[RPG] How many Ki points can a monk spend per turn


Flurry of Blows, Patient Defense, and Step of the Wind each cost 1 Ki point to use and use a bonus action. Does that mean I can only use 1 per turn, since I can only take 1 bonus action per turn?

At the same time it feels like Ki points are kind of like spell slots, and maybe if I get the ability to spend more Ki I can use more of these abilities in a turn.

Can anyone clarify this for me?

Best Answer

One bonus action is a hard limit

No matter how many Ki you might want to spend, you can never take more than one bonus action on your turn.

Actions aren't consumable points, they're limits

Whenever you're looking at rules talking about types of actions, think of them less as “spending” actions and more as counting them. As you do things on your turn, the number of Actions, Bonus Actions, and Reactions are limited: when the things you've done reach your limit in any action type, you can't do any more things that count as that action type.

You don't “spend” action types so much as you count up what you've done using abilities you have, until you hit the limits. I know this seems like a silly distinction, but it actually makes it easier to read the rules, since they're written with this “action limit” idea in mind.

Ki are consumable points

In contrast to actions, Ki are something you “spend”.

You can spend more Ki points during your turn on other abilities, but using the abilities will still be constrained by the normal limits on taking actions. Think of spending Ki as allowing you to use an ability at all, as powering the action. You still spend any needed actions to actually use the ability.

For example, you could spend 1 Ki to power Step of the Wind and another 4 Ki to power Empty Body, but actually using those abilities would still count as taking a bonus action to Disengage and an action to turn invisible. Having taken both an action and a bonus action, you'd have hit your 1-per-turn limits for those and you can't do anything else on your turn that counts as an action or bonus action.