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the Pugilist Class
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the Pugilist Class

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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. Pugilists in the Squared Circle are skilled at grapples and take downs, immobilizing and controlling even those opponents that tower over them. Pugilists in the Sweet Science learn to keep their fists up and punish their opponents attacks with cross counters and solid hits that will knock them flat.

The Pugilist is a new class for D&D 5e. You can find additional Fight Clubs from the Sterling Vermin Adventuring Co. 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 (56)
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.
Customer avatar
phillip M March 19, 2018 3:41 am UTC
the problem i have had with my dm with this class is that its unclear if when you use the squared circle move where you prone them its unclear whether you are prone or just the creature.
Customer avatar
Noelle P April 14, 2018 10:47 pm UTC
PURCHASER
There's nothing there to suggest that you would go prone.
The "Also" means that the target is grappled and *also* prone.

Your GM probably played some other edition of D&D where there was a rule saying that during a grapple, the grappler and the target are both considered grappled.
Customer avatar
Brandel P March 19, 2018 1:43 am UTC
PURCHASER
I love this class and really want to play it at some point in the future. And wanted to go for Sweet Science but don’t know how I feel about One, Two, Three, Floor, like some others on here. I also really see why this would need to take an extra Moxie point. Way of the Open Hand monk only has to hit once to force a save that knocks someone prone. And that still leaves the possibility of another attack.

Maybe it could be something like getting two extra attacks, for 1 moxie and the second attack does the knock down with no/low damage. Or maybe something like if the first two attacks hit then the Pugilist gets a third attack against the same target, with no cost.

Also, the pointless version could add a 4th attack if all hit at higher levels. Or that 4th is the prone attack. Just some thoughts on it.

Again love the class and really wanna try it out myself.
Customer avatar
nhan V April 18, 2018 10:37 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Although it has nice flavor the Sweet Science is easily the weaker of the two subclasses but stronger than the new subclasses he put out for Pugilist. If the ability was altered to knock the opponent prone on the first hit then it would be much better.
Customer avatar
Scott C March 05, 2018 12:43 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Not sure if anyone's asked this, but do you think it would be overpowered or otherwise problematic to use a monk subclass for the pugilist, considering their abilities line up, at least in regard to leveling. More specifically looking to do Pugilist with the shadow monk subclass.
Customer avatar
Benjamin H March 25, 2018 11:50 pm UTC
CREATOR
I can't make a blanket statement but I think you'd be fine to use the Way of Shadow archetype features as the archetype features for a Pugilist. Would be good as a Hitman Fight Club!
Customer avatar
Thomas B January 19, 2018 1:58 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Love this class, but I have one question. Is the Squared Circle subclass slightly overpowered, with the ability to grapple and knock prone for a bonus action? Particularly when combined with haymakers, you can cancel out the disadvantage? A pugilist can grapple, knock down, and badly pummel a target in a single round at the cost of one moxie. This is very powerful, especially since it's effectively impossible for the opponent to get back up after being knocked down and grappled.
Customer avatar
jon S June 19, 2018 1:28 am UTC
PURCHASER
the general rule with moxie/ki is that 1 extra attack = one moxie (Flurry of blows/old one-two), "to the mat" effectively gives a single a single extra attack for the cost of a moxie.

here's the break down:
level 2-5:
without moxie: attack + bonus action attack, 1 attack + bonus action grapple, or (if your DM is lenient on the wording of fistcuffs) 1 shove + bonus action grapple
so, spending one moxie gives you the ability to grapple, prone and hit. If youre DM doesnt allow shove to count towards the bonus action grab, then yes, To the mat is a little better... until level 5.

At level 5, it still the same, 1 moxie to give 1 extra attack. so, youre looking at either grapple, prone and an attack without moxie, or grapple, prone and 2 attacks with moxie.
the best thing about "to the mat" is the single check for grab and prone, and not really because its that strong, it just streamlines play a little, which is nice. as good as one check...See more
Customer avatar
Alexander B January 18, 2018 3:08 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Excuse me, but can you explain the purpose of the "One, Two, Three, Floor" feature? It would seem your 5th and final attack's only function is to knock the creature prone at the cost of 1 moxie point. That would be useful, but it comes at a point where you've already exhausted your action economy - you've used the Attack action and your bonus action on The Old One-Two, so you can't take advantage of the prone condition until your next turn, when the creature has already taken its turn and stood up, in all likelihood. You might say that it gives advantage to your party, but even so, wouldn't it be painful for ranged party members who would then have disadvantage on attacks vs that target? I'm wondering if there's something I'm missing.
Customer avatar
LUIZ C. P January 09, 2018 5:32 am UTC
PURCHASER
Ok, im just wondering why would you make Fighting Spirit to be such a disturbing skill? It has a difficult trigger and is not really that useful when you cannot move because of the exaustion, you gain a level of it immediately after use, which doesn't make sense at all. The effect is not especially good either to justify the cons of the skill, which just made me dissapointed, as i liked Prizefighter a lot more and would be more inclined to use even a weaker version of it than Fighting Spirit. Could you explain to me your line of thought?
Customer avatar
Levi A January 10, 2018 11:48 am UTC
PURCHASER
Heyo, not sure if you misread the feature, but it triggers with 4 or anything less levels if exhaustion. So it's a once a LR relentless endurance, but with better healing and some moxie refresh. It's made to prevent you from dying due to 6 levels of exhaustion, but not block off an entire feature because of exhaustion levels.
Customer avatar
Darius V December 20, 2017 12:18 am UTC
PURCHASER
So Benjamin I'm curious, you probably get this question a lot about this class, but I'm having trouble finding a response.

What makes this class different (mechanically) from a Barbarian/Rogue with reflavored daggers or shortswords, or a Monk who is strength based? The Barbarogue can grapple better, be more mobile, have more HP, tank better, and deal more damage. While the Monk who has strength can be reflavored to match up to a brawler type character even with the lower AC. What makes them unique in comparison/ what gap does this class fill?
Customer avatar
Benjamin H March 25, 2018 11:54 pm UTC
CREATOR
That's a super hard question to answer because I'd mostly have to regurgitate all the mechanics of the class to answer. I wrote the class for players to easily play a fictional archetype that wasn't currently well represented or executed in 5th edition. There are a few features in the class I think are fairly innovative: Bloodied but Unbowed, Haymaker, Down but Not Out, Fighting Spirit, and Peak Physical Condition.
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on June 06, 2016.