Draconic Pugilist (5e Class)

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Draconic Pugilist

"A long lost group of mysterious fighters left only to mythos and old wives tales, steeped in secrecy.” By Amelie Hutt

For eons, a segregated sect of monks chose to live amongst metallic dragons, each school connecting to their dragon’s lair. As the years passed the monks were exposed to the latent draconic magics that exuded from their winged brethren, carrying over as each new generation was born. Through these energies a new style of fighting was born, one that embodied the raw strength of the dragons.

Draconic Pugilists are not your run-of-the-mill dragonkin; they were not born with draconic blood flowing through their veins like the Dragonborn or Draconic Bloodline sorcerers nor do they simply emulate the Draconic fighting style of monk subclasses. No, this is simply another path lineages akin to those directly descended can be born. Draconic Pugilists gain their abilities not by birthright, but rather by being gifted such power. Whether it be at the hands of a curious mage dabbling in the infusion of draconic magics and the mortal body, a Draconic deity blessing a warrior with great power, or finding an ancient artifact, Draconic Pugilists are a rare class of monk-like people all on their own. Draconic Pugilists differ from their dragonborn and similar counterparts wherein their changes are far more subtle and nearly obscure to the untrained eyes. Most simply have a slightly brighter sheen to their flesh that, upon touch, is far more durable than most of the mortal races. Others have slitted pupils, talon-tipped digits, small nubs for horns, a maw of sharper than average teeth, or a tattoo matching the type of dragon they were granted. It isn’t until one of these pugilists use their mystical abilities that the answer to their nature becomes clear. However, the longer a person meddles in this power the more potent these changes can become, dipping them closer towards the realms of becoming a Dragonborn in appearance.

Regardless the circumstances of their becoming most Draconic Pugilists choose to find solace amongst others of what they believe to be either their fortune or misfortune. These sects are treated much like martial arts schools, with each sect having their own set of strict codes to follow. Many of these sects worship Bahamut, with the rotten few seeking those who worship Tiamat. Worship of a deity however is not required. Be you a great and powerful Orc or even the smallest and bravest Halfling, Draconic Pugilists come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life, and each have their own unique backstories.

Creating a Draconic Pugilist

Quick Build

You can make a Draconic Pugilist quickly by following these suggestions. First, Strength should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. Second, choose the Hermit background. Third, choose any weapon proficient with your race/class of your choice. Lastly, use the chart below to pick which type of dragon blessed or cursed you.

Class Features

As a Draconic Pugilist (requires non-Dragonborn) you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d8 per Draconic Pugilist (requires non-Dragonborn) level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 8 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Draconic Pugilist (requires non-Dragonborn) level after 1st


Armor: None
Weapons: Simple weapons, shortsword
Tools: Any one type of artisan's tools or any one musical Instrument of your choice
Saving Throws: Strength, Constitution
Skills: Choose two from Acrobatics, Athletics, History, Insight, Intimidation, Religion, and Stealth


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

  • (a) Shortsword or (b) any simple weapon
  • (a) Dungeoneer’s Pack or (b) Explorer’s Pack
  • (a) 5 handaxes or (b) 10 throwing daggers
  • If you are using starting wealth, you have 3d4 x 10 in funds.

Table: The Draconic Pugilist (requires non-Dragonborn)

Level Proficiency
Draconic Arts Shuǐ Points Movement Speed Features
1st +2 1d6 - - Draconic Defense, Draconic Arts
2nd +2 1d6 2 +10ft Shuǐ, Draconic Movement
3rd +2 1d6 3 +10ft Draconic Paths, Breath Weapon
4th +2 1d6 4 +10ft Ability Score Improvement, Slow Fall
5th +3 1d6 5 +10ft Extra Attack, Unheeding Assault
6th +3 1d6 6 +15ft Dragon-Empowered Strikes, Draconic Path feature
7th +3 1d8 7 +15ft Hardening, Tunnel Vision, Breath Weapon Improvement
8th +3 1d8 8 +15ft Ability Score Improvement
9th +4 1d8 9 +15ft Draconic Movement Improvement, Draconic Awakening
10th +4 1d8 10 +20ft Purity of the Dragon
11th +4 1d8 11 +20ft Draconic Path feature, Breath Weapon Improvement
12th +4 1d8 12 +20ft Ability Score Improvement
13th +5 1d10 13 +20ft Dragon’s Sense
14th +5 1d10 14 +25ft Draconic Soul
15th +5 1d10 15 +25ft Dragon’s Body
16th +5 1d10 16 +25ft Ability Score Improvement
17th +6 1d10 17 +25ft Draconic Path feature, Draconic Presence
18th +6 1d12 18 +30ft Draconic Embrace
19th +6 1d12 19 +30ft Ability Score Improvement
20th +6 1d12 20 +30ft Draconic Self
Draconic Inheritance
Dragon Damage Type Breath Weapon * Dragon Damage Type Breath Weapon
Bronze Lightning 5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save) * Blue Lightning 5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)
Copper Acid 5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save) * Black Acid 5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save)
Brass Fire 5 by 30 ft. line (Dex. save) * Red Fire 15 ft. cone (Dex. save)
Gold Fire 15 ft. cone (Dex. save) * Green Poison 15 ft. cone (Con. save)
Silver Cold 15 ft. cone (Con. save) * White Cold 15 ft. cone (Con. save)

