A fighter and his bonus feats: What's so bad about them?


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Aelryinth wrote:

It's been repeatedly shown that trying to be really good at two fighting styles either takes a phenomanally long time, or shortcuts one of the styles.

This is called Confirmation Bias. It hasn't been shown at all. You're seeing what you want to see. If it had, then these conversations wouldn't happen constantly. I also know that it is rather easy to be really good at two fighting styles (ranged and melee) without it taking a long time or any shortcuts. The problem isn't that it takes a while it's that no matter how it's done, someone will come in and say, "ya but can he do X?" No, he wasn't meant to do that, but they will use it as a flaw anyway.


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shallowsoul wrote:
Roberta Yang wrote:
Googleshng wrote:
I find it weird how many people are counting feat taxes as something that hurts fighters.

When your main feature is having more of a certain king of thing, you are hurt if each of those things isn't very good, especially when most other classes get an equal number of a different kind of thing that doesn't have that dilution.

For example, feats having many taxes makes barbarians bad with long feat chains. But barbarians get as many rage powers as fighters get feats, and rage powers don't have such heavy taxes - but since fighters are stuck paying taxes, each of their individual feats is weaker than each barbarian rage power, so barbarians get more out of their 10 rage powers than fighters get out of their 11 feats.

Being the only one who can do X isn't a very positive quality if everyone else can do things that are better than X. And feat taxes weakening the average benefit of each feat are part of what make the fighter's own X not very impressive.

Subjective.

Plain and simple.

You asked a subjective question.


Bob does have a point. Fighters are more than capable to master 2 or more fighting styles, and do so by 7th~8th level, which is, IMO, the max level a build should need to reach before being great at whatever it's supposed to be great at.

IMHO, that's the one real advantage Fighters have over other classes. I just wish everyone could do that, but Fighters were capable of mastering 3~4 and still have 2~3 feats to increase their defensive options (other than AC) and out of combat utility.

By the time a Fighter could do that, he'd be at a level high enough to be considered a lengendary warrior, so it's only fair that he has the abilities to justify that status.


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I think the biggest problem with fighters has little to do with the class and more to do with the player. Not all classes are suitable for all players' play styles. Just like Lemmy and others find fighters boring, I find bards, clerics, and druids boring. It doesn't matter what others can do with them. I still find them boring. They aren't to my liking. That's perfectly fine with me. We have a lot of options so it's not a big deal.


From personal experience as a GM and player no one I have ever gamed with has seen bonus feats as a poor class feature. I think for the most part my gaming groups tend to find new levels where you can't make choices other than where to put your skill ranks boring. I admit I have never been part of a campaign that went higher than 14 so at higher levels perhaps the appeal is less.


Yeah, I really don't like feats being the main feature of a class. Too many feats are just boring static bonuses or are meant to modify actual class abilities (of which the fighter has none). And most of the interesting feats are stuck behind annoying prereqs (eg most manuever feats) or obnoxious chains (eg Whirlwind Attack). It doesn't help the fact that there is a strong need to reinvest in feats to stay relevant (eg vital strike), or have feats with higher and higher prereqs but with diminishing returns (eg TWF). And this compounded by the fact that a fighter is almost forced to select certain feats once he gets into higher levels (eg Iron Will).

Now add that to the fact that there are many, many ways for other classes to use feats more efficiently than fighters (through early access, ignoring prereqs, or having modified abilities) on top of there other abilities.

Lemmy had a good example: A Battle Oracle who takes Extra Revelation: Weapon Mastery gets three feats for the price of one...

Rangers are another one... Archery Rangers can get Imp Precise Strike 5 levels early. Mounted Rangers can get the fearsome Mounted Skirmisher feat 4 levels early and without needing Trick Riding first. Two handed weapon Rangers can pick up Great Cleave without needing regular Cleave first.

I ask myself "Why would I ever play a fighter?" And I find that I have no answer.

Silver Crusade

Merkatz wrote:

Yeah, I really don't like feats being the main feature of a class. Too many feats are just boring static bonuses or are meant to modify actual class abilities (of which the fighter has none). And most of the interesting feats are stuck behind annoying prereqs (eg most manuever feats) or obnoxious chains (eg Whirlwind Attack). It doesn't help the fact that there is a strong need to reinvest in feats to stay relevant (eg vital strike), or have feats with higher and higher prereqs but with diminishing returns (eg TWF). And this compounded by the fact that a fighter is almost forced to select certain feats once he gets into higher levels (eg Iron Will).

Now add that to the fact that there are many, many ways for other classes to use feats more efficiently than fighters (through early access, ignoring prereqs, or having modified abilities) on top of there other abilities.

Lemmy had a good example: A Battle Oracle who takes Extra Revelation: Weapon Mastery gets three feats for the price of one...

Rangers are another one... Archery Rangers can get Imp Precise Strike 5 levels early. Mounted Rangers can get the fearsome Mounted Skirmisher feat 4 levels early and without needing Trick Riding first. Two handed weapon Rangers can pick up Great Cleave without needing regular Cleave first.

I ask myself "Why would I ever play a fighter?" And I find that I have no answer.

A monk gets to ignore prerequisites for a lot of feats but does that automatically make them a better class? Also, why is it such a deal breaker to get a feat five levels early? Unless it's the feat "I win", then it doesn't suddenly make one class better than another.


shallowsoul wrote:


A monk gets to ignore prerequisites for a lot of feats but does that automatically make them a better class? Also, why is it such a deal breaker to get a feat five levels early? Unless it's the feat "I win", then it doesn't suddenly make one class better than another.

Actually, Monk is a fine example of a class that isn't good just because it gets a bunch of extra feats. However, in the right combination all those extra feats without prereqs can be quite ridiculous (see Zen Archer).

But why is getting something 5 levels earlier such a big deal to me? Because in my games that means I get to play with it about 6 months earlier. And if it is a good or fun feat that's a pretty big deal.

The thing is, I really, really want to like the Fighter. I love open chassis character types. And in all actuality, most of us don't have too big of a problem with the Fighter as is. Yeah more skill points and better saves would be nice. But what we really have a problem with is feats in general.

