View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Homebrew Class - The Bruiser

2019-06-04, 12:28 PM
This is my first attempt at a full class. Haven't finished writing out all the flavor text for it yet, but the main intent was for an unarmed class that wasn't inherently tied to the monk's flavor. I'm trying to go for a more brute force, tanky type bare knuckle fighter.

Proficiency Bonus
Bruised Knuckles
Taunt Points

Unarmored Defense, Bruised Knuckles

Counter, Taunting

Bruiser Archetype

Ability Score Improvement

Extra Attack

Forceful Impact

Bruiser Archetype Feature

Ability Score Improvement

Efficient Strikes

Bruiser Archetype Feature

Taunt: Is That All?

Ability Score Improvement

Stalwart Body

Bruiser Archetype Feature


Ability Score Improvement

Bruiser Archetype Feature

Stalwart Body (2)

Ability Score Improvement


As a bruiser, you gain the following class features.

Hit Points
Hit Dice: 1d10 per bruiser level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + your Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 5) + your Constitution modifier per level after 1st

Armor: None
Weapons: None
Tools: Choose one type of gaming set
Saving Throws: Strength, Constitution
Skills: Choose two from Acrobatics, Athletics, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, and Sleight of Hand

You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

(a) a dice set or (b) a playing card set
(a) an explorer's pack or (b) an entertainer's pack

Beginning at 1st level, while you are wearing no armor and not wielding a shield, your AC equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Constitution modifier.
At 1st level you are already well versed in the use of your body as an effective weapon. You gain the following benefits while you are unarmed, and not wielding a shield:
You can roll a d6 in place of the normal damage of your unarmed strike. This die changes as you gain bruiser levels, as shown in the Bruised Knuckles column of the Bruiser table.
When you use the Attack action with an unarmed strike you can make one additional unarmed strike as a bonus action.
Starting at 2nd level, whenever an enemy within 5 feet of you misses an attack against you, you may use your reaction to attempt one unarmed strike against them.
Starting at 2nd level, your sheer presence and strength becomes infectuous towards others. You can provoke your enemies to lose focus or kindle the fire in your allies. Your access to this adrenaline is represented by a number of adrenaline points. Your bruiser level determines the number of points you have, as shown in the Adrenaline Points collumn of the Bruiser table.

You can spend these points to perform various taunt and kindle features. You start knowing three such taunt and kindle features: Put em' Up!, Coward!, and You Got This!. You will learn more taunts and kindle features as you gain levels in this class.
Targets must be able to see or hear you and must have an Intelligence score of 3 or above in order to be affected by these features. They do not need to share a language with you to feel the intent of your words.

When you spend an adrenaline point, it is unavailable until you finish a short or long rest, at the end of which you recover your energy along with all your expended points. You must spend at least 30 minutes of rest to regain your adrenaline points.

Some of your taunts require your target to make a saving throw to resist the feature's effects. The saving throw DC is calculated as follows:

Adrenaline save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier

You may expend 1 adrenaline point as a bonus action to goad a creature within 30 feet into attacking you.
They must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or have disadvantage on all attacks against any creature other than you for 1 minute, or until they land a number of attacks on you equal to your Strength modifier.
The effect also ends if a creature friendly to you makes a harmful action against it, or if you or the target fall unconscious.

You may only have 1 creature affected by this taunt at any given time. If you successfully goad another creature with this taunt, the effect immediately ends on the first creature.
You can spend 1 adrenaline point as a reaction to shout at a creature you can see within 60 feet of you when it tries to use its movement to move away from you or towards a creature other than you.

