Drunken Master

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Martial arts students face a bewildering array of martial arts schools, each with its own adherents and detractors. However, few schools are as unusual—or as controversial—as drunken boxing. By weaving and staggering about as if inebriated, drunken boxers avoid many blows. Likewise, their stumbling, lurching attacks catch their opponents off guard. Moreover, when they actually imbibe alcohol, drunken masters can perform truly prodigious feats of strength and bravery.

This ability garners a drunken master little respect among adherents of other martial arts schools, because drunken boxing exacts a toll on its users. Drunken masters may remain intoxicated for hours after a fight, and they are often found half-asleep in taverns, mumbling incoherently. This flies in the face of other schools’ ascetic principles. Members of rival schools must be wary—they never know when the tipsy lout at the bar is just a harmless thug, and when he is a nigh-unstoppable drunken master.

Monks form the backbone of the drunken boxing school. A monk loses some face with his original school or monastery for becoming a drunken master, but a brilliant display of drunken fighting can sometimes silence critics in one’s former school. Members of other classes become drunken masters only rarely, although students often tell the tale of a barbarian from the north who became a phenomenal drunken master.

Prospective students are studied at a distance by other drunken masters, then treated to a display of the power of drunken boxing. If the student expresses enthusiasm for learning the new techniques, a group of drunken masters takes him or her from tavern to tavern, getting rip-roaring drunk, causing trouble, and passing along the first secrets of the technique. Those who survive the revelry are welcomed as new drunken masters.

Be sure to check for any Prohibited Class Combinations before choosing this class or planning a character around it.


Base Attack Bonus: +3

Feats: Toughness, Improved Unarmed Strike

Skills: Tumble (5)


Hit Die: d12

Proficiencies: None

Skill Points: 4 + INT

Class Skills: Concentration, Craft (all), Decipher Script, Discipline, Escape Artist, Forgery, Knowledge (Arcana, Engineering, Geography, Planes, Psionic, Religion), Heal, Hide, Listen, Lore, Move Silently, Parry, Perform, Persuade, Profession (all), Sense Motive, Tumble

Lvl BAB Fort Ref Will Special
1st +0 +2 +2 +2 Monkey Stance, Circle Kick, Epic Toughness I
2nd +1 +3 +3 +3 Drunken Fist
3rd +2 +3 +3 +3 Home Brew, Epic Toughness II
4th +3 +4 +4 +4 Ki Brew, Revitalizing Brew
5th +3 +4 +4 +4 Epic Toughness III, Defensive Awareness I
6st +4 +5 +5 +5 Dampening Draught
7th +5 +5 +5 +5 Epic Toughness IV, Defensive Awareness II
8th +6/1 +6 +6 +6 Ki Shield
9th +6/1 +6 +6 +6 Epic Toughness V, Defensive Awareness III
10th +7/2 +7 +7 +7 Flame Breath, Knockdown Immunity in Monkey Stance

  • Author's Note. The way this class functions is a pseudo-immunity system. Mechanically, when you are hit with a drunken master immunity up you will immediately heal the damage that would have been resisted. While you are not actually granted immunity, it's much easier to explain things as immunity than not so in this article when it says "immunity" it doesn't mean literal immunity, it means the healing thing. This immunity applies after other sources of damage reduction, absorption, and immunity have taken place. EG: With 20% slashing immunity on gear and 5 slashing resist, a sword strike for 100 damage would be reduced by 20, then by an additional 5. The remaining 75 damage would be processed through the drunken master immunity formula.

Major Class Mechanic

Stagger Pool: Whenever you take damage with a drunken master immunity up and in monkey stance, the damage that you immune is instead transferred into a pool. That pool empties once every round, dealing damage to the drunken master based on a percentage of the total pool.

Example: After a few rounds of combat you have a damage pool of 300. At the start of the next combat round you take 50 damage and the pool is now equal to 250. If during that round you take another 250 damage your pool would be 500, and at the start of the next combat round you would take 100 damage.

Only Physical Damage is staggered.

Currently the Stagger Pool empties at 1/25th of its value twice per round, but with a minimum 'tick' of 10 if your stagger pool is below 100.

Ability Descriptions

Monkey Stance: A fluid combat stance.* Monkey Stance provides a number of benefits to the user. Most of these benefits scale with stats and Drunken Master level. Monkey stance only functions while unarmed and unarmored.

Armor Class: -20 Dodge AC

Movement Speed: 3 x Dexterity Modifier.

Damage Increase: Half Strength Modifier in bonus damage.

Concealment Increase: 3 x Drunken Master Level + 3 x Dexterity Modifier. (Max 75%)

Attack Bonus: +3

Knockdown Immunity at Level 10 DM

Allows use of other Drunken Master Abilities

Drunken Fist: You lash out at your opponent, dealing bludgeoning damage based on your level and strength (StrMod/2(d12) + DM Level). In addition you gain 30% immunity to damage and regeneration equal to (1/2(Con Modifier) + 2) per round. This feature lasts for 10 rounds with a 6 round cooldown. The Immunity from this ability does not stack with itself, but the regeneration does.

Ki Brew: You quaff one of your special ki infused alcoholic brews, healing you. When you drink your Ki Brew you are immediately healed for (8% plus a percentage equal to your constitution modifier) of your Maximum HP. This ability has a 30 second cooldown with 3 charges. Shares a charge pool with Revitalizing Brew.

Revitalizing Brew: This custom made ki infused brew causes you to seemingly forget past blows. Upon drinking you will immediately decrease your stored Stagger Pool by (25% plus an additional percent equal to twice your constitution modifier), and apply regeneration to yourself for 10 seconds that restore 1% of your missing HP per second. This ability shares a charge pool with Ki Brew, but has a reduced cooldown of 20 seconds.

Dampening Draught: You drink a potent mixture, dulling you to pain. When you drink a dampening draught you gain 70% additional immunity. This stacks with the immunity you gain from Drunken Fist. This ability lasts for 1 turn and has a cooldown of 60 seconds.

Ki Shield: Focus your inner ki into a barrier, protecting you from harm temporarily. Ki Shield provides a temp HP shield equal to (Drunken Master Level * Con Mod). This shield lasts until broken or for three rounds. This ability also has a 75 second cooldown.

Flame Breath: You exhale air so saturated with alcohol it catches flame with the smallest spark. When you use breath of fire, you create a conical attack from your character in the direction you choose. This ability deals damage equal to the difference in your current and max HP, up to 250 damage. This ability has a two turn cooldown and can be avoided by a reflex save. The DC is (10 + Drunken Master Level + Con Mod). Example: You have 500 max HP and 375 current HP. Breath of fire will do 125 damage.

Home Brew: Your very own special concoction. The Drunken Master can create his own special brand of exceptionally potent alcohol for he and his party. The benefits of this alcohol are bonuses to strength and constitution, with reductions to dexterity, intellect, and wisdom (it is alcohol). These bonuses are enhanced for the Drunken Master, and the effects stack. Careful to enjoy in moderation. *This effect stacks to +12 (or -12)* Important to note that because these effects are caused by an alcohol they are immune to dispelling, but will be removed with restoration effects.