View Full Version : Drunken Master PrC: could it use a buff?

2006-08-18, 06:31 PM
Hi, I've been looking at the Drunken Master from CW, and while the concept offers chances for some hilarious fun, it seems a bit on the weak side: no mystical powers, and sub-standard fighting bonuses (especially when no improvised weapons are at hand, or the enemies have damage reduction). I'm wondering if I could give it a bit of a polish, a few extras here and there... what do you think about the following (consider everything here a draft):
- the improvised weapon feature improves unarmed damage 1 step. Sure, a drunken master is skillful in using any weapons - but more than any others, the ones at the end of his - or her (a drunken mistress... OMG this has potential :) ) arms
- flurry: the drunken masters tend to favor flailing, quick blows no less than their more orderly brethren. Add the class level to the monk level for the purposes of calculating the flurry benefits and penalties
- dirty fighting: when the tavern is your dojo, this is one skill you tend to learn: this would probably be a feature that gives ability damaging or stunning attacks when your enemy is flat-footed.
- drink like a demon - ok, let's be honest, being roaring drunk does nothing to improve your wisdom. However, it could make the DM limber, agile, and downward crazy - so let's have it improve dexterity as well for a +2 str and dex, -2 int and wisdom. Also, we may have each dose of alcohol do 1d6 nonlethal damage after it's over. Beat'em up and lie down, sensei :P . Constitution may actually hinder this skill - you metabolize drinks too well - so duration is 10 rounds + class level - con modifier.
- Stomach of the dragon: by lvl 5 the drunken master can drink anything. The bad part is, he has already done so - and it sometimes shows. +2 to saves vs. poison, -2 to charisma rolls (eventually, say at lvl 8, it gives a permanent +2 to dexterity, -2 to intelligence - the DM has had a drink too many, but the unorthodox exercises have kept him uncharacteristically limber)
- fight from prone: the drunken master has learned how to fight from any position. With a DC 15 tumble check, he may attack (with a -2 penalty) from a prone position, or stand up as a move action without provoking an attack of opportunity.
- Roaring frenzy: at lvl 7, the drunken master truly lives to his name. He uses headbutts, elbows, and knees to make every inch of his body into a weapon. When drunk, he can make another attack at his highest base attack bonus, but all attacks that round take a -2 penalty. The attack must be unarmed, and does damage 1 size category less than his normal unarmed attack.
- Beyond blades: at level 10, when in a haze the drunken master manages to both dodge and attack with such incredible flair that his enemies start doubting their own skills. Any enemy who misses a drunken master in a melee attack, or ranged attack from less than 60 feet must make a will save of 10+DM level + DM Cha bonus or become shaken for 2d4 rounds. (alternatively, treat it as frightful presence - both seem fun). This replaces the dragon's breath, sorry.

Fax Celestis
2006-08-18, 06:36 PM
You might want to look at my Brawler class (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=homebrew;action=display;num=11549607 04;start=0). It's got some of the aspects of what you noted above.

2006-08-18, 07:20 PM
Hmm, looks like a warrior/monk concept... It does have some good things, sure. I want to focus on the drunken master concept right now, though: do you think any of the skills you have used for the brawler would be especially good, concept-wise?

Fax Celestis
2006-08-18, 07:24 PM
Dirty Fighting. Beyond that, nothing, really.

2006-08-18, 09:38 PM
There's actually a feat, "Prone Attack" instead of the "attack from prone" class feature listed in your entry.

I dislike the idea of the Con modifier being subtracted from the duration of Drink Like a Demon. It makes sense logically, but I don't like the idea of punishing a character for having a higher stat...

I like it, though; I always thought that the class seemed a little underpowered. Are you keeping it's other class features the same?

2006-08-18, 10:37 PM
Most, except the dragon breath, and the drunken haze should imo not be able to increase constitution (at least, not in this version when that actually decreases duration). I thought that maybe at some point the drunken fighting feature could include some damage resistance, similar to a barbarian's, or at least ability to shrug off nonlethal damage. As for most other features, I find it hard to take them out, perhaps maybe except improved grapple. However, I am not sure it will be so grossly overpowered... and I have thought the drunken master to be a monk version that is mostly combat and tumble-heavy.

2006-08-19, 11:12 AM
Being drunk is like being drugged. Coordination completly goes down the drain. No way should it improve your dexterity. A dodge bonus to armour class maybe, a bonus to attack possibly, but actual dexterity? Implausable.

Alchohol doesn't effect permanently the mind, it permanently effects the liver. A damaged liver would actually DECREASE your fortitude saves v.s. poison.

Things a drunkard would get

Bonus to will saves v.s. fear, more than enough to offset wisdom penalty

Penalties to wisdom and dexterity. Intelligence would be effected less.

Constitution increase. When he sobers up, he'll lose hp so it works for representing that he isn't actually getting tougher as opposed to damage reduction which would.

Bonuses to Charisma. At least at first, after a few doses it would go the same way as dexterity and wisdom.

Things a Drunkern master actually would get.

Dodge bonus due to unorthodox movements. This is where the Drunkern fist style actually does anything.

