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Kerrin
2010-09-11, 09:54 PM
I'm trying to figure out what a decent armor class is for a Fighter of level 5.

I have a fighter with an armor class of 20 (10 + 1 dex + 8 full plate + 1 armor enhancement), but he seems to get hit quite a lot.

Yeah, he's a front line meat shield so I expect him to have to suck up a lot of damage but with the way he's been getting hammered by getting hit a lot makes me wonder if AC 20 is somehow way too low for his level and whether or not I should bother spending time looking at ways to increase his AC.

Any advice on what is the average expected armor class of a 5th level fighter built using core rules?

(p.s. he doesn't have a shield because he wields a two-handed weapon)

Flickerdart
2010-09-11, 10:13 PM
I'm going to list a few random CR5 monsters from the SRD, because math is fun.

Troll: +9 to-hit
Orca: +12 to-hit
Ettin Skeleton: +10 to-hit
Giant Constrictor Snake: +13 to-hit
Huge Monstrous Spider: +9 to-hit

As you can see, 20AC means that monsters will be hitting you 45-65% of the time. If this is acceptable to you (due to a solid bunch of HP) then great, but if not...

By 5th level, you should have nine thousand GP to throw around. 2650 of that goes to cover full plate, meaning that you can easily pick up, say, a ring of protection or amulet of natural armor for 2000GP, or spring for a +2 full plate suit at an extra cost of 3000GP. Hell, you could get both magic items, and still have 2350gp, just enough for a +1 greatsword, and end with 22 AC.

snoopy13a
2010-09-11, 10:27 PM
You could use a buckler. I don't think it would be optimal as it causes a -1 to hit and you cannot use a buckler for defense after you've attacked that round.

However, a +1 magic buckler would add two points to your AC (provided you haven't attacked yet).

On the other hand, if you play a game where the NPCs tend to concentrate on you, perhaps going sword and board wouldn't be that bad of a idea (assuming the NPCs will still concentrate on you and not on your party members who will deal out significantly more damage).

Kerrin
2010-09-11, 11:08 PM
I'm going to list a few random CR5 monsters from the SRD, because math is fun.
What's the SRD?


As you can see, 20AC means that monsters will be hitting you 45-65% of the time. If this is acceptable to you (due to a solid bunch of HP) then great, but if not...
55 hit points don't seem to be holding up too well at the moment. My fighter ends up low on HP quite a lot.

By the way, thanks for those pluses-to-hit numbers. They do give a good perspective on things.


By 5th level, you should have nine thousand GP to throw around.
Hmm, adding up everything my fighter owns (including all the mundane possessions) it comes to a total of around 7,500gp, which is a little lower than the 9,000gp you mentioned. I'll have to ask our DM about that.

Thank you for the informative info!

Kerrin
2010-09-11, 11:10 PM
On the other hand, if you play a game where the NPCs tend to concentrate on you, perhaps going sword and board wouldn't be that bad of a idea (assuming the NPCs will still concentrate on you and not on your party members who will deal out significantly more damage).
I'll have to contemplate adding a shield to my fighter and forgoing the two-handed weapon scheme - need to look at the trade offs.

Thanks for the suggestion!

herrhauptmann
2010-09-11, 11:19 PM
SRD, it's the PHB, DMG, Deities and Demigods, Psionics, and Epic Level handbook, all online.
Some fluff is missing, and some other information as well, like wealth by level.
http://www.d20srd.org/

Is your DM doing random treasure? Also, it might be a good idea to check what the other players have. If the cleric and wizard are both sporting approximately 12k in goods when the DM is deciding on treasure, definitely call a foul (nicely).
If he's doing treasure randomly, sorta sounds like you got bad luck by not getting equipment you need, and thus had to sell at half cost.
Finally: If everyone has about the same amount of money in equipment, or less, then the DM should probably start sending slightly lower levels of enemies at you. Missing half your wealth of equipment can make your 'average' encounters into difficult ones.

Kerrin
2010-09-11, 11:47 PM
Wow, I never knew all of that was online, thanks!

We did get some staring money but beyond that the items have been whatever we've found in the modules we've played or been able to buy using the funds we've accumulated. Were all about in the same range for total wealth though.

Thanks again for linking to the SRD!

