Constructed Pugilist Brawler: Uhm, wat?


Advice


I took a break from Pathfinder for a bit, and when I came back, I discovered Constructed Pugilist was a thing.

And it was even PFS legal!

Now, excuse my French, but holy cannoli this archetype. It does this:

1. Enables Brawler to scale competitively since it removes the need for Amulet of Mighty Fists and allows them to get Amulet of Natural Armor. This has been a longstanding balance issue with defensive Brawlers, and the extra wealth comes in super handy.

2. Enables crit-based unarmed builds with Vicious Blades to hit 17-20 crit range with Improved Critical. We're talking about a possible crit build on a class with access to Critical Mastery and a lot of swings to boot. This is pretty damn nice.

Before this archetype, I literally had no interest in the Brawler as an unarmed class, as it was outgunned by every other class and Outslug Style seemed like the only good choice. But this opens up all sorts of unarmed possibilities.


You have my attention...

I’d like to see what people advise to add to your build.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I suspect that Improved Critical feat does not stack with the Constructed Pugilist's Vicious Blades limb modification. (Just like Improved Critical does not stack with the Keen weapon special quality.)


Secret Wizard wrote:

I took a break from Pathfinder for a bit, and when I came back, I discovered Constructed Pugilist was a thing.

And it was even PFS legal!

Before this archetype, I literally had no interest in the Brawler as an unarmed class, as it was outgunned by every other class and Outslug Style seemed like the only good choice. But this opens up all sorts of unarmed possibilities.

Literally no interest? You wrote the guide on Brawlers, my bud.


"Brawler as an unarmed class" ≠ "Brawler"

It's a very nice archetype if you want unarmed Brawler, and are fine with using an artificial limb for attacks, and don't care that the hook hand is basically a weapon, anyway.

I'm trying to figure out if it works with Pummeling Style (it it still a "limb", after all) - if it does, that's a definite plus.

@Racheengel: When in doubt, Venomfist archetype. I also like the idea of a Vicious Stomp-based trip build.


I have been looking at this since it's been out, seems fun. Got a few ideas if I ever get to play one.
Don't know that it's overpowered,though : losing the Flexibility usually comes with something good (mutagen, sneak attack, shifter aspects ...).

What I want to know is : how does the grapnel arm and its 40-feet reach grapple attack work ?
Am I Scorpion now and can I start yelling "Come here !" as I drag foes to me, since it's a grapple and they have to end up near me ? Or is there just a 40 ft long chain connecting us in the middle of the battlefield, forcing everyone else involved to jumprope while preventing me from using my sweet metal hand (and making me a tad useless).
It could still be used as a kind of weird wire-controlled force choke of sorts, I guess. Amusing thought.

Actually, I guess that's just something I never quite got the various reach grapple options, like the whip-based things and whatnot. They never had that much range to it, though.


Throw in the Hook Fighter feat to use with the Grapnel Arm Modification for extra fun.


Saw this archtype the other day. If the +2 shield bonus still works when using a two-handed weapon, it could be a good dip if you also want brawler's cunning


CupcakeNautilus wrote:
Throw in the Hook Fighter feat to use with the Grapnel Arm Modification for extra fun.

Interesting, weird interactions...


Nyerkh wrote:
Or is there just a 40 ft long chain connecting us in the middle of the battlefield, forcing everyone else involved to jumprope while preventing me from using my sweet metal hand (and making me a tad useless).

For the record, if that was true, using it without yelling "limbo time" would constitute a crime against humanity.

Nyerkh wrote:
Don't know that it's overpowered,though : losing the Flexibility usually comes with something good (mutagen, sneak attack, shifter aspects ...).

It's not, far from it, it's a downgrade compared to regular Brawler. It's just that we're not used to unarmed options that don't don't make us waste magic item slots and cost twice as much just to use a 'weapon' with worse damage and crit stats.


I was curious about some things. This might be the first ever 1 level dip class that got my attention for the concept/fantasy of mechanical arm.

1. Does it count as normal in other regards? Can it wear gloves and weapons like cestus? Could you have a Constructed arm wear a cestus and wield a tekko-kagi?

2. The grappling upgrade is what interests me because the visuals and aesthetics of that are simply too amazing on an alchemist. What could an alchemist do during the grapple, could I throw bombs with off-hand or chug down an extract or mutagen?

