Fighter - Stickiness


Classes: Barbarian, Fighter, and Ranger


One thing I would like to see for fighters is a trait or feat that actually makes them better, more viable blockers at the front lines of the party. It's been mentioned before: once a certain level is hit, many opponents have the meants to circumvent the front line combat types, be it by Fly or teleport or incorporealness, or whatever, to directly attack the weaker support characters. This reduces the effectiveness of the fighter's primary role.

I'm curious if anyone has ideas or suggestions for improving the fighter's ability to make an opponent "stick."

-Steve


Intimidating Belch to disrupt Teleport spells?


You got me.

I was thnking here about the Knight (PH2) abilities, but then, they don't help with supernatural (anything not physical, like magic) trespassers...

So, I have no (useful) ideas.

The Exchange

I've tossed around the idea of using intimidate to force opponents to engage you. Effectively you've convinced the enemy you're the most potent threat on the field and they must try and take you down as fast as possible. You could tie some feats to this to allow for binding them in place, or forcing them to close for melee rather than ranged (imagine the look on a casters face if THAT happened ....ahhh good times).

It doesn't even have to be language dependent. How often do we see in movies the hero draw the attention of teh aggressive beasty merely by screaming and shouting while waving their arms frantically. Suddenly big bad angry wants to take you instead.

For intelligent critters its all about convincing them you're scary enough to be the biggest threat, which is why you use intimidate in combat.

The added bonus is that it makes this skill more useful in combat. After all, rogues get to feint so they sneak attack. I think of some of that sort of loving could go the way of the characters who get Intimidate as a calss skill but get so few skill points.

We're thinking of trying this in my home games. If it works out I'll let you know.


Quandary wrote:
Intimidating Belch to disrupt Teleport spells?

I can see that forcing a Spellcraft check for Concentration :)p

-Steve

Liberty's Edge

Wrath wrote:

I've tossed around the idea of using intimidate to force opponents to engage you. Effectively you've convinced the enemy you're the most potent threat on the field and they must try and take you down as fast as possible. You could tie some feats to this to allow for binding them in place, or forcing them to close for melee rather than ranged (imagine the look on a casters face if THAT happened ....ahhh good times).

It doesn't even have to be language dependent. How often do we see in movies the hero draw the attention of teh aggressive beasty merely by screaming and shouting while waving their arms frantically. Suddenly big bad angry wants to take you instead.

For intelligent critters its all about convincing them you're scary enough to be the biggest threat, which is why you use intimidate in combat.

Similar to the Goad feat, or using Intimidate to "draw aggro" as DDO or other MMOs do.....?

Not a bad idea.

Robert

Grand Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Wrath wrote:
I've tossed around the idea of using intimidate to force opponents to engage you...

Personally, I don't like options like this because, while it might be a great idea for PC's, it really feels unfair to the party when the DM turns it around and uses it against them.

Imagine an NPC Fighter Bad Guy "goes aggro" on your party, forcing everyone to drop ranged weapons and forego spells to attack him in melee, while the NPC Rogue starts flanking your Wizard and the NPC Cleric and Wizard beat on the party with enervations, dominates, etc.

-Skeld


I'd rather see options that are represented by actions on the fighter's part, rather than out-of-character compulsions on others. For example, if the fighter could "save up" movement and iterative attacks to use whenever he wanted as immediate actions, he could wait for the bad guy to teleport past (fluff: he anticipates the teleport due to experience), and then move up to him and go to town on the guy's unprotected back.

Also, if a fighter had a better chance to disrupt spellcasting -- one that scaled with the Spellcraft DCs to avoid losing spells -- that would go a long way towards re-establishing his parity with the "top tier" classes.

The Exchange

Kirth Gersen wrote:

I'd rather see options that are represented by actions on the fighter's part, rather than out-of-character compulsions on others. For example, if the fighter could "save up" movement and iterative attacks to use whenever he wanted as immediate actions, he could wait for the bad guy to teleport past (fluff: he anticipates the teleport due to experience), and then move up to him and go to town on the guy's unprotected back.

Also, if a fighter had a better chance to disrupt spellcasting -- one that scaled with the Spellcraft DCs to avoid losing spells -- that would go a long way towards re-establishing his parity with the "top tier" classes.

I've suggested a similar thing in another thread, but this one is all about making the fighter "sticky". I like the concept of fighting types (not just fighters) being able to split their attacks across thier movement. I feel they should be able to use all their attacks in a round even if they move more than five feet, as it is the only option they truly have of dealing out damage effectively at high levels. However my concept needs a fair bit of polish. (eg. what happens for combat maneuvers and this tactic?

The idea needs some polish and playtesting. The fighter has to spend points in intimidate to make this tactic work. It already has a scaling "save" in that the fighter has to beat 10+HD+wis mod (or int or whatever you think is relevent) to force the effect on someone. This is not a group aggro, rather a single target aggro. However, you could introduce feats later that make it more wide spread.

I also considered making intimidate sacle more at high levels. If you don't like the "tag" option, then make intimidate in combat more effective at hhigher levels. Introduce fear and terror, rather than just shaken. Shaken is powerful at low levels, but really doesn't effect high level play that much.

Skeld: I understand your concerns about using this against a party, but things like calm emotions could possibly negate it. I also think that any option given to players is going to be used against them. Currently running a group of NPC adventureres against your group will provide exactly the same problems. I see this as no different to effects such as charm and compulsion, hold person etc. used against the group. Also trapping spells such as force cage, solid fog. All of them are non actions that can really ruin a players day. Just throwing some of it back to the fighter. This turns the fighter from a reactionary member of the party into a proactive member. Especially if its linked to higher levels.

However, I take your point. It is a playtest so I guess if my group want to introduce this rule then we'll play test it.

