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So all the dex fighter needs is the twf feat tree, three feats for dex to damage, and three ranged feats... This doesn't seem like a lot of feats to anyone else? I mean, this is completely nonviable on anything other than a fighter unless you want to have it play out at super high level when, incidentally, the martial classes become more and more marginalized by the games changing nature.
You'll do tonnes of damage for sure, until you need to make a save... then you, and your party by proxy will be totally screwed.
@TheJayde - there already is one true build in the game, the strength build. You can't make a decent thrower in the game because you can't apply damage properly due to the constraints of the statistics. Basically, if you need to split your focus between stats like a thrower or something similar, than you can be pretty certain that after a certain point your character will be unable to push through DR.
At this moment, if you take a character without dexterity to damage and build him to fight using dexterity, you will not be able to deal enough damage to contribute. That is one of the issues with the agile enchantment because you have to trade away dr penetration for it.
Honestly, if we can have a discussion this long about the pros and cons of each build in a vacuum, then I think that one or the others superiority is debatable. If that is true, then I would suggest that the effect of dexterity as a damaging statistic is within the balance paradigm of the game. If a cleric can exist inside the same game as fighters, then perhaps dexterity to damage is not so large a thing.
Just looks like a more well rounded character... I'm not sure where it becomes broken in your eyes. This build is pretty heavily optimized for damage as all your money is focused on damage aside from a ring of protection, so I can't say im surprised that you are putting out a lot of damage... two vicious wakizashi? How much damage are you doing to yourself each round?
I have a question for everyone who believes that using Dex for damage is the way they like to do things. Would you allow feats in your game that allowed you (lets say 2 or 3 in total) to add Str to initiative, all ranged attacks, ac, and reflex saves? Even if you added that you only gain the benefits when using a weapon one handed (so no 1.5x str damage), and had to deal with Armor check penalties, and the like-this would seem over-powered to many people, myself included.
I think I would point out that those feats, while not being exactly the same, already exist. Improved initiative grants a bonus as if you had an eighteen dexterity, effectively eliminating that as a concern. Lightning reflexes grants +2 to reflex saves, which is equivalent to having another 4 dexterity. That is just two feats... A strength based martial will have comparable armor throughout the game, so I don't think that is worth as much as some claim.
So basically you already get this in the standard game, and the benefits cost about the same in terms of feat expenditure.
I think people tend to overvalue acrobatics to be honest. Its very hard to maintain a competitive edge when you use acrobatics in combat due to the way CMD works, and every other use of acrobatics requires far less focus and investment. If you fully focus on dexterity and take skill focus acrobatics, your character still can't just run around the battlefield.
I was also under the impression that you could not invest in flight without some means of actually flying, which makes the flight skill really more about tracking the flight spell most of the time. There are instances where this isn't true, but I feel as though that is a corner case at best.
I think I will wait and see how unchained looks before coming to any concrete decision one way or another.
If unchained can modify the core game mechanics enough to bring the linear scale of the martial classes closer to those of the quadratic casters, then I will be fairly satisfied. If not, then we may have to have this discussion again.
I always felt that the weapon group system was the opposite of what I wanted in a fighter. The fighter class has no versatility out of combat, and I think that it makes sense that the class can basically pick up a sharp stick off the ground and ruin your day. If I were to change the fighter class, it would be to remove weapon training and add class features that modify feats in a way that no other class could emulate.
While technically true(as long as the t-Rex doesn't use attacks from bab gained through barb levels), this seems like a very niche concern at best.
Okay, so looking through the first level spells for inspiration, I came across swallow your fear which, while not granting the exact bonuses I would apply, gives insight as to how powerful a class feature of this level should be.
With that in mind, here is my offering.
Bravery(Ex): Starting at the 2nd level, a fighter becomes a bulwark against which fear falters. When the fighter is subject to hit point damage or must make a save against a fear or compulsion effect, he gains a +1 morale bonus to will saves and a bonus to healing effects equal to his class level for rounds equal to half his class level. This morale bonus stacks to a maximum of +5, and each stacking effect refreshes the number of rounds the effect lasts.
So basically this gives the class a kind of momentum as rounds of combat play out, making the fighter stronger in more protracted battles. The second benefit is that bravery is now something that takes up a second level class feature and that is it, which really opens up the design space.
I think that if we are being honest about the opportunity cost associated with feats versus spells, we can say that feats should have a relative effect similar to one line of spells. What I mean is that a feat should accomplish one thing, and that thing should improve as your character does. Its the only way to make a class with ten class features compete with a class that has 60 or so.
An example might be something like blindfight working as it does now up to BAB 6 and then granting blindsense and then tremorsense at BAB 11 and then finally something akin to blindsight at bab 16.
All that said, I think effects like blindsight should grant large bonuses to spotting stealthed characters as apposed to hard countering the ability altogether. Regardless, I think you get the idea.
If you want to balance casters, then restrict their access to spells of wildly different sorts. If a wizard has to choose a field to specialize in, and has three barred schools, then I think you would find their power becomes much more reasonable.*
Still cosmic in their area of specialization, but not the omni-tool they currently are.
*example off the top of my head
Because if you want to play a spellcaster, then you have to accept that progression in your class choice will occur infrequently as compared to the other players.
In essence, the whole reason they got rid of these sort of balancing mechanics is because of the dynamic it creates in the real world, not the consequences within the game itself.
While it may rebalance the game some, this is probably the most un-fun way of doing it possible.