Alternative monk: the bruiser




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    Alternative monk: the bruiser

    Over in another thread, people were complaining about the monk. Some people say the monk is too oriental, too kung-fu movie, or just too specific to cover more than just a single genre of unarmed fighter. So I made an unarmed fighter that should be able to cover every genre by being generic enough that it can stand in for anyone who fights unarmed. The class table is linked in the description below, since you just can't do tables on this board. Thoughts?

    Alternative monk class: The Bruiser

    While most soldiers and warriors learn to fight with heavy weapons and armour to better do battle with their foes, certain individuals learn to use their own bodies as weapons. They practice striking and grappling, learning how to best use leverage and momentum to break bones, crush organs, and twist joints, as well as learning the best ways to avoid blows and grabs. The bruiser treats his body as a tool, learning to hone and perfect it, mastering the art of applying force, both to his enemies and to himself. He leaps around the battlefield, dodging and weaving, his effortless movements propelling him faster and farther than armoured fighters could dream of. Master of speed and power, the bruiser wades into the thick of battle with nothing but his raw power and agility, and overcomes foes by skill and determination.

    The local thug who breaks legs for his boss might be a bruiser. The champion of a primitive tribe who wrestles crocodiles to prove his might is probably a bruiser. The massive hero who wears little into battle but a loincloth and some linen to wrap his fists is a bruiser.

    Adventurers: Bruisers often find themselves caught up in adventures just because they happen to be in the right place at the right time. Not needing equipment or the implements of magic, they are always ready for a fight, and are always eager to test themselves against a potential foe. Bruisers often find themselves getting involved in complicated situations just because they were unwilling to back down from a conflict.

    Background: Many bruisers are self-taught, learning their skills on the streets by fighting. Sometimes this is for survival, and sometimes just for the challenge. Others are trained by a mentor who beats the lessons into his student who either learns quickly or spends all his time recovering from the pedagogical bludgeonings. A few schools have appeared, particularly among gladiators, who appreciate the spectacle of a single man capable of wrestling a bear to the death, and among these schools various styles have been pursued to achieve different effects with technique.

    Races: Bruisers are found among all races, but the sturdier races are more inclined to follow this martial path. Dwarves, half-orcs, and humans are well-suited to the demanding lifestyle, while elves and halflings may find the focus on fisticuffs overly brutish and lacking finesse. On the other hand, the small races often find that they can surprise larger foes who might underestimate a short, unarmed humanoid.

    Other classes: Bruisers like a good fight, and they like those who also enjoy battle. They can be found trading battle tips with fighters and barbarians, or practicing their tumbling with rogues. They have little use for arcane spellcasters except as backup, but tend to view them as “soft target” liabilities. They find clerics useful only as far as they can carry their own weight in a fight, but often view them as medics more than anything.

    Role: A bruiser’s primary role in an adventuring group is as a highly mobile front-line head basher. Lacking much of the technical precision of a fighter or the barbarian’s ability to act as a shock trooper, the basher instead can hold his own against multiple opponents, although his ranged attack capability is limited. He is difficult to outmanoeuvre, and can outgrapple most opponents, making him tough to pin down. The bruiser excels at fighting against overwhelming odds, which helps to keep the mobs of enemies away from the less resilient party members.

    Changes:
    • Good BAB
    • d10 hit dice
    • Bad Will save
    • No greater flurry
    • Changed some class skills
    • AC bonus as Oathsworn*, no Wis bonus to AC.
    • Changes to special abilities
    o Removed: Still mind, Ki strike, Purity of body, Wholeness of body, Diamond body, Abundant step, Diamond soul, Quivering palm, Timeless body, tongue of the sun and moon, Empty body, Perfect self
    o Added: Shattering blow*, Lesser shattering strike*, Greater shattering strike*, Uncanny dodge/Improved uncanny dodge, Opportunist

    * designates content derived from Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved

    Rationale:

    • The flavour of the class, such as it is, is generic like the fighter. It is intended to fill a number of roles, from a tough-as-nails street fighter to a showy expert wrestler to a leg-breaking thug, or even an eastern-style martial artist, minus the ki powers.
    • Bonus feats left alone to allow character to be able to use fighting styles from Unearthed Arcana and Dragon magazine, many of which would work well for this generic martial artist. Also, they’re just useful feats for brawlers.
    • I want this class to be a front-line fighter, a stand-in for a fighter or barbarian in a balanced party, not a “5th wheel” like the monk. BAB is increased to 1:1, HP increased to d10, and armour bonus is uncoupled from Wis, to reduce multiple ability dependency.
    • Some other additions to help the character “mix it up” include uncanny dodge and opportunist, to help get him into the thick of it without being easily surrounded and overcome.
    • To reduce the “mystic martial artist” angle, ki strike was removed and replaced with the shattering blow/shattering strike tree, which provides a generic ability to overcome damage reduction, rather than an alignment-focused one.
    • To help prevent overdoing it at higher levels, greater flurry was removed.

    Table 1: The bruiser
    Abilities: Strength is important for bruisers because of its role in combat, while Dexterity can help compensate for the bruiser’s limited armour class as well as assist his mobility through the use of skills. Wisdom can also be useful to support the bruiser’s skills, as well as compensate for his weak Will saves, and Constitution can help him live longer.

    Hit Die: d10

    Class Skills: The bruiser’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).

    Skill points at 1st level: (4 + Int modifier) x4.
    Skill points at each additional level: 4 + Int modifier.

    Weapon and armour proficiency: Bruisers are proficient with club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kukri, and quarterstaff. Bruisers are not proficient with any armour or shields. When wearing armour, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, a bruiser loses her AC bonus, as well as her fast movement and flurry of blows abilities.

    Flurry of Blows (Ex): When unarmoured, a bruiser may strike with a flurry of blows at the expense of accuracy. When doing so, she may make one extra attack in a round at her highest base attack bonus, but this attack takes a -2 penalty, as does each other attack made that round. The resulting modified base attack bonuses are shown in the Flurry of Blows Attack Bonus column on Table: The Bruiser. This penalty applies for 1 round, so it also affects attacks of opportunity the bruiser might make before her next action. When a monk reaches 5th level, the penalty lessens to -1, and at 9th level it disappears. A bruiser must use a full attack action to strike with a flurry of blows.

    When using flurry of blows, a bruiser may attack only with unarmed strikes or with certain weapons (club, dagger, kukri, quarterstaff). She may attack with unarmed strikes and special weapons interchangeably as desired. When using weapons as part of a flurry of blows, a bruiser applies her Strength bonus (not Str bonus × 1½ or ×½) to her damage rolls for all successful attacks, whether she wields a weapon in one or both hands. The bruiser can’t use any weapon other than a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows.

    In the case of the quarterstaff, each end counts as a separate weapon for the purpose of using the flurry of blows ability. Even though the quarterstaff requires two hands to use, a bruiser may still intersperse unarmed strikes with quarterstaff strikes, assuming that she has enough attacks in her flurry of blows routine to do so.

    Unarmed Strike: At 1st level, a bruiser gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A bruiser’s attacks may be with either fist interchangeably or even from elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a bruiser may even make unarmed strikes with her hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a bruiser striking unarmed. A bruiser may thus apply her full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all her unarmed strikes.

    Usually a bruiser’s unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but she can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on her attack roll. She has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.

    A bruiser’s unarmed strike is treated both as a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.

    A bruiser also deals more damage with her unarmed strikes than a normal person would, as shown on the table. The unarmed damage on the table is for Medium bruisers. A Small bruiser deals less damage than the amount given there with her unarmed attacks, while a Large bruiser deals more damage; see Player’s Handbook Table: 3-11 Small or Large Monk Unarmed Damage.

    AC bonus (Ex): As he gains levels, a bruiser’s Armour Class improves with an insight bonus. This Armour Class bonus represents a preternatural awareness of danger, and a bruiser does not lose it even in situations when he loses his Dexterity modifier to AC due to being unprepared, ambushed, stunned, and so on. He loses this bonus when immobilized or helpless, when he wears any armour, when he carries a shield, or when he carries a medium or heavy load. Bruisers also lose this Armour Class bonus when immobilized.

