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


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Roberta Yang wrote:
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.

Archery and TWF are the most feat comsuimg builds, and fighter or non fighter It is just not a good option to do both,

If you want a fighter that can do melee and ranged then you want THF+ archery, fighter are one (or maybe the best) switch hitter out there.

But if you really want to TWD, then With the advent of UE another option could be TWF + Throw weapon, It have the advantage taht all feats can go to a single weapon.


I've actually kept my goal posts exactly where they started. I've also not made the claim that you say I've made. I'm not sure why you're arguing against something I never said.

The warrior doesn't meet the criteria either, unless you can show me how it manages to pull it off with it's class features and NPC gear.

Let is also be known that if spending zero of the fighter's feats allows it to be good at two-handed fighting, plus three feats to be good at two-weapon fighting, plus a few more for some ranged combat, that he is now good at three styles so it doesn't do anything to disprove what I've said.

Here's where I'm at in this discussion, if people are going to debate with me against claims I didn't make, feel free but I'm not really in the mood to continue wasting my time on it so there will be no more responses from me referencing those claims. If you want to debate my actual claims, I'm willing to continue.

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Actually, Bob, wasn't replying to you, but the person who brought up the Ranger feat trees cost. :)

==Aelryinth

Silver Crusade

Roberta Yang wrote:

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.

Please show us this build using the Warrior.

I'm highly interested to see it.


Bob_Loblaw wrote:
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 hot does something have to be before it is considered hot? To a piece of ice, a cool stream is hot. A ninety degree day is hot to most, but compared to a stovetop its practically ice. Everything is relative. There are scales. It's not a matter of being binary. If the average of what is seen is X with 0 resource points invested, and you invest 3 points of resources to barely meet X, there is a problem.

I've spoken on the Fighters behalf before. I've mentioned most fighter archtypes are weaker than the core fighter. I've demonstrated how a 20th level Fighter can nigh single handedly tear a Tarrasque a new one and kill it all by himself (like actually making it dead, forever). When it comes to raw damage in archery or two-weapon fighting (one OR the other, not both) then I'd say the Fighter has the best chance for consistent damage in those styles as anyone (though in your standard game as Strength-based Ranger is frighteningly good at those things due to being able to ignore the goofy-high Dexterity prerequisites on feats).

Despite this, I've somehow fallen into a crowd that everyone things hates Fighters for apparently arbitrary reasons, when I hail the other classes as being more worthwhile. It's a funny world we live in I suppose. I agree with Roberta.

========================================================================

I once did a comparison of Rangers and Fighters in terms of bonus feats. All a feat is, is an ability that you have the option to select, sometimes with prerequisites and restrictions, and sometimes not. There's precious little difference between a Rogue Talent and a Bonus Feat other than Rogue Talents are only acquired by rogues (and Ninja). But let's look away from this fact for a moment and just to a raw comparison for a second.

Rangers get: 6 bonus feats (5 weapon style feats + endurance) which ignore prerequisites.
Fighters get: 11 bonus feats (which they must qualify for, and cannot exchange if they would break a feat chain).

So the fighter nets 5 feats on the ranger. Except the Fighter must exchange 4 of those feats to full-spec a weapon to get the kind of mileage out of it that will make the Fighter's damage compare to the other martial classes. So the Fighter nets 1 feat on the Ranger after specialization.

The Ranger on the other hand gets other things that are easily equivalent to feats or greater than feats. The Ranger has 4 more skill points per level. Easily equivalent to 1-2 feats (or 4 feats if you consider Open Minded to be a fair feat, which I do). The Ranger begins with +2 Reflex over the Fighter (equivalent to 1 feat) and gains an additional +4 over the Fighter at later levels (equivalent to 2 more feats easily, though you can't do this with feats). The Ranger gets Favored Enemy which is easily worth a feat for each instance of +2 that the Ranger gets (which could be translated into about 9 feats invested in "Favored Enemy"). The Ranger gets an animal companion (worth a feat), four spell levels (easily worth 4 feats easily), evasion in light and medium armor (probably worth a feat), favored terrain x7 (a single favored terrain is better than most feats so that's another 7 feats), woodland stride (another feat), swift tracker (better than lots of feats), Quarry (worth another feat), Camouflage (another feat), Improved Evasion (improved evasion in light and medium armor is worth another feat), Hide in Plain Sight (worth a feat), Improved Quarry (better than Improved Sunder), Master Hunter (OMGWTF awesome, worth a feat easily).

Who gets more feats again? >.>
It's not the Fighter. The Ranger has access to a metric ****-ton of feats that the Fighter will never have so much as the chance to get, whilst the Ranger gobbles up all the good feats with combat styles, has plenty of normal feats to spec a second style while shoring up defenses and Crafting his entire kit of magic items, sporting a ton of skills, and dealing comparable damage to a huge variety of different enemies while completely obliterating anything that is unfortunate enough to be his primary enemy or on the receiving end of a swift-action ranger-smite. Hell, at 20th level they basically get to make a non-magical save or die every round on the round at their highest BAB in addition to everything else. Imagine that for a moment. Every round the Ranger shoots you with a +2-10 bonus to hit using his high mod, and when you get hit you have to make a saving throw or die. It's nonmagical and extraordinary so resistances and spell effects really aren't helping to guard against this one. He just gets a chance to coup you each round as an attack. Not even a melee attack. Just "I hit you, save or die" each round.

