Fighter Class Preview

Monday, March 19, 2018

Over the past 2 weeks, we've tried to give you a sense of what Pathfinder Second Edition is all about, but now it's time to delve into some details on the classes. From now until the game releases in August, we'll go through the classes one by one, pausing now and then to look at various rules and systems. Today, let's take a look at one of the most foundational classes in the game: the fighter.

The fighter was one of the first classes we redesigned, alongside the rogue, cleric, and wizard. We knew that we wanted these four to work well in concert with each other, with the fighter taking on the role of primary combat character, good at taking damage and even better at dealing damage. The fighter has to be the best with weapons, using his class options to give him an edge with his weapons of choice. The fighter also has to be mobile, able to get into the fray quickly and hold the line, allowing less melee-oriented characters time to get into position and use their abilities without have to fend off constant attacks.

Let's start by looking at some of the features shared by all fighters.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

First up is attacks of opportunity. This feature allows you to spend your reaction to strike a creature within your reach that tries to manipulate an object (like drinking a potion), make a ranged attack, or move away from you. This attack is made with a –2 penalty, but it doesn't take the multiple attack penalty from other strikes you attempt on your turn. Other classes can get this ability—and numerous monsters will as well—but only the fighter starts with it a core feature. Fighters also have feat choices that can make their attacks of opportunity more effective.

Next up, at 3rd level, you gain weapon mastery, which increases your proficiency rank with one group of weapons to master. Your proficiency rank increases to legendary at 13th level, making you truly the best with the weapons of your choice. At 19th level, you become a legend with all simple and martial weapons!

The fighter gets a number of other buffs and increases as well, but one I want to call out in particular is battlefield surveyor, which increases your Perception proficiency rank to master (you start as an expert), and gives you an additional +1 bonus when you roll Perception for initiative, helping you be first into the fight!

As mentioned in the blog last week, the real meat behind the classes is in their feats and (as of this post), the fighter has the largest selection of feats out of all the classes in the game! Let's take a look at some.

You've probably already heard about Sudden Charge. You can pick up this feat at 1st level. When you spend two actions on it, this feat allows you to move up to twice your speed and deliver a single strike. There's no need to move in a straight line and no AC penalty—you just move and attack! This feat lets the fighter jump right into the thick of things and make an immediate impact.

Next let's take a look at Power Attack. This feat allows you to spend two actions to make a single strike that deals an extra die of damage. Instead of trading accuracy for damage (as it used to work), you now trade out an action you could have used for a far less accurate attack to get more power on a roll that is more likely to hit.

As you go up in level, some of the feats really allow you to mix things up. Take the 4th-level feat Quick Reversal, for example. If you are being flanked and you miss with your second or third attack against one of the flankers, this feat lets you redirect the attack to the other target and reroll it, possibly turning a miss into a hit!

We've talked before about how fun and tactical shields are in the game. To recap, you take an action to raise your shield and get its Armor Class and touch Armor Class bonuses, and then you can block incoming damage with a reaction while the shield is raised. At 6th level, fighters can take the feat Shield Warden, which allows them to use their shield to block the damage taken by an adjacent ally. At 8th, they can even get an extra reaction each turn, just to use shield block one additional time. (And yes, they can spend this extra reaction on another use of Shield Warden.) At 14th level, a fighter can use their shield to protect themself from dragon's breath and fireballs, gaining their shield's bonus to Reflex saves.

The fighter also has a wide variety of options with ranged weapons, allowing you to deal more damage up close or fire more than one arrow at a time. I foresee a lot of fighters taking Debilitating Shot, which causes a foe to be slowed if the attack hits (causing it to lose one action on its next turn).

And all this is a small sample. We've made a conscious effort to give fighters a number of paths they can pursue using their feats: focusing on shields, swinging a two-handed weapon, fighting with two weapons, making ranged attacks, and fighting defensively. These paths are pretty open, allowing you to mix and match with ease to create a fighter that matches your play style.

The goal here is to give you a variety of tools to deal with the situations and encounters you are bound to face. You might walk into a fight with your bow and open with Double Shot, allowing you to fire a pair of arrows into the two nearest foes, only to swap over to using a greataxe when the rest surround you, making an attack against all enemies in your reach with Whirlwind Strike! It all comes down to the type of fighter you want to play.

