Boxer (Apath)

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Unofficial rules compendium

Boxer is a martial artist that focuses on using fists and fist weapons. It is a martial arts class that combines the way of the body and the way of the mind.

Often a competitive sport or blood entertainment, in a fantasy setting boxers can be warriors and champions as well as entertainers or pit-fighters. Often acting as bodyguards to important personages, a boxer is never unarmed or unarmored and equally effective in a social setting or dungeon.

Boxers focus on punching techniques. They can learn kicks and combat maneuvers, but these are simply not as fast or powerful as straight-up hand blows.

Class Information

A boxer is martial artist focused on footwork, tactics, and devastating punches.

Role: Boxers are front-line warriors, protecting others by their mere presence and putting pressure on the opposition.

Starting Money: 2d6 × 10 gp (average 70 gp)

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d12.

Class Skills

The boxer's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (local) (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks at Each Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Class Features

This is all the boxer's class features.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A boxer is proficient with all simple weapons, all weapons from the close weapon group (see the fighter's weapon training ability) and with shields (excluding tower shields) but not with any armor.

Boxing Limitations

A boxer may use an unarmed attack or any weapon from the close weapon group along with his boxing techniques, but may not wear medium or heavy armor or carry a medium or heavy load. The boxer needs at least one hand free, he cannot use a weapon in two hands or otherwise carry or handle anything that takes up both hands (or all hands for multi-armed creatures). A boxer who does not fulfill these conditions loses all class features except skills, weapon and armor proficiencies, and bonus feats. All abilities are instantly regained as soon as the boxer fulfills the requirements. Note that the canny hardening ability has additional restrictions.

Improved Unarmed Strike

The boxer gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat at first level. Unlike a monk, a boxer does not deal increased damage with unarmed attacks, but see lunge. Boxers using performance combat consider unarmed strike a performance weapon.

Lunge (Ex)

A boxer can use his mobility to make powerful strikes in melee with an unarmed attack, adding his boxer level to the damage roll. A boxer that uses a shield only adds half his class level to damage on a lunge. This additional damage is nor multiplied on a critical hit, but it is not precision damage and works on creatures immune to critical hits or sneak attack damage.

Canny Hardening (Ex)

Boxers have two layers of defense, first their nearly impenetrable guard and the second is the toughness they develop through rigorous training. This is a specific exception to the general martial arts rule that only Dexterity and one other attribute can modify Armor Class.

A boxer adds 1 point of Intelligence bonus (if any) per boxer class level as a dodge bonus to CMD and Armor Class. If a boxer is caught flat-footed or otherwise denied his Dexterity bonus, he also loses this bonus.

In addition, as long as he is not wearing any armor, the boxer gains a circumstance bonus to natural armor equal to his Constitution bonus. He can use shields normally and the bonus stacks with both natural armor and with enchantment bonuses to natural armor.

Chin (Ex)

Starting at 2nd level, a boxer gains a +1 bonus on saves against pain effects and effects that would make him dazed, exhausted, fatigued, nauseated, sickened, staggered, or stunned. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 2nd.

Block (Ex)

At 2nd level a boxer learns to block the melee attacks and combat maneuvers of other creatures against himself. To block, the boxer makes an attack roll at his best attack bonus. If this roll is greater than the attack roll of the attacking creature, the block succeeds and the original attack misses. For each size category that the attacking creature is larger than the boxer, the boxer takes a –2 penalty on his parry roll. The boxer declares the use of this ability after the attack is rolled.

A boxer denied his Dexterity bonus to armor class cannot block.

At 2nd level, the boxer can block one attack per round. For every 5 levels past level 2, the boxer can block an additional attack each round, to a maximum of four blocks per round at level 17.

On his next turn after a boxer made one or more blocks, he is staggered, and this condition cannot be prevented or removed.

Boxing Styles

At 3rd level a boxer must select a boxing style to train in. Once chosen, this cannot be changed. This is similar to the fencer's fencing school ability, all effects that work on fencing schools also apply to boxing styles.

Each style has a set of unique abilities boxers of that style develop as they advance in levels. A boxer gains school abilities at level 3, 6, 11, 16, and 20. Note that certain style features have specific requirements that must also be fulfilled to use that particular ability.

It is possible to extend the choice of boxing styles through the Additional Fencing School feat, just as a fencer can. All decisions regarding a boxing style, such as which weapon to specialize in, are made when the ability is first gained and cannot be changed later.

Punching Practice (Ex)

At 4th level, the boxer gains a +1 attack bonus with unarmed attacks and attacks with weapons from the close weapon group. This bonus increases by +1 for every five levels beyond 4th. A boxer attacking with a weapon from the close weapon group also adds this bonus to damage (but cannot use Lunge). A boxer does not get this bonus on combat maneuver bonus, even if using a close weapon or unarmed attack to perform them.

Bonus Feats

At level 5, 8, 10, 13, 15, 18, and 20, the boxer chooses a combat feat as a bonus feat. He needs to fulfill the prerequisites of these feats as normal. A boxer can select fighter-only feats as a fighter of his boxer level.

