The Main Problem with Fighters


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Ashiel wrote:

IMHO most classes should possess Perception has a class skill just like all classes possess Craft and Profession. Simply because Perception is not a skill but a sense, and is a class skill for all humanoids (and nearly all creatures in fact) and for commoners. People mention ambushes, but Perception is also useful during combat (for dealing with strike-vanishers), to merely perceive at a distance (important when you're archery specialized and you need to see what you're shooting at), etc.

Bluff and Sense Motive seem like good candidates since Bluff is used for a rudimentary combat technique (feinting) and Sense Motive is for anticipating feints.
^ Skill stuff.
=================================================================
Fighters aren't good at fighting. They are good at hitting things with objects, and they are decent at getting hit with objects and being okay with it. However "combat" or "battle" in D&D is a fantastic thing where you routinely are subjected to magical spells, flamethrowers (usually lodged in some critter's mouth), bolts of lightning, noxious gas, a vampire's gaze, the level-draining touch of a wight, have to deal with the read of ogres, the regeneration of trolls, flying manticore with ranged attack tail spikes, succubi that control your stuff, creatures that shroud the battlefield in perpetual darkvision resistant darkness but can see in it and have sneak attack, etc.
Fighters are not good with dealing with most of these things. They have little defense against any of these things. If it doesn't involve beating it with a pointy stick then they are not very useful. They are one of the worst classes in the game at "fighting" because fighting is far, far deeper than To-hit and AC statistics.
Their saving throws are abysmal. In pre-3E, fighters had the best saving throws in the game barring perhaps Paladins (who shared the same progression but got a +2 bonus on saves for being a Paladin). In 3E they took an arrow to the knee and lost their strong defenses against magical assaults and the like.
Regardless of what role a Fighter is supposed to take, or what name he has, we can all agree on one thing. He is the mundane non-magic guy. He has no magic in a multiverse that is permeated in magic (when natural parts of the world include things like elder fire elementals, dryads, and lizards that turn you to stone, you're in the deep end of magical), yet he has no adaptations to living or existing in this world.
He has never...
1) Learned skills. He has the worst skill selection in the game, even when compared to classes with similar skill point values. All the time he spent not learning magic he apparently spent doing...?
2) Learned to use his will to shirk the diabolical spells of mages. It seems likely that if you're going to completely forgo magical powers in a magical world, you'd at least try to hone your mind against such tricks. Unfortunately the dean of Fighter University was mind-controlled and has taken "Will Save 101" off the curriculum indefinitely.
3) Learned to be reflexive. Despite apparently spending no time working on magic, or skills, the fighter is also pretty bad at athletics. He is neither fast nor agile on his feet. His Reflex save is outmatched by back roguish con-men and the dog sitting on your couch.
We have a completely "mundane" guy who "sucks at fighting" because he should not "exist in this world by all accounts of logic" and who apparently spent the entirety of his youth sitting on his couch xxx [my edit/zark] rather than learning any skill that could be applied in his career of fighting magical monstrosities for money.
At the very least since Fighters...
A) Have no magical abilities - at all.
B) Have to meet the prerequisites for their bonus feats (most martials that get bonus feats as features do not).
C) Have no means of solving problems without hitting them.
Should probably have...
A) Perfect saving throws (or at the very least 2 good ones)
B) 6 + Int modifier skill points (or at least 4 + Int mod)
C) Have a pool of themed options (it'd be nice to get their leadership back from pre-3E, or have the option to get a mount, or have some options for being sturdier and more stalwart, etc).
What they get...
A) Huge feat chains that have lots of feats that they don't want.
B) Irritating prerequisites that require you to map out your build from start to finish with extreme care.
C) Forced to spend a lot of their non-fighter bonus feats to try to cover for the weaknesses other martials don't have (like Iron Will and Lightning Reflexes vs Barbarian, Ranger, and Paladin) who can also take those same feats for layered defenses.
Oh, and D) They get to be compared to farmers with pitchforks, sleepy drunken guards, and the the local constable instead of Beowulf, Aragorn, Achilles, Gemli son of Gloin, Conan, Captain America, Wolverine, Batman, William Wallace, etc. With people being serious about it. Probably the most insulting thing out of all of it.

Good post Ashiel. I agree with most of it.

I think the main problems with fighters and most mundane classes are that they simply don’t get compensated for not using magic/spells. The exception would be the barbarian, but then her rage powers seems a lot like magic (She can even fly if she wants that rage power). The monk is another exception, but the monk has some problems of his own.

When it comes to the fighter here is what I would like:

  • More feats so you can build your own fighter they way you want. Remove some of the feat chains and feat taxes for fighters. Let them pick one combat maneuver chain and ignore the int prereq. Let the fighter choose a favored weapon. When he picks weapon focus and weapon specialization they scale in that weapon they feta scale and he gets the greater feat for free at higher levels (Or if he takes greater version of those feats he gets weapon focus / weapon and weapon specialization for another weapon for free).

  • Give the fighter one more good save (reflex?) or create a feat that gives them one more good save (reflex?). Speed up bravery and at higher levels (8 or 10) he should be immune to the frightened and Panicked condition (or to any fear effect). That or create a fighter only feat that let them be immune to any fear effects at higher levels, say level 8 or 10. A feat that can be taken as a bonus feat.

