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Rehauling the fighter


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


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Endless are the discussions among the Wise on why, and how, a fighter has been rendered a useless class to play. This is not a thread about this subject. I want to propose a reworking of the fighter, based on specific presuppositions which I take for granted. I will explain which are these presuppositions and I will try to justify why I believe the changes I propose address them directly and indirectly. If you disagree, fine, my point is not to convince you, just to state my opinion. If you agree, then I would be very interested to hear your opinion on what I did with the class.

To my mind, the fighter in PF should try to model the great fighters of myth and literature. From Beowulf and Hercules to Conan and the Hulk, these mythic figures could jump over mountains, wrestle dragons from the sky and climb sheer cliffs that led to the palace of the gods. The PF fighter does not, I believe, make room for such kind of heroics. I would like the fighter to be able to eventually to perform feats of extraordinary prowess which border on the supernatural, without actually being magical. He should, as he levels up, be able to go from capable swordsman, to 'This is Sparta!', to besting demigods in wrestling matches.

I take as axiomatic more or less, that the goal of the game is to have fun, by playing with other people and contributing to the party. The fighter can be a very fun to be play. As a class, it does well what it was intended to does well, which is hurting enemies and withstanding their punishment. It appears however, that if a fighter wants to do things outside combat, or things inside combat other than hurting the aforementioned enemies, he faces an uphill battle (combat maneuvers excluded). This makes the fighter less versatile within a party than he could be.And it certainly breaks with many of the archetypes that it strives to emulate. On the other hand, it is important that each class retains a niche on which it thrives. The fighter should leave room for other melee combatants within the party.

The fighter also seems strangely prone to specific attacks. While in previous DnD systems he was a juggernaut (all good saves, for example) in 3.5/PF he seems much more fragile to specific attacks. This detracts from his usefulness and has no real justification in myth and tradition.

Finally, in the magically conductive environment of PF, magic equals versatility (among other things). Paladins, rangers and magi become more useful in a greater variety of circumstances, mainly because they have access to magic. Barbarians also have abilities which make them more agile in different circumstances. Fighters, for some unexplained reason, lack these resources. But there is nothing that prohibits them from having some kind of extraordinary abilities, derived from their sheer stamina and heroic spirit. Once in a while, they could and should be able to jump 30 feet in the air through sheer strength, climb towers by plunging daggers in the walls or break through magical shields by the strength of their arm. These, after all, were the accomplishments which made them special in the stories that inspired us to play them.

To address these issues, I propose the following changes

BAB, Weapon and armor proficiencies, HD, Saves : Unchanged.

Skills: 4 per level. Skill selection unchanged, however see Initial training below.
(I don't think that takes away from the skill monkeys. Also, other fighting classes seem to be doing fine with 4 skillpoints per level. I don't see why fighters can't have broader horizons)


1st) Bonus feat, Initial training, Skill and hard work
2nd) Bonus feat, Weapon aptitude, Grind the teeth
3rd) Armor training
4th) Bonus feat
5th) Weapon training, Heroics
6th) Bonus feat
7th) Armor training
8th) Bonus feat
9th) Weapon training, Heroics
10th)Bonus feat
11th)Armor training
12th)Bonus feat
13th)Weapon training, Heroics
14th)Bonus feat
15th)Armor training
16th)Bonus feat
17th)Weapon training, Heroics
18th)Bonus feat
19th)Armor mastery
20th)Bonus feat, Weapon mastery, Got you now, Heroics

Initial training (Ex): The fighter selects one of the skillsets below. These skills become class skills. He treats the associate ability score for these skills as 12,if it it isn't 12 or higher already. This becomes 14 at 6th level, 16 at 10th level and 18 at 15th level. If the skill is one that he already has in his skill list, he gains a +1 competence bonus to it, plus +1 every five levels (5, 10, 15,20).

Guard: Knowledge(Local), Perception,Intimidation
Inspector: Diplomacy, Intimidate, Sense motive
Wilderness warrior: Knowledge (Nature), Survival, Knowledge (Dungeoneering)
Mounted warrior: Ride, Handle animal, Knowledge (Nature)
Knight: Knowledge (Nobility), Diplomacy, Knowledge (Engineering)
Thug: Stealth, Climb, Acrobatics
Temple protector: Knowledge (Nobility), Knowledge (Religion), Spellcraft
Collegiate guard: Knowledge (Arcane), Spellcraft, Knowledge (Planes)
Mercenary: Diplomacy, Intimidate, Nobility
Caravan guard: Handle Animal, Perception, Appraise
Sailor: Climb, Acrobatics, Swim

(This is intended to make the fighter more versatile in out of combat situations. He or she will never be as good as a bard in Diplomacy, for example, but he or she will be able to make a secondary face without having MAD)

Skill and hard work(Ex): The fighter can ignore the ability requirements when he selects a feat as his fighter bonus feats, if the ability in question is 10 or more.

(While I liked the idea behind the ability requirements for feats, I find that in the end they just seem to penalize the fighter by making an one trick pony. This, I believe, will enable him to do more things better, such as battlefield control, by taking multiple feat chains).

Weapon aptitude (Ex): As a full round action that does not provoke an AoO, the fighter can change the weapon specified in his feats (weapon focus, improved critical, etc).
(The fighter is the weapon master after all.)

