Using Beta in RotRL (Stop buffing the fighter class)!!!


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Zombieneighbours wrote:
Real people do not choose to sleep on a bed roll in the heart of a city when there is a nice bed in an in room they have already payed for.

See my post above. If I'm playing a guy with an 18 intelligence, I make sure he plans ahead a bit. If I'm playing an 8 Int barbarian... not so much planning, then. So, the measure of how the wizard "should" act is not so much what most people would generally do, but rather what highly-intelligent people in dangerous professions would do (Cf. Eric Bana sleeping in the closet, in Munich).


Bagpuss wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:

So your wizard camps, every night after he achieves the skill required to cast a 3rd level spell, for the rest of his career... He turns down comfortable beds, the company of the opersite or same sex, lives out of a back pack and uses a sleeping roll ext all. no matter what worldly comforts he might have access too... Because that doesn't sound like the actions of a person, in fact, id go so far as to say that for most characters, that is an example of an optimal choice, being bad roleplay.

Sure, i've played a wizard with obsessive and paranoid tendancies, who might have considered such things, if he trusted extra dimensional spaces. But i suspect mentally Ill characters do not list highly on your list of character trait.

Bad roleplay?

If I had the power to cast rope trick and my sleeping time was as dangerous as is the case in many D&D campaigns (and it's not unreasonable, right? If I was going to attack a dangerous group, I'd do it when most of them were asleep), I'd godamned cast it, myself. It looks to me like utterly sensible roleplay, the aim being reducing the chance of ending up dead.

Thank you. Give the Wizard a few levels and he has his own personal mansion that otherwise serves the same purpose. If he trusts his allies they get it too.

You'll be very uncomfortable if you are dead. Real people will sleep upside down hanging by their feet in a frickin' closet like a bat if the alternative is getting insta gibbed in the night. It is not paranoia if they actually are out to get you, and obsessiveness and paranoia is practically par for the Wizardry course. Keeps you alive, keeps your buddies alive, why not?

That pesky troll is still being ignored.


Jal Dorak wrote:

Bagpuss did touch on something that I personally dislike about 3rd Edition in terms of balance - the idea of a consistent XP progression makes for easier character management, especially with 3rd Editions multiclassing, but it really throws off the casters power progression.

It was vastly important in 2nd Edition that warriors were frequently much higher level with the same amount of earned XP.

I wonder if the intent of XP burning spells, and XP cost on item creation, was an attempt to provide some semblance of parity there.

I know, I know, not really sufficient to cover the gap, but it was a thought.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
Real people do not choose to sleep on a bed roll in the heart of a city when there is a nice bed in an in room they have already payed for.
See my post above. If I'm playing a guy with an 18 intelligence, I make sure he plans ahead a bit. If I'm playing an 8 Int barbarian... not so much planning, then. So, the measure of how the wizard "should" act is not so much what most people would generally do, but rather what highly-intelligent people in dangerous professions would do (Cf. Eric Bana sleeping in the closet, in Munich).

Of course, one could make a case for sharing a room with the party, and/or keeping a watch. Alarm spells are much cheaper than and extended rope trick as well.

I remember a 2nd ed. game from ages ago, where a rogue reverse pickpocketed a dimensional mine into the wizards robe. The rope trick that night sent us to the astral plane. Good times...kinda.

Liberty's Edge

re: the topic.

no kidding, the fighter is getting kinda shiny. all that brasso on his armor and stuff could blind someone!

Sovereign Court

The rules, if pressed hard, do not encourage restraint or humanity. A special-ops mentality can easily pervade your game if the DM doesn't ease up on the throttle regularly. It takes a light touch to prevent your PCs from becoming paranoid malcontents – otherwise you have Brave Sir Robin sleeping in the panic room every night.

---

OT: I like the Pathfinder fighter so far, but I wish he could take easier advantage of CMB.


TreeLynx wrote:
Jal Dorak wrote:

Bagpuss did touch on something that I personally dislike about 3rd Edition in terms of balance - the idea of a consistent XP progression makes for easier character management, especially with 3rd Editions multiclassing, but it really throws off the casters power progression.

It was vastly important in 2nd Edition that warriors were frequently much higher level with the same amount of earned XP.

I wonder if the intent of XP burning spells, and XP cost on item creation, was an attempt to provide some semblance of parity there.

I know, I know, not really sufficient to cover the gap, but it was a thought.

Mostly, burning XP on that stuff just means you get a whole lot of free XP. If the party is level X, and you've crafted or power spelled your way down to X - 1 you will get about a third more XP for any and every combat, which gives you an allowance to do more of the same. This is a catch up mechanism and also meant to demonstrate that it's 'harder' for you. Well the first is true, but the second? You have more cash, or rather more efficiently use your cash in a world where Money directly translates to Power. You're also a spellcaster. In summary, that part fails miserably.


houstonderek wrote:
no kidding, the fighter is getting kinda shiny. all that brasso on his armor and stuff could blind someone!

You're just jealous because he rolled straight 17's for abilities, and you rolled straight 6's for your cleric. Next time I may force everyone to use the dreaded necromantic ritual of "point buy."


Selk wrote:

The rules, if pressed hard, do not encourage restraint or humanity. A special-ops mentality can easily pervade your game if the DM doesn't ease up on the throttle regularly. It takes a light touch to prevent your PCs from becoming paranoid malcontents – otherwise you have Brave Sir Robin sleeping in the panic room every night.

---

OT: I like the Pathfinder fighter so far, but I wish he could take easier advantage of CMB.

No kidding :) What some of the other are describing as standard operating presidure makes them sound more like paranoid old spooks with magic, than characters from fantasy litriture.


Donny_the_DM wrote:
I remember a 2nd ed. game from ages ago, where a rogue reverse pickpocketed a dimensional mine into the wizards robe. The rope trick that night sent us to the astral plane. Good times...kinda.

