Fighters are balanced, but are they... boring?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

1 to 50 of 110 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

I just did a comparison of Barbarian's, Fighters and Paladins in the PF Barbarian thread.

We have playtested they builds in 3 dungeon crawls and one arena battle.

Fighters in PF (and indeed 3.5 fighters) have (to our group) never really been unbalanced. Most melee'rs in our group (we have 9 total) Scout's:
1 Fighter/Rogue (Flanker, Sneak Attack DD)
1 Beguiler/JPM (Save or die or become a slave, in combat healer)

Melee:
1 Warblade/MO9 (charger, damage dealer)
1 Crusader, (lockdown tripper, in combat healer)
1 Cleric/RKV, (charger, buffer, healer)
1 Paladin, (Damage dealer, backup healer)
1 Fighter, (Tripper, Bull Rusher, AOO damage focused)

Caster:
1 Psion/Gish -Homebrew Psionic JPM type class (Blaster)
1 Warmage/Sandshaper/IOSV (Battlefield controler-maybe changing to PF Wiz or Sorc)

Our whole group optimises. We regularly beat encounters our level+2 somtimes better. Besides the Warmage (me) eveybody will have BAB16 or better by 20 and now we've switched to PF the Gish types have far more HP (in keeping with the new HP/AB rules)

What we are finding is that the fighter is not at all under powered (even with so much TOB abilities in the group) it's simply they lack options. By that I mean different combat actions. A manuvere is effectively a comabat feat- some special combat action.

Consider the gish types- there AC is about av 5pts less (made up for with things like gtr mirror image, gtr concealing amorpha) but thier HP (which used to suck) is now only marginally less (unbuffed) thier Attack is av 3points less but thier damage output is comparable/slightly better (because of manuveres) and they can cast. (thus having more options for tactics and escape if things get too heavy.)

The fighter's build focuses on B/C
The Crusader focuses on lockdown and does it better. (slightly)

Any well built fighter (including the one in this group) can easily handle his role- it's that the way he does it can be boring.
If you focus on damage you say' I attack' every round
If you focus on B/C you do also say- I trip or I bullrush.
That pretty much doesn't change your whole career.

That's not a question of balance at all, rather flavor. I think all those naysayers who used to whine about fighter's being underpowered were actually whining about them being boring.

Nothing wrong with melee either. It's just I'd rather be able to mess with an enemy who I've blinded, stuck to the floor, exhausted and given a angry dire tiger to play with BEFORE I run in and start running in with my brilliant energy weapon, shapeshifted into a wartroll.

Admittedly I needed my boring fighter to continually trip/bull rush that enemy away from me while I took 5 or 6 rounds to do it......

Every now and again I like to throw single combat at the scouts/casters with something hardhitting and mobile just to engineer the boring fighter to come and save thier proverbial.. (lets him feel special)

Just an observation...
Any thoughts?


Ardenup wrote:

I just did a comparison of Barbarian's, Fighters and Paladins in the PF Barbarian thread.

We have playtested they builds in 3 dungeon crawls and one arena battle.

Fighters in PF (and indeed 3.5 fighters) have (to our group) never really been unbalanced. Most melee'rs in our group (we have 9 total) Scout's:
1 Fighter/Rogue (Flanker, Sneak Attack DD)
1 Beguiler/JPM (Save or die or become a slave, in combat healer)

Melee:
1 Warblade/MO9 (charger, damage dealer)
1 Crusader, (lockdown tripper, in combat healer)
1 Cleric/RKV, (charger, buffer, healer)
1 Paladin, (Damage dealer, backup healer)
1 Fighter, (Tripper, Bull Rusher, AOO damage focused)

Caster:
1 Psion/Gish -Homebrew Psionic JPM type class (Blaster)
1 Warmage/Sandshaper/IOSV (Battlefield controler-maybe changing to PF Wiz or Sorc)

Our whole group optimises. We regularly beat encounters our level+2 somtimes better. Besides the Warmage (me) eveybody will have BAB16 or better by 20 and now we've switched to PF the Gish types have far more HP (in keeping with the new HP/AB rules)

What we are finding is that the fighter is not at all under powered (even with so much TOB abilities in the group) it's simply they lack options. By that I mean different combat actions. A manuvere is effectively a comabat feat- some special combat action.

Consider the gish types- there AC is about av 5pts less (made up for with things like gtr mirror image, gtr concealing amorpha) but thier HP (which used to suck) is now only marginally less (unbuffed) thier Attack is av 3points less but thier damage output is comparable/slightly better (because of manuveres) and they can cast. (thus having more options for tactics and escape if things get too heavy.)

The fighter's build focuses on B/C
The Crusader focuses on lockdown and does it better. (slightly)

Any well built fighter (including the one in this group) can easily handle his role- it's that the way he does it can be boring.
If you focus on damage you say' I attack' every round
If you focus on...

I completly agree, and I really wished things would change with pathfinder... in a way they did, but just marginally.


I agree. Whenever the "Caster vrs Martial" debate is brought up, my first opinion is to grant more options. When it comes down to it, martial characters are already pretty good at running up and smacking things, I didn't feel there was any real need to improve in that particualr area.


Quote:
Fighters are balanced, but are they... boring?

It's all in how you play them.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
neceros wrote:
It's all in how you play them.

There are a dozen different nitches that you can play as a fighter. With all the players in your group each person has picked up a specialty so there is little reason to do anything out of your comfort zone.

So each time you go into combat you are doing what you are good at every time. The flanker never has to trip. The healer never has to bull rush.

Efficiency is just doing what you are best at but always doing the same thing is boring.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DM_Blake wrote:


There are a whole lot of notches on that sliding scale between "fairly harsh" and "cruelest meanest DM ever".

