What's wrong with the fighter


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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I see on the boards alot of people saying the fighter needs to be "fixed"

My table views them as one of the strongest classes in the game

I am curious about the "issues"


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Linear warriors quadratic wizards: the fighter is a martial in a d20 system. They start off great but they just don't scale. At higher levels melee fighters can either move into the fight or get their full damage, they can't do both. They're theoretically supposed to get the damage from full attacking and they generally dont: they move up and hit once, then move on and hit again. not getting their full attacks in nearly as often as predicated on paper.

Even compared to other martials they are in an odd spot. A fighter is a generic Chasis for building the fighter you want with feats. The problem is that this makes them like a multitool: they can theoretically do anything but they won't do anything nearly as well as a tool built for that specific purpose. This was a problem even in the core rules bumping into the ranger (who has more skill points and 2 good saves), but the class has pretty much imploded now that EVERY fighting style you could want to go into has a feat or archetype from another, stronger class to build the kind of fighter you want but only better. If you want a dex based fighter there's the swashbuckler. If you want a two weapon fighter there's the two weapon ranger who doesn't have to split strength and dex. if you want a shield fighter there's the shield ranger. if you want a two handed fighter there's the barbarian.


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Didn't we have this thread already?

The fighter gets dogged on for only having one trick (combat) and not being able to do much out of combat. They also don't have a resource system and can't on their own get around things like needing a magic weapon.

Unchained released a system (and specifically suggest giving it to fighters for free) that grants a stamina pool and gives almost every combat feat an upgrade.

Then they created the Advanced Weapon/Armor Training options which give them better defenses, more skills, and more power.

In "The Final Fighter Thread" we came to the conclusion that the real problem with the fighter is that you need to own 5 books to have all these options instead of 1.


That explains it, we tend to play relatively low level games (12-15 being the cap)


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Fundamentally, fighters are good at combat and basically lacking at everything else.

The trouble is that other classes get to be great out of combat and don't really lose much in combat potential.

It's not really a high level only issue either.


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I played a straight fighter in our last campaign. I even stayed mostly with Core, making a dip into the APG only for two feats (Following Step and Step Up and Strike). He could only do one thing, but he did that thing really, really well: massive, reliable damage.

The thing with the straight fighter is that, to be effective, you have to plan your build around a single weapon and fighting style. You need feats to improve your damage and critical hit threat range. Many of these feats apply to one weapon at a time and you end up with a pretty circumstantial build. In straight 3.5-style OGL, you run into the golf bag problem: monsters need different types of weapons with different materials to overcome DR, so your fighter stops being reliable. Pathfinder addresses this in part by allowing weapons with a high enough enchantment to bypass certain DR's, which helps.

An unsolved problem with the fighter, though, is that your AC doesn't scale. You are on the front line, in melee, dealing heavy damage but eventually you are going up against monsters making attack rolls in the 30's. Literally everything hits you. You end up needing healing every few rounds. So you have one thing you can do, and that one thing literally gets you pounded constantly.

That being said, I liked playing a straight fighter. I got to take huge risks that I would never attempt with other classes because I knew the character could take it. And there's a simplicity in only having the core mechanics to deal with that was refreshing.


John Mechalas wrote:

I played a straight fighter in our last campaign. I even stayed mostly with Core, making a dip into the APG only for two feats (Following Step and Step Up and Strike). He could only do one thing, but he did that thing really, really well: massive, reliable damage.

The thing with the straight fighter is that, to be effective, you have to plan your build around a single weapon and fighting style. You need feats to improve your damage and critical hit threat range. Many of these feats apply to one weapon at a time and you end up with a pretty circumstantial build. In straight 3.5-style OGL, you run into the golf bag problem: monsters need different types of weapons with different materials to overcome DR, so your fighter stops being reliable. Pathfinder addresses this in part by allowing weapons with a high enough enchantment to bypass certain DR's, which helps.

An unsolved problem with the fighter, though, is that your AC doesn't scale. You are on the front line, in melee, dealing heavy damage but eventually you are going up against monsters making attack rolls in the 30's. Literally everything hits you. You end up needing healing every few rounds. So you have one thing you can do, and that one thing literally gets you pounded constantly.

That being said, I liked playing a straight fighter. I got to take huge risks that I would never attempt with other classes because I knew the character could take it. And there's a simplicity in only having the core mechanics to deal with that was refreshing.

Newer options in Armor Specialization and Warrior Spirit fix these. Both can be accessed either as feats or as Advanced Armor/Weapon Training options, respectively.

The d20PFSRD actually has the advanced options on the main page, for a nice easy reference.


master_marshmallow wrote:

Newer options in Armor Specialization and Warrior Spirit fix these. Both can be accessed either as feats or as Advanced Armor/Weapon Training options, respectively.

The d20PFSRD actually has the advanced options on the main page, for a nice easy reference.

As you said above, the real issue is the number of books you end up needing. Trying to play just from core or core + APG is very limiting, unlike other classes where you have a lot to work with.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The 2 skill points per level is also horribly crippling in a skill-based system.

Casters can compensate with spells over time.

Fighters... really can't.

And no, don't mention all the various archetypes built to 'fix' this situation, because that doesn't count.