That's awesome! I am so going to use that...

Liberty's Edge

Kirth Gersen wrote:
houstonderek wrote:
no kidding, the fighter is getting kinda shiny. all that brasso on his armor and stuff could blind someone!
You're just jealous because he rolled straight 17's for abilities, and you rolled straight 6's for your cleric. Next time I may force everyone to use the dreaded necromantic ritual of "point buy."

over my cleric's (soon to be) dead body!!! i will never, NEVER use a point buy in d&d as long as d6's exist! darn you, kirth, darn you to heck!!!!

*goes to corner and cries uncontrollably...*


houstonderek wrote:
over my cleric's (soon to be) dead body!

As an aside:

Spoiler:
Now that you've killed the quasit, a Knowledge (religion) check tells you that immersing yourself in the "lava pool" might warp your body into that of one of the sinspawn: you'd be ugly as hell, and take a level adjustment, but you'd have much better stats...
Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

LOL

Sovereign Court

Whilst I don't care who insults each other, personally (as I have explained at length in this epic thread), I am not sure why you are going from this:

Donny_the_DM wrote:


Implying that politeness and pleasantry is wasting time shows us that maybe you are on the wrong boards. If we are so aggravating go somewhere else. Being a decent human being is not a waste of time. Defending your snarkyness has wasted more time than all the pleasantries you could have possibly thrown out there.

to this:

Donny_the_DM wrote:


I'd insert something about your mother here, but a gentleman never tells.

Now, I appreciate a good "I screwed your mom" gag as much as the next guy, but I don't think that you're making a very strong case in the War Against Bad Manners.

Scarab Sages

Sweet merciful Iomedae, when will it end!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Oh yeah, well, all I wanted to say when starting this thread is that I (my personal opinion, not even saying I am right) think that the fighter is good as he is in the present form, and that I don't want him to be buffed further.
So... anyone's something to say to that?!

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Jal Dorak wrote:
Sweet merciful Iomedae, when will it end!

The End?

Scarab Sages

Dragnmoon wrote:
Jal Dorak wrote:
Sweet merciful Iomedae, when will it end!
The End?

Oh, really?


/sigh.

Upon entering into a very much mutual ignorance pact with an unnamed hostile entity, overt hostilities have ceased. Special ops forces DID however plant one last mine in aforementioned hostile entities front lawn.

Overt action will now cease, and policy of mutual ignorance will be allowed to assert itself. It is better for the children this way.

@kirth - Our DM was nasty that way. It was in retaliation for when he sent us back in time, to save the daughter of the goddess of healing from being destroyed at birth - Unknowingly having the assassin along with us as a party member. I hated that guy, but strangely enough, never missed a game.

I think one of my old PC's is still in the belly of the Tarrasque, inside a resilient sphere...at least his mummified corpse still is.


Dryder wrote:

Oh yeah, well, all I wanted to say when starting this thread is that I (my personal opinion, not even saying I am right) think that the fighter is good as he is in the present form, and that I don't want him to be buffed further.

So... anyone's something to say to that?!

Sure do. He has yet to be buffed. Quite the opposite. Which means either you do not know what you are talking about, or believe Fighters Should Not Get Nice Things. Neither is desirable.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Crusader of Logic wrote:
(...) Which means either you do not know what you are talking about(...)

What makes you thinking that?!


As to the OP, while I am fine with the "power" level of the fighter class as-is, It would be cool to see second tier feats for Iron will, Lightning Reflexes, and Great Fortitude that are not epic. The fighter's low as hell WIll save is the classes biggest weakness.

The wizard , more often as not, can hold his own, as long as the combat is "somewhere else". HIS job is to get into the air and relatively safe from melee. The fighter's job is to encourage the heart of the combat to be away from the squishies in the back.

The wizard can be a badass - IF and only IF he has adequate prep time, or a penchant for burning half of his spells every morning before camp is broken. This severely limits their utility in the ongoing "work day". I have personally found that using metamagic enhanced buffs to supplant magical items to be problematic at best. It always comes back to running out of spells too soon.

So, OP, I have to respectfully disagree with you. The fighter IMO, does need a little something else to offset the cubic assloads of damage that higher level monsters are capable of. I would actually reccommend giving the fighter a d12 hit die to offset the fact that all of his decent damage has to be in melee.

A decent dragon fight is good proof of this, a single full attack will drop almost anyone. Period. Same for most of the actual challenging opponents of CR 12+. Before switching to 4E, we had houseruled out iterative attacks, and added fighter level to damage as an untyped bonus. It sped things up a bit, and in conjunction with some of the cool stuff his greatsword was enchanted with dealt...lessee...2D6(base)+8(Str)+4(enchant)+2d6(vicious)+2d6(holy)+d6(thun dering)+15(level) soooo...min/max of 34-69 per round. Not a boatload, but with 18-20 crits, and the absolute nature of physical damage, it made the fighter an irritant that needed to be reckoned with immediately - freeing up the rest of the party to be all strategic and stuff. Problem is, a CR15 dragon full attack is NASTY. Without serious support, he is only a threat for two rounds - tops.

Then again, maybe better HP wouldn't help that much. Go figure.


Donny_the_DM wrote:
we had houseruled out iterative attacks, and added fighter level to damage as an untyped bonus.

I like that. I'd maybe not remove iterative attacks, but rather I'd like to see them get full attack bonus, instead of the progressive "I can't hit anything with my 4th attack, ever" one. Even more than that, I'd like them to be able to trade attacks for movement, and use both as immediate actions in response to enemy actions.

On top of that, a damage bonus of maybe 1/2 fighter level as a class feature would sure be nice(keep attack bonus as the current weapon training feature).


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Donny_the_DM wrote:
we had houseruled out iterative attacks, and added fighter level to damage as an untyped bonus.

