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Old Hat Monsters: Brawler Crunch

Old Hat Monsters: Brawler Crunch

He Led Jack up to a Man Who Sat upon a Barrel: this was originally published in Pyle, Howard (1894) Jack Ballister's Fortunes, The Century CompanyLast week, I introduced some new concepts for bar brawlers to liven up your next dustup. I said I’d present all three if I got enough comments, and you folks delivered. It’s time to pay up! Join me after the jump for your brawler crunch.

Some quick build rules I’ll be adhering to: I’m assuming 15-point buy and hero-level wealth (adjust CRs by 1). I’ll present them as CR 7 in the document but I’ll also discuss the builds further here so you can adjust them down or up as you see fit.


Kelgrym was inspired by the reckless abandon with which Mel Gibson’s character in the Lethal Weapon movies embodies. When I watched that series of films again about five years ago, I said to myself I need to make that character into a dwarf. I considered barbarian since it’s the obvious choice, but the monk won out since I preferred to go weaponless.

Critical to the Build: Make sure it’s okay with your GM to flurry with headbutts. A “yes” means you’ll be spending some funds on a helm that can bypass multiple types of DR, and you’ll invest in the Hard-Headed dwarf feat. The other important choice is to dip into cleric of Gozreth for the Wind and Growth domains. The Wind domain allows for a ranged bull rush maneuver that can be fun with the right kind of terrain. More importantly, you gain a swift action spell-like ability to utilize enlarge person, gaining base damage, Strength, and a bonus to CMB against Medium opponents. Spells like bless and entropic shield are another nice bonus.

Last to strongly consider is Crane Style. After you get to Crane Wing, it’s a free deflection on an attack that is about to hit you. Again check with your GM to see if you can use grapple with a leg and an arm to leave a hand free (encourage your GM to watch some ju-jitsu videos online if he or she doesn’t believe that is possible).

Tactics: In the opening round, go large and charge to grapple. Once grappled, use flurry of headbutts as your offense while maintaining a grapple for defense. If the enemy you are fighting breaks the grapple, that’s their action, so grapple again next round.

I would target a spellcaster if there are multiple targets since they tend to be squishy and lack CMD. Paired with the ability to shut down the spells they throw, this option likely does more for a party than any other option. If using this tactic in a barroom brawl, you should find that it is also a great way to shutdown a fighter.

See him now.


Rendar is a sorcerer-fighter combo headed toward Dragon Disciple. Rendar is built on the concept that a sorcerer can be more than just a blaster or a less versatile wizard. He can blast, he can melee, and he can intimidate groups. When he matures into Dragon Disciple, he truly comes into his own.

Critical to the Build: Max out Intimidate, use feats for enhancing melee/intimidation build, and choose spells that mix fire and melee buffs. Go with Dual-Blooded to gain a second bloodline to advance with Dragon Disciple, and trade out the unfortunately sub-ideal breath weapon down the road.

Tactics: You’re a team player, so use Intimidate with dazzling display early as a debuff, then mix spells and melee to support your crew. Use spells to disable fighters and melee to shut down spellcasters. After Intimidate, use buff spells to increase team power and personal power, then rage and wade on in.

See him now.

Wendal Swiftfoot

Wendal is a fan of using spells, bardic performance, and social skills to create conflict, and he then uses Stealth and mad monkeys to steal objects he has found interesting.

Critical to the Build: You absolutely need mad monkeys. It’s a chaos-causing spell that can also steal. Wendal can use Performance (acting) too. Sleight of Hand allows him to hide his spellcasting and then play the worried performer once all hell breaks loose.

Tactics: It’s all about misdirection. If Wendal ends up forced into an actual fight, he prefers to keep his distance and use his returning dagger. He might also go for a Bluff to strike with his punch dagger.

See him now.

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