Definately, I once had a dm open up on the party with a dragons maximized breath weapon, where the Collosal Red Dragon had somehow snuck up on us outdoors. Killed everyone who failed the reflex save outright. The party rogue was left standing there wondering why all his friends had been replace with smoldering corpses. Wait I take it back, it didnt kill the paladin, it brought him to -9 and he failed to stabalize before the rogue could pour a potion down his throat.

But anyway, there is an example of unreasonable cruelty, the OP barely scraped into harsh. More like 'failed to be nice' then being actually mean.


Kolokotroni wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:


There are a whole lot of notches on that sliding scale between "fairly harsh" and "cruelest meanest DM ever".

Definately, I once had a dm open up on the party with a dragons maximized breath weapon, where the Collosal Red Dragon had somehow snuck up on us outdoors. Killed everyone who failed the reflex save outright. The party rogue was left standing there wondering why all his friends had been replace with smoldering corpses. Wait I take it back, it didnt kill the paladin, it brought him to -9 and he failed to stabalize before the rogue could pour a potion down his throat.

But anyway, there is an example of unreasonable cruelty, the OP barely scraped into harsh. More like 'failed to be nice' then being actually mean.

Well... I don't think I'm ever going to get a more appropriate time to use this so...

Gygax Commands you! (http://img246.imageshack.us/img246/3428/1252906174419.gif)

(You can thank Nexusphere for the image, I'm just passing it along)

In all seriousness, that does sound ridiculously harsh, but hopefully a little Gygax will help by amusing you.

Liberty's Edge

I've found PF fighters to much more interesting with all the combat options found in the feats. I Vital Strike for big damage after a tactical move. I can leap down the cliffside and cleave into a suprised group of mooks. I power attack with either a greatsword or my sword and shield spike if I need the extra damage or AC (respectively). I sunder my foes armor to reduce their AC now. My crits past 9th are also a lot more interesting.

Fighters are a lot more mobile now between the extra damage or attacks as a standard action and the higher speed given armor mastery. I can also lunge for extra reach and lock down powerful casters when I have them in my sights.

Sure you might build yourself a one trick uber-specialized pony but its hard to do with so many feat slots, you have to work at it.

So lots of options. Which options you have are up to you.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't know if a Fighter is really any more boring than any other class, it's really down to how you play it. Couple of nights ago a friend of mine was playing a fighter named Rodriguez, primarily a pole-arm fighter, but his high strength and BAB gave him a decent CMB. We got involved in a bar brawl and he seemed to have wicked fun grabbing the biggest guy in the room and smacking him into all the nearby tables, benches, pewter mugs, other mooks. That was without taking any grapple feats whatsoever.

Later on he was having fun using his pole-arm to keep a bunch of gargoyles at bay, at one point using his Halberd to vault upwards and grab an airborne gargoyle long enough for my cleric to finish it with a spell.

Good times.

Fighters fight, and they can do it with skill and panache, they shouldn't be any more boring than any other class. Sometimes all it takes to add fun is a little lateral thinking.


I think a fighter is much more interesting now. I wouldn't play one in 3.5 for long. Usually just long enough to get feats I wanted for my rogue and then off to being a rogue the rest of the way. So that's like fighter 1st level to get the +1 BAB, Weapon finesse, dodge plus the 10 hit die and off to rogue the rest of the way.

For me the big one was armor. Now with armor training you can have a fighter with dex. That was always the deal breaker for me with fighters.


Liquidsabre wrote:


Any character which gains feats as normal are a lot more mobile now between the extra damage or attacks as a standard action and the higher speed given armor mastery. I can also lunge for extra reach and lock down powerful casters when I have them in my sights.

Fixed that for you.

I never liked the "Fighters have more options because more feats exist" approach. For one thing, 3.5 never had a feat shortage while splatbooks were used, in fact, one of common problems players seem to have with splatbooks is too many options.

I consider the fighter boring, mostly because it's class features boil down to bonus feats and the occasional number boost here and there. There isn't anything a fighter can do that another class can't. A fighter can't rage, sneak attack, smite or use spells, but every class gains feats (with many gaining their own bonus feats, such as the sorcerer, the ranger, hell, a rogue could just select combat trick over and over and end up with just less bonus feats than the fighter).

If certain new additions...such as say...the feat Step Up, was introduced as a Fighter specific class feature that the fighter gains at X level rather than a feat, the class would suddenly appeal to me alot more, since at least then it would have somthing it can do that others can't.


Nero24200 wrote:

hell, a rogue could just select combat trick over and over and end up with just less bonus feats than the fighter).

Sorry, rogue talents may only be taken once each. (Though my homebrew Combat Rogue talent tree says otherwise lol)

Liberty's Edge

Nero24200 wrote:
I consider the fighter boring, mostly because it's class features boil down to bonus feats and the occasional number boost here and there. There isn't anything a fighter can do that another class can't.

Not quite. A Fighter gains double the number of feats of any other character for one. Armor Mastery and Weapon Mastery belong only to the fighter, these provide bonuses to hit, increased damage (on top of feats that also do this), the ability to move at full speed in heavy armor, lower ACP, and higher dex bonus in armor. All of this is specific to the Fighter class. Plus there are several feats that are fighter exclusive: Disruptive, Spellbreaker, Greater Shield Focus, Greater Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Specialization, Penetrating Strike, and Greater Penetrating Strike.

Having so many feats, its not just access to one feat tree or another but access to multiple combinations of feat trees that make the fighter stand out from the other melee classes. All without being pidgeon-holed into a style or schtick a player is stuck with via specific and immutable class features such as rage or sneak attack. These features heavily set a character upon a specific style of play.

Sure, without using any imagination you might just see the fighter as a bunch of feats. To those that can see the many options at their disposal for combat styles and abilities...its awesome. Each to their own as they say. The Fighter class is for folk that like to have many options at their disposal and entirely of their own making.

Sovereign Court

I would like to add that this problem of having a boring character doesn't necessarily concentrate on just a fighter, but a particular fighting archetype.

The Archer.

