New Fighter: Do Not Want!


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I'm not one of those people who thinks that the Fighter in the basic book is somehow OK. He's not. You put an SRD Fighter against opponents of his level and rather than winning half the time he just gets stomped into the ground. Fighter 10 vs. Fire Giant? Fighter 8 vs. Mind Flayer? Fighter 7 vs. Remorhazz? It's ugly, ugly stuff.

But just because we know for certain that the Fighter is in need of an overhaul, doesn't mean that he is in need of this overhaul. This writeup has a number of problems:

  • Still not that good. Let's face it, getting +1 to AC "most of the time" isn't that big of an improvement over getting nothing at all. When the Fighter picks up his armor training, Wizards are learning web. Heck, spellcasters could just be casting cat's grace or barkskin and provide a larger AC bonus.

  • Punishes Organic Characters Having characters lose their bonuses when they upgrade equipment is bad design. As soon as the party finds some awesome bug carapace armor or a Nerra Shard Sword, the party Fighter may as well be a Warrior. Remember that a character who is naturally interested in Full Plate is going to lose their Armor Training Bonus at high levels because at medium levels Full Plate comes in Mithril (which is Medium Armor, not Heavy), and at high levels it also comes with the Celestial quality (which makes it Light, not Medium or Heavy).

  • Has Nonsensical Weapon Groups I don't know if you've looked at a Pick lately, but it's an axe, not a spear.

  • Completely Lacks Depth 2 skills off a short list and no real "class features?" The Fighter presented is still the absolute worst character class to bring to the party while adventuring between actual combats. And while that might theoretically be balanced overall if he completely dominated combats, I'm pretty sure that he doesn't do that.

Now I've put A lot of thought into Fighters, and I wouldn't presume to tell you that there is only one way to fix them. There really isn't consensus in D&D as to what "being a Fighter" should entail. But I can tell you that this version fails.

-Frank


Hi Frank. I see you found the most orange icon available. :)


For what it's worth, I love you fighter, Frank - and the quote is hilarious. Hey that dude took my avatar!


The quote was great.


Kruelaid wrote:
Hey that dude took my avatar!

Yep. Until such time as Paizo sees fit to allow us to import our own pics, this one is the closest I've found to my spiritual totem, The Evil Midnight Bomber what Bombs at Midnight. (Bad is good baby! Down with alignment!)

From what I've seen of Mr. Trollman in RL, his spiritual totem is the color Orange. :)


Well then brother, nice glasses!


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Frank Trollman wrote:
skills off a short list and no real "class features?" The Fighter presented is still the absolute worst character class to bring to the party while adventuring between actual combats.

I totally agree with Frank, and the skills problem sticks in my craw: many fighters from fantasy literature can do more than just jump and climb and I want to have some skills too, when I play one.


Sure the fighter is lame at high levels, but is that because of the fighter or because of high levels? I would say it is because of everything else that happens at high levels. No one has been able to fix the fighter well since 3.5e is so wacked at higher levels. High levels are not a place for anything that doesn't do save or lose, which isn't in the fighter's bag of tricks. The fighter seems to get the most attention, but the paladin, ranger, and barbarian all have the same problem.

The first step to fixing the fighter would be to make a big list of everything that doesn't work at high levels and fix that first, then fix the fighter.

Dark Archive

I would love for Fighters to have an assortment of class features that allow them to take advantage of their focus. Stuff like Power Attack, All-Out Attack (swap AC for Atk), Defensive Attack (Expertise) and Accurate Attack (swap +Damage for +Atk) shouldn't just be Feats, they should be something *any* Fighter can do, choosing advanced version of the 'Charge' or 'Fight Defensively' options that *anyone can do.* Fighters would just 'do it better.'

Fighters, IMO, should also wear armor 'better' and use shields 'better' and swing weapons 'better' (which, thanks to their higher BAB, they generally do). Armor Optimization should be a Class ability that allows them to get a +1 additional AC bonus and ignore -1 Armor Class Penalty and have a +1 Max Dex Bonus with any armor they've spent time familiarizing themselves with. If they upgrade armor, they can spend a few days retraining their 'Armor Familiarity: Chain Shirt' for 'Armor Familiarity: Mithril Fullplate' or whatever. Like the Bo9S class, if a Weapon Focus: Longsword Fighter (and no other class, just Fighter) picks up an Adamantine Greataxe and decides that it looks sexy, he should be able to spend a few days swinging that sucker around and 'retrain' his Weapon Focus to count against his shiny new toy.

As for damage, Weapon+Str mod is fairly limp compared to a Scorching Ray. +2 for Weapon Specialization in no way keeps up with an *Empowered* Scorching Ray.

