Bruiser (3.5e Class)

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“You can’t end a good party without someone on the floor.” – Yusuke Urameshi


Instead of being lithe, acrobatic and stylized, they bring the pain through their own bull-chested selves. These heavy hitters tend to frequent taverns, brawling their way through, although they tend to find themselves on the wrong side of the law, their brawls getting too rowdy for a tavern-keeper to handle.

Making a Bruiser[edit]

They are up close fighters and improvisational masters, but are not proficient with any weapons or armor, so they tend to need backup when the fight gets too big, making clerics a fond ally.

Abilities: The Bruiser is not a mentally capable class, although the skills can help. They are instead dependent on their physical strength, with their Strength determining damage, their Constitution determining both HP and AC, and their dexterity adding to this.

Races: Any races with a rough-and-tumble attitude are right at home in this class, making Orcs, half-orcs, humans, and dwarves keen on this, as well as goliaths due to the idea of a challenge coming from a lack of armor and weaponry

Alignment: Any Non-Lawful,

Starting Gold: 4d4*10 (100 gold)

Starting Age: Simple

Table: The Bruiser

Hit Die: d12

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Bonus Feat, Improved Unarmed strike, (Unarmed Attack 1d6)
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Bonus Feat, Evasion, Improvised Weapon Proficiency
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Devastating strikes, Scarred skin
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Dizzying Strike, Bonus Feat
5th +5 +5 +5 +1 Fleet-Footed, (Unarmed Attack 1d8)
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Checking Strike
7th +7/+2 +6 +6 +2 Blitz
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 Breaker Strike
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 Ham-Fisted Strikes (Unarmed Attack 1d10)
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 Wrestler
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 Fleet-footed
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4 Shrug it Off
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 Bonus Feat
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 Bloody Rage, Thick Skull
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 (Unarmed Attack 2d6)
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 (Unarmed Attack 3d8)

Class Skills (4)+ Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Bluff (CHA) Climb (STR) Heal (WIS) Intimidate (CHA) Balance (DEX) Swim (STR) Tumble (DEX) Craft(INT) Profession (INT)

Class Features[edit]

Class features made to tear down foes. All of the following are class features of the Bruiser

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: This Class is Not proficient with Armor, shields or weapons except for Gauntlets and Daggers

Improvised Weapon Proficiency: Improvised weaponry(ie. anything not intended to be used as a weapon, such as a broom, cauldron, door etc.) can be wielded without the typical -4 penalty.

Bonus Feats: The Bruiser's bonus feats are selected from fighter bonus feats and the Bruiser class counts as fighter for the purpose of qualifying for feats.

Devastating Strikes: The Bruiser's unarmed strikes damage increases to 1 1/2 times strength modifier plus 1/2 of the bruiser's class level (rounded down).

Dizzying Strike: The Bruiser makes an Unarmed attack that, on a successful hit, dazes the opponent unless they make a Fort Save (DC = to 10 + 1/2 Bruiser level + Str mod). This ability can be used a number of times per day = to 1/2 class level + wisdom mod.

Scarred Skin: When unarmored and carrying no more than a medium load, the Bruiser adds his Con mod + his 1/3 class level as a natural armor bonus to AC. This bonus stacks with natural armor from any other source.

Fleet-Footed: When unarmored and carrying no more than a medium load, the Bruiser's base land speed increases by 10ft. At 11th level this increases to 20ft.

Checking Blow: The Bruiser, as a full round action, can make an unarmed strike against an opponent. If he hits, the opponent must make a Fort Save (DC = to 10 + 1/2 Bruiser level + Str mod) or be considered flat-footed for 1d6 rounds

Blitz: As a full round action, the Bruiser may make a Blitz attack. This is a full attack action with an additional strike at max BAB per 6 levels. Meaning, a 7th level Bruiser makes 3 attacks, 2 at full base attack, and the third at the standard -5 BAB, at 12th level they make 5 attacks, and at 18th they make 6 attacks.

Breaker Strike: A number of times per day = their Str Mod, they may ignore an opponent's Damage Reduction, even if the reduction can't normally be overcome (ie. DR 5/-). The Bruiser may choose when this happens either before or after the attack roll, but before the outcome has been determined.

Ham-Fisted Strikes: A Bruiser learns to tap into their full strength, and may add 2x Str mod + 1/2 level to all unarmed damage rolls.

Wrestler: A Bruiser of 10th level or higher gains Improved Grapple as a bonus feat and is considered 1 size category larger for the purpose of grappling only.