Fighters need 4 or 6 to reflect the impact of skills in a campaign, not eight like a rogue, but still... more.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


The 2 skill points per level is also horribly crippling in a skill-based system.

Casters can compensate with spells over time.

Fighters... really can't.

And no, don't mention all the various archetypes built to 'fix' this situation, because that doesn't count.

Fighters need 4 or 6 to reflect the impact of skills in a campaign, not eight like a rogue, but still... more.

This post gives me cancer.

What do you mean "don't count"?

I mean seriously what do you mean? What about Advanced Weapon/Armor Training which combined give you MORE skills than a rogue at max?

Also, how is the system skill based? Skills are one facet of the game.


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master_marshmallow wrote:
In "The Final Fighter Thread" we came to the conclusion that the real problem with the fighter is that you need to own 5 books to have all these options instead of 1.

That's pretty much the issue entirely. Collating all of this stuff in one book would be really handy.

Since the fighter has been worked on in order to improve it for like 7+ years now, it's kind of janky in places since the fixes printed in 2015 might not interface so nicely with the ones printed in 2011 (if you have weapon training in all but name from an archetype, surprise, you can't take weapon mastery feats!)


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Also many of the tings that are basically a given for every other class aren't in the fighter. Basically every class has a resource that allows you to change tactics depending on the difficulty of the fight and a suite of abilities that allows you to do different things. The fighter in contrast has no resource whatsoever and can only use the abilities everyone else has unless you have several specific non core books.

Fighters are also considered pretty boring because all your choice is during character creation or leveling. So many feats are passive so it doesn't change how you fight (power attack, critical feats), are a choice between styles that you always stick to (two-weapon fighting, point blank shot) or enhances maneuvers of which only a couple are useful and other classes can do as well.

There are some feats that give options but they are often so prerequisite heavy that it becomes your only thing (whirlwind attack) so they tend to feel very one trick.

A lot of people like the fact that you have to choose between different abilities that might be limited each turn. For example a barbarian has to choose if the battle is important enough to rage in or what per rage ability to use if any.

Frankly I hope that they make an unchained fighter someday just so we can have the class in a single book rather than have a 5 book dive for competence.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
In "The Final Fighter Thread" we came to the conclusion that the real problem with the fighter is that you need to own 5 books to have all these options instead of 1.

That's pretty much the issue entirely. Collating all of this stuff in one book would be really handy.

Since the fighter has been worked on in order to improve it for like 7+ years now, it's kind of janky in places since the fixes printed in 2015 might not interface so nicely with the ones printed in 2011 (if you have weapon training in all but name from an archetype, surprise, you can't take weapon mastery feats!)

Honestly, the idea of an Unchained Barbarian needing to exist given the Fighter has this issue is a bit silly. A compilation book would be very helpful. Though in a way a Fighter is supposed to be a "Build-a-Badass," so I wonder if it's a fault of the class design or its place in the game.

The biggest fix I can think of for an (Unchained) Fighter is an automatic gains of AAT and AWT. Perhaps one gained at each level of the respective trainings, with extra being available thru feats. That way most issues with the class in and out of combat are addressed with just leveling up and choosing class features, and it also allows greater ease of use for build diversity and feat selection (Since who the hell isn't taking Armed Bravery at some point).

After that, maybe give it combat style options in the vein of 5e.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
master_marshmallow wrote:

This post gives me cancer.

What do you mean "don't count"?

I mean seriously what do you mean? What about Advanced Weapon/Armor Training which combined give you MORE skills than a rogue at max?

Also, how is the system skill based? Skills are one facet of the game.

Regarding first line:
Please don't joke about the big C.

Had relatives what had that as their terminal issue and had a scare a couple of weeks ago on it.

Thanks in advance.

Advanced Weapon/Armor Training requires *time* to come 'on-line', and they are very situational type items that require a focus that if required of a caster or the like would be viewed as 'too crippling'.

While every other class is able to spread out, perhaps have a dozen skills they're 'okay-good' at, the Fighter as CRB is... not that great, and most of the archetypes do nothing to address that.

The only one that does that I'm aware of, trades out Medium AND Heavy armor proficiency for two skill points that must be used on knowledge skills per level.

Only in very rare cases with such a handicap can a straight fighter contribute out of combat.

This is my observation based on builds I've seen and play I've both witnessed and done myself.


Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

This post gives me cancer.

What do you mean "don't count"?

I mean seriously what do you mean? What about Advanced Weapon/Armor Training which combined give you MORE skills than a rogue at max?

Also, how is the system skill based? Skills are one facet of the game.

** spoiler omitted **

Advanced Weapon/Armor Training requires *time* to come 'on-line', and they are very situational type items that require a focus that if required of a caster or the like would be viewed as 'too crippling'.

While every other class is able to spread out, perhaps have a dozen skills they're 'okay-good' at, the Fighter as CRB is... not that great, and most of the archetypes do nothing to address that.

The only one that does that I'm aware of, trades out Medium AND Heavy armor proficiency for two skill points that must be used on knowledge skills per level.

Only in very rare cases with such a handicap can a straight fighter contribute out of combat.

This is my observation based on builds I've seen and play I've both witnessed and done myself.