If they ease back on prereqs, scale feats better, breakup / improve certain chains, remove certain feats that should be always available to anyone, and give us some more feats with new and interesting options (not just +X to Y), then I could love playing the Fighter.

That's not too much to ask for, is it? XD


Isn't Pinpoint Targeting 6 levels early for a Ranger? You have to have BAB +16 for it, which means 16th level full-BAB classes only need apply. Unless you're a 10th level Ranger, who selects it w/o needing ANY of the 3 prerequisite Feats leading up to Pinpoint Targeting... [Not that those Feats aren't useful ones, imo, but still...]

I think a good fix would be giving Fighters some levels at which they may "write off" prerequisite requirements for a Feat of their choice.

Now, I also share the distaste for certain Feats being prerequisite to certain Feat chains... but I don't see a fix for it less-drastic than PF 2.0, which is dismaying. Well, or a veritable RAFT of house-rulings, which is always pretty damn tedious.

I like the idea of the Fighter. I just don't enjoy the execution unless I'm in a gestalt setting. In which case, Fighter-As-Written is an AWESOME addition to my "main" class... but see how the Fighter is NOT my main class... Same problem with Clerics (for me). If I view a class as an entirely supplemental set of features, I can argue that that class is kind of substandard...

I think that the Fighter-only Feat list is too small a benefit, as well as finding LOTS of Feats on said list which (imo) OUGHT to be available to anybody meeting the BAB/prereq Feat requirements (if any).

So, yesh, I think there is a lot of work to be done with the Fighter and/or the Feat system, generally, to bring them up to par with other -- even strictly martial -- classes.

I get around this problem, in the main, by not playing Fighters much. Or as a level-dip or four to tack on some bonus Feats to my "primary" occupation. Because I don't get enough of what I want to be doing as a pure Fighter. Sadly.

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Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

It's been repeatedly shown that trying to be really good at two fighting styles either takes a phenomanally long time, or shortcuts one of the styles.

This is called Confirmation Bias. It hasn't been shown at all. You're seeing what you want to see. If it had, then these conversations wouldn't happen constantly. I also know that it is rather easy to be really good at two fighting styles (ranged and melee) without it taking a long time or any shortcuts. The problem isn't that it takes a while it's that no matter how it's done, someone will come in and say, "ya but can he do X?" No, he wasn't meant to do that, but they will use it as a flaw anyway.

What you have is called Vacuum Bias.

Sure, the fighter looks great trying to do two styles...if he's not being compared to another melee.

The fact is, to be comparable to another melee in ONE style, the fighter has to make significant investments in feats, usually the spec tree, to stay ON PAR.

If he starts a second tree, he will usually be clearly inferior to another melee who also uses that style, because he doesn't have the feats to make the investments, and for all other classes, their nominal combat buffs ignore the weapon type and are flat across all styles...and they usually have bonus feats to make up for it.

A paladin doesn't need to invest in the spec tree. he's got weapon bond, which works on any weapon he wields, be it a lance, sword, morningstar, or bow. he can smite with anything he can wield.

The barb's Str bonus doesn't care what kind of weapon he's using.

The ranger's FE doesn't care about what kind of weapon, either, and he gets spells, and he gets bonus feats without pre-reqs.

can a fighter stand his ground against NPC's in two styles? Sure, he's got better gear then they do.

Can he be the master of two styles, able to compete with the barb in melee and the ranger in archery at the same time?

Highly unlikely at any level of the game. He'll start falling behind in one path or another, which obviates the 'mastery of two styles' shtick right there.

==Aelryinth


Actually, Aelryinth, being 8/10 in two fighting styles is pretty good and probably better than being 10/10 in only one. So the switch-hitter Fighter may deal slightly less damage than a melee Barbarian, but against a flying enemy or in an large open field, the fighter can rely on archery and still do a considerable amount of damage, that's pretty big. Melee/Ranged versatility is the only thing I think fighter actually do pretty well.

I don't have a problem with Fighters' numbers. The problem is that those numbers are all they get. They have to invest considerably more than any other class to expand their options.

I think Fighters were the class that got the least from the 3.5 to PF transition. A few bigger numbers and nothing else! Even Rogues and Monks got a lot more! (although monks didn't get enough and the new system made Rogues obsolete).

Fighter, OTOH, only got the one thing they didn't need: Numerical bonuses.

Fighters need options! They need more skill points and access to maneuvers/abilities that expand their repertoire. Not another 4-feat long feat chain that adds slightly more damage.

There are cool feats out there! Cornugon Smash, Improved Sunder, Lunge, Dazzling Display... They give the fighter new tricks, not just higher numbers. But they are very few and far between.

Unfortunately, Paizo seem very reluctant to add more feats that add more abilities to fighters (unless they come at the end of a very long feat chain that includes 4 nearly useless feats).

Meanwhile, casters get a metamagic feat (and rod) that forces targets to make their save twice against save-or-lose spells. Yeah, that seems fair....


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Aelryinth wrote:

What you have is called Vacuum Bias.

Sure, the fighter looks great trying to do two styles...if he's not being compared to another melee.

Whoa, this is precisely what I was talking about. You said that the fighter would not be able to fulfill two combat styles (ranged and melee) without it taking a phenomenally long time, or shortcuts one of the styles. You have now added more criteria, which is precisely what I said was going to happen. However...

Quote:
The fact is, to be comparable to another melee in ONE style, the fighter has to make significant investments in feats, usually the spec tree, to stay ON PAR.

To be good at both melee and ranged, the fighter doesn't need a lot. Now, if you want him to do more than simply dish out damage, then we are changing things up a bit. If we're just talking about taking out the enemy quickly and efficiently, it doesn't take a lot of effort.

Quote:
If he starts a second tree, he will usually be clearly inferior to another melee who also uses that style, because he doesn't have the feats to make the investments, and for all other classes, their nominal combat buffs ignore the weapon type and are flat across all styles...and they usually have bonus feats to make up for it.

I guess it all comes down to what you are looking for. Most of the styles don't really cost that much. If you're going for longer trees, that's certainly going to be true. If you're going to just be good at a few things, you don't need a lot of investment.