Grind the teeth (Ex): A number of times equal to the fighter's Con mod + 1 per 3 levels (3rd,6th,9th,12th etc), the fighter can substitute his Will or Ref save with a Fort save. This must be decided before the roll is made.
(This is a step back to AD&D. It reflects the fact that fighters are tough. They persevere through grit and they have the scars to prove it. Note that the paladin still remains the save juggernaut, but the fighter is a close second.)

Heroics (Ex): The fighter learns to perform extraordinary acts of heroism. He learns one at 5th level and one more at levels 9th, 13th, 17th and 20th. Every time he is eligible to learn a new heroic, he can also replace the ones he already knows with others from the list.

Decoy: Once per day per 5 fighter levels (5th, 10th etc), a fighter provokes a foe to attack him to exclusion of all others, as a standard action. He does so by appearing to leave guards unguarded, being staggered and so on. The target of the attack must make a Will save against 10+ fighter level or engage the fighter at the best of his ability (ranged attacks, spells, melee etc).

Burst of speed: Once per day per 4 levels as a standard action, the fighter can increase his speed by 20ft for a number of minutes equal to half his level.

Put your back into it: As a swift action, a number of times per day equal to his Con modifier plus 1/4 levels, the fighter can add half his level to a Str, Dex or Con based skill.

Just a flesh wound: Once per day, the fighter can take a minute to assess the damage done to him and convert a number of hit points equal to his Constitution modifier*level to nonlethal damage.

Break through: Once per day per 5 fighter levels, the fighter can ignore spells,spell-like abilities and supernatural defenses and effects that grant protection when engaged in combat with an opponent. The first successful attack acts as a targeted dispel, which does not actually dispel the active effects but instead allows the fighter to ignore it for the remainder of the encounter. The CL is the fighter's level.

Ignore impediment: Once per day per 5 fighter levels, the fighter can as a standard action, ignore any and all impediments to his movement, as per the freedom of movement spell, for a duration of 1 minutes per level.

Combat mobility: Once per day per 5 fighter levels, the fighter can, as an immediate action, take an additional move action as part of his turn.

Overextending: Once per day per 5 fighter levels, the fighter can, as a move action, extend his reach 5 feet for the duration of an encounter.

Surprise Shift: Once per day per 4 fighter levels, the fighter can move 5 feet as a swift action. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity and does not count as a 5-foot step.

Solo Tactics: The fighter’s allies are treated as if they possessed the same teamwork feats as the fighter for the purpose of determining whether the fighter receives a bonus from her teamwork feats. Her allies do not receive any bonuses from these feats unless they actually possess the feats themselves. The allies’ positioning and actions must still meet the prerequisites listed in the teamwork feat for the fighter to receive the listed bonus.

(These are the extraordinary abilities I was talking about. They are weaker than spells, but useful nevertheless.)

Armor mastery: The DR given by the ability is DR/10.

Got you now (Ex): Once per day, the fighter can use his chosen weapon to make a touch attack (ranged or melee) as a standard attack. If it hits, it is a considered a confirmed critical. The ability is not expended if the attack misses.

So what do you think? Is that a more versatile fighter? I eagerly await your thoughts!.


Even commoners get perception as class skill. Fighters should get it also. Before little Johnny went off to fighter school he had perception, but somehow the game wants us to believe the military took it away.


It seems that PF and 3.5 operate under the assumption that Perception ruins the Stealth characters, so they restrict it. But there are always traits that give it and you will notice that you can get it through Initial Training.


Proud Grognard wrote:
It seems that PF and 3.5 operate under the assumption that Perception ruins the Stealth characters, so they restrict it. But there are always traits that give it and you will notice that you can get it through Initial Training.

I understand. I was speaking more from an immersion point of view. The guy you hire to guard your caravan or be the leader of your army, or that used to have perception should still have it.

I like weapon aptitude. I stole it from Tome of Battle for my games.

Grind the teeth (Ex): is nice, but not necessary. A fighter can get a decent will save if the focuses on it.

Decoy:reminds me too much of that antagonize feat. I don't care for it. You being open to attack, does not make you the more important target.

I don't like breakthough at all. Being able to see invisible creatures as an example is not good, not without a reason.

Just a flesh wound:If this is to work it should be usable in combat as a swift or move action. Outside of combat he will most likely to be able to get healing anyway. It would be the last ability I chose though. Being unconscious in combat still leaves you open to a coup de grace.

Ignore impediment:I would allow him to ignore so many feet of difficult terrain per fighter level, and for the purpose of freedom of movement it would be better in rounds. Fights don't last minutes so he basically has immunity to such thing from a combat point of view with the current version.

Solo Tactics and Armor Mastery are stealing other class's abilities.

I don't like Got you now either.
A touch attack is almost always going to hit and confirm for a fighter barring a nat 1. When you stack on the critical based feats, this can cause problems.

I would use that first to stagger/stun someone, then try to keep them locked down.
Actually I would use a ranged weapon, and on my next turn get my full attack in.


About Grind the teeth: The fighter can become reasonably good at many things. The thing is that he gets shoehorned after that. As I said before, there is no reason for his bad saves. And there is no reason why he should sink two feat to have them

Decoy: Well, the reasoning of antagonize is the same more or less of demoralize. The effect itself is based on a watered down first level paladin spell, so I don't think it is overpowered.

Break through: i think you are right about that. I need to find a way to clarify the wording. It is not about invisibility or mirror image, but rather about shield and barkskin, for example. Though a case could be made that the requisite successful attack makes it much more sensible.

