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the Pugilist Class
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the Pugilist Class

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Welcome to Christmas in July! For the rest of July, this digital title has been marked down by 25%! For more values, visit our Christmas in July sale page.

With nothing but their wits, will, and fists, pugilists lay it all on the table every time they’re in for a scrap. No strangers to adversity, pugilists can dish it out, take a licking and still keep coming back for more. A pugilist’s unbreakable spirit and talent for fisticuffs don’t come from rigorous training or high minded philosophies but are the hard won trophies of never backing down from a fight no matter the odds.

All pugilists belong to a Fight Club, an informal fraternity of brawlers with similar style, that shapes the way they fight. Fight Clubs included in the full version of the Pugilist class are: Arena Royale, Bloodhound Bruisers, Dog & Hound, Piss & Vinegar, the Squared Circle, and the Sweet Science. Whether you’re interested in playing an adventuring luchador, a boxer fighting the good fight, or a hard-nosed detective with a penchant for pugilism, these Fight Clubs have you covered!

What's New in the 2nd Anniversary Update?

June 2018 marks the Pugilist class' 2nd anniversary on the DM's Guild. We celebrated the occasion by making the following changes and additions to the Pugilist:

  • Minor quality of life changes to class features.
  • Major improvements and revisions of the fight clubs originally featured in the "Additional Fight Clubs" product.
  • The addition of a new fight club, Dog & Hound.
  • 14 new magical items (added to the 8 from last year's anniversary).

You can find a free trial version of the class here.

Our friend Emmet Byrne created a character sheet specifically for use with the Pugilist class. You can get that here.

Like the Pugilist class? You can find other Sterling Vermin products on DM's Guild!

 
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Reviews (9)
Discussions (63)
Customer avatar
Dylan W July 15, 2018 8:22 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Do you have a changelog for what's new in v3? I see that there are supposed to be "Minor quality of life changes to class features", but that is incredibly vague. Thanks
Customer avatar
Benjamin H July 15, 2018 10:34 pm UTC
CREATOR
Only changes to core class that weren't just tweaks to language were:

**Bloodied but Unbowed** is not a choice to trigger but takes a reaction. Previously it happened automatically with no action required. It's a net positive in most cases for the Pugilist.

**Herculean** the jump bonus changed from a multiplier to jump ranges to allowing you to make standing jumps as if they were running jumps. Purely a stylistic change, mechanical effect will be mixed depending on exact circumstances.

There is an upcoming change to **Haymaker** to clarify that the maximum damage applies only to fisticuff damage dice.
Customer avatar
Robert W July 12, 2018 10:19 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi,

Relatively new to the hobby (been playing just under a year) but having already purchased all the core rule-books I have recently been looking into home-brew content available on line and have been trying my hand at making some of my own and looking at your Pugilist I have to say it is one of the best examples of home-brew content I've seen yet.

I do though have a few notes/queries that I would just like to throw out there and hopefully they'll be useful to you, sorry in advance for the long comment:

1. I find it strange that 'Brace Up' has no duration especially as it means that the temporary hit points can carry over rests; the Brace Up feature is already arguably superior to the Monk equivalent 'Patient Defense' and I'm not sure it makes sense from an RP perspective either; if I were running the character in a game I think I would change the wording to;
"When you roll for initiative or as a Bonus action on a subsequent turn you can spend 1 moxie point to...See more
Customer avatar
Benjamin H July 12, 2018 11:41 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hey Robert,

First, welcome to the hobby and good luck on your journey of creating content. When I first got involved in the hobby (at age 11 or so), I couldn't wait to start making up my own stuff and it's obviously become a life long obsession! My responses will be brief but I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

1. Temporary hit points always go away during a long rest unless the feature you use explicitly says they don't. They also don't stack so if you gain new temporary hit points you have to choose to either take the new amount or keep the amount you have already.

2. I don't think the Pugilist could be balanced with an animal companion that acted on its own turn. The Pugilist is already VERY good about dealing damage. The Dog & Hound animal companion is significantly different from the Beast Master animal companion in that you can use a bonus action, rather than an action, to command it. I think that's the biggest issue with the Beast Master conclave....See more
Customer avatar
Robert W July 18, 2018 9:43 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi,

Thanks for responding to my comment, everything you said makes perfect sense.