Shadow Lodge

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Wrath wrote:
It doesn't even have to be language dependent. How often do we see in movies the hero draw the attention of teh aggressive beasty merely by screaming and shouting while waving their arms frantically. Suddenly big bad angry wants to take you instead.

I like this alot and I like the reasoning for it. Movies are a great way to model actions we'd like to see our characters take.

Liberty's Edge

Skeld wrote:
Wrath wrote:
I've tossed around the idea of using intimidate to force opponents to engage you...

Personally, I don't like options like this because, while it might be a great idea for PC's, it really feels unfair to the party when the DM turns it around and uses it against them.

Imagine an NPC Fighter Bad Guy "goes aggro" on your party, forcing everyone to drop ranged weapons and forego spells to attack him in melee, while the NPC Rogue starts flanking your Wizard and the NPC Cleric and Wizard beat on the party with enervations, dominates, etc.

-Skeld

Which is why a proper taunting mechanic doesn't say how a character has to attack (or even that it has to be an attack per say), just who. The notional PC here can use a ranged attack or a spell or what ever else he has to choose from.

The enemy fighter mocks the party's wizard, calling his mother a hamster or something. The Fighter succeeds on his check and the wizard hit him with a spell in retaliation.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

There is at least one feat in the PH2 that comes to mind. Don't recall the name, but in essence if you move up to a creature and attack it, if it moves AT ALL (even a 5' step or a tumble) away from you on its turn, you get to AoO it. You could apply this principle even with flight, teleporting, and the like. Anything other than "stays right there" and bang. This might help with some of the exotic moves.


Yeah. I wouldn't mind fighters getting an ability that does this (stickiness).

Liberty's Edge

I'd prefer a fighter who's primary role was one of liberally distributing whoopass to one who was basically a sticky speedbump.

Where did this stickiness idea come from anyway?

Sam


DeadlyUematsu wrote:
Yeah. I wouldn't mind fighters getting an ability that does this (stickiness).

IMO it is important that these abilities do not 'feel' magical. That was something about 4e that I disliked. I have proposed on another forum the following

- an AoO against someone passing by that stops their movement "linebacker move" (if you had a ghostouch wepon it would effect incorp's)
- an extended reach for this move (effectivly allowing the fighter to block a greater area)
- the ability to 'parry' missile attacks that pass through their square or within their reach (to reduce people shooting the wizard hiding behind them)

other alternatives are
- ability to make it harder to cast defensively, harder to tumble within a certain area.

I dislike spreading iterative attacks out over move as i think it would slow down the game


Samuel Leming wrote:

I'd prefer a fighter who's primary role was one of liberally distributing whoopass to one who was basically a sticky speedbump.

Where did this stickiness idea come from anyway?

Sam

The idea is due to the fact that most traditional fighters have a low movement speed, high AC, excellent Hit Points, and moderate damage potential compared to artillery classes, puting them in the role of defending those classes against high-damage attackers that could overwhelm their traditionally lower defences by standing in the front lines. IE: they become linebackers.

The problem is that this role breaks down when you reach mid-to-high levels, where opponents either can fly or have other non-standard means of travel like teleportation. Then you're left with a big slow guy that has lots of HP and noone to attack.

-Steve


How about something along these lines:

Intercepting Step (Combat)
Prerequisites: Combat Reflexes, Fighter level 5th
Benefit: You may choose to move up to your normal movement speed as an immediate action in response to an enemy's movement. This movement counts as one of your attacks of opportunity for the round (but does not count against your normal movement), and must place you in a square along the enemy's line of movement; if you cannot reach such a square, you cannot use this feat. This movement forces the moving enemy to stop in the square in front of the one you now occupy. Alternatively, the enemy can attempt to bull rush or overrun you (at +2 to the normal DC) to continue movement, but this provokes an attack of opportunity as per those combat maneuvers.

---
This works using an action on the fighter's part, rather than relying on an irrational decision on the enemy's part (Cf. the "taunt" mechanism). Also, it avoids issues with a "skills tax" (Intimidate) on a class that only gets 2/level, and issues with ridiculously easy-to-resist DCs (Cha being a "dump stat" for many fighters).

A tweak could partially address Subversive's concern re: dimenion dooring opponents: they dimension door, you automatically move in response to keep up with them.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Yeah, I know it's not "feat chapter" time, but here are two I cooked up in the same vein:

Swift Counterstrike (Combat)
You are skilled at defensive positioning and controlling the approaches to your allies.

Prerequisite: Combat Reflexes, base attack bonus +6

Benefit: Treat your reach as 5 feet longer than normal when determining the area you threaten for attacks of opportunity. When an opponent triggers an attack of opportunity from you, you may take a 5-foot step before making the attack; if you do so, reduce your movement by 5 feet on your next turn. You may use this feat once per round.

Normal: You may not move before taking attacks of opportunity.

Roving Counterstrike (Combat)
You are a master of controlling the field of battle, a veritable whirling dervish reacting swiftly whenever danger approaches.

Prerequisite: Combat Reflexes, Swift Counterstrike, base attack bonus +12

Benefit: Treat your reach as 5 feet longer than normal when determining the area you threaten for attacks of opportunity. When an opponent triggers an attack of opportunity from you, you may take a 5-foot step before making the attack. You may use this feat each time an opponent triggers an attack of opportunity.

If you make one or more 5-foot steps with this feat, reduce your movement on your next turn by the total distance moved. If this would reduce your movement to 0 or less, you cannot move on your next turn, though you may perform other move actions.

Normal: You may not move before taking attacks of opportunity. You may only make a 5-foot step once per round.

Scarab Sages

I like that feat, also adding fighter only feats like Jason has talked about will be the way to go with this. Pure tactical feats. Oh, you could allow other classes beyoind fighters to Take tactical feats IF they take the Tactician Feat.

