March 19, 2019

Barfighter

Martial Archetype
Comments from the Finger: Another archetype for the impending tavern book!

Barfighter

A veteran of taverns, bars, saloons, and other rough-and-tumble drinking establishments, you've seen enough barfights to consider yourself a expert in drunken melee. Every fight is different, every chaotic mess of fists and blood unique, but there are some constants: someone always swings a broken bottle at you, the guy in the back always throws a chair, and after you've rendered half a dozen people unconscious with whatever you find at arm's length, the exacerbated bartender kicks everyone out and closes up for the night.

Anything Goes
Starting at 3rd level, you are proficient with improvised weapons. In your hands, such weapons deal a minimum amount of damage for melee attacks, as shown in the Improvised Damage table. Your unarmed strikes also bludgeoning damage as shown on the table.
     Additionally, when you hit a creature with an unarmed strike or an improvised weapon on your turn, you can use a bonus action to do one of the following:
  • Make an attack with an unarmed strike or an improvised weapon.
  • Grapple the target. If you successfully grapple the target, you can knock it prone.
  • Shove the target. If the target collides with another creature, that creature takes bludgeoning damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier.
     Starting at 6th level, your unarmed strikes and improvised weapon count as magical for the purposes of overcoming damage resistance and immunity.

Improvised Damage
Fighter Level Improvised Weapon Unarmed Strike
3rd1d61d4
5th1d81d6
11th1d101d8
17th1d121d10

Unarmored Defense

Also beginning at 3rd level, when you are not wearing any armor, your Armor Class equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Constitution modifier. You can use a shield and still gain this benefit.

Situational Awareness
By 7th level, you've developed the uncanny ability to sense when a brawl is about to break out, and in a brawl, when a bottle is careening toward the back of your skull. You can't be surprised while you are conscious, and attacks made against you by creatures you can't see don't have advantage.

Quick, Duck!
At 10th level, as a reaction when a creature within 5 feet of you makes a melee attack against you, you can attempt to evade the strike such that it instead connects with someone nearby.  Make a melee weapon attack. If your attack roll beats the attacker's, the target for the attack becomes another hostile creature you choose within 5 feet of you.

Beat Down
Starting at 15th level, when you take the Attack action on your turn, you can choose to attack up to four additional times, as long as each attack you make targets a different creature.

Last Call
By 18th level, you're always the last one standing in a brawl. When you reduce a hostile creature to 0 hit points, you can't be knocked unconscious until the beginning of your next turn. If you would be reduced to 0 hit points during that time, you drop to 1 hit point instead.



Changelog: 3/21/19: Anything Goes: Improved damage for unarmed strikes, unarmed strikes and improvised weapons count as magical

33 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful subclass, but I'm confused on one point - the damage increase only applies to improvised weapons, yes? Not unarmed strikes?

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    1. I set it that way to differentiate between this and the monk (and other pugilists), but I'm thinking that I should change it to include unarmed strikes. Or make the unarmed strikes a little weaker than using improvised weapons.

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    2. I feel a little like this big guy is going to out-pugilist the Pugilist if you do.

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    3. You're not entirely wrong. Pugilist still gets cool fighting styles and stuff, but it's not a good position about which to orient this subclass. Anyone have ideas for this?

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    4. I'd say keep it as is. Maybe just note proficiency in unarmed strike without improving the damage. It's not like improvised weapons are at all hard to get a hold of, it helps niche protect both and in a bar brawl you'll want to grab the improvised weapon whenever you have the option anyway.

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    5. munchlord: You are proficient with unarmed strikes by default.

      What I could see being added is a way to make improvised weapon attacks count as magical, feels kinda necessary to me.

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    6. That's a good point as well. Hm. I'm going to have to rewrite that first feature entirely, I suppose, to fit in all the improvements.

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  2. This subclass is quote possibly one of the best Fighter subclasses I have ever seen. Its design feels smooth and easily understood, and it seems to really fit that concept of Tavern Brawler taken to the next level.

    I wasn't aware that there was going to be a tavern based supplement book, but if this is an indicator of whats to come in it, then I am very excited. Also, I see a lot of synergy with the Oath of Revelry here, which is really cool.

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    1. That's very kind of you! The yet unnamed tavern book will be coming out on Patreon in the next couple months.

