Combat Styles Part 2: The Hulking Brute

Last week we discussed how skill and dedication could elevate one’s fighting prowess to supernatural levels. This week we’re taking the opposite approach. The Hulking Brute is a brawler that all things being even a skilled martial artist would have no problem taking apart. However, for the Lucid there is no such thing as a fair fight.


The four Outer Realms offer different takes on the concept of the Hulking Brute from the regenerating beasts of the Verdant and undying sentinels of the Grave to the  nightmares of the Dark.  Each Realm infusing their own feel on the core concept of the brute. However, today we’re going to look at the Verdant and shape shifting to build our Hulking Brute.


While no skills are required for a Hulking Brute two certainly stand out: Brutal Fighting and Heavy Melee. Both focus on raw power over precision. Because our focus is on shape shifting we’ll deal primarily with Brutal Fighting:

Brutal Fighting – Mundane
It represents fighting styles that rely primarily on brute strength over finesse in combat beating and breaking their foes with powerful blows. Replaces the Dexterity Skill Unarmed Fighting, or can be used as a supporting characteristic for Unarmed Fighting. The Character uses the Strength Tree for unarmed combat rolls.

In addition to the Brutal Fighting Skill,or perhaps more important than actual skill at all is the Verdant Trait Strong allowing the Hulking Brute to overpower their foes:

Strong – Grave, Slumber, Verdant
Capable of incredible bursts of physical might, the character is able to push the boundaries of their body.

Now lets look at what the Verdant adds in the way of shape shifting:

Shifter: (Various) – Verdant
The Lucid has begun to realize the nature of the Verdant. Tapping into the powers of the wild Realm, the character is able to alter their body’s structure, making it more difficult to inflict Wounds.
When selecting this boon, the player chooses any Small, Medium, or Large animal for their Animal Form (such as a Bear, Hawk, Lynx, or Squid).

Shields – Verdant
As the Lucid’s natural abilities to change shape grow, they are able to recreate the natural defenses of their animal form.
The character is able to recreate the natural defenses of their Animal Form. (For example, when a character choosing a Bear activates this boon, their hide would become thicker and covered in fur.)

Strikers – Verdant
The changes to a Verdant Lucid’s body are not simply on the outside. Their ties to the wild forces of the Realm have started to draw out the beast in them.
The character is able to recreate the natural weapons of their Animal Form. (For example, when a character choosing a Squid activates this boon, their arms would become more flexible, sprouting barbs along the inside.)

Bestial Senses – Verdant
The touch of the wild has improved the Lucid’s natural senses.

Verdant Grace – Verdant
The Lucid is able to move with the speed and quickness of their Animal Form.
The character doubles their normal movement speed or gains a new form of movement at their normal speed based on their Animal Form. (For example, when a character with a Wolf Animal Form activates this boon, they would double their normal movement; when a character with a Condor Animal Form activates this boon, they would gain the ability to fly at their normal movement rate.) When using this boon, the character takes on animal traits to allow this improved movement, such as back paws or wings.

Animal Form: (Various) – Verdant
The Verdant Lucid may shift their body into an animal form.
The character may completely shift into their animal form.

Verdant Form – Verdant
The Lucid has become a fusion of man and animal, taking the best traits from each
The character becomes an amalgam of their normal form and their Animal Form. In the Verdant form, the character may use the Bestial Senses, Shields, Strikers and Verdant Grace Boons at no additional cost. Also, the character gains a Natural weapon and armor improves.

While following the path of the shape shiftier offers multiple advantages from improved perception and movement to natural weapons and armor this is the Hulking Brute so on top of these already potent advantages we add:

Feats of Strength – Dark, Verdant
Under extreme stress, the character’s body reacts with a powerful burst of adrenaline. Or is it supernatural force?

This last Boon is there just to drive the message home. The Hulking Brute isn’t here for any namby pamby twizzling about, the smash and break everything in their path. This of course is only the tip of the iceberg, the Hulking Brute can also benefit from Boons such as Beat Down, Dirty Fighting and of course Brute and the Verdant companion Boon Unending Might that lets you forgo chance burning energy guaranteeing strength roll results.

In The Next Combat Styles we get away from the target and take aim at the Gun Bunny.