And apologies but I think my 4th comment was predicated on the assumption that people would want to take the grappler feat at some point early in the game but having done a bit more research it seems that 'grappler' is basically obsolete any way. This is because you can simply shove a grappled creature prone anyway which gives advantage on subsequent attack roles against them and essentially does what the 'pin' feature of the 'grappler' feat does but much better. Because of this and the fact that the 'to the mat' feature allows you to knock an enemy prone as part of a grapple action it's really not worth investing in the grappler feat anyway.

I guess this means there is still some redundancy with the 17th level feature as it is so easy to get advantage anyway but one possible.way to solve that might be for the 'meatshield' feature only to work if the grappled creature isn't prone; this would...See more
Customer avatar
Darius V July 09, 2018 10:22 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hey, Benjamin nice update! I wanted to throw out two things.

1) The Haymaker still implies that you deal maximum damage with all forms of damage (Spells for example) when last you stated it was not supposed to, is it supposed to now?

2) One of my players has been using those brass knuckles for one of their characters and we made a magical set, feel free to take them. Though I just noticed these are called Brass Knuckles implying they are two-handed weapons, not just a singular Brass Knuckle, you may want to clarify if they are two-handed or not.

"Thoughts & Prayers"
"Rare, Requires Attunement"
"These immaculate steel brass knuckles shine brighter than the smiles of halflings. Thoughts deals an extra 1d6 psychic damage to any target it hits. Prayers deals an extra 1d6 radiant damage to any target it hits. When you make a death saving throw you can instead choose to treat the d20 roll as a 20 and can immediately stand up from prone,...See more
Customer avatar
Benjamin H July 09, 2018 10:45 pm UTC
CREATOR
1.) This is an issue of me being an idiot and not a design decision. I will correct this soon, probably in the next week to give time for any more corrections that need to be made. Haymakers only maximize the damage of weapon attacks.

2.) Thoughts & Prayers is great!
Customer avatar
Darius V July 09, 2018 11:19 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Cool! Quick clarification, does Iron Chin work on Mage Armor? I got a crazy idea for a Sorcerer/Pugilist with elemental brass knuckles.
Customer avatar
Benjamin H July 10, 2018 1:17 am UTC
CREATOR
Technically you can only ever use one alternative means of AC calculation but in the case of Mage Armor it doesn't break the game to let you use both. So officially no but just for consistency's sake, not for game balance's sake.
Customer avatar
Darius V July 10, 2018 2:48 am UTC
PURCHASER
Ah, dang that's okay Light armor works just fine as well. Thanks!
Customer avatar
Marc D July 19, 2018 6:18 am UTC
PURCHASER
It needs to be said that from a rules perspective, Iron Chin is not a means of AC calculation; examples of that would be Mage Armour, Unarmoured Defence etc. Instances of abilities that provide a formula as a means of calculating AC, rather Iron Chin provides the ability to substitute a different modifier within a range of different formulas available.

Technically, RAW, you could take a level of monk and have 10 + WisMod + ConMod as your AC. This obviously is not the intention based on your responses, but it can be persuasively argued that this is the case in a setting where the creator does not have a voice.

To quote the PHB (page 14.):
"Some spells and class features give you a different way to calculate your AC. If you have multiple features that give you different ways to calculate your AC, you choose which one to use."

You don't get to ship a copy of you or your intent with the class unfortunately, and I think it needs to be made explicitly clear that...See more
Customer avatar
Seth G July 09, 2018 7:37 pm UTC
Heya Benjamin, first of all, love the class. Can't wait to get some spare funds to buy the full thing!

Secondly, was looking over the new base fight clubs...and I have a question about how Knock Out works now. This is also something I wondered in the older version. So...say if you were currently in Haymaker mode. If you hit your Unarmed Attack during that time and declared you wanted to deliver a strike using the Knock Out feature...Would you still have maximized Damage?

Even though with the new Knock Out you don't deal traditional "damage", say a 17th Level PC were to invest 4 additional Moxie Points into the Knock Out, would you just do 3d12+8d12+17, which when maximized comes to a total of 149 Knock Out "damage"? Cus, if that were the case, the PC could potentially TKO an Elder Red Dragon if they bit their time a little. Which is fitting for what would essentially be equivalent to a Sweet Science Pugilist's 9th level Spell.

