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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, Hand of Dread, 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 Adamantine Update?

June 2019 marks the Pugilist class' 3rd anniversary on the DM's Guild. We celebrated the occasion by adding new content to the Pugilist:

  • New background prompts and personaltiy quirks to help you build your next Pugilist character.
  • A new fight club, the Hand of Dread.

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 (17)
Discussions (101)
Customer avatar
Nick D August 10, 2019 5:04 am UTC
PURCHASER
Been playing the class for a few months now, absolutely having a ball with it. Just hit level 5 last session, just wanted to clarify something on Haymakers. Where it says you make all weapon attack rolls with disadvantage, does this also include unarmed strikes?
Customer avatar
Steven C August 10, 2019 3:49 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Yes. Wouldn't be a very good trade off if you didn't actually suffer a negative effect. For the most part I end up using it only when I have advantage, then it's just a normal attack roll.
Customer avatar
Benjamin H August 10, 2019 6:03 pm UTC
CREATOR
Yes, it includes unarmed strikes.
Customer avatar
Logan B August 07, 2019 6:45 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Does the Squared Circle have a modified grapple? Since they are a ground specialist or is it the normal grapple?
Customer avatar
Steven C August 10, 2019 3:52 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Why would they need modified grapple? Is there some limitation of the normal grapple you don't like?
Customer avatar
Benjamin H August 10, 2019 6:05 pm UTC
CREATOR
Most of their features modify grappling in some way. Other than the ways those features explicitly state, no.
Customer avatar
Dan H July 24, 2019 5:35 am UTC
PURCHASER
Man do I love this class, and the new subclasses just make it better and better. It's actually kind of funny how I was thinking up a custom subclass to give them Warlock, pact-based powers and suddenly I don't have to! Absolutely love this. Maybe next up you can think of a Captain America shield-bearer type of Pugilist? Or maybe something more along the druidic lines? Partial Wild Shaper who transforms portions of their body for animal-like abilities? Hell, maybe a proper 'Penitent Pummeler' whose Paladin-like powers let them wrestle Fiends into submission? I can't wait to see how much more this class can evolve, and look forward to continue allowing it in my own home games.
Customer avatar
Steven T July 15, 2019 6:37 pm UTC
I don't understand why people would play Monk if the Pugilist is a thing. The unarmed damage and Unarmored defense is just better for Pugilist than Monk's
Customer avatar
Benjamin H July 16, 2019 11:00 pm UTC
CREATOR
Stunning Strikes is probably the single most powerful feature in 5e. In exchange for not being able to stun an enemy 20 times per short rest, the Pugilist deals am average of +1 damage per hit over the Monk.

I have no idea what you mean about Iron Chin v Unarmored Defense since the later is going to always be equal to or higher.
Customer avatar
David F June 26, 2019 2:03 pm UTC
PURCHASER
For Deal with the Devil, are you using pugilist level for the prerequisites of certain invocations or does it only get to choose ones that don't have level prerequisites?
Customer avatar
C… S June 27, 2019 5:30 am UTC
PURCHASER
Also, does the Tomb of Levistus invocation count your pugilist level rather than warlock level? (I'd assume so, but you should specify in the text)
Also also, you need to define the spell save DC for Mask of Many Faces and Misty Visions.
Customer avatar
Benjamin H July 16, 2019 10:56 pm UTC
CREATOR
Your Pugilist level counts for the prerequisites.

And thanks for those other pointers - when this gets revised I will address those issues.
Customer avatar
Lee P June 22, 2019 4:59 pm UTC
For anyone still curious about AC calculations and balance, I am using the free preview and I'm testing out this for one of my NPCs and seeing how it feels.

Iron Chin
Beginning at 1st level, while you are wearing no armor and not wielding a shield, your AC equals 10 your Dexterity Modifier + Constitution modifier + Wisdom modifier.

