So it has come to this.

Here’s the Heroic Monk class for reference:
Essentials Dungeons & Dragons GW Monk Class (v0.1)

I was faced with the two most difficult profession for opposite reasons — the Monk, whose main schtick is healing, and the Elementalist, who pretty much just blows stuff up. They’re both kind of boring to me since they’re so uncomplicated.

I mean, without some variation, what is there to build from?

I began preliminary design work on the Monk when I was between the Warrior and the Ranger and trying to decide what to work on next. I copy-pasted Healing Word (which I didn’t use), and I wrote the initial version of the Divine Boon power.

And then I let it sit.

Working on the Ranger helped me to realize a professions “primary attribute” wasn’t necessarily the best one to draw from when building a D&D class, so by the time I got to the Monk, I had pretty much figured out that I was going to focus on designing Protection Prayers instead of Divine Favor.

When I sat down to work on the Monk, the first power I wrote was Shielding Hands. This is maybe the strangest leader-heal power yet, even though it borrows a bit from the 4e artificer. It doesn’t heal … immediately. Instead, Shielding Hands rewards the strategist — use it on the character you think will take the most damage.

Next I wrote Life Bond, Reversal of Fortune, and Mend Ailments. From the time I wrote the power until nearly the time I uploaded the PDF, I agonized over the effect of Mend Ailments. I can’t know if the world is ready for an at-will healing power.

Life Bond and Reversal of Fortune have very specific uses and benefits. Life Bond is most valuable when the damage you’ll take is less than half what your ally will take from the triggering attack. Reversal of Fortune is best when the damage is a lot more than that — basically when the character goes unconscious. But you only get one.

The beauty in the balance is that receive a single immediate action from one turn to the next. You want to make sure you use one of the two powers, but you have to make sure it’s the right one. You don’t have anything to lose from using one of them, but you want to try and use the best one. The most effective immediate action.

As was pointed out by one of the guys in my gaming group, Shielding Hands works to protect the Monk from damage taken when using Life Bond. If you want lots of fun, consider pairing one of these Monks with a Mesmer, and see how far you can get — the Monk and Mesmer can work together to prevent a lot of damage.