Cunning Opportunist

At 9th level, the boxer may make a number of additional attacks of opportunity per round equal to his Intelligence bonus. This stacks with the benefits of Combat Reflexes.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex)

Starting at 11th level, a boxer can react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. He cannot be caught flat-footed, nor does he lose his Dex bonus to AC if the attacker is invisible. He still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A boxer with this ability can still lose his Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action (see Combat) against him.

Aggressive Defense (Ex)

At 14th level and higher a boxer can use aggressive defense. Whenever the boxer chooses to use Combat Expertise, to fight defensively, or to use total defense, he can make an attack of opportunity against any opponent within reach who misses him with a melee attack.

Boxing Mastery (Ex)

At 19th level the boxer gains DR 5/-.

Table: Boxer

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +2 +2 +0 Boxing limitations, canny hardening, Improved Unarmed Strike, lunge
2nd +2 +3 +3 +0 Block 1/round, chin +1
3rd +3 +3 +3 +1 Boxing style
4th +4 +4 +4 +1 Punching practice +1
5th +5 +4 +4 +1 Bonus feat
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +2 Boxing style ability, chin +2
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +2 Block 2/round
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +2 Bonus feat, punching practice +2
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +3 Cunning opportunist
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +3 Bonus feat, chin +3
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +3 Uncanny dodge
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +4 Block 3/round, punching practice +3
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +4 Bonus feat
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +4 Aggressive defense, chin +4
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +5 Bonus feat
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +5 Boxing style ability, punching practice +4
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +5 Block 4/round
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +6 Bonus feat, chin +5
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +6 Boxing mastery
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +6 Bonus feat, boxing style ability, punching practice +5

Boxing Styles

These are the fighting styles available to boxers. Each gives a series of abilities as the boxer advances in level. See the boxing style class feature.


The slugger relies on heavy punches to finish the fight in a few mighty blows.

Haymaker (Ex): At 3rd level, a slugger using an unarmed attack or a light or one-handed weapon from the close weapon group in one hand gains some of the advantages of using a two-handed weapon. He gains the increased Strength damage bonus and Power Attack benefits of a two-handed weapon, but the nature of the attack does not change and he does not gain any other effects of wielding a weapon in two hands. It is not possible to use haymaker and Two-Weapon Fighting together, not can haymaker be used in a grapple.

Dazing Blow (Ex): A slugger of 6th level or higher can deliver a dazing blow as a part of one attack each round. Dazing blow must be declared in advance, and no more attacks can be made that turn after a dazing blow, successful or not.

Dan is a boxer with three iterative attacks. He can choose to make his dazing blow on the first, second, or third attack. He loses any attack after the one he used with dazing blow, but if he picks one of his later attacks, he runs a greater risk of missing with the dazing blow.

Dazing blow forces a foe damaged by the attack to make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 the slugger’s character level + the slugger's Strength modifier). A target who fails this saving throw is dazed for 1 round (until just after the sluggers next turn). A dazed character can’t take actions but is otherwise unimpaired. Constructs, oozes, plants, undead, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to critical hits cannot be dazed this way.

Power Punch (Ex): At 16th level, a slugger can make a single power punch as a full-round action. A power punch that hits is automatically a critical threat. The critical damage multiple of an unarmed power punch is x3. A power punch is also automatically a dazing blow.

Crippling Critical (Ex): At 20th level, the sluggers unarmed strike get a threat rating of 18-20/x2. This can be further improved with the Improved Critical feat or other means. When a slugger confirms a critical hit, he can apply one of the following penalties in addition to the damage dealt:

  • Reduce all of the target's speeds by 10 feet (minimum 5 feet)
  • 1d4 points of Strength or Dexterity damage
  • –4 penalty on all saving throws
  • –4 penalty to Armor Class
  • 2d6 points of bleed damage.

These penalties last for 1 minute, except for ability damage, which must be healed normally, and bleed damage, which continues until the target receives magic healing or a DC 15 Heal skill check.


The stylist fights much like a fencer, keeping their distance and using mobility and tactics to win the fight.

Sidestep (Ex): At 3rd level, a stylist gains a +1 bonus on blocks and counters for each empty square of open ground adjacent to both him and the attacker.

Counter (Ex): At 6th level, when an attack is successfully blocked, the stylist can make an attack of opportunity on the attacker if he is within reach. It is possible to block attacks that would have missed anyway, just to trigger a counter.

Fancy Footwork (Ex): At 16th level, a stylist adds 5 ft. to his natural reach.

Deadly Defense (Ex): At 20th level, when a stylist makes a full attack, every creature that misses him with a melee attack before the beginning of his next turn provokes an attack of opportunity from the boxer.


The swarmer or in-fighter relies on getting up close and delivering a rain of fast punches.

Aggression (Ex): At 3rd level, a swarmer gains a +4 bonus on initiative checks. If the swarmer knows several styles he can always apply this bonus, regardless of what style he is actually using.

Two-Fisted Action (Ex): At 6th level, a swarmer who knows the Two-Weapon Fighting feat fighting with unarmed attacks or two light weapons from the close weapon group ignore the attack penalty from Two Weapon Fighting.

Double Step (Ex): At 16th level, a swarmer can move 10 ft. as a "5 tf. step", or take a 5 ft. step in difficult terrain.

Blitz (Ex): At 20th level, a swarmer can make a full-attack action as a standard action.

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