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    Default The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    The Brawler



    "I have seven different ways that I could kill you, right now." "Yeah, and I have one. It's called punching you in the face." An exchange between a wizard and a brawler

    The Brawler is a typical street thug. He's not a monk. He doesn't learn his skill through discipline. He's not a swordsage. He doesn't learn how to channel fire through his fists or disappear in the shadows. He's just a guy who fights with his fist. Hand-to-hand is not that complicated, and it really shouldn't be treated as some kind of mystic art when Mike Tyson and Mohammed Ali could do it just by working on their form and exercising.

    This class is meant to be Tier 4. It should be balanced against things like an optimized Fighter (no multiclassing), a Barbarian, or a Hexblade. It is a typical low-powered melee combat class that will face the same challenges all melee classes face, such as flying foes, invisible foes, etc. I believe these challenges are fun and exist to test a player's mind, so a class like mine shouldn't just hand out the answer.

    Races: Any race can learn to punch people in the face. Some suck at it more than others. Elves suck at it because they're pansy-ass elves. Gnomes suck at it because they can't pretend to punch someone, they have to actually do it. Halflings suck at it because punching someone in the face immediately lets them know you're there.

    Humans are alright at it. Like Rocky. That guy could punch people in the face. But being "adaptable" doesn't really help you when you're only doing one thing. You're not a wizard or a rocket science or a rogue. You punch people. In the face. You could do worse, but you could do a lot better too.

    Half-Orcs and Orcs love punching people in the face. Sometimes they try to rip their eyes out while they do it too. As an homage to Gruumish or something. They're hardcore like that.

    Dwarves can take a punch, which is important. Also, they have beards, which protect their faces.

    Warforged are total punching machines. Plus they are literally heartless. So no face is safe from their wrath.

    Abilities: Strength is important. If you punch someone in the face and they don't feel it, or they duck, you have wasted a punch. And that is a waste of your life. Constitution is also important. Brawlers aren't wimpy rogues who duck out of the way. They stand there and take it like a man. That's why Dex and Int aren't important. If you want to be a swashbuckler, be a swashbuckler. Get that weaksauce out of here. Charisma's okay, if you want to Intimidate someone. But really, what's more intimidating than the threat of being punched in the face? You're probably good with ranks and circumstance bonuses.

    HD: d10
    Class Skills: The Brawler has Balance, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Escape Artist, Intimidate, Jump, Profession, Swim, and Tumble as class skills.

    Skill Points: 2+Int per level

    The Brawler

    Level Base Attack<br>Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
    1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Punch Them in the Face, Deceptive Stance
    2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Stunning Punch
    3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Concentrated Punch
    4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Leaping Punch
    5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Defensive Punch, Right Back at Ya
    6th +6 +5 +2 +2 Devastating Punch
    7th +7 +5 +2 +2 Shattering Punch
    8th +8 +6 +2 +2 Angry Brawling, Knockback Punch (3/encounter)
    9th +9 +6 +3 +3 Counter Punch, Knockdown Punch (1/encounter)
    10th +10 +7 +3 +3 Deadly Knuckles, You Call That a Punch?
    11th +11 +7 +3 +3 Power Word: Punch
    12th +12 +8 +4 +4 One-Two Punch
    13th +13 +8 +4 +4 Wounding Punch
    14th +14 +9 +4 +4 Deceptive Punch
    15th +15 +9 +5 +5 Knock-Back Punch (At-will), Quantum Punch Defense
    16th +16 +10 +5 +5 Knock-Down Punch (At-will)
    17th +17 +10 +5 +5 Bone-Breaking Punch
    18th +18 +11 +6 +6 Jaw-Breaking Punch
    19th +19 +11 +6 +6 Weakening Punch
    20th +20 +12 +6 +6 Fists of the Gods

    Class Features


    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A brawler is proficient with his unarmed strikes. He is considered to be ambidextrous for the purposes of his main and off hand, which means no matter which hand he's attacking with, he deals full damage. The brawler may not perform an unarmed strike with any part of his body other than a closed fist, however, he may treat each of his fists as a separate weapon and therefore use them to qualify for the Two-Weapon Fighting feats. The brawler is proficient no other weapons, and with no armor or shields.

    Punch Them in the Face (Ex): A brawler is able to deal lethal damage with his unarmed strikes. He is considered to have the Improved Unarmed Strike feat for the purposes of qualifications and prerequisites. The brawler must take the -4 penalty to deal nonlethal damage with his fists, as he has trained them as a weapon only, unlike a monk. The brawler deals a base damage of 1d10 plus his Strength modifier on all unarmed strikes. His fists are treated as light and one-handed weapons, which ever is more beneficial to him in any situation. The brawler's unarmed damage increases by 1d10 for each five levels he gains (2d10 at level 5, 3d10 at level 10, etc) to a maximum of 5d10 at level 20. Additionally, starting at level 5 the brawler's unarmed strikes are treated as magic for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction. The brawler does not qualify as a monk and cannot receive "bonus damage" for items that would advance a monk's damage. He does not receive any benefit from the Superior Unarmed Strike feat, or any Prestige class that advances the unarmed damage of a monk. The monk and the brawler fight completely differently, and the discipline that monk classes utilize does not assist the brawler's power in any way.

    The brawler may not make unarmed strikes if he is wearing armor or subject to medium or higher encumbrance.

    The brawler's unarmed strikes are considered natural weapons. They are not manufactured weapons and cannot be enhanced by effects that do not enhance natural weapons.

    Deceptive Stance (Ex): The brawler can bob and weave a lot faster than his direct approach stance leads others to believe. While the brawler is unarmored, unemcumbered, and not flat-footed, he adds his ranks in Bluff as a dodge bonus to his AC, to a maximum of his Brawler class level.

