It is said that the great heroes Heracles and Theseus were the inventors of pankration, a form of mixed martial arts. The word pankration comes from the Greek “pan”, meaning “all” and “kratos”, meaning “strength.” Pankration was practiced competitively in the Olympic Games for hundreds of years. The signature style of pankration is to use the entire body to provide as much force and leverage to your opponent as possible. This includes standing strikes, grapples, throws, locks, and chokes. The only rules of pankration forbid gouging of the eyes and biting. Everything else, no matter how brutal, was fair game. Sheer strength was an important aspect of the sport; however, strategy and knowledge of the techniques separated the scrappers from the legends.

Total Combat

When you take this archetype at level 3, you gain the Grappler feat. Additionally, you can roll a d4 in place of the normal damage of your unarmed strike. This die changes as you gain Fighter levels — d6 at 5th level, d8 at 11th level, d10 at 17th level. Additionally, when you use your action to pin your grappled target via the Grapple feat, you are no longer restrained and the target is additionally paralyzed. They can still, however, roll to escape the grapple.

Auspicious Opening

Starting at 7th level, you learn to take advantage of the slightest mistake in your enemy’s form. If an enemy misses a melee attack against you, you may initiate a grapple with no roll required as a reaction.

Vertical Tactics

Starting at 10th level, your fighting form has specialized into standing or ground focused technique. Choose one of the following.

Combination Striker. Every strike you land beyond the first has a chance to rock your opponent. When you hit an opponent with an unarmed attack after you have already hit them in a turn, they must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC equal to 10 + your Strength modifier. If they fail, they are stunned until the end of their next turn. Further hits are not additive to the stun; however, they are additional chances to stun if earlier attempts failed.

Ground and Pound. When you successfully initiate a grapple, you may topple your opponent knocking them prone as a bonus action. While in this position, you may choose to take -5 to attack and +10 to damage with your unarmed strikes.

Inescapable Vice

Starting at 15th level, you have advantage on rolls to initiate and maintain a grapple. Enemies have disadvantage on rolls to escape your grapple.

Human Shield

Starting at 18th level, if you are currently grappling an opponent, all attacks that target you have disadvantage as you maneuver your victim in the way. If you are grappling two creatures at once, increase your AC by 5.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

5E: Age of Antiquity Adventure and Intrigue in the Ancient World © 2019 Aruzian Publishing, Stephen Delucchi, Marcus Lundin

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