December 22, 2015

Path of the Brawler

Primal Path
Comments from the Palm: Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaace PUNCH!

Path of the Brawler

Barbarians following the Path of the Brawler adhere to a more pure (in their eyes) expression of strength and combat prowess. Indeed, the Brawler runs headlong into danger with naught but his fists, his feet, and his impossibly thick skin. Brawlers are often a boastful bunch, and are never without stories detailing their latest triumph.

Brawling
At 3rd level, you learn the great secrets of unarmed combat, namely, hitting the other guy harder than he hits you. While you are unarmed and not wearing medium or heavy armor, you gain the following benefits:
- While raging, when you make an unarmed strike, you may take a -5 to your attack roll to deal an additional 10 damage.
- While raging, when you make an unarmed strike with the Attack action on your turn, you may use your bonus action to make an additional unarmed strike.
- Your unarmed strikes deal 1d4 bludgeoning damage. While you are raging, your unarmed strikes deal increased damage as shown on the table below:

Barbarian level Unarmed damage
3rd1d6
6th1d8
10th1d10
14th1d12

Owlbear Wrestler
Starting at 6th level, you gain advantage on grapple checks against creatures of your size and smaller. While raging, you are considered one size larger for the purposes of grappling, and you may attempt to grapple creatures of any size category.
     While you have a creature grappled, you may use a bonus action to automatically shove that creature. If you choose to shove the creature away from you, you may move them a number of feet equal to 3 times your Strength score. You may choose to maintain your grapple, moving with the creature as far as you shove it.

Heavyweight Champion
At 10th level, your great deeds and astounding feats of strength grant you a reputation that often proceeds you. You gain proficiency in both Intimidation and Persuasion, and you may use your Strength bonus instead of your Charisma bonus on these checks.

Haymaker
At 14th level, you learn to pour all of your considerable might into a single, devastating strike. When you take the attack action on your turn, if you make all of your attacks against the same creature, you send them flying. The creature is shoved either straight up or straight away from you, and is moved 5 feet for every 10 points of damage it took from your unarmed strikes this turn. If the creature strikes a hard surface before moving the full distance, it takes 1d6 additional damage for every 10 feet remaining. If the creature is shoved straight up, it falls if it has no means to stay aloft.



Changelog: 
12/23/15: edited the Owlbear wrestler ability to grant an additional bonus while grappling.
12/30/15: Brawler: No longer gives proficiency with unarmed strikes (by sage advice, all characters are proficient in unarmed strikes.

16 comments:

  1. Just like to say, really love your work here; we make heavy use of your subclasses and races, and you inspired me to take up my gaming blog again. I felt I should sign in to point out, though, that curently Haymaker is written so that it sounds like it will function the same as the Pugilists Knockout Blow ability, but then is written so as to sound like your attacks stay separate; in which case one would normally expect for the additional special effects- the pushing the target back- to happen after each attack, canceling out the remaining attacks when the enemy was pushed out of range. Clearly this is not intended, but perhaps the ability could be rewritten to function more like Knockout Blow? You could also consider making Haymaker an alternate use of Reckless Attack to prevent the two being stacked. Just a thought.

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  2. The wording for Haymaker and knockout blow were made different intentionally: knockout blow relies on sacrificing Extra Attacks to increase the damage of a single hit, something the barbarian doesn't get many of.

    The way Haymaker works is like so:
    • brawler makes his attacks.
    • If all attacks the brawler can make hit the same target, Haymarket procs.
    • Total the damage done via unarmed strikes and detent distance flung by Haymaker.

    I could mess with the wording to try and clear it up, but I don't want it to function exactly like Knockout blow, since it would reduce the Brawler's damage output significantly.

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    1. In that case it may be worth it to slightly change the wording to just specify the ability procs after both attacks have been made, regardless of whether they both hit. Just to make sure. Thank you for your reply!

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  4. I love this one; it's balanced, has good flavor, and the final ability looks like tons of fun. One minor nitpick: grappling confers no advantage except immobilizing an opponent, and most of the things a barbarian engages in melee are going to be interested in killing the barbarian, not running away. The sixth-level ability could perhaps be altered to make grappling a more appealing option, rather than simply easier.

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    2. I thought about that. As it is, it allows him to grapple dragons and whatnot, so that's kinda fun. I assume that anyone who takes this would take the Grappler feat as well, but I know that's not available in all games.

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    3. Here's a thought, what about attaching a 'choke out' ability to pinning a creature. If a creature begins its turn pinned by you and fails its check to escape, it must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is knocked unconscious for a number of rounds equal to your Strength modifier. Or something like that

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  5. I've been wanting to play a grappler/unarmed specialist, and I love this. My only other idea was a Battle Master who would grapple someone and use the Commander's Strike maneuver to tell people to hit whoever he has grappled.

    I did also look forward to grappling two enemies at once, since you can take the grapple action as long as you have a free hand. Maybe you could have some feature that does something fun when grappling multiple enemies!

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  6. Just wanted to mention, there was an eratta that confirmed all characters are proficient in unarmed attacks, meaning that there is no need for the text giving this subclass such a proficiency.

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  7. To clarify. Owl bear wrestler lets you use a bonus action to shove something you've grappled 3 times your strength score. At level 20 you can have a score of 24. You can shove someone 72 feet? you are able to move with them as you shove them. You are therefor able to move half your movement speed as normal when grappling something, then shove them 70 feet and travel with them as you shove them? thus operating like thor throwing his hammer to fly? I'm not saying this is wrong rather I hope this is the case as it would be amazing.

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    1. Yes, this is the case. The intent of the "Move as you shove" is to emulate something similar to a suplex or a Zangief-style Powerbomb.

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  8. just one thing, while a barbarian is raging he/she already has advantage on grapple. maybe make owlbear wrestling give double prof bonus while raging?

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    1. Owlbear wrestler also grants that benefit when you're not raging. I think that feature might need more oomph, but I don't think that's the fix.

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  9. I was making a barbarian off this subclass and I noticed that there isn't anything that allows the unarmed strikes to overcome non magical resistance or immunity, like the monk gets for their unarmed attacks at 6th level. Is there something I'm missing from the PHB to overcome this, like weapon-orientated, or is the subclass missing a feature to compensate for that?

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    1. step 1) Obtain gloves/gauntlets
      step 2) Enchant said gloves/gauntlets
      step 3) ???????????
      step 4) Profit

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