I don't know, this has just...See more
Customer avatar
Benjamin H July 09, 2018 8:01 pm UTC
CREATOR
There is no interaction between Haymaker and Knock Out since Knock Out does not roll damage.

If you downloaded the Pugilist when it was PWYW you should be able to go to your library and download the updated files without having to purchase this update.
Customer avatar
Vincent T July 07, 2018 6:50 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I've been itching for a brute, and my DM is allowing this class. I have one question, due to me being tired. Are whips and improvised weapons considered to be pugilist weapons, and thus will increase in damage as the class levels? I'm unclear if that's the case, or the excerpt is a simply a list of proficiencies.

"At 1st level...use unarmed strikes and pugilist weapons, which are simple melee weapons without the two-handed property, whips, and improvised weapons."
Customer avatar
Benjamin H July 08, 2018 3:48 am UTC
CREATOR
Those are all pugilist weapons and so the damage die will scale on all of them along with the die.
Customer avatar
Eugene S June 29, 2018 9:44 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Benjamin...I love this class. I'm currently playing it in a skypirate campaign and it is awesome.

So awesome you made 5.00 sale. I'm going to keep and eye on Sterling Vermin...you and your crew do excellent work.
Customer avatar
Benjamin H July 01, 2018 12:58 am UTC
CREATOR
Thanks for the kind words, Eugene! Be sure to check back for an update in the next week or so. I'll be doing an update for the Pugilist's (belated) birthday and it will include new magic items and a new archetype as well as some very minor QoL improvements to the class.
Customer avatar
Joseph E June 26, 2018 10:28 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Benjamin, I'm playing in a homebrew session and the DM is allowing me to play this class, can't wait! I do have a couple of issues though:

1: The class seems a little fragile for what it is. It seems like a d10 or d12 would be much more appropriate for an in-your-face class.
2: Unarmored/Armor proficiency: Seems like a Pugilist wouldn't be proficient with light armor, more just unarmored. To figure AC for this kind of class, I would go 10 + Str modifier + Con/Dex modifier.

Just started the first session, so I can't wait to get a little higher level and get to use Moxie points.
Customer avatar
Marc B June 29, 2018 12:24 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Joseph,

I've been playing a Lizardfolk Pugilist in my current campaign, and not too long ago I reached 5th level. And I can say with confidence that you're wrong on both of those. Allow me to explain:

1: It's true that a d8 seems quite low for what is without a doubt a frontline fighter. However, as you reach 2nd level, you get access to Brace Up. The phrase "Oh no, my temporary hitpoints!" regularly draws a sigh from my DM. With a decent Constitution score you can easily double, if not triple the amount of total 'hitpoints' you have. Use your moxie points wisely, and you can and will be the last man standing.

2: At 1st level, you get the Iron Chin feature. This allows you to replace your DEX modifier with your CON modifier in any armor calculation so long as you wear light or no armor, and are not using a shield. Having a set of studded leather armor on would net you 12+DEX, which becomes 12+CON for you as a Pugilist. That maxes out at 17 with a +5 to CON, which...See more
Customer avatar
Katelin G June 16, 2018 3:51 am UTC
PURCHASER
Would you consider releasing a version of this class in which moxie points are regained as they were in the first edition but with the second edition abilities? Would you suggest playing version 2.0 but just swapping out the moxie regen ability with the original? That's one of the things that makes this class interesting imo since a lot of it's focus seems to be taking damage or disadvantage in order to hit back harder.
Customer avatar
Benjamin H June 16, 2018 8:01 pm UTC
CREATOR
For the sake of keeping things not confusing for people who follow the Pugilist class more casually I would probably not consider releasing a variation. I think you'd be fine using the first version's moxie regeneration with the second version's features. That said, the post-anniversary Pugilist still has that theme it just triggers once off of Bloodied but Unbowed rather than than (potentially) once per hit.
Customer avatar
Scratch M June 13, 2018 4:09 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hello Ben, finally able to build my pugilist that I am VERY excited to make but...are Pugilists proficient in unarmed strikes? It seems implied but doesn't seem to be directly stated RAW in the document.
Customer avatar
Benjamin H June 16, 2018 12:22 am UTC
CREATOR
Jeremy Crawford has clarified on Twitter that ALL creatures (or at least all player characters) are proficient with unarmed strikes.
Customer avatar
Matthew P June 10, 2018 1:40 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Ben, I have a quick question. I am about to run this class in a new campaign and I cannot wait. However there is one question Re: Moxie I had. It states "When an enemy creature deals damage to you that causes you to lose hit points equal to half your level or higher (not temporary hit points) you gain 1 moxie point, up to your maximum."

