Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Need help with a 5th edition unarmed fighter feat

    I'm working on transferring a campaign from 3.5 over to 5e currently. For most of my players, this doesn't require much work, but I do have one problem child. Namely, a barbarian that fights only with his bare fists. Due to in-character reasons, he will not use any weapons. In 3.5, this wasn't that big of an issue, since he just took the unarmed strike and superior unarmed strike feats. Fifth edition poses a little more of a problem. The only options given in RAW are to multi-class into monk, or the tavern brawler feat. Neither of these are particularly appealing (since grappling is not a thing this player does often) as it keeps his damage down to a d4 unless he gives up a lot of barbarian levels. I am attempting to address this with a feat:

    Spoiler: What I have so far
    Show

    Brawler:
    -Increase your strength or constitution score by 1
    -You gain proficiency in unarmed strikes
    -Successful unarmed strikes deal d6 bludgeoning damage
    -When you are about to make an unarmed attack, you may choose to take a -5 penalty on the attack roll and gain a +10 bonus on the damage roll


    I have not attempted to design any feats for 5e as of yet, so any help would be appreciated. I think what is there right now may be a bit over-tuned, but I'm not sure how to alter it so that it is more reasonable AND still enjoyable to my player(s)

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

    Join Date
    May 2014

    Default Re: Need help with a 5th edition unarmed fighter feat

    A character is always proficient with their unarmed strike, so that feature is redundant.

    Feats never include both a stat bump and a -5/+10 option, so one of those should be cut.

    I also personally think that for a ported character it’d be perfectly reasonable to just trade out martial weapon proficiency to tack the monk martial arts die progression onto the barbarian chassis without a feat, since it’s not like it breaks the barbarian damage curve in any way.
    My homebrew: A list of 5e homebrew magitech augments found here, a homebrew race of devil-toads here, and the Professional, an all mundane support class. Criticism is much appreciated!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Need help with a 5th edition unarmed fighter feat

    Ok, lets see what we've got.

    I'm a little familiar with 3.5 non-monk unarmed shenanigans involving Superior Unarmed Strike. I agree with Flashy that a -5/+10 option shouldn't be included in a feat that also provides an ability bump, and that everyone is already proficient with their body. The damage bump to d6's isn't bad, but its not really anything to write home about and is a bit of a middle finger to Tavern Brawler (but hey look at Volo's Lizardfolk). As it stands TB is supposed to be balanced for the purposes of feat design, but a lot of its power (1/2 to be exact) is tied up in an ability bump. So lets just let go of that and see what kind of room that leaves for activities.

    Unarmed combat has a couple of things that get in its way. Since the errata clarified that Unarmed strikes are not weapons, a lot of things have gone downhill for most non-monk brawler builds. The Monk actually addresses a lot of the games inherent issue with brawlers subliminally. They get around the fact that you can't even "dual wield" fists because a) not weapons b) not light weapons with their martial arts and seamlessly clear the other bane of the everyman facepounder: resistance to non magical damage is really annoying to deal with. There are a couple of avenues to go down with this, but they can and might blur together is stared at for too long. But, to stay within the bounds of the system, I'm going to scavenge some stuff from other classes and see where we end up.

    Brawler
    • Your unarmed strike uses a d4 for damage and is treated as a weapon attack for the purposes of your features and abilities.
    • When you use the Attack action with an unarmed strike during your turn, you can make one unarmed strike or an attempt to Shove a creature within 5 feet as a Bonus Action.
    • Whenever you have advantage on a melee attack roll you make with an unarmed strike and hit, your unarmed strike damage becomes a d12 for that attack if the lower of the two d20 rolls would also hit the target.
    • When you score a critical hit with an unarmed strike or reduce a creature to 0 hit points with one, your next unarmed strike that you successfully hit with before the end of your next turn ignores all resistances that would be applied to the damage roll.


    For bullet 3, if the d12 proves to be too much, change it to a flat +5 to the damage roll.

