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Gettles
2012-09-26, 07:13 AM
When you think of a Fighter, how what do you see them? And how strong do you feel they should become? At level one are the raw recruits or skilled warriors? At level twenty do you think they should be seen as close to as what a real-life master swordsman would be capable of? Perhaps closer to peak human specimen? Or should they have long since left human limitations behind and be an unstoppable engine of destruction such as the Juggernaut?

At levels 1, 5, 10, 15 and 20 what do you think the fighter should be?

hewhosaysfish
2012-09-26, 07:23 AM
When you think of a Fighter, how what do you see them? And how strong do you feel they should become? At level one are the raw recruits or skilled warriors? At level twenty do you think they should be seen as slimier as what a real-life master swordsman would be capable of? Perhaps closer to peak human specimen? Or should they have long since left human limitations behind and be an unstoppable engine of destruction such as the Juggernaut?

At levels 1, 5, 10, 15 and 20 what do you think the fighter should be?

Slimier? Fighters are... slimy?

Wolfer
2012-09-26, 07:35 AM
Slimier? Fighters are... slimy?

Depends on what they've been killing, doesn't it?

DigoDragon
2012-09-26, 07:36 AM
As mages are masters of magic and able to manipulate the battlefield with spells, I see fighters and the masters of the physical side of combat, able to manipulate the field with tactical prowess.
It usually doesn't work out as ideally as that, but a well-structured party working together helps.

Totally Guy
2012-09-26, 09:24 AM
There are a lot of assumptions baked into the question!

Re'ozul
2012-09-26, 11:00 AM
Fighters should be the unquestioned masters of straight up tactical combat.
Able to keep interrupting enemies that want to get past them at the squichy ones, and able to take hits as well as effortlessly deflect them.

What Fighters should have in my opinion:

- Free Combat Reflexes with a minimum of 1 extra AoO regardless of Dex.
- Ability to intercept even when its not their turn. Basically, can move their speed as extra movement in one round in increments of 5 feet whenever it would stop someone from moving past them at the squishies.
- Ability to deflect blows. Effectively you can pit your attack roll against the enemies and if you are better the attack is deflected. Uses up one AoO.

nedz
2012-09-26, 11:54 AM
I think a Fighter should be better, at least in 3.5

Sutremaine
2012-09-26, 01:17 PM
I quite like GrodTheGiant's Fighter reboot. I forget the specifics, but they had a nice set of class abilities that in the RAW game would take an entire feat chain just to get part of that capability. Still no flight or teleportation, but that's an area in which mages (and anything but setpiece encounters) need to be brought down instead of melee fighters being raised up.

Fighters need to be able to tank, pretty much. Not with 4e-style 'attack me or else' abilities, but with basic rules of the game that allow anyone to slow down an enemy trying to get at the squishies but which make characters with Fighter levels the absolute best at it.

Urpriest
2012-09-26, 01:24 PM
I think this is an adequate summary of what the Fighter archetype entails. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighter_aircraft)

Clawhound
2012-09-26, 02:12 PM
What do you need to engage a dragon? If you answer that, you've got most of what I think a fighter should be.

Libertad
2012-09-26, 04:07 PM
Since Dungeons & Dragons is a game full of monsters and spellcasters capable of pulling of superhuman feats, a Fighter should get superhuman abilities around the middle levels (8+).

Ideally, a Fighter archetype would be capable of contributing outside of combat as well. Different archetypes for different stuff: a guerrilla commando can create traps and hide from the enemies (including magical detection), an inspiring warlord can grant "buff" effects to his allies, etc.

Also, a Fighter (and noncasters in general) need abilities which can circumvent or resist magical effects. A fighter might be capable of smashing through a forcecage or indestructible magical wall with "sheer martial power/force of will/etc." Or able to detect invisible and incorporeal opponents by "listening to the air."

neonchameleon
2012-09-26, 05:34 PM
When you think of a Fighter, how what do you see them? And how strong do you feel they should become? At level one are the raw recruits or skilled warriors? At level twenty do you think they should be seen as close to as what a real-life master swordsman would be capable of? Perhaps closer to peak human specimen? Or should they have long since left human limitations behind and be an unstoppable engine of destruction such as the Juggernaut?

At levels 1, 5, 10, 15 and 20 what do you think the fighter should be?

Assuming we're talking 3.5 level range here:

Fightes should be the most dangerous people on the battlefield, and among the toughest. If you take your eye off the fighter for an instant you are dead meat.

Level 1: Strong, tough, shows potential. Blooded warrior.

Level 5: About as fit, strong, and versatile as an olympic pentathlete. Except in a much, much bloodier school. Peak human is around this point.

Level 10: The bastard offspring of John McClane, Indiana Jones, and Conan. Can find the weak point to knock down walls in less than a minute. Doesn't even need to roll to kill anyone who isn't a major boss monster (e.g. dragons, beholders, major demons, seriously named blackguards - wizards never qualify) or someone with five levels in non-casting classes (incl. Paladins and Rangers) as a standard melee action. Tough enough to shrug off almost all spells not cast by a God (but this does nothing against indirect spellcasting like walls or flight).

Alternatively the AD&D version: a major badass capable of shrugging off most spells and who comes with his own army. Also the game changes here - and the most powerful PC in Greyhawk was Level 14 (Robilar).

Level 15: At this level if the fighter gets line of sight on anything non-martial it dies. He can pin a fly to a tree with a dagger from 50', behind him. If level 15 fighter brings his sword down on anything it breaks - this includes things like Prismatic Spheres (and any other spell) or even cutting the tops off mountains, Celtic Myth style - or he can cause an earthquake by smashing a mace into the ground. He is more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Any wizard stupid enough to try casting a spell on the fighter when the fighter knows about it finds that the fighter simply plays baseball and bats it back. Or can put a dagger through his eyeball from 100' away before he's finished casting even a quickened spell.

Level 20: If he dies he beats up death itself to return to life. He can cut through the walls between planes with his sword and run faster than a speeding bullet. (Speed breaks things).

johnroth
2012-09-26, 05:35 PM
A fighter should be a person with a weapon that they forcefully puts into other things in an effort to cause them grievous bodily harm. Could be anything. A bandit, their mom, a chair. I don't care.

Slipperychicken
2012-09-26, 05:35 PM
The Fighter should be the guy who can deliver a beatdown no matter what. It shouldn't matter if his enemy is a Wizard, a Dragon, an Ooze, a Demon, or a mind-eating eldritch horror. The Fighter should perform well, whether he's swinging a scimitar, tossing a spear, firing arrows, flinging rocks, or smacking someone with his fists. A magic wall should only inconvenience a Fighter, not stop him.

There should not be ways to render the Fighter obsolete. Summons should not be nearly as strong as the Fighter. Miss chances should not make the Fighter worthless. Flight should not make the Fighter worthless. Whether this is accomplished by making the Fighter highly resistant to these, or giving him powers to deal with them, or changing the nature of these mechanics so they do not stop him completely, is not as important.

The Fighter must have viable innate defenses against all forms of attack, including mental attacks. That is to say, he must be reasonably able to resist any form of assault (whether through a saving throw, or his Hit Points, or anything else). There should not be a "no button" to the Fighter. Conversely, the Fighter should be able to fight and defeat all types of opponents, whether they're misty and insubstantial, or masters of magic, or giant monsters.


In short: The Fighter must be the best at fighting. Other classes might be situationally strong (like getting surprise, or fighting a certain enemy type) and be weak when their tricks don't work (or have a strict tradeoff between combat ability and out-of-combat ability), but the Fighter will kick ass in every fight, no matter what.

JellyPooga
2012-09-26, 06:11 PM
...a Fighter should get superhuman abilities around the middle levels (8+).

This is a sentiment that I totally disagree with. I'm going to say something that might be considered slightly controversial now...the Tome of Battle did it wrong.

Sure it may have brought so-called martial classes closer into line with the "top tier" caster classes, power-wise, but it did it by making them non-marital and more magical. Some of the abilities were ok, but many of them were just magical effects with a mundane label (and some not even that). It also made the mistake of making these so-called martial effects behave mechanically like spells and spell-like effects; something that 4ed did to the detriment of the game (in my opinion, of course).

The "martial" character, the Fighter being the foremost proponent of the title, should be everything the Wizard, Cleric and other spellcasters and characters are not. The Fighter should have a firm grounding in reality; he should be a foil to magic by the mere fact of how mundane he is. The Fighter should be more than a greatsword toting beat-stick; he should be a master of exotic weaponry, an adept of many styles, able as easily to take up a lance and pierce the dragons heart as he can hew his way through lesser warriors with his trusty battle axe. He should be the guy who can spot the tactical advantage and exploit it, the guy with the magic sword leading the charge and the one that everyone sees as the man of the hour, champion of the battlefield and hero of the people whilst the magician is too mistrusted, the priest only doing the duty expected of him and the thief merely a background presence at best.

In short, I don't think Charisma should neccesarily be a dump stat for the Fighter. Think of every warrior protagonist you've ever read about or seen in a film...Boromir, the archetypal Fighter, was loved by his father and his people both, whilst Faramir, the so-called "wizards pupil", took a mere second place in their eyes. Conan, though a pirate, mercenary and barbarian, was held in awe by those who met him; men would die for him and women willingly give themselves to him (though admitedly they sometimes required, uh, persuasion). I think this kind of "hero status" should be part and parcel of being a Fighter, far more so than any other class, simply because it's something that is seen so often in fiction (and, if truth be told, history as well...throughout recorded history until very recently, it's always been the strongest, the most skilled in battle that have dominated society, whilst the advisors and instigators take a more secondary role).

Flame of Anor
2012-09-26, 06:43 PM
I wish I were making a sword-and-sorcery movie, so that I could steal some of these quotes and give them to the guy who trains the hero.

Ravenica
2012-09-26, 06:54 PM
I have been considering making fighters more viable by reducing their xp to level

it makes no sense that it takes a fighter as long as a wizard to hit 16-17 bab as it does for 9th spell level.

How is their bab progression and extra hp and feats just as hard to master as the arcane might to warp reality to whims?

Urpriest
2012-09-26, 07:06 PM
I have been considering making fighters more viable by reducing their xp to level

it makes no sense that it takes a fighter as long as a wizard to hit 16-17 bab as it does for 9th spell level.

How is their bab progression and extra hp and feats just as hard to master as the arcane might to warp reality to whims?

Because they're supposed to be just as effective in-game-world. Otherwise the CR system is even more meaningless than it already was.

Quellian-dyrae
2012-09-26, 07:48 PM
Short version, if a fighter is level X, it should be able to compete with other level X characters.

Long version, it might have some degree of an advantage in combat, and pay for it with reduced out of combat utility, but I don't agree with the idea that the fighter should be vastly superior in battle. However, it shouldn't just be able to be shut down.

The problem is that wizards have a serious weakness in their base stats, but loads of ways to cover it up. Fighters have a great strength in their base stats, but there exist far too many ways to circumvent the stats entirely. If the fighter is supposed to be a defensive class, and the wizard a squishy one, then the fighter should generally be able to withstand a concentrated assault, and the wizard not, whether that assault is physical, energy, psychic, melee, ranged, whatever.

Certain characters may be better or worse against certain things, and may even specifically take a weakness, but giant gaping defensive holes should not be built into a defensive class.

--

Although a concept that I also find interesting is a more rock-paper-scissors style of balance between fighters, mages, and monsters. The fighters have the high stats, so they have a high chance at succeeding to defend against/overcome/otherwise deal with the spells the mages throw (save against the attack spells, dodge the rays, strength check to ignore the battlefield control, whatever). They also, due to statistical superiority, only need to land a couple solid shots to bring down a mage, whereas the mage probably needs to unload a good clip of blasts to take out the fighter, and can only keep it disabled for a short time before good ol' heroic willpower throws the enchantment off.

However, monsters have powerful inherent abilities and odd but exploitable weaknesses. The fighters have trouble against monsters, because hack and slash until it dies doesn't always work, but the mages have all these tricks that they can use to counter their offenses and exploit their weaknesses. A giant is a massive ol' hunk of combat stats, but is vulnerable to enchantments and has squat danger sense for dealing with invisible foes. You can't stab a ghost, but a circle of protection can keep it at bay, and a divination can reveal how to put it to rest. Trolls regenerate as fast as you can hurt them, but engulf them in a fireball and they can't heal, and their rending claws are not very effective against foes a hundred feet in the air. And so on.

Not to say that each should be useless against the opposing one. A skilled fighter who is careful or lucky or just plain higher level can take on a giant, and might be able to get creative or acquire relevant gear (sword-and-torch against the troll, stake-and-cross for the vampire, silver weapon for the werewolf). A mage can still blast its way through a fighter's hit points given enough time, and with some good rolls keep it disabled frequently enough to play keep away. A monster is probably buff enough to out-stat the mage, especially if it can catch it unprepared. But each one has its advantages and disadvantages.

Seerow
2012-09-26, 08:33 PM
This is a sentiment that I totally disagree with. I'm going to say something that might be considered slightly controversial now...the Tome of Battle did it wrong.

Sure it may have brought so-called martial classes closer into line with the "top tier" caster classes, power-wise, but it did it by making them non-marital and more magical. Some of the abilities were ok, but many of them were just magical effects with a mundane label (and some not even that). It also made the mistake of making these so-called martial effects behave mechanically like spells and spell-like effects; something that 4ed did to the detriment of the game (in my opinion, of course).

It's almost like I'm reading a checklist of things to look for in someone who has never played, or possibly read, Tome of Battle.


The "martial" character, the Fighter being the foremost proponent of the title, should be everything the Wizard, Cleric and other spellcasters and characters are not.

So nothing? He's already a good part of the way there.


The Fighter should have a firm grounding in reality; he should be a foil to magic by the mere fact of how mundane he is. The Fighter should be more than a greatsword toting beat-stick; he should be a master of exotic weaponry, an adept of many styles, able as easily to take up a lance and pierce the dragons heart as he can hew his way through lesser warriors with his trusty battle axe. He should be the guy who can spot the tactical advantage and exploit it, the guy with the magic sword leading the charge

These don't sound like much more than more feats. Nothing that allows for being competitive with casters.


and the one that everyone sees as the man of the hour, champion of the battlefield and hero of the people whilst the magician is too mistrusted, the priest only doing the duty expected of him and the thief merely a background presence at best.

So DM favoritism and fluff rewards for being the most useless character in the group. Somehow I don't see this going over well.

navar100
2012-09-26, 08:39 PM
I'm all for a fighter being a bada$$, master of tactical combat, eventually being of such prowess even a dragon would take pause. However, that should not come at the expense of making spellcasters chumps of pathetic nobodies. Not that I really think 3E fighters suck, but it's not the wizard's fault the fighter sucks and should not be punished for it. There's plenty of room for both the warrior and spellcaster to be omnipotent terrors against all monsters.

Fighters should not have 100% or close to it immunity to every possible instance of hostile magic all the time, every time, suck it wizard. A flat 50% is boring. I'm fine with 100% or close to it for some magic but quite vulnerable to others and everywhere in between for everything else, mix and match to taste depending upon various builds of flexible choices.

Remmirath
2012-09-26, 10:40 PM
When you think of a Fighter, how what do you see them?

As a class specialising in either melee or ranged combat, or both. Very good at killing things. Fairly good at staying alive (more so than clerics, thieves and especially mages).


And how strong do you feel they should become? At level one are the raw recruits or skilled warriors? At level twenty do you think they should be seen as close to as what a real-life master swordsman would be capable of? Perhaps closer to peak human specimen? Or should they have long since left human limitations behind and be an unstoppable engine of destruction such as the Juggernaut?

I feel they should become quite strong, although I'm not sure how to answer 'how strong' very accurate. Clearly, to me, they should be the class that is most competent in combat, and against a single opponent they should be capable of handling themselves at least as well as any other class.

I think that, at level twenty, it should be more the master swordsman. I see level twenty as the highest level that people are generally expected to reach, and so at that point they should ideally be at the pinnacle of their profession.


At levels 1, 5, 10, 15 and 20 what do you think the fighter should be?

At level one, I think they are raw recruits. At level one, I imagine every class is just starting out, barely out of apprenticeship if that - after all, the base XP for level one is 0.

By fifth level they should be reasonably competent, although nothing to write home about in terms of skill. By tenth, they should be starting to be recognised as powerful, and by fifteenth they should compare with a fairly high ranking soldier in some army. By twentieth, they should be able to expect to be better than most all enemy soldiers that they meet. Other classes ought to follow a similar pattern, in my opinion, although of course not precisely the same.

I would also say that the number of weapons that they master should go up in those jumps, or possibly even more frequently.

Basically, I think that a fighter should be the best at combat, be it melee or ranged. They should be proficient in most any style of combat, and excel at several. They should, of course, not be invulnerable and unbeatable, because that's no fun - just very good, and very tough. Aside from using magical equipment, they shouldn't use magic, and shouldn't have to.

Slipperychicken
2012-09-26, 11:37 PM
To make the non-magical guy with a stick to work, you need the system well-balanced with them in mind.

If you're going to have things like Flight and Invisibility in the game (which they shouldn't be IMO, since they're very powerful effects), the Fighter needs to be able to compete. Maybe he becomes enough of a hardcore badass to beat these things by virtue of his class abilities. Maybe magic or Ki see how awesome he is and start attaching to him as he grows in level, allowing him to do things which "Muggles" couldn't otherwise (see magic in the air, use his sword as a boomerang, cut spells in half, step through dimensions, etc). He should also be able to inflict more status effects and replicate spell effects (smack someone on the head to trigger a Save vs. Daze, knock people around by hitting them really hard, move so fast he can't be seen, etc).


An easier way would be to play a low-magic system (sort of like TES). That is, one where magic doesn't have so many "game-changers" and "plot breakers" like Invisibility, Flight, Teleport, and so on. Mental control is very limited, and essentially constitutes a bonus on social skills. Most spells are either blasting, shielding, have a long casting time, or are otherwise severely restricted (costly components, short duration, etc). The Fighter is at home here; he can stand up to warlocks and magicians, snapping their pencil-necks in a straight-up fight, as he should. Of course, if the magicians have time to scheme or gather their own fighting-men to hold him back, then the Fighter should be wary, or make preparations of his own...

obryn
2012-09-27, 12:22 AM
Frankly, I think the 4e Fighter is darn close to ideal. They dominate the battlefield, crush their opposition, and hinder enemies from doing anything more useful than flailing uselessly against their superior armor and health.

-O

Knaight
2012-09-27, 12:35 AM
A Fighter should be something the roleplaying community looks back on as a novelty, seen as a poorly made class long after class systems have been largely abandoned for generally being inferior methods for all that they are.

JellyPooga
2012-09-27, 02:44 AM
It's almost like I'm reading a checklist of things to look for in someone who has never played, or possibly read, Tome of Battle.

You're right, I've never really given ToB more than a brief skim (which, for me, constitutes a fairly thorough reading by anyone elses standards). This is largely because I took one look at what they were trying to do with marital classes and considered it a poor way to go. Sue me.


These don't sound like much more than more feats. Nothing that allows for being competitive with casters.

Yeah, I think that a Fighters abilities should work much like Feats. Per day or per encounter abilities that have effects like teleport, healing and AoE fire effects are the realm of wizards and clerics, not fighters. It's rather one of the points of being a Fighter that, if he so chooses, he can simply rinse and repeat the same moves over and over.


So DM favoritism and fluff rewards for being the most useless character in the group. Somehow I don't see this going over well.

I'm rather saying that part and parcel of being a Fighter should include these kind of things instead of making it "DM favouritism", as you call it. The Wizard gets awesome spells, the Cleric gets the favour of the gods, Rogues get to be the guy behind the scenes and the Fighter is the one in the spotlight, whatever that may mean; followers, titles, morale bonuses for their allies or morale penalties for their enemies, circumstance bonuses in social situations, that sort of thing. The Aura abilities of the Marshal are along the lines of the kind of thing I imagine should be part of the Fighter, myself. In fact, were you to kind of mash together some of the 'splinter-class' fighters of later publications, like the Marshal, Knight and Swashbuckler, then you might end up with something that resembles what I consider the Fighter should be.

GeriSch
2012-09-27, 03:43 AM
A Fighter should be like Riddick. Yes, he kills you with his Teacup :smallbiggrin:

gr,
Geri

pffh
2012-09-27, 03:49 AM
A fighter should be like the heroes of myth. The ones that wrestled dragons for fun and could lay waste to whole armies and cut mountains in two with a single swing of their sword. This grounded in reality stuff needs to stop.

neonchameleon
2012-09-27, 05:46 AM
You're right, I've never really given ToB more than a brief skim (which, for me, constitutes a fairly thorough reading by anyone elses standards). This is largely because I took one look at what they were trying to do with marital classes and considered it a poor way to go. Sue me.



Yeah, I think that a Fighters abilities should work much like Feats. Per day or per encounter abilities that have effects like teleport, healing and AoE fire effects are the realm of wizards and clerics, not fighters. It's rather one of the points of being a Fighter that, if he so chooses, he can simply rinse and repeat the same moves over and over.

Apparently a skim for you is a skim for anyone else - you've managed to entirely miss how the Bo9S works. There are three classes in the Bo9S not one - and the fighter maps to the Warblade. The Warblade has direct access to five of the nine schools. The Teleports are part of Shadow Hand (the Ninja school) -Warblades don't have access. The AoE fire is Desert Wind. Warblades don't have access. Both these schools belong to Swordsages - a medium BAB class that is magical. And the healing is almost all Devoted Spirit - once again Warblades don't have access. Devoted Spirit belongs to Crusaders - who replace Paladins. Are you saying Paladins shouldn't heal?

And doing the same moves over in different situations and expecting no one to learn them is part of what makes fighters tedious in pre 4e (or rather pre Bo9S) for me.

JellyPooga
2012-09-27, 06:21 AM
There are three classes in the Bo9S not one - and the fighter maps to the Warblade.

You're correct, yes, that I chose three examples of maneuvers that the Warblade doesn't have access to. This is largely because they are some of the only examples that I remember from reading a book I had access to for a short period of time several years ago. I've got a good memory, but it's not an eidetic one, sorry. :smallwink:

That the Warblade doesn't have access to the particular examples I gave is besides the point; there are others that the Warblade does have access to that have similar psuedo-magical effects. Admittedly, not perhaps as overtly so as those that the Swordsage gets, but they crossed the line enough for me to ditch the book as something I wasn't interested in.

As for repetitious actions, yeah, it's something that the Fighter has long been prone to. This is because the combat system in D&D has long been quite abstract; HP do not map directly to "health", the "attack roll" is not just a single swing of your sword, etc. I'll not deny that it can be boring, but for me half the point of being a Fighter style character is that you have the freedom to do as you please instead of being restricted to the limited effects of the written spells and abilites of other classes. Maybe it's just my experience from playing AD&D, where 'combat maneuvers' like shoving enemies aside, tripping them up and such were something done on the fly and just given an ad-hoc ruling by the GM instead of relying on a rule to do it for us. The very basic combat system was just used as a framework to hang the rest of the actual action instead of the be-all and end-all of the Fighters role. One of the things I disliked most about 3ed is that it pinned those "moves" down with rules and made them very difficult or even impossible to achieve without the requisite Feat or Class ability.

obryn
2012-09-27, 08:31 AM
I'll not deny that it can be boring, but for me half the point of being a Fighter style character is that you have the freedom to do as you please instead of being restricted to the limited effects of the written spells and abilites of other classes. Maybe it's just my experience from playing AD&D, where 'combat maneuvers' like shoving enemies aside, tripping them up and such were something done on the fly and just given an ad-hoc ruling by the GM instead of relying on a rule to do it for us.
You see, this is exactly what I don't want to see. The DM doesn't adjudicate on whether or not a fireball goes off or a healing spell works. But everything you're listing for a Fighter requires that kind of permission.