I see three possible options to buff up damage, and they aren't mutually exclusive;

1) In the hands of a Fighter, a Weapon does damage as if it was one die type larger. Fighters swing longswords and shoot longbows and stick rapiers in people's faces that much more effectively than Elven Wizards, Elven Clerics and Elven Bards.

2) Fighters gain +1 damage to all attacks per level or 2 levels. This could be precision, or could just be effective use of the lower back muscles. Undead and Constructs and Plants would still be in danger, since a harder-hitting, better-aimed attack is gonna be as harder-hitting and better-aimed against a Skeleton as it is against a Hobgoblin. A reverse 'Power Attack' option would allow the Fighter to trade off some of this hitting power for extra accuracy (Accurate Attack option), which other classes, lacking bonus damage by level, would not be able to do.

3) Transferring iterative attacks into extra damage dice. Instead of iterative attacks, every five by which the Fighter exceeds the AC of the target turns into another base die of the weapon being used. Mack the Axe hits the EHP with AC 16 by ten, he gets two extra d8 to roll for that attack (after any multiplies for a Crit or whatever, just as with the bonus dice for Sneak Attack or Skirmish). The extra dice option also make the Fighter that much more likely to be able to bull his way through DR at higher levels, whether he's using a single two-handed weapon or two lighter weapons. (Valeran, the dual wielder, still has a change of doing an extra die, with *each* attack.) On a tangental note, someone who has gained access to a secondary attack through another means could also choose to burn it to enhance their primary attack. So Valeran could 'put all his eggs in one basket' and skip his secondary attack to add +1d6 (short sword damage) to his primary attack roll, which might be advantageous if he's fighting a high AC critter and some nice person or situation just gave him a single-attack bonus, such as True Strike.

The Fighter should, IMO, ideally poach some ideas from Monte Cook's Warmain. They don't just wear armor, use shields and swing weapons, which *anyone can do,* they do it *better.*

Combat options for a Fighter should include some fancier options than just Trip, Disarm, Hack. How hard would it be to open a bleeding gash on a targets head, or otherwise try to strike in such a way to muck up their vision? (Target is Dazzled, must save or be Blinded for a round or two.) How hard would it be to swing that morning star up into someone's junk and sicken / nauseate them briefly? I strike at the leg to slow / cripple the target! I attempt to unbalance him and deny him his Dex modifier for the next turn's attack! These options can be made difficult (must hit by four, unless you have the Feat, for example), so as to make them much more common in the hands of Fighters than anyone else. And they remain completely non-magical. The Fighter doesn't learn to swing his scimitar in such a way as to damage everyone in 30 ft. or send a blast of fire shooting at a target. A morningstar to the junk nauseating someone briefly isn't magic, it's just an unfortunate consequence of an 8 lb ball of metal slamming into a sensitive place at high speed.

Rogues already get some of these options, by sacrificing Sneak Attack dice, if they have special Feats, and I think that many of these sorts of tactics make perfect sense for Fighters as well. Non-magical, non-ki powers, just plain mean applications of Condition Modifiers on the foes. It would *vastly* increase the options that a Fighter can choose on a round by round basis. Being able to blind, nauseate, cripple, etc. a target, in addition to disarm, trip, sunder, etc. would give the Fighter a lot of choices as to how he wants to control the combat, instead of just saying, 'Take 12 damage.'

Scarab Sages

Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
From what I've seen of Mr. Trollman in RL, his spiritual totem is the color Orange. :)

I thought it would be purple, from all the righteous indignation rushing the blood to his head?

:)


Snorter wrote:

I thought it would be purple, from all the righteous indignation rushing the blood to his head?

:)

You'd think so, but there's no way to tell what color his scalp is under that brilliantly dyed orange mop. ^.^

Scarab Sages

Evil Midnight Lurker wrote:
Snorter wrote:

I thought it would be purple, from all the righteous indignation rushing the blood to his head?

:)

You'd think so, but there's no way to tell what color his scalp is under that brilliantly dyed orange mop. ^.^

He wears an orange mop on his head? Now there's a conversation piece....


I'm liking the new fighter, for the most part. I agree that the weapon groups could use a bit of work, but they're a cool concept. Armour training is fine imho - it helps with games where fancy gear like mithril isn't always available and has cool flavour as well.

I'm not seeing the problem with having only two skill choices (plus Int.) That's no worse than a 1st level 3.5 fighter with two maxed-out skills. You get more skills quickly and the fighter's skill list is larger than it used to be. I'd happily sacrifice a couple of skills at 1st level in return for less fiddly and more options later.


The alpha fighter is very close to what I've thought of to houserule it, and I really like him very much.

