View Full Version : Combatant(WIP, Fighter Fix, No Table Yet)

2012-01-19, 08:52 AM
This is my first attempt at making a class or even fixing a class.

(Warning a bit long, but if you are patient you might see something quite decent)

Anyways. I came up with additional fix for the fighter as the way I think he should be. This is going to be stepping on the Monk's toes for now, but I think a Fighter should be able to fight well unarmed as well.

First off the idea is 'Training Points'. I got this idea from a boxing manga Hajime no Ippo, where they show how the main character trains and how it improves his body and how it helps him during his next fight.

I would like to see more diversity and more bang! when it comes to a fighter. I know about ToB but I'd like to keep it more natural growth than actual named techniques taught.

Saying that I also think martial arts should be added and each would give its own flavor and bonuses (This is manely for the Monk feel if one wants)
Boxing - Series of punches and combos each punch is learned seperately and tiers seperately from each other showing preference and attempt to create the perfect strike (jabs, straights, uppercuts, smash, flicker,
Kick Boxing - bypass DR
Wrestling - grapple bonuses, grabbing bonuses, constrict
Judo - throws
Jujitsu - holds, pins, pain counters(physical penalties to grappling/simply fighting overall
Kung Fu -
Capoeira - using dance/tumble/balance to gain attack bonuses, tripping bonuses, dodge bonuses (never considered prone)

Before seeing the list I want to point out that each example would be tiered, meaning that the bonuses would increase. On top of that I want all the training bonuses to further stack and magnify the unarmed styles of fighting. And also be set of requirements so that one can't max out on damage dealing. For example for Wrestling you would need a number of points in upper and lower body strength(below)

Training Focuses List of Examples:(some may overlap but they may have different bonuses)
Lower Body - balance and vs bull rushes
maybe split bonues further ankles, calves, thighs
Upper Body - strength and/or + to damage, bull rushing
split chest(DR), back (increase lifting[good for judo, wrestling], shoulders (damage) etc,,,
Striking (choosing between accuracy and damage)
hard - damage
quick - attack
Pressure & Resolve (Im on the fence because it is sort of like intimidatation. But I think during a battle intimadation should always come into play when an attack hits or misses.[Yes i know about fights not lasting very long but shouldn't a life and death battle take a toll on the mind and body) Pressure would be the intimidation and resolve would be the will to fight it off and keep moving forward
Feints (I know it is already in play but I think a fighter should have more experience using them than most other classes.
Guards/Blocks (increase AC further)
Sidestep-Good to create openings for Technicians
Second Wind- I believe this is 4e territory so I hope it isn't taboo. I think fighters seem to pull strength and determination out of somewhere to push harder when others would fall
Counter - give AoO to deal more damage
Southpaw- for left handed people (advantages against Technicians[mentioned later])

Feats - would remain ( but a saw one class that allowed you to choose a style of fighting(feat wise) and get additional feats at certain levels (given you met all requirements.)

On top of that A person can pick how they expand their expertise
Brawler - fighting up close ready to take damage (DR (stacks with other DR gained through training)) & Extra HitPoints(Stacks with that feat that gives more hit points (for those fighters that don't care about dex)
Technician - counter striker. He moves, feints and dodges and waits for an opportunity to hit (extra damage d6's increase with points in technician and as well as points in the Counter skill.

All in all. Just about all these things have tiers and they stack. Though not everything will be numerical. Counter for example will give allow you to give an attack of opportunity but with a penalty to attack due to lack of experience. the Next teir would decrease the penalty. So what do you think?

Also I liked Realms of Chaos' idea for giving fighting skills depending on BAB. I know it complicates the fighter, but it is a bit too simple imo.

2012-01-19, 10:07 AM
Your idea is not without merit, but there are two problems here.

Firstly, how does any of this "fix" the fighter? How does it make him functional at what he's supposed to do? Fusing the fighter and the monk into one class isn't a fix, it just makes them one class. Now, you can make the argument that they should be one class, and I'd in a lot of settings I'd buy that. But until you have specifics of how you're going to fix them as one class, what you're really doing is tossing around ideas about how you think an expert unarmed combatant could work in D&D.

So what about that?