I want Fighters to have that same degree of fiat and world-manipulation. But they can do it because they are impressive, skilled warriors - paragons of fighting ability - rather than because they read a few books somewhere or prayed really hard.

Dienekes
2012-09-27, 09:22 AM
You're correct, yes, that I chose three examples of maneuvers that the Warblade doesn't have access to. This is largely because they are some of the only examples that I remember from reading a book I had access to for a short period of time several years ago. I've got a good memory, but it's not an eidetic one, sorry. :smallwink:

That the Warblade doesn't have access to the particular examples I gave is besides the point; there are others that the Warblade does have access to that have similar psuedo-magical effects. Admittedly, not perhaps as overtly so as those that the Swordsage gets, but they crossed the line enough for me to ditch the book as something I wasn't interested in.

Actually, no. Well ok, there is one maneuver that I cannot explain that Warblades get, Lightning Throw, which pretty much allows you to be Captain America throwing your weapons everywhere and having them come back, which I personally cannot explain. So, no Warblade I've ever made has ever gained that maneuver. It's actually really easy to only have your Warblade pick maneuvers that fit your personal level of realism. Hell, you can go from level 1-20 with your character just being able to do a variety of awesome strikes, if things like negating magic effects by being an awesome warrior feels wrong to you. It's a bit boring, since some of the cooler abilities are counters and boosts, but it can be done.


As for repetitious actions, yeah, it's something that the Fighter has long been prone to. This is because the combat system in D&D has long been quite abstract; HP do not map directly to "health", the "attack roll" is not just a single swing of your sword, etc. I'll not deny that it can be boring, but for me half the point of being a Fighter style character is that you have the freedom to do as you please instead of being restricted to the limited effects of the written spells and abilites of other classes. Maybe it's just my experience from playing AD&D, where 'combat maneuvers' like shoving enemies aside, tripping them up and such were something done on the fly and just given an ad-hoc ruling by the GM instead of relying on a rule to do it for us. The very basic combat system was just used as a framework to hang the rest of the actual action instead of the be-all and end-all of the Fighters role. One of the things I disliked most about 3ed is that it pinned those "moves" down with rules and made them very difficult or even impossible to achieve without the requisite Feat or Class ability.

Now for me personally, I like that things are given rules on how to bull-rush, how to disarm, and so on. I just think 3-3.5e messed up in it's difficulty. At the very least Fighters should by say level 5 or 6 or so should not be suffering AOO for doing things that all the cool warriors in shows and stories do.

Personally, I believe a similar level of abstraction has to be used by Magic Users and Warrior. If every minor little thing you can do with magic is given it's own spell, then warriors should have a list of attacks they should be able to do.

Now what should a Fighter be?

I personally enjoy playing more lower power level style campaigns. So for me a Fighter should be:
Level 1: Most skilled of the new recruits
Level 5: Trained soldier
Level 10: Champion of an army
Level 15: Conan
Level 20: Druss the Legend

An army coming at you should always be worrying, even if they're 10-15 levels lower than you. Of course casters would be scaled down to match.

As to how they'd play. They should have varying stuff to do that is useful in different situations. If you pick up a fighting style to focus on what you've come to expect that someone with that fighting style should be able to do you should be able to by around level 5. Beyond that you just get better. Now that doesn't mean you don't learn new tricks, that'd be dumb, but let's say you want to be a shield fighter. Looking at what shield guys do in books/movies: Block attacks, defend against AOE, protect allies, push folks away with shield, knock people silly by hitting them in the head. Ok those 5 things need to be able to be done by level 5. Beyond that level you can perhaps gain an area around you were you can protect allies, maybe earlier you could only daze an opponent with your shield, later you can stun them. And so on. Plus add in a few more tricks that I haven't even thought of (I am not a very good game designer), and that should be a very fun to play class.

Seerow
2012-09-27, 09:32 AM
That the Warblade doesn't have access to the particular examples I gave is besides the point; there are others that the Warblade does have access to that have similar psuedo-magical effects. Admittedly, not perhaps as overtly so as those that the Swordsage gets, but they crossed the line enough for me to ditch the book as something I wasn't interested in.


Yeah, I see what's so mystical about making two attacks against two enemies, or shrugging off a status effect. Or even looking at his highest level maneuvers, get +damage, make two full attacks in a round, deal constitution damage, save or die, you and your allies charge a target and stun them.

I can really see the magic just oozing off the page.

willpell
2012-09-27, 09:38 AM
I'm pretty well known for stumping for the Fighter around this forum; he's one of the few classes (the only one that I know of) who has no spells, supernatural, or even extraordinary abilities, and so I see him as the "people's champion", the ordinary guy who has the sheer cajones to try to slay a dragon with just a sword and his wits and courage. It shouldn't be EASY for him, obviously, but I take more than a little umbrage at how he's dismissed as utterly useless (tier 5), especially on the website of a comic whose main character is a Fighter and generally an awesome guy - Roy is not precisely a typical fighter, given his Intelligence, but he does strike me as a great illustration of how any Fighter that isn't just a dumb mook ought to be portrayed - savvy, pragmatic, and never calling it quits. Fighters make great quintessential hero-types to me, though of course there's plenty of room for ordinary sell-swords, bullies, blood knights and so forth within the class.

In every case, I think it's very appropriate for them to officially have no class features, but have the GM pulling for them in any way that he thinks is within his rights; they shouldn't have plot armor or a charmed life, but they should get opportunities to put their particular strengths to good use, opportunities that need not be pushed so far for characters who have inherent powers to rely upon. (This obviously needs to be done with a great deal of finesse not to come across as being completely unfair; I think of it as an extension of the same principle as XP awards for good roleplaying, not a violation of the game's rules but just a stretching of them to the limit of their acceptible reach.)

A level 20 fighter should be a Gilgamesh, a Hercules, a Goemon or a Rambo. At level 1 he's just a guy with the guts to intentionally place himself in (or as) harm's way; through the low-to-mid levels, he becomes a seasoned veteran, and past level 10-15 he starts to become a living legend, like the best and brightest celebrities of our world, people who do something that anyone theoretically could do, but make it seem miraculous.

obryn
2012-09-27, 10:13 AM
It shouldn't be EASY for him, obviously, but I take more than a little umbrage at how he's dismissed as utterly useless (tier 5), especially on the website of a comic whose main character is a Fighter and generally an awesome guy - Roy is not precisely a typical fighter, given his Intelligence, but he does strike me as a great illustration of how any Fighter that isn't just a dumb mook ought to be portrayed - savvy, pragmatic, and never calling it quits. Fighters make great quintessential hero-types to me, though of course there's plenty of room for ordinary sell-swords, bullies, blood knights and so forth within the class.
That's Problem 1.

I agree that Fighters are portrayed as awesome in fiction. Is it too much to ask that their mechanics help make them awesome?


In every case, I think it's very appropriate for them to officially have no class features, but have the GM pulling for them in any way that he thinks is within his rights; they shouldn't have plot armor or a charmed life, but they should get opportunities to put their particular strengths to good use, opportunities that need not be pushed so far for characters who have inherent powers to rely upon. (This obviously needs to be done with a great deal of finesse not to come across as being completely unfair; I think of it as an extension of the same principle as XP awards for good roleplaying, not a violation of the game's rules but just a stretching of them to the limit of their acceptible reach.)
IMO, no class should need to depend on DM whim or fiat to do the basic stuff which makes them capable of playing on the same table as people who are warping the fabric of reality.

Again - I agree this is the fictional ideal. I disagree that it in any way resembles what the pre-4e D&D Fighter actually does.


A level 20 fighter should be a Gilgamesh, a Hercules, a Goemon or a Rambo. At level 1 he's just a guy with the guts to intentionally place himself in (or as) harm's way; through the low-to-mid levels, he becomes a seasoned veteran, and past level 10-15 he starts to become a living legend, like the best and brightest celebrities of our world, people who do something that anyone theoretically could do, but make it seem miraculous.
At Level 1, a Wizard is flinging spells around and putting rooms full of kobolds to sleep. At Level 1, a Cleric is calling on powers from their god and compelling skeletons and zombies to retreat in fear.

A Level 1 Fighter in AD&D had the title of Veteran. I think that sounds about right. They are capable and powerful warriors already - or should be - rather than just scrubs.

I'd love it if a higher-level fighter were mythical figures like Gilgamesh or Hercules (and lower-level fighters were on their way to getting that impressive). The problem is, there's nothing whatsoever in the class's mechanics that lets them do this. No superhuman feats of strength, no mythical endurance, no ability to divert the flows of rivers to clean out stables or anything like that. At higher levels they get to hit things more reliably and ... trip stuff. And when mechanics are suggested that would let them fulfill these great and legendary things ... well, it's too magical.

-O

_Zoot_
2012-09-27, 10:54 AM
The way I see fighters is thus:

At level one they are the new recruits, they will have far more potential than warriors or other NPC classes, but they are the new blood.

At level 3-4 we are looking at professional soldiers, they fight and drill for a living, they will be brave, smart and disciplined; able to adapt to situations as they come.

Levels 5-6 are elite soldiers, the finest troops in the regular army or specialists from a crack company. They are the private guards of Nobility or powerful organisations.

7-8 are officers and men with years of combat experience, they've nearly seen it all and very little would surprise them. You might find small units of veterans like these, they will be renound units that have never lost a fight and are the pride of a nation. These are seasoned adventurers that have seen more than their fair share of carnage.

9-10 are the most capable men and women you are likely to find, they can dispatch most threats with out breaking out in a sweat. They will be the heroes that companies rally around, the champions of villages or cities. Songs will be sung about them in local taverns and places they fight in.

11-15 These are the champions of armies, elected to do single combat to win honour or glory, these are the men and women that are sung about across a country. These are king's personal go-to men. Adventures of such renound that kings and queens will know their names personally and follow them with interest.

16-20 Legends in their own right, these are the sorts of people that songs are sung about should they leave any witnesses to their deeds. A kingdom might have a few fighters this level and if they are lucky they will be elect to use their powers for good. A force of nature that could only be stopped by some immense combined effort. They will be the rulers or champions of the most powerful noble houses or Royal lines, or mercenaries that decide the fate of battles and wars.

21+ Far beyond mortal limits, they can barely be touched by any other man. They are killing machines that fear nothing and are known to the Gods, they direct the fate of worlds and planes

willpell
2012-09-27, 11:13 AM
I agree that Fighters are portrayed as awesome in fiction. Is it too much to ask that their mechanics help make them awesome?

Good idea in theory, I just don't like pretty much every attempt I've ever seen at executing it, and dislike those efforts more than I dislike the as-written fighter (though I have admittedly never tried to make a Fighter 20 work to my satisfaction, I may eventually end up agreeing with the community, but that doesn't mean I'll accept their jaded assessment as more fact than bias; I'm big on figuring things out for myself).


At Level 1, a Wizard is flinging spells around and putting rooms full of kobolds to sleep.

Maybe three times a day, he is doing those things. The Fighter is all that keeps him from being killed seventeen times after he runs out of spells and before he goes to bed for the night. (This is one big piece of the LFQW problem, unsurprisingly; the fighter always has the same amount of longevity, while the wizard gets more spells per day even while his existing spells get more powerful and he gets access to higher spell levels - actually, why do they say "quadratic" rather than "cubic"?)


At Level 1, a Cleric is calling on powers from their god and compelling skeletons and zombies to retreat in fear.

Okay, I'll give you that one - but that's practically the cleric's entire shtick, and IMO undead are overused. In my game the cleric will routinely go a month without ever finding undead to turn, and then when he finally finds some, his daily turning allotment will run dry before the zombie horde stops coming. Undead are NOT about playing fair; treating them as a level-appropriate challenge is doing a disservice to their potential for horror.


A Level 1 Fighter in AD&D had the title of Veteran. I think that sounds about right. They are capable and powerful warriors already - or should be - rather than just scrubs.

I completely disagree because of the way 3E's mechanics work. There IS no way to build a raw recruit who eventually becomes a "veteran" at Fighter level 1 and character level 1. If you take levels in Warrior or Commoner, you are detracting from the maximum fighter level you can ever attain, and making it take far longer to attain the first fighter level than if you just started as a fighter. Technically, the way the rules are set up doesn't make any sense outside of the adventurer paradigm, because they don't allow you to be a character before you take your first level; it's assumed that all the people around you are level 1 commoners, but you never were one, so why are they? It is for much this reason that the Warrior class simply doesn't exist in my campaign world (though I plan to eventually brew up a modified version of it to represent orcs and goblins and such who live by the club in the wilderness, something a little closer to a Barbarian or Ranger without the full features of those classes, with better HD and skill points). So in my game, the Fighter 1 is a fresh graduate of a military academy, a tribe member heading off to earn his manhood in the first hunt, a citizen accepting the call of destiny to defend their family against a sudden attack, or a budding mercenary off to prove that he's worth what it'll cost to keep him eating. At level 3-5 the "veteran" label starts to apply, though it might still be valid until 10 or later.


No superhuman feats of strength, no mythical endurance, no ability to divert the flows of rivers to clean out stables or anything like that.

Actually D&D characters in general pretty much have all that, though it's more because of shortcomings in the rules than anything deliberate. There's not much in the way of fatigue rules, and the carrying limits are pretty generous; adventurers in general are pretty superhuman, and one simple way to make fighters look better would be to invent various rules for the strain of heavy physical labor, which are applied to characters in inverse order of hit die size (okay the Barbarian would still end up looking better than the Fighter, but that's appropriate since he's the one guy who is even more about living by the sweat of his brow).

[quote]And when mechanics are suggested that would let them fulfill these great and legendary things ... well, it's too magical.

There is a very fine line indeed between stretching the suspension of disbelief and snapping it. The best place to look for examples of what a "hyper-human but not superhuman" character ought to be capable of is probably the summer action movie, but unfortunately those tend to be quite long on cars and guns, and thus it's not easy to adapt them to D&D's medieval milieu.

Zeful
2012-09-27, 11:27 AM
To make the non-magical guy with a stick to work, you need the system well-balanced with them in mind.

If you're going to have things like Flight and Invisibility in the game (which they shouldn't be IMO, since they're very powerful effects), the Fighter needs to be able to compete. Maybe he becomes enough of a hardcore badass to beat these things by virtue of his class abilities. Maybe magic or Ki see how awesome he is and start attaching to him as he grows in level, allowing him to do things which "Muggles" couldn't otherwise (see magic in the air, use his sword as a boomerang, cut spells in half, step through dimensions, etc). He should also be able to inflict more status effects and replicate spell effects (smack someone on the head to trigger a Save vs. Daze, knock people around by hitting them really hard, move so fast he can't be seen, etc).


An easier way would be to play a low-magic system (sort of like TES). That is, one where magic doesn't have so many "game-changers" and "plot breakers" like Invisibility, Flight, Teleport, and so on. Mental control is very limited, and essentially constitutes a bonus on social skills. Most spells are either blasting, shielding, have a long casting time, or are otherwise severely restricted (costly components, short duration, etc). The Fighter is at home here; he can stand up to warlocks and magicians, snapping their pencil-necks in a straight-up fight, as he should. Of course, if the magicians have time to scheme or gather their own fighting-men to hold him back, then the Fighter should be wary, or make preparations of his own...

Not really, you don't have to cut out flight, invisibility and teleport to make the fighter keep up. You just need to model capability and keep magic from being all or nothing. If flight magic had a requirement that you move 1/2 your move distance every turn, then a fighter could have an ability that lets him hit you so hard with a ranged attack that you can't make that required distance, so you fall out of the air. Invisibility can be countered by giving fighters the ability to recieve AoO against melee attacks, or a immediate action ability, and not include any "line of sight" mechanics to it's activation. Invisibility is an advantage, but a fighter is so good at fighting, that he still gets a 50% chance of nailing you on your turn.

But the main thing is to make it outright impossible for a fighter to specialize in just one weapon. As an adventurer he should have a bow or some throwing weapons for distant enemies, not moaning about how an enemy is flying and he can't do anything to it. This also means that mundane combat has to change so that at all levels without any specific investment into a weapon, a character can still contribute, not as well as a character invested into that weapon. This also means enemies need to be designed such that all players are fighting it, so that it's not "optimal" to only let the ranger/wizard shoot at it or the fighter punch it to death.

And that's another thing, optimization. The system needs account for people doing profoundly stupid things in the name of "optimal" and when that actually harms the play experience, punish them for it. The GM needs the license to point out that "theoreticals" don't necessarily work on paper, which as far as D&D goes doesn't work because "Gentlemen's Agreement".

obryn
2012-09-27, 12:06 PM
Good idea in theory, I just don't like pretty much every attempt I've ever seen at executing it, and dislike those efforts more than I dislike the as-written fighter (though I have admittedly never tried to make a Fighter 20 work to my satisfaction, I may eventually end up agreeing with the community, but that doesn't mean I'll accept their jaded assessment as more fact than bias; I'm big on figuring things out for myself).
The thing is - you can't have it both ways. If you relegate the fighter to only being capable of things via DM approval rather than player fiat (the mechanic spellcasters use) you'll always run into this. Fighters need the same degree of fiat capability. It can be handled differently - I think Next's Combat Superiority is a good step in that direction - but the ability to directly affect the game-world is hugely important.


I completely disagree because of the way 3E's mechanics work. There IS no way to build a raw recruit who eventually becomes a "veteran" at Fighter level 1 and character level 1. ... At level 3-5 the "veteran" label starts to apply, though it might still be valid until 10 or later.
If the way the mechanics work is unsatisfying, change how the mechanics work. 1st level Wizards are not limited to cantrips. 1st level Clerics are not limited to orisons. And Fighters shouldn't be scrubs.


Actually D&D characters in general pretty much have all that, though it's more because of shortcomings in the rules than anything deliberate. There's not much in the way of fatigue rules, and the carrying limits are pretty generous; adventurers in general are pretty superhuman, and one simple way to make fighters look better would be to invent various rules for the strain of heavy physical labor, which are applied to characters in inverse order of hit die size (okay the Barbarian would still end up looking better than the Fighter, but that's appropriate since he's the one guy who is even more about living by the sweat of his brow).
I refuse to accept that "carrying lots of gear" is functionally similar to "cleaning out the Aegean stables." :) And really, those are only the tenth part of the sorts of things high-level Fighters should be doing. I'm using Hercules as an example, but "capably clean stables through creative use of natural resources" is hardly enough to hang a class concept around.


There is a very fine line indeed between stretching the suspension of disbelief and snapping it. The best place to look for examples of what a "hyper-human but not superhuman" character ought to be capable of is probably the summer action movie, but unfortunately those tend to be quite long on cars and guns, and thus it's not easy to adapt them to D&D's medieval milieu.
That's one of the fundamental problems, then. It's a limit of imagination, not a limit of the milieu. You're imposing vicious restraints on a Fighter's capabilities, but given that magic has unlimited potential, none on the clerics and wizards beyond, "Eh, just ... not too often, okay?"

Once you start worrying too much about realism when Wizards are calling down meteor swarms and Clerics are calling earthquakes, there is no possible way in which a character that's limited to being "good with a sword" can keep up. By that point, Fighters should be capable doing things every bit as impressive as raining fire from the heavens. (Or close, at least!)

So. Limit the casters by reducing the efficacy of their spells and enforce better niche protection of the other classes. Make Wizards and Clerics as good at fighting as Fighters are at spellcasting. Give Fighters better defense against magic than other classes, for example through spell resistance. Incorporate some sort of fiat system - like 4e's powers or Bo9S's maneuvers - to bring them up to par. Not necessarily all of these, but you have to start somewhere.

-O

Slipperychicken
2012-09-27, 12:22 PM
And that's another thing, optimization. The system needs account for people doing profoundly stupid things in the name of "optimal" and when that actually harms the play experience, punish them for it. The GM needs the license to point out that "theoreticals" don't necessarily work on paper, which as far as D&D goes doesn't work because "Gentlemen's Agreement".

In 3.5, I find "optimal" usually means "Counter [X situation] with [Y magic] with 92% chance of success, then have the Fighter stomp its inert body into pulp".

I'm not sure which "profoundly stupid" things you're talking about. They do exist, although they usually aren't Optimal.

lt_murgen
2012-09-27, 12:56 PM
A fighter should be able to act far faster than a spellcaster. To me, that is the number one problem.

IF a lightning bolt took a full round to cast (start on round 1, spell goes off at start of mage turn on round 2), then the fighter could do much, much more to disrupt the spellcaster and level the playing field.

Also, the fighter needs to be far more powerful at dealing precise damage. Crtical threat ranges should drop and damage increase by level. That way, you could accurately portray the limb-hacking, neck-cutting swaths through minions more accurately. Also, you could have those moments where the well placed dagger throw pierces the spellcasters hand at a critical moment of gathering the magical energies, disrupting the entire ritual.

Zeful
2012-09-27, 01:16 PM
In 3.5, I find "optimal" usually means "Counter [X situation] with [Y magic] with 92% chance of success, then have the Fighter stomp its inert body into pulp".

I'm not sure which "profoundly stupid" things you're talking about. They do exist, although they usually aren't Optimal.

By "pofoundly stupid" I'm talking over-specialization, where a character is so far twinked out that only way to meaningfully challenge that character is to invalidate that character. If as a DM the only options are "let you destroy everything", "prevent you from playing at all", or "cheat so the encounter is still interesting at your expense" then quite frankly both the player and system have failed at their jobs.

But then I have a dim view of optimization in general due to that as a DM, I'm restricted to the same 10% of material, regardless of how powerful the players get, because "Gentleman's Agreement".

eggs
2012-09-27, 01:19 PM
Renamed.
:smalltongue:

Lord_Gareth
2012-09-27, 01:28 PM
To the folks complaining about Tome of Battle, please keep this in mind:

Before Tome of Battle, martial characters in D&D were incapable of basic combat maneuvers such as sword parries or being trained in diving for cover. Thanks to Tome of Battle, they may now do things that every single fighting tradition on Earth considers the realm of novice-level learning like, oh, block shots or do jujitsu.

Just keep it in mind.

Libertad
2012-09-27, 01:36 PM
I'll just chime in and say that DM Fiat is not a good substitute as a primary feature of a class' power and versatility.

All the way back in 1st Edition, spells were highly specific. A fireball dealt a set number of damage, a certain type of energy, and had a set area radius. Since the rules of a game are a common reference for everyone, the power of a fireball by a 15th-level Wizard/Magic-User was virtually the same from one campaign to another.

With DM Fiat as a primary feature for the Fighter, the Fighter's power level and versatility varies drastically based upon the individual Dungeon Master and his personal standards of what a Fighter should be. Ideally, the Dungeon Master will have a good head on his shoulders and allow the Fighter to do cool stuff (probably through some house rules). Worse case scenario, he'll want all the Fighters to be bound by the "realistic limits of a human being." This is disastrous for a high-level fantasy game where dragons, titans, archmages, and other such characters are performing amazing feats beyond real-world limits.

I'm not saying that DM Fiat should never be used; in fact, it's great for home games. But it should not serve as an end-all be-all solution for the shortcomings of a class in official products.

neonchameleon
2012-09-27, 01:57 PM
You're correct, yes, that I chose three examples of maneuvers that the Warblade doesn't have access to.
...
That the Warblade doesn't have access to the particular examples I gave is besides the point;

Um... no. It completely undermines your point when you say the warblade can do something and he can't.


there are others that the Warblade does have access to that have similar psuedo-magical effects.