  • 4 skills per level (6 per level to the Cavalier/Samurai since they both need ride and handle animal)

  • Create feats that let fighters or any class get more skills per level.

  • More class skills. Acrobatics and heal are rock solid.

  • Perhaps another few more class skills. Not sure about perception though. Your suggestion on bluff and sense motive perhaps make sense or just grant the fighter a bonus to these skills when they are used to feint or resist feint or/and....

  • .... Create feats that let fighters or any class get more class skills. So you ca get perception or sense motive or Stealth or whatever as a class skill.

  • Boost the heal skill – especially for the mundane classes or/and create a feat that boosts it.

  • A total rewrite of the skill system letting you do cool stuff with skills at higher level: walk on water, fly (or at least jump high and levitate for a few seconds), see invisibility, heal yourself as a swift action, etc. The new skill system should be complemented by with new skill feats that comes with prereqs. My idea would be that full casters and some other classes shouldn’t get access to these feats. Or perhaps they should a penalty based on how many spell levels you have. Full casters get more penalties, 6/9 casters less, 4/9 the least. An exception could be the vanilla bard (and archetypes with versatile Performance) since they are more or less built around skills. This would let mundane classes do cool stuff. And yes I count monk as a mundane class.

  • Create some new cool fighter only feats.

    Edit:

  • Fighters should not get pounce but they (and perhaps rogues and monks) should at higher levels be able to move and full attack. Something like Dance of Fury, say something like this: “At 10th level a fighter can attack more than once as he moves. He can combine a full-attack action with a single move, taking the attacks at any point during his movement, but must move at least 5 feet between each attack. This movement provokes attacks of opportunity as normal.”

  • Create a feat or ability that lets fighters , and rogues, feint as a swift action. This would come with prereqs if you are a fighter but not if you are a rogue. This and the new skill system would fix the rogue once for all and would make charisma an interesting stat and bluff an important skill.

  • Create some feats or Ex. abilities that can be activated as a swift action.

  • Let fighters retrain combat feats more often. At level 2 retrain one feats every even level. At level 8 he can retrain two feats per level. At level 12 he can retrain two feats per day.

  • Remove all fighter archetypes (or most of them) and instead let the players built their own fighter. If you want to play a swashbuckler fighter without heavy armor and without tower shield prof let the players swap out those Proficiencies for skill focus or more skills or other class skills or dodge or a trait or an exotic prof whatever. Perhaps the swap must be made at higher levels to avoid dips. Loose the prof a lower levels and gain the bonus at higher levels.


  • w01fe01 wrote:


    its damn flavorful ill give you that. i suppose my main gripe would be fear immunity so early, id say push it to later.

    why? It's hardly gamebreaking. At thst level a paladin is not only immune, but gives +4 to nearby friends.

    The only reason to not give it to fighters, it's because it's called "fighters". You know, like the militia, sleepy watch and brawling tavern drunk. Call the class "legendary warrior hero" and there's no problem with it being fear immune


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    Kirth Gersen wrote:
    Or is your argument that a 7th level cleric should be more powerful than a 9th level fighter? That's what makes these "discussions" so endlessly frustrating -- many people have no inherent grasp of the idea that character level as a measure of personal power should be independent of class. We don't have a different scale for each class and then a conversion chart anymore ("Oh, I see your fighter is 15th level, that makes him just as powerful as a 7th level wizard or 8th level cleric or 17th level rogue!"). If a 9th fighter having as much effect on the game world as a 7th level cleric is "blatantly unbalancing," then there's nothing more to discuss.

    Just wanted to give you a little thumbs up here.

    This is a very concise summation of the commonly perceived problems with caster/martial disparity. That said, various posts and quotes from developers on these forums ('there is no caster/martial disparity', and some of the things SKR has said during the monk threads) lead me to believe that, in their opinion, a lot of us are Doin' It Wrong, somehow.


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    Zilvar2k11 wrote:
    This is a very concise summation of the commonly perceived problems with caster/martial disparity. That said, various posts and quotes from developers on these forums ('there is no caster/martial disparity', and some of the things SKR has said during the monk threads) lead me to believe that, in their opinion, a lot of us are Doin' It Wrong, somehow.

    SKR is correct, though: the whole "caster/martial disparity" thing is pushed by people with agendas.

    That agenda, of course, is wanting the game to have more balance between classes. Certainly a nefarious enough plot.


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    Zilvar2k11 wrote:
    in their opinion, a lot of us are Doin' It Wrong, somehow.

    Huh, wonder what we're doing wrong then? Maybe I need to acquiesce more?


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    MrSin wrote:
    Huh, wonder what we're doing wrong then?

    You're supposed to stick to the railroad... er, plotline... and be a good little adventurer and walk into the dungeon. You shouldn't use any spells except evocations, or maybe an occasional buff on your teammates -- but certainly most of the schools of divination and conjuration are off-limits. And you should walk into X encounters a day against mostly earthbound enemies who use poor tactics and no intelligence.

    Oh, and the DM should hand the martials extra magic items and have frequent bouts of inexplicable antimagic blackouts and otherwise skew things massively to maintain the illusion of balance.