And he does this while riding atop his warhorse Silvermane the Thunderhoof, shooting arrows from horseback, lancing people, resisting energy, while immune to poison, with his mount moving faster than it should, while under the effects of freedom of movement and leaving no trail in its wake, and then he can leap from his mount and draw a greatsword and power attack for +18 damage while milking the +10 to hit and damage to completely erase the penalty, then swap to sword & board and tank it out like a boss in his celestial plate armor, while dodging meteor swarms as his party's wizard's familiar drops tree tokens around the battlefield allowing him to phase-warp from one to another. Then he gets to the big bad and decides he really, really does not like this guy, so he free-action quarries, activates Instant Enemy, and murders him under a hail of archery fire with his net +14/+10 to hit and damage vs the foe while using Rapid Shot, Manyshot, Improved Precise Shot, and a +5 speed composite longbow which he crafted for himself with his Craft Magic Arms & Armor feat along with his +5 cloak of resistance and lesser displacement.


It's not true that is less effective, if you multiply for every attack (first and second hand) the bonuses of weapon focus (later improved), weapon training, weapon spec (imp.), critical focus and various extra effects... Immagine doing it with a kukri, you have kind of a warmachine, that slice things like a mini pimer and crits on both hands with 15 blinding the target etc...

...Unfortunatly you have to invest like crazy into dexterity, which sucks! If I had to fix something, more than the fighter I would fix the dex requirements of two weapon fighting!

That being said I personally prefer to play ranger, because I like skills and all these cool stuff he has, and I prefer using two handed weapons because to be effective you only need power attack and few other things, and I can spend the feats I spear into useful things (like Iron Will and Improved iron will) and the bonus feats of ranger into the archery tree (so I can shoot, melee and ignore the dex requirments, investing instead in strength).


shallowsoul wrote:

Please show us this build using the Warrior.

I'm highly interested to see it.

Take Bob's TWF Fighter who has no feats to support TWF other than TWF, ITWF, and GTWF.

Replace all Fighter levels with Warrior levels.

Move the points bought in Dex (to qualify for the TWF chain) to Str.

Ta-da! Assuming that the original TWF Fighter was "good", so is the Warrior!


Aelryinth wrote:
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.

That's not commenting on the fighter.

Quote:
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.

When you go beyond core rules, things get even worse :( As there's a massive glut of rules in every version of D&D from 3.x onward (even Pathfinder), one should limit which rules you use for comparison purposes. I don't think it's okay to say "fighters are okay if you use X Feat in Supplement Y with Z Weapon".

Ilja wrote:
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.

There's good high-level fighter feats in Pathfinder. Not nearly so many in 3.x. Even beyond core rules (due to WotC's obsession with prestige classes). Diminishing returns was a huge part of what weakened the fighter, or more to the point, why the fighter only increased linearly in power.

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3.5 fighter's damage was never the true problem. Just like PF, it was basically everything else hovering around the damage dealing capability.

Because you could 'buy off' Power Attack to nothing in 3.5, PA was actually more powerful there when set up properly. Stand Still was nigh unstoppable. Fighters still made the best archers.

It was trying to do more then one of these things, have viable defenses, be able to move and do damage, and not be overshadowed by spellcasters and PrC's with abilities more uber then any feat that they could get that was the Fighter's problem. Still is, in many ways, although spellcasters aren't quite as dominant here.

==Aelryinth


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My core problems with the fighter bonus feats are that they aren't enough to patch the many core problems with the fighter.

Feats don't scale like spells do- Yes there is an additive effect with many feats and some of the good feats remain good from levels 1-20 but having to continue to invest in long feat chains to keep up with other classes is kinda frustrating.

Feat Taxes- having to purchase a bunch of mediocre feats in order to get to the relevant feats is frustrating

Feats don't solve most of the mobility issues- Vital strike is a mediocre patch to the fighter 5' step + full attack problem that shows up at 6th level. Prior to that the fighter can charge his 20'-30' as needed but once iteratives start showing up melee mobility goes way down. If pounce was a feat this would be solved but apparently fighters can't get nice things.

Feats don't solve the gear dependency- Fighters need a massive amount of gear probably more than any other class in the game. Many other martial classes can at least self-buff with spells or class features.

Feats barely patch core weaknesses- Having to take Iron Will and Improved Iron Will in order to patch basically horrible will saves is not fun. Same with non-combat utility.

Basically I want the martial classes to be awesome and the fighter can be frustrating especially to use as a GM as a BBEG. It just feels like you have to throw so much gear at a BBEG fighter in order to cover the basics that you often go over the NPC gear thresholds.


Lemmy wrote:

@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.

Very few ranger feats are 4-6 levels before.

I agree that it's good to get TWF without having high dex, but honestly, a fighter that starts out at 15 will never need to put more to get the full TWF (can just use belts instead). And remember that dex is still a good stat.

So a ranger can dump strength, but since it only works in light armor, up until level 12-14 or so a ranger is going to either have very suckish AC (after that AC matters less) or still having to have a decent dex (at least 14 or so). So the gain isn't that big IMO.