Out of the gate, all your specifics are wrong. "Kung fu" is not a martial art, it's a term that means hard work, and is often used specifically in reference to the broader spectrum of Chinese martial arts. Jujitsu has throws, Judo has floor-work, both have limited striking, kick-boxing is either a sport or a nonsense term, everything that Hajime no Ippo says about boxing beyond the very basics is wrong, etc. If you're really committed to this, I'd get rid of the real-world style names and just break it down into themes. "Striking, trapping, grappling, ferocity, tactics, movement, etc."

But the problem is deeper than that in a lot of ways. Any attempt to approximate real-world combat falls apart once it getts to the level of abstraction that D&D works at. Squares, attack rolls, armor class, hit points? And what happens when people can fly, or turn into living fire, or are strong enough to punch a hole in the earth? We can't even begin to imagine how real-world martial arts would cope with those things. In fact, I'm not going to pretend I haven't said exactly what I'm going to say here before.

The problem with this approach is that RPG combat is an abstraction, while real-world martial arts are extremely technical and specific. As a martial artist, I can go on for hours about how you should be holding your torso, the angle of your elbow in a punch, questions of distance and timing and whether it's better to lock someone's elbow with your palm or fist of forearm or bicep and other fighters will almost certainly disagree with me. These are the kind of specifics that characterize individual martial arts, and they are entirely boring and useless in an RPG.

True, you could exaggerate and take the distinctions to extremes, but then you're talking about ToB-style special techniques and stances, not differing systems of and perspectives on combat. The virtue of not taking a "styles" approach to the monk class is that you can say whatever you want about the character's martial arts technique while still having it make perfect sense. Once you have your unarmed strike, your AC and your grapple modifier, everything else is fluff.

2012-01-19, 10:28 AM
I've been writing an essay on this subject now for about a month. I'm up to 10,000 words and still expanding. Fixing the Fighter is actually a pretty damned complicated subject.

I've concluded that the Fighter's #1 problem is that it does not simulate any fantasy archetypes. Once you can do that, and add the fluff support to explain it, you can do amazing things with the class.

For example, ancient heroes claimed gods as their ancestors. Thus, when they did amazing things, it was in their blood just waiting to happen. Achilles got dipped into a magic river, giving him DR out the wazoo. King Arthur wielded Excalibur, which got him access to magical might. Prince Corwin of Amber regenerated and planewalked. Even ordinary soldiers wore good luck charms, joined cults to gain more martial power, and so forth. Fighter interacted with magic all the time in stories, but not in D&D.

So your challenge for this rewrite is to support a fantasy archetype. I can make a Merlin. I can make Circe. I can make a Gray Mouser. I can make a Conan. As a touchstone, can you make a King Arthur? Can you make a Beowulf? Can you make a Thorin Oakenshield? Can you make a Lone Wolf?

Yeah, I know I'm dumping alot of my own views here, but I want to see kick-butt Fighter rewrites, not just nibbling about the edges. Fighter is a Tier 5, you can dump in power by the gallon and not imbalance the class. Your challenge (and it is a hard challenge) is to rewrite the Fighter into a Tier 3.

2012-01-19, 10:51 AM
Thank you both for you insight. Seems I didn't respect the class enough. I guess I need to go back to the drawing board, and i'll try to impress you two and others next time around

By the way. What should be the difference between a Barbarian and Fighter?
Tactics? Skills?Manuevers?

2012-01-19, 11:23 AM
That depends on who you ask. I've seen at least one fix that turns the Monk and the Fighter into one class, but the general consensus seems to be "skill vs. rage." The barbarian's bread-and-butter is adrenaline, while the fighter's is expertise.

2012-01-19, 12:37 PM
I think that Fighter should embrace sword and shield. No other class does. I think that there's lots of great, untapped design space around the shield.

Even more so, a Fighter is the classic HERO. What makes a hero?

Here's a challenge. A Fighter should be a natural dragon-killer. (We'll skip the whole flying problem for now.) What does it take to kill a dragon?

- Ability to survive/nullify breath weapon
- Ability to break free from holds of much larger opponents
- Ability to fight while held
- Ability to prevent damage to self or ally
- Ability to withstand fear effects

Resolving that list should get you to Tier 4.