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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    I'm in the process of planning a 3.5e Eberron game and an interesting situation appears to be developing. I posted the character generation guidelines for any players that wanted to join which look like (quoted):

    Races available - PHB + Eberron Races (Changelings, Kalashter, Shifter, Warforged).
    Classes available - PHB + Eberron (Artificer) + Tome of Battle + Other stuff you run by me and have the kit for (Spellthieves, Bucklers of Swash, Warlocks...)*
    Equipment - 3/4 Max starting gold eg. Barbarian 150gp, any 1 item can be made masterwork free of charge.
    Abilities - 32 point buy, its like 4d6 drop lowest without the insanity (example 10 12 12 14 14 16).
    *I don't have the completes myself but certainly know whats in them.

    Now the first person to reply said they'd make a fighter and I know the player, he will want to use mostly PHB stuff. This might pose a problem if the rest of the party make an Artificer, Wizard, Cleric, and a Warblade. We're only planning just now, but what do you do if you have a player that insists on making something a bit suboptimal when you've opened the gates to allow everyone to make great characters?
    Last edited by Uin; 2008-08-27 at 07:16 AM.

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    Neon Knight's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    Let him do it. Who knows, your other players might not optimize their characters and everything will be alright. He might be sub-optimal and honestly not care, in which case its a non-issue.

    You should probably tell him about your concerns and make sure he's fine with whatever state of affairs come about.

    Although encouraging him to look beyond the PHB for material couldn't hurt. I mean "encourage" as politely suggest, and don't be too insistent.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    What kind of Fighter? They can do okay as archers or uberchargers, but a two-weapon fighter will go poorly after the first few levels.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    What level? Only a single wizard - 11 in Sharn.
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    Planetar

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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    If you're starting at level 1, a PHB Fighter is actually a pretty good class. In this case, don't worry about it. He can multiclass out after 2 levels if he's worried about optimisation, and he'll do fine.

    Single-class Fighters only start to look underpowered after level 4, and even then multiclassing into something like Warblade solves most of the problems.

    Finally, it might be the case that the player just isn't interested in rules mastery and character power. In which case, you should just let him be. Not everyone wants to spend hours tweaking their character's numbers. If the more optimise-happy players are nice, they'll steer him towards good choices and stop him from being useless.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    Thanks for your replies. It will be a level 1 start, so I suppose it won't matter in the short term.* When he sees the Artificer piloting his airship while firing twined empowered acidic death from above he may branch out a little. I do allow a bit of retraining at certain points in a characters life so hopefully he'll take up the offer.


    * I'd still rather play the warblade, haha. Which is more interesting.
    Fighter - I hit it
    Warblade - I enter X Stance and hit it with one of my A to C Maneuvers... or hit it.
    Last edited by Uin; 2008-08-27 at 08:08 AM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    Maybe he takes joy in playing a meatshield?

    Don't select it entirely on whos got the most asskicking characters of the bunch (unless you're planning an OTT hack n zap campaign), but also consider the enthusiasm they bring to the group. Enthusiasm is what keeps PBP alive. Someone can have a great set of stats, but if they don't seem that bothered about the game/the fluff of the character they will get bored every time they're not killing something

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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    Don't be talkin bad bout mah fighters. Before ToB, they were a very versatile non-caster class due primarily to their excess of feats. If you're worried about him becoming underpowered, let him become one of these once he hits 6th level.
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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    If I were a player starting a new game and my GM's response was LOLWUT?! to me choosing a fighter... I would probably find a different game.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    Halfling Fighter X

    Feats: Mounted Combat, Ride by Attack, Spirited Charge, Combat Reflexes, Power Attack, Leadership.

    1st level: You get Mounted Combat and Ride by Attack. Buy a riding dog, or just buy cheap untrained dogs and use Handle Animal to train them yourself to act as mounts, fight, track, guard, etc. (Takes three weeks per dog, but a reasonable DM will allow you to have a small pack as pets that you've trained yourself before adventuring). You should learn the Handle Animal rules, because at low levels there's nothing stopping you from using your dogs (or whatever) to fight alongside you. (At higher level, the threat of Fireballs and other area of effect spells make them pointless).