Together with the simplefied Combat Maneuvers system, playing a fighter suddenly becomes immensly attractive.

I agree that the weapon groups are maybe not such good ideas in the way they have been grouped.

But I don't think the armor training is punishment (the most inapropiate term ever used in rpg-diskussion). There are a lot of people who like to play Dex-fighters, with high dexterity and light armor, but there's also a lot of complaints that they have such a low AC (oh wow, as if that wouldn't be obvious?). Other like to play the big brute and never consider donning anything else but full plate armor. Armor training helps both types to make them more excelent at the frontline. If you wan't flexibility, you can chose to train in different types of armor, if you want to specialize, you do exactly that.


I don't mind the new fighter that much.

my thoughts.

extra feats do allow you to cutimize him better.

The armour and weapons bonus should apply to all weapons and armour. (or give them weapon aplitude at first)

Make certain ablities class features that a fighter just gets is not a bad idea, but it you simply make a feat a class feature and then give the fighter 1 less feat that is not going to accomplish much.

If the game can be made to go pass 1 fight a day and then rest the fighter comes into his own more. (something that they are trying to work on) The original idea of balance between a wizard and fighter was suppose to be that a wizard had to conserve his ablities. Instead a pattern of going 20' into the dungean per day has developed.

What I don't want.

Fighter are not wizards. I don't want them to have 4th edition stlye super ablities that are simply spells in disguise. A fighter still has to feel like a fighter.

I have played a warblade (a replacement character at 12th level after my archer died) and it was great for the first few sessions, but it lost it appeal very quickly. I was going into a fight knowing exactly what i was going to do for the first 3 turns. Turn one use most powerful attack, turn two use second most powerful attack. turn three attack once and the recall ablities.

What Might be interesting to look at

Powerful fighter only feats that allows specilized fighters to work well.

Look at some of the combat options from Iron Heroes and see what can be applied


Freakohollik wrote:

Sure the fighter is lame at high levels, but is that because of the fighter or because of high levels? I would say it is because of everything else that happens at high levels. No one has been able to fix the fighter well since 3.5e is so wacked at higher levels. High levels are not a place for anything that doesn't do save or lose, which isn't in the fighter's bag of tricks. The fighter seems to get the most attention, but the paladin, ranger, and barbarian all have the same problem.

The first step to fixing the fighter would be to make a big list of everything that doesn't work at high levels and fix that first, then fix the fighter.

Church. The problem isn't the fighter. The problem is that the game itself stops working at level 12. It just falls in on itself with a wheezing cough.

Each players turn takes 10 minutes, no one can remember who has what buff cast on them.It just drags. If you wanna move the game along at high level, you need a DM that's willing to handwave a bunch of stuff, and players that are mature enough to accept that.
High level's been wonky in D&D since 1st edition.I doubt 4.0 or 3.paizo are gonna fix that, no matter how good the designers are. I think Jason Buhlman is a very good designer, but the high level problem is beyond even his ability to fix.


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hazel monday wrote:

Church. The problem isn't the fighter. The problem is that the game itself stops working at level 12. It just falls in on itself with a wheezing cough.

This is partially true. The fact that the Fighter isn't particularly playable or interesting at level 15 isn't particularly his fault on account of D&D at level 15 is more about playing Starcraft than Gauntlet. But the fact that the Fighter can't pull his weight at seventh level is totally his fault. And the fact that the Fighter isn't contributing to the Adventure at any level is also inexcusable.

I mean seriously, seventh level Fighter looks at:

  • Hill Giant
  • Black Pudding
  • Remorhazz
  • Aboleth
  • Dire Bear
  • Specter

Short list of iconic D&D 7th level monsters, and basically the 7th level Fighter is in over his head against all of them. It's a real problem. The total lack of skills is also a problem. You shouldn't even be allowed to be a player character without utility spells, a grip of skills, or both.

-Frank


Frank Trollman wrote:
hazel monday wrote:

Church. The problem isn't the fighter. The problem is that the game itself stops working at level 12. It just falls in on itself with a wheezing cough.

This is partially true. The fact that the Fighter isn't particularly playable or interesting at level 15 isn't particularly his fault on account of D&D at level 15 is more about playing Starcraft than Gauntlet. But the fact that the Fighter can't pull his weight at seventh level is totally his fault. And the fact that the Fighter isn't contributing to the Adventure at any level is also inexcusable.

-Frank

Shrug. I guess we just have different playstyles. In my experience players who play fighters are just as effective and make just as much of a contribution to the game as every other player at the levels you're talking about.

I imagine every D&D group differs on this to some extent.We're all special snowflakes, I suppose.


