View Full Version : Combat Style (for real this time)

2007-01-17, 10:14 AM
Edit 01/18/2007: Changed the TWF style. Changed some feats, levels, and took out the 20th level thing.
Edit: I feel stupid for posting this in the wrong forum...

Yeah, another Figher fix. Reading some threads about how Fighters are underpowered at higher levels, and how the good feats are hard to get, I cooked up an option to give Fighters a bit more power without changing the core rules.
This's an adaptation of the Ranger feature I've been working on: Basically, they are level replacements for Fighters. When you choose a style, you gain the feats associated to them instead of the usual bonus feat. You are then replacing one free feat for 2 feats, and is stuck on that choice. It'll make Fighters a bit stronger, and I encourage all to pick a style, so they can be a bit more par with the others classes.
I'm aware that I'm just giving away 5 free feats, and that's exacly what this is: 5 free feats, and no need to qualify to gain it. The downside is that once you get a style, you can't pick another, and needs to always get the level replacement in the appropriate level, or lose it, and you can't have one level without the previous.
This represents a Fighter's devotion to one style, even if he usually wouldn't qualify. It may be a style passed down from his father, or his mentor that taught him how to fight.
As an alternative, the Fighter may need to qualify to one of the feats to gain the other for free.

Combat Styles
At first level, a Fighter chooses a style, gaining the feats indicated in the tables, even if he usually wouldn't qualify for it, in place of his normal bonus feat. He gains the other feats at 6th, 11th, 16th, and 20th levels instead of the normal bonus feat he usually gains. Once he chooses a style, he can't choose another, but he can still buy feats from the others styles as normal, if he qualifies for them.
The feats gained there qualify him to get others feats.
As an optional rule, Rangers can use this table instead of his own Combat Style one, at diferent levels, as does paladins. These two wouldn't be able to go to the higher level stuff, though.

All feats are from oficial books from TSR or third parties. A few feats are feats from version 3.0 that were removed from 3.5, but I think it's good enough to use.

Sword & Shield

The classic build for Fighters and Paladins. Carrying a shield can greatly rise one's defenses, but once you hang a shield in your arm, it get's pretty much useless. These feats gives the Fighter some options to use the shield in combat, and better defend himself.
Feat 1|
Feat 2

Shield Specialization|
Active Shield Defense

Improved Shield Bash
Agile Shield Fighter
Block Arrows
Improved SHield Bash (3.0)*
Shield Ward
Shield Charge
Parrying Shield
Shield Slam
*The Improved Shield Bash from PHB II was called Shield Expert before, in Sword and Fist. This one was from Defenders of Faith, so, I'm keeping the (3.0) in the name of this one until I can find a better name. Basically, it gives you Improved Bull Rush if you use a shield to push.
Shield Specialization - Player's Handbook 2
Active Shield Defense - Player's Handbook 2
Improved Shield Bash - Player's Handbook
Agile Shield Fighter - Player's Handbook 2
Block Arrows - Heroes of Battle
Improved SHield Bash (3.0) - Defenders of Faith
Shield Ward - Player's Handbook
Shield Charge - Complete Warrior
Parrying Shield - Lords of Madness
Shield Slam - Complete Warrior

Two-Weapon Fighting

The style used by melee Rangers and Fighters that choose multiple attacks over a better defense.
Feat 1|
Feat 2
Two-Weapon Fighting|
Two Weapons Defense
Improved Two-Weapon Fighting|
Improved Two-Weapon Defense
Greater Two-Weapon Fighting|
Greater Two-Weapon Defense
Superior Two-Weapon Fighting*|
Superior Two-Weapon Defense[/table]
* Superior, and not Perfect was the version that Tempest gave you. I simply turned it into a feat.
** Since Dual Strike and TW Pounce are easier to get, I'll just make up a a Superior version of TWD, as Matthews suggested.
PS: Rangers gains these feats instead of their normal feats if they choose the Two-Weapon Fighting Style at 2nd level. They can use double weapons, but they still loses the bonuses when wearing medium or heavy armor, as normal.
Two-Weapon Fighting - Player's Handbook
Two-Weapon Defense - Player's Handbook
Improved Two-Weapon Fighting - Player's Handbook
Improved Two-Weapon Defense - Complete Warrior
Greater Two-Weapon Fighting - Player's Handbook
Greater Two-Weapon Defense - Complete Warrior
Superior Two-Weapon Fighting - Masters of the Wild (3.0) - Class feature
Superior Two-Weapon Defense - New feat

An alternative for TWF and TWD feats: reduce the Dex requeriment for 13 for the first versions, 15 for the improved, 17 for the greater, and 19 for the superior. I think Fighters were in need of better high level feats that they could easier afford, anyway. And Dex 15 for TWF is simply absurd.

One-Handed Fighting
Under construction

One-Handed Fighting
Under construction

Possible projects:
Pole arms/Lances
Ranged (bows/crossbows/thrown weapons)
Unarmed Fighting

As always, thougts, suggestions and critiques are welcome.
PS: All feats can be checked here: Feat Index (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/lists/feats)

2007-01-17, 10:18 AM
Isn't Agile Shield Fighter technically inferior to Two-Weapon Fighting (except for having no Dex requirement), or does it treat a heavy shield as a light weapon for attack penalties?

I don't have my PHB2 around to check.

2007-01-17, 10:24 AM
@Thomas: Yes, it's a TWF to use shields in your off-hand as a weapon. It has less requisites and applies only to shields.
Funny thing, this thread is a bit inspired in the Style Specialization in the Complete Fighter's Handbook from 2nd edition, and Weapons & Shield did give you TWF with shields.

2007-01-17, 02:47 PM
Yeah, but the problem with Agile Shield Fighter is that it has a string of prerequisites and no Improved, Greater or Perfect versions.

Also, I think Perfect Two Weapon Fighting is epic, isn't it?

Roland St. Jude
2007-01-17, 04:19 PM
Moved to Homebrew!

2007-01-17, 04:27 PM
Yes, but it's not supposed to give you a lot of attacks. For that, you get the TWF build.
Perfect is epic? Well, seeing as it was a class feature for Tempest back in 3.0, I think it can be pushed down to level 20 (I think you need to be level 21 to take it, so it's not too bad)

@Roland: Thank you. I was going to ask a moderator to more this :)

2007-01-17, 04:42 PM
Hell, I would allow Perfect Two Weapon Fighting at Base attack Bonus +16 for sure, but yeah, by the RAW (SRD version), it appears to be an Epic Feat.

Many of the Feats are being acquired much later than a Fighter who might be inclined to purchase them, which kind of robs the Fighter (i.e. forces him not to take the Feat). At Level 6, for instance, the Two Weapon Fighter has access to two Feats and ordinarily I would expect him to purchase both Improved Two Weapon Fighting and Improved Two Weapon Defence. I do like the idea of offering these as essentially free add ons to taking Two Weapon Fighting, but I think the progression might work better as:

1: Two Weapon Fighting + Two Weapon Defence
6: Improved Two Weapon Fighting + Improved Two Weapon Defence
11*: Greater Two Weapon Fighting + Greater Two Weapon Defence
16: Perfect Two Weapon Fighting + Perfect Two Weapon Defence*

*Note that Fighters do not get Feats at Level 11, but rather two at Level 12 (stupid, I know)
**I know this doesn't exist, but it is an obvious Feat to create for this progression.

Block Arrows is oddly placed at Level 11, given its very low prerequisites I would imagine a Weapon and Shield Fighter would want to take it at a much lower level.

I think in the context of the current rules and Feats for Weapon and Shield this progression makes good sense, but I think you are handicapped by the relative badness of the Feats themselves.

2007-01-17, 04:58 PM
You are right. I forgot they don't get feats at 11th level. Oh well, to fix it later.
Yes, I know that some feats can be acquired earlier, and some feats are simply bad, that's why I'm placing them together to be a bit better.
I thought about making up that new Perfect Weapon Defence feat, but I thought that Oversized and the ones that allow you to move and attack would fit better.
And I put the Oversized at 1st level, to save the trouble of getting Feats for two diferent weapons.
Block arrows is at level 11 because I wanted to post those others first. Unfortunately, there's not many good shield feats even in higher levels.
Another errata: I said I gave the Perfect TWF at level 20? I put it at level 16. lol

2007-01-17, 05:16 PM
The thing is Oversized Two Weapon Fighting is kind of a wasted Feat for Two Short Sword Fighters or Long Sword and Short Sword Fighters and so on. I don't think it should be folded into Two Weapon Fighting as part of this alternate Combat Style progression.

The problem I have with offering Two Weapon Defence Feats at such late levels is that the Fighter qualified for them five levels ago.

I'm not too sure about the Level 20 Feats either.

As I said, though, a good progression under difficult circumstances.

2007-01-17, 05:53 PM
I know, I'm reworking the levels.
Oversized Two Weapon Fighting allows you to use one one-handed weapon in your off-hand as if it were a light weapon, so you can use two long swords, and even two bastard swords, so it's a good deal, mainly because you need to buy Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Improved Critical, etc... only once. Picking it after you already got focus for two weapons is a waste of feats, so I put it first.

2007-01-17, 06:08 PM
Yeah, I know, but the Fighter gets two Feats to start out with anyway. So, as long as he is not Human, he makes a choice: Two Weapon Fighting + Weapon Focus or Two Weapon Fighting + Oversized Two Weapon Fighting. He gets another Feat at Level 2 if he wants to take Weapon Focus and take Oversized Two Weapon Fighting.

Human Fighter
Level 1: Two Weapon Fighting, Oversized Two Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (Long Sword),

Elf Fighter A
Level 1: Two Weapon Fighting, Oversized Two Weapon Fighting,
Level 2: Weapon Focus (Long Sword)

Elf Fighter B
Level 1: Two Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (Long Sword)
Level 2: Oversized Two Weapon Fighting,

Elf Fighter C
Level 1: Two Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (Short Sword),

The gist of what I am saying is that you are making choices for this Character about how he will Two Weapon Fight if you link Two Weapon Fighting and Oversized Two Weapon Fighting. It's a good deal, but it's also a straight jacket.

Besides which, any Fighter type Character who forgoes a Shield at Level 1 is asking for trouble!

2007-01-17, 06:24 PM
Yeah, I took that in account. Since he is getting practically 5 feats for free, he is forced to follow a path.
Another funny note: in the Complete Fighter's Handbook for AD&D, specialization in TWF, allowed you to use weapons of the same size. I went that way. And as I said, it's to save up on feats and make it a bit more worthless.

2007-01-17, 06:43 PM
Oh well, then. Seems a bit harsh to me, but I can understand the impulse.

Yeah, The Complete Fighter's Handbook presented many interesting possibilities, but what you have to remember is that these were paid for through Proficiencies / Character Points and you never ever got more than one Off Hand Attack. The primary benefit of Two Weapon Style Specialisation was the virtual elimination of penalties; the ability to use two Long Swords was entirely secondary.

Essentially one Proficiency was equal to Two Weapon Fighting, Oversized Two Weapon Fighting and the elimination of almost all penalties.

2007-01-17, 06:54 PM
Yeah, I know. I was not even going to add it, when I found out it existed.
Anyway, thanks for all the input. I'll re-check the feats to see how I can make it work better.