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

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Tags: Fighters Pathfinder Playtest Valeros Wayne Reynolds
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What can fighters do off the battlefield to contribute to the narrative?

Fighters never had an especially difficult time hitting the needed dpr, most high level complaints are what do fighters do when the wizard is creating demiplanes and binding devils to their will.

Do they naturally attract followers, have some advantage when leading armies, can class features grant them ways to handle challenges involving flight, underwater, extra planar locations, invisibility, damage immunity to weapons?


Trimalchio wrote:

What can fighters do off the battlefield to contribute to the narrative?

Fighters never had an especially difficult time hitting the needed dpr, most high level complaints are what do fighters do when the wizard is creating demiplanes and binding devils to their will.

Do they naturally attract followers, have some advantage when leading armies, can class features grant them ways to handle challenges involving flight, underwater, extra planar locations, invisibility, damage immunity to weapons?

I suspect that most narrative control is going to come from your Ancestry and Skill feats, at least for the martial classes. Certain classes will be pushed towards certain skills (I like how the Fighter is apparently a Master at perception!) and hopefully the full casters will have weaker access than the martials.

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

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It occurs to me that I forgot to include a mention of Reactive Shield in this blog, which is a bit of an oversight. The preview version we ran all weekend had this ability, which allows you to spend your reaction to raise your shield. You can't block with it if you use this ability (since you've already spent your reaction), unless you get the extra reaction to block. I may try and get an edit in there to add a note about this.


Mark Seifter wrote:
F. Castor wrote:
Interesting stuff. Really curious about two-weapon fighting though. Here is to hoping we get some hints or information on that down the road.
The fighter actually has Double Slice, an incredibly good 1st-level feat for TWFers; it just wasn't in the preview.

As a Rogue Main, allow me to REEEEEEE at that a bit... Will Rogues still be able to do the TWF Sneak Attack Blender, or is that something of a now bygone age of PF1e?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
willuwontu wrote:
Another thing to note, is that you didn't mention any proficiency with armors, is fighter not getting armor training (so to speak) in this edition? Are they still proficient with all armors and shields at level 1?
He does still have armor proficiency, and it does improve a bit for him, but for the fighter, we decided that weapons were his prime focus. This leaves a focus on armor for another class...

Is that other class the Paladin?

Paizo Employee Designer

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Trimalchio wrote:
can class features grant them ways to handle challenges involving flight, underwater, extra planar locations, invisibility, damage immunity to weapons?

There are several class-specific options that could help with each of these (except underwater is covered well enough by skill feats that the fighter doesn't really focus class feats on the matter).


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This preview worries me a bit.

The fighter is typically the entry class of lots of new players, as you can build an efficient character with only feats that give a numerical advantages (Improved Init, Weapon Focus etc ...), so the new player has only very few things to know and can learn the basics of the game easily.

This preview shows a lot of things to master, I fear new players will be a bit overhelmed by all these notions ...


This spunds very promising.


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I like what I read in this one.


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I think a lot of people were hoping that the fighter class would basically include Swashbuckler, Cavalier, Brawler, and Gunslinger under one umbrella. It looks now like that's not the case?

Could we at least get Dex-to-damage at level 1? It's such a prevalent concept in fiction (Arya Stark!) that it's really disappointing to have to tell people, "You can do that by level 5, but the first four levels you'll be basically dead weight..."


I think those might come in the form of available feats and such.


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Just seems that, to make fighter better at start, you're taking off Attacks of Opportunity for other classes and creating a tax for it. Wouldn't better just let the -2 AoO penalty for other classes and giving the fighter an optional feat to remove it?

Also, Power Attack seems to be ok, but at first look, it gives the feeling that things are being made to martial characters strike less attacks per round. Is that true? Also, how will Vital Strike work now? Does it still exist?

Finally, do you need to take an action to raise your shield EVERY round to receive an AC bonus?
First, it just gives the impression that martial PCs are now more "stupid" and can't just defend themselves with a readied shield, and need to "pay MUCH attention" on this. Then, if this is true, looks like a sword and board fighter (or another martial character) will (almost) always expend his three actions in: spend/sacrifice one action, Power Attack, raise shield.

This lead to the impression that fighters will remain motionless after entering in the fray, since now guarded/5-foot step is an action... Is the intention make the fighter even more immobile now than before in the 1st edition?