    Stunning Punch (Ex): The brawler's fists are devastating weapons. When he punches someone in the face, they stay punched in the face. If the brawler successfully hits with an unarmed strike, he may force the target to make a Fortitude save (DC 10+1/2 his class level+ his Strength modifier) or be Stunned for 1 round. The brawler may use this ability at will, but only once per round. Stunning Punch does not qualify for, nor can power Stunning Fist feats or prestige class abilities.

    Concentrated Punch (Ex): The brawler does not hide behind armor, nor does he attempt to dodge incoming blows. This brutal frontal assault gives the brawler a deadly advantage in combat. As a free action, but only once per round during his turn, the brawler may make a Concentration check. He subtracts the result from his AC and adds it as an insight bonus to his attack rolls for the round. This penalty and bonus last until the beginning of his next turn.

    Leaping Punch (Ex): Few things are scarier than a guy charging at you with his fist up. A guy charging at you with his fists up and then leaping into the air and curbstomping your face into the dirt is one of those things. When a brawler charges an enemy, he can make a DC 20 Jump Check. If he succeeds, he leaps into the air (ignoring difficult terrain) and comes crashing down on his enemy. He deals double damage with his unarmed strike and his opponent must make a Fortitude save (DC 10+damage dealt) or fall prone in the brawler's square. Additionally, if the brawler's unarmed strike was a Stunning Punch, its DC increases by 2 as long as the Jump check was successful. If the brawler fails his Jump check, he does not leap into the air and deals no extra damage.

    Defensive Punch (Ex): A brawler knows when the last hit is coming, and he knows he needs to get out of the way. A brawler who has taken an amount of damage (lethal, nonlethal, or a combination of the two) equal to half of his maximum HP or more may make a Defensive Punch. As a full-round action, the brawler may make an attack roll, and take a penalty on the attack roll, up to his Base Attack Bonus. He receives the penalty as an insight bonus to his AC for the round, whether his punch hit or not. The brawler may not use this ability during the same turn as Concentrated Punch, nor may he use it while raging, frenzying, or while using the Angry Brawling ability.

    Right Back At Ya (Ex): You know what they say: if you can't handle the heat, you should probably get very far away very quickly before a brawler sees you shooting at him from a distance like a little pansy. Starting at level 5 a brawler can use a free action to swat a projectile out of the air that's aimed at him. This requires an opposed attack against the projectile's initial attack roll. If he succeeds, the projectile is neutralized. However, if he then spends an immediate action he can redirect the projectile back at its original launcher. This is a ranged attack roll, but it uses his Strength instead of his Dexterity. There are no range increment penalties for this attack.

    At level 5 this can only be used on nonmagical ammunition and thrown weapons, and the brawler may only do it up to once per round.. At level 10 a brawler can hit back magical ammunition and thrown weapons as well as magical attacks that require attack rolls, such as rays, and the brawler may do it up to twice per round. Finally, at level 15 this can be used against siege weapons, such as a ballista bolt or a cannonball, and the brawler may do it up to three times per round.

    Devastating Punch (Ex): A brawler doesn't thrown out a bunch of little hits and hope the target goes down. He stands his ground and throws a single, meaningful punch that flattens his opponent's face. As a full-round action, the brawler may make a single attack roll at his highest attack bonus. If it hits, he treats it as if he threatened a critical. (If he actually threatened a critical with his attack roll, he instead automatically confirms it). Additionally, if the brawler makes a Stunning Punch with this ability, he increases the DC for it by 2.

    Shattering Punch (Ex): The brawler's fists, they are made of steel. Or adamantine, as the case may be. The brawler's fists ignore hardness during Sunder attempts.

    Angry Brawling (Ex): Because the brawler lacks discipline, his fists can deliver deadly blows that the monk can't even dream of. The brawler gains the rage ability as a barbarian of 1st level, but he can use it once per encounter. He never gains any additional uses of it, or increased stat bonuses. It does not count as rage for the purpose of feats, qualifications, or stacking with actual barbarian levels. The brawler may rage and Angry Brawl at the same time, if he has both of the abilities.

    Knock-Back Punch (Ex): The brawler's fists carry weight with them. Whenever the brawler deals at least 10 damage with an unarmed strike, the creature he struck moves back 5 feet for each 10 points of damage he dealt with the single strike. If the brawler is making more than one attack this round, he may choose to have only the last punch that hits push them back. The brawler may use this ability up to 3 times per encounter at level 8. At level 15, he may use this ability at-will.

    Counter Punch (Ex): Hey, that jerk just hit you with his sword! You should punch him in the face! Yeah, like that!...Is he still breathing? No? Good. By concentrating completely, the brawler leaves himself completely defenseless, but gains immense power. The brawler may only use the Counter Punch ability when he is hit by a melee attack by a foe within range of his unarmed strike while his AC is no higher than 0. He may make a single unarmed strike against the target, and may use any of his full-round punch techniques to do it. This ability consumes one of the brawler's attacks of opportunity for the round.

    Knock-Down Punch (Ex): The brawler's fists push weaker foes down with ease. When the brawler deals at least 10 damage with a single unarmed strike, he may make a Trip attempt as a free action against that creature without making a touch attack or provoking an attack of opportunity. For each 10 points of damage he dealt, the brawler is treated as one Size category larger than he is for this Trip Attempt (To a maximum of Colossal+, see the Draconomicon). If the brawler has the Improved Trip feat, he gets his automatic attack if the Trip is successful. A brawler may use this ability once per encounter at level 9. At level 16, he may use this ability at will. A brawler may not use Knock-Down Punch and Knockback Punch in the same round.

    Deadly Knuckles (Ex): There's something to be said about training for 10 levels with your own body as a weapon. And that is, you get better at it. The brawler's critical multiplier for his unarmed strikes increases to x3.