    Bonus Feat: At 1st level, a bruiser may select either Improved Grapple or Stunning Fist as a bonus feat. At 2nd level, she may select either Combat Reflexes or Deflect Arrows as a bonus feat. At 6th level, she may select either Improved Disarm or Improved Trip as a bonus feat. At 11th level, she receives Improved Critical (unarmed strike) as a bonus feat. A bruiser need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.

    Shattering blow (Su): At 2nd level and higher, the bruiser can take a full-round action to make a single powerful strike. The unarmed strike ignores 1 point of a creature’s damage reduction for each bruiser class level. So a 3rd-level bruiser ignores 3 points of damage reduction. This ability also applies to object hardness.

    Evasion (Ex): At 3nd level or higher if a bruiser makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a bruiser is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless bruiser does not gain the benefit of evasion.

    Fast Movement (Ex): At 3rd level, a bruiser gains an enhancement bonus to her speed, as shown on the table. A bruiser in armor or carrying a medium or heavy load loses this extra speed.

    Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 4th level, a bruiser retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a bruiser already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.

    Lesser Shattering Strike (Su): Beginning at 7th level, the bruiser’s strike becomes more ruinous, ignoring damage reduction on every blow. The unarmed strike ignores 1 point of a creature’s damage reduction for every two bruiser class levels. So a 7th-level bruiser ignores 3 points of damage reduction. This ability also applies to object hardness.

    Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 8th level and higher, a bruiser can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the bruiser by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has bruiser levels. If a character already has uncanny dodge from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level a rogue must be to flank the character.

    Improved Evasion (Ex): At 10th level, a bruiser’s evasion ability improves. She still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth she takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless bruiser does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

    Skill Mastery (Ex): At 12th level the bruiser’s agility and body control allow him to move around the battlefield effortlessly even when stressed. When using the Balance, Tumble, or Jump skills, he may take 10 even if stress and distraction normally would prevent him from doing so.

    Opportunist (Ex): Once per round beginning at 15th level, the bruiser can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent who has just been struck for damage in melee by another character. This attack counts as the bruiser’s attack of opportunity for that round. Even a bruiser with the Combat Reflexes feat can’t use the opportunist ability more than once per round.

    Greater Shattering Strike (Su): At 18th level, a bruiser’s ability to land devastating blows increases. Each unarmed strike she makes ignores 1 point of a creature’s damage reduction for every class level. So an 18th-level bruiser ignores 18 points of damage reduction. This ability also applies to object hardness.
    Last edited by Lonely Tylenol; Thursday, 5th October, 2006 at 02:56 PM.
    Formerly known as Dr. Awkward

 

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    I like it!

    Sorry I don't have much more to say at the moment, but there it is: I like the look of this class.

    One thing I'm wondering about - why not just give them all simple weapon proficiencies? I'm just trying to imagine why a light mace is harder to use than a handaxe, for example.


    I've actually been trying to sort out a class like this for months now (albeit, very part-time) - nothing really good until now, so kudos for what should at the least prove a good starting point, I think.


    edit --- nevermind (stuff about OGC etc.)
    Last edited by Aus_Snow; Monday, 26th December, 2005 at 05:50 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Awkward
    Over in another thread, people were complaining about the monk. Some people say the monk is too oriental, too kung-fu movie, or just too specific to cover more than just a single genre of unarmed fighter. So I made an unarmed fighter that should be able to cover every genre by being generic enough that it can stand in for anyone who fights unarmed. The class table is linked in the description below, since you just can't do tables on this board. Thoughts?

    Alternative monk class: The Bruiser

    While most soldiers and warriors learn to fight with heavy weapons and armour to better do battle with their foes, certain individuals learn to use their own bodies as weapons. They practice striking and grappling, learning how to best use leverage and momentum to break bones, crush organs, and twist joints, as well as learning the best ways to avoid blows and grabs. The bruiser treats his body as a tool, learning to hone and perfect it, mastering the art of applying force, both to his enemies and to himself. He leaps around the battlefield, dodging and weaving, his effortless movements propelling him faster and farther than armoured fighters could dream of. Master of speed and power, the bruiser wades into the thick of battle with nothing but his raw power and agility, and overcomes foes by skill and determination.