Practically to be of any use, the archer must first use up two feat slots with Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot. Most archers advance by taking the Rapid Shot feat. After this point it starts to look grim.

The archer is now basically a stationary (not counting the 5-foot-steps) arrow turret yelling "full attack" every once in a while. Since the enemies rarely move into a position where the archer couldn't shoot without moving (say, open areas), the archer will stay put. This "tactic" will be further encouraged by the Manyshot feat.

Now here's the thing. In 3.5 Manyshot was a feat you used as a standard action, implying you move before or after your attack. It gave the archer an option more. In PFRPG, this is not the case.

I'm playing an archer in PFS (Pathfinder Society), and I'm beginning to hate the notoriously repetitive combat moves. At least with melee characters you have AoOs, flanking, reach and all that. With an archer with Improved Precise Shot, you just don't care. Roll 3d20, add modifiers. If all hit, you deal 4d8+much damage. But if you just HAPPEN to move, you only make a mere 1d8+little damage.

And no, it's not about how you play it. You can roleplay all you want with every action, but doing the same thing over and over will become so dull the archer would rather just lay down and die.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Deussu wrote:

I would like to add that this problem of having a boring character doesn't necessarily concentrate on just a fighter, but a particular fighting archetype.

The Archer.

Practically to be of any use, the archer must first use up two feat slots with Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot. Most archers advance by taking the Rapid Shot feat. After this point it starts to look grim.

The archer is now basically a stationary (not counting the 5-foot-steps) arrow turret yelling "full attack" every once in a while. Since the enemies rarely move into a position where the archer couldn't shoot without moving (say, open areas), the archer will stay put. This "tactic" will be further encouraged by the Manyshot feat.

Now here's the thing. In 3.5 Manyshot was a feat you used as a standard action, implying you move before or after your attack. It gave the archer an option more. In PFRPG, this is not the case.

I'm playing an archer in PFS (Pathfinder Society), and I'm beginning to hate the notoriously repetitive combat moves. At least with melee characters you have AoOs, flanking, reach and all that. With an archer with Improved Precise Shot, you just don't care. Roll 3d20, add modifiers. If all hit, you deal 4d8+much damage. But if you just HAPPEN to move, you only make a mere 1d8+little damage.

And no, it's not about how you play it. You can roleplay all you want with every action, but doing the same thing over and over will become so dull the archer would rather just lay down and die.

Maybe the problem is with the archetype or sticking too close to it. What type of Archer are you? If you're a fighter than you should be spending feats to bring martial depth to the character so that you're not totally useless when you're not using your bow. If you're a Ranger than there are other things that you're doing to contribute, you're sneaking about with the party rogue, you're tracking your enemy and as you advance in level you've got some carefully chosen spells to bring more utility.


Ardenup wrote:
Any well built fighter (including the one in this group) can easily handle his role- it's that the way he does it can be boring.

This was always my problem roleplaying fighters. In real life, fighters would be interesting people--the whole "tough it out" mindset, battle tactics, the psychology of facing an opponent time and time again....

But in the "milieu" of D&D/PFRPG, none of that really translates mechanically into the system. As long as you're in battle, and battling "stuff" that fits your feat trees, you're having fun. If you're not, you're useless as a fighter, especially OUT of combat. PFRPG is much better than 3.5 in allowing a little more skill diversity, but given the choice, I'll play a ranger or a rogue 10 times out of 10 before I'd play a fighter, because I know that I"ll simply have more options. I'm not pigeonholed into "bull rush fighter guy," or "great sword uber-cleave guy."

To me, fighters were always the least enjoyable class to actually play in-game, and from a roleplaying perspective, that shouldn't be the case.

In some ways, I've almost always felt that there should be two sub-classes of fighter--

1. A Warlord, which is a combat-oriented battle tactician and leader. This is your classic Maximus/Spartacus types. Yeah, they're individually pretty kick ass with weapons, but they're more interested in getting others to be kick ass as well.

or

2. A Weapons Master. And when I say this, I'm referring to the archetype from one of Terry Brooks' novels, the Weapons Master named Garet Jax--A guy who can literally use any weapon, has studied so many individual combat maneuvers with each weapon type that he/she can maximize any tactical strategy with any weapon. Thus, the tactical standpoint comes from which weapon they choose to use--and they can switch weapons mid-battle to totally change how they approach a fight.

Really, most fighter "paths" as I see it follow one of these two archetypes, and both seem to me to leave more options for "fun," both in and out of combat.


Liquidsabre wrote:


Not quite. A Fighter gains double the number of feats of any other character for one.

Which doesn't make the fighter able to do stuff that other classes can't. No feat has so many prerequisites that it's impossible to meet without bonus feats of some kind, therfore, theres no feat a fighter can't take that another class can take as well. Unless a feat has more than 10 combat feats as a prerequisite (and if you include humans and optional rules like flaws, not even then) or unless the feat says "Fighter Only", other classes can use it.

Liquidsabre wrote:
Armor Mastery and Weapon Mastery belong only to the fighter, these provide bonuses to hit, increased damage (on top of feats that also do this), the ability to move at full speed in heavy armor, lower ACP, and higher dex bonus in armor.

Firstly, these bonuses can all be gained in other ways. Magic, special materials, buffs can provide every single one of these bonuses. What exactly do they do that make the fighter unique? Does that bonus to speed let them fly? Do those bonuses to weapon damage make foes only go for them or deal ability damage? Does the higher dexterity let them scale walls, make them resistant to an unusual substance or contact other planes? No.

At 20th level a fighter's tactics in combat are pretty much the same as at 1st level. If your 20th level wizard is still casting magic missle, then I'll say the fighter isn't boring.

Liquidsabre wrote:
All of this is specific to the Fighter class. Plus there are several feats that are fighter exclusive: Disruptive, Spellbreaker, Greater Shield Focus, Greater Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Specialization, Penetrating Strike, and Greater Penetrating Strike.