    You Call That a Punch? (Ex): The brawler gets cut, but he doesn't bleed. He takes a spear in his gut and just starts laughing. He's a monster who can't be stopped by swords alone. Starting at 10th level, the brawler gains the regeneration ability. His form of regeneration only applies to damage from physical sources, and is overcome by all forces of magical energy (but not magic weapons). He heals a number of nonlethal hit points of damage per round equal to his Constitution modifier. Additionally, because his anatomy has become almost completely impenetrable by normal weapons, a creature who attempts a Sneak Attack against the brawler must make a character level check. The DC is the brawler's character level +11. If the attacker succeeds, he deals Sneak Attack damage as nonlethal damage, even though Sneak Attack damage cannot be nonlethal unless the weapon deals nonlethal damage. If the attacker fails the check, its weapon deals normal nonlethal weapon damage with no bonus Sneak Attack damage. (This defense applies even if the brawler is unaware of the attack, even if he is unconscious or helpless.)

    Power Word: Punch (Ex): The harder you hit them, the easier it becomes to hit them. As a full-round action, a brawler may target a creature within reach for a single melee attack with his unarmed strike. If that creature's hit points are less than 101, the brawler automatically hits them with his unarmed strike.

    One-Two Punch (Ex): The brawler has mastered the classic follow-up punch. As a standard action, the brawler may make two melee attacks with his unarmed strike against the same foe. The first at his highest attack bonus, the second with a -5 penalty.

    Wounding Punch (Su): The brawler's fists leave scars that continue to bleed. Both of the brawler's fists gain the wounding property.

    Deceptive Punch (Ex): The brawler's attacks are usually too angular for a creature to miss spotting them, but against particularly stupid creatures, the brawler can attempt some finesse and dish out some extra damage. If the brawler successfully uses the Feint in Combat action, he deals double damage with his first attack roll against the creature he feinted against with his next unarmed strike (as long as the creature is still flat-footed when he makes it).

    Quantum Punch Defense (Ex): When you're up against an expert brawler you're either already punched or you're about to be punched. Really the only question is when. Starting at level 15, a brawler's enemies are simultaneously both punched and not punched, and only the brawler can collapse this waveform (if you know what I mean). Whenever a brawler is attacked in melee combat he can activate this ability as an immediate action to declare that he actually punched that guy earlier in the fight. He can make a full attack against them right now, and if that kills them the brawler is safe from the initiating attack roll.

    Bone-Breaking Punch (Ex): The brawler's fists shatter nerves and break bones. If the brawler successfully Stuns a Stunned creature with his Stunning Punch (the creature failed two saving throws in a row), the creature becomes paralyzed for 5 rounds instead (no save).

    Jaw-Breaking Punch (Ex): The brawler knows that even though a wizard can take a few punches by now, he still has a glass jaw. As a full round action, the brawler may make a single unarmed strike attack at his highest attack bonus. If he hits, the creature must make a Fortitude save (DC 10+damage dealt) or have its jaw broken. The creature loses the ability to speak, and all spells with verbal components automatically fail, until the creature receives magical healing equal to the full amount of damage the brawler's Jaw-Breaking Punch dealt.

    Weakening Punch (Ex): The brawler's fists leave natural defenses shattered in his wake. Any creature who takes at least 10 points of damage from the brawler's unarmed strike loses 10 points of energy resistance, DR, or natural armor (chosen by the brawler after this ability is confirmed) for 1d4 rounds. This can reduce any of these values to 0, but not less than 0, and cannot affect supernatural Damage Reduction (but can affect extraordinary Damage Reduction). A consecutive hit does not stack, but resets the duration.

    Fists of the Gods (Ex): What, you want a capstone? You spent 20 levels learning how to punch things! You just punch things really really well! The brawler's fists ignore all forms of damage reduction and resolve as melee touch attacks instead of normal melee attacks. They are also treated as objects of force and can Sunder force objects and hit incorporeal creatures.
    Last edited by NeoSeraphi; 2014-05-05 at 12:50 AM.
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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    This is great

    Could you do me a favor and un-spoiler the class features? Their pretty much the meat of any class so they are meant to be seen.

    I seem to have lost all sense of balance in 3.5 lately (too much 'brewing for different systems), so I'll just say I really like this class a whole freaking lot.

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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Lappy9000 View Post
    This is great

    Could you do me a favor and un-spoiler the class features? Their pretty much the meat of any class so they are meant to be seen.

    I seem to have lost all sense of balance in 3.5 lately (too much 'brewing for different systems), so I'll just say I really like this class a whole freaking lot.
    Favor dealt!

    Please, be more specific. What do you like about the class?
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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Well, I like that it takes the most boring combat style in the game and gives it a ton of different dynamic options for combat. That being said, there's still a ton of stuff he can't deal with just because of the limitations of his shtick. In a game where a lot of characters past 5th level can fly, punching people in the face is a somewhat limited career choice. There's also not a lot to do as the character outside of combat, and while you can say that fits the archetype it's also pretty boring for the player in those segments of the game.

    But for pure melee, I think this is one of the best hand-to-hand classes I've ever seen.

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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Favor dealt!

    Please, be more specific. What do you like about the class?
    Thank you!

    Mostly the feel of the class. Makes fighting very flavorful. That said, Kellus makes a good point. You have quite a few de-buffing abilities later on. Maybe you could port some of those as weaker versions earlier on in the class. Some kind of heightened movement might work too (jumping, running, parkour, flying) could also help.

    Don't forget the iterative attacks in the BAB +6/+1 and all that. And you've got that <br> in the Base Attack Bonus area.

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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Eh, I don't feel like coding the iterative attacks. Everyone knows how Full BAB works.