When the feats design forum goes live, well have to bring this up in there.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Xaaon of Xen'Drik wrote:

I like that feat, also adding fighter only feats like Jason has talked about will be the way to go with this. Pure tactical feats. Oh, you could allow other classes beyoind fighters to Take tactical feats IF they take the Tactician Feat.

When the feats design forum goes live, well have to bring this up in there.

Sure. It's funny, but I just realized something about the Roving Counterstrike feat I hadn't really thought of before:

If an opponent moves within 10' of you and keeps on going, you 5' shift and AoO him. Fine. That's simple and straightforward enough.

The part I didn't even notice as I was designing it was that, while the creature isn't forced to stop moving, it had damn well better, because each time it keeps moving you can take a 5' step and AoO him again every time he leaves a threatened square, until you run out of moves or AoOs.

Unless I'm misremembering the rules for AoO vs. reach. I'll have to go look...

BTW, it still may not be enough, since it's only making your reach 5' longer than normal. That helps a lot, but there's still a whole wide world of room to go around you.

I am thinking also on reconsideration that any AoO moves you take really shouldn't apply to your move the next round. I think it's fair to limit your AoO moves to your total moves (i.e., no AoO-express-train from here to Greyhawk by mowing down moving kobolds all along the line), but I don't know that we need to penalize your movement the next turn just cuz you actually USED YOUR FEAT. Oh no!


Jason Nelson wrote:
BTW, it still may not be enough, since it's only making your reach 5' longer than normal. That helps a lot, but there's still a whole wide world of room to go around you.

That's why I allowed a full move in my similar feat... ;)

(The companion feat I posted on another fighter thread let you save iterative attacks for use after you intecept someone).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

I'm for and against this idea. I'm for it because a fighter should be able "move" with his enemy. I'm against it because it has to potential to break the system.

A fighter should NEVER exceed his maximum movement. If he doesn't have a magical boost for movement, he can't move more then that in a turn. That said, I see 1 of 2 options..

1) An immediate action that allows a fighter to use unused movement that turn. So if a fighter moves 10 ft and then attacks someone on his turn, assuming he's wearing full plate, he can move an additional 10 ft (plus magical boosts) as an immediate action to move with his enemy.

2) An immediate action that uses the move action of the fighter's next turn. If the fighter moves his full movement with the enemy, then he's still with the enemy when his next turn comes around.

Regardless of which option you take, a fighter must move and remain within reach of his enemy during this movement. So hazards, obstacles, etc. can get in the fighters way a deny him moving with the enemy.

As for movement with fly, teleport, bink, dimension door, etc., the fighter is out of luck. He'll have to break out a range weapon and contribute as best he can.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

SirUrza wrote:

I'm for and against this idea. I'm for it because a fighter should be able "move" with his enemy. I'm against it because it has to potential to break the system.

A fighter should NEVER exceed his maximum movement. If he doesn't have a magical boost for movement, he can't move more then that in a turn. That said, I see 1 of 2 options..

I understand your point in general, but we already let people move more than their (nominal) maximum movement using class abilities: spells.

Haste, longstrider, expeditious retreat, fly, and more allow a character to move more than they are normally allowed through the use of class abilities. In an indirect way, so does freedom of movement.

What we would have here is a case of the fighter class (or anyone of a sufficiently martial bent to meet the BAB qualifiers) using a character ability (specifically a class ability to get a bonus fighter feat, in the case of a fighter) to move faster than they are usually able.

D&D movement is already arbitrary and abstracted. Is there really something easier to swallow about a mystical enchantment making your feet move faster than someone having extreme training that lets them move faster? That's what track and cross country coaches and drill sergeants are for!

Besides, the real reason I think it doesn't break the system is that it doesn't let you move wherever you want. You can only FOLLOW other creatures, and only inasmuch as they do something that provokes AoOs.

It is also doubly limited by being available only in 5' chunks and by being capped by either your movement rate OR your number of AoOs (since you only get a 5' step when you make an AoO). Sure, you have Combat Reflexes, but unless you are a super-dex fighter you'll hit the AoO wall before you even get to your base movement rate.

SirUrza wrote:

1) An immediate action that allows a fighter to use unused movement that turn. So if a fighter moves 10 ft and then attacks someone on his turn, assuming he's wearing full plate, he can move an additional 10 ft (plus magical boosts) as an immediate action to move with his enemy.

2) An immediate action that uses the move action of the fighter's next turn. If the fighter moves his full movement with the enemy, then he's still with the enemy when his next turn comes around.

Regardless of which option you take, a fighter must move and remain within reach of his enemy during this movement. So hazards, obstacles, etc. can get in the fighters way a deny him moving with the enemy.

There might be a companion feat or two. Hmmm...

Shifting Counterstrike

Prerequisite: Combat Reflexes, Swift Counterstrike, Spellcraft 5 ranks, base attack bonus +15

Benefit: Treat your reach as 5 feet longer than normal when determining the area you threaten for attacks of opportunity. When a hostile creature you threaten uses a teleportation or planar travel effect, you can make a Spellcraft check to identify the effect. If you succeed, you can make a 5-foot step and make an attack of opportunity, even if the target was casting defensively. If the attack hits, the target must make a Concentration check or the effect is disrupted.

If the creature was using a supernatural ability rather than a spell or spell-like ability, you may still use this feat, but the DC to identify the effect is increased by 5 and the creature's Concentration check to avoid having the ability disrupted is reduced by 5.