Quote:
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?

Well, not all attacks require so low a roll unless you dump your AC and/or only go up against touch attackers or monsters with primary attacks and good scores. When you're up against NPC's, their last attacks may often need a 16 or so if you make a reasonable investment in AC, and then dodge drops the damage from those attacks by 20%.

Still, I won't say dodge isn't a bad feat - I think it is. I can't remember when last I took it. My point was just that bonuses to DCs/attack rolls do increase in effect - they're not like the 3ed Toughness which was a flat bonus once. Or mostly how Vital Strike works, it's a pretty flat bonus.

Quote:
This is how I think feats should work.

I basically agree, though I wouldn't put numbers as high as you did on dodge and WF - especially not on WF since I already see most martials take it. But that's just details - I agree that feats should grow more.

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?

Actually, I explicitly stated that for offensive Sword & Boarding, ranger is at least as good as fighter. But that is one single combat style.

And Shield Slam and Improved Shield Bash are great feats, so the only one you wouldn't want to take is TWF. 6 levels early is fantastic - which is why I stated it's at least as good and that in S&B twf you can also dump dex reasonably low without having suckish AC (but you have to take ISB for that to work).


vuron wrote:

My core problems with the fighter bonus feats are that they aren't enough to patch the many core problems with the fighter.

Feats don't scale like spells do- Yes there is an additive effect with many feats and some of the good feats remain good from levels 1-20 but having to continue to invest in long feat chains to keep up with other classes is kinda frustrating.

Feat Taxes- having to purchase a bunch of mediocre feats in order to get to the relevant feats is frustrating

Feats don't solve most of the mobility issues- Vital strike is a mediocre patch to the fighter 5' step + full attack problem that shows up at 6th level. Prior to that the fighter can charge his 20'-30' as needed but once iteratives start showing up melee mobility goes way down. If pounce was a feat this would be solved but apparently fighters can't get nice things.

Feats don't solve the gear dependency- Fighters need a massive amount of gear probably more than any other class in the game. Many other martial classes can at least self-buff with spells or class features.

Feats barely patch core weaknesses- Having to take Iron Will and Improved Iron Will in order to patch basically horrible will saves is not fun. Same with non-combat utility.

Basically I want the martial classes to be awesome and the fighter can be frustrating especially to use as a GM as a BBEG. It just feels like you have to throw so much gear at a BBEG fighter in order to cover the basics that you often go over the NPC gear thresholds.

Awesomely stated.

For the record, my fighter is easily the best fighter (both ranged and hand-to-hand) of our 5th-level group, but the paladin's already starting to pass him when she Smites Evil, and she's just going to get better and better as she gets buff spells, bonded weapons, more powerful Channel Energies, and more Smites per day, all for "free". She can spend her feats on combat or on roleplaying, and she's going to stay a formidable force without any special gear or feat chains. And that doesn't even start to mention her insane saves and immunities, meaning she never has to spend a feat on saving throws.

To 'keep up with the Joneses', I have to spend all of my feats on combat-oriented feats. I have to spend all my money on combat-oriented gear. With 2 skill points per level (3 because I'm a human! Woo hoo?) and no noncombat feats, I'm basically useless outside of combat, which is No Fun in RP-oriented campaigns where combat is maybe 25% of game time. Yeah, you can TRY to RP things up, but when you say, "I'm going to find the best tavern in town," and the GM's response is, "OK, what's your Knowledge: Local to find it? Oh, you don't have that? What about Diplomacy? Nothing there, either? Oh, well, better ask the bard," it sucks to be the fighter.

(I think it's not helping me at all that we're playing Carrion Crown, where the authors' attitudes seemed to be, "Man, we're sick of fighters! Let's make every module a murder mystery where everything focuses on noncombat skills, and let's make every BBEG incorporeal...")


Ilja wrote:
Lemmy wrote:

@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.

Very few ranger feats are 4-6 levels before.

I agree that it's good to get TWF without having high dex, but honestly, a fighter that starts out at 15 will never need to put more to get the full TWF (can just use belts instead). And remember that dex is still a good stat.

So a ranger can dump strength, but since it only works in light armor, up until level 12-14 or so a ranger is going to either have very suckish AC (after that AC matters less) or still having to have a decent dex (at least 14 or so). So the gain isn't that big IMO.

Not true

"The benefits of the ranger's chosen style feats apply only when he wears light, medium, or no armor."


Ilja wrote:
I basically agree, though I wouldn't put numbers as high as you did on dodge and WF - especially not on WF since I already see most martials take it. But that's just details - I agree that feats should grow more.

Actually, the current Dodge version max ups at +3 (x6 vs AoO) when the character reaches BAB +14, I just copy-pasted from my Word doc with the revised feats and I forgot to fix that.

TWF I think it's okay; two scaling feats to be able to compete with 2-handed guy with Power Attack is fine by me.

I'd really like to give fighters (and every other martial class, actually) a way to move without losing 75% of their efficiency. Vital Strike simply does not suffice.

Barbarians could get free Pounce, Fighter could be able to move half their speed and full attack (and eventually make a full attack on a standard action)... This kinda of thing... I'm not sure how to do that, though, so if anyone has suggestions, I'd be glad to hear.