    MrSin wrote:
    Zilvar2k11 wrote:
    in their opinion, a lot of us are Doin' It Wrong, somehow.
    Huh, wonder what we're doing wrong then? Maybe I need to acquiesce more?

    I'm guessing, of course, but I do think that thre is a general sense that we, the vocal community, seem to be obsessed as a whole with getting bigger numbers faster (or completing feat strings or combos as quickly as possible). And that's a perfectly reasonable and logical way to do business, because if you see a concept, combo, or bonus, you want to incorporate as quickly as possible in order to get the most use out of it.

    Based on the way he approaches threads, I expect that devs like SKR would say that this is a flawed approach, much like Ashiel has expounded that buying a +1 sword ASAP is a flawed approach (consumables tend to be a better us of money at lower levels, etc)

    I understand all of that intellectually...and then I run into a fight like the lacedon snake oracle in Skull and Shackles that dropped 2 members of our 4 man party and would have been a complete TPK without a semi-optimized healer and a master summoner (really, what more optimization do you need?) and I think...umm...what? Left and right hands not talking so much (or tl;dr, I optimize/hyperfocus in AP's because we wipe when I don't, and I imagine other players feel the same way)


    gustavo iglesias wrote:
    w01fe01 wrote:


    its damn flavorful ill give you that. i suppose my main gripe would be fear immunity so early, id say push it to later.

    why? It's hardly gamebreaking. At thst level a paladin is not only immune, but gives +4 to nearby friends.

    The only reason to not give it to fighters, it's because it's called "fighters". You know, like the militia, sleepy watch and brawling tavern drunk. Call the class "legendary warrior hero" and there's no problem with it being fear immune

    i already stated i had no real prior knowledge of paladin abilities becuse nobody in my playgroup plays them.

    I strongly think its overpowered for the paladin as well, but if the paladin has it, i guess the warrior can. i generally dont like immunities so early tho.


    w01fe01 wrote:
    i generally dont like immunities so early tho.

    Is there a particular reason for this beyond DM vs. Player mentality, or 'martials shouldn't get nice things (that makes casters less powerful)'?

    (yes, it's a little bit of a loaded question).

    I ask because immunity to effects that render players helpless is, IMO, a good thing. Having been the guy that was rendered helpless on round 1 of a 30 minute (5 or 6 round) battle because he didn't happen to roll an elf...well, yeah.

    They should be available, and they should be accessible, and they shouldn't require a whole lot of system knowledge. Maybe not level 2, or level 3...maybe not class abilities...maybe not even complete immunity, but taking players out of the game for extended periods of time is BAD. From a social perspective, from a gameplay perspective, and from a party balance perspective, it's BAD...it might even be BADWRONGFUN, but them's fightin' words.

    Shadow Lodge

    I think that fighters should get immunity to fear at 4th level instead of third or second. Paladins get it at third, but they have to take the code of conduct and alignment restrictions, so I think delaying it by one level, maybe two, is a fair enough balance. I also still think SR for fighters would be better then a good will save because some spells aren't will saves, but reflex, or even no, saves. This would make it harder to hit fighters that have bad touch AC with shocking grasp or Inflict x Wounds because you'd lose the spell instead of damaging sometimes. Then again, I also think that paladins are boring and rangers are jack@$$&$. These are just opinions.


    You know SR stops you from getting buffed ore healed right Armoured? It also stops your allies buffs more often than it does you getting hit by say, a fireball.

    Your opinions could use some work. Don't just insult classes. It being "just opinions" doesn't change what you just said.


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    SR needs help, honestly. Most people I know houserule it that you can lower it as a free action, and raise it again either as a free action, an immediate action, a move action, or whatever. Then it has some actual value, instead of being a net loss.


    MrSin wrote:

    You know SR stops you from getting buffed ore healed right Armoured? It also stops your allies buffs more often than it does you getting hit by say, a fireball.

    Your opinions could use some work. Don't just insult classes. It being "just opinions" doesn't change what you just said.

    If you make lowering spell resistance a non action like in kirthfinder, and made sure spell resistance didn't stack, it would solve a GIANT slew of issues that extend well past fighters.


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    Zilvar2k11 wrote:

    some of the things SKR has said during the monk threads)

    Don't even get me started on that s!##.

    I like Paizo a lot, but some of their statements infuriate me.

    "Unarmed combat is SUPPOSED to suck, it wouldn't be realistic otherwise!"

    (Paraphrased somewhat, exact wording used the word "inferior" at the very least.)

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA


    Rynjin wrote:
    Zilvar2k11 wrote:

    some of the things SKR has said during the monk threads)

    Don't even get me started on that s+$#.

    Oops. Sorry :)

    But yes, it was from those monk threads that I started to get the feeling that the Powers That Be have a method in mind for how it's supposed to be, and at least half the problems we (the active forumgoing population) have had trying to broach subjects with them has been a fundamental difference of expectations.

    So when I'm told there is no disparity, my first thought is now 'Well, just what AM I doing wrong?'...my second thought is, 'If I WASN'T doing it wrong, how the heck was I supposed to survive that fight?'


    Zilvar2k11 wrote:
    w01fe01 wrote:
    i generally dont like immunities so early tho.

    Is there a particular reason for this beyond DM vs. Player mentality, or 'martials shouldn't get nice things (that makes casters less powerful)'?