Along for the Ride

Prerequisite: Combat Reflexes, Swift Counterstrike, Spellcraft 5 ranks, base attack bonus +15

Benefit: Treat your reach as 5 feet longer than normal when determining the area you threaten for attacks of opportunity. When a hostile creature you threaten uses a teleportation or planar travel effect, make a Spellcraft check. If you successfully identify the spell or effect being used, you can make a 5-foot step and make an attack of opportunity. If the attack hits, you may accompany the creature to its destination, as if the teleportation or planar travel effect included you. Once you arrive, the creature you accompanied is considered flat-footed against you until the end of your next turn.

It's a risky move, since you don't know ahead of time where it will be going, but could be fun.

SirUrza wrote:
As for movement with fly, teleport, bink, dimension door, etc., the fighter is out of luck. He'll have to break out a range weapon and contribute as best he can.

See the above. Maybe those might help.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

SirUrza wrote:

That said, I see 1 of 2 options..

2) An immediate action that uses the move action of the fighter's next turn. If the fighter moves his full movement with the enemy, then he's still with the enemy when his next turn comes around.

As for movement with fly, teleport, bink, dimension door, etc., the fighter is out of luck. He'll have to break out a range weapon and contribute as best he can.

I like your second option a great deal. It works like i,,ediate actions, which are parcel of the character's next action rather than the previous action.

As for spells, I'd be a fan of simply allowing an Intimidation roll to impose penalties on a near-by caster's Concentration check to cast defensively. (Fighters are kind of feat-happy, so if you insisted on that tactic requiring a feat, I'm okay with that, too.)


Jason Nelson wrote:

Yeah, I know it's not "feat chapter" time, but here are two I cooked up in the same vein:

Swift Counterstrike (Combat)
You are skilled at defensive positioning and controlling the approaches to your allies.

Prerequisite: Combat Reflexes, base attack bonus +6

Benefit: Treat your reach as 5 feet longer than normal when determining the area you threaten for attacks of opportunity. When an opponent triggers an attack of opportunity from you, you may take a 5-foot step before making the attack; if you do so, reduce your movement by 5 feet on your next turn. You may use this feat once per round.

Normal: You may not move before taking attacks of opportunity.

Roving Counterstrike (Combat)
You are a master of controlling the field of battle, a veritable whirling dervish reacting swiftly whenever danger approaches.

Prerequisite: Combat Reflexes, Swift Counterstrike, base attack bonus +12

Benefit: Treat your reach as 5 feet longer than normal when determining the area you threaten for attacks of opportunity. When an opponent triggers an attack of opportunity from you, you may take a 5-foot step before making the attack. You may use this feat each time an opponent triggers an attack of opportunity.

If you make one or more 5-foot steps with this feat, reduce your movement on your next turn by the total distance moved. If this would reduce your movement to 0 or less, you cannot move on your next turn, though you may perform other move actions.

Normal: You may not move before taking attacks of opportunity. You may only make a 5-foot step once per round.

A problem I see with this feat is that it has the potential to slow the game down greatly as the multiple AoO's are addressed.

I also wonder if there would be some gimpyness of dealing with the reduction of movement next round. For example, what if the fighter decided to go into rough terrain? What if he 5' adjusted within rough terrain? The rules covering 5' adjusts state that you can *always* 5' adjust even in difficult terrain that would ordinarily reduce movement to zero.

-Steve

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Subversive wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:

Yeah, I know it's not "feat chapter" time, but here are two I cooked up in the same vein:

Swift Counterstrike (Combat)
You are skilled at defensive positioning and controlling the approaches to your allies.

Prerequisite: Combat Reflexes, base attack bonus +6

Benefit: Treat your reach as 5 feet longer than normal when determining the area you threaten for attacks of opportunity. When an opponent triggers an attack of opportunity from you, you may take a 5-foot step before making the attack; if you do so, reduce your movement by 5 feet on your next turn. You may use this feat once per round.

Normal: You may not move before taking attacks of opportunity.

Roving Counterstrike (Combat)
You are a master of controlling the field of battle, a veritable whirling dervish reacting swiftly whenever danger approaches.

Prerequisite: Combat Reflexes, Swift Counterstrike, base attack bonus +12

Benefit: Treat your reach as 5 feet longer than normal when determining the area you threaten for attacks of opportunity. When an opponent triggers an attack of opportunity from you, you may take a 5-foot step before making the attack. You may use this feat each time an opponent triggers an attack of opportunity.

If you make one or more 5-foot steps with this feat, reduce your movement on your next turn by the total distance moved. If this would reduce your movement to 0 or less, you cannot move on your next turn, though you may perform other move actions.

Normal: You may not move before taking attacks of opportunity. You may only make a 5-foot step once per round.

A problem I see with this feat is that it has the potential to slow the game down greatly as the multiple AoO's are addressed.

I also wonder if there would be some gimpyness of dealing with the reduction of movement next round. For example, what if the fighter decided to go into rough terrain? What if he 5' adjusted within rough terrain? The rules covering 5' adjusts state that you can *always* 5' adjust even in difficult terrain that would ordinarily reduce movement to zero.

-Steve

Actually, I think the rule is that you can always MOVE at least 5' even when you are in difficult terrain/impeding vegetation, etc.

A "5-foot step" is a special action (a shift that does not provoke AoOs like other movement does) that actually CAN'T be taken in difficult terrain, which is a problem with my feat idea. In any kind of movement-impeding terrain, it becomes useless. Fighter can't take 5-foot steps, so cannot use the feat. Lame.

I'll have to think about it some more.

Perhaps it would work as noted, with a stipulation that you could take 5-foot steps even in difficult terrain, but that the total distance you could move would still be capped at your movement, adjusted by the terrain (so, if your move was 30 and you were in shallow water or snow or something else that halved your movement, your move in that terrain is only 15, so 3 x 5-foot AoO steps is all you could do).

As to your other point, that it would clutter combat with too many AoOs...