    The class itself is meant to be high Tier 4. Strong combat, not good at anything else. This is literally supposed to be someone who was raised on the streets and learned how to defend himself. He only thinks about the fight. It's supposed to replace the monk, which I think it does quite well, even though the monk has many other abilities and skills.
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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Overall I like it. It's a solid but not overpowered melee brute. It will have the typical problems dealing with foes with lots of advanced defense/mobility abilities, but most melee classes do.

    I am, however, a bit concerned about the near-complete lack of defensive abilities. With no armor, no monk-like AC bonus, and a class feature that reduces AC (and another that requires AC 0 to activate!) you are looking at getting hit a lot, and you have nothing that mitigates it. I'd probably say to add some DR somewhere, or refreshing temporary hit points, or something to mitigate power attacks/full attacks, or...something. Otherwise these guys are very likely to go down before they can throw their first punch.

    Personally, I'm also a bit leery of the capstone "every attack is a touch attack" clause. I'm not saying it's strictly too powerful for a 20th level ability...I just think those sorts of abilities shouldn't exist in general (Wraithstrike is pretty much the only spell I consider hard-banned in my games).

    I might suggest turning the full-round punches into standard-action. It still only lets you make one attack, but gives you some mobility, something melee classes generally need.

    Only other thing is I'm not quite sure about Power Word: Punch at 11th level. It may still be low enough that most foes will have less than 101 hit points by default.

    I think that's it from me. Cool class!
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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    I have to agree with Kellus. Seems like it should have some utility abilities, maybe the ability to punch footholds into cliff faces or disguise people by punching them until their face is unrecognisable.

    Also, here's a possible way to deal with the standard Achilles' Heel of melee classes:

    Flying Punch: You have learnt how to punch so hard, your fist takes your body along for the ride. As a full round action, you may charge any opponent within double your land speed, including airborne opponents. You are treated as having a fly speed equal to your base land speed for this movement. On your next turn, you may remain airborne by using Flying Punch again.

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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Quellian-dyrae View Post
    Overall I like it. It's a solid but not overpowered melee brute. It will have the typical problems dealing with foes with lots of advanced defense/mobility abilities, but most melee classes do.

    I am, however, a bit concerned about the near-complete lack of defensive abilities. With no armor, no monk-like AC bonus, and a class feature that reduces AC (and another that requires AC 0 to activate!) you are looking at getting hit a lot, and you have nothing that mitigates it. I'd probably say to add some DR somewhere, or refreshing temporary hit points, or something to mitigate power attacks/full attacks, or...something. Otherwise these guys are very likely to go down before they can throw their first punch.

    Personally, I'm also a bit leery of the capstone "every attack is a touch attack" clause. I'm not saying it's strictly too powerful for a 20th level ability...I just think those sorts of abilities shouldn't exist in general (Wraithstrike is pretty much the only spell I consider hard-banned in my games).

    I might suggest turning the full-round punches into standard-action. It still only lets you make one attack, but gives you some mobility, something melee classes generally need.

    Only other thing is I'm not quite sure about Power Word: Punch at 11th level. It may still be low enough that most foes will have less than 101 hit points by default.

    I think that's it from me. Cool class!
    The class itself is designed like a typical Tier 4 class, it has a glaring weakness in exchange for mediocre power. AC itself is a broken mechanic that scales terribly and in the end only protects you maybe half the time. I don't agree with it and I never have. At level 20, people protect themselves via invisibility, miss chance, and flight, along with high HP. A 20th level fighter may have as much as 45 AC (give or take) in all that armor, and he's still getting hit half the time. A barbarian (which is Tier 4, iirc) has d12 hit dice, and can gain an extra 8 Con, so that's 80 more hit points, and have DR 5/- but still. Pure melee classes rely on clerics and magic items. That's always how it's been, and very few pure melee classes ever mitigate it.

    Same with the mobility. The class itself is not a striker or a scout, it's a stand and fight one-on-one type of class. Putting all your Strength into one attack and hoping that it will stun, knock prone, or push back the enemy so they won't hit you next turn.

    The capstone could probably use some work, but I would need to think about how to fix it? Any suggestions?

    Power Word: Punch is mostly there for the lolz, seriously, as soon as I came up with the idea I was snickering the whole time I typed it (The entire class was a bit of a laugh to make, actually). I put it at level 11 because that's when the brawler gets his third iterative attack. So trading 3 potential hits (And with a +14 + Con bonus to Concentration checks, you could easily make that third attack hit) for a single guaranteed strike as a full attack seems fair to me. Just when you really want to finish someone off, or when they have mirror image or something up as a final defense.
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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    While I love the idea of the class, I do think you're giving (real, experienced) thugs too little credit (or too much, depending on how you look at it. :P)

    I agree that the class should have something in terms of defenses. While true that heavy armour and such eventually might lead up to a 50% chance of not getting hit, that is, I'm afraid, fully intentional and balanced in terms of d20, where the aim is nearly always to balance around that 10+=success. That said, a 50% chance if completely mitigating an attack is not to be sneezed at.

    Then there is the problem, as I perceive it, of the insane damage dealt by the punch in the face. It starts at 1d10+full str, can be dual-wielded easily, and ends at what; 5d10+str damage per attack, for five attacks per round?
    If they all hit (and they ignore damage reduction, armour and hardness, so they probably will hit, and for full damage, too) that is an average of 100 damage (if the average of a d10 is 5) before any bonusses from strength and/or enchantments are calculated. Actually, it's pretty easy to increase the damage to 1d12/2d6 or even 3d6 per original damage die by picking the right feats, and then there's Snap Kick to consider.

    It also seems to have a brilliant synergy with Vow of Poverty because, let's face it, you're not proficient with ánything, and anyway, gear is for pansies if you can just punch people in the face. :P Not taking Vow of Poverty at first level (if human) would be a mistake, because you can prove to the world that gear is for pansies, right?

