How do you build a Fighter nowadays?


Advice

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I know this is a post that's probably going to get a lot of pummeling, and feedback like 'You build a Slayer' or 'You go Cleric, summon archons and buff them' or 'You go Barbarian', but... Some relevant changes have come about for fighters (maybe not world shaking changes, but still Advanced Weapon and Armor Training, I'm looking at you) and more options are now on the table I believe.

So, how DO you build a fighter nowadays? I'm thinking your average, run of the mill fighter that picks up whatever weapon (even if a broken chair's leg), and goes to town beating the bad guys with it, while doing a good job at staying alive, and keeping his team alive?

Or are Fighters still not 'worth' building?

Please be gentle - Fighters are my favorite class of all times - I can't really put my finger on why that is exactly (most likely because I'm from the old days when 'Elf' was actually a class), but the truth of it is that I am :D


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Albion, The Eye wrote:

I know this is a post that's probably going to get a lot of pummeling, and feedback like 'You build a Slayer' or 'You go Cleric, summon archons and buff them' or 'You go Barbarian', but... Some relevant changes have come about for fighters (maybe not world shaking changes, but still Advanced Weapon and Armor Training, I'm looking at you) and more options are now on the table I believe.

So, how DO you build a fighter nowadays? I'm thinking your average, run of the mill fighter that picks up whatever weapon (even if a broken chair's leg), and goes to town beating the bad guys with it, while doing a good job at staying alive, and keeping his team alive?

Or are Fighters still not 'worth' building?

Please be gentle - Fighters are my favorite class of all times - I can't really put my finger on why that is exactly (most likely because I'm from the old days when 'Elf' was actually a class), but the truth of it is that I am :D

A fighter doesn't do well with picking up whatever weapon and going to town. The Pathfinder system really rewards specialization and the one thing a fighter can do is get obscene numbers of feats and specialize the hell out of himself.


Ok, so a Fighter would do well in specializing in a weapon or group, as well as in a particular fighting style?

Does he have enough versatility to combine multiple fighting roles (say... being a Bodyguard kinda guy and also a mobile fighter, or being a tank kinda guy but also be able to 'shutdown' or harass casters)?


Albion, The Eye wrote:

Ok, so a Fighter would do well in specializing in a weapon or group, as well as in a particular fighting style?

Does he have enough versatility to combine multiple fighting roles (say... being a Bodyguard kinda guy and also a mobile fighter, or being a tank kinda guy but also be able to 'shutdown' or harass casters)?

Best bet is to pick a style and stick with it. Feat trees are taxing, and this is before you push advantages like Greater Weapon Focus or cover weaknesses with things like Iron Will. As for dealing with casters? That's what classes with specialized class features are for. A properly made Barbarian (Spell Sunder) can do it, as well as Clerics (spells) and Paladins (amazing saves and Mercies).

I recently picked up the Weapon Master's handbook, and the options have me legitimately excited about playing a Fighter for the first time since my newbie 3rd Edition days. It helps that Lore Warden washes it clean of the "2+Int skills on a non-Int class" baggage. That stuff is heresy, I tell you.

How would I build it? Mostly by starting with some flavorful itch I've got to scratch or by looking to see if my PFS roster has a niche to fill. Right now I want to plan out one character for each of the season 8 elemental races. I'm thinking some kind of Sylph dex-based something. Archer? Or maybe try to brute force the numbers into making throwing weapons almost viable. Maybe a fencer? A racial Int bonus makes taking Combat Expertise feel less like hugging a cactus.

Has potential. Have to do some testing. I'll get back to you later.


Rosc has it spot-on. You need to have a plan, and stick to the plan.

Like you, I've always had a soft spot ini my heart for the fighter, part of a "root for the underdogs" thing I've got. If I was going to put one on a table right now, I think I'd have to try a half-orc using Smashing Style with an axe or hammer, see how that did.


Speaking of Weapon Master's Handbook, Cut from the Air and Spellcut are pretty useful for your survivability.


Also you probably want an archetype that keeps weapon training in some form and get yourself gloves of dueling ASAP.
In general fighters are pretty good at just hitting or shooting things for damage and decent at combat maneuver based control.
Still nothing compared to a prepared high level caster, but certainly not useless.

Silver Crusade

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How do you build a fighter? From 5th level and up unless you're going weapon master archetype, that's the point where AWT kicks in and the class starts to feel more fightery. Aside from that, you basically need to chart out your progression since fighters need a plan, so don't just throw feats around, make every one of them work towards your build goals.


Overall?

Similar to before with the weapons, but now you switch out armor training to get alchemist mutagens and wings, and you keep weapon training and abandon your extra weapon groups at 9th, 13th, and 17th levels in order to get abilities that patch up some of the usual complaints about fighters over other martials (saves, skill points, etc.).