    The local thug who breaks legs for his boss might be a bruiser. The champion of a primitive tribe who wrestles crocodiles to prove his might is probably a bruiser. The massive hero who wears little into battle but a loincloth and some linen to wrap his fists is a bruiser.

    Adventurers: Bruisers often find themselves caught up in adventures just because they happen to be in the right place at the right time. Not needing equipment or the implements of magic, they are always ready for a fight, and are always eager to test themselves against a potential foe. Bruisers often find themselves getting involved in complicated situations just because they were unwilling to back down from a conflict.

    Background: Many bruisers are self-taught, learning their skills on the streets by fighting. Sometimes this is for survival, and sometimes just for the challenge. Others are trained by a mentor who beats the lessons into his student who either learns quickly or spends all his time recovering from the pedagogical bludgeonings. A few schools have appeared, particularly among gladiators, who appreciate the spectacle of a single man capable of wrestling a bear to the death, and among these schools various styles have been pursued to achieve different effects with technique.

    Races: Bruisers are found among all races, but the sturdier races are more inclined to follow this martial path. Dwarves, half-orcs, and humans are well-suited to the demanding lifestyle, while elves and halflings may find the focus on fisticuffs overly brutish and lacking finesse. On the other hand, the small races often find that they can surprise larger foes who might underestimate a short, unarmed humanoid.

    Other classes: Bruisers like a good fight, and they like those who also enjoy battle. They can be found trading battle tips with fighters and barbarians, or practicing their tumbling with rogues. They have little use for arcane spellcasters except as backup, but tend to view them as “soft target” liabilities. They find clerics useful only as far as they can carry their own weight in a fight, but often view them as medics more than anything.

    Role: A bruiser’s primary role in an adventuring group is as a highly mobile front-line head basher. Lacking much of the technical precision of a fighter or the barbarian’s ability to act as a shock trooper, the basher instead can hold his own against multiple opponents, although his ranged attack capability is limited. He is difficult to outmanoeuvre, and can outgrapple most opponents, making him tough to pin down. The bruiser excels at fighting against overwhelming odds, which helps to keep the mobs of enemies away from the less resilient party members.

    Changes:
    • Good BAB
    • d10 hit dice
    • Bad Will save
    • No greater flurry
    • Changed some class skills
    • AC bonus as Oathsworn*, no Wis bonus to AC.
    • Changes to special abilities
    o Removed: Still mind, Ki strike, Purity of body, Wholeness of body, Diamond body, Abundant step, Diamond soul, Quivering palm, Timeless body, tongue of the sun and moon, Empty body, Perfect self
    o Added: Shattering blow*, Lesser shattering strike*, Greater shattering strike*, Uncanny dodge/Improved uncanny dodge, Opportunist

    * designates content derived from Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved

    Rationale:

    • The flavour of the class, such as it is, is generic like the fighter. It is intended to fill a number of roles, from a tough-as-nails street fighter to a showy expert wrestler to a leg-breaking thug, or even an eastern-style martial artist, minus the ki powers.
    Cheers!

    • Bonus feats left alone to allow character to be able to use fighting styles from Unearthed Arcana and Dragon magazine, many of which would work well for this generic martial artist. Also, they’re just useful feats for brawlers.
    • I want this class to be a front-line fighter, a stand-in for a fighter or barbarian in a balanced party, not a “5th wheel” like the monk. BAB is increased to 1:1, HP increased to d10, and armour bonus is uncoupled from Wis, to reduce multiple ability dependency.
    • Some other additions to help the character “mix it up” include uncanny dodge and opportunist, to help get him into the thick of it without being easily surrounded and overcome.
    • To reduce the “mystic martial artist” angle, ki strike was removed and replaced with the shattering blow/shattering strike tree, which provides a generic ability to overcome damage reduction, rather than an alignment-focused one.
    • To help prevent overdoing it at higher levels, greater flurry was removed.