Quote:
A paladin doesn't need to invest in the spec tree. he's got weapon bond, which works on any weapon he wields, be it a lance, sword, morningstar, or bow. he can smite with anything he can wield.

This isn't about the paladin, or any other class. This is about whether or not the fighter can fill two styles without major investment.

Quote:
The barb's Str bonus doesn't care what kind of weapon he's using.

This also isn't about the barbarian. Besides, the fighter's strength doesn't really care what kind of weapon he's using either so the point is moot. the barbarian would have to rage, the fighter wouldn't.

Quote:
The ranger's FE doesn't care about what kind of weapon, either, and he gets spells, and he gets bonus feats without pre-reqs.

The ranger's FE does care that he's up against his FE. The fighter doesn't have to worry about that. The spells take time to cast. They aren't free actions. His bonus feats means that he's good at one style, but not multiple. We're talking about the fighter being good at least two styles.

Quote:
can a fighter stand his ground against NPC's in two styles? Sure, he's got better gear then they do.

The fighter can do it with a masterwork weapon. The gear doesn't matter nearly as much as you think it does.

Quote:
Can he be the master of two styles, able to compete with the barb in melee and the ranger in archery at the same time?

This is exactly what I was talking about. First, yes he can. Second, I said that if he was built to handle two styles someone would claim that he couldn't also do something else. You did exactly that. It doesn't matter one iota what the other classes can do. The issue is whether or not the fighter can have two styles without it taking a phenomenally long time, or shortcuts one of the styles.

Quote:
Highly unlikely at any level of the game. He'll start falling behind in one path or another, which obviates the 'mastery of two styles' shtick right there.

I've gotten tired of posting builds. Most of these styles only take 2-3 feats. It's not that much of an investment.


In my experience, a class is boring only if they are played in a boring fashion.

As a DM, once the numbers are adjudicated, I like to give detail to the numbers unless one of my players wants to. I've often found that my players will add to the description and what is boring on paper becomes a memorable experience.


I think what Lemmy is saying isn't that the fighter is boring but that simply granting yet another + to hit or damage isn't nearly as much fun as other things for him. You have to admit, +1 to hit isn't nearly as exciting as "make your own magic items."

The character can be fun to play even when the numbers behind it aren't all that exciting. He wants the abilities to look exciting as well as the roleplaying.

Silver Crusade

Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:

What you have is called Vacuum Bias.

Sure, the fighter looks great trying to do two styles...if he's not being compared to another melee.

Whoa, this is precisely what I was talking about. You said that the fighter would not be able to fulfill two combat styles (ranged and melee) without it taking a phenomenally long time, or shortcuts one of the styles. You have now added more criteria, which is precisely what I said was going to happen. However...

Quote:
The fact is, to be comparable to another melee in ONE style, the fighter has to make significant investments in feats, usually the spec tree, to stay ON PAR.

To be good at both melee and ranged, the fighter doesn't need a lot. Now, if you want him to do more than simply dish out damage, then we are changing things up a bit. If we're just talking about taking out the enemy quickly and efficiently, it doesn't take a lot of effort.

Quote:
If he starts a second tree, he will usually be clearly inferior to another melee who also uses that style, because he doesn't have the feats to make the investments, and for all other classes, their nominal combat buffs ignore the weapon type and are flat across all styles...and they usually have bonus feats to make up for it.

I guess it all comes down to what you are looking for. Most of the styles don't really cost that much. If you're going for longer trees, that's certainly going to be true. If you're going to just be good at a few things, you don't need a lot of investment.

Quote:
A paladin doesn't need to invest in the spec tree. he's got weapon bond, which works on any weapon he wields, be it a lance, sword, morningstar, or bow. he can smite with anything he can wield.

This isn't about the paladin, or any other class. This is about whether or not the fighter can fill two styles without major investment.

Quote:
The barb's Str bonus doesn't care what kind of weapon he's using.
This also isn't about the barbarian. Besides, the fighter's strength...

This!!!!!!!!

This is exactly what happens. Someone claims that a class can't do A. Someone comes in and proves them wrong. Then said person claims the class can't do B because he can now do A.

Here's what it all boils down to. You set your expectations too high, then you criticize a class because it doesn't live up to the expectations when the class wasn't designed to live up to them anyway. If we take what the complainers are complaining about and incorporate those into into the class, then we have a full BAB, full casting class with healing, good saves, and does extra damage against certain types of enemies.


I agree that the fighter has some issues as a class, mainly in that it's a bit boring and that recent splatbooks has boosted the other martial classes far more than the fighter. If core only I think the fighter is pretty well-balanced but still a bit boring.

I think there are plenty of cool feats. I think that bonus feats are a good class ability. I agree that larger numbers are quite "boring" in many cases, but I think they're necessary to allow multiple styles on the same fighter (which is something they really should be good at). The thing with the interesting feats is that they are locked away behind boring and/or limiting prerequisites. That other classes such as ranger or monk gets to pick those without having the prerequisites makes the fighter much less of a "master of feats".

I don't think it's fair to say that the fighter is more limited than others due to being forced into a few weapon groups - most melee classes have quite severely restricted moments of awesome so to speak. Most of the time you use a weapon of your choice, which means the limitation is mostly controlled by you - compare this to Smite or Favored Enemy where the usefulness is controlled by the DM (instant enemy gets past this to an extent, and was in my opinion a spell that makes the ranger thread too much on the fighters toes - I think it's an issue of instant enemy, not of the fighter class).

Most of the time when you cannot fight with the weapon of your choice, the same is true for Weapon Bond of the paladin. Yes, the paladin who loses it's chosen sword can get a new bonded weapon in a month - but if the sword fighter can't get a new sword in a month there's some pretty special circumstances.

I think the thing that limits the fighter the most is feat prerequisites. If it could bypass those in some way, or at least lessen them, it would mean that it can get awesome feats much earlier.

What would be the implications of a class ability such as this?
Adept Learner (Ex): Fighters are unusually good at learning combat techniques without necessarily having the theoretical background. When a fighter selects bonus feats, it may treat itself as either possessing any one feat, or as having a number of skill ranks equal to his level in any one trained skill, or as having an ability score 4 points higher than it actually is.

(it's badly worded, sorry, bad at this kind of wordings - but basically, the point is that a fighter could take for example Rapid Shot if it has either point blank shot and at least 9 dex OR at least 13 dex by ignoring either the feat or lowering the ability score prereq to 9).


Ilja wrote:


Adept Learner (Ex): Fighters are unusually good at learning combat techniques without necessarily having the theoretical background. When a fighter selects bonus feats, it may treat itself as either possessing any one feat, or as having a number of skill ranks equal to his level in any one trained skill, or as having an ability score 4 points higher than it actually is.

(it's badly worded, sorry, bad at this kind of wordings - but basically, the point is that a fighter could take for example Rapid Shot if it has either point blank shot and at least 9 dex OR at least 13 dex by ignoring either the feat or lowering the ability score prereq to 9).

I thought about something like that, too.

My idea was to let him ignore 2 points of ability requirement and some of the typical feats that are seldom chosen except for prerequesites. Like dodge and combat expertise.
Ignoring 4 or even 3 points feels too much for my liking.


I wonder if some of this is a reaction to 3.x. I'm only talking core rules here. I don't care what was in Sword & Fist.0

3.x feats were pretty boring. The most optimal ones just gave numbers boosts (eg Weapon Specialization, every fighter took that one), and some of the other ones (eg Whirlwind Attack) had hard pre-reqs or lost steam over time (both in the case of WA).

Feats with level requirements would have been nice (with a power boost for being high-level; nobody is looking for Greater Weapon Specialization at 2nd-level, m'kay). Unfortunately, there were very few feats like this, and they all seemed to be numerical boosts.

Some were too conditional. (Great) Cleave only went off if an opponent died. After a few levels, you're no longer facing goblins or 2 HD zombies. It doesn't come up that much. It also requires opponents to be standing right next to each other.

There was a list of maneuver feats, eg Improved Bull Rush. No one bull rushed without the feat, since you provoked an AoO. If you had the feat, no AoO and you even got a +4 bonus. However, it was still situational. Unless your opponent was next to a pit or trap, succeeding on the check wouldn't do any damage or otherwise cripple them.

(This is why I think 4e powers are far superior to feat design. Tide of Iron does damage and pushes an opponent, and you usually have another at-will choice, too. Who needs Improved Bull Rush when you have something like that?)

WotC gave up designing better feats really fast. Complete Warrior had few feats, and was basically a collection of fighter-themed prestige classes instead.

Because of some odd rules decisions (eg getting up from prone provokes an AoO) and a lack of clarification of a fighter's role, some really cool combos (eg spiked chain) got seen as broken. It was only after playing 4e that I saw such a build as "legitimate". Previously it was just annoying having characters tripped all over the place.

I was surprised at the kinds of good combat feats in Pathfinder. Alas, most are not fighter-only.


Bob_Loblaw wrote:
His bonus feats means that he's good at one style, but not multiple. We're talking about the fighter being good at least two styles.

So you're saying only a few feats are needed to master a style, but you're also saying Rangers can't master a second style because 5 of their 15-16 feats must be in the same style?


Bob_Loblaw wrote:

I think what Lemmy is saying isn't that the fighter is boring but that simply granting yet another + to hit or damage isn't nearly as much fun as other things for him. You have to admit, +1 to hit isn't nearly as exciting as "make your own magic items."

The character can be fun to play even when the numbers behind it aren't all that exciting. He wants the abilities to look exciting as well as the roleplaying.

Basically, yeah...

A Paladin, Ranger or Barbarian who only picks Feats that add numerical bonuses still get a lot of cool stuff to do via spells, rage powers, animal companions, detect evil, etc...

Fighters only class features are numerical bonuses, but they should be able to pick feats that expand their options. The only difference is that one class gets their numbers from feats and their extra options from class features, while the other does the inverse.

Or at least, that's how it should be...

Unfortunatelly, those "expanded options" feats are very few, and often have a great number of unreasonable prerequisites! Improved/Greater [Combat Maneuver] and Whirldwind Attack are perfect examples of this.

If feats scaled with level, had reasonable and affordable prerequisites, and didn't come into play only at high level due to huge feat chains, Fighters would be pretty awesome! And a lot fun to play!

As it is, the game encourages Fighters to grab [Greater] Weapon Focus/Specialization... And now they are down to the same number of feats as a Ranger, who gets to ignore prerequisites, has better saves, a badass wolf and 6 skill points per level.

But the fighter has slightly higher numbers, so it's okay, right? Right?


Roberta Yang wrote:
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
His bonus feats means that he's good at one style, but not multiple. We're talking about the fighter being good at least two styles.
So you're saying only a few feats are needed to master a style, but you're also saying Rangers can't master a second style because 5 of their 15-16 feats must be in the same style?

I'm only using the fighter's bonus feats as part of the discussion because if I use all the feats available then the I'm told I'm not using the fighter class abilities. The ranger's class abilities only allow it to master 1 style.

Personally, I think that a class can't be viewed in a vacuum. We should look at the non-class ability feats, the race, an archetype (if wanted) the gear, etc. When we do that, we see that the character, rather than the class, is what we're playing and that we can do so much more. For these discussions though, the fighter is rarely allowed to use anything other than his bonus feats (sometimes restricting him to Core-only) while the other classes are given free reign of all the books with all the options.


Bob_Loblaw wrote:

I think what Lemmy is saying isn't that the fighter is boring but that simply granting yet another + to hit or damage isn't nearly as much fun as other things for him. You have to admit, +1 to hit isn't nearly as exciting as "make your own magic items."

The character can be fun to play even when the numbers behind it aren't all that exciting. He wants the abilities to look exciting as well as the roleplaying.

Doesn't the Master Craftsman feat allow a character to make magic arms and armor?


krevon wrote:
Bob_Loblaw wrote:

I think what Lemmy is saying isn't that the fighter is boring but that simply granting yet another + to hit or damage isn't nearly as much fun as other things for him. You have to admit, +1 to hit isn't nearly as exciting as "make your own magic items."

The character can be fun to play even when the numbers behind it aren't all that exciting. He wants the abilities to look exciting as well as the roleplaying.

Doesn't the Master Craftsman feat allow a character to make magic arms and armor?

You can only make one or the other, and that will depend on the skill you put your ranks in. However, you're not going to be needing to craft new weapons and armor often. You'd be better off with Wondrous Item.


Well most if not all of this has been all said, but I will throw in my two coppers.

1) They are somewhat boring, apart from certain feats. Improved trip is more interesting than weapon focus. Mainly because the former opens up a new tactic or more makes it a more viable tactic.

2) Problems with feats in general. Stupid prequisites, combat expertise has absolutely nothing let me repeat nothing to do with maneuvers. Dodge has absolutely nothing to do with skirmish style of fighting apart from moving your body. Also these prequisites for the interesting stuff(subjective I know) always seem to be suboptimal(apart from spesific builds, combat expertise being a very good example) and very boring.

3) Some of the archtypes are good at least in ideas if nothing more. For example I love the idea of archer being able to use certain CM with a bow, no other character can do that. Sadly the penalties make it very very situational. But it is a good example what kind of stuff I like with martials.

4) The good thing about the bonus feats is customization. I love having choices to make when I level, one of the reasons I prefer spontaneus casters to prepared ones. Every paladin that uses the same style of fighting look pretty much alike on paper.

5) They also make the fighter prime material for multiclassing. And I have tendency to come up with character ideas that require that to work.

6) I really like the idea that fighter would gain a class ability that would let them ignore some prequisites for feats, something like one feat or alternatively 2 ability points on one score(Don't remember if any require two but just put it there in case)


Bigger Club wrote:

Well most if not all of this has been all said, but I will throw in my two coppers.

1) They are somewhat boring, apart from certain feats. Improved trip is more interesting than weapon focus. Mainly because the former opens up a new tactic or more makes it a more viable tactic.

I like lunge for that, against medium humanoids most of times you would not provoke with weapon based maneuvers, and WF help with the CMB.

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AS for 3.5:

Yeah, the weapon Spec tree sucked...until you made it to Weapon Supremacy. Weapon Supremacy owned. the only problem with it? It wasn't a combat feat!!!

Cleave in 3.5 required an enemy to be in reach, not next to one another (that's a PF change). If your damage was high enough (and in 3.5 it could be), great cleave = AoE attack. I'm noting Frenzied Berserkers dealing out a minimum of 200 damage on a swing while charging, with 20' of reach while enlarged wielding a spiked chain. It got gruesome.

Improved Bull Rush came into it's own with the Dungeoncrasher line of fighter abilities, where if you bull rushed someone into something solid, they took exceptional damage (8d6+3xStr bonus?). Add that to the Knockback feat where every time you hit something for more then 10 points of damage you got a free bull rush, and you have Tempest Stormwind's 'The Pinball Brothers' tossing enemies around the battlefield.

Bob, your criteria of 3-4 feats = Mastery is a bit lower then I'm used to. Also, by that criteria, monks and rangers easily qualify. A Ranger's 3-4 combat style feats equal 5-8 feats spent by the fighter, because they don't require pre-reqs the fighter must take. Monks gain bonus feats, too.

Saying a Barb has to rage to remain competitive is also diverting the issue...of course the barb will rage, he has a ton of rage rounds to use up each day. A fighter investing in the spec tree doesn't surpass a barb's raging damage until level 12 when he gets Greater Weapon Spec...and that only with his BEST weapon.

==Aelryinth


I guess I kind of disagree with most of these. I have come to the opinion that Feats have essentially ruined an edition of D&D. (no I'm not just trolling :-)) The original feat system is ok but the power creep that follows with each successive splat book greatly increases the pain in the ass factor for the DM and players.

I think the Basic (1981) and AD&D fighter actually offered more by being less codified and having a few iconic class abilities. In AD&D the fighter got a Whirlwind attack at fourth level against 1HD mobs. Gotta be sixth in 3.x and you're certainly focused on following that feat tree. Yes the 3.x fighter can attack more than 1 HD mobs but usually by then he or she needs to begin to focus more on single target damage.

Any-who, I'm hoping future iterations of the wolds most popular role playing games pare down feats or remove feats in favor of iconic class abilities. Maybe even block 3rd party development of feats via an GSL or something.


Aelryinth wrote:
Bob, your criteria of 3-4 feats = Mastery is a bit lower then I'm used to. Also, by that criteria, monks and rangers easily qualify. A Ranger's 3-4 combat style feats equal 5-8 feats spent by the fighter, because they don't require pre-reqs the fighter must take. Monks gain bonus feats, too.

What feats are necessary for a fighter to be good at both melee and ranged? (Notice that I am not claiming "mastery" because that is going to be varied on what each person thinks is needed to master it.) Most feat trees are only a few feats long. Even two-weapon fighting is only 3 feats long. It's not even that feat intensive especially for a class that gets so many feats. Now, like I said previously, if you want more than just dealing damage then you are going to want more than those 3 to 4 feats. To take out the enemy, the fighter mostly needs to rely on damage.

Quote:
Saying a Barb has to rage to remain competitive is also diverting the issue...of course the barb will rage, he has a ton of rage rounds to use up each day. A fighter investing in the spec tree doesn't surpass a barb's raging damage until level 12 when he gets Greater Weapon Spec...and that only with his BEST weapon.

First, I never claimed that the barbarian needed to rage to remain competitive. In fact, I specifically said that we should be talking about the fighter and not comparing the classes. As for your statement, that's not entirely true. It's only true when comparing specific builds. Blanket statements like this don't really have much meaning. The barbarian may not always be raging and the fighter may not always have his best weapon (and he may not be built for damage either). However, the fighter does get better with groups of weapons. The barbarian, especially at low levels, has limits to how often he can rage. There are rage abilities and feats that use rounds of rage, which eats into that time quickly.

The point isn't that the barbarian can't deal a lot of damage (he can). The point is that the fighter doesn't need nearly as many feats as you are claiming to be able to fill two combat styles. You made an over-the-top claim and it is easily debunked. If you would like to revise your claim so as to not use hyperbole, I'm willing to address those claims. If you're going to stick with the original claim, I'm going to stop the back-and-forth because it's not going to change anything.


I remember now why I don't frequent the forums often. Everyone whines.

Personally, my group thinks the fighter is a pretty cool guy. Eh has tons of feats and doesnt afraid of anything.

Course, the message board's consensus is that nothing in Pathfinder works at all, and any other class is better than the one currently being discussed.

Shadow Lodge

martryn wrote:
Personally, my group thinks the fighter is a pretty cool guy. Eh has tons of feats and doesnt afraid of anything.

You're thinking of the paladin.


meh, at higher levels its true of any straight martials. Lets face it though, the barbarian, rogue, and fighter are the only true straight martial.

Ranger- gets spellcasting
Paladin- gets spellcasting
Bard- gets spellcasting
Cleric- gets spellcasting
Druid- gets spellcasting

etc...

down to Barbarian- gets powers so strange they might as well be spellcasting (i.e. I grow wings)

Cavelier- gets challenge and order powers

Gunslinger- gets Deeds

Lets face it; at high level combat maneuvers are ineffective due to scaling of monsters vs CMB. All feats for martials that aren't straight numerical buffs focus on more mobility or aoe. Most of the big fights at high level are more single target dpr rather than trying to aoe.

Basically any other action that can be achieved by feats becomes an ineffective combat tactic at high levels which leaves the fighter with "I attack"

P.S. please note hyperbole was used in this post. I know as well as the next person that if you run the numbers enough you can pull off some strong debuffs or such.


Just a fast digression on using more than one style, use weapon fighting:

The fighter using two weapons can use same weapons in each hand (let's say, short blade weapon training and short sword as weapon -the difference between using a long sword instead of a short is just 1 damage average), getting the bonuses of weapon training / weapon focus / spec / crit etc on both, putting together all the bonus and spearing some feats. The talents to be a dual wielder are nothing too impressive as numbers, but are a bit pain in the neck for ability score requirements (17 dex etc).
Along with two weapon talents he can pick some shot talents, and select bow as second weapon training.

A human at 9 level he would have 11 feats! (3 feats for various two w.; 3 for w focus, w spec and improved crit; power attack and we are at 7. Still 4 feats aviable, if you want they might be point b shot, rapid shot and deadly aim and manyshot?).

I just used core book and just thought about it very rapidly, but it gives a scheme and for sure you can be effective in both melee and ranged with such a character, other than having a very good AC.


Aelryinth wrote:
A Ranger's 3-4 combat style feats equal 5-8 feats spent by the fighter, because they don't require pre-reqs the fighter must take.

I call b+$&$$#!. Let's look at three common fighting styles, and say at 10th level, when the ranger has gotten his 3rd bonus feat:

Two-weapon fighting
What you want:
TWF
ITWF
Double Slice
Two-weapon Rend
Weapon Focus

What feat prereqs can the ranger skip:
None.

In total, takes all a rangers bonus feats and two of it's normal feats. Takes 5/6ths of the fighters bonus feats and none of it's normal feats.

The ranger has the benefit of being able to drop it's dex and make a low-dex twfer, but with only light armor and no other good AC boosters that won't be viable until levels so high that AC matters much less (which is a fair bit above level 10, unless all you meet is on or above CR monsters with high attack bonuses). And still, that's quite irrelevant to your claim.

Archery
What you want:
Rapid Shot
Many Shot
Precise Shot
Weapon Focus

What feat prereqs can the ranger skip:
Point blank shot.

In total, takes all a rangers bonus feats and one of it's bonus feats, or 5/6ths the fighters bonus feats. In this case, the ranger's three bonus feats equaled four of the fighters bonus feats (though it should be noted that point blank shot is a noticeable bonus, although not worth a feat).

It should be noted that the ranger has one major boon here: The ability to take Improved Precise Shot from level 6. However, if ze wants the basic setup above, and not spend general feats and be forced to take Point Blank Shot anyway, there's no room for it (unless dropping manyshot, I could see picking IPS before it but whatever).

Two-handed weapon
What you want:
Power Attack
Weapon Focus

What feats can the ranger skip:
None.

Aaaand that's basically it for being good with a two-handed weapon. It takes 2/3rds of the rangers bonus feats (though there's no tree that allows weapon focus so really 1/3 and one general feat) and 1/3 of the fighters.

So, in total, being capable in all these fighting styles require a total of 11 feats, assuming different weapon focus for all the different weapons. The fighter is forced to take point blank shot too (of course, no character would go both twf and thf but for this thought experiment).

Few of the ranger's bonus feats have more than one requirement feat that you'd not want to take otherwise. You can get early access sometimes, which is of course great, but stating that 3-4 ranger bonus feats are equal to 5-8 fighter bonus feats is b+!#!&%+.

I would say the ranger has nearly as easy access to sword and boarding offensively as the fighter though, as skipping dex can be very useful in that specific case.


Diminishing returns,a lack of scaling, and permanancy.

Diminishing returns: When you pick a feat, you of course pick the very best feat for your character that you can. After you have selected that best feat you can get the second best feat, and so on and so forth.

Scaling: A 15th level wizards magic missile hurts a lot more than a 1st level one. Dodge is always a +1 to ac.

Permanance: sure, every 4 levels you can swap out ONE feat.. if you haven't used it as a pre req for something else. Trip is great at low levels when you're fighting goblins. By the time you're taking on krakens and every wizard is flying.. not so much.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


Diminishing returns: When you pick a feat, you of course pick the very best feat for your character that you can. After you have selected that best feat you can get the second best feat, and so on and so forth.

This is true to some extent, but you also get access to higher-level feats quite quickly.

Quote:
Scaling: A 15th level wizards magic missile hurts a lot more than a 1st level one. Dodge is always a +1 to ac.

At 1st level dodge is 5% less risk to take 5 damage from an orc spear. At 15th level dodge is 5% less risk to take 60 damage less from the orc warlords 2nd and 3rd iterative each. ;D

(though I agree dodge isn't that fun of a feat lol).


@Ilja
I think the Ranger's bonus feats' greatest advantage is the ability to ignore BAB and attribute prerequisites, that allows the character to grab cool feats 4~6 levels earlier and/or use the TWF chain without needing unreasonably high Dex.

And what you say about Dodge preventing more damage may be true, but when things start hitting you with a 4, does it really matter if they suddenly need to roll a 5?

I use a house rule for Dodge, fusing it with Molibity. Dodge gives you a +1 bonus to AC, and such bonus increases by +1 for every +6 in your BAB (to a maximum of +4 at BAB +18), this bonus is doubled against attacks of opportunity provoked by moving out of an enemy's threatened area.

TWF gives access to ITWF anf GTWF when you meet the BAB requirement, and the feat I call "ITWF" gives you Double Slice, and eventually, Two-Weapon Rend.

Another example is Weapon Focus, it's bonus automatically increase by +1 at 8th and 16th level, and if you're a Fighter, you add double that bonus on damage rolls as well.

There is no Combat Expertise (that feat sucks, anyway), you can simply grab Improved [Combat Maneuver] and it scales to its Greater version at 8th level.

Suddenly every character can grab lots of different feats and cool combat options, but Fighters can grab most of them and sometimes get extra benefits as well.

This is how I think feats should work.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

I notice you didn't use the SHield Ranger on that, with Shield Mastery alone worth 3 feats...and getting it 6 LEVELS EARLY. What's a -6 to the level req worth?

And a 13 Dex ranger can take the entire TWF tree. It takes a Fighter with 19 Dex to do the same. if 6 Dex isn't worth a feat, I dunno what is.

The Improved Precise shot is also precisely the kind of skipping that I'm talking about. Note that at low level Rapid Fire easily subs for Manyshot, too.

==Aelryinth


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Even two-weapon fighting is only 3 feats long.

I know we disagree on the definition of "mastery", but surely we can agree that if you deal less damage than someone with zero feats who just picked up a two-handed weapon and started waving it around, you're not actually good at your chosen style, right? Because that's the result of trying to use TWF with only the TWF/ITWF/GTWF feats.

If your definition of "good" includes spending three feats to be worse than someone who spent zero feats, then I'm not sure what to tell you.


Thomas Long 175 wrote:


Lets face it; at high level combat maneuvers are ineffective due to scaling of monsters vs CMB. All feats for martials that aren't straight numerical buffs focus on more mobility or aoe. Most of the big fights at high level are more single target dpr rather than trying to aoe.

Basically any other action that can be achieved by feats becomes an ineffective combat tactic at high levels which leaves the fighter with "I attack"

I disagree about the CMB V CMD at high leveles.

A 15th level fighter example (for a weapon based maneuvers)

+15(BAB)+7(STR)+4(Improved + greater feat)+8(Dueling Weapon)+5 (WT + gloves of dueling)+2(Wf+GWF)= +41

and this is without counting buff like enlarge person, haste or heroism.

with a qick search in the SRD I found that CR 15 monster have CMD in the 41-45 range , there are exception of course but no trick can work always.

Te problem is not the CMB Vs CMD, the poblem is the inmunities monster tend to have, for example fliying monster against trip.

Silver Crusade

Aelryinth wrote:

I notice you didn't use the SHield Ranger on that, with Shield Mastery alone worth 3 feats...and getting it 6 LEVELS EARLY. What's a -6 to the level req worth?

And a 13 Dex ranger can take the entire TWF tree. It takes a Fighter with 19 Dex to do the same. if 6 Dex isn't worth a feat, I dunno what is.

The Improved Precise shot is also precisely the kind of skipping that I'm talking about. Note that at low level Rapid Fire easily subs for Manyshot, too.

==Aelryinth

That's great all but as a fighter, I've more to play with and I'm going to he good at TWF and Archery if I want to, your ranger picks either or. As a fighter I can focus mainly on Str and Dex, I don't have to worry about saving room for spells nor do I need to worry about setting back some gold for that celestial chain. I'll be getting full movement in my armor so that money can go towards those Dueling Gloves that are going to make my to hit and damage go up.


Roberta Yang wrote:
Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Even two-weapon fighting is only 3 feats long.

I know we disagree on the definition of "mastery", but surely we can agree that if you deal less damage than someone with zero feats who just picked up a two-handed weapon and started waving it around, you're not actually good at your chosen style, right? Because that's the result of trying to use TWF with only the TWF/ITWF/GTWF feats.

If your definition of "good" includes spending three feats to be worse than someone who spent zero feats, then I'm not sure what to tell you.

I'm a little confused by what you're trying to say. The ranger who chooses the two-weapon fighting style is as good as the fighter who chooses the same feats, assuming the same stats. The difference is that the fighter can also use his bonus feats to be good at archery as well.

Two-handed fighting doesn't really require that much of an investment. Heck, the fighter can choose an archetype and the appropriate feats and still be good at ranged combat too.

What it looks like you're doing is arguing that a fighter that chooses two-weapon fighting isn't going to be good at two-handed fighting. If that's the case, I would say that you are right. That would apply to all classes so I don't see it as a flaw of the fighter. If that's not what you're saying, then please elaborate.


Aelryinth wrote:

I notice you didn't use the SHield Ranger on that, with Shield Mastery alone worth 3 feats...and getting it 6 LEVELS EARLY. What's a -6 to the level req worth?

And a 13 Dex ranger can take the entire TWF tree. It takes a Fighter with 19 Dex to do the same. if 6 Dex isn't worth a feat, I dunno what is.

The Improved Precise shot is also precisely the kind of skipping that I'm talking about. Note that at low level Rapid Fire easily subs for Manyshot, too.

==Aelryinth

A fighter that wants to be good at archery will probably also want a higher dexterity so I don't think that it's a stretch to see him also being able to snag those two-weapon fighting feats at the appropriate time.