    The way I see it, the lack of utility this class has in terms of survivability and mobility do not warrant the extreme amounts of damage you could deal with it. While balanced on a point-by-point basis, the overall effect is all or nothing: Win because of huge numbers, or lose because of incompetence. This makes the class simultaneously far, far too powerful, as well as far too weak. (Another thing to consider is that, with a proper group line-up consisting of at least one support caster, the class' weaknesses soon even out. While at the cost of the full potential of the support caster, she would have thrown the buffs anyway, so there's little difference, there.)

    Don't get me wrong; I really love the class itself. But there are some serious balance problems, and quite frankly, putting one very powerful ability opposite to one (serious) weakness does not exactly help balance the class.
    Will this lead to an overall imbalance in the party? Possibly not, though the fighter and barbarian would both wish they were brawlers when they see the numbers fly, and the monk might hide away in a corner and cry a little. But the class does have internal balance issues. Two extremes does not a middle make.

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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    I've gotta throw out there that 5d10 bonus damage is not that different from 10d6 sneak attack damage, and a rogue with TWF can easily get a massive number of attacks as well. Pure numbers at high levels mean almost nothing, and I have no problems with the brawler being able to deal a lot of damage. Similarly I don't care about the 20th level capstone because it's 20th level. Nobody plays there anyway and when you consider some of the stuff other characters can do at that point it really doesn't matter. My problem with the class is the lack of interesting options aside from the many different ways to punch people leading up to that point.

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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dryad View Post
    While I love the idea of the class, I do think you're giving (real, experienced) thugs too little credit (or too much, depending on how you look at it. :P)

    I agree that the class should have something in terms of defenses. While true that heavy armour and such eventually might lead up to a 50% chance of not getting hit, that is, I'm afraid, fully intentional and balanced in terms of d20, where the aim is nearly always to balance around that 10+=success. That said, a 50% chance if completely mitigating an attack is not to be sneezed at.

    Then there is the problem, as I perceive it, of the insane damage dealt by the punch in the face. It starts at 1d10+full str, can be dual-wielded easily, and ends at what; 5d10+str damage per attack, for five attacks per round?
    If they all hit (and they ignore damage reduction, armour and hardness, so they probably will hit, and for full damage, too) that is an average of 100 damage (if the average of a d10 is 5) before any bonusses from strength and/or enchantments are calculated. Actually, it's pretty easy to increase the damage to 1d12/2d6 or even 3d6 per original damage die by picking the right feats, and then there's Snap Kick to consider.

    It also seems to have a brilliant synergy with Vow of Poverty because, let's face it, you're not proficient with ánything, and anyway, gear is for pansies if you can just punch people in the face. :P Not taking Vow of Poverty at first level (if human) would be a mistake, because you can prove to the world that gear is for pansies, right?

    The way I see it, the lack of utility this class has in terms of survivability and mobility do not warrant the extreme amounts of damage you could deal with it. While balanced on a point-by-point basis, the overall effect is all or nothing: Win because of huge numbers, or lose because of incompetence. This makes the class simultaneously far, far too powerful, as well as far too weak. (Another thing to consider is that, with a proper group line-up consisting of at least one support caster, the class' weaknesses soon even out. While at the cost of the full potential of the support caster, she would have thrown the buffs anyway, so there's little difference, there.)

    Don't get me wrong; I really love the class itself. But there are some serious balance problems, and quite frankly, putting one very powerful ability opposite to one (serious) weakness does not exactly help balance the class.
    Will this lead to an overall imbalance in the party? Possibly not, though the fighter and barbarian would both wish they were brawlers when they see the numbers fly, and the monk might hide away in a corner and cry a little. But the class does have internal balance issues. Two extremes does not a middle make.
    Two-Weapon Fighting is a trap for this class. There is absolutely no reason for your Dexterity score to be that high. You want your AC to be 0 for Counter Punch, it WILL be 0 because of Concentration Punch, and you can't wear armor so having the extra +3 or +4 to AC doesn't help at all past level 3 or so. If you want to put that high of a score into your Dexterity (19 if you want Greater Two-Weapon Fighting) you are going to seriously gimp your Strength and Constitution with very little benefit received. Plus, you're spending precious feats that you could be spending attempting to shore up this class's survivability or defenses on attacking, which the class itself is already very good at. The option is there, but it is a very, very poor option.

    Indeed, Vow of Poverty does help this class out quite a bit. Then again, Vow of Poverty has always helped monks and druids out a bit, at least before Wilding Clasps. Everyone argues that the monk shouldn't take Vow because he can't wear things like Monk's Belt and Necklace of Natural and Fanged Ring, etc etc, but that's just because everyone wants that 2d10 base damage without taking the full 20 levels of monk. It was a lazy idea and a cop out that WotC created and everyone took it to become the new balance point. 11 levels of monk is all that's needed now, because you have a Monk's Belt and Superior Unarmed Strike. Items should not replace a character's growth so much. The Brawler is as dependent on items as a barbarian who doesn't use a weapon or armor, eg, he needs them for flight, invisibility, healing, and other uses. Plus, if you DO want AC, he needs them for rings and necklaces, etc. But yes, VoP can help you out here. I don't see why that's a problem. I'm not going to change the balance of my class because there exists a feat that can fix it. If a character wants to take VoP and roleplay being an ascetic, I say good for him.

    The 5d10 damage only comes into play if the character takes all 20 levels of brawler. Because the other melee classes tend to prestige out as early as 6th and as late as 11th (frenzied berserker, exotic weapon master, sacred fist, etc) they end up with their own ridiculous amounts of damage. Uber chargers get 1d12+90+3* their ridiculously high Strength mod on a full attack at the end of a charge. Unarmed warriors deal high dice damage. The average amount of damage a brawler will deal is 27+Strength modifier. The brawler cannot enhance his own fists without magic that the class doesn't provide him.

