Profiles, SPQR

SPQR Talent Focus: The Brawler

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Heroes in SPQR have spent years honing their abilities on and off the battlefield. This week, we’re looking at one of the many talent trees in the core book!

More at home in dark alleyways and overcrowded taverns then on the battlefield, the Brawler is a seasoned fighter, likely a street urchin or guttersnipe from one of the ancient world’s many metropolises. In games of SPQR, you’ll find the brawler to be a vicious close-range fighter, able to shove his opponents around and win challenges by guile and low cunning.

Dirty Fighting

Use: Action (Melee)
The Hero tries to incapacitate a target. If the Hero causes damage against an enemy Hero with this attack, no damage is caused. Instead, the enemy and Hero make an opposed Bravery check. If the enemy fails this check, it suffers a Knockdown.

Batter your opponents at close range with this fantastic opening talent – a successful knockdown can make your opponent much easier to hit on successive rounds of combat and force them to squander their actions getting back to their feet.

You have two choices for your next talent: Piercing Thrust or Knockdown.

Piercing Thrust

Use: Action (Melee)
The Hero makes a swift strike at a vulnerable area on the target. If successful, the target suffers a -1 penalty to any Armour check made against this attack.

Cut heavily armoured opponents down to size with this excellent talent. If you’re a fearsome Gaul or Briton expecting to face down a steel-clad legionary, this talent reduces the benefits provided by their lorica!


Use: Action (Melee)
Using either his foot or weapon, the Hero attempts to trip an enemy Hero. He can only roll one Melee Dice for this attack and, if successful, no damage will be caused. Instead, the opponent suffers an automatic Knockdown.

This talent improves upon Dirty Fighting, making it even easier to manhandle enemy heroes. When combined with other talent trees, this may make powerful opponents a more tempting target for your flashing blade or whistling axe.

Likely Brawlers

This talent tree is best suited to warbands that expect to go up against heavily armoured opponents. Gauls, Britons or Germans expecting to fight Romans, Romans expecting to fight Dacians, the guttersnipe Spartan against Greek or Persian opponents.

Equip your hero with a sword and shield, and improve their melee statistic to give them a better chance of activating their powerful abilities.

Players looking for additional background details for their Brawlers can roll 2d6 on the table below!

Roll: Result:
2 Dockyard Wastrel: Born into the scum-ridden environs of a bustling port city, this hero grew up scrapping with sailors and smugglers.
3 Pickpocket: This hero learned their trade performing sleight of hand tricks and daring snatch-and-grabs. When accosted by the town watch or a disgruntled mark, their prodigious fighting ability came in very handy.
4-5 Pirate: This hero spent some time aboard a raiding ship, snatching up defenceless merchantmen and burning coastal settlements. Aboard ship, their up close and personal fighting style served them well.
6-7 Professional Soldier: This hero honed their skills in the press of the shield wall, where the finer points of a duellist’s crafts are rendered irrelevant by the crush of men and shields.
8-9 Pit Fighter: This hero spent much of their life killing for sport in one of the ancient world’s many gladiatorial arenas. While it lacks the style of other duellists, their fighting skills are certainly effective.
10-11 Hired Muscle: Crime barons across the known world have always employed people of the hero’s persuasion. The hero found work wringing protection money out of hard-up shopkeepers and beating rival thugs to a bloody pulp.
12 Black Sheep: Shunned by their wealthy family, this hero’s fighting style exemplifies the deceitful underhandedness that governs every action in their unfortunate life.

The Brawler skill tree is therefore perfect for any budding Boudicca, in repelling the foul Roman Invaders from her shores.


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Assemble Your forces

With a lightning-fast and easy to play system, SPQR allows you to build a complete warband capable of scouting out enemy armies, clashing across borders, and conducting raids on farms and villages. This is an ideal starting point for a Gallic or Roman warband, or even to supplement an existing force!


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Tom Mecredy
Tom spends most of his time buying books and painting miniatures. He enjoys putting animals on the bases of his miniatures and half-finishing side projects. Some say that he lives in a tower on top of some windswept northern hill with his wife and cow-patterned cat, Spaghetti.