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RumpinRufus wrote:

I think a lot of people were hoping that the fighter class would basically include Swashbuckler, Cavalier, Brawler, and Gunslinger under one umbrella. It looks now like that's not the case?

Could we at least get Dex-to-damage at level 1? It's such a prevalent concept in fiction (Arya Stark!) that it's really disappointing to have to tell people, "You can do that by level 5, but the first four levels you'll be basically dead weight..."

I really prefer the "1/2 level to damage if using different stats" approach. No dexterous melee hero is walking around with 7 strength.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
It occurs to me that I forgot to include a mention of Reactive Shield in this blog, which is a bit of an oversight. The preview version we ran all weekend had this ability, which allows you to spend your reaction to raise your shield. You can't block with it if you use this ability (since you've already spent your reaction), unless you get the extra reaction to block. I may try and get an edit in there to add a note about this.

PLEASE explain shields better :D


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Noir le Lotus wrote:

This preview worries me a bit.

The fighter is typically the entry class of lots of new players, as you can build an efficient character with only feats that give a numerical advantages (Improved Init, Weapon Focus etc ...), so the new player has only very few things to know and can learn the basics of the game easily.

This preview shows a lot of things to master, I fear new players will be a bit overhelmed by all these notions ...

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that a new player would rather pick feats that let him do cool new stuff then get a +1 on thier sword swing. I know it sounds way better to me, and not at all hard to understand.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
It occurs to me that I forgot to include a mention of Reactive Shield in this blog, which is a bit of an oversight. The preview version we ran all weekend had this ability, which allows you to spend your reaction to raise your shield. You can't block with it if you use this ability (since you've already spent your reaction), unless you get the extra reaction to block. I may try and get an edit in there to add a note about this.

Is this a feat?


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RumpinRufus wrote:
Could we at least get Dex-to-damage at level 1? It's such a prevalent concept in fiction (Arya Stark!) that it's really disappointing to have to tell people, "You can do that by level 5, but the first four levels you'll be basically dead weight..."

I cannot remember where exactly, but they have confirmed that Rogues get Dex-to-damage at level 1.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
RumpinRufus wrote:
Could we at least get Dex-to-damage at level 1? It's such a prevalent concept in fiction (Arya Stark!) that it's really disappointing to have to tell people, "You can do that by level 5, but the first four levels you'll be basically dead weight..."

Dex to Damage sounds more like a Rogue to me. Same with Arya Stark.

Edit: Ninja'd while talking about Arya Stark. Sounds fitting.


Isn't the new Power Attack too good at lower levels (and presumably whatever level gets the extra die) then? I think PF1 Power Attack was widely regarded as a yardstick for a feat that is powerful at level 1 and stays relevant until level 20; why the need to change what wasn't broken? Okay I get that you want the damage die to matter more; maybe introduce a -1/+1 attack modifier as well to balance out the levels between the big increases?


Jason,
Will Deadly Aim use a similar mechanism as Power Attack? Hope so.

Liberty's Edge

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Noir le Lotus wrote:

This preview worries me a bit.

The fighter is typically the entry class of lots of new players, as you can build an efficient character with only feats that give a numerical advantages (Improved Init, Weapon Focus etc ...), so the new player has only very few things to know and can learn the basics of the game easily.

This preview shows a lot of things to master, I fear new players will be a bit overhelmed by all these notions ...

I've actually come to see fighters as the opposite. It's incredibly easy to create a fairly mediocre or bad fighter as a new player simply because there are so many feats, and a great number of poor to awful feats. Experienced players usually know to avoid these feats, but a new player might not. Aside from certain feats being fairly poor, a number of feats just don't synergize well together and don't add to overall efficacy. A ranger on the other hand gives you a specific fighting style, and bonus feats that are all tailored to improving that style. It's pretty hard to mess that up.

Ignoring all that 1st edition stuff though, I'm cautiously optimistic about the way combat is sounding in the second edition. It sounds a lot more hands on, or proactive. Usually giving a player a new option to use ends up being more fun than having a simple passive bonus. Also sounds like there's a number of active choices in the game that not every round is simply going to be the fighter full attacking until it's target drops, then moving on to the next target, and the next until combat is over.