I like that. I'd maybe not remove iterative attacks, but rather I'd like to see them get full attack bonus, instead of the progressive "I can't hit anything with my 4th attack, ever" one. Even more than that, I'd like them to be able to trade attacks for movement, and use both as immediate actions in response to enemy actions.

On top of that, a damage bonus of maybe 1/2 fighter level as a class feature would sure be nice(keep attack bonus as the current weapon training feature).

good call! I knew there was a reason I kept coming here :)

It has been mixed in results. Things tend to get wonky when you start messing with the mechanical underpinnings. I agree though - Iterative attacks should all be at highest bonus, or the full attack option should always be available as a standard action. These alone would make for a nasty bump in the fighter's abilities.

EDIT: What about full bonus, but iterative only come only at levels 5, 12, and 20?

The Exchange

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Crusader of Logic wrote:
Dryder wrote:

Oh yeah, well, all I wanted to say when starting this thread is that I (my personal opinion, not even saying I am right) think that the fighter is good as he is in the present form, and that I don't want him to be buffed further.

So... anyone's something to say to that?!
Sure do. He has yet to be buffed. Quite the opposite. Which means either you do not know what you are talking about, or believe Fighters Should Not Get Nice Things. Neither is desirable.

So, his experience is not only completely wrong, but so wrong as to make him worthy of insult. And all this without a shred of evidence from you other than "retarded", "BDF", "fail", etc. And when someone asks you a pointed question or disagrees with you, you either insult them until they go away or you completely ignore them as a "troll".

At this point, the only thing I can see you've proven is your unwillingness to accept other's opinions and your worthiness to be ignored. So be it, I'll be ignoring your "input" until such time as you either learn to behave like a reasonable person in adult society or you get banned. I know a bunch of people would prefer you to tone down your rhetoric rather than get banned, but I really don't care either way.


Donny_the_DM wrote:
What about full bonus, but iterative only come only at levels 5, 12, and 20?

I can't quite figure why those levels. 7th, 13th, and 19th might make sense, from an "orderly progression" point of view (wasn't it something like that in 1e? Can't remember now).

Aha! Characters get feats at odd levels, so getting iterative attacks at even levels instead might be a good thing. But then why 5th?


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Donny_the_DM wrote:
What about full bonus, but iterative only come only at levels 5, 12, and 20?

I can't quite figure why those levels. 7th, 13th, and 19th might make sense, from an "orderly progression" point of view (wasn't it something like that in 1e? Can't remember now).

Aha! Characters get feats at odd levels, so getting iterative attacks at even levels instead might be a good thing. But then why 5th?

No reason actually. Other than it's been that way for near a decade. The first one comes early, the others much later. Every 6 would work too, as they are "dead" levels for traditional fighter.


Donny_the_DM wrote:
No reason actually. Other than it's been that way for near a decade. The first one comes early, the others much later.

Now I'm really confused. I thought they came at +6, +11, and +16 ever since 3.0?


In 3.0 they do indeed come at +6,+11 and +16


seekerofshadowlight wrote:
In 3.0 they do indeed come at +6,+11 and +16

So, did that change in 3.5? Or in the Beta?


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Donny_the_DM wrote:
No reason actually. Other than it's been that way for near a decade. The first one comes early, the others much later.
Now I'm really confused. I thought they came at +6, +11, and +16 ever since 3.0?

oops...blame my clock watching, almost time to go home. 5, 10, and 15 "feel right" with some REALLY cool ability @ 20? So many options!

Sorry about the mixup.

Dice pools would make this sooo much easier eh?


Jal Dorak wrote:
I find it ironic that most of the problematic wizard spells are ones that have been around since AD&D, and have remained relatively unchanged since that time. Yet people seem to blame the power level of wizards on 3rd Edition. In reality, as Kirth has noted several times in other threads, there was actually a decrease in power of the warriors while arcane spellcasters remained static. Divine spellcasters are a whole other story though.

And when it comes time for us to look at Spells, I'm sure that we shall all have quite a bit to collectively say about that...

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

Wow, there have been way too many disparate discussions in this thread, some of which are quite hostile. As it stands right now, I see no reason not to close this down. I might, but I will give it some time for folks to get it back on track and stop the insults.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing


Crusader of Logic wrote:


Mostly, burning XP on that stuff just means you get a whole lot of free XP. If the party is level X, and you've crafted or power spelled your way down to X - 1 you will get about a third more XP for any and every combat, which gives you an allowance to do more of the same. This is a catch up mechanism and also meant to demonstrate that it's 'harder' for you. Well the first is true, but the second? You have more cash, or rather more efficiently use your cash in a world where Money directly translates to Power. You're also a spellcaster. In summary, that part fails miserably.

I agree. As a penalty, it is utterly insufficient to cover the gap, because it gives casters more Nice Things, that the melees have to drop hard cash on, assuming wondrous items, and assuming per RAW they can access a location which can afford to sell the stuff the non-caster wants. Let's not even get started on how many resource extenders the average caster can strap on for dirt cheap...scrolls, wands, rods, staves. Where is the melee's resource extender? Bueller? Bueller?

Guess it's not there.

I know when I was playing a Goblin Wizard in 3.5, I always had 4 scrolls of my commonly used spells at low level, where it mattered. Once I hit level 7, I didn't need them, but still kept some around. Why not, after all.

The Exchange

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Donny_the_DM wrote:
we had houseruled out iterative attacks, and added fighter level to damage as an untyped bonus.

I like that. I'd maybe not remove iterative attacks, but rather I'd like to see them get full attack bonus, instead of the progressive "I can't hit anything with my 4th attack, ever" one. Even more than that, I'd like them to be able to trade attacks for movement, and use both as immediate actions in response to enemy actions.

On top of that, a damage bonus of maybe 1/2 fighter level as a class feature would sure be nice(keep attack bonus as the current weapon training feature).

