February 26, 2018

Brute

Martial Archetype
Comments from the Palm: I wrote this a while ago, well before the UA article with a similar archetype came out, and I still find that one somewhere between lacking and too strong, whereas this gets the point across much better.

Brute

The battlefield attracts fighters of all types and creeds. Inevitably, each warrior will do his damnedest to prove to the others that his way is the "right" way of fighting: the champion sculpts his body into a figure made of marble, the battlemaster uses tricks and tactics to control the flow of combat, and the eldritch knights straight-up cheat by bringing magic into the whole mess. Kensai, Duelists, Weapon Masters of all types, they all think they know how to win.
     The real answer is much, much simpler: Pick up the biggest, heaviest thing you can find, and squash the rest of them with it; that's the Brute way.

Heavy Iron
Starting when you take this archetype at 3rd level, you learn how to make the most out of the biggest, heaviest weapons. Once per turn, when you hit a creature with melee weapon that has the Heavy property or an unarmed strike, you can deal an additional 1d4 damage to that creature.
     This extra damage increases as you gain levels in the fighter class: at 7th level, it increases to 1d6 damage; 10th level, 1d8 damage; 15th level, 1d10 damage; and at 18th level, it increases to 1d12 damage.

Grab and Smash
Starting at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in improvised weapons, and treat any sufficiently large improvised weapon (a boulder, a table, or an orc, for example) as if it had the Heavy property.

Beast of Burden
Starting at 7th level, your muscle makes you extremely adept at lugging lots of heavy gear and throwing your weight around. Your capacities for carrying, lifting, pushing, and pulling are doubled, and you gain advantage on Strength (Athletics) checks.

Hammer Throw
At 10th level, you can treat any weapon you are proficient with as if it had the Thrown property, with a range of 20/60 feet. Additionally, you can always use your Strength modifier on ranged attack rolls made when throwing a weapon.

Tough as Nails
Starting at 15th level, whenever you take bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage, that damage is reduced by an amount equal to your Constitution modifier.

Awesome Blow
Starting at 18th level, once per turn, when you hit a creature that is large size or smaller with a melee weapon that has the Heavy trait, that creature must succeed on a Strength saving throw (DC equals 8 + your Proficiency modifier + you Strength Modifier) or be shoved away from you or knocked prone, your choice. If you shove a creature away from you using this ability, you can move them up to a number of feet equal to 5 times your Strength modifier.



13 comments:

  1. I like this more than the Unearthed Arcana version

    One gripe though: Thrown weapons already use strength for attack and damage rolls. Thrown Finesse weapons (knives and darts) can use dexterity, but you can choose to use strength. Therefore, the second part of Hammer Throw is unnecessary.

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    1. This actually isn't true! Most thrown weapons are melee weapons, so they can be thrown using STR because all melee weapons can attack using STR. All ranged weapons attack with DEX. The dart and net are the only thrown range weapons and thus use DEX to hit. The Dart though is special, in that it had Finesse, which in this case is being used to give you the ability to use STR to hit. Which is both a beautiful and ugly use of the Finesse ability in my eyes.

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    2. That line is in there for one reason, and one reason only: the wording for throwing a ranged weapon (such as a crossbow) doesn't suggest that you can, in fact, use strength for your attack roll in such a case.

      Personally, I find the idea that someone tosses this guy a bow or a gun, only for him to chuck it at the creature flying away from him and knocking said creature out of the sky completely hilarious.

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    3. To be honest, I'd consider a thrown crossbow an improvised weapon if I was the DM...

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  2. I actually don't really like this. Beast of Burden is on-par with the champion's 7th lvl feature, which is pretty bad. Hammer throw is cool but not very useful. And Awesome Blow is really underwhelming- an open-handed monk basically does that from 3rd level.

    I guess the brute damage bonus covers the need for extra damage abilities (I've thought since I've seen it that it's on the verge of overpowered), but I think you could have a bit more combat utility than this. Maybe giving cover to people behind you?

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    1. As a counterpoint, the 7th and 10th level features for a fighter generally *need* to be smaller, less combat-focussed features. As long as they get a good slug of power at 3 and 15, which this one does, it is on the curve.

      And I don't think 'giving people cover' would fit the theme here. This archetype is about direct action, both offensively and defensively, rather than clever tactics or teamwork.

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    2. That was generally my belief as well. An extra die of damage every round is pretty alright, damage reduction equal to your con bonus against ALL bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage (not just non magical) is pretty strong, and awesome blow doesn't have a resource attached to it: it's just free shoves on every hit.

      10th level is a bit of an odd egg, as it's not a straight damage boost, it just gives more versatility. Technically speaking, if you wanted to run a "greataxe sharpshooter" build with this, you could.

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    3. Nails: Generally, a brute isn't only a damage dealer but also a tank, and you want a tank to be able take hits for others or protect them. I can see your point about being direct, though.

      I personally just don't like abilities that you barely care about getting, or that barely ever matter to the actual gameplay, but the extra damage does scale, so I don't think it'll be underpowered in any situation.

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    4. Idan, something you might be overlooking: Beast of burden also ends up giving you advantage when grappling and/or shoving a creature. That can make the Brute exceptionally sticky and provides them a lot of in combat utility.

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    5. Hmm, That's a pretty good point. I've actually built a grappler goliath barbarian once, and now this does give another good option for that build. And I guess some dungeon masters do check carrying and lifting capacities. Add that to the fact that many monsters grapple, and I guess it's enough to make the feature much more decent than it seemed initially.

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  3. “Or an Orc, for example” may god the jokes that you guys have is amazing! 🤣

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  5. Finally a way to beat a guy to death with another guy! The rumors I spread of my friend's character will be true at last! .. if he ever decides to take up this class I guess.

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