Lemmy wrote:


Barbarians could get free pounce, Fighter could be able to move half their speed and full attack (and eventually make a full attack on a standard action)... This kinda of thing... I'm not sure how to do that, though, so if anyone have suggestions, I'd be glad to hear.

I think there should be better solution that pounce, if you giv teh same ability to everyone it becomes boring.

For example the THF archetype can as standard action hit and a free maneuver and at level 19 he can almost auto crit as standard action.


Nicos wrote:
"The benefits of the ranger's chosen style feats apply only when he wears light, medium, or no armor."

Sorry 'bout that, misremembered. Still, medium armor and twfing so unless using shield it's still quite bad AC for someone so reliant on full attacks.


Lemmy wrote:


TWF I think it's okay; two scaling feats to be able to compete with 2-handed guy with Power Attack is fine by me.

I fully agree on TWF. I think both TWF and vital strike should increase automatically.

on vital strike:
Personally, my remake of vital strike (which I thought was the one in most need of remaking) is it autostacks to improved and greater, and in addition as a full round action you can make a single attack and gain vital strike bonus as if one tier higher, and it only requires bab +1. So basically at bab 1 it's full attack for double weapon damage, at bab 6 it's full attack for triple or standard attack four double etc.

I also let monks choose between twf feat-flurry and vital strike feat-"flurry"

Quote:
I'd really like to give fighters (and every other martial class, actually) a way to move without losing 75% of their efficiency. Vital Strike simply does not suffice.

I agree. I think part of the issue is the systems reliance on full attacks for damage. I would much rather have had the system give only minor benefit for full attacks, but make standard attacks more effective. It would do a lot to even out between melee/ranged/casters. But that'd be some major rules change that works systemwide, and I don't know anything good for that.


Nicos wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
Barbarians could get free pounce, Fighter could be able to move half their speed and full attack (and eventually make a full attack on a standard action)... This kinda of thing... I'm not sure how to do that, though, so if anyone have suggestions, I'd be glad to hear.

I think there should be better solution that pounce, if you giv teh same ability to everyone it becomes boring.

For example the THF archetype can as standard action hit and a free maneuver and at level 19 he can almost auto crit as standard action.

That's exactly my point, each class would have a different way to move and attack, an example could be:

Barbarians can Pounce (without spending 3 Rage Powers), Fighters can eventually make full attacks as a standard action, Rangers and Rogues could make an Acrobatic check, Paladins could sacrifice a daily use LoH to move + full attack, etc...

These are just random ideas, nothing solid yet...


Just throwing this out there - what would happen if characters got a bonus to damage based on their BAB, but only ever got their first iterative attack? EDIT: Of course there would have to be some balancing factor on maneuvers - maybe even deal this bonus damage on maneuvers, similar to Brutal Maneuvers?


I like those ideas, I think making the standard action more worth for martial classes is a good starting point to get things more balanced...

Sczarni

Ilja wrote:
Just throwing this out there - what would happen if characters got a bonus to damage based on their BAB, but only ever got their first iterative attack? EDIT: Of course there would have to be some balancing factor on maneuvers - maybe even deal this bonus damage on maneuvers, similar to Brutal Maneuvers?

I was wondering something like this too-- crossbows, slings, and firearms require such a heavier feat investment then bows because you can't full attack with them unless you spend feats on it. What if bows were like the rest-- you can't full attack with them? What if there were no Rapid Reload, and "one ranged attack per round" was the basic assumption? Then instead of filling the sky with arrows, a successful archer would take things like Vital Strike or Focused Shot and be all about "one shot, one kill" as opposed to melee full attacks.

This would ease the archery feat tree, and make other ranged weapons more viable compared to bows, but it might nerf archery entirely.

More on topic, I think fighters' bonus feats would be more valuable if there were even deeper feat trees. Imagine if, say, the TWF tree went deep enough that the top of the tree had a feat that only a fighter could ever hope to get. Then that feat would be like a second capstone ability for the fighter. That'd make the bonus feats feel a little more awesome, I'd say.


The key problem with limiting the impact of iterative attacks is that you also need to decide how to handle natural attacks particularly from high strength opponents with a ton of attacks (dragons and such). If the fighter can't do a huge amount of damage with a single standard attack equivalent to what they would do with 4 iteratives then the math breaks down.

Not to say it can't be done because that's the solution 4e took but it's a major rewrite of the combat system which can generally be fixed by getting rid of the full-round full-attack and switching it to a model where secondary iterative attacks are free action equivalents aka move and slash is possible.

Yes you'll be boosting a decent number of monsters by giving them full attack runs + move actions but I'm not sure that's necessarily such a bad thing as it forces mages and archers to think more tactically vis-a-vis melee opponents.


Silent Saturn wrote:


More on topic, I think fighters' bonus feats would be more valuable if there were even deeper feat trees. Imagine if, say, the TWF tree went deep enough that the top of the tree had a feat that only a fighter could ever hope to get. Then that feat would be like a second capstone ability for the fighter. That'd make the bonus feats feel a little more awesome, I'd say.

That would be ok if all the feats in the chain are good by their own, or complement the build. For example combat expertise can be useful in given sitauations (is very situational but still), the problem is that someone that wants a trip build woould not like that penalty to hit for a bonus to AC, so basically is awasted feat.