While I actually agree with your concerns Frank (and like the way that Pathfinder has tried to make fighters tougher) you keep comparing monsters of a particular CR with characters of the same level. That is not how CR works. A dire bear is a CR 7 monster and so is a EL 7 threat. That's an even challenge for four 7th-level PCs, not a single character of the same level.

Now I know why EL and CR has been ditched by WotC. People still can't understand it properly.

Sorry Frank. :)


Frank Trollman wrote:
You put an SRD Fighter against opponents of his level and rather than winning half the time he just gets stomped into the ground. Fighter 10 vs. Fire Giant? Fighter 8 vs. Mind Flayer? Fighter 7 vs. Remorhazz? It's ugly, ugly stuff.

I will apologize, in advance, for my lack of knowledge / experience; however, can a level 10 thief defeat a Fire Giant with little to no trouble, or a level 8 Cleric easily defeat a Mind Flayer?

Something seems to be missing in the argument.

I do agree with the observation that fighters should get more out of their weapons and armor as their experience with them increases. Something like that could be adjusted through those "level tiers", perhaps like the Xeph's Mindblade which improves (+1 at x level, +2 at y level, etc.) as the character gains in experience.

Liberty's Edge

I read the fighter, and then I read the rogue. Then I read the fighter. Then I said 'my god, the 20th level rogue ability is much better'.

After thinking about it, I decided it wasn't THAT much better because the rogue ability can be used against an opponent only once. But the possibility of killing someone outright without giving up any damage is better than the possibility of doing a little extra damage, I think.

The fighter could be improved. I think that most people recognize the fighter as the class most in need of improvement. Feats are nice, but once you have six or seven, you start facing diminishing returns. The first few feats are always excellent, then you start taking good feats and then feats that don't suck. While the fighter will get a feat every level (which is cool) I think he needs more.

I'd start with skill points. Why isn't acrobatics (tumble) a class skill for fighters? Fighters should be one of the most flexible classes. If a fighter chooses to wear heavy armor they probably won't choose to put ranks into tumble. If they choose to wear light armor or act a finesse fighter, they probably would.

What should the fighter be? The fighter should be the most customizable class that focuses on weapon mastery.

The fighter should have a good base attack and a d10 HD. Good Fortitude saves. A fighter should have one other good save of the player's choice.* Abilities like the armor master are good, but the only time it matters if you reduce your penalty to an armor check penalty is if you are good at that skill. Give fighters four skills per level + intelligence. Add a few skills to the list: interaction skills like Diplomacy, combat mobility skills like acrobatics (tumble), and a few knowledge skills (dungeoneering, history). Fighters should get some form of spell resistance.** And with a feat every other level (for class), that should about do it.

*How many fighters have been good at something other than toughing it out? Jorie of Black God's Kiss seems to be making a lot of will saves with her anger. Since it helps the story and gives the player more options it is a good thing. To represent it, just offer it as a saving throw bonus on the progression chart, similar to a swashbuckler (but equaling +6 at 20th level).

**Again, a common theme in fantasy fiction is a fighter who's trust in their blade made them immune to the (deceitful) magic of the wizard or witch. I think that a fighter should gain SR 15 at 6th level or so. Maybe another +5 to SR at 12th and 18th. Just a chance that the fighter will ignore the web spell or the scorching ray - but not most of the time.


Sublimity wrote:
Frank Trollman wrote:
You put an SRD Fighter against opponents of his level and rather than winning half the time he just gets stomped into the ground. Fighter 10 vs. Fire Giant? Fighter 8 vs. Mind Flayer? Fighter 7 vs. Remorhazz? It's ugly, ugly stuff.

I will apologize, in advance, for my lack of knowledge / experience; however, can a level 10 thief defeat a Fire Giant with little to no trouble, or a level 8 Cleric easily defeat a Mind Flayer?

Short answer: yes and yes.

Or, at least, they have a reasonable chance a doing so using their class abilities and the default assumptions of the game.

My biggest problem with this fighter version is that it doesn't add any depth. Just some arbitrary bonuses which frankly break the math- fighters just have an AC thats 1-5 points higher as they level and a 25 point BAB progression.

It seems to be a common solution to problems in these alpha rules- the races and protection domain show it off too- 'fixing' involves just flinging bigger bonuses at people. Unfortunately, this just means that things fall off the random number generator and the game cheeses out, collapses and dies.

Sovereign Court

How about a fighter ability called "opportunistic strike" that gives a fighter an AoO against any enemy adjacent to them that makes a five foot step?


I believe to many people want more realism in their fantasy game, this is a fantasy game and so many rules features etc… are just going to have to be excepted at face value. Also the more realism inserted into a game, the more details and complicated things get, then these same folks turn around and scream that they want a more streamlined game system, but you just can’t have it both ways.