Draconic Inheritance: You have Draconic inheritance. Choose one type of Dragon from the Draconic Inheritance table. Your breath weapon and damage Resistance are determined by the Dragon type, as shown in the table

Draconic Defense

As magic flows through your body, it causes physical traits of your dragon ancestors to emerge. At 1st level, your hit point maximum increases by 1 and increases by 1 again whenever you gain a level in this class. You gain Resistance based on the damage type of your Draconic Inheritance.

Additionally, parts of your skin are covered by a thin sheen of dragon-like scales. When you aren't wearing armor, your AC equals 10 + your Strength modifier + your Constitution modifier.

Draconic Arts

At 1st level, your practice of Martial Arts gives you mastery of Combat styles that use unarmed strikes and monk Weapons, which are shortswords and any simple Melee Weapons that don't have the Two-Handed or heavy property.

You gain the following benefits while you are unarmed or wielding only monk Weapons and you aren't wearing armor or wielding a Shield.

•You can use Strength instead of Dexterity for the attack and damage rolls of weapons that require Dexterity (except crossbows).

•You can roll a d6 in place of the normal damage of your Unarmed Strike or monk weapon.This die changes as you gain draconic pugilist levels, as shown in the Draconic Arts column.

•Whether it be clawing your way to victory or smashing your way to the top, you won’t be stopped. You may choose to use your talon-tipped digits or the thick hide of your extremities when attacking. Attacks using your claws are treated as slashing damage and normal attacks (punching or kicking) are treated as bludgeoning damage as normal.

•When you use the Attack action with an Unarmed Strike or a monk weapon on Your Turn, you can make one Unarmed Strike as a Bonus Action. For example, if you take the Attack action and Attack with a quarterstaff, you can also make an Unarmed Strike as a bonus action, assuming you haven't already taken a Bonus Action this turn.

Certain monasteries use specialized forms of the monk Weapons. For example, you might use a club that is two lengths of wood connected by a short chain (called a nunchaku) or a Sickle with a shorter, straighter blade (called a kama). Whatever name you use for a monk weapon, you can use the game Statistics provided for the weapon.


Starting at 2nd Level, your Training allows you to harness The Mystic energy of shuǐ. Your access to this energy is represented by a number of shuǐ points. Your Draconic pugilist level determines the number of points you have, as shown in the Shuǐ Points column of the DM table.

You can spend these points to fuel various shuǐ features. You start knowing four such features: Draconic Rush, Breath Weapon, Exuberant Guard, and Wings upon Wind. You learn more shuǐ features as you gain levels in this class.

When you spend a shuǐ point, it is unavailable until you finish a short or Long Rest, at the end of which you draw all of your expended shuǐ back into yourself. You must spend at least 30 minutes of the rest meditating to regain your shuǐ points.

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

Shuǐ save DC = 8 + your Proficiency Bonus + your Constitution modifier
Draconic Rush

Immediately after you take the Attack action on Your Turn, you can spend 1 shuǐ point to make two unarmed strikes as a Bonus Action.

Exuberant Guard

You can spend 1 shuǐ point to take the Dodge action as a bonus action on your turn.

Wings upon Wind

You can spend 1 shuǐ point to take the Disengage or Dash action as a Bonus Action on Your Turn, and your jump distance is doubled for the turn.

Draconic Movement

Starting at 2nd Level, your speed increases by 10 feet while you are not wearing armor or wielding a shield. This bonus increases when you reach certain Draconic pugilist levels, as shown in the DP table. Additionally, you gain the ability to sprout a pair of dragon wings from your back using your inherited element type, gaining a flying speed equal to half your movement speed. You can create these wings as a bonus action on your turn by spending 2 shuǐ points. They last for 1 minute or until you dismiss them. You can't manifest your wings while wearing armor unless the armor is made to accommodate them, and clothing not made to accommodate your wings might be destroyed when you manifest them.