The way I see it is the Con modifier represents hits taken (like armor), Dex equals your ability to dodge, and Wisdom is your ability to anticipate what your opponent will do. It is a bit MAD so it shouldn't be too high, but should scale into higher levels.
Customer avatar
Robert W June 24, 2019 2:06 pm UTC
PURCHASER
That is insanely OP; as Iron Chin stands it allows a maximum of AC 17 without magic items. Your proposed change would give it a theoretical maximum of 25 without magic items. For comparison the Barb and Monk have max. AC 20 with their Unarmoured Defence features and even a Fighter with plate armour, shield and armoured fighting style only gets to 21. If you were to make a change to the ability I would change it to 10+Dex+Con; same as a Barbarian. Adding Wis into the mix doesn't really make sense.
Customer avatar
Benjamin H June 24, 2019 7:21 pm UTC
CREATOR
Robert is right that this AC change would be pretty far out of balance with existing 5e features. Secondarily, it goes against the themes of the Pugilist class. If you are finding the class is struggling to stay up in a fight, consider increasing it's hit die before increasing it's AC. The Pugilist gains power from taking damage so, ultimately, you really don't want people missing a bunch of attacks against you.
Customer avatar
Steven T July 15, 2019 6:39 pm UTC
The actual ability states it lets you replace Dex mods (for light armor and other things) with Con
Customer avatar
Lee P July 27, 2019 6:04 pm UTC
"wearing no armor and not wielding a shield" Assuming someone maxes both Dex and Con to their max of 20, gaining +5 to both, my math shows that would max out at 20, 22 if you use bracers of defense. Where are you getting a maximum of 25? And how would someone max both Dex and Con when they also need Strength for this being a pugilist?

When I did the math it didn't change that much?
Customer avatar
Benjamin H July 28, 2019 11:28 pm UTC
CREATOR
Maybe you didn't mean to, Lee, but your original post suggested you were changing the AC calculation to 10 + Dexterity modifier + Constitution modifier + Wisdom modifier (which would create a possible max AC of 25).
Customer avatar
finn D June 03, 2019 11:01 am UTC
PURCHASER
hey just a quick question:

With float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Do you get a moxie point, when you reduce the attack to 0 and when you hit the creature with the following attack for a total of 2 points or (the one I assume is correct) get 1 when you have succesfully done both?
If it's the second one, what situation would the "(up to your maximum)" be relevant for, because you'll always use 2 moxie points and only regain 1.

Sorry if it's nitpicky, was just curious if I am not using the class as it is intended to.
Customer avatar
Benjamin H June 03, 2019 11:59 pm UTC
CREATOR
The one you assume is correct is correct.

As for the "up to your maximum" language, unless something really strange happens it's probably not going to come up. I guess if the creature was able to attack you back when you made the unarmed strike and deal damage to you (or you take damage from hitting it, possibly because it's on fire or something) triggering your Bloodied But Unbowed feature then it's possible it would be relevant.
Customer avatar
David F June 15, 2019 10:53 am UTC
PURCHASER
Even then I believe both take reactions to use so you wouldn't be able to use Bloodied but Unbowed from the conditional damage of say punching a creature with heated body.
Customer avatar
Jonathan K May 28, 2019 2:40 am UTC
PURCHASER
Question about grapple to prone like with club feature "To the Matt"
Would this then make myself prone also? My DM is calling that if I ever take someone prone then I am also prone but i feel this isn't right. (other than the DM is always right...)
Customer avatar
Jonathan K May 28, 2019 3:19 am UTC
PURCHASER
If I am prone for the action this is fine but would I be able to hold them prone after standing. ie foot on back, choke-hold, arm bar, a little something something.
Customer avatar
Benjamin H May 28, 2019 3:04 pm UTC
CREATOR
That is your DM's house rule and not how pushing someone prone works for the Pugilist specifically or in 5e generally.
Customer avatar
Jonathan K May 29, 2019 12:19 am UTC
PURCHASER
He is open to discussion I just cant find any material on this subject out there. Can you offer some insight to how you think it should be working? Using the 5E The Grappler's Manual as a reference but it does not cover this question.
Customer avatar
Steven C May 29, 2019 1:56 am UTC
PURCHASER
You're clothes lining them. You have to remember, that fight club is essentially WWE. The enemy bouces off the ropes back at you, you Dodge and clothes line them and they hit the ground. You don't also go down when you clothes line someone
Customer avatar
Jonathan K May 29, 2019 2:11 am UTC
PURCHASER
someone just sent me this too. which is very helpful!
https://www.sageadvice.eu/2016/09/14/does-grappling-a-prone-target-make-you-prone/
You might ask "But if I'm wrestling them doesn't that mean I'm all on the ground hugging the creature?" and the answer is no. To visualize with the way the rules are, you're basically just constantly moving around and keeping them on the ground, off balance, and pressing them down where you can. It's an active activity. Well, I'm no wrestler but you could look up some wrestling videos to see how wrestlers maintain control without going prone themselves.
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
PURCHASER
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!
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This title was added to our catalog on June 06, 2016.