Well, that's what fighters DO. They attack things. Do we really want to put the clamps on that?

It's simpler and faster to resolve than spellcasters casting immediate-action spells in any case, to say nothing of quickened spells, summoned monsters, charmed monsters, confusion, poison, or any number of other round-to-round effects that clutter up the battlefield.

Sure, it's a weak argument to say "they do it too!," but the alternatives are:

1. Nerf the caster down so they can't do any of those things (the 4th Ed approach);

2. Allow the casters to (continue to) reign over non-casters because they get to do more things (and a greater variety of things) than the non-casters do, including taking what amount to extra turns; or,

3. Allow the fighter-types to play the same game as the casters by letting them take extra turns too.


I dont like the idea of the fighter moving about during other peoples turns. I look at it just a zone of control/defense type thing. Whether it is a feat or a class feature is for someone else to figure out but I am putting it in as class feature replacing the armor mastery stuff because I belive that results in AC's getting too high (but if you disagree they could be feats), and it encourages the fighters to be more of a party help than an invulnerable tank:

3rd- "Blocking Strike" using an attack of opportunity provoked by movement through a threatened square if the attack is successful the subject loses half their remaining movement round up for the rest of it's movement

7th - "Parrying Strike" the fighter may elect to provide cover against any weapon or reflex save spell passing through her threatened area.

11th - "Extended Defence" the fighters reach for the purpose of Blocking strike and Parrying strike increases by 5'

15th - "Going Nowhere" a Blocking strike causes the enemy to lose all movement for that turn and move at half for the next.

19th - ??

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

I like werecorpse's suggestions - I was actually going to post something similar. And, I agree that it should be a class ability rather than a feat (though I think I would move things like the extended reach idea to a feat instead - give the fighter a plain vanilla version, but use feats to augment it so that you can custom build a defender).

The only other thought I would have is allowing the fighter to broaden when he gets to do the blocking attack. So, instead of requiring that an AoO be triggered, let any movement trigger it. You could incorporate the concept of marking the target, but make it more like dodge (i.e. do not impose the -2 to attacks like 4e does).

If fighters are given more ways to "spend" AoO's (which is an idea I like), you might also consider giving them extra AoO's whenever they would get an additional iterative attack. So, a 6th level fighter would get two AoO's, and could use combat reflexes to gain even more.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Werecorpse wrote:

I dont like the idea of the fighter moving about during other peoples turns. I look at it just a zone of control/defense type thing. Whether it is a feat or a class feature is for someone else to figure out but I am putting it in as class feature replacing the armor mastery stuff because I belive that results in AC's getting too high (but if you disagree they could be feats), and it encourages the fighters to be more of a party help than an invulnerable tank:

3rd- "Blocking Strike" using an attack of opportunity provoked by movement through a threatened square if the attack is successful the subject loses half their remaining movement round up for the rest of it's movement

7th - "Parrying Strike" the fighter may elect to provide cover against any weapon or reflex save spell passing through her threatened area.

11th - "Extended Defence" the fighters reach for the purpose of Blocking strike and Parrying strike increases by 5'

15th - "Going Nowhere" a Blocking strike causes the enemy to lose all movement for that turn and move at half for the next.

19th - ??

I like these ideas as well, though obviously I don't share your aversion to the fighter acting when it's not his turn, or more precisely acting more often when it's not his turn. The martial types can still get their AoOs now and then. I like the blocking

Feats like the ones I proposed just mean they get them more often.

This is the root of the problem:

1. Their threatened area, setting aside the execrably lame (in concept) spiked chain, is small. Fighters just don't cover enough ground to make their "ability to block and defend" mean anything, because it is so easy for monsters to go AROUND them. If they keep just a regular reach, all the defenses in the world won't matter because they won't be activated.

This is something you address in part with your "Extended Defence" issue but I'd like to see it extended to other things. Heck, I wouldn't mind a bit seeing it extend to offense either. The fighter is such a super-fighter that he can reach guys OVER THERE with his sword. I'll noodle up an idea maybe tomorrow and see what you think.

2. If we're going to hard-cap immediate actions and interrupts, we need to stomp hard on all kinds of immediate actions that let people do stuff when it ain't their turn.

3. I wasn't even meaning the above feats to be fighter-specific. Anybody with a big interest in the martial end of things should be able to do stuff like this in my book.


In answer to Jason's three points above
1- yep
2- It is just the moving I have trouble with. Say three bad guys run past, first on the left (fighter shifts over) next on the far left (fighter shifts over), next on the right... it just seems likely to slow down the combat. Hence my zone of control preference.
3- yep,

PS Sebastian has started up a related thread to do with giving extra AoO to non dex fighters to help the fighter wall idea. - I have no link fu.

The Exchange

I think allowing fighters to get to use all their attacks across their movement would be a good shot at addrssing some of the high level game balance.

A typical fighter has 20ft move, so break them down for that.

2 attacks - move ten feet per attack. If you must move more than ten feet then you blow the second attack. Can split this movement between attacks (move 10ft, attack and kill, move ten feet attack)

3 attacks - a bit messier but - 10ft, five feet, five feet

4 attacks - 5 feet per attack.

This means a fighter can potentially use all four attacks and still get to move. Even if they move ten feet with 4 attacks, under this system they can still make three attacks, just lost their highers.

The bonus to this is the held action - hold your initiative and engage enemies that close within range. As the mob charges, you can do running attacks to intercept and attack them. You cna move further than 5 feet and still have a chance at multiple attacks.

I know this is slightly off the sticky fighter concept but it does address some of the points talked about above. It also means the fighter isn't "saving" up moves as interupts. Just using a pre-existing rule (held action) with a new take on movement and attacks. Makes them much better at blocking.