Hmmm, I like it.


Dryder wrote:
Crusader of Logic wrote:
(...) Which means either you do not know what you are talking about(...)
What makes you thinking that?!

You claim he is buffed. He has not been buffed. Therefore clearly you are either mistaken in thinking he has been buffed, or know he hasn't but are arguing against him anyways so that he will continue to be ineffective aka Fighters Do Not Get Nice Things. I'm leaning towards the former (honest mistake) until given reason to believe otherwise.

I am ignoring Void Eagle on the grounds I was not insulting Dryder, I was calmly stating a fact, something that Dryder himself realizes. He (Void) is however insulting me which *wait for it* makes him a troll.

Liberty's Edge

I would disagree with you, Crusader of Logic.

The fighter has been 'buffed'. He has more features now than he did in 3.5. On an absolute basis, he is more powerful.

Now, his feats may not be more powerful. Everyone else may have been buffed more. On a relative basis he may actually be weaker. But to say that he has not been 'buffed' is patently untrue.


DeadDMWalking wrote:

I would disagree with you, Crusader of Logic.

The fighter has been 'buffed'. He has more features now than he did in 3.5. On an absolute basis, he is more powerful.

Now, his feats may not be more powerful. Everyone else may have been buffed more. On a relative basis he may actually be weaker. But to say that he has not been 'buffed' is patently untrue.

The fact remains that feats that several Fighter builds relied upon have, in fact, been nerfed. Power Attack is absolutely a nerf. Combat Expertise is likewise nerfed. Improve Trip is also nerfed. Some people even think that the requirement of an adjacent opponent is a nerf on the Cleave feats.

In compensation, the Fighter now has more feats available over 20 levels, and extra mechanical features. Armor Training, Weapon Training, and the Masteries, as well as Bravery, do provide an increase in class features relative to the 3.5 Fighter. New feat options, like Wind Stance, Dazzling Display, Devastating Blow and Vital Strike may provide some increase to the Fighter into the CR10 and higher levels, but this remains to be seen.

Certainly, a number of existing Fighter feats have been hit with the nerf bat. This is fairly apparent. Whether the trade off of the new feat options and class features can possibly compensate for the nerfs is certainly debatable, but worrying and ranting about it before the feat play test is pointless, and just burns time and energy arguing about it. Debating whether or not the Fighter is useful at CR10+ levels is moot, until we are actually able to discuss what features will be provided by the Fighter's feats. Since it is obvious that the Fighter is not going to get Pounce outside of feats, worrying about what the Fighter can do until we get to a point where we can meaningfully discuss it is only useful if we are able to target what weaknesses of the Fighter could be discussed within the Feat play test.

So, what are the Fighter's deficiencies? What does the Fighter need to be able to do in order to remain relevant at CR10 and higher levels? Bonuses to hit, and to Armor Class, are only a small part of the picture. The CR10+ monsters are available at multiple sources. Relative to what a caster can do against any weak save, and a caster can target any weak save, can the Fighter present a relevant, credible threat to the monster? What would it require for the Fighter to be able to do so?


DeadDMWalking wrote:

I would disagree with you, Crusader of Logic.

The fighter has been 'buffed'. He has more features now than he did in 3.5. On an absolute basis, he is more powerful.

Now, his feats may not be more powerful. Everyone else may have been buffed more. On a relative basis he may actually be weaker. But to say that he has not been 'buffed' is patently untrue.

The Fighter got some small number boosts to various areas, similar to those granted by the many failed Fighter fixes regularly posted on House Rules subforums in forums for D&D discussion. If that was all there was to it this would be a buff. A small buff that missed the point, but a buff nonetheless.

His class features are still feats, which are specifically designed to be far inferior to class features. Further, everyone gets feats. He gets more of them, but that only matters if there is lots of good stuff to take.

Even for builds made with every book under the sun, you very quickly run out of stuff worth taking. Perhaps you dip Fighter for 1, 2, or 4 levels to get 1, 2, or 3 more feats on top of the 7 or 8 you got before. But that's about it.

In Pathfinder, everyone gets 3 extra feats. Everyone else also gets other stuff. Oops.

In Pathfinder, the only two tricks the Fighter ever had (Power Attack, Improved Trip) got nerfed. Oops. The short list of worthwhile core/PF feats to take just got shorter.

Yeah, there's new stuff there. But it's blatantly inferior. When you are at rock bottom you need to go up, not further down. And if you are going to be reliant upon precision damage you are clearly better off as a Rogue where you can both do it better, and do something besides hit the thing with the other thing. Oops.

Net result? Fighter loses. Horribly. Along with anything else with Full BAB in Pathfinder. Casters got further buffed for some illogical reason. Yeah, I dunno either.


Crusader of Logic wrote:

...

In Pathfinder, the only two tricks the Fighter ever had (Power Attack, Improved Trip) got nerfed. Oops. The short list of worthwhile core/PF feats to take just got shorter.

Yeah, there's new stuff there. But it's blatantly inferior. When you are at rock bottom you need to go up, not further down. And if you are going to be reliant upon precision damage you are clearly better off as a Rogue where you can both do it better, and do something besides hit the thing with the other thing. Oops.

Net result? Fighter loses. Horribly. Along with anything else with Full BAB in Pathfinder. Casters got further buffed for some illogical reason. Yeah, I dunno either.

Ehh. Not so sure. Miss chances are nice. The Dazzling Display tree seems like a compelling option. Sure, the Rogue does precision damage better. However, there are many more carrier effects now available on hits through feats, and since the full BAB classes have hitting stuff as a strength, unlike the 3/4 BAB classes, it might be worthwhile, or it might be a trap.