Just a flesh wound: There seems to be a consensus that healing is best being done after the battle, unless someone is about to drop. However, I could see this being a standard action, for example. I would like to hear some more opinions.

Ignore impediment: The idea on that was again to base it in a a watered down spell. As you say, 1 minute is what most battles take, so it could be made to last that long. However, perhaps an increase in times per day would be called for? Or not?

Solo Tactics is indeed borrowed from Inquisitor, but I don;t think this is his signature ability. Moreover, the Inquisitor also has bonus teamwork feats he can change instantly and I think the ability combo is what makes the difference.

How is Armor Mastery stolen? It is a fighter ability!

Got you now, you must remember, is a capstone ability that can be used once per day. It is there to balance the rather underwhelming capstone ability of the fighter. It is, I think, nice and cinematic, to decapitate the dragon in one swing or do something similar. By 20th level, there are better ways to stun someone, after all.


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My thoughts on Antagonize are here-->Lets say the cleric in the story is instead a masterful tactician who refuses to take the lesser option even if his men would die.

This is an immersion issue for me.

Healing is best done after combat, but with the flesh wound ability the fight is not doing anything the cleric or other healer can do for him.

Actually I would change just a flesh wound so that the fighter gained temporary hit points. Here is what I would replace it with.
Last Stand-In the face of impending doom, the fighter has always been able to continue in battle. As a swift action the fighter may gain a number of temporary hit points equal to his 1/2 his fighter level x his con modifier. This ability can be used 1/day at level 6, and one additional time per day for every additional 7 levels.

I did not mean to type "Armor Mastery". Well actually I thought I had erased it because I had no idea why I typed it.


I fully agree with you about the immersion issue. Though I like the idea of the fighter skillfully guiding his opponent to himself. Any ideas about how to accomplish it?

The Last Stand proposal I really like, thematically. Is it, in your opinion, more powerful or less than just changing the Flesh wound into a standard action? Is it then to close to the paladin's self healing? The hp to nonlethal damage I felt did not make the damage inconsequential, but was also thematically nice.

I would like to hear some more opinions. Also, other than the above, what is your opinion on the whole thing?


Increased number of skills: just perfect.

Initial training: Just give every fghter perception and i would 100% like this.

skills and hard work: Interesting, i would restric it somehow though. Once at first level and every 5 level thereafter.

weapon attitude: I do not like it at all.

Grind the teeth: I would reduce the humber of uses in a given day.

Heroics: I do not like it. They are not bad, is just that i do not like "once perday..." thing.

Got you know: Note that i cuold be an autokill if the fighter use a weapon like a scythe.


Nikos, thanks for the feedback.

Well, the perception thing I understand, but very few classes get it. It can be had with traits and also with some of the skillsets. Also note that the initial training skillsets are not meant to be the ultimate and complete list, just suggestions.

Skill and hard work: I see your point. I think what you propose is too harsh, though. Perhaps 1+1/3 levels? But do you find it generally unbalanced? It just makes the fighter the true master of the combat feats and removes some of the MAD that sometimes crops up.

Weapon aptitude was lifted from the Tome of Battle. The designer, I think, was the one later suggested that it should be transferred to the fighter. I don't think it will make much of a difference really. In the rare cases that the fighter needs a bludgeoning weapon, he will just be as good with it as with his sword, and that's that.

Grind the teeth: I think I disagree here. Initially, I was thinking that the fighter should just have straight good saves in everything. He is supposed to be tough and he was tough in all previous DnD editions. in 3.5 and PF, he lost that, without gaining anything. I think this levels the field with the other melee classes, without becoming too much.

Heroics: I tried to follow the mechanics of the spelless ranger and paladin. These mimic abilities that the fighter should have but usually relies on spells to get, albeit in more watered down versions. This is why I didn't want to make them more numerous. But you don't like them on the principle of being once per day or specifically on what they do?

Got you know: Well, a potential autokill of one enemy per day as a capstone ability of a whole class that is based on killing things is not that bad, is it? But at level 20, fighters hit most of the time anyway and confirm criticals very very often. Do you feel it is overpowered? I mean, as the other half of a capstone ability?

Of course, it could be modified to 'an attack with +4 to hit and +4 to confirm the critical', but this is a bit unheroic. Compared to a paladin at level 20, the neverending raging barbarian, not to mention the inquisitor or the alchemist.


Proud Grognard wrote:


Skill and hard work: I see your point. I think what you propose is too harsh, though. Perhaps 1+1/3 levels? But do you find it generally unbalanced? It just makes the fighter the true master of the combat feats and removes some of the MAD that sometimes crops up.

I do not know, i just feel that the fighter should not be able to ignore the rectiction more than 4-6 times.

Proud Grognard wrote:


Grind the teeth: I think I disagree here. Initially, I was thinking that the fighter should just have straight good saves in everything. He is supposed to be tough and he was tough in all previous DnD editions. in 3.5 and PF, he lost that, without gaining anything. I think this levels the field with the other melee classes, without becoming too much.

The more con the more uses per day + the more high the saves will be it seems to mee like too much.

Proud Grognard wrote:


I tried to follow the mechanics of the spelless ranger and paladin. These mimic abilities that the fighter should have but usually relies on spells to get, albeit in more watered down versions. This is why I didn't want to make them more numerous. But you don't like them on the principle of being once per day or specifically on what they do?

