Ok, I'm considering giving fighters these feats for free at 1st level;
Combat Expertise, Power Attack, all the improved combat manoeuver feats.
For a bit of background, I don't allow actions as an attack of opportunity if they themselves provoke an attack of opportunity.
So, what could go wrong with this idea?
It is too much.
I understand that you are trying to avoid the whole AOO chain craziness that can sometimes happen, but I don't think that is the way to go.
I would simply suggest limiting the AOO chain to one AAO for each combatant (so a max of two per attack sequence). This would be for all classes.
Don't give it at level 1 give it at later levels may be an extra one at level 5,10,15,20. Which is good bonus for people who want to play strait fighter, or a character vested in the class. As to what Matthew says will be a problem people will just dip into the class to pick up a quick two feats. you could make it even more interesting by maybe having that extra bonus feat ignore all pre requs. or it does not have to be a combat feat. this could allow for fighter to make up for lack of skill by taking skill focus in something, or some other feat. you have to play with it and find a balance.
rather than go this route... I'd make up a list of professions and associated weapon proficiencies, traits, and a feat to represent their background. Let the players choose your "kit"(substituting class proficiencies, 2 traits, a feat, 2+2 skill points(INT points not included)) or self design using standard rules for their class proficiencies, 2 traits, a feat, and 2 skill points. I'd have the kit give 2 extra skill points to sweeten the deal (why the 2+2 earlier).
This way you are not going too far off from standard rules and that should lessen the impact of any changes or upset class balance.
Wizards or Clerics could choose the kits and start out as "Trained Militia" or "Church Trained"... and it would mean something.
The key is to not make too many kits. Start in a city or walled city and make up 10 or so and that's it. See how it works out.
Thanks for the replies guys.
Matthew - I did not even consider level dipping mainly because I don't allow it at my table and rarely allow multi classing. I could see how this would be a problem.
SlimGauge - The only other martials that see play at our table are barbarians, rogues and rangers (I run a core only game at the moment as I don't have the time to keep on top of the other rules). All seem to rock, but I'm guessing that probably has much to do with our MGF play style! The last monk we saw in play was about 10 years ago, paladin around 20 years ago and the only bard we ever had was over 30 years ago when they were practically impossible to get (1st edition)!
darkwarrior - As a DM I dream of an all fighter party. Just think, the BBEG could actually monologue without being closed down before he has time to even open his mouth! Do you really think this that imbalanced? The Fighter can hit harder, less accurately, be harder to hit but less accurate, or have a slightly better chance at pulling off a combat manoeuver without exposing himself to a ripost. It does not seem too good even for 1st level, but you may see something I am missing.
RedDog - I like your thinking, however we are happy with the ban on AOO chaining, it's just never worth the hassle.
KainPen - I really wanted to grant the bunce at first level, but maybe it could be something you lose should you ever multiclass? Explanation - Faffing around with spells and wotnot does not leave you enough time to keep up your battle training?
Barbarian Player: "WTF? What am I doing when fighty boy is training?"
DM: "Having psychotherapy"
Ummm, the rational behing my idea needs more polishing I think.
Helaman & Calybos - I just want to give the 'tickle' to fighters at the moment.
Azothath - I never liked kits in 2nd edition (outside of Al-Qadim setting) so I cannot see myself doing this. It would also be a bugger to implement in herolab!
Perhaps giving the bunce at higher fighter levels would be good. Something like at nth level (probably 4th) fighters never provoke AOO when using combat manoeuvers and give them power attack and combat expertise for free at 1st, which you lose should you ever multiclass (unless you actually take the feat). Or maybe swap that around.
What do you think?
When giving things to Fighters, I suggest asking yourself if it makes them more powerful than Wizards, Clerics or Druids.
I thought about this and I reckon you could give Fighters:
A bonus feat at every odd level and two bonus feats at every even level
4 skill points per level
d12 hit points
no stat prerequisites for combat feats
the choice of 10 class skills
and full casters would still be more powerful, though Fighters may start to hedge out Rangers and Barbarians.
In our game, anyone with a Strength of 13+ automatically gets Power Attack, anyone with a Dexterity of 13+ automatically gets Deadly Aim and anyone with an Intelligence of 13+ automatically gets Combat Expertise. It has worked out just fine. We've also combined the Improved and Greater combat maneuver feats which has, in turn, served to make them actually viable in-game.
Also, if a creature with reach makes an attack with a natural weapon against a creature without reach, and that attack would provoke an AoO (as with the style feat Snake Fang or the Rage Power Come and Get Me), then the AoO goes off. In other words, even if I have reach, I have to put myself within range of your AoO to make an attack with a natural weapon, and during that time, I'm vulnerable to your pre-emptive counter-attack.