Brawler (3.5e Class)

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They have us surrounded? Those poor sods.
—Torrun Stoneshoulder, as a horde of orcs charged his party

A Brawler is a hand-to-hand fighter that excels in one-on-one duels. A strong point about this class is that Brawlers can deal high damage and incapacitate opponents. Their main drawbacks are lack of ranged attacks, and very limited weapon proficiency.

Making a Brawler[edit]

Brawlers are the masters of hand-to-hand combat. They are always ready to throw down, and will fight to protect their honor. The most common place you will find a Brawler is in the ring at the local tavern; and if they aren't talking with their fists, they are talking about what their fists said earlier that day! When two Brawlers engage in a battle, they fight until one of them either gives up or is unconscious. Brawlers will never kill each other (if they can help it) because the humiliation of defeat is worse than death.

Adventures: Some Brawlers are perfectly content to stay in their hometown pub; however, some cannot resist the lure of adventure. After all, facing greater foes means getting stronger, and getting stronger means facing greater foes. Besides, why would you choose to simply live your life when you could fight for it instead?

Characteristics: Brawlers are boisterous and gregarious. They are often well-liked (especially by those of the opposite sex) however, being on a Brawler's good side can be just as dangerous as being on her bad side, and the reason is simple. To a Brawler, the greatest compliment she can give is the same as the greatest insult: to drag you into the ring and show you how tough she thinks you really are.

Alignment: While most Brawlers lean toward Chaotic Neutral or Neutral Good, they can be any non-Lawful alignment. They respect the rules of the ring, but their love of brew, battle, and bosoms often get the best of them. Evil Brawlers exist, but they are rare, as no songs are sung about those who break the rules of the ring.

Religion: Brawlers venerate Kord, but they can appreciate any deities who give praise to athletes.

Races: Dwarves are the most likely to take the path of the Brawler because they already have a love of drinking. Half-Orcs might step into the ring to prove their worth in battle. Rowdier Humans find appeal in the rush of battle and camaraderie of other Brawlers.

Other Classes: Brawlers get along well with any martial class, whom they consider brethren. Bards also get along with Brawlers, as they share a love of revelry and drinking. Brawlers tend to view Wizards (especially Evokers) as cowards. On the other hand, they do get along well with enchanters and healers: Anyone that can help them fighter harder for longer.

Abilities: Brawlers need Strength to power their unarmed strikes. After that, Constitution and Dexterity are their most important attributes.

Starting Gold: 2d4x10 (40 gp). Between bar tabs, gambling debts, and a general aversion to weapons & armour, Brawlers start their adventures with little more than the clothes on their back.

Starting Age: Moderate; as fighter.

Table: The Brawler

Hit Die: d12

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Flurry of Blows Unarmed Damage Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 -1/-1 1d6 Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple, Flurry of Blows, AC Bonus
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 +0/+0 1d6 Wisdom from Power, Bonus Feat
3rd +3 +3 +3 +0 +1/+1 1d6 Grounded Strike
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 +2/+2 1d8 Greater Grapple, Power Bomb
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 +4/+4 1d8 Bruised Armor
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 +5/+5/+0/+0 1d8 Bonus Feat, Suplex
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 +6/+6/+1/+1 1d8 Endurance Training
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 +8/+8/+3/+3 1d10 Bonus feat
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 +9/+9/+4/+4 1d10 Master Grapple
10th +10/+5 +6 +6 +3 +10/+10/+5/+5 1d10 Lick their Wounds
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 +11/+11/+6/+6/+1 1d10 Counter Attack, Forceful Uppercut
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4 +12/+12/+7/+7/+2 2d6 Great Fortitude, Bonus feat
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 +13/+13/+8/+8/+3 2d6 Combination Punch
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4 +14/+14/+9/+9/+4 2d6 Clothesline
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 +15/+15/+10/+10/+5 2d6 Flicker Jab
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 +16/+16/+11/+11/+6/+1 2d8 Driving The Nail
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 +17/+17/+12/+12/+7/+2 2d8
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 +18/+18/+13/+13/+8/+3 2d8 Knockout Punch
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 +19/+19/+14/+14/+9/+4 2d8 Backbreaker
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 +20/+20/+15/+15/+10/+5 2d10

Class Skills 3+ Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level
Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Brawler.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Brawlers are proficient with the following: gauntlet, nunchaku, spiked gauntlet, punching dagger, and quarterstaff. They are proficient with non-tower shields, but no armor.

They are considered Monks for the purpose of using magic items or learning feats.

Unarmed Strike (EX): At 1st level, a Brawler gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A Brawler’s attacks may be made with almost any part of her body. This means that a Brawler may even make unarmed strikes with her hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a Brawler striking unarmed. A Brawler may apply her full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all her unarmed strikes.

Typically, a Brawler’s unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but she can choose to deal nonlethal damage with no penalty to her attack roll. Brawlers can also choose to deal nonlethal damage while grappling.

A Brawler’s unarmed strike is treated both as a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured or natural weapons.

When multiclassing, if another class also has unarmed strike damage, include its class levels when determining unarmed damage dice.

Improved Grapple: At 1st level, a Brawler gains the Feat Improved Grapple.

Hard-as-Nails: At 1st level, a Brawler gains an AC bonus equal to her Constitution Modifier. She loses these bonuses when she wears any armor, or when she carries a medium or heavy load.

Flurry of Blows (Ex): When unarmored and unencumbered, a Brawler may strike with a Flurry of Blows at the expense of accuracy. When doing so, she may make one extra attack per round at her highest base attack bonus; however, all attacks take a –2 penalty until the start of her next turn (including attacks of opportunity). The modified base attack bonuses are shown in the Flurry of Blows Attack Bonus column on Table: The Brawler.

When a Brawler reaches 5th level, the penalty lessens to –1, and at 8th level it disappears. A Brawler must use a full attack action to strike with a flurry of blows.

When a Brawler reaches 6th level, her Flurry of Blows ability improves. In addition to the standard single extra attack she gets from flurry of blows, she gets a second extra attack at her full base attack bonus.

If another class also has the Flurry of Blows ability, include its class levels when calculating Flurry of Blows' damage dice.

Wisdom from Power: At 2nd level, a Brawler uses her Strength modifier in place of her Wisdom modifier for ability use.

Grounded Strike: At 3rd level, a Brawler gains the feat Grounded Strike.

Greater Grapple: At 4th level, a Brawler gains the feat Greater Grapple.

Power Bomb (Ex): At 4th level, whenever you succeed in a grapple check, you may Power Bomb your opponent as a free action. If successful, you flip your opponent onto your shoulders, and slam him back-first into the floor. This deals damage equal to 2d6 + your Strength Modifier, and knocks the target prone. Power Bomb automatically ends the grapple.

Bruised Armor (Ex): At 5th level, a Brawler gains a +1 bonus to AC. This bonus increases by 1 for every five Brawler levels thereafter (+2 at 10th, +3 at 15th, and +4 at 20th level). These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the Brawler is flat-footed. She loses these bonuses when she is immobilized or helpless, when she wears any armor, or when she carries a medium or heavy load.

Suplex (Ex): At 6th level, a Brawler may make a grapple attempt as as move action. If successful, she flips her opponent upside down, draping them over her shoulder. The Brawler then slams them into the ground by dropping backwards onto them.

This attack deals damage equal to 4d6 + her Strength modifier, and moves the target into the space behind her in prone position. If there is another enemy in the same space, push them back 5 ft and apply half damage to them as well.

Endurance Training (Ex): Starting at 7th level, a Brawler begins gaining bonuses to her movement speed and initiative. She gains +10 feet of movement speed per three Brawler levels, and +1 initiative for every four Brawler levels. The bonuses continue to improve as you gain more Brawler class levels; however, you lose the benefit of this ability if you are carrying a medium or heavy load.

Master Grapple: At 9th level, a Brawler gains the feat Master Grapple.

Lick Their Wounds (Ex): At 10th level, a Brawler may heal herself for a number of hit points equal to her Constitution Modifier, multiplied by her Brawler level. Using this ability is a full-round action, and can be used once per day.

Counter Attack (Ex): At 11th level, if an opponent misses with a melee attack, you may make a reflex save with a DC equal to the opponent's failed attack roll. If this check is successful, they provoke an attack of opportunity.

Forceful Uppercut (Ex) The Brawler may use an immediate action to make an attack against a flatfooted enemy (or otherwise denied their Dex bonus to AC). This attack deals damage equal to your unarmed damage + current Brawler level and knocks the target into the air (15 feet + total damage dealt). The enemy is left airborne until the start of their next turn. The target takes 1d6 per 5 feet upon impact. If the target takes more than 30 damage from the fall, they become stunned until the start of their next turn.

Great Fortitude: At 12th level, a Brawler gains Great Fortitude as a bonus feat, which grants a +2 bonus to all Fortitude saving throws.

Combination Punch (Ex): At 13th level a Brawler learns how to attack an enemy more frequently, allowing them to deal more damage in less time. She gains Snap Kick(ToB) as a bonus feat. If you already possess this feat, you may choose any other feat to replace it. You must meet the requirements for the new feat.

