Fighter Fix: a minimalistic approach

Homebrew and House Rules

Collectively, the forums have generated hundreds of pages of discussion about the fighter: whether it is comparatively over/underpowered, can contribute to the party outside of combat, lacks narrative power relative to spellcasting classes, is overly wealth/magic-dependent, suffers from an overabundance of critical weaknesses, et cetera.

So far there appears to be no consensus whatsoever about what should be done (suggestions range from "nothing" to "only a total remake of the class, or even the basic rules of the game, will suffice"). But the biggest disagreement exists between those players who say the fighter is basically fine, and those who say the fighter is not effective or enjoyable in its current state and must be changed.

My question for the forums: Has anyone engaged in extensive playtesting using a "fixed" fighter? Although characters may vary significantly in their builds (and effectiveness) from table to table, and from game to game, perhaps we could gain some ground in these discussions by gathering empirical playtest data, in much the same way that the Advanced Class Guide classes received mass playtests before their impending final release. Other games release frequent "patches" or revisions to adjust game balance and maximize the enjoyability of play; even a cooperative, narrative-driven game such as Pathfinder could perhaps benefit from iterative changes (even unofficial ones), tested among numerous players over time, that experiment with elements of the game rules in order to facilitate a fun experience.

It seems to me, however, that the most reasonable and least intrusive way to approach a fighter "fix" is to make the fewest possible number of changes, in order to avoid disrupting the functionality of existing archetypes, feats, items, and other rules. With this in mind, I propose a minimalist list of changes to the fighter based on some of the most commonly suggested and least intrusive ideas that I have seen on the forums.

Class Skills: Add Perception and Sense Motive to the fighter's list of class skills.
Skill Ranks Per Level: 4 + Int modifier.
Saves: Good Fortitude and Will saves.

So, has anyone tried playing a fighter with these or similar changes to the class? How does it compare to the existing fighter class? Do the changes break the game, or do they make the fighter feel more useful and fun to play? Post your thoughts and experiences here!

Minus the will saves is what I've been doing. The problem with is Out Of Combat, giving them a few more skill points helps, I also added Diplomacy, Knowledge (Nobility) and Acrobatics as class skills. Diplo and Know (nobility) for a knight-like feel and acrobatics for mobile fighters.

I add Perception and 2 skillsof the players choice, 5 skills per level, and good Reflex OR Will save.

The last Fighter I played was a Tactician Archetype. Aside from the trained bonus to perception, Tower shield and heavy armor it is as you suggest. My character concept favored Medium armor anyway and a Two handed sword so it worked. I think your suggestion should have been RAW. Too bad we will have to wait for PF2 for a new Fighter. House rules will have do do.

It's a half-hearted second place to fixing feats, but the following Fighter has been through three of my campaigns and two campaigns by other DM's and been incredibly successful, both in terms of being a valuable party member and not out-shining the Barbs/Rangers/Paladins but fitting roughly into that balance paradigm. (NOTE: Some Archetypes do need some GM adjudication and can't be plugged in as-published. Viking for example, requires some GM adjustment to use with this Fighter.)

Fort: Good
Ref: Good
Will: Good
Skill points per level: 5 (smack between Barb and Ranger, this could be dropped to 4 without causing any major problems)
Additional Class Skills: Perception and Acrobatics, with an additional 2 of the Fighter's choice at level 1.
Bonus Feats: 2 bonus feats per Fighter level, 1 of which must be a Combat Feat
Weapon Training: No Weapon Groups, applies universally to any non-spell attack the Fighter makes.
Additional Favored Class Bonus: Exotic Weapon Proficiency/1 Fighter Level

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