    Use a lance from the back of your mount. When you charge you deal double damage, and your Ride by Attack and the fact that a lance is a reach weapon will allow you to keep your distance from enemies and get an AoO most rounds. Use it two handed if you want more damage. Pull out your tower shield (fighters get it as a bonus feat, check their "Weapon and Armor Proficiency" listing in the SRD) if you need high AC or concealment from an ambush.

    2nd level: You get Spirited Charge and a nice damage output bump.

    3rd level: Pick up Combat Reflexes. Now you can make AoO when flat footed, and you'll get more of them.

    4th level: You get Power Attack. Now you should always be using your lance two handed, and have an animated shield if necessary. You deal 3(d6 + [Str*1.5] + 8 + magic), or around 50 damage on a charge, enough to kill any ECL appropriate enemy, and enough for a massive damage check against those it doesn't kill.

    5th level: Dead level. I suggest you give the player the Zhentarim Soldier add on, which fixes this. The 9th level power ability to Demoralize as a Swift Action can be ridiculously useful with the right combo. But its not necessary if you want to be strictly core only for whatever reason.

    6th level: You now qualify for Leadership. Give the him something very cool with special powers and movement, like a Blink Dog or Dragon or whatnot.

    There you go. A fun and playable core only Fighter build.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    Why Halfling instead of Gnome?
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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    Why Halfling instead of Gnome?
    Gnomes are monsters. Rawr.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    Why Halfling instead of Gnome?
    Halflings get a bonus to Saves, which I prefer over the Gnomes racial abilities. You could use any small race without LA though.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    Kobold fighter could actually be quite fun (the kobold fighter racial class buys off some of the disadvantages of Kobold starting stats, at the cost of armour proficiencies and specifying the feat choices)
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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    If he really wants to tough it out and stay Fighter his whole career, make it worthwhile for him. I'd suggest a few homebrew fixes.

    Make the Fighter feats scale. Dodge improves by +1 every five fighter levels, Improved Bull Rush improves to +4 every few levels, Weapon Focus and Specialization upgrade automatically, Cleave upgrades to Greater Cleave at Ftr 10. Fill in as needed. By requiring several levels of fighter to gain the bonuses, it discourages one-level dipping.

    You might also want to check out Szatany's Ultimate Fighter class, as well as some of his other ultimate melee classes on the same page.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    My favoured fix for fighters is just to give them a feat at level 3 and every odd-numbered level thereafter.

    It's not as balanced or detailed as the homebrew fixes, but it's fast and easy and if you use books like PHB II and Complete Warrior, it's very easy to find enough good feats.

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  17. - Top - End - #17
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    You could offer him the Dungeoncrasher-variant (Dungeonscape). It's a very reasonable way of dealing damage, slamming people to walls (and various obstacles) is fun and it's flavourful to boot. Also, it adds an extra tool to the fighter repertoire, so he's less likely to get bored. Just make sure he's got Power Attack and he should be fine. Then give him a few Tactical Feats (Shock Trooper and Combat Brute work fine, although Elusive Target is nothing to scoff at either), perhaps Combat Reflexes and Improved Trip, Knockback if you feel like making him a bit stronger, the Zhentarim Fighter (right here) substitution levels along with Cityscape Web Enhancement-substitution to replace Handle Animal and Ride with Gather Information and Tumble.

    He'll make a fine talker with Bluff, Intimidate, Diplomacy and Gather Information and Tumble is an actually useful physical skill. Then Complete Champion ACF to replace an even-leveled feat with Resolute (Immediate Action: Lose half BAB, add to Will-saves) and PHBII ACF "Overpowering Attack" to replace the 16th feat with an ability that greatly enhances any AoOs he takes. Then just toss in Mage Slayer and maybe Pierce Magical Protection and he's set for a solid, versatile Fighter-build that should keep him doing ok and contributing throughout the whole tree while being good at multiple things (out of the normal trees, he can attack, Trip, Bull Rush, Sunder, Charge and deal AoOs all very decently - he can also either raise his AC or damage at the expense of his attack bonus depending on what suits him best, and he's a nimble fasttalker out of combat). Oh yeah, and he's very savvy in a dungeon, having great saves against traps and the like and being an expert at smashing things with Dungeoncrasher and Power Attack combined for Massive Damage. Toss in Robilar's Gambit while at it. Obviously he fights with a two-handed weapon such as Glaive or Guisarme with Armor Spikes to attack adjacent opponents (or a quick Monk-dip for Unarmed Damage and few more feats), or Spiked Chain to cover it all. While you probably can't fit 'em in, allowing him to take Weapon Supremacy at 18 would also be sweet. Melee Weapon Mastery too, possibly, but again, the feats are running short.