Well, to be fair I coined the Marshmallow Fallacy in a fighter thread on this very subject and I brought up the Tactician Fighter who gets 4+skills per level without that restriction. Also Lore Warden allows any INT based skill, not just knowledges.

3rd/5th level is not that high to gain access to said abilities, even if you have to spend feats to get there. That's when 3rd and 4th level spells come online for a wizard, which is when most of their builds 'come online' as well.

You're going to need to substantiate how more classes can spread out, because you seem to be starting with a conclusion and not following it up with much more than 'because I think this way'.

If your argument is CRB, we've already addressed that as being the only real problem with fighters.

I'll need more than an anecdote before I simply concede to this view point.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


The 2 skill points per level is also horribly crippling in a skill-based system.
.

If the fighter could.. well.. fight, it would at least be fullfilling its core function.

It really doesn't though. When you go to make your character do what you want your character to do out of all the options out there something else probably does it better or just takes a fighter dip.

One handed fighter? Swashbuckler

Unarmed fighter? Monk/brawler

Sword and board? Sword and board ranger

Two weapon fighting? two weapon fighting ranger

Mounted combat? Cavalier

Archer? Ranger archery style

Two handed weapon? B b. barbarian.


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Bad skills, bad saves, bad feat chains.

Caster Supremacy and gear dependency.

The rules actively punish attempting to do anything creative in combat.


There are still things you can do better with a fighter than any other class, it's just that they're things that are generally considered suboptimal because of all of the various feat taxes.

Like if you, for whatever reason, really want to use a slingstaff, or a crossbow, or you want to throw axes you're best off at least starting out with fighter because you're going to need way more feats than if you were using a more optimized combat style.

I mean, the world's best slingstaff user wants weapon training (for the AWT Weapon Style Mastery to use both Slipslinger and Startoss style) and doesn't run out of handy feats until like level 18. You won't out-damage the ranger with a bow, but it's the best way to play the iconic halfling with a slingstaff.


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master_marshmallow wrote:
Well, to be fair I coined the Marshmallow Fallacy in a fighter thread on this very subject and I brought up the Tactician Fighter who gets 4+skills per level without that restriction.

Please stop using made up things that no one except you takes seriously because everyone else sees that you had to contradict yourself to create them.

If an option cripples the character, it is not a solution. If a fighter has to give up a good part of his already too small combat prowess to be still pretty bad with skills, those options do not fix the problem.

The problem with AWT is most options scale with the WT bonus, which means most moptions are utter crap below level 9 (and only really good with Gloves of Dueling.

Also, spending feats on skill ranks completely defeats the reason to play a fighter. Sure, a fighter can spend all his regular feats on Varsatile Training, Iron Will etc. - or he could be a Vigilante and also get Pounce and a badass infiltration ability.

John Mechalas wrote:
I played a straight fighter in our last campaign. I even stayed mostly with Core, making a dip into the APG only for two feats (Following Step and Step Up and Strike). He could only do one thing, but he did that thing really, really well: massive, reliable damage.

How does a core fighter do massive, reliable damage? Or do you only count rounds where you can full attack?


Derklord wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Well, to be fair I coined the Marshmallow Fallacy in a fighter thread on this very subject and I brought up the Tactician Fighter who gets 4+skills per level without that restriction.
Please stop using made up things that no one except you takes seriously because everyone else sees that you had to contradict yourself to create them.

You =/= everyone else

Personal attack, not classy.

Quote:
The problem with AWT is most options scale with the WT bonus, which means most moptions are utter crap below level 9 (and only really good with Gloves of Dueling.

The good ones like Warrior Spirit are usable even with a +1, since it let's you make any weapon you're holding magical. If it's already magic you can cherry pick any weapon ability you want as long as it doesn't go over your bonus. You can take a specific weapon and get the monks damage die for it based off your fighter level. Free Weapon Mastery feat which opens up chains like cut from the air/smash from the air which let you deflect spells. Armed Bravey makes your Will Saves only scale to 1 lower than a Good Will save progression. Your statement is blatantly false.

Quote:
Also, spending feats on skill ranks completely defeats the reason to play a fighter. Sure, a fighter can spend all his regular feats on Varsatile Training, Iron Will etc. - or he could be a Vigilante and also get Pounce and a badass infiltration ability.

That's neither here nor there, most fighters only need to pick up versatile training once, and usually to pick up Perception as a class skill (making thrown weapons or bows the best choice).

Quote:
John Mechalas wrote:
I played a straight fighter in our last campaign. I even stayed mostly with Core, making a dip into the APG only for two feats (Following Step and Step Up and Strike). He could only do one thing, but he did that thing really, really well: massive, reliable damage.
How does a core fighter do massive, reliable damage? Or do you only count rounds where you can full attack?

Bow fighters are a thing, there are feats now that let you get more than one attack while charging/spring attacking. Sir, I believe you should read more options before insulting people.


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I'll throw another vote in for no one but you ever using Marshmallow Fallacy, or agreeing that it is a thing.


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The fighter has two problems.

First a lack of narrative power, if it's not hitting with a sti k the fighter lacks any class-bestowed resources to do it.

Second is a lack of scaling, a problem every non full- aster eventually runs into, but 4th level casters hold out longer than fighters and 6th level casters hold out longer than 4th. When one party member can stop time it's pretty ridiculous to be a foot soldier in armor waving a sword around decked out like a Christmas Tree in magical bling.


