Ruffian (3.5e Class)

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A ruffian's favorite pastime


Anywhere that the ruffian goes, there's bound to be someone or other who is in bad need of an attitude adjustment. Whether on the high road or within the seediest tavern, this particular rowdy fellow will find himself his entertainment. Truly, he is often the one at the heart of it, and he will derive enjoyment from the sensation of numbness that takes over after the first few punches hit home. The ruffian brawls because he likes to, with any potential weapon at his disposal, ranging from his own fists, to pieces of furniture, tankards and bottles. Sometimes, even things like clubs or other people themselves find themselves the unvoluntary weapon within the ruffian's hands.

Making a Ruffian[edit]

The ruffian is, first and foremost, a melee fighter. Quite ironically enough, it is not very proficient with most manufactured weapons and armor, and will benefit from sticking to blunt weapons, his own fists and whatever he can get his hands onto. Ruffians express themselves through brawling and contending, and will be able to interact quite well with those who share their sentiments, supplanting reputation for their own force of presence in many different endeavours.

Abilities: Strength and Dexterity are important for the ruffian as they represent damage potential and the ability to hit and avoid being hit. A little bit of Intelligence symbolizes the ruffian's wit, and may serve to keep him out of trouble, and Constitution is convenient to have for his endurance and health.

Races: Are there any races that do not occasionally flit out into the dark corners of their societies and descend upon one another in drunken glory? Ruffians are found everywhere.

Alignment: Any non-lawful.

Starting Gold: 1d4×10 gp (25 gp).

Starting Age: Simple.

Table: The Ruffian

Hit Die: d8

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special Unarmed Strike Fighting Defensively Total Defense
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Improved Unarmed Strike 1d6 -4 attack, +2 AC +4 AC
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Brawling Maneuver 1d6 -4 attack, +2 AC +4 AC
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 1d6 -4 attack, +2 AC +4 AC
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Uncanny Dodge 1d6 -3 attack, +2 AC +4 AC
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Brawling Maneuver 1d6 -3 attack, +2 AC +5 AC
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Drunken Euphoria +2 1d8 -3 attack, +2 AC +5 AC
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 1d8 -3 attack, +2 AC +5 AC
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 Brawling Maneuver 1d8 -2 attack, +2 AC +5 AC
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 1d8 -2 attack, +2 AC +5 AC
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 Improved Uncanny Dodge 1d8 -2 attack, +3 AC +6 AC
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 Brawling Maneuver 1d8 -2 attack, +3 AC +6 AC
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4 Drunken Euphoria +4 1d8 -1 attack, +3 AC +6 AC
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 1d10 -1 attack, +3 AC +6 AC
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4 Brawling Maneuver 1d10 -1 attack, +3 AC +6 AC
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 1d10 -1 attack, +3 AC +7 AC
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 1d10 +3 AC +7 AC
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Brawling Maneuver 1d10 +3 AC +7 AC
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 Drunken Euphoria +6 1d10 +3 AC +7 AC
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 1d12 +3 AC +7 AC
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 Brawling Maneuver 1d12 +4 AC +8 AC

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Gather Information (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Profession (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex).

Class Features[edit]

All of the following are class features of the Ruffian.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Ruffian's are proficient with all simple weapons and light armor, and have no proficiency with shields. Still their unarmed attacks are much more useful than most weapons.

Brawling Maneuvers: Being experts of unconventional and improvised fighting a Rufian gains brawling maneuver feats at levels 2, 4 and every 3 sebsequent levels. These manuever will give a Ruffian a repitoire on unconventional but highly effective techniques.

Drunken Euphoria: At level 6 a Ruffian gains the ability to fight more effectively while drunk. This gives the Rufian a +2 to dodge AC and plus +2 to attack rolls because of the unpredictability of fighting drunk. At level 12 the bonus increase +4, and at level 18 they increase to +6


A ruffian who becomes lawful loses his drunken euphoria and cannot gain more levels as a ruffian. when the ruffian became nonlawful again he get his drunken euphoria and can advance as ruffian.

Epic Ruffian[edit]

Table: The Epic Ruffian

Hit Die: d8

Level Special
23rd Brawling Maneuver
24th Drunken Euphoria +8
26th Brawling Maneuver
29th Brawling Maneuver
30th Drunken Euphoria +10

4 + Int modifier per level

Hill Dwarf Ruffian Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: A Dwarven Ruffian would use a light mace and perhaps a dagger.

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

Skill Ranks Ability Armor

Feat: Dodge.

Gear: Flint and Steel, Waterskin, Backpack, Rope (Silk), Lantern, ale.

Gold: .

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Ruffian[edit]

This section deals with the style of play often associated with playing a Ruffian

Religion: Generally speaking the Ruffian class worships Olidammara, though as any race may be a Ruffian, almost any deity is possible.

Other Classes: Ruffians tend to have a brotherly relationship with Fighters, but often consider themselves above barbarians, so in-fighting can occur. Any good Ruffian knows the benefit of a Cleric or Spell caster in their party. Ruffians tend to be more chaotic, so they try to avoid Paladins, and favor rogues.

Combat: Typically Ruffians are brute force melee fighters. While a Ruffian may have the intelligence to flank an opponent or employ other strategies, often they just hit the hardest and the thing closest.

Advancement: A ruffian tends to focus on his melee weapons, and work to gain a better use from the weapon. A ruffian will occasionally multi-class into a rogue or ranger, as they can prove themselves more useful than in brute-force combat.

Ruffians in the World[edit]

This section is dedicated to the manner in which a Ruffian carries himself in the world.

I hit things until I'm too sober to miss, then I get drunk again

Daily Life: The daily life of a Ruffian includes drinking, partying, and killing. In any order.

Organizations: Ruffians are often found in bars and taverns, and are often hard to miss.

NPC Reactions: While more snobbish characters tend to look down on them, many other characters love to be around Ruffians.

Ruffian Lore[edit]

This section is dedicated to the lore of the Ruffian.

Characters with ranks in Gather Information can research Ruffians to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

DC 5: The man tells you Ruffians hang about in bars, and often don't leave.

DC 10: If you can beat a ruffian in a fight, he'd be willing to teach you his ways.

DC 15: Ruffians are pretty tough, so you may have a hard time beating one in a fair fight.

DC 20: A few good blows to the knees and even the strongest ruffians are down for the count. Sneaking up on them is frowned upon, and beating them up in this manner will only result in bruises (for you and your friends).

Ruffians in the Game[edit]

This section is dedicated to discussing the manner in which a ruffian fits into a campaign.

Most ruffians do a good job of picking fights for their party, and getting them out of fights with brute force.

Adaptation: Drunken Ruffians can be a fun way to change the character, likewise a sober ruffian can prove rather interesting.

Sample Encounter: .

EL : .

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