Sure, the lose 4 AC and BAB, and get hit of Improve Trip isn't there anymore. That is absolutely a loss. Power Attack capped at Strength is also a net loss. Until the feats are up for discussion, however, we can't directly address whether or not they are strong enough, or are once again insufficient to make up for no spellcasting ability.

A fair bit of caster Tier 1 versatility was pruned. Polymorph is no longer instant "I win", nor is Wildshape. Those are a massive limit to what casters can do, as a caster can now no longer overwrite their physical attributes with a single spell or ability. Summons still seem a bit over strength, to me, and Planar Binding tricks haven't been altered. As far as caster features, I don't know that it was that huge of a gain, relative to other caster classes, like the Artificer or the Archivist.

Feats, to my mind, should be able to scale like spells, or Psionic Powers. Grease doesn't become useless, ever. Neither does Glitterdust or Astral Construct. If the initial feats can't maintain the utility of spells within the range of first or second level, then the capstone feats aren't going to be able to even come close to fifth level spell utility. I think the following should be reasonable expectations of what Feats should be able to provide to characters who invest in them. First Tier feats should be within the balance of 1st or 2nd level spells. Second Tier feats should provide similar utility to 3rd or 4th level spells. Third Tier feats should provide 5th level spell utility, and Fourth Tier/Capstone feats should be around 6th level spell utility. Any given feat tree should have multiple options within each tier, ideally, to give some versatility. These do not have to be explicitly weebo fightin' magic, either, since this isn't 4e. 6th level spell equivalent utility can, potentially, be explicitly non-magical in flavor, and still be as useful.

The casters aren't limited to one spell of any given level, so why does the design for feat users give them less than a caster when they are locked into the choice? If feats remain at their current level of utility, then yes, casters have gained more than the melees. But I see the possibility of a Feat redesign to be able to provide some fraction of parity.

Sovereign Court

I know I'm in a minority of about three people, but I love this thread. So, thanks to all the people that have been writing in it.


TreeLynx wrote:
Ehh. Not so sure. Miss chances are nice. The Dazzling Display tree seems like a compelling option. Sure, the Rogue does precision damage better. However, there are many more carrier effects now available on hits through feats, and since the full BAB classes have hitting stuff as a strength, unlike the 3/4 BAB classes, it might be worthwhile, or it might be a trap.

Dazzling display is a full round action. Spend your entire round at best applying a weak status condition that lasts 1 round. Intimidate isn't worth it without Never Outnumbered (10 foot radius, but no increase to action cost), Imperious Command (affected targets cower 1 round for no actions, then are shaken another round), and Fearsome (the attempt is a move action). Even then, it's really only useful for casters because they can do something meaningful with their remaining Standard, whereas Fighter boy can no longer full attack on that round. For those of you following along at home that is one feat, 2 skill points, and 5,000 gold.

Dazzling Display does not come close. Especially since you have to light one feat on fire just to get it. Go further up and you get something that might be half decent, if you weren't torching multiple feats and requiring a long setup to get it. We're talking 3 rounds here, aka fight's over buddy.

The miss chance stuff means you aren't full attacking, or aren't attacking at all. Therefore you auto fail. Especially since you're burning more resources to get it.

TreeLynx wrote:
A fair bit of caster Tier 1 versatility was pruned. Polymorph is no longer instant "I win", nor is Wildshape. Those are a massive limit to what casters can do, as a caster can now no longer overwrite their physical attributes with a single spell or ability. Summons still seem a bit over strength, to me, and Planar Binding tricks haven't been altered. As far as caster features, I don't know that it was that huge of a gain, relative to other caster classes, like the Artificer or the Archivist.

What makes a Tier 1 Tier 1 is the gamebreakers. Planar Binding for infinite cash for example, which you yourself admit is not changed. Polymorph is good, but not that good. Same with Wildshape. Those are also not massive limits, as turning yourself into a melee brute is something you can simply to do amuse yourself, or if you are feeling vindictive to rub it in. In summary, they fixed some of the stuff that tends to get house ruled out in almost any game not following an anything goes rule anyways. Not all, some. They don't need that stuff to be awesome, it just gives them one more toy.

TreeLynx wrote:
Feats, to my mind, should be able to scale like spells, or Psionic Powers. Grease doesn't become useless, ever. Neither does Glitterdust or Astral Construct. If the initial feats can't maintain the utility of spells within the range of first or second level, then the capstone feats aren't going to be able to even come close to fifth level spell utility. I think the following should be reasonable expectations of what Feats should be able to provide to characters who invest in them. First Tier feats should be within the balance of 1st or 2nd level spells. Second Tier feats should provide similar utility to 3rd or 4th level spells. Third Tier feats should provide 5th level spell utility, and Fourth Tier/Capstone feats should be around 6th level spell utility. Any given feat tree should have multiple options within each tier, ideally, to give some versatility. These do not have to be explicitly weebo fightin' magic, either, since this isn't 4e. 6th level spell equivalent utility can, potentially, be explicitly non-magical in flavor, and still be as useful.

Someone is going to try to point you to the feats that do scale, except that's just small numbers stuff and not options.

4.0 has nothing to do with that 'fightin' magic'. Everyone there is far too weak and ineffective to qualify. A better parallel is that 4.0 made every PC and every monster into a 3.5 Fighter.

TreeLynx wrote:
The casters aren't limited to one spell of any given level, so why does the design for feat users give them less than a caster when they are locked into the choice? If feats remain at their current level of utility, then yes, casters have gained more than the melees. But I see the possibility of a Feat redesign to be able to provide some fraction of parity.

It's nice to hope. I get the strong feeling from the devs they have no idea what constitutes a good feat. I had a discussion with one of them. He thought Whirlwind Attack, and a few others were good. It isn't. Look at what they have already done. Namely, notice how melee feats are the same or weaker. Caster feats? The same (might be stronger, but I can think of no specific examples).