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+1 to the "never heard of marshmallow fallacy" pile. A google search only turns up gibberish or some anecdote about a german thinking americans eat plain marshmallows in front of their tv.

Nothing about what Derklord said to you was personal or an attack, master_marshmallow.


master_marshmallow wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

This post gives me cancer.

What do you mean "don't count"?

I mean seriously what do you mean? What about Advanced Weapon/Armor Training which combined give you MORE skills than a rogue at max?

Also, how is the system skill based? Skills are one facet of the game.

** spoiler omitted **

Advanced Weapon/Armor Training requires *time* to come 'on-line', and they are very situational type items that require a focus that if required of a caster or the like would be viewed as 'too crippling'.

While every other class is able to spread out, perhaps have a dozen skills they're 'okay-good' at, the Fighter as CRB is... not that great, and most of the archetypes do nothing to address that.

The only one that does that I'm aware of, trades out Medium AND Heavy armor proficiency for two skill points that must be used on knowledge skills per level.

Only in very rare cases with such a handicap can a straight fighter contribute out of combat.

This is my observation based on builds I've seen and play I've both witnessed and done myself.

Well, to be fair I coined the Marshmallow Fallacy in a fighter thread on this very subject and I brought up the Tactician Fighter who gets 4+skills per level without that restriction. Also Lore Warden allows any INT based skill, not just knowledges.

3rd/5th level is not that high to gain access to said abilities, even if you have to spend feats to get there. That's when 3rd and 4th level spells come online for a wizard, which is when most of their builds 'come online' as well.

You're going to need to substantiate how more classes can spread out, because you seem to be starting with a conclusion and not following it up with much more than 'because I think this way'.

If your argument is CRB, we've already addressed that as being the only real problem with fighters.

I'll need more than an anecdote before I simply concede to this view point.

Marshmallow Fallacy wrote:
Asserting that a material may as well not exist because you choose to play in an environment where it isn't allowed doesn't discredit the material, nor prevent it from existing.

Got this from here. So, according to the Marshmallow Fallacy, mobility in combat isn't an issue because Mythic rules offer plenty of ways to move and full attack in one round, so you should simply choose to play in an environment which uses mythic rules. Or, am I misunderstanding something?


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My daughter has found a nice Chainsaw helps overcome not being able to full attack all the time. :-)


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
captain yesterday wrote:
My daughter has found a nice Chainsaw helps overcome not being able to full attack all the time. :-)

GROOVY!


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The main thing, I think is that the Fighter is fighting against its own class design from 3rd Edition to be a good class, while most other classes are working WITH their class design.

The Fighter inherited some bad grandfather clauses from 3rd edition massively overvaluing melee combat, which left it with what is almost objectively the worst skill list of any PC class, the absolute minimum number of skill points despite 2+Int normally being reserved for classes that have MAGIC, no class features whatsoever that do not relate to combat, and a poor save array with a band-aid that would take seven years or so to not be a bad joke.

So the fighter has a grand total of three class features, really, which are spread out pretty widely. Weapon Training, Armor Training, and Bravery. If you want to consider Weapon and Armor Mastery separate class features, I suppose that's up to five class features, but I don't, and as they are level 19 and 20 class features they effectively do not exist for the purposes of 99% of games played.

Bravery was for a long time one of the the most insultingly useless class features in the game; only very recently with options like Armed Bravery and Improved Bravery has it done much more than reminding you that at level 10 you are getting a +3 bonus to saving throws against fear...a condition your martial compatriot the Paladin has been immune to and gives allies a +4 bonus to saving throws against since level 3. Weapon Master's Handbook and Ultimate Intrigue come to the rescue here a bit with Armed Bravery and Improved Bravery, but both tax you a feat or two to make Bravery useful, and even then it's mostly just letting you fake having a strong will save progression.

Armor Training was a bunch of small bonuses that didn't amount to much unless you had a high dex score and really, REALLY cared about always having your maximum movement range. Advanced Armor Training is a moderately useful feature, but many of its options are underwhelming. Armor Training still tends to be trade fodder for better archetypes like the Mutation Warrior or Lore Warden.

Weapon Training was one of the most boring class features imaginable, nothing but a very slowly scaling bonus to hit and damage with a particular group of weapons–which at times works AGAINST the fighter's flavor as the master of every weapon because pretty much every fighter will focus very heavily on the weapon groups they have Weapon Training with and neglect others. Advanced Weapon Training came to the rescue to make this boring feature something desirable after seven years or so, but you get access very, very slowly. If the average game is played in the 1-12 area, the average fighter will get only ONE Advanced Weapon Training option towards the end of their career, although paying two feat taxes can bring the total up to three.

Beyond those three class features, which makes archetypes tricky because there's not much for it to trade out, all it gets is feats, which is theoretically great, but since feats are a bloated forest of needlessly complicated trees a lot of those juicy bonus feats are paying your taxes. Make Bravery work properly? Feat tax. Want Advanced Weapon And Armor Training in a somewhat timely manner? Feat taxes every couple of levels. Any tactic the fighter goes for is often riddled with taxes, and while he is better equipped to pay them than other classes in theory, in practice I feel it bears mentioning that the brawler, monk, ranger, slayer, swashbuckler, and vigilante all get a considerable number of bonus feats in their career, and...

