View Full Version : Flyingpoo22's Fighter Variant

Baron Corm
2007-03-28, 09:29 PM
From poking around here and there, I've gathered that the fighter as a class is looked down upon because it gets no unique abilities that scale with level and no awesome utility abilities like Forcecage or Shivering Touch. In this variant, I have given the fighter none of those things, because I understand that wizards and fighters fill different niches. Bears With Lasers made a nice variant, but I feel that all of the class abilities he gave to the fighter could easily just be feats that any class could take.

The goal of this variant is to keep fighters as they should be; a simple class that a newbie can take without being able to screw it up. It's a class that you take when you don't want to have to deal with choosing spells or figuring out what the best wild shape form is. Barbarians and monks fill similar niches, and I've posted sort-of variants for both of those already which I feel makes them playable classes.

Really, the big changes to this fighter which make it (nearly?) on par with a wizard is the Machismo ability coupled with house rule #5 at the bottom. Oh, and it's actually useful to take to higher levels. The rest is flavor and buffing up sword-and-board, which I feel are both badly needed.


Level 1: Bonus feat, armor mastery (light)
Level 2: Bonus feat
Level 3: Tactics, save specialty
Level 4: Combat style, offensive grace
Level 5: Defensive grace
Level 6: Bonus feat, armor mastery (medium)
Level 7: Penetrating strike
Level 8: Offensive grace
Level 9: Infectious strike
Level 10: Defensive grace, save specialty
Level 11: Machismo, armor mastery (heavy)
Level 12: Offensive grace
Level 13: Bonus feat, battlefield control
Level 14: Annihilating strike
Level 15: Defensive grace
Level 16: Offensive grace
Level 17: Lithe destruction
Level 18: Save specialty
Level 19: Save specialty
Level 20: Bonus feat, offensive grace, defensive grace, greater machismo, engine of destruction

Hit Die: d10
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier.
Base Attack Bonus: 4/4
Base Saves: High Fortitude, High Reflex, Low Will
Class Skills: Climb, Craft, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (Any), Ride, Swim

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A fighter is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with all armor (heavy, medium, and light) and shields (including tower shields). He is also proficient with one exotic weapon of his choice.

Bonus Feats

The fighter gains a bonus feat from the fighter bonus feat list at levels 1, 6, 13, and 20. He must meet the prerequisites of the feat in order to take it. Every fighter gains Combat Reflexes as a bonus feat at level 2.

Armor Mastery (Ex)

The fighter is able to wear light armor as if he was wearing no armor at all. This absolves him of all penalties except arcane spell failure. At level 6, he is able to wear medium armor freely. At level 11, he may wear heavy armor while incurring no penalties.

Tactics (Ex)

Beginning at level 3, the fighter adds half of his Intelligence bonus to his attack rolls and armor class, if positive. The amount added can never exceed his class level.

Save Specialty (Ex)

At levels 3, 10, 18, and 19, the fighter gains a +1 bonus to either Fortitude, Reflex, or Will saves, at his option. This is reflective of the type of training he puts himself through.

Combat Style

At level 4, the fighter chooses a fighting style; two-handed weapons, two weapons, ranged weapons, or one-handed weapons. He gains different class features based upon which style he chose.

Offensive Grace (Ex)

At levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20, the fighter increases in grace on the battlefield with regards to his offensive capabilities. A high level fighter is king of the deadly dance. If the fighter already has one of the feats granted by Offensive Grace, he may choose another feat for which he meets the prerequisites, as long as it is on the fighter bonus list.

A fighter who chose the 2-handed style gains the Power Attack and Cleave feats at level 4 and the Great Cleave feat at level 8. At levels 12, 16, and 20, he gains a +2 bonus to his attack roll whenever he uses the Power Attack feat.

A fighter who chose the two-weapon style gains the Two-Weapon Fighting feat at level 4. At level 8, any Weapon Focus or Weapon Specialization feat he takes may apply to two different types of weapons. This works retroactively. At levels 12, 16, and 20, he may make another attack in his regular attack action, as long as he is able to make that many attacks in his full attack action and is wielding a double weapon or two weapons. For example, Regdar has a full attack of 11/6/1/11/6 and is a fighter level 15. He may take a move action and an attack action in a single round, with the attack action being 11/11. He gains a level and may now make a regular attack being 12/7/12.

A fighter who chose the 1-handed style gains the Improved Shield Bash feat at level 4, and increases the damage die of any shield he wields by one step at level 8. At level 12 he may use a tower shield to shield bash, dealing 2d4 damage (not further increased by the previous ability), and any shield he wields is treated as a light weapon, although he may still Power Attack with them. At level 16, he suffers no attack penalty for wielding a tower shield or using Weapon Finesse with a shield. At levels 12, 16, and 20, he gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage with one-handed weapons and shields.

Starting at level 4, a fighter who chose the ranged weapon style deals 1d6 precision damage whenever making a full attack with a ranged weapon. This increases by 1d6 at levels 8, 12, 16, and 20. It only applies to the first attack in the round and may only be applied if the fighter is within 30 ft. of his target. A fighter with the Far Shot feat doubles this to 60 ft. In addition, the fighter gains a +1 bonus to attack rolls with ranged weapons at levels 8, 12, 16, and 20.

Defensive Grace (Ex)

At levels 5, 10, 15, and 20, the fighter increases in grace on the battlefield with regards to his defensive capabilities. A high level fighter is unlikely to have many scars. If the fighter already has one of the feats granted by Defensive Grace, he may choose another feat for which he meets the prerequisites, as long as it is on the fighter bonus list.

A fighter who chose the 2-handed weapon style gains a +1 bonus to AC when wielding a two-handed weapon at levels 5 and 15 as he learns how to better parry blows. At levels 10 and 20, he gains a +4 bonus to Intimidate checks made to demoralize an opponent when wielding a two-handed weapon. Beginning at level 10, if the fighter successfully demoralizes an opponent while wielding a two-handed weapon, he may instantly attempt another Intimidate check to make the creature frightened. At level 20, the creature is shaken/frightened for two rounds instead of one.

A fighter who chose the two-weapon style gains the Two-Weapon Defense feat at level 5. He adds an additional +1 shield bonus to his AC at levels 10, 15, and 20 when wielding a double weapon or two weapons. This bonus is doubled when using the total defense action.

A fighter who chose the 1-handed weapon style gains the Dodge and Mobility feats at level 5, the Spring Attack and Combat Expertise feats at level 10, and a +2 bonus to attack rolls when using Combat Expertise with a one-handed weapon at levels 15 and 20.

A fighter who chose the ranged weapon style gains the Improved Initiative feat at level 5, and any feat with Point Blank Shot as one of the prerequisites at level 10, even if he doesn't meet the other prerequisites. At levels 15 and 20, the fighter may take an additional 5-foot-step per round.

Penetrating Strike (Ex)

Starting at level 7, the fighter may use extra force to drive his weapon into his opponent. He adds his strength bonus to damage on top of any strength bonus to damage he was already adding, and his weapon deals piercing damage for that attack only. This takes up one attack in a round, and may be done three times per day plus the fighter's constitution bonus. On a missed strike, the attempt is wasted. This attack ignores the hardness of objects.

Infectious Strike (Ex)

Starting at level 9, the fighter may strike his foe at a wicked angle, causing his weapon to do slashing damage, have its crit range doubled, its multiplier increased by 1x, and deal 1 point of Constitution damage. The attacked creature must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 fighter level + STR mod) or come down with Filth Fever. This takes up one attack in a round, and may be done three times per day plus the fighter's constitution bonus. On a missed strike, the attempt is wasted.

Machismo (Ex)

At level 11, the fighter gains the ability to resist spells and spell-like abilities that target him which allow no saving throw. If he passes a Fortitude saving throw (DC = 10 + twice spell level + caster's casting stat), he negates some effects of the spell. If the spell has solely numerical components, such as 2d4 damage or negative levels, but not something like Forcecage, the effects of the spell are halved. If it is a save-or-a-single-thing-happens spell like Forcecage, the effects of the spell are negated. If the spell has both types of effects, one is halved and the other is negated. If the spell offers neither spell resistance nor a saving throw, it becomes a Reflex saving throw instead.

Battlefield Control (Ex)

At level 13, the fighter gains Whirlwind Attack as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. He may use Whirlwind Attack with a ranged weapon, but only against creatures within 30 ft. A fighter with the Far Shot feat doubles this to 60 ft. A fighter with the two-weapon combat style may make his extra attacks (which he gains at his Offensive Grace levels) against each opponent.

Annihilating Strike (Ex)

Starting at level 14, the fighter may put all of his strength behind a single sideswiping attack, causing the attacked creature's entire body to rattle with shock. The fighter adds double his strength bonus to damage, and his weapon deals bludgeoning damage. The attacked creature must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 fighter level + STR mod) or be stunned for 1 round. This takes up one attack in a round, and may be done three times per day plus the fighter's constitution bonus. On a missed strike, the attempt is wasted.

Lithe Destruction (Ex)

Starting at level 17, the fighter may add his Dexterity bonus to attack rolls with any weapon in addition to one-half of his Strength bonus and base his class feature DCs off of his Dexterity plus one-half of his Strength.

When using a ranged weapon or a weapon named under the Weapon Finesse feat, the fighter may add one-half his Dexterity bonus to damage (in addition to the normal Strength bonus, which hasn't changed). He multiplies this damage (after halving it) by the same amount that he multiplies his Strength bonus when using his class features. When using a composite bow or similar, he adds both one-half his Dexterity bonus and the listed Strength bonus to damage. The fighter must have the Weapon Finesse feat to apply this damage bonus, even with ranged weapons.

Any time the words "Dexterity" and "Strength" were used in the same sentence in the first paragraph, they may be switched depending on which is your higher stat. To clear this up a little:

Regdar is a level 17 fighter who uses a rapier. He has a Dexterity score of 20 and a Strength score of 16. He adds 2+3 (2.5 + 3 rounded down) to all damage rolls with it. If he had Strength 22 and Dexterity 18, he would add 6+2 to all damage rolls with it. If Regdar used a longsword and had Dexterity 19 and Strength 14, he would add the normal 2 to damage rolls, but would have a 4+1 bonus to attack rolls.

Greater Machismo

At level 20, the save DC to lessen the effects of spells or spell-like abilities as named under the Machismo ability becomes (10 + spell level + caster's casting stat).

Engine of Destruction (Ex)

At level 20, the fighter adds his Intelligence bonus to damage rolls due to his ultimate understanding of the application of tactics. He may also take a 5-foot step after Cleaving a foe in order to reach a nearby creature with his next cleave attack.

Some House Rules That I Think Should Be Put Into Play But Aren't Necessary I Guess

1. Enhancement bonuses on a shield increase attack and damage in a shield bash.
2. Power attack does not double in effectiveness for 2-handed weapons, but it does allow you to deal 3x your strength bonus in damage instead of 1.5x.
3. The Knowledge skills are useful for a fighter. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/../articles/paBcfg1YaEccDMQACfu.html)
4. Combat Expertise scales with Base Attack Bonus just like Power Attack, but at a halved rate.
5. Flying creatures can be knocked to the ground if they are damaged and fail a Concentration check (DC = damage dealt) and are stunned for 1 round afterwords.
6. The Far Shot feat doubles the range at which you can deliver precision-based damage.
7. Crossbows ignore Armor and Natural Armor bonuses to AC, unless the armor is made of adamantine, in which case it ignores the damage reduction but not the AC bonus.
8. Bolts fired from a crossbow are treated as adamantine for purposes of overcoming damage reduction and hardness, and ignore all x/- damage reduction.
9. Clerics and druids have d6 hit die. Clerics do not have heavy armor proficiency. Natural Spell and Divine Metamagic are not takeable feats.
10. Ray spells no longer require a ranged touch attack. Most ranged touch spells that do not offer saves now offer one, usually Fortitude or Will. Magic Missile is a level 3 spell which requires one ranged touch attack per target (not per missile), shooting 1 missile per caster level (maximum 15).

RMS Oceanic
2007-03-29, 06:25 AM
It's certainly an interesting variant, but I have to disagree with your decision to eliminate viable two-weapon fighting from the fighter's arsenal. I'd make four combat styles: THF, TWF, Sword&Board and Ranged.

2007-03-29, 07:26 AM
Machismo is a bit too powerful to suddenly negate all, especially considering that most other saves against spells only negate half. Also with fortitude being the highest save on fighters.
in addition, most spells without any saves are bland, so you should probably be more specific. For example, wall of thorns... how do you provide a saving throw against a wall? When you get pushed into it? The concept is a bid odd.
I recommend you add on that the fighter must be a target in order for machismo to work - as to avoid RAW issues. This handles most spells that I believe you are trying to stop (enervation?).
I also recommend you up the save DC slightly, say, 12+Spell Level+Spell Casting stat.

Baron Corm
2007-03-29, 03:22 PM
good ideas, and all added in. i was afraid of stepping on the ranger's toes a little with the two-weapon fighting, but i guess he needs a total rewrite as well. two-weapon fighting doesn't seem distinctly rangerish to me. i don't really like rangers enough to write that one though...

anyone else think this is balanced/unbalanced?

Illiterate Scribe
2007-03-29, 03:41 PM
While I like this, it just doesn't seem that different to ToB. I can't be bothered to find more examples, but Machismo<Iron Heart Surge, for example.

Kudos to you on making a class that I'd actually follow to 20th level, though.

Baron Corm
2007-03-29, 05:28 PM
to be honest i've never read ToB. should get around to doing that some day. whenever people talk about fighter-types being overpowered from this book i get curious. could you maybe briefly explain Iron Heart Surge?

edit: hmm Iron Heart Surge is one of the previews on wizards.com. seems like it doesn't work if you're already debilatated, and doesn't work on Forcecage. how's it better? how is it similar?

2007-03-31, 02:19 PM
NO way are melee types overpowered from ToB. If anything, they're still underpowered. Just ask Bears.

But I do like this variant. It's a little rough-around-the-edges, but it does have solid ability and original Fighter flavor.

2007-04-01, 04:09 AM
Well, I'm no expert on balancing, but I'm gonna use this for my campaign.