Greyfell
2010-09-12, 12:34 AM
from Personman's 'guide melee combos' thread:

http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7044115

good defenses is more then just AC and HP... though those are the front runners. Also good to keep an eye on are a way to heal yourself in combat (healing belt is a common one here) and some way to generate a miss chance like blur or concealment. If nothing else, a potion of blur or displacement in reserve for any seriously tough fights can be a big help.

Gavinfoxx
2010-09-12, 03:50 PM
Just so you know... a Fighter is generally considered a very weak class that takes someone who is most definitely a rules and optimization expert to make into a "viable melee combatant".

true_shinken
2010-09-12, 04:09 PM
Just so you know... a Fighter is generally considered a very weak class that takes someone who is most definitely a rules and optimization expert to make into a "viable melee combatant".
That's not exactly helpful advice. The OP is happy about his Fighter, he just needs advice to boost his armor class, not 'play something else instead'.


I'll have to contemplate adding a shield to my fighter and forgoing the two-handed weapon scheme - need to look at the trade offs.

You don't have to. A buckler specifies that it gives a -1 penalty to melee attacks if you use it to wield a weapon with two hands, but also specifies you only lose the shield bonus if you wield a weapon in your off-hand. Meaning, you keep your shield bonus to AC even if you wield a weapon in both hands.

herrhauptmann
2010-09-12, 04:23 PM
Could I recommend gaining miss chances?
One of the cheapest (besides a helpful wizard in the party) might be the smoking weapon enchantment. From I believe Lords of Darkness (Faerun book). Grants you 20%, and if someone tries to grapple you, they get a stinking cloud effect in the face

Gavinfoxx
2010-09-12, 04:26 PM
I'd say the previous posters have mentioned plenty of ways to boost the fighter's defenses already. I'm just trying to provide a broader viewpoint -- the idea that, in D&D, it's often smart for a player to figure out, as broadly as he can, what he wants his characters to be competent at, and then ask for help creating a character that excels in that (or those) areas of competence. It's sort of, "consider taking a step back, what do you want the character to be good at?" advice.

For example, if what he wants to do is, "Be able to be very hard to harm in melee combat, be a credible threat in melee against a wide variety of threats, without using overt spellcasting or being an undue drain on party resources, in a way that is easy for a fairly new player to understand." Than I would perhaps suggest various retraining or rebuilding options in PHB II, and I would try and help him achieve those goals with the tools available to him.

true_shinken
2010-09-12, 05:21 PM
I'd say the previous posters have mentioned plenty of ways to boost the fighter's defenses already. I'm just trying to provide a broader viewpoint.

But you do realize he has no balance issues or anything, right? His Fighter works just fine, he just wants to be more durable. Heck, recomending a dip in Crusader would be good advice. Saying 'play a Crusader instead' is not good advice.
You just considered that, simply because he was a Fighter, the character sucked. It does not seem like that at all. His whole party could be tier 5, for all we know. The character seems to fit in just right. The OP makes it seem like the DM is using printed modules, for crying out loud - bringing a fully optimized build to these preset conditions would probably make the game less fun to everyone.
So, yeah, the tier system is great for discussing party balance and everything, when this is an issue. It's not an issue here, so we can we just let the guy play his Fighter and help him boost his Armor Class?

Paul H
2010-09-12, 05:24 PM
Hi

The main problem I've seen so far is that we've been concentrating on the fighter in exclusion to the party.

What are the others doing?

Is the Cleric buffing properly?

Magic Circle vs Evil boosts your AC & saves by two against evil creatures. Boar's Endurance grants +4 Con, so extra 10HP at your level. Shield Other means Cleric takes half you damage, but they can heal outside threatened squares, and you gain +1 bonus to AC! Shield of Faith grants +2 Deflection mod to AC.

What about the Wizard? Grase, Glitterdust, and Fireball help wittle down opponents offensive capabilities. Haste increases yours.

The question is not about the Fighter himself, it's about how the team is doing.........

Thanks
Paul H

ericgrau
2010-09-12, 05:49 PM
Blowing your highest level spell slot on magic circle against evil for +2 AC is a bit silly at this level. Just about anything else would be much better. I like the spell... around level 10 or so, but not now. Ditto on the other buffs.