-Monks, Slayers, and Rangers ignore the prerequisites on a number of their bonus feats, meaning they get a tax break on their fighting style. In some cases, like sword and board, this means the weapon and shield style ranger could have Shield Master, Bashing Finish, and Two-Weapon Rend at level 11 while the fighter can have one of those three despite his advantage in bonus feats.
-Swashbucklers get weapon finesse, a cornerstone of their preferred fighting style, for free, and can apply it in ways the fighter can't. They additionally get to ignore the intelligence tax on combat expertise to make the feat easier to take. They also get bonus feats, although not as many as the fighter.
-Brawlers, like the chained monk, essentially get the two-weapon-fighting tree as a class feature instead of a feat, get a LOT of bonus feats, and their primary class feature allows them to grab situationally relevant feats on the fly whereas a fighter trying to take a situational feat just has to pray the GM cares and will let it come up a lot.
-The Vigilante can, if he so desires, have as many bonus feats as the fighter, and on top of the "trade a talent for a bonus feat" ability that puts him on par with Fighty McGee, the Avenger vigilante can take a number of talents that not only give him a bonus feat like Power Attack or Weapon Finesse or Improved Unarmed Strike, but these feats also gain a unique extra power only vigilantes can use by acquiring them through this talent. The fighter, master of combat feats, can take Power Attack at second level; the Avenger Vigilante, master of intrigue AND combat, can take Power Attack at second level and gain a shield bonus to AC equal to the attack roll penalty he takes while using Power Attack.

It's not even so much that the fighter looks pretty lame around the time the spell-casters are gaining PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER. It's that it needs five splatbooks or so to kinda-sorta keep up the pace with its peers in the martial class category (the reasons to play a core-only fighter instead of a ranger or barbarian have always been rather few, and even the thinking man's fighter in more enlightened environments with access to the splats it badly needs still looks nervously over his shoulder at the Slayer) and most of its class features are focused on combat with a narrowness that comes out to downright tunnel vision and are almost universally lacking in pizzazz. Some of the weapon and shield mastery feats are nice, but given the choice I might just opt to pay the damn taxes to take it on a more interesting chassis.


Paradozen wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

This post gives me cancer.

What do you mean "don't count"?

I mean seriously what do you mean? What about Advanced Weapon/Armor Training which combined give you MORE skills than a rogue at max?

Also, how is the system skill based? Skills are one facet of the game.

** spoiler omitted **

Advanced Weapon/Armor Training requires *time* to come 'on-line', and they are very situational type items that require a focus that if required of a caster or the like would be viewed as 'too crippling'.

While every other class is able to spread out, perhaps have a dozen skills they're 'okay-good' at, the Fighter as CRB is... not that great, and most of the archetypes do nothing to address that.

The only one that does that I'm aware of, trades out Medium AND Heavy armor proficiency for two skill points that must be used on knowledge skills per level.

Only in very rare cases with such a handicap can a straight fighter contribute out of combat.

This is my observation based on builds I've seen and play I've both witnessed and done myself.

Well, to be fair I coined the Marshmallow Fallacy in a fighter thread on this very subject and I brought up the Tactician Fighter who gets 4+skills per level without that restriction. Also Lore Warden allows any INT based skill, not just knowledges.

3rd/5th level is not that high to gain access to said abilities, even if you have to spend feats to get there. That's when 3rd and 4th level spells come online for a wizard, which is when most of their builds 'come online' as well.

You're going to need to substantiate how more classes can spread out, because you seem to be starting with a conclusion and not following it up with much more than 'because I think this way'.

If your argument is CRB, we've already addressed that as being the only real problem with fighters.

I'll need more than an anecdote before I simply concede to this view

...

Mythic isn't the only way around it, but you're technically not wrong, if a bit condescending.


master_marshmallow wrote:
Derklord wrote:
How does a core fighter do massive, reliable damage? Or do you only count rounds where you can full attack?
Bow fighters are a thing, there are feats now that let you get more than one attack while charging/spring attacking. Sir, I believe you should read more options before insulting people.

An archer wouldn't pick up Following Step and Step Up and Strike, and what CRB feat allows one to make a full attack after moving?

Also, were is the insult? Please point it out to me, because an insult was definitely not intended.

master_marshmallow wrote:
Derklord wrote:
The problem with AWT is most options scale with the WT bonus, which means most moptions are utter crap below level 9 (and only really good with Gloves of Dueling.
Your statement is blatantly false.

Warrior Spirit is twice per day below lvl9, as a standard action. Armed Bravery is worse than Iron Will below level 10. Focused Weapon is weaker then Weapon Spec on a 1d6 weapon below lvl10. Weapon Mastery makes no sense to mention because below lvl9, we are talking about picking up AWT via the feat.


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Blackwaltzomega wrote:

...

The Fighter inherited some bad grandfather clauses from 3rd edition massively overvaluing melee combat, which left it with what is almost objectively the worst skill list of any PC class, the absolute minimum number of skill points despite 2+Int normally being reserved for classes that have MAGIC, no class features whatsoever that do not relate to combat, and a poor save array with a band-aid that would take seven years or so to not be a bad joke.
...