    EDIT: I tossed together a build here:

    1, H, F. Power Attack, Combat Expertise, Improved Trip
    2F. Dungeoncrasher
    3. Improved Bull Rush
    4F. Combat Reflexes
    5. Improved Sunder
    6, F. Shock Trooper, Dungeoncrasher
    8F. Resolute
    9. Combat Brute
    10F. Martial Study: Foehammer
    12, F. Robilar's Gambit, Martial Stance: Thicket of Blades
    14F. Mage Slayer
    15. Pierce Magical Protection
    16F. Overpowering Attack
    18, F.
    20F.

    Three feats are open. Those could be the Combat Form-chain (Combat Focus, Combat Stability and Combat Vigor, probably - Combat Strike is a good finisher too) given 13 Wis (asking a lot though - this one already wants high Str, high Con, some Dex, 13 Int, and probably Charisma for facing), one could try to fit Weapon Focus-chain (with Weapon Supremacy coming at 18, it's 5 feats total, so need to open up 2, such as taking out Mage Slayer or Overpowering Attack - 6th for Melee Weapon Mastery would be nice too), Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Spiked Chain, Deft Opportunist (better AoOs), Leap Attack (better charges), Knockback (mean combo with Dungeoncrasher), Imperious Command (great combo with Zhentarim Soldier sublevels) or some such.

    There's Dodge>Mobility>Elusive Target for defenses, Brutal Strike for Power Attack, Brutal Throw>Power Throw for excellent Str-based ranged combat capabilities, Defensive Sweep for more AoOs, Stand Still for better control-abilities against creatures of any size, Blind-Fight>Pierce Magical Concealment to ignore spell-based nonsense, Sidestep to dodge full attacks, Close-Quarters Fighting to avoid big bad grapplers, Shield Specialization>Shield Ward to make your Animated Shield kick ass, Improved Buckler Defense to utilize a Buckler while fighting two-handed, Improved Unarmed Strike>Superior Unarmed Strike to threaten adjacent (add Two-Weapon Fighting line to TWF with unarmed strikes and two-handed, add Snap Kick for an extra unarmed strike and Improved Grapple to...well, Grapple), Improved Initiative to act first, Quick Draw to switch weapons fast (and to avoid the need to walk armed and for iteratives on thrown attacks) and Improved Toughness to take extra hits (HP is your primary defense against evocation and other melee, as well as misc.).


    This guy can, among others, crash people to walls, trip people, get AoOs and trip people, break stuff (lots of stuff - wielded and unattended) charge people, hit people really hard (and keep hitting them really hard for the rest of the turn), hit back if hit, fight defensively, fight offensively, move people around, breach peoples' magic, scour the dungeons and talk.

    EDIT#2: Source list:
    Dungeoncrasher (Alternative Class Feature): Dungeonscape
    Shock Trooper (Tactical Feat): Complete Warrior
    Resolute (ACF): Complete Champion
    Combat Brute (Tactical): Complete Warrior
    Martial Study/Martial Stance (Feat): Tome of Battle
    Mage Slayer/Pierce Magical Protections (Feat): Complete Arcane
    Overpowering Attack (ACF): Player's Handbook II
    Robilar's Gambit (Feat): Player's Handbook II
    Combat Focus-chain (Feat): Player's Handbook II
    Weapon Supremacy/Melee Weapon Mastery (Feats): Player's Handbook II
    Deft Opportunist (Feat): Complete Adventurer
    Leap Attack (Feat): Complete Adventurer
    Knockback (Feat): Races of Stone (requires large size or Goliath, so probably template or Enlarge Person to activate when needed)
    Imperious Command (Feat): Drow of the Underdark (a friggin' sweet way to make Intimidating worth the effort - requires Charisma 15 though, so not without a very high pointbuy or rolls)
    Brutal Strike (Feat): Player's Handbook II
    Brutal Throw/Power Throw (Feats): Complete Adventurer
    Defensive Sweep (Feat): Player's Handbook II
    Elusive Target (Tactical): Complete Warrior
    Stand Still (Feat): Expanded Psionics Handbook/SRD
    Shield Specialization/Shield Ward (Feats): Player's Handbook II
    Improved Buckler Defense (Feat): Complete Warrior
    Superior Unarmed Strike/Snap Kick (Feats): Tome of Battle
    Improved Toughness (Feat): Complete Warrior
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2008-08-27 at 01:14 PM.
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    Why Halfling instead of Gnome?
    Because gnomes suck, but halflings get sick bonuses to everything, especially ranged combat.


