December 9, 2020

Brawler Redux

Martial Archetype
Comments from the Finger: For reasons having to deal with the MHPPHB lineup, the Palm and I decided to combine the best elements of our Brawler and Pugilist subclasses into one perfect punch-boy. Enjoy!


Brawlers use their bare fists and raw force as their first and best weapons in combat. Such warriors come from tough stockprize fighters, outlanders, bouncers, and veteransand have learned to hone their bodies into implements of war. Wherever a brawler goes, bruised and broken bodies follow. It doesn’t matter whether they’re tossing thugs around a tavern or going toe-to-toe with a red dragon, brute force always comes out on top.

Starting at 3rd level, you’ve mastered a brutal, bloody-knuckle style of combat. You are proficient in improvised weapons, and treat one-handed improvised weapons as if they had the Thrown (range 20/60) property. 
Additionally, while you are unarmed or wielding an improvised weapon, and you are not wearing medium or heavy armor, you gain the following benefits:
  • You can use your Strength instead of your Dexterity when determining your AC.
  • Your unarmed strikes and improvised weapons deal improved damage, and improve as you gain levels in this class, as shown on the table below. 
Fighter Level     Damage
3rd                       1d6
5th                       1d8 
11th                     1d10 
17th                     1d12
Brute Force
Also at 3rd level, you can maneuver your opponents to gain a ruthless edge in combat. When you hit a creature with an unarmed strike or a melee attack using an improvised weapon, you can use your bonus action to grapple the target or deal an additional 1d6 damage.
This damage increases as you gain higher levels in this class. At 5th level, the additional damage you deal increases to 1d8 damage, at 11th level it increases to 1d10 damage, and at 17th level, it increases to 1d12 damage.
Imposing Physique
Starting at 7th level, you learn to speak more with your prodigious muscles instead of your words. You gain proficiency in the Intimidation skill, and you can use your Strength bonus instead of your Charisma bonus for Charisma (Intimidation) checks. Additionally, your capacities for carrying, lifting, pushing, and pulling are doubled.
At 10th level, you can put all your force into one blow. When you use the Attack action on your turn to make an unarmed strike, you can choose to forgo any additional attacks you could make with your action to make single, devastating blow. For each attack you would give up in this way, you can add two additional damage dice to the attack's damage roll. This attack is treated as magical for the purposes of bypassing damage resistance and immunity. 
Owlbear Wrestler
Starting at 15th level, you’ve learned how to pin down even the most towering foes. You gain advantage on Strength (Athletics) checks made to grapple creatures of Large size and smaller and you can attempt to grapple creatures of any size category.
Heavyweight Champion
Starting at 18th level, your blows are able to rattle even the greatest of foes. Once on each of your turns when you deal damage to a creature with an unarmed strike or an improvised weapon, you can choose to shatter their resolve. You gain resistance to any damage that creature deals to you until the beginning of your next turn.

12/12/20: Brute Force: Scaling wording changed for clarity
Haymaker: Reworded for clarity


  1. Overall I like this a lot but, Owlbear Wrestler seem kinda underwelming for a 15th level ability.

    Also, the way Brute Force is written it sounds like you do 1d6+1d8+1d10+1d12 at level 17.

    Lastly, would Haymaker count the extra attacks you get from Haste effects?

    1. I've changed up the wording on Brute Force and Haymaker for clarity. Haymaker only replaces the additional attacks you make with your action, so the additional action provided by Haste or the attack you gain as a bonus action from TWF wouldn't count.

      How do you suggest we change up Owlbear Wrestler? It's challenging coming up with a solution that doesn't include something already featured in the Grappler feat.

    2. I know I took a while getting back to you but I was in a car accident recently and kinda forgot.

      My idea was along the lines of forced movement doesn't end the grapple or the grappled opponent can't be forcibly moved. Perhaps if you or the target is forcibly moved, you can used your reaction to move with the target, maintaining the grapple.

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  3. Brute Force has a typo: "using an improved weapon" instead of impovised. Also, any reason Haymaker doesn't let you use it with an impovised weapon?

  4. Are you releasing a Magehand Press PHB? Where can I hear more about this?

  5. Owlbear wrestler: so in theory, you can grapple an Astral Dreadnaught?

  6. Honestly, I feel like Brawling should be altered to compensate for the Unarmed Fighting style. Cause you can easily get your unarmed strikes up to 1d8 at level 3 and really only benefit from bonus damage for improvised weapons. Kinda makes the feature slightly less useful until you reach 11th level and beyond, which most campaigns might not even get to.

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  8. For Brutal Force, when you say "to grapple the target", does it mean it's an automatic success or it's a contest check to see if the grapple works? I am unsure about the wording.

  9. Question. Does a successful shove count as a successful melee attack? I initially read it as I could shove, then grape the prone target, but that seems a little too powerful?