    Alright, if someone wants to suggest how to give this character defenses while keeping his AC at 0, I'm all ears. Damage Reduction doesn't really make sense, and it's already for the barbarian, so how can the brawler protect himself (other than Defensive Punch?)

    My problem with the class is the lack of interesting options aside from the many different ways to punch people leading up to that point
    I don't understand this. The Dragonfire Adept breathes fire every round. She learns a number of invocations to change the way she breathes fire, but it's still just breathing fire. Every round.

    The barbarian has rage. That's it. He has rage, damage reduction, trap sense and uncanny dodge. No attack options or other abilities, period.

    The monk has flurry of blows. He can flurry with a bunch of different weapons, or he can fall without hurting himself, or he can heal himself, or he can hit someone so hard they die (sometimes).

    The paladin can smite evil. He gets a horse. He detects evil and he removes disease. No other attack options.

    The hexblade can curse. He can hit people with his sword, and he can curse.

    What class are you basing this "Lack of interesting attack options" on anyway?
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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Added Deceptive Stance, which allows the brawler to add his ranks in the Bluff skill to his AC. That way, if you don't want to use Counter Punch or Concentrated Punch, you can still dodge.
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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    I don't understand this. The Dragonfire Adept breathes fire every round. She learns a number of invocations to change the way she breathes fire, but it's still just breathing fire. Every round.

    The barbarian has rage. That's it. He has rage, damage reduction, trap sense and uncanny dodge. No attack options or other abilities, period.

    The monk has flurry of blows. He can flurry with a bunch of different weapons, or he can fall without hurting himself, or he can heal himself, or he can hit someone so hard they die (sometimes).

    The paladin can smite evil. He gets a horse. He detects evil and he removes disease. No other attack options.

    The hexblade can curse. He can hit people with his sword, and he can curse.

    What class are you basing this "Lack of interesting attack options" on anyway?
    The barbarian, monk, paladin, and hexblade are all incredibly boring classes, which is why everybody is always trying to write fixes for them. The dragonfire adept is actually an interesting case, because while it's true that she's a one-trick pony in battle, outside of combat she has actual things to do. She's got general purpose invocations that include things like large bonuses to skills, utility SLAs at will like gust of wind, and so on. She's got a life outside of breathing fire thanks to her invocations. The designers were smart enough on that one to split up the invocations that modify your breath weapon form the general purpose invocations so that all DFAs would have at least a small bag of tricks to pull from.

    I find it curious that you wrote the class specifically to be good at one part of the game and nothing else. Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of the things this class can do, but normally the one-trick pony is an example of bad design, not good. It's not generally something you would try to recreate on purpose.

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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kellus View Post
    The barbarian, monk, paladin, and hexblade are all incredibly boring classes, which is why everybody is always trying to write fixes for them. The dragonfire adept is actually an interesting case, because while it's true that she's a one-trick pony in battle, outside of combat she has actual things to do. She's got general purpose invocations that include things like large bonuses to skills, utility SLAs at will like gust of wind, and so on. She's got a life outside of breathing fire thanks to her invocations. The designers were smart enough on that one to split up the invocations that modify your breath weapon form the general purpose invocations so that all DFAs would have at least a small bag of tricks to pull from.

    I find it curious that you wrote the class specifically to be good at one part of the game and nothing else. Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of the things this class can do, but normally the one-trick pony is an example of bad design, not good. It's not generally something you would try to recreate on purpose.
    Ah, that's what you meant. Actually, the class started as a joke. I was like, "Why does the monk have to have all these stupid flavorful abilities? Why can't I just punch someone in the face?"

    So that was my reason for the naming conventions and the repetitive word choices, because half of the reason I wrote the class was as a joke. When I realized after I finished that I actually liked the class, I decided to try and aim for making it Tier 4 and playable alongside weaker classes. I agree that the class itself is flawed and a bit boring because it's simplistic, but I actually really like the simplicity.

    I appreciate your criticism, but could you perhaps direct it towards my other problem? That is, the lack of defensive features? Do you think Deceptive Stance is enough, or do you have any suggestions?
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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Ah, that's what you meant. Actually, the class started as a joke. I was like, "Why does the monk have to have all these stupid flavorful abilities? Why can't I just punch someone in the face?"

    So that was my reason for the naming conventions and the repetitive word choices, because half of the reason I wrote the class was as a joke. When I realized after I finished that I actually liked the class, I decided to try and aim for making it Tier 4 and playable alongside weaker classes. I agree that the class itself is flawed and a bit boring because it's simplistic, but I actually really like the simplicity.

    I appreciate your criticism, but could you perhaps direct it towards my other problem? That is, the lack of defensive features? Do you think Deceptive Stance is enough, or do you have any suggestions?
    Okay, well, if that's what you're aiming for I can understand that.

    For defense, I think Deceptive Stance is the wrong way to go. The whole point of the class is to wade into melee defenseless and beat the crap out of people. Here's a few defensive powers that seem to fit with the theme.

    Right Back At Ya (Ex): You know what they say: if you can't handle the heat, you should probably get very far away very quickly before a brawler sees you shooting at him from a distance like a little pansy. Starting at level X a brawler can use a free action to swat a projectile out of the air that's aimed at him. This requires an opposed attack against the projectile's initial attack roll. If he succeeds, the projectile is neutralized. However, if he then spends an immediate action he can redirect the projectile back at its original launcher. This is a ranged attack roll, but it uses his Strength instead of his Dexterity. There are no range increment penalties for this attack.

    At level X this can only be used on nonmagical ammunition and thrown weapons. At level X+X a brawler can hit back magical ammunition and thrown weapons as well as magical attacks that require attack rolls, such as rays. Finally, at level X+X+X this can be used against siege weapons, such as a ballista bolt or a cannonball.