The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or fall for your taunt, their movement speed becoming 0 until their next turn unless they can use their movement to move toward you instead. If the target is standing in a location that is immediately harmful to it, such as a fire, it automatically succeeds on its saving throw against this taunt.
You can spend 1 adrenaline point as a reaction to grant an ally within 10 feet of you a bonus 1d4 to their roll as they perform an ability check, attack, or saving throw. You can choose to use this feature after your ally makes their roll, but before your GM determines if it succeeds or fails.
Upon reaching 3rd level, you must choose an archetype that defines your fighting prowess. Your chosen archetype grants you features at 3rd, 7th, 10th, 14th, and 17th level.
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
Beginning at 5th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn.
Starting at 6th level, you have learned to harness your raw power into an almost unnatural force. All your unarmed strikes can deal either force damage or bludgeoning damage (your choice).
By 9th level, you have learned how to maximize the output of your unarmed strikes. When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an attack you make with an unarmed strike, you can re-roll the die and must use the new roll even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2.
Starting at 11th level, while you are wearing no armor or wielding a shield, when an enemy lands an attack against you, after the damage is rolled, you may use your reaction to expend 1 adrenaline point and attempt to resist the blow. When you do so, the damage you would receive is reduced by 1d10 + your Constitution modifier.

You can expend additional adrenaline points to add an additional 1d10 to the damage reduction for each adrenaline point used.

If you reduce the damage to 0, you can taunt the attacker for their weakness and gain advantage against them on your next attack.
When you reach 13th level, your body can resist blows that would shatter lesser folk. While wearing no armor or wielding a shield, critical hits from melee attacks against you become normal hits and you gain resistance to bludgeoning damage.

After 18th level, all critical hits against you become normal hits while wearing no armor or wielding a shield.
Starting at 15th level, if you drop to 0 hit points, instead of rolling death saving throws, you may use your action on your turn to immediately stabalize and stand up, regaining 2d10 + your bruiser level in hit points. You cannot use this ability again until you finish a long rest.
At 20th level, you are a near impenetrable wall of power. Your Strength score increases by 4. Your maximum for this score becomes 24. In addition, your unarmored AC increases to 13 + your Dexterity modifier + your Constitution modifier.

In the clearing stands a boxer; a fighter by his trade. Boxers can use their quick footwork, powerful jabs, and unyielding tenacity to overwhelm single targets, making them fearsome opponents in close quarters.

Starting at 3rd level, after you take this archetype, you learn the art of flowing like water were you stand.
While wearing no armor or wielding a shield you can use a bonus action to add half your proficiency bonus (rounded up) to your AC and Dexterity saving throws until the start of your next turn.
After choosing this archetype at 3rd level, you have become exceptionally efficient at exploiting your opponents and landing multiple blows against them when their guard is down.
Whenever an enemy triggers your Counter ability, you may unleash two unarmed strikes against them instead of one.
Beginning at 7th level, your well trained stance and controlled breathing allow you to capitalize on your critical hits to unleash powerful combinations.

Any time you score a critical hit with an unarmed strike against a creature, you can make another unarmed attack immediately, targeting the same creature or another creature within 5 feet of you. This can be done even if you already made an additional unarmed strike granted by this feature. You may continue to attack until you fail to score a critical hit.
Starting at 10th level, if an enemy within 5 feet of you misses their attack against you by 5 or more, you may forgo your Quick Jabs to instead deliver a powerful knockout blow.
Make an unarmed strike against that creature.

If the attack connects, the target must make a Constitution saving throw against a DC of either 10 or half the total damage received (whichever is higher) or be knocked prone. You can expend 2 adrenaline points to make them roll this save at a disadvantage.

After 14th level, if a creature fails their saving throw by 10 or more, they are also stunned until the end of their next turn. Even if a creature is immune to the prone condition, they must roll the saving throw to determine if they are stunned.
Once per round after 14th level, when an enemy creature subjects you to an effect which requires a saving throw, you may expend 1 adrenaline point to roll a d4 in addition to the normal d20 roll, adding the two die to the final result.

You may add additional d4's to the saving throw, expending 1 adrenaline point for each one.
After 17th level, if you drop to 0 hit points and use your action to recover with your Unyielding ability, you may choose to immediately unleash a Jawbreaker against a creature within 5 feet of you.

Be it convicts in a prison yard, bouncers at a tavern, or the rowdy patrons themselves, those who love the frenzy of a riot or just the thrill a good tavern brawl are at their best at the center of a fight. Attacked from all directions, they are bolstered by the chaos, inspiring those around them to join in the uproar. The greater the danger, the better the fight.