In principle. I would like constant abilties. For me, the fighter should be the guy that can use his abilties all day long.

Proud Grognard wrote:


Got you know: Well, a potential autokill of one enemy per day as a capstone ability of a whole class that is based on killing things is not that bad, is it? But at level 20, fighters hit most of the time anyway and confirm criticals very very often. Do you feel it is overpowered? I mean, as the other half of a capstone ability?

I do not like outokills. Note that it can be used with power attack, , stunning assault, dazzing assault and still hit with ease. Also i do not like the "once per day...".


Also, i do not think the fighters need taht much of an overhaul. I would be happy only with more skill and Extremely happy with better saves. The other things are not game unbalancing but (at least for me) not really necesary.


only balance fighters need in my opinion is 4 + int mod for saves and a choice between will and reflex as a high save along with fort based on which type of fighter one is playing. maybe an ability they get at level one to select one of the two that gives bonuses based on level to that save so it evens out with being a high save, they are pretty fine with every thing else and don't need balance, they stand their own just fine balance wise.


Well, I am still ambivalent myself about whether Grind the teeth should go and just have good saves all around.

As per the heroics, I see what you mean, but these are more mobility and battlefield control, more like glorified feats. If someone doesn't like them, he doesn't use them.

As per the autokill thing, well it is not an autokill, really. It will just deliver a massive amount of damage to a single target, once. The fighter at that level very often crits anyway. You must compare it with other capstone abilities, like 9th level spells, the fort or die of the ranger, the at-will wildshape, the alchemist's grand discovery and the inquisitor's true judgement.


I love Initial Training and increased skill points, and Grind the Teeth is pretty neat. I'm not a huge fan of Heroics or Got You Now because they're disassociated mechanics - there's not a good in-world explanation for why the fighter has a per day limit on these abilities. The Barbarian eventually runs out of rage because his body has a limited reserve of stamina and rage exhausts it until he can rest for a night - what's happening in the game world with Got You Now?


I like this very much, and with a few tweaks will probably introduce it to my group. I think that making the ability "Just a Flesh Wound" an immediate action would be a good idea, as more of a last minute "Oh no, I'm going to die" kind of ability.

I don't really see how Got You Now is overpowered, but then, I always did like the image of cutting a man down with just the one swing.

Good work. I like it.

Quick question though: for Initial Training, could you explain the bit about associated ability scores? It seems like you are saying that it raises stats. I'm sure I just misread it or something, but a bit of clarification would be appreciated.


Well, heroics is not easy to come by. Once in a while, the fighter pushes his body and will to do things at the very edge of the possible. He puts everything he has into that one mad sprint, hammers at the magical shield so hard that his sword almost whines and so on.

In the same vain, the Got you now in the game world is the one transcendental stroke, where the best swordsman in the land melds his mind and body into one. He can't push his body to do stuff like that all the time and it is only possible because of his almost supernatural ability with his weapon.

Bear in mind that, for example, the Barbarian by then has learned to rage all the time, his body a constant source of stamina. And vice versa, the 20th level ranger can only make one 'save or die' shot.

As capstone abilities, the once per day abilities are actually not all that uncommon.


Well, the game has other dissociated mechanics, I'll grant you that. I'm more willing to accept it for Heroics, actually. Got You Now is a cool mechanic in theory but the execution bugs me. Buuuut this is more a "personal taste hang-up" than it is a balance or design issue, so take it with a grain of salt. Overall, you've definitely made something neat here.


How about grind your teeth you just add Str or con to will saves? I personally don't see fighters making a lot of reflex saves(except Dex based fighters and archers) I more see them as just "taking it like a man". Or maybe you gain a choice between will and reflex.

What I don't see anywhere is energy resistance. Fighters in myth and fantasy often shrug off fire cold and lightning. This goes inline with what I was saying above. I see a fighter eating a wizards fireball, and keep coming on. Ash covered and singed, hair still smoking, loose strips of clothing still aflame but ignored as the fighter stares down the wizard, who too late realizes his mistake, this is not just some metal encased peasant jumped up with a big pointy stick, this is a Fighter. Maybe a heroic that adds energy resistance 1 +1/3 levels to one type, and half that to a second?


@Hubris:

Thanks for the good words. Initial training says that the ability associated with the skill (Cha for Diplomacy, for example) is treated as being 12 for the purposes of the skill only. In most cases, that means a +1 to the skill in question.

@ Diskordant:

The image you describe is exactly what I was aiming. The fact shrugs the damage. This is why Fort substitutes Will and Ref (the shrugging it off save par excellence).

The energy resistance you describe is indeed covered by the save. Most of these spells have saves (Ref usually). When the fighter makes it, this is what happens.


Sorry, hasty reply. It should have been:

"@Hubris:

Thanks for the good words. Initial training says that the ability associated with the skill (Cha for Diplomacy, for example) is treated as being 12 for the purposes of the skill only. In most cases, that means a +1 to the skill in question, and later on +2 and +3. That is about it.

@ Diskordant:

The image you describe is exactly what I was aiming. The fighter overcomes the damage through grit and stamina. This is why Fort substitutes Will and Ref. In my mind, the save that says "shrugging it off" is the Fort save.