Shield master is a good feat. The ranger can't pick it up until 5 levels (not 6) earlier. That being said, unless he's also fighting with his shield as a weapon, he's not really getting any benefit from the feat so I don't think it's that big of a deal. So he takes two-weapon fighting for an extra attack then he takes shield master. He doesn't get to keep his shield bonus to AC while attacking and he doesn't get the benefit of the free bull rush attack. So he scrambled to take a feat 5 levels sooner but he doesn't get maximum use from that feat.

Improved Precise Shot isn't "necessary" to be good at archery. Rapid Fire is more useful, certainly but it's not hard to pick it up and also isn't "necessary."

You and I are having two different discussions. I'm saying that the fighter can do his job well enough with just his bonus feats. You're saying that if he doesn't take every possible feat in that style that he isn't doing his job at all. You are also still comparing two classes instead of just asking yourself, can the fighter do this at all? It really doesn't matter what any other class can do. That isn't the discussion. The discussion is whether or not the fighter can do it. I say he can.


martryn wrote:

I remember now why I don't frequent the forums often. Everyone whines.

Personally, my group thinks the fighter is a pretty cool guy. Eh has tons of feats and doesnt afraid of anything.

Course, the message board's consensus is that nothing in Pathfinder works at all, and any other class is better than the one currently being discussed.

Even with bravery, fighter will saves are pretty bad and he will be afraid of a lot of things.


Bob_Loblaw wrote:

I'm a little confused by what you're trying to say. The ranger who chooses the two-weapon fighting style is as good as the fighter who chooses the same feats, assuming the same stats. The difference is that the fighter can also use his bonus feats to be good at archery as well.

Two-handed fighting doesn't really require that much of an investment. Heck, the fighter can choose an archetype and the appropriate feats and still be good at ranged combat too.

What it looks like you're doing is arguing that a fighter that chooses two-weapon fighting isn't going to be good at two-handed fighting. If that's the case, I would say that you are right. That would apply to all classes so I don't see it as a flaw of the fighter. If that's not what you're saying, then please elaborate.

You misunderstand. My point is that if you compare a fighter who has invested three feats in TWF - namely, TWF, ITWF, and GTWF - to a fighter who has invested zero feats in two-handed fighting, then the two-hander with no feats will do more damage than the TWFighter with three feats. To me, this makes it clear that your "three feats = mastery" claim is way off - if three feats aren't enough to make you better than someone using zero feats (and these styles are comparable as both are melee styles), then those three feats aren't enough to grant you basic competence, much less to make you actually "good" by any meaningful definition of the word.


Roberta Yang wrote:
You misunderstand. My point is that if you compare a fighter who has invested three feats in TWF - namely, TWF, ITWF, and GTWF - to a fighter who has invested zero feats in two-handed fighting, then the two-hander with no feats will do more damage than the TWFighter with three feats. To me, this makes it clear that your "three feats = mastery" claim is way off - if three feats aren't enough to make you better than someone using zero feats (and these styles are comparable as both are melee styles), then those three feats aren't enough to grant you basic competence, much less to make you actually "good" by any meaningful definition of the word.

Part of the problem is that I have intentionally not claimed any mastery for the fighter. That's others making the claim. I'm claiming that they can be good at two styles without, as was claimed, "taking a phenomenally long time, or shortcuts one of the styles."

Let me reiterate because there are people arguing against something I have never claimed:

I said that a fighter can be good at two styles of combat, ranged and melee, with only a few feats dedicated to each. I have not claimed mastery. I have have not claimed that they would be on par with another character who focuses more on one style than another. I have not claimed that they are superior to any particular class. My stance is very simple: they can be good (read: effective) at two styles of combat, using only their fighter bonus feats.


Being worse than someone who spent zero feats isn't effective. How bad does someone have to be at combat before you won't consider them "good"?


Roberta Yang wrote:
Being worse than someone who spent zero feats isn't effective. How bad does someone have to be at combat before you won't consider them "good"?

You're doing a comparison between two characters instead of looking at what the individual character can do. Can a two-weapon fighting character hold his own? If so, then he's effective. Can he be more effective? Probably. That's a different point on the spectrum though. I look at the target numbers in the Bestiary. If the character can deal with those more than 50% of the time (without having to add in situational bonuses like spells, flanking, higher ground, etc.), it's effective. If it can do it more than 75% of the time, then it's headed towards mastery.

Those aren't carved in stone numbers. A fighter that deals less damage himself but has focused on teamwork feats (and has the appropriate archetype) can still be effective even if he's not dealing with high DPR.


how could TWF chain be improved feat by feat?

should combat feats have an additional special capacity that it 'unlocked' at a certain fighter level?

for example:

Two-Weapon Fighting

Spoiler:

Two-Weapon Fighting

Prerequisite: Dex 15.

Benefit: Your penalties on attack rolls for fighting with two weapons are reduced. The penalty for your primary hand lessens by 2 and the one for your off hand lessens by 6. See Two-Weapon Fighting in Combat.

Special: If you are at least a 6th level fighter, you may attack with both of your weapons when you make a single attack of opportunity. You incur all normal penalties for fighting with two weapons for this attack.

Normal: If you wield a second weapon in your off hand, you can get one extra attack per round with that weapon. When fighting in this way you suffer a –6 penalty with your regular attack or attacks with your primary hand and a –10 penalty to the attack with your off hand. If your off-hand weapon is light, the penalties are reduced by 2 each. An unarmed strike is always considered light.

Silver Crusade

Roberta Yang wrote:
Being worse than someone who spent zero feats isn't effective. How bad does someone have to be at combat before you won't consider them "good"?

The same can be said of your statement. How good does a class need to be for it to get the credit it deserves.

Please stop moving the goalposts everytime an argument is debunked. You aren't the only one doing it.


An NPC Warrior meets the standards of "Good" that Bob has presented. If those are the standards we're using, there are no goalposts to move; the entire stadium is the goal and every shot scores.

I can't imagine how anyone could think "spending three feats and still being less effective at combat than if you picked up a greatsword with zero feats" qualifies as being good and that anyone who says otherwise is goalpost-moving and should be happy they have the opportunity to spend feats for the privilege of being worse at fighting.

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