All grant the fighter a +1 (or somthigns higher) bonus here or there, that's it. A bonus to numbers is nice, but what options does that grant a fighter?

Liquidsabre wrote:
Having so many feats, its not just access to one feat tree or another but access to multiple combinations of feat trees that make the fighter stand out from the other melee classes.

While I agree that having so many feat options is nice, it doesn't mean the fighter is automatically good. Being able to use Combat Expertise and Power attack for instace, while nice, is pointless, since for one thing they can't be used at the same time. Feats like Improved Trip have had a reduction on their effectiveness and split into two feats, so to perform the same tricks fighters need to spend a few more feats.

Liquidsabre wrote:
All without being pidgeon-holed into a style or schtick a player is stuck with via specific and immutable class features such as rage or sneak attack. These features heavily set a character upon a specific style of play.

It's possible to provide class features without pidgeon-holing them. Give them combat mobility options, bonus when performing certain acts such as attacks of oppertunity, let them gain certain benifits if they trip or sunder somthing. Theres dozen of ways to not only give them somthing meaningful, but keep them as the Generic-fill-all-warrior-role class that it is.

Liquidsabre wrote:
Sure, without using any imagination you might just see the fighter as a bunch of feats.

I might not agree with you, but I'm not imaginative. You have no right to say anything like this just because I disagree. It's tantamount to "Your playstyle is wrong".

Liquidsabre wrote:
To those that can see the many options at their disposal for combat styles and abilities...its awesome.

What options? Actually show me a combat option that only a fighter can use.


I kind of have to agree with the OP here...

A good roleplayer can have fun with the fighter class, but at its core the fighter is a boring class...

I was disapointed by the low skill points per level, they should have gave them 4+Int... it just feels like the fighter was ment to be the big dumb guy with the sword.

I had some hopes that the PRG would expland the fighter a bit, maybe giving them some cool manuvers that only they can master (other then get feat X and Y). Arcana Evolved did this very well... I wish PF would have followed suit.

Liberty's Edge

Deussu wrote:

Now here's the thing. In 3.5 Manyshot was a feat you used as a standard action, implying you move before or after your attack. It gave the archer an option more. In PFRPG, this is not the case.

I'm playing an archer in PFS (Pathfinder Society), and I'm beginning to hate the notoriously repetitive combat moves. At least with melee characters you have AoOs, flanking, reach and all that. With an archer with Improved Precise Shot, you just don't care. Roll 3d20, add modifiers. If all hit, you deal 4d8+much damage. But if you just HAPPEN to move, you only make a mere 1d8+little damage.

There is an easy fix for this: the Vital Strike feat. Its the new "manyshot" for Pathfinder. Move and deal extra damage with no penalties to hit. Want penalties and even more damage? Deadly Aim is the feat for you. Take -1 to-hit for +2 damage, both penalty and bonus to damage scale with level. Enjoy!

Liberty's Edge

Nero24200 wrote:
Which doesn't make the fighter able to do stuff that other classes can't.

True, Fighters are generally able to do stuff that other classes can do. Now what a fighter *can* do is they will always be able to do more "stuff", as you say. A fighter can take any feat chain/fighting style any other class takes but they can get there faster and with additional feats to either enhance the fighting style even further or take a second fighting style further increasing their versatility in combat. Options are the Fighter's forte. I'd argue that other non-caster classes are the ones stuck with a singular fighting style early on, limiting their options.

By the time a Barbarian gets to Great Cleave the Fighter has already moved on and taken Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization to go along with their Weapon Mastery on top of that. The Ranger in the group went down the archery chain but so did the Fighter but generally has access to all the archery feats before the Ranger due to his higher number of feat slots. On top of this a Fighter doesn't have to specialize but can still take the Great Cleave chain and be an excellent TWF for using a sword and shield or be an archer as well.

Nero24200 wrote:
Firstly, these bonuses can all be gained in other ways. Magic, special materials, buffs can provide every single one of these bonuses.

Exactly. Not only does a Fighter have access to all of these but he gets his bonuses to stack on top of all of that. As far as I know no other character in the game can gain access to Full Plate and still move their normal speed without spending additional resources to compensate. While other characters are spending their resources to get what the Fighter already has the Fighter will be spending the same resources on bigger weapons, armor, or those nifty Winged Boots.

Nero24200 wrote:
What exactly do they do that make the fighter unique? Does that bonus to speed let them fly? Do those bonuses to weapon damage make foes only go for them or deal ability damage? Does the higher dexterity let them scale walls, make them resistant to an unusual substance or contact other planes? No.

What are you trying to make the fighter into exactly?

Nero24200 wrote:
At 20th level a fighter's tactics in combat are pretty much the same as at 1st level. If your 20th level wizard is still casting magic missle, then I'll say the fighter isn't boring.

I have to say, it doesn't sound like you've done your homework. What a gross exaggeration. By 20th level a fighter is bleeding their opponents with Con damage, ignoring damage reduction, hitting for 4 times their weapon damage, demoralizing all foes in 30ft, selecting whether to Blind their foe or Stun them with their critical hit, Lunging and Whirlwind attacking, Stepping Up to the caster and increasing their concentration checks to cast defensively and hitting them on a failure...the list goes on. Theres 21 feats to play with.

I think its odd to use a 20th level Wizard casting magic missle as an example. Its one of the only 1st level spells I've seen active throughout all the levels. Auto-hit ftw.

Nero24200 wrote:
All grant the fighter a +1 (or somthigns higher) bonus here or there, that's it. A bonus to numbers is nice, but what options does that grant a fighter?

Lets take a look at these feats first. Numbers you say? We already covered how all the magical extras and buffs that can be applied to other classes also apply to the Fighter. Because these buffs stack with the Fighter's class features and exclusive feats you'll find that this happens to net Fighters some of the highest "numbers" in the game. A few of the others that don't provide numerical bonuses allow a fighter to bypass *any* 10 DR which adds versatility while the Spellbreaker and Disrupter feats help Fighters lock spellcasters down, a tactical advantage vs. casters.