That is how it seems like it would often go nowadays.

Grand Lodge

What gets you wings for armor training? I'm not sure Mutation warrior is as much of an automatic pick as it used to be with Armor Master's handbook. If I were building a fighter, I'd look at what Weapon and Armor Masteries look awesome, decide if I wanted to do Eldritch Guardian, and work from there.


Markov Spiked Chain wrote:
What gets you wings for armor training? I'm not sure Mutation warrior is as much of an automatic pick as it used to be with Armor Master's handbook. If I were building a fighter, I'd look at what Weapon and Armor Masteries look awesome, decide if I wanted to do Eldritch Guardian, and work from there.

Looked over the armor training... not as amazing as weapon training. That solves central issues with saves and skills.

Still prefer wings and a +2/+2 to a +4/+4 on my attacks due to mutagens. Wings (the alchemist discovery that gives minutes/level of flight that you can spread out) alone seem worth it, since it can touch on another issue of the class- what to do when you are a melee guy that simply can't reach the enemy? No need for buffs now- you have more than enough for almost every single fight in the day from the second you get the wings (level 7- enough for 7 fights).


I prefer DR 8/- that stacks with adamantine armor and +5 AC, some actual Armor Training and some skills than Mutation Warrior.


Secret Wizard wrote:
I prefer DR 8/- that stacks with adamantine armor and +5 AC, some actual Armor Training and some skills than Mutation Warrior.

Isn't it only DR 8 at level 19?

While you might be able to pull off DR 6 earlier (11 lvl) with adamantine full plate (a non AAT user would get DR 3 for the same expense though), but still, I am unsure how much you can bring a capstone into this.

Wings, in comparison, come on at level 7, which is about a fair point where you can start expecting more flying enemies.


Been thinking about fighter builds for a while now, specifically an unarmed fighter build for an AP. Normally I'd use brawler class for unarmed warrior builds, but advanced weapon training (focused weapon) [WMH] gets warpriest's sacred weapon damage progression which is almost as good as a monk/brawler's unarmed strike damage. While lacking flurry, the accuracy and damage boost weapon training itself will be a definite balancing feature.

Warrior spirit [MTT] looks to be the best advanced weapon training option out there for now (I'm understanding yet saddened that it's not allowed in PFS) basically granting paladin's divine bond ability to throw on magic weapon special qualities on the fighter's weapon, while not being limited by paladin's divine bond's rather small list of available options (emergency bane or holy usage sounds fantastic!)
Though I just don't know how it applies to unarmed strikes. If I were to apply flaming to unarmed strikes, would EVERY unarmed strike I make in a round benefit from flaming like how amulet of mighty fist works? Or just one specific limb, maybe the right fist? Or do I gotta put apply it to a single manufactured weapon, like a gauntlet?

Versatile training is pretty sweet for extra skill ranks, still useful when multiclassing.

The bravery bonus to reflex or will saves advanced weapon training are pretty awesome also.

I'm sort of hard pressed to ever give up armor training with strength based fighter builds. Built plenty of low AC (due to less than 16 Dexterity and light armour builds, even elven chain doesn't help much) characters before in order to not be slowed by armor and when brawling armor was pretty cheap for unarmed builds, and not always a big fan of how much they get beat down and draining party resources to heal and keep in the fight. Being able to move as much as possible in one move action is pretty important to me as tactical positioning (avoid cover, get flank, rush ranged characters, etc) is useful to consider for any build. Plus some of the advanced armor training options are pretty nifty (master armorer and specialization and DR could be useful in APs. The first two are a no-go in PFS though). With brawling armor's errata, I don't feel as inclined to be stuck in light armor anymore.


I would say there are several possible ways to build fighters. There are still some sore points about the class, but you can probably make a serviceable version. Style-wise, you can probably make two-handed weapons, ranged weapons and multiple weapons/sword and shield all work for you, though the first one will probably require the least investment to be effective.

Lore wardens and mutation warriors offer you serviceable abilities for armor training. Lore wardens are the maneuver specialists and work quite well as swashbucklery types, while mutation warriors are really handy for their temporary mutagen buffs. Advanced armor training does offer some good things, but both of those archetypes give you good trades imo. I would call it about even. However,there are almost no archetypes that give you a worthwhile trade for weapon training and its advanced options. Maybe viking and free-style fighter. MAYBE. In fact,for many weapon specialist archetypes the biggest question is "does my version of weapon training count for advanced weapon training." Attributes that cost you neither weapon nor armor training and give you something useful - like the Eldritch guardian - are definitely worth looking into.