    [hr]

    And a higher level version of counter punch, perhaps?

    Quantum Punch Defense (Ex): When you're up against an expert brawler you're either already punched or you're about to be punched. Really the only question is when. Starting at level X, a brawler's enemies are simultaneously both punched and not punched, and only the brawler can collapse this waveform (if you know what I mean). Whenever a brawler is attacked in melee combat he can activate this ability as an immediate action to declare that he actually punched that guy earlier in the fight. He can make a full attack against them right now, and if that kills them the brawler is safe from the initiating attack roll.

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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kellus View Post
    Okay, well, if that's what you're aiming for I can understand that.

    For defense, I think Deceptive Stance is the wrong way to go. The whole point of the class is to wade into melee defenseless and beat the crap out of people. Here's a few defensive powers that seem to fit with the theme.

    Right Back At Ya (Ex): You know what they say: if you can't handle the heat, you should probably get very far away very quickly before a brawler sees you shooting at him from a distance like a little pansy. Starting at level X a brawler can use a free action to swat a projectile out of the air that's aimed at him. This requires an opposed attack against the projectile's initial attack roll. If he succeeds, the projectile is neutralized. However, if he then spends an immediate action he can redirect the projectile back at its original launcher. This is a ranged attack roll, but it uses his Strength instead of his Dexterity. There are no range increment penalties for this attack.

    At level X this can only be used on nonmagical ammunition and thrown weapons. At level X+X a brawler can hit back magical ammunition and thrown weapons as well as magical attacks that require attack rolls, such as rays. Finally, at level X+X+X this can be used against siege weapons, such as a ballista bolt or a cannonball.

    <hr>

    And a higher level version of counter punch, perhaps?

    Quantum Punch Defense (Ex): When you're up against an expert brawler you're either already punched or you're about to be punched. Really the only question is when. Starting at level X, a brawler's enemies are simultaneously both punched and not punched, and only the brawler can collapse this waveform (if you know what I mean). Whenever a brawler is attacked in melee combat he can activate this ability as an immediate action to declare that he actually punched that guy earlier in the fight. He can make a full attack against them right now, and if that kills them the brawler is safe from the initiating attack roll.
    I LOVE IT! Alright, incorporating, thank you very much.
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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoSeraphi View Post
    Power Word: Punch is mostly there for the lolz, seriously, as soon as I came up with the idea I was snickering the whole time I typed it (The entire class was a bit of a laugh to make, actually). I put it at level 11 because that's when the brawler gets his third iterative attack. So trading 3 potential hits (And with a +14 + Con bonus to Concentration checks, you could easily make that third attack hit) for a single guaranteed strike as a full attack seems fair to me. Just when you really want to finish someone off, or when they have mirror image or something up as a final defense.
    Okay, that's fair enough. I was thinking more along the fluff of how it gets easier to hit as you hit them more, which isn't really the case if they have less than 101 hit points to begin with. Balance-wise, though, I agree, that's a fair trade.

    Um...I think some of the new defensive abilities just turned things around from too little defense to too much. Deceptive Stance is nominally balanced by cross-class Bluff, so you're looking at around +2 + 1/2 Level AC at the cost of two skill points per point. But snag a few levels of a class with Bluff as a class skill, and you now have an AC of 3 + level for 1 skill point a point. That's a great deal, and since it's skill based, gained at first level, and stacks with everything but armor, it makes a one-level brawler dip an amazing defensive option.

    Right Back At Ya is fine in and of itself (in fact, I agree strongly with "turn your attacks against you" as a good defensive option for this class in lieu of AC, DR, and the like), but it seems a bit off to me. Since it replaces AC with an attack roll, Concentrated Punch becomes a free defense boost to it...but that's technically balanced because it tanks your melee AC, and since you probably can't attack the ranged foes anyway (except by knocking their attacks back at them), it's kind of cool, since it changes it from "I'm helpless" to "It's a stalemate". However, it still gives you the issue of having no melee defense, making you vulnerable to power attacks and iterative attacks.

    I think what I'd do, in keeping with the "my AC will probably be 0" nature of the class, is give it a sort of "limited regeneration". It fast heals nonlethal damage like normal, but only converts, say, Con Mod + Level damage from each successful attack into nonlethal damage. That gives it some survivability, and lets it do the thing where it gets beaten down, seemingly defeated, but after a few seconds pulls itself back up and goes back into the fight. You could even speed up the regeneration while it's unconscious (maybe as a higher-level ability).

    Maybe also add some sort of "clothesline" ability so when a foe charges it it can make a counter that, say, deals double damage and knocks it prone, or something. That would help against chargers.

    As far as the capstone...I'd probably replace the touch attack part with just saying that all its punches are now stunning punches, rather than just one per round. Maybe, to keep rolling down, say that it applies once per round per opponent, but each additional hit in the same round adds +2 to the DC. This can be especially useful because it means its various counter-attack capabilities can end a full attack...although I guess knockback punch already could, huh? Well, gives another option for it, at any rate.
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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    For your point about Deceptive Stance, fair enough. I'll make it "Up to your class level" that way it only applies if you stick with Brawler and only gives a +1 bonus for those who dip.

    The regeneration idea is interesting, but I wonder what level I should put it in at?