Reis Tahlen
2010-09-12, 05:50 PM
As a Fighter, your "Class Feature" is: tons of Feat.

I know around these parts you will find plenty of people who will jump at this and explain in great lenght that the fighter suckethest biggest time. Don't listen to them; yes, they'll find you ways to have 50 AC, by dipping 4 different classes and two PrC from various books and magazines, and forget to ask you what you want that you find pleasant and fun ti play.

Now that has been said...

So, Feats. You'll have to rely heavily on Feat to be effective. If your goal is to be a Heavy Damage Dealer, you'll need everything that boosts your AC. "Combat Expertise" is a must have. "Dodge" could seem bad, but it's like having +2 Dexterity without having to trouble for armor penalty. Look at everything which boost your defense with your two handed weapon.

AC is one thing, HP is another thing. I would advise you to avoid the Feat which give you 3hp, I tend to prefer the one which give you 1hp/level (prereq: +3 Fortitude save) in the CW.

And saves, let's not forget saves. The diffrence between taking 30 damage or 15 is a single throw.

You can't of course take everything with Feats at your level. Try to fill the gap with magic items (Cloak of Resistance +1 is CHEAP and always welcome).

Of course, having a shield could be a GREAT asset, but if you want to play the two-handed way, so be it. But I can propose you what I had in mind:

Level 5 Human Warrior: 7 Feats.

1. Exotic Weapon: Bastard Sword
This will allow you to have a weapon you can use one or two handed. Versatility is always good.
2. Combat Expertise
Because gaining more AC is what you want
3. Power Attack
When you wield the Bastard Sword two handed, you want to do as much damage as possible.
4. Dodge
+1 AC on one opponent. "nuff said.
5. Slippery Dodge
+4 AC on Opportunity Attacks. Can be useful, and prereq for what comes next.
6. Moving Target (not sure about the name) school
In the CW, a school who give you some superb defense advantage, such as negating a Power Attack on you, making opponent flanking you attack each other, and you can trip people who miss their AO on you. You are though, your are hard, and hitting you becomes a nightmare.
7. Thoughness
Gives you 1hp/level. It's like having +2 Con, for free.

You can replace the last one with Iron Will.

The idea is to choose when you attack Two Handed, and when you keep your Tower Shield high. If you are the main target, use the shield. If you can afford to expose yourself, drop the shield, and swing the Bastard with potence!

ericgrau
2010-09-12, 06:04 PM
Bastard sword gives +1 damage compared to another one handed weapon. Weapon spec +2. Average CR 3 monster AC is 16 (4 make an EL 7 encounter; using CR 5 would be incorrect except for a Big Bad). Assuming average stats and gauntlets of ogre power his AB is 5+4=9. He hits 14 out of 20 times for an average of 2d6+8=15 or 1d8+6=10.5. Let's say he power attacks for 4 so he hits 10 out of 20 times and averages 23 damage. His damage goes from 10.5 per round to 11.5 per round. Oops, only +1 per round, with a higher chance of overkill probably negating all of that. Ok PA for 2 and get 19 damage 12 out of 20 times, for 11.4 damage per round. Dang, no difference, just a little less overkill. Ya, right now PA is at least 3rd priority after weapon focus and weapon spec, if he can even fit it at all. The average CR 3 monster also has an AB of 7, and he can get 21 AC without a shield and 23 with (also 1,000 gp cheaper). With a shield and combat expertise, he can become virtually unhittable while still being able to hit the monster AC 9 out of 20 times. Or better yet charge in without combat expertise, get slightly hurt, then use CE and keep fighting unafraid. Also agreed on improved toughness, good feat.

AvatarZero
2010-09-12, 06:49 PM
It looks like you aren't playing the sort of campaign where players choose the magic items their characters use, but if you were, or your DM suddenly thinks "This man needs ~9k worth of protective gear!", then check out the +1 Animated (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/magicArmor.htm#animated) tower shield. It's a +5 to AC, and a new place to put protective enchantments, and on top of that you can still use your two-handed weapon. I like it (although I also like having skills, so I'd pair it with the Called property so I didn't have to suffer the -9 check penalty when I wasn't using it).