    I hope that this doesn't do too much ridiculousness, but also provides a more aggression option for the unarmed fighting man. With 2 of the bullets providing static bonuses that do not change and the other being situational the feat rounds out to allow for some hurdle clearing that doesn't tell the monk class or the DM where to shove it. If your Player is still lackluster in terms of DPR, do not fret. The Barbarian will most likely win in a war of attrition due to its innate durability. The static bonuses that get applied to every Str based weapon damage roll are also really nice when delivering multiple hits. The damage was kept to a d4 because of the ability to bonus punch. Sure 1/2 the feat is useless to the monk, but the other 1/2 is a pretty solid treat. Optimal? Nope, and that is just fine.
    Last edited by Gr7mm Bobb; 2018-01-02 at 09:27 PM.
    Spoiler
    Show
    When questioning matters of whether something in a game is "Broken", one should always consider if it is being implimented beyond its designed intent. This is in addition to looking at how mechanically healthy the questioned material is.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Eastern Australia
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Need help with a 5th edition unarmed fighter feat

    Quote Originally Posted by Ixidor92 View Post
    I'm working on transferring a campaign from 3.5 over to 5e currently. For most of my players, this doesn't require much work, but I do have one problem child. Namely, a barbarian that fights only with his bare fists. Due to in-character reasons, he will not use any weapons. In 3.5, this wasn't that big of an issue, since he just took the unarmed strike and superior unarmed strike feats. Fifth edition poses a little more of a problem. The only options given in RAW are to multi-class into monk, or the tavern brawler feat. Neither of these are particularly appealing (since grappling is not a thing this player does often) as it keeps his damage down to a d4 unless he gives up a lot of barbarian levels. I am attempting to address this with a feat:

    Spoiler: What I have so far
    Show

    Brawler:
    -Increase your strength or constitution score by 1
    -You gain proficiency in unarmed strikes
    -Successful unarmed strikes deal d6 bludgeoning damage
    -When you are about to make an unarmed attack, you may choose to take a -5 penalty on the attack roll and gain a +10 bonus on the damage roll


    I have not attempted to design any feats for 5e as of yet, so any help would be appreciated. I think what is there right now may be a bit over-tuned, but I'm not sure how to alter it so that it is more reasonable AND still enjoyable to my player(s)
    The bit I'd change is the 'successful unarmed strikes deal d6 bludgeoning damage' bit... If a Vuman took that as a feat, he'd (sort of) out-monk monks at first level (due to the lack of ki until second). And if a monk took it...
    Well, until level 5 he'd out-monk any other monk...

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Nottingham
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Need help with a 5th edition unarmed fighter feat

    So, in regards to the feat itself;
    This is most certainly not a half-feat. Parroting everyone else, I will say that the ability increase should be ditched.
    Instead of "Gaining proficiency," I think a line that you "May treat unarmed attacks as weapon attacks," or something akin to that, would work better. I would personally go a step further, and you will see that, as I attempt to build you a feat that you might approve of.
    The d6 damage would slightly out-monk monks at low levels, but it's not really that big of a deal. Literally anyone with two scimitars ruins that ideal very quickly, as there is nothing inherently good about punching, as compared to weapons, other than not being able to be disarmed.
    And the -5 to hit +10 to damage is pretty sweet. Nothing wrong with that part, but it's a powerful thing on it's own.


    Now, my attempt to make this feat in a way that you might approve of.

    Spoiler: The Pugilist
    Show
    • You may treat your fists as weapons, which have the light and versatile properties.
    • Your unarmed damage die increases a number of steps equal to 1 less than your proficiency modifier. If your unarmed damage die is already higher than this, use the higher amount.
    • Before you make an attack roll, you may choose to take -5 to hit, to then add 10 to the damage.


    The total synopsis of this feat is; At 1st level, your damage die is 1d2, or you could put your hands together to do a 1d3 slam. At 5th level, it improves to d3 and d4. At 9, d4 and d6. At 13, d6 and d8. At 17, d8 and d10. (Monks can also take this feat to get a d12 damage die, which is terrifying.)

    Then the GWM/SS effect. Because you treat your fists as a weapon, you can add your rage damage, and since they're light, you can make a bonus action attack.
    Neat thing: If you're using the versatile property, you're actually not getting the bonus action attack... I think. It's not really established. It's just my take on it.
    Last edited by demonslayerelf; 2018-01-03 at 04:30 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Need help with a 5th edition unarmed fighter feat

    Quote Originally Posted by CircleOfTheRock View Post
    The bit I'd change is the 'successful unarmed strikes deal d6 bludgeoning damage' bit... If a Vuman took that as a feat, he'd (sort of) out-monk monks at first level (due to the lack of ki until second). And if a monk took it...
    Well, until level 5 he'd out-monk any other monk...
    No he wouldn't, the Vuman doesn't have a bonus action attack. And the monk who takes this would only deal 1 or 2 extra damage per round than other monks, until the benefit is rendered wasted at 5th level. That's admittedly ignoring the -5/+10, which is far more problematic, but that's not the point you're objecting to.