At 9th level, you gain the ability to move along vertical surfaces and across liquids on your turn without falling during the move. Additionally, at level 9 you’ve mastered your draconic flight, allowing you to fly unimpeded. You can now use your wings to fly at your full movement speed. They last until you dismiss them.

Draconic Paths

When you reach 3rd Level, your outlook and usage of your Draconic inheritance commits you to one of three paths to use your gift, such as the Path of the Dragon. Your path grants you features at 3rd Level and again at 6th, 11th, and 17th level.

Breath Weapon

At 3rd-level you can channel your shuǐ into destructive waves of energy like the dragons you emulate. When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can replace one of the attacks with an exhalation of draconic energy in either a 20-foot cone or a 30-foot line that is 5 feet wide (your choice). The damage type is based on your chosen dragon in the Draconic Inheritance table. Each creature in the area must make a Dexterity saving throw against your shuǐ save DC, taking damage of the chosen type equal to three rolls of your Draconic Arts die on a failure, or half as much damage on a success.

At 11th level, the damage of your breath increases to four rolls of your Draconic Arts die.

You can use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

While you have no uses available, you can spend 1 shuǐ point to use this feature again.

Ability Score Improvement

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.

Slow Fall

Beginning at 4th Level, you can use your Reaction when you fall to reduce any Falling damage you take by an amount equal to five times your Draconic pugilist level.

Extra Attack

Beginning at 5th Level, you can Attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on Your Turn.

Unheeding Assault

Starting at 5th Level, you can throw aside all concern for Defense to Attack with fierce desperation. When you make your first Attack on Your Turn, you can decide to Attack recklessly. Doing so gives you advantage on melee weapon Attack rolls using Strength during this turn, but Attack rolls against you have advantage until your next turn.

Dragon-Empowered Strikes

Starting at 6th level, your unarmed strikes count as magical for the purpose of overcoming Resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.


Beginning at 7th level, ancient Draconic magic envelops you so heavily upon you that it forms a tougher outer layer of scales. You gain resistance from ranged attacks.

Tunnel Vision

Starting at 7th level, you can use your action to end one Effect on yourself that is causing you to be Charmed or Frightened.

Draconic Awakening

At 9th level, you gain the ability to use up to a 3rd level spell of your inherited element type. It can be used once per day and costs 5 Shuǐ points. At 17th level, you can use this ability twice per day and gain the ability to cast up to 4th level spells of your element.

Purity of the Dragon

At 10th level, your mastery of the Draconic energy flowing through you makes you immune to disease and poison.

Dragon’s Sense

At 13th level, you become more in tune with your Draconic inheritance, your senses become more keen. Particularly your senses of smell and hearing. You gain a +2 to your Passive Wisdom (Perception), you also gain advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks and Intelligence (Investigation) checks when using hearing and scent. Additionally, you gain a Blindsight radius of 45 feet.

Draconic Soul

Beginning at 14th level, your mastery of Draconic energies grants you proficiency in all Saving Throws.

Additionally, whenever you make a saving throw and fail, you can spend 1 Shuǐ point to reroll it and take the second result.

Dragon’s Body

At 15th level, your Shuǐ sustains you so that you suffer none of the Frailty of old age, and you can't be aged magically. Your aging is slowed to match that of a dragon’s, however if you already age slower than a dragon you instead age at that pace in addition to half of that pace. In addition, you no longer need food or water.

Draconic Presence

Starting at 17th level, can spend 4 Shuǐ points to channel the mighty presence of your Draconic inheritance, causing those around you to become charmed or frightened. As an action, you can choose to exude an aura of charm or fear up to a distance of 60 feet. For 1 minute, each hostile creature that starts its turn in this aura must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be charmed (if you chose charm) or frightened (if you chose fear) until the aura ends. A creature that succeeds on this saving throw is immune to your aura for 12 hours.

Draconic Embrace

Beginning at 18th level, you are able to draw on the full power of a dragon. When you are below 50% of your maximum hit points, as a bonus action, you may spend 5 Shuǐ points to enter into Draconic Embrace. This effect lasts for 2 minutes, or until you dismiss it and grants you the following benefits:

• Your AC increases by 5, due to more chitinous dragon scales forming on your body. The color of the scales are the same as your dragon parent's scale color.

• You may use your Breath Weapon feature as a bonus action.