Kerrin
2010-09-12, 07:38 PM
Meaning, you keep your shield bonus to AC even if you wield a weapon in both hands.
I don't want to derail this thread with a discussion on the finer points of buckler shields, but I just re-read the buckler shield entry and it seems to me if you use your off hand to wield a melee weapon in any way you lose the buckler's AC bonus 'til your turn next round.


This small metal shield is worn strapped to your forearm. You can use a bow or crossbow without penalty while carrying it. You can also use your shield arm to wield a weapon (whether you are using an off-hand weapon or using your off hand to help wield a two-handed weapon), but you take a -1 penalty on attack rolls while doing so. This penalty stacks with those that may apply for fighting with your off hand and for fighting with two weapons. In any case, if you use a weapon in your off hand, you donít get the bucklerís AC bonus for the rest of the round.
Am I mistaken?

Kerrin
2010-09-12, 07:40 PM
Could I recommend gaining miss chances?
You know, that's a nifty idea, an item that give a miss chance. I'll look up some and put a few on my character's To Buy list when he gets some more money. Thanks!

Kerrin
2010-09-12, 07:44 PM
But you do realize he has no balance issues or anything, right? His Fighter works just fine, he just wants to be more durable.
Yes, things are good with my fighter except for how much he gets beat up.


His whole party could be tier 5, for all we know. The character seems to fit in just right. The OP makes it seem like the DM is using printed modules
None in our party is what I'd call optimized. None of us have been playing 3.5 for very long and we mostly have just the core books (with a few more on the way that I just ordered - PHBII, CAdv, SpComp).

And, yes, we are using pre-printed modules as it makes for a lot less work for the DM.

Kerrin
2010-09-12, 07:54 PM
The main problem I've seen so far is that we've been concentrating on the fighter in exclusion to the party.

What are the others doing?
Our party composition is this:

- Fighter 5 - Stands on the front line, sucks up lots of damage, and handles as much of the melee as he can get involved in.

- Cleric 5 (arcane domain) - Main cleric and light wizard duties.

- Cleric 3 (war domain) / Fighter 2 - Backup cleric and backup front line duties.

- Rogue 3 / Wizard 2 - Ranged combat, skills, and light wizard duties.

Personally, I think our party's biggest overall problem is that we are constantly low on healing so our clerics end up having to spontaneously heal us up a lot and hardly ever get to cast other spells. To address this I think we need to invest in a wand or something to boost our healing capacity. So far we've been relying on potions but they're just not cutting it.

As for my fighter, not getting hit so much would help a lot too - and thanks to everyone who has offered up suggestions so far! :smallsmile:

Flickerdart
2010-09-12, 08:03 PM
None in our party is what I'd call optimized. None of us have been playing 3.5 for very long and we mostly have just the core books (with a few more on the way that I just ordered - PHBII, CAdv, SpComp).

And, yes, we are using pre-printed modules as it makes for a lot less work for the DM.
You're going to enjoy PHBII - the Knight is quite good at defence and tanking, and you may find it worth your while to retrain some or all of your Fighter levels into Knight.

A wand of cure light wounds is an excellent way to patch up outside of combat, and is a much better deal than potions.

Kerrin
2010-09-12, 08:04 PM
Level 5 Human Warrior: 7 Feats.

3. Power Attack
When you wield the Bastard Sword two handed, you want to do as much damage as possible.
4. Dodge
+1 AC on one opponent. "nuff said.

7. Thoughness
Gives you 1hp/level. It's like having +2 Con, for free.

The idea is to choose when you attack Two Handed, and when you keep your Tower Shield high. If you are the main target, use the shield. If you can afford to expose yourself, drop the shield, and swing the Bastard with potence!
Of the feats you listed, my fighter has Power Attack and Dodge. As for a weapon, he's currently wielding a Great Sword (with nice results on the offensive end of things).

On the Toughness feat I thought it only gives +3 HP, not +1 HP/level?

I like the idea of carrying a shield and deciding on the spot whether to drop it or use it for a particular encounter.

Thanks!

Kerrin
2010-09-12, 08:07 PM
With a shield and combat expertise, he can become virtually unhittable while still being able to hit the monster AC 9 out of 20 times.
The first time I read the Combat Expertise feat I'd dismissed it out of hand because I didn't think I'd ever really use it. I'll have to reconsider it when my fighter gets his next feat. Thank you!

