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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. 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 (16)
Discussions (93)
Customer avatar
Bartholomew F May 19, 2019 10:54 pm UTC
I've been loving Pugilist, amazingly well balanced.
Question about Street Smart. Is it intended to let you go without sleep?
Customer avatar
Benjamin H May 20, 2019 1:29 am UTC
CREATOR
No. D&D is kind of weird about resting and sleep. You have to sleep unless you have a trait or feature that says otherwise or else you'll start accruing exhaustion. Something being considered "light activity" just means you can do it as part of a short or long rest. You might be able to skip sleep for a night but push it past that and there will be consequences (or, at least, I believe the designers intend there to be - it's not clearly spelled out that I'm aware of).
Customer avatar
Dan H May 15, 2019 3:55 pm UTC
Hi, i absolutely love this class, seems very cool!

I have a question regarding the final ability in the Sweet Science fight club. When it knocks someone out, are they considered to be at 0 HP? If not, what would bring them out of their unconsciousness?
Customer avatar
William S May 04, 2019 3:47 am UTC
question in regards to fisticuffs
do you add a proficency and/or an ability mod?
or is that canceled out by the fact that you can do two things by using your bonus action, those being grappling or attacking again with an unarmed strike
just curious
love the class by the way
Customer avatar
David F May 06, 2019 3:31 pm UTC
It augments the damage die of your unarmed attacks and anything marked as a pugilist weapon. You are already proficient in the use of those weapons as well as with making unarmed attacks so you would get Prof+ability mod to hit and ability mod to damage same as normal.
Customer avatar
Austin S April 28, 2019 4:08 pm UTC
PURCHASER
So I just started playing this class and I like it. But I wanted to ask why are the moxie points are so less then ki points? Monk has 20 Pugilist as only 12? I'm just wondering the reason
Customer avatar
Grant K April 28, 2019 5:02 pm UTC
PURCHASER
One of the later features lets you recover all of your moxie points. Effectively, you have around 24 near 20th level when using that feature. So, it actually has more, when you think of it like that.
Customer avatar
Austin S April 29, 2019 12:09 am UTC
PURCHASER
Sorry which feature?I know fighting spirit at 18th level gives you recovery of half your points but you said full recovery and I'm not seeing it.
Customer avatar
Steven C April 29, 2019 12:26 am UTC
PURCHASER
Level 3. Bloodied But Unbowed.
Customer avatar
Austin S April 29, 2019 12:32 am UTC
PURCHASER
Damn I'm blind thank you
Customer avatar
Matt S April 22, 2019 12:31 am UTC
PURCHASER
So when using say brass knuckles, as not a pugilist I can replace the normal 1 dmg with the weapon dmg? And if I am using on as a pugilist then I would just be rolling my fisticuffs dmg instead? The only added benefit of the weapons are if they have magical properties and the dmg types?
Customer avatar
Benjamin H April 22, 2019 5:38 am UTC
CREATOR
That is correct.
Customer avatar
Michael G April 19, 2019 5:07 am UTC
PURCHASER
So I had another idea on how to improve the Pugilist's AC. I thought about making the improvement a feature.

<Bob & Weave- at 8th level, you may now add your Dexterity modifier(minimum +1) to your Iron Chin AC calculation. Your AC now equals 12+your CON mod+your DEX mod(minimum +1).>

With this, you get a little more AC even if you don't have the stats.
Customer avatar
C… S April 20, 2019 4:05 am UTC
PURCHASER
That's a strictly better version of the Barbarian's Unarmored Defense, though. =T
Customer avatar
Erik J April 15, 2019 6:20 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hey, love the class myself but got a couple quick questions re: the XXX and Vinegar subclass. Firstly, Salty Salute, this no longer requires a moxie point to use? It's just a bonus action I can take as often as I like without requiring short rest/long rest, etc? Seems really strong! Secondly, the 6th level dirty tricks allow you to get bonus effects and you GAIN a moxie point? You don't spend any moxie to use them? Just want to double check again, I see at least in those instances it would require a SR/LR before using again but just making sure.

Thanks!
Customer avatar
Benjamin H April 16, 2019 3:53 am UTC
CREATOR
Salty Salute no longer requires a moxie point. This is because the Pugilist class already relies on having a high Strength and Constitution so your Charisma has to share priority with those abilities. If it also cost a moxie I think cost-benefit-wise it would not shake out to ever be worth using.