This is touching on something which I think is very important when trying to understand why the fighter is "bad".

The 3.x system has a number of flaws, many of which are intertwined. Spellcasting being able to do everything that anything else can with minimal investment. The skill system being both bizarrely ill defined and hilariously restrictive. The necessity of expending significant resources for even basic competency in some areas. "There's a feat for that" syndrome. Restrictively low skill points for anyone who isn't a skill monkey or int based caster. Weapon combat being stupidly immobile due to the full attack mechanic. Spellcasting being very difficult to punish due to the AoO and concentration mechanics. Dodgy save progressions which create glaring vulnerabilities in the defenses of some characters. Wealth being a second progression track that can be circumvented by some (and only some) classes through a small degree of resource expenditure. Improved martial damage necessitating specialization through magical weapon upgrades and feats like weapon focus. The skill system being completely Int centric. The Ability Score system "strongly encoraging" very specific arrays with little flexibility. Very restrictive limits when it comes to how "extraordinary" anything non-magical can be. Alternative movement types, battlefield control and similar being highly effective at completely preventing effective counter-attack without (generally magical) counter-counter-measures. I am probably missing a few more flaws, but I'm sure you get the picture.

The Fighter manages to be so terrible because it runs into pretty much all of them.

That said, it is possible to counteract some of these through op-fu. However, getting the fighter to a state where they are "up to snuff" requires far more optimization than AM BARBARIAN or flurrying hippo druids. You are still fighting an uphill battle compared to most other classes, with a few notable exceptions (*cough*CRB rogue/monk*cough*)


Part of the problem is the strong start, in my opinion. Few classes offer you such a high AC and (often) instakill on hit at level 1. And players come up with the idea it will continue this way. No, it does not, and that's a good thing. Combat shouldn't be a one-man-show. However, it's harsh for a fighter player to be a superstar first and then slowly diminish.

When I am play one of my beloved rogues, I don't have this problem. Level 1 is as harsh as any level, I have to pay attention, be creative and focus on solutions, not on problems. Class features don't get the job done? Ok, let's ask my fellow players. They can't help me either? Maybe I need an item for it. There is none? Ok, I try to roleplay my way out it. Doesn't work? I retreat for now.

There are solutions for every problem the fighter has / is supposed to have. They are not free, true. But if you look closely, other classes don't get their features for free, also - there is always some opportunity cost.


SheepishEidolon wrote:

Part of the problem is the strong start, in my opinion. Few classes offer you such a high AC and (often) instakill on hit at level 1. And players come up with the idea it will continue this way. No, it does not, and that's a good thing. Combat shouldn't be a one-man-show. However, it's harsh for a fighter player to be a superstar first and then slowly diminish.

When I am play one of my beloved rogues, I don't have this problem. Level 1 is as harsh as any level, I have to pay attention, be creative and focus on solutions, not on problems. Class features don't get the job done? Ok, let's ask my fellow players. They can't help me either? Maybe I need an item for it. There is none? Ok, I try to roleplay my way out it. Doesn't work? I retreat for now.

There are solutions for every problem the fighter has / is supposed to have. They are not free, true. But if you look closely, other classes don't get their features for free, also - there is always some opportunity cost.

Even for fighters level 1 is a crapshoot. Playing at level 1 is pretty terrible because usually one 18-20 from one of those random orcs you're fighting and you're just as dead as the squishies.

So it's not such a great time then, and that is more or less as good as it gets for the fighters because unlike the other classes aside from the numbers involved your class levels will not be doing anything at level 20 that's all that different from what you could do at level 1. You hit something with your big metal stick until it dies. Everything you can do that is not about hitting things with metal sticks tends to be a function of your WBL instead of your class levels, which seems wrong to me.

At level 1, the fighter, paladin, and barbarian attack for good damage.

At level 20, before factoring in magical items, the barbarian can fly, gain climb and swim speeds, destroy spell effects, absorb elemental energy and spit it back at the enemy as a breath weapon, regenerate their wounds, develop animalistic senses, and see through darkness and illusions from his class features. The paladin is immune to fear, charm, and compulsion effects, resistant to non-evil attacks, automatically pierces DR/Good, can heal 60 HP and remove a number of status conditions to themselves as a swift action or another as a standard, add +CHA to attack and +20 to their damage rolls (and also have a good chance to automatically send fiends they smite back to hell where they belong) seven times a day, have spells that allow them to fly, cure status conditions, and has four levels of spellcasting. One or two feats, they have the cheapest way to revive the dead in the game, too.

At level 20, the fighter gets +5 to hit and damage rolls with one weapon group and automatically confirms crits with that group, has DR 5/-, and +5 to saves against fear. And he can move full speed in armor. Pretty much ANYTHING outside of that that he can do at level 20 is a function of an archetype that traded one of those things or the 880,000 gp in his pocket.


Blackwaltzomega wrote:
SheepishEidolon wrote:

Part of the problem is the strong start, in my opinion. Few classes offer you such a high AC and (often) instakill on hit at level 1. And players come up with the idea it will continue this way. No, it does not, and that's a good thing. Combat shouldn't be a one-man-show. However, it's harsh for a fighter player to be a superstar first and then slowly diminish.

