Thanks!Anywho, I'm not a fan of the "Marked" mechanic from 4E, but you do a good job of representing it in 3.5.
Zaydos said it pretty well. For myself it's not so much about game balance per se (though that is important) than it is about presenting meaningful choices that have both mechanical and role-playing weight. I think about it more in terms of what the choice means for who and what the character is than what the character can do. Both of them can fight - the choice is an example of how (and possibly why) they fight.But what's the point of having two different Styles, that the player is locked into forever once chosen? Why not just give the Fighter all of the abilities, or a choice among the abilities as they gain levels? I ask not to criticize, but because I honestly don't know the answer. The subclass concept is fairly popular right now with Pathfinder as well (Archetypes), but I haven't heard a good explanation as to how it makes the game or character creation better.
I added Profession so they can choose whichever they want as I don't see it as a big concern. Diplomacy and Knowledge (History) can easily be added as well.One critique: They ought to have the Profession skill (Siege Engineer, Mercenary, Bodyguard) and I'd give them Diplomacy and Knowledge (History) at least.
Probably, yeah. List some and I'll look over them.2) Do feats that add DR or improve armor get the [fighter] tag?
What you describe is pretty much what the Mark means. There's no visible Arcane Mark or something that the Fighter tags the enemy with. "Mark" is just a game term to describe a temporary condition imposed by the fighter keeping a careful eye on the enemy.3) I never got how some sort of "mark" ability would work for a martial class without it being supernatural. Also, why would such a "mark" be capable of penalizing a target that attacked somebody else but not the fighter itself?
Wouldn't it make much more sense to flavor the ability as suppressive fire? I.e. the fighter being trained in how to force enemies to flinch, get distracted, take cover, overbalance, retreat or overreach with her attacks, instead of imposing some sort of nebulous "mark"?
Also, why make it melee only? If the fighter needs a working tanking mechanic, having it work both at melee and at range would make it functional against all sorts of enemies, not just those engaging in melee. And the "tanking" would be accomplished by the enemy either having to go through the entire fight with a serious penalty whether the fighter is actually dealing damage or not, or with them engaging the fighter to kill them and get rid of the penalty sooner.
The idea behind the attack penalty for attacking someone other than the Fighter is that because the fighter is paying careful attention to her enemy she's able to react in the nick of time and interrupt the attack in some way, i.e. slapping the enemies crossbow with the flat of her blade, kicking dust in the eyes of a spellcaster as he casts, etc. When the enemy takes his attention off the fighter she is ready to mess him up.
Mark punishment isn't available outside melee primarily because I think it breaks verisimilitude. Within her reach the fighter controls the tempo of the fight. When enemies are outside her reach it's both literal and a metaphor; beyond her reach the fighter has little impact on others aside from the temporary aftereffects of her putting her Mark on someone (and them then leaving her reach).