Kerrin
2010-09-12, 08:12 PM
It looks like you aren't playing the sort of campaign where players choose the magic items their characters use
We do get to buy magic items (as appropriate for the size town/city we're in). Our biggest problem is having enough money to afford everything. For example, my fighter trading up from banded mail to +1 full plate cost him everything he had - so, have to hit the next adventure before buying more cool gear.


check out the +1 Animated (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/magicArmor.htm#animated) tower shield.
Huh, animated shield - looks nifty!

Gavinfoxx
2010-09-12, 08:14 PM
Okay... assuming you like being a Fighter, there are a few things in D&D you can do to be a competent melee character as one:

http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19870606/The_Fighters_Handbook_--_2007

There's the fighters handbook. Here is a thread that talks about, in general, what sorts of things it takes to be a competent not "crazy spellcasting" melee class in D&D 3.5e:

http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7044115

Basically, if you stick with fighter you have to invest your feats and classes generally into a one trick pony sort of deal. The question is, what one trick pony do you want to be?

That's part of why so many of us hate Fighters. They are boring, they don't have tactical versatility and choices in how they deal with problems, they require massive amounts of targeted feat tree specialization to be able to be moderately useful, they are by far LESS useful at their specialty than an extremely large number of classes that don't specialize in fighting at all, and even with optimization, they generally aren't versatile unless you go all out in a multi splat book spree looking for weird alternate class features.

Kerrin
2010-09-12, 08:15 PM
You're going to enjoy PHBII - the Knight is quite good at defence and tanking, and you may find it worth your while to retrain some or all of your Fighter levels into Knight.

A wand of cure light wounds is an excellent way to patch up outside of combat, and is a much better deal than potions.
Thanks, I do look forward to the new books on the way. I'll definitely give the knight a good read.

I think our party will be investing in a curing wand - I just hope we don't lose it while adventuring - that'd stink! :smalleek:

Zhalath
2010-09-12, 08:25 PM
While you're taking Combat Expertise, the feats in that tree could be useful for you. Improved Disarm lets you rip that shiny magic sword out of the enemy fighter's hand, and provokes an AoO if he tries to pick it up. Improved Trip puts people on the ground. Improved Feint isn't as good, because you don't have Bluff as a class skill (though it might be good if combined with a dip in rogue. I'm just spitballing here). The Dodge tree can give you Spring Attack, which can prevent you from being targeted by an enemy's full attack. Also, Spring Attack+Combat Expertise allows you to get Whirlwind Attack, in case you're surrounded.
The Power Attack tree has Improved Sunder and Improved Bull Rush, which allow you to smash your enemy's stuff and knock people around, respectively.

The thing I do like about the fighter is that it can develop multiple feat trees, which, if chosen well, can give you some fun combat choices.

Jjeinn-tae
2010-09-12, 08:28 PM
If it's a problem with the monsters focusing on you, ask one of your clerics if they would cast Shield Other (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/shieldOther.htm) on you, it'll help you quite a bit on defense. While you only get 1 AC from it, you take half damage from all sources that deal HP... the downside is the casting cleric takes the rest of that.

Probably a better option on that front though, is asking for Shield of Faith (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/shieldOfFaith.htm), also from your clerics. It'll get your AC up to 22, but it'll only last one-sixth the time, either 20 or 50 rounds depending on which of your clerics cast it.

Kerrin
2010-09-12, 08:53 PM
Okay... assuming you like being a Fighter, there are a few things in D&D you can do to be a competent melee character as one:

http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19870606/The_Fighters_Handbook_--_2007

There's the fighters handbook.
Woah, lots of info there - thanks!

Kerrin
2010-09-12, 08:58 PM
Ya know, I think one of the things I'm seeing with my fighter is that up 'till now he's been mostly focused on offense and now it's time to focus on defense for a little while in his development.

And, THANK YOU to everyone who's made suggestions so far!

balistafreak
2010-09-12, 08:59 PM
I think our party will be investing in a curing wand - I just hope we don't lose it while adventuring - that'd stink! :smalleek:

Store it up your REDACTED and call yourself the party "paladin".