See, Whirlwind attack is a very 'interesting' feat. And by interesting, I mean you can use it as a very simple and accurate measurement of a player's familiarity with the game. Someone who has not played D&D much is going to think it is cool, and awesome, and whatever other synonymous adjectives fit because he can hit everything around him once, and that's badass. Much like the Whirlwind Barbarians on Diablo 2.

The ones with at least a fair bit of experience recognize it as a trap, and avoid it.

This guy thinks it's good. Need I say more?

...

I think I will anyways.

First, you have to light multiple feats on fire to get it. I keep saying burn feats, set feats on fire... that's the way of saying this feat is not that good. And by not that good, I mean wasted.

Dodge. A cursory glance makes it seem better as it is +1 vs all enemies, not +1 vs one enemy. Except now it's a Swift action instead of a free action, therefore it automatically is held to a much higher standard. It actually came out worse, because you really need to be using that Swift action for something more creative than a feat granted +1 AC to be relevant.

Mobility. Marginally better here, +4 AC vs AoOs. Only thing is AC is still a yes/no stat. That is to say, you still get hit on a 2.

Spring Attack. Sounds great, until you remember it means no full attacks, and since you're only moving half your speed each way (half in, attack, spring out the other half) there's a very good chance it can just 5' step and full attack you anyways unless you have a significant speed boost in effect. Obviously if it can still full attack you, there is no reason to ever use it. 30' move means you're 15' away. Anything Large or larger, or anything Small or larger with a reach weapon such as any humanoid melee opponent trying to be relevant meets the criteria of 5' step and full attack. For every 10' beyond 30 your movement speed increases, it takes 5' more reach to counter it. If you have 20' move forget it. If it has any reach at all, even 5', it negates your Spring Attack. Basically, I hope you have Boots of Speed. Otherwise don't even try.

Now you finally get Whirlwind Attack, so you can spend your round doing nothing but attacking every enemy around you once. Except by this time you're down 5 feats and have to be at least level 4. It would have been nice to have this earlier where you were fighting relatively large numbers of weak enemies such as goblins, kobolds, etc. Now though, you're fighting smaller numbers of stronger enemies and often bigger as well. Which means there are fewer creatures in the target area, fewer creatures capable of ever being in the target area due to few enemies appearing, and the enemies that are there have a bit more than 4 or 5 HP, so instead of killing them you just kind of annoy them a bit. Also, since you are surrounded by multiple enemies, and you cannot kill them they get to follow up with full attacks. Unlike you, they're focusing their efforts which means they are far more likely to take advantage of the simple fact that only the last HP matters. In other words, they kill you.

If you think Whirlwind Attack is good, you will try to get surrounded so you can use it, annoy the enemies a bit, then get yourself killed. Therefore it is both a trap in that you've wasted 5 feats, and a trap in that it gets you killed. It was only 4 wasted feats, but Improved Trip requires Combat Expertise, so before that one wasn't wasted. Now it is.

Did I mention that at this level you only get 5 feats not counting the human one? Yeah. So you can't do anything else either. Also, its effectiveness will continue to decrease over time. Nevermind effectiveness is not only supposed to increase, but increase better than linear if not exponentially. Nope. Your feats give you less when you need them to give you more.

This is why Whirlwind Attack is so bad. Though if it ever were useful, getting to use it 3 times a day (effectively whenever you need it) for a +1 enhancement slot on the weapon would still be far superior to torching that many feats.


I've got to agree with CoL and others here, the primary class feature of a fighter is his feats. The primary worthwhile feats of the fighter (Power Attack, etc.) have been nerfed to hell or horribly altered in what they do (Cleave).

It's simple math: nerf the best feats a fighter can take and you nerf the fighter.

My hope at this point lies in Monte Cook's involvement. Although I haven't obtained it myself I've been hearing some very good things about the Book of Experimental Might II. In particular about something called fighter domains and also about scaling fighter feats.

I hope to God that some major revision gets done when we get to the feats because much of what I dislike about Beta is right in that little chapter.


Gurubabaramalamaswami wrote:


It's simple math: nerf the best feats a fighter can take and you nerf the fighter.

My hope at this point lies in Monte Cook's involvement. Although I haven't obtained it myself I've been hearing some very good things about the Book of Experimental Might II. In particular about something called fighter domains and also about scaling fighter feats.

I hope to God that some major revision gets done when we get to the feats because much of what I dislike about Beta is right in that little chapter.

Jason already said that he'll be adding more fighter feats and had also shown interest in the dynamic feat slot discussion. I'd just wish he'd give us some teasers of what is to come ... *sigh*


Crusader of Logic wrote:
Dazzling Display does not come close. Especially since you have to light one feat on fire just to get it. Go further up and you get something that might be half decent, if you weren't torching multiple feats and requiring a long setup to get it. We're talking 3 rounds here, aka fight's over buddy.

I am quoting myself as a correction or addition rather. I said the combo was 3 rounds (spend 1 round doing nothing but making enemy Shaken, a second to attack them while Shaken to render them flat footed, and a third to attack them while flat footed to do double damage and 1 Con damage). They need to be Shaken for longer than 1 round for this to work, otherwise it wears off before round 2 and the combo can't exist. The second part does specify at least it lasts till the end of the next round. So in addition to all that set up to do something that is still pretty damn weak compared to anything else really, and too late to matter you need to be able to reliably get them Shaken for 2 or more rounds to even try. Sure it's a skill bonus and thus easily boosted, but have a look at enemy HD some time. Also, size. And the DC raising every time after the first. Have fun.


Crusader of Logic wrote:


Dazzling display is a full round action. Spend your entire round at best applying a weak status condition that lasts 1 round. Intimidate isn't worth it without Never Outnumbered (10 foot radius, but no increase to action cost), Imperious Command (affected targets cower 1 round for no actions, then are shaken another round), and Fearsome (the attempt is a move action). Even then, it's really only useful for casters because they can do something meaningful with their remaining Standard, whereas Fighter boy can no longer full attack on that round. For those of you following along at home that is one feat, 2 skill points, and 5,000 gold.

