Prestige Classes


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.

NPC drunken masters are often found in taverns and bars. They rarely pick fights there, but are quick to come to the aid of someone overmatched in a tavern brawl. Most keep a low profile, although some are famous—or infamous—for the deeds they have performed while under the influence.

Hit Die: d8.


To qualify to become an drunken master, a character must fulfill all of the following criteria.

Skills: Tumble 8 ranks.

Feats: Dodge, Great Fortitude, Improved Unarmed Strike (or the monk’s unarmed strike ability).

Special: Flurry of blows ability; evasion ability; must be chosen by existing drunken masters and survive a night of revelry among them without being incarcerated, poisoned, or extraordinarily embarrassed.

Class Skills

The drunken master’s class skills are Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).

Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: The Drunken Master

Level Base
Attack Bonus
1st +0 +2 +2 +0 Drink like a demon, improvised weapons
2nd +1 +3 +3 +0 Stagger
3rd +2 +3 +3 +1 Swaying waist
4th +3 +4 +4 +1 AC bonus +1, improved improvised weapons
5th +3 +4 +4 +1 greater improvised weapons
6th +4 +5 +5 +2 Improved Feint
7th +5 +5 +5 +2 Improved Grapple
8th +6 +6 +6 +2 For medicinal purposes
9th +6 +6 +6 +3 AC bonus +2, corkscrew rush, superior improvised weapons
10th +7 +7 +7 +3 Breath of flame
Class Features

All of the following are class features of the drunken master.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Drunken masters gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.

Drink Like a Demon (Ex): A drunken master’s body handles alcohol differently from other people’s. He can drink a large tankard of ale, a bottle of wine, or a corresponding amount of stronger alcohol as a move action. Every bottle or tankard of alcohol he consumes during combat reduces his Wisdom and Intelligence by 2 points each, but increases his Strength or Constitution (character’s choice) by 2 points. A drunken master may benefit from a number of drinks equal to his class level. The duration of both the penalty and the bonus is a number of rounds equal to the character’s drunken master level + 3.

Improvised Weapons (Ex): While bottles and tankards are a drunken master’s preferred improvised weapons, he can use furniture, farm implements, or nearly anything else at hand to attack his foes. A drunken master’s improvised weapon deals as much damage as his unarmed strike plus an extra 1d4 points. Most improvised weapons deal bludgeoning damage, although some (a broken glass bottle, for example) would deal piercing or slashing damage. When a drunken master rolls a natural 1 on an attack roll while using an improvised weapon, that weapon breaks apart and becomes useless.

Stagger (Ex): By tripping, stumbling, and staggering, a drunken master of 2nd level or higher can make a charge attack that surprises his opponents. This ability has two beneficial aspects: First, the charge need not be in a straight line, even though the character can still move up to twice his speed. Second, if a drunken master makes a DC 15 Tumble check before beginning a charge, his movement through threatened squares provokes no attacks of opportunity.

Swaying Waist (Ex): At 3rd level, a drunken master knows how to weave and bob during an attack, making him more difficult to hit. The character gains a +2 dodge bonus to Armor Class against any one opponent he chooses during his turn.

AC Bonus (Ex): At 4th level, a drunken master gains a +1 bonus to Armor Class. This bonus improves to +2 at 9th level.

Improved Improvised Weapons (Ex): A drunken master of 4th level or higher can use long improvised weapons (such as ladders) as reach weapons according to their length, and improvised weapons with many protrusions (such as chairs) provide a +2 bonus on opponents’ disarm attempts. Finally, large objects with broad, flat surfaces (such as tables) can be upended to become improvised tower shields.

Greater Improvised Weapons (Ex): At 5th level and higher, a drunken master wielding an improvised weapon deals an extra 1d8 points of damage instead of 1d4.

Improved Feint (Ex): A drunken master who attains 6th level gains Improved Feint as a bonus feat even if he does not meet the prerequisites.

Improved Grapple (Ex): A drunken master who attains 7th level gains Improved Grapple as a bonus feat even if he does not meet the prerequisites.

For Medicinal Purposes (Sp): At 8th level, a drunken master gains the ability to convert a single alcoholic drink he has ingested into a single potion of cure moderate wounds, as if he had just drunk a dose of the potion. To use this ability, the character must be under the effect of an alcoholic drink (see Drink Like a Demon, above). When he converts one drink of alcohol into one dose of the potion, his ability scores change (+2 to Intelligence and Wisdom, –2 to Strength or Constitution) as if the duration of the alcohol’s effect had expired. This ability can be used up to three times per day. It is a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Corkscrew Rush (Ex): A drunken master of 9th level or higher can perform this maneuver, leaping forward and twisting his body in midair as he attempts to head-butt an opponent. When making a charge attack he can, in addition to dealing normal damage, initiate a bull rush (without provoking an attack of opportunity). If the bull rush attempt succeeds, the opponent is stunned unless she makes a Will save (DC 10 + the drunken master’s class level + the drunken master’s Wis modifier). However, if the bull rush attempt fails, the drunken master lands prone in front of the opponent.

Superior Improvised Weapons (Ex): At 9th level and higher, a drunken master wielding an improvised weapon deals an extra 1d12 points of damage instead of 1d8.

Breath of Flame (Sp): A 10th-level drunken master can ignite some of the alcohol within his body and spew it forth from his mouth as a free action. This breath of flame deals 3d12 points of fire damage to all within the 20-foot cone, or half damage to those who make a Reflex save (DC 10 + the drunken master’s class level + the drunken master’s Con modifier). Each time a drunken master uses breath of flame, it consumes one drink’s worth of alcohol from within his body, lessening the penalty to his Wisdom and Intelligence scores and reducing the bonus to his Strength or Constitution score (character’s choice).

Multiclass Note: A monk who becomes a drunken master may continue advancing as a monk.