• When you hit a target with an unarmed strike, that target takes additional damage equal to your Draconic Arts damage die.

Additionally, after you kill your first true dragon, the AC bonus doubles, your Breath Weapon deals double damage and you can activate Draconic Embrace whenever you want. After you kill your second true dragon, the duration increases to 4 minutes. After you kill your third true dragon, Draconic Embrace lasts until you dismiss it as a bonus action. After you kill your fourth true dragon, your unarmed strike deals additional damage equal to your Draconic Arts damage die,for a total of three damage dice. After you kill your fifth true dragon, the damage of your Draconic Awakening doubles.

Draconic Self

At 20th level, you embody the power and will of the dragons. Your Strength and Constitution scores increase by 4. Your maximum for those scores is now 24.

Draconic Path

There are three different known paths Draconic Pugilist can take scattered across the realms.

With the rarity of Draconic Pugilists, most schools honor all three paths and instruct each inheritor according to his or her aptitude and interest. All three paths rely on the same basic techniques, diverging as the student grows more adept. Thus, a Draconic Pugilist need choose a path only upon reaching 3rd Level

Path of the Dragon

Practitioners of the Path of the Dragon are able to weave the movements of a dragon into their attacks and use the power of their shuǐ to absorb and redirect different forms of energy, be it light, heat, kinetic or electric energy. This enables them to absorb the energy of an opponent's attack and redirect it back at them. That includes unarmed attacks as well as attacks with blunt weapons and even some forms of magic, specifically radiant, lightning and fire magic. Though somewhat susceptible to slashing and piercing damage practitioners of this path rely solely on their agility or toughened bodies to mitigate damage from these sources.

Dragon’s Style

At 3rd level, you weave dragon-like motions into your martial arts. You gain the following benefits:

  • When you use Step of the Wind, you gain a flying speed equal to your walking speed until the end of your turn.
  • When you use Patient Defense, parts of your skin become covered by a thin sheen of dragon-like scales. You gain temporary hit points equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of 1) that last until the start of your next turn.
  • When you make an attack granted by your Draconic Rush, you can change the damage type of the unarmed strike to that of your chosen dragon type.
  • As a reaction to taking damage of the same type as your chosen dragon type, you can spend 1 shuǐ to cast absorb elements.
Dragon’s Deflection

Starting at 3rd level, you gain the ability to use your shuǐ to absorb the kinetic energy of incoming attacks and redirect it back at your enemy. As a reaction, you can spend 1 Shuǐ point and make a Dexterity Saving Throw to absorb the damage of a melee attack against you, as long as it is with an unarmed strike or with a blunt weapon (for instance a club, quarterstaff or Warhammer). If you succeed in absorbing the attack, you can spend 1 additional Shuǐ point to make an unarmed strike as a bonus action, which will use the same die role your opponent used to make the attack (for instance, if your opponent attacks you with a Warhammer and you manage to catch the attack, your unarmed strike deals 1d8 of bludgeoning damage instead of the normal 1d6). The same rule applies for any additional magical fire, lightning or radiant damage the attack would've dealt. If your Deflection target is not in your melee range then another target within range must be chosen to take the deflected damage.

Dragon’s Hands

Starting at 11th level, your ability to absorb energy increases to the point where you can absorb magical energy through the palms of your hands and redirect it back at your attacker. If your opponent attacks you with a ranged fire, lightning, or radiant attack, you can spend 2 Shuǐ points to make a Dexterity Saving Throw. On a success you catch the attack in your hands and deflect it back at your opponent. The deflected attack uses the same damage as the original attack. On a failed save you take half damage. Those standing behind you during this action are protected from the effects of the opponent's attack.

Legendary Reaction

By 17th level, you have taken upon the aspect of a true dragon. You move with nearly unmatched grace and speed. When a creature other than you ends its turn, you can use your reaction to do one of the following:

  • Detect. You make a Wisdom (Perception) check.
  • Attack. You spend 1 shuǐ point to make a melee weapon attack.
  • Wing Attack. You spend 2 ki points to perform a wing attack. Each Large or smaller creatures within 10 feet of you must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take damage equal to your Martial Arts die + your Strength or Dexterity modifier (your choice) and be knocked prone. You can then fly up to half of your walking speed.

Path of the Draconic Aspect

By practicing daily through rigorous physical, mental, and spiritual training you’ve tapped into the latent power granted to you. The strength of the dragon flowing through grows more potent, making you more powerful and durable than ever before.