A new and imo very big thing is the variant multiclassing from unchained. Basically, you give up half your regular bonus feats (level 3,7, 11, etc) for features from one other class.Well, guess what class has feats to spare... Some of the options aren't great, but some are pretty handy. For example, VMC-ing into a barbarian gives you rage and some of the barbarian defenses and rage powers for a berserker, VMCing into a bard gives you bardic knowledge and music for an inspirational leader (and is really handy for a lore warden), rogue eventually gets you sneak attack,etc. Unless you are into a really feat intensive style, it is definitely worth it checking what you can trade your most abundant resource for.

While "Pathfinder Unchained" sadly did not give the class the kind of serious update that the monk and the rogue got, the VMC and the combat stamina rules are really nice for fighters.I strongly recommend having them if you plan to play one.


Thanks for all the feedback people - good thing Fighters are still alive :D

So, from what I have read:

- Best to chose a plan and stick with it: I'm assuming the logic here ties in immensely not only with the concept you may have for your character, but also for the role you intend it to play in a group (as always I guess). My question here would be - would logic dictate that one should follow along this or that feat tree? Or can one safely pick and chose from multiple ones, without abandoning the opportunity for success? :D

- Advanced Weapon Training and Armor Training: This seems to be a definite consensus - it seems important to look ahead and decide which of these you plan to take before building the fighter, correct? It may dramatically influence how it is done;

- Two archetypes were mentioned, so I looked them over: Mutation Warrior seems interesting, flight at level 7 is just cool in many ways, even though I guess it can be replicated by magical items? Even so, it feels like it makes up for a well rounded character. Eldritch Guardian: I've read some stuff about running along with a goat familiar and pummeling stuff to the ground - I don't know how to build it, but just looking at Share Training makes me smile. It seems another advantage is the fact that you are 'only' trading out feats and not Armor or Weapon Training? And I also assume some other feats would contribute to improving the familiar, correct? My question is, wouldn't this be the Fighter trying to be a Hunter?

- Last, but not least, thank you for the VMC advice The Shaman, it means yet another way to take what fighters have in bundles (feats), and turning them into what they seem to be missing - class abilities. It sure opens up a LOT of options. Has anyone ever used a fighter as chassis for VMC?

Another one just to satisfy my curiosity - is any one currently playing a fighter? What kind of fighter? And how is it working out? :D


The thing about fighters: you can build them any number of ways.

The question is, what do YOU want to do?


Albion, The Eye wrote:
Or are Fighters still not 'worth' building?

Sadly, yes.

If you optimize really hard, you'll hit t4 and maybe play well with some poorly built and played T3s.

Now 'worth' as in function well enough in most Paizo APs with everyone in the party building to the AP so the GM isn't cranking up the difficulty beyond just playing the NPCs smart, then yeah the fighter can get there.

Sample Build:
Human Fighter || 18 14 14 10 10 10 ||Intimidate, Perception; Climb, Swim, Survival|| Seeker, Indomitable Faith(+1 Will)
1 |Toughness, Intimidating Prowess, Combat Reflexes
2 |Bravery +1, Power Attack
3 |Armor training, Cleave
4 |Great Cleave
5 |Weapon training(Blades, Heavy), Advanced Weapon Training: Versatile Training(Intimidate, Diplomacy)
6 |Bravery +2, Lunge
7 |Armor Specialization (plate), Iron Will
8 |Blind-Fight
9 |Versatile Training(Bluff, Ride), Cut from the Air
10|Bravery +3, Advanced Weapon Training: Armed Bravery
11|Adaptive Armor Training(disguise), Smash from the Air
12|Pin down
13|Defensive Weapon Training, Antagonize
14|Bravery +4, Dazing Assault
15|Adaptive Armor Training(acrobatics), Advanced Weapon Training: Weapon Sacrifice
16|Weapon Focus
17|Fighter’s Reflexes, Greater Weapon Focus
18|Bravery +5, Weapon Specialization
19|Armor mastery, Greater Weapon Specialization
20|weapon mastery(GS), Advanced Weapon Training: Weapon Specialist

I haven't fully integrated being able to grant adaptive armor training as a feat every 3 levels yet, but that general build works (though it doesn't need all that dex aside from AOOs). You could replace the weapon focus line and that last AWT with AT to just ramp up your skills (probably more useful than +2/+4, maybe...).

I've played a lot of fighters too and my top 2 favorite characters are Fighters.


MeanMutton wrote:
A fighter doesn't do well with picking up whatever weapon and going to town. The Pathfinder system really rewards specialization and the one thing a fighter can do is get obscene numbers of feats and specialize the hell out of himself.

To be a little more specific, the fighter is very, very encouraged to specialize in one weapon/fighting style. But some of the other martial classes can be pretty good at being the guy who can pick up anything and fight with it, because they have other non-weapon specific ways to focus themselves.

So, pathfinder tends to favor specialization, and the fighter is basically forced to specialize in one specific way.