Shrug it Off: A Bruiser of 12th level or higher gains a damage reduction of x/- where x is 1/3 of the Bruiser's class level.

Bloody Rage: A Bruiser of 15th level, once reduced to half their max HP, enters a rage similar to the barbarian's Greater Rage, as well as recovering 5d10 HP. This ability can only be triggered once per encounter and lasts for no longer than 3 + Bruiser's Con mod rounds.

Thick Skull: A Bruiser is as stubborn as he is strong. He may add 1/2 his Con mod as an enhancement bonus to his Will saves to resist mind affecting and compulsion effects.


A Bruiser who becomes Lawful may no longer take any Levels in Bruiser, though they keep all their bonuses for that level and lower.

Epic Bruiser[edit]

Table: The Epic Bruiser

Hit Die: d10

Level Special
21st Bonus Feat, Fleet Footed
23rd (unarmed Strike 4d8)
24th Bonus Feat
27th (Unarmed Strike 5d6), Bonus Feat
29th Improved Natura Attack (Unarmed Strike Only)
30th Bonus Feat

4 + Int modifier skill points per level.

Fleet-Footed: Additional 10ft to land speed

Bonus Feats: The epic Bruiser gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic Bruiser bonus feats) every 3 levels after 20th.

Epic Bruiser Bonus Feat List: Epic Dodge, Epic Toughness, Epic Speed, Epic Reflexes, Perfect Health, Great Constitution, Great Dexterity, Great Strength, Legendary wrestler, Damage Reduction, Armor Skin, Fast Healing, Epic Weapon Focus (Unarmed), Epic Weapon Specialization (Unarmed), Shattering Strike,.

Human Bruiser Starting Package[edit]

Weapons: None

Skill Selection:

Skill Ranks Ability Armor
Bluff 4 Cha "—"
Swim 4 Str "—"
Heal 4 Wis "—"
Intimidate 4 Cha "—"

Feat: Combat Reflexes (Bruiser Feat), Weapon Focus (Unarmed)[1st level Feat], Power attack (Human Feat)

Bonus Feats: Improved Unarmed strike

Gear: Backpack, Bedroll, Three Torches, Flint and Steel, One week's trail rations, Waterskin.

Gold: 40

Campaign Information[edit]

Playing a Bruiser[edit]

Religion: Bruisers have no specific set religion, though they tend to worship gods of strength and combat.

Other Classes: They get along well with Fighters and Barbarians well, due to a respect of physical prowess. They can work well with paladins and Clerics, but often are scolded on their less than lawful tendencies. They find Wizards, rogues, and others lacking direct confrontational skill too weak to even care for.

Combat: Being a person that loves to fight, they are often on the front lines, kicking in doors, breaking skulls and taking names, or they would if they cared to learn those names.

Advancement: A Fighter or Barbarian are good multi-class options, boosting the combat abilities further. Mainly A Brawler has two choices, A striker or a Grappler. You start with two Feat to choose from, Power attack and Improved Grapple.

Brawler's in the World[edit]

“You can’t end a good party without someone on the floor.”
—Yusuke Urameshi

They are everywhere, a natural part of society, and will remain as such for a long time.

Daily Life: Each day is like any other, wake up, eat food, drink, fight.

Notables: Barroom brawlers, Shady Enforcers

Organizations: Fight clubs, legal and otherwise, Bar fights, Thieves Guilds, Mercenary Bands, Bandits

NPC Reactions: Respect, Fear, Aggravation for the destruction they bring

Bruiser Lore[edit]

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (Local) or the Bardic Knowledge feature can research Bruisers to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

DC Result
5 Existence of Combat arenas in an area
10 Where these arenas are/ where fight clubs meet, Club Leaders
15 Club Rivalries,
20 Club sign of initiation (Tatoo, piece of clothing etc.)

Bruisers in the Game[edit]

Bruisers, both NPC and PC, are not to be taken lightly, typically are physically imposing, and will gladly take point in combat, being the front-liner, breaking the enemy's ranks, crushing their morale, and, in general, ruining their day. They hate being in back, they hate being forced to play support to others, unless that support involves shattering spines and crushing the fighting spirit out of foes.

Adaptation: Good Bruisers are willing to do about anything to protect their allies and anyone they deem as needing their protection, while Evil Bruisers will crush whoever gets in their way, reveling in the bloodbath. Good or evil, they typically do not take charge, nor do they take orders well.

Sample Encounter: <-DM placement for NPCs of this class.->.

EL : <-Encounter scenario and character info on sample NPC including stat block. The CR of the NPC is typically the same as the EL for the encounter.->.

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