I do agree that the fighter should be more combat focused as mentioned in previous post but not all characters will be king of the hill.

It doesn’t make sense to me that a “Fighter” can be a very flexible class and still maintain the dedicated combat focus that players want, that’s why there are other classes to fill the nimble fighter and such, of course at that point the character is no longer considered a “Fighter”.

Tumble, Survival and such doesn’t fit with my idea of a “Fighter”, yes I do feel that they should have some talent in those areas but that’s where Cross-Class comes in if you want your “Fighter” to have those extra class features.

The low 2 skills points is a killer for the class which makes taking “CC” skills near impossible.

of course there's always the option (which GM could house rule) to make variant "Fighter" classes to fill the many different "Fighter" roles, So while these variant may get Tumble, Survival, Spot etc..., expect them to lose other class features.


WotC's Nightmare wrote:
How about a fighter ability called "opportunistic strike" that gives a fighter an AoO against any enemy adjacent to them that makes a five foot step?

You mean start making it a 4e fighter?

Dark Archive

The fighter is better... we just need to fix some things:

1) Include a retraining option in for the armor training/mastery and weapon training/mastery

2) Give the more skills. 4+int would go a long ways, especially now that you gain more skills, by leveling up.

3) Give fighters acrobatics. Questions of realism aside, we all seen fighter-type in fantasy running around dodging a dragons blows. (And note: For those who are worry about fighter tumbling in full plate, acrobatics is affected by armor-check so any fighter trying to is going to take a -6 on the roll.)

4) Fix up the combat feats system. If we getting working well, it can be the thing that makes fighters worthwhile.


BM wrote:

The fighter is better... we just need to fix some things:

1) Include a retraining option in for the armor training/mastery and weapon training/mastery

2) Give the more skills. 4+int would go a long ways, especially now that you gain more skills, by leveling up.

3) Give fighters acrobatics. Questions of realism aside, we all seen fighter-type in fantasy running around dodging a dragons blows. (And note: For those who are worry about fighter tumbling in full plate, acrobatics is affected by armor-check so any fighter trying to is going to take a -6 on the roll.)

4) Fix up the combat feats system. If we getting working well, it can be the thing that makes fighters worthwhile.

#3 would also put more use on Armour Mastery, definatey like these.

another option would be to add more, and better, fighter only feats. After all, Wizards, druids clerics and bards get there own spell lists, why shouldn't Fighters, those peerless masters of the blade, get there own special techniques similar to the ability's rouges gain?


I'm loving the new fighter, it just needs a little work. The weapon groups could use some reorganizing, and a few of the special abilities could be reworked. I love this version because it's more houserule-able than other versions I've seen. Maybe it could be a +1 to attack, damage OR AC at every other level, with SR as an option at higher levels?


BM wrote:

The fighter is better... we just need to fix some things:

1) Include a retraining option in for the armor training/mastery and weapon training/mastery

2) Give the more skills. 4+int would go a long ways, especially now that you gain more skills, by leveling up.

3) Give fighters acrobatics. Questions of realism aside, we all seen fighter-type in fantasy running around dodging a dragons blows. (And note: For those who are worry about fighter tumbling in full plate, acrobatics is affected by armor-check so any fighter trying to is going to take a -6 on the roll.)

4) Fix up the combat feats system. If we getting working well, it can be the thing that makes fighters worthwhile.

Good ideas indeed. To offer my humble 2cp:

Ever since the concept of feinting in combat (and the Improved Feint feat), I've felt that Fighters should have access to the Bluff skill (or Deception in Alpha). Rogues aren't the only ones who do that in a fight after all...

I'm honestly not sure about the combat feat system. My concern is that it could make combat more complicated by having to track the use of the abilities, since most are no longer constant. The other concern is that, in quick but intense combats, the fighter spends three rounds setting up his big move to only have the foe killed in round 2 by the wizard (or something like that). I know I would hate having my thunder stolen like that...

That being said, I really love what they did with Dodge and Mobility. I've had those houseruled into one feat for years because I didn't think either were worth the cost of a feat by themselves. Now they have legs to stand on (not sure on having to do one before being able to do the other though).

There have been some suggestions made in the past that Fighters should be able to get more out of 'Fighter feats' than the other classes. I think that idea has merit. Maybe allow fighters to automatically gain everything in a feat chain as they level, without spending feats to get them. Or maybe having an expanded description of the feat that only applies if a Fighter has it...