Silver Crusade

I must admit that the concept is cool, but it honestly seems quite underwhelming compared to vanilla Brawler, especially considering that a vanilla Brawler with a Bardiche with the Versatile Design [close] weapon modification already covers the Extend and Vicious Blades limb upgrades at the cost of the Modified Weapon Proficiency feat, but it still retains Martial Flexibility. The same Brawler with a cracked Opalescent White Pyramid ioun stone could actually use a Fauchard, with an even better crit interval, without expending any more feats.


Mechanically, the archetype only makes sense if you want to use some unarmed only option with it. To be honest, if you can't use Pummeling Style with it, Ascetic Style is probably better.

Of course, there's flavor, and I presume that's what people interested in the archetype are looking for. After all, the archetype trades out what's just about the only mechanical reason to play the class in the first place (as a full class and not a dip, that is)!


And doesn't that archetype/robo arm have a reach weapon option too?

Which actually dove tails really, really nicely with outslug style. Two reasons for this
1. REEEEAAAAAACCCCHHH. Or rather, you are really, really good at full attacking the guy on the other side of the room when you have polearm style length, lunge, and a 10' step.
2. Outslug style allows you to remove the key problem of enlarging a reach user- your 5' step turns into a 10' step, which is PERFECT for dealing with the doughnut problem when you are an enlarged reach user.

Additionally, you still have the unarmed strike class feature from the class- that is not altered. This is a minor benefit... but you can kick a cheeky wizard that tries to get into the doughnut so they can cast. So you always have good coverage of adjacent squares, both for regular attacks and AoOs.

The only flaw here is that it is front loaded enough to encourage it as just a dip- you can grab the ability to upgrade your unarmed strike, TWF friendly reach, and brawler's flurry (Which allows single weapon TWF, adn can be upgraded with regular TWF feats).

...so I would seriously consider this as a dip for a slayer. And it would be fantastic in a gestalt with some melee caster class with lots of bonuses (such as an arsenal chaplain warpriest).


lemeres wrote:
The only flaw here is that it is front loaded enough to encourage it as just a dip- you can grab the ability to upgrade your unarmed strike, TWF friendly reach, and brawler's flurry (Which allows single weapon TWF, adn can be upgraded with regular TWF feats).

Second flaw: You could do the whole shebang with a reach weapon outfitted with the Versatile Design modification, and not give up your main class feature for it. Except in PFS, of course.


So, are you going to add it to the archetypes section of your guide?


Think you could make a grappling build with the grapnel attachment?


Gray Warden wrote:
The same Brawler with a cracked Opalescent White Pyramid ioun stone could actually use a Fauchard, with an even better crit interval, without expending any more feats.

Wouldn't "Weapon Adept (Versatile Design)" work better? Weapon Adept says "treat weapons with the modification as their normal category [for purposes of proficiency]". So your modified close fauchard is just an exotic weapon, but you have proficiency with all the close weapons exotic or not.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Gray Warden wrote:
The same Brawler with a cracked Opalescent White Pyramid ioun stone could actually use a Fauchard, with an even better crit interval, without expending any more feats.
Wouldn't "Weapon Adept (Versatile Design)" work better? Weapon Adept says "treat weapons with the modification as their normal category [for purposes of proficiency]". So your modified close fauchard is just an exotic weapon, but you have proficiency with all the close weapons exotic or not.

The benefit is that the Ioun Stone saves you a feat for 1,500 gp, as you usually end up using just one type of weapon anyway. It also counts as being proficient for feat prerequisites, as per an old thread from 2012.

But in this case, the Ioun Stone wouldn't work since a modified Exotic weapon can't be wielded unless you have one of the two feats.

Weapon Modifications wrote:
After being modified, a weapon’s category (simple, martial, or exotic) increases by one step. While a character proficient with all martial weapons can use a modified simple weapon without additional training, modified martial weapons require the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat to use without taking penalties. An exotic weapon that receives modifications cannot be wielded without the Modified Weapon Proficiency or Weapon Adept feat. A character proficient with a specific weapon (such as a cleric’s proficiency with her deity’s favored weapon) is not automatically proficient with a modified weapon of that type.


ultramultialien@gmail.com wrote:
Think you could make a grappling build with the grapnel attachment?