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Another way is to get rid of iterative attacks per /5 BAB and assign them by class, like 1E did. If fighters get more attacks earlier then the other full BAB classes, that means something.

Also, you can simply eliminate full attacks and just give increasing attacks by level at a lower rate, and ignore the -5 iterative stuff. THat's also how 1E did it. 5/2 attacks is comparable damage to a full attack with 4 iteratives.

Move and don't attack well is just one of the nerfs to the melee set in 3.5, and one of the bummer things is that it wasn't fixed. Vital Strike would actually be useful if it auto-scaled...it'd practically become a 'must-have' feat for any wise melee. taking it three times? diminishing marginal utility.

==Aelryinth


What if when character a reaches BAB +11, she could move and make her first 2 attacks as part of an standard action? Or, if she has TWF or a Natural Weapon, make one attack with her main weapon an another one with her off hand/natural attack.

Two attacks, one at full BAB and another at BAB -5 (or -2, in the case of TWF or creatures with Multiattack) may be enough to increase melee characters' mobility while still making sure Pounce and similar abilities remain useful.


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Ashiel wrote:
The Ranger on the other hand gets other things that are easily equivalent to feats or greater than feats. The Ranger has 4 more skill points per level. Easily equivalent to 1-2 feats (or 4 feats if you consider Open Minded to be a fair feat, which I do). The Ranger begins with +2 Reflex over the Fighter (equivalent to 1 feat) and gains an additional +4 over the Fighter at later levels (equivalent to 2 more feats easily, though you can't do this with feats). The Ranger gets Favored Enemy which is easily worth a feat for each instance of +2 that the Ranger gets (which could be translated into about 9 feats invested in "Favored Enemy").

The problem with this sort of analysis is presuming an equivalent exchange. For example: To replicate the ranger's bonus Endurance feat, a fighter could certainly take the feat themselves. But presuming some general goal of "deadliness" or "combat effectiveness" for the character is the general worth of that feat really as much to the fighter as it is to the ranger? A +2 bonus to reflex saves COULD be replicated by taking a feat...but is it generally worth the cost to a character focused upon melee and ranged damage?

I submit that not all feats are of equivalent worth. To a weapon-using melee combatant, both Snake Style and Crane Wing feats are VERY nice. The Improved Unarmed Strike feat prerequisite, however, is mostly useless. To a ranged combatant, Deadly Aim will typically be of far greater worth than Power Attack or Combat Expertise.

In other words, to simply calculate the Ranger's class abilities as cancelling out the Fighter's bonus feats drastically undervalues the Fighter's ability to qualify for and juxtapose powerful, latter-chain feats.


Shadowdweller wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
The Ranger on the other hand gets other things that are easily equivalent to feats or greater than feats. The Ranger has 4 more skill points per level. Easily equivalent to 1-2 feats (or 4 feats if you consider Open Minded to be a fair feat, which I do). The Ranger begins with +2 Reflex over the Fighter (equivalent to 1 feat) and gains an additional +4 over the Fighter at later levels (equivalent to 2 more feats easily, though you can't do this with feats). The Ranger gets Favored Enemy which is easily worth a feat for each instance of +2 that the Ranger gets (which could be translated into about 9 feats invested in "Favored Enemy").

The problem with this sort of analysis is presuming an equivalent exchange. For example: To replicate the ranger's bonus Endurance feat, a fighter could certainly take the feat themselves. But presuming some general goal of "deadliness" or "combat effectiveness" for the character is the general worth of that feat really as much to the fighter as it is to the ranger? A +2 bonus to reflex saves COULD be replicated by taking a feat...but is it generally worth the cost to a character focused upon melee and ranged damage?

I submit that not all feats are of equivalent worth. To a weapon-using melee combatant, both Snake Style and Crane Wing feats are VERY nice. The Improved Unarmed Strike feat prerequisite, however, is mostly useless. To a ranged combatant, Deadly Aim will typically be of far greater worth than Power Attack or Combat Expertise.

In other words, to simply calculate the Ranger's class abilities as cancelling out the Fighter's bonus feats drastically undervalues the Fighter's ability to qualify for and juxtapose powerful, latter-chain feats.

There are some things that would matter more though. Take a look at Endurance. It means that a ranger can always sleep in the armor he is proficient with (unless he takes Heavy Armor Proficiency). He is essentially always ready to fight. The fighter, if he wants the highest AC he can get, doesn't have that as an option without an investment in gold to add that to his armor.

I think that the classes both bring something special to the table. I think that some things are often over valued by those who have taken a side in the argument. I think some classes work better for some players, groups, and campaigns, than others.

Silver Crusade

Bob_Loblaw wrote:
Shadowdweller wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
The Ranger on the other hand gets other things that are easily equivalent to feats or greater than feats. The Ranger has 4 more skill points per level. Easily equivalent to 1-2 feats (or 4 feats if you consider Open Minded to be a fair feat, which I do). The Ranger begins with +2 Reflex over the Fighter (equivalent to 1 feat) and gains an additional +4 over the Fighter at later levels (equivalent to 2 more feats easily, though you can't do this with feats). The Ranger gets Favored Enemy which is easily worth a feat for each instance of +2 that the Ranger gets (which could be translated into about 9 feats invested in "Favored Enemy").

The problem with this sort of analysis is presuming an equivalent exchange. For example: To replicate the ranger's bonus Endurance feat, a fighter could certainly take the feat themselves. But presuming some general goal of "deadliness" or "combat effectiveness" for the character is the general worth of that feat really as much to the fighter as it is to the ranger? A +2 bonus to reflex saves COULD be replicated by taking a feat...but is it generally worth the cost to a character focused upon melee and ranged damage?

I submit that not all feats are of equivalent worth. To a weapon-using melee combatant, both Snake Style and Crane Wing feats are VERY nice. The Improved Unarmed Strike feat prerequisite, however, is mostly useless. To a ranged combatant, Deadly Aim will typically be of far greater worth than Power Attack or Combat Expertise.

In other words, to simply calculate the Ranger's class abilities as cancelling out the Fighter's bonus feats drastically undervalues the Fighter's ability to qualify for and juxtapose powerful, latter-chain feats.

There are some things that would matter more though. Take a look at Endurance. It means that a ranger can always sleep in the armor he is proficient with (unless he takes Heavy Armor Proficiency). He is essentially always ready to fight. The fighter, if he wants the...

And if the ranger wants full movement in his armor then he has to spend money to get a certain type of armor that will allow him to do that. Kind of a tit for tat kind of thing.


Just saying "favored enemy is worth a feat for each +2 so it's worth 9 feats in total" is still a bad argument. Yeah, and Weapon Training 1 (Axes) is worth 12+12*.5=18 feats for providing weapon focus and half a weapon spec for 12 weapons.

If I got to choose between gaining the full favored enemy bonuses and 9 free feats, I'd pick 9 feats. Every. Single. Time. (unless I also got to cast instant enemy, which still is borked spell IMO).

Silver Crusade

Ilja wrote:

Just saying "favored enemy is worth a feat for each +2 so it's worth 9 feats in total" is still a bad argument. Yeah, and Weapon Training 1 (Axes) is worth 12+12*.5=18 feats for providing weapon focus and half a weapon spec for 12 weapons.

If I got to choose between gaining the full favored enemy bonuses and 9 free feats, I'd pick 9 feats. Every. Single. Time. (unless I also got to cast instant enemy, which still is borked spell IMO).

If you design your encounters like 4th edition does then Instant Enemy comes in handy. You essentially know which ones are minions and which one is the big bad.

Now if you design your encounters with multiple big bad guys and everything in between then it's not so great because they will burn through them very quickly and be out before you know it.


? Favored Enemy isn't limited by times per day, if you meant that. Rather favored enemy is great if your DM tells you up front or you somehow otherwise know exactly what types of enemies you're going to fight.

The first two to three or so are good anyway, since humanoid (human), undead, and somewhat outsider (evil) are enemies you'll probably encounter regardless, but after that there's heavy diminishing returns.

EDIT: Or did you mean instant enemy? Yeah, that's limited to times per day, but it can be made into a wand and level 3 pearls of power aren't that expensive. When you get instant enemy you can easily have two or three lying around (9k gp for a swift action +6 to attack/damage against an enemy for 11 minutes once per day? Yes please!)

Silver Crusade

Ilja wrote:

? Favored Enemy isn't limited by times per day, if you meant that. Rather favored enemy is great if your DM tells you up front or you somehow otherwise know exactly what types of enemies you're going to fight.

The first two to three or so are good anyway, since humanoid (human), undead, and somewhat outsider (evil) are enemies you'll probably encounter regardless, but after that there's heavy diminishing returns.

EDIT: Or did you mean instant enemy? Yeah, that's limited to times per day, but it can be made into a wand and level 3 pearls of power aren't that expensive. When you get instant enemy you can easily have two or three lying around (9k gp for a swift action +6 to attack/damage against an enemy for 11 minutes once per day? Yes please!)

Yes,I meant Instant Enemy.


LOL, fighters are fine. Can't believe these debates still exist.

I think folks put these posts up and then sit and laugh as all these people chime in with the same arguments.

If you want a different type of fighter, play an archetype or boost intelligence and get some different skills through traits and feats....Oh waaaiitt.. that would mean you are slightly less optimized and might not be able to one hit the bad guy in one round and you can't win Pathfinder...bummer

Seriously folks, there are few boring classes, usually it's just a boring player.


Deyvantius: If you play in a group that plays the game on "hard mode" - which a lot of experienced gamers on these boards do - the fighter has to optimize not to die. And for "newbish" players, fighter is harder to make decent than many other classes since so much of the class is so modular.

And people still think it's a bit sad that all it's abilities are combat so focused and it's still got lousy skill points. Even if you boost your intelligence a bit you'll have only as many skill points as a barbarian that dumped int. Though this part of the issue also applies to barbarians and cavaliers to some extent.

Silver Crusade

Ilja wrote:

Deyvantius: If you play in a group that plays the game on "hard mode" - which a lot of experienced gamers on these boards do - the fighter has to optimize not to die. And for "newbish" players, fighter is harder to make decent than many other classes since so much of the class is so modular.

And people still think it's a bit sad that all it's abilities are combat so focused and it's still got lousy skill points. Even if you boost your intelligence a bit you'll have only as many skill points as a barbarian that dumped int. Though this part of the issue also applies to barbarians and cavaliers to some extent.

What exactly does the fighter need to beef up in the skill department that other's in the party may already have covered? I mean if you are looking to assist then you don't need a high roll to do that. Now if we are talking about a one on one session where the fighter is the only class then yes he may have some trouble with the versatility unless he takes the Lore Warden archtype.

Fighters have some of the highest AC's in the game so I'm not sure what you mean by the survival statement. Their fortitude is great and that's where most of your death effects target.


It would help if there were class features that rewarded having high Int or Cha. There isn't much to represent the "cunning tactician" or "inspiring leader" character types. Even the Tactician archetype doesn't start benefiting from Int in combat until level eleven. It would probably even suffice if feats rewarded having high Int and Cha, but they really don't, with the sole exception of the Eldritch Heritage line (which again doesn't really kick in until lategame).

That's what I'd really like to see: feats that make the mental stats matter on the battlefield.


While many players are fine with having suboptimal characters and good GMs can design encounters that challenge the party regardless of composition not everyone likes the spotlight balance model of encounter design.

One of the things I think many groups struggle with is player engagement with the campaign world. If a specific player is not feeling engaged by a certain type of encounter then they often disengage from that encounter or they force one type of encounter into another type of encounter (typically a social encounter will become a combat encounter).

Basically the fighter has significant design constraints that limit his utility in non-combat situations. In order to work around those design constraints you tend to have to sacrifice combat capabilities and even then the fighter is never going to be great. While some people are willing to sacrifice utility in terms of combat effectiveness others aren't.

An alternative solution is of course to choose a class that might have a better mix of combat and non-combat utility from the get go and that's why many players favor the hybrid classes.

That isn't to say that the fighter doesn't have mechanical issues in the context of combat (mobility, saves, gear dependency) but I think there are frustrations with the fighter that extend beyond mere concerns for does my fighter do enough damage?


Ilja wrote:

Deyvantius: If you play in a group that plays the game on "hard mode" - which a lot of experienced gamers on these boards do - the fighter has to optimize not to die. And for "newbish" players, fighter is harder to make decent than many other classes since so much of the class is so modular.

Trust me, I play on "hard" mode (no resurrection, no canned adventures, increased hps for monsters, etc.) so i understand your point, but with a 20 point buy, a human fighter can drop 2 points in intelligence and get 4 points per level (with 13 he can add in "Fast Learner" and get 5 plus there is the Lore Warden or Tactician archetype). Add that in with all the extra feats and he can hold his own with skills and combat, while only sacrificing minimal optimization.

Plus a fighter is no more or less difficult to kill than any other class. In my experience the Wizard is usually the first one toasted, but YMMV


shallowsoul wrote:

What exactly does the fighter need to beef up in the skill department that other's in the party may already have covered? I mean if you are looking to assist then you don't need a high roll to do that. Now if we are talking about a one on one session where the fighter is the only class then yes he may have some trouble with the versatility unless he takes the Lore Warden archtype.

Fighters have some of the highest AC's in the game so I'm not sure what you mean by the survival statement. Their fortitude is great and that's where most of your death effects target.

Two major points:

1) While some people like the alternating spotlight focus model others hate it. Many people feel like the Fighter design is basically 90% fighting when most games aren't old school dungeon crawls. The fighter being disengaged with other aspects of the game isn't fun for these types of players.

2) AC and HPs are only one fraction of PC survival. Saves are also a major aspect and the fighter typically struggles with saves. Iron Will and Cloaks of Resistance only go so far especially against more challenging encounters.

Even in the context of AC and HP it's very difficult to keep your AC boosted to the level necessary to minimize opponents DPR against you. Basically it means boosting the big 6 items at every opportunity. Even then you will get hit (after all you are in melee alot of the time) and you will take a bunch of damage which means you are dependent on magical healing because let's face it natural healing is a joke in the default game. Yes UMD can patch that hole a little but that's a major investment for a fighter especially because CHA is a traditional stat dump and skill points are at a premium.


Deyvantius wrote:
"Fast Learner"

You do realize Fast Learner is strictly inferior to Toughness, don't you?


Combat Expertise?
Combat Expertise!


Whoa if Dirty Tricks and Trips are wrong, then I don't wanna be right.


Trips are fun, though at high levels they become useless when everything starts flying.

Combat Expertise, on the other hand, is a tax.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Lemmy wrote:
I think Fighters were the class that got the least from the 3.5 to PF transition.

Fighters did not get much from Pathfinder, but what they got was major.

Armor training which eventually gives you full speed movement in heavy armor (without the need for a spell) Weapon training which makes them the consummate masters of weaponry.

In short they got what they needed to distinguish themselves from Paladins, Barbarians, and Rangers as the definitive martial class.


Roberta Yang wrote:


You do realize Fast Learner is strictly inferior to Toughness, don't you?

Trips are fun, though at high levels they become useless when everything starts flying.

Combat Expertise, on the other hand, is a tax.

You are using what I like to call "Optimization Theory" to determine what feats to take and not to take rather than role-playing reality.