I hope this helps kick up a few more ideas at least :)

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dalesman
"Bringing Big D**n Justice to the Bad Guys Since 1369 DR"


Thats a thought, how about having all feats operate on a 2 tier format, with a basic level for any one, and a better level tied to bab so it scales, for Fighters?

ex:
Dodge
Blablabla
Fighters: For each 5 points of BaB you have, gain another +1 dodge bonus, this can be stacked upon the same opponent, or divided among several

Improved Critical

Fighters: Threat range of weapon is widened by 1 for each 5pts of BaB you have.

Power attack:

Fighters: Each 5 points of BaB adds 1d4 damage in addition to the usual for power attack (1d6 when wielding a 2 handed weapon).

For Feint

Fighters: Deception is now a class skill for you, you gain a +1 bonus on deception checks per 5pts of BaB (This also helps sneaky more scoundrel type fighters be built without needing new classes, let there feat choise alter there available skill set)

The feats stay useful, its easy to add new stuff on top of the old, and it makes Fighters truly the best at what they do.


Phil. L wrote:
While I actually agree with your concerns Frank (and like the way that Pathfinder has tried to make fighters tougher) you keep comparing monsters of a particular CR with characters of the same level. That is not how CR works. A dire bear is a CR 7 monster and so is a EL 7 threat. That's an even challenge for four 7th-level PCs, not a single character of the same level.

This is a personal pet peeve of mine, so I will explain the CR system exactly once on this particular thread so that I don't start insulting people.

  • A party of Level X is supposed to go down fighting half the time against an encounter of EL X + 4. Another way to say this is that a party of Level X is approximately as powerful as an encounter of EL X + 4.
  • A group of monsters that is twice the size is an encounter of EL + 2. A party that is twice the size faces Encounters which are EL + 2 vs. those who are not.
  • Doubling a Double is a quadruple. So if you go from a party of four to a party of one, you face challenges of X - 4.

So a Party of one character is supposed to be an even match for a Monster with a CR equal to his level. He is supposed to fight "standard" encounters of his level - 4, and a monster with a CR of his level is an EL of Level - 4 + 4. And this should surprise you in no way because a character of Level X actually is a Monster of CR X.

Note: some characters are at an advantage or disadvantage in a number of situations. This means that your character may well be properly "Level X" despite failing consistently or winning consistently against a specific CR X challenge, so long as in aggregate your wins and losses are roughly equal against a variety of EL X encounters.

Phil. L wrote:

Now I know why EL and CR has been ditched by WotC. People still can't understand it properly.

Sorry Frank. :)

I contend with that fact a lot. Hopefully you are no longer one of those people. If however you continue to misunderstand this system (whether because you don't get logs or whatever other reason), I will ask that you either get help from someone else or keep it to yourself, because I've been explaining this particular concept for like seven years and I'm kind of burnt on it.

-Frank


Frank Trollman wrote:
Phil. L wrote:
While I actually agree with your concerns Frank (and like the way that Pathfinder has tried to make fighters tougher) you keep comparing monsters of a particular CR with characters of the same level. That is not how CR works. A dire bear is a CR 7 monster and so is a EL 7 threat. That's an even challenge for four 7th-level PCs, not a single character of the same level.

This is a personal pet peeve of mine, so I will explain the CR system exactly once on this particular thread so that I don't start insulting people.

  • A party of Level X is supposed to go down fighting half the time against an encounter of EL X + 4. Another way to say this is that a party of Level X is approximately as powerful as an encounter of EL X + 4.
  • A group of monsters that is twice the size is an encounter of EL + 2. A party that is twice the size faces Encounters which are EL + 2 vs. those who are not.
  • Doubling a Double is a quadruple. So if you go from a party of four to a party of one, you face challenges of X - 4.

So a Party of one character is supposed to be an even match for a Monster with a CR equal to his level. He is supposed to fight "standard" encounters of his level - 4, and a monster with a CR of his level is an EL of Level - 4 + 4. And this should surprise you in no way because a character of Level X actually is a Monster of CR X.

Note: some characters are at an advantage or disadvantage in a number of situations. This means that your character may well be properly "Level X" despite failing consistently or winning consistently against a specific CR X challenge, so long as in aggregate your wins and losses are roughly equal against a variety of EL X encounters.

You seem to have a good handle on the EL/CR system generally, but I have to disagree with you. You're mixing apples and oranges. The CR/EL system is designed with a party of 4 in mind. Although you can put that party of 4 up against challenges consisting of one, two or more enemies, the CR/EL system is not designed--and cannot be used--to judge how a party of one or a party of two will handle an encounter. The CR/EL system isn't designed for that. Your contention about what a "party of one" can or can't take on isn't supportable by the CR/EL rules.

Now, this doesn't invalidate your point generally about the ability of a fighter of level N to go toe-to-toe with an enemy of CR N. But you can't use the CR/EL system, as presented in the rules, to show that.


