General Prestige Class : Fierce Grappler

by Brent Phillips-Watts, Dragon #295

"A halfling against a half-orc!" Alden laughed as he looked down to the arena and the two opponents about to face each other. "That's not a good match. At least give him a weapon."

Tobar looked at his friend and nodded "I know. That half-orc doesn't stand a chance."

Always ready for conflict, with or without a weapon, the fierce grappler is in many ways the ultimate fighter. Fierce grapplers study the way the body moves and use this knowledge to their advantage, pinpointing pressure points and using arm and leg locks to cause the most damage to their enemies. They recognize that the most effective way to overcome an opponent is to prevent him from fighting back. They use their own bodies and their knowledge of the body to tie their opponents up, rendering them unable to fight back with sword or fist. Most realize this gives them an advantage over other, less skilled fighters, and so they are eager to challenge an opponent to unarmed combat.

Fighters, rogues, and monks are all likely to become fierce grapplers, while wizards and sorcerers are unlikely to follow this path because of the need to be so close to the enemy.


To qualify to become a Fierce Grappler, a character must fulfill all the following criteria:

Class Skills

The fierce grappler's class skills are Climb, Craft, Escape Artist, Heal, Intimidate, Jump, Swim, and Tumble.

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Class Features

All the following are class features of the fierce grappler prestige class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A fierce grappler gains proficiency with light armor and medium armor.

Precision Strike (Ex): The fierce grappler has become skilled at hurting her opponents while fighting unarmed. Therefore she no longer suffers the penalty to her attack roll when she switches from subdual to real damage with her unarmed strikes.

Power Strike (Ex): At 2nd level, the fierce grappler's unarmed attacks are more deadly than most. Her unarmed strikes deal 1d4 points of damage (1d3 for Small fierce grapplers).

At 4th level, the damage a fierce grappler does with her unarmed strikes increases to 1d6 damage (1d4 for Small fierce grapplers).

Great Grappler (Ex): A 2nd-level fierce grappler can hold and pin creatures up to two size categories larger than she is.

Deadly Pin (Ex): The fierce grappler can damage opponents she pins with unarmed attacks. Successful grapple checks that she initiates against an opponent she has pinned cause unarmed damage.

Choke-Out (Ex): At 5th level, the fierce grappler gains the ability to render her opponent unconscious by blocking his flow of air. If the fierce grappler maintains a pin for full round, at the end of the round, her opponent must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 15 + grapple damage dealt during that round by the fierce grappler). If the saving throw fails, the opponent falls unconscious for 1d3 rounds.

Fierce GrapplerHit Die: d10
1st+1+2+0+0Precision Strike
2nd+2+3+0+0Power Strike (1d4), great grappler
3rd+3+3+1+1Deadly pin
4th+4+4+1+1Power strike (1d6)

Source: Dragon #295

General Prestige Classes