Therefore are you saying if a Level 4 pugilist took 2 damage, he reagains a moxie point, if he took a further two damage then he will also regain another moxie point if he is not at maximum?
That is how I understand it but I wanted to be sure before I start the game.
Customer avatar
Matthew P June 10, 2018 2:04 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Also does this mean that I have to take EXACT damage or is it any damage higher than my level halfed?
Customer avatar
Benjamin H June 10, 2018 11:51 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Matthew,

With the older version, whenever you took damage if that damage was equal or greater than half your level, you gained 1 moxie point (and only 1 moxie point). As of the Pugilist 2.0 (last year's anniversary), you do not regain moxie on taking damage in this way. Instead, when you are reduced to half your maximum hit points or less you regain all expended moxie points and gain temporary hit points. You regain the use of that feature after you complete a short or long rest.

There will be one minor change coming to that feature in the next two to four weeks but it pretty much continues to work like that.

Thanks,

Benjamin
Customer avatar
Matthew P June 11, 2018 2:05 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Ah I think I might be reading off an older version (v1.3) I take it v2.0 is available
Customer avatar
Benjamin H June 16, 2018 12:23 am UTC
CREATOR
It is, yes...and 3.0 is coming shortly (but the core class is almost untouched).
Customer avatar
André N June 09, 2018 7:35 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I had great fun with this class. Made a half orc wrestler and it was a blast!
Customer avatar
June 08, 2018 2:21 am UTC
PURCHASER
so, does anyone have a cool multiclass idea using this class?
Customer avatar
Benjamin H June 10, 2018 11:52 pm UTC
CREATOR
People love multiclassing the Pugilist with Barbarian.
Customer avatar
Darius V June 11, 2018 8:09 am UTC
PURCHASER
Maybe a Hexblade Warlock? You can have some spellcasting, CON armor with CHA weapons? The idea of a person running into a set of sentient brass knuckles sounds fun in theory.
Customer avatar
Aaron R May 09, 2018 11:58 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Is there supposed to be a duration on Brace Up? Otherwise, I'm not seeing anything to stop someone from using it first thing in the morning then taking a quick short rest to replenish the Moxie before starting the day proper.
Customer avatar
Benjamin H May 20, 2018 8:19 pm UTC
CREATOR
There is not. If your party has the time to spend an extra hour short resting after completing a long rest, your pugilist could get away with this. I haven't seen it happen in any of my campaigns or heard about that as an issue in others though.
Customer avatar
Matthew N April 20, 2018 3:19 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Question- Haymakers can't be used to maximise the result of the Knock Out feature, correct? I'm guessing so, since the rolls from Knock Out aren't used for damage.
Customer avatar
Benjamin H May 20, 2018 8:18 pm UTC
CREATOR
That is correct.
Customer avatar
Long P April 14, 2018 12:33 am UTC
PURCHASER
Great and fun, except for 1 problem that honestly should be fixed and that is in the Squared Circle Fight Club, the Groundwork Feature has an option called "Quick Pin" which basically allows you to expend 1 Moxie point to make a Grapple check rather than an Attack of Opportunity. This option is completely useless because a Grapple can be used to replace an attack. In other words, you're normally able to Grapple instead of making an attack as an Attack of Opportunity anyways, without need to expend anything.
Customer avatar
Noelle P April 14, 2018 10:34 pm UTC
PURCHASER
incorrect, you can only replace attacks with a grapple if that attack is made using the attack action. You can't normally do that on a reaction.
Customer avatar
Nikolas T April 10, 2018 2:08 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Pretty fun class :) D&D needed a nice unarmed class, I love most ideas in here.
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This title was added to our catalog on June 06, 2016.