Since most energy attacks require either a Ref or a Fort save, a bonus to these saves also means a situation like the one you just described. The fighter curls up, he grits his teeth at the flames, and gets up singed but not hurt to deliver sharp (or blunt) retribution."

Qadira

I really dislike how this encourages dumping stats.

I disagree that a fighter is at all out classed at levels 1-9 (waiting for PF experience beyond that before deciding but it is possible since the spells get so awesome).

My only wish is that fighters got to pick 2 additional class skills and maybe one of them gets a free rank every level. Oh and bravery sucks maybe something more interesting like a bonus vs emotion descriptors.

Traits help a ton with the skill issue.

Sounds like you want a samurai, they have resolve.


GeneticDrift wrote:

I really dislike how this encourages dumping stats.

I disagree that a fighter is at all out classed at levels 1-9 (waiting for PF experience beyond that before deciding but it is possible since the spells get so awesome).

My only wish is that fighters got to pick 2 additional class skills and maybe one of them gets a free rank every level. Oh and bravery sucks maybe something more interesting like a bonus vs emotion descriptors.

Traits help a ton with the skill issue.

Sounds like you want a samurai, they have resolve.

How this encourages dumping stats? The fighter still needs Str, Dex, and Con. The whole point is that he shouldn't also need Int or Cha to be able to do something more. Your suggestion is almost equivalent with what I say here, only more cumbersome, IMHO.

But as I said, if you don't agree that the fighter needs anything, that is fine. This is a suggestion for those who agree.

Finally, I am not looking for anything, beyond giving the fighter a boost in specific areas where the class is being unnecessary and implicitly handicapped. This is not an archetype or a 'How to build X" but rather a proposal in addressing specific deficiencies.


Some additional ideas, adapted from the soulknife

Combat Slide: Upon successfully striking an enemy in melee, the soulknife may immediately make a 5-foot step (even if she's already moved in the round, but not if she's taken a 5-foot step). In addition, when someone misses the fighter with a melee attack, she may spend an immediate action to take a 5-foot step.

Maneuver mastery: When a fighter successfully completes a maneuver, such as trip, sunder, disarm etc, he can opt to do damage equal to the weapon's base damage + half his strength mod.

Caught unaware: Once per encounter, the fighter can, as an immediate action, attack an enemy who has successfully struck her in melee. This attack is assumed to happen after the successful attack, so she cannot use this ability if the attack would put her below 0 hit points, nor does dropping her enemy below 0 hit points prevent the attack from hitting. A fighter must be at least 9th level to select this heroic.

Trade Blows: When a fighter uses the total defense action, she may make a melee attack at her normal attack bonus on anyone that makes a melee attack against her, regardless of whether the opponent's attack hits. This attack is resolved immediately after the opponent's attack. The fighter may make one such attack for each attack made against her. If multiple opponents attack the fighter, each attack she makes must be against the enemy that triggered it. All such attacks are made with a -4 penalty on the attack roll, and are an exception to the rule that you cannot attack during the total defense action.

Hamstring: As a standard action, the fighter may make a single melee attack against a single creature. If she hits, instead of dealing damage,the creature's ability is rendered unable to move for a number of rounds equal to the fighter's Strength modifier (minimum 1). A successful Fortitude save against 10 +the fighter level negates the effect.

Cheliax

Gonna dot this for after work


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After the feedback here and in other forums, I propose the following, all in all

BAB, Weapon and armor proficiencies, HD, Saves : Unchanged (but see Grind the teeth below).

Skills: 4 per level. Skill selection unchanged (however see Initial training below).

1st) Bonus feat, Initial training, Skill and hard work
2nd) Bonus feat, Weapon aptitude, Grind the teeth
3rd) Armor training
4th) Bonus feat
5th) Weapon training, Heroics
6th) Bonus feat, Feat mastery
7th) Armor training
8th) Bonus feat
9th) Weapon training, Heroics
10th)Bonus feat
11th)Armor training
12th)Bonus feat
13th)Weapon training, Heroics
14th)Bonus feat
15th)Armor training
16th)Bonus feat
17th)Weapon training, Heroics
18th)Bonus feat
19th)Armor mastery
20th)Bonus feat, Weapon mastery, Got you now, Heroics

Initial training (Ex): The fighter selects one of the skillsets below. These skills become class skills. He treats the associate ability score for these skills as 12, if it it isn't 12 or higher already. This becomes 14 at 6th level, 16 at 10th level and 18 at 15th level. If the skill is one that he already has in his skill list, he gains a +1 competence bonus to it, plus +1 in each level divisible by 5 (5, 10, 15, 20).

Guard: Knowledge(Local), Perception,Intimidation
Inspector: Diplomacy, Intimidate, Sense motive
Wilderness warrior: Knowledge (Nature), Survival,Knowledge (Dungeoneering)
Mounted warrior: Ride, Handle animal, Knowledge (Nature)
Knight: Knowledge (Nobility), Diplomacy, Knowledge (Engineering)
Thug: Stealth, Climb, Acrobatics
Temple protector: Knowledge (Nobility), Knowledge (Religion), Spellcraft
Collegiate guard: Knowledge (Arcane), Spellcraft, Knowledge (Planes)
Mercenary: Diplomacy, Sense motive, Nobility
Caravan guard: Handle Animal, Perception, Appraise
Sailor : Climb, Geography, Swim, Acrobatics

Skill and hard work (Ex): The fighter can ignore the ability requirements when he selects a feat as his fighter bonus feats, if the ability in question is 10 or more.