    Anyways, treating your unarmed strikes as weapons is indeed essential for the barbarian, otherwise he doesn't get his Rage damage bonus. (Technically. I systematically ignore the unarmed-strikes-aren't-weapons rule when I DM.)

    I personally don't like Gr7mm Bobb's 3rd and 4th bullet point. The 3rd point forces you to check if both dice hit every single time you use Reckless Attack, and your player will use Reckless Attack every single time when he has this benefit. That's a complication that I wouldn't want to have on a character. The 4th point is abstract, flavourless and highly circumstantial. I feel like your player will just forget that he has this.

    Regarding Demonslayerelf's suggestion, I've said this before and I will say it again: Don't mindlessly give the monk's damage progression (or something resembling it) to a different class. It doesn't make sense. The monk's damage die progression is part of what makes them become more powerful with level. This is not the case for a barbarian: the barbarian is assumed to simply have a standard damage die from the start, and his damage progression comes in the form of Brutal Critical and the Rage damage bonus. Giving the barbarian a scaling damage die just makes the class back-loaded.

    If all you want to do is allow the barbarian to fight unarmed, I would keep things very simple.

    Spoiler: Option 1: For a rapid, monk-like pugilist
    Show
    Pugilist
    - Increase your Strength or Dexterity score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
    - Your unarmed strikes use a d6 for damage and are treated as weapon attacks for the purposes of your class features.
    - You can use Dexterity instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls of your unarmed strikes.
    - When you use the Attack action with an unarmed strike on your turn, you can make one unarmed strike as a bonus action. You must not be wielding a shield to gain this benefit.

    This one works for any class, including the barbarian. It basically allows you to treat your unarmed strikes as a pair of scimitars (which is a thematic ribbon with no reliable mechanical benefit), and grants the effect of Two-Weapon Fighting Style in addition. Getting +1 Str or Dex, the Two-Weapon Fighting Style, and the minor benefits of being able to fight unarmed seems like fair value for a feat.

    Spoiler: Option 2: For a more brutal, barbarian-ish pugilist
    Show
    Brutal Pugilist
    - Increase your Strength or Constitution score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
    - Your unarmed strikes use a d8 for damage and are treated as weapon attacks for the purposes of your class features.
    - Before you make an unarmed strike using Strength, you can choose to take a -5 penalty to the attack roll. If the attack hits, you add +10 to the attack’s damage. You must not be wielding a shield to gain this benefit.

    This one is more specific, it lets you play a fist fighter who hits much harder but not as often. Your unarmed strikes become equivalent to a longsword (which again is just a ribbon), and you gain power attack. Now, this one gives power attack in addition to a stat bump, which was rightfully stated to be a dangerous combination earlier due to how powerful power attack is. However, in this case, not only is power attack the only mechanical benefit that the feat gives, but using it also has a cost to it: you must be fighting unarmed, thus missing out on the 2d6 damage die of a greatsword or the +2 AC of a shield. This feat seems balanced to me, and very appropriate to a barbarian.

    Regarding the use by other classes: A monk can't abuse this feat because the power attack can only be used with Strength, and the d8 damage die isn't really worth it on its own. Someone who already has this feat could perhaps gain a big damage boost by multiclassing into monk for the bonus action attack, but that would be quite a hassle because you would need 13 Dex and 13 Wis, and the bonus action attack would be the absolute only thing you get out of it. So I wouldn't worry about that too much.

    In both of these cases, if you expect the players to face a significant amount of enemies with resistance to non-magical damage, you can add a feature to bypass it. However I feel like those are quite rare in practice, and they could pose an interesting challenge to the player. He's a barbarian, so he can still easily be of value to his team by shoving and grappling.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Mesquite, TX

    Default Re: Need help with a 5th edition unarmed fighter feat

    How about this?