... too soon? :smalltongue:

More in topic, I personally use a Drow House Insignia (from Drow of the Underdark) on my shieldless melee combatants. At the hilariously low cost of somewhere around 600 gold and your neck slot, you get an item that can potentially cast shield as the spell as a command word (so you don't have to be a caster yourself) 1/day, AT CASTER LEVEL 5. This is a 5-minute shield 1/day for 600 gold. Buy at least one and use that on yourself in the party buff round to make yourself useful. Buy it in multiples once you get into higher levels.

Also, consider forging any (metal) armor you wear out of Cyrite, from Player's Guide to Eberron. At a mere flat cost of 500 gold, the armor now provides a +1 resistance bonus to saves, just like a Cloak of Resistance but 500 gold cheaper!

Disclaimer: if your group is mainly core, it may inspire bad blood and an arm's race to take such selective pieces of equipment from splatbooks. Just saying.

Gavinfoxx
2010-09-12, 09:17 PM
Woah, lots of info there - thanks!

Also, have you looked at that Person Man link, and the many links and guidebooks he links to in his guide?

herrhauptmann
2010-09-13, 12:24 AM
The other toughness feat is Improved Toughness. It's in complete warrior I think.
+1 HP per HD, after level 3 it's superior to regular toughness. A common ruling is that Imp.Toughness will let you qualify for anything that Toughness does (I'm not sure I've ever seen it written explicitly like the dodge variants)

And I'm burning with curiosity, which module are you playing through?

LansXero
2010-09-13, 12:59 AM
Maybe this will be of some use?


Shield and Pike Style
[General, Fighter]
(DR338 p92)
Proficient with Light
Shields
When wielding a Piercing Two-Handed Polearm with Reach with which you have proficiency, you receive
the full Shield bonus to AC of a Light Shield you are wearing.
Note: Normally, you cannot wield a Two-Handed weapon and use a Light Shield simultaneously.

Reach means you get a little more control over the battlefield and to disrupt enemies; I think shield spikes let you threaten the area adjacent to you as well so they dont get off free; what do you guys think?

Malbordeus
2010-09-13, 07:28 AM
theres a few ways we can help without even sugesting feats,

if there is terain or anyhting in the room, then you might be able to get cover bonuses, by 5ft stepping behind a table or corner, height bonuses to hit if you stood on said table or higher up on a flight of stairs, or my favourite

fight defensively.

it does crap up your attacks a bit, but the ac boost if useful if your in dire straights.
other ideas spring to mind like potions of Silverbeard, barkskin, cats grace and the like. i'd sugest shield, but as a basic fighter you cant use scrolls of it... maybe taking some money and getting a custom command word item that can drop the shield spell 3 times a day? (off the top of my head, pretty cheap... i think 1200gp? maybe less...)

Person_Man
2010-09-13, 09:28 AM
Several things:

The key to melee combat is not AC. It's battlefield control. Controlling your enemies' movement and actions. As a strait Fighter, I suggest using Bull Rush and Fear combos. You can read up on the various methods in my melee combo guide, which has already been referenced. Let me know if you need elaboration.
As a Fighter you get free Tower Shield Proficiency, which you can trade in for Gnome Battle Cloak proficiency (Races of Stone). It's a cloak that provides a +1 Shield bonus to AC, and you can enchant it as a shield. So basically an Animated Shield for free.
I personally would not invest in Shield and Pike, Combat Expertise, Improved Disarm, Dodge, or Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Bastard Sword). In general, weak feats provide small bonuses, abilities that can be purchased with magic items, or abilities that are only useful in limited circumstances. Strong feats provide scaled bonuses or unique/expensive abilities. None of those choices are strong feats in my opinion.

Kerrin
2010-09-13, 07:33 PM
Several things:

In general, weak feats provide small bonuses, abilities that can be purchased with magic items, or abilities that are only useful in limited circumstances. Strong feats provide scaled bonuses or unique/expensive abilities. None of those choices are strong feats in my opinion.

I've never looked at feats like that before. I've always looked at them as "do I want my character to be good at doing THIS?".

Thank you for the perspective!

Greyfell
2010-09-13, 07:57 PM
Person Man has, as usual, a very good point. It's hard for the enemy to hurt you when their running away in fear and/or flat on their butts.

