Wyrd Street Tease: Na Wen, the Brawler

Time for another deep-dive on one of Wyrd Street’s Iconic Characters. Today, we’ll be taking a perhaps overdue look at the final (playable) member of the family at the heart of the story, Na Wen.

A title banner for Wyrd Street, an upcoming tabletop RPG by Tyler F.M. Edwards.Once a decurion in the Divine Legion of Tiahn, Na Wen retired from her life as a soldier and moved to a Holder border town to start a family with her husband, Karl Vinnarsson. They had two children, Lo and Ji, who are now young adults, but recent years have brought grave struggles to the family.

First, Karl got sick, leaving Wen and the children to support the family. Then came the war. Na Wen now finds herself a refugee, hunted by the same nation she once served. She knows one thing for certain, though: No harm will come to her family while she draws breath.

Wen’s youth may be behind her, but she is still a formidable warrior, and this is reflected by her class, the Brawler. Wyrd Street’s answer to classes like warrior, fighter, or barbarian, Brawler is all about getting into the thick of the fight and staying there.

With the highest base health pool in the game, access to all forms of armour, and a wealth of defensive abilities, Brawlers are natural tanks. Alternatively, they can be built to deliver ruinous melee blows, but they are so naturally resilient that even a damage-specialized Brawler need never worry about becoming a glass cannon.

Following up on my recent discussion of the focus mechanic, Brawlers are the most focus-starved class in Wyrd Street, with a small maximum pool and little regeneration, but they compensate for this with their incredible raw stats and powerful passive abilities. They are a class that need not rely on clever tricks: They are the embodiment of raw, direct power.

For example, Brawlers have many options to improve their basic attacks by specializing in specific weapon types. Most classes have access to Combat Arts, level one abilities that often steer a character toward a certain weapon type, but only Brawlers gain access to Improved Combat Arts, which further enhances them. The Dual Wield Expert Combat Art allows you to add the damage die of an offhand weapon to basic attacks, but its improved version allows you to add the offhand damage to abilities, as well.

If you want a more active playstyle, Brawlers do have an option for that, as well. The Pugilist Combat Art is one of what I informally call “soft subclasses,” build-defining abilities that can be modified or upgraded as you level to shake up a class’s playstyle.

As a Pugilist, you lose the option to wear heavy armour, but gain access to combos, a variety of useful effects that are triggered by using two actions on a turn to perform unarmed or fist weapon attacks.

Pugilist gives you tactical choices to make every turn even without spending focus, and it can help with focus-starvation a bit too, as one of the combos can be used to restore focus.

(As an aside, Vigilante also has access to Pugilist, but their upgrade path for it is different, leading to varied takes on the same archetype.)

If you want to play the traditional, simple warrior archetype, Brawler is the class for you. But if you want something more complex, Brawler is also for you, thanks to options like Pugilist.

There’s a bit less than a week left in Wyrd Street’s Indie Go Go campaign, and there’s still time to contribute. I’ve recently put up an update covering how we’ll be adjusting our plans given that it doesn’t look like we’ll be meeting our funding goal. The big news is that anyone who backs at the Fall of Morhold tier will now be getting the full campaign at no additional charge — that’s about twice as much adventure content for the same price.

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