This does break with backwards compatability a bit as it doesn't follow the "move/action/fullaction" concept of 3.5. I think it makes the fighter more powerful though. (It's also something to conisder for Barbarian, Ranger and Paladin as all fighter tyoes lose out when they don't get to use all their attacks).


To be honest, I'm not sure we can build a really useful fighter if we limit movement and out-of-turn actions too much. Say you're a fighter; an enemy spellcaster 20 ft. away is about to cast a spell; your friend, right next to you, is about to get whacked. It's your turn to act, and you have four (4) attacks... and yet you can address only ONE of these issues. Attack your friend's attacker once and then move? Full attack the friend's attacker? Move and attack the spellcaster once, knowing full well that (a) he'll EASILY make the Spellcraft check to cast defensively, and (b) your friend will certainly die?

If selecting a few feats could allow him to attack the friend's attacker twice, then move up to the spellcaster and attack once or twice while that guy is casting (forcing a much more difficult roll to keep spell while damaged during casting)... that would put the fighter on even footing with the wizard again. As it is, a 16th level wizard can a quickened wall of fire to control the battlefield, then cast horrid wilting over a whole area of trapped opponents -- simultaneously. But the fighter (also at 16th level) can't attack, move, and attack again?

The Exchange

One of the things I would like to see is something to reduce the efficacy of casting defensively. A few ranks in Spellcraft/Concentration and a wizard can standing in the middle of a mod and cheerfully cast away. There were some non-SRD feats in the (I think) Complete Warrior that made it difficult, and I would like to see something like that approach taken, to provide feats to fighters to make life a bit more difficult for casters.

Liberty's Edge

Kirth Gersen wrote:
As it is, a 16th level wizard can a quickened wall of fire to control the battlefield, then cast horrid wilting over a whole area of trapped opponents -- simultaneously. But the fighter (also at 16th level) can't attack, move, and attack again?

Indeed. The Paladin is supposed to defend the innocent (and his party) and slay evil, the Ranger is a specialist stealth (amongst the full BAB classes) and special warfare, and Barbarian should be an elemental force of death, destruction, and terror. The fighter is supposed to be a bit more generalized and the undisputed master of combat and the battlefield. How well the other full BAB class fulfill these roles are questionable, but that's why they're being discussed as well. With regards to the fighter, why can't he be allowed to shine in his area of expertise? So he gets some 'free' movement and the ability to control the battlefield by acting out of sequence, big deal. Casters of all stripes have been doing that for a decade in 3.X.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

I guess I disagree that this is a big problem. In part, because in my experience, fighters and other melee types all charge in to get close the the enemy, and leave the soft targets (archers and spellcasters) unprotected. If the fighter really wants to be a defender, then he needs to stay close to the soft targets, and if an enemy engages, then the fighter can take them down with full attacks while the soft targets fall back.

The other tactical issue is that fighters often don't take advantage of ways to deal with mobile opponents who get around them. Those mobile opponents have to stop next to their target to attack them, and often can simply absorb a single attack of opportunity used to damage them as the pass by the fighters. The solution is that fighters shouldn't simply attack for damage on these types of foes. This is where combat manuvers come into play. Trip the target as is passes - this will stop it's movement, not to mention provoke another AoO when it stands up. Grapple a foe or disarm it, then it's not attacking its intended target.

I'm wary of feats or abilities that allow a character to non-magically automatically stop a foe from moving past you. I have a hard time seeing how a medium human fighter would really stop a huge sized creature from going past.

As for other methods of addressing the issue of a fighter who wants to protect his friends, you can always use magic items, such as this (shameless plug), to accomplish this as well.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
One of the things I would like to see is something to reduce the efficacy of casting defensively. A few ranks in Spellcraft/Concentration and a wizard can standing in the middle of a mod and cheerfully cast away. There were some non-SRD feats in the (I think) Complete Warrior that made it difficult, and I would like to see something like that approach taken, to provide feats to fighters to make life a bit more difficult for casters.

I'd suggest that the solution here is to change how casting defensively works. There's a whole thread on how to change the target DC for this in the General Forum, as well as the suggestion I made to change the dynamic of this action entirely:

Instead of casting defensively needing a roll, what if it automatically works, but has a cost?

Any combination of these could be costs:
1) Casting time increases to 1 full round action instead of a standard action
2) You cannot take a 5' step that round
3) Your caster level is reduced by 1 (since you're not concentrating on the spell as much - this would make the option unavailable as a 1st level caster)

I'm sure there's other options to consider for a cost of casting defensively, this is simply off the top of my head.

If a method like this were adopted, two things would happen. First, the debate on should concentration be a separate skill again, or checks for it be based on casting stat instead of intelligence would go away. Second, the combat casting feat could be meaningful (instead of inferior to skill focus), and simply let you ignore the costs of casting defensively.


What if the DC for casting defensively were 10 + spell level + sum of CMBs of all threatening creatures? A wizard threatened by hobgoblins would have a hard time, but could get a spell off. A wizard threatened by a single 18 Str, 10th level fighter would have a DC of 24 + spell level... moderately difficult for a 10th level caster with 18 Int and max ranks to cast a 5th level spell (12 or better on 1d20).

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

JoelF847 wrote:

I guess I disagree that this is a big problem. In part, because in my experience, fighters and other melee types all charge in to get close the the enemy, and leave the soft targets (archers and spellcasters) unprotected. If the fighter really wants to be a defender, then he needs to stay close to the soft targets, and if an enemy engages, then the fighter can take them down with full attacks while the soft targets fall back.