Grand Lodge

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This Depends on what Type of Fighter. Archer, 2 Handed, TWF, Sword and Board.

I personally like a good old 2 handed build made to smash faces in.

Mutagen Warrior is the way I like to build it. Grabbing Wings at 7 (yes it can be replicated but it is one of the more solid choices.) There are choices you can take. Preserve Organs is good. As is grabbing an extra arm to hold a Shield while you 2 hand. Tentacle is great for grapple builds but The arm tends to be more useful holding Items like Potions and Shields.

Grabbing Armed Bravery at level 9 to shore up the worst part of playing a fighter. I love going Half Orc for Fate's Favored and Sacred Tattoo. +2 to ALL saves is better than 3 feats put together. Grabbing Iron will at some point is good as well making your Will very respectable compared to the old fighter. Sash of the war Champion is a good way to bump your will for 4K. its good on a Fighter who doesn't trade off Armor training with the new Advanced Armor.

But the build can still deal great damage consistently and can survive well on the frontlines. The down side is your still lacking skill points so your still hyper focused on combat.


Albion, The Eye wrote:
Eldritch Guardian: I've read some stuff about running along with a goat familiar and pummeling stuff to the ground - I don't know how to build it, but just looking at Share Training makes me smile

I don't know other people's builds, but I see share training as a way to double your efficiency with things you get from feats. And goats have some decent str as a mauler familiar, which means decent CMB.

So in the end, I would often advise dirty tricks, since you can just pile on conditions. With dirty trick master, you can straight up stun lock enemies in a round (make them nauseated, which means they can't take the standard action needed to cure the dirty trick). Just double team and cripple an enemy in one round, and then move onto the next one.

That, and the fact that coordinated charge qualifies, giving you pseudo pounce. When you send your familiar to charge, you can spend an immediate action to move (and attack) outside of your turn. That means you should be fairly close to your target when your turn comes up. Might need to have your familiar delay its actions to synch up with your turn.

The Exchange

Generally with combat reflexes and power attack at the first level, starting dex of 14 or higher if point buy allows. Reach weapon, and armor spikes. Or maybe I roll a ranger or a barbarian and call him a fighter because I like more skill points.

I personally believe that fighters are around to protect the squishies, and the best way to protect squishies is to trip/murderhobo everyone before they can get to you.


If you want to get really weird with Eldritch Guardian, combine pummeling charge with coordinated charge. So, your familiar will charge and do a full attack, then you charge as an immediate action and do a full attack. And then you still have a full attack action waiting when it's your turn.

Scarab Sages

You want to build a fighter? Then build a Vigilante Avenger. It is better in just about every possible way.

Grand Lodge

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Lorewalker wrote:
You want to build a fighter? Then build a Vigilante Avenger. It is better in just about every possible way.

This is exactly what the OP did not want.

No other class recommendation. Just Fighter Class. All the new options available the OP wants to see the current Popular builds.

Scarab Sages

Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:
Lorewalker wrote:
You want to build a fighter? Then build a Vigilante Avenger. It is better in just about every possible way.

This is exactly what the OP did not want.

No other class recommendation. Just Fighter Class. All the new options available the OP wants to see the current Popular builds.

I get that. But fighter is a bad class and even Paizo knows it... which is why the vigilante has a "fighter" build, the Avenger specialization, that is better than a fighter... you can even get a feat per level the same as fighters. Even has decent saves and skill points. And eventually can get pounce. It is basically fighter unchained.

But... my PFS fighter is a (Eldritch Guardian, Mutation Warrior and Martial Master) with 1 level of Bloodrager (Blood Conduit, Urban Bloodrager) who has specced for tripping and AOOs. Took bloodline familiar, Draconic so his famiilar can fly for 1 minute per day. He uses a wand of Blade Lash at the start of combat. He will eventually get a third hand for use with Crane Style, wands and shield while wielding a two-hander. Further down the line he will have wings.

Grand Lodge

I will throw out a build I love. Eldritch Guardian, Mutation Warrior, Martial Master. I usually build this as a half elf for arcane training (wand and scroll use of the 1st level wizard), half elves can take dual mind for +2 to will saves. The better version of bravery with a trait against enchantment or compulsion effect often puts this build at +9 or 10 vs the most dangerous will saves at level 2.

Shield companion wand and phalanx formation is awesome here. Or outflank and a menacing amulet. With a reach weapon and combat reflexes you can take up 8 squares across the battle field. You have lots of utility wands, scrolls, heal, flying, battle field control, 2 sets of HP. Martial mastery blind fighting when need, rat catcher for swarms, or pin down, lunge, disruptive for casters.

Even with the new AWT. I think this is still my favourite build to play. It is a little light on skills for some but being a half elf makes getting high perception is easy. And having spell craft, perception and umd as class skills helps.