    Table 1: The bruiser
    Abilities: Strength is important for bruisers because of its role in combat, while Dexterity can help compensate for the bruiser’s limited armour class as well as assist his mobility through the use of skills. Wisdom can also be useful to support the bruiser’s skills, as well as compensate for his weak Will saves, and Constitution can help him live longer.

    Hit Die: d10

    Class Skills: The bruiser’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).

    Skill points at 1st level: (4 + Int modifier) x4.
    Skill points at each additional level: 4 + Int modifier.

    Weapon and armour proficiency: Bruisers are proficient with club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, javelin, kukri, and quarterstaff. Bruisers are not proficient with any armour or shields. When wearing armour, using a shield, or carrying a medium or heavy load, a bruiser loses her AC bonus, as well as her fast movement and flurry of blows abilities.
    No spears?

    Flurry of Blows (Ex): When unarmoured, a bruiser may strike with a flurry of blows at the expense of accuracy. When doing so, she may make one extra attack in a round at her highest base attack bonus, but this attack takes a -2 penalty, as does each other attack made that round. The resulting modified base attack bonuses are shown in the Flurry of Blows Attack Bonus column on Table: The Bruiser. This penalty applies for 1 round, so it also affects attacks of opportunity the bruiser might make before her next action. When a monk reaches 5th level, the penalty lessens to -1, and at 9th level it disappears. A bruiser must use a full attack action to strike with a flurry of blows.
    I've always wondered why this ability is available at 1st-level. Seems like it should be an expert ability.

    When using flurry of blows, a bruiser may attack only with unarmed strikes or with certain weapons (club, dagger, kukri, quarterstaff). She may attack with unarmed strikes and special weapons interchangeably as desired. When using weapons as part of a flurry of blows, a bruiser applies her Strength bonus (not Str bonus × 1½ or ×½) to her damage rolls for all successful attacks, whether she wields a weapon in one or both hands. The bruiser can’t use any weapon other than a special monk weapon as part of a flurry of blows.

    In the case of the quarterstaff, each end counts as a separate weapon for the purpose of using the flurry of blows ability. Even though the quarterstaff requires two hands to use, a bruiser may still intersperse unarmed strikes with quarterstaff strikes, assuming that she has enough attacks in her flurry of blows routine to do so.

    Unarmed Strike: At 1st level, a bruiser gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A bruiser’s attacks may be with either fist interchangeably or even from elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a bruiser may even make unarmed strikes with her hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a bruiser striking unarmed. A bruiser may thus apply her full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all her unarmed strikes.

    Usually a bruiser’s unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but she can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on her attack roll. She has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.

    A bruiser’s unarmed strike is treated both as a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.
    This text here is a bit unclear. How many natural weapons does a bruiser have? If a cleric were to cast greater magic weapon on all their weapons, how many times must they cast it?

    If a bruiser only has their hands enhanced, not their elbows, feet, etc, and they only attack with their hands, are they penalized for this? If so, how much?

    A bruiser also deals more damage with her unarmed strikes than a normal person would, as shown on the table. The unarmed damage on the table is for Medium bruisers. A Small bruiser deals less damage than the amount given there with her unarmed attacks, while a Large bruiser deals more damage; see Player’s Handbook Table: 3-11 Small or Large Monk Unarmed Damage.

    AC bonus (Ex): As he gains levels, a bruiser’s Armour Class improves with an insight bonus. This Armour Class bonus represents a preternatural awareness of danger, and a bruiser does not lose it even in situations when he loses his Dexterity modifier to AC due to being unprepared, ambushed, stunned, and so on. He loses this bonus when immobilized or helpless, when he wears any armour, when he carries a shield, or when he carries a medium or heavy load. Bruisers also lose this Armour Class bonus when immobilized.