Improvised weapons.

Dirty fighting.

The thing is, traditional Chinese drunkern fighting (Zui Quan) doesn't involve alchohol. It involves movements that mimic drunkeness. Anyone who was seriously drunk would be unable to pull it off.

The dnd Drunken Master is a fantasy class. Let it keep Dragon breath, it reinforces the fact that these Drunken masters are doing dodgy Chi stuff.

2006-08-19, 08:32 PM
Hmm, I suppose I could have watched the old Jackie Chan films a few times too many... But from what little I know, someone (while drunk) could be a little more flexible than they otherwise are - at least with pain being numbed, you don't seem to feel your joints so much. Besides, drinks don't seem to affect the drunken master the same way they do normal people ;) which is why it's called drink like a demon. The thing is, drinking can in no ways improve wisdom. But if it decreased it and did not increase dexterity, it would mean that the skill is next to useless in a fight. Increased constitution... nice, but not the same. Increased strength... yeah. Most monks I've come across tend to rely on dexterity for attack bonus - so it'd be useful, but not that incredible. So... if they can't get damage resistance (same reason as barbarians - high damage threshold) or something else, they ought to get some useful bonus. Also, perhaps the dodge bonus to the AC that the class gets could increase during that period. A part of attacking it knowing the enemy's movements - and a drunken master, especially in those moments, is very hard to predict :D .

Also, while overexposure to alcohol weakens the liver, one who has drunk over a long period of time seems to have a better tolerance for alcohol than someone who hasn't. Ok, it could simply be a penalty... but a prestige class is supposed to mostly give bonuses as well , heh. Improvised weapons I agree to with as a point, but if they (the characters) can get a 1d12 bonus for using an old mug, they could also get their unarmed damage improve a few steps: that was my rationale for improving the base unarmed damage as well.

I've seen drunken fighting demonstrations... They do seem to imitate a drunkard's motions, but can it be that some of the people who have used the style have actually developed those in the tavern? The story about the inception of the style that I've read said that the first "practitioner" did it when heavily drunk. Serious... the account was quite fun.

I don't have anything against dragon breath, but it tied the least with the other abilities, so I decided that if anything had to go, it would be that. Frightful presence during a drunken haze seemed nicer ;)

El Jaspero, the Pirate King
2006-08-19, 10:00 PM
Does the class really need anything? Sure, it's no crazy-buff PrC, but half the fun of playing a Drunken Master is the comedy. If you're in a power-gamer campaign, yeah it's a total sucker move. But if you're in a campaign that's got some sense of fun...who cares if you're kicking butt? You're a Drunken Master, for crying out loud!

2006-08-20, 02:26 AM
Actually I'm pretty sure the original "drunken master" watched a drunk fight, and was inspired. Most Chinese styles seem to be the result of seeing someone or more likely something fighting and imitating.

The drunken master should get the Die Hard feat, to drunk to know he should be dead, lol. and some kind of luck bonus because everybody knows that drunks are the luckiest people in the world.

I don't have CW infront of me right now so I might be saying things that are already there.

2006-08-20, 05:53 AM
Hm, don't worry, if I am not very much mistaken they are not. The luck bonus certainly isn't.

The story behind the style that I read wasn't exactly an example of martial wisdom, but sounded fun enough to be included in your RP world - basically, a country school had its share of relatively untalented ruffians. One evening, a few of them were partying in the local tavern and basically making everyone else's life miserable, when a traveler told them to stop raising hell. The leader of the group started insulting him and boasting how he was the most powerful of the local school, could wipe the floor with him, etc. The stranger said that he would fight him the next noon, and said his name. In a way, the local fighter sobered up very quickly - the other guy was one of the most famous martial artists in the country.

Now drunken bully or not, the guy was aware that if he didn't show up he couldn't face anyone in town, much less his teacher. However, the thought of being kicked all over the place didn't sit well with him on a sober head, and the next morning he and his buddies decided to have one "for luck." Of course, it didn't stop at one, and when the lucky guy headed for the fight, he kinda... wobbled a little. It was obvious to his opponent that the local would lose in less than a minute, but it didn't happen - whatever style the young man used was something totally new. His moves, normally stiff and predictable, became fluid and very fast. He would parry a strike with a barrage of techniques that left his opponent exposed, close in and strike in a way that the master had never seen, and attack from any position. In fact, it was the traveller who at some point became fearful. He was starting to think he had actually challenged someone famous, who had learned where he would go and decided to play a joke on him. Just in case, he called for a draw, and the local (who was starting to get sober, but still couldn't believe his luck) agreed. When asked how exactly he learned to fight like that... well, he just told the truth, and the townsfolk had a good laugh. Eventually, though, the two got together and tried to integrate the movements the young man had shown into an actual fighting style... Though, the legend says, a lot of alcohol was consumed in the process (wikipedia offers a slighly different version, but close enough).

Yeah, I suppose it's not true - but it sounds fun enough to integrate in your setting. After all, it's hard to emulate a drunk without ever knowing how one feels ;)