    Power is, in practice, less of a concern than variety, and you can get plenty of that with tactical feats. (Which also give you a good bit of power, obviously. Elusive Target, for instance, is too good to pass up.) Unless the other players are playing casters to the hilt (bothering with divinations, prep time, etc.), the fighter's player is unlikely to feel seriously outclassed.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    F-4 is pretty easy for the next few games. Maybe he will take a level of Warblade -1 at fifth level when he has a IL-3 and dip it a few more times between non martial adept PRCs as his IL increases for a few maneuvers with Rapid Recovery. Something like:

    F-4, WB-1 (Il-3), X-2, WB+1 (Il-5), X-2, WB+1(Il-7)

    If he went Dragon Mark Heir for a House like Orien he could be Teleporting at L8 instead of Warblading.

    The Artificer can help him get better magic items.

    You could give him a Least Dragon Mark for his race which would give him a DM resource to help drive the game especially with a Favored in House Feat.
    Last edited by CASTLEMIKE; 2008-08-27 at 10:50 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    The fastest solution is honestly, if it becomes a problem, to just start throwing overpowered magic items his way. It's pretty much the standard fix to one party member being underpowered compared to others.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    Let him do it, and worry about problems if they start to arise. Message-board theorizing doesn't mean problems will necessarily occur.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    Let him, the class is a decent one with a good number of options.
    Too much these days is bogged down in optimization worries.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    Quote Originally Posted by Uin View Post
    We're only planning just now, but what do you do if you have a player that insists on making something a bit suboptimal when you've opened the gates to allow everyone to make great characters?
    Please keep in mind that a great build does not equal a great character, & "a bit suboptimal" does not automatically mean "completely useless in combat".

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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sstoopidtallkid View Post
    Why Halfling instead of Gnome?
    A small-sized halfling rides a medium-sized mount. Medium sized mounts can easily be taken into any dungeon/scenario designed for medium characters.

    Large mounts create problems in dungeons where they have to squeeze, can't fit through certain doors, or run into traps designed for only medium-sized characters.

    As far as halfling vs. gnome... personal preference, I guess. Me, I prefer grippli.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    Quote Originally Posted by WickerNipple View Post
    If I were a player starting a new game and my GM's response was LOLWUT?! to me choosing a fighter... I would probably find a different game.
    And as a DM my response would be "That's great, good luck and have fun in your new game. I don't allow my PC's to play NPC's."

    I'm sorry but a Warblade makes a functional fighter, the fighter class doesn't (unless the player really knows what they are doing).
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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    Abilities - 32 point buy, its like 4d6 drop lowest without the insanity (example 10 12 12 14 14 16).
    Just a nitpick, but 4d6 drop lowest is roughly equivalent to 25 point buy, not 32. Which should not stop you from using 32 if you want your characters to be a bit more powerful than normal; just be aware of it.


    I'm sorry but a Warblade makes a functional fighter, the fighter class doesn't (unless the player really knows what they are doing).
    No, a warblade makes a functional warblade. The two classes work completely differently, and some folks prefer the way the fighter works.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    And as a DM my response would be "That's great, good luck and have fun in your new game. I don't allow my PC's to play NPC's."

    I'm sorry but a Warblade makes a functional fighter, the fighter class doesn't (unless the player really knows what they are doing).
    Would you allow Fighter 2-level dips? I like those with my Warblade sometimes to get a better Stance progression.

