Sweet! We’ve come across our first brawler archetype here on the Daily Character Option, and it’s a pretty cool one, to say the least, one that will pique the interests of any Captain America fans out there.
The brawler itself is a mix of the fighter and the monk, but combines them in such a way as to not be immediately obvious. They are masters of fighting with bare hands and close-combat weapons, certainly, but they learn combat techniques like a fighter, and strike rapidly like a monk, but using the two-weapon fighting rules. However, the most distinctive ability of the brawlers, in my opinion, is their ability to improvise and fight intelligently, temporarily gaining access to combat feats to match the situation in addition to their more permanently learned combat techniques.
The shield champion adds to that by incorporating a shield into their fighting style, combining defense with added reach by throwing their shield like a deadly discus.
In addition to being fully proficient with all types of shields, these warriors are also masters of an exotic fighting technique that allows them to throw their shield at foes, tossing it like a discus at surprisingly long ranges. In fact, their skill is such that they can use such throws to throw off the balance of and debilitate their foes in various ways, eventually fully mastering their shield as an extension of their body when used in a weapon capacity.
When their lives are on the line, these champions know they can count on their shields to pull them through, absorbing some of the force of the attack into their aegis.
Finally, these warriors master their shields on an almost supernatural level, learning how to calculate the angles that their shield will bounce so that it ends up back in their hands, as well as possibly ricocheting it off of multiple foes and walls before it returns. Furthermore, they learn to improve the power of their shield strikes. Additionally, they learn to further master the shield in its traditional defensive form, combining attack and defense together.
Varying attack and defense are the names of the various games with this archetype, and you’ll want to mix your build between ranged and melee attacks. Judging when to thrown and when to keep one’s shield will be a major decision in each fight, at least until you learn to return it to yourself. Definitely spend your gold on the most powerful and deadly shield you can muster, likely adamantine or other exotic metal, with plenty of enchantments. But also get some good close combat weapons too.
The shield, being a tool of defense, is not really most people’s first choice for a weapon, so there almost certainly will be a reason behind the choice these characters have made. Perhaps throwing a shield at the right moment saved a life? Perhaps it was the only thing around at the time? Perhaps they were a world-champion at Frisbee golf? Or Perhaps they view the shield as the symbol of a protector, and refuse to fight with a weapon meant for bloodshed first?
Fate brings special power to weapons, at least in the minds of their wielders, and a tool that has saved one’s life will often become the favored instrument of that person’s will. Such was the case with Ton’Ord the Aegis, who tore a disk-plate from a clockwork soldier and smashed it to pieces with it. Now, the primitive lashunta warrior leads his people into battle against the mechanical invaders from the stars, tossing the same disk plate like a deadly discus at their weak joints.
The Black Mirror is a legendary sentient shield known for its powerful defensive properties, turning aside steel, claw, and even magic with ease, but the intelligence of the item will brook no tool of bloodshed, and warriors will have to learn to fight with the magical barrier alone if they wish to carry it at all.
On the planet Shaksur, plant life has far outstripped that of animals, with powerful mobile vegetation being the dominant species on the planet. However, some animal life survives, in the form of vanara-like simian warriors, whom long ago learned that striking from afar was a better solution when fighting these plants, but when melee combat cannot be avoided, you need an arm free to climb while blocking the stings and deadly spores of the hungry plants, thus leading to their “Flying Shield” technique