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  3. Great archetype! Really keeps to the theme. Unarmored Defense is a bit odd (meant for unexpected fights I presume?), but becomes pretty great if you're a dex fighter who get to 20/20.

    Will the tavern book have rules for a group of adventurers running a bar? Please? Pretty Please?

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    1. Maybe? I'm not 100% sure on what sort of rules you'd want to make that engaging. Shifts? Earnings? Advertising?

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    2. I'd say a bit of expansion on the downtime work a job activity geared towards working a venue together, filling different roles (someone needs to cook, someone needs to sell the stuff, might want an in-house entertainer, a brewer, a repairman and so on, and a seedier place might want an in-house dealer for gambling, madam/pimp and/or drug dealer/maker), maybe with a sidebar about it being simple to adjust and extrapolate on for other joint ventures, as well as expanded, tavern/inn oriented complications table, as well as a non-negative random events table and maybe something for GMs about running business competition and so on.

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    3. Earnings, advertising, adversaries/complications, roles, non-monetary benefits (such as access to information), prices and upgrades... There's a lot options.

      Dragon Heist might have some ideas, it includes the party getting a tavern in Waterdeep.

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  4. This will make an ungodly grappler, I can already tell. Pinning down prone enemies makes for easy mobbing, I've learnt that the hard way.

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    1. It just gives advantage, and only on melee. Sure, it'll be impossible to get up without breaking the grapple first, but it's not that insane (and you can only grapple large or smaller, corporeal creatures, you might fail...)

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  5. For Beat Down, do your existing attacks have to be against unique targets, or only the additional ones?

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    1. The intent is that, if you use Beat Down, you get additional attacks, but all attacks, including your normal ones, must be on different targets.

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    2. Originally I was thinking that this was essentially a complicated way of saying, “you can use an attack action to make one attack against each opponent adjacent to you,” but keeping the language as is is friendlier to reach (and even ranged!) weapons.

      That said, that’s a little weird, given the emphasis on improvised weaponry on other features.

      In a level 15 one-shot, for instance, I might be very tempted to use this for an Archer.

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    3. Won't be much better than a hunter's volley. Will be weaker than a sculpted fireball, probably.

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    4. One hand full of glass shards
      use them as improvised shurikens
      ???
      carnage

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    5. How good it is compared to a Hunter's Volley is entirely dependent on the DM and the encounter, but Volley is an unlimited number of targets in a 4x4 grid of squares, while Beat Down is 7 targets within your weapon range (increasing to 8 targets at 20). So, it has half the target maximum, but far more flexibility, since it doesn't care about map size or positioning at all.

      Sculpted Fireballs are, of course, almost always going to win a comparison against a martial aoe.

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  6. Does the Improvised weapon extra damage only apply to melee, or to Throwing as well?

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    1. As written, yes, and I see no reason why it shouldn't.

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    2. Actually, as written, it's melee-only and not ranged. I might change that as well, but the intent behind it was to make melee attacks more attractive than ranged ones

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    3. If it applies to thrown as well then it could end up something like Bullseye if played that way... or just a guy who really likes throwing beer bottles

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    4. my bad. Sleep deprivation is a hell of a drug.

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  7. Its a fun archetype, but I feel like a bar room brawler who doesn't know how to brawl is losing the thread of the concept. Unarmed strikes should definitely fit under improvised weapons, particularly given that one of the level 3 features allows you to do bonus damage with unarmed strikes.

    I understand the concern with not overshadowing the monk, but I feel like this concept occupies a very different space.

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    1. The problem I felt that it is also going to overshadow the MFoV pugilist. By boosting their unarmed strikes, the barfighter just might end up being just as good on the offense while being much better on the defense than the martial archetype that revolves 100 % around hand-to-hand combat.

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    2. That seems a reasonable concern, but if we're getting into a territory where one homebrew archetype is overshadowing overshadowing another earlier version of the same concept, it might a case where the earlier archetype needs revision. I don't know that kneecapping this archetype is the appropiate solution.

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    3. But it really isn't the same concept. The old one is a specialist in unarmed combat while this one seems to focus more on improvised weapons and is more of a generalist.

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    4. Pugilist is an armored technical fighter while the barfighter is unarmored brute, so they fit fairly different niches

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    5. Yeah, looking back at it, Pugilist is an archetype from 2015. I feel like it'd probably be worthwhile for MFOV to to a revision at this point. It looks fairly clunky to me, and they've gotten better at building archetypes in the last 4 years.

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