Today I read the playtest to the monk and the developers notes. I have to say I am disappointed. The new mechanic of Disciplines is not terribly compelling. The decision to make them a striker just seems to miss what made them interesting in the first place. The complaint I had with Oriental adventures in 3rd edition is now reversed. Before the native assumption is all asian adventures are Japanese and now the assumption is all monks are Chinese. The powers sound like they are all out of hong kong action films. I like Chinese Martial arts, but this could have been a chance to show different flavors of asian martial arts heroes.
Also they have replaced Ki with Psionics. The explanation of why did not make much sense to me. The notion of not wanting all asian themed characters having the same power source is not any worse than all the primal power sources which are clearly from tribal cultures. The notion that you cant come up with a common theme for Ki also seems inadequate.
To replace it with psionics just makes it more annoying. Many many people have been cutting psionics out of campaigns for decades now for thematic reasons as much as rules reasons. Now to run in those worlds they have to allow psionics in again? Personally I also don't like the the theme for monks, I have no issue with psionics in general. Psionics is something you have possible wild talent at. It is not the result all the time of an aesthetic life. To a certain extent psionics always felt like mutant powers in my fantasy world which is fine, but I want the guy who trained his mind, body and soul to achieve this power, not draw on the same power as the mutant in the party.
In the end if this the direction they go I will likely make my own monk with an actual Ki power source for my campaigns. Maybe make him a ki based controller. I like the notion of a melee range controller. I may change my mind if someone in my game makes the new monk and I see something in the play to make them compelling. If that happens I will still change the power source.
okay i am done now. Off to bed with me.