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I enjoy this teaser season thing. Normally it's Magic, but that gets genuinely spoiled every now and then, but I'm really looking to each day and hoping for new info on my favourite levels.

As a gm i always love a fighter, because I need someone to use swallow whole on.

Interesting where "charge" is going. In Starfinder its a -2 bonus, and in Pathfinder 2 it looks like it's not a bonus or minus, but only for Fighters.

Am eagerly awaiting Rogues.

And stop asking such silly questions!

Sovereign Court

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Bruno Mares wrote:
Just seems that, to make fighter better at start, you're taking off Attacks of Opportunity for other classes and creating a tax for it.

Not every class or build needs or even uses AoOs. I’d rather they had reactions they might use and the option to pick up AoO if they want it. It’s not a tax if you benefit from it.

Paizo Employee Designer

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CyberMephit wrote:
Isn't the new Power Attack too good at lower levels (and presumably whatever level gets the extra die) then? I think PF1 Power Attack was widely regarded as a yardstick for a feat that is powerful at level 1 and stays relevant until level 20; why the need to change what wasn't broken? Okay I get that you want the damage die to matter more; maybe introduce a -1/+1 attack modifier as well to balance out the levels between the big increases?

It's quite powerful, but it does use more actions, so your +1 greataxe character might be moving in and swinging once for a mighty 3d12+bonuses while my build might be several quick attacks for 3d6+bonuses that work out to more potential damage if I get very lucky and a little less vulnerable to bad luck. They wind up feeling more different too. Basically, it helps build different niches that make the various weapon styles wind up feeling a lot more different to use for me, whereas in PF1 I enjoyed different weapon styles, but ultimately they came down to a similar routine of full attacking whenever I could.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:
It occurs to me that I forgot to include a mention of Reactive Shield in this blog, which is a bit of an oversight. The preview version we ran all weekend had this ability, which allows you to spend your reaction to raise your shield. You can't block with it if you use this ability (since you've already spent your reaction), unless you get the extra reaction to block. I may try and get an edit in there to add a note about this.

That sounds mostly okay, so long as there is a difference between a ready shield and a raised one. If a ready shield gives the passive AC bonus and a raised shield is prepped to actively block a blow, that could be alright. Unless a shield has to be raised every round, then I'm right back to unhappy with shields.

They aren't hard to use, that is they people used them so much.

EDIT... Sorry, .issed the last bit about breath weapons. Very cool there.


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I am sort of sad about this, i really liked where paizo was going with grit and panache, and thought that was going to be reworked into the new fighter, instead we got the simple type one. just getting static bonuses is boring, and i think all classes should be made so you want at least one mental stat high


Charlatan wrote:


Interesting where "charge" is going. In Starfinder its a -2 bonus, and in Pathfinder 2 it looks like it's not a bonus or minus, but only for Fighters.

Your comment makes me wonder about lance attacks, a classic paladin action in the field. Looking forward to a preview of the paladin now.


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I have to say, I love the idea of AoOs being gated to certain classes, or requiring you spend something to get it.

AoOs make combat so so static for melee guys in PF1, and it punishes players for doing anything besides straight attacks so much.

Now, it opens up combats to be much more dynamic in the dungeon, and it makes fighters something to be feared because they can lock down combats.


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New Fighter looks SO COOL. I love that you're trading out Bonuses Bonuses Bonuses for Fistfull 'o Dice. That's always a more fun way to play anyway, it just FEELS, on a gut level, like you're getting more bang for your buck.

One of my favorite classes from PF1, Swashbuckler, had the Parry (and Riposte) options. I was wondering if there are any thoughts about being able to build a fencer-type fighter from the get go, or is that something to look forward to further down the road?

Shadow Lodge

I don't understand how giving the fighter +1 to initiative to make him fast, when the variance on this is a d20 roll, helps that much. It doesn't even really feel that good. A cleric who is untrained will make up that spread if perception is still wisdom based. With the current maximum possible spread beyond attributes is 6, I'm not sure any of the numbers actually matter.


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I'm just looking for ways to reverse engineer their feats to PF1e. Man, Paizo sure made the new edition as alien as possible to stop people from converting and staying with PF1.