Gavinfoxx
2010-09-13, 08:51 PM
If I wanted to optimize a *fighter*, I would play that Incarnum 'human' with the bonus feat, use a spiked chain, be a Stand Still based build, get Thicket of Blades from Tome of Battle, focus on Attacks of Opportunity, Intimidate stacking via Zhentarim Soldier, get Dungeon Crasher, get maybe a useful Incarnum ability with a feat, get Tumble from an alternate class feature, get Resolute from Complete Champion, get Power Attack, get Shock Trooper, trade out Tower Shield for something useful, get that Drow of the Underdark alternate class feature, etc. etc.

In other words, optimizing a fighter is *hard*, and for limited bonuses. It'd be much much easier to play an already powerful class with exactly the same flavor, like Warblade, which is arguably stronger than even a Fighter that does all that.

Or, if I wanted to be REALLY powerful in melee, I'd just be a Druid or Cleric.

Optimator
2010-09-13, 09:17 PM
Unfortunately, as you may have noticed, Armor Class is for monsters. Sad but true.

Kerrin
2010-09-13, 10:09 PM
Unfortunately, as you may have noticed, Armor Class is for monsters. Sad but true.
Wait, what?

Flickerdart
2010-09-13, 10:14 PM
Wait, what?
I think he is referring to the old adage of "offense is the best defense", what with Shock Trooper and whatnot dropping your AC into the negatives. Since you're not doing that, AC is a fairly useful defense, especially if the enemies all decide to have themselves a bite out of you.

Gavinfoxx
2010-09-13, 10:21 PM
Wait, what?

He's referring that, due to the random number generator, the math for AC for player characters generally just means that, at mid to high level, all AC does is prevent creatures from power attacking characters for large amounts of damage, rather than preventing characters from being hit for damage. For Monsters, on the other hand, AC is there to make it so that fairly often, the players miss.

In order to actually keep your character from getting hit for damage, you have to go well beyond the AC the game expects you to have, via spells, or make your "ways to not get hit" have nothing to do with AC in particular.

Basically, if you are asking, "How do I make a midlevel meleeist that doesn't get hit too often", there are lots of answers to that question, a very very small part of which is AC.

Paul H
2010-09-17, 11:07 PM
Hi

Don't know why you'd waste a feat on using Bastard Sword one handed.

Monkey Grip (CW Pg 103) allows you to use a larger version of a weapon with only a -2 penalty to attacks. So Lge Longsword does 2D6 base dam, and you are -2 to hit with it.

Or you could take a 2H wpn and use potions of Shield.

And play a Dwarf.........

Dwarven Ftr Feats

1) Pwr Attack, Cleave (Dwarven Waraxe)?
2) Wpn Focus
3) Dodge
4) Wpn Spec
6) Imp Toughness, Shield Spec? (PHB II) etc.

AC 25 (26 c/w Shield Spec, or Ptn Shield, using wpn 2H)
Full Plate +1, Dex +1, Ring Prot +1, Amulet Nat Armour +1, Lge Shield +1

Should note this doesn't include Dodge, and Shield Spec also increases your touch AC.

Hope that helped
Paul H

Gavinfoxx
2010-09-17, 11:17 PM
Why would anyone waste a feat on Monkey Grip, a feat that actually REDUCES your damage output should you use it? Or get Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization, even in a Core game?

herrhauptmann
2010-09-18, 03:53 PM
Why would anyone waste a feat on Monkey Grip, a feat that actually REDUCES your damage output should you use it? Or get Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization, even in a Core game?

Exotic weapon master, and other prestige classes require one or the both as a prereq.
Depending on why I need it, I might try and sneak past the prereq with a level in cleric with the war domain. Of course if I'm doing that, I'm probably using 3 classes and 4 PrC in a level ~16 character.

Paul H
2010-09-20, 02:40 PM
Hi

Can't see how a feat that allows you to use bigger dice actually reduces damage?

And, unless I've misread it these thousand or so times, doesn't Wpn Focus/Wpn Spec improve bonuses to hit/damage with a specific weapon?

Different builds reflect different concepts, but don't just dis something out of hand.........

Thanks
Paul H

Gavinfoxx
2010-09-20, 02:43 PM
Hi

Can't see how a feat that allows you to use bigger dice actually reduces damage?

And, unless I've misread it these thousand or so times, doesn't Wpn Focus/Wpn Spec improve bonuses to hit/damage with a specific weapon?