A Lore Warden gets Expertise for free and can perform multiple maneuvers successfully with his bonus. In addition, I've gamed a long time and gotten to high levels the same and never got to this point where "everything starts flying"

Furthermore, what prevents someone from taking toughness and "Fast Learner"? With all those spare feats what is a fighter missing that is so gamebreaking as to render him obsolete by taking a non-combat feat?


LazarX wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
I think Fighters were the class that got the least from the 3.5 to PF transition.

Fighters did not get much from Pathfinder, but what they got was major.

Armor training which eventually gives you full speed movement in heavy armor (without the need for a spell) Weapon training which makes them the consummate masters of weaponry.

In short they got what they needed to distinguish themselves from Paladins, Barbarians, and Rangers as the definitive martial class.

Some people would also argue that they got a major nerf in the form of Power Attack being a static modifier. In 3.5 it was always possible to do mega damage using various builds such as the power attack + pounce + shock trooper charger builds. Personally I don't much care for mega-damage rocket launcher tag so the PA change is okay for me but plenty of people dislike it for these reasons.

The changes to Combat Maneuvers and spiked chain have also made lock-down chain-trippers much less powerful which was one of the prime martial combos in 3.5.

Then of course there are people that saw late 3.5 improvements like the Bo9S Warblade as the obvious solution to many of the perceived linear warrior quadratic mage issues. While many of these people have largely hung onto the decaying corpse of 3.5 there are people that like enough of the changes in PF to move over and to kitbash a weird mix of 3.5 and PF.


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shallowsoul wrote:
What exactly does the fighter need to beef up in the skill department that other's in the party may already have covered?
Whatever the fighter wants to be decent in? The point is that skills allow you to be good at stuff out of combat, and the fighter gets both the lousies amount and is by design encouraged to at least not boost intelligence. It's not always just about the party succeeding at something, it's also about feeling that your character is a skilled individual.
shallowsoul wrote:
Fighters have some of the highest AC's in the game so I'm not sure what you mean by the survival statement. Their fortitude is great and that's where most of your death effects target.

Since it's common for people on these boards to play the game "on hard mode" - either by optimizing encounters for a certain CR (see Ashiels excellent encounters) or by simply treating the party as if it was higher levels (see various one-on-ones against level=CR), all characters has to optimize to an extent to survive and still be useful. Fighters lack of skills, lousy will unless boosted, and heavy armor make them vulnerable primarily to:

1. Will-save targeting effects.
2. Combats where you have to move a lot and it's not flat; just moving over 10-15 ft up stairs (DC 10 unless double move action) can be hard at lower levels.
3. Reflex-targeting effects.
4. Enemies that ignore armor/shields
5. Encounters where winning is not primarily done through fighting

In most APs, a fighter doesn't have to be very optimized to survive and contribute, because those mostly use enemies at appropriate CRs and without extreme optimization. When you start pitting the party against stuff much harder than that, most classes will have a hard time surviving unless optimized.

Deyvantius wrote:
Trust me, I play on "hard" mode (no resurrection, no canned adventures, increased hps for monsters, etc.) so i understand your point, but with a 20 point buy, a human fighter can drop 2 points in intelligence and get 4 points per level (with 13 he can add in "Fast Learner" and get 5 plus there is the Lore Warden or Tactician archetype). Add that in with all the extra feats and he can hold his own with skills and combat, while only sacrificing minimal optimization.

I didn't mean hard mode in that way, and neither did I imply you where used to play "easy mode" either - it's not about how many resurrections, but about encounters like this demon horde, or when they use example fights 4 CR over the intended in one on ones (pitting a level 10 fighter against a CR 10 monster for example).

At that point, you can't easily put 6 points in intelligence (compared to dumping it to 7) and neither can you easily put a feat into fast learner (which you'd only take if you've already got toughness, which also is a so-and-so feat). Taking such a character through the story might be possible if you're an incredibly skilled player, but you're going to feel just how much harder it is when you gave up a 14 wisdom or dex or con for those skill points.

Now, there are of course a wide scale of difficulties and optimization levels, but I think that's part of why people see this as a big issue (and part of why I _don't_ see it as that big of an issue).


Ilja wrote:

Deyvantius: If you play in a group that plays the game on "hard mode" - which a lot of experienced gamers on these boards do - the fighter has to optimize not to die. And for "newbish" players, fighter is harder to make decent than many other classes since so much of the class is so modular.

Its depends what would you call to optimize.Having the highest str while dumping cha,wis and int is something I would not call optimize. For example for a 20 Pb I see things like

Srt 20
DeX 12
Con 14
Int 10
Wis 10
Cha 7

Sure it does more damage but I do not like it. I prefer a array like

Srt 18
Dex 13
Con 14
Int 12
Wis 14
Cha 7

or

Srt 18
Dex 14
Con 14
Int 12
Wis 12
Cha 7.

Even

Srt 16
Dex 14
Con 14
Int 12
Wis 14
Cha 8

would work just fine. Contrary to some weirds claims, fighters do not struggle to do damage, they do not need the mamimum posible str.


Poor, poor CHA. No respect.


Lamontius wrote:


Poor, poor CHA. No respect.

Str ranger have some good buils with Cha 15 for fighter, he use eldrith heritage for that and he achieve a very good DPR. Couple that with a trait that give diplomacy as a class skills and you have a DPR machine and a party face.

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