Draconic Healing

You have learned to call upon the beastial power within you to cure yourself. Starting at 3rd level, you can use a bonus action to regain 1d10 + Constitution modifier hit points. At 6th level this increases to 2d10, 11th to 3d10, and 17th to 4d10. You may use this effect twice, and you regain all uses of this feature after you finish a long rest.

Dragon’s Fist

Starting at 6th level, you have learned how to draw on the strength of the dragons to hone your Draconic Arts. Your attacks deal an extra 2d8 element damage of your chosen element. At 11th level it becomes 3d8, and at 17th level it becomes 4d8. You may use this feature twice and you regain use of this feature after you finish a long rest.

Scales of Nullification

Starting at 11th level, you have learned to bring out your inner dragon to protect yourself from attacks. As a bonus action, you can now coat yourself in dragon scales, making you immune to non-magical attacks, these scales remain for 1 minutes or until you dismiss them using a bonus action. The color of the scales is determined by your granted dragon’s scales.

Adamant Anatomy

Starting at 17th level, your Dexterity score, your Constitution score, and your hit point maximum cannot be reduced. Additionally, anytime you come under the effect of exhaustion you can treat it as one level less than it actually is.

Path of the Draconic Ascension

You’ve mastered harnessing the magical capabilities of your draconic inheritance, acuminating them into a new style that alters your heart, mind, and soul. As you traverse this path you will learn to meld your beithir’s magic with your own Shuǐ, creating new and devastating attacks.

Draconic Bedlam

At 3rd level, you have learned to attack enemies from afar. You may use your Breath Weapon one additional time per day. You regain use of this feature after you finish a short rest. Additionally, the range of your Breath Weapon and melee attacks doubles.

Draconic Plangency

Starting at 6th level, you have learned to draw upon the spirits of other dragons. You may choose 1 element outside of your dragon type and infuse that into a single elemental strike use. Your attack deals an extra 2d(Draconic arts die) damage of chosen element. At 11th level it becomes 4d(Draconic arts die), and at 17th level it becomes 6d(Draconic arts die). If an attack using this effect misses or critically fails you may spend 1 Shuǐ point and take the second result twice per day (you cannot reroll a reroll). You may use this feature twice a day and you regain use of this feature after you finish a short or long rest.

Draconic Wrath

Starting at 11th level, you can increase the power of your breath weapon or spell. This feature causes your next Breath Weapon or Draconic Awakening to deal max damage. Additionally, for 2 minutes you are granted one extra melee attack a round and. Lastly, during the duration of Draconic Wrath when a creature that is within 5 feet of you makes a melee attack against you you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against that creature. After your Draconic Wrath has ended, roll a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or suffer 1 level of exhaustion. You may use this feature once, at 17th level you may use it twice. You regain use of this feature after you finish a long rest.

Draconic Rage

Starting at 17th level, you have learned to draw from the primal power of Draconic royalty, drastically increasing your physical presence and becoming a near unstoppable monster. While under the influence of this effect your scales deepen in shade based on your granted dragon (a light black to obsidian black), drawing more layers of scales unto yourself making it harder to damage you. You gain the following benefits if not wearing armor or using a shield:

• You have advantage on Strength Checks and Strength Saving Throws.

• When you make a melee weapon Attack using Strength, you gain a +4 bonus to the damage roll.

• Your AC increases by 10 for the duration of your Rage.

• You have Resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage. If you had resistance to either of these types you instead gain Immunity during the duration of your Draconic Rage.

If you are able to cast Spells or use Shuî, you can't cast any spells or shuî abilities, nor concentrate on spells while raging.

Your rage lasts for 1 minute. It ends early if you are knocked Unconscious or if Your Turn ends and you haven't attacked a Hostile creature since your last turn or taken damage since then. You can also end your rage on Your Turn as a Bonus Action.

You may rage 4 times a day. Once you have raged the maximum number of times for your Draconic Rage, you must finish a Long Rest before you can rage again.


Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Draconic Pugilist class, you must meet these prerequisites: 15 Strength, must have inherited Draconic powers from somewhere other than bloodline ties.

Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Draconic Pugilist class, you gain the following proficiencies: Shortsword, simple weapon, and either artisan tools or any one musical instrument.

Notes: While this class shares undeniable similarities to the normal 5e Monk class it is by no means a variant nor should it be treated as such. The Draconic Pugilist is a separate class all on its own. Double damage does not stack unless the target is a dragon. DO NOT DOUBLE STACK FOR OTHER INSTANCES UNLESS AGAINST DRAGONS. Draconic Embrace and Draconic Rage similar affects also do not stack.Credit for Path of the Dragon

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