    (yes, it's a little bit of a loaded question).

    I ask because immunity to effects that render players helpless is, IMO, a good thing. Having been the guy that was rendered helpless on round 1 of a 30 minute (5 or 6 round) battle because he didn't happen to roll an elf...well, yeah.

    They should be available, and they should be accessible, and they shouldn't require a whole lot of system knowledge. Maybe not level 2, or level 3...maybe not class abilities...maybe not even complete immunity, but taking players out of the game for extended periods of time is BAD. From a social perspective, from a gameplay perspective, and from a party balance perspective, it's BAD...it might even be BADWRONGFUN, but them's fightin' words.

    earliest id say a immunity should be given is level 5-6, preferably level 8+.

    this is my feelings, has nothing to do with martial disparity or DM/players. ive only ever dm'd once and it wasnt pathfinder. and i prefer playing martial characters over casters. hell in all the time ive played the most fun ive had is deciding on a monk archetype to play (i chose 3).

    casters being too powerful isnt a fighter problem, its a martial character problem, so when i see people try to buff martials to be up to par with something that shouldnt be as powerful as it is i kinda /facepalm a bit inside. I agree losing contol of your character sucks, but this isnt WoW (a game i enjoyed for 5+ years mind you) its a roleplaying experience.

    now i can agree to a reduction in these effects, having a fighter take a effect like fear and be able to lower its status to shaken or something is nice. having that affect scale over time, maybe to eventually be immune to it, would also work.


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    What are you doing wrong?

    Trying to use an inferior class/combat style/whatever because they specifically made many things inferior to other options because...

    Well, just because for now, I've yet to wring an explanation from any of them for anything they do, especially things regarding setting specific stuff ("Why is drinking blood evil?" "Because it is", for example).

    What I DO know is:

    -They either think casters aren't stronger than martials (which is either denial or shows a disturbing lack of system mastery in a game they created...) or think it SHOULD be that way.

    -Monks aren't supposed to use unarmed combat. Unarmed combat is supposed to be inferior to weapon using combat in every way.

    -PCs aren't supposed to use crossbows. That's why they suck.

    -Drinking blood to gain a benefit is EVIL! Drinking blood just because you feel like it is NOT!

    -Rogues are FINE! Traps are important things to deal with! *Shoves Archaeologist Bard, Orc Barbarians with Spell Sunder, Alchemists with Dispelling Bombs, and anyone with high Dex and available cannon fodder under the rug*

    And so on.


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    Zilvar2k11 wrote:
    'If I WASN'T doing it wrong, how the heck was I supposed to survive that fight?'

    Roll a cleric or wizard or druid.

    DUH.


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    Rynjin wrote:
    -PCs aren't supposed to use crossbows. That's why they suck.

    They suck because that is more historically accurate, you know the same reason a falchion is a two handed weapon ;)


    To continue with the TF2 analogue, today I saw the past and future of Pathfinder with the new update.

    -Wizard (Engineer/Wrangler) nerfed in an imperceptible manner. Essentially "If you kill the Wizard (Engineer), his spells (Sentry Gun) no longer pose much of a threat!"

    -Fighter (Soldier) one weapon (property) nerfed slightly, some defensive capabilities buffed.

    -Monk (Pyro) given something that on the surface looks like a buff, but is actually a nerf.

    It's amazing how many parallels I can draw if I work hard enough.


    Atleast the fighter can hit things well. In 3.5 he was one of worst classes to hit things with. Atleast in pathfinder the polymorph spell is better spent on the fighter than the wizard.

    Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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    Porphyrogenitus wrote:

    SKR is correct, though: the whole "caster/martial disparity" thing is pushed by people with agendas.

    That agenda, of course, is wanting the game to have more balance between classes. Certainly a nefarious enough plot.

    Too much focus on a perceived "Balance" is dangerous though. Pathfinder has completely destroyed D&D 4E, a game system that quite concisely exemplifies how boring a perfectly balanced system can be. The "Balance" in Pathfinder isn't measured on a scale of "is everyone exactly as effective in all situations at every level" scale, it's measured over the length and breadth of a 20 level spread between a huge array of challenges. It's also balanced between a wide variety of players and playstyles. Not every player is a min/maxing system master, and sometimes having a class with predominantly static modifiers who perfoms at a consistent level throughout an entire adventuring day/week/month is exactly what a player needs, because it's what they're equipped to handle or in the mood to accomodate. You can have the best built wizard/oracle/cleric in the world and have it still be useless if someone doesn't know how to play it or have the capacity to manage the large pool of resources at their disposal, whereas they may be better suited to a class like the fighter.

    Fighters being incapable of flight or teleportation doesn't make them unnecessarily flawed, nor does a barbarian's ability to spike higher on damage. The fighter has the ability to consistently deal damage at a higher baseline than most other classes day in and day out, has minimal resource management, and has the ability to explore weapon styles and combinations much earlier than other classes. This often makes them the true "kings of combat" during lower levels of play, and keeps them viable later.
    Also, Pathfinder is a team cooperative game. None of these classes exist in a vacuum, and the game is built upon the premise that the various classes will be working together towards their common goals. A fighter buffed and enhanced by his spellcasting compatriots can be an absolute terror on the battlefield. He may be less useful without his compatriots, but that's rightly so. His streamlined combat focus and lack of resources to manage comes at the cost of a marked drop in out of combat versatility and situational adaptiveness. This is why Pathfinder is a team game and not a giant melee to see who can make the best character. Or at least, that's not what it's intended to be.


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    Ssalarn wrote:
    Too much focus on a perceived "Balance" is dangerous though. Pathfinder has completely destroyed D&D 4E, a game system that quite concisely exemplifies how boring a perfectly balanced system can be.

    'Scuse me while I repeat myself.


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    Ssalarn wrote:
    Porphyrogenitus wrote:

    SKR is correct, though: the whole "caster/martial disparity" thing is pushed by people with agendas.

    That agenda, of course, is wanting the game to have more balance between classes. Certainly a nefarious enough plot.

    Too much focus on a perceived "Balance" is dangerous though. Pathfinder has completely destroyed D&D 4E, a game system that quite concisely exemplifies how boring a perfectly balanced system can be. The "Balance" in Pathfinder isn't measured on a scale of "is everyone exactly as effective in all situations at every level" scale, it's measured over the length and breadth of a 20 level spread between a huge array of challenges. It's also balanced between a wide variety of players and playstyles. Not every player is a min/maxing system master, and sometimes having a class with predominantly static modifiers who perfoms at a consistent level throughout an entire adventuring day/week/month is exactly what a player needs, because it's what they're equipped to handle or in the mood to accomodate. You can have the best built wizard/oracle/cleric in the world and have it still be useless if someone doesn't know how to play it or have the capacity to manage the large pool of resources at their disposal, whereas they may be better suited to a class like the fighter.

    I agree that perfect balance can prove boring, but the impression I get from this thread is a lot of people feel that Fighters don't gain enough advantages to make them viable. These are not my words, just that a lot of people say that, and giving underpowered characters some of the perks that the well-powered characters have ( fame, positions of authority, etc. ) would help out these characters. I'm not saying *perfectly* balanced, just certain perks as the character gets higher in level . ..

    Fighters being incapable of flight or teleportation doesn't make them unnecessarily flawed, nor does a barbarian's ability to spike higher on damage. The fighter has the ability to consistently deal damage at a higher baseline than most other classes day in and day out, has minimal resource management, and has the ability to explore weapon styles and combinations much earlier than other classes. This often makes them the true "kings of combat" during lower levels of play, and keeps them viable later.
    Also, Pathfinder is a team cooperative game. None of these classes exist in a vacuum, and the game is built upon the premise that the various classes will be working together towards their common goals. A...


    I think they had a good idea with the War College trained fighter back in the original 3.5 Pathfinder Campaign setting. 4+Int Skills, and a few class skill swaps. I'm unsure if there is a similar fighter archtype anywhere in the actual Pathfinder books.

    That seems to be one of the recurring complaints after all, too few skill points and out of combat abilities, but again it's all about how you build your fighter. They are possibly the most diverse in possible builds.


    Ssalarn wrote:

    Fighters being incapable of flight or teleportation doesn't make them unnecessarily flawed, nor does a barbarian's ability to spike higher on damage. The fighter has the ability to consistently deal damage at a higher baseline than most other classes day in and day out, has minimal resource management, and has the ability to explore weapon styles and combinations much earlier than other classes. This often makes them the true "kings of combat" during lower levels of play, and keeps them viable later.

    Also, Pathfinder is a team cooperative game. None of these classes exist in a vacuum, and the game is built upon the premise that the various classes will be working together towards their common goals. A fighter buffed and enhanced by his spellcasting compatriots can be an absolute terror on the battlefield. He may be less useful without his compatriots, but that's rightly so. His streamlined combat focus and lack of resources to manage comes at the cost of a marked drop in out of combat versatility and situational adaptiveness. This is why Pathfinder is a team game and not a giant melee to see who can make the best character. Or at least, that's not what it's intended to be.

    The ability to do things consistently doesn't matter that much because its a team game actually. You rest when everyone else needs to. They also still have that HP thing to worry about. Worse, even if you can do things consistently most of the classes that can't (Spellcasters or rage) tend to hit a point where you can do them as much as you need.

    Also keep in mind if your not playing a fighter you could be playing something else. I can buff anyone. There are other full BAB classes.


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    Lets put it this way:

    If a class can get 90% of the advantages of the fighter, through 10% of its class advantages something is wrong.

    Oracle with Metal Mystery folks. Oracle With Metal mystery.


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    Zark wrote:
    Ashiel wrote:

    IMHO most classes should possess Perception has a class skill just like all classes possess Craft and Profession. Simply because Perception is not a skill but a sense, and is a class skill for all humanoids (and nearly all creatures in fact) and for commoners. People mention ambushes, but Perception is also useful during combat (for dealing with strike-vanishers), to merely perceive at a distance (important when you're archery specialized and you need to see what you're shooting at), etc.

    Bluff and Sense Motive seem like good candidates since Bluff is used for a rudimentary combat technique (feinting) and Sense Motive is for anticipating feints.
    ^ Skill stuff.
    =================================================================
    Fighters aren't good at fighting. They are good at hitting things with objects, and they are decent at getting hit with objects and being okay with it. However "combat" or "battle" in D&D is a fantastic thing where you routinely are subjected to magical spells, flamethrowers (usually lodged in some critter's mouth), bolts of lightning, noxious gas, a vampire's gaze, the level-draining touch of a wight, have to deal with the read of ogres, the regeneration of trolls, flying manticore with ranged attack tail spikes, succubi that control your stuff, creatures that shroud the battlefield in perpetual darkvision resistant darkness but can see in it and have sneak attack, etc.
    Fighters are not good with dealing with most of these things. They have little defense against any of these things. If it doesn't involve beating it with a pointy stick then they are not very useful. They are one of the worst classes in the game at "fighting" because fighting is far, far deeper than To-hit and AC statistics.
    Their saving throws are abysmal. In pre-3E, fighters had the best saving throws in the game barring perhaps Paladins (who shared the same progression but got a +2 bonus on saves for being a Paladin). In 3E they took an arrow to the knee and lost their strong defenses
    ...

    Fighters should get high Fortitude saves, and a second high save of the Player's choice, as one Fighter is strong-willed, and another is highly manuveurable...


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    Ssalarn wrote:
    The fighter has the ability to consistently deal damage at a higher baseline than most other classes day in and day out

    Would you be willing to explore the justification of this statement further?

    For my own part I have posted before about the lack of consistency I have encountered in dealing damage with my 15th level fighter.

    What I have not done is succeeded in getting anyone to explain why why none of the issues I have encountered are relevant to the status of fighters as consistent damage dealers (or, alternately: why I am not ever dealing consistent damage with a supposedly consistent damage dealing class).


    Coriat wrote:
    Ssalarn wrote:
    The fighter has the ability to consistently deal damage at a higher baseline than most other classes day in and day out

    Would you be willing to explore the justification of this statement further?

    For my own part I have posted before about the lack of consistency I have encountered in dealing damage with my 15th level fighter.

    What I have not done is succeeded in getting anyone to explain why why none of the issues I have encountered are relevant to the status of fighters as consistent damage dealers (or, alternately: why I am not ever dealing consistent damage with a supposedly consistent damage dealing class).

    Someone didn't grab the traits and feats and skills needed to use UMD did they?

    RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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    Nobody is ever complaining about a fighter's DPR. Saying fighters are great because they can do consistent damage is totally avoiding the point everyone tries to make about fighters (not to mention, it's not a very good point).

    It's everything ELSE about the fighter that other classes do better.

    ==Aelryinth


    Lemmy wrote:
    Durngrun Stonebreaker wrote:
    Lemmy wrote:
    No force field, but why not give them the ability to use their sword and/or shields to deflect rays?
    Well, not to nit pick but....
    Nice feat. If only it wasn't locked behind a wall of terrible prerequisites...

    This is just a personal anecdote, but reading this very feat was one of the most influential events in disenchanting me with Pathfinder's approach to combat feats.

    Because I thought the feat would be kind of cool for my fighter. I wanted it. But it took five feats to get it that one kind of cool effect.

    Five!


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    Caligastia wrote:


    I agree that perfect balance can prove boring, but the impression I get from this thread is a lot of people feel that Fighters don't gain enough advantages to make them viable. These are not my words, just that a lot of people say that, and giving underpowered characters some of the perks that the well-powered characters have ( fame, positions of authority, etc. ) would help out these characters. I'm not saying *perfectly* balanced, just certain perks as the character gets higher in level.

    What you said.

    That's why I said "more balance," not "perfect balance. I don't believe in making the perfect the enemy of the good (which is why I like PF - but would like to see some improvements).

    Just showing some imagination in how to make fighters more distinctive out of hitting things (and yes - I know this can be role played, I know it can be house ruled, I know DMs and players can work together to provide distinctive in-campaign flavor. Just as they can with all PCs. But the designers have no trouble thinking of a constant stream of distinctive - and mechanically useful - new advantages for other classes, and particularly caster classes).

    And yes I also realize that the Fighter is not alone - and frankly I think it's lame if one of the designers said, in effect, that "well, the reason a class designed to excel at unarmed combat is because unarmed combat is supposed to be inferior" - maybe it should be for all other classes. But the fact that other classes (including Fighters!) can exceed the Monk in its distinctive role, well that's a bad, not a good. And the Monk should be able to make unarmed combat effective, for himself (or be eliminated as a class. Yes, I have a bit of Marx in me).

    There never will be perfect balance, but there can be better balance. As people pointed out a few pages ago, Fighters didn't always lag as far behind as they do now (which didn't mean the classes were equal even then - nor does it mean the old game engine, as a whole was superior to the current engine).

    IMO, and just IMO, not nearly as much design-imagination has been put into non-casters, and Fighters in particular, over the last quarter century. Iterated year by year, edition by edition, it really shows.

    That said, some martials are effective: Barbs and Rangers for example. Rangers don't even have to take ineffective pre-requisites to get to "the good stuff," which means the Fighter "Feat Total Advantage" is more-than-entirely negated. And Rangers are flavorful out-of-combat (if far from perfect).


    Caligastia wrote:
    has minimal resource management, and has the ability to explore weapon styles and combinations much earlier than other classes.

    This is one section I'd quibble with you on though:

    Fighters may have "minimal resource management," if only because they have little resources of their own. But they often increase the resource management demands on fellow party members, who must account for how to help the Fighter when various effects affect him, how to keep him up since he has no innate ability to keep himself up (or he can get items and use a standard action himself to inferiority do that, but then his "minimal resource management" goes away, and he's investing limited resources - Fighter doesn't have the skill points to devote to UMD, for example, without costing him out on something else he should be putting skill points into; like Perception, another non-class-skill).

    Fighters also don't really explore weapon styles faster than Ranger. They might switch-hit, exploring multiple styles, but there are only so many good weapons they can invest in. Usually they should do one melee and one ranged weapon (especially since they have no other way at getting at critters who can, say, fly, or otherwise stay out of their melee range). But it's hard for them to be better archers than some other classes, for example.

    Which may be fine, other classes should have their niche, too. But then what is the Fighter's niche? Valerios-like buttmonkey? (Except if anything Rogue and Monk are worse, so Fighter doesn't even have the distinction of being the worst class, so people can always say "why are we talking about fixing Fighter, when X is worse?" - well, at least those classes can make a mechanical role for themselves out of combat).


    Marthkus wrote:
    Coriat wrote:
    Ssalarn wrote:
    The fighter has the ability to consistently deal damage at a higher baseline than most other classes day in and day out

    Would you be willing to explore the justification of this statement further?

    For my own part I have posted before about the lack of consistency I have encountered in dealing damage with my 15th level fighter.

    What I have not done is succeeded in getting anyone to explain why why none of the issues I have encountered are relevant to the status of fighters as consistent damage dealers (or, alternately: why I am not ever dealing consistent damage with a supposedly consistent damage dealing class).

    Someone didn't grab the traits and feats and skills needed to use UMD did they?

    Nope, I don't have UMD (I use a shield and sword, so I thought it would likely be a poor investment since I don't typically have any hands free for wands or scrolls - not to mention arcane spell failure chance of ~50%).


    Coriat wrote:
    Marthkus wrote:
    Coriat wrote:
    Ssalarn wrote:
    The fighter has the ability to consistently deal damage at a higher baseline than most other classes day in and day out

    Would you be willing to explore the justification of this statement further?

    For my own part I have posted before about the lack of consistency I have encountered in dealing damage with my 15th level fighter.

    What I have not done is succeeded in getting anyone to explain why why none of the issues I have encountered are relevant to the status of fighters as consistent damage dealers (or, alternately: why I am not ever dealing consistent damage with a supposedly consistent damage dealing class).

    Someone didn't grab the traits and feats and skills needed to use UMD did they?
    Nope, I don't have UMD (I use a shield and sword, so I thought it would likely be a poor investment since I don't typically have any hands free for wands or scrolls - not to mention arcane spell failure chance of ~50%).

    Wands. Everyone plays a fighter to spam wands!

    EDIT: Noob :P


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    Marthkus wrote:
    Someone didn't grab the traits and feats and skills needed to use UMD did they?

    Yup, with all the spare skill points Fighters have, since they have absolutely no other Skill demands, it's amazing that anyone playing a Fighter wouldn't devote themselves to UMD so they wouldn't not just be a second-rate martial, but a third-rate wanna-be caster, too.

    UMD is a great skill and anyone with enough skill points should grab it, but sorry, but it's getting tiresome to keep hearing that all the problems with Fighters could be easily fixed by devoting resources they do not have to spare to make themselves into a third-rate wanna-be-caster.

    You can't see it, but you're effectively saying "it's your fault you suck, you should have rolled a caster. Since you didn't, the least-worst thing you can do is take UMD so you can be a make-believe caster."

    Which is actually supporting, rather than contradicting, the arguments people are making that in-and-of-itself, Fighters as a class need a boost, because they don't cut it as designed.


    Marthkus wrote:
    Wands. Everyone plays a fighter to spam wands!

    What else would you spend all those feats on! Obviously your bonus feats were so you could bolster your skills, who cares about fighting anyway?


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    Marthkus wrote:
    Wands. Everyone plays a fighter to spam wands!

    Is that why everyone plays fighters? I guess I learned something new :p

    However, wands still need free hands.

    (I've also already exceeded a level of 20,000 gp spent in consumables per adventure - likely 25+ by the end of this one, mostly in wondrous item consumables that bypass the hands limit - but there is a limit to how much I can spend on that, as this is not really my ideal fighter).


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    Ten myths I'd like not to see bandied about anymore -- I'm posting a list so I can just link to it and say, "We're moved past that, please do keep up."

    1. Myth: Balancing classes leads to 4e!
    Response: No, it doesn't. See Kirthfinder, or Frank and K's Tomes.

    2. Myth: Martials are supposed to be worse than casters -- it's more realistic!
    Response: No, not as long as a 10th level fighter PC and 10th level wizard PC are both CR 10. You're completely missing what a "character level" is.

    3. Myth: You just want fighters to teleport and throw fireballs!
    Answer: No one wants that. Try actually reading some of the suggestions people post sometime.

    4. Myth: It's a team game, so it's OK if your class is weaker!
    Answer: No one wants to play Scrappy Doo when the rest of the party is the Avengers -- at least, not in a half-serious game.

    5. "I never have this problem because the DM fixes it!
    Answer: Then you're playing storytime hour, not Pathfinder. If we fixed the problems, you could still play storytime hour, and we would BOTH win.

    6. Myth: Fighters can do it all day long!
    Answer: Not if they run out of hp.

    7. Myth: My fighter is fine in combat!
    Answer: And if all there is to your game is lining up and blindly walking into staged combats, then the fighter is fine in your game, but he isn't in most other peoples' games. And it's not because of his attack bonus.

    8. Myth: Anyone who thinks fighters aren't fine is a Shroedinger Theorycrafter who never actually plays.
    Answer: No, many of us saw just how badly the fighter lags by actually playing with people who weren't afraid to stop pulling their casters' punches. I never saw the disparity on paper until I saw it in play.

    9. Myth: Fighters are awesome because you can fix all their problems by spending more feats and money.
    Answer: Even they don't get nearly enough feats for that, and they still get near-nothing for skills, and unless they get a bajillion gold as a class feature to spend on whatever they want, they can't possibly buy enough stuff to do their job and still shore up their glaring weaknesses.

    10. Myth: It's only a few vocal people who hate fighters who are trying to ruin it for the rest of us!
    Answer: Some of us LOVE fighters and would like to be able to play them and still be something other than a caddy after 6th level.


    Porphyrogenitus wrote:
    You can't see it, but you're effectively saying "it's your fault you suck, you should have rolled a caster.

    You nab, nobody "rolls" anything anymore!

    You're permanently discredited! Again!


    Porphyrogenitus wrote:
    Marthkus wrote:
    Someone didn't grab the traits and feats and skills needed to use UMD did they?

    Yup, with all the spare skill points Fighters have, since they have absolutely no other Skill demands, it's amazing that anyone playing a Fighter wouldn't devote themselves to UMD so they wouldn't not just be a second-rate martial, but a third-rate wanna-be caster, too.

    UMD is a great skill and anyone with enough skill points should grab it, but sorry, but it's getting tiresome to keep hearing that all the problems with Fighters could be easily fixed by devoting resources they do not have to spare to make themselves into a third-rate wanna-be-caster.

    You can't see it, but you're effectively saying "it's your fault you suck, you should have rolled a Caster. Since you didn't, the least-worst thing you can do is take UMD so you can be a make-believe caster."

    Which is actually supporting, rather than contradicting, the arguments people are making that in-and-of-itself, Fighters as a class need a boost, because they don't cut it as designed.

    I would grab perception and survival too with the trait for perception and skill focus for all three. Yes that means playing a human 18 14 14 10 10 10.

    Considering all the "fixes" for the fighter revolve giving him magical or plot powers, you might as well grab some UMD and go to town. UMD allows you to grab the utility spells without wasting an item slot.


    Coriat wrote:
    Marthkus wrote:
    Wands. Everyone plays a fighter to spam wands!

    Is that why everyone plays fighters? I guess I learned something new :p

    However, wands still need free hands.

    (I've also already exceeded a level of 20,000 gp spent in consumables per adventure - likely 25+ by the end of this one, mostly in wondrous item consumables that bypass the hands limit - but there is a limit to how much I can spend on that, as this is not really my ideal fighter).

    That's why fighters use great swords. Shields are more of a cleric/paladin thing.


    Kirth Gersen wrote:
    Lies. Filthy filthy lies

    You theorycrafting monster.


    So we want fighters to be able to get Perception as a class skill?

    I was being facetious before, but maybe we should nix perception as a skill and make it a mechanic thing like concentration, then less people would whine about their favorite class not getting it as a class skill.

    I'm fine with fighters as they are, the only thing I would do is open up, or create more content to mirror, some of the lost content from 3.5 that may not be available due to the lack of OGL on it.

    Why do fighters need more skills again? What theme do they not cover? The fighter is not a skill intensive class, and that's the beauty of it. Less work to do, and a simpler build. There are archetypes that give you 4+INT/level if you need it that bad. You want survival? UMD? The feat Cosmopolitan exists, the feat Additional Traits exists, you could take skill focus and get the same benefit as having it as a class skill until you get to 10 ranks.

    The main problem with fighters? It's that people think there's a problem with fighters.

    Here's one for you, a Lore Warden treats all INT skills as class skills, so could he in theory take Pragmatic Activator as a trait and automatically get UMD as a class skill, and use his INT for it letting him still dump CHA? And you get 4+ skills/level. Just gotta give up heavy armor to do it.

    The fighter you want exists, you just can't have 2 cakes and eat them both.


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    The cake analogy is now TWICE as stupid as it was before!


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    Rynjin wrote:
    The cake analogy is now TWICE as stupid as it was before!

    I'm glad someone got that. I'm not going to lie, I'm having a real hard time taking this thread seriously.

    The problems people have with fighters are more problems with Pathfinder as a whole imo.


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    wait what why are there two cakes
    having two cakes kind of solves the problem
    because then you can have your cake
    and eat it too


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    guys guys guys
    it is okay, I just solved the thread
    this can end now and I can go just absolutely crush a burrito


    4 people marked this as a favorite.
    master_marshmallow wrote:
    The main problem with fighters? It's that people think there's a problem with fighters.

    The main problem with fighters? It's that people refuse to see any problem with the way the class is actually written, vs. the way they imagine it.

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