[HR] Expanded Unarmed Fighting

8 posts / 0 new
Last post
James S
Adventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu ContributorACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Contributor
Joined: 2011-07-29 12:36
[HR] Expanded Unarmed Fighting

I had an idea to stat up a Fighter NPC whose fighting style involves a lot of brawling and wrestling, but without being a Mystic. RAW, this is perhaps inefficient because the selection of Proficiencies to support it don’t quite exist (Unarmed Fighting only being on the Mystic list).

So it got me thinking about existing proficiencies.

There are 4 existing ones that interest me. Combat Trickery (Reduce penalties from -4 to -2), Fighting Style (giving a +1 bonus to ‘something’), Weapon Focus (x2 damage on a 20) and Unarmed Fighting (Lethal Damage and can strike metal armour w/o self-damage).

Aside from Brawling, the Special Manoeuvres all require an attack roll at -4 unless you’ve got Combat Trickery (which applies to one)

I was thinking then, about the following:

  1. Allowing Weapon Focus to have an ‘Unarmed Fighting’ option, in addition to the existing list of choices
  2. Allowing Fighting Style to have an ‘Unarmed Fighting’ option that provides +1 to Initiative.
  3. Adding Unarmed Fighting to the Fighter proficiency list.

The last point may be mildly contentious, because I’m not replacing any of the proficiencies on the Fighter list, just adding one to it.

Can anyone see any major play balance issues with this approach? Or perhaps have a better way of doing things?

harmyn
Player's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War Backer
Joined: 2012-08-22 20:29

I think you are on the right track. Your looking at a fighter variant that works like a boxer/wrestler/ruffian type. I am guessing that through personal choice or lack of proper training this character doesn't use standard weapons (since swords would normally be better than fists). I would declare his weapon list to be restricted making it stuff like daggers, clubs, hammers, picks and other "commoner" weapons. Per the Player Companion this would give 2 special maneuvers. Also drop weapon and shield style and maybe limit bonus damage to unarmed strikes.

Doing that gives you at least 4 custom power slots to spend on the 4 things you were wanting to give him.

And if you want some cheese to go with this cool NPC take 2 weapon fighting (your two fists) so he beta a +1 to hit.

So, you can safely insert the NPC without worrying about balance issues. It is a totally reasonable and doable character per the rules options, and there is nothing overpowering with what you are suggesting.

If you use the npc let is know how it goes.

James S
Adventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu ContributorACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Contributor
Joined: 2011-07-29 12:36

To be honest I was looking at an ordinary Fighter, just one that chooses to specialise (i.e. buy proficiencies) in the special tricks and unarmed fighting, but it wouldn't be too tough to create a class variant as you say.

I think I'd prefer not to if I can help it, as from a game philosophy perspective I'd rather put the customisation within the class rather than across classes (if that makes sense).

What I'm thinking is this (And if Dave2 reads this, you've not met her yet, but as she's nominally 'on your side' I have no fear of spoilers):

Narbu 'The Crusher' - Fighter:11 (Gladiator)
A legendary pit fighter whose famed signature move is to wrap her legs around the body (or neck) of an opponent and squeeze until they are unconscious (or dead..).
Looks like: Chyna the WWE wrestler.

Stats with a modifier:
Str:18
Con:15
Cha:8

Leather Armour
2-Handed Hammer (mostly for show, but she can still really use it)

Proficiencies:
Fighting Style (Unarmed Fighting) - Instead of Fighting Style (Flails, Hammers, Maces)
Unarmed Fighting
Combat Trickery (Wrestling)
Combat Trickery (Knock Down)
Gambling
Intimidation
Running

Damage:
'Punch' - 1d3+7* (+3 Str, +4 Fighter)
'Kick' - 1d4+7*, -2 to hit
2H-Hammer - 1d10+7

Tactics: Knock Down the opponent, Wrestle the opponent (at no penalty to hit), 'Brawl' the opponent until they are unconscious.

* - Can choose to inflict Lethal or Non-Lethal damage

Cameron
Joined: 2012-05-18 16:35

SgtHardPlace writes:

  • Adding Unarmed Fighting to the Fighter proficiency list.
  • The last point may be mildly contentious, because I’m not replacing any of the proficiencies on the Fighter list, just adding one to it.

    Can anyone see any major play balance issues with this approach? Or perhaps have a better way of doing things?

    Assuming that Unarmed Combat doesn't increase the warrior's damage (he can do lethal damage, but it's still 1d2), this seems perfectly fine to me.

    If you are worried about the proficiency add, swap out Gambling.

    Kiero
    Domains At War Backer
    Joined: 2013-04-26 07:13

    In my planned game, pankration is a significant and notable style of fighting that is culturally-specific to Hellenes and the gymnasium. What I've done is made it a two-tier Proficiency, available to any character who can justify training on the sands of the palaestra. Note that while it might seem to give a load of Combat Trickery Proficiencies in one, most of them only function with unarmed strikes (so you need a hand free, or have to use your feet).

     

    New Proficiency: Pankration

    This covers the Greek style of unarmed combat, which is also integrated into armed combat at higher levels of training. If taken once, it functions as Combat Trickery (Wrestling) and also gives Combat Trickery (Force Back, Incapacitate and Knock Down) with unarmed attacks.

    Taken a second time, the character may do lethal damage with unarmed attacks and may damage targets in metal armour. Kick attacks suffer only a -1 penalty to hit.
     

    Kenn-the-eagle
    Joined: 2013-05-30 00:58

    On a semi-related note, the cestus isn't covered among weapons. Perhaps it should be. (1d4 instead of the 1d3 of bare-handed?) Which brings it up if it would be in the same weapon group as "unarmed".

    Charlatan
    Adventurer Conqueror King ContributorPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War Contributor
    Joined: 2011-08-08 15:20

    When I run ocean games, I keep a few extra proficiencies around in this vein, one of which is:
    Pugilism: A character with this proficiency gets a +2 to their wrestling and brawling attack throws, and can apply the bonus from Fighting Style (Two Weapons) to Brawling attacks if both proficiencies are taken. Additionally, this proficiency functions as Weapon Focus for Brawling attacks.

    James S
    Adventurer Conqueror King BackerPlayer's Companion BackerDwimmermount BackerDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara BackerLairs And Encounters BackerBarbarian Conquerors of Kanahu ContributorACKS Heroic Fantasy Handbook Contributor
    Joined: 2011-07-29 12:36

    Very cool. It's great to see how other people have run with unarmed fighting.

    I'm reading with interest as my players haven't encountered a situation where these rules have come into play yet, so I may steal other ideas ;)