    Bonus Feat: At 1st level, a bruiser may select either Improved Grapple or Stunning Fist as a bonus feat. At 2nd level, she may select either Combat Reflexes or Deflect Arrows as a bonus feat. At 6th level, she may select either Improved Disarm or Improved Trip as a bonus feat. At 11th level, she receives Improved Critical (unarmed strike) as a bonus feat. A bruiser need not have any of the prerequisites normally required for these feats to select them.

    Shattering blow (Su): At 2nd level and higher, the bruiser can take a full-round action to make a single powerful strike. The unarmed strike ignores 1 point of a creature’s damage reduction for each bruiser class level. So a 3rd-level bruiser ignores 3 points of damage reduction. This ability also applies to object hardness.
    I don't like how the oathsworn's DR penetrating ability works. This makes sense if you're hitting a golem. This doesn't make sense if you're hitting a vampire or a demon (whose DR is supernatural in nature and is effectively explained as super-fast healing).

    Evasion (Ex): At 3nd level or higher if a bruiser makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a bruiser is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless bruiser does not gain the benefit of evasion.

    Fast Movement (Ex): At 3rd level, a bruiser gains an enhancement bonus to her speed, as shown on the table. A bruiser in armor or carrying a medium or heavy load loses this extra speed.

    Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 4th level, a bruiser retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a bruiser already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.

    Lesser Shattering Strike (Su): Beginning at 7th level, the bruiser’s strike becomes more ruinous, ignoring damage reduction on every blow. The unarmed strike ignores 1 point of a creature’s damage reduction for every two bruiser class levels. So a 7th-level bruiser ignores 3 points of damage reduction. This ability also applies to object hardness.

    Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 8th level and higher, a bruiser can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the bruiser by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has bruiser levels. If a character already has uncanny dodge from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level a rogue must be to flank the character.

    Improved Evasion (Ex): At 10th level, a bruiser’s evasion ability improves. She still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, but henceforth she takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless bruiser does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.

    Skill Mastery (Ex): At 12th level the bruiser’s agility and body control allow him to move around the battlefield effortlessly even when stressed. When using the Balance, Tumble, or Jump skills, he may take 10 even if stress and distraction normally would prevent him from doing so.

    Opportunist (Ex): Once per round beginning at 15th level, the bruiser can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent who has just been struck for damage in melee by another character. This attack counts as the bruiser’s attack of opportunity for that round. Even a bruiser with the Combat Reflexes feat can’t use the opportunist ability more than once per round.

    Greater Shattering Strike (Su): At 18th level, a bruiser’s ability to land devastating blows increases. Each unarmed strike she makes ignores 1 point of a creature’s damage reduction for every class level. So an 18th-level bruiser ignores 18 points of damage reduction. This ability also applies to object hardness.
    Nice.

    I think the abilities are a little too front-loaded, however - the later levels look a little empty. Plus, there's no damage chart (or I really failed a Spot check IRL). I'm hoping the damage isn't as crazy as the monk's chart.
    Last edited by (Psi)SeveredHead; Monday, 26th December, 2005 at 05:55 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (Psi)SeveredHead
    Cheers!
    Thanks for the feedback!
    No spears?
    Ehh, I didn't think about it too much. Can't have everything. I thought I should throw in some light, close-fighting themed weapons like the kukri, and otherwise the list is stolen from the monk.

    I've always wondered why this ability is available at 1st-level. Seems like it should be an expert ability.
    Mostly it seems to be the 'signature' ability of the monk, being able to hit a lot of times even at low levels. I kept it because I'm trying to alter the monk, not rewrite it from the ground up.


    This text here is a bit unclear. How many natural weapons does a bruiser have? If a cleric were to cast greater magic weapon on all their weapons, how many times must they cast it?
    This text is ripped directly from the SRD, with "monk" removed and replaced with "bruiser". So, the answer is essentially, to both questions, one.

    If a bruiser only has their hands enhanced, not their elbows, feet, etc, and they only attack with their hands, are they penalized for this? If so, how much?
    To sidestep this question, I'll say that unarmed strikes in D&D are not well-defined, so the bruiser or monk could attack only with his butt-cheeks and it would be mechanically identical to atacking with hands and feet. I'm using the monk as a template for this class and stripping off the bits I don't want, then adding in the bits I do. So any weirdness in abstract comes in from earlier material.