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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    One of the reasons I would like my players to be at least non-crap is so that I don't accidently kill them, I don't think obviously pulling your punches makes a game feel exciting.
    Let him do it, and worry about problems if they start to arise. Message-board theorizing doesn't mean problems will necessarily occur.
    This is true but I thought it an interesting point that would generate some chat.
    LOLWUT?!
    To be honest, I'm quite an offhand guy and am likely to just spurt that out without thinking. But within any particular character concept I don't see why you wouldn't try to be the best you can be.
    Last edited by Uin; 2008-08-27 at 01:40 PM.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    "Fighter is a useless class" is pretty much an internet meme at this point. If you ask me, it has very little value to a real game being played because the strength and weakness of any character is dependent on so much more than his place on an arbitrary power scale based on abstract internet hypothesis relative to a type of Wizard I've never seen played up to its supposed potential. I've seen fighters and Monks completely wtfpwnzilla with BBQ sauce (and all that rot) people playing 'batman' wizards and I've seen Evokers massacre dragons almost single-handedly. Everything that the people around here claim is stupid and useless has been successfully and skillfully played a hundred times and is perfectly valid if that is what you want to play.

    While the OP seems more interested in making sure his player is having fun and not being over-shadowed (a reasonable concern, and one that makes you a good DM), it seems a few people here (and on these boards in general) want to tell this poor guy and people like him that his choice is not valid because it doesn't subscribe to their version of what D&D is. For example, I really like to play a Bard, and I get the same crap from some people. "No, you need to roll a Beguiler or something else, I'm not going to baby-pants your character to the same power level as the rest of the party." Then, by the end of the session my bard is throwing his sonic-weapon'd whirling blade'd long sword through a dragon and its rider's respective faces because when Batman got squashed the DM started acting like the other 4 party members were L1 commoners.

    I apologize for the rant but this is a sore subject for me. Telling people their character choices aren't good enough and trying to force them into something else is bad DMing, bad manners, and generally being an optimization snob. People played melee classes before ToB and played D&D before the logic ninja guide and did just fine. And now they'll damn sure play just fine by ignoring them, if that's what they so choose.

    If your player wants to play a fighter, I say let him. If your other players want to bend the rules or abuse poor wording to become unto gods, maybe you should be focusing more on making sure their characters fit the power level of the game instead of expecting the same from Fighter McGee. Again, I apologize if my tone came off a little accusatory or impolite, this is just a subject of some frustration for me.
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    Default Re: [3.5e] A player insists on making a fighter... (opinions)

    Quote Originally Posted by ocato View Post
    If your player wants to play a fighter, I say let him. If your other players want to bend the rules or abuse poor wording to become unto gods, maybe you should be focusing more on making sure their characters fit the power level of the game instead of expecting the same from Fighter McGee. Again, I apologize if my tone came off a little accusatory or impolite, this is just a subject of some frustration for me.
    Sigh, the problem is comparative power. An Artificer, a Wizard and a Cleric played well are all going to make the Fighter look bad come midlevels (and seems like the campaign is planned to last that long). Since the Fighter is a new player, the worst thing he could do is to pretend "there's no issue." The important part isn't the absolute powerlevel of the characters, it's the comparative powerlevels of the characters in the party.

    If they're close to each other, you can challenge all the characters at once - if the powerlevels are all over the charts, you basically have to split up the party and challenge them one by one to give them all challenges they can shine versus. This isn't a problem levels 1-5 though - a Fighter keeps up just fine even if it isn't the best build ever. However, the campaign does appear to go on after that and the Fighter should get help. Yes, people did play Wizards and Fighters before ToB and before Being Batman. That hasn't changed - the problems weren't something people online came up with. It's all written right in the Player's Handbook for anyone who feels like really reading through the spell lists.

    There were plenty of groups before the net where people realized that "Man, they really gave melee the short ends of the stick!" Heck, the first time I played 3.5 and our party reached level 13, my Fighter was only contributing thanks to 3x the normal wealth while the Cleric and the Wizard were kicking ass without any equipment whatsoever (and played poorly to boot). It isn't some internet discovery, internet simply brought it to the knowledge of the more casual players. Likewise, internet also brought the solutions within everyone's grasp, so instead of saying "Lalalalalaa, not listening!" one could just use one of those solutions and enjoy the game with players playing their characters just to the level they wish to and having all characters do something useful. Sure, if your whole group enjoys the game playing Evoker/Thief/Warrior/Healbot vs. featless Dragons, go ahead, play the game and enjoy! Nobody tells you not to! Just have understanding for people who play differently. And if someone specifically asks for help regarding class imbalance, please don't tell them "The problem doesn't exist!" They know the problem exists. They just want help solving it.
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2008-08-27 at 02:33 PM.
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