||This 5 page PDF (8 with front & back cover & OGC declaration) details the Cudgel Thug Prestige Class. It also includes an NPC write-up of one Crawsmasher, Half-Orc Cudgel Thug, as well as a number of new feats and two new weapons, the Rungu and Shillelagh, both club variants. This PDF is interesting, as in addition to the historical overview of the club and class overview, the introduction also includes a brief set of designer notes. The designer here describes his vision for the class, as a strong-arm thug and enforcer that operates on a BTOTHATS (Bash Them Over The Head And Take Their Stuff) model, with the club as a weapon of choice. He makes both the club and the class interesting by adding interesting club based combat feats.
The Cudgel Thug is a five level Prestige Class. The entry requirements for the class include a Base Attack Bonus of +5, and weapon focus (club), as well as a Sneak Attack ability of +1d6. Thus fighter/rogue combos can qualify for the class most easily. The Cudgel Thug is a combat oriented class with a d8 hit-die. It is limited to Non-good alignments as it MO is incompatible with a Good alignment.
Class members gain a number of special Feats enhancing their use of the club. At first level the gain the Coldcock, Merciful Impact, and Subdual Master feats. Coldcock allows a character to, after studying his opponent 3 rounds, cause an opponent to make a Fortitude save against a DC of 10 plus the cudgel thugs level and strength modifier, if he successfully deals damage with his sneak attack. Subdual Master and Merciful Impact allows the character to make non-lethal attacks at no penalty to hit (it is usually -4) and allows him to add his Int or Wis modifier to any non-lethal damaged caused by a successful non-lethal attack, respectively. Additional Feats include Improvised Weapon and Incapacitating Critical which allow the character to use any appropriate item as a club and to require a Fortitude save by any opponent whom he has scored a critical hit against, or the opponent falls unconscious for 1d6+5 rounds, respectively. Also included is a 2 page right up of Crawsmasher, a CR 11 Male Half-Orc Rogue 4/Fighter 3/Cudgel Thug 5.
The PDF is laid out in a two columns with dense text in a smallish font with only bold text used to indicate section heads. The PDF has a small line-art header with two swords flanking the product title. The interior art is limited to one well-drawn ? page illustration of the Crawsmasher character, and a few clip-art decorations. The cover is a colorful affair, with the character illustration set against a gold (with lots of gradient goodness) frame with bars for flourishes. The Title text is in gold with some slick gold gradients and a stroke applied to it, with the sub-title in silver gradient goodness. It looks good.
Overall, this is a solid product, providing an interesting focus on a generally shunned weapon, as well as an under-represented Rogue archetype. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in some more brutal thievery in their game, why pick their pockets when you can knock them the hell out and rifle through their pockets at your leisure instead.
LIKED: Crawsmasher Character
DISLIKED: Text size/density
QUALITY: Very Good
[4 of 5 Stars!]