The numbers issue is the same issue behind the reason I don't like the game Galactic Civilizations (and its sequel). The game design is great, it's balanced, mechanically sound all the way through, the AI is actually pretty good ... but it has no soul, because everything you get in the game is just a number. Techs are all +x to Y or +z% economy, etc. Ships are pure attack/defense/movement. There's nothing that's special, nothing that isn't just a number.

Same thing with the fighter, IMO (also with some other non-core classes like Marshal and Healer). All he's got are numbers.


Zurai wrote:

The numbers issue is the same issue behind the reason I don't like the game Galactic Civilizations (and its sequel). The game design is great, it's balanced, mechanically sound all the way through, the AI is actually pretty good ... but it has no soul, because everything you get in the game is just a number. Techs are all +x to Y or +z% economy, etc. Ships are pure attack/defense/movement. There's nothing that's special, nothing that isn't just a number.

Same thing with the fighter, IMO (also with some other non-core classes like Marshal and Healer). All he's got are numbers.

+1


While I can see where people are coming from, I don't think fighters really SHOULD have any real unique abilities. The concept of a fighter is someone with no magical ability or supernatural powers, but can achieve extraordinary effectiveness in combat due to rigorous training.

If you find a fighter boring, then you should pick another class. Personally, I think a fighter needs to be played by people with tactical awareness who are taking advantage of any options that present themselves on the battlefield. Building fortifications before battle, taking advantage of terrain and using the right weapon for the job are the "tricks" of his trade.

Sure every class can do that stuff, but they won't because they can cast spells or hide in plain sight or become supernaturally strong. The fighter doesn't need that crap. He does whatever is necessary to win.

I guess my point is that the fighters are what they're supposed to be. If you want a bunch of built-in abilities and tricks to pull instead of having to improvise, then fighter just isn't your class.


Liquidsabre wrote:


Exactly. Not only does a Fighter have access to all of these but he gets his bonuses to stack on top of all of that.

Well..in some cases they don't, and the bonuses other classes can gain are generally better. What good is a bonus against fear effects, for instance, when a 3rd level paladin is immune to it?

Liquidsabre wrote:
As far as I know no other character in the game can gain access to Full Plate and still move their normal speed without spending additional resources to compensate.

Perhaps not, but theres other ways to gain a high AC. In my personal experience, the high level monks always seem to have the highest AC, and they can run alot faster.

Liquidsabre wrote:
What are you trying to make the fighter into exactly?

I'm not trying to say the abilities should do these things, it's to emphasise my point. Giving the fighter say...somthing similer to the Wild Card ability Men-At-Arms have in Iron Heroes in place of one or two of the bonus feats already makes the fighter far more interesting and better able to adapt in certain situations. Somthing similer to the marshal's abiilty to grant free move actions to allies would work for someone with a tactical approach to combat as well.

These are just examples, but theres plenty of ways to actually give the fighter something whilst keeping the same feel, and such a fix would appeal to me more than "They gain a bonus".

Liquidsabre wrote:
I have to say, it doesn't sound like you've done your homework.

I could say the same to you. Have you actually seen high level fighters in play compared to other classes? Theres a reason why this class is usally at the heart of Melee Vrs Caster debates.

Liquidsabre wrote:
I think its odd to use a 20th level Wizard casting magic missle as an example. Its one of the only 1st level spells I've seen active throughout all the levels. Auto-hit ftw.

It may just be me, but I think throwing a disintegrate and taking the "risk" that I may miss touch AC (not bloodly likely though) is worth that boatload of extra damage compared to 10-25 points of damage.

Even if you do consider it a viable option, it's not you're only option.

Liquidsabre wrote:
By 20th level a fighter is bleeding their opponents with Con damage, ignoring damage reduction, hitting for 4 times their weapon damage, demoralizing all foes in 30ft, selecting whether to Blind their foe or Stun them with their critical hit, Lunging and Whirlwind attacking, Stepping Up to the caster and increasing their concentration checks to cast defensively and hitting them on a failure...the list goes on. Theres 21 feats to play with.

And you really need all 21 just to be able to do these? Show me where is says "A non-fighter can't cause their foes bleed damage, demoralize or *gasp* strike 4 times a round".

Other classes can not only do that, but get actual class features on top.

Why not actualy stop using "But fighters can take this feat" as your main arugment, since other classes can still take those feats. As I've said a few times, unless a feat reads "Fighter Only", other classes can use it, so it serves as a poor example of what the fighter's capable of.

You know what I personally think? I think the people who love to defend the class so much do so because they love the bonus feats, and that's it. Forgot actual class abilities or somthing interesting, as long as the class can act as a means to gain more feats than normal they'll be happy, hell, the class could be untouched by Paizo and fans will still defend it.


Liquidsabre wrote:
As far as I know no other character in the game can gain access to Full Plate and still move their normal speed without spending additional resources to compensate.

Any dwarf.


The point he was making though was that while any character can do any one or two of those things, a fighter can do most if not all of them with a considerably greater success rate. The bonuses from weapon and armour mastery, not to mention the fighter only feats, mean that they consistently do more damage with any given weapon (even more so their weapon of choice) than anyone else would and are capable of reaching an AC without magical equipment that only a monk could otherwise reach. The number of feats they get allows them to take multiple feat trees, such as how my fighter character at the moment will take most of two weapon fighting, all of the shield tree, most of mounted combat and still have plenty of feats left over.

In essence, yes, the fighter is only good at hitting things, but can you name a class with more versatility when it comes to that role.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Chris Parker wrote:

The point he was making though was that while any character can do any one or two of those things, a fighter can do most if not all of them with a considerably greater success rate. The bonuses from weapon and armour mastery, not to mention the fighter only feats, mean that they consistently do more damage with any given weapon (even more so their weapon of choice) than anyone else would and are capable of reaching an AC without magical equipment that only a monk could otherwise reach. The number of feats they get allows them to take multiple feat trees, such as how my fighter character at the moment will take most of two weapon fighting, all of the shield tree, most of mounted combat and still have plenty of feats left over.

