corner under my user where it says log out, that is how the process for linux gets ended, and there is no obvious answer it seems to force a login screen. i have followed instructions to change a text file about the login screen skipping, which was false. im sorry for lacking information.

Can I make up a patron by changing the flavor text? [on hold]

I’ve always loved the idea of possession so I thought what if I make a warlock who’s patron is parasitic.

The patron can only possess the host if the host is compliant and it’s part of their pact. As you level up the patron has stronger and stronger control over the host eventually taking over his or her body completely.

To be clear I wouldn’t give it any new abilities or mechanics outside of the roleplay perspective of having another entity take control of your body. If I can’t do this is there any way I can go about making something with the premise of slow possession.

How does the Wood Elf’s Mask of the Wild trait work, in terms of flavor?

Just a flavor question (with perhaps slight gameplay influence):
How does a wood elf use the Mask of the Wild trait to hide?

The wood elf’s Mask of the Wild trait says:

You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured by foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist, and other natural phenomena.

Using fog as an example: Does the elf simply hide better in (lightly obscuring) fog, or does he more seem to melt into the fog through the magic of his fey ancestry?