The Main Problem with Fighters


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Fighters are DPR focused, in nearly all of there class tricks are damaged based but when it comes down to it they are not the best DPR in the game; barbarians, summoners, gunslingers, paladins and cavaliers can all out damage fighter with the right build whilst also having more out of combat utility (summoners and paladins) or cool tricks (barbarians, gunslingers and cavaliers).

Fighters either need a boost to their dps so they are the king of their specialization or they need a unique gimmick or set of tricks all to themselves preferably something with out of combat utility. So has anyone come up with some neat fighter gimmicks?


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The fighter's gimmick is feats. The player is free to choose half of them to be the non-combat kind is desired, making it possible to do something besides DPR. Also, those classes you listed peak situationally, whereas the fighter always has his ability turned "on". Barbarian has to rage, summoner has limited spells, gunslingers need ammunition, paladin must fighter evil, cavaliers must challenge.


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So, to summarize:

The main problem with fighters is that they're consistent?


And as far as neat fighter gimmicks, you should be able to find some threads on the subject. I remember one about fighter grit (like the gunslinger) that seemed interesting.

Silver Crusade

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Yep. In agreement here on the feats. Figure out a feat chain or two that you want to go up that fits your concept and run with it. There's so many good feats out there and even with 14-20 (depending on how long your campaign is) you'll never be able to select them all. Once they start stacking, you've got some pretty powerful always-on bonuses. And of course, if you really want the specialization, there's always multi-classing.

Scarab Sages

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The fighter is like any other class. It is what you build it for. The problem is, most people try to build just for DPR and ignore everything else.


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What the other 700+ post thread on fighters wasn't enough?

Fighters are singled out because they are the prototypical mundane dude in armor. They get very little as class abilities besides feats. People see that and immediately assume "wow, fighters suck".

But feats are, outside of spells, probably the single most flexibility enhancing part of the game. Feats will allow a character to do many, many things, both in combat and out. And fighters get more feats to work with than anyone.

So if you want to be a wand-wielding UMD specialist casting heal spells in combat, you can do that as a fighter. If you want to be a sneaky dude looking for and disabling traps, you can do that too.

The one thing you can't do is cast innate spells.

One of the things I see on these boards all the time is "I can't generate the most optimal possible result with this class for this option, so this class is obviously useless for this option." That's nonsense, but that's what I see all the time. If you want to be socially active in the game all you need is to put a few skill points into a social skill. You don't have to be overflowing with ranks. There are many ways to boost your likelihood of success, ranging from having other party members "aid another", to skill boosting spells that can be put in a wand.

I know this will get me jumped all over, but the main reason people complain about this class or that class being useless for this role or that role is not because the class is boned, it's because they lack the experience or the imagination to figure out how to make it work.


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[Jumps all over AD]


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...And then you actually read the feats and realize it generally costs 3 feats to get the sort of utility a caster gets from one first level spell and heighten. And that even bards and summoners know about 50% more spells than you get feats. Sorcerers get closer to twice as many and oracles a bit less than 150% more.

Combat expertise, improved disarm, and greater disarm, or grease and heighten spell. Oh, yeah, and grease has utility against opponents without weapons.

Feats may be the second most flexible thing you can have, but they're a very distant second and there's still no extra skill ranks feat to bring you up to par with the cavalier or gunslinger for out of combat utility, much less one you can take multiple times to bring you up to par with the ranger.


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a small 'fix' could be to make the latest bonus combat feat a fighter (of 4th level of higher) knows into a Wild Card feat.

that is, a combat feat that may be switched out. the swapping could be a preparation thing (1 hour, 1 minute), or a standard action. i recommend the latter.

that way, the fighter player could keep a list of situational feats handy, much like a wizard keeps a list of spells.

(my other fighter fixes are here)


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Atarlost, I guess you missed the part where I said that feats weren't as good as spells. Full casters trump everyone. This is about fighters. Fighters can do a lot, but they can't cast spells. That puts them on a par with all the other non casters.

Shadow Lodge

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The main problem with fighters is the arguments over them.

The Exchange

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TOZ wrote:
The main problem with fighters is the arguments over them.

Amen to that....never seen a fighter in-game that their player was upset that he couldn't do anything. I guess real-life play trumps messageboard guessing about a class's potential.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Atarlost, I guess you missed the part where I said that feats weren't as good as spells. Full casters trump everyone. This is about fighters. Fighters can do a lot, but they can't cast spells. That puts them on a par with all the other non casters.

You implied they were in the same ballpark. If you want to claim fighters are more versatile than monks, cavaliers and gunslingers you might have a point, except that you get more out of combat utility from skills than feats and monks, gunslingers and cavaliers have more skills.

There are more than twice as many casting classes in the game than non-casting classes. If you're claiming that fighters suck slightly less than other non-casters that's a faint praise indeed, and even that is disputable.


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Fighters are versatile because they can spend all their non-class feats to be slightly less worthless out of combat. Spend them all on non-combat stuff and you can be worse than a Ranger both in and out of combat, but at least you'll... um...

Silver Crusade

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The main problem with fighters is the people who can't play them very well and complain about how it's the fault of the class.

Silver Crusade

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Atarlost wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Atarlost, I guess you missed the part where I said that feats weren't as good as spells. Full casters trump everyone. This is about fighters. Fighters can do a lot, but they can't cast spells. That puts them on a par with all the other non casters.

You implied they were in the same ballpark. If you want to claim fighters are more versatile than monks, cavaliers and gunslingers you might have a point, except that you get more out of combat utility from skills than feats and monks, gunslingers and cavaliers have more skills.

There are more than twice as many casting classes in the game than non-casting classes. If you're claiming that fighters suck slightly less than other non-casters that's a faint praise indeed, and even that is disputable.

Versatility comes in all shapes and sizes. Feats are always on while spells are not and spells are limited to a certain number of uses per day while feats are not.


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Not totally on topic maybe, but I don't consider most of the partial casters to be that much better than the martial classes. The really game-changing spells mostly belong on the full casters' lists.


Fake Healer wrote:
TOZ wrote:
The main problem with fighters is the arguments over them.
Amen to that....never seen a fighter in-game

I've never seen a fighter in PF too, at least not a single class fighter. Because no one here wants to play it. And we even see some rogues played.


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Heh, if I had the time, I'd join PFS just to play a fighter...

Silver Crusade

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Umbranus wrote:
Fake Healer wrote:
TOZ wrote:
The main problem with fighters is the arguments over them.
Amen to that....never seen a fighter in-game
I've never seen a fighter in PF too, at least not a single class fighter. Because no one here wants to play it. And we even see some rogues played.

We usually have about two or three fighters per session. They are mainly two-handers.


In my home games, I've always had fighters, and they work great. Fighters do fine damage and, at least the fighters characters my players have created, are very useful outside of combat. YMMV

As an aside, I love that monks and fighters can use craft to create anti-magic generating magical items for when they are faced with full-casters. Never gotten to see it in actual game, but I'm waiting, and it will be hilarious.


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shallowsoul wrote:
The main problem with fighters is the people who can't play them very well and complain about how it's the fault of the class.

Define play them, they have no unique fluff they are the most generic class aka a fighter someone who fights. I have played a fighter a mechanically well built archer and from a power point I was just fine (no one had optimized so the comparison wasn't telling). But the character was about the most boring I had ever played he was great at what he did (full attack dpr) but that was all he did every round. When I compare it to the pouncing grappling casting shape changing kitty cat druid I also played in the same campaign where each round I had a dozen options and could also use my pet to full attack at the same time and there is no comparison, the druid was both more interesting and fun to play.


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Wind chime, you are aware that you could have built something other than a fighter that stands in one place and full attacks aren't you? I'm not sure how "this is boring, I'm going to do it again" is a problem with a class.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Not totally on topic maybe, but I don't consider most of the partial casters to be that much better than the martial classes. The really game-changing spells mostly belong on the full casters' lists.

Ehhhhh, depends. Some casters (Bard and Summoner most notably) get those nice "Here's your high level spell as a lower level spell, kthxbye" spells on their list.

I don't think there's any 6 level casters that can beat a Barbarian or Fighter or what have you in MELEE combat (though IMO an Inquisitor can give them a run for their money if done right and a Magus can outdo anyone like once per day if they blow their wad on one encounter) but those classes like Bard and Alchemist can make some pretty darn good ranged characters (Alchemist being a carpet bomber at high levels) while still retaining their spells/extracts to fall back on.


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fighters are awesome.

my current 8th level fighter(lorewarden) with 1 level of armored hulk and 1 level of living monolith, great dpr, can trip almost anything, has amazing battle field control ability, with her scythe has a 10 percent chance of 1 shoting nearly any fow, can rage if needed for a big boost (gotta love furious/couragoes weapons, not mention had enough feats to pick craft wonderous items, without missing a beat.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Wind chime, you are aware that you could have built something other than a fighter that stands in one place and full attacks aren't you? I'm not sure how "this is boring, I'm going to do it again" is a problem with a class.

A fighter that doesn't full attack seems a little bit insane, a fighter doesn't get crowd control (against multiple opponents) and against one CR equivalent opponent if you can hit with a full attack you are more than likely to kill them so choosing to fiddle around with a bunch of sup-optimal tricks (which stop working at higher levels) isn't exactly smart.

Silver Crusade

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I'm more and more convinced that some people just don't know how to play a fighter.


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Wind chime, it is true that fighters don't "get" much. You have to build them. You can build them to do crowd control, to grapple or to do just about any combat option (and usually more than one) as good as or better than any other class.

And if you decide to full attack instead, that's always an option too.

I always look for ways to play my characters differently than the standard "boring" way. Frankly a pounce-grapple-rake send in the AC druid is pretty plain vanilla boring to me.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Wind chime, it is true that fighters don't "get" much. You have to build them. You can build them to do crowd control, to grapple or to do just about any combat option (and usually more than one) than any other class.

And if you decide to full attack instead, that's always an option too.

I always look for ways to play my characters differently than the standard "boring" way. Frankly a pounce-grapple-rake send in the AC druid is pretty plain vanilla boring to me.

Can't see it as boring not when you can stand above the battlefield (I love Air Walk) like some celestial general watching as your many peons (summon natures allies+ AC) fight upon your be-hath as your dazing ball of fire floats about the battle dazing everyone and you rain lightning from above.


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Wind Chime wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Wind chime, you are aware that you could have built something other than a fighter that stands in one place and full attacks aren't you? I'm not sure how "this is boring, I'm going to do it again" is a problem with a class.
A fighter that doesn't full attack seems a little bit insane, a fighter doesn't get crowd control (against multiple opponents) and against one CR equivalent opponent if you can hit with a full attack you are more than likely to kill them so choosing to fiddle around with a bunch of sup-optimal tricks (which stop working at higher levels) isn't exactly smart.

What? My fighter after enlarging herself with a swift action can use her reach weapon and combat reflexes and a +31 to trip at level 8 to pretty much control the battle field. would monsters like to charge and get to the squishy ranger ripping off arrows, or the fireball loving soreceres the druid, or the summoner, sure but there not making it alive without passing me. the eidelon gets a free pass to pounce everything because the summoner is in good hands. and of course with iron will, cloak of resistance plus 4 (crafted by the fighter, raging) another +2 for being a living monolith, good luck trying to get that domination spell to stick.


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Wind Chime wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Wind chime, it is true that fighters don't "get" much. You have to build them. You can build them to do crowd control, to grapple or to do just about any combat option (and usually more than one) than any other class.

And if you decide to full attack instead, that's always an option too.

I always look for ways to play my characters differently than the standard "boring" way. Frankly a pounce-grapple-rake send in the AC druid is pretty plain vanilla boring to me.

Can't see it as boring not when you can stand above the battlefield (I love Air Walk) like some celestial general watching as your many peons (summon natures allies+ AC) fight upon your be-hath as your dazing ball of fire floats about the battle dazing everyone and you rain lightning from above.

LOL, well yeah, full casters are... full casters ya know. So your point is that fighters aren't cosmic reality altering gods on earth full casters. We're good then. I had thought your assertion was that they are boring. My mistake. Carry on.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Wind Chime wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Wind chime, it is true that fighters don't "get" much. You have to build them. You can build them to do crowd control, to grapple or to do just about any combat option (and usually more than one) than any other class.

And if you decide to full attack instead, that's always an option too.

I always look for ways to play my characters differently than the standard "boring" way. Frankly a pounce-grapple-rake send in the AC druid is pretty plain vanilla boring to me.

Can't see it as boring not when you can stand above the battlefield (I love Air Walk) like some celestial general watching as your many peons (summon natures allies+ AC) fight upon your be-hath as your dazing ball of fire floats about the battle dazing everyone and you rain lightning from above.
LOL, well yeah, full casters are... full casters ya know. So your point is that fighters aren't cosmic reality altering gods on earth full casters. We're good then. I had thought your assertion was that they are boring. My mistake. Carry on.

No I a was saying more that fighter lack decent level scaling options besides full attacking (especially archers)and that they lack a unique selling point all to themselves their biggest class feature being more of what everyone else already gets.


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Wind Chime wrote:


No I a was saying more that fighter lack decent level scaling options besides full attacking (especially archers)and that they lack a unique selling point all to themselves their biggest class feature being more of what everyone else already gets.

LOL, their biggest class feature is that they get a ton more of the second best option in the game.

By the way, the full casters' biggest class feature, spells, is pretty much nothing but "getting more of what everyone else gets too". It's just spells.

Yeah, spells are better than feats.

But feats are pretty friggin' good.


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Feats are not good. They're actually mostly pretty terrible. Anything that needs to scale requires 3 or 4 of them. They're weaker than rage powers, alchemist discoveries, revelations, and hexes judging by the frequency with which players with access to those class features trade feats for them.

I will give you that they're better than rogue talents.


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Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Not totally on topic maybe, but I don't consider most of the partial casters to be that much better than the martial classes. The really game-changing spells mostly belong on the full casters' lists.

the operative problem being--game changing spells.

The Exchange

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Wind Chime wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Wind chime, it is true that fighters don't "get" much. You have to build them. You can build them to do crowd control, to grapple or to do just about any combat option (and usually more than one) than any other class.

And if you decide to full attack instead, that's always an option too.

I always look for ways to play my characters differently than the standard "boring" way. Frankly a pounce-grapple-rake send in the AC druid is pretty plain vanilla boring to me.

Can't see it as boring not when you can stand above the battlefield (I love Air Walk) like some celestial general watching as your many peons (summon natures allies+ AC) fight upon your be-hath as your dazing ball of fire floats about the battle dazing everyone and you rain lightning from above.

That's one way to play...or you could be the fighter with a nice reach weapon and combat reflexes and any of a myriad of other feats that makes sure no enemy gets past him without paying the pain tax. Or the fighter that whips the weapons out of his enemy's hands, or the fighter that punishes any and all who oppose him with ridiculous crits on his exotic weapon de la doom, or the.....

whatever. You chose to make a stand-still DPR king and then hated it.
I don't think that the problem is people not knowing how to play a fighter, I think that some people are so blinded by DPR that they don't know how to play the game. There is more ways to control that battle than just spells and playing an intelligent, creative character isn't only about DPR.

Scarab Sages

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Umbranus wrote:
Fake Healer wrote:
TOZ wrote:
The main problem with fighters is the arguments over them.
Amen to that....never seen a fighter in-game
I've never seen a fighter in PF too, at least not a single class fighter. Because no one here wants to play it. And we even see some rogues played.

Had a full fighter in last week in The Golemworks Incident. He pretty much trivialized the entire scenario. That's while the group was playing up. No, he was not an archer.

Fighters work just fine. It's unimaginative or unskilled players that fail when playing the class.


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Artanthos wrote:
Umbranus wrote:
Fake Healer wrote:
TOZ wrote:
The main problem with fighters is the arguments over them.
Amen to that....never seen a fighter in-game
I've never seen a fighter in PF too, at least not a single class fighter. Because no one here wants to play it. And we even see some rogues played.

Had a full fighter in last week in The Golemworks Incident. He pretty much trivialized the entire scenario. That's while the group was playing up. No, he was not an archer.

Fighters work just fine. It's unimaginative or unskilled players that fail when playing the class.

I have seen the same things said about monks.


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You know, I hate to admit it, but there's been a few situations where I thought to myself "Shoot. We could use a fighter right about now."

This particular party i'm remembering is one where everyone rolled up a character without anyone knowing what the other party members were. We had a good bit of casters and a bard for a face, but we all collectively had the idea of "I might as well dump Strength. I probably won't find myself swinging a sword, and that should be something easy to replicate elsewhere. Right?"

Then it hit us. A couple of hobgoblins here. A duo of Ogres there. Our resources were spent. The escape hallway being blocked off without the requisite strength to push it out of the way really felt like the last straw.

We made the mistake of collectively pooling our resources into what we felt was the safe and right answer, with the false sense of security that a Fighter's job could easily be done some other way. Sure, pure combat can be handled by a timely summon or an animal companion. But we really felt the need for a dedicated player to fill those shoes and save our butts.

Normally I might say "don't hate the players, hate the game," but we really kicked ourselves in the teeth with that sort of mindset on the game. Needless to say, we've reconsidered that way of thinking.


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The one thing about spells is that spells are great until you run out of them.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

AD, I agree with you, but we both know that in reality when the casters are drained it's time to go.

At higher levels, that happens less and less often. And you don't run out of spells then...you just run via teleport and come back later.

==Aelryinth


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I've seen the same thing said about monks and rogues and the threads about them being weaksauce and all that. Can't say I agree with them though. All classes can specialize but the fighter can specialize in multiple things due to their ridiculous number of feats.

@Zenogu: good point. I've thought the same thing in the past whn I
was playing a ninja. Versus certain opponents with alot of
natural, I somewhat wished there was a fighter in the party.


Zenogu wrote:

You know, I hate to admit it, but there's been a few situations where I thought to myself "Shoot. We could use a fighter right about now."

This particular party i'm remembering is one where everyone rolled up a character without anyone knowing what the other party members were. We had a good bit of casters and a bard for a face, but we all collectively had the idea of "I might as well dump Strength. I probably won't find myself swinging a sword, and that should be something easy to replicate elsewhere. Right?"

Then it hit us. A couple of hobgoblins here. A duo of Ogres there. Our resources were spent. The escape hallway being blocked off without the requisite strength to push it out of the way really felt like the last straw.

We made the mistake of collectively pooling our resources into what we felt was the safe and right answer, with the false sense of security that a Fighter's job could easily be done some other way. Sure, pure combat can be handled by a timely summon or an animal companion. But we really felt the need for a dedicated player to fill those shoes and save our butts.

Normally I might say "don't hate the players, hate the game," but we really kicked ourselves in the teeth with that sort of mindset on the game. Needless to say, we've reconsidered that way of thinking.

That may be a good argument that you need a martial, though if you'd had a battle cleric or battle oracle or front line druid or alchemist build or a paladin or melee ranger or cavalier or barbarian or your bard had been a front line build you would have been fine. You just say you needed a fighter because they're one of the classic four but any strength based melee build or possibly even some archery builds would have gotten you out of that situation and fighter wouldn't even have been the best.


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I thought that main problem with fighters is that they can't fly, and you can't hit what you can't reach.

*ducks for cover*

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

If your fighter cannot reach his target or keep his target from ignoring him, he has failed.


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They make these amazing things called bows... Maybe they could be useful against flying enemies...

Or so I hear. Mostly I just throw my helmet at them.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

My players monk used his middle finger.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
My players monk used his middle finger.

Troll?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

No. Half-orc.

Didn't do any damage, but was amusing.

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