In essence, yes, the fighter is only good at hitting things, but can you name a class with more versatility when it comes to that role.

This.

Also, there is some ability redundancy in every class. IMO, the cleric isn't diminished because the bard and the druid can also cast Cure X Wounds spells, or is it diminished because the paladin can also Channel Energy. The Ranger isn't diminished because the Druid also can have Nature's Bond--nor, for that matter, is it diminished if a member of another class takes a bunch of two weapon fighting or archery feats. This is a design *feature,* so that even unusual party builds will still be able to cover essential tasks--but how every class fills certain roles will be a little different.

The Pathfinder Fighter, as Chris Parker noticed, can either do things no one else can do or can do things better--or earlier--than other classes can. Other classes may have to wait awhile before they can get a good Combat Maneuver build going, etc.; a fighter can get that kind of build along with a few extras going just within the first few levels. And yeah, OTHER than dwarves, the fact they can be running at full speed (and be less movement-restricted by) in medium and heavy armor is pretty damn cool. The damage boost is notable--especially at high levels. And so on.

The "problem" is that fighters don't have a lot of flavor, build or fluff-wise. Sorcerers have flavor with their choice of bloodlines; paladins have flavor because you know they were called to fight in the service of a divine cause. Magic classes in general cast out because magic by its nature is flashy and "cool."

The fighter on the other hand is, yes, generic--intentionally so, I think. It's meant to reflect a wide range of the weapons-master/soldier type of character. But there is a PLACE for that in a fantasy game. Not every class needs a three-word-long name or backhistory tied into it. Some people even LIKE the "flavorless" classes because it means that THEY get to dictate what it means for their character to have taken the class, not the rulebook. They have an uncomplicated template on which they can build their character from scratch---the flash and bang for the class ultimately doesn't come from the few-paragraph description in the rulebook, but what you do with it. And yes, of course that's true for any character, but I think the fighter class is ideal for anyone who wants to mold a non-spellcasting character exactly the way they want to. That's what it's there for.

After all, famous "fighter" type characters in fantasy tend to be famous for something specific to do with fighting--a great axemaster or the great man-at-arms or the greatest fencer ever or what have you. If we had the "Axemaster" class and the "Fencer" class and the "tall man on a bridge with a quarterstaff" class and the "woman who screams and kicks and swings a sword and throws a chakram class" we'd be here all day--and it'd be silly, because different as these characters might be, at the core, they'd function very similarly. So let in this particular case the player provide the flavor, not the class itself.

Not everyone likes the class. Some people do find an "open template" class like this boring. But that doesn't mean it's wrong, or that the design is flawed. It just means it's not a specific type of gamer's thing; another will look at the class and think of all the cool things they could do with it.

The point of the class system IMO is to provide at least one character class someone will say, "Ooh! I wanna try that!" But that means providing a variety of class types, not all of which will appeal to everyone. And therefore while there is at least one class someone will want to play, there will probably be another they won't like at all. There is not a class out there that someone won't consider "boring" to play.

Criticizing the fighter would be better done by examining its specific build issues--for example, are the weapon training categories too broad, too narrow, not varied enough, etc.? "Boring," like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Unless of course the fighter drove his weapon straight through the beholder's eye first. But I won't continue on that train of thought, for fear of violating WotC's IP.


What, precisely, is it that the fighter can do that no one else can? Every other class does actually have an exclusive (clerics have channel energy, monks have all kinds of stuff, wizards have schools, sorcerers have bloodlines, rogues have sneak attack and tricks ...); fighters don't. Fighters can extend benefits that other classes have access to (more weapon damage via weapon specialization/weapon training, two crit effects instead of just one, etc), but they don't have anything that only they can do.


Zurai wrote:
What, precisely, is it that the fighter can do that no one else can? Every other class does actually have an exclusive (clerics have channel energy, monks have all kinds of stuff, wizards have schools, sorcerers have bloodlines, rogues have sneak attack and tricks ...); fighters don't. Fighters can extend benefits that other classes have access to (more weapon damage via weapon specialization/weapon training, two crit effects instead of just one, etc), but they don't have anything that only they can do.

Through disruptive and spellbreaker, they can make spellcasters' lives difficult (if they're adjacent to said spellcaster) by increasing the defensive casting DC by 4 and gaining an attack of opportunity if the roll fails. At level 20, they automatically confirm all critical hits with their chosen weapon. They can also ignore damage reduction with penetrating strike and improved penetrating strike.

Beyond that, while a fighter doesn't have much that only he can do, he happens to be considerably better at something everyone else can do but not as well. Paladins and clerics heal, rangers and rogues sneak, bards do just about everything, but no one fights as well as a fighter can, nor can they fight in as many different ways.

By level 16, a fighter can take all of the feats from both of the ranger's combat paths and have three or four spare. The barbarian rages, but what use is his rage if he's unarmed - especially if he didn't take improved unarmed combat and if you've got damage resistance from armour mastery? What happens if you hit him with an Exhausting and Bleeding Critical (remember the automatically confirmed crits)? Losing rage in the middle of a fight and being unable to use it until you've rested for at least an hour - not to mention the -6 penalties to STR and DEX from being exhausted - is bad enough, but taking 2d6 damage a round on top of that? If the barbarian has already taken a decent amount of damage, that could take him out of the fight entirely. What use is a paladin's channeling and divine spellcasting in an antimagic field? Give a ranger a single melee weapon and send him alone against someone who isn't a favoured enemy, and what use are his class features? A monk usually does more damage and gets a comparable AC, but to do that he needs to split his stat increases between DEX and WIS, and his to hit bonus is a full 8 lower than a fighter of equivalent STR.