Then don't take them. You might consider Iron Heart Surge to be too magical. (By the RAW I'd agree but only because Iron Heart Surge is spectacularly badly written). But there is nothing that says that any given Warblade has access to any given power - you pick the powers at character creation. And if you want to make them fairly simple things from Iron Heart, Diamond Mind, or even White Raven or Tiger Claw you can. On the other hand if you want to jump around like Wolverine on a pogo stick with Tiger Claw you can also do that. A level 20 Warblade knows a grand total of 13 maneuvers. Finding that many maneuvers that aren't more than lightly cinematic (on a character that can survive being dropped from orbit without any trouble) is not hard. The rest are irrelevant to any given warblade.


As for repetitious actions, yeah, it's something that the Fighter has long been prone to. This is because the combat system in D&D has long been quite abstract;

No. It's because early D&D was designed with two factors in mind.
1: It's a hacked tabletop wargame.
2: You were intended to avoid combat as much as possible.


I'll not deny that it can be boring, but for me half the point of being a Fighter style character is that you have the freedom to do as you please instead of being restricted to the limited effects of the written spells and abilites of other classes.

This makes literally no sense at all. Everyone can do as they please within the laws of physics. The casters can just cast spells as well as doing what they please the same way the fighter can.

And in combat the fighter should be the class least likely to improvise. You improvise when your standard techniques simply don't work. The fighter, as the best at fighting, should have his standard tricks as the most likely to work. The person who should be improvising in combat is the wizard (or the AD&D thief). Sticking a sword through someone is very effective and the fighter is best at this, so he has the least incentive to improvise - and the least additional ability to improvise. The fighter can use his body. The wizard can come up with creative spell use. And the rogue has exceptional skills.


Maybe it's just my experience from playing AD&D, where 'combat maneuvers' like shoving enemies aside, tripping them up and such were something done on the fly and just given an ad-hoc ruling by the GM instead of relying on a rule to do it for us.

You mean your DM made a string of house rules to make the fighter better that had little to do with the actual rules in order to compensate for the fact fighters were boring? This is looking really good for the fighter... Especially as things like the 3.X trip were meant to be to systematise the sort of house rules that were needed to make the fighter something other than boring.

Slipperychicken
2012-09-27, 02:01 PM
Before Tome of Battle, martial characters in D&D were incapable of basic combat maneuvers such as SWORD PARRIES or being trained in diving for cover. Thanks to Tome of Battle, they may now do things that every single fighting tradition on Earth considers the realm of novice-level learning like, oh, block shots or do jujitsu.


SWORD PARRIES?! How dare WotC pervert my balanced medieval setting with this weeaboo munchkinry! Everyone knows that swords are for stabbing, not blocking! Next thing you know, they'll start begging to let Fighters hit people with their shields! No good can come of this, mark my words.

Frozen_Feet
2012-09-27, 02:14 PM
First, let me establish one important thing: to me, Rangers, Paladins, Barbarians, Monks, Knights and Swashbucklers are just specializations of a Fighter. They really should've been Prestige Classes or ACFs or class paths for a fighter.

But the essence of the broader archetype is three fold: the Fighter is Martial Artist - he can crush his enemies with any weapon from his own fists to siege machinery. He is a Schemer - he knows tactics, strategy and logistics and how they can aid him to victory. And he is a Leader - he can rally people under his own banner and make an effective military force out of them.

A beginning (1st level) Fighter is a mook - someone who has gone through basic training and not much else. His place is to feed the gears of war.

An experienced (2nd to 4th level) Fighter is a squad leader - he can lead a small band of troops from battle to battle. He is better fit both physically and mentally than most men, and can hand some lousy civilian their ass in personal combat. Think of a real-life Sergeant.

An advanced (5th to 7th level) Fighter is a famous military officer, Sensei of an esteemed Dojo or a really notorious combarant. These people develop the Art of War and get books written of themselves, or write their own! On personal level, their achievements can defy belief. Think Miyamoto Musashi, Simo Häyhä or Erwin Rommel here.

Master (8th to 10th level) Fighter has such prowess on the battlefield that they become figures of legend, their personal abilities hard to discern because they often get exaggerated in later retellings. Their feats are expected to include something like, oh, conquering most of the known world. Think of Julius Ceaser, Chengis Khan or Alexander the Great.

Mythic (11th to 14th level) Fighter has personal skills and abilities beyond those you can believe to exist in the real world. The Fighter is not strictly supernatural, but he is superhuman; his feats might technically be possible within laws of nature, but no single real human could be strong, fast and tough enought to do them all. He can swim over the ocean, leap over trees, wrestle with giants and win, tumble down a mountain and survive, hit one particular leaf of a tree from mile away or fights against dozen enemy swordsmen with nothing but a stick. At this point, you should stop looking at real life for reference, and instead think of Wuxia or Demigods of Greece.

Superheroic (15th+ level) Fighter stops bending laws of nature and instead spits on their face. Your closest reference points are now Zaraki Kenpachi from Bleach and the Strawhat Pirates from One Piece. Cut buildings with your sword! Grab cannonballs and throw them back! Spin your feet so fast the friction ignites them in flames! Run across the ocean! Drink the damn ocean! Shatter iron with your fingers! Take a dip in the local volcano and jump right back! Fall from orbit! Lift the World Serpent! Storm a fort of 10,000 troops by your lonesome! Get eaten by a dragon and tear your way out! Befriend people by punching them in the face! The root of your abilities are still the same, but so-called common sense is thrown out of the window.

JellyPooga
2012-09-27, 02:14 PM
Stuff.

Perhaps I should clarify that my comments regarding DM fiat earlier were pretty much just me musing that my stance on the subject probably originated from earlier editions of D&D in which DM fiat dictates the abilities of Fighter. I would like to see a system that caters for the wide variety of abilities a Fighter should have, but I can't envision one that would work within the 3.5 ruleset without looking like magic-by-another-name.

There would have to be a pretty serious re-working of the system to implement the kind of Fighter I'd like to see, starting with the whole to-hit mechanic in the first place. The relationship between Attack Bonus and Armour Class should be much more intrinsic; i.e. the higher the one the higher the other. After all, to coin a phrase, the best defence is a good offence and the reverse is arguably just as true. D&D, as far as I'm aware, is something of a peculiarity of a gaming system when it comes to its combat mechanic inasmuch as it doesn't factor the skill of the defender into the equation. By making the alteration to do this, you wouldn't need a "maneuver" to represent sword parries and block shots, because those things would already be factored satisfactorily into the already abstract combat system.

As I've mentioned previously, the combat system of D&D is very abstract. trying to pin specific maneuvers onto it whilst maintaining that level of abstraction is hard. Arguably, tripping someone up could be modeled as nothing more than a reduction in HP...if HP are an abstraction of stamina, health, luck, skill and a general ability to continue to contribute meaningfully in a combat situation, then being forced to the floor can easily be seen a reduction in at least two of these things from an arguably incomplete list. There is an argument that any given 'combat maneuver' is nothing more than a standard attack, the result of which can be fluffed any which way you like.

Now, I'm not advocating this as the way the combat system, or more specifically, the Fighter, should go, I'm just pointing out that this is something inherent to the system and has been since year dot. In order to make the Initiator system of the ToB (or whatever you want to call it), or something similar, viable in my eyes, then (as I said) there would have to be a significant revisiting of this abstraction. As part of this, for example, I imagine HP may have to map more directly to Health and by consequence, penalties for reduced (but above 0) HP may need to be implemented. Following this, amongst other things, a revision of the way HP increase with level would need to be considered, which would itself follow with its own consequences for Class balance and the way the level system itself works as a whole.

I propose no solution to any of the ideas posited above, I merely mention them by way of explanation of my stance on this subject thus far. Hope it at least gives some food for thought :smallwink:

obryn
2012-09-27, 02:27 PM
I'll just note that, somewhat counter-intuitively, Fighters were a bit better off in AD&D (at least if Weapon Specialization is allowed) than they are in 3.x.

Yeah, I know, no feats. But among their perks are...
* Exceptional Strength (if they qualify)
* Minion-sweeping
* Much better ACs than most classes
* Restricted Constitution bonuses so only they profited from exceptionally high scores
* Hordes of followers
* And most of all, a very favorable saving throw table, starting especially at mid-levels. This part is huge.

What's more, interrupting spellcasting was fairly simple in comparison; there's no Concentration skill, so any hit is sufficient. And Wizards at least didn't get bonus spells for high Intelligence.

(Now, 1e Rangers and Paladins are even better off than Fighters, but also more likely to have to put their high scores into unfavorable stats.)

-O

nedz
2012-09-27, 02:37 PM
I think that Fighting Defensively and Total Defence were meant as abstractions for Sword Parries, the trouble is that they are not very good. They don't even scale with level.

Ed: +1 to obryn's comments BTW.

kardar233
2012-09-27, 03:08 PM
I think Frozen_Feet nailed it here. The devotion to realism for non-magical characters means they'll always be far inferior to magical ones. While I'm not a fan of E6, I like that they define 6th-level as the top limit of realistic human capability.

You should be able to be any realistic hero in fiction by 5th or 6th level. If you're not Conan or Dread Pirate Roberts by the time the wizard is throwing lightning bolts around, you're going to be permanently behind.

Trying not to start a flame war here, but Drizzt, who is basically an unstoppable dervish of destruction (I think he's been beaten twice?) is stated by Wizards as being ~17th level. Consider that the only competent wizard in that series (Robillard, I think his name was?) is probably 11th-level at most, and is universally more useful that Drizzt is. In a system like Frozen-Feet's, I'd stick him at 9th-level, maybe.

Dienekes
2012-09-27, 03:56 PM
The one and only problem I have with Frozen_Feet is that I do not automatically tie command of troops to a fighter. Take the Julius Caesar example, probably best not to put him down as a fighter, at all. If anything he'd be a weird non-magical Bard that decided to max out Intelligence and Perform (Oration).

Now Alexander the Great has possibility, considering he (supposedly, as pointed out a lot of these achievements have been exaggerated) jumped over the wall of the opposing forces and defended himself against them until his army was able to breach the wall completely.

That said, I don't think the potential for the leader style Fighter needs to be negated but I think it should be just one method of a Fighter to gain power and if done right, is about as useful as the guy who decided to just be one incredibly badass knight.

BootStrapTommy
2012-09-27, 05:18 PM
Here's how I think about it:

A level 1 Fighter is someone who has trained, but has little actual combat experience. Like the noble-born son who has trained for combat his whole life, but has seen very little combat himself.

A level 5 Fighter is someone who has substantial experience under their belt besides their training. They've applied their training and have had time to hone it. They're the sword fighting hero of a fantasy novel reaching his maturity, but not yet his full potential. Like Eragon about the time when Brom dies.

A level 10 Fighter would be one who is a veteran. They have seen plenty of combat, so that they have both the experience and the training to back their actions. They have had a chance to prefect some of their techniques, and their experience gives them insight. They're the kind who train the level 1 noble-born son types.

A level 15 Fighter is a badass. They are the "master swordsman type". They have skills which they have honed from their training through a number of experiences. They border on Bruce Willis in Die Hard awesome. They would be a sought after teacher.

A level 20 Fighter is the peak of human performance. They are complete masters of combat, with perfect and honed skills, tempered by their extensive combat experience. They ARE Bruce Willis in Live Free or Die Hard. They seemingly don't die when they should, and they strike in a manner that baffles and overpowers their opponents. Certified BAMFs. Basically every over-the-top action hero at their peak.

kardar233
2012-09-27, 06:27 PM
Here's how I think about it:

A level 1 Fighter is someone who has trained, but has little actual combat experience. Like the noble-born son who has trained for combat his whole life, but has seen very little combat himself.

A level 5 Fighter is someone who has substantial experience under their belt besides their training. They've applied their training and have had time to hone it. They're the sword fighting hero of a fantasy novel reaching his maturity, but not yet his full potential. Like Eragon about the time when Brom dies.

A level 10 Fighter would be one who is a veteran. They have seen plenty of combat, so that they have both the experience and the training to back their actions. They have had a chance to prefect some of their techniques, and their experience gives them insight. They're the kind who train the level 1 noble-born son types.

A level 15 Fighter is a badass. They are the "master swordsman type". They have skills which they have honed from their training through a number of experiences. They border on Bruce Willis in Die Hard awesome. They would be a sought after teacher.

A level 20 Fighter is the peak of human performance. They are complete masters of combat, with perfect and honed skills, tempered by their extensive combat experience. They ARE Bruce Willis in Live Free or Die Hard. They seemingly don't die when they should, and they strike in a manner that baffles and overpowers their opponents. Certified BAMFs. Basically every over-the-top action hero at their peak.

The problem with this is who they're supposed to be paired with. Think of the most impressive feat of arms you have ever seen in one of those over-the-top action movies. I bet you that a wizard of significantly lower level than your proposed 20th could easily match that.

BootStrapTommy
2012-09-27, 06:41 PM
The problem with this is who they're supposed to be paired with. Think of the most impressive feat of arms you have ever seen in one of those over-the-top action movies. I bet you that a wizard of significantly lower level than your proposed 20th could easily match that.

The problem? No. My friend, we're talking about Fighters. Not Wizards. Why would you bring a Wizard into the discussion? Of course a Wizard could do that.

THEY HAVE MAGIC.

JellyPooga
2012-09-27, 06:41 PM
The problem with this is who they're supposed to be paired with. Think of the most impressive feat of arms you have ever seen in one of those over-the-top action movies. I bet you that a wizard of significantly lower level than your proposed 20th could easily match that.

My knee-jerk response to this kind of comment is that perhaps it's the Wizard that should be brought down into line rather than the Fighter being brought up...:smallwink:

Seerow
2012-09-27, 06:43 PM
My knee-jerk response to this kind of comment is that perhaps it's the Wizard that should be brought down into line rather than the Fighter being brought up...:smallwink:

The correct answer is in the middle, but some people refuse to accept Wizards who can do less than everything, or Fighters who can do more than attack stuff.

Zeful
2012-09-27, 06:44 PM
The problem? No. My friend, we're talking about Fighters. Not Wizards. Why would you bring a Wizard into the discussion? Of course a Wizard could do that.

THEY HAVE MAGIC.

So fighters are supposed to be worthless compared to magic classes?

Frozen_Feet
2012-09-27, 07:02 PM
I hate the word "magic" being used as justification for anything. Without further definition, it's just a carte blanche for any author whimsy - and undermines logicality of a setting.

And once you actually go and define it to working condition, you no longer need the word "magic".

To give a glimpse of what I mean: in D&D 3.5 Warlocks, Warmages, Healers, Adepts and Truenamers all have "magic", just as Wizards, Sorcerers, Druids and Clerics have "magic".

But the former set does not outshine martial characters irreparably, while the latter does. That's because Invocations, Healer spells, Truenaming and limited Arcane spells don't include as much power or breath as unlimited Arcana spells, Druid spells or Cleric spells.

You can't use the word "magic" to explain why one set is less powerful than the other. You'll end up babbling about "different kinds of magic", and eventually you're going to name invidual spell effects to explain just what makes these classes different.

It is entirely possible to have level 20 fighter be a peak human, with just a slight touch of action movie hero, and then next to him have a level 20 Wizard who can do things impossible in real life, and still not overshadow him. But that's going to need a very specific sort of magic.

BootStrapTommy
2012-09-27, 07:30 PM
So fighters are supposed to be worthless compared to magic classes?

What? No. That wasn't even close to what I was saying. I was saying that Wizards and Fighters are different, radically so. It's hard to compare the two, so I didn't see where it was pertinent to bring them up in a discussion on Fighters.

Zeful
2012-09-27, 07:51 PM
What? No. That wasn't even close to what I was saying. I was saying that Wizards and Fighters are different, radically so. It's hard to compare the two, so I didn't see where it was pertinent to bring them up in a discussion on Fighters.

They are only different thematically. In 3.5 where the discussion can be quantified mathematically, it's only a different term. Math terms are always fully comparable.

Your previous statements, both in terms of what a fighter should be (wholly mundane) and in regards to criticism are pretty archetypical of people who believe, in a game of mathematically enforced make believe, anyone that doesn't want to control the fabric of the universe deserves to suck.

BootStrapTommy
2012-09-27, 08:11 PM
They are only different thematically. In 3.5 where the discussion can be quantified mathematically, it's only a different term. Math terms are always fully comparable.

Your previous statements, both in terms of what a fighter should be (wholly mundane) and in regards to criticism are pretty archetypical of people who believe, in a game of mathematically enforced make believe, anyone that doesn't want to control the fabric of the universe deserves to suck.

What the flying fuccati are you talking about? I gave a description of what a Fighter would typically be like at each level based roughly on the capacity of the Fighter class at each point and on how i thought that mapped to modern archtypes. A level 20 fighter is almost epic. An almost epic character could do some pretty crazy things. Action heroes doe crazy things. The two equated to me. kardar233 brought up that wizards could do such things at lower levels.

My response was that they have magic to aid them. Wizards are a different ball game. They maybe able to some great action hero like things at lower levels, but they are also incapable of just as many action hero type action as they are capable of because of what they are physically. The Fighter does all of it at those higher levels because he is physically capable of it. His body lets him do it. A wizard isn't, he just has magic to make him capable of this. Where the hell you got the tangent you're on from that, I do not know.

gkathellar
2012-09-27, 08:23 PM
I don't think a fighter should be anything. The existence of the class seems of questionable value to me, because while fighters need abilities to be useful, balanced and interesting, whatever abilities you give them will always cause them to break from somebody's conception of "fighter." The issue is, in essence, that fighter is too broad of a concept. Better to have a variety of class options, each with a clear set of mechanical concepts in play, and avoid calling any of them "fighter."

Now, what should a wizard be? That seems like a contingent question to me. My first instinct is that the answer is pretty much the same — the reason wizards have to be too powerful is the same as the reason why fighters have to suck. Both concepts cover too much territory, save that one covers it by exclusion and the other by inclusion. Both need to be broken up into smaller, better-contained units with a clearer scope.

Zeful
2012-09-27, 08:25 PM
What the flying fuccati are you talking about? I gave a description of what a Fighter would typically be like at each level based roughly on the capacity of the Fighter class at each point and on how i thought that mapped to modern archtypes. A level 20 fighter is almost epic. An almost epic character could do some pretty crazy things. Action heroes doe crazy things. The two equated to me. kardar233 brought up that wizards could do such things at lower levels.

My response was that they have magic to aid them. Wizards are a different ball game. They maybe able to some great action hero like things at lower levels, but they are also incapable of just as many action hero type action as they are capable of because of what they are physically. The Fighter does all of it at those higher levels because he is physically capable of it. His body lets him do it. A wizard isn't, he just has magic to make him capable of this. Where the hell you got the tangent you're on from that, I do not know.

Then I'll dispense with the airs and put it simply: John McClain is not capable of meaningfully threatening a level 10 wizard, your analogy for what fighters should be capable of only works if Fighters are to be useless in high level play.

gkathellar
2012-09-27, 08:27 PM
Then I'll dispense with the airs and put it simply: John McClain is not capable of meaningfully threatening a level 10 wizard, your analogy only works if Fighters are to be useless in play.

QFT.fillllller

obryn
2012-09-27, 08:27 PM
The problem? No. My friend, we're talking about Fighters. Not Wizards. Why would you bring a Wizard into the discussion? Of course a Wizard could do that.

THEY HAVE MAGIC.


Basically they are what's left over when you subtract every other class from the mix. If they are not a [Every other base and NPC class] then they are a Fighter.
Right here? These quotes more or less encapsulate the "fighters do not get nice things" mentality I'd like to finally abandon.

I have lost all respect for the "because MAGIC!" approach to D&D classes. If we can't stretch our imaginations to encapsulate near-mystical feats of arms and give Fighters similar degrees of player fiat to that which spellcasters enjoy, I don't see the point of having mundane characters at all.

-O

Hiro Protagonest
2012-09-27, 08:50 PM
I don't think a fighter should be anything. The existence of the class seems of questionable value to me, because while fighters need abilities to be useful, balanced and interesting, whatever abilities you give them will always cause them to break from somebody's conception of "fighter." The issue is, in essence, that fighter is too broad of a concept. Better to have a variety of class options, each with a clear set of mechanical concepts in play, and avoid calling any of them "fighter."

Now, what should a wizard be? That seems like a contingent question to me. My first instinct is that the answer is pretty much the same — the reason wizards have to be too powerful is the same as the reason why fighters have to suck. Both concepts cover too much territory, save that one covers it by exclusion and the other by inclusion. Both need to be broken up into smaller, better-contained units with a clearer scope.

QFT. If there is a fighter class, then it should be broken up into multiple styles and archetypes, and there shouldn't be a "basic fighter". There is the zweihander duelist, the two-handed axe/hammer brute, the polearm master, the sword-and-shield defender, and the axe-and-shield vanguard, and they all share the same chassis (BAB, saving throws, hit dice), but there is not a "basic fighter". Those archetypes I listed can come from the current fighter with a specific selection of feats, but that shouldn't be the case. You could just as easily take Power Attack, Weapon Focus: Rapier, and Improved Unarmed Strike, but that shouldn't be from the class. Sure, with the new fighter, you can take the Vanguard archetype and take Weapon Focus: Rapier for style points, but you won't be as effective as if you used an axe, and most importantly, it tells you so. You can be half-decent, you'll still get the Vanguard's speed boost and charging features, but you won't get the +attack bonus you would've if you'd grabbed an axe.

Ultimately, though, I dislike class systems for anything other than quick character creation for a casual game.

rockdeworld
2012-09-27, 09:58 PM
I saw a group of videos in a post addressing this exact thing. I only remember the final battle from Samurai Champloo being listed as Level 10.

Now are we talking about what a fighter according to D&D rules is at those levels, or what a fighter should be?

IMO:
What Fighters Are: At levels 1-5, a credible threat to all opponents. After that, becoming more and more useless with increasingly marginal abilities that result in a Level 20 fighter being able to dish out (and take) barely more damage than a level 5 fighter, whereas his opponents can slaughter him at any level. At level 20, the 3.5 core fighter is paltry. Multiclassing (eg. into a Horizon Walker) and feats and races from outside core can fix that.

What Fighters Should Be:
Level 1: Ramza the squire, at the beginning of FFT. Can take on basic enemies in groups, and other basic warriors 1 on 1.

Level 5: The Shadow of the Colossus protagonist. Can go toe-to-toe with a Dire Lion (where in RL regular lions kill people dead).

Level 10: This quote: (http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Fighter,_Tome_%283.5e_Class%29) "I've seen this kind of fire-breathing chicken-demon before. We're going to need more rope. Also a bigger cart." Can take on dragons and 9-headed pyrohydras by himself.

Level 15: Kyoraku (http://www.bleachget.com/watch/bleach-episode-283/) and Starrk (http://www.bleachget.com/watch/bleach-episode-278/). Kyoraku for a swordsman-type, Starrk for a ranged-type. (Although tbh, Bleach is kindof a bad reference because of the varying power levels, those two episodes kinda represent what I mean). Has taken down BBEGs in the past, and can single-handedly kill an full-grown dragon (who has sorcerer casting, flight, status-affecting breath-weapons, etc in addition to massive strength and more attacks per round)

Level 20: I don't know any examples for this. At this level, a fighter can take on a Tarrasque or Balor (which has crazy-powerful abilities) by himself. He's basically unkillable. Maybe the Ginyu force, for unarmed fighters, would work.

Btw, IMO the Ginyu Force was the last credible threat in DBZ before power levels went off the rails.

NotScaryBats
2012-09-28, 04:43 AM
When a fighter needs to be decked out in magical items to compete, it bothers me. I think a 'guy who kills stuff with a melee weapon' should be able to eviscerate you with a spoon at high levels, with his Vorpal Sword just gravy rather than necessary for his success.

So, ToB and 4e are both good examples of what Fighters should be, to me. They have interesting and powerful abilities at their disposal, and can effectively kill enemies, protect their allies, and not die.

If you're going into the crazy demon-binding, scry-and-fry, world-shattering levels with the druid, cleric, and wizard, I think Fighters should have a similar curve. Let them leap hundreds of feet, decapitate a dozen enemies with a single strike, or shrug off super rays of death. Don't just leave them behind.

Ecalsneerg
2012-09-28, 09:05 AM
Well, I agree, Fighter should not be a class, but a group of classes, like the Duelist, the Juggernaut, the Weapon Master, and so forth.

But to avoid skirting the question, he should be the colonel badass of the badass marines. With no magic, and only a couple of magic trinkets I think all adventurers should get (I don't believe in the Christmas trees, but I think it's not an unfair assumption that by level 10 everyone should have, say, one magic weapon or piece of armour, and a small Wondrous Item with a minor but useful effect), he kicks ass.

He gets dogpiled by a squad of gnolls with claws and fangs and knives, and comes out covered in blood... theirs. He holds up his shield against a dragon's fire and it deflects around both sides of him. He, by higher levels, can walk into a tavern and even without his chosen weapon and armour, is punching out the whole bar and wielding chair legs with ease. He's dueling Balors atop cliffs in the heart of the Abyss, effortlessly side-stepping magic assaults and parrying flaming swords with his own fairly mundane one. He's kicking in doors with such force that the door takes out a couple of armed guards even before he draws his sword to outfight the whole room.

jaybird
2012-09-28, 10:51 AM
QFT. If there is a fighter class, then it should be broken up into multiple styles and archetypes, and there shouldn't be a "basic fighter".

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/fighter/archetypes

Well would you look at that.

Kaervaslol
2012-09-28, 10:53 AM
Fighters are defined by their equipment, that's how it has always been.

I imagine a fighter as a dude with an awesome sword, most likely intelligent, having adventures together like those cops movies.

Seerow
2012-09-28, 12:18 PM
Fighters are defined by their equipment, that's how it has always been.

I imagine a fighter as a dude with an awesome sword, most likely intelligent, having adventures together like those cops movies.

Yeah, the fighter is the comedic relief sidekick to the Intelligent Artifact Sword. Sounds like everyone's roleplaying fantasy to me.

obryn
2012-09-28, 12:54 PM
Yeah, the fighter is the comedic relief sidekick to the Intelligent Artifact Sword. Sounds like everyone's roleplaying fantasy to me.
If your Fighter archetype is only as deep as "dude with a sword" I'd have to say it meets the archetype nicely.

-O

Seerow
2012-09-28, 12:57 PM
If your Fighter archetype is only as deep as "dude with a sword" I'd have to say it meets the archetype nicely.

-O

Except in this case it's more of "Sword with a dude" because the Sword is providing the majority of the power. Shiny equipment is nice, but unless it is the main focus of the class, should not overshadow your class features.

Like I could get behind an Artificer class as Iron Man, that builds his own hyper-powerful and even intelligent magic items. It's a cool concept, and has a lot of potential. I can't get behind the idea of instead of having a guy create his own items, he is expected to buy them or find them randomly, and still have those items be his defining feature. It's the difference between Iron Man and War Machine. Iron Man is a hero, War Machine is just a sidekick. A PC class should not be the sidekick.

Hiro Protagonest
2012-09-28, 01:14 PM
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/fighter/archetypes

Well would you look at that.

I have read PF's archetypes. They don't solve the problem any more than 3.5's ACFs do (although I can't deny that convincing the DM to let me change a greataxe into a hammer and being a Dungeoncrasher Fighter feels different from the typical charger).

I think something like this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=250820) would be good for removing the genericky stuff from fighter, and wizard, and those other classes.

obryn
2012-09-28, 01:42 PM
Except in this case it's more of "Sword with a dude" because the Sword is providing the majority of the power. Shiny equipment is nice, but unless it is the main focus of the class, should not overshadow your class features.
Yeah, there was some sarcasm in my post. :smallsmile:

Fighters should be defined by their awesomeness at fighting, not their equipment. I think both Warblades (if you're doing 3.5) and 4e Fighters both nail the concept.

-O

gkathellar
2012-09-28, 01:46 PM
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/core-classes/fighter/archetypes

Well would you look at that.

I'm looking, and I see a class which is still deeply inadequate, both in terms of having interesting abilities and in terms of being an effective presence, in a system that still thinks melee can't have nice things. But you know what? Let's not just leave this point up in the air, we can go somewhere with this. Evidence is required.

Here are two particular insulting examples, the Mobile Fighter and Tactician Archetypes (insulting in the sense that they should be valid sort of character, but because this is PF, they aren't).


At 2nd level, a mobile fighter gains a +1 bonus on saving throws made against effects that cause him to become paralyzed, slowed, or entangled. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 2nd.

Oh, look, more numbers. Because that's what the fighter needed.


At 5th level, when a mobile fighter moves at least 5 feet prior to attacking, he gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 5th.

So this is just the ability it replaced but only usable with this variant's crappy abilities, I guess?


At 11th level, a mobile fighter can combine a full-attack action with a single move. He must forgo the attack at his highest bonus but may take the remaining attacks at any point during his movement. This movement provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.

Oh, look, an ability so bad it may as well not even exist.


At 15th level, the mobile fighter’s speed increases by 10 feet. He can take 10 on Acrobatics checks even while distracted or threatened, and can take 20 on an Acrobatics check once per day for every five fighter levels he possesses.

... I don't even know how to respond to this. +10 move speed, take 10, and occasionally take 20. At level 15. What is this I don't even


At 20th level, a mobile fighter can make a full-attack action as a standard action. He may also use the Whirlwind Attack feat as a standard action.

Yes, well, things that should be standard to pretty much everybody being presented as capstones for a crappy variant class? That pretty much makes my point for me.

A tactician gains 4 skill points + a number of skill points equal to his Intelligence modifier at each level, instead of the normal 2 skill points + Intelligence modifier at each level. Furthermore, Diplomacy (Cha), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Linguistics (Int), and Sense Motive (Wis) are all class skills for the tactician.

This ability replaces the bonus fighter combat feat gained at 1st level.

This is actually pretty cool! Which is why it's setting us up for disappointment.


A tactician may choose Skill Focus or any teamwork feat, in addition to Combat Feats, as bonus feats.

So, the fighter's signature non-ability is slightly more versatile. Uh, okay. That's good I guess.


At 2nd level, a tactician gains a +1 bonus on initiative checks. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels after 2nd level (to a maximum of +5 at 18th level).

Well, numbers, but at least they're somewhat unusual numbers. So that's at least an improvement. Still boring, though.


At 5th level, a tactician gains this ability as the cavalier class feature. He may use this ability once per day at 5th level, plus one additional time for every five levels after 5th (to a maximum of four times at 20th level). If the tactician also has cavalier levels, these levels stack for determining the number of uses per day, and he can take the better progression.

Another bonus feat, and an ability which lets you waste your standard action. Joy.


At 11th level, when a tactician uses the aid another special attack, he may affect one additional ally per point of Intelligence bonus. For each ally that a tactician aids, he can pick whether to grant that ally the +2 bonus on its next attack against the opponent or the +2 bonus to AC against the opponent’s next attack on that ally, and can grant different allies different bonuses.

Another waste of a standard action! Wooooooo.


At 15th level, as a swift action, a tactician can grant his Intelligence modifier as an insight bonus on the attack rolls made by a single ally within line of sight that can both see and hear the tactician. That ally gains the bonus until the end of the tactician’s next turn. The tactician can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Intelligence modifier.

Yet another case of too little, too late.

These abilities are generally well-balanced against what the PF fighter already has, of course, and therein lies the problem. What the default fighter has is so generic that it has to be meaningless, and so whatever ACFs are supplied to it have to be insultingly bad by relation. The draw of this is that no, alternate class features are not enough to make a fighter class distinct, or interesting, because the fighter has to be distinct and interesting to start with.

And if the fighter has to be distinct and interesting to start with, than we get back to the basic problem — that "fighter" is an absurdly broad concept, one that is necessarily bad because it has no idea what it actually is (and neither does anyone writing it).

NotScaryBats
2012-09-28, 02:10 PM
I'm just gonna put this out there, but fighter isn't a huge concept to me for two reaasons:

1:) type of weapon shouldn't be an entirely different class.
-- why should my axe guy be so different from sword guy? both are strong melee fighter guys.

2:) D&D bias, but if you're ranged, your not a fighter, if you are sneaky and backstab, you're a rogue, if you're divine you're a paladin.

This doesn't mean you can't have nice things -- you should be the best at what you do because you're specialized at kicking ass in melee with weapons. But a Master of Arms is what a Fighter is, not 'oh, a halberd? I have seven feats sunk into using a glaive, so can't use this halberd.'

gkathellar
2012-09-28, 02:22 PM
This doesn't mean you can't have nice things -- you should be the best at what you do because you're specialized at kicking ass in melee with weapons. But a Master of Arms is what a Fighter is, not 'oh, a halberd? I have seven feats sunk into using a glaive, so can't use this halberd.'

If Master At Arms is what you think a fighter should be, than why should it be called Fighter instead of Master At Arms, since the second of those is what it actually is? And what happens when someone does want to build a specialist with a particular weapon, is that just not possible? Or do we need another class for that? What about when they want their fighter to be built around battlefield cunning, instead, or pure mental focus? There's a reason people are typically happy with barbarian as a separate class — rage is a big concept, a major stylistic choice. It deserves individual attention, and so do other concepts.

The issue is that the styles of play, imagery, and mechanical concepts people envision for a "fighter" vary to a degree that makes the class doomed to fail. This goes beyond just "how do I shot sword" vs. "how do I shot axe," into questions of exactly what you want the class to be doing from round to round. And if the answer is "auto-attacking," then the fighter will still suck and still be boring.

Hiro Protagonest
2012-09-28, 02:45 PM
1:) type of weapon shouldn't be an entirely different class.
-- why should my axe guy be so different from sword guy? both are strong melee fighter guys.

Axes are very different from swords. Swords are precision weapons, from the long dagger to the English Longsword. Axes are what you use to get around shields (the blade protrudes outward, therefore they get a few inches over a sword when it comes to getting around shields), get through armor (swords, you thrust into the weaker or unprotected joints. Axes, hammers, and maces all just deliver crushing blows), and are generally a sort of cross between sword and hammer. Also, they're better at chopping down trees, so they're useful for setting up a base in a forest. Now, give the shield a spade shape, and put a slot in the bottom with a hole for a rivet, and get a pole fitted for it also with a hole for a rivet, and you've got a way to set up earth-and-wood defenses just using your basic war gear.

NotScaryBats
2012-09-28, 02:57 PM
I just think you shouldn't need to specialize in one type of polearm if you're character's class is guy who fights with melee weapons. Especially when we compare that to a guy who's class is magic powers and animal shape and animal companions and ...

Or how about "I can cast illusions and compulsions, and am good at stealth and social skills."

Compare those to "I can pick one trick and specialize with that to an absurd degree. It becomes my only trick, and if my enemy is immune to it for some reason (trip master vs ooze?) I am worthless"

My argument is the opposite of yours. You feel the Fighter is too generic? I think it is too specialized. Why shouldn't you be able to trip, sunder, disarm, charge, push and strategize? That doesn't sound like more than one class to me.

The dumb fighter is a Barbarian. Roy is a Fighter.

EDIT at ^
Of course in real life it is different to use a sword than use an axe. But that's like saying my necromancer should only be able to use animate dead.

Seerow
2012-09-28, 03:17 PM
See the problem is that Fighters are too generic AND too specialized at the same time.


They are very generic in that their main schtick is "Fighting with mundane weapons". This is extremely broad and can potentially swallow every non-magical class in the game. This means there are dozens of potential concepts you can apply to it, each of which are fairly different.

On the other hand, they are very specialized, in that "Fighting with mundane weapons" by itself is a very limited thing. You can hit stuff in melee, or you can hit stuff from range. Occasionally you can do something like push the enemy, or trip them. This is typically the sort of thing that gets accomplished by a single spell, and not even necessarily a high level one.

You can try to support the Fighter by embracing the broad concepts of Fighters, but rather than trying to make them specialize, let them be all of those things at once. Yes, my Fighter is a highly mobile swashbuckler, an amazing Archer, a stalward Knight, and a Leader of Men. Basically you have the Fighter go down the list of every mundane archtype, see what is acceptable for them to have, and give it as an option to the Fighter. Let him learn as many as he wants with downtime, much like a Wizard learns spells.

Going this route basically acknowledges how limited mundane characters really are when placed next to magic. Even when doing this, you're going to end up with a Fighter with a bunch of abilities roughly equivalent with 2 or 3 schools of magic, and that's assuming you are willing to embrace the Warlord style powers for him. The question is if at this point what you have is even a Fighter anymore. He is basically a Mundane Paragon. He embodies every martial class ever, because doing so is what it takes to compete with magic.



The other route is to, as suggested, break up the Fighter into subclasses, getting rid of the Fighter and instead have each of those concepts as their own unique class. Going this route, you'll have a bunch of radically underpowered very specialized classes, unless you are willing to let them have supernatural abilities within their niche. Even this is probably going to leave you with a bunch of tier 4 classes, because while you are letting the mundanes leave the mundane, you are still running with the idea of a bunch of specialized classes. Luckily, most of these specialized classes are a bit more broad than "Fighter" in terms of out of combat utility, so will fare a little bit better there.


The best route though, is honestly probably saying "Mundane classes last to level 6. Once you hit level 7, you must multi-class into something that isn't mundane" and being done with it.

NotScaryBats
2012-09-28, 03:43 PM
As the game is currently set up, I agree with you. But, I don't feel that it should be this way.

I just think as the game progresses to pass the mundanes, they should be enhanced to keep up. Quadratic Fighters, as it were.

We're fighting flying incorporeal creatures intent on raining down magical attacks? Here are my options: Leap up and cut through their incorporealness, cut a hole in the wall for an escape route, focus on deflecting / reflecting their magical attacks, etc. That is flavorful, has an ancient folklore (Greek mythology, Epic of Gilgamesh) / anime precedent, and keeps the Fighter from becoming obsolete.

Hiro Protagonest
2012-09-28, 03:51 PM
EDIT at ^
Of course in real life it is different to use a sword than use an axe. But that's like saying my necromancer should only be able to use animate dead.

I didn't say he couldn't use a sword. I just think he'd get some bonuses for using hafted non-polearm weapons. A 15th level Brute can pick up a sword and lay waste to armies, but he's less effective in a duel against an equal level martial character.

And being good with only one type of polearm is also overspecialized. A polearm guy is equally effective with a glaive, naginata, and guisarme, although only the last one lets him trip from a distance.

Fighting classes should be good with one group of weapons, and decent with everything else. I think armor should be the same way. Also whether he uses a shield or not.

Kaervaslol
2012-09-28, 03:54 PM
Yeah, the fighter is the comedic relief sidekick to the Intelligent Artifact Sword. Sounds like everyone's roleplaying fantasy to me.

What kind of game do you play? I have never felt as a comedic relief sidekick ever and all of my fighters have been dude with powerful magic items.

I played mostly 2e though, and I don't play with *****.

NotScaryBats
2012-09-28, 03:54 PM
Personally, I disagree with you, but only because of game balance reasons. If you find a magic Dwarven Craghammer in a dungeon and you're normally a human axe guy, I think its lame to be punished for using the new weapon. Especially because for the most part, if your Invoker finds a Divination scroll in the same loot, he'll be able to use it with virtually no penalties. (maybe the Dc is slightly lower)

TheThan
2012-09-29, 01:08 AM
Obviously a fighter should be a character that is highly skilled in combat. I would dare say a fighter should be the best at fighting. But unfortunately that’s not really the case.

In order for the fighter to be the best at fighting he needs to be able to perform well in combat. What I mean is that combat should come easily to the class. He needs to have combat options, be it in TOB psudo-magic, 4E powers, or whathaveyou. To put it simply a fighter needs to be versatile .

For example dnd 3.5 offers several combat maneuvers (not to be confused with TOB maneuvers), I’m talking about bull rush, disarm, sunder, trip etc. These maneuvers give the fighter a fair bit of options, but they are difficult [i/] to perform. Therefore a fighter either spends his limited resources on making himself [i]ok at doing those maneuvers, or he focuses on basic attacks and the now classic power attack (being mathematically the best option available, but this quickly becomes feat intensive). This is not good for the fighter because he does not have the options to actually be strong in combat. His options are few, too resource intensive, and too focused on one thing. In effect, a fighter is either very good at one thing (a one trick pony), or mediocre at everything.

Now 4E almost had this problem fixed, what with the power system and all. But the encounter/at will/ daily system really did ruin it. Because instead of it being versatile, it was really routine oriented, and not exactly what I had hoped for when I first got to mess around with the system.

Kitten Champion
2012-09-29, 02:02 AM
As the game is currently set up, I agree with you. But, I don't feel that it should be this way.

I just think as the game progresses to pass the mundanes, they should be enhanced to keep up. Quadratic Fighters, as it were.

We're fighting flying incorporeal creatures intent on raining down magical attacks? Here are my options: Leap up and cut through their incorporealness, cut a hole in the wall for an escape route, focus on deflecting / reflecting their magical attacks, etc. That is flavorful, has an ancient folklore (Greek mythology, Epic of Gilgamesh) / anime precedent, and keeps the Fighter from becoming obsolete.

I agree with this.

I think that being a fighter should open a range of possibilities which reflect the complexities and physicality of what we read and see in fiction with mundane yet skilled fighters.

Fighting should have a depth in its own right -- more Shadow Of The Colossus or Legend of Zelda with the player sorting out how to best react to the situation than World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy where you occasionally toggle skills to break up the monotony of spamming attacks. I personally don't care about feeling powerful, I just want to be challenged and have useful skills which allow me to meet those challenges in a variety of ways with more options being added on as you conquer each experience.

Ashtagon
2012-09-29, 02:10 AM
A fighter should be the man who said "no".

Geddoe
2012-09-29, 08:55 AM
If you're going to have things like Flight and Invisibility in the game (which they shouldn't be IMO, since they're very powerful effects), the Fighter needs to be able to compete. Maybe he becomes enough of a hardcore badass to beat these things by virtue of his class abilities. Maybe magic or Ki see how awesome he is and start attaching to him as he grows in level, allowing him to do things which "Muggles" couldn't otherwise (see magic in the air, use his sword as a boomerang, cut spells in half, step through dimensions, etc). He should also be able to inflict more status effects and replicate spell effects (smack someone on the head to trigger a Save vs. Daze, knock people around by hitting them really hard, move so fast he can't be seen, etc).


Sounds like Anima: Beyond Fantasy. It's Ki Abilities(which every class can get a bit of) allow things from detecting all beings in certain radius based on a skill check, slowing aging, minor shapeshifting, Wuxia-esque jumping, DBZ-ish flight, eating and sleeping 1/10th as much and more.

toapat
2012-09-29, 10:32 AM
To the folks complaining about Tome of Battle, please keep this in mind:

Before Tome of Battle, martial characters in D&D were incapable of basic combat maneuvers such as sword parries or being trained in diving for cover. Thanks to Tome of Battle, they may now do things that every single fighting tradition on Earth considers the realm of novice-level learning like, oh, block shots or do jujitsu.

Just keep it in mind.

this is actually a failure of the system overall. Sure, ToB does what it needed to to make physical combat actually viable. on the other hand, it does not do it in the right way at all.

what tome of battle should have done was rebuild the entire physical combat system so that "Full Attack" was not the only viable option if you were not the Animated Meatgrinder that is a dungeoncrasher fighter or the Shiskkebab specialist that is every single ubercharger as well as the Ubermount paladin. What tome did without suck was to make Weapons of Legacy slightly less suck. OtoH, it still invalidates most of the other classes in the game.

jaybird
2012-09-29, 10:41 AM
this is actually a failure of the system overall. Sure, ToB does what it needed to to make physical combat actually viable. on the other hand, it does not do it in the right way at all.

what tome of battle should have done was rebuild the entire physical combat system so that "Full Attack" was not the only viable option if you were not the Animated Meatgrinder that is a dungeoncrasher fighter or the Shiskkebab specialist that is every single ubercharger as well as the Ubermount paladin. What tome did without suck was to make Weapons of Legacy slightly less suck. OtoH, it still invalidates most of the other classes in the game.

Let's not make the Good the enemy of the Perfect here. ToB made melee interesting, and if the price for interesting melee is throwing the Core Fighter in front of an Adamantine Hurricane, then so be it.

rockdeworld
2012-09-29, 11:50 AM
Found the thread I was talking about in my last post: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=136474

Also, earlier in this thread, I saw someone suggest (perhaps jokingly, I can't remember) that a necromancer should only be able to cast Animate Dead. In the words of Jon Stewart, you're exactly #[email protected]!ing right.

Rant, ignore at your leisure:
A level 1 fighter has a sword that deals 1d8 damage. A level 20 fighter has a sword that deals 1d8+5 damage, and maybe cuts off someone's head 10% of the time. Compared to the ability to send everyone in a cone-shaped burst to another plane, that's a pretty pathetic power boost. Or summon a hailstorm 10 times a day. Now consider: those are both spells from one of the weakest schools of magic, and no spellcaster is confined to a single school of magic.

If you want to bring wizards down to the same level as fighter, they should be one-trick ponies who cannot contribute outside their specially-designed field.

Even when a fighter can use different weapons (i.e. didn't take their own specialized class abilities: weapon focus, etc), wizards can use wands.

The reason I chose the examples I did in my last post was because I looked at monsters of that CR and said "who could beat these creatures 50% of the time in a 1-on-1 fight?"

The LOBster
2012-09-29, 03:19 PM
When I think of Fighters, I think of someone who's skilled in the art of combat - more like a class out of ToB than the standard 3.5 Fighter. As someone who's a bit of an amateur history buff when it comes to warriors, it doesn't make sense for Fighters to just be "Durr, I hit things with a sword." Real life combat involves tactics, stances, and technique - if you just go into combat with a sword and just swing it at everything without putting any more thought into it than "Durr, I hit things with a sword," you're gonna get killed. That's probably why I love the ToB classes and 4E Martials so much.

Wizards and other Casters should be very powerful, yes but a Fighter (and other Martial classes), if we're going by real life, should be a bit more complex than merely a meat tank who hits things. And if we're going by fantasy and mythological heroes, he should also be pretty daggone powerful at higher levels thanks to a combination of special techniques and powerful weapons. Sure, he may not have spells like a Wizard, but his magic sword and all the special techniques he's learned - including some that no ordinary human could perform - should allow a Fighter to go toe-to-toe with a Wizard with a roughly 50/50 chance of victory for either of them.

jaybird
2012-09-29, 11:07 PM
If you want to bring wizards down to the same level as fighter, they should be one-trick ponies who cannot contribute outside their specially-designed field.


Then screw the Fighter. Split Wizards into themed list casters on par with the Warblade and do the same for Clerics. A game where nobody can contribute outside of their specialization is not going to be a game I want to play.

willpell
2012-09-30, 09:14 AM
Everybody seems to think that because the Fighter does an Attack or Full Attack every round, that he's just taking one swing. The central concept of 3E's combat system is that every character in a fight is constantly performing maneuvers and stances, which constitute their Armor Class and their Attacks of Opportunity and maybe a few other things. That's the basic mechanism of combat. Giving martial adepts a list of "spells", even if they function a little differently, still makes them feel too much like the casters for my taste. To me, the fighter is elegant in his simplicity, and all the flavor is added in description - it doesn't matter whether you say he does a spinning roundhouse kick or performs the Adamantine Seven-Cuts Collapsing Kata, because the basic attack stands in equally well for any and all attacks no matter how you describe them. They all have the same effect - you hit your target for damage or you don't. It might be nice to have a bit more complexity in the basic system, allowing for things like knockback or mobility or or multiple weak attacks instead of a single all-out one, but the bottom line is that the fighter should not have a subsystem; he should instead be the absolute master of the supersystem, the basic mechanics of combat. Which he pretty much is, because he has a point of Base Attack Bonus every level, and that gets him iterative attacks much, much faster than the Cleric or Wizard. Once those two run out of spells, it's the fighter's time to shine, as he advances down the tunnel with a blade in each hand, spinning like propellers and forcing the kobold horde to fall back lest he have the chance to Great Cleave them all to death in the space of seconds.

Seerow
2012-09-30, 09:26 AM
Everybody seems to think that because the Fighter does an Attack or Full Attack every round, that he's just taking one swing. The central concept of 3E's combat system is that every character in a fight is constantly performing maneuvers and stances, which constitute their Armor Class and their Attacks of Opportunity and maybe a few other things.

How does it constitute their armor class? Seriously You have the same base AC whether you're a level 1 wizard or a level 20 fighter. I mean it's all well and good to be imagining that your Fighter isn't just standing there slack jawed doing nothing but 1-5 attacks each turn, but mechanically that is exactly what is happening. He actually is putting no real effort into defending himself (to do that you need to take unreasonable penalties to hit, and you can spend a feat to take even worse penalties!).

The real problem here is you say a Fighter is doing all these maneuvers and stances in the background, but he gets no benefit out of them, because he is effectively the same as a Wizard in that regard. Unless you want me to believe a Wizard is also using the same maneuvers and stances as the Fighter, and neither the Fighter or Wizard get any better at using these abilities as they gain levels... yeah just doesn't make sense.


That's the basic mechanism of combat. Giving martial adepts a list of "spells", even if they function a little differently, still makes them feel too much like the casters for my taste.


Found your problem. At no point to martial adepts get access to a spell list.


To me, the fighter is elegant in his simplicity, and all the flavor is added in description - it doesn't matter whether you say he does a spinning roundhouse kick or performs the Adamantine Seven-Cuts Collapsing Kata, because the basic attack stands in equally well for any and all attacks no matter how you describe them. They all have the same effect - you hit your target for damage or you don't.

You missed the important part though: Hitting the enemy for damage isn't enough to be either effective or mechanically interesting.


It might be nice to have a bit more complexity in the basic system, allowing for things like knockback or mobility or or multiple weak attacks instead of a single all-out one, but the bottom line is that the fighter should not have a subsystem; he should instead be the absolute master of the supersystem, the basic mechanics of combat. Which he pretty much is, because he has a point of Base Attack Bonus every level, and that gets him iterative attacks much, much faster than the Cleric or Wizard.

psst, Fighter's aren't the only ones that get that. You know who else gets full BAB? The NPC warrior class. The Fighter's feature is his feats, not his chasis. Feats however make for terrible features because since they are universal they are almost all pretty weak and terrible.

Fighters need mobility, defenses, control, disabling capability, and access to the action economy on par with the other classes. The best way to give access to the breadth of abilities needed to compete without making the class too much is via the introduction of their own subsystem.


Once those two run out of spells, it's the fighter's time to shine, as he advances down the tunnel with a blade in each hand, spinning like propellers and forcing the kobold horde to fall back lest he have the chance to Great Cleave them all to death in the space of seconds.

Once the cleric runs out of spells, it's time for everyone to pack up and camp, because the Fighter isn't getting anywhere without the Cleric's healing. Also what happens when instead of a horde of CR1/4 creatures, that Fighter runs into a level appropriate threat for the entire party, but half the party is dead weight? Here's a hint: We find out which party members taste good with ketchup.

willpell
2012-09-30, 10:02 AM
How does it constitute their armor class?

I was thinking mostly of Dexterity bonus but in retrospect I was mistaken, with Armor and Initiative being what they are, Wizards are more likely to buy Dexterity than Fighters are.


The real problem here is you say a Fighter is doing all these maneuvers and stances in the background, but he gets no benefit out of them, because he is effectively the same as a Wizard in that regard. Unless you want me to believe a Wizard is also using the same maneuvers and stances as the Fighter, and neither the Fighter or Wizard get any better at using these abilities as they gain levels... yeah just doesn't make sense.

The fighter has the Base Attack Bonus; his attacks of opportunity will actually hit, while the wizard's will not, if the wizard even bothers holding a weapon in his non-spellcasting hand despite how badly he sucks with it.


Found your problem. At no point to martial adepts get access to a spell list.

Warblades, despite supposedly having the same flavor as fighters, have to shop a list of maneuvers which they then expend during the fight exactly the way spellcasters shop a list of spells and then expend them. The refreshing mechanic is different, true, but everything is just details; the truth is, maneuvers are like spells, in that you have to read what they do to even figure out whether you want to select them. They complicate the process of character-making, and those complications are for wizards, who would suck if they didn't have those complications. That's what I think the Fighter should be - a character who is the absolute best in the basic game, who is almost as good without spells as a wizard is with spells, because a wizard can run out of spells, while a fighter never has to track a single expendable resource other than his health and maybe some ammunition if he's a ranged specialist. The Wizard is supposed to bend the rules of reality because he sucks at life and he needs to cheat. The Fighter should be someone who is inherently awesome and doesn't need any help in that department.

(Really, the reason why the fighter sucks in 3E is probably just that the fighter is a jock, the wizard is a nerd, and the Wotco employees got beat up a lot in high school.)


You missed the important part though: Hitting the enemy for damage isn't enough to be either effective or mechanically interesting.

It should be effective; the fact that it isn't is a system failure. As for interesting, well I'll grant you that; spells are definitely more engaging. The problem, to me, is that they make it non-optional and very consuming. You can't just learn one spell and have a character who's otherwise nonmagical but with this one trick up his sleeve (soulmelds can do this via the Shape Soulmeld feat, but spells not so much AFAIK, though I suppose there's probably a way somewhere if I wanted to go hunt for it). Picking one spell to define a character around would be interesting enough; having to memorize half the spell list is too high an investment IMO, it makes playing a wizard something of a chore, while playing a fighter means being on autopilot and being able to immerse yourself in the setting.


Feats however make for terrible features because since they are universal they are almost all pretty weak and terrible.

The Fighter gets six feats in his first three levels, twice what any other character gets in the same range. That isn't a marginal advantage. Some of the feats are definitely excessively weak, but there's a huge list; you can spend your bonus feats on utility stuff, then use your personal feats, which number the same as most classes' total feats, for things that the other classes can't afford because they need utility too. At least in theory.


Fighters need mobility, defenses, control, disabling capability, and access to the action economy on par with the other classes.

I don't see why. All of those those things are excess baggage in what should be a fairly simple basic experience. They should only come into play on rare occasions, and the wizard should live for those.


Once the cleric runs out of spells, it's time for everyone to pack up and camp, because the Fighter isn't getting anywhere without the Cleric's healing.

Nonsense. The fighter has a metric ton of hit points, and can wear the best armor; he can keep fighting until he's down to 1 HP. And the cleric is going to get murdered in his sleep if he spends his spells like they're going out of style.


Also what happens when instead of a horde of CR1/4 creatures, that Fighter runs into a level appropriate threat for the entire party, but half the party is dead weight? Here's a hint: We find out which party members taste good with ketchup.

Oh like the CR system is balanced in the first place. I always use under-CRed encounters because killing the party is no good for anyone. Plus high-level monsters tend to have absurd numbers of SLAs, none of them defined in the statblock, which makes them a pain in the rear to run.

Seerow
2012-09-30, 10:25 AM
The fighter has the Base Attack Bonus; his attacks of opportunity will actually hit, while the wizard's will not, if the wizard even bothers holding a weapon in his non-spellcasting hand despite how badly he sucks with it.


And if no enemies provoke AoOs, they're both equal. Nothing the Fighter is doing actually makes him better at anything he can control.


Warblades, despite supposedly having the same flavor as fighters, have to shop a list of maneuvers which they then expend during the fight exactly the way spellcasters shop a list of spells and then expend them. The refreshing mechanic is different, true, but everything is just details;

That little detail is a pretty huge ****ing difference. It's the difference between use an ability once and you can't do it again all day, and doing it once and then to do it again you have to specifically set up an opening to use it again (the swift action+attack Warblades can use).

I mean if you really can't see the huge difference between can refresh and can't refresh, and call it just a trivial detail, I don't know what to say.


the truth is, maneuvers are like spells, in that you have to read what they do to even figure out whether you want to select them.

So what, you just pick whatever feats you think sound cool on your Fighter without reading them? This isn't even an argument. Yes, you are playing a RPG, which is based in books. You might need to read to build an effective character. God forbid!


They complicate the process of character-making, and those complications are for wizards, who would suck if they didn't have those complications.

psst: Fighter's suck without those complications as well. The fact that Fighters don't have useful abilities is why they're sitting all the way down at tier 5.


That's what I think the Fighter should be - a character who is the absolute best in the basic game, who is almost as good without spells as a wizard is with spells, because a wizard can run out of spells, while a fighter never has to track a single expendable resource other than his health and maybe some ammunition if he's a ranged specialist.

What you are asking for is literally impossible. You're asking for a character with no special abilities and nothing but hp and a high attack bonus to compete with a character who can do anything they want.

Expendable resources aren't a limitation when A) The expendable resource is MUCH more powerful than the non-expendable one, and B) The expendable resource is so plentiful that you will not regularly run out past the earliest levels.

Expendable resources are introduced as a way to justify the introduction of more potent abilities, because it allows those abilities to exist without dumbing the game down to "Use your best ability over and over until you win". The fact that Fighters don't have an expendable resource means no matter what build you go with them, they will have a best option and will always use it each round until they win. That's where the boring problem comes in. The fact that their best option just also happens to be on par with the Wizard's weakest options because expendable resources are also more potent is salt in the wound.

And most importantly, expendable resources != spells. Seriously. You know what, real people actually do get fatigued. People fighting real enemies run into the problem that after using a trick on an enemy, they are now looking out for that trick and won't fall for it again without some sort of setup or distraction. You can't actually do the same thing over and over in a fight. If anything, a Fighter with an expendable resource, either to track fatigue, or to track whether an enemy will be open for a particular ability's use, makes more sense than a Fighter who does the same thing every round. Trying to say that doing the same thing every round is more realistic and the only way to not be a spellcaster is so fundamentally wrong I don't know how to describe it.


The Wizard is supposed to bend the rules of reality because he sucks at life and he needs to cheat. The Fighter should be someone who is inherently awesome and doesn't need any help in that department.

Do you honestly think this is what the Wizard and Fighter are in D&D? Because if so you're delluded. Even if you just think that's the ideal, I'd like to hear how you believe what you're saying is even possible. Are we going to restrict a Wizard to a single spell that he can cast only a few times per day? That might be enough to bring him down to the Fighter's level, but even that will depend greatly on the spell.


The Fighter gets six feats in his first three levels, twice what any other character gets in the same range. That isn't a marginal advantage. Some of the feats are definitely excessively weak, but there's a huge list; you can spend your bonus feats on utility stuff, then use your personal feats, which number the same as most classes' total feats, for things that the other classes can't afford because they need utility too. At least in theory.

The Fighter gets 2 feats in his first 3 levels. You measure class against class. The Fighter has 2 feats. The Wizard, cleric, and druid, have first and second level spells. 1 spell level to 1 feat is not really a good exchange rate, because feats are nowhere near potent enough to be worth a whole spell level. And that's ignoring the Wizard's bonus feat and Cleric's channel divinity, and the Druid's animal companion.


I don't see why. All of those those things are excess baggage in what should be a fairly simple basic experience. They should only come into play on rare occasions, and the wizard should live for those.


Defenses are things that come into play on rare occasions? Mobility comes into play on rare occasions? Controlling and disabling enemies come into play on rare occasions?

Maybe if you're saying combat is a rare occasion, but in that case why are we having an argument about the Fighter who is even more useless out of combat than he is in combat? Everything I listed isn't some weird situational thing, it is a core component of how combat is resolved effectively. The Fighter's main problem is he lacks access to these things and is thus largely inneffective.



Nonsense. The fighter has a metric ton of hit points, and can wear the best armor; he can keep fighting until he's down to 1 HP. And the cleric is going to get murdered in his sleep if he spends his spells like they're going out of style.


That metric ton of hit points is 3 more hp per level than the Wizard. 1 more hp per level than the Cleric. And YOU were the one who said the Cleric and Wizard were out of spells when it was the Fighter's turn to shine.


Oh like the CR system is balanced in the first place. I always use under-CRed encounters because killing the party is no good for anyone. Plus high-level monsters tend to have absurd numbers of SLAs, none of them defined in the statblock, which makes them a pain in the rear to run.


I think we hit your problem and the reason why you think Fighters are fine. Seriously under-CRed monsters and ignoring SLAs because it's too hard to run? Well yeah, if you play softball with the group and pretend enemy casters don't exist, then all that's left is a couple of people beating each other up. But the rest of us are actually playing the game that was written, using powerful monsters and taking advantage of their abilities, and that means that plain ordinary Fighters with their basic attack and 20ft move speed are basically dead weight.

Ashtagon
2012-09-30, 10:29 AM
Everyone so far has been defining the fighter in terms of what he does. I think a far more interesting approach is to define him in terms of what he stops.

willpell
2012-09-30, 11:03 AM
I mean if you really can't see the huge difference between can refresh and can't refresh, and call it just a trivial detail, I don't know what to say.

It's a functional difference in play; it has nothing to do with what I've been saying. It means you have to read a paragraph of text that says what you can do, and it means you're doing something other than just attacking every turn. Thusly, it's like a spell, and unlike being a fighter.


So what, you just pick whatever feats you think sound cool on your Fighter without reading them? This isn't even an argument. Yes, you are playing a RPG, which is based in books. You might need to read to build an effective character. God forbid!

I don't even care whether he's effective, but you can't build even an incompetent wizard without reading the spells. Even the spells you have no intention of ever taking; you have to read them to find that out! I've never read most of the wizard spells and am constantly mystified by what they're capable of; the same condition could have been created by not writing ANY spells for them and just letting them do whatever they want with a wave of their hand. It's just too much. I'm fine with reading a few pages of text, to create a character - not a novel's worth, which is a different novel for every character, and you have to re-read it every time you play that character so that you know what they, and not some other one of the same class, is capable of. It's okay sometimes, but the more classes can avoid it, the better.


What you are asking for is literally impossible. You're asking for a character with no special abilities and nothing but hp and a high attack bonus to compete with a character who can do anything they want.

Except wear heavy armor.


Expendable resources aren't a limitation when A) The expendable resource is MUCH more powerful than the non-expendable one, and B) The expendable resource is so plentiful that you will not regularly run out past the earliest levels.

You'll be murdered horribly at the earliest levels if you don't have a fighter watching your back. And do you think he'll do that if he knows you plan to obsolete him? The inevitable consequence of this "tierist" attitude is that your only options are a low-magic burn-the-witch setting or a Tippyverse. To get anything else, you have to stop thinking this way and accept that the two are REQUIRED to be equal, no matter how much you have to bend the rules to make it happen. Give the fighter the Devil's own luck, so every coincidence works in his favor ("your sword slides off Lord Bloodmace's armor without effect, but just as the tip hits the wall, it strikes a spark which sets the Dark Scroll aflame, and he howls in rage at the knowledge that even if you die, you have won"), and spontaneously nerf the wizard's spells with every excuse you can come up with ("you used too much eye of newt, so the divination comes in 5000% color saturation and you'll have a migraine for the next week"). Done correctly, it comes out looking like fortune favors the bold while making magic seem mysterious and sophisticated, so that the spellcaster still has incredible cool factor for being able to master it at all, even if it's nowhere near as effective as the theory indicates it should be.


Expendable resources are introduced as a way to justify the introduction of more potent abilities, because it allows those abilities to exist without dumbing the game down to "Use your best ability over and over until you win". The fact that Fighters don't have an expendable resource means no matter what build you go with them, they will have a best option and will always use it each round until they win.

There's no reason whatsoever why a fighter can't experiment and be creative in each battle. Use the terrain to your advantage, perform cool stunts, and ask for a circumstance bonus. If the wizard tries to do the same, have him make a Dexterity or Wisdom check not to fumble. If your fighter is boring it's because you're not playing him right. Though admittedly it helps a lot if you introduce some optional rules like hit locations, though these can slow combat to a crawl, which is why they were left out.


The Fighter gets 2 feats in his first 3 levels.

Actually he gets 4 - normal ones at 1st and 3rd, and bonus at 1st and 2nd. Everyone else just has the 1st and 3rd. 4 feats vs. 2 is huge. 6 feats vs. 3 within the first 6 levels is likewise huge. The progression tapers off after that but I forget by exactly how much.


You measure class against class. The Fighter has 2 feats. The Wizard, cleric, and druid, have first and second level spells. 1 spell level to 1 feat is not really a good exchange rate, because feats are nowhere near potent enough to be worth a whole spell level. And that's ignoring the Wizard's bonus feat and Cleric's channel divinity, and the Druid's animal companion.

The druid's animal companion isn't a robot, you know...you're supposed to need a Handle Animal check for every single thing it does. The wizard's bonus feat is Scribe Scroll, which lets him spend XP so he'll level up slower, in exchange for slightly mitigating his critical spell shortage. The cleric...okay I'll give you that one. I play clerics as being the buttmonkeys of their gods and thus having an unenviable lifestyle, but absent that they do tend to get out of hand (as do druids, but they at least have limitations, if not the most relevant ones).


Defenses are things that come into play on rare occasions? Mobility comes into play on rare occasions? Controlling and disabling enemies come into play on rare occasions?

Yes, in every case. You don't need to be resistant to fire, you don't need to be able to fly, and you don't need to be able to web up your enemies or make them feel dizzy. You just need to be able to kill your enemies. If they shoot fire at you, have lots of hit points. If they fly, use ranged weapons or jump-attacks or indirect terrain attacks. Inflicting status conditions is not as important as inflicting the "dead" status as quickly as possible. As long as the fighter can deliver the damage, that's all that matters in 4 fights out of 5; the 5th can be against a pixie or a balor or something and the Wizard can have his turn to shine, until then he ought to be a buff-bot if not just a brainiac who sits back and makes comments about what the fighter should be doing, while the fighter actually does it.


Everything I listed isn't some weird situational thing, it is a core component of how combat is resolved effectively. The Fighter's main problem is he lacks access to these things and is thus largely inneffective.

I doubt your definition of effectiveness. It might be true of RAW but certainly now of how I run my games, and surprise surprise, I consider my way more correct.


That metric ton of hit points is 3 more hp per level than the Wizard.

Possibly 3, possibly more like 6. And he's marginally more likely to have a high CON as well, though of course that stat is fairly indispensible for everyone. Plus he's more likely to be able to spare a feat for something like Improved Toughness, or even Wild Talent and Psionic Body (poor man's psychic warrior, without needing to shop the powers list; it's not a great payoff but combined with the right psionic feats it could be fun in a mid- to high-level game).


I think we hit your problem and the reason why you think Fighters are fine. Seriously under-CRed monsters and ignoring SLAs because it's too hard to run? Well yeah, if you play softball with the group and pretend enemy casters don't exist, then all that's left is a couple of people beating each other up. But the rest of us are actually playing the game that was written, using powerful monsters and taking advantage of their abilities, and that means that plain ordinary Fighters with their basic attack and 20ft move speed are basically dead weight.

If you want to run games which have insanely high lethality rates, take six hours to get through 120 seconds of combat, and completely contradict the fictional and mythological underpinnings of their source material, be my guest. I like having a game where the resonant essence of fantasy is clearly visible, where combat flows quickly and efficiently with minimal required reading, and where players' effort building characters is not wasted because 4 out of the 12 kobolds managed to roll critical hits. I'm here to tell a story and to play a game, not to study for a test and make my players feel like they wasted a piece of their life they'll never get back.

toapat
2012-09-30, 11:12 AM
Everyone so far has been defining the fighter in terms of what he does. I think a far more interesting approach is to define him in terms of what he stops.

simple: Everything

paddyfool
2012-09-30, 11:57 AM
For those who want better fighters... I strongly recommend the Soldier from Fantasy Craft. The only downside is learning a whole new system, and leaving your assumptions at the door.

Zeful
2012-09-30, 11:58 AM
Fighters need mobility, defenses, control, disabling capability, and access to the action economy on par with the other classes. The best way to give access to the breadth of abilities needed to compete without making the class too much is via the introduction of their own subsystem.


I don't see why. All of those those things are excess baggage in what should be a fairly simple basic experience. They should only come into play on rare occasions, and the wizard should live for those.

{{scrubbed}} None of those things come into play on rare occasions either in real life combat, or in the game.

Without mobility, you have an issue of effective exploration tools, as well as combat manuevering rendering the full-attack worthless. Without defenses, they're liable to have their advantage in durability completely negated by spells and render the player a bystander. Without control, they're advantage in being tough and heavily armored is moot, as enemies shouldn't be engaging them making that advantage irrelevant. Without disabling capability, the class as a whole cannot meaningfully threaten enemies without coming down just to DPR, which compared to other classes they will fail at. And without access to the action economy on par with the other classes, half the fighter's turn is wasted every turn, and is a compelling enough reason to fully excise the Swift and Immediate actions from the game.

This is a basic design problem with 3.5.

Seerow
2012-09-30, 12:01 PM
It's a functional difference in play; it has nothing to do with what I've been saying. It means you have to read a paragraph of text that says what you can do, and it means you're doing something other than just attacking every turn. Thusly, it's like a spell, and unlike being a fighter.

Doing something other than each turn is not casting spells. I already went over this in my last post.




I don't even care whether he's effective, but you can't build even an incompetent wizard without reading the spells. Even the spells you have no intention of ever taking; you have to read them to find that out!


Huh? There's like 3000 spells out there. You don't need to read them all to play a Wizard. You might need to do so optimally. But a wizard doesn't need to be optimal to be effective. You can look at the general list, pick something that sounds good and use it, and 99% of the time you'll be more effective than the Fighter.


I've never read most of the wizard spells and am constantly mystified by what they're capable of; the same condition could have been created by not writing ANY spells for them and just letting them do whatever they want with a wave of their hand. It's just too much. I'm fine with reading a few pages of text, to create a character - not a novel's worth, which is a different novel for every character, and you have to re-read it every time you play that character so that you know what they, and not some other one of the same class, is capable of. It's okay sometimes, but the more classes can avoid it, the better.

Okay so if you admit you don't know how wizards are played, or even what they're capable of, why are you bothering with this argument? You can have your own playstyle where you ignore the majority of the game, but it makes your experience so drastically removed from the normal game, that your input is basically irrelevant.




Except wear heavy armor.

Why would he want to? He can get better AC than the guy in heavy armor without taking the penalties that heavy armor comes with. Or he can ignore AC and get better defenses like DR/ER, miss chances, etc.




You'll be murdered horribly at the earliest levels if you don't have a fighter watching your back. And do you think he'll do that if he knows you plan to obsolete him?

It's not the Wizard planning to obsolete the Fighter, it's the Fighter becomes incapable of keeping up. There is a difference. It isn't the Wizard's fault that the Fighter becomes more useless as you level.

And seriously, you don't need a Fighter, even at low levels. I've played plenty of campaigns with a caster as the main front liner even from level 1. And if you do have a Fighter, nothing prevents that fighter from branching out and going Gish to keep up. A level or 2 of Fighter is generally a good idea for a gish build.



The inevitable consequence of this "tierist" attitude is that your only options are a low-magic burn-the-witch setting or a Tippyverse. To get anything else, you have to stop thinking this way and accept that the two are REQUIRED to be equal, no matter how much you have to bend the rules to make it happen. Give the fighter the Devil's own luck, so every coincidence works in his favor ("your sword slides off Lord Bloodmace's armor without effect, but just as the tip hits the wall, it strikes a spark which sets the Dark Scroll aflame, and he howls in rage at the knowledge that even if you die, you have won"), and spontaneously nerf the wizard's spells with every excuse you can come up with ("you used too much eye of newt, so the divination comes in 5000% color saturation and you'll have a migraine for the next week"). Done correctly, it comes out looking like fortune favors the bold while making magic seem mysterious and sophisticated, so that the spellcaster still has incredible cool factor for being able to master it at all, even if it's nowhere near as effective as the theory indicates it should be.

GM fiat, heck yeah!

I agree that for the game to work, Fighters and Wizards should be equal. I want that to be a part of the system, not something you have to rely on the GM to force to happen in play.




There's no reason whatsoever why a fighter can't experiment and be creative in each battle. Use the terrain to your advantage, perform cool stunts, and ask for a circumstance bonus. If the wizard tries to do the same, have him make a Dexterity or Wisdom check not to fumble. If your fighter is boring it's because you're not playing him right. Though admittedly it helps a lot if you introduce some optional rules like hit locations, though these can slow combat to a crawl, which is why they were left out.

So you give Fighters secret class features that aren't written down anywhere to let them keep up. But any attempt to codify them makes it too much work for you to read and you hate it. Seriously are you reading what you are writing here? You make literally no sense.




Actually he gets 4 - normal ones at 1st and 3rd, and bonus at 1st and 2nd. Everyone else just has the 1st and 3rd. 4 feats vs. 2 is huge. 6 feats vs. 3 within the first 6 levels is likewise huge. The progression tapers off after that but I forget by exactly how much.

Once again, you compare class to class. It doesn't matter that the Fighter has 4 feats total, his class gave him 2. That is what you compare with the other classes.




The druid's animal companion isn't a robot, you know...you're supposed to need a Handle Animal check for every single thing it does. The wizard's bonus feat is Scribe Scroll, which lets him spend XP so he'll level up slower, in exchange for slightly mitigating his critical spell shortage. The cleric...okay I'll give you that one. I play clerics as being the buttmonkeys of their gods and thus having an unenviable lifestyle, but absent that they do tend to get out of hand (as do druids, but they at least have limitations, if not the most relevant ones).

Okay so you GM fiat clerics to make them useless, pretend like making a handle animal check is hard, and don't seem to understand how experience gain in 3.5 works (spending a little exp on crafting can actually end with you having more exp if you follow the rules). And seriously 1st level scrolls are literally like 1 exp to craft. Even while not following the rules, you can craft a ton of scrolls and probably never fall behind a level.




Yes, in every case. You don't need to be resistant to fire, you don't need to be able to fly, and you don't need to be able to web up your enemies or make them feel dizzy. You just need to be able to kill your enemies. If they shoot fire at you, have lots of hit points. If they fly, use ranged weapons or jump-attacks or indirect terrain attacks. Inflicting status conditions is not as important as inflicting the "dead" status as quickly as possible. As long as the fighter can deliver the damage, that's all that matters in 4 fights out of 5; the 5th can be against a pixie or a balor or something and the Wizard can have his turn to shine, until then he ought to be a buff-bot if not just a brainiac who sits back and makes comments about what the fighter should be doing, while the fighter actually does it.

So you're saying 4 out of 5 fights are enemies who stand still in melee and do nothing but melee attack? I reitterate, the game you are playing is not D&D 3.5. Seriously look through the monster manual. Very few enemies actually work that way. Past level 5 or so it is the extreme minority.




I doubt your definition of effectiveness. It might be true of RAW but certainly now of how I run my games, and surprise surprise, I consider my way more correct.

You may have more fun with your way, but the game you are playing isn't the game we are all discussing, which makes your input about as valid as me going into a White Wolf discussion and complaining about underpowered fighters.




Possibly 3, possibly more like 6.

On average, 3. Unless your players are rolling weighted dice for hp.


And he's marginally more likely to have a high CON as well, though of course that stat is fairly indispensible for everyone.

The Wizard is actually more likely to have a higher con, because on top of only really needing intelligence, he also has spells that can boost his con and/or just give him more hp/temp hp.


Plus he's more likely to be able to spare a feat for something like Improved Toughness, or even Wild Talent and Psionic Body (poor man's psychic warrior, without needing to shop the powers list; it's not a great payoff but combined with the right psionic feats it could be fun in a mid- to high-level game).

Yes because that's what the Fighter should be spending his feats on. More hp. :smallconfused:




If you want to run games which have insanely high lethality rates, take six hours to get through 120 seconds of combat,

120 seconds of combat? Combat in 3.5 doesn't last 20 rounds, ever. Most combats run about 2-5 rounds, and generally takes 30-60 minutes. My group typically gets through 3-4 encounters in a session, while taking on higher CR encounters.

As for extremely high lethality rates, lethality is a bit higher, but high CR doesn't mean instant TPK unless your group's baseline effectiveness is a core only fighter. I think in the last year the closest we've come to a TPK was one encounter that had 3/4 party members down. We frequently have one or two party members disabled, but lethality isn't a frequent issue as you imply.


and completely contradict the fictional and mythological underpinnings of their source material, be my guest.

In mythology Fighters are typically superhuman and capable of doing things they can't even dream of in 3.5. That's part of the problem. Yes Fighters becoming useless is bad. The way to fix that isn't to ignore that Fighters are useless and continue as is, it's to bring the Fighters up to the power of mythological warriors and let them do amazing things. You can't rely on GM fiat to fix the game.


I like having a game where the resonant essence of fantasy is clearly visible, where combat flows quickly and efficiently with minimal required reading, and where players' effort building characters is not wasted because 4 out of the 12 kobolds managed to roll critical hits. I'm here to tell a story and to play a game, not to study for a test and make my players feel like they wasted a piece of their life they'll never get back.

Have you considered playing a game that's actually made to be rules light rather than intentionally gimping half the classes of the game because you hate reading?

navar100
2012-09-30, 12:03 PM
It's a functional difference in play; it has nothing to do with what I've been saying. It means you have to read a paragraph of text that says what you can do, and it means you're doing something other than just attacking every turn. Thusly, it's like a spell, and unlike being a fighter.


:smallannoyed: Fighters don't deserve nice things.

NotScaryBats
2012-09-30, 12:16 PM
As the game is now, the wizard generally has a better answer to every situation than a fighter.
Want a bunch of enemies neutralized? Sleep, Web, or Fireball.

Ever since if everything you fight is mundane, which h is not a guarantee in d and d, those are almost always better options than move up and charge.

Especially late levels is where this shows through. You will be fighting strange and powerful things, but everyone should be able to meaningfully contribute in every fight, in my opinion. I would hate it if my dm ran oh this is a wizard opponent, I'll sit over here when he shines. oh cool, a fighter opponent sit on the sidelines, wizard.

Frozen_Feet
2012-09-30, 01:53 PM
I feel the need to step up and say: Fighter getting more feats than anyone else is a really cool. So is the idea of Fighter-exclusive feats.

These are both legitimate class features. Too bad D&D 3.x screwed the important part: the feats themselves! There are hundreds of cool spells, but out of hundreds of Fighter feats, only a couple compare.

Knaight
2012-09-30, 01:56 PM
It's a functional difference in play; it has nothing to do with what I've been saying. It means you have to read a paragraph of text that says what you can do, and it means you're doing something other than just attacking every turn. Thusly, it's like a spell, and unlike being a fighter.
So: You don't want to read a paragraph of text for some ability, yet for some reason you want to play D&D, a game where the core rules are about a thousand pages and a good five hundred pages over most other rules heavy systems (though I think HERO is longer). The obvious solution here is just to pick a game which isn't built to be incredibly rules heavy, such as basically the rest of the industry, including several (http://www.stargazergames.eu/games/warrior-rogue-mage/) games (http://www.hack-n-slash.com/index.html) that do D&D style gameplay just as well as D&D.

There's no reason whatsoever why a fighter can't experiment and be creative in each battle. Use the terrain to your advantage, perform cool stunts, and ask for a circumstance bonus. If the wizard tries to do the same, have him make a Dexterity or Wisdom check not to fumble. If your fighter is boring it's because you're not playing him right. Though admittedly it helps a lot if you introduce some optional rules like hit locations, though these can slow combat to a crawl, which is why they were left out.
Firstly, there is no reason that every other class in the game can't do the same thing, which means that calling this an advantage of the Fighter is disenguous. Secondly, given that using terrain to your advantage probably involves moving, and the full attack mechanic specifically disincentives that the Fighter is actually going to be worse at this than any class which isn't so dependent on full attacks.


If you want to run games which have insanely high lethality rates, take six hours to get through 120 seconds of combat, and completely contradict the fictional and mythological underpinnings of their source material, be my guest. I like having a game where the resonant essence of fantasy is clearly visible, where combat flows quickly and efficiently with minimal required reading, and where players' effort building characters is not wasted because 4 out of the 12 kobolds managed to roll critical hits. I'm here to tell a story and to play a game, not to study for a test and make my players feel like they wasted a piece of their life they'll never get back.
Putting aside how six hour out of game, two minute in game combats probably don't exist, this brings me back to my previous point regarding systems. Minimal required reading for combat involves the entire combat chapter and much of the equipment chapter, which is longer than some entire games. Once you add in the necessary underpinnings to even understand those chapters (e.g. abilities, races, classes) it's significantly longer than a fair few games. If you want fast combat, which isn't hugely lethal, and which isn't swingy why are you playing D&D? D&D is terrible at all three of those points, with a slow grid based system involving a lot of stats and a lot of rolls, fun things like binary hit conditions, critical hits, save or die effects, and other such things in a high enough quantity to earn the nickame "rocket tag", where the borderline between down and completely dead is generally tiny - it doesn't even exist in half of the editions, in 3.x it is a whole 10 hp, in 4e it's somewhat larger but still well within a critical or two, and in D&D next it ends up in the mid teens and probably eventually reaches the mid 30s or maybe 40.

You're complaining about a game built exactly against your specifications in every way not working with your specifications well. It's like pulling a romance book off the shelf and then complaining when there isn't enough action, that that would be a problem was obvious from the start given how it was a completely different genre.

Libertad
2012-09-30, 02:20 PM
An important factor to consider is that most classes have a lot ways to contribute outside of combat.

Clerics, Druids, Sorcerers, and Wizards can get utility spells. Rogues and Rangers get lots of skills. The Bard gets both.

The Fighter? He's got poor skill points, a shoddy list of class skills, and lots of bonus feats which are situational, can be replicated better with spells, or require "feat chains" to be effective.

So in addition to what you think Fighters should do in combat, ask what they should do out of combat.

rockdeworld
2012-09-30, 07:14 PM
the fighter is elegant in his simplicity
<snip>
the fighter should not have a subsystem; he should instead be the absolute master of the supersystem, the basic mechanics of combat. Which he pretty much isA fair theory. Rebuttal?

the fighter sucks in 3E
@willpell: Sorry, I couldn't resist :smallbiggrin: Now seriously:


he has a point of Base Attack Bonus every level, and that gets him iterative attacks much, much faster than the Cleric or Wizard. Once those two run out of spells,
Once those two run out of spells, all the enemies are dead. They have a lot of spells, and some of them are VERY effective. Badly played, they can be on a similar level as the fighter. OTOH, a well-played fighter can't catch up with a well-played wizard or cleric.

Also, 1 point of BAB doesn't amount to much. When rolling a D20, +1 to hit is +5% to hit, except that as you go up in level, enemies have higher AC, so it's actually not. At higher levels, the wizard is better at hitting than the fighter, because he can make touch attacks against the massive touch ac of 10 (/sarcasm).

Iterative attacks are terrible at higher levels, when the fighter gets 1/2 and 1/4 his BAB to attacks 3 & 4, which only hit rarely. Moreover, over the course of the first 10 levels (read: most campaigns), fighters and wizards have the same number of attacks for the first half, and fighters have 1 more per round for the second half. Meanwhile the cleric is casting spiritual weapon (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/spiritualWeapon.htm) to make 2 attacks per round at level 4.


Everyone so far has been defining the fighter in terms of what he does. I think a far more interesting approach is to define him in terms of what he stops.
Nothing really. If it's corporeal, it can get around him and attack his friends. If it's not, he can't hit it anyway. If a level 3 fighter is left in an empty room with an Allip, he'll die 98% of the time (the other 2% have a ghost touch weapon and rolled well on their 50% miss chances, will saves, and got lucky against the wisdom drain). In a party, the frontline fighter ideally wants to stop enemies from attacking his allies and give the rogue flanking, whereas the ranged or striker fighter wants to deal a lot of damage. The problem is, there's about 1 good build for the former (Saph's horizon tripper), and nothing in core for the latter. In most games now the fighter dude has "taunt" which makes enemies attack him. D&D fighters don't.


For those who want better fighters... I strongly recommend the Soldier from Fantasy Craft. The only downside is learning a whole new system, and leaving your assumptions at the door.
That's a big downside, especially when other people want to play D&D :smallfrown:


I feel the need to step up and say: Fighter getting more feats than anyone else is a really cool. So is the idea of Fighter-exclusive feats.

These are both legitimate class features. Too bad D&D 3.x screwed the important part: the feats themselves! There are hundreds of cool spells, but out of hundreds of Fighter feats, only a couple compare.
Pretty much. Frank&K address this with their Tome Fighter (and Races of War feats), and Pathfinder tries to do the same.


An important factor to consider is that most classes have a lot ways to contribute outside of combat.

Clerics, Druids, Sorcerers, and Wizards can get utility spells. Rogues and Rangers get lots of skills. The Bard gets both.

The Fighter? He's got poor skill points, a shoddy list of class skills, and lots of bonus feats which are situational, can be replicated better with spells, or require "feat chains" to be effective.

So in addition to what you think Fighters should do in combat, ask what they should do out of combat.
Everyone has a place to shine. The rogue is in stealthy stuff and dealing with traps. The bard is in social situations. The fighter is supposed to be combat. At lower levels, it is. At higher levels, only with optimization. Otherwise he's the guy shouting "please attack me because I have more HP than everyone else, but don't go after my mental stats, reflex saves, will saves, or dexterity score! And if you're large, don't grapple me!"

IMO, it leaves a bit to be desired =/

Hiro Protagonest
2012-09-30, 07:29 PM
That's a big downside, especially when other people want to play D&D :smallfrown:

I don't get why a lot of D&D players think there's some magic to D&D (why else would it be the most popular? Oh right, it came first and is now owned by WotC and Hasbro) and refuse to learn or play any other system. Especially when that D&D is 3.5.

Zeful
2012-09-30, 07:39 PM
I don't get why a lot of D&D players think there's some magic to D&D (why else would it be the most popular? Oh right, it came first and is now owned by WotC and Hasbro) and refuse to learn or play any other system. Especially when that D&D is 3.5.

Because D&D is pretty much the only game you can find in real life without having to run and teach the entire game yourself. I'd look into one of the dozen other systems that get recommended in these kinds of threads, but I know I won't ever play the system, which makes the effort put into learning it worthless.

Jopustopin
2012-09-30, 07:49 PM
I'm going to try to match the "fluff" of fighter from the PHB into a class that actually does what the fluff says.

Fluff:
Emphases mine. But please, read the PHB Fighter fluff to garner your own opinion. Most of these sentences are taken verbatim from PHB.

Of all classes, fighters have the best all-around fighting capabilities. Better than the warblade, barbarian, psychic warrior, shapechanged druid, etc. When it comes to fighting, this class should be the best. Furthermore: In addition to general fighting prowess, each fighter develops particular specialties of his own.

Lastly: The fighter excels in a straight fight, but he relies on others for magical support, healing, and scouting. On a team, it is HIS JOB TO MAN THE FRONT LINES, PROTECT OTHER PARTY MEMBERS, AND BRING THE TOUGH OPPONENTS DOWN.1Skills:
4 + Int mod. per level (x4 at 1st).
Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Ride (Dex), and Swim (Str)
Knowledge History (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Listen (Wis), Spot (Wis), Balance (Dex), Tumble (Dex)

Fighters should have the skills to help them be good at fighting. Battlefield mobility, resistance to being feinted in combat, never caught in a battle with his pants down, a well honed ability to know the most about combat maneuvers. Stuff that we would expect the ultimate fighting class to be good at.1Class Features

Level 1: Weapon Aptitude, Basic Training
Level 2: Weapon Focus, Bonus Feat
Level 3: Heroic Reflexes
Level 4: Weapon Specialization, Bonus Feat
Level 5: Whatever it Takes

Level 6: Combat Training
Level 7: Improved Weapon Aptitude, Bonus Feat
Level 8: Heroic Fortitude
Level 9: Improved Critical, Bonus Feat
Level 10: Know the Battlefield

Level 11: Advanced Training
Level 12: Supreme Weapon Aptitude, Bonus Feat
Level 13: Heroic Willpower
Level 14: Exotic Weapon Proficiency, Bonus Feat
Level 15: Own the Battlefield

Level 16: Fighting Mastery, Bonus Feat
Level 17: Weapon Aptitude Mastery, Bonus Feat
Level 18: Legendary Heroics, Bonus Feat
Level 19: Weapon Supremecy, Bonus Feat
Level 20: Supreme Fighter , Bonus feat
What do those cool words mean?
Weapon and Armor Aptitude At 1st level a fighter can spend 1 hour in weapon, armor, or shield practice to change the designated weapon, armor, or shield for any feat you have that applies only to a single weapon, armor, or shield. You must have the newly designated weapon, armor, or shield available during your practice session to make this change.
At 7th level a fighter need only spend a full round action to change the designated weapon, armor, or shield for any feat.
At 12th level a fighter need only spend a move action to change the designated weapon, armor, or shield for any feat.
At 17th level any feat that applies only to a single weapon now applies to any weapon the fighter is currently making an attack with. In effect the feat's weapon designation switches automatically whenever the fighter makes an attack. Furthermore any feat that applies only to a single type of armor or shield now applies to any armor or shield the fighter is currently gaining an armor bonus from.

Heroic Reflexes: As an immediate action after failing a reflex save a fighter may select any effect that is currently affecting him, has a duration expressed in rounds, and is the result of failing a reflex save. With a successful saving throw (at the original DC) that affect ends immediately and then the fighter may take a move action as part of this action. If the fighter moves five feet or less during his move action then it does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Heroic Fortitude: As an immediate action after failing a fortitude save a fighter may select any effect that is currently affecting him, has a duration expressed in rounds, and is the result of failing a fortitude save. With a successful saving throw (at the original DC) that affect ends immediately and then the fighter may take a move action as part of this action. If the fighter moves five feet or less during his move action then it does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Heroic Willpower: As an immediate action after failing a will save a fighter may select any effect that is currently affecting him, has a duration expressed in rounds, and is the result of failing a will save. With a successful saving throw (at the original DC) that affect ends immediately and then the fighter may take a move action as part of this action. If the fighter moves five feet or less during his move action then it does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Basic Training: A fighter spends years training in all forms of combat. One never knows what weapons will end up in your hands. Of all classes, fighters have the best all-around fighting capabilities. By the time a fighter has finished his training he knows the basics of several different fighting styles. At 1st level a fighter gains the following feats: Power Attack, Two-Weapon Fighting, Shield Specialization, Point Blank Shot, Improved Unarmed Strike.

Combat Training: A fighter spends most of his free time in between adventurers practicing more advanced maneuvers. By the time a fighter has reached 6th level he has improved his all-around fighting capabilities in addition to his area of expertise. A fighter gains the following feats:
Improved Bull Rush, Two-Weapon Defense, Shield Ward, Precise Shot, Superior Unarmed Strike, and Blind-Fight. If the fighter already has one (or more) of these feats, he can select any other feat that has that feat as a prerequisite (as long as he meets the other prerequisites for the chosen feat).

Advanced Training: A fighter that advances to 11th level finds that he is still the best all around at fighting. A fighter gains the following feats: Rapid Shot, Quick Draw, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Shield Bash, Snap Kick. If the fighter already has one (or more) of these feats, he can select any other feat that has that feat as a prerequisite (as long as he meets the other prerequisites for the chosen feat).

Fighting Mastery: A fighter of 16th level would be considered a master at any style of fighting that he picks up. He is never without weapon, and in a straight battle, is without equal. A fighter gains the following feats: Greater Two-Weapon Defense, Flying Kick, Manyshot, Improved Overrun, Heavy Armor Optimization, and Toughness. If the fighter already has one (or more) of these feats, he can select any other feat that has that feat as a prerequisite (as long as he meets the other prerequisites for the chosen feat).

Whatever it takes
Sometimes a fighter is being swallowed whole, other times he's being grappled by a Roper, whatever the case may be don't count the fighter out just yet. The battle is not over until the waste of space stops screaming. A fighter of 5th level gains the feat Improved Grapple if he did not already have this feat. He gains the use of three tactical maneuvers.
I'm still fighting here: To use this maneuver, a fighter must currently exist inside of a creature that has swallowed him whole. He is not restricted to using light piercing or slashing weapons in order to escape but still cannot use bludgeoning weapons. Furthermore the damage done to the creature's gizzard counts against the creature's total hit points. Most creatures do not try to swallow a fighter whole twice.
Stunning Escape!: To use this maneuver, a fighter must currently be grappling or pinned by an opponent. By winning an opposed grapple check a fighter may deliver a stunning unarmed strike at a -4 penalty to the grappling creatures head (-8 if the Fighter is pinned). This attack is made with a head-butt, elbow, or any other available body part. A creature who takes damage from this attack must make a fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 Fighter Class Level + Str Modifier) or be stunned until the beginning of its next turn. Constructs, oozes, plants, undead, incorporeal creatures, and creatures immune to critical hits cannot be stunned.
Charging Spree In order to use this maneuver a fighter must have charged an opponent and missed. If he wishes he can attempt to start a grapple as a free action.

Know the Battlefield (Ex):
A fighter is the best at fighting. He knows everything that is going on and can anticipate his opponent with uncanny prediction. It's not that the fighter is smarter or wiser than his opponents. It's that fighting is all he cares about. A fighter eats, sleeps, and dreams about kicking the snot out of hill giants. About fighting his way out of ambushes. Once initiative has been rolled the random hillside or the city street turns into the battlefield. A fighter knows the battlefield like a wizard knows her spellbook. At 10th level a fighter gains several advantages when fighting on his home turf (which is wherever he's fighting).
The fighter gains the following abilities:
No Place Like Home: A fighter cannot be an unaware combatant. He rolls initiative whenever anyone else does (but only once per battle obviously).
Improved Uncanny Dodge: Furthermore his knowledge of the battlefield borders on the supernatural. He has seen so much fighting that he knows exactly what his opponents are up to and can react appropriately. A fighter gains Improved Uncanny Dodge.
Too Predictable: Also, any time a creature makes an attack that the fighter can see or feel the fighter can make a sense motive check opposed by the creatures bluff check. If the fighter wins he gains blindsight 120 ft. against ONLY that creature until the end of the fighters next turn.
Know the Pieces: He can tell just by the way his allies move how many hit points they are at. Against any creature that he successfully identified with the appropriate knowledge check, the fighter may take a move action to determine how many hit points the creature has. It is not metagaming to keep track of damage that the players have done to know how close to victory you are.

Own the Battlefield
It's not enough to know the battlefield. Any true fighter struts around the place like he's been living there for the last 15 levels. Oh yeah, that's right. He has. When initiative has been rolled, the fighter welcomes everyone to his home. And as long as your living here, under his roof, you play by his rules.
First and Foremost: After all other effects have been calculated the Fighter goes first in combat. If there are two or more fighters with this ability they will roll separate initiative to see which of them goes first.
Supreme Blade Parry: The fighter was the first to develop this stance later stolen by the Iron Heart discipline. While you are in this stance you gain damage reduction 5/- .
Bring the Fight Home: A fighter can start a grapple any time that he successfully makes a melee attack. If his weapon has reach, then the fighter uses the weapon itself to begin the grapple, and moves with arms reach of his opponent on a successful grapple check.
Disrupting Flow: A fighter can make an attack of opportunity against opponents who let there guard down, even for a split second. Swift Actions and Immediate Actions provoke attacks of opportunity if they are spells or spell-like abilities and may be disrupted as normal. Five foot steps provoke attacks of opportunity. Blinking provokes two attacks of opportunities.



This is the direction I would go when rebuilding a fighter class. I personally do not know enough about high levels to give the fighter abilities that address the weaknesses at these levels.

Hiro Protagonest
2012-09-30, 08:23 PM
I don't think you should be giving non-core feats for free, no choice on the part of the player regardless of what sources are available.

And the problems of the fighter at mid- and high-levels are as follows:
Invisible enemies - No core magic item can deal with this, you either have to have the right splatbook (although MIC is pretty common) and pay for the item (Blindfold of True Seeing), or get a wizard to cast a spell on you.
Incorporeal enemies - You often don't have the money or room to pay for Ghost Touch on your magic sword.
Flying enemies - it's one thing when you're looking up at a dragon dropping rocks on you from 300 feet in the air, it's another thing when you've gotta take out your bow to deal with a manticore using Flyby Attack to swoop in and then fly up ten feet above you.

ToB deals with two of these problems, invisible enemies (to an extent: Hearing the Air still grants them total concealment, and there are other good-looking stances, but you at least know which square they're in), and flying enemies (Sudden Leap + Leaping Dragon Stance means that at mid-levels, you're either fifteen feet in the air and full attacking, or you're thirty feet in the air and using a standard action attack or strike). Incorporeal enemies aren't such a big problem, and it is suitable that you'd have to find a sword specifically made to deal with them (having extraordinary senses and jumping capability is one thing, being able to attack ghosts is another).

Maybe the Ghost Touch property should be taken out entirely, with swords that have effective +1 to +3 worth of magic traits (so as not to penalize the guy who wants a +2 Keen Flaming sword instead of a +4 sword) have a weak connection to the supernatural nature of the incorporeal, dealing half damage (rounded down), and anything +4 and above deals full damage. Bane would count as +2 for determining how it affects incorporeals of its hated type.

Agrippa
2012-09-30, 09:46 PM
Maybe the Ghost Touch property should be taken out entirely, with swords that have effective +1 to +3 worth of magic traits (so as not to penalize the guy who wants a +2 Keen Flaming sword instead of a +4 sword) have a weak connection to the supernatural nature of the incorporeal, dealing half damage (rounded down), and anything +4 and above deals full damage. Bane would count as +2 for determining how it affects incorporeals of its hated type.

I already did something like that (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=13598733).

PairO'Dice Lost
2012-09-30, 11:11 PM
I don't get why a lot of D&D players think there's some magic to D&D (why else would it be the most popular? Oh right, it came first and is now owned by WotC and Hasbro) and refuse to learn or play any other system. Especially when that D&D is 3.5.

I play and have played many different games with my groups (including but not limited to GURPS, Shadowrun, Ars Magica, and Dresden Files), but D&D provides a different experience from all of them, just like Shadowrun and GURP run and play differently even if you use the same overall themes, style of technology, relative PC and NPC power levels, etc. So it's not always just a case of people who've never played or heard of anything else; even when there are other games available, there are some people who legitimately like D&D best of all the games they know.

BootStrapTommy
2012-09-30, 11:46 PM
Then I'll dispense with the airs and put it simply: John McClain is not capable of meaningfully threatening a level 10 wizard, your analogy for what fighters should be capable of only works if Fighters are to be useless in high level play.

In Live Free and Die Hard, there are at least 11 instances where John McClain SHOULD die where he does NOT. It's not that he almost dies. Not that he gets injured or that he endures the pain. Just that he does SOMETHING which a human being could not physically do and also continue living. He rides on top of a HARRIER, for the sake of the one big thing up in that high place!!! I thoroughly argue that your statement with regards to lvl 10 wizards thoroughly underestimates the badassness of John McClain. Probably because you were not paying attention to how RIDICULOUS everything in that movie is. Humans can't realistically do that kinda stuff. But John McClain and high level Fighters can.

rockdeworld
2012-09-30, 11:56 PM
IHumans can't realistically do that kinda stuff. But John McClain and high level Fighters can.
I think the point was that John McClain can't meaningfully harm a level 10 wizard/cleric/druid. Monks can be hard to kill too, yet their lack of damage ability makes them a less desirable class choice.

As for me, I play D&D partly because of the d20srd, partly because my friends play it.

BootStrapTommy
2012-09-30, 11:58 PM
Right here? These quotes more or less encapsulate the "fighters do not get nice things" mentality I'd like to finally abandon.

I have lost all respect for the "because MAGIC!" approach to D&D classes. If we can't stretch our imaginations to encapsulate near-mystical feats of arms and give Fighters similar degrees of player fiat to that which spellcasters enjoy, I don't see the point of having mundane characters at all.

-O

I respond to your criticism of my statement by pointing out that you are taking me out of context and pointing you in the direction of my previous comment for the proper context.

In Live Free and Die Hard, John McClain does almost nothing but "near-mystical feats of arms". Assuming you look far enough past the explosions and corny dialogue to see the ridiculousness contained within it.

We westerners have been completely duped by Hollywood into believing that superhuman feats are normal. The heroes in our literature and other media do them all the time. But people can't actually do that kinda of stuff. The one man cannot win in a shootout against 10 other guys. You cannot jump onto a harrier. You cannot fire a handgun with one hand accurately, especially sideways.

Fighters pulling off this stuff ARE performing "near-mystical feats of arms". And fighters are capable of so much more as well.

BootStrapTommy
2012-09-30, 11:59 PM
I think the point was that John McClain can't meaningfully harm a level 10 wizard/cleric/druid. Monks can be hard to kill too, yet their lack of damage ability makes them a less desirable class choice.

As for me, I play D&D partly because of the d20srd, partly because my friends play it.

If a good enough ranger can sneak an arrow through a lvl 10 wizard, than John McClain could sneak a bullet through.

Ashtagon
2012-10-01, 12:28 AM
Nothing really. If it's corporeal, it can get around him and attack his friends. If it's not, he can't hit it anyway. If a level 3 fighter is left in an empty room with an Allip, he'll die 98% of the time (the other 2% have a ghost touch weapon and rolled well on their 50% miss chances, will saves, and got lucky against the wisdom drain). In a party, the frontline fighter ideally wants to stop enemies from attacking his allies and give the rogue flanking, whereas the ranged or striker fighter wants to deal a lot of damage. The problem is, there's about 1 good build for the former (Saph's horizon tripper), and nothing in core for the latter. In most games now the fighter dude has "taunt" which makes enemies attack him. D&D fighters don't.


Well yeah. Right now as per RAW, the fighter dies to anything not mundane. Hit him with an energy drain or an incorporeal attack or a wall of force or an incorporeal attack, and he says "OWW".

He should be able to wave his finger and softly say, "not today".

kardar233
2012-10-01, 12:35 AM
If a good enough ranger can sneak an arrow through a lvl 10 wizard, than John McClain could sneak a bullet through.

But... they can't.


I respond to your criticism of my statement by pointing out that you are taking me out of context and pointing you in the direction of my previous comment for the proper context.

In Live Free and Die Hard, John McClain does almost nothing but "near-mystical feats of arms". Assuming you look far enough past the explosions and corny dialogue to see the ridiculousness contained within it.

We westerners have been completely duped by Hollywood into believing that superhuman feats are normal. The heroes in our literature and other media do them all the time. But people can't actually do that kinda of stuff. The one man cannot win in a shootout against 10 other guys. You cannot jump onto a harrier. You cannot fire a handgun with one hand accurately, especially sideways.

Fighters pulling off this stuff ARE performing "near-mystical feats of arms". And fighters are capable of so much more as well.

Yeah... these "near-mystical feats of arms" you're talking about? They're not nearly enough in a D&D context. Sure, being able to win a shootout against 10 men is pretty cool. But when you're dealing with flying, teleporting, telekinetic incarnations of evil, your ability to win a gunfight against 10 men is looking a little shabby.

Being able to beat 10 men with equivalent equipment is something that Fighters should be doing by 6th level. Not 20th.

Zeful
2012-10-01, 12:39 AM
In Live Free and Die Hard, there are at least 11 instances where John McClain SHOULD die where he does NOT. It's not that he almost dies. Not that he gets injured or that he endures the pain. Just that he does SOMETHING which a human being could not physically do and also continue living. He rides on top of a HARRIER, for the sake of the one big thing up in that high place!!! I thoroughly argue that your statement with regards to lvl 10 wizards thoroughly underestimates the badassness of John McClain. Probably because you were not paying attention to how RIDICULOUS everything in that movie is. Humans can't realistically do that kinda stuff. But John McClain and high level Fighters can.

And? He has no feats in that movie, or for that matter in any of the franchise, that would be capable of meaningfully threatening a 10th level wizard. No inhuman accuracy or strength, no incredible fighting capability, just excessive endurance. A character who's only defined by his ability to receive and survive damage is not a threat, they can't be. A high level fighter, when they take the field should not only be hard to kill, but also be a threat to all who oppose him, and it shouldn't be because his weapon does all the work for him, but because he's so skilled with weapons that his sword can be broken into a thousand pieces and his opponents haven't eliminated the threat he represents. We're talking someone who jumps from the battlements of a tower to get to the battle faster and isn't notably impaired by a 100+ foot drop. This is well beyond John McClain.

BootStrapTommy
2012-10-01, 12:59 AM
And? He has no feats in that movie, or for that matter in any of the franchise, that would be capable of meaningfully threatening a 10th level wizard. No inhuman accuracy or strength, no incredible fighting capability, just excessive endurance. A character who's only defined by his ability to receive and survive damage is not a threat, they can't be. A high level fighter, when they take the field should not only be hard to kill, but also be a threat to all who oppose him, and it shouldn't be because his weapon does all the work for him, but because he's so skilled with weapons that his sword can be broken into a thousand pieces and his opponents haven't eliminated the threat he represents. We're talking someone who jumps from the battlements of a tower to get to the battle faster and isn't notably impaired by a 100+ foot drop. This is well beyond John McClain.

You, my friend, have clearly never actually seen Live Free or Die Hard.
You just describe John McClain and then went "This is well beyond John McClain".

He does a number of things comparable to jumping "from the battlements of a tower to get to the battle faster and isn't notably impaired by a 100+ foot drop." He jumps onto a Harrier, kills the pilot and survives, noticeably unimpaired, the landing (if you could call it a "landing"). Furthermore, his ingenuity in the movies almost make him a BIGGER threat unarmed. You seem to have missed the point that everything that John McClain does in any of the movies, especially the fourth, are awfully close to impossible and damn well superhuman. Yet you're dismissing it.

McClain would squash the lvl 10 wizard.

Your problem is exactly as I stated above. You seem to thinks that action heroes are capable of even a portion of what media portrays them as capable of. Humans aren't capable of doing what most action heroes do. There is something fantastic that they do. Somethings even a wizard of almost deity-like power still cannot do without magic.

BootStrapTommy
2012-10-01, 01:04 AM
But... they can't.

I've built tenth level Deepwood Snipers which can drop wizards of equal level in one shot. Don't tell me they can't.

willpell
2012-10-01, 02:01 AM
The only downside is learning a whole new system, and leaving your assumptions at the door.

That's nothing BUT downside. You might as well suggest that a person who thinks they aren't good-looking enough cut off their head and staple a prettier one on.


Okay so if you admit you don't know how wizards are played, or even what they're capable of, why are you bothering with this argument? You can have your own playstyle where you ignore the majority of the game, but it makes your experience so drastically removed from the normal game, that your input is basically irrelevant.

Not at all. The topic of this thread is not "How do you build a good Fighter under 3.5 rules", at which I admit my input would be worth very level. This thread is "What do you think the Fighter should be", and my answer is apparently "the focal point around which all of the D&D rules are bent, folded, spindled and mutilated to make him the ideal balance metric".


Why would he want to? He can get better AC than the guy in heavy armor without taking the penalties that heavy armor comes with. Or he can ignore AC and get better defenses like DR/ER, miss chances, etc.

A high enough AC means you CAN'T be hit AT ALL except on criticals. That's a lot better than even a 50% miss chance. Damage Reduction is nice if you can get a lot of it, but 3.5 capped it at only 15 and more usually 5 or 10, so it's difficult to make it more than a cushion. And Energy Resistance only matters if your opponents attack with fire, acid, or magic.


It's not the Wizard planning to obsolete the Fighter, it's the Fighter becomes incapable of keeping up. There is a difference. It isn't the Wizard's fault that the Fighter becomes more useless as you level.

It absolutely is. The Fighter is the mundane, normal, human(oid), nothing-but-the-facts-ma'am class. He is the absolute peak and epitome of what the Commoner can realistically wish he could become. Everyone else is breaking the rules of physics, toadying up to extraplanar entities or forces of nature, or otherwise cheating at the (metaphorical) game that the fighter excels in as long as nobody deviates from the norm.


And seriously, you don't need a Fighter, even at low levels. I've played plenty of campaigns with a caster as the main front liner even from level 1.

Almost certainly the methods you used would be cheese by my definition and I'd forbid them. It is flat-out impossible for a standard wizard 1 build to stand on the front lines for more than a few minutes a day without dying. His spells last for between 1 round and 1 minute, he has only a fistful of them, and his d4 hit die combined with any amount of CON and DEX is not enough to survive for long against a series of CR 1 encounters with 4 rats or 3 goblins or 2 orcs.


And if you do have a Fighter, nothing prevents that fighter from branching out and going Gish to keep up. A level or 2 of Fighter is generally a good idea for a gish build.

Leaving aside my scathing hatred for that term, a character who multiclasses to wizard in order to become a battlemage of some sort stops being a fighter. He has changed into a completely different archetype, and that's a roleplay decision; it means you've given up on being a fighter and don't want to play one anymore, just as if your cleric abandoned his god or your paladin Fell to evil.


I agree that for the game to work, Fighters and Wizards should be equal. I want that to be a part of the system, not something you have to rely on the GM to force to happen in play.

The GM always has to force it to happen, since it's not inherent in RAW. The "in play" part is not 100% necessary, but it takes an AWFUL lot of advance planning to work out all the issues and houserule them; it's far easier if you treat the game as a never-ending betatest and constantly patch your rules in response to situations your players discover.


So you give Fighters secret class features that aren't written down anywhere to let them keep up. But any attempt to codify them makes it too much work for you to read and you hate it.

Exactly. The gameplay experience should flow naturally in the moment, like improv, instead of forcing you to study and memorize your "lines".


pretend like making a handle animal check is hard

It's having to roll one more die every G-D turn on top of all the existing rolls, so yeah. And if you get a "1" the GM is fully within his rights to have the animal do the absolute worst possible thing as its instincts take over.


So you're saying 4 out of 5 fights are enemies who stand still in melee and do nothing but melee attack?

Such enemies are the default, yes; exceptions should be rare.


On average, 3. Unless your players are rolling weighted dice for hp.

"Average" means anything only if you are taking it instead of rolling. Dice will NEVER do what you expect them to.


Yes because that's what the Fighter should be spending his feats on. More hp. :smallconfused:

Since his main party role is generally "meat shield", yes.


120 seconds of combat? Combat in 3.5 doesn't last 20 rounds, ever. Most combats run about 2-5 rounds, and generally takes 30-60 minutes. My group typically gets through 3-4 encounters in a session, while taking on higher CR encounters.

I may have exagerrated a bit for the sake of drama.


As for extremely high lethality rates, lethality is a bit higher, but high CR doesn't mean instant TPK unless your group's baseline effectiveness is a core only fighter. I think in the last year the closest we've come to a TPK was one encounter that had 3/4 party members down. We frequently have one or two party members disabled, but lethality isn't a frequent issue as you imply.

Even one player-character death is a serious problem, unless the cleric can cast resurrection and isn't the one who died. There are no guarantees that an NPC resurrecter can be found, can be afforded/persuaded, or even exists. The revolving door afterlife is NOT something players can count on.


So: You don't want to read a paragraph of text for some ability, yet for some reason you want to play D&D, a game where the core rules are about a thousand pages and a good five hundred pages over most other rules heavy systems (though I think HERO is longer). The obvious solution here is just to pick a game which isn't built to be incredibly rules heavy, such as basically the rest of the industry, including several (http://www.stargazergames.eu/games/warrior-rogue-mage/) games (http://www.hack-n-slash.com/index.html) that do D&D style gameplay just as well as D&D.

Those games cannot have Beholders and Yuan-Ti in them because those things are Wizards product identity. Sure I could do homemade conversions but that would be even MORE work than dealing with D&D. So I'm stuck.


Firstly, there is no reason that every other class in the game can't do the same thing, which means that calling this an advantage of the Fighter is disenguous.

It doesn't matter if everyone can do it, if only the Fighter can do it well. (Whether that's actually true I'm not sure since I don't remember what this is in reference to, but in general fighter-types are better at things that everyone can do, while wizard-types suck at the normal options but have access to abnormal ones.)


"rocket tag", where the borderline between down and completely dead is generally tiny

Nice way to think of it.


You're complaining about a game built exactly against your specifications in every way not working with your specifications well. It's like pulling a romance book off the shelf and then complaining when there isn't enough action.

Maybe that romance book had a great-looking cover picture and I was suckered into buying it, and now I'm cheesed that it doesn't deliver what it promised. That rather parallels the D&D situation, both with reference to the fighter and more generally. The exact same rules that D&D has now could have been more user-friendly if they'd just been organized differently, to say nothing of actually changing them to better deliver the experience that they're supposed to. But instead of fixing what they have now, so that their existing customers will get their money's worth, they constantly throw out new editions as a cash-grab. This is how business always works and is exactly why I am fiercely anti-business.


Nothing really. If it's corporeal, it can get around him and attack his friends. If it's not, he can't hit it anyway. If a level 3 fighter is left in an empty room with an Allip, he'll die 98% of the time (the other 2% have a ghost touch weapon and rolled well on their 50% miss chances, will saves, and got lucky against the wisdom drain).

A ghost isn't something a fighter should be able to deal with; that's what he needs a Cleric buddy for. I said 4 out of 5 earlier but that was inaccurate; the Fighter actually only needs to be good in 2 out of 5 fights, because the average party is 4 members. Every 5 fights should typically contain 1 fighter fight, 1 wizard fight, 1 cleric fight, 1 skillmonkey fight, and 1 fight that challenges the entire group. In that last fight, the fighter plays an absolutely critical role keeping enemies from getting past him so that he can keep his companions alive while they lob artillery and buff him and heal him and point out weak spots for his benefit (note to self: sneak attack should be transferrable). So every character is critical 2/5 of the time, and the entire party is critical 5/5. That is the ideal we should shoot for.


In most games now the fighter dude has "taunt" which makes enemies attack him. D&D fighters don't.

If the GM is running the enemies with a modicum of common sense (instead of meta-knowledge of the game system's flaws which they shouldn't have unless they're wizards or bards or something), they should not be waltzing past the fighter and absorbing one AoO while otherwise ignoring him because he's known to be useless. He should automatically be their focus just because he's closer and most visibly dangerous. This doesn't need to be a game mechanic; it's just how it should inherently work. A sane orc does not turn his back on a human fighter in order to cut down the puny human with the spectacles and the walking stick; the orc "knows" that the human who meets him on the same field of battle is the real threat, and will not survive to learn otherwise. A few canny opponents should disobey this unwritten rule, but it should be in effect most of the time.


And the problems of the fighter at mid- and high-levels are as follows:
Invisible enemies - No core magic item can deal with this, you either have to have the right splatbook (although MIC is pretty common) and pay for the item (Blindfold of True Seeing), or get a wizard to cast a spell on you.
Incorporeal enemies - You often don't have the money or room to pay for Ghost Touch on your magic sword.
Flying enemies - it's one thing when you're looking up at a dragon dropping rocks on you from 300 feet in the air, it's another thing when you've gotta take out your bow to deal with a manticore using Flyby Attack to swoop in and then fly up ten feet above you.

As I said before, incorporeal should leave the fighter useless. Invisible and flying should make things difficult, but not impossible. "Hearing the air" and "jumping attack" do not need to be Tome of Battle maneuvers; they are things that anyone could do, and the DM just needs to figure out what the DC of that perception check to hear the pixie's wings whoosh should be, or how much of a penalty to apply to a Charge attack which includes a Jump check to get off the ground (breaking the normal rules for charging, but the DM has every right to allow that if it seems appopriate).

Kane0
2012-10-01, 04:50 AM
Mechanics aside, I reckon the fighter is a versatile mix of:
- Expert tactician, much like swashbucklers and some rogues
- Intensely trained or otherwise dedicated warrior, similar to monks
- Inspirational leader, like paladins (we homebrewed them to be 'Champions' instead to allow more than just LG) or knights
- Formidable meatshield, like Barbarians
- Cunning hunter and killer, akin to a ranger
-Edit: Veteran soldier, as stated below

So the fighter is the balancing point between all of the other martial classes, which each take an aspect to its extreme.

willpell
2012-10-01, 08:32 AM
You forgot "trained and decorated veteran soldier in his nation's army", which doesn't fit any of those archetypes and is pretty much exclusively a Fighter concept. Although, the guy who mentioned before that a level 1 Fighter should be a veteran must not have looked at the suggested starting ages by class - a level 1 Fighter is like 17.

jaybird
2012-10-01, 08:47 AM
Humans can't realistically do that kinda stuff. But John McClain and high level Warblades can.

Fixed that for you.

Things that humans physically can't do? Sure sounds like an (Ex) maneuver to me. Notice that Diamond Mind, Iron Heart, Stone Dragon, and (I think) White Raven and Tiger Claw, are all (Ex) schools, meaning they are not magical.




Exactly. The gameplay experience should flow naturally in the moment, like improv, instead of forcing you to study and memorize your "lines".


Then WHY ARE YOU PLAYING ONE OF THE CRUNCHIEST GAMES KNOWN TO MAN?

Jacob.Tyr
2012-10-01, 08:54 AM
Been thinking about it, and I like the idea of the fighter being the paragon of the mundane. But instead of this being about him as an apt user of mundane weaponry, why not have it be about him being so ungodly ground in the mundane world that every weapon he uses becomes mundane, every enemy he strikes loses part of it's magic, ever magical weapon that is brought down against him turns mundane as it strikes his armor?

Level 1: A fairly apt soldier, trained in many styles with many weapons. Far more than conscripted militia, yet not worth writing about.

Level 5: Amazing soldier, capable of turning the tides of an entire mundane battle by shear virtue of his training, strength, and any other applicable stats you've not dumped. Might swing a magical sword, doesn't really think twice about it being magical but still benefits entirely.

Level 10: Starting to become so grounded in the material plane that magical abilities stop affecting him. Gains SR, magical touch attacks stop counting as touch attacks and instead become slightly more mundane around him.
Blocks spells as though they were just mundane means of dealing damage. Treats mage armor as he would any other armor not made of metal, leather, or even cloth. I.E. doesn't even notice it's there.

Level 15: His grounding in the material world starts affecting those around him. Higher SR, maybe antimagic sphere x/day. His attacks also carry some portion of this grounding with them.
Dragon flying overhead using supernatural flight? He knocks an arrow, aims, and fires it with such conviction in the laws of physics and the material plane (Without ever even realizing this, it's more of just him having such a strong idea as to what makes sense, action/reaction), that it takes flight carrying this conviction with it. Although the arrow hits the dragon with little more force than is necessary for it to even know anything happened, this conviction strips it's magical flight and sends it plummeting earthward. Shocked, it attempts to breath and merely manages a to... breath. While the smell of a carnivores breath might be horrible, it doesn't exactly deal any damage to him.
Magical arms and armor around him lose their abilities, flaming swords are extinguished etc. Long enough exposure wipes them out permanently.
Cleaves through your magical defenses with every blow causing them to backlash in your face, walks through force walls and they collapse under the power of the material plane.

Level 20: Magic isn't even a thing he realizes exists anymore. All of those magical weapons he was sold as a youth must have been scams. Antimagic sphere at will, except not really at will, just manages to appear when he encounters something that he knows cannot be.
Walks into a magic shop, is shown an epic artifact sword, picks it up, comments on how brittle and dull it is. Shop keeper is horrified that his +5 keen vorpal flaming sword is now worthless. Shouts, tells the fighter to leave, attempts a volley from a magical repeating crossbow. A single arrow lamely flops out onto the ground in front of him as the magic that powers it is disrupted forever.

At level 20 he could easily take a 20 wizard on, given enough surprise and enough planning. The wizard could also take him, though. Most likely both are sitting in their castles with their retainers, unwilling to risk life/limb to go after the other.

tl;dr By level 5 he is as good as you can get in tripping/disarming/bull rushing/grappling and fighting with a few weapons standard to his unit/school or whatever fluff you wish to use.

Level 10-Spell resistance

Level 15-Disrupts magic with his attacks, magical effects falter around him.

Level 20-Manifested force of the material plane waging war against the interference of outside/arcane/divine forces. Uses mundane weapons only, as they are the only kind that exist in his mind and in his world. If you can't take him with a mundane means, then you'd better kill him in his sleep.

willpell
2012-10-01, 08:58 AM
Fixed that for you.

I haven't seen the movie under discussion, but from the quoted post it doesn't sound like anything that a high Hit Point total couldn't do. Fighters are a little behind Warblades in that area, but only a little; the important thing is just the "high level" part.


Then WHY ARE YOU PLAYING ONE OF THE CRUNCHIEST GAMES KNOWN TO MAN?

So that I have the crunch to fall back on if I need it. Roleplaying always comes first, but sometimes I have a player who wants to break down a brick wall with a hammer before the dragon catches him, and I have no idea how many hit points a brick wall has. Voila - tables in the DMG to tell me the HP and hardness of various types of walls. The rules should always provide me with more information and more options; they are not there to tell me I'm not allowed to use my imagination.

Seerow
2012-10-01, 09:02 AM
A high enough AC means you CAN'T be hit AT ALL except on criticals. That's a lot better than even a 50% miss chance. Damage Reduction is nice if you can get a lot of it, but 3.5 capped it at only 15 and more usually 5 or 10, so it's difficult to make it more than a cushion. And Energy Resistance only matters if your opponents attack with fire, acid, or magic.

The high enough AC you are talking about isn't something that's easy to obtain. As early as level 10 you have some enemies with attack bonuses at +30 or more. 50 AC at level 10 takes a lot of optimizing. Even 40 takes a fair bit of optimization. The worst part is the Fighter's class features contribute almost nothing to hitting those values. The only benefit heavy armor gives you is not needing as much dexterity for armor class. Full Plate gives you a whopping +1 AC over other armors. You have your Fighter in full plate you have 19 AC. Now you either have to invest almost all of your gold into AC boosting items, or use cheesy tricks, to reach even the "I only get hit 50% of the time mark" much less the "I get hit only on a crit mark". And even if you do successfully manage that? Your touch AC is probably still terrible, and you'll be hit on a 1 with a touch attack. Your Will and Reflex saves are still terrible, and you can still be taken out nearly instantly with a wide variety of spells.

The reason why miss chance is considered superior is because it is reliable. No matter what you are fighting, you get your miss chance. Some enemies it may be worse than a high AC, other enemies it could be better. But it is much easier for the Wizard to obtain (1 spell) and always applies. And the Wizard also has defensive buffs that apply to those other annoying things that can take out the Fighter (save boosts, status effect immunities, etc).



It absolutely is. The Fighter is the mundane, normal, human(oid), nothing-but-the-facts-ma'am class. He is the absolute peak and epitome of what the Commoner can realistically wish he could become. Everyone else is breaking the rules of physics, toadying up to extraplanar entities or forces of nature, or otherwise cheating at the (metaphorical) game that the fighter excels in as long as nobody deviates from the norm.

But the game is all about everybody deviating from the norm. If you try to force everyone down to where the Fighter is, you have a very boring game.


Almost certainly the methods you used would be cheese by my definition and I'd forbid them. It is flat-out impossible for a standard wizard 1 build to stand on the front lines for more than a few minutes a day without dying. His spells last for between 1 round and 1 minute, he has only a fistful of them, and his d4 hit die combined with any amount of CON and DEX is not enough to survive for long against a series of CR 1 encounters with 4 rats or 3 goblins or 2 orcs.

I did specify Caster, not Wizard. Clerics and Druids both have decent armor, d8 hp, and the druid has an animal companion who is as durable as a whole extra fighter at low levels. The Cleric can also choose to pick up Healing Devotion in place of a domain, which is amazing at low level, and adds greatly to durability.



Leaving aside my scathing hatred for that term, a character who multiclasses to wizard in order to become a battlemage of some sort stops being a fighter. He has changed into a completely different archetype, and that's a roleplay decision; it means you've given up on being a fighter and don't want to play one anymore, just as if your cleric abandoned his god or your paladin Fell to evil.

Yet it is the one way to keep up while still using Fighter levels. You're right it's not a mundane Fighter. But it is the way that you start as a Fighter, and still maintain an edge at mid-high levels.



The GM always has to force it to happen, since it's not inherent in RAW. The "in play" part is not 100% necessary, but it takes an AWFUL lot of advance planning to work out all the issues and houserule them; it's far easier if you treat the game as a never-ending betatest and constantly patch your rules in response to situations your players discover.

Sure you can constantly patch it. But when we're talking about "What a Fighter should be", we're asking "What do we want the Fighter to be so we don't have to constantly patch the game to make him vaguely functional?". Warping the powers of plot around the Fighter isn't an answer, and it will piss even more people off than just making the fighter full on supernatural. Continuously houseruling things in favor of the Fighter can be done, but that will lead to hugely different play experiences table to table or even GM to GM. The game should provide a Fighter class that is useful even without the need to houserule constantly.




Exactly. The gameplay experience should flow naturally in the moment, like improv, instead of forcing you to study and memorize your "lines".

Yes we heard you the first 5 times, reading is too hard.



It's having to roll one more die every G-D turn on top of all the existing rolls, so yeah. And if you get a "1" the GM is fully within his rights to have the animal do the absolute worst possible thing as its instincts take over.

Skill checks don't auto fail on a one, and handle animal is a DC10 skill check that is wisdom based. Link gives druids a +4 bonus to handle animal with their animal companion. As long as you stick to tricks that the animal knows (ie don't attempt to "Push") then you literally cannot fail as long as you put skill ranks into handle animal and have a minimum of 12 wisdom. That's why most people don't even bother rolling the check, because they can't fail the check. This sounds like one of your secret houserules to screw the casters to try to make Fighters seem better.



Such enemies are the default, yes; exceptions should be rare.

Once again, this is not D&D.




"Average" means anything only if you are taking it instead of rolling. Dice will NEVER do what you expect them to.

No, but you also can't say "It's going to be a difference of more like 6" because you can't assume that the dice are going to be better to you. When discussing things like this you assume the average because that's what you are statistically likely to expect, even if in some individual cases you can run into other cases. I mean if you want to ignore average I can point out how a Fighter past level 2 or 3 could end up with worse HP than the Wizard because the Fighter can roll all 1s while the Wizard keeps rolling 3s and 4s. Is it likely? No. But that's the sort of thing you can do when you decide to just ignore statistics.


Since his main party role is generally "meat shield", yes.

Even as a meat shield, there are other things that are typically better to invest in to increase survival. This is ignoring the fact that just being a pile of hp makes you completely nonthreatening and thus lets enemies ignore you entirely, making all your hp useless.


I may have exagerrated a bit for the sake of drama.

A bit?




Even one player-character death is a serious problem, unless the cleric can cast resurrection and isn't the one who died. There are no guarantees that an NPC resurrecter can be found, can be afforded/persuaded, or even exists. The revolving door afterlife is NOT something players can count on.

Revolving door afterlife is a part of the game. Losing characters occasionally is also a part of the game. You let your players walk through with easy mode on, fighting only lower level challenges who do nothing but stand in melee with the Fighter and attack, and nobody ever dies, and then can't conceive of why you have a bunch of people telling you that your input is completely invalid.

jaybird
2012-10-01, 09:07 AM
I haven't seen the movie under discussion, but from the quoted post it doesn't sound like anything that a high Hit Point total couldn't do. Fighters are a little behind Warblades in that area, but only a little; the important thing is just the "high level" part.

So that I have the crunch to fall back on if I need it. Roleplaying always comes first, but sometimes I have a player who wants to break down a brick wall with a hammer before the dragon catches him, and I have no idea how many hit points a brick wall has. Voila - tables in the DMG to tell me the HP and hardness of various types of walls. The rules should always provide me with more information and more options; they are not there to tell me I'm not allowed to use my imagination.

I haven't seen it either, to be honest :smalltongue: if someone could post some of the most outstanding badass scenes in the movie for analysis, that'd be appreciated.


Except the Warblade can do it better. Mountain Hammer - he steadies himself and takes a deep breath, before making a single swing at the wall with a shout, powering his swing with his entire body. That's (Ex) - by definition, it's something non-magical and intrinsic to the owner of the ability, who has attained it through surpassing mortal limits with his own prowess.

willpell
2012-10-01, 09:20 AM
The high enough AC you are talking about isn't something that's easy to obtain. As early as level 10 you have some enemies with attack bonuses at +30 or more.

I was thinking more like 25 AC at level 4 (a 3-DEXMOD Bugbear with +1 Breastplate armor and a +1 heavy shield). He was nearly invincible to a platoon of low-level fighters, though they did eventually manage to box him in through sheer numbers and take him down with special combat maneuvers which bypassed his AC.


The reason why miss chance is considered superior is because it is reliable. No matter what you are fighting, you get your miss chance.

There are plenty of ways of bypassing concealment, and I believe True Seeing nukes Blur as well.


But the game is all about everybody deviating from the norm. If you try to force everyone down to where the Fighter is, you have a very boring game.

It doesn't look boring to me. The sheer variety available among fighter bonus feats and basic combat maneuvers alone, with *a* spell thrown in now and again for color, seems like it could entertain me for a very long time. I think the community here is just jaded because they've been playing for like five solid years, probably with a regular playgroup instead of the dribs and drabs of play I've had.


The Cleric can also choose to pick up Healing Devotion in place of a domain, which is amazing at low level, and adds greatly to durability.

News to me. Haven't read those feats except for Knowledge Devotion and a couple random otehrs.


The game should provide a Fighter class that is useful even without the need to houserule constantly.

Well, it should perhaps, but it didn't. And Wotco stuck a fork in it five years ago so we're pretty much stuck. Houserules are all we're ever going to have unless we jump to 5E.


Skill checks don't auto fail on a one, and handle animal is a DC10 skill check that is wisdom based.

It's DC 25 for anything you haven't specifically trained the animal to do, and they can only learn 3-6 tricks plus the bonuses from the druid's level. Though personally even that is more reliability than I think they should have.


This sounds like one of your secret houserules to screw the casters to try to make Fighters seem better.

Yeah, and pretty much everyone agrees the casters are overpowered so how is that a problem exactly? Do you like having Tier 1 classes that crush game balance underfoot like so many twigs?


When discussing things like this you assume the average because that's what you are statistically likely to expect

You, maybe; not me. I've learned long ago that statistics is a trap meant to lull you into a false sense of security so that Chance can punch you in the kidney when you least expect it. So I always hope for the best and prepare for the worst, and echo Han Solo's line about the odds.


This is ignoring the fact that just being a pile of hp makes you completely nonthreatening and thus lets enemies ignore you entirely, making all your hp useless.

Nonsense. You're still whacking them with AoOs as they try to sneak by, and they're not just going to ignore you; you're hurting them and so their ignorant primitive impulse is to hurt you back. You've trained to bear the pain unflinchingly; they haven't.


Revolving door afterlife is a part of the game. Losing characters occasionally is also a part of the game. You let your players walk through with easy mode on, fighting only lower level challenges who do nothing but stand in melee with the Fighter and attack, and nobody ever dies, and then can't conceive of why you have a bunch of people telling you that your input is completely invalid.

They can call it that all they want, but it's not true. My perspective is just as relevant as anyone else's. If they want to ignore it, that's their right, but I'll keep stating my piece and nobody's going to stop me just because they think they have some reason why my opinion doesn't count. That's only their assessment, and they can't stop me from talking to everyone else who hasn't yet come to agree with their dismissiveness.

toapat
2012-10-01, 09:37 AM
I haven't seen the movie under discussion, but from the quoted post it doesn't sound like anything that a high Hit Point total couldn't do. Fighters are a little behind Warblades in that area, but only a little; the important thing is just the "high level" part.

To sumurize everything you need to know about bruce willis in Live Free or Die Hard:

"You just took out a Helicopter with a car!?!"
"I was out of bullets"

a Car has a -16 non-proficiency penalty to being used as a throwing weapon. it deals only 6d6 damage. Bruse Willis got a vorpal on it.

obryn
2012-10-01, 09:51 AM
In Live Free and Die Hard, John McClain does almost nothing but "near-mystical feats of arms". Assuming you look far enough past the explosions and corny dialogue to see the ridiculousness contained within it.
.....
Fighters pulling off this stuff ARE performing "near-mystical feats of arms". And fighters are capable of so much more as well.
Yes. And what I'm saying is that the mechanics of 3.5/PF don't support this at all.

-O

Slipperychicken
2012-10-01, 10:02 AM
Then WHY ARE YOU PLAYING ONE OF THE CRUNCHIEST GAMES KNOWN TO MAN?

You know, this sentence summarizes my feelings toward the entire crowd of self-described "roleplayers" in 3.5 who build completely ineffective characters, do something moronic like fly into a dragon's face and taunt it (getting their asses handed to them, naturally), then spend half the game whining about how "restrictive" the rules are (and how "banal" it is to be reminded that whatever lunacy they're trying literally can't work by RAW, RAI, common sense, or science. Or even needing to remember they have to wait their turn, and have to roll to grapple.), while refusing to take any plot hook or integrate into the party because "it's fun" to watch everyone fumble over the smoking wreck which the game has become.

rockdeworld
2012-10-01, 10:06 AM
I haven't seen it either, to be honest :smalltongue: if someone could post some of the most outstanding badass scenes in the movie for analysis, that'd be appreciated.
McCain shoots himself point-blank in the heart/lungs to hit the guy behind him.
McCain fights off a martial artist after getting beaten up.
McCain jumps out of a car going 50+ MPH onto asphalt (which is more dangerous than movies make it appear), and stands up.

Most of the Die Hard movies involve McCain getting beaten up and then winning.


a Car has a -16 non-proficiency penalty to being used as a throwing weapon. it deals only 6d6 damage. Bruse Willis got a vorpal on it.
Helicopters are made of tinfoil and prayers (only a slight exaggeration). You can actually punch through their sides. It doesn't take much to take one out.

toapat
2012-10-01, 10:44 AM
Helicopters are made of tinfoil and prayers (only a slight exaggeration). You can actually punch through their sides. It doesn't take much to take one out.

yes, helicopters have no real protection beyond that required for pressurization.

it doesnt change the fact that the construct rules give it something along the lines of 95hp.

rockdeworld
2012-10-01, 12:06 PM
In D20 modern? I don't think 3.5 can handle that.

jaybird
2012-10-01, 12:23 PM
"You just took out a Helicopter with a car!?!"
"I was out of bullets"


Well, Warblades CAN re-train all their weapon-related feats...:smallbiggrin:

EDIT:

And yes, this:

You know, this sentence summarizes my feelings toward the entire crowd of self-described "roleplayers" in 3.5 who build completely ineffective characters, do something moronic like fly into a dragon's face and taunt it (getting their asses handed to them, naturally), then spend half the game whining about how "restrictive" the rules are (and how "banal" it is to be reminded that whatever lunacy they're trying literally can't work by RAW, RAI, common sense, or science. Or even needing to remember they have to wait their turn, and have to roll to grapple.), while refusing to take any plot hook or integrate into the party because "it's fun" to watch everyone fumble over the smoking wreck which the game has become.

Gb2WoD.

kardar233
2012-10-01, 12:27 PM
Helicopters are made of tinfoil and prayers (only a slight exaggeration). You can actually punch through their sides. It doesn't take much to take one out.

This is why the only helicopters I will fly in modern games are Hinds.

Thinker
2012-10-01, 12:37 PM
Here's my opinion on what a fighter should be.

At level one they should be raw recruits, by level three should be masters of their chosen weaponry, and by level six should be the pinnacle of human achievement with all weaponry. After that, they should be in the realm of the superhuman. By level 20 they should be the strongest, fastest, and best in the world at fighting, immune to undesirable magical effects, and able to pump out plenty of supernatural effects of their own. Chopping a mountain in half or punching out a dragon should be trivial to a high-level fighter. They should also be invulnerable to ambushes, stealth, or anything else like that.

A fighter should control the whole battlefield, ignoring any sort of rough terrain and creating his own at will. If an opponent is out of reach, the fighter should be able to reach it. If an opponent tries to escape, the fighter should always be able to follow. If an opponent tries to dodge incoming damage, the fighter should be able to hit anyway. If an opponent tries to deal damage to the fighter, the fighter should be able to soak it. If an opponent tries to target someone other than the fighter, the fighter should be able to stop it. By higher levels, a fighter should transcend to controlling entire war campaigns, rather than merely a small battle.

toapat
2012-10-01, 02:07 PM
Well, Warblades CAN re-train all their weapon-related feats...:smallbiggrin:

Even with Improvised Weapon Proficiency, you still take the penalties to throwing a car

Hiro Protagonest
2012-10-01, 02:12 PM
Well, Warblades CAN re-train all their weapon-related feats...:smallbiggrin:

A) It takes an hour to do so.
B) It's only things like Weapon Focus. Maybe Melee Weapon Mastery. Not enough to turn the tide against all those penalties.

nedz
2012-10-01, 02:56 PM
"You just took out a Helicopter with a car!?!"
"I was out of bullets"

a Car has a -16 non-proficiency penalty to being used as a throwing weapon. it deals only 6d6 damage. Bruse Willis got a vorpal on it.

Wizards should be helicopters then.

Libertad
2012-10-01, 05:25 PM
This is my ideal Fighter. Hopefully they replicate this in 5th Edition. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=202371)

TuggyNE
2012-10-01, 07:43 PM
I was thinking more like 25 AC at level 4 (a 3-DEXMOD Bugbear with +1 Breastplate armor and a +1 heavy shield). He was nearly invincible to a platoon of low-level fighters, though they did eventually manage to box him in through sheer numbers and take him down with special combat maneuvers which bypassed his AC.

Not all opponents are low-op humanoids.


It doesn't look boring to me. The sheer variety available among fighter bonus feats and basic combat maneuvers alone ...

The funny thing about variety is you generally have to read through all of it to make proper use of it. Odd, no? (Feats and spells, in particular, are rather poorly balanced, and require a good knowledge of the entire system before making any sensible choices; other subsystems in existence reduce the amount of preknowledge required, which is a direct and substantial advantage.)


Well, it should perhaps, but it didn't. And Wotco stuck a fork in it five years ago so we're pretty much stuck. Houserules are all we're ever going to have unless we jump to 5E.

See, here's a crucial point: my philosophy (and that of several others in this thread) is that houserules should be standardized as much as possible. Individual DMs should not have the burden of reinventing all the needed fixes to the game; most are not competent to do that, and the ones that are should be helping the others save time and effort. In other words, houserules should be collected, probably online, and tested and revised until they're as better than the default rules.

In opposition to this is the rather lazy belief (that ultimately means far more effort and far less effectiveness) that each DM should just put in their own "fluff-based" rules to balance things. Not that basing rules on fluff is a bad thing; it's the negligence involved in saying "oh, no, everyone can just make a few changes and the game doesn't need fixed" that's problematic. 3.5 does need fixing, and the best way to do that, is to, you know, actually fix it and let everybody know as best you can.

Fundamentally, this is why I got into projects like RACSD, one of the main reasons I homebrew (or critique homebrew), and in general one of my key focuses. I want to fix the game, not just for a given play group, or a single campaign, but for as many people as possible as correctly as possible.


It's DC 25 for anything you haven't specifically trained the animal to do, and they can only learn 3-6 tricks plus the bonuses from the druid's level. Though personally even that is more reliability than I think they should have.

Yes, but have you looked at the tricks? "Attack", "Defend", "Track", "Come", "Down", "Guard": six is basically all you need to be effective. Bonus tricks per level are just icing on the cake. (Or insult to injury, as the case may be.)


Yeah, and pretty much everyone agrees the casters are overpowered so how is that a problem exactly?

The problem is not the houserules; the problem is the "secret" part. I.e., not only is it not a common houserule, it may not even be known to the players ahead of time. Not cool.


Nonsense. You're still whacking them with AoOs as they try to sneak by, and they're not just going to ignore you; you're hurting them and so their ignorant primitive impulse is to hurt you back. You've trained to bear the pain unflinchingly; they haven't.

So... a Fighter is only useful when fighting ill-trained, poorly equipped foes, and falls apart as soon as they run into a worthy opponent? Again, not cool. That's a cop out, in fact; other classes can at least be useful against themselves, but a Fighter trying to prevent an enemy Fighter from attacking the "squishies" (falsely so called, in many cases, but whatever) is going to be ineffective.

Furthermore, there are some enemies that are specifically resistant to pain, or sensible enough to ignore minor pin: will a commanded, mindless undead care noticeably? How about a giant? An ooze? A dragon?


My perspective is just as relevant as anyone else's.

Yes and no. In an ethical sense, sure; everyone is entitled to speak their piece, however misguided others may consider it. In a scholarly sense, not really; those whose arguments depend on questionable assumptions or unusual situations for validity are going to be considered largely inaccurate. (I understand this is opposed to your opinion that the universe actually cares what you personally, or anyone else for that matter, is thinking. Let's just say "it's an unsubstantiable axiom most people find hard to swallow" and leave it at that.)

Grundy
2012-10-01, 07:48 PM
I want fighters to be non-magical, but I want them to be superhuman by level 6. Most importantly, when facing a level x caster, the level x fighter should win 50% of the time.
Of course, one of the advantages a caster has is utility- divination, mobility, etc. That means if they were to meet, without preparation or surprise, within line of sight, on that mythical even playing field, the fighter should usually win- say 75% of the time. That scenario is basically the fighter getting the drop on the caster.
The opposite is also true, of course. Casters should be able to get advantage, when they find the fighter's weaknesses.
Basically I see the fighter near the far mundane end of the spectrum, just this side of barbarians, and wizards on the far magical end. All the other core classes should fall in between.

Ashtagon
2012-10-02, 02:52 AM
Level 1 - soldier out of basic training

Level 3: Realistic veteran soldier

Level 6 - upper end of realistic human experience; The Great Escape; Die Hard; Conan

Level 10-15: wuxia, chambara

Level 16-20: Hercules, Gilgamesh

Sutremaine
2012-10-02, 08:47 AM
I want fighters to be non-magical, but I want them to be superhuman by level 6.
Unfortunately, D&D gives casters so many toys that the best of the purely mundane ones left over aren't really very good. A common complaint about melee powerups is that they tread on the toes of the casters, but the casters shouldn't be standing there in the first place.