(Note that the feat in question must be taken with fighter bonus feats. No one class dipping).

Weapon aptitude (Ex): As a full round action that does not provoke an AoO, the fighter can change the weapon specified in his feats (weapon focus, improved critical, etc).

Grind the teeth (Ex): A number of times equal to the fighter's Con mod + 1 per 3 levels (3rd,6th,9th,12th etc), the fighter can substitute his Will or Ref save with a Fort save. This must be decided before the roll is made.

Heroics (Ex): The fighter learns to perform extraordinary acts of heroism. He learns one at 5th level and one more at levels 9th, 13th, 17th and 20th. Every time he is eligible to learn a new heroic, he can also replace the ones he already knows with others from the list.

Harassment: A fighter targets a single foe which he is capable of attacking,with a standard attack. The target of the harasment takes a -2 modifier to all his attacks that do not target the the fighter, as long as the fighter spents at least an action attacking him. The penalty becomes -3 if the fighter is 10th level, -4 if 15th etc. If the fighter wants to change the target of his harrasment, he must take a move action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity to reposition himself.

Burst of speed: A fighter can increase his speed by 20ft for a number of minutes equal to half his level each day. These must be spent in 1 minute increments.

Put your back into it: As a swift action, a number of times per day equal to his Con modifier plus 1/4 levels, the fighter can add half his level to a Str, Dex or Con based skill checks.

Just a flesh wound: Once per day, the fighter can take a swift action to assess the damage done to him and convert a number of hit points equal to his Constitution modifier*level to nonlethal damage.

Break through: Once per day per 5 fighter levels, the fighter can ignore spells, spell-like abilities and supernatural defenses and effects that grant protection when engaged in combat with an opponent. This applies only to spells and spellike abilities that grant AC, partial cover and displacement bonuses, not to invisibility or mirror image spells. The fighter declares his intention against a specific target as a swift action.The first successful attack acts as a targeted dispel, which does not actually dispel the active effects but instead allows the fighter to ignore it for the remainder of the encounter. The CL is the fighter's level.

Ignore impediment: Once per day per 5 fighter levels, the fighter can, as a move action, ignore any and all impediments to his movement, as per the freedom of movement spell, for 1 minute.

Combat mobility: Once per day per 5 fighter levels, the fighter can, as an immediate action, take an additional move action as part of his turn. This action can only be used for movement.

Overextending: Once per day per 5 fighter levels, the fighter can, as a move action, extend his reach 5 feet for the duration of an encounter.

Surprise Shift: A number of times equal to his Constitution modifier the fighter can move 5 feet as a swift action. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity and does not count as a 5-foot step.

Team leader: The fighter’s allies are treated as if they possessed the same teamwork feats as the fighter, as long as fighter takes a swift action each turn to coordinate them. Her allies do receive the bonuses from these feats regardless if they actually possess the feats themselves, but only as regarding the fighter. The allies’ positioning and actions must still meet the prerequisites listed in the teamwork feat for the listed effects to take place.

(The above means that the paladin makes a shield wall with the fighter, but not with the barbarian, even if the barbarian does have the team feat in question).

Maneuver mastery: When a fighter successfully completes a maneuver, such as trip, sunder, disarm etc, he can opt to do damage equal to the weapon's base damage + half his strength mod.

False security: Once per encounter, the fighter can, as an immediate action, attack an enemy who has successfully struck her in melee. This attack is assumed to happen after the successful attack, so she cannot use this ability if the attack would put her below 0 hit points, nor does dropping her enemy below 0 hit points prevent the attack from hitting. A fighter must be at least 9th level to select this heroic.

Trade Blows: When a fighter uses the total defense action, she may make a melee attack at her normal attack bonus on anyone that makes a melee attack against her, regardless of whether the opponent's attack hits. This attack is resolved immediately after the opponent's attack. The fighter may make one such attack for each attack made against her. If multiple opponents attack the fighter, each attack she makes must be against the enemy that triggered it. All such attacks are made with a -4 penalty on the attack roll, and are an exception to the rule that you cannot attack during the total defense action.

Hamstring: As a standard action, the fighter may make a single melee attack against a single creature. If she hits, instead of dealing damage,the creature is rendered unable to move for a number of rounds equal to the fighter's Strength modifier (minimum 1). The target is not paralyzed and is able to defend himself normally. A successful Fortitude save against 10 +the fighter level negates the effect.

Feat mastery (Ex): If the fighter has a combat feat that has an improved or greater version, he automatically gets the improved and greater versions in the levels he would be eligible for them. He must still meet the requirements for the improved and greater versions of the feat (but see Skill and hard work). In order for the ability to function, the character must have fighter levels equal to the BAB required by the greater or improved version.

Armor mastery: The DR given by the ability is DR/10.

Got you now (Ex): Once per day, the fighter can use his chosen weapon to make a touch attack (ranged or melee) as a standard attack. If it hits, it is a considered a confirmed critical. The ability is not expended if the attack misses.


i like the ideas you got going here, Proud Grognard.