When I am play one of my beloved rogues, I don't have this problem. Level 1 is as harsh as any level, I have to pay attention, be creative and focus on solutions, not on problems. Class features don't get the job done? Ok, let's ask my fellow players. They can't help me either? Maybe I need an item for it. There is none? Ok, I try to roleplay my way out it. Doesn't work? I retreat for now.

There are solutions for every problem the fighter has / is supposed to have. They are not free, true. But if you look closely, other classes don't get their features for free, also - there is always some opportunity cost.

Even for fighters level 1 is a crapshoot. Playing at level 1 is pretty terrible because usually one 18-20 from one of those random orcs you're fighting and you're just as dead as the squishies.

So it's not such a great time then, and that is more or less as good as it gets for the fighters because unlike the other classes aside from the numbers involved your class levels will not be doing anything at level 20 that's all that different from what you could do at level 1. You hit something with your big metal stick until it dies. Everything you can do that is not about hitting things with metal sticks tends to be a function of your WBL instead of your class levels, which seems wrong to me.

At level 1, the fighter, paladin, and barbarian attack for good damage.

At level 20, before factoring in magical items, the barbarian can fly, gain climb and swim speeds, destroy spell effects, absorb elemental energy and spit it back at the enemy as a breath weapon, regenerate their wounds, develop animalistic...

You're comparing non core barbarian options to core only fighters. Not really fair.

Item mastery is accessible through AWT with no ranks in UMD required. In the other thread I already mentioned the fighter's ability to backdoor his way into having Martial Flexibility by combining Abundant Tactics with Barroom Brawler, and being able to nab any skill he wants at max ranks on the fly, or any of the Item Mastery options is definitely up there.

As for full attacks, again I mention that Item Mastery is available as an AWT option, opening up the Dimensional Dervish chain (requires a conjuration item- the bag of holding or handy haversack qualifies easily).

Flight is accessible through either Item Mastery or Master Armorer (either with Celestial Armor or Celestial Plate, did it get reprinted officially in CotCT?).

Improved Bravery is a feat in Intrigue which lets Bravery apply to all mind affecting Will saves (so most of them).

I feel like every case I make gets dismissed by moving the goal post.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
master_marshmallow wrote:
I feel like every case I make gets dismissed by moving the goal post.

And this was sort of what I felt like when I sat down with my TWF tengu fighter for my first PFS game.

And then how I felt as I couldn't actively contribute to a L1 party in a meaningful fashion.

And then how I felt after trying out a couple of pregens of *other* classes (barbarian and slayer) and seeing how much *better* they were.


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This still doesn't solve the problem of having bought the CRB, ACG, APG, Unchained in hardback, and still needing WMH and AMH softcover; not just in the books but in HeroLab too if that's the way you build your characters while playing PFS. It's ridiculous.

I find it hard to believe that the rage mechanic fix for the Barbarian could not have been done in a couple of pages in Unchained, and then actually Unchained the Fighter.


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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
I feel like every case I make gets dismissed by moving the goal post.

And this was sort of what I felt like when I sat down with my TWF tengu fighter for my first PFS game.

And then how I felt as I couldn't actively contribute to a L1 party in a meaningful fashion.

And then how I felt after trying out a couple of pregens of *other* classes (barbarian and slayer) and seeing how much *better* they were.

Truth to tell, TWF is an option that only brings fruit later, when BAB has evolved faster than AC... I'm currently playing a TWF dwarf ranger who's had to drop the handaxe and two hand his battle axe because the -2 penalty to hit meant he just could not hit often enough on AC 16 foes, at lvl 2.


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Two core problems with the Fighter is that it starts out horribly specialized in fighting with no skills and low saves. It doesnt gain any special abiltities like Fly, touch attacks, or Magic, just passive upgrades.

Quite simply the Fighter is an uneducated human with basic equipment compared to superhuman and supernatural rivals and enemies.

Someone more knowledgeable could tell you better 3rd edition D&D gave out feats in an attempt to make the Fighter better but also skewed things.

To me the Fighter is that class everyone starts as before they gain powers in some way. Many games start out as a basic class with no special abilities but then changes into something like a Paladin or Wizard. Giving Fighters bonus feats confuses the issue. If those werent there then FIghters would upgrade into semi-prestige classes like the Ranger and Barbarian. In Older editions they were just that.


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Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Even for fighters level 1 is a crapshoot. Playing at level 1 is pretty terrible because usually one 18-20 from one of those random orcs you're fighting and you're just as dead as the squishies.

Level 1 orc warriors / fighters with falchions are extremly under-CRed, that's a different problem. Still they have to confirm their critical threats after rolling 18 to 20, and at that point you are better off than most other classes, including a raging barbarian.

I pity your dead PC, but please don't make a general rule out of a single incident.

JoeElf wrote:
I find it hard to believe that the rage mechanic fix for the Barbarian could not have been done in a couple of pages in Unchained, and then actually Unchained the Fighter.

The fighter did get unchained in Unchained:

They profit from background skills, because so they can spend their few ranks on other things.
They profit from consolidated skills, for the same reason as for background skills, just more.
They profit from variant multiclassing, because they can rather easily afford sacrificing 5 feats.
They profit from revised action economy, because they usually have no other path to full-attacks.