Frank Trollman wrote:
This is a personal pet peeve of mine, so I will explain the CR system exactly once on this particular thread so that I don't start insulting people.

Why would you feel like you ever have to start insulting people?


WelbyBumpus wrote:
You seem to have a good handle on the EL/CR system generally, but I have to disagree with you. You're mixing apples and oranges. The CR/EL system is designed with a party of 4 in mind. Although you can put that party of 4 up...

I direct you to page 48 of the DMG, where it discusses larger or smaller parties and appropriate Encounter Levels for them.

-Frank

Dark Archive

I'm beggining to sound like a fanboy, but I liked the PF fighter. The simple change to its progression makes it what it's meant to be: someone who's really good at crushing things :D

It keeps it simple, and it's something that I've always liked: Fighter is the option for player who don't want to bother keeping track of things. Just point them someone to hack. And the armor/weapong training encourage players to specialize and not be carbon copies of each other. heavy-armor-and-greatsword fighter is very different from light-armor-and-rapier fighter, and they both get bonus at doing what they should do (hit hard and avoid getting hit) when they stay true to their nature.

When my players read the class descriptions, everybody wanted to be a fighter. That *must* be a good thing.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Hmm interesting thread that lead me to a where I assume I am to help Frank get a job in the gaming industry.

Having DMed for the last 8 years I agree the fighter can get a Short Shake, UNTIL he valiantly holds the line taking whack after whack from the baddies and in turn whacking back while the casters find a way to turn the battle. Ever seen a cleric try to fill the fighter roll instead healing? Ever seen a mage take whack from a Hill Giant? Ever seen a rogue go from 64hp to -12 in a single swing of a fire giants greatsword? It aint pretty. The 3.5 fighter is actually a pretty solid class which enables a character to pick the path they want to walk, and not just be a "speedbump" to protect the casters. The motto of the fighter should be "Buy better gear! Cause you ain't wasting it on books, donations and invisibilty powders and potions."

Frank your sums do not add up the fighter is one cog in the machinery of an adventuring party. eg; I can not lift 1000 pounds, but I could create a machine using only three wheels and me and lift 4000 pounds.

The alpha fighter might need some work, I won't know until we pick up Pathfinder again in a few weeks and re-spec into in alpha characters. So great orange one trot down from the precipice dismount from the clydsdale and do some play testing rather than trolling....Oh I get it....nevermind....thanks for letting see your cool sight I hope I get to read your name in the credits of an RPG some day.

BTW - Mithral Full Plate is still heavy armor. Mithral is considered to be one category lighter for many things but since I need Heavy Armor Profiency to wear it, you do the RAW math.

The Exchange

BM wrote:

The fighter is better... we just need to fix some things:

1) Include a retraining option in for the armor training/mastery and weapon training/mastery

2) Give the more skills. 4+int would go a long ways, especially now that you gain more skills, by leveling up.

3) Give fighters acrobatics. Questions of realism aside, we all seen fighter-type in fantasy running around dodging a dragons blows. (And note: For those who are worry about fighter tumbling in full plate, acrobatics is affected by armor-check so any fighter trying to is going to take a -6 on the roll.)

4) Fix up the combat feats system. If we getting working well, it can be the thing that makes fighters worthwhile.

I agree with all of that. I would also add some form of DR. I always saw the fighter as the one that could stand up to a tremendous beating - not just in HP but in her ability to take a solid hit and shrug it off. Perhaps the fighter could have DR equal to half her character level or some such.

As for skills - Sword and Fist had a set of alternate skill packages for a fighter. I would suggest that this form of character variation could be added to all classes - kind of like sub classes.


In a way, DR has no other effect than more hp would have, except that it can be overcome by certain weapons in many cases. If not, it's just taking more beating before giong down.


Betote wrote:
. And the armor/weapong training encourage players to specialize and not be carbon copies of each other. heavy-armor-and-greatsword fighter is very different from light-armor-and-rapier fighter, and they both get bonus at doing what they should do (hit hard and avoid getting hit) when they stay true to their nature.

It does not. The armor and weapon training keep fighters exactly the same as they are now in relation to each other. 2 hander(falchion, specifically) and full plate is still strictly better.

Except now you have to pull stupid shenanigans with the armor training thing so the Celestial mithril full plate you get later benefits from your armor bonus. The math changes are bad enough (flat bonuses tilt the fighter off the d20 roll), but don't punish the fighter for wearing different armor later.

Sovereign Court

A simple houserule in our game that has added a lot of finesse to fighters:

Fighters can save their crits. If they roll one, they don't have to use it right there - it just counts as a normal hit. They can instead choose to use it any time in the same session, and they can save multiple as a sort of ‘crit bank’. They start each session with one, and get an additional free crit every five levels. Crits cannot be saved from session to session.

