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Pugilist

Despite the advent of firearms and ‘gentlemen’s duels,’ there are still those who thrive on the rush of adrenaline and the crack of knuckle on bone. In the ring, without the crutches of weapons and armor, none is more deadly than the pugilist. Outside the ring, he wears his bruises and scars as badges of honor. The pugilist knows how and where to strike hard to bring pain to his foe.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A pugilist is not proficient with martial weapons, light armor, medium armor, heavy armor, or shields. Instead, a pugilist gains the Float like a Butterfly class feature (see below), and he gains DR/— equal to half his fighter level (minimum of 1) against nonlethal damage or damage taken while he is grappled.

Boxing Style

At 1st level, a pugilist gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. While fighting unarmed in each hand, the pugilist gains Two-Weapon Fighting as a bonus feat, even if he doesn’t meet the feat’s prerequisites, and he may apply his full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all his off-hand unarmed strikes. At 6th level, while fighting unarmed in each hand, the pugilist gains Improved Two-Weapon Fighting as a bonus feat, even if he doesn’t meet the feat’s prerequisites. At 11th level, while fighting unarmed in each hand, the pugilist gains Greater Two-Weapon Fighting as a bonus feat, even if he doesn’t meet the feat’s prerequisites.

In order to benefit from his boxing style, the only unarmed strikes a pugilist can make are with his fists, or (although rather unsportsmanlike) be wielding brass knuckles or cestus. A pugilist can make unarmed strikes like normal (with knees, head, elbows, feet, etc.), but gains no bonus to damage (see below), and cannot make such attacks while using the Two-Weapon Fighting feat chain. Although a pugilist’s unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, he can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on his attack roll. He has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling. Furthermore, a pugilist’s unarmed strike (his fist) is treated as both 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 pugilist also deals more damage with his unarmed strikes than a normal person would. A Medium-sized pugilist deals 1d6 damage with his unarmed strikes, brass knuckles, and cestus, while a Small-sized pugilist deals 1d4, and a Large-size pugilist deals 1d8.

This ability replaces the 1st-level fighter bonus combat feat.

Float like a Butterfly (Ex)

Starting at 1st level, when a pugilist is wearing no armor and is unencumbered, he adds 1 point of Wisdom bonus (if any) per fighter class level as a dodge bonus to his AC. If a pugilist gains the monk’s unarmored AC bonus class feature, he uses that bonus to AC instead.

Harsh Training (Ex)

At 2nd level, a pugilist gains a +1 bonus on saving throws against effects that cause the exhausted, fatigued, or staggered conditions or temporary penalties to ability scores. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels after 2nd (to a maximum of +5 at 18th level).

This ability replaces bravery.

Dukes Up (Ex)

A pugilist is skilled at fighting defensively, using his hands to protect himself from incoming attacks while exchanging blows in return. Starting at 3rd level, the pugilist gains a +2 shield bonus to AC when fighting defensively. Furthermore, the pugilist only takes a -2 penalty on attack rolls for fighting defensively. This ability replaces armor training 1.

Sting like a Bee (Ex)

At 5th level, a pugilist gains a +1 bonus on attack rolls and a +3 bonus on damage rolls with his unarmed strikes (fists), brass knuckles, and cestus. Both of these bonuses increase by +1 for every four levels beyond 5th (to a maximum of +4 and +6 at 17th level).

This ability replaces weapon training 1.

Feinting Jab (Ex)

A pugilist can test his foes’ defenses and then exploit their weaknesses with a follow-up jab. At 7th level, the pugilist gains Two-Weapon Feint as a bonus feat while fighting unarmed or while wielding brass knuckles or cestus, even if he doesn’t meet the prerequisites. If the pugilist already has Two-Weapon Feint, the feat is instead replaced with Improved Two-Weapon Feint, even if he doesn’t meet the prerequisites. If the pugilist already has Improved Two-Weapon Feint, he can take any other combat feat instead. In addition, whenever he uses the Bluff skill to feint, he may instead use his total unarmed attack bonus in place of his Bluff skill bonus, as if he were making an unarmed strike.

This ability replaces armor training 2 and 3.

Rabbit Punch (Ex)

The pugilist has mastered the art of debilitating blows. At 9th level, he gains the monk’s Stunning Fist class feature, treating his fighter level as his monk level when determining the benefits of the ability, and may use his Strength modifier in place of his Wisdom modifier when determining the DC of a stunning attack. If the pugilist already has the Stunning Fist feat, he may select a different combat feat instead, but he must meet the prerequisites of that feat as normal.

This ability replaces weapon training 2.

Sucker Punch (Ex)

At 13th level, when a pugilist strikes a creature that is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC, he can attempt a dirty trick or trip combat maneuver against that target as an immediate action.

This ability replaces weapon training 3.

Knock-Out Punch (Ex)

A well-placed blow means “lights out” for the pugilist’s opponent. At 17th level, as a standard action, a pugilist can use his Stunning Fist to knock the target unconscious for 1 minute. Even if the target succeeds its saving throw against the stunning attack, it is still staggered for 1d4+1 rounds. All damage dealt by this stunning attack is nonlethal damage.

This ability replaces weapon training 4.

Sheer Toughness (Ex)

At 19th level, a pugilist becomes immune to nonlethal damage and the exhausted, fatigued, and staggered conditions.

This ability replaces armor Mastery.

Weapon Mastery (Ex)

This ability applies to unarmed strikes, brass knuckles, and cestus only.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pure Steam Campaign Setting. Copyright 2012 ICOSA Entertainment, LLC; Author(s): Brennan Ashby.