The other tactical issue is that fighters often don't take advantage of ways to deal with mobile opponents who get around them. Those mobile opponents have to stop next to their target to attack them, and often can simply absorb a single attack of opportunity used to damage them as the pass by the fighters. The solution is that fighters shouldn't simply attack for damage on these types of foes. This is where combat manuvers come into play. Trip the target as is passes - this will stop it's movement, not to mention provoke another AoO when it stands up. Grapple a foe or disarm it, then it's not attacking its intended target.

I'm wary of feats or abilities that allow a character to non-magically automatically stop a foe from moving past you. I have a hard time seeing how a medium human fighter would really stop a huge sized creature from going past.

Now wait just a cotton-pickin minute! Not to be the logic police or anything, but you're wary of feats that allow a fighter to stop a huge-sized creature from going past, but you're okay with a fighter TRIPPING a huge-sized creature and knocking it prone as it's going past? Or GRAPPLING it? (Disarm I could see, but a lot of foes aren't using weapons)

If logic is in the equation, there is no reason that a giant shouldn't be able to automatically move through a PC's square without impediment. He'd just step right over him and keep on going. But, in D&D, we have friendly squares and enemy squares, and you can't move through enemy squares unless they let you through or unless you use Overrun or Trample (or is a swarm, yes, I know there are exceptions, but work with me). For that matter, even small creatures should be able to duck through your square. In 3rd Ed, I believe it requires 3 size categories of difference to move through an enemy square without impediment. Ouch.

I don't recall the rule for PF and CMB, but in regular 3.0/3.5 it was incredibly difficult to trip or grapple things bigger than you and stop their movement. Even creatures around your own size and weight it was an iffy proposition; as an opposed roll, the variance of the d20 was pretty darn big and you had to count on your STR being significantly better than their STR and their DEX (for trip).

What you say is a good idea in princple, and it may be easier to use this strategy with CMB than it was in the 3/SRD days, but the martial classes still need some help with:

1. Increasing the area that they threaten

2. Being able to reactively move to intercept threats that aren't right next to them

3. Being able to block movement in a more reliable fashion

JoelF847 wrote:
As for other methods of addressing the issue of a fighter who wants to protect his friends, you can always use magic items, such as this (shameless plug), to accomplish this as well.

Nicely done... :)

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

JoelF847 wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
One of the things I would like to see is something to reduce the efficacy of casting defensively. A few ranks in Spellcraft/Concentration and a wizard can standing in the middle of a mod and cheerfully cast away. There were some non-SRD feats in the (I think) Complete Warrior that made it difficult, and I would like to see something like that approach taken, to provide feats to fighters to make life a bit more difficult for casters.

I'd suggest that the solution here is to change how casting defensively works. There's a whole thread on how to change the target DC for this in the General Forum, as well as the suggestion I made to change the dynamic of this action entirely:

Instead of casting defensively needing a roll, what if it automatically works, but has a cost?

Any combination of these could be costs:
1) Casting time increases to 1 full round action instead of a standard action
2) You cannot take a 5' step that round
3) Your caster level is reduced by 1 (since you're not concentrating on the spell as much - this would make the option unavailable as a 1st level caster)

I'm sure there's other options to consider for a cost of casting defensively, this is simply off the top of my head.

If a method like this were adopted, two things would happen. First, the debate on should concentration be a separate skill again, or checks for it be based on casting stat instead of intelligence would go away. Second, the combat casting feat could be meaningful (instead of inferior to skill focus), and simply let you ignore the costs of casting defensively.

Ooh, nicely done. I like it. I might even go further, to say, rather than a full-round action, that it increases casting time to 1 full round.

Of course, this would make Combat Casting an absolute must as a feat for most spellcasters, but that's a price I'm willing to pay. You don't HAVE to take it. You can just take your chances and hope for the best.

My mind is drifting back to 1st Ed days, and I'm vaguely recalling a rule that while you were casting a spell you lost your DEX bonus to AC and may in fact have been considered prone. I'll have to dig out my 1st Ed books and see if that was really there or if that was some house rule I came across back in the day.

Having spellcasting leave you flat-footed, losing your DEX bonus to AC in any round you cast a spell (which could be solved by Combat Casting) would also be an interesting angle. It would make rogues super mage-killers and would certainly put a premium on hiding/attack diversion spells to avoid those killshots while you're trying to get off your spells.

Maybe that's the aesthetic we're looking for, a situation where casters have to TRY to get off their spells in the midst of combat, where it's not a trivial exercise.


An effective solution could be:

Cast Defensively: DC = 10 + opponent's BAB

Spellcraft check = Spellcraft bonus - spell level (yes, that's "minus")

Make one roll. Compare result to all opponents' DCs threatening the caster. Those that the caster beats don't get an AoO, those that the caster does'nt beat do.


*crazy idea* how about we make the Fighter a more viable foe to be directing attacks at, hence make them better. the concept of "artillery" bugs me about 4E and I dont wish it being modeled after here. Damage output on a one for one basis should go to the Fighter classes not the wizard classes. (Wizard classes can have Mook management, if the wish, and FIXING ANY noncombat event with magical might!) a single foe should fear the cleaving blade of the Fighter just a bit more than the burn of a Wizard. (make more flexible spells, and more useful utility spells, minimized save or die, and outlandish single hit spells, such as combust)

Liberty's Edge

Jason Nelson wrote:
Having spellcasting leave you flat-footed, losing your DEX bonus to AC in any round you cast a spell (which could be solved by Combat Casting) would also be an interesting angle. It would make rogues super mage-killers and would certainly put a premium on hiding/attack diversion spells to avoid those killshots while you're trying to get off your spells.

I suggested that in the Defensive casting thread. It works well in Spycraft, and being flat-footed in SC2.0 is infinitely more dangerous then in D&D or PF.


Jason Nelson wrote:

As to your other point, that it would clutter combat with too many AoOs...