    I don't like how the oathsworn's DR penetrating ability works. This makes sense if you're hitting a golem. This doesn't make sense if you're hitting a vampire or a demon (whose DR is supernatural in nature and is effectively explained as super-fast healing).
    You get the same problem with DR X/+3 or DR X/silver, so I don't think that's an issue specific to the oathsworn. Again, the rules just handwaves away the rationale, to make the mechanics function smoothly without unnecessary complications. I think I'll leave any complications up to whomever wants to integrate this sort of thing into their game.

    I think the abilities are a little too front-loaded, however - the later levels look a little empty. Plus, there's no damage chart (or I really failed a Spot check IRL). I'm hoping the damage isn't as crazy as the monk's chart.
    Could be a bit front-loaded. I pushed Evasion/Improved Evasion up a level compared to the monk, and added in Uncanny Dodge when the rogue gets it. I left the bonus feats where the monk gets them, and it does leave the later levels a bit bare by comparison. However, I figure that adding anything else at higher levels might just be too much. After all, at 18th, they essentially get the ability to beat all DR, which is a pretty damn nice ability. Maybe I could push Evasion and Uncanny Dodge up another level, but I don't know if it's really necessary. I don't really think it's any more front-loaded than the monk, anyway.
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    looks awesome man! Very Generic, but with its own flavour - exactly wqhat i like.

    Consider it yoinked.
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    I like this as well... but think someone better at class design than I am could boost it up a notch.... {not saying it needs boosted.. as a 'core' hand to hand brawler it looks good}

    What I would like to see is something along the lines of Paths.. {not to go all eastern flavor, but its the easiest way to explain what I am thinking...} along the lines of the animal Kung Fu styles..

    So you could have the following Paths that grant certain abilities at given levels, probably 3rd, 7th, and 17th.

    Path of the Bear... gain DR
    Path of the Dragon.. gain DR penetration
    Path of the Snake.. agility based with Sneak Attack
    etc...


    My biggest complaint about the monk has always been lack of variety in the mechanics...and mechanics support the fluff.

    anyway, back tou your regularly scheduled appreciation of Dr Awkwards quality work
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primitive Screwhead
    I like this as well... but think someone better at class design than I am could boost it up a notch.... {not saying it needs boosted.. as a 'core' hand to hand brawler it looks good}

    What I would like to see is something along the lines of Paths.. {not to go all eastern flavor, but its the easiest way to explain what I am thinking...} along the lines of the animal Kung Fu styles..

    So you could have the following Paths that grant certain abilities at given levels, probably 3rd, 7th, and 17th.

    Path of the Bear... gain DR
    Path of the Dragon.. gain DR penetration
    Path of the Snake.. agility based with Sneak Attack
    etc...


    My biggest complaint about the monk has always been lack of variety in the mechanics...and mechanics support the fluff.

    anyway, back tou your regularly scheduled appreciation of Dr Awkwards quality work
    Heh, I haven't actually done anything special here. You'll notice I have not actually written anything except flavour text. I have just selected and arranged OGC to suit myself. I decided that if I was going to make a generic class, I should keep it simple, so I only made use of existing rules. I had toyed with the idea of making more selectable class abilities, like the paths you suggest, but I dumped that due to the hugeness of the project. Perhaps someone with more time would be able to work that out? If nothing else, there are always the monk variant fighting styles, which are (deliberately) compatible with the bruiser and which provide some degree of focus and customizability to the class.
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    I am going to have to say broken.

