Are Monks proficient with unarmed strikes by default?

I can’t find anything in the PHB that actually says that Monks are proficient with unarmed strikes by default. Their Proficiencies list just says simple weapons and shortswords. Their Martial Arts ability says it gives them “mastery of combat styles that use unarmed strike…” but not actually proficiency.

Am I missing something, or is it actually correct that Monks don’t have their proficiency bonus with unarmed strike unless they get the proficiency from a feat or something?

Are monk’s fists considered weapons for the purpose of being targeted with weapon empowering spells like Elemental Weapon or Holy Weapon? [duplicate]

This question already has an answer here:

  • Is an Unarmed Strike considered a Weapon attack? 4 answers
  • What is the fallout of unarmed strikes no longer being weapons? 3 answers

I’ve read that monk fist’s are considered monk weapons, does that enable a paladin to cast holy weapon on a friendly monk?

For clarification, I am not asking if an unarmed attack is a weapon attack. It is. What I am asking is if the hands are weapons, so that way they can be infused with spells like Holy Weapon, which only targets weapons.

Monk’s Martial Arts and Polearm Master

I have a problem with an interpretation of the outcome of a monk with the Polearm Master feat, wielding a quarterstaff.

  1. You can take the Attack action and attack with a quarterstaff using Dex instead of Str and dealing 1d4 (monk), 1d6 (normal) or 1d8 (versatile) damage.
  2. Then you can use a Bonus action and make an unarmed strike using Dex instead of Str, dealing 1d4 (monk) damage.
  3. Or you can use a Bonus action from from Polearm Master and make a weapon attack using Dex instead of Str, dealing 1d4 (polearm master) or 1d4 (monk) damage.

Note: Monk’s Martial Art damage goes higher with levels up to 1d10.

Am I right with my interpretation? Especially the part of using a monk’s damage die instead of the Polearm Master die. I don’t know which “die replacement” is more specific.

How does Monks’ Improved Unarmored Movement work out of combat?

At 9th level, Monks gain an improvement of their Unarmored Movement feature:

At 9th level, you gain the ability to move along vertical surfaces and across liquids on your turn without falling during the move.

Searching on the site for an answer, I only found ones related to turns in combat. I’m wondering what happens outside of it. If I have 50 ft. of speed, I can only move up to 50 feet during a turn, that’s clear.

But how does this work out of combat, when movement isn’t forcefully split up because of turns? Do I fall after 50 feet, or can I move on vertical surfaces and across liquids indefinetely?

Does the Way of Shadow monk’s Shadow Step feature count as a magical ability?

The Way of Shadow monk’s Shadow Step feature says (PHB, p. 80; emphasis mine):

At 6th level, you gain the ability to step from one shadow into another. When you are in dim light or darkness, as a bonus action you can teleport up to 60 feet to an unoccupied space you can see that is also in dim light or darkness. You then have advantage on the first melee attack you make before the end of the turn.

In D&D 5e, does Shadow Step count as a magical ability? Or is it more of the ninja-like reflexes using those abilities to move within shadows? I get the word used is “teleport” which, in the general D&D world would be considered magical, but based on the context, it doesn’t seem to be a magical ability.

For example, on the D&D Beyond website, in the text description of Shadow Step, the word teleport is not linked to the teleport spell, whereas Cloak of Shadows does reference invisible as a link. Also Shadow Step is not under the Shadow Arts section where Ki can be used to duplicate certain spells. These separations make me think it’s not really magical.

I’m asking specifically regarding its use in the Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage adventure. My understanding is that all magic doesn’t work the same way in there so wondering if Shadow Step would be affected there seeing how it’s not mentioned as a spell and/or magical.

Can you cast Dispel Magic on a Shadow Monk’s Silence?

Let’s say a Wizard is outside the range of a 3rd Level Shadow Monk’s Silence, casted via Ki points.

Can he dispel it?

My gut inclination is that the Wizard can indeed dispel the Shadow Monk’s Silence despite it not being technically a spell, due to the Sage Advice Compendium containing this ruling:

  • Is it a spell? Or does it let you create the effects of a spell that’s mentioned in its description?


If any one of these questions can be answer “yes”, then the effect, ability or item is magical for the purposes of being affected by magic cancelling effects.

Now, consider the Shadow Monk’s Shadow Arts Feature:

Shadow Arts

You can use your ki to duplicate the effects of certain spells. As an action, you can spend 2 ki points to cast darkness, darkvision, pass without trace, or silence, without providing material components. Additionally, you gain the minor illusion cantrip if you don’t already know it.

Seems clear enough. However, the only reason I’m unsure is due to to the “best answer” selected to this question, “Does ki count as magic for the purpose of an antimagic field, or is it only fluff?”

That answer seems to conclude that Ki Magic is NOT in fact magical. (Note that the second answer, which is more highly rated, concluding that it IS in fact magical.)

I’m likely to face this specific, niche situation in an upcoming session I’m running and I want a clear, community consensus on how to resolve this specific problem. Other examples and evidence are extremely welcome as well.

Can Monks use Shortbows?

Haven’t played D&D since ABBA was hot, and I’m trying to retool on 5e, playing a Wood Elf Monk.

I see that on p78 of the PHB it states in Martial Arts that monk weapons are “shortswords and any simple melee weapons.”

However, as a Wood Elf, I am proficient with “longsword, shortsword, shortbow, and longbow” (PHB p 24).

I also read in Diskmaster’s 5e Monk Guide in section 1 that the Shortbow is recommended.

Am I allowed to use a shortbow? What, if any, class limitations apply?

Can you apply the Monk’s Martial Arts feature only to your attack roll but not your damage roll?

The Monk’s Martial Arts feature states:

You can use Dexterity instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls of your unarmed strikes and monk weapons…

Originally I thought this meant you had to either replace use Strength for both rolls or use Dexterity for both rolls. But the section on Finesse weapons states:

When making an attack with a finesse weapon, you use your choice of your Strength or Dexterity modifier for the attack and damage rolls. You must use the same modifier for both rolls.

Both features have the same “for the attack and damage rolls” bit; however, Martial Arts lacks the requirement that you must use the same modifier for both rolls. Does this mean that you are able to replace only the attack roll’s (or only the damage roll’s) modifier?

One reason you might want to mix up your modifiers is any time where you want to damage (and thus hit) a creature, but you don’t want to deal a lot of damage to it.
In a case like that you would want to use your higher modifier for the attack and your lower modifier for the damage.

Do monks know when they are charmed?

A Monk with the Stillness of Mind feature can use their action to end one effect on themselves which is causing them to be charmed or frightened.

By virtue of having this ability, does the Monk know when they are charmed (such as by the charm person spell, or a vampire’s Charm ability) in order to expend an action to activate it?

Specifically, does something feel “off” to them when they are charmed and thus allow them to override the charm’s stated effects in favor of activating Stillness of Mind?