The latest Unearthed Arcana saw Wizards of the Coast release a new subclass which provides players the luxury of roleplaying a character from the popular Japanese manga series, “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.”
Titled “The Way of the Astral Self”, the subclass aims to provide monk players with a new Monastic Tradition feature. It acknowledges the struggle of a monk with their ki and follows by telling us how monks relate their mystical energy with their “Astral Self”. This Astral Self is further illustrated by the Dungeons & Dragons team as follows:
“A translucent embodiment of the monk’s psyche and soul. The form of an astral self reflects the mind of the monk who manifests it. Your astral self could be a humanoid knight with a helmeted face and large, muscular arms, or it could be a golden metallic form with thin arms like a modron.”
While no official word has been leaked, fans of D&D and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure quickly noticed the uncanny similarities between the monk’s Astral Self and the Stands seen in the aforementioned Japanese manga. Both of these embodiments connect their energy with their identity which later takes the shape of a being which possesses bizarre abilities which uniquely identifies them. The connection between a stand user and monks is strengthened when you realize how the former can use its stand’s eyes to communicate with their stand while the latter has a similar characteristic in the form of its Astral Self.
A player’s progression of the Astral Self is currently being playtested in 4 parts which can be achieved by leveling up in the game. These are called “Arms of the Astral Self”, “Visage of the Astral Self”, “Awakening of the Astral Self”, and the “Complete Astral Self”. Each of these parts are achieved in the same order as above and come with a new monk feature each time.