Different builds reflect different concepts, but don't just dis something out of hand.........

Thanks
Paul H

Feat that allows you to use bigger dice gives you a -2 to hit. The other ways of using bigger dice (spells and items) are superior. That -2 to hit generally means your average damage per round actually goes down, unless you have some way to greatly increase your to hit, which as a fighter, you won't have. Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization technically improve to hit and damage, but they are wastes of feats, since they don't give you more tactical options, and don't do what feats are best at doing: Making Your Superpowers More Awesome. Its a Linear Fighter, Quadratic Mage issue.

Optimator
2010-09-20, 04:12 PM
-2 to hit for an average of 3.5 damage (on a greatsword)? No ****ing thanks. Power attack gives a 2:4 ratio alone and you can think of -2 as a 10% reduction in accuracy. That's way too much for a measly d6 of damage. an extra d6 for a large greatsword is one of the best returns, too. Monkey Grip is total garbage.

Person_Man
2010-09-20, 04:18 PM
I've never looked at feats like that before. I've always looked at them as "do I want my character to be good at doing THIS?".

Thank you for the perspective!

To elaborate on my point, it's important to remember that fluff (how you roleplay a character) has little connection to crunch (the rules for how your character does stuff) with a few exceptions (Paladin or Knight code, Monk or Barbarian alignment, etc). If you want to play someone who is amazingly tough and hard to hit, you might be surprised that some of your strongest options are Archivist, Wizard, and Incarnte, which are all 1/2 BAB classes with limited armor.

For example, having Weapon Focus (Longsword) doesn't make you an expert at using the Longsword. It just gives you a +1 to hit with it, something you can cheaply duplicate with a wide variety of magic items and spells, which are cheaper then investing a Feat.

The larger point is, you can roleplay whatever type of character you want, regardless of it's crunch.

Starbuck_II
2010-09-20, 04:26 PM
I'm trying to figure out what a decent armor class is for a Fighter of level 5.

I have a fighter with an armor class of 20 (10 + 1 dex + 8 full plate + 1 armor enhancement), but he seems to get hit quite a lot.

Yeah, he's a front line meat shield so I expect him to have to suck up a lot of damage but with the way he's been getting hammered by getting hit a lot makes me wonder if AC 20 is somehow way too low for his level and whether or not I should bother spending time looking at ways to increase his AC.

Any advice on what is the average expected armor class of a 5th level fighter built using core rules?

(p.s. he doesn't have a shield because he wields a two-handed weapon)
On average:

Bad AC: 5 + 1.5 level- to be hit 95 % of time (missing on a 1)
Meaning you need at level 5, 12 AC

Average AC: 10 + 1.5 level: to be hit 75 % of time
Meaning you need at level 5, 17 AC

Good AC: 15 + 1.5 level to be hit 50% of time
Meaning you need at level 5, 22 AC

Great AC: 20 + 1.5 Level to be hit 25% of time.
Meaning need 27 AC at level 5

Awesome AC: 25 + 1.5 level to be hit 5% of time (basically on a 20)
Meaning level 5 need 32

At 20 AC you are between Good and average AC, I'd expect to be hit 60% of time. Which is okay, but not good if you are tank.

Kerrin
2010-09-20, 06:26 PM
On average:

(snip nice AC breakdown)
Thank you! That is a really nice breakdown!

true_shinken
2010-09-20, 06:34 PM
Thank you! That is a really nice breakdown!

I have to agree. Quite nice numbers.

Starbuck_II
2010-09-20, 06:37 PM
Can't take full credit. Someone mentioned it once on a message board. I just refined the numbers better.

Kirgoth
2010-09-21, 12:41 AM
A few suggestions

Damage reduction.
Roll With it : DR 2/- stacks with itself ( take a few times )
Requires 20 Con ( from paragon class levels, wishes, or one per four levels)

Adamantine armour 3/- DR for plate

PSI biofeedback 2/- DR if you can handle a bit of a psi dip

Also take generic warrior for two levels and gain generic evasion and uncanny dodge. http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/genericClasses.htm.
These will help vs reflex save spells and rogues. Dips in other classes may be a better way of gaining these, but generic warror keeps full BAB.

Also can gain steadfast determination which makes will saves use con instead.