Creature Feature (5e): Ogre Monk

There are some who argue that ogres, by their nature, are doomed to chaos and evil. The question of whether one’s blood or one’s upbringing us what dooms them to evil is one for the ages, after all. What is clear in recent times though is that at least elements of an ogres’ nature can change. 

A few daimyos had eyed the strength of ogres greedily for years before finally producing a strange program that has lead to even stranger results. Through negotiations with violent and primitive ogre tribes, threats (and often the use) of extreme force, and simply abducting ogre children in the night, a small few ogres were trained in the arts and philosophies of a few monastic orders’ traditions. While they indeed continued to show a penchant for violence and greed, their chaotic nature slowly gave way to order and obedience. This result was enough for their daimyos: they had their ogre monks. 

Ogre Monk
Large giant, lawful evil

Armor Class 12
Hit Points 76 (9d10 + 27)
Speed 45 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
19 (+4) 12 (+2) 16 (+3) 6 (-2) 9 (-1) 8 (-1)

Saving Throws Dexterity +5, Strength +7
Skills Athletics +7, Religion +1
Languages Common, Giant
Senses Darkvision 60 Ft. passive Perception 9
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)

Special Traits

  • Monk’s Patience. An Ogre Monk may take the Dodge action as a bonus action three times per day.
  • Ogre’s Violence. An Ogre Monk gains 10 temporary hit points the first time an attack they deal in an encounter brings a foe to 0 HP. They additionally gain these hit points each time they deal a critical hit. 

Actions

  • Multiattack. The Ogre Monk makes three melee attacks.
  • Steel Fists. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage. 
  • Fists of Reckless Flame.  Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (4d8 + 4) fire damage. The Ogre Monk takes fire damage equal to half the damage dealt to the target.

Tactics

More so than almost any other monastic tradition, the distorted philosophies ogre monks tend to follow push them towards a strong desire for combat. Ogre monks will consent to any martial challenge they believe they will win and will volunteer for any mission or duty presented to them by a daimyo or other superior that might involve the killing of a living thing. Their love of killing has been found to be extremely difficult to breed, teach, or beat out of them and as such they taught to channel that violence towards useful ends.

When entering combat, an ogre monk will often explode onto a target. They will choose whoever seems the most martially competent of those within range and will use their multiattack ability to strike with three Fists of Reckless Flame attacks. If the target is extremely weak, they will perform a similar series of attacks as soon as possible. If the target dodges or blocks the strikes, the monk may switch targets to weaken the group before turning his attention back to the threat. Once near around half HP, the ogre monk will use his fire strikes more conservatively, usually only in either desperation or when a target seems like they might fall if hit with another especially mighty strike.  

 

Role in Society

Ogre monks are completely shunned by their kin, having clearly abandoned their people and their creator deities. Whether they learned their monastic ways by choice, threat or abduction is irrelevant; ogres are not known for their understanding. Equally, the “civilized” society ogre monks are ostensibly now a part of continue to hold prejudices against the monks that they would hold against any other ogre. They are feared and viewed with paranoia, many wondering when the monks’ leash shall break and they will return to their violent primitive ways. Perhaps tragically, this may be why these monks tend towards their love of violence despite their completely alien upbringing: not due to blood, but due to society’s rejection of them. 

Those who control ogre monks tend to have a more complex view of them. Daimyos who have such monks sworn to them often view them as incredibly useful tools or weapons. Much like any weapon, one merely needs to be careful how they use it. The monk masters who have trained the ogres have a more complex view of them: they are often viewed with great sadness and pity. Most ogres fail the training process and a daimyo always orders such beings destroyed. Many of these ogres train from birth or early childhood with their orders, and for all the prejudice a (usually human) master might have when they begin their role as teacher, nearly all develop sympathies for their pupils eventually. Ogres tend towards chaos and violence but this does not mean they are never able to show empathy or sorrow. 

Ogres who succeed in their training and become true monks are therefore an isolated people. They have little in the way of a home outside the temple they are raised and trained in. They almost never travel except when on a mission for the government or their own order. Personal interactions, especially romance (and it is indeed romance, if a stranger sort than most are used to), are highly limited: ogre monks are only permitted to have true friendships or romantic partners with those within their order. Any children couplings may produce are taken by the government for processing and training elsewhere (the fear being that a monk with a personal attachment to a failed pupil might rebel when the pupil is sent to be destroyed by the government). 

A Rumor

Some tell the tale of an ogre monk named Hitoshi who murdered his handlers while on a mission, escaping into the wilderness. It’s said he seeks to free his fellow ogre monks from their oppressive order. Whether the monks would even go with him given the opportunity remains to be seen: they are taught that rebellion is the greatest shame one can commit from an early age. 



About Quin Callahan

Quin Callahan is a freelance writer and college level English and economics tutor of over four years experience. He has written for a variety of gaming, technology, and economics publications. His favorite animal might be the squid but he is rarely certain.

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