View Full Version : [3.5] A versatile multi-tactic fighter build?

2008-11-02, 04:57 PM
Most fighter builds I've seen concentrate on one or two tactics. I'd like some feedback on a varied-tactics build I've been contemplating. (Granted, Tome-of-Battle classes and psychic warrior would be stronger, but please leave that aside for now.)

I'm thinking of something like this:
--Mostly fighter levels.
--Three levels of variant rogue that gets fighter feats instead of sneak attack.
--Two levels monk.
--Optional one level barbarian.

The two monk levels give two extra feats (especially important is gaining stunning fist at an early level) and boosts in all saving throws, at a cost of +1 BAB and two hit points. One level rogue is taken early, one at mid-levels, one at high levels, and nearly all skill points from the rogue levels are put into Use Magic Device; the cost of that another +1 BAB and three hit points. If I count right, this build gives 21 feats by 20th level. (20 feats if the barbarian level is taken; it gives fast movement and rage 1/day.)

The idea behind this build is to be able to use lots of tactics, and let the opponent and terrain determine optimal tactics for that battle. Use a bow whenever it is possible to attack at range without being counter-attacked; that will require several archery feats. Power attack and a few other uber-charging feats will be useful against foes with lots of hit points. Against lots of melee foes, use trip-tactics; that requires a guisarme, combat expertise, combat reflexes, improved trip, and a few other trip-build and attack-of-opportunity-build feats. Against a physically weak but magically strong foe, use stunning fist and/or improved grapple. The three two-weapon-fighting feats would also be useful in a few situations, such as two-handed-great-sword-plus-unarmed-strike TWF, throwing lots of throwing knives at a wizard who put up a wind wall against arrows, or dual-wielding some light back-up bludgeoning weapons against skeletons. Quick draw, blind fight, and improved initiative seem like important feats for this build. Plus of course it needs the feats magical aptitude and skill focus in Use Magic Device (plus masterwork crib-sheets to give another +2 to UMD skill checks).

As is typical with fighters, this build would use magic items for stat boosts, mobility (freedom of movement as soon as possible, fly at mid-levels, dimension door or teleport at high levels) and defense (armor class, saves, plus blurring or blinking at higher levels).

This build sounds fun to play, and it seems like it should work well -- changing weapons and tactics depending on the opponent and circumstances. Plus it can use wands at low levels and scrolls written by cleric or wizard buddies at higher levels when they would be most useful.

But most fighter-characters I've seen on the boards get high damage output and effectiveness by concentrating their feats and magic items on optimizing just one tactic (or at most two tactics), with the idea that by using well-chosen magic items for mobility and defense, they could usually position themselves to use their optimized attack effectively. That might work better in a large group, I wonder if a versatile-tactics build like this would be better in a two- or three-person group. Maybe it just depends on the DM and the campaign setting as to whether this build would work well.

Any ideas to help a fighter build like this (that don't involve switching to spell-casting, psionics, or Tome of Battle)? Or is concentrating on just one or two fighting tactics always a better idea?

2008-11-02, 05:25 PM
Even with their bonus feats, Fighters would still be starved if you tried to spread so thin. Try and work out your build, and you'll see that you're lacking a lot of feats to be really effective at any one thing. Going Archery/Melee/Stunning Fist also makes you dangerously MAD, and largely poor scaling. The only stats you can afford to dump are CHA and INT, and with the few skill points you're getting, it's pretty vital to keep it up as well, especially since it qualifies for some feats. So, you're just as MAD as a Monk now, and that never works well.

Edit: Looks like you want UMD, too? Then you can't even afford to dump CHA.

2008-11-02, 06:06 PM
I've built a "multitactical" Fighter 20 who was a competent charger, bull rusher, AoO combatant and area controller with fine will- and fort-saves, anti-mage maneuvers, solid mobility and overall a good bunch of different tactics smashed together.

That said, what you're trying to do can't really be done. More precisely, the Archery-part doesn't work. Being a good archer entails a ton of resources spent on the bow and feats. Really, a good martial archer is very difficult to build even without trying for anything else. Warblade and Psychic Warrior could both pull it off due to their varied abilities giving them increased ranged prowess while providing them with all the melee they need so they can focus all their non-Power Attack feats on ranged power. Other than that, if you're not making a Swift Hunter, you're going to be very poor in archery later on simply due to your low damage output. Heck, even a Dervish of mine who had Skirmish and huge Dex and Str still sucked at archery simply because one can't spare the feats for Rapid Shot (a prerequisite for remotedly competitive archery) let alone stuff like Ranged Weapon Mastery, or money for the bow (since you need enhancements on your primary weapon too). We faced a Dragon before I had any means of flight and I did maybe 15 points of damage to it over 6 rounds out of the 200 it finally took to kill it - basically the whole job fell to our mage, and me and my bow were totally useless (although one pimpy on-the-spot-thought readied jump attack with scimitar did do maybe 20 points).

Really, that's the main issue in your build (aside from the stat requirements) - you can have a variety of tactics in melee and be rather effective, but throwing bows into the mix just means you don't have enough resources to pull anything off properly (just basic bow usage requires 3 feats: Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot and Rapid Shot - furthermore, you need an expensive bow and probably stuff like Ranged Weapon Mastery, which requires three more feats). Social abilities are doable if you have the stats to pull it off. If you have 15 Charisma, you can pick up Imperious Command [Drow of the Underdark] and add another awesome trick into your bag. It does require quite a bit of Int too to be decent socially though (or using the Thug Fighter (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#fighterVariantThug) from Unearthed Arcana).

So yea, you can make a good multitactical Fighter as long as you don't try to make him an archer too, but to make a doable archer/melee, you really should use ToB, Psionics or spellcasting.

2008-11-02, 06:10 PM
Haberdash the Masked: The 3.5 Kitchen Sink

It can cast, but you don't have to. It can do psionics, but you don't have too. It is better from ToB, but you don't have to.

It does everything else too. All exotic weapons with silly good combos.

2008-11-02, 06:22 PM
Haberdash the Masked: The 3.5 Kitchen Sink

It can cast, but you don't have to. It can do psionics, but you don't have too. It is better from ToB, but you don't have to.

It does everything else too. All exotic weapons with silly good combos.

I totally forgot about suggesting Factotums! *facepalm* So yea, if you want to do anything, play a Factotum. You get your Int to everything including To Hit, Damage, Trip-checks, Grapple-checks, Initiative, skill-checks and everything else. Then just get big enough original values and you can build a character that literally has no limits to his options. Of course, that's not the kind of Fighter that's the aim here, but it's by far the easiest means to gain multiple competencies without being broken.