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Main / Pummeling

Chapter 3 - Weapon Proficiencies


Pummeling, punching, boxing, or simply using one's hands to make an attack is slightly different than attacking using a weapon.

All characters, regardless of class, are proficient in punching. Punching occurs when a character attacks with his fists. No weapons are used, although the character can wear an iron gauntlet or similar item.

When punching a normal attack roll is made against the normal AC of the target is used.

Punching results are for bare handed attacks. Metal gauntlets, brass knuckles, etc. cause 1d3 points of damage. Strength bonuses do apply to punching attacks. Only 25% of damage from punching attacks is real the rest is temporary damage, see Recovery section for healing rates. A character can pull his punch, so as not to cause damage as long as this is declared before the attack. There is always a chance of knockout though. If the percentage or lower is rolled then the victim is knocked out (see Recovery section for duration).


If a character spends one slot on punching he is specialized in punching and gains the following benefits. A +1 to attack rolls, a +1 to damage rolls, and a +1 chart bonus. This means he can adjust his end result up or down one space on the chart to pick the maneuver he desires. He also gains one additional punching attack per combat round. As always, damage can be pulled if desired. Any character class can spend the first slot to specialize in pummeling.

Continuing specialization

This is available only to single-class fighters and fighting monks(priests). Note that a first level character can only take basic specialization in either punching or wrestling, he must wait until third level to continue. For each additional slot devoted to either punching or wrestling the following bonuses apply: +1 bonus to attack rolls, +1 bonus to damage rolls, and +1 chart bonuses.


Called shots usable with punching include hitting a special body part (a beholder's eye), smashing something being held, and bypassing armor. All are at normal penalties.

  • Disarm - If attempted barehanded, the attackers AC suffers a -2 and his disarm attempt is at a -4.
  • Grab - Described below, designed to be a barehanded attack.
  • Hold - Attacks can be held at no penalty.
  • Parry - Against another barehanded attack as normal; against a weapon attack the character suffers a -2 to his AC and a -2 to hit and create the parry.
  • Pin - Same as above for parry.
  • Trip - Can only trip opponents that are adjacent to him.
  • Sap - Described here, same penalties if done barehanded
  • Shield-punch & Shield-rush - Cannot be performed barehanded for obvious reasons.
  • Strike-thrust - Performed barehanded this is called a punch.

Special weapons


A cestus is a heavy glove that has spikes and razor edges on the back and across the knuckles. the damage from a cestus replaces the normal damage from a fist. This can result in less damage, but remember damage from a cestus is all normal damage, none temporary. If a warrior spends a slot on cestus he is specialized in it. If the warrior is also specialized in punching then he can decide from round to round which specialization bonus to use. He also can use the cestus attack roll to determine his chart roll, for purposes of knockout chances. However, he would still use the cestus damage regardless, but with a chance of knockout also.

Dwarven close combat weapons

All of the dwarven close combat weapons are treated in the same way as the cestus, except a slot must be expended to first know each weapon. For descriptions of these weapons see weapons file or arms & equipment guide.

Punching & Wrestling Table
D20 RollPunch ResultPunch Damage% of KnockoutWrestling Hold
20+haymaker210bear hug*
19wild swing01arm twist
18rabbit punch13kick
17kidney punch15trip
16glancing blow12elbow smash
15jab26arm lock*
14uppercut18leg twist
13hook29leg lock*
12kidney punch15throw@
10glancing blow13elbow smash
9combination110leg lock*
5glancing blow13kick
4rabbit punch25arm lock*
1wild swing02leg twist
* hold that can be maintained; @ breaks a hold