The Grapnel Arm has its pros and cons, but the biggest hurdle is that you can't try to Pin or Tie Up with a grapple weapon.

Special Weapon Features: Grapple wrote:
While you grapple the target with a grappling weapon, you can only move or damage the creature on your turn.

'

There's also the whole RAI vs RAW discussion that the Grapple feature doesn't change this sentence of the grapple rules:

Combat Maneuvers: Grapple wrote:
If you successfully grapple a creature that is not adjacent to you, move that creature to an adjacent open space (if no space is available, your grapple fails).

So RAW you'd fire you arm at a flying dragon 40 ft up in the air, succeed at the grapple, and drag them down adjacent to you. But if this doesn't happen, we'd have to account for the 40ft long chain stretching over the battlefield, for which we have no rules.

=====

So if we go by RAI, with the enemy being grappled up to 40 ft away, I'd maybe make a mounted build where the rider focuses on disabling high-value targets while the mount goes to town with damage.

If we go by RAW, then drag them over and switch grip to grapple with your arms. Would make a really good assassin with Bushwack since you don't need to sneak up right next to your targets.


After the release of handwraps, this archetype is MUCH less exciting.


Secret Wizard wrote:
After the release of handwraps, this archetype is MUCH less exciting.

Still one of the best ways (short of versatile design cheese) to get reach on a Brawler.

Also the Constructed Pugilist is PFS compatible, but handwraps are not (for some reason.)


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
After the release of handwraps, this archetype is MUCH less exciting.

Still one of the best ways (short of versatile design cheese) to get reach on a Brawler.

Also the Constructed Pugilist is PFS compatible, but handwraps are not (for some reason.)

Same as Ascetic Style I suppose.


Secret Wizard wrote:

Same as Ascetic Style I suppose.

Feral Combat Training (Unarmed Strike) + Martial Versatility is a PFS legal way to achieve almost the same thing. While it does require three feats, it has the benefit of not being a style feat.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:
After the release of handwraps, this archetype is MUCH less exciting.

Still one of the best ways (short of versatile design cheese) to get reach on a Brawler.

Also the Constructed Pugilist is PFS compatible, but handwraps are not (for some reason.)

Probably because handwraps were a stupid idea.

There. I said it. Come at me, enraged forumites. : D


Wonderstell wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:

Same as Ascetic Style I suppose.

Feral Combat Training (Unarmed Strike) + Martial Versatility is a PFS legal way to achieve almost the same thing. While it does require three feats, it has the benefit of not being a style feat.

Or like, just use a weapon? That still is an issue with UnMonk style strikes.


blahpers wrote:
Probably because handwraps were a stupid idea.

I figure that Handwraps were in the Martial Artist's Handbook player companion since the PF2 Playtest (and by extension probably PF2 itself) the magic item for monks who don't want to use weapons is "handwraps of mighty fists" rather than an amulet of the same.

I mean, the whole reason an AoMF was twice the price of a magic weapon was to keep natural attack builds in line, not to hose monks.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Probably because handwraps were a stupid idea.

I figure that Handwraps were in the Martial Artist's Handbook player companion since the PF2 Playtest (and by extension probably PF2 itself) the magic item for monks who don't want to use weapons is "handwraps of mighty fists" rather than an amulet of the same.

I mean, the whole reason an AoMF was twice the price of a magic weapon was to keep natural attack builds in line, not to hose monks.

Is that it?

'Cause if AoMF wasn't worth twice the price, TWF builds would always have wanted to go with unarmed strikes – for one feat, TWFers would reduce the cost of stocking up on weapons by 50%

Sure, there's the worse damage and critical range, but the savings would have compensated. Handwraps create a design warp that way.


It honestly wouldn't surprise me if we got Doubling Rings in the March Player's Companion.


Secret Wizard wrote:
Wonderstell wrote:
Secret Wizard wrote:

Same as Ascetic Style I suppose.

Feral Combat Training (Unarmed Strike) + Martial Versatility is a PFS legal way to achieve almost the same thing. While it does require three feats, it has the benefit of not being a style feat.

Or like, just use a weapon? That still is an issue with UnMonk style strikes.

Yup, won't work with class features. You'd only take it if you desperately wanted to Flurry with something from the Monk/Tribal fighter weapon groups as a Brawler, or want to apply Fist/Strike/Style feats to your weapons.

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