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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.

And you can read our guide to creating your own Fight Clubs for the Pugilist at our blog, the Sterling Vermin Adventuring Co.

If you enjoy the Pugilist, you might also like:

Or grab them all in the Sterling Vermin Adventuring Co. Anthology!

 
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Reviews (8)
Discussions (50)
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
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
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.
Customer avatar
David S December 05, 2017 3:50 pm UTC
PURCHASER
If a pugilist throws a pugilist weapon (dagger, improvised weapon, anything with a damage die lower than the Fisticuffs feature) do they deal the weapon's damage die, or the Fisticuffs die? I didn't see anything specifying that pugilist weapons must be used in melee, so I'm assuming Fisticuffs, but thought I'd find out for sure anyway.
Customer avatar
Benjamin H March 25, 2018 11:42 pm UTC
CREATOR
You can choose to deal the normal damage die or the fisticuffs damage die with attacks made with thrown pugilist weapons.
Customer avatar
braden M November 19, 2017 9:51 am UTC
PURCHASER
what happens to unarmed attacks if i start crossing this class with a monk OR use tavern brawler. do i pick which class's unarmed strike i wish to use or do i bump the dice up a lvl from say 1d6 to a 1d8?
Customer avatar
Benjamin H March 25, 2018 11:41 pm UTC
CREATOR
You would pick whichever unarmed damage die you want (I assume the highest) and use that. So you would look at your Monk level, Pugilist level, and your Tavern Master feat and decide to use the unarmed damage die of one of those options. They don't interact in any way.
Customer avatar
Cody T November 08, 2017 8:54 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Iif your attacks are getting extra damage (for example a racial trait adding 1d4 poison damage to unarmed attacks) would that damage be maximized by using haymaker?
Customer avatar
Connor F March 09, 2018 7:32 pm UTC
PURCHASER
The way its worded I believe so
Customer avatar
Benjamin H March 25, 2018 11:40 pm UTC
CREATOR
Connor F is correct, all damage dice are maximized.
Customer avatar
Daniel G October 27, 2017 1:21 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hey, Ben!

Love the class, playing it currently. The Heavyweight feature under The Squared Circle, does the "size increase" for the purpose of grappling include when other creatures grapple myself? As in, if an effect is "grapple a medium or smaller creature" would it be able to affect me?

Thank you!
Customer avatar
William C September 18, 2017 5:45 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hey, Ben!
I recently started a campaign playing as you Pugilist class, but I am playing version one.
Is there a place where I can get a copy of the version one PDF? My DM would like an in paper copy of the class, and I only seem to be able to find the version two.
Thank you, And I love the class.
Will
Customer avatar
Benjamin H September 23, 2017 3:56 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi William,

To prevent confusion the version 1 has been removed so it no longer exists and the rules of DM's Guild prevent me from sharing content previously featured on the site. The changes were minimal but primarily it just changed from moxie regenerating all at once one time to bit by bit (each time the Pugilist took 1/2 their level in hit points).
Customer avatar
Cody T September 18, 2017 3:29 am UTC
PURCHASER
how would you suggest altering the street smart feature for a lawful good character so they dont have to go carousing?
Customer avatar
Benjamin H September 23, 2017 3:57 am UTC
CREATOR
I can't see anything about carousing that a lawful good creature couldn't do. Drinking and partying isn't inherently chaotic or evil unless you live in a place that outlaws drinking, dancing, or any other kind of carrying on. Anything that fits the pugilist's theme of underdog / common man would be a good replacement behavior though.
Customer avatar
Cody T September 23, 2017 4:37 am UTC
PURCHASER
I'm thinking paladin/cleric lawful good. A paladin or cleric wouldn't engage in vices like gambling and excessive drinking, or do anything that could get them arrested which can happen while carousing.
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on June 06, 2016.