The Debilitating Shot feat, how can I make that a PF1e feat? I am guessing Point-Blank as a prerequisites with Dex 15 as well. I am thinking the target hit makes a Fortitude save or is slowed for 1 round.

I mean, if no one in their department is going to reverse these to make them work for PF1e, I might as well try.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Sculcuvant wrote:

New Fighter looks SO COOL. I love that you're trading out Bonuses Bonuses Bonuses for Fistfull 'o Dice. That's always a more fun way to play anyway, it just FEELS, on a gut level, like you're getting more bang for your buck.

One of my favorite classes from PF1, Swashbuckler, had the Parry (and Riposte) options. I was wondering if there are any thoughts about being able to build a fencer-type fighter from the get go, or is that something to look forward to further down the road?

As I mentioned in another thread, there is a PC ability somewhere to strike back at an enemy as a reaction if they critically fail to attack you. Sounds kind of like a riposte, eh? ;)


Will there be ways for fighters to use magic, such as learning spells or supernatural abilities, without multiclassing?


coxey292 wrote:
I don't understand how giving the fighter +1 to initiative to make him fast, when the variance on this is a d20 roll, helps that much. It doesn't even really feel that good. A cleric who is untrained will make up that spread if perception is still wisdom based. With the current maximum possible spread beyond attributes is 6, I'm not sure any of the numbers actually matter.

He might not necessarily be FIRST, but now there's less chance of being dead last. Keep in mind, that's +1 on top of moving from Expert to Master, so +2. That's a 10% increase. And while Charisma and Intelligence might be a dump stat for Fighters, Wisdom isn't for the sole purpose of Perception.

Shadow Lodge

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i'm liking what i'm seeing here...but it's pretty easy to make the fighter look cool...what i'm waiting for is the monk which is my favourite pf class...make the changes to the monk as exciting as this and you'll have one very happy pf 2e player : )

Paizo Employee Designer

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nohar wrote:
i'm liking what i'm seeing here...but it's pretty easy to make the fighter look cool...what i'm waiting for is the monk which is my favourite pf class...make the changes to the monk as exciting as this and you'll have one very happy pf 2e player : )

As a fan of monks and having recently played a level 12 monk...I think if you like what you see here, then you are going to like the monk. A lot.


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LOL the level 14 (LEVEL 14!!!) ability is shield AC to reflex saves against a narrow range of attacks? Wow. Are we sure that this isn't too good? A minor numerical bonus in a specific situation? Fighters will truly be dominating high level play with this sort of amazing power activating at level 14!

I'm sure Wizards are only getting the ability to freeze time or something minor like that at level 14, they'll never be able to keep up with SHIELD AC TO REFLEX SAVES!


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Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm not mad about what power attack does, I'm mad it's not called vital strike.

Shadow Lodge

Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
coxey292 wrote:
I don't understand how giving the fighter +1 to initiative to make him fast, when the variance on this is a d20 roll, helps that much. It doesn't even really feel that good. A cleric who is untrained will make up that spread if perception is still wisdom based. With the current maximum possible spread beyond attributes is 6, I'm not sure any of the numbers actually matter.
He might not necessarily be FIRST, but now there's less chance of being dead last. Keep in mind, that's +1 on top of moving from Expert to Master, so +2. That's a 10% increase. And while Charisma and Intelligence might be a dump stat for Fighters, Wisdom isn't for the sole purpose of Perception.

It is still a maximum spread of 6, meaning that no character is truly better than anybody else at anything. If the other guy just rolls 6 better than me, he too can be legendary.


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With the fighter getting AoOs as a "bonus feat" and other classes having to take a feat for them, I am hopeful that other classes can take a feat to give them a small amount of sneak attack, or the like.


Stone Dog wrote:
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
It occurs to me that I forgot to include a mention of Reactive Shield in this blog, which is a bit of an oversight. The preview version we ran all weekend had this ability, which allows you to spend your reaction to raise your shield. You can't block with it if you use this ability (since you've already spent your reaction), unless you get the extra reaction to block. I may try and get an edit in there to add a note about this.

That sounds mostly okay, so long as there is a difference between a ready shield and a raised one. If a ready shield gives the passive AC bonus and a raised shield is prepped to actively block a blow, that could be alright. Unless a shield has to be raised every round, then I'm right back to unhappy with shields.

They aren't hard to use, that is they people used them so much.

