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Not all people of the fist walk the way of enlightenment. Some of the best bare-knuckled fighters are found in your local inn. A pugilist is nothing more than a skilled hand to hand specialist. There are many kinds of pugilists in the world. Some study like monks, others were born in a world that forced them to acquire the skills they needed to protect what they have. Some others might just be out there testing their own limits. Stubborn by nature, a pugilist is a person who refuses to believe he is outmatched by armed foes. Fighting is their life and pushing past the ability of others of their race is what drives them to become what they are. Socially, pugilists fill every role a fighter would fill. From knighted guard who protects his city, to a street thug working for the local guild. Each pugilist devotes himself to a style and that style advances his combat ability.

Role: Pugilists are best at making do with what they do not have. Where others find their ability at the end of their gear, a pugilist need only look to his hands for his tools to deal with almost anything. A pugilist has the ability to stand toe to toe with the most deadly foes to defend his allies.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d10.

Class Skills

The pugilist’s class skills are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: Pugilist

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +2 +2 +0 Iron fist, thick skinned, style, style feat
2nd +1 +3 +3 +0 Evasion, style feat
3rd +2 +3 +3 +1 Roll with it (DR 1/—)
4th +3 +4 +4 +1 Iron fist +1
5th +3 +4 +4 +1 Style maneuver
6th +4 +5 +5 +2 Roll with it (DR 2/—)
7th +5 +5 +5 +2 Style feat
8th +6/+1 +6 +6 +2 Iron fist +2
9th +6/+1 +6 +6 +3 Roll with it (DR 3/—)
10th +7/+2 +7 +7 +3 Style maneuver
11th +8/+3 +7 +7 +3 Tempered
12th +9/+4 +8 +8 +4 Roll with it (DR 4/—), iron fist +3
13th +9/+4 +8 +8 +4 Style feat
14th +10/+5 +9 +9 +4 Fast movement (+5 ft)
15th +11/+6/+1 +9 +9 +5 Roll with it (DR 5/—)
16th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Iron fist +4, style maneuver
17th +12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Aggressive combat training
18th +13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 Fast movement (+10 ft ft)
19th +14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6
20th +15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 Iron fist +5, style mastery

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the pugilist.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Pugilists are not proficient with any weapons. Pugilists are proficient with all light armor, but cannot use shields. When wearing medium or heavy armor or carrying a medium or heavy load, a pugilist loses his Roll with it, Evasion, Tempered, Fast Movement, and Style abilities.

Iron Fist (Su)

Class Specific Feats

The following class specific feats are available to a pugilist who meets the prerequisites.

  • ALinked feat name
  • BLinked feat name
  • CLinked feat name

At first level, a pugilist is considered armed even when unarmed. You do not provoke attacks of opportunity when you attack foes while unarmed. Your unarmed strike always deals lethal damage. Small pugilist’s Iron Fist does 1d6 damage, Medium pugilist’s Iron Fist does 1d8 damage, and Large pugilist’s Iron Fist does 1d10 damage. At 4th level the pugilist’s Iron Fist gets a +1 enhancement bonus. This bonus increases by one every four levels (+2 at 8th, +3 at 12th level.) A pugilist uses both hands to fight and gains no benefits from Two-Weapon Fighting feats.

Thick Skinned (Ex)

At first level, the physical abuse a pugilist endures in training gives him a resistance to attacks from others. A pugilist adds half his Constitution modifier (rounded down) to his natural armor class.

Style (Ex)

Each pugilist fights differently depending on how he received his training. This changes the way each pugilist attacks and defends themselves. The Style gives the pugilist bonus feats, additional maneuvers, and a 20th level style capstone ability. A pugilist must pick one Style upon taking his first level of pugilist.

Evasion (Ex)

At 2nd level or higher a pugilist can avoid damage from many area-effect attacks. If a pugilist makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, he instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if a pugilist is not wearing medium or heavy armor or carrying a medium or heavy load.

Roll with it (Ex)

At 3rd level, the aggression placed upon the pugilist forces him to learn to roll with the punches or be killed by his armed foes. The pugilist gains damage reduction 1/— and it increases by +1 every three levels (2/— at 6th level, 3/— at 9th level, maxing out at 5/— at 15th level.) A pugilist loses this ability if he wears medium or heavy armor or is carrying a medium or heavy load.

Tempered (Ex)

At 11th level, a pugilist can use physical resilience to avoid certain attacks. If the pugilist makes a Fortitude saving throw against an attack that has a reduced effect on a successful save, he instead avoids the effect entirely. Tempered can be used only if a pugilist is not wearing medium or heavy armor or carrying a medium or heavy load.

Fast Movement (Ex)

At 14th level, the pugilist’s land speed is faster than the norm for its race by +5 feet. This increases to +10 feet at 18th level. This benefit applies only when he is wearing no armor or light armor and is not carrying a medium or heavy load. This bonus stacks with any other bonuses to the pugilist’s land speed.

Aggressive Combat Training (Ex)

At 17th level, a pugilist gains a better understanding of why his attacks work. Treat your total Hit Dice as your base attack bonus when calculating your Combat Maneuver Bonus.

Favored Class Bonuses

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a Favored Class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their Favored Classes. The following options are available to the listed race who have pugilist as their Favored Class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed Favored Class reward.

Race Bonus Source

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Archetypes & Alternate Class Features

When a character selects a class, he must choose to use the standard class features found or those listed in one of the archetypes presented here. Each alternate class feature replaces a specific class feature from its parent class. For example, the elemental fist class feature of the monk of the four winds replaces the stunning fist class feature of the monk. When an archetype includes multiple class features, a character must take all of them—often blocking the character from ever gaining certain familiar class features, but replacing them with equally powerful options. All of the other class features found in the core class and not mentioned among the alternate class features remain unchanged and are acquired normally when the character reaches the appropriate level (unless noted otherwise). A character who takes an alternate class feature does not count as having the class feature that was replaced when meeting any requirements or prerequisites.

A character can take more than one archetype and garner additional alternate class features, but none of the alternate class features can replace or alter the same class feature from the core class as another alternate class feature. For example, a paladin could not be both a hospitaler and an undead scourge since they both modify the smite evil class feature and both replace the aura of justice class feature. A paladin could, however, be both an undead scourge and a warrior of the holy light, since none of their new class features replace the same core class feature.

Archetypes are a quick and easy way to specialize characters of a given class, adding fun and flavorful new abilities to already established adventurers. Characters may take more than one archetype if they meet the requirements.

Table: Pugilist Archetypes / Alternate Class Features

Archetype / Alternate Class Feature Class Features Changed or Replaced
Class Skills Weapon & Armor Iron Fist Thick Skinned Style Evasion Roll with it Tempered Fast Movement Aggressive Combat Training
Base Style Style Feat Style Maneuver Style Mastery
Base +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 1 2 7 13 5 10 16 1 2 3 4 5 +5 +10

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X=replaced, (X)=optional replacement, C=changed
Section 15: Copyright Notice – The Pugilist Class and NPC

The Pugilist Class and NPC. Copyright 2010, Wordcasting Entertainment; Author Ryan Stanford.

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