The Penultimate Pugilist!

The king of the ring is back and he’s fixed on keeping his crown!

It has been almost two months since the last public update for the Pugilist. Since that time my Patreon backers have had the chance to read and playtest the changes that have been made since then and vote on additional archetypes for the class. To celebrate the final Pugilist archetype ballot closing and to prepare for the full release of the Pugilist in the coming months I wanted to have one last opportunity to receive feedback from the public.

In addition to gaining access to exclusive content, previews of the Pugilist, and access to votes on the content I work on, my Patreon backers have also helped me to purchase original art for the Pugilist. We currently have several completed pieces and several more sketches being turned into completed pieces by artists we have reached out to. I am hopeful that by the end of May all original artwork for the Pugilist will be completed and we will have an announcement about where the completed Pugilist can be purchased!

If you’ve been following along with the progress of the Pugilist and you want to make sure you get alerted when it’s complete, please be sure to follow this blog, subscribe to our subreddit and, best of all, become a backer for our Patreon! In addition to being the first to know about the finalized and fully original art-ified Pugilist, Patreon backers will continue to get previews of upcoming content for the Pugilist and other projects. Starting today, Patreon backers even get access to an exclusive Pugilist Fight Club – the Whiskey Fist!

And with that, I give you…

Hey there! If you’re just reading this for the first time, or you’re reading it again, you will be happy to know that the full version of the Pugilist class is now available as a Pay What You Want product on DM’s Guild! Older versions of the class have been removed from the blog to comply with the rules regarding content posted to the DM’s Guild – you can find the full class here!

the Pugilist, Final Version

Also, in other news, don’t totally freak out when the blog goes silent over the next couple of weeks. I am off on a birthday month international adventure and the blog will resume when I return on the 20th!

12 thoughts on “The Penultimate Pugilist!

  1. I love the pugilist but for what I assume is supposed to be a pretty beefy brawler they seem a little..squishy.

    D8 health die puts me on par with rogues and 10+Con is lower than even the most primal of Barbarians considering they can use shields and Dexterity is a more widely useful stat.

    Maybe add medium armour to the ‘iron chin’ feature?
    Or preferably, plump the HD back up a level or two so the class has a meat to soak up hits?

    Just my uncultured opinion, perhaps I’m missing something.

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    1. Brace Up makes them very, very not squishy. Pugilists are competitive with Fighters & Paladins for tankiness just because Brace Up is a lot like Rage for barbarians in that its constant damage mitigation (unlike Barbarians it can even eat up magic damage types!).

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  2. Ok. I have literally been thinking about how to do this whit the regular PHB for about a week now, and then I find this! It’s really great, and I’m totally putting this in as an NPC in a gym!

    However, there are still some problem areas I see. Namely with multiclassing and balance.

    Problem 1: I know you’re going for the brawler type, so they hit hard, but because the damage dice is higher, why would anyone go monk anymore? Loss of dex to AC helps, but it may not totally balance.

    Problem 2: Dig Deep and school of hard knocks. Really makes sense with the class, but what’s to stop them from dipping into bear totem and becoming resistant to everything, without the exhaustion? One covers the downfall of the other, creating a near immortal tank.

    Problem 3: Haymaker. Combined with Reckless Attack. Normal roll for max damage if you hit.

    Other than that, I really don’t see many problems. I know you’re probably done with most of this stuff anyway, but some food for thought and revision.

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    1. 1. You don’t play monk to be the best damage dealer, you play monk to completely wreck your opponents with debuffs. Mostly this comes in the form of Stunning Strike because stunning your enemy on any unarmed attack is…pretty amazing. Better than an on average +1 to damage.

      2. Nothing stops them from doing it but then nothing stops any other class from doing it either so that’s more of a problem with the barbarian bear archetype being too good than anything else. Any levels you take in barbarian don’t help you get any higher in pugilist either, which is always a good reason to not multiclass anyway.

      3. If you combine Reckless Attack with Haymaker you lose the advantage of Reckless Attack (advantage on all attack rolls) to mitigate the downside to Haymaker (disadvantage on all attack rolls). In essence you are trading the bad part of Reckless attack (advantage on all attack rolls against you) for the good part of Haymaker (max damage if you hit with no advantage or disadvantage). I think probably that’s alright.

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  3. I like the newest version. Keep it up. As my player has playtested this, I’ve often wondered whether Haymaker is overpowered in cases when the player already has disadvantage on all attacks. For instance, when fighting in obscuring terrain, darkness, or against targets you can’t see (last week he was fighting basilisks with his eyes closed). Another case would be with a few levels of exhaustion, or a common case would be when the pugilist is fighting while prone, swimming, etc. In those cases, the player should always use Haymaker and does so without penalty.

    Maybe this issue would be better simply if you could only activate the Haymaker ability when you don’t already have disadvantage on all attacks (basically like you can’t Sneak Attack if you have disadvantage).

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  4. I have a couple questions about Cross Counter.
    Does it apply after damage reduction?
    And if the melee weapon attack has more than 1 damage type do I add them up and try to reduce that to 0?

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  5. I really love this class great job seriously! So dang fun and definitely makes the drinking aspect of most of the campaigns much more flavorful! Overall thank you so much! I also had a quick question when doing a second unarmed strike or when using the old one two do you add your strength modifier to the damage?

    Thanks again 🙂

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  6. Thanks for the builds. I am fairly new to DnD and am starting a new campaign and am going back and forth between which class to use (my first campaign was a monk (open Hand)). I’m stuck between both the Avenger you built and the Pugilist. Which is your favorite to play?

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    1. Between the two I would go with the Pugilist for now. The Avenger is still in rough draft and will receive at least one more fairly extensive revision before my work on it is complete. Welcome to D&D!

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