This gives them a lot of battlefield control and helps embolden the team when the casters are low on spells. It also makes ‘battles of desperation’ very dramatic.

Just sayin'.

Sovereign Court

What about giiving a fighter an ability that lets him get attacks of opportunity if adjacent opponents make a five foot step.? Do you think that would help balance the fighter?


Selk wrote:


A simple houserule in our game that has added a lot of finesse to fighters:

Fighters can save their crits. If they roll one, they don't have to use it right there - it just counts as a normal hit. They can instead choose to use it any time in the same session, and they can save multiple as a sort of ‘crit bank’. They start each session with one, and get an additional free crit every five levels. Crits cannot be saved from session to session.

My original reply seems to have vanished. But, this seems like a bad idea. Most people I know will exploit this to an absurd degree, down to bags o' rats and slaughtered wildlife. Bank up an absurd number of crits and go after the big threats with a scythe and the x4 crit. Bob the Mighty Balrog goes down awful quick when you unload multiple hits in excess of 100 points of damage.


One thing I would like to see is the fighter getting somekind of command ability or tactical insight that could be shared with the party.

This would be tricky to avoid stepping on the bard, but it grant more versitility.


I like the new fighter also, but I think it needs more. Not initially! But as the fighter moves up in levels it not only needs extra AC to stay viable, but he also needs to put out more damage. 1d8+str, with an occassional crit thrown in, is just not gonna cut it. IMO. So far I like what Set had to say in his 3 examples(see earlier post, same thread). I think they add a bit too much in the math area, but I would like to discuss how we might streamline 1,2 or all 3 of those ideas. What does everybody else think of his ideas?

The Exchange

Neithan wrote:
In a way, DR has no other effect than more hp would have, except that it can be overcome by certain weapons in many cases. If not, it's just taking more beating before giong down.

True but it does leave the fighter vulnerable to energy types and other non-melee damage.


WelbyBumpus wrote:
You seem to have a good handle on the EL/CR system generally, but I have to disagree with you. You're mixing apples and oranges. The CR/EL system is designed with a party of 4 in mind. Although you can put that party of 4 up against challenges consisting of one, two or more enemies, the CR/EL system is not designed--and cannot be used--to judge how a party of one or a party of two will handle an encounter. The CR/EL system isn't designed for that.

To avoid Thread-jacking I started a ...

CR / EL Discussion Spin-off thread

... for anyone interested in continuing this part of the discussion.

Rez


I don't like that the fighter suddenly gains DR 10/-- at level 20. I'd rather see it build in steps as he gains armour training.

Dark Archive RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

shamsael wrote:
I don't like that the fighter suddenly gains DR 10/-- at level 20. I'd rather see it build in steps as he gains armour training.

Ditto on this note. The fighter should gain DR 4 for each point of Armor Training he applies to his current armor. i.e. if you put all 4 of your Armor Training points into heavy armor, then you've got DR 16/- in heavy armor. At those levels, DR 16/- isn't going to make or break the game. It'll just ensure that you stay alive for another round or two so the cleric can heal you. :D

IMO, a really cool level 20 ability would be this:

"If the fighter kills an opponent during his action, he may immediately take another full round of actions on his turn. This ability may only trigger once per round."

Imagine this: Fighter charges orc war leader, scores an awesome crit and drops him, then can immediately take a full attack action to hit everything around him. Sounds good to me.

Scarab Sages

Eled the Worm Tamer wrote:

Thats a thought, how about having all feats operate on a 2 tier format, with a basic level for any one, and a better level tied to bab so it scales, for Fighters?

ex:
Dodge
Blablabla
Fighters: For each 5 points of BaB you have, gain another +1 dodge bonus, this can be stacked upon the same opponent, or divided among several

Improved Critical

Fighters: Threat range of weapon is widened by 1 for each 5pts of BaB you have.

Power attack:

Fighters: Each 5 points of BaB adds 1d4 damage in addition to the usual for power attack (1d6 when wielding a 2 handed weapon).

For Feint

Fighters: Deception is now a class skill for you, you gain a +1 bonus on deception checks per 5pts of BaB (This also helps sneaky more scoundrel type fighters be built without needing new classes, let there feat choise alter there available skill set)

The feats stay useful, its easy to add new stuff on top of the old, and it makes Fighters truly the best at what they do.

In my campaign fighters get an "inherent" AC bonus equal to 1/4 BAB rounded down. Dodge applies against all opponents and also scales with BAB. This reduces the need for amulets of natural armor at higher levels.

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