    Your suggestion for a replaced capstone is...underwhelming. Fortitude saves at 20th level are ridiculously high. Stunning is pretty much limited to natural ones at that point.
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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Wow, looks awesome. I just have one concern with:
    One-Two Punch (Ex): The brawler has mastered the classic follow-up punch. As a standard action, the brawler may make two melee attacks with his unarmed strike against the same foe. The first at his highest attack bonus, the second with a -5 penalty.
    The purpose behind it tripped me up for a while. I was like "Why use this when you have more attacks from just full-attacking?" Then I realized this gives you two attacks after a move action, and I felt stupid. Is there an alternate wording that could clarify it a bit? Maybe point out the movement aspect.
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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    I agree that 5d10 is, in itself, not spectacular when you compare it to other characters (like the charger). However, one major thing is: All those other people need to multiclass, splash, take useless feats to meet prerequisites, and basically build their characters around this trick.
    The 5d10 is something the brawler gets regardless. It needs no feat requirements, skill requirements, strange class splashes, or a pure forcus on a far-away goal from level 1 (as in: until you've finally got everything lined up to get your super-combo, you'll generally be sub-par due to awkwardness).

    By the way, I LOVE the quantum fist idea! I love it, want to cudle up to it, and use it as a teddy-bear at night.

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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dryad View Post
    I agree that 5d10 is, in itself, not spectacular when you compare it to other characters (like the charger). However, one major thing is: All those other people need to multiclass, splash, take useless feats to meet prerequisites, and basically build their characters around this trick.
    The 5d10 is something the brawler gets regardless. It needs no feat requirements, skill requirements, strange class splashes, or a pure forcus on a far-away goal from level 1 (as in: until you've finally got everything lined up to get your super-combo, you'll generally be sub-par due to awkwardness).

    By the way, I LOVE the quantum fist idea! I love it, want to cudle up to it, and use it as a teddy-bear at night.
    Not having to splash or multi-class or take feats is a GOOD thing. Sticking in a base class for all twenty levels and rewarding the character for not multi-classing or prestiging out means the class was a success.
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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    What I meant to say was: Other classes need to abuse flaws in the system to get those things. It's cheesy, and usually simply power-play.
    Maybe it's just a personal thing, but I don't like it when people play a certain build with the sole reason of being 'the best.' Pick a build because it fits a character, not because your calculator tells you to.

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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Hey, I just realized, the Brawler dosen't have Bluff as a class skill, which Deceptive Stance relies on. Was that an oversight?
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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    ... and NeoSeraphi makes fifteen.

    (Fifteen what? Fifteen independently created unarmed warrior classes called "the Brawler". The others are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here (cough), here, here, here, here, here, and here, and there was a sixteenth from a different forum but it's not online any more.)

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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Huh, wow. Bound to happen I suppose. Perhaps Pugilist would have been a better name?


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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Codemus View Post
    Hey, I just realized, the Brawler dosen't have Bluff as a class skill, which Deceptive Stance relies on. Was that an oversight?
    It's on purpose. The Brawler isn't good at bluffing, he's a direct, straightforward fighter. And +23 AC is too high. So yes, the AC bonus from Deceptive Stance is capped at +11 at level 20 (unless you go epic, which I don't have levels written for)
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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Looks like a really fun class. Mostly different abilities that the Monk or Fighter SHOULD have, but don't, for whatever reason.

    I'd have to say my main confusion comes with when you can use what attacks. Just from looking at it, it seems there's nothing stopping me from using a Concentrated Leaping Devastating Stunning punch. Why is that? Which skills interact with which others? Is there a criteria for which skills combine (other than that you can't combine different full-round actions)?

    Also, I'm kind of not seeing a reason NOT to use Concentrating Punch and Leaping Punch for every attack. Concentrating Punch adds an untyped bonus to your attack rolls that ALWAYS grants a bonus, effectively doubling your attack roll every time if you invest at least a marginal amount (to put things in perspective, a level 3 Brawler with 18 STR and 16 CON who maxes ranks in Concentration has an attack bonus of 6 + 4 + 3 + 3 = 16, before rolling EITHER the Concentration check OR the attack roll (and if you roll 1 or 2, respectively, the minimum before critical fumbles if you use them, you still get a 19 result at level 3). As you can see, "roll to hit" becomes extremely trivialized, and ADDING the Concentration check to your to-hit roll (instead of replacing it, like a certain Diamond Mind maneuver does for damage) means that, at level 3 and onward, you can replace your ENTIRE BAB with Power Attack or Defensive Punch and still have level+3 to-hit, PLUS two relevant to-hit modifiers, PLUS a 2d20 and add attack roll. Even untrained, adding a second attribute and an extra d20 to-hit is quite powerful, and you shouldn't expect to miss on anything but a 1 for as many as 18 levels. (It also means Defensive Punch and Power Attack can be maxed at any time, meaning you effectively have your level to AC or damage on all attacks without really incurring a real chance to miss.)

    As for Leaping Punch, at least it's a binary pass-fail skill, unlike Concentrating Punch, but you gain a reward for succeeding and lose nothing for failing (not even the action you're leaping on), so even if you only succeed on a 19 or 20, there's no reason not to jump EVERY TIME, so as to at least get the double bonus that 10% of the time. Imagine Power Attack without an attack roll penalty! Some sort of penalty for failing the check (like, instead of "deciding not to jump", "your jump falls short, putting you off-balance and incurring a to-hit penalty equal to the number by which you missed the DC) would balance that out nicely.
    Last edited by Lonely Tylenol; 2011-07-05 at 06:01 PM.
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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Codemus View Post
    Huh, wow. Bound to happen I suppose. Perhaps Pugilist would have been a better name?


    Less repeated at any rate. (maybe)
    No, I think we should pool them all together and come up with an "official" Brawler class. Maybe someone should write in to Wizards of the Coast with something to go in D&D 5e?

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    Default Re: The Brawler (3.5 Base Class, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by NakedCelt View Post
    No, I think we should pool them all together and come up with an "official" Brawler class. Maybe someone should write in to Wizards of the Coast with something to go in D&D 5e?
    That would be pretty cool. I doubt WotC would do anything with it though, cause I mean they already have Monk. Barbarians can pull off being unarmed too (well, maybe not in 4the.)
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