After 3rd level, when you select this archetype, you may now target and affect multiple creatures with your Put 'Em Up! taunt at once using a single bonus action. The number of creatures targeted equals the number of adrenaline points used. In addition, the effect of Put 'Em Up! no longer ends if a friendly creature causes harm to an affected target.
However, if there are 2 or more creatures affected by Put 'Em Up! they gain advantage on all their attacks against you until the effect ends.
Starting at 3rd level you can use an action to expend 1 adrenaline point and choose a friendly creature within 30 feet of you (including yourself) to bolster into combat. That creature gains a +2 to their attack rolls for the duration. This effect ends immediately on a creature if they fall unconscious or if their turn ends and they haven't attacked a hostile creature since their last turn or taken damage since then.

You cannot have more than 3 creatures affected by this taunt at any given time. If you affect a fourth creature, this effect immediately ends on the first affected creature.
Starting at 7th level, the mayhem of a brawl empowers you. You gain the following benefits while not wearing heavy armor or wielding a shield:

For every hostile creature actively affected by Put 'Em Up! you add +2 points of damage to every unarmed strike. If a hostile creature overcomes the effect of Put 'Em Up!, you lose the damage bonus granted by them.
For every friendly creature actively affected by Brawl!, you gain 5 temporary hit points. If a friendly creature loses the effect of Brawl!, you lose the temporary health granted by them.

Beginning at 10th level your body has adapted to recovering quickly. When you roll a Hit Die to regain hit points, you add your Constitution modifier + your Strength modifier to the result.
After 14th level, when you take a long rest, you also recover all expended Hit Die and up to 2 points of exhaustion if you have any.
At 14th level, your determination in combat is unshakable. You cannot be put to sleep against your will and have advantage on saving throws against being paralyzed, stunned, restrained, or pushed out of your position unless you allow it.
Starting at 17th level, your fervor increases the more intense a fight becomes. After using your Unyielding ability, you recover half your expended adrenaline points.

Initial Release

Fixed formatting issues with Proficiencies and Equipment
v1.2 Removed Peak Performance feat

Made Duck and Weave require the use of a bonus action, instead of always being active.
Removed the auto crit from Jawbreaker
Made the stunning effect of Jawbreaker require a failed saving throw of 10 or more, rather than 5 or more
Removed Unyielding Uppercut's ability to recover a use of Unyielding when knocking a creature prone

Removed Taunt: Let's Go!'s +2 bonus to saving throws and advantage on saving throws against being frightened.
Removed Brawling Frenzy's ability to recover adrenaline points on a critical hit or when killing a creature.
Made Unrelenting give advantage on saving throws against being pushed, rather than always allowing you to resist it.
Changed Blood and Tears to recover half your expended adrenaline points, rather than half your maximum total adrenaline points.


Changed the Measured Breaths feature to Tenacious Resilience , which now functions similarly to the "Durable" feat.

Clarified a wording error in Provoke Ire. Intended to be "...if there are 2 or more creatures affected by Put 'Em Up! they gain advantage..." not "...if there are more than 2 creatures...etc".

Changed the name of Taunt to Adrenaline and tweaked the flavor text to compensate. Taunts are now an action that can be done with the use of Adrenaline, as well as other features.
Changed the word Taunt for adrenaline when mentioned
Changed the name of Don't You Move! taunt to Coward! instead.
Tweaked Coward! to also affect creatures that are immune to being frightened

Re-implemented Measured Breaths as a feature, but changed its function to now act as Pummeling Strikes did for the Brawler
Added new feature, Tenacious Resilience, to the Boxer

Changed the name of Let's Go! for Brawl!
Removed Pummeling Strikes, and switched it for Staunch Durability

2019-06-04, 12:51 PM
Some formatting issues with the equipment and proficiencies, but nothing mechanically seems out of place.

Unarmored Defense, fine.

Bruised Knuckles is Martial Arts... but better, because you get a bigger damage die. Actually, scratch that-it's not Finesse, so you gotta invest in Strength.

