If I were to remake the Fighter...

Homebrew and House Rules

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Disclaimer: I am a huge fan of the fighter class, but in light of all the current trends to bash on him and what he is, I thought it would be a neat exercise in game design to take a crack at seeing what a better designed figher would look like. This class should be seen as an alternate class of the fighter, and thus multiclassing with it or any of its hybrid classes should be disallowed.

The Battler
Hit Die d12
BAB Full
Good Saves: Fort
Skills 2+INT
Acrobatics, Climb, Craft, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Knowledge (dungeoneering, engineering), Perception, Profession, Ride, Survival, Swim
Proficiency: All simple and martial weapons; light, medium, and heavy armor; all shields(including tower).

Table: Battler
lvl 1]Fighter Training, Battle Technique
lvl 2]Battle Technique
lvl 3]Armor Training 1
lvl 4]Battle Technique
lvl 5]Weapon Training 1
lvl 6]Battle Technique
lvl 7]Armor Training 2
lvl 8]Battle Technique
lvl 9]Weapon Training 2
lvl 10]Advanced Techniques; Battle Technique
lvl 11]Armor Training 3
lvl 12]Battle Technique
lvl 13]Weapon Training 3
lvl 14]Battle Technique
lvl 15]Armor Training 4
lvl 16]Battle Technique
lvl 17]Weapon Training 4
lvl 18]Battle Technique
lvl 19]Armor Mastery
lvl 20]Weapon Mastery, Master of Battle, Battle Technique

Fighter Training (Ex): The Battler treats his class level as levels of Fighter for the purpose of qualifying for feats.

Armor Training (Ex): As Fighter.

Weapon Training (Ex): As fighter.

Battle Techniques: This is the meat of the class, and a lot of these are going to be very familiar, since they are just copy/pastes of different fighter abilities from different archetypes, think of them as being able to piece together your own perfect fighter archetype, with some added ones for flavor and functionality outside of what you come to expect of fighters. Some of these will seem like no-brainer choices.

List of Battle Techniques

Combat Technique (Ex): The Battler gains one Combat Feat as a bonus feat. This technique can be selected multiple times.

Combat Style (Ex): Select one Ranger Combat Style when you select this technique. You do not need to meet the prerequisites for the listed feats, but your Battler level must be at least the level that the Ranger must be to select that feat. When you select this technique, select one Combat Style feat from your selected style that the Ranger can gain at 2nd level. You gain that feat as a bonus feat.

Defensive Insight (Ex): When an opponent makes an attack against the Battler, as a free action he can make an Intelligence check with a DC equal to the enemy's attack roll, adding his class level and his highest Weapon Training value to this check. If he succeeds, the Battler can add his Intelligence modifier as an insight bonus to his AC against attacks made by that opponent. If he fails his check, he cannot use Defensive Insight against the same enemy for 24 hours.

Resolve of Battle (Ex): A Battler adds his INT bonus (if any) to all of his saving throws.

Bravery (Ex): As the fighter class feature.

Unflinching (Ex): As the Unbreakable Fighter class feature.

Deflective Shield (Ex): As the Armor Master class feature.

Overhand Chop and Backswing (Ex): As the Two-Handed Fighter class features. The Battler does not need to be 7th level in order to use the Backswing ability.

Improved Balance (Ex): As the Two-Weapon Warrior class ability.

Tactician (Ex): As the cavalier class feature. If the Battler has levels in cavalier, these levels stack.

Teamwork feat (Ex): Gain a teamwork feat as a bonus feat. You must meet the prerequisites for this feat.

Armored Defense (Ex): As the Armor Master class feature.

Exotic Battle Training (Ex): Select a number of exotic weapons equal to your Intelligence modifier. You gain proficiency with those weapons.

Battle Expertise (Ex): You can use your Intelligence score in place of a relevant ability score for the purpose of qualifying for Combat feats. You also gain Combat Expertise as a bonus feat.

Initiator of Battle (Ex): Add your Intelligence modifier to your Initiative checks. You also gain Improved Initiative as a bonus feat.

List of Advanced Techniques

Feat: Gain any feat as a bonus feat, you must meet its prerequisites.

Battle Pounce (Ex): Gain a pounce attack.

Evasion (Ex): As the Rogue class feature.

Stalwart (ex): As the Inquisitor class feature.

Perfect Balance (Ex): Prerequisite- Improved Balance
As the Two-Weapon Warrior class feature.

Greater Power Attack (Ex):Prerequisite- Overhand Chop and Backswing
As the Two-Handed Fighter class feature.

Deadly Critical (Ex): When the Battler confirms a critical hit, he can increase the weapon’s damage multiplier by +1 as an immediate action. This ability can be used a number of times per day equal to the Battler's Intelligence modifier.

Fortification (Ex): The Battler treats any armor he wears as if it had moderate fortification. This fortification does not stack in any way with armor that has any kind of fortification. In these cases the Battler takes the better of the two fortifications.

Battle Tactics (Ex): Against an enemy the Battler has used Defensive Insight against, he may add his Intelligence Modifier to his attack and damage rolls against that enemy.

Battle Diversity (Ex): Select a number of weapons that you are proficient with equal to your Intelligence modifier. If you have any combat feat that requires you to select a specific weapon (not a specific type of weapon such as bows) you may apply those feats to all of your selected weapons.

Master of Battle (Ex): The Battler has perfected combat while using weapons. Any feats that grant a numerical bonus to rolls involving weapons have their value doubled.

It's a first draft, and as always I am willing to expand and edit as seems necessary.

Other than getting Pounce, you've solved nothing at all.

I don't recommend trying to recreate a class based on what people on the forums say. If you've noticed a specific problem at your table, then you can list the problem you noticed, and your fixes to the problem.

At my table, fighters are very powerful. Granted, we're at level 5 right now, and I have a table of players who mostly don't care about optimization. The fighters that they've gone up against as NPCs have really hammered them.

The players have been arguing about who gets to come back as a fighter if/when their character dies.

That said, it seems like your fixes have really complicated what is supposed to be the "easy" class. If you don't want to track resources and want to be pretty effective in combat, the fighter has always been a pretty good choice.

If I were to re-create the fighter, I would keep this simplicity in mind. Instead of giving them a bunch of choices to make, I would give them fewer choices and more automatic abilities gained at x level.

I go with some fairly small changes to fighters in my home games:

4 skill points per level
Pick 1 other good save (reflex or will)
Pick 3 more class skills

Shatterspell is not restricted to dwarves.

I should probably address the pounce issue as well.

drbuzzard wrote:

I go with some fairly small changes to fighters in my home games:

4 skill points per level
Pick 1 other good save (reflex or will)
Pick 3 more class skills

Shatterspell is not restricted to dwarves.

I should probably address the pounce issue as well.

I like those house rules. I think its really the only thing I really wanted out of a fighter as opposed to trying to directly compete with spellcasting. I don't think pounce is necessary but I do find it sad that its such a difficult ability to get. It really needs to be a feat.

In regards to Fighter changes to make them more powerful I would take a look at this. I haven't given it more than a read through but at first glance I'm not sure I would allow it. It looks like it could be TOO good. A fighter does enough sustained damage, I just want some more versatility and bravery to actually matter not make anything put in front of him to disintegrate.

Yeah, my approach isn't to make them hit harder in combat. They honestly do that plenty well enough. Rather, the idea is to make them less of a boat anchor out of combat, and shore up their defensive issues.

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Were I redoing all of the classes, I'd have this at the top of my mind:

It is REALLY hard to balance classes with burst/nova power against sustained DPR/utility power over the constellation of game types. The fighter, and to a lesser extent, the rogue, don't really have a lot of N times a day burst powers. This makes their balance point exceptionally sensitive to how the game is run. That in turn tends to make all sorts of metagame intrusion come into play (artificially forcing timetables and number of encounters/day for balance reasons rather than in-game reasons). So honestly, were I doing a rebuild, I'd arrange fighters and rogues to have significant 'burst-type' powers.

Its a little hard to balance things out in Pathfinder because even though martial classes have the advantage of sustained damage output the fact that there are limited resources and that this is a team game the party winds up revolving around the person with the important expendable resource. I know that's not how it always is but unless time there is a time limit on success the 5 min workday is an optimal strategy. However if you are actually managing your resources as a caster this means that you dont' get to do things for stretches of time while you save up spells for important things.

I think that if martial classes functioned more like 'Tome of Battle' and Casters all had something generic to do like an unlimited vanilla magic attack that did reasonable but not good or bad damage things would work out better.

Tl;Dr: I agree with EWHM on some points.

Most of the changes I made involved two things:
1) Defensive capabilities. I have given them an option to add INT to saving throws, I also added what should be a simple mechanic to add INT to AC, I also included ways to get Bravery, Unflinching, and Evasion and Stalwart. One of, if not the biggest complaint I have ever seen or experienced with the fighter was that his defenses sucked.

2) Utility. Adding INT as a primary stat inadvertently added skill ranks to the class, and I also added some more skills like Acrobatics and Perception. With a trait or a feat one could add to the class skill list and by the mechanics of the class have additional options.

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