Dazzling Display does not come close. Especially since you have to light one feat on fire just to get it. Go further up and you get something that might be half decent, if you weren't torching multiple feats and requiring a long setup to get it. We're talking 3 rounds here, aka fight's over buddy.

As it stands, not so good. It can be improved, and be probably reasonable. Full round action for radius could also allow intimidate as a move action, as far as I'm concerned, and then it gives the ability to intimidate as a move action, which is still a net gain. Sure, scaling is an issue, but isn't it always, with everything? A three round combo does need to be a bit better, which I do agree with you on. Economy of action is critical.

CoL wrote:

The miss chance stuff means you aren't full attacking, or aren't attacking at all. Therefore you auto fail. Especially since you're burning more resources to get it.
...
Dodge. A cursory glance makes it seem better as it is +1 vs all enemies, not +1 vs one enemy. Except now it's a Swift action instead of a free action, therefore it automatically is held to a much higher standard. It actually came out worse, because you really need to be using that Swift action for something more creative than a feat granted +1 AC to be relevant.

Mobility. Marginally better here, +4 AC vs AoOs. Only thing is AC is still a yes/no stat. That is to say, you still get hit on a 2.

Spring Attack. Sounds great, until you remember it means no full attacks, and since you're only moving half your speed each way (half in, attack, spring out the other half) there's a very good chance it can just 5' step and full attack you anyways unless you have a significant speed boost in effect. Obviously if it can still full attack you, there is no reason to ever use it. 30' move means you're 15' away. Anything Large or larger, or anything Small or larger with a reach weapon such as any humanoid melee opponent trying to be relevant meets the criteria of 5' step and full attack. For every 10' beyond 30 your movement speed increases, it takes 5' more reach to counter it. If you have 20' move forget it. If it has any reach at all, even 5', it negates your Spring Attack. Basically, I hope you have Boots of Speed. Otherwise don't even try.

Maybe so, maybe not. Spring Attack has an interesting synergy with the first Miss Chance feat. Any Fighter relying on mobility who hasn't figured out some way to move more than 30' in a move action is in trouble, granted. Maybe there should be a feat that adds an extra 10' to movement -- Monte Cook had one in Arcana Evolved, IIRC. Certainly possible that a Second Tier feat is about as nice as a second level spell when it can apply, so it seems balanced-ish. I'd rather it be mapping to a level 3 spell for the investment. And what was the Fighter going to do with the swift action it is burning on Dodge, anyway? Isn't that the problem with the Fighter, a lack of swift and immediate actions? Let Dodge scale every 3 or 4 BAB, then it might actually be worth it, even if the Fighter has 6 to 8 different swift actions to choose from. Dodge should scale at a rate similar to the force screen power, IMHO. Mobility maps okay to be equal to mage armor, but might need to scale some, too, since it is only circumstantial, and Tier 2.

Personally, I agree that Whirlwind Attack is a feeble capstone to an otherwise potentially interesting tree. As a standard action, it wouldn't be so bad, or maybe you could turn it into a Combat Manuever against anyone you threaten, rather than a plain hit. Spring Attack's capstone, as far as I am concerned, should be Pounce. Add a Miss Chance feat, and now you have some serious gravy. For a full round action, at this level a caster is winning the fight with a level 3 or 4 spell, even if it is just a SM or SNA III or IV, and that is the most expensive way, in actions and spells, the caster could be doing it. For that number of feats, a Fighter should be able to accomplish the same level of effect.


The issue I see looming ahead is that (a) feats need to be the fighter's spells, they're his only resource; but (b) feats are open to everyone, so they've been designed so as not to be as good as spells; and (c) fighters get fewer of them than wizards get spells. Obviously, general feat discussion isn't open yet, but my hope is that a reasonable feat structure can be rigged before then to get around those limitations, so that feat discussion time can be spent on specific proposals. Off-hand, I can think of two mechanisms by which to ameliorate this inherent problem.

1. Making "first tier" feats scale with 1st level spells, as noted, is a start in the right direction (Dodge gives +1 to AC per +3 to BAB, for example; Weapon Focus would do the same; Mobility might give +1 per point of BAB; a new "sprint" feat might give a 5-ft. burst of speed per +3 of BAB, etc.). Scaling all combat feats with BAB would be a direct nod to the melee classes, because at upper levels they'd get twice the benefits that spellcasters do. That's a no-brainer, to me.

2. Making feats with prerequisites not available to other classes (e.g., bravery class feature, armor training class feature) allows feats that break the "open to everyone" power cap; they become a-la-carte class features instead. Scaling the prereq by effective level (e.g., "armor training +3" requires an 11th level fighter) should allow a single feat -- not a chain -- that's as good as a 4th-6th level spell (e.g., a targeted greater dispelling effect of CL = BAB against anyone hit; or a standard-action melee strike that deals an extra 1d6 damage/2 points of BAB; etc.).

Using these loopholes and a lot of creativity, we might be able to design feats that allow a fighter to be viable in combat.


Kirth Gersen wrote:

The issue I see looming ahead is that (a) feats need to be the fighter's spells, they're his only resource; but (b) feats are open to everyone, so they've been designed so as not to be as good as spells; and (c) fighters get fewer of them than wizards get spells. Obviously, general feat discussion isn't open yet, but my hope is that a reasonable feat structure can be rigged before then to get around those limitations, so that feat discussion time can be spent on specific proposals. Off-hand, I can think of two mechanisms by which to ameliorate this inherent problem.