    Boxer
    *You may treat your Unarmed Strikes as a weapon with the Light and Finesse weapon properties, and the base damage of your Unarmed strikes imcreases to 1d4 if it is not already higher. You apply your full attribute modifier to damage with "off-hand" attacks made with Unarmed strikes while Two-weapon fighting.
    *when you take the Dodge action on your turn, until the beginning of your next turn you may make a single Unarmed strike as a Reaction against any foe that performs a melee attack against you that misses, if you possess the Extra Attack(X) feature, you perform additional Unarmed strikes with your Reaction equal to your level of Extra Attack, at least one of which must be targeted at the triggering opponent.
    *as an action you may throw all your focus into a single powerful punch. Make an Unarmed Strike attack against a single target within reach, on a hit you deal Bludgeoning damage equal to 1d6 plus your Strength modifier that bypasses damage resistance and immunity as if it were magical. The base damage of this attack increases upon reaching character levels 5th (2d6), 11th (3d6), and 17th (4d6).

    So you get "bonus action Unarmed strike" via TWF, and dodge counters that effectively let a Fighter emulate the monk's bonus action dodge in more limited way, while not being completely wasted on a monk either. Plus a psudo-cantrip punch to overcome DR, especially useful for Rogues that want to sucker punch people as you can Sneak Attack with it.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Need help with a 5th edition unarmed fighter feat

    Quote Originally Posted by SkipSandwich View Post
    Boxer
    This one is quite cool. I dunno about taking it on a barbarian, because what kind of barbarian uses the Dodge action? But I would take it on a fighter.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Need help with a 5th edition unarmed fighter feat

    Thank you guys for all your suggestions! I was out of town so I couldn't reply earlier, but I really appreciate all the feedback and suggestions you have given.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Dec 2015

    Default Re: Need help with a 5th edition unarmed fighter feat

    Quote Originally Posted by Gr7mm Bobb View Post
    Ok, lets see what we've got.

    I'm a little familiar with 3.5 non-monk unarmed shenanigans involving Superior Unarmed Strike. I agree with Flashy that a -5/+10 option shouldn't be included in a feat that also provides an ability bump, and that everyone is already proficient with their body. The damage bump to d6's isn't bad, but its not really anything to write home about and is a bit of a middle finger to Tavern Brawler (but hey look at Volo's Lizardfolk). As it stands TB is supposed to be balanced for the purposes of feat design, but a lot of its power (1/2 to be exact) is tied up in an ability bump. So lets just let go of that and see what kind of room that leaves for activities.

    Unarmed combat has a couple of things that get in its way. Since the errata clarified that Unarmed strikes are not weapons, a lot of things have gone downhill for most non-monk brawler builds. The Monk actually addresses a lot of the games inherent issue with brawlers subliminally. They get around the fact that you can't even "dual wield" fists because a) not weapons b) not light weapons with their martial arts and seamlessly clear the other bane of the everyman facepounder: resistance to non magical damage is really annoying to deal with. There are a couple of avenues to go down with this, but they can and might blur together is stared at for too long. But, to stay within the bounds of the system, I'm going to scavenge some stuff from other classes and see where we end up.

    Brawler
    • Your unarmed strike uses a d4 for damage and is treated as a weapon attack for the purposes of your features and abilities.
    • When you use the Attack action with an unarmed strike during your turn, you can make one unarmed strike or an attempt to Shove a creature within 5 feet as a Bonus Action.
    • Whenever you have advantage on a melee attack roll you make with an unarmed strike and hit, your unarmed strike damage becomes a d12 for that attack if the lower of the two d20 rolls would also hit the target.
    • When you score a critical hit with an unarmed strike or reduce a creature to 0 hit points with one, your next unarmed strike that you successfully hit with before the end of your next turn ignores all resistances that would be applied to the damage roll.


    For bullet 3, if the d12 proves to be too much, change it to a flat +5 to the damage roll.

    I hope that this doesn't do too much ridiculousness, but also provides a more aggression option for the unarmed fighting man. With 2 of the bullets providing static bonuses that do not change and the other being situational the feat rounds out to allow for some hurdle clearing that doesn't tell the monk class or the DM where to shove it. If your Player is still lackluster in terms of DPR, do not fret. The Barbarian will most likely win in a war of attrition due to its innate durability. The static bonuses that get applied to every Str based weapon damage roll are also really nice when delivering multiple hits. The damage was kept to a d4 because of the ability to bonus punch. Sure 1/2 the feat is useless to the monk, but the other 1/2 is a pretty solid treat. Optimal? Nope, and that is just fine.
    I have a friend who is wanting to create an unarmed Barbarian. I will work with this and try it, I like it a lot. I would keep that d12 just because getting to use it after rolling the double hit would be really exciting at my table.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •