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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Apr 2007

    Default A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5] [Edited 9/22]

    Why Go Featless? (My New Fighter Philosophy)
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    To my knowledge, there are at least three basic guidelines for fighter fixes (at least on these boards):
    1. First, a fighter fix should be relatively simple (otherwise, you might as well use a reflavored warblade).
    2. Second, a fighter must be essentially nonmagical (though the rule of cool/awesome may apply).
    3. Finally, a fighter (keeping in line with the original) should be kept vanilla in flavor wherever possible.

    Obviously, this list isnít universal as I have seen complex fighter fixes, magical fighters, and fighter fixes with very specific ideas of what a fighter should be. Further, I know that my reasoning certainly doesnít apply to everyone (someone may want a complex fighter instead of a warblade because they donít like per-encounter mechanics, as one small example) and that others have their own additional metrics that they apply to each fighter fix they see. Even so, these three points seem to be at the heart of a good many fighter fixes Iíve seen.

    For this particular work, however, I want to focus on guideline #3 in particular. A good deal of fighter fixes deal with #3 by keeping must things as bonus feats or menu abilities, giving set class features only to shore up universal weaknesses/needs or to acknowledge near-universal attributes (such as bravery or grit). I have also seen some homebrewers deal with #3 by simultaneously making several different fighter classes that each address a different outlook/ability score so that the different approaches kind of balance out (Iíve done something similar myself). With this fix, I am taking a third approach that Iíve only seen a small handful of times. This class aims to grant a fighter a basic level of proficiency in all essential areas of combat automatically.

    Before I go further, I guess I should clarify that last point a bit. Basically, I do not believe that the arena of mundane combat (or mundane play in general, for that matter) is anywhere nearly as wide as some seem to believe it is. You have saving throws, skill checks, attack rolls, and damage rolls. Beyond that, there are a couple of big things like movement or action economy but most other mundane needs or wants you would possess can be split into three categories.

    First, you have broad defenses that you could be hosed for not possessing (such as lacking grapple against large foes) or not overcoming (such as miss chances).

    Secondly, there are dozens (or hundreds) of similar needs that only come up in corner cases or when faced against specific spells or abilities (wind wall, wings of cover, etc)

    Finally, there are optional modes of offense at your disposal such as two-weapon fighting or tripping that could certainly benefit you but that will almost never be vital for you to possess.

    My point here is that the number of things that a fighter would realistically need in average combat (disregarding the tons of corner case conveniences and optional attack modes) is quite finite. Further, I believe that with a versatile central mechanic, I can do away with bonus feats and menus while keeping to the three guidelines above with one chassis.

    Of course, all of this begs the question of why. Why use this third method at all when there are established means of keeping vanilla flavor? What is my problem with bonus feats and menus when weíve been using them for so long? Why not simply make better fighter feats as many others have?

    Well, I for one think that reliance on the ďbuild-your-own-combatantĒ model of fighter design is one of the bigger flaws with the class. It has many of other problems, of course, such as reliance on magic items or having no role out of combat, but the hyperfocus on feats and menus (and the hyperfocus that such things tend to create) really hurts the fighter as well (especially for inexperienced players).

    The problem is that many fighter fixes are highly reliant on menus and bonus feats for offensive purposes. Even though a fix may grant you mettle, grant you a couple of immunities, and let you make a full attack at the end of a charge, a good many will grant you no benefits with ranged weapons beyond base attack bonus unless you make the deliberate choice in feats or abilities. Unless you choose to specialize in grappling, many will grant you no benefit in escaping them beyond your BAB. In other words, the moment a traditional ubercharger meets a flying creature or a stealthy grappler, the fighter is likely reduced to little more than a warrior with better gear. I canít speak for you guys but I donít like that running into a combat that isnít one of your 1-2 specialties might reduce your offensive abilities to BAB, your Str/Dex scores, and magic items.

    Of course, there are several possible responses to this argument. You could say that players are responsible for balancing their various needs, though Iíve rarely seen this carried out in practice as the great proliferation of feats for every area of combat, combined with pressure from higher-tiered classes, seem to incentivize specialization. You could let players freely switch out their feats to adjust to their environment while minimizing change to the class. For many of us, who possess near-encyclopaedic knowledge of fighter feats (especially after trying to fix the class for so long), this approach seems quite sound and practical. For a newcomer who went right to the fighter for something simple, however, handing over a long list of abilities and expecting them to switch on the fly is a bitÖ not fitting with the goal of simplicity. Further, unless you plan on consolidating the feat list (so there are only 1-2 melee feats, 1-2 ranged feats, etc), making new or better feats (another common solution) would only exacerbate the problem as optimization in any one area of combat would involve more and more feat.

    Instead of relying on menus or feats, I decided to elevate the fighterís strength in combat altogether. In advance, I know that this is not the one perfect solution. I know that some people hate the warblade for reaching tier 3 pretty much regardless of how it is built or who like how specific builds/system mastery make the difference between sucking and excelling at a given class. I know everyone wonít like how everyone playing this fighter ends up mostly the same. I know that this class departs from the base fighter in a big way and fails to reach tier 3.

    Even so, I feel that this is the class that I set out to make: a fighter class that could approach >90% of combats and bring more than just BAB to the table without any specialization.
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2013-09-22 at 10:29 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
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    AssassinGuy

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    Apr 2007

    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5]

    THE FIGHTER

    This class is an alteration to my most recent fighter fix, attempting to keep things simple and streamlined and letting the fighter adapt instead of forcing their one and only specialty onto any encounter they meet. I have also done away with bonus feats entirely. While this isnít the strongest or flashiest fighter fix, it was made for easy use and to let fighters participate meaningfully in most forms of combat without specialization.
    Alignment: Any
    Hit Die: d10

    Class Skills:
    The fighterís class skills (and key ability score for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spot (Wis), and Swim (Str).
    Skill Points at 1st Level: (4 + Int modifier) ◊ 4
    Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 4 + Int modifier

    The Fighter
    {table=head]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special|Combat Mastery

    1st|+1|+2|+0|+0|Combat Mastery, Offensive Combat Style|1 point

    2nd|+2|+3|+0|+0|Armsmaster, Combat Focus|1 point

    3rd|+3|+3|+1|+1|Defensive Combat Style|2 points

    4th|+4|+4|+1|+1|Expanded Mastery (Hinder)|2 points

    5th|+5|+4|+1|+1|Offensive Combat Style|3 points

    6th|+6/+1|+5|+2|+2|Combat Focus|3 points

    7th|+7/+2|+5|+2|+2|Defensive Combat Style|4 points

    8th|+8/+3|+6|+2|+2|Expanded Mastery (Support)|4 points

    9th|+9/+4|+6|+3|+3|Offensive Combat Style|5 points

    10th|+10/+5|+7|+3|+3|Combat Focus|5 points

    11th|+11/+6/+1|+7|+3|+3|Defensive Combat Style|6 points

    12th|+12/+7/+2|+8|+4|+4|Expanded Mastery (Disable)|6 points

    13th|+13/+8/+3|+8|+4|+4|Offensive Combat Style|7 points

    14th|+14/+9/+4|+9|+4|+4|Combat Focus|7 points

    15th|+15/+10/+5|+9|+5|+5|Defensive Combat Style|8 points

    16th|+16/+11/+6/+1|+10|+5|+5|Expanded Mastery (Rally)|8 points

    17th|+17/+12/+7/+2|+10|+5|+5|Offensive Combat Style|9 points

    18th|+18/+13/+8/+3|+11|+6|+6|Combat Focus|9 points

    19th|+19/+14/+9/+4|+11|+6|+6|Defensive Combat Style|10 points

    20th|+20/+15/+10/+5|+12|+6|+6|Veteranís Tactics|10 points

    [/table]

    Class Features:

    Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Fighters are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, as well as with all forms of armor and with shields (including tower shields).

    Combat Mastery: As a fighter, you possess deep wells of training and experience that you can call upon in combat. You gain one mastery point at each odd level, points that can be spent in a number of ways as described below. You regain all spent mastery points at the end of your actions each round.

    Conflict: You may spend any number of points before making an attack roll with a weapon to add a competence bonus of equal size to your roll. With a successful attack roll, you may spend any number of points before rolling for damage to gain a competence bonus twice as large to that single damage roll (this bonus is not multiplied with a successful critical hit).

    Defense: You may spend any number of points before making a saving throw to add a competence bonus of equal size to your roll. Further, you may spend points to gain a competence of equal size against any attack made against you before the attack roll is made (you must be aware of the attack and capable of movement to gain this last bonus).

    Practice: Whenever you would make any other d20 roll to which you add a physical ability score modifier (Strength, Dexterity, and/or Constitution), you may spend a number of points before rolling to add a competence bonus of equal size to your roll.

    Tactics: You may spend a single mastery point to draw or sheath a weapon as a free action, make a single provoked attack of opportunity beyond your normal limit for the round, add a +5 foot bonus to your speed or that of your mount for the duration of a single move or charge action, increase the range increment of a ranged or thrown weapon by +5 feet for your next attack, or reduce a miss chance that would apply to your next attack by 10% before making the attack roll (to a minimum of 0%). The final three effects all stack with themselves.

    Notes and Explanation:
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    While this ability may seem complex, it really isnít that involved. You gain a small pool of points each round that you can spend to add to your AC, Will saves, and/or dice rolls you add physical ability modifiers to. In addition, you gain a small allotment of feat-like abilities that help round out the fighter.

    While incapable of doing everything, these points are designed for optimal versatility, covering a huge chunk of a fighterís weaknesses. It can patch up poor saves and low touch AC, add to ranged damage, overcome long distances and miss chances, boost your initiative to let you go first, pump Strength/Con checks along with a wide variety of skills to give you usefulness out of battle, lets you bull rush/grapple/etc with some real competenceÖ the list goes on.


    Combat Styles: With enough time and experience, no two fighters are exactly the same, specializing in fighting under specific circumstances. You gain one offensive combat style at 1st, 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th levels and gain one defensive combat style at 3rd, 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th levels. Each combat style is chosen from a list of circumstances below and a single circumstance may be chosen both as an offensive and as a defensive combat style. At the beginning of each round, you gain two bonus mastery points for each combat style you possess that describes your situation. Bonus points from offensive combat styles can only be spent on conflict while bonus points from defensive combat styles can only be spent on defense (see the combat mastery class feature, above).
    Circumstances:
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    • You are adjacent to one or no enemies.
    • You are adjacent to two or more enemies.
    • You are adjacent to one or no allies.
    • You are adjacent to two or more allies.
    • You have moved at least 10 feet last round.
    • You have moved no more than 5 feet last round.
    • You wear light or no armor.
    • You wear medium or heavy armor.
    • Your off-hand has been empty for the entire previous round.
    • Your off-hand has held a melee weapon for the entire previous round.
    • Your off-hand has held a ranged weapon for the entire previous round.
    • You carry no more than a light load.
    • You are riding upon a trained mount.
    • You possess at least half of your total hit points.
    • You possess under half of your total hit points.


    Notes and Explanation:
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    Of course, the biggest problem with any round-by-round point system is the pressure it puts on new players, who donít want to waste their points on the wrong things. This ability is made to alleviate this pressure a bit and help stop every single fighter from feeling like carbon copies (while not perfect at this last task, itís still more variation than the PHB barbarian allows).

    In effect, this ability gives you two sub-pools of points that can only be used on offense or can only be used on defense so long as you meet certain requirements (many of which are simple and a couple of which are more or less freebies). In this way, less pressure rides on how the player chooses to use their multi-purpose points each around.


    Armsmaster Starting at 2nd level, you have such experience in the battlefield that you can make the most out of whatever weaponry or armor you happen to possess at hand. You and/or your mount gain a +1 enhancement bonus to all attack and damage rolls and are always treated as wielding a magical weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and incorporeality. If you are wearing armor and/or your mount is wearing barding, it gains a +1 enhancement bonus. If you are using a shield, it gains a +1 enhancement bonus. All of these bonuses increase by +1 for every 4 class levels that you possess. Armor, barding, and shields enhanced in this way are treated as masterwork. Any weapon granted a +6 bonus in this way overcomes damage reduction as an epic weapon.

    Notes and Explanation:
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    Every time that I see these types of features pop up, I see people point out how saving a bit of money doesnít really matter in the long run and how the fighter ďdoesnít need bigger numbersĒ. At the end of the day, however, this ability isnít about getting bigger numbers but about keeping relevant numbers across a number of situations without forcing you to spend all of your money. In fact, this type of ability is all but required so make something like an armsmaster feasible.

    In normal conditions, playing as an armsmaster isnít really possible at high levels since level-appropriate weapons each cost so much. If you want bludgeoning AND piercing AND slashing damage at high levels, you need a weapon that can change form as even one-level appropriate weapon takes up a huge chunk of your wealth. Similarly, you need a metalline weapon if you want access to multiple forms of metal because buying separate level-appropriate silver/adamantine/cold iron weaponry would kill your budget. This isnít even going into people who want to use mechanical differences between weapons (such as someone who wants a separate reach weapon and a melee weapon and a ranged weapon), the horror of two-weapon fighting, and the prospect of getting a mount with decent barding.

    First of all, this ability allows you to carry a mundane bludgeoning weapon/slashing weapon/piercing weapon/silver weapon/adamantine weapon/cold iron weapon/byeshk weapon/melee weapon/reach weapon/long-range projectile weapon/thrown weapon to overcome wind walls/bolas and nets to subdue foe/alchemical fire or acid to deal with special foes/heavy shield/armor/barding for your horse and benefit from each and every one of those items as if they were decent magical items even though you may have received them for peanuts.

    Secondly, this ability allows your equipment to grow in a sense. First, this means that you could go through your career with the first sword youíve ever touched and not suffer too badly. Secondly, you can hold onto a weapon with a good ability but low enhancement modifier (such as a luck blade) without suffering in combat. Finally, this means that you could get or commission a weapon with lots of non-enhancement abilities and clean house (EX: +6 brilliant energy vorpal greatsword).

    And yeah, this ability does step on the toes of the soulknife to some degree. With that said, however, very few soulknife fixes Iíve seen have concentrated purely on the blade without either greatly improving it or adding incarnum or real psionics or some other such benefit.


    Combat Focus: Starting at 2nd level, you can press yourself in combat to achieve great feats that most creatures canít hope to accomplish. As a swift action, you may gain either offensive or defensive focus (your choice) for one round, as described below:

    Offensive Focus: When you focus on offense, you gain a bonus equal to your fighter level split any way you choose among your physical ability scores. No bonus to a single ability score may exceed +4 at 2nd level, +6 and 10th level, or +8 at 18th level.

    Starting at 6th level, whenever you focus on offense, you may make a single full attack within the next round as a standard action, at the end of a charge, or as an attack of opportunity. Starting at 14th level, you may take an extra standard action that round that can only be used to attack (or full attack) with natural or manufactured weaponry or an extra move action that can only be used to move that round.

    Defensive Focus: When you focus on defense, you gain temporary hit points equal to twice your fighter level. Starting at 6th level, you also gain a 20% miss chance against all attacks (you must be capable of movement to gain this benefit). At 14th level, the miss chance increases to 50%.

    Starting at 10th level, whenever you focus on defense, you may free yourself from a single non-instantaneous effect you have failed a saving throw against (you must be capable of taking mental actions of your own free will to use this ability) of your choice. Starting at 18th level, you may instead free yourself from any or all such effects.

    Notes and Explanation:
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    In addition to giving the fighter a set of points to spend each one, it gets to make a choice between offense and defense each round. By 20th level, the choice is basically between +8 Str/+8 Dex/+4 Con and two full attacks (offense) and 40 temp hit points and a 50% miss chance and losing all temporary conditions on yourself (defense).

    Before anyone corrects me, I know that Con is generally the worst ability score to choose for a 1 round buff. With that said, a character fighting in melee with heavy armor (hardly an unrealistic scenario) may not have much use for Dex and see more benefit in the Fort bonus that Con provides.


    Expanded Mastery: Starting at 4th level, your mastery over the ebb and flow of combat expands, allowing you to specialize in certain aspects of combat while increasing your personal influence over the allies you fight with and enemies you harm. In effect, this class feature serves two functions. First, at 4th level, 8th level, 12th level, and 16th level, you gain brand new ways to spend your mastery points, as indicated on the table above. Secondly, at each such level, you may select a single specialization from the list below. Each specialization doubles the benefits that your combat mastery class feature adds to certain rolls or in certain circumstances and grants an additional specific benefit. Multiple doublings do not stack and no specialization may be taken more than once unless otherwise specified. Once a specialization has been chosen, it cannot be changed.

    Hinder (4th level): You are skilled at engaging with enemies in the battlefield, controlling their movements with canny strategies and devastating blows. If you could use your combat mastery class feature to add a bonus to a roll through conflict, defense, or tactics, you may spend mastery points to impose a penalty half as large to an identical roll that a creature you have attacked within the past round attempts (you may pay 2 mastery points to impose a -1 penalty to an attack roll or -2 penalty to a damage roll, for example). Use of this ability must be declared before the roll is made.

    Support (8th level): Not only are you exceptional at dealing with enemies but you have extensive experience rallying your allies for combat as well. If you could use your combat mastery class feature to add a bonus to a roll through conflict, defense, or tactics, you may spend mastery points to add a bonus half as large to an identical roll that an ally who can see and hear you attempts (you may pay 2 mastery points to add a +1 bonus to an attack roll or a +2 bonus to a damage roll, for example). Use of this ability must be declared before the roll is made.

    Disable (12th level): Beyond simply hindering the action of an enemy on the battlefield, you can help to knock it out of the fight altogether. Whenever you damage a creature with an attack, you may spend any number of mastery points and multiply that number by x 5. If the result exceeds half of the targetís remaining hp after the attack, you may leave the foe staggered for one round or blinded or deafened for 1d4 rounds (your choice). If the result exceeds the targetís remaining hp after the attack, you may instead leave the target dazed for 1 round or confused or frightened for 1d4 rounds (your choice).

    Rally (16th level): Beyond simply inspiring those who fight alongside you, you possess the ability to inspire action in others. During your action, you may spend any number of mastery points to grant an ally who can hear and see you a move action that cannot be used to move further than 5 feet per point spent. Alternately, the ally may be allowed to immediately make an attack, though this attack may not deal more than 5 damage per point spent (after applying damage reduction and similar defenses), though other effects (such as poison or improved grab) may be employed as normal. You may affect no creature more than once per round with this ability.

    Specializations
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    • Charger: double bonuses from combat mastery to attack rolls and damage rolls made at the end of a charge. You may charge through occupied squares or other forms of difficult terrain and may make a single 90-degree turn while charging, though all other restrictions remain in place.
    • Competitor: double bonuses from combat mastery to opposed rolls you make. You do not provoke attacks of opportunity for attempting to bull rush, disarm, grapple, overrun, sunder, or trip.
    • Mageslayer: double bonuses from combat mastery to AC and saving throws against the effects of spells and spell-like abilities. Spellcasters you have attacked within the past round (whether or not you hit or dealt damage) cannot cast defensively.
    • Opportunist: double bonuses from combat mastery to attack and damage rolls with attacks of opportunity. Creatures within your threatened area canít take 5-foot steps or use the withdraw action.
    • Sharpshooter: double bonuses to range increments from combat mastery. Your ranged weapon attacks ignore wind with force less than a hurricane as well as non-instantaneous spells effects without targets (such as solid fog or wall of force but not protection from arrows).
    • Specialist: Select two skills dependent on a physical ability score modifier such as balance or climb. Double the bonuses gained from combat mastery to skill checks with the chosen skills. You double the normal benefits when using aid another for one of those two skills and may do so as a move action. You may select this option multiple times, selecting two new skills each time.
    • Weaver: double bonuses from combat mastery to AC against attacks of opportunity. You may use a move action to move both before and after taking a standard action, dividing your speed between the two movements however you see fit.
    • Whirlwind: double bonuses from combat mastery to damage rolls made with weapons held in your off-hand. Enemies treat all squares you threaten as difficult terrain and cannot use the tumble skill to pass through the area.


    Notes and Explanation:
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    So here is the big new addition, another dualistic class feature that I don't want to split in two (I really like these things for some reason ), both of which amount to improvements on combat mastery.

    First, the fighter finally gains the ability to interact with allies and do more to enemies than just damage them. With that said, some people out there may wonder why disable uses some of the more powerful conditions when weaker ones like sickened or shaken appear nowhere.

    Well, while my inner child adores the fluffy connotations of each and every minor condition, my inner cynic sees most of them as redundant penalties to certain rolls (see sickened, shaken, dazzled, fatigued) with maybe minor additions thrown on (such as how fatigue stops you from running). As boring as it may seem, hinder is an abstraction that I feel can more or less replicate a good fraction of the conditions not directly addressed in the class feature.

    Along with these universal improvements to combat mastery, you gain the ability to specialize a bit, gaining a limited number of specialties where your numbers are bigger and giving you a small static ability.

    A couple of issues to address with this class feature:
    1)When using rally or hinder to deal with rolls related to a specialty, the two parts of this ability do interact (if you have opportunist, for example, you could spend mastery points to grant an ally an equal bonus to their attacks with attacks of opportunities)
    2)The lockdown of mageslayer + opportunist + whirlwind was entirely intended. Even with standstill out there, I don't see any problems with forcing threatened enemies to fight you.


    Veteranís Tactics: Starting at 20th level, you have gained the experience requires to pierce through most extraordinary dangers with a bit of forethought. At all times, you gain one of the three benefits listed below. You may switch which benefit you receive as a swift action.

    Veteranís Resolve: After withstanding all manner of injury and ailment, you fight for life with a tenacity that few can maintain, withstanding most attempts to snuff out your life. In effect, you gain the benefits of an extraordinary death ward effect.

    Veteranís Urgency: You know from experience that a few seconds can be the deciding factor between success and failure; between life and death. When you decide that you need to get somewhere, very little can stop you. In effect, you gain the benefits of an extraordinary freedom of movement, ignores difficult terrain, and fail to provoke attacks of opportunity with your movement.

    Veteranís Instincts: After much experience on the battlefield, you are incredibly difficult to fool or beguile, picking up the smallest clues from your environment, and often anticipating your opponentsí next move. In effect, you gain the benefits of an extraordinary true seeing effect.

    Notes and Explanation:
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    And for the capstone of this class, I actually chose to give a defensive ability as I couldnít think of anything too aggressive. As it is, you have 3 fundamental mid-level defensive buffs, roughly linked to each of the three saving throws, that you can shift between as a swift action. Even though magical effects are being imitated, however, I still think that these abilities can act extraordinary in nature.
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2013-09-22 at 07:55 PM.
    I'm try not to be too vain but this was too perfect not to sig.
    Quote Originally Posted by Primal Fury View Post
    okay RoC, that is enough! the gitp boards can only take so much awsome, you might actually hurt somebody with this one!
    At long last, I have an extended signature

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5]

    EXTRA NOTES

    Why Iím Not Countering Magic:
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    Yeah, some people out there no doubt see my claim that Iím aiding ďessential combat modesĒ and ask why certain fighters are still utterly hosed by weak spells. Why canít the fighter ignore magical sources of cover (meaning wings of cover)? Why donít the ranged weapons of fighter ignore magical impediments (meaning wind wall and solid fog)? Hell, why doesnít this fighter have a specific counter for *insert broken spell here* in general?

    Yes, spellcasters are broken. Yes, they have stupidly powerful low-level spells that nullify fighters. Yes, a fighter may well find him or herself facing off against a caster and fighting them could be considered an essential combat mode. Ultimately, however, the problems that people tend to point out seem less involved with fighting casters than with fighting specific spells or strategies. Granting basic competence at fighting casters would thus realistically involve dozens of tiny specific bonuses and immunities and it seems odd to view dealing with one of thousands of spells as being just as essential as dealing with fundamental aspects of combat (such as grappling or using thrown weapons). While opinions may vary, I donít think that you need specific immunity against the few effects specifically made to stop archery in order to call yourself a passable archer (at least in most encounters).

    As for defense against spellcasting, you already get bonuses to your saves, a bonus to your AC that applies to touch AC, and the ability to shake off unwanted effects. While some ďstandardĒ defenses such as evasion/mettle and spell resistance arenít in current use, I didnít think they were that essential.


    Why No Leadership is Involved:
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    When I posted up the fighter fix this one is derived from, one comment told me that it was missing leadership/reputation abilities. That a fighter should grow to be a marshal/general with reputation and/or auras are certainly ideas Iíve seen floating around in the past. There is one specific reason why Iíve never bought into this sort of reasoning, however.

    You could make the argument that EVERY class deserves leadership. Iím not joking here at all. Sure, you could claim that every fighter 20 should be the general of a huge army. I could easily counter that every rogue 20 should be running a thievesí guild, every barbarian 20 should be a chieftain, every wizard 20 should be in charge of a college or wizard tower, and that every cleric 20 should be a tremendous figure with a huge amount of power within his or her religion. If you have amassed the experience, influence, and wealth associated with reaching high levels, having a reputation and gaining control of others should be expected of just about ANYONE.

    You can ask why this class doesnít have auras that help others fight but Iím just going to question why nobody makes rogue fixes with skill-related auras and more barbarians canít help their allies enter rages. Seriously, I see no direct link between ďfighterĒ and ďleaderĒ that other classes lack.


    This is neither a factotum nor incarnum
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    Just because I expect someone to make the comparison, I would like to quickly say that combat mastery is distinct from both the inspiration ability of factotums (regaining points each round and spending them on a point-by-point basis) and from the essentia use of incarnum-users (letting you ďspontaneouslyĒ apply these points over the course of each round).
    I'm try not to be too vain but this was too perfect not to sig.
    Quote Originally Posted by Primal Fury View Post
    okay RoC, that is enough! the gitp boards can only take so much awsome, you might actually hurt somebody with this one!
    At long last, I have an extended signature

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Male

    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5]

    I actually really like this fix. You set out knowing clearly what you wanted to do and why, and did it. A lot of people get flak for fighter fixes because they deliberately aim for tier 3 and higher, and fall flat repeatedly.

    Here, you set out to make a class that is a versatile mundane combatant in a way that doesn't use a bunch of bonus feats, but is instead very new-player friendly. You succeeded wonderfully at achieving that goal.



    Some notes on the class itself:
    -Combat Focus feels too cluttered as it is. Since it takes a swift action to activate regardless, why not unlink the offensive and defensive one? Make them separate abilities. It will make the table a little more cluttered, but it will make reading the abilities a lot easier to understand.

    -The defensive combat focus feels really strong. Yes, offensive gets you an extra full attack, but the enhancement bonus to stats is going to be pretty weak compared to easily obtainable gear at mid levels, and only a marginal improvement over the gear at 18-20th level.

    By comparison, you can gain 40 temp HP per round, get rid of all status effects on you, and have a 50% miss chance? That is like DMM Persist Cleric levels of survivability. If that's your intended strength level, the offensive focus probably needs some improvement.

    -Veteran's Urgency is much weaker than the other two options. Freedom of Movement just looses its umph when you can spend a swift action to get rid of any movement impairing effects regardless. By comparison Death Ward protects you from status effects you can't just shrug off (see: Death), and True Seeing is a great general utility that counters something your generally high saves/status shrugging can't handle. Maybe have Mindblank as the third option instead?

    -You really seem to like enhancement bonuses. As mentioned above this hurts the Offensive Combat Focus, but it also cripples the movement speed increase (seriously does it hurt anything to let the Fighter move faster when using boots of speed, or while hasted?)


    -Some of the combat styles seem much easier to game than others. Always Wear Heavy Armor and carry a light load? Easy. Keep a melee weapon in my hand? Also easy. By comparison, staying adjacent to 1 or no enemies, or multiple enemies, or even staying near certain numbers of allies? These are things that you can't always control, and thus become trap options when sitting next to things that are easy to control for.
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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5]

    Nice. Apparently today is Fighter fix day. Who knew.

    Minor nitpick: I personally consider the Armsmaster bonus to be close to a "cop-out" ability. Cumulatively, the bonuses are very much worth while. But it's not really worth taking another level of a class to get +1 stuff. And while it's convenient to get a bunch of unnamed bonuses to various things, they can all be purchased or duplicated other ways. So those levels where you only gain +1 to Armsmaster (4th, 8th, 12th, 16th) feels like dead-ish levels to me.

    But you may wish to either make Armsmaster a simple formula (you gain a bonus to all AC, to-hit, damage... equal to 1 + 1/4 your Fighter class level) and just add more abilities. Or you could make the pacing of abilities less uneven, maybe gaining Combat Styles on even levels, and Combat Mastery Points and Armsmaster or Combat Focus on odd levels.

    Anyway, this I recognize this as a personal preference and not a mechanical deficiency or criticism of your homebrew. Please don't take it as such.

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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5]

    Yay:

    1) Class does not absolutely require magic items or is shut down by a wizard's shaped AMF that won't affect the wizard.

    2) Round-by-round tactical options that put some thought and variation even in standard and full attacks.

    3) Good survivability against physical combat.



    Nay:

    1) No feats. Seriously, the class could have some bonus feats to give some flavoring and specialization, especially in the semi-dead armsmaster levels. I know it was intended to avoid feats from the beginning but still...

    2) Lack of interesting active effects. Most fighter fixes that rely on numerical bonuses suffer from this. However, this one is a bit worse due to its lack of feats.

    3) Lack of customizability. Any two fighter 20s will be 80% the same. They may be using different tactics at any given moment but their range of tactics and available effects do not differ.


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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5]

    You regain all spent mastery points at the start of each round
    Make it "at the end of your turn, after any readied action". This lets you spend points on defence *without having to preemptively save them*.

    With a successful attack roll, you may spend any number of points before rolling for damage to gain a competence bonus twice as large to that single damage roll or of equal size to all further weapon damage rolls you make for one round (this bonus does not stack with itself and is not multiplied with a successful critical hit).
    Static damage is boring, even if it is strong.

    I'd do something like "burn 1 point to deal +[W] damage, 3 to deal +2[W] damage, 5 to deal +3[W] damage, etc" on a single attack.
    Further, you may spend points to gain a competence bonus twice as large to your AC against a single attack of opportunity or of equal size against any other attack made against you before the attack roll is made (you must be aware of the attack and capable of movement to gain this last bonus).
    Cannot parse. I could guess, but cannot parse.

    As an aside, the name "Combat Mastery" doesn't make sense, as it helps you outside combat.

    reduce a miss chance that would apply to your next attack by 10% before making the attack roll (to a minimum of 0%)
    Note that this makes reducing miss chances cheaper than boosting your accuracy.

    Your off-hand has held a melee weapon for the entire previous round
    Note that a two-weapon fighter and a two-handed fighter and *technically* a shield user all qualify for this style.

    Armsmaster
    Simply make then (Ex) enhancement bonuses you grant to weapons and tools you use. This removes the stacking clause.

    Note that the effect of your system is that players will be tempted to use +1 weapons with +9 enhancement bonuses in non-bonus enhancements?

    Combat Focus
    With no use limit, I would be tempted to strip it and make it a bunch of passive benefits.

    Active benefits should be *interesting*, in my opinion, not just "+8 to strength that is basically always on, that I can swap for +8 to dex if I need to".

    You already have a fiddly resource management subsystem (the Combat Mastery system), why have another?

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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post
    Note that this makes reducing miss chances cheaper than boosting your accuracy.
    That's not necessarily a bad thing, given that miss chances are circumstantial.

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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Belial_the_Leveler View Post
    1) No feats. Seriously, the class could have some bonus feats to give some flavoring and specialization, especially in the semi-dead armsmaster levels. I know it was intended to avoid feats from the beginning but still...
    I second that motion.
    Bonus feat at levels 4, 8, 12 & 16 would make those levels not so boring and allow for a bit more combat customization that other full BAB classes.

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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5]

    This is surprisingly good for a Fighter fix. It's probably actually workable for a drop-in replacement, in fact, unlike most of the dozens of others I've seen. However, a few of the abilities could use simplified wording and a bit more clarity, as others have already mentioned.
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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Nice. Apparently today is Fighter fix day. Who knew.
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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5]

    As pointed out, armsmaster can indeed be consolidated into a level 2 ability, freeing up space at levels 4, 8, 12, and 16 for something else. As for what to use, however, I'm still not sure.

    Let me say that I can certainly understand why some people are suggesting bonus feats. They are both fighter-y and allow for additional difference between fighters within the class chassis.

    With that said, I'm not sure about about using feats (and not just because I'd have to change the title of this thread ). To be perfectly explicit with some goals for this class, I was aiming to REPLACE (or otherwise negate the need for) 90% of bonus feats with class features rather than supplementing. Similarly, I was attached to enhancement bonuses in the original draft as I was trying to REPLACE belts of giant strength, boots of speed, and the like to free money for other things.

    This class was not in any way about directly pumping up the fighter but about setting it to a stable level of power and diversity, replacing the feats and magic items that the normal fighter relied on instead of actively supplementing them. I put the math at a certain level where things seem pretty stable more or less by design and if you want to pump up your numbers any higher with weapon focus/ improved initiative/ point-blank shot, I feel no compunctions about forcing you to spend one of your normal feats on it instead of on an option that provides new options like two-weapon fighting or a non-combat feat like leadership.

    Of course, I'm not entirely immune to counterargument. If you really think that the fighter should have fighter feats, please do tell me why a fighter would need over 7-8 feats. Most feats that just add numbers strike me as either broken or pretty unnecessary (not meaning that they aren't good but rather that they aren't essential), most chains purely related to new options (not including offshoots that just provide uneccesary numbers like two-weapon defense for two-weapon fighting) only take a small handful of feats, and I doubt that too many fighter builds really need more than 2 or 3 specialties/gimmicks.

    Mind you, if bonus feats are not used, I will definitely find some alternate choice-based system that will allow fighters to stand apart from one another in different ways as it really does seem that I have a full 4 levels open. I am merely curious if anyone has any particularly strong arguments as to a fighter really needing lots of feats.
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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5]

    Then may I suggest addressing the action economy? (full attack as a standard action, moving in between attacks, gaining extra swift/immediate actions, or just getting new things to do with the different actions)

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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5]

    I appraise this fix for being simpler than most and versatile enough to adapt to any style of combat. Given that it doesn't have much in common with the official Fighter class (chassis aside), I wonder how the two would interact in play.
    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    Of course, I'm not entirely immune to counterargument. If you really think that the fighter should have fighter feats, please do tell me why a fighter would need over 7-8 feats. Most feats that just add numbers strike me as either broken or pretty unnecessary (not meaning that they aren't good but rather that they aren't essential), most chains purely related to new options (not including offshoots that just provide uneccesary numbers like two-weapon defense for two-weapon fighting) only take a small handful of feats, and I doubt that too many fighter builds really need more than 2 or 3 specialties/gimmicks.

    Mind you, if bonus feats are not used, I will definitely find some alternate choice-based system that will allow fighters to stand apart from one another in different ways as it really does seem that I have a full 4 levels open. I am merely curious if anyone has any particularly strong arguments as to a fighter really needing lots of feats.
    I don't disagree with giving feats to the class, though a different system may also be interesting.

    However, note that the issues you mention primarily stem from the fact that there aren't enough good feats and that existing feat chains aren't long and interesting enough. IMHO, this can be solved by making more feats.
    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    Then may I suggest addressing the action economy? (full attack as a standard action, moving in between attacks, gaining extra swift/immediate actions, or just getting new things to do with the different actions)
    Combat Focus already covers most of that, and fighters aren't going to have many uses for swift or immediate actions anyway.
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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5]

    Heh.

    I love it.

    Hand 'em Combat Techniques. There, now they are diverse. (Let 'em upgrade them at 4th level and every 4 levels thereafter.)

    EDIT: Just swap 'em over to work with Combat Mastery, and it looks like it'll work out well (Papa wants his Ground and Interpose!)
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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5]

    Okay, I have included the rough draft of a new ability for levels 4, 8, 12, and 16. It's another dualistic feature like combat focus but yeah.

    As for other changes:
    • The bonus to ability scores from combat focus isn't an enhancement bonus
    • The bonus to speed from tactics (combat mastery) isn't an enhancement bonus
    • Warrior's urgency now provides an additional small mobility boost (and take note that combat focus can't free you from grapples/solid fog/water/etc., only stuff with a saving throw.)
    • Conflict and defense (combat mastery) has been simplified a bit.
    • Combat focus has been reworded so reading it should be easier.
    • Mastery points now reset at the end of your action so you'll be in the safer position of saving some for offense (instead of saving some for defense like before).


    And onto other matters:
    • Miss chances being cheaper than attack bonuses is on purpose
    • +6 brilliant energy vorpal weapons through armsmaster is on purpose (I even mention that explicitly in the notes and explanation thing).
    • Non-tower shields qualifying you for a certain combat style is on purpose (and is the reason why there is no special style for shields).
    • Some combat styles being easier than others was actually on purpose, though maybe not the brightest plan.
    • Fighter Friday was in no way on purpose.


    And since Yakk offered a lot of good criticism, it seems right to look at that stuff bit by bit:

    Timing of regaining points: The headache of needing to save points for defense in advance is a very good point. I don't know about your precise wording as readying an action would put you at a severe disadvantage. I'm trying out a different wording and I'm not too sure about that one either.

    Straight-Up Damage Being Boring: While I might change the damage damage to d6s or something like that, using the base damage of the weapon for a boost isn't something I would want to do. Making this class, I wanted fighters to be able to choose weapons like daggers, slings, or shuriken and not fear a tremendous loss of damage.

    A few clarifications: Addressed above.

    Armsmaster: I would make that fix but the idea was that even a mount's unaided natural attacks would be improved, which limiting things to tools wouldn't allow.

    Also, could someone out there clarify if the enhancement bonus a weapon possesses adds its bonus to your attack and damage rolls as an enhancement bonus. I've never been all too clear on this point, I'll admit.

    Combat Focus: Now that combat focus has been rewritten, you can hopefully see that combat focus is all one giant choice not between what abilities you boost but whether you are focusing on offense or defense in general.

    Edit: Forgot an important point network made. It is true that a hypothetical line of bonus feats might be tremendously good at what they do. With that said, my general policy here is that anything truly essential to fighting should be gained by every fighter and that no fighter really needs too much beyond what is essential.

    Yeah, that last point may actually be a bit of a lynchpin for this whole thing. Unlike many fighter fixes, this thing isn't a wish list of everything I want a fighter to do. Instead, I tried to get a handle on what a fighter needs in order to deal with most forms of combat. I may have thrown on a small bell or whistle or too but I mostly kept to the essentials.
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2013-09-22 at 05:00 PM.
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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Realms of Chaos View Post
    Also, could someone out there clarify if the enhancement bonus a weapon possesses adds its bonus to your attack and damage rolls as an enhancement bonus. I've never been all too clear on this point, I'll admit.
    As stated in the first paragraph on magic weapons, this is the case :
    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Magic weapons have enhancement bonuses ranging from +1 to +5. They apply these bonuses to both attack and damage rolls when used in combat. All magic weapons are also masterwork weapons, but their masterwork bonus on attack rolls does not stack with their enhancement bonus on attack rolls.
    The masterwork bonus on attack rolls is also an enhancement bonus. This is the reason they doesn't stack.
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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5]

    Thanks. The wording on armsmaster has been updated.
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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
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    Darn with I knew that, my fighter fix just went off the 1st page the other day.

    Hmm I like the fighter fix you have presented. One thing about it though, with the fix you presented you made fighter better at combat. A stock fighter can already be good at combat. You increased the power level of the class, which is much deserved, however the class can't do anything new, if that makes sense. Anyways, good job on the fix. I think its simple enough to implement in most games with little to know confusion.
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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by ddude987 View Post
    Darn with I knew that, my fighter fix just went off the 1st page the other day.

    Hmm I like the fighter fix you have presented. One thing about it though, with the fix you presented you made fighter better at combat. A stock fighter can already be good at combat. You increased the power level of the class, which is much deserved, however the class can't do anything new, if that makes sense. Anyways, good job on the fix. I think its simple enough to implement in most games with little to know confusion.
    I don't agree with this statement. A featless fighter is more versatile than a traditional fighter and may actually change his tactic from one round to the next, which would make the class qualify as tier 3. But a traditional fighter who specializes in one combat tactic and invests all his feats in it can be better at his speciality, at least at middle levels.
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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Network View Post
    I don't agree with this statement. A featless fighter is more versatile than a traditional fighter and may actually change his tactic from one round to the next, which would make the class qualify as tier 3. But a traditional fighter who specializes in one combat tactic and invests all his feats in it can be better at his specialty, at least at middle levels.
    I don't see in this fix how that is possible. Sure a fighter could change from a sword to a bow during combat and gain the enhancement bonuses on it the class provides through armsmaster and spend his combat point pool to be adequate at archery. However he still lacks the feats an archer needs if he specialized in sword fighting, or tanking, or two-weapon fighting, et cetra.
    Last edited by ddude987; 2013-09-23 at 08:01 PM.
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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5] [Edited 9/22]

    Out of curiosity, what feats would those be?

    I personally don't see how any of the archery feats are needed, for example, as combat mastery allows you to extend your range increment (meaning far shot isn't needed), reduce miss chances and gain attack bonuses (meaning that point-blank shot and precise shot aren't needed), and allows you to add decent damage to ranged attacks (which may well out-power manyshot where DR is involved). Even shot on the run can be effectively imitated if you possess the weaver specialization.

    How about blade fighters? With combat mastery, you get attack and damage bonuses so the entirety of the weapon focus line isn't really that necessary. Bonus damage means that you don't need uberchargers, monkey grip, power attack, or most other swordsman feats, either. It's true that a fighter could get bonkers damage output with the right feats but I personally don't consider those feats to be too balanced in the first place.

    As far as tanking, this guy can keep himself going with temporary hit points + miss chance each round or can focus on offense and put up the threat of a full attack of opportunity. Combining that with the proper specializations, opponents won't be able to take 5-foot steps or withdraw, cast defensively, or tumble through your threatened area. On top of everything else, this guy can grant himself extra attacks of opportunity through combat focus as early as level 1 and can penalize foes attacking others through hinder starting at level 4 (or boost the AC of your allies at level 8).

    As far as two-weapon fighting, I'm pretty sure that I went into decent depth as to why I didn't put in much specific support but it boils down to this. There will be times where you are hosed if you lack melee ability. There will be times where you are hosed if you lack ranged ability. There will even be times where you are hosed if you lack the ability to tank to some degree. It is very unlikely that you will ever be penalized for lacking two-weapon fighting.

    I gave this class what I considered to be the minimum benefits required to gain real competence at each vital area of combat. I won't deny that you are lacking some specific feats with this system that you might want (standstill, cleave, and two-weapon fighting come to mind). Putting aside that your normal feats could easily be used to fill in several of these blanks, though, I want to make a point in support of this class.

    It is true when you say that this class is a more powerful fighter. It is also true that a fighter can be competently built and even outdamage this class. With this class, you are guaranteed to be decent at all areas of combat. Gone are all of those "optimized" glass cannon builds that only do one thing and can't adapt. Gone are the feat management nightmares of realizing that being decent at melee means having no feats left for ranged. This class may not be 'optimal' at any one area of combat without using your actual feat slots but it ensures the player that they'll always have something to offer in nearly every encounter, something that the previous fighter simply could not do.
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2013-09-23 at 10:49 PM.
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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5] [Edited 9/22]

    Hrmm I didn't think of it like that. I suppose I assumed your amount of points to be a little more limited than that.
    On another note, can the fighter reduce miss change due to being blinded and is that something you intended the points to be used for?
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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5] [Edited 9/22]

    I'm rather digging the newest incarnation. Mind if I do the following?

    Combat Technician [General]
    You happen to know a thing or two about combat, which allows you to draw on a separate resource.
    Prerequisites: BAB +3, Defensive Combat Style
    Benefits: When determining the benefits of any Combat Techniques that you know, use your Combat Mastery points instead of your Attacks of Opportunity.

    In addition, you may, in place of a normal specialization, select a single Combat Technique that you know; double the benefits of spending Combat Mastery points spent on that Combat Technique.

    Masterful Hunter [General]
    You have considerable potency when fighting your most hated enemies.
    Prerequisites: Favored Enemy +2, Defensive Combat Style
    Benefit: Your Fighter and Ranger levels stack for the purposes of your Favored Enemy progression.

    In addition, you gain both an Offensive Combat and Defensive Combat circumstances of "while fighting a Favored Enemy", which you may only spend to improve your offense and defense against one of your Favored Enemies.

    Masterful Aid [General]
    Your mastery of the battlefield makes you really good at hands-on advice.
    Prerequisites: Auspicious Aid Another, Defensive Combat Style
    Benefits: You may spend 2 Combat Mastery points to Aid Another as an Immediate action; in addition, instead of the normal benefits of Aid Another, you may spend up to 2 Combat Mastery points, applying the benefits to your ally.


    EDIT: Checking again, my choices of Associated Classes for Combat Technician are somewhat inappropriate. I might have to just list out applicable techniques, or just let the person taking the feats choose an Offensive and a Defensive technique (from a short-ish list) to use Offensive and Defensive Combat Style with.

    I see a potential PrC for this fighter as well, focusing on the Tactics part of the Combat Mastery equation; letting them get Tactical Combat Styles might be rather cool.

    EDIT THE SECOND: I made the bad parts of the feats go away!
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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5] [Edited 9/22]

    ddude987: The reduced miss chance can be applied to anything, whether invisibility or blur or normal concealment or blindness or incorporeality. Blind Swordsman, while maybe not advisable, is somewhat possible after a certain level.

    Amechra: The feats look decent, though I must admit I'm not too familiar with the mechanics behind the last one.
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    Default Re: A Featless Fighter Fix [3.5] [Edited 9/22]

    As I said, the wording is crappy; the intent is that you can use your Combat Master class feature to help an ally's roll instead of just giving them a bonus to attack rolls or a -2 to an enemy's attack roll.

    You'd have a cap of 2 points to spend on it, though.

    EDIT: And I just reread Support. Darn, now I feel silly.

    So I'm going to scrap Masterful Aid, and then revise Combat Technician.

    Oh, wait, I got it. Check the post.
    Last edited by Amechra; 2013-09-24 at 11:55 PM.
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