Dirty Tricks give you moxie if the creature fails its saving throw and suffers its effects. This is a mechanics way of showing the XXX & Vinegar theme of relying on (and relishing) dirty fighting.
Customer avatar
Erik J April 16, 2019 2:06 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Awesome, thanks for the clarification!
Customer avatar
Danielle J April 11, 2019 10:41 am UTC
PURCHASER
So Ive been playing this class as a guest in one of my friend's game and let me just say that I am obsessed with it! Amazing work! Do you think youll be setting up this class in DnD beyond as well?
Customer avatar
Benjamin H April 11, 2019 10:54 pm UTC
CREATOR
Really glad you like it! DnD Beyond has expressed an interest in publishing the Pugilist class but I have not heard from them in quite some time. I know they were keen to introduce it alongside some other curated classes. I recommended letting them know you're interested in the class being available there!
Customer avatar
Łukasz M April 10, 2019 4:31 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I couldn't really play it yet, but this does seem like one of the most fun brawler type classes, especially XXX and Vinegar.
It's good that your hound can attack as your bonus action, and not your action in Dog And Hound. Overall I'd say money well spent, can't wait to play this one
Customer avatar
Chris W April 04, 2019 8:58 am UTC
PURCHASER
Awesome homebrew. Really appreciate your hard work. Only issue I have is the AC. If you had left Pugilist as a general class, the Iron Chin feature would be perfect. You added a Sweet Science subclass, though. That subset should factor in Dex. I understand you can't touch upon every nuance but "hit and don't get hit" is boxing 101. "Speed kills" is another tenet of boxing. I mean jumping rope is probably the most well-known boxing workout with the possible exception of roadwork. Won't count mitt and bag work. Hard to live those principles when Dex is a secondary stat. Just my two cents. Awesome job overall, though. I really love every supplement I've read from you.
Customer avatar
James H April 01, 2019 2:39 am UTC
PURCHASER
The charisma dependency for XXX & Vinegar seems very harsh. I can’t think of any other class that has the same level of MAD to function.
Customer avatar
Thomas V March 26, 2019 3:57 pm UTC
PURCHASER
okay being that your armor class is your con and not your dex then what does that mean the pugilist doesn't Dodge very well or isn't that nimble. Would that mean you take disadvantage on your dex saving throws when you're trying to dodge something
Customer avatar
Benjamin H April 16, 2019 3:58 am UTC
CREATOR
Disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws would be a very unbalancing nerf for this class. Pugilist's can use normal AC calculations, as anyone with an AC alternative feature can, but they can also use Iron Chin. If they choose to use Iron Chin, it represents their ability to take physical punishment and keep going rather than just dodge it.
Customer avatar
Evan H March 19, 2019 8:45 am UTC
PURCHASER
I'm getting ready to play this in an upcoming campaign, and I was reading over the different Fight Clubs. While reading over the Sweet Science, I noticed their features have a higher cost than average. I'm interested in the decision to make Cross Counter take 2 Moxie, when it functions nearly identically to the Monk Deflect Missiles, but for melee attacks.
Customer avatar
Benjamin H April 16, 2019 3:59 am UTC
CREATOR
The feedback that feature received in development was that melee attacks are much more common than missile attacks, making this ability significantly more useful. In the end, I agreed and increased the cost.
Customer avatar
Edward J February 16, 2019 5:02 pm UTC
I have a question with regards to Iron Chin. It says that your AC while unarmoured or lightly armoured is 12+CON: am I reading this correctly in thinking that your AC would be the same without armour as it would be with light armour (not accounting for magic armour, of course)? Just so I'm sure I'm understanding it correctly.
Customer avatar
Benjamin H February 19, 2019 5:33 pm UTC
CREATOR
You are correct.
Customer avatar
C… S February 20, 2019 5:29 am UTC
PURCHASER
@Benjamin H: Hi, could I please get an answer on why the Squared Circle's grapple expertise was removed?
Customer avatar
C… S February 12, 2019 7:25 am UTC
PURCHASER
Why did you get rid of the grapple expertise in the Groundwork feature? Now I'll have to multiclass, so I need 13 Dex or Cha *grumble*
By the way, the Mage Mashers should probably include the Innate Spellcasting trait as well as Spellcasting and Pact Magic.
Customer avatar
Benjamin H February 22, 2019 4:27 am UTC
CREATOR
The grapple expertise was removed because the subclass was rightly criticized as having all the pieces in place to be the best grappler in the game with no additional effort. I felt like it was worth it to keep *To the Mat* and *Compression Lock* in as is to slightly nerf the passive benefits. So that's what I did.

Great note on the Mage Mashers!
Customer avatar
C… S February 23, 2019 7:23 am UTC
PURCHASER
…Should it not be the best grappler? I thought that was the point of the subclass.
Do you mean that other classes were taking a 3-level dip for it or summat? If so, why not just push it back a few levels =S
Customer avatar
Benjamin H April 16, 2019 4:00 am UTC
CREATOR
It should be, and I think it still is, the best grappler.
Customer avatar
Wheelercub L February 05, 2019 10:02 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I like what I see for the most part. Though I am curious why the damage is 1 die step higher than the "expert martial artist" Monk? Seems odd to me that a Fisticuffs brawler can dish out more damage than someone with honed skills in ancient martial precision. If anything, the damage progression should mimic the Monk's.

I love that they are Improvised Weapons masters, being able to deal additional damage with them. But I think there should be more Moxie options in the core class. Or at least give a certain number of choices. Here are some ideas I grabbed from another Pugilist version I found online.

* Body Slam - You spend one Moxie when you make an Attack action to lift a creature your size or one size smaller and slam them into the ground with you on top. If the Attack is successful, you roll your Fisticuffs die for damage and you and the creature are both prone. The target creature must make a Constitution saving throw or also be stunned for one round. You may not be wielding...See more
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on June 06, 2016.