(disclaimer: i tend to take people's ideas, mix them with other ideas, and formulate heavy-handed 'proposals' out of them. this is my way of 'liking' and 'feedbacking' your ideas - or 'ruining' them lol)

also, have you seen the Grit Fighter concept-thread?

to me, your Heroics (nice name!) reskinned as a Grit/Deeds pool is an elegant way to incentivize investment in a single mental stat. more on this below.

feedback:

Skill Points - 4 may be too many, 2 may be too few, 3, as an odd number, lacks a precedent within the game.
i agree for the need to expand the fighter's out-of-combat utility, but think it definately ought to be a narrow focus rather than a wider flexibility.
and though the argument that "upping the skill points penalizes INT-dumping" holds water, i generally favor incentivizing investment over discouraging dumping.

Weapon Aptitude - i like the ability, but think instead of a full-round action, it should be a 1-hour action after sleep, akin to how a wizard prepares spells. i'm for flexibility, but in a more limited sense. in-game, this would justify the need for "constant practice" and we would see the fighter waking up early in the morning to do his "morning stretches".

Initial Training - i like what this ability is trying to accomplish. but the method by which, ie the "virtual ability score" thing, seems wrongish to me.
i'd like to counter-propose - keep the brilliant '3-skill job selection' (Guard, Inspector, Wilderness Warrior, Mounted Warrior, Knight, Thug, Temple Protector, Collegiate Guard, Mercenary, Caravan Guard, Sailor) as granting class skills, and reappropriate the Bravery mechanic (conspicuously missing?) into granting a +1 bonus to these 'job skills' at levels 2/6/10/14/18.

Skill and Hard Work - again, dislike the 'virtual ability score' thing. and, i think an answer to avoid the 'one trick pony' pitfall is to incentivize investment into mental stats by rewarding them on multiple levels. i will here propose doing just that by reskinning your Heroics mechanic into a Grit-like mechanic.

Grind the Teeth - i like this ability. to limit it's use, i would like to tie it in as a 1-point Heroics deed. also, i would bump it to 3rd level.

Heroics - here is my re-write proposal:

Spoiler:

Heroics Pool (Ex):
At 3rd level, a fighter gains a Heroics Pool and chooses one of his mental ability scores (Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma) to govern it. Once selected, this cannot be changed. He gains a number of points in his pool equal to his chosen ability modifier (minimum 1). This pool replenishes every morning after 8 hours of rest; these hours do not need to be consecutive.

When a fighter makes a devastating attack, fells a worthy foe, or accomplishes a feat of daring, the DM may allow him to replenish his Heroics Pool by 1 point. A devastating attack usually involves confirming a critical hit against a foe of comparable HD or CR. Felling a worthy foe usually involves reducing a foe of comparable HD or CR to 0 HP or less with cleverly executed tactics. A feat of daring usually involves taking a significant risk to life or limb for a greater party gain. The DM may further rule that other circumstances warrant such an award. It is further considered sport to ask the DM ahead of time if a given undertaking would be considered worthy of consideration in this regard.

and as such, modeled after the Gunslinger, there would be a Deed spread at levels 3/7/11/15/19

indeed, a fighter will be a show better at confirming critical hits, and so, it is not exorbitant to require a larger spread of costs for the Heroics deeds, like 1-2-3 points. the 2-pointers could kick in at 11th level, the 3-pointers at 19th.

for the rest of the Heroics abilities, i will suggest a level at which they could be incorporated as part of my proposed Heroics Pool mechanic, as well as give some general feedback.

Harassment - i like what you have proposed. it doesn't 'force' an NPC to act a certain way, it just utilizes mechanical reinforcement to the effect. also, if incorporated into Heroic Pool concept, i would make it be -1 at 3rd, plus -1 every four levels to a maximum of -5 at 19th level.
now, would it break this ability to grant the 'mark' to every creature the fighter 'hits' in a round (with a duration of 1 round)? yes, this includes attacks of opportunity, iterative attacks, and even combos like Spring Attack and Whirlwind Attack.
also, maybe a Greater Harassment (gained at 7th?) in which the penalties are doubled but only so long as the fighter spends 1-point and attacks only one foe per round (duration 1 minute?)

Burst of Speed - (3rd/1-pt) this ought to be +10 feet for one minute. we don't want to outrun the monk.

"You Can Do It Put Your Back Into It" - (7th/1-pt) duration one skill check, cannot be used to take 10/20.

Just a Flesh Wound - (7th/1-pt) i second the temporary HP idea - and make it an immediate action. maybe(!) they are temporary HP which if unused upon expiring (after 1 minute) convert a like amount of damage to non-lethal? that way you could keep from passing out or shrug off after a fight point-for-point, and get both benefits.

Break Through - (11th/2-pt) i like this. also, since it doesn't actually dispell, i'm ok with the fighter being able to 'see' the invisible/mirror image character enough to mitigate combat penalties. again, i think duration 1 minute with a steep cost is fair.

Ignore Impediment - (11th/2-pt) shorten the duration to 1 round?

Combat Mobility - (11th/2-pt) nice

Overextending - don't like it. there is a feat for that, and the potential synergy would be silly.

Suprise Shift - (15th/2-pt) nice

Team Leader - as was said earlier, this is more effective as conducted by an Inquisitor. would porting that ability over to fighter step on his toes? yes. but this ability belongs to the fighter in the first place, imho. maybe (3rd/1-pt) for the whole package?... maybe the Solo Tactics aspect of it is the initial 'residual pool ability' ("so long as the fighter retains 1 point in his pool...), and the gaining/switching a teamwork feat is gained later (11th/2-pt)?...

Maneuver Mastery - (15th/2-pt) i would reword this to say he gains a free maneuver attempt upon landing a successful hit. you could have it be pre-declared (like Stunning Fist) or post-declared. i would lean to the latter to justify the expenditure. lastly, i would change the name to something like Lethal Attack Maneuver or somesuch.

False Security - (19th/3-pt) this is a deadly ability. and if it is gained so late, i actually would allow the fighter to do this as they crossed the border of 0 HP (or negative CON!) again to justify the wait and expenditure.

Trade Blows - (19th/3-pt) again if high cost, i would remove the -4 penalty, and make this a declared immediate action. to contrast with the prior ability, you must be >0 HP to do this.

Hamstring - i don't like this ability. this is a rogue ability to me.

Feat Mastery - i like this, and find it more balanced if all normal requirements must be met. especially if the Heroics Pool concept is adopted and the fighter will have a solid mental stat. i am still a favor of 'builds'. maybe (!) we fold into the Heroics Pool (at 7th/1-pt) with duration 1 minute?

Armor Mastery - why not.

Got You Now! - i don't like this ability, and i think that this late in the game the fighter has no problem hitting. maybe a capstone a la Kirthfinder where the fighter's iterative attacks are all made at full BAB? ie +20/+20/+20/+20?...

so, to sum up proposals with a table:

Fighter

HD: d10
Skill Points: 2
Good Save: Fortitude
BAB: full

1 -Bonus Feat, Job Training
2 -Bonus Feat, Weapon Aptitude, Job Training +1
3 -Heroics Pool, Deeds, Armor Training 1
4 -Bonus Feat
5 -Weapon Training 1
6 -Bonus Feat, Job Training +2
7 -Deeds, Armor Training 2
8 -Bonus Feat
9 -Weapon Training 2
10-Bonus Feat, Job Training +3
11-Deeds, Armor Training 3
12-Bonus Feat
13-Weapon Training 3
14-Bonus Feat, Job Training +4
15-Deeds, Armor Training 4
16-Bonus Feat
17-Weapon Training 4
18-Bonus Feat, Job Training +5
19-Deeds, Armor Mastery
20-Bonus Feat, Weapon Mastery

Deeds:

1 point
3rd - Team Leader (1+), Grind the Teeth, Harassment, Burst of Speed
7th - Put Your Back Into It, Just a Flesh Wound, Feat Mastery
2 point
11th - Ignore Impediment, Combat Mobility, Team Leader
15th - Surprise Shift, Lethal Attack Maneuver
3 point
19th - False Security, Trade Blows

(notice at the lighter levels, 4/8/12/16/20, feat retraining is an option - thus potentially two new feats at those levels...)

cheers!


Dot.


Just wanted to pop in and say I love the concept behind the Grinding the Teeth class feature. Very pulp/cinema hero-warrior.
I totally support the brewing going on here. Nice work people!!!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If I were you, I would revise the Heroics mechanic to be more like the Gunslinger's Grit. Give him a point pool & make a point cost for each ability. Cuts down on having to track each Heroic talent individually. Then you would just need to know the points to spend on each.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

That's what I get for thinking I read everything when I'm half asleep. :P


Regarding Perception, Fighter training can, quite literally, train that right out of you. As a Fighter, you're concerned with the opponent right in front of you. You're a front-line type of combatant who focuses on immediate targets and relies on a support team to point out new engagements and such.

Regarding the topic at hand, I don't think much needs to be changed about the fighter except for one minor thing. For a class that's supposed to be the penultimate specialist in forward combat, their BAB is too low. A Fighter is just as good regarding Base Attack Bonus as someone who trained themselves in intuitive combat (Barbarian) and someone who split their college-level combat training with heavy religious studies (Paladin). Fighters should be the one class available that is "Over-BAB" and should cap at 25 or 30 BAB by lvl 20. I think that would go a long way to balance them out and really make them "Fighters".


The only reason fighters are less effective than they were in previous iterations of the game is that they added five feats to the character level system and then increased the number of hoops you need to go through for feat chains. This gutted the fighter. It literally reduced his feat advantage by 30% and made each feat less useful.

In short, feat changes are the problem.


i agree that feats are troublesome.

somewhere between the (1) high or arbitrary ability score pre-reqs, the (2) taxing feat chain feat pre-reqs, the (3) at times narrow utility of some feat choices, the (4) universalism of a few feats that ought to be given freely, and ultimately the (5) paradox of choice resulting in less of it, it can be a frustrating system.

i think that the main difficulty point is having these issues in concert rather than each individually. the most annoying to me is the narrow utility factor - some of the feats ought to be spiced up so as to be more enticing. point five is simply inherent in a system that even has 'feats'.

what do you suggest? a feat tree overhaul in which some of these problems are alleviated? how so?

some of us here instead try to work with the trees as given and focus our creative energies on the classes themselves (hence thread title). i think the fighter's class feature to 'swap' feats at certain levels is a step in the right direction.


I honestly think that feats are actually at the point where you could do without them. There are few real paradigm shifting feat selections, and most of them are hugely feat intensive. If you were to make two weapon fighting a single feat that improved through base attack thresholds, would it really change anything?

Feats need to have a purpose. I loathe this move towards minor bonuses that really shouldnt be a choice. Does anyone really want to take weapon focus? I know I dont.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Could beefing up feats by basing their effects on BAB work?


Or fighters are still awesome and fun to play.

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