Well, that's what fighters DO. They attack things. Do we really want to put the clamps on that?

It's simpler and faster to resolve than spellcasters casting immediate-action spells in any case, to say nothing of quickened spells, summoned monsters, charmed monsters, confusion, poison, or any number of other round-to-round effects that clutter up the battlefield.

Sure, it's a weak argument to say "they do it too!," but the alternatives are:

1. Nerf the caster down so they can't do any of those things (the 4th Ed approach);

2. Allow the casters to (continue to) reign over non-casters because they get to do more things (and a greater variety of things) than the non-casters do, including taking what amount to extra turns; or,

3. Allow the fighter-types to play the same game as the casters by letting them take extra turns too.

While I understand your argument here, my basic contentions are thus:

1. One of the ideas of Pathfinder is to reduce the time a round of combat takes at high levels. Several feats have been released that allow fighters to trade iterative attacks in favor of other bonuses.

2. For your proposed idea to be best utilized, it would mean taking combat reflexes. Assuming decent Dex, this leads to a much-expanded pool of iterative attacks, as well as move adjustments. This attack number is increased further by extending the threatened area of the fighter's zone of control. This will further slow down high level play.

3. While your proposed feats, by themselves, are actually quite nice, they run contrary to one of the goals of Pathfinder, and I have to assume that Jason will probably disregard them for that primary reason.

In addition, if you feel you need to continue developing this feat concept, I would suggest addressing any questions that arise from wielding a reach weapon, especially the spiked chain, which already threatens both 5' and 10' squares.

I would also suggest holding off further discussion on this feat set (or any set of feats) until feats are addressed on the design forums. It was my initial intention to discuss "stickyness" as a fighter power, rather then a feat. I fear it's gotten away from that. I realize that it's difficult to discuss fighter concepts without talking feats, so maybe this whole discussion is better held off until later development forums open up.

-Steve


Subversive wrote:
I'm curious if anyone has ideas or suggestions for improving the fighter's ability to make an opponent "stick."

I wouldn't mind seeing a feat that makes a character do extra damage with AoOs to the tune of flat, multiplied into criticals level x .5 or so. Stick it up there in the +11 BAB prereq range.

Scarab Sages Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4, Legendary Games

Subversive wrote:
Jason Nelson wrote:

As to your other point, that it would clutter combat with too many AoOs...

Well, that's what fighters DO. They attack things. Do we really want to put the clamps on that?

It's simpler and faster to resolve than spellcasters casting immediate-action spells in any case, to say nothing of quickened spells, summoned monsters, charmed monsters, confusion, poison, or any number of other round-to-round effects that clutter up the battlefield.

Sure, it's a weak argument to say "they do it too!," but the alternatives are:

1. Nerf the caster down so they can't do any of those things (the 4th Ed approach);

2. Allow the casters to (continue to) reign over non-casters because they get to do more things (and a greater variety of things) than the non-casters do, including taking what amount to extra turns; or,

3. Allow the fighter-types to play the same game as the casters by letting them take extra turns too.

While I understand your argument here, my basic contentions are thus:

1. One of the ideas of Pathfinder is to reduce the time a round of combat takes at high levels. Several feats have been released that allow fighters to trade iterative attacks in favor of other bonuses.

2. For your proposed idea to be best utilized, it would mean taking combat reflexes. Assuming decent Dex, this leads to a much-expanded pool of iterative attacks, as well as move adjustments. This attack number is increased further by extending the threatened area of the fighter's zone of control. This will further slow down high level play.

3. While your proposed feats, by themselves, are actually quite nice, they run contrary to one of the goals of Pathfinder, and I have to assume that Jason will probably disregard them for that primary reason.

In addition, if you feel you need to continue developing this feat concept, I would suggest addressing any questions that arise from wielding a reach weapon, especially the spiked chain, which already threatens both 5' and 10' squares.

I would also suggest holding off further discussion on this feat set (or any set of feats) until feats are addressed on the design forums. It was my initial intention to discuss "stickyness" as a fighter power, rather then a feat. I fear it's gotten away from that. I realize that it's difficult to discuss fighter concepts without talking feats, so maybe this whole discussion is better held off until later development forums open up.

In response:

#1: You may be right (and I know that the good Mr. James Jacobs, for one, hates immediate actions and swift actions), but:

a. If that's the case, we need to do some more work on curbing the rest of the system, including eliminating quickened spells and time stop from the game.

b. We need to put in place a rule that mediates how to have PFRPG interact with those other supplements to which is it backwards-compatible that do feature swift/immediate stuff.

#2: Again, you may be right, although I would submit that it actually would have a larger proportional effect at low levels than high.

a. At lower levels, turns themselves are much shorter.

b. At lower levels, creatures will have a much harder time evading your threatened area, however large or small it is.

c. At lower levels, you would only get one regular attack per round, but you cound in theory get a butt-load of AoOs.

d. All of the above stated, I did make the feat minimum BAB 12 for the multi-use version, so the above is kind of irrelevant... :)

#3: Maybe, maybe not. We'll see where it goes.

As to the larger point of bringing this back to explicit class abilities (rather than 'feats as class abilities'), see the thread on giving fighters more AoOs and some of the applications of AoOs there. IOW, fighters should get more of them as a class ability, and should be able to do more versatile things with them, than other classes.

Some of those applications of the basic AoO concept are vested in making the fighter more 'sticky.'

FWIW, I'm not too keen on the taunt/goad/aggro mechanic. I'd rather have the fighter just be able to DO stuff rather than try to bamboozle monsters into attacking him. Besides, it works better for NPC fighters, where PCs don't like getting magnetized to the enemy fighter by taunts/goads/aggros, but they can suck it up and deal if the fighter just does a super-blocking move that stops 'em in their tracks.

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