Grand Lodge

Lorewalker wrote:
Fruian Thistlefoot wrote:
Lorewalker wrote:
You want to build a fighter? Then build a Vigilante Avenger. It is better in just about every possible way.

This is exactly what the OP did not want.

No other class recommendation. Just Fighter Class. All the new options available the OP wants to see the current Popular builds.

I get that. But fighter is a bad class and even Paizo knows it... which is why the vigilante has a "fighter" build, the Avenger specialization, that is better than a fighter... you can even get a feat per level the same as fighters. Even has decent saves and skill points. And eventually can get pounce. It is basically fighter unchained.

But... my PFS fighter is a (Eldritch Guardian, Mutation Warrior and Martial Master) with 1 level of Bloodrager (Blood Conduit, Urban Bloodrager) who has specced for tripping and AOOs. Took bloodline familiar, Draconic so his famiilar can fly for 1 minute per day. He uses a wand of Blade Lash at the start of combat. He will eventually get a third hand for use with Crane Style, wands and shield while wielding a two-hander. Further down the line he will have wings.

Yes the Fighter is a weaker class out of all the choices out there. But it is still better than a few classes out there as well. Sometimes it is fun to take a weaker class like fighter and push it to its limits and make people go...WOW.

I typically play other classes for my "fighter" needs but the Fighter's new options defiantly make it somewhat playable again. I play in a group that uses Background skills so the fighter options are starting to look like a lot of fun to our group. Just because the class for years has had the stigmata of "Do not Play". Now a few of us have been just toying with the builds for fun.


I'm going to suggest a doozy. And I mean a real doozy. A straight fighter with no archetypes. You get the benefits of armor training, weapon training, and all the feats you could want. The second suggestion is give the fighter an extra 2 skill points per level, and rearrange the skills into Knowledge nobility, siege warfare, profession etc, so that way only one or two skills are int based. It will be such a revolutionary concept that people will regard you as MAD, MAD indeed.


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My favorite nowadays fighter is an Eldritch Guardian/Mutation Warrior with a Sage Familiar. Focus on a Nodachi with Shield Brace. Telepathic Link, Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Cut From The Air, Spellcut, Versatile Training... You end up with relevant bonuses to all knowledge skills, Diplomacy, Sense Motive, huge AC, a once per round super saving throw, crit fishing two handed melee damager who can fly and go big once per session to really throw out the hurt.


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Nine-tailed kitsune build with a one-level dip in Cunning Blade Swashbuckler for faster dex-to-damage. There's a trait to get Magical Tail with a combat feat, so once you have dex-to-damage, just spend everything on tails. Get Irrepressible so your charisma covers important will saves, and stick with vanilla Fighter for AWT and AAT.


I've been toying with the idea of a Fighter (probably Lore Warden for Combat Maneuver bonuses, or maybe Tactician(*) to coordinate the group) that switch-hits (polearms and archery) and goes for battlefield control (Trip and/or Dirty Trick everything -- Weapon Master's Handbook added Ace Trip, which lets you trip flying enemies). Although I have to point to another type of build that is traditionally regarded as bad (not bad class, but traditionally bad archetype), but that lets me get this online almost as fast while letting me use spells to amplify it. An actual Fighter who managed to get a tail could probably get some of the same effect by using Wands (right kind of Tiefling with trait to get Use Magic Device in class -- unfortunately Relic Master trades out Weapon Training).

(*)Losing Weapon Training 1 hurts, though, more than trading out a later level of Weapon Training.


I've been toying around with (unarchetyped) Fighter builds, mostly to see what I could do with items from some of the new Player Companions. Here's one I put together recently:

Johnny Kek:

Half-orc (mystic) fighter 12
CG Medium humanoid (human, orc)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +16
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 35, touch 15, flat-footed 32 (+14 armor, +2 deflection, +3 Dex, +2 natural, +4 shield)
hp 118 (12d10+48)
Fort +17, Ref +17, Will +15 (+4 vs. fear); +4 vs. effects that cause you to lose your grip on weapons
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +3 adamantine longspear +22/+17/+12 (1d8+13/×3)
Ranged +2 cold iron javelin +22/+17/+12 (1d6+10)
Special Attacks weapon trainings (fighter's reflexes, spears +4)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th; concentration +10)
1/day—fly
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 18, Dex 18, Con 18, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 7
Base Atk +12; CMB +16; CMD 32 (36 vs. disarm, 36 vs. sunder)
Feats Advanced Weapon Training, Advanced Weapon Training, Combat Reflexes, Combat Stamina, Cut From The Air, Deadly Aim, Distance Thrower, Endurance, Flight Mastery, Iron Will, Pin Down, Power Attack, Quick Draw, Ricochet Toss, Shield Focus, Unhindering Shield
Traits fate's favored, seeker
Skills Climb +12, Fly +11, Perception +16, Ride +5, Survival +14, Swim +7, Use Magic Device +1
Languages Common, Draconic, Orc
SQ armor training 2, combat reflexes, deadly aim, distance thrower, orc blood, pin down, power attack, shield focus
Other Gear +2 full plate, +2 buckler, +2 cold iron javelin, +3 adamantine longspear, amulet of natural armor +2, belt of physical might +2 (Dex, Con), boots of speed, cloak of resistance +3, gloves of dueling, handy haversack, ring of protection +2, sash of the war champion
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Armed Bravery (+4/+8) (Ex) Add bravery bonus to will save, Intim. DC to demoralize you increases by amount shown.
Armor Specialization +3 (Full plate) (Ex) Increase armor bonus of chosen armor.
Armor Training 2 (Ex) Worn armor -2 check penalty, +2 max DEX.
Armored Master (Ex) Gain an armor mastery or shield mastery feat.
Combat Reflexes (5 AoO/round) Can make extra attacks of opportunity/rd, and even when flat-footed.
Cut from the Air AoO: Stop ranged attacks against you or an adjacent target
Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark (black and white only).
Deadly Aim -4/+8 Trade a penalty to ranged attacks for a bonus to ranged damage.
Distance Thrower Reduce ranged penalties for thrown weapons by 2
Endurance +4 to a variety of fort saves, skill and ability checks. Sleep in L/M armor with no fatigue.
Fighter's Reflexes (Weapon Training [Spears] +4) (Ex) While not denied Dex bonus to AC, add training bonus to Reflex saves.
Flight Mastery (1/day) fly as a spell-like ability
Orc Blood Half-orcs count as both humans and orcs for any effect related to race.
Pin Down Opponents that take 5-foot step or withdraw provoke attack of opportunity from you
Power Attack -4/+8 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Quick Draw Draw weapon as a free action (or move if hidden weapon). Throw at full rate of attacks.
Ricochet Toss Throwing weapon returns immediately after attack is resolved.
Unhindering Shield Still gain buckler's AC bonus when use that hand for other purpose. Hand is considered free.
Warrior Spirit +6 (Weapon Training [Spears] +4 [Ex], 7/day) (Su) Standard action, add enhance bon or item powers for 1 min.
Weapon Training (Spears) +4 (Ex) +4 Attack, Damage, CMB, CMD with Spears

I wanted decent defenses, and decent melee and ranged options, as well as Flight and Haste for when they're necessary. Because of this, I sacrificed some out-of-combat skills. Overall, I'm moderately happy with the build, though it's by no means perfect.


QuidEst wrote:
Nine-tailed kitsune build with a one-level dip in Cunning Blade Swashbuckler for faster dex-to-damage. There's a trait to get Magical Tail with a combat feat, so once you have dex-to-damage, just spend everything on tails. Get Irrepressible so your charisma covers important will saves, and stick with vanilla Fighter for AWT and AAT.

If you're going Kitsune and wanna try specializing in natural attacks, Vulpine Pounce is neat.


Albion, The Eye wrote:

My question here would be - would logic dictate that one should follow along this or that feat tree? Or can one safely pick and chose from multiple ones, without abandoning the opportunity for success? :D

Another one just to satisfy my curiosity - is any one currently playing a fighter? What kind of fighter? And how is it working out? :D

The key to making a plan is knowing what the GM's plan for the campaign is. At least have a discussion with him/her to figure out if they're thinking ~8-10th level as culmination vs 20th; or do they plan to us Automatic Bonus Progression and magic only in loot (no magic stores) vs a more CRB style with crafting; or is it going to be wilderness/urban/underdark or a mix?

All of those things would be important to know or at least have some clue about so you can visualize your end-state, and then work backward from there. Otherwise you start with a build in mind, create your plan for exactly what feat and armor/weapon training's to take, only to find out its not doing what you thought because the environment/level/magic isn't matching what you visualized.

My daughter and son are both playing fighters in my campaign. They started as Archer and Sword/board builds out of CRB. Around level 4 I inserted house rule version of fighter (added several things on top of what CRB had), and now at level 5 we're using ABP from Unchained. The archer is definitely the death-build right now, but with the changes, including stamina abilities (25 selectable options to use in and out of combat), the Sword/Board is coming in as well.


I'd change a couple of things, Cheburn.

1 - AWT at 10th level - Abundant Tactics. Increases your Warrior Spirit and Fly by 4 uses/day.

Smash from the Air - Cut from the air for siege size missiles and ranged magical attacks.

Advanced Armor Training - Master Armorer - Make your own Armor, craft checks use your BAB. Adds skills and craft armor in one feat...half price armor. Pays for itself when you increase your buckler and armor to +3 for barely more then the cost to make them +2.

Consider Telekinetic Item Mastery at 10+ if you can get an item with a 4th level transmutation spell in the reqs. Combat feat, you'll have 5 uses a day with abundant tactics...manipulate objects, ranged attack feat, retrieve objects, or extra movement bonus, as desired. VERY useful.

Where's a mystic fighter get double weapon training with spears from?
How'd you get Warrior Spirit +6 otherwise, unless they applied Gloves/Duelist twice?

Traits: Defender of the society: +1 AC for the same armor you took your Armor Mastery in.
Inquisitive: +2 to UMD and UMD a class skill (for your Item Mastery feats and wands...)

FCB: Either skills or HP work.

as a half-orc, fate's favored and sacred tattoo is another great combo.


If you're worried about casters, be a dwarf and take Glory of Old and Steel Soul. Then sure up your defenses and offenses with your plentiful feats.

Honestly, save little skill points, I'm not sure too many of them targeted complaints about the Fighter hold up nowadays. Anything lodged against them basically applies to every martial, which is what they should be compared to. It's hit a point where a Core fighter can actually fight even along side ragelancepounce. Takes hella Mastery, but it's at least satisfying now, and worth doing.

I suggest looking at style feats. Anything that has come out in the Armor and Weapon Master's Handbook greatly benefits pretty much any style of Fighter, from tanks charging through enemy lines to fancy fencers that wanna throw their rapier at foes (Okay, the latter takes a little longer to get online).

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Haze' wrote:

I'd change a couple of things, Cheburn.

1 - AWT at 10th level - Abundant Tactics. Increases your Warrior Spirit and Fly by 4 uses/day.

Sadly not true. Abundant Tactics only increases the uses of combat feats; warrior spirit is a class ability, not a feat at all, and the Item Mastery feats aren't combat feats, they're just general feats.

It really sucks - using AT to get more uses of the Item Mastery feats was the first thing I thought of when I read the book...

Scarab Sages

I'm away from boos but advanced weapon training is definitely not a class ability it's a feat...i just can't check if it's a [combat] feat.


Advanced weapon training is a bit of a feat and a class ability. You can trade away the secondary weapons at later levels for the abilities. Or you can take the feat that's gated by your fighter level.


Mix the following:

Combat Reflexes Power Attack, Shield Brace, Dirty Fighting, Imp/Greater Dirty Trick, Imp/Greater Trip, Armed Bravery, Versatile Training, Armored Juggernaut, a darkwood shield and magical polearm. Add Item Mastery for flight and teleport. Combines well enough, giving solid defense (armor, shield, decent will), solid offense, and some none-attack options. Try to set up flanks, and debuff as much as possible. Every time you lower AC the next combat maneuver gets easier, so for longer lines of debuffs start with entangle, blind, and prone. Probably want quick dirty trick and pin down also, and won't get off a huge chain of debuffs, but you can do the following:

Decrease AC and flank for fellow Melee combatants
Decrease saving throws and AC for casters and archers
Harass enemies to a point where they will attack you instead of move past
Take a lot of hits with a decent AC, Saves, DR, and HP
Deal plenty of damage through AoO's and normal attacks
Contribute in social endeavors using diplomacy and sense motive free
Contibute elsewhere with passable climb and swim (split up ranks), and decent UMD.

Weaknesses include no great ranged attack (beyond DDoor/Flight feats), Combat Maneuvers are situational, and it is much less useful solo than in a party. Also turns fighter into support instead of damage.

Consider Master Armorer, Armor Specialization and dazing assault at later levels, the above makes use of the strengths of the class (lots of feats) to become decent at 2 combat maneuvers, capable of others, and able to make a reliable tank.


We just had a campaign wrap up at level 14. Our Dwarven fighter had 42 AC, DR6/-, wielded a shield with a Nodachi/Bardiche/Lucerne Hammer, had impressive saves, and still had the feats left over to take the dwarven cleave feats and be an absolute berzerker in multi-enemy combats. He was impressive from levels 1 to 14 and the guy playing him had a lot of fun.

The WMH and AMH were exactly what fighters needed, in my opinion.


minoritarian wrote:
I'm away from boos but advanced weapon training is definitely not a class ability it's a feat...i just can't check if it's a [combat] feat.

It is a fighter class ability and it is also a Fighter [Combat] feat that requires itself as class ability before the feat is available.


Haze' wrote:

I'd change a couple of things, Cheburn.

1 - AWT at 10th level - Abundant Tactics. Increases your Warrior Spirit and Fly by 4 uses/day.

I read it the same way Shisumo did -- I do not believe those are (Combat) feats, and so I didn't think it would apply.

Haze' wrote:
Smash from the Air - Cut from the air for siege size missiles and ranged magical attacks.

Had it in my build originally, and got lost in the shuffle. Definitely a good one, and on my short list -- was just feeling pinched for feats.

Haze' wrote:
Advanced Armor Training - Master Armorer - Make your own Armor, craft checks use your BAB. Adds skills and craft armor in one feat...half price armor. Pays for itself when you increase your buckler and armor to +3 for barely more then the cost to make them +2.

That's a nice one, and one that had slipped by me in my read-through. Thematically quite nice also.

Haze' wrote:
Consider Telekinetic Item Mastery at 10+ if you can get an item with a 4th level transmutation spell in the reqs. Combat feat, you'll have 5 uses a day with abundant tactics...manipulate objects, ranged attack feat, retrieve objects, or extra movement bonus, as desired. VERY useful.

Another nice one that might have made it in if I weren't trying to do a passable switch hitter.

Haze' wrote:

Where's a mystic fighter get double weapon training with spears from?

How'd you get Warrior Spirit +6 otherwise, unless they applied Gloves/Duelist twice?

Hero Labs is stupid on some Fighter stuff and doubles the gloves of dueling for that. I fixed Armed Bravery (which they also mis-calculate), but that one slipped by me. Thanks for catching it.

Overall, fun suggestions, and thanks! Definitely some more stuff to chew, and a variety of builds that could be put together depending on what you want your focus to be.


minoritarian wrote:
I'm away from boos but advanced weapon training is definitely not a class ability it's a feat...i just can't check if it's a [combat] feat.
Melkiador wrote:
Advanced weapon training is a bit of a feat and a class ability. You can trade away the secondary weapons at later levels for the abilities. Or you can take the feat that's gated by your fighter level.

I think we're supposed to think of Advanced Weapon Training and Advanced Armor Training themselves as class features, and the Advanced Weapon Training and Advaned Armor Training feats as two more of those "Extra {Class Feature}" feats, except that they have limits on how often you take them (which should have probably also been done for the other "Extra {Class Feature}" feats.


How do you build a fighter?

You take the ....

Toe bone connected to the foot bone
Foot bone connected to the heel bone
Heel bone connected to the ankle bone
Ankle bone connected to the shin bone
Shin bone connected to the knee bone
Knee bone connected to the thigh bone
Thigh bone connected to the hip bone
Hip bone connected to the back bone
Back bone connected to the shoulder bone
Shoulder bone connected to the neck bone
Neck bone connected to the head bone

Now hear the word of the Lord.


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Personally, I have fun using the intense specialization ability of a fighter to play concepts that would be nonoptimal or difficult to pull off for other classes. Sure, you could be Greatsword Fighter #148828282, but a Barbarian can usually match your output and have more interesting class features in the process.

But with things like AWT and/or the big pile of fighter archetypes, you can build for flavor. Maybe there's some exotic weapon that you really like the flavor of but only does like 1d3 damage. Take AWT Focused Weapon, and the dice damage dice scales like a warpriest. Maybe you really like a particular feat path that has a huge pile of prerequisites, and a fighter can get you there twice as fast as some other classes. Maybe you just REALLY hate missing, and want to be able to jack your attack accuracy through the roof.


People,

I want to say thanks for so much and so varied input - it gives me a LOT to mull over, and ideas on how to go about building this or that fighter (though there seems to be a definite trend for Mutation Warrior and Eldritch Guardian :D).

It would seem that building a fighter has become more than just picking up a sword (and sometimes a shield) and going to town - planning has always been important on all characters (I admit I am not spectacular at it), so I guess it is not surprising to find it equally or even more important for fighters.

Personally, I tend to really shy away from overspecialized builds (perhaps that means they will end up less optimal), simply because I have never really been able to firmly conceptualize the 'magic-mart' concept, maybe because I have been playing and GMing for so long, I still remember when my group had to go to a Red Wizards enclave in Faerun to actually be able to buy/sell magical items :D

So I usually do not like to put all my eggs in the same basket, being for example a monster with a Greatsword just to come across Hell Cleaver, the coolest Battle Axe in the campaign, or stuff like that - you know what I mean :D

I guess however this may not be 'the way of the Fighter', but I'll learn to live with it (heck, they have so many feats I'll find a way to craft at least my own magical weapons somehow :P).


Albion, The Eye wrote:


So I usually do not like to put all my eggs in the same basket, being for example a monster with a Greatsword just to come across Hell Cleaver, the coolest Battle Axe in the campaign, or stuff like that - you know what I mean :D

Retraining solves much of that potential problem.


I rolled a killer stat array that is letting me go for a rather MAD charisma fighter build. I'm focusing on dazzling display for combat and being a party face for our of combat. Intimidating confidence will give me a free DD with every crit.

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