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SheepishEidolon wrote:

The fighter did get unchained in Unchained:

They profit from background skills, because so they can spend their few ranks on other things.
They profit from consolidated skills, for the same reason as for background skills, just more.
They profit from variant multiclassing, because they can rather easily afford sacrificing 5 feats.
They profit from revised action economy, because they usually have no other path to full-attacks.

It's just a shame that none of those changes aply to PFS. And if you're not in PFS, you might as well houserule that Fighters (and any other non Int classes) have a minimum of 4+Int skill ranks per level. That's where I imagine the bar being set for "competent" as an adventurer.


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Basically? Fighters lack options.

Everything they could, logically, choose to do to spice up combat has its own feat, they lack skill points and skill boosting abilities and above all they lack a disposable resource that they can use to improve their base line abilities.

Clerics and Druids can fighter better than a fighter because they can increase their power, Wizards have more options because they have a cornucopia of spells that can suit any situation depending on what they pick in the morning.
Fighters got a sword and a couple of options which tend to be weaker (CMB Maneuvers for example) than those the casters get.

In my personal experience best way to improve the lot of the Fighter is to use Path of War for their combat and give a disposable out of combat resource that renews, stamina or mythic are good underlying mechanics, the surge ability of Mythic is a perfect example of the kind of 'Grit your teeth and use your last surge of strength to come to an epiphany about your investigation/swing across the chasm and save the Princess/uncover the secret door and escape' skill resource that Fighting men types need on hand.


Figured I'd quote myself once, since I never got a response to this simple analysis.

kyrt-ryder wrote:

The fighter has two problems.

First a lack of narrative power, if it's not hitting with a stick the fighter lacks any class-bestowed resources to do it.

Second is a lack of scaling, a problem every non full- aster eventually runs into, but 4th level casters hold out longer than fighters and 6th level casters hold out longer than 4th. When one party member can stop time it's pretty ridiculous to be a foot soldier in armor waving a sword around decked out like a Christmas Tree in magical bling.


So are we complaining about core only fighters? Low level fighters?

I don't get it. Literally all the problems being cited here have had fixes, the issue isn't that fighters don't have these options; rather the issue is that you need to buy a multitude of books to solve some of these issues.

I guess PFS has more problems, but PFS has problems in general and it really isn't the fighter's fault.


Low level fighters have fewer problems than higher level ones.

The solutions you provide are decent M&M, but A: They require far more GM buy-in than a simple 'replacement Fighter' would, and B: They'd be lucky to bring the Fighter up to on par with the Barbarian. Granted the Barbarian is playable [Chained at least] but it really loses its glimmer in the later levels. Shines briefly with pounce, then level 13 rolls around and... dulls.


kyrt-ryder wrote:

Low level fighters have fewer problems than higher level ones.

The solutions you provide are decent M&M, but A: They require far more GM buy-in than a simple 'replacement Fighter' would, and B: They'd be lucky to bring the Fighter up to on par with the Barbarian. Granted the Barbarian is playable [Chained at least] but it really loses its glimmer in the later levels. Shines briefly with pounce, then level 13 rolls around and... dulls.

The biggest thing that you need to sell DMs on is Stamina Tricks, and it's arguably the least important of all of them.

The best case to make is dependence on Gloves of Dueling, and that AWT isn't more available. That said, with the options as they exist fighters are on par with the other martials, save the brawler which is the most self sufficient class I have ever seen.


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master_marshmallow wrote:

...

I don't get it. Literally all the problems being cited here have had fixes, the issue isn't that fighters don't have these options; rather the issue is that you need to buy a multitude of books to solve some of these issues.
...

Yeah, lots of fixes spread out across probably over a dozen books mixed in with plenty of rubbish. That is itself a problem.

The more optimization-fu a "fix" requires in order to be useful, the less useful that fix is. Bringing the fighter up to snuff requires such a stupidly high degree of optimization that a pretty big chunk of fighter PCs are not going to clear the bar. Quite frequently those fixes are not going to be fixes, because applying enough of them to a character without destroying that character's concept is actually quite difficult. As a result, the fighter is still "bad". They are now "less bad", yes. They are now only "redeemably bad", yes. But they have not cleared the bar of "not bad". That requires a fighter who can be made effective without an enormous degree of effort.


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To be fair playing a peak performing wizard requires an enormous amount of effort as well.

Silver Crusade

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kyrt-ryder wrote:
To be fair playing a peak performing wizard requires an enormous amount of effort as well.

Also to be fair, generally a sub-optimal wizard is still a more effective character than an optimized fighter


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master_marshmallow wrote:
Derklord wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:
Well, to be fair I coined the Marshmallow Fallacy in a fighter thread on this very subject and I brought up the Tactician Fighter who gets 4+skills per level without that restriction.
Please stop using made up things that no one except you takes seriously because everyone else sees that you had to contradict yourself to create them.

You =/= everyone else

Personal attack, not classy.

Oh, but saying someone's post gave you cancer is monocle-worthy.

Look man, even if your self-titled fallacy exists, it will never catch on the way you use it because pointing out a fallacy cannot be the whole of the argument. Because that is a fallacy too. You need a better argument than pointing to the ocean when someone says they're thirsty. