The Main Problem with Fighters


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Neo2151 wrote:

lolwut? None of those non-vancian options change the power; they just change how it's applied.

And you're putting words in my mouth. 'Magic should be superior to non-magic' does not mean 'If you're not magical, you have to suck and suck hard.'

Unfortunately that's what it means when you say that magic should always better than swinging a sword.


Neo2151 wrote:

lolwut? None of those non-vancian options change the power; they just change how it's applied.

And you're putting words in my mouth. 'Magic should be superior to non-magic' does not mean 'If you're not magical, you have to suck and suck hard.'

Yes, they change the game a lot actually. A warblade can keep going until his health drops, with a small refill here and there he can keep going for some time or he'll drop for a nap when he feels like it. The vancian caster stops when he runs out of spells. Have you DM'd for them before? I have, and I much prefer the non vancian if only for pace.

Don't mean to put words in your mouth, but that's sort of how it feels. The fighter at the moment is just awful. He's built to fail saves, he's no Conan(By Crom!), he has no out of combat utility, and then in turn he's just moderately better than everyone else at full attacking in combat. He's not exactly built to do well, so what is he built to do? Be a grunt? Suck?


Neo2151 wrote:
(Edit - If this is the reality now, blame Paizo for allowing so much magical power-creep, not the idea itself.)

It wasn't just Paizo. 3.x had the same issues. Paizo inherited many of them, and deliberately decided not to fix them for whatever reasons. Take that as you will, obviously something I wasn't around to hear, see, and talk about.

Short Rant:

WotC did release several alternatives, which I named, and some of which are really well received and balanced. Some of them are well balanced. Some of them are awful or incoherent(Truenamer). Some of them are well balanced and completely incoherent(Incarnum to me.) Some of them weren't even casters.(ToB) Some were so many things they can be hard to pin down(Binder). I've been told Dreamscarred's Psionics are very well received, and balanced. Again though, Paizo has chosen to ignore some of these options for various reasons. Its likely we'll see more vancian casting and full attacking martials in the future.


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MrSin wrote:


Paizo inherited many of them, and deliberately decided not to fix them for whatever reasons. Take that as you will, obviously something I wasn't around to hear, see, and talk about.

"Caster/martial disparity is a myth propagated by people with agendas."

- James Jacobs

In short, the reason is "I don't think it exists, and the only reason you do is because of a conspiracy."


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Marthkus wrote:
deuxhero wrote:
The biggest problem is prehaps that while fighters can fight, so can every other PC class (supposed to anyways), but most classes can do something else out of combat.

But every other class runs out of steam. The problem with the balance at the moment is that fighters are not on-par with everyone else because they took unlimited uses into account when they balanced them.

Make a fighter on par in combat with a full caster and have their lack of out-combat be compensated by never running out of combat steam.

So will the fighter, he has a limited resource called "hit points" he needs casters to replenish without eating up his cash.


Neo2151 wrote:

Here is who is bad at will saves:

    Alchemist
    Barbarian (Not everyone goes with Superstition - And even those who do, it doesn't work outside of Rage.)
    Cavalier/Samurai
    Fighter
    Gunslinger
    Ranger
    Rogue/Ninja

So why is it that Fighters are they only ones that are constantly argued about needing a high Will save (because it somehow makes sense?) and you never hear it about all these other classes?

Here's is a list of classes that are bad at saves, in general:

Rogue/ninja
Cavalier/samurai
Fighter

That's it. Everybody else has at least 2 good saves, or their only good save is will (which is the one that overshadows the others) or a class feature that raises saves (Barbarians with Will, even without raging powers. +2 to will at first level means it's a good save too), or spells that protect you (it doesn't really matter if you fail your REF save vs the dragon breath and your fort save vs slay living if you have protection from elements and death ward)

If you ask me, I'll give a second good save to ALL of those classes above. Be it will, ref, or fort.

Personally, I'd go with REF for Fighters, Will for Cav/samurai and Will for Rogue/ninja


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Neo2151 wrote:

Well, to be fair, Casters have limits on how many spells they can cast. If your GM ignores that, then it's a GMing problem, not a balance problem.

(And I'm also of the opinion that Concentration checks should be harder. A caster that can keep their distance should be a mac truck. A caster that has someone up in their personal space should be in serious trouble.)

This is a myth often repeated. It has never been true, and it will not be true no matter how many times people repeat it.

It's true at levels 1-3, and stay *somewhat* true at levels 4-8. By level 9, it's no longer true. A level 9 wizard has 25 spells. A standard adventuring day, has 5 encounters. A standard fight, lasts for 3-5 rounds (and that's being really generous, for optimized parties it's closer to 1-2). So a 9th level wizard has spells to cast one in EVERY round of combat for the WHOLE adventuring day. Beyond 9th level, they are simply flooding in spells. And that's not counting scrolls, wands, familiars, and other stuff

There's a (supposed) balance between the fighter's knife and the wizard's hand grenade, because the fighter is weaker, but is unlimited. However, there's no balance between a fighter's knife, and a wizard's truck full of boxes with hundreds grenades that replenishes every morning


gustavo iglesias wrote:

Here's is a list of classes that are bad at saves, in general:

Rogue/ninja
Cavalier/samurai
Fighter

That's it. Everybody else has at least 2 good saves, or their only good save is will (which is the one that overshadows the others) or a class feature that raises saves (Barbarians with Will, even without raging powers. +2 to will at first level means it's a good save too), or spells that protect you (it doesn't really matter if you fail your REF save vs the dragon breath and your fort save vs slay living if you have protection from elements and death ward)

If you ask me, I'll give a second good save to ALL of those classes above. Be it will, ref, or fort.

Personally, I'd go with REF for Fighters, Will for Cav/samurai and Will for Rogue/ninja

You are seriously undervaluing Fort saves here. Fort is to Caster as Will is to Fighter.

Also, blanket-assuming that every protection spell you'd need is available and ready is as bad as Schrodinger's Wizard - ie: it's not a constructive argument.


Neo2151 wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

Here's is a list of classes that are bad at saves, in general:

Rogue/ninja
Cavalier/samurai
Fighter

That's it. Everybody else has at least 2 good saves, or their only good save is will (which is the one that overshadows the others) or a class feature that raises saves (Barbarians with Will, even without raging powers. +2 to will at first level means it's a good save too), or spells that protect you (it doesn't really matter if you fail your REF save vs the dragon breath and your fort save vs slay living if you have protection from elements and death ward)

If you ask me, I'll give a second good save to ALL of those classes above. Be it will, ref, or fort.

Personally, I'd go with REF for Fighters, Will for Cav/samurai and Will for Rogue/ninja

You are seriously undervaluing Fort saves here. Fort is to Caster as Will is to Fighter.

Also, blanket-assuming that every protection spell you'd need is available and ready is as bad as Schrodinger's Wizard - ie: it's not a constructive argument.

I'm not assuming they are ready every time you need them. I'm assuming is a tool in their arsenal, which sometimes help (often, in serious fights). Fighters don't have such tool in their arsenal because... well.. they don't have tools at all. So while *sometimes* the casters won't have a protection spell available, the fighter *never* will have them.


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gustavo iglesias wrote:
Neo2151 wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:

Here's is a list of classes that are bad at saves, in general:

Rogue/ninja
Cavalier/samurai
Fighter

That's it. Everybody else has at least 2 good saves, or their only good save is will (which is the one that overshadows the others) or a class feature that raises saves (Barbarians with Will, even without raging powers. +2 to will at first level means it's a good save too), or spells that protect you (it doesn't really matter if you fail your REF save vs the dragon breath and your fort save vs slay living if you have protection from elements and death ward)

If you ask me, I'll give a second good save to ALL of those classes above. Be it will, ref, or fort.

Personally, I'd go with REF for Fighters, Will for Cav/samurai and Will for Rogue/ninja

You are seriously undervaluing Fort saves here. Fort is to Caster as Will is to Fighter.

Also, blanket-assuming that every protection spell you'd need is available and ready is as bad as Schrodinger's Wizard - ie: it's not a constructive argument.
I'm not assuming they are ready every time you need them. I'm assuming is a tool in their arsenal, which sometimes help (often, in serious fights). Fighters don't have such tool in their arsenal because... well.. they don't have tools at all. So while *sometimes* the casters won't have a protection spell available, the fighter *never* will have them.

Not really - a fighter could spend his standard (character) feats on skill focus (use magic device), even could take magical aptitude on top of that and be pretty much OK with using wands or scrolls. Could even buy a headband of intelligence to save ranks in use magic device.

Or could take elf as a race, choose that option that lets you pick an arcane class as favored class option and be fine.

Fighters - like rogues/ninjas, cavaliers etc. - spend money on these kinds of things. They have the feat slots to burn and are flexible enough this way. Things like protection from evil, magic circle against evil etc. are not that expensive or difficult to come by. Once the fighter starts crafting everything is open anyway.

Also, what has not been discussed here is the low-magic/no-magic campaign setting (note: that includes not having full-casters, obviously). There fighters are quite powerful (heavy armor, bonuses to hit and damage as class features).


Also:
•Bards, Magi, Sorcerers, Summoners, and Wizards do not get Death Ward on their spell lists.
•Bards, Paladins, Magi, and Witches do not get Protection from Energy on their spell lists.
•Alchemists, Bards, most Clerics (excepting Magic domain), Druids, Inquisitors, Magi, Oracles, Paladins, Rangers, and Witches do not get Protection from Spells on their spell lists.

Spell lists matter if you want to use that argument.


Neo2151 wrote:

Also:

•Bards, Magi, Sorcerers, Summoners, and Wizards do not get Death Ward on their spell lists.
•Bards, Paladins, Magi, and Witches do not get Protection from Energy on their spell lists.
•Alchemists, Bards, most Clerics (excepting Magic domain), Druids, Inquisitors, Magi, Oracles, Paladins, Rangers, and Witches do not get Protection from Spells on their spell lists.

Spell lists matter if you want to use that argument.

Rather disingenuous.

Bards, Magi, Paladins, Alchemists, Clerics, Druids, Inquisitors, and Ragers all have two good saves. Fighters, Cavaliers, and Rogues don't.

Cosmic game breaking power can be seen as an acceptable compensation for two bad saves when the save you have is the one that prevents you from being turned against your party. Pointy stick mastery isn't.


Not really disingenuous at all. The argument was "casters are 'the other' classes that only get one good save." One of two examples was Death Ward. The class most notorious for 'breaking the game' doesn't get that spell on it's list (Wizard).

I just added extra examples to emphasize the point.


Sangalor wrote:

Not really - a fighter could spend his standard (character) feats on skill focus (use magic device), even could take magical aptitude on top of that and be pretty much OK with using wands or scrolls. Could even buy a headband of intelligence to save ranks in use magic device.

Or could take elf as a race, choose that option that lets you pick an arcane class as favored class option and be fine.

A Commoner could too. I don't see how that changes the fact they are underpowered


Neo2151 wrote:

Also:

•Bards, Magi, Sorcerers, Summoners, and Wizards do not get Death Ward on their spell lists.
•Bards, Paladins, Magi, and Witches do not get Protection from Energy on their spell lists.
•Alchemists, Bards, most Clerics (excepting Magic domain), Druids, Inquisitors, Magi, Oracles, Paladins, Rangers, and Witches do not get Protection from Spells on their spell lists.

Spell lists matter if you want to use that argument.

Neither they have sucking saves to start with, so the point is moot.

Bards have 2 good saves, countersong, and bonuses to saves as class feature

Magi have 2 good saves, and spell reflection with arcane pool as a class feature

Summoners get a class feature that give them saving throw bonuses (shield ally), can't get shut down with a single failed save (they still have their eidolon) and can gain evolutions that gave them plain inmunities to some things

Paladins have 2 good saves, and add their 2nd best stat to all saves. So actually, they are probably the class with best saves, and that's not including several inmunites (through auras) and ability to heal themself some conditions as a swift action (through mercy)

Wizards and Sorcerers bend the reality at their will, with just wishing it. Literally. For example, Limited Wish grant them Death Ward

On the bright side:
Oracles lack Protection from spells. But have protection from energy, death ward, protection from evil or spell inmunity. The fighter lacks protection from spells. And also lacks protection from energy, death ward, protection from evil or spell inmunity.


The class that is not magical is underpowered with magic? You're kidding! ;)


Sangalor wrote:
Also, what has not been discussed here is the low-magic/no-magic campaign setting (note: that includes not having full-casters, obviously). There fighters are quite powerful (heavy armor, bonuses to hit and damage as class features).

Well, yes, if no casters are allowed, fighters are slightly better (still worse than rangers, paladins, barbarians, etc). And if the only class allowed is fighter, then fighter becomes the best class ...

That's like countering the argument that pigmy make for bad basketball players saying than in a league where only players under 6' are allowed, they aren't so disadvantaged.


Neo2151 wrote:
The class that is not magical is underpowered with magic? You're kidding! ;)

No. The class which does have sucky saves and no way to raise their protection from class features is underpowered vs anything that forces saves.

Barbarians don't have magic, but they get (scaling) extra will when raging and access to features that further improve their saves. Fighters don't. That's why fighters suck.


I decided to investigate which classes have either spells or class features that let them heal themselves. Core classes only because I am more familiar with their options than with oracles and alchemists and whatever.

-Barbarian: Yes (rage power)
-Bard: Yes (spell)
-Cleric: Yes (spell and channel and domain)
-Druid: Yes (spell)
-Fighter: No
-Monk: Yes (Wholeness of Body)
-Paladin: Yes (spell and channel and lay on hands)
-Ranger: Yes (spell)
-Rogue: Yes (talent)
-Sorcerer: Yes (spell)*
-Wizard: Yes (spell)*

*via summoning, Infernal Healing, False Life, or other such

Hmm.


To be fair... Wholeness of Body is a terrible class feature.

I don't know what Rogue Talent is that, but being a Rogue Talent, I'd say it's probably terrible too. ^^

That said, Monks have great saves and touch AC. And comparing your saves against a Rogue is the about the same as comparing combat effectiveness against commoners.

Rogues at least have enough skill points to invest in UMD (which is a class skill for them). Fighters have no skill points, no reason to invest in Cha, no UMD in their list of class skills, no healing abilities and no spells... They're also not very good at resisting magic, since bad saves + low touch AC + very few options to significantly boost their saves.

I think the only classes that share Fighters' complete lack of self-healing are Gunslingers and Cavalier/Samurai. I'd add Monk and Rogue too, TBH.

But all of these classes have at least twice as many skill points as Fighters. 2 of them have much better saves. Cavaliers/Samurais are just as underpowered as Fighters, though, and Rogues even more so. Monks are weaker than Fighters too, but their defenses against magic are much better.


Rynjin wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Paizo inherited many of them, and deliberately decided not to fix them for whatever reasons. Take that as you will, obviously something I wasn't around to hear, see, and talk about.

"Caster/martial disparity is a myth propagated by people with agendas."

- James Jacobs

In short, the reason is "I don't think it exists, and the only reason you do is because of a conspiracy."

Yeah, not a fan of that statement myself. Other reasons include "backwards compatibility' with 3.5(which there isn't...), 'we like it this way', 'its simulationist'(Oh, no balance problems. Its supposed to suck!), and I'm sure there are a few others.

deuxhero wrote:
So will the fighter, he has a limited resource called "hit points" he needs casters to replenish without eating up his cash.

Hit points are a lot easier to heal than it is to get back spells. That was part of my point. I can drop a wand of cure blah/x day or GM fiat a healing spring, or drop potions and the guy playing the warblade can keep going and going and going. They weren't built with limited resources with x/day attached to them, that require me as a GM to set the game up around when they get their 8 hour rest. They are just as balanced in the 15 minute adventuring day as the one that's 5 weeks long.

On the other hand, the wizard or magus in the fifteen minute adventuring day is hits his nuke button and naps, and in the 5 week adventuring day ran out of spells by day 4 and has been bored to death plinking his crossbow because I'm denying him his spells, the reason he chose the class. He might UMD I guess, but so could a commoner or warblade or binder or fighter and I have to given him spells and decide the caster level before hand.


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Marthkus wrote:
deuxhero wrote:
The biggest problem is prehaps that while fighters can fight, so can every other PC class (supposed to anyways), but most classes can do something else out of combat.

But every other class runs out of steam. The problem with the balance at the moment is that fighters are not on-par with everyone else because they took unlimited uses into account when they balanced them.

Make a fighter on par in combat with a full caster and have their lack of out-combat be compensated by never running out of combat steam.

This is a team game and even if your fighter can fight all day, he will need to do so without his companions. There are a few scenarios where the GM forces you to go through a bunch of encounters in one day, but thats not the norm.

Stealth has a similar problem. Sure, the rogue is amazing at stealthing ahead, but its useless for combat because you need your team and sir clankz a lot will alert all the enemies to your party anyway.


Yes, this is a team game.
One might even be crazy enough to think that a group caster might shore up some of those Fighter's weaknesses with defensive magic.

Or we could just give everyone good saves vs magic and cut out all the defensive spell buffs from the game, since they wouldn't be necessary anymore.


Neo2151 wrote:

Yes, this is a team game.

One might even be crazy enough to think that a group caster might shore up some of those Fighter's weaknesses with defensive magic.

Or we could just give everyone good saves vs magic and cut out all the defensive spell buffs from the game, since they wouldn't be necessary anymore.

Its not that crazy, but being self sufficient is important. The Warblade was self sufficient, as is the barbarian and druid. Why would the fighter not be? Should we start arguing that you should always need a cleric and rogue in the team, so someone has to play one, even if your group doesn't like playing either of those classes?

That said, you could everyone viable defenses and still have magic to help make them better. At the moment CMD for monsters scales out of control, AC doesn't scale with level so getting hit becomes a sure thing, Touch tends to remain static or in the case of monsters go lower, and spells can scale faster than saves. While I'm not big on homogenization, none of those things sound good to me.


Neo2151 wrote:

Yes, this is a team game.

One might even be crazy enough to think that a group caster might shore up some of those Fighter's weaknesses with defensive magic.

Or we could just give everyone good saves vs magic and cut out all the defensive spell buffs from the game, since they wouldn't be necessary anymore.

Well the biggest argument here is that every spell that is used to make up for the fighter's deficiencies is a spell that is not usable for something else today, which actually forces the group to stop and rest more frequently.

Contrast to a Paladin or Ranger who need less buffing (or can self buff). Paladins and Rangers actually bring resources to the party rather than draining them. Barbarians bring fewer resources to the party but in turn suck less resources than the Fighter because Barbarians are very self-sufficient and have better defenses.

See, a Ranger can cast resist energy on himself or other party members. He can also use a wand of cure light wounds if the healer is dying or dead. Paladins can cast lesser restoration to heal the ability damage the Cleric took from the wisdom damaging gas, etc, etc.

Fighters give nothing to the party, and just take, take, and take some more. I guess they're supposed to give their combat prowess, but again, Fighters suck at combat. Combat is something all classes are good at, and all martials are good at hitting and damaging things, but Fighters are the only martial to which the extent of their combat ability begins and ends with "I can hit it".


Sangalor wrote:


Not really - a fighter could spend his standard (character) feats on skill focus (use magic device), even could take magical aptitude on top of that and be pretty much OK with using wands or scrolls. Could even buy a headband of intelligence to save ranks in use magic device.
Or could take elf as a race, choose that option that lets you pick an arcane class as favored class option and be fine.

This argument is just as irrelevant as the other times it's been brought up, for a number of reasons.

Use Magic Device is not a Fighter only skill. Anyone can do it.

It requires an extraordinary amount of investment for little reward in the long run.

The more money the Fighter spends on being a third-rate Wizard, the less money he can spend on being a Fighter. And once that gold is gone, it's gone. Some wands he can get a bit of mileage out of, but for the most part if he wants anything good he's spending boatloads of dosh, AND has to get it in scroll form, making it even worse.

Sangalor wrote:
Fighters - like rogues/ninjas, cavaliers etc. - spend money on these kinds of things. They have the feat slots to burn and are flexible enough this way. Things like protection from evil, magic circle against evil etc. are not that expensive or difficult to come by. Once the fighter starts crafting everything is open anyway.

They have Feat slots to burn, sure.

But in doing so they gain an extremely small amount of flexibility (though less than a Ranger, Paladin, or Barbarian) due to the cost involved, and lose their slight to-hit/damage edge over those classes.

Also, why is crafting becoming "open" to the Fighter at all for these things?

Master Craftsman only gives you access to Craft Wondrous Item and Craft Magic Arms and Armor, not Craft Wand, Brew Potion, and Scribe Scroll. And they do require a caster level.

Sangalor wrote:
Also, what has not been discussed here is the low-magic/no-magic campaign setting (note: that includes not having full-casters, obviously). There fighters are quite powerful (heavy armor, bonuses to hit and damage as class features).

If we were to discuss every houserule in every game we'd be here for the next 100 years.

Though in a low magic campaign, Ranger, Paladin, and Barbarian are still better (which is what the discussion has been about) so the point is moot.


I should not have posted again, I see the same arguments being brought up again and again. Apparently there is no way to get this solved.

Nothing has convinced me that fighters have real problems here. Not that there couldn't be improvements, I just don't see the huge issues that have been brought up here by some on this forum.

To address some points:


  • Low magic: Sorry Rynjin, it's not a houserule to only play with certain classes or limit what items are available. The game is *designed* for flexibility, it's a toolbox where you choose what you want. You can make it a super-high-epic-magic game, or just a very mundane one.
    For example, I only learned of adventure paths and this forums by accident about 4 years back - before that our RPG community simply created its own campaigns. We still do, and it's still fun. And there, fighters, rogues, rangers and monks are absolutely viable and fun. You may play the game differently than we do, but there is no "right" or "wrong" here.
    What I actually wanted to point out with this is that it's pretty setting-dependent how viable a character is. In a world where magic is feared the wizard will have a lot of problems once he lobs the first fireball - he might never get to a high-enough level to not care about the lynch mobs anymore. Fighters would do just fine - whereas they might have problems in a kind of capital of magic where probably everyone would look down on them.
    In a low magic world will saves would not matter that much since there is actually very little that targets it. Fortitude usually stays relevant, though, and that's what they have.
  • Feats not being flexible: I disagree. The fighter is a flexible template, and I like not being tied to some predefined theme (like barbarians, clerics, wizards etc.) Obviously some disagree here, but for me it's fine
  • Team game: Fighters fill important roles in a team, and there it's the job of others to shore up their weaknesses - just as much as it is the fighters job to protect them. It often comes across to me that a lot of people are under some kind of competition pressure, as if the value of a character is determined by his DPR or how great his defenses are etc. Yes, a character should have at least one strength and have some area where he is great, but that is true of the fighter. Just check out bob_loblaws list of 40 things only fighters can do and you will see.
    Apparently your game and your groups differ. In ours fighters have never been useless or a burden, and that includes, besides homebrew stuff, several adventure paths in the last years.
  • Ranger, Barbarian, Paladin etc. better: Depends, in general I disagree. There are things that only fighters can do (like tumbling in heavy armor, unless you pick dwarf as a race), and they are consistent. They are usually hit much less often than a barbarian, so they also require less healing. They are not limited to only 4 encounters a day or so or to specific enemies. For example, for those who have played Red Hand of Doom, there is a battle (won't spoiler which) where you have several dangerous combats in short order, and some come at a time where a barbarians fatigue still wouldn't have stopped. They have sudden variations of enemies which will leave the ranger lost at least a few times in the battle. And on top of that, they have quite a few CN encounters, where the paladin won't get his great trick off.
    Mind you, all those classes - also the rogue, cavalier etc. - have their strengths, e.g. extra powers or spells. My point is it's setting-specific how useful they are.
    What is nice about other classes is their skill points. I can see the argument for and against more skill points for the fighter, so it's OK the way it is. I wouldn't mind them getting 4 and to pick two class skills or so. But it's not like they *really* need it IMO.
  • Use magic device should not count, everyone else can do it: Nope, sorry, you did not get the point at all. Fighters have the feats to *afford* to invest in skill focus or magical aptitude or both. They can afford to invest in a crafting feat (if they have a spell-like ability, and yes, it can be whatever crafting feat they like) or master craftman or eldritch heritage plus a skill focus they want anyway or *whatever* they want. They can do that with the standard feats and spend their rest on other stuff. Other classes don't get enough of them to do that.

Finally, let me just share two anecdotes with you:

1. A new player in one of my groups told me it was really cool to start with a 5th level character because until that time - in all his years of roleplaying - he had never gone beyond 2nd level. They just played low-level adventure games and started a new one with new characters after that was over. There spellcasters obviously were not the *strong* ones. So this kind of game exists, and there most of the arguments brought up against the fighter don't matter.
2. With the same group, but different players unlinked to the one above before, during the generation discussions the DM and two of the players stated how much they like the fighters and how cool they have become in Pathfinder. They have apparently played their games - even with other DMs - in a way where classes like the rogue or fighter did not have these issues.

Well, to sum it up: My opinion differs from yours, and it seems to be the same with our games and group dynamics. Maybe Paizo will change some things on the fighter, maybe they won't. I will wait and see, and until then I am sure we will continue to enjoy playing fighters as much as all the other classes :-)


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Sangalor wrote:
• Low magic: Sorry Rynjin, it's not a houserule to only play with certain classes or limit what items are available. The game is *designed* for flexibility, it's a toolbox where you choose what you want. You can make it a super-high-epic-magic game, or just a very mundane one.

Game made of choice? Tell paladins and cavaliers. Anyways, the game tends to break down in low magic. It is a houserule to ignore WBL and the like.

Sangalor wrote:
Feats not being flexible: I disagree. The fighter is a flexible template, and I like not being tied to some predefined theme (like barbarians, clerics, wizards etc.) Obviously some disagree here, but for me it's fine

He's sort of flexible in that he gets to choose feats, but feats don't do much to give you options. He turns into "I full attack!" pretty often. Feats in this game aren't always about customization or defining who you are. Keep in mind barbarians and rangers could be just about anyone too, its just a problem with perception that they can't. You've already defined the fighter as guy who fights things anyway, right?

Sangalor wrote:

Team game: Fighters fill important roles in a team, and there it's the job of others to shore up their weaknesses - just as much as it is the fighters job to protect them. It often comes across to me that a lot of people are under some kind of competition pressure, as if the value of a character is determined by his DPR or how great his defenses are etc. Yes, a character should have at least one strength and have some area where he is great, but that is true of the fighter. Just check out bob_loblaws list of 40 things only fighters can do and you will see.

Apparently your game and your groups differ. In ours fighters have never been useless or a burden, and that includes, besides homebrew stuff, several adventure paths in the last years.

My experiences are different too. In mine the fighter and monk and rogue delude themselves into thinking they're doing great even when they aren't. The fighter doesn't fill a role another class can't. In fact when he is "filling a role" the guy who does his role and more isn't in it. The game isn't about "buffing the fighter because he can't fight on his own", especially when the barbarian next to him didn't need the buffs.

Sangalor wrote:
Use magic device should not count, everyone else can do it: Nope, sorry, you did not get the point at all. Fighters have the feats to *afford* to invest in skill focus or magical aptitude or both. They can afford to invest in a crafting feat (if they have a spell-like ability, and yes, it can be whatever crafting feat they like) or master craftman or eldritch heritage plus a skill focus they want anyway or *whatever* they want. They can do that with the standard feats and spend their rest on other stuff. Other classes don't get enough of them to do that.

No, it shouldn't count. Everyone gets feats. If those feats are labeled "fighter only" then its the fighters. Every feat he devotes to shoring himself up is a feat he isn't devoting to being the fighter. A commoner can UMD. The fighters bonus feats don't even count towards UMD related feats. Its an awful explanation. It also requires a lot of outside resources, that again, everyone can use(sometimes better than the fighter!)


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Sangalor wrote:


[list]
  • Low magic: Sorry Rynjin, it's not a houserule to only play with certain classes or limit what items are available. The game is *designed* for flexibility, it's a toolbox where you choose what you want. You can make it a super-high-epic-magic game, or just a very mundane one.
  • And yet, low magic with classes limited to mundanes only is not the default assumption of the game.

    It is a houserule. There is no disputing this.

    Sangalor wrote:
    For example, I only learned of adventure paths and this forums by accident about 4 years back - before that our RPG community simply created its own campaigns. We still do, and it's still fun. And there, fighters, rogues, rangers and monks are absolutely viable and fun. You may play the game differently than we do, but there is no "right" or "wrong" here.

    That still doesn't change the fact that a homebrew low magic campaign with limited classes is houseruling.

    Sangalor wrote:
    What I actually wanted to point out with this is that it's pretty setting-dependent how viable a character is. In a world where magic is feared the wizard will have a lot of problems once he lobs the first fireball - he might never get to a high-enough level to not care about the lynch mobs anymore. Fighters would do just fine - whereas they might have problems in a kind of capital of magic where probably everyone would look down on them.

    Of course, that setting is, AGAIN, not the default assumption of the game.

    I could just as easily say "Commoners are the most powerful class in the game!" and "prove" it by saying "In my world Commoner is the only class!" and that still wouldn't make it TRUE.

    Sangalor wrote:


    Feats not being flexible: I disagree. The fighter is a flexible template, and I like not being tied to some predefined theme (like barbarians, clerics, wizards etc.) Obviously some disagree here, but for me it's fine

    Those classes aren't tied to a template either. There's a lot more flexibility in a Barbarian, Cleric, or even Wizard than the Fighter because they get more options all around.

    Fighters can be good at one, maybe two things, and that's it. They have to invest SO MUCH to be even passable at some things that it's not worth bothering with.

    They have build flexibility (you can have a lot of different builds) but Schrodinger's Fighter is just as much of a fallacy as Schrodinger's Wizard: He can't have ALL of these Feats/Builds at once.

    Sangalor wrote:
    Ranger, Barbarian, Paladin etc. better: Depends, in general I disagree. There are things that only fighters can do (like tumbling in heavy armor, unless you pick dwarf as a race), and they are consistent. They are usually hit much less often than a barbarian, so they also require less healing. They are not limited to only 4 encounters a day or so or to specific enemies. For example, for those who have played Red Hand of Doom, there is a battle (won't spoiler which) where you have several dangerous combats in short order, and some come at a time where a barbarians fatigue still wouldn't have stopped. They have sudden variations of enemies which will leave the ranger lost at least a few times in the battle. And on top of that, they have quite a few CN encounters, where the paladin won't get his great trick off.

    And the Fighter will have sucked up SO many more resources than the other classes that they'd have to stop anyway.

    The Fighter is that a!*$~%! who sits in the cart while everyone else pushes and then berates them when they get tired because HE'S not using any of HIS resources.

    Sangalor wrote:
    My point is it's setting-specific how useful they are.

    Which is no point at all. Yes, I can make a setting where every time a Wizard casts a spell he explodes and dies, but that DOESN'T MATTER when talking balance discussions.

    Sangalor wrote:
    Use magic device should not count, everyone else can do it: Nope, sorry, you did not get the point at all. Fighters have the feats to *afford* to invest in skill focus or magical aptitude or both. They can afford to invest in a crafting feat (if they have a spell-like ability, and yes, it can be whatever crafting feat they like) or master craftman or eldritch heritage plus a skill focus they want anyway or *whatever* they want. They can do that with the standard feats and spend their rest on other stuff. Other classes don't get enough of them to do that.

    So IF they they pick a race with a spell-like ability (meaning, AGAIN, it's not something the FIGHTER is doing, it's something the RACE is doing) then MAYBE he can invest in crafting Feats.

    Though, even then, I'm not sure that having an SLA counts as having a caster level for the purpose of those Feats. The closest FAQ I can find says if you have a SPECIFIC SLA it counts as having that spell for prerequisites that require that one.

    Finally, let me just share two anecdotes with you:

    Sangalor wrote:
    1. A new player in one of my groups told me it was really cool to start with a 5th level character because until that time - in all his years of roleplaying - he had never gone beyond 2nd level. They just played low-level adventure games and started a new one with new characters after that was over. There spellcasters obviously were not the *strong* ones. So this kind of game exists, and there most of the arguments brought up against the fighter don't matter.

    Again, you are shifting the realm of the game to encompass every tiny corner case, houserule, and home game possible in a desperate attempt to make a point. You are failing.

    Sangalor wrote:
    2. With the same group, but different players unlinked to the one above before, during the generation discussions the DM and two of the players stated how much they like the fighters and how cool they have become in Pathfinder. They have apparently played their games - even with other DMs - in a way where classes like the rogue or fighter did not have these issues.

    "I enjoy it" doesn't mean "It's perfectly balanced".

    I enjoy Monks. A lot. I even enjoy Fighters, they're fun to f~#@ around with (I hate Rogues though.).

    They're not balanced.

    Sangalor wrote:
    Well, to sum it up: My opinion differs from yours, and it seems to be the same with our games and group dynamics. Maybe Paizo will change some things on the fighter, maybe they won't. I will wait and see, and until then I am sure we will continue to enjoy playing fighters as much as all the other classes :-)

    The problem is that this discussion is not, and should not be, based on OPINION, it should be based on facts.

    The facts are Fighters are only slightly ahead in to-hit/damage to Rangers, Barbarians, and Paladins (that's not taking into account they're special abilities, limited or otherwise) and lack the versatility and boosts in power possible by those classes.

    This has been proven time and time again to be true, regardless of opinions. Given equal system mastery those classes will beat a Fighter in usefulness to the party, and match or exceed them in combat.

    Enjoyment is irrelevant. You can enjoy a class when it's weak, and it won't ruin your enjoyment if it's made more powerful.

    Shadow Lodge

    All the arguments in this that i have read have forgotten one thing, TANK fighters. If you make a fighter with high AC and combat expertise, than it doesn't matter if he does poor damage because in melee he NEVER GETS HIT!!. I have seen parties with a fighter blocking a door and reach characters and casters blasting the things beyond it. You can argue that a paladin can be a tank or anyone can take heavy armor proficiency, but fighters have enough feats to buff their AC to ridiculous and don't need armour proficiencies. The theory that fighters run out of HP is non-applicable in any well balanced party because if you have a single cleric, then when you rest because you run out of spells, then any remaining channels and spells can be expended to heal not just the fighter but the PARTY. Everyone seems to forget that a 20th level wizard beats just about any martial class with high level spells, but to get that wizard to the level where it becomes self-sufficient, you need a tank because of the terrible low-level AC. Now If you are too unimaginitive to find a useful application for the fighter class then that is not the fighters problem, its yours. Everyone seems to think that fighters are just weak stupid grunts because a 20th level fighter can be 100x as effective as a 20th level barbarian because of the ability to have high armour and never get hit. Only the Armoured Hulk barbarian can be more effective in heavy armour because paladins have a strict code of conduct that keeps them from having fun because they have to obey the law. If you think a fighter can only use the I attack one thing 4 times then WRONG. With feats like whirlwind stance, two-weapon fighting, cleave, and be attacking hoardes of creatures with a dagger and a longsword. The fact is that nobody likes the fighter class and everyone picks on it because they don't get cool stuff that is situational and instead they get versatile stuff that either focus's on damage or buffs. I have never seen a party of all mage's not get TPK'd because of something they didn't prepare for. Wizard's, Cleric's, Druids, and other classes that prepare spells will eventually find an encounter that they aren't prepared for and will die without a tank a something that is OK at non-magical MURDER.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.

    "Never getting hit" is the least useful thing you can possibly do. There's no aggro in this game, you can't MAKE people attack you, and if you're "unhittable", people will just IGNORE YOU.

    You see this problem all the time with Monks.

    "Oh I've got 40 AC at 6th level, and Crane Style."

    "How much damage do you do?"

    "1d8 flat..."

    "The enemy sees you as no threat and too much trouble to deal with. He moves around you and attacks other targets."

    "But I'm unhittable!"

    "Exactly."

    Meanwhile, the easier to hit Barbarian who can 1-2 shot everything draws all the aggro and accomplishes much, MUCH more than the guy who goes "Turtle. TURTLE!" and tries to not get hit, ever, without realizing they're about as much of a hindrance as a door with no wall around it.


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    Neo2151 wrote:

    Yes, this is a team game.

    One might even be crazy enough to think that a group caster might shore up some of those Fighter's weaknesses with defensive magic.

    Or we could just give everyone good saves vs magic and cut out all the defensive spell buffs from the game, since they wouldn't be necessary anymore.

    Yes, it's a team game.

    What does the fighter bring to the team?


    ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
    All the arguments in this that i have read have forgotten one thing, TANK fighters. If you make a fighter with high AC and combat expertise, than it doesn't matter if he does poor damage because in melee he NEVER GETS HIT!!. I have seen parties with a fighter blocking a door and reach characters and casters blasting the things beyond it.

    A Magus can block the door way better. Not only he has similar (or even better) AC than the fighter, he has displacement, Mirror Image, two good saves (a simple Suggestion to move will make the fighter stop blocking the door), and sever buffs that allow them to suvive much better than a fighter.

    Shadow Lodge

    To get around the I'm not getting hit then take the feat that makes things attack you or just annoy them with attacks. Fighters can help by blocking of enemies and fighters can provide assistance with high SR characters. You need to build a team based on what you know or think is in the dungeon. I agree that if you think its full of rats then AOE spells are great. But if a party of clerics and wizards opens the door to a CR9 encounter without a fighter tank to block off the baddies then you are dead. Also if you don't like fighters having few social skills then use things like rogues and bards as skill trick ponies. thats all a bards good for in plenty of things anyway. fighters are not there to negotiate with foreign lands, they are there to defend they're cause and to challenge foes at all levels, not just high levels but low levels too. The main "problem" you have with fighters is that you can't be creative enough too make them effective. There was on fighter I heard about that at 15th level was doing like 200000 damage, more than the 20th level mage. also, for a magus tank, you have to be high level for good armour and have to always have defensive spells which dilutes the purpose of a magus which is to be able to blend martial attacks with damaging spells.


    Anyone can help by standing in the way. You howver don't need to stand in thew ay of a guy who's daed. A lot of the things that made standing in the way good in 3.5 are gone in pathfinder. Compare Stand Still to Stand Still. Lock down would be pretty awesome, but the fact is anything can be a wall. You want a wall that does something!

    Don't pin the blame on "You need to do mad deeps!" or "Your just not creative enough." Its insulting and doesn't add to the argument. Tanks tend to do pitiful damage and get walked around, and 'creativity' is ill defined and not a part of game mechanics. More so its something anyone can do if its not a mechanic.


    ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
    But if a party of clerics and wizards opens the door to a CR9 encounter without a fighter tank to block off the baddies then you are dead.

    Why? Clerics can have better AC, have near the same HP, better saves, and can heal themselves. They are much better tanks than a fighter. A druid can block the door with his pet, or summoned monsters, or by himself in bear form. Magus, Inquisitors, the Summoner's Eidolon can also block that door, all of them better than the fighter. AND they can cast spells that buff the party, heal, fly, teleport around...

    Quote:
    The main "problem" you have with fighters is that you can't be creative enough too make them effective.

    The problem is that you can't be creative enough to see that other classes can do everything a fighter can do, and several more things

    Quote:
    For a magus tank, you have to be high level for good armour and have to always have defensive spells which dilutes the purpose of a magus which is to be able to blend martial attacks with damaging spells.

    No he doesn't. At level 1, a Magus can have more AC than a fighter, with just Shield Spell+chain shirt. From there, the gap is bigger each level. Specially once you have Mirror Image and displacement. You can do that, and still have enough first level +10d6 shocking grasps to be using one per round every round of combat during the entire day. If you can't, that's because you aren't creative enough to make a magus.


    ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
    To get around the I'm not getting hit then take the feat that makes things attack you or just annoy them with attacks. Fighters can help by blocking of enemies and fighters can provide assistance with high SR characters. You need to build a team based on what you know or think is in the dungeon. I agree that if you think its full of rats then AOE spells are great. But if a party of clerics and wizards opens the door to a CR9 encounter without a fighter tank to block off the baddies then you are dead. Also if you don't like fighters having few social skills then use things like rogues and bards as skill trick ponies. thats all a bards good for in plenty of things anyway. fighters are not there to negotiate with foreign lands, they are there to defend they're cause and to challenge foes at all levels, not just high levels but low levels too. The main "problem" you have with fighters is that you can't be creative enough too make them effective. There was on fighter I heard about that at 15th level was doing like 200000 damage, more than the 20th level mage. also, for a magus tank, you have to be high level for good armour and have to always have defensive spells which dilutes the purpose of a magus which is to be able to blend martial attacks with damaging spells.

    Sure, tank fighter works okay at blocking off a doorway against melee opponents so long as none of his allies are also melee.

    But if the encounter happens in an open area, the enemies are ranged, or your friends are melee then the monsters aren't going to go after you. They will target your companions.


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    ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
    To get around the I'm not getting hit then take the feat that makes things attack you or just annoy them with attacks. Fighters can help by blocking of enemies and fighters can provide assistance with high SR characters. You need to build a team based on what you know or think is in the dungeon. I agree that if you think its full of rats then AOE spells are great. But if a party of clerics and wizards opens the door to a CR9 encounter without a fighter tank to block off the baddies then you are dead. Also if you don't like fighters having few social skills then use things like rogues and bards as skill trick ponies. thats all a bards good for in plenty of things anyway. fighters are not there to negotiate with foreign lands, they are there to defend they're cause and to challenge foes at all levels, not just high levels but low levels too. The main "problem" you have with fighters is that you can't be creative enough too make them effective. There was on fighter I heard about that at 15th level was doing like 200000 damage, more than the 20th level mage. also, for a magus tank, you have to be high level for good armour and have to always have defensive spells which dilutes the purpose of a magus which is to be able to blend martial attacks with damaging spells.

    "Fighters deal more damage than Wizards, so they are okay!"

    "Fighters should suck at everything because of the class' name"
    "You don't know how to play. I'm better than you"

    It's been a while since I last saw so many stupid points in the same post... ¬¬'


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    Lemmy wrote:

    "Fighters deal more damage than Wizards, so they are okay!"

    "Fighters should suck at everything because of the class' name"
    "You don't know how to play. I'm better than you"

    It's been a while since I last saw so many...

    At least its not "Theorycraft means nothing, my anecdotal expertise!" That one bothers me.