Counter is really good.

The basic Taunts (they're not really all Taunts, are they? I'd recommend a name change) look fine.

Peak Performance is WAY TOO GOOD. Especially for Grapplers.

ASIs are standard.

Extra Attack standard.

Forceful Impact is basically Ki-Infused Strikes, so fine.

Efficient Strikes is okay, I guess.

Is That All? Looks okay.

Stalwart Body seems okay.

Unyielding looks fine.

Powerhouse is okay, I guess.

Duck and Weave is too good.

Quick Jabs improves an already good ability.

Measured Breaths is WAY TOO GOOD.

Jawbreaker is too good.

Unyielding Uppercut is too good.

Provoke Ire is fine.

Let's Go is too good.

Brawling Frenzy is too good.

Pummeling Strikes is fine.

Unrelenting should probably only allow advantage on saves against forced movement, but otherwise is fine.

Blood And Tears is too good, methinks.

Overall, it's MOSTLY okay. The sublcasses are too good, but by and large this class works. Tone down some of the stronger bits, and you'll be fine.

2019-06-04, 02:25 PM
Thanks for the critiques!

Fixed the formatting issues, as for the rest:

The basic Taunts (they're not really all Taunts, are they? I'd recommend a name change) look fine.
I've been thinking the same on the name for a while, but have been having trouble thinking of an alternate name for it. Something like "Shouts" maybe?

Peak Performance is WAY TOO GOOD. Especially for Grapplers.
Darn, I failed to consider grappling. I honestly feel this feature seems a bit excessive, I might remove it outright, or implement a weaker, more focused version for another subclass for this later.

Duck and Weave is too good.
My intention for this feature was to grant the Boxer what would essentially work as a shield bonus without a shield. Since they can't wield one. That's why I limited it to half the proficiency bonus, as it would cap out at +3 at 13th level, so about as much as a +1 shield. Should I instead give a flat bonus, like a +1 at first, then a +2 at 14th level and cap it out there, to avoid it feeling too powerful? Or maybe make it a defensive stance they have to take as a bonus action, so its not something that's always active?

Quick Jabs improves an already good ability.
I think if I do actually change "Duck and Weave" to a bonus action, it might balance this one out, as it essentially grants a chance to use the bonus action attack you might have otherwise sacrificed for higher defense.

Measured Breaths is WAY TOO GOOD.
Measured Breaths is one I've always had trouble with. I wanted a way to implement the concept but I also feel just a flat damage boost does really feel excessive. I'm also considering scrapping it in favor of something that might grant more utility in and out of combat. But I'm not really sure what.

Jawbreaker is too good.
I kinda purposely went overboard with this one to measure people's reactions, to then pull it back from there. I think I'll remove the auto crit on it, and increase the requirements for the stun to "fails their saving throw by 10 or more" rather than "5 or more".

Unyielding Uppercut is too good.
Same as Jawbreaker, I wanted to measure reactions. I think I'll remove the recovering of Unyielding on it, or maybe actually enforce disadvantage on this attack. I mainly just wanted to play with the old cliche of a boxer coming up from a near K.O. with a dramatic finishing blow to their opponent.

Let's Go is too good.
I think I'll remove the saving throw bonuses to this, as well as the advantage on frightened. Just the attack boost might be more than enough.

Brawling Frenzy is too good.
My intent with this one was to encourage a "high risk/high reward" type gameplay, especially with the damage boost, since it only increases with more creatures under the effects of "Put 'Em Up", but that means that's a number of creatures that now all have advantage on their attacks against you.

Though I do feel gaining taunt points on crits and kills might be a bit too much, especially since "Blood and Tears" already covers that.

Unrelenting should probably only allow advantage on saves against forced movement, but otherwise is fine.
I think you're right with this, advantage should be enough.

Blood And Tears is too good, methinks.
if I remove the taunt recovery on crits and kills from "Brawling Frenzy" I think it balances this one out a bit, but I might still limit this to "recover half your expended taunt points (minimum of 1)" rather than "recover half your total maximum".