Resource Title:   ORC BRAWLER
Date Added:
Terry Zimmerman
Word Document of Orc Brawler
October 6, 2003
A class for orc player characters and NPC's..

The content below is an article written by Terry Zimmerman. This article presents gaming information for a "d20 format" orc character class. All information contained within is protected by copyright laws of Canada. This article was produced in accordance with the d20 Open Game License.


An orc brawler is a ruthless melee fighter. The brawler uses only his natural weapons and brute strength to rend his opponents. Brawlers let loose a flurry of strikes that combine attacks of clawing, punching, kicking, elbowing, kneeing and biting. Although sharing some similarities to a monk an orc brawler lacks the finesse and discipline that the monk possesses.

Brawlers are usually the first wave of orc troops that are sent into a battle. The brawlers are expected to madly race forward to grapple and tangle up their opponents until the core of the orc troops can reach them.

Once the core orc troops are engaged in the battle, the brawlers typically begin tripping all opponents as they do not wish to engage in grapples which would make them easy targets to others around them (other than in the initial brawler rush).

Characteristics:  The orc brawler's two main abilities are his powerful flurry of strikes and speed. The brawler is a vicious fighter and uses every solid part of his body as weapon. Orc brawler's are typically very strong orcs who do considerable damage with their flurry of strikes. The wild and ferocious fighting style of a brawler is often mistaken as an orc rager's rage ability.

Although orc brawlers have some basic knowledge of weapons, usually they will not fight with them. A brawler likes the feel of his hands, claws and teeth on an opponent's flesh as he rends them apart.

Orc brawlers enjoy running and have very well physically developed legs. They are able to sprint short distances quicker than normal.

Alignment:  Any. The orc brawler's combat style is vicious, ferocious and dirty. Unlike ragers, brawlers do not act on a whim. They understand the damage weapons can do to them and will usually not allow themselves to be surrounded by opponents. Some good aligned and/or lawfully aligned characters may not be a good fit for this class - although it is rare than an orc would be good and/or lawful. Like their fighting style, most orc brawlers are chaotic.

Religion:  Brawler's will follow the theology of the clan in which they were raised. A brawler has little use of the worship of a deity, but will follow the clan's beliefs and rituals. Some brawlers may say a quick prayer or shout a quick war cry to their god before battle if they believe it will enhance their ability to kill their foes. Gruumsh and Bahgtru are their preferred deities.

Background:  The abilities of an orc brawler comes more from the harsh life they live within, rather than through training. Since orc youth rarely have access to weapons, aspiring orc brawlers quickly gain dominance over many of the others. During their skirmishes in their youthful years, they are quickly and easily identified by chieftains as having adeptness as orc brawlers in the fighting forces of the clan.

Races:  Almost all brawlers are orcs. A few very strong half-orcs who have been raised with orcs have become brawlers.

Other Classes:  The brawlers know only fighting and respect those that are equally adept with melee combat. Brawlers will commonly view Orc Warriors (Fighters) and Orc Ragers (Barbarians) as equals. Orc Scouts (Ranger/Rogue) are generally thought to be cowards for not engaging their enemies face to face. Divine magic is not feared, but is not fully trusted. Brawlers do not understand divine magic and its relation to the deities and spirits, and for that reason they do not cause any grief to Orc Shamans (Clerics) or Orc Spirit Talkers (Cleric/Druid). Although the magic of the Orc Bangers (Bards) is not understood, the brawlers often enjoy the beats of the banger's war drums and enjoy their rhythmic and magical effects they emanate. Orc Casters (Sorcerers) are feared, as their magical abilities are not understood. Brawlers stay away from casters. Brawlers generally dislike any arcane spells being cast on them, even if it is a beneficial spell. Wizards of any race are also feared. Orc brawlers will either completely avoid a wizard, or will charge straight to them in the hopes of killing them before they have a chance to cast a spell at the brawler.

Game Rule Information

Orc brawlers have the following game statistics:

Abilities:  Strength is very important for an orc brawler allowing his strikes to become much more powerful. Constitution and Dexterity are also important as orc brawlers usually have low armor classes and tend to get hit often.

Alignment:  any
Hit Die:  d10

Class Skills

The brawler's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are:  Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Str or Cha), Jump (Str), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).

     Skill Points at 1st Level: 2 + Int modifier) X 4.
     Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the orc brawler:

Weapon and Armor Proficiency:  Brawlers are proficient with very basic orc weapons: dagger, club, gauntlet, gauntlet, spiked. Brawlers are proficient with light armor, but not with shields.

Flurry of Strikes
Base Attack Bonus
1 +1 +2 +0 +0 1d4 +0/+0 1d4   Unarmed Strike, Flurry of Strikes
2 +2 +3 +0 +0 1d4 +1/+1 1d4   Bonus Feat, Improved Grapple
3 +3 +3 +1 +1 1d4 +2/+2 1d6 +10 Improved Trip
4 +4 +4 +1 +1 1d4 +3/+3 1d6    
5 +5 +4 +1 +1 1d4 +4/+4 1d6   Bonus Feat, Brawling +1
6 +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 1d6 +5/+5/+0 1d8 +20 Greater Trip
7 +7/+2 +5 +2 +2 1d6 +6/+6/+1 1d8    
8 +8/+3 +6 +2 +2 1d6 +7/+7/+3 1d8   Bonus Feat, Improved Critical
9 +9/+4 +6 +3 +3 1d6 +8/+8/+4 1d8   Leverage
10 +10/+5 +7 +3 +3 1d8 +9/+9/+9/+0 1d10 +30 Greater Flurry, Brawling +2
11 +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +3 1d8 +10/+10/+10/+1 1d10   Bonus Feat
12 +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +4 1d8 +11/+11/+11/+2 1d10    
13 +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +4 1d8 +12/+12/+12/+3 1d10    
14 +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +4 1d8 +13/+13/+13/+4/+0 1d10   Bonus Feat
15 +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +5 1d10 +14/+14/+14/+5/+1 2d6 +40 Brawling +3
16 +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +5 1d10 +15/+15/+15/+6/+2 2d6   Critical Strike
17 +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +5 1d10 +16/+16/+16/+7/+3 2d6   Bonus Feat
18 +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +6 1d10 +17/+17/+17/+8/+4 2d6    
19 +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +6 1d10 +18/+18/+18/+9/+5 2d6    
20 +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +6 2d6 +9/+19/+19/+10/+6 2d8 +50 Bonus Feat, Brawling +4

Unarmed Strike:  Brawlers are very adept at fighting unarmed and have many unique advantages when doing so. A brawler's base unarmed damage starts at 1d4 and increases as he rises in levels. As previously described, a brawler typically fights with every part of his body (head, teeth, hands, fists, claws, elbows, knees and feet being their usual weapons). As a brawler fights with such a broad combination of blows, off-hand attacks are not applicable and he is able to strike even with his hands full. Bonus damage from a high strength score is fully applied.

A brawler's unarmed strike is deemed as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spell effects that enhance or improve either such weapon types.

With this ability the brawler is considered to be armed at all times and does not provoke attacks of opportunity from armed opponents when attacking them unarmed. Additionally, the brawler's strikes may deliver subdual or lethal damage at his choice.

The Unarmed Strike ability provides the benefits of Improved Unarmed Strike - for the purposes of meeting prerequisites the character is considered to have the Improved Unarmed Strike feat.

Flurry of Strikes:  When wearing light or no armor, the brawler can increase the number and impact of his unarmed strikes but at the expense of accuracy. As the brawler rises in levels his number of attacks increases as does the damage he delivers with them. The brawlers first and second blows are equal to the brawler's base attack bonus minus one. The Flurry of Strikes is a full attack action.

The only weapons a brawler can use with this ability are a gauntlet or spiked gauntlet. The brawler must then declare which attacks he will be making unarmed and which attacks will be made with a weapon.

The brawler looses the use of this ability should his level in another class exceed his brawler class level. (The brawler will regain this ability once his brawler class is equal to or higher than the highest level of any other class he may have).

Bonus Feats:  At 2nd level and every three levels after, the brawler gains a bonus feat. The bonus feat must be taken from: Player's Handbook Feats: Blind Fight, Combat Expertise, Die Hard, Dodge, Endurance, Greater Weapon Focus, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Disarm, Improved Feint, Improved Initiative, Improved Overrun, Improved Sunder, Mobility, Power Attack, Run, Spring Attack, Stunning Fist, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus, Whirlwind Attack; Sword and Fist Guidebook Feats: Blindsight, 5' Radius, Close-Quarters Fighting, Dirty Fighting, Eagle Claw Attack, Expert Tactician, Extra Stunning Attacks, Eyes in the Back of Your Head, Pin Shield, Prone Attack.

Improved Grapple:  At 2nd level the brawler gains the Improved Grapple feat as listed in the Players Handbook, and does not require the prerequisites as listed.

Fast Movement:  Starting at 3rd level the brawler gains an enhancement bonus to his speed while wearing light or no armor. This feat does stack with the Orc Rager's Fast Movement ability.

Improved Trip:  At 3rd level the brawler gains the Improved Trip feat as listed in the Players Handbook, and does not require the prerequisites as listed.

Brawling:  At 5th level and every additional five levels the brawler gains several benefits wihich increase by the modifier shown (+1, +2, +3, +4).

First, all unarmed combat checks gain the brawling bonus modifier. (ie a 5th level orc brawler adds +1 to his attempt to trip someone).

Secondly, the brawler's attacks are so vicious that they are capable of damaging opponents who can only be damaged by magical weapons. The bonus modifier given reflects the type of magical weapon bonus the brawler's strikes augment.

Thirdly, the brawler gains a dodge bonus to Armor Class against attacks from an opponent he is actively engaging. Any condition that makes the brawler loose his Dexterity bonus to Armor Class also makes him loose this dodge bonus. This bonus does stack with the dodge bonus provided by the Dodge feat.

Greater Trip:  At 6th level, once per round the brawler may make a trip attack as a free action against any opponent he delivers more than 10 points of damage to. (Only actual damage rolled and strength damage are calculated towards this 10 points).

Improved Critical:  At 8th level the brawler gains the Improved Critical feat, as listed in the Player's Handbook, for his unarmed attacks.

Leverage:  At 9th level the brawler learns how to use his opponent's larger size against him. When using any unarmed special combat maneuver, the size modifiers as listed on page 156 of the Player's Handbook are adjusted downwards one step, (ie: Colossal +12, Gargantuan +8, Huge +4, Large +0, Medium +0).

Greater Flurry:  At 10th level the brawler's third attack in a Flurry of Strikes is equal to the brawler's base attack bonus minus one.

Critical Strike:  At 16th level the brawler's successful critical attacks do much more damage. The normal x2 damage modifier is increased to x3.

The orc brawler class is loosely based off the monk class with a focus on grappling and other special combat maveuvers. The brawler's flurry of strikes have a better chance of hitting that the monk's, however the damage amount has been decreased. The brawler should prove to be a formidable fighter with a lot of good abilities and options for special combat maneuvers. His weakness his is AC -- he will probably be hit a lot.

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