    Plusses
    AC increase rate(1+3/8ths level)
    BAB increase
    HD double increase
    Shattering Strike
    Opportunist
    (Improved) Uncanny dodge
    Skill Mastery
    No Alignment restriction(I hope you weren't planning on keeping it anyway)

    Minusses
    No monkey special abilities(except flurry and improved flurry)
    No Wisdom to AC
    Bad will save
    Freedom to multiclass

    Overall:
    Less ability score dependent (now only needs 3)
    Less ability spamming


    Since most of a monks AC dissapears when she is flat footed uncanny dodge is a really really good ability. Shatering strike gets rid of another weakness of the class, DR. It is less ability score dependent so they become more viable with pointbuy and without uber rolls. They can now duke it in melee and can also run away faster than their opponent. They are the rogue and wizards best friend(mobile meatshield/flank buddy).

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    The monk class is very weak. Making a new class that is stronger than the monk isn't automatically broken. It just means "stronger than a very weak class".
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    Quote Originally Posted by magic_gathering2001
    I am going to have to say broken.

    Plusses
    AC increase rate(1+3/8ths level)
    BAB increase
    HD double increase
    double increase? It went from d8 to d10.
    Shattering Strike
    Opportunist
    (Improved) Uncanny dodge
    Skill Mastery
    No Alignment restriction(I hope you weren't planning on keeping it anyway)
    An alignment restriction wouldn't make a very good generic class, would it?

    Minusses
    No monkey special abilities(except flurry and improved flurry)
    This is pretty big, and deserves to be broken up into more than one "minus". It breaks up into
    • +2 to save vs. enchantments
    • slow fall
    • immunity to disease
    • ability to heal self
    • immunity to poison
    • dimension door 1/day
    • spell resistance
    • A save-or-die attack
    • no aging
    • permanent Tongues effect
    • turn into an outsider and gain damage reduction

    edit: oh, also, the bruiser doesn't get greater flurry

    This is a pretty beefy list of goods, especially the spell resistance, healing, and dimension door abilities. I cut these advantages in favour of making the class more of a generic front-line fighter.
    No Wisdom to AC
    Bad will save
    Freedom to multiclass

    Overall:
    Less ability score dependent (now only needs 3)
    Less ability spamming

    Since most of a monks AC dissapears when she is flat footed uncanny dodge is a really really good ability.
    Does it? In my experience monks often skimp on Dexterity in favour of Wisdom because Wisdom fuels their AC exactly as much as Dex does, but it also fuels abilities like Stunning Fist. Also, if you put your points into Wis instead of Dex, you don't lose your AC when you're flat-footed, which means that monks effectively have Uncanny Dodge anyway. Besides, being flat footed is not something that I notice makes a huge difference for monks. Not only do they often have combat reflexes, but nobody ever aims for the monk first when they could zap the barbarian with a Will save spell before he rages or smash the wizard before he can cast a spell. It's an advantage, but it's not a huge advantage.

    Shatering strike gets rid of another weakness of the class, DR.
    The standard monk quickly gains the ability to penetrate DR/magic, which covers most of everything including dragons, and eventually DR/adamantine which covers the other major DR creeps, golems. The only things that have any major resistance against monk DR-beating abilities are outsiders (except slaads). Still, when a monk gains the ability to pierce DR, he can pierce DR/5 or DR/50, so long as he can beat that type of DR. Shattering blow/lesser shattering strike are clearly inferior on that count. They beat all sorts of DR, but they either confine the bruiser to a standard action (i.e. no flurry of blows) or at higher levels only beat a quantity equal to half the bruiser's level. By the time you get the ability to simply ignore most (but not all) DR, you're at a level that DR really isn't a big issue anyway.

    It is less ability score dependent so they become more viable with pointbuy and without uber rolls. They can now duke it in melee and can also run away faster than their opponent. They are the rogue and wizards best friend(mobile meatshield/flank buddy).
    Yeah, that's the idea. Take away a lot of the extra stuff so that you have less walking through walls and caster-killing in favour of just hitting people with their fists. Viability without uber rolls is exactly one of the problems with the monk. You just can't make a good one using 25 point buy because you have to cover the physical stats plus at least one mental stat. The bruiser will be focused on the physical stats in the same way that the barbarian and fighter are, and will have fewer mystical tricks up his sleeve and fewer immunities.
    Last edited by Lonely Tylenol; Tuesday, 27th December, 2005 at 08:40 PM.
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