The Main Problem with Fighters


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Karyouonigami wrote:
As for the saves while it is not a perfect fix the fighter has enough feats to use some non-fighter ones to pick up things like Iron will to help those out. I haven't had other classes out damage my fighters so it is hard for me to believe that they are so far behind in that area

Barbarians are the only class that really is capable of consistently out-damaging the Fighter, though most of the other classes are close enough in their damage output that there's functionally little difference. There's some good damage charts scattered around that show that in most instances even if a Fighter has slightly higher damage than a Paladin, Barbarian, Ranger, etc. it ends up creating no visible difference in combat. If an enemy has 120 hp and the Paladin and Ranger are doing 70 average damage each round compared to the Fighter's 80, the enemy is still dead on round 2 regardless of who's hitting it. The Fighter's lead in damage is small enough that it has little to no visible impact in game, assuming equal system mastery applied to all classes.

What I really wanted to address in your point was this though:

"As for the saves while it is not a perfect fix the fighter has enough feats to use some non-fighter ones to pick up things like Iron will to help those out"

This should be the red flag letting you know what's wrong with the Fighter. The Fighter's feats are his class features. Every other class has a solid chassis and then gets better when you apply feats. If you are applying your bonus feats to get your base class up to snuff, you're already behind the other classes.

Look at the Fighter next to the Ranger for example. There's only a 5 feat gap between the two classes, but the ranger has 2 good saves to the Fighter's 1. That's a +6 difference in saves between the two of them right out of the gate. It would take the Fighter taking Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, and Great Fortitude just to have the same total positive modifier as the Ranger. There's 3 of your 5 extra feats. We'll overvalue Bravery and have it and Evasion match each other out (even though Evasion is insanely better).

Part of the Fighter's actual damage lead assumes he takes feats like Weapon Specialization and Weapon Focus, so if we take those, you've got that narrow edge, but now you're out of bonus feats over the Ranger. We'll say those two feats are equivalent to the base Quarry class feature of the Ranger.

Now we look at what's left-

Fighter: Heavy Armor proficiency, Armor Training, Weapon Training, Armor Mastery, Weapon Mastery

Ranger: Favored Enemy, Track, Wild Empathy, Favored Terrain, Hunter's Bond, 1/2 spellcasting, Woodland Stride, Swift Tracker, Camouflage, Improved Evasion, Hide in Plain Sight, Improved Quarry, 4 additional skill points per level, 5 additional class skills

So the Ranger destroys the Fighter when it comes to doing anything skill related, can reach a very close match in combat, and just has gobs of extra goodies the Fighter doesn't have.

The problem with the "Fighters have way more feats" argument, is that it gets shot in both knees by the "Fighter can spend feats to shore up weak areas" argument. Lots of classes have bonus feats, or abilities that are equal to or better than bonus feats. When the Fighter is spending feats to catch up to the stuff they get automatically, he's already behind the curve, because he's blowing his resource to play catch up when other classes are spending their resources to get ahead.

You'll see the "Schroedinger's Fighter" vs. "Schroedinger's any other class" come up quite a bit. The problem for the Fighter, is that the proposed superman who's mastered twice as many combat chains and spent feats to ensure he's got good saves will never come out of the box. He doesn't have the resources for it. But the Paladin who can tank, heal, deal good damage, and serve as a party face; the Ranger who's a master of skills, a whirlwind on the battlefield, a combat squad leader, and a back-up healer; the Oracle who can throw down in combat while keeping the entire team alive and dropping judicious buff and control effects; all of those guys actually come out of the box matching up to the foreseen potential.

That said, the Fighter can be "good enough". If he's got a well rounded team backing him up and facilitating his ability to participate, you can deal with most Bestiary challenges, though you may find that those APL +2 and +3's aren't something the group can handle as well. It also helps to have a GM who's relatively easygoing in his encounter design and less likely to to take advantage of the packets of SLA's enemies come with. If your GM looks at a Pit Fiend and gets more excited about how much damage it can do than the fact that it's got at-will greater teleport, invisibility, mass hold monster, and other abilities like Devil Shaping that let him whip up the right tool for the job, you'll probably be all right with the Fighter. But that doesn't change the fact that the core chassis is actually built at a deficit compared to other classes. It's like sending a soldier to war armed with a 9mm when everyone else has M4's and MK17's and telling him it'll all work out because the enemy is lazy. Yeah, a bullet will kill a man regardless of what's firing it (to a point), but if the enemy gets smart and starts fighting back I'd rather have the superior range and versatility of the M4.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
Yeah, the Fighter's niche is definitely a popular one. The fighter itself needs a little help mechanically, but the core idea of it is and always will be pretty popular.

Yeah, but people play it to fill the niche and have fun roleplaying, so there's nothing wrong mechanically and nothing to fix! Even if other people have problems with it because its bad mechanically. Isn't that how it works?


MrSin wrote:
Karyouonigami wrote:
MrSin wrote:
Karyouonigami wrote:
what can a Barbarian, Ranger, or Paladin do for skills that another class could not do as well or better?
Dangerous question, the right answer is: More than fighter :P.
It is sad to think that the only way you can role-play is limited by the numbers on the sheet :(

Where in my post did I say that? You want to point it out for me?

Karyouonigami wrote:
one of the major arguments for other classes over fighters and rouges is that other classes such as wizards can replicate there skills/abilities with spells? so what I am asking is would you agree that the same replication could apply to the Paladin/Barbarian/Ranger?
Apples and oranges. Thread is about fighter.

then stop comparing fighters to other classes that have medium or full spellcasting.

you say that Barbarians can hold there own with fighters in combat, I feel that while they can for one or two fights a fighter is good as long as they have HP and I do not believe that the damage reduction of a Barbarian makes up for the lack of heavy armor and even if it does a fighter can get adamantine and have better DR so not getting hit AND DR is better in combat, as for moving in combat...buy Boot of expeditions retreat, use Vital strike, Charge, or any other of the fighters choices that require a standard action. I'm not saying the Barbarian is bad, and if you want to play a mobile combat character then by all means do that for that matter the ranger is just as good if not better than the Barbarian in that way, if you want to play the Heavy armor tank like character then Paladin and Fighter are the way to go and you play the Fighter when you don't want to play LG.


Karyouonigami wrote:
if you want to play the Heavy armor tank like character then Paladin and Fighter are the way to go and you play the Fighter when you don't want to play LG.

OK, let's pretend you could choose between the fighter, as-is, or this new class we'll call the Champion or something, which is identical to the paladin but with no alignment requirement. Do you still choose fighter? If so, why? If not, why not?

Because I think a lot of the problem here is that most of the participants are looking at how the fighter could be and comparing that to how the fighter is. They're not looking at the fighter as it is and saying, "Welp, that's a timeless constant that can never be changed."


Karyouonigami wrote:
I do not believe that the ranger and Barbarian can stand and fight as well as a fighter and Paladin, heavy armor is better than damage reduction and if you put better stats into dex you lose some of the other abilities that would make the non-fighter better.

Um... what?

How much better is heavy armour than DR + medium armour? You can't just say "this is how it is". Back it up.

The Fighter would have to up CON to be on par with a Barbarian hp wise. Then the Barbarian can up DEX to be on par with a Fighter AC wise. They then have ~same hp and ~same AC but the Barbarian also have DR. And a Barbarian is suppoerior in defence against spell casters.

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And unless you've got a Dex score of 22, Mithril Breastplate will provide the Barbarian exactly 1 less AC then the fighter with his heavy plate. If we up the ante to Celestial Plate, the barbarian has the same AC as the fighter?

Why? Because the Fighter does not get an AC bonus...he gets to use his Dex bonus. And mithril and celestial armor allow ANYONE to do that.

Oh, but I forget...the barbarian gets a scaling natural armor bonus IF HE WANTS IT and a scaling Dodge bonus IF HE WANTS IT that are FAR MORE POWERFUL THEN ANY FEAT A FIGHTER CAN TAKE.

I think a Barb with +10 AC while raging is going to utterly demolish a fighter's 'AC advantage', don't you?

Oh, and then the Barb gets DR that's better then adamantine armor. As a class feature. Yep. ANd can Archetype to explode that DR to the moon.

==Aelryinth


Rub-Eta wrote:
Karyouonigami wrote:
I do not believe that the ranger and Barbarian can stand and fight as well as a fighter and Paladin, heavy armor is better than damage reduction and if you put better stats into dex you lose some of the other abilities that would make the non-fighter better.

Um... what?

How much better is heavy armour than DR + medium armour? You can't just say "this is how it is". Back it up.

The Fighter would have to up CON to be on par with a Barbarian hp wise. Then the Barbarian can up DEX to be on par with a Fighter AC wise. They then have ~same hp and ~same AC but the Barbarian also have DR. And a Barbarian is suppoerior in defence against spell casters.

The barbarian can achieve +6(natural armor) armor class with a single feat, and can have DR/10 from class abilities that stacks with stalwart and is double against non-lethal, and has abilities to convert damage to null or non lethal. The barbarian also has ways to acheeve rerolls, more than once per day and can gain benefits from it, coupled with having higher saves even without superstitions and superstitious can be supercharged to 10+ and beyond to all your saves. Can the fighter match up to those things?

Can be difficult to talk about system mastery though.


I honestly cannot begin to comprehend the "Fighters are fine" crowd (to be referred to as "The Huh-huh" from now on). I mean, if Paizo came up with a couple of archetypes and a dozen or so Fighter-only feats that address most of the problems the "Fighters aren't fine" crowd (to be referred to as "The Nyuh-huh" from now on) have with them, then... wouldn't *everybody* be happy?


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Karyouonigami wrote:
andreww wrote:
strayshift wrote:
The fighter also however is the blunt instrument and meat shield that is why he consumes resources, because he is busy defeating the enemy. If he wasn't there, your resources consumed would be greater, I can assure you of that.

I can pretty much guarantee that if you replaced the fighter with a barbarian, paladin or ranger your resources consumed would be roughly the same and they each bring more to the table. I you replaced him with a combat (rather than spell) orientated oracle, druid or cleric they would be significantly less impacted and you would have a much wider range of options to chose from. As the levels grow that disparity becomes more and more severe.

Put it this way, if you were looking for a new level 9 member of your group which would you prefer. Someone who can hit things well with a pointy stick or someone who can do much of the same while also being able to raise the dead, summon angels, fly all day, raise armies of zombies, cast a whole host of buff spells and remove a massive range of horrible disabling effects.

I know which one I would want to take with me if I was interviewing for the post of "adventurer to take with me into hideous dungeon full of monsters which want to eat me and traps designed to mildly inconvenience".

Question: what Martial class can fly all day or summon angels? and I would still take the fighter with me since they would most likely die and I would get more treasure :)

Inquisitor, just plain spank fighters in every way that matters. So do Magi.


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Justin Sane wrote:
I mean, if Paizo came up with a couple of archetypes and a dozen or so Fighter-only feats that address most of the problems the "Fighters aren't fine" crowd (to be referred to as "The Nyuh-huh" from now on) have with them, then... wouldn't *everybody* be happy?

My belief is that most of the "fighters are fine" crowd would be far happier without those... and without detailed spell descriptions or "fiddly" mechanical rules in general. I suspect that most of the "fighters are fine" people play Magical Story Hour, in which the rules are seen to be getting in the way of the DM's story. The DM therefore overrides/ignores them in order to make the story go the way he wants it to, so that everyone feels special. From that standpoint, more rules always means more rules to ignore.


Justin Sane wrote:
I mean, if Paizo came up with a couple of archetypes and a dozen or so Fighter-only feats that address most of the problems the "Fighters aren't fine" crowd (to be referred to as "The Nyuh-huh" from now on) have with them, then... wouldn't *everybody* be happy?

Possibly, or possibly not, you have to take a feat and that's one less feat. You've also got to give up something to take an archetype and archetypes are also an option rather than a given. You also have to actually publish that material, and some people will see something overpowered relative to the core fighter rather than relative to the game or other martials. Monk has some great archetypes, monk still isn't too hot though imo. You also have weird things where people complain forever about something and then somehow the same problem continues, look at inner sea combat rogue talents for an example. Sometimes people's complaints aren't taken well either, see monstrous mount for an example.

Its a Band-Aid, one you have to pay for and know how to use. That said, its better than nothing. If I remember right Paizo likes to keep things balanced as they are in core, or at least that's what was stated once.


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If Fighters favored will, had 4+ int skill points per level and had Perception as a class skill they would be fine. Then they wouldn't have to waste a trait getting Perception, would still have 2 skill points when dumping int and wouldn't be a liability after level 8 because of Dominate Person. I understand you can work around these issues, but you shouldn't have to.


I just don't get how the abilities of a Inquisitor or a Magus are relevant. If I want to play a stoic non-magical beatstick without baggage, Fighter accomplishes that just fine.

There are complications to that choice. There should be. If you don't want those complications, or if you wanted more skill points or abilities... There were probably other classes to pick that suited it better.


KrispyXIV wrote:
I just don't get how the abilities of a Inquisitor or a Magus are relevant.

Being able to self-buff, instead of leeching off your friends, is not relevant?

Being able to resist being dominated at the drop of a hat, thus becoming a threat to your own party, is not relevant?

Being able to participate outside of combat is not relevant?

What exactly is relevant to you, then?


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Justin Sane wrote:
I mean, if Paizo came up with a couple of archetypes and a dozen or so Fighter-only feats that address most of the problems the "Fighters aren't fine" crowd (to be referred to as "The Nyuh-huh" from now on) have with them, then... wouldn't *everybody* be happy?
My belief is that most of the "fighters are fine" crowd would be far happier without those... and without detailed spell descriptions or "fiddly" mechanical rules in general. I suspect that most of the "fighters are fine" people play Magical Story Hour, in which the rules are seen to be getting in the way of the DM's story. The DM therefore overrides/ignores them in order to make the story go the way he wants it to, so that everyone feels special. From that standpoint, more rules always means more rules to ignore.

That's making a lot of assumptions. As well, there's a lot of room between the two extremes you're implying here (I'm getting 'tabletop wargame' on one end and 'magical story hour' on the other).

I'm not trying to defend balance here, I'm opposing the idea that fighters are inherently flawed or broken. The game, as presented, works well out of the box. By the rules. Without ignoring them. Or tweaking them.

The game is about having fun. If balance issues are impeding that for you, tweak things (which is great, and I believe you've done), or... Alternatively worry less a out balance. It's a cooperative experience.

The only way to lose is not to have fun.

Edit: Fighters can't participate out of combat? I'll have to let my group know the next time they want to roll a skill check.

Or maybe I'll just let them roll it anyway, since a lot of skills have non-scaling DC's and being relevant enough to participate with the right traits and 2-4 skills a level isn't hard, especially with fighter feats.


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KrispyXIV wrote:
The only way to lose is not to have fun.

Which is exactly what's happening for the people with enough system mastery to see that the fighter (and rogue) don't work as advertised, but who still want to play the game as written.


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KrispyXIV wrote:
There are complications to that choice. There should be. If you don't want those complications, or if you wanted more skill points or abilities... There were probably other classes to pick that suited it better.

Which is a part of the thing about it all. There are other classes who are better at surviving combat, filling a mundane martial role, and do more out of combat. Makes the fighter look like a schmuck's choice when you put him next to even pure mundanes.

But its okay, you can roleplay and have fun. I mean you can do that with a commoner, but... oh, there are no buts, because we're going to ignore any mechanical issues with the fighter if we talk like that.

KrispyXIV wrote:
I'm not trying to defend balance here, I'm opposing the idea that fighters are inherently flawed or broken. The game, as presented, works well out of the box. By the rules. Without ignoring them. Or tweaking them.

Specifically, it works well for you maybe. I don't think it works that well at all.

KrispyXIV wrote:
Edit: Fighters can't participate out of combat? I'll have to let my group know the next time they want to roll a skill check.

I don't think he was saying they literally can't participate, I think he was referring to the fact they suck at it and other choices, including ones that fill the same concept, can actually do it better. Which raises that question... Why am I a fighter again?


KrispyXIV wrote:

I just don't get how the abilities of a Inquisitor or a Magus are relevant. If I want to play a stoic non-magical beatstick without baggage, Fighter accomplishes that just fine.

There are complications to that choice. There should be. If you don't want those complications, or if you wanted more skill points or abilities... There were probably other classes to pick that suited it better.

They are relevant because they can fight very well, while having a good pool of skills on top of spells that grant them utility. This is much like I said previously, all the Fighter contributes to the team is the ability to fight, something *any* class can do. Furthermore if the Fighter wants to fight well he needs to leech off other party members resources. Inquisitors and Magi can provide their buffs to keep them relevant in combat and the Inquisitor can even provide its own healing.

Inquisitors can cure themselves. Fighters can't.
Inquisitors can see invisible opponents by themselves. Fighters can't.
Inquisitors can use Freedom of Movement. Fighters can't.

Magi can enlarge themselves. Fighters can't.
Magi can Haste themselves (and their team). Fighter can't.
Magi can Fly by themselves. Fighters can't.

Inquisitors and Magi have more skills allowing them to contribute to out of combat and even have a decent selection of utility spells that can help.

Really the comparison here seems easy. Just ask yourself what the Fighter contributes to the team besides damage. When your query returns a "nothing", the difference should be clear.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
KrispyXIV wrote:
The only way to lose is not to have fun.
Which is exactly what's happening for the people with enough system mastery to see that the fighter (and rogue) don't work as advertised, but who still want to play the game as written.

Are you willing to consider the idea you're too focused on 'winning' and system mastery, by any chance?

That's one way to play the game. It raises issues like this, and always will, because someone's always gonna be bottom of the pile. 'fixing' fighters just going to cause things to go to the next lowest step.

There are other fully valid ways to play the game, and those ways have their own issues... But 'fighter is bad' isn't necessarily one of them.


Personally I'd be happy and content even if the Fighter would have practically zero out-of-combat utility, as long as he would be sufficiently awesome in-combat. Because really, when I want to play a Fighter I want to play a FIGHTER.


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KrispyXIV wrote:
Are you willing to consider the idea you're too focused on 'winning' and system mastery, by any chance?

Look at it this way:

  • If the rules don't work, you can play Story Hour and still have fun, but you can't play tactically with system mastery.
  • If the rules do work, you can still play Story Hour and still have fun, and you can also play tactically with system mastery and have fun with that aspect, too.

    By refusing to fix them, you're saying that your style is the only "right" way to play, and that people who maybe want a hardcore challenge to their tactical skills are "wrong." By fixing them, you're saying that both groups are "right."

    Twice as much opportunity for fun is, for me, a better outcome than half as much. YMMV.

    And no, the rules will never be perfect; this is real life, and we accept that. But don't let perfect be the enemy of good. Inability to obtain perfection isn't a justifiable excuse to just settle for anything.

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    KrispyXIV wrote:

    Are you willing to consider the idea you're too focused on 'winning' and system mastery, by any chance?

    That's one way to play the game. It raises issues like this, and always will, because someone's always gonna be bottom of the pile. 'fixing' fighters just going to cause things to go to the next lowest step.

    There are other fully valid ways to play the game, and those ways have their own issues... But 'fighter is bad' isn't necessarily one of them.

    I don't think "someone will generally have to be the worse so why bother even addressing the imbalance" is any kind of answer.

    Yes, it is possible to play the Fighter and have fun. But the same is true of any class. I could play an NPC warrior and still have fun, but that doesn't mean I'm even in the same league as my other party members, or that we couldn't be having more fun if I wasn't more capable. It's like saying "brooms will always exist so why have a vacuum cleaner, even if they're both the same price".


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    shallowsoul wrote:

    LOL!

    Not really because in order for these other classes to be viable in a standard adventuring day, they need the 5 minute work day.

    While I understand the theoretical argument that sees fighters always functioning at 100% all day long, I've often seen such expectations evaporate when it comes to actual play.

    That's because (IMO) there are three things that a PC who can last through a very large number of encounters wants to consider, and the fighter only has one.

    The first is the ability to function at a relatively high level even without the expenditure of any of your more sharply limited daily resources. The fighter does have this, his class abilities are always on.

    The second is ability to resist or avoid debilitation as you go through a great many encounters, some of which almost certainly deal more than just hp damage. A traditional melee fighter is relatively poor at this due to poor saves and likely weak or nonexistent non-AC defenses in general. An archer fighter is all right at it, simply because being at a distance will tend to expose him to less harm, both of the 'hit point damage' and 'other' varieties.

    The third is the ability to recover from the debilitation you probably will still suffer over the course of so many encounters. The fighter is one of a very few classes in Pathfinder with no class ability options for this at all.

    Now, this is speaking more to higher levels than lower levels. At 1st or 2nd level, maybe combat is very simplistic and lacking in non hp damage threats, and it might be true that all you need to get through a twenty-encounter day is taps from the healing wand.

    At 15th level? I really doubt that the fighter who is going into his 12th encounter carrying a curse from the 5th encounter and 4 Con drain from those warmup wraiths a while ago is really showing up the paladin as far as combat endurance goes. Even if the paladin used up all his lay on hands a while ago, he is likely hauling around significantly fewer penalties from the accumulated attacks he's suffered through, whether due to having resisted them with his great saves or cured them by using up his mercies/lay on hands or whatever.

    TLDR: It may possibly be due to my playing a fighter at higher levels that our experience differs, but I've found the class generally unimpressive to poor at dealing with long adventuring days.


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    Karyouonigami wrote:
    KrispyXIV wrote:


    Obviously our groups have different expectations for what we want from the class.

    That's fine.

    I guess what I'm wanting to suggest is this; perhaps the problem isn't that the class doesn't deliver what it needs to in order to be valid, but that it doesn't deliver what you want .

    If you're sitting down wanting it to be more than it is, I can see you being unhappy with it.

    The simplest solution to that, however, is not to change the fighter. It's to change your expectations of what the fighter should be capable of.

    I personally find the idea that a fighter has to compete with wizards for 'power' ludicrous. There are plenty of character ideas I've had where a fighter works best to make a concept work.

    Good luck on not having them compare the fighter and full spellcasters, I believe that the way people play MMO's truly affect the way they play games like pathfinder.

    Some of us have never played an MMO once in our lives and still expect a game we pay good money for to actually support all classes equally. A Fighter should be just as Viable an option as a Summoner as a Rogue as a Wizard as a Monk as a Druid. Each approaches problems differently, each has a different feel-in-play, but each should be roughly equally powerful in his own way, through all levels of play.


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    kyrt-ryder wrote:
    Karyouonigami wrote:
    KrispyXIV wrote:


    Obviously our groups have different expectations for what we want from the class.

    That's fine.

    I guess what I'm wanting to suggest is this; perhaps the problem isn't that the class doesn't deliver what it needs to in order to be valid, but that it doesn't deliver what you want .

    If you're sitting down wanting it to be more than it is, I can see you being unhappy with it.

    The simplest solution to that, however, is not to change the fighter. It's to change your expectations of what the fighter should be capable of.

    I personally find the idea that a fighter has to compete with wizards for 'power' ludicrous. There are plenty of character ideas I've had where a fighter works best to make a concept work.

    Good luck on not having them compare the fighter and full spellcasters, I believe that the way people play MMO's truly affect the way they play games like pathfinder.
    Some of us have never played an MMO once in our lives and still expect a game we pay good money for to actually support all classes equally. A Fighter should be just as Viable an option as a Summoner as a Rogue as a Wizard as a Monk as a Druid. Each approaches problems differently, each has a different feel-in-play, but each should be roughly equally powerful in his own way, through all levels of play.

    What's funny is, that content is all free.

    I paid good money for great setting info, high quality books and art, and a great big slab of paper. The rules I generally look up on my phone or tablet.

    As well, I'd like to hear the short list of RPGs better balanced the pathfinder out of the box. I've played several, and most of them are worse by degrees.


    You're right, the free nature of the PRD is rather funny in retrospect.

    As far as out-of-the-box balance goes, I'd argue Starwars Saga is significantly more balanced, albeit still not ideal.


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    KrispyXIV wrote:
    As well, I'd like to hear the short list of RPGs better balanced the pathfinder out of the box. I've played several, and most of them are worse by degrees.

    Legend by rule of cool is free and used to pay what you want and has easier to create encounter design, easier to understand multiclassing, better low magic support, and is a d20 game designed around balance. Still in the works to some extent though. There are also quiet a few video games out there, but CRPGs are another beast and people don't always appreciate mechanical balance in them because it doesn't give the same roleplay as a tabletop. Some 3.5 books as a whole were more balanced than pathfinder core as a whole, but I wouldn't say that's out of the box. I'm sure there are others, and quiet a few of which might still be d20 games.

    I think this goes pretty off topic and isn't the best topic on a paizo forum though, especially not in a thread about fighters.


    I'll try to propose some possible "fixes" that I have seen or thought up.

    Bravery (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a fighter gains a bonus on Will saves against fear equal to half his fighter level rounded down.

    Weapon Training (Ex): Starting at 5th level, a fighter learns more advance ways to wield weapons. He gains Power Attack, Deadly Aim, and Combat Expertise as bonus feats even if he does not meet the prerequisites for them. If a fighter already has one of these feats or gains one of them he can choose to reduce the penalty to as little as 1 or increase it to as much as his base attack bonus and gain appropriate amount of benefits as outlined in the feat.
    At 9th level, whenever a fighter makes an attack roll he rolls two d20s and uses the die with the higher value for his attack. This does not include combat maneuver checks.
    At 13th level, the critical range of the weapons a fighter wields that he is proficient in increases by one (a range of 20 becomes 19-20, a range of 19-20 becomes 18-20, and so forth).
    At 17th level, the weapons a fighter wields that he is proficient in have their critical damage multiplier increased by 1 (×2 becomes ×3, for example).

    Vital Strike(Ex): At 6th level, a fighter gains vital strike as a bonus feat. At 11 level, he gains improved vital strike. At 16 level, he gains greater vital strike. If a fighter already has one of these feats or gains one of them he can perform a vital strike anytime he can make only one attack (like at the end of a charge or an attack of opportunity), and the extra damage is multiplied on critical hits.

    Heroic(Ex): At 10th level, a fighter learns how to better overcome dangers. Whenever the fighter rolls a saving throw, he rolls two d20s and takes the better result.
    In addition, a fighter’s heroic presence adds greater weight to his words. He is treated as having ranks in diplomacy equal to his class level and diplomacy becomes a class skill that scales off of strength instead of charisma.

    Maneuver Training(Ex): At 14 level, a fighter learns how to better perform combat maneuvers when using a weapon he is proficient with. When making such a combat maneuvers, a fighter may roll two d20s for the CMB check and take the higher result or forgo generating an attack of opportunity when attempting the maneuver.

    Defiant(Ex): At 18th level, whenever a fighter is suffering from an ongoing effect caused by a failed saving throw, he may make another saving throw once per round against the original DC to remove the effect as a free action. This may be done for any number of effects per round. A fighter must be conscious to use this ability.

    Armor Mastery (Ex): At 19th level, all ranged and melee attacks against the fighter, when he is wearing armor or using a shield, must roll 2d20 instead of 1d20 and use the lower of the two values for the attack roll.

    Weapon Mastery (Ex): At 20th level, a fighter’s attacks made with a weapon he is proficient with automatically confirm all critical threats. In addition, he cannot be disarmed when wielding a weapon he is proficient with.


    Quote:
    As well, I'd like to hear the short list of RPGs better balanced the pathfinder out of the box. I've played several, and most of them are worse by degrees.

    Well, it really depends on how bad you perceive the balance issues of PF.

    Core PF is really badly balanced IMO, so most other fantasy-type games I played felt more balanced to me. So my short list would be something like:

    4e
    Legend
    Savage Worlds

    And I haven't played Fantasy Craft and 13th Age but they both look pretty good.

    Then there's also the storyteller systems and things like Shadowrun where the game looks imbalanced (and it usually is), but it operates on the idea of spotlight/narrative balance, which they fulfill better.


    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    KrispyXIV wrote:
    kyrt-ryder wrote:
    Karyouonigami wrote:
    KrispyXIV wrote:


    Obviously our groups have different expectations for what we want from the class.

    That's fine.

    I guess what I'm wanting to suggest is this; perhaps the problem isn't that the class doesn't deliver what it needs to in order to be valid, but that it doesn't deliver what you want .

    If you're sitting down wanting it to be more than it is, I can see you being unhappy with it.

    The simplest solution to that, however, is not to change the fighter. It's to change your expectations of what the fighter should be capable of.

    I personally find the idea that a fighter has to compete with wizards for 'power' ludicrous. There are plenty of character ideas I've had where a fighter works best to make a concept work.

    Good luck on not having them compare the fighter and full spellcasters, I believe that the way people play MMO's truly affect the way they play games like pathfinder.
    Some of us have never played an MMO once in our lives and still expect a game we pay good money for to actually support all classes equally. A Fighter should be just as Viable an option as a Summoner as a Rogue as a Wizard as a Monk as a Druid. Each approaches problems differently, each has a different feel-in-play, but each should be roughly equally powerful in his own way, through all levels of play.

    What's funny is, that content is all free.

    I paid good money for great setting info, high quality books and art, and a great big slab of paper. The rules I generally look up on my phone or tablet.

    As well, I'd like to hear the short list of RPGs better balanced the pathfinder out of the box. I've played several, and most of them are worse by degrees.

    L5R, Starwars Saga, GURPS (but that is a massively complicated game), Shadowrun 4th (have no idea about 5th) Shadowrun gets a mention because you absolutly need a balanced team, a non-mage only team works alot better than a mage only team, but a balanced team with all bases covered will lunch either assuming equal gear and skill values.


    Rub-Eta wrote:
    Karyouonigami wrote:
    I do not believe that the ranger and Barbarian can stand and fight as well as a fighter and Paladin, heavy armor is better than damage reduction and if you put better stats into dex you lose some of the other abilities that would make the non-fighter better.

    Um... what?

    How much better is heavy armour than DR + medium armour? You can't just say "this is how it is". Back it up.

    The Fighter would have to up CON to be on par with a Barbarian hp wise. Then the Barbarian can up DEX to be on par with a Fighter AC wise. They then have ~same hp and ~same AC but the Barbarian also have DR. And a Barbarian is suppoerior in defence against spell casters.

    why not, everyone else has been?

    if a Fighter in Full plate gets hit 40% less of the time than the Barbarian the odds of the enemy doing more than one damage at 7th level(when the Barbarian gets DR) is pretty high and by 13th level the fighter just might have adamantine full plate which has the DR 3/- which is the same as the Barbarian. There is no situation where a Medium armor such as breast plate can get higher AC than the Full plate with the same options(feel free to prove me wrong cause I wanna use the Breast plate more)

    I am NOT saying that the Barbarian is bad, it just isn't my choice of class if I am looking for a up front heavy fighter


    Rob Godfrey wrote:


    Shadowrun 4th (have no idea about 5th) Shadowrun gets a mention because you absolutly need a balanced team, a non-mage only team works alot better than a mage only...

    5th has tried to undo some of the issues 4th caused with technomancer power. And brought back riggers as being separate.

    In general, you can get by perfectly without a rigger, since they're heavily gimped.


    @Ssalarn : First off Bravery is not equal to evasion so lets not pretend that it is.

    Besides a better save, I would probaly let the player pick the save between reflex and will, what would make the Fighter compare to the Ranger and Barbarian better?

    I liked the comparison for damage you did it really made sense to me, even though a fighter can do more damage doesn't mean you beat the enemy any faster.


    Karyouonigami wrote:
    if a Fighter in Full plate gets hit 40% less of the time than the Barbarian

    Try 10-20% less of the time.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    kyrt-ryder wrote:
    Karyouonigami wrote:
    if a Fighter in Full plate gets hit 40% less of the time than the Barbarian
    Try 10-20% less of the time.

    Try 10-20% more of the time. Barbarians can get silly ACs even when raging.


    kyrt-ryder wrote:
    Karyouonigami wrote:
    if a Fighter in Full plate gets hit 40% less of the time than the Barbarian
    Try 10-20% less of the time.

    okay it is still more than an extra 4 or 5 damage and that would be more than the DR and extra HP of a Barbarian


    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    MagusJanus wrote:
    Rob Godfrey wrote:


    Shadowrun 4th (have no idea about 5th) Shadowrun gets a mention because you absolutly need a balanced team, a non-mage only team works alot better than a mage only...

    5th has tried to undo some of the issues 4th caused with technomancer power. And brought back riggers as being separate.

    In general, you can get by perfectly without a rigger, since they're heavily gimped.

    We never had a technomancer, but yea they could be insane, still died to a m121 shot from a klick away tho :p, and an all technomancer group would again die against a proper team.

    Riggers are to situational to be useful in my view, they can be absolutely amazing if everything goes right... and then a third rate street sam when their toys can't be used.


    Well, if the Barbarian was raging, did not take the Beast Totem and was using Reckess Abandon, a Full plate fighter with dodge and iron hide would have 9 more AC (If they have the same Dex Bonus... 3 From Armor, 1 From dodge, 1 from Iron hide and a -4 for the barbarian)


    Mr. Dodo wrote:
    Well, if the Barbarian was raging, did not take the Beast Totem and was using Reckess Abandon, a Full plate fighter with dodge and iron hide would have 9 more AC (If they have the same Dex Bonus... 3 From Armor, 1 From dodge, 1 from Iron hide and a -4 for the barbarian)

    Well if the fighter was wearing no armor and the barbarian was wearing a full plate and bought proficiency for it...

    Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

    Karyouonigami wrote:

    @Ssalarn : First off Bravery is not equal to evasion so lets not pretend that it is.

    I'm glad you agree on this, it actually causes me real physical pain when I have to pretend Bravery is anywhere near as good as.... well really any other class feature of any other class. I mean come on, at level 3 the Paladin gets complete immunity to fear and gives all of his teammates a bonus to saves that's equivalent to what a Fighter gets just for himself from Bravery at level 14.

    Karyouonigami wrote:


    Besides a better save, I would probaly let the player pick the save between reflex and will, what would make the Fighter compare to the Ranger and Barbarian better?

    I liked the comparison for damage you did it really made sense to me, even though a fighter can do more damage doesn't mean you beat the enemy any faster.

    Right. The Fighter is better at dishing out damage, but the problem is he's really only so much better, and it rarely makes an actual difference in combat, especially compared to the classes with the most overlap in what you expect from them, like the Barbarian, Ranger and Paladin.

    When I look at "fixing" the Fighter, I like to look at it not from the perspective of "what would be the best way to do it in PF 2.0", but "what can we do right now, and what are solutions we could actually see in print".

    Let's assume (because it's true) that Paizo won't release a core archetype that's just a better version of what it's replacing. That means archetypes are pretty much out the window as a means of fixing this one. They worked for the monk, because the monk had a ton of stuff that wasn't all synergistic. You could drop things that didn't jive and replace them with things that did on a 1 to 1 ratio and come out with something good. The Fighter actually has less stuff than everybody else, so a 1 to 1 trade can't fix it.

    Our big resource is feats, right? They're the thing that the Fighter has more of than everybody else, and they provide us with the most flexible open design space. The problems with fixing the Fighter through feats are:

    1) Feats are often not as good as actual class features
    2) Feats are often "locked" to a very narrow scope, such as a specific weapon
    3) They won't create any new feats that invalidate core feats.

    So let's use those as our framework for a fix that could actually make it into a Paizo product. Can't invalidate core material, has to use the existing framework, and needs to overcome the issues inherent in options 1 and 2 above while respecting number 3.

    I think what we need is more potent Fighter specific feats, and they need to be feats that break away from the "I hit things harder" dynamic. We really want them to be Fighter specific too, so maybe tying them to a mechanic only the Fighter uses, particularly one that's already really subpar, like Bravery, is a good way to make sure we don't end up with unintended power creep?

    I'd start with a line of feats that proc off of Bravery. How about "Stubborn Bravery" a feat that adds the Bravery bonus to saves vs. Charm and Compulsion effects? That cuts out a big portion of the 'Fighter is more dangerous to his allies than his enemies" issue.

    Maybe a "Daring Bravery" that allows the Fighter to add his Bravery bonus to a selection of Reflex related saves? These feats will ultimately be better than just Lightning Reflexes or Iron Will for their specific circumstances, but they're Fighter specific and they don't invalidate those existing feats, so we're starting to clean things up while staying within the parameters established above.

    Fighters tend to get hit on action economy right, because they don't take advantage of it as well as other classes? Let's shore that up as well and give him more stuff to use his swift actions with. How about a Commander line of feats that allow him to do stuff like share his Bravery bonuses with his allies? If I was going to do this, I'd make the granted bonus last for a number of rounds equal to the greater of his Int or Cha, so you can decide if you're more the charismatic general or the cunning tactician type.

    The Fighter also has crappy skills, and they're so bad that Skill Focus is really a joke. But we can't invalidate Skill Focus, so let's do something like the Fearsome Reputation feat I mentioned earlier in this (and other) thread(s), where the Fighter gets bonuses to Diplomacy and Intimidate checks equal to 1/2 his level in a specific region or social strata. We didn't give him more skill points, but we did work within the existing framework of the game to allow him to spend a feat and gain up to an additional 20 points in relevant skills. 10 effective ranks in two relevant skills over the character's career is much closer to the type of trade a Fighter needs to see for his bonus feats to actually be equivalent to the class features he's not getting in their place.

    The final issue we need to address with the Fighter is that he lives in a world full of magic but has no way to interact with it short of blowing a bunch of ranks in a non-class skill. It needs to be remedied, and we can do that without actually giving him magic. What about a line of alternate capstone feats for the various combat maneuvers? Instead of Improved/Greater Sunder, maybe he gets a Fighter specific feat called Weapon Lord's Sunder, that allows him to apply his Bravery bonus to his Sunder attempts and can even be used to sunder specific magical effects like walls and wards. Maybe feats that add his Bravery bonus to the Concentration DC for threatened spellcasters.


    kyrt-ryder wrote:
    Karyouonigami wrote:
    I believe that the way people play MMO's truly affect the way they play games like pathfinder.
    Some of us have never played an MMO once in our lives...

    For what it's worth, I've never played an MMO either (assuming an "MMO" is some kind of on-line thingy).


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I think the appeal of fighters is that they are the best example of a tabula rasa class. Rangers may largely be better, but they come with a lot of specific malarky that you might not want to bother with. Favored Terrain and Favored Enemy can either be really good or really bad. The spell casting is excellent, but may not fit the flavor I am going for.

    Barbarians and Paladins can also be really good, but have a ton of flavor and class features that may not mesh with your vision.

    Fighters lack of flavor means you can do what you want with them. And while feats may be mechanically inferior than a lot of class features, there are some pretty cool options. Greater Trip + Improved Ki Throw + Vicious stomp is a hilarious feat combo. The problem is when the fighter comes across something he can't trip his build is invalidated, where the Paladin and Barbarian can still do their job.

    Monks suffer from a similar problem. They have a very specific flavor appeal and make a player mechanically suffer for it. You can still have a lot of a fun with either class with the right mindset and DM... but you will pay for it on some level.

    I think some people really like fighters and feel the need to defend them because the criticism comes across as insulting to their playstyle. Me, I love what the fighter represents, and wish the mechanics let you do more with it. I think the Brawler and Slayer will be going in right direction for what a fighter SHOULD be.


    Not every barbarian is going to use the beast totem tree, and reckess abandon is a pretty solid "to hit" boost. The fighter will also have 4 more feat.

    It's also true that if the barbarian was an Armored Hulk, Urban Barbarian with the beast totem... well.

    The difference is that while every fighter in full plate has a fairly good amount of AC (again, with the same bonuses the difference is 3), not every barbarian will have the same build... So we will probably be looking at a difference of 5 points (25% it quite a lot)

    I'm not saying that fighters are better, or even comparable to barbarians, don't get me wrong.


    Kirth Gersen wrote:
    kyrt-ryder wrote:
    Karyouonigami wrote:
    I believe that the way people play MMO's truly affect the way they play games like pathfinder.
    Some of us have never played an MMO once in our lives...
    For what it's worth, I've never played an MMO either (assuming an "MMO" is some kind of on-line thingy).

    It may or may not be a horrific time sink that may or may not involve selling your soul and may or may not be something I do when I'm posting on the forums.

    That said, its not an inherently bad thing.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Mr. Dodo wrote:
    Not every barbarian is going to use the beast totem tree, and reckess abandon is a pretty solid "to hit" boost. The fighter will also have 4 more feat.

    Not every barbarian is going to get beast totem for pounce and scaling AC, but every barbarian is going to get reckless abandon. Gotcha'.


    Your answer is just silly. I was just pointing how big the difference could get.

    Also, as I said before, we are probably looking at 5 point diffenrece in AC (+3 from armor, -2 from raging)


    MrSin wrote:
    Kirth Gersen wrote:
    kyrt-ryder wrote:
    Karyouonigami wrote:
    I believe that the way people play MMO's truly affect the way they play games like pathfinder.
    Some of us have never played an MMO once in our lives...
    For what it's worth, I've never played an MMO either (assuming an "MMO" is some kind of on-line thingy).

    It may or may not be a horrific time sink that may or may not involve selling your soul and may or may not be something I do when I'm posting on the forums.

    That said, its not an inherently bad thing.

    I agree. If anything, video games seem to be easier to balance simply because you can limit a player's options.

    Oh, and your soul needs more garlic.


    MrSin wrote:
    If I remember right Paizo likes to keep things balanced as they are in core, or at least that's what was stated once.

    Hardly. Vanilla barbarians, rangers and paladins have recieved massive power creeps after core. Figter have get some better arcehtypes and gloves of dueling and that is all.

    Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

    Mr. Dodo wrote:

    Not every barbarian is going to use the beast totem tree, and reckess abandon is a pretty solid "to hit" boost. The fighter will also have 4 more feat.

    It's also true that if the barbarian was an Armored Hulk, Urban Barbarian with the beast totem... well.

    The difference is that while every fighter in full plate has a fairly good amount of AC (again, with the same bonuses the difference is 3), not every barbarian will have the same build... So we will probably be looking at a difference of 5 points (25% it quite a lot)

    I'm not saying that fighters are better, or even comparable to barbarians, don't get me wrong.

    You have to compare like system mastery. Saying that a Barbarian who dumps defense in order to glass cannon is easier to hit than a Fighter who pours multiple feats into boosting his defense is like saying a tank can take more enemy fire than an unmanned drone. Well duh, but that has nothing to do with their comparative military value. A Barbarian who wants to "tank up" can do so as well as a Fighter who chooses to, and do it while simultaneously outperforming him on other fronts, like saves. And as I mentioned earlier, you can't use both "Fighters have more feats" and "Fighters can spend feats to shore up their weaknesses" in the same argument. He does not have so many more feats that he can both shore up his weak points and excel beyond other classes in a given dynamic simultaneously, especially if he's spending those feats on things he's already supposed to have an advantage in, like your guy buying Ironhide (a race specific feat, btw) and Dodge.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Ssalarn wrote:
    Stuff about fixing fighters before a PF 2.0 style complete revamp.

    You keep talking like that, people are going to start expecting you to produce a 3PP that does it, instead of Paizo. :)

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