While the fighter might not have much unique, he is consistent. Unless hit with a status effect, which is potentially a problem for all classes, a fighter can continue beating the tar out of a given enemy under just about any circumstance, and does so better than the the other melee classes.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Zurai wrote:
What, precisely, is it that the fighter can do that no one else can? Every other class does actually have an exclusive (clerics have channel energy, monks have all kinds of stuff, wizards have schools, sorcerers have bloodlines, rogues have sneak attack and tricks ...); fighters don't. Fighters can extend benefits that other classes have access to (more weapon damage via weapon specialization/weapon training, two crit effects instead of just one, etc), but they don't have anything that only they can do.

In my opinion, this isn't a very good example. By this assumption, to me, a rogue only adds damage to their attack rolls with their sneak attack. It seems like it's their own abilities, and for all intents and purposes you could yank out all of the 'Fighter Only' feats from the list and put them in as 'Fighter Traits' that they get at every even level. How is it different? To me there isn't a shred of difference. And as a side note, I rarely play fighters, but when I do I always have a particular 'style' to them that makes them fun, and they can almost always keep up with party members in almost any situation.

Which suddenly makes me want to play my mobility based elven Naginata wielder...


The main reason to leave them as feats is that it makes them optional. If you don't want to include anti-spellcasting stuff in your build, don't. Also, it allows for more fighter only feats to be added at a later date.


DeathQuaker wrote:
Stuff

I agree the fighter class should be generic to an extent, that's always how I've viewed the fighter and I don't think I'm the only one. But that's not what I'm trying to change.

I only want a few abilities to help the class stand out a little more. Rather than say...making an "Axemen" class as you said, grant something like a "Fighter Talent" that grants certain benifits when using an axe for instance. Suddenly, the class becomes far more interesting, and it can still be "Generic".

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Chris Parker wrote:
The main reason to leave them as feats is that it makes them optional. If you don't want to include anti-spellcasting stuff in your build, don't. Also, it allows for more fighter only feats to be added at a later date.

Except that's exactly the point. You can't get all the traits for the rogue or barbarian. And James has said that they might add traits in subsequent books, so that isn't really a good example either. In effect, IMO, the fighter bonus feats are their trait list.


Cydeth wrote:
By this assumption, to me, a rogue only adds damage to their attack rolls with their sneak attack.

If that's all that sneak attack did, you'd be right. However, sneak attack can also deal bleeding damage, deal strength damage, dispel magic, deafen, confuse, deal con damage, etc (the last three are feats from Complete Scoundrel, for the record; the first three are rogue talents).

Cydeth wrote:
How is it different? To me there isn't a shred of difference.

The difference is that rogue tricks give the rogue new abilities. Fighter feats just add +1 here or +2 there.

As for the distracting-a-spellcaster feats, those only work if the spellcaster can't 5 foot step, and it's not really anything unique to fighters, either, as there are similar feats available to all classes.


What I meant was, to make it so that you don't have to take any of them if you don't want to. Also, it means that you can take the feats regardless of which class you're taking a level in; it's helpful for those using a prestige class.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Zurai wrote:
Cydeth wrote:
By this assumption, to me, a rogue only adds damage to their attack rolls with their sneak attack.

If that's all that sneak attack did, you'd be right. However, sneak attack can also deal bleeding damage, deal strength damage, dispel magic, deafen, confuse, deal con damage, etc (the last three are feats from Complete Scoundrel, for the record; the first three are rogue talents).

Cydeth wrote:
How is it different? To me there isn't a shred of difference.

The difference is that rogue tricks give the rogue new abilities. Fighter feats just add +1 here or +2 there.

As for the distracting-a-spellcaster feats, those only work if the spellcaster can't 5 foot step, and it's not really anything unique to fighters, either, as there are similar feats available to all classes.

So the Penetrating strike chain isn't a new ability? Or the Critical feats which, while others can get them, they can get easier than anyone else, and use two at a time? Or the fact that while the Disruptive/Spellbreaker chain can be avoided, they can (like everyone else) take feats that allow them to move with them? I'm sorry, but your definition of 'new abilities' must be completely different from mine.


Zurai wrote:
As for the distracting-a-spellcaster feats, those only work if the spellcaster can't 5 foot step, and it's not really anything unique to fighters, either, as there are similar feats available to all classes.

That's what step up is there for, and the second feat in the tree allows you to take attacks of opportunity against them if they fail the defensive casting roll.

As I said though, fighters aren't supposed to have too many unique features; they fight. That is their niche. They fight and they do it consistently better than the competition; not through divine providence or rage, but through hard work and training. All of their features should work towards that; which with armour/weapon training/mastery, they do. I mean seriously, what is there besides allowing a fighter to take more feats, thus allowing them more tactical options, and providing them extra bonuses to hit and damage while removing armour penalties, that one can do to make a class better at simply fighting without forcing them into one specific style?

Edit: Also, I forgot about penetrating strike; being able to ignore up to ten points of damage reduction is rather nice.


Chris Parker wrote:
As I said though, fighters aren't supposed to have too many unique features; they fight. That is their niche.

So you're agreeing with the original poster then? Fighters are balanced, but their only option is to attack?


They can do so in several different ways depending on circumstances, and are more versatile in how they can attack but essentially yes. Where the OP and I differ is on whether or not that is necessarily a bad thing. Thanks to the new skill system, the lack of class skills isn't too bad because you can go cross class with considerably less trouble. Beyond that, there are many flavours of fighter. They all do the same thing, but in different ways.


Chris Parker wrote:
Where the OP and I differ is on whether or not that is necessarily a bad thing.

That's fair enough. Different people enjoy different things.

Liberty's Edge

You bring up some good points Nero, I think there is actually more that we agree on than not. However, I will continue to poke holes in critiques of the Fighter class that I think hold little merit. Now there are some points of critique that do have merit and that I agree with. I hardly think the Fighter in PF is perfect as it is.

Nero24200 wrote:
Well..in some cases they don't, and the bonuses other classes can gain are generally better. What good is a bonus against fear effects, for instance, when a 3rd level paladin is immune to it?

Bravery is definitely a weak class feature and frankly I don't really understand how it is suppose to make a difference or add much in the way of flavor, just too little there. To sum up though, some bonuses are better for the Fighter and some are not. Its a wash and just not a good point of critique for the class.

Nero24200 wrote:
These are just examples, but theres plenty of ways to actually give the fighter something whilst keeping the same feel, and such a fix would appeal to me more than "They gain a bonus".

I hear ya and you'll find that here we completely agree with one another. I too would very much have liked to have seen something along these lines.

Nero24200 wrote:
Other classes can not only do that, but get actual class features on top.

No, other classes can't do *all* that. They can do a small fraction of that. The ability to perform the vast majority of all of those special abilities and actions remain solely the domain of the Fighter.

So other classes can take the same feats? So what? Why is this important? Other classes often share the "class features" of other classes (Evasion, Spell Lists, Channel Energy, etc.). There is quite a bit of cross-pollination and clearly the fighter possesses its own class features AND exclusive feats. Just not ones you are personally enamored with. Those can't be discounted just because you say so.

Nero24200 wrote:
You know what I personally think? I think the people who love to defend the class so much do so because they love the bonus feats, and that's it.

Nah not defending the class so much as poking holes in arguments that I find hold little merit is all. I myself am not perfectly happy with the class. So what's wrong with people liking bonus feats? Bonus feats = Class Features you may select. Other classes can also take these "class features" you say? Sure, all the other classes share class features as well. The other classes have exclusive class features though? So does the Fighter. Just not ones you prefer.


I remeber this topic of conversation coming up around the table when I was trying to find a presitge class for my fighter and couldnt find one I liked, I realised that the fighter given its massive amount of aviable feats is basically its own custom built presitge class.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Zurai wrote:
What, precisely, is it that the fighter can do that no one else can? Every other class does actually have an exclusive (clerics have channel energy, monks have all kinds of stuff, wizards have schools, sorcerers have bloodlines, rogues have sneak attack and tricks ...); fighters don't. Fighters can extend benefits that other classes have access to (more weapon damage via weapon specialization/weapon training, two crit effects instead of just one, etc), but they don't have anything that only they can do.

Several of those are not exclusive (clerics and paladins can channel energy).

Most of what you are mentioning are limited use per day features.

The extra feats, weapon and armor abilities that the fighter get work all the time, all day long, they even work in magic dead/anti-magic areas.


Mistwalker wrote:
The extra feats, weapon and armor abilities that the fighter get work all the time, all day long, they even work in magic dead/anti-magic areas.

What does that have to do with the topic?

Nothing, that's what.

No one's debating whether fighters are balanced, here.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Zurai wrote:

What does that have to do with the topic?

Nothing, that's what.

No one's debating whether fighters are balanced, here.

Others were stating that fighters needed some class features to "jazz" them up a bit, make them less boring. As it appeared to be part of the discussion, I figured that I would throw in my 2 cp.

Zurai wrote:
Nothing, that's what.

There was no need to be insulting in your response.

If you prefer, I will make a statement on whether I find fighters boring or not.

I don't believe that fighters are boring. I believe that it is a matter of taste, perception and perhaps imagination.


Quote:
Rather than say...making an "Axemen" class as you said, grant something like a "Fighter Talent" that grants certain benifits when using an axe for instance.

So for example, a "Fighter Talent" that increases your damage with handaxes by 2?


Mistwalker wrote:
There was no need to be insulting in your response.

I have no clue how that was insulting, but it wasn't intended that way. I apologize.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Zurai wrote:
I have no clue how that was insulting, but it wasn't intended that way. I apologize.

No problem then.

Without context (or seeing facial expression / hearing tone of voice), text communication can be taken the wrong way. As I apparently did with your response.


"Boring" isn't quantifiable.

"Static" or "Lack of ongoing variability" is possibly more accurate in where the problems are.

Now, the huge number of feats available means you can build your Fighter with more than one focus.

There are two problems that still exist though:

1. Even with a build that has more than one focus, you are still "locked in" to those options. Any time you come across a situation that doesn't allow for your two or three options, you are just as screwed.
You can't just spend a night's rest to get one of the other dozen or so options that you could have picked.

2. The game promotes focusing down one path by giving such huge bonuses at the end of the trees. Core rules isn't quite as bad, but add in some splatbooks and you can easily find yourself running out of feats.

.
Compare this to anyone with spells. By the time they reach the higher levels, they can have dozens of options available with a night's rest.

Even skilled characters has another option with each skill. Especially now that they've been consolidated.

.
I do agree though that the Fighter isn't necessarily "boring" compared to other combat classes. "Rage" is just a package of stats with a pretty name. "Sneak Attack" is just damage numbers with limitations.
Fighters might not get too many "fancy names" for their bonuses, but they can be played as unböring as a Barbarian.

.
Back during the Alpha/Beta testing, I had suggested that the feats granted by Fighter levels (or at least some of them) be variable. So the Fighter could change what feats he had by "practicing" over a short period of time, allowing him to adjust better to situations.
This is especially great for weapon focusing, so if he finds a better weapon or realizes he needs a different weapon option, he can focus on that new one.
Sort of like a class defined, quicker retraining option.
This would help with the "Static" issue with the Fighter's primary class bonuses.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Jabor wrote:
Quote:
Rather than say...making an "Axemen" class as you said, grant something like a "Fighter Talent" that grants certain benifits when using an axe for instance.
So for example, a "Fighter Talent" that increases your damage with handaxes by 2?

Maybe he means "Weapon Training" with axes that grants progressive bonuses on attack and damage rolls (and CMB checks) with increasing level...

1 to 50 of 110 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Fighters are balanced, but are they... boring? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.