Pummeler (3.5e Class)

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Pummelers are generally more common the monks in the NPC population. They are everyone from Horst the brawny blacksmith to Rocky the Italian Stallion. The typical pummeler is a strong and tough person who might not be the smartest or agile guy. The thing pummelers have going for them is their ability to soak up damage and deal it out in return.

Making a Pummeler[edit]

Your strengths are, well, your strength and ability to soak up damage. You might be able to replace the fighter, barbarian, or monk in your party. You want spell casting support. A lot. You want another combatant to distracts your foes from you a little. You are a sitting duck for any Will save. Iron Will is recommended. You work very well with wizards, sorcerors, and clerics. You like clerics a lot, since they heal you. Rangers and druids are your friends as well. You are in a love/hate relationship with fighters.

Abilities: Strength and Constitution are very important for you. Dexterity might not be as important for you as a monk or barbarian, since you can use heavier armor. You might wish too get a good Wisdom score, as your Will save is otherwise pretty low.

Races: Any of the savage races is a likely candidate for this class. Of the base races, humans, dwarves, and half-orcs are the most likely to become pummelers.

Alignment: Any, though they tend towards chaos.

Starting Gold: 3d10X10 gp (165 gp).

Starting Age: Simple.

Table: The Pummeler

Hit Die: d10

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Rage (1/day), Unarmed Strike, Fast Movement, Illiteracy
2nd +2 +3 +0 +0 Uncanny Dodge
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Improved Grapple
4th +4 +4 +1 +1 Rage (2/day)
5th +5 +4 +1 +1 Improved Uncanny Dodge
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Bonus Feat
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 Damage Reduction (1/-)
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 Rage (3/day)
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 Bonus Feat
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 Damage Reduction (2/-)
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 Greater Rage
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 Rage (4/day)
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 Damage Reduction (3/-)
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 Indomitable Will
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 Bonus Feat
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 Damage Reduction (4/-), Rage (5/day)
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 Tireless Rage
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 Bonus Feat
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 Damage Reduction (5/-)
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 Mighty Rage, Rage (6/day)

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spot (Wis).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the <-class name->.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Pummelers are proficient with all simple martial weapons, handaxes, long swords, light and heavy maces, and greatclubs. They have proficiency in all armor, and all shields.

Illiteracy: Pummelers are the only characters who do not automatically know how to read and write. A pummelers may spend 2 skill points to gain the ability to read and write all languages he is able to speak. A pummelers who gains a level in any other class automatically gains literacy. Any other character who gains a pummelers level does not lose the literacy he or she already had.

AC Bonus (Ex): Pummelers add their CON bonus to AC even when flat footed or immobilized.

Unarmed Strike: At 1st level, a pummeler gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A pummeler’s attacks may be with either fist interchangeably or even from elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a monk may even make unarmed strikes with her hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a pummeler striking unarmed. A pummeler may thus apply her full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all her unarmed strikes. Usually a pummeler's unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but she can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on her attack roll. She has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling. A pummeler’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 weapons or natural weapons. A pummeler also deals more damage with her unarmed strikes than a normal person would. A Small pummeler deals less damage than the amount given there with her unarmed attacks, while a Large pummeler deals more damage; see Table: Pummeler Unarmed Damage by Size.

Table: Pummeler Unarmed Damage by Size
Level Fine Diminutive Tiny Small Medium Large Huge Gargantuan Colossal
1st–3rd 1 1d2 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8 2d6 3d6 4d6
4th–7th 1d2 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8 2d6 3d6 4d6 6d6
8th–11th 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d8 1d10 2d8 3d8 4d8 6d8
12th–15th 1d4 1d6 1d8 1d10 2d6 3d6 4d6 6d6 8d6
16th–19th 1d6 1d8 1d10 2d6 2d8 3d8 4d8 6d8 8d8
20th 1d8 1d10 2d6 2d8 2d10 4d8 6d8 8d8 12d8

Fast Movement (Ex): A pummeler’s land speed is faster than the norm for his race by +10 feet. This benefit applies only when he is not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus before modifying the pummeler’s speed because of any load carried or armor worn.

Rage (Ex): A pummeler can fly into a rage a certain number of times per day. In a rage, a pummeler temporarily gains a +4 bonus to Strength, a +4 bonus to Constitution, and a +2 morale bonus on Will saves, but he takes a –2 penalty to Armor Class. The increase in Constitution increases the pummeler’s hit points by 2 points per level, but these hit points go away at the end of the rage when his Constitution score drops back to normal. (These extra hit points are not lost first the way temporary hit points are.) While raging, a pummeler cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except for Balance, Escape Artist, Intimidate, and Ride), the Concentration skill, or any abilities that require patience or concentration, nor can he cast spells or activate magic items that require a command word, a spell trigger (such as a wand), or spell completion (such as a scroll) to function. He can use any feat he has except Combat Expertise, item creation feats, and metamagic feats. A fit of rage lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character’s (newly improved) Constitution modifier. A pummeler may prematurely end his rage. At the end of the rage, the pummeler loses the rage modifiers and restrictions and becomes fatigued (–2 penalty to Strength, –2 penalty to Dexterity, can’t charge or run) for the duration of the current encounter (unless he is a 17th-level pummeler, at which point this limitation no longer applies; see below). A pummeler can fly into a rage only once per encounter. At 1st level he can use his rage ability once per day. At 4th level and every four levels thereafter, he can use it one additional time per day (to a maximum of six times per day at 20th level). Entering a rage takes no time itself, but a pummeler can do it only during his action, not in response to someone else’s action.

Greater Rage (Ex): At 11th level, a pummeler’s bonuses to Strength and Constitution during his rage each increase to +6, and his morale bonus on Will saves increases to +3. The penalty to AC remains at –2.

Tireless Rage (Ex): At 17th level and higher, a pummeler no longer becomes fatigued at the end of his rage.

Mighty Rage (Ex): At 20th level, a pummeler’s bonuses to Strength and Constitution during his rage each increase to +8, and his morale bonus on Will saves increases to +4. The penalty to AC remains at –2.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 2nd level, a pummeler retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a pummeler already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 5th level and higher, a pummeler can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the pummeler by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has pummeler levels. If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level a rogue must be to flank the character.

Improved Grapple: Pummelers gain the Improved Grapple feat at 3rd level.

Bonus Feat: At 6th, 9th, 15th, and 18th level the pummeler may choose as a bonus feat any feat for which he meets the prerequisites.

Damage Reduction (Ex): At 7th level, a pummeler gains Damage Reduction. Subtract 1 from the damage the pummeler takes each time he is dealt damage from a weapon or a natural attack. At 10th level, and every three pummeler thereafter (13th, 16th, and 19th level), this damage reduction rises by 1 point. Damage reduction can reduce damage to 0 but not below 0.

Indomitable Will (Ex): While in a rage, a pummeler of 14th level or higher gains a +4 bonus on Will saves to resist enchantment spells. This bonus stacks with all other modifiers, including the morale bonus on Will saves he also receives during his rage.

Epic Pummelers[edit]

Table: The Epic Pummeler

Hit Die: d10

Level Special
21st -
22nd Damage Reduction 6/-
23rd -
24th Rage 7/day Bonus Feat
25th Damage Reduction 7/-
26th -
27th -
28th Damage Reduction 8/- Rage 8/day Bonus Feat
29th -
30th -

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Pummeler Rage: The epic pummeler gains one use of rage per day every four levels after 20th.

Damage Reduction (Ex): The epic pummeler’s damage reduction increases by 1 point every three levels higher than 19th.

Bonus Feats: The epic pummeler gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic pummeler bonus feats) every four levels higher than 20th.

Epic Pummeler Bonus Feat List: Armor Skin, Chaotic Rage, Damage Reduction, Devastating Critical, Dire Charge, Epic Endurance, Epic Prowess, Epic Speed, Epic Toughness, Epic Weapon Focus, Fast Healing, Incite Rage, Legendary Climber, Legendary Leaper, Legendary Rider, Legendary Wrestler, Mighty Rage, Overwhelming Critical, Ruinous Rage, Terrifying Rage, Thundering Rage.

Half-orc Pummeler Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: Handaxe.

Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Climb 4 Str "—"
Intimidate 2 Cha "—"
Jump 4 Str '—'
Listen 4 Wis "—"
Swim 4 Str "—"

Feat: Power Attack Bonus Feats: Improved Unarmed Strike.

Gear: 10 days trail rations, 3 waterskins, travelers outfit, backpack, bedroll

Gold: 2d4x10.

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Pummeler[edit]

Religion: Pummelers have not particular religion they all adhere to.

Other Classes: They don't typically like people looking down their noses at them. For that reason they don't like clerics of snooty gods, smart-ass wizards, pompous paladins, and aloof monks.

Combat: Alternate tank/ secondary fighter.

Advancement: Pummelers usually continue as pummelers. A fighter pummeler mulitclass could be very interesting. FOr that matter, so would a barbaian pummeler.

Pummelers in the World[edit]

You call yourself a martial artist, eh? Let's see what you're made of, hehehehe.
—Urlgen Threefist, orc pummeler

Pummelers are everywhere. The bouncer in a bar, the mob's thugs, the winner of the boxing championship; all of these are pummelers.

Notables: Rocky Balboa almost beat another pummeler, Apollo Creed for the title.

Organizations: Bars are very common places to find pummelers.

NPC Reactions: NPCs think of pummelers as average people, much more accesible than monks and other fist fighters.

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