Clothesline (Ex): At 14th level, a Brawler can make an attack of opportunity against any enemy that enters her threatened space. This ability may only be used when the Brawler's hands are free and she is not flat-footed.

Flicker Jab (Ex): At 15th level, the Brawler can use a targeted jab to cause her opponent to stagger. To use the Flick Jab, you must make a touch attack as a standard action. If successful, the target must succeed on a fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 Brawler level + Con) or become flat-footed for 1d4+1 rounds. You may use this ability in a grapple. You may use this ability three times per day plus your dex modifier.

Driving the Nail: At 16th level, you gain Roundabout Kick(CW) as a bonus feat. If you already possess this feat, you may choose any other feat to replace it, as long as you meet the requirements for the new feat.

Knockout Punch: At 18th level, a Brawler may attempt a powerful punch against an enemy who grants combat advantage. To use this ability, you must make a standard melee attack at -4. If you successfully hit, you deal an additional +3d10 bludgeoning damage and target must make a fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 Damage Dealt) or be knocked prone and stunned for 1d4 rounds. This ability can be used a number of times per day equal to your str modifier (minimum 1). This ability can be used in a grapple.

Backbreaker (Ex): At 19th level a Brawler may attempt a grapple against an enemy who is below 50% their Max HP, or prone. If successful, she deals damage equal to 3d10 + double her Strength Modifier. Additionally, the target's movement speed is halved for the duration of the encounter.

Neck Break (Ex): When an enemy's HP is below 25% the Brawler may attempt to break the target's neck as a full-round action. Make a melee attack roll, if successful, the target must make a fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 Brawler level + Con) or die; on a successful save the target takes your normal unarmed strike damage.

Creatures without a discernible anatomy, or that are immune to critical hits, are unaffected by this ability. This ability can be used a number of times per day equal to your str modifier. If the creature possesses multiple heads (such as a hydra) they do not die outright from this effect unless all of their heads have been severed or broken. Finally, this ability also grants you the ability make a Coup-De-Grace as a standard action without provoking an attack of opportunity.


Brawlers that pursue a class that allows them to wear armor can no longer progress in Brawler.

Epic Brawler[edit]

Table: The Epic Brawler

Hit Die: d12

Level Special
21st Bonus Feat, Legendary Wrestler
23rd Bonuse Feat
25th Bonus Feat
27th Bonus Feat
29th Bonus Feat

3 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Legendary Wrestler: At 21st level a Brawler gains the Feat Legendary Wrestler.

Bonus Feats: The epic Brawler gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Brawler bonus feats) every other level after 20th.

Epic Brawler Bonus Feat List: Blinding Speed, Damage Reduction, Epic Dodge, Epic Prowess, Epic Speed, Legendary Prowess.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Brawler[edit]

Religion: A Brawler would usually worship a god of fighting or war. Evil brawlers would worship a god of death and fighting. Most neutral brawlers are athiest or agnostic.

Other Classes: Brawlers don't get along with spellcasters and fight about brawn over brain. Fighters and other weapon users sometimes get along with brawlers. Monks don't get along with brawlers either, monks usually call brawlers a disgrace to the art of hand-to-hand and try to get a brawler to join their monastary.

Combat: Brawlers act as the incapacitator in the party using their disable appendage and volley combo to temporarily disable their foe so allies can attack. Brawlers can act as money maker by joining brawling tournaments.

Advancement: Fighter. Brawlers prefer cross-classing to fighters to increase the numbers of bonus feats they get.

Brawlers in the World[edit]

Weapons disgrace natural strength.
—Hargen, Human Brawler

Daily Life: Most of daily life consists of fighting in the fight clubs or bars and making money while the rest consists of drinking himself into a stupor and getting into more fights.

Notables: Brawlers don't tend to be famous outside of their own towns or cities, if at all. Organizations: Most brawler cause fights at bars, or try to earn money by joining brawl bars and fighting clubs.

NPC Reactions: Most are generally frightened of these walking calluses due to their immense size. But, those who are able to get passed that find the Brawlers to be a very fun person to be around, so long as they are not drunk.

Brawler Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge(Local) can research brawlers to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

DC Result
10 A Brawler is a fist fighter with some monk abilities.
15 Brawlers sometimes organize fight clubs to show off strength and earn money.
20 Information on a specific Brawler(must have been met before).
25 Information on a specific fight club or brawl bar.

Brawlers in the Game[edit]

Adaptation: .

Sample Encounter: After a day a battling, the PCs go into a bar to have some drinks. Soon after, 2 drunkards (level 1 Commoners) have an argument and start to battle, causing swarms of drunkards to appear. 2 Level 1 Brawlers (who are drunk) start beating people at random, starting with the closest people (which so happens to be the PCs)

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