1. Making "first tier" feats scale with 1st level spells, as noted, is a start in the right direction (Dodge gives +1 to AC per +3 to BAB, for example; Weapon Focus would do the same; Mobility might give +1 per point of BAB; a new "sprint" feat might give a 5-ft. burst of speed per +3 of BAB, etc.). Scaling all combat feats with BAB would be a direct nod to the melee classes, because at upper levels they'd get twice the benefits that spellcasters do. That's a no-brainer, to me.

That's what I'm looking at, and that seems about right. Feats are circumstantial, unlike spells, but always available, also unlike spells. I think the two cancel nicely, and always on feats can be adjusted down an effective spell level, like Metamagic feats adjust spell level, but flipped. Weapon Focus, Dodge, and Mobility are all circumstantial, and are only available under situations which justify them. Greater magic weapon, shield, and mage armor are not. With that said, I think it is reasonable to cap available to anyone feats at around level 4ish-5ish spell effect, with substantial investment in a tree. After all, if you aren't a Fighter, how many tricks are you going to build up to if you have to build up multiple lower tier feats to get there? I do like feat trees as an idea, but only if the return is effective for the investment.

Kirth wrote:


2. Making feats with prerequisites not available to other classes (e.g., bravery class feature, armor training class feature) allows feats that break the "open to everyone" power cap; they become a-la-carte class features instead. Scaling the prereq by effective level (e.g., "armor training +3" requires an 11th level fighter) should allow a single feat -- not a chain -- that's as good as a 4th-6th level spell (e.g., a targeted greater dispelling effect of CL = BAB against anyone hit; or a standard-action melee strike that deals an extra 1d6 damage/2 points of BAB; etc.).

Using these loopholes and a lot of creativity, we might be able to design feats that allow a fighter to be viable in combat.

I think the key is that they have to be circumstantial (must be in melee with a caster or creature with SLAs is certainly a sufficient circumstance, in most cases, to justify being able to mess with spellcasting.) What you have described is certainly within the realm of what I would like to see, but I would rather have things which do not mechanically act like spells (re: targetted greater dispelling). Accomplishing the same effect with an alternate mechanic looks better to me, and folks who like to think of Fighters as true to their E6 glory days.


TreeLynx wrote:
I would rather have things which do not mechanically act like spells (re: targetted greater dispelling). Accomplishing the same effect with an alternate mechanic looks better to me

I agree. A fighter needs to be able to mess with spellcasting. If he could sprint, reach a caster while he's casting, and whale on him (forcing him to lose his spell) if there are no interposed bodyguards to prevent it (if there are, he just needs to cut his way through them first), that's fine, but in 3.5, the fighter is so easily shut down with a greater mirror image and displacement combo at that point that even if he ever reaches the wizard (unlikely), he still can't hit him. As you point out, the means by which he gets through magical defenses can be adjusted for flavor and mechanics, but I feel as if he really needs some way to do it.

P.S. BTW, thank you. You've obviously put a lot of thought into fighter feats already, which saves us both a lot of needless circling and lets us get right into things. It's a pleasure to talk with someone who is both well-prepared and able to contribute original mechanical concepts.


The first miss chance feat is 20% vs ranged. And again, no full attack. It doesn't help at all vs melee, and it's almost too easy to become highly resistant to ranged. It's also at least two feats down. It might have been more. I forget if there was anything besides Dodge involved.

It'd be half decent with Pounce, which is a requirement for basic competence. However, even then 20% miss vs ranged only is bleh. Notice how on the only editions Fighters worked they had full attacks as standard actions at their full THAC0/BAB? Yeah, that let them move more than 5' and still hurt things. Pounce is the closest approximation to that. Still takes iterative penalties, but at least you can move and not suck.

1st edition strongest dragon.
Huge Ancient Red Dragon
11 HD, 88 hp, dmg 1d8/1d8/3d10, breath weapon 88 or 44 dmg, spells 1st through 4th level

Fighter does his 1d8+6 a hit or whatever, but gets... what was it? 6 attacks a round, no penalties to hit, and can still move? If it flies he pulls out his bow, maybe loses a damage point or two which sucks but not that big a deal. 10.5 * 6 is 63. Do the math. Meanwhile dragon attacks Fighter, it's doing 5-46 (25.5) which was a fair bit then, but not nearly enough to kill it. The party will need fire warding as 88 damage is a lot, but I think breath weapon damage was based on HP then so beating it up also weakened the breath weapon. Fighter's fine and can contribute.

2nd edition strongest dragon.
Great Wyrm Red Dragon
23 HD, 104 hp, dmg 1d10+12/1d10+12/3d10+12/1d10+12/1d10+12/1d10+12/2d10+12 (claw,claw,bite,wing buffets, kick,and a tail strike to everyone), breath 20d10+10 (avg 120 or 60), spells 1st through 3rd

This one's a bit tougher. Its HP aren't much higher, but look at that damage. Breath weapon is a bit stronger. Melee attacks are far stronger. Hell, he does 116 to whoever he's meleeing and another 23 to everyone. Spells are a bit weaker though at least. Still, this was a lot of damage back then.

3rd edition?
Great Wyrm Red Dragon
40 HD, 660 hp, dmg 4d8+17/4d6+8/4d6+8/2d8+8/2d8+8/2d8+25 (claw,claw,bite,wing,wing,and a tail sweep to everyone), or breath 24d10 (avg 132 or 66) or spells 1st through 9th level arcane and divine

If the dragon were to fight directly it could manage 147 damage in a round without PA. With it, add 6 more per point. Its spell ability of a 19th level caster (both arcane and divine) make it much more brutal. Not to mention in order to get the same effect the Fighter had on the 1st edition dragon this guy needs to do about 70-75 a hit every hit, get one extra attack on top of haste, and auto hit. Except he has two rounds (maybe one) before he dies, so he actually needs to do better. Let's say over a hundred a hit every hit, and never miss except on a 1. Then maybe he can one round the dragon before it one rounds him.

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