    Shadow Lodge

    I'm sorry if i insulted people with that creativity remark, but its angering that fighters are called useless when several times they have saved entire parties from TPK. Also if you have a chain shirt, sheild spell and +4 Dex then you have a 22 AC and used one of your two 1st level spells and if you are one of many magus archetypes that diminishes spellcasting and makes you more of an applicable tank caster then you need that slot for combat. at first level with the right combos, you can have full-plate, a tower shield and a +1 dex giving a 24 AC at first level, If you take dodge then 25, and you haven't wasted point-buy on dex and Intelligence and needed weapons finese to get better attack mod. It all depends on the scenario, I'm not saying that a team of all fighters is ever optimal, but at least you can survive melee better than all wizards. If you ask the GM then alot of them will give helpful info on what may be needed because if you expect open combat then simply take two weapon fighting feats and cleave feats and be melee that can keep fighting hoardes of open combat. Also, multiclassing with fighters, you get nice proficiencies and a bonus feat, along with fighters qualify for feats faster than magi. I like the magus class too but It doesn't substitute for fighter. As for summoner you are right, its very hard to get around the eidolon summoner combo, but you can make fighters with high armour and attack as well. But I will admit that sometimes casters are much better than fighters and again am sorry if I insulted someone, but nobody has gotten around the fact that if you make a tank with goad and can just make things attack it so that everything is to distracted to kill the squishy casters.


    Tank with goad? Do you mean antagonize? Because that's not like taunting and an agro mechanic.


    ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
    at first level with the right combos, you can have full-plate, a tower shield and a +1 dex giving

    You can't. You can't pay 1500g that the full plate costs at first level. You are bound to chainmail at best.


    4 people marked this as a favorite.

    He also missed

    - "Class balance is the exact same thing as homogenization. No difference at all. No, sir. Balanced classes = sameness. Always."
    - "It doesn't matter if this class/character/build sucks! The GM should design the game for it to always be awesome, even If I'm playing a blind retarded crippled commoner."

    And, of course... My personal favorite stupid argument:

    - "Classes shouldn't be even remotely balanced because that's not realistic, and I demand total realism in my game about elves and gnomes killing dragons and demons."

    Ah, yes... That one's a classic...


    ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
    I'm sorry if i insulted people with that creativity remark, but its angering that fighters are called useless when several times they have saved entire parties from TPK.

    Nobody has said fighters are useless. Even a commoner isn't useless. We have said that there are better classes. I will agree that a magus is a bad example for comparision.

    I think a ranger would be a better example. Rangers are significantly better with a sword and shield because they get extremely good bonus feats. They get shield master 5 levels earlier than a fighter. Two weapon fighting without the dex requirements and a pet that is good for soaking up damage and deals consistent damage regardless of how defensive the ranger is.

    http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/shield-master-combat---final


    ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
    I'm sorry if i insulted people with that creativity remark, but its angering that fighters are called useless when several times they have saved entire parties from TPK.

    I never said Fighters are useless. I said they are far less useful than any other martial class. Even a commoner can be useful, that doesn't mean it's a good class. EDIT: Ninja'd by Johnlocke90.

    In combat, Fighters can help... They are not better combatants than any other martial class, IMO, but they're slightly better at hitting stuff.

    Out of combat, however, Fighters might not be useless... But they come pretty damn close to it. I've personally built Fighters who are pretty effective party faces without being Human or using archetypes. It's possible, but it does require a disproportionately high investment of effort and resources.

    Feats don't help much when you have no magic abilities and no mundane skills. Skill Focus is not very good if you can't invest in that skill. There are no feats that give you more skill points.

    And if a Fighter decides to invest too many of his regular feats to increase his overall versatility instead of his combat prowess, then he becomes actually worse at hitting stuff than any other martial class.


    I think the Bravery ability is like a bad joke.

    People complain about Fighters not being strong willed and that a Fighter runs like a coward any time an enemy busts out a fear effect? We'll give them a bonus on saves against fear! But it still won't put them on even ground with a character who simply has a good Will save.

    Meanwhile:

    People complain about Paladins not being strong willed and that their bonus from Divine Grace doesn't keep them from running like cowards against fear effects and domination some of the time? Paladins are supposed to be big damn heroes with iron will who can face down any danger, GIVE THEM A GOOD WILL SAVE!!!

    Shadow Lodge

    For the Full Plate remark, I've known games where the GM gives very high 1st level gold because the campaign was unfair so he wanted to balance out the High CR with Higher quality equipment. Rangers are alright, I'll admit that rangers can be much more effective, but the favored enemy is a weakness as well as a strength because I know people who build more effective casters than melee expecting to always fight favored enemy which is not a class problem just like people building skill trick pony fighters which takes away from the class. Also my argument that the campaign is more important than the class isn't to say that class isn't important, it just says that you can make fighters that can fight better at low level and get through more of the campaign are often more effective than arcane casters that have spells all over the place which takes away from your class. Also when I talk about two weapon vs tank I mean two different characters, not one that is really versatile. I'm saying that sometimes a fighter is equal to or even greater than a caster. Also the fact that you can take a level of fighter and give any class automatic proficiencies and a combat feat that can be used to increase martial efficiency for whatever martial class, even ranger if taken at the right level. And as for your elves and gnomes killing dragons and demons, do you really think that its hard to belive? Because elves and gnomes are often used for the spellcasters and rangers that you like so much. I want to know why fighters are given a bad rap because they aren't as magical as wizards or as versatile as summoners. Also for paladins, their saves aren't the problems I hear about them, I hear its that they are terrible at doing some of the things like tricking that others need


    Format your post. The enter button is your friend.

    ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
    I'm saying that sometimes a fighter is equal to or even greater than a caster.

    No.

    Shadow Lodge

    So you think a first level wizard is better than a 1st level fighter? Or maybe a 4th level comparison? You can't buff the AC of the most effective casting classes until high level and you can't get effective melee until around 9th level at which point any wizard is just nasty.


    ArmouredMonk13 wrote:
    So you think a first level wizard is better than a 1st level fighter? Or maybe a 4th level comparison? You can't buff the AC of the most effective casting classes until high level and you can't get effective melee until around 9th level at which point any wizard is just nasty.

    Are you talking purely AC? Or are we allowed to cast spells like colorspray? How about Summon Monster?

    No really, just colorspray at level one. The GM's face when you knock out four guys with colorspray is priceless. Anti-climactic, but priceless.

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