EDIT... Sorry, .issed the last bit about breath weapons. Very cool there.

Totally agree.

Liberty's Edge

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I like the mention of sword and board as a twf style. ;)


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Power attack sounds awful. It was one of the better feats in pf1 now its a shell of what it was. Extra damage die is so feast or famine. Noone cared about the decreased accuracy because any fighter who doesnt suck should be reliably hitting.


coxey292 wrote:
Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
coxey292 wrote:
I don't understand how giving the fighter +1 to initiative to make him fast, when the variance on this is a d20 roll, helps that much. It doesn't even really feel that good. A cleric who is untrained will make up that spread if perception is still wisdom based. With the current maximum possible spread beyond attributes is 6, I'm not sure any of the numbers actually matter.
He might not necessarily be FIRST, but now there's less chance of being dead last. Keep in mind, that's +1 on top of moving from Expert to Master, so +2. That's a 10% increase. And while Charisma and Intelligence might be a dump stat for Fighters, Wisdom isn't for the sole purpose of Perception.
It is still a maximum spread of 6, meaning that no character is truly better than anybody else at anything. If the other guy just rolls 6 better than me, he too can be legendary.

What if being Master at Perception means you can take a skill feat that ensures you always act before non-masters?


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:


He does still have armor proficiency, and it does improve a bit for him, but for the fighter, we decided that weapons were his prime focus. This leaves a focus on armor for another class...

BARDS!!!


Thomas, A wrote:
might be the lack of info given but it sounds fighters are going to be same-y

Yup.And videogamey. Ok i go into power attack stance! now defense stance! bleh


EJDean wrote:
Charles Dunwoody wrote:
Power Attack and Quick Reversal both sound really useful. And the 14th level shield ability oddly specific. Maybe it has more applications.
Yeah, +1 or +2 to Reflex saves requiring an action to activate. Not exactly thrilling for a 14th-level ability.

At level 14?

Imagine a +3 Shield.

Suddenly you're getting a +5 to Reflex Saves - Not bad at all.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
coxey292 wrote:
Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
coxey292 wrote:
I don't understand how giving the fighter +1 to initiative to make him fast, when the variance on this is a d20 roll, helps that much. It doesn't even really feel that good. A cleric who is untrained will make up that spread if perception is still wisdom based. With the current maximum possible spread beyond attributes is 6, I'm not sure any of the numbers actually matter.
He might not necessarily be FIRST, but now there's less chance of being dead last. Keep in mind, that's +1 on top of moving from Expert to Master, so +2. That's a 10% increase. And while Charisma and Intelligence might be a dump stat for Fighters, Wisdom isn't for the sole purpose of Perception.
It is still a maximum spread of 6, meaning that no character is truly better than anybody else at anything. If the other guy just rolls 6 better than me, he too can be legendary.
What if being Master at Perception means you can take a skill feat that ensures you always act before non-masters?

Hence making all characters samey because they all want master perception? I mean bleh

Shadow Lodge

Arachnofiend wrote:
coxey292 wrote:
Deranged Stabby-Man wrote:
coxey292 wrote:
I don't understand how giving the fighter +1 to initiative to make him fast, when the variance on this is a d20 roll, helps that much. It doesn't even really feel that good. A cleric who is untrained will make up that spread if perception is still wisdom based. With the current maximum possible spread beyond attributes is 6, I'm not sure any of the numbers actually matter.
He might not necessarily be FIRST, but now there's less chance of being dead last. Keep in mind, that's +1 on top of moving from Expert to Master, so +2. That's a 10% increase. And while Charisma and Intelligence might be a dump stat for Fighters, Wisdom isn't for the sole purpose of Perception.
It is still a maximum spread of 6, meaning that no character is truly better than anybody else at anything. If the other guy just rolls 6 better than me, he too can be legendary.
What if being Master at Perception means you can take a skill feat that ensures you always act before non-masters?

No that would be interesting, and incredibly broken. I like the concept of the different levels, but when the differences are realistically 6 on a d20, the numbers no longer matter. Monsters will have ways of going first, even lower level ones, or they won't ever get a turn without getting rid of damage or giving them ludicrously high pools.

That said, we know the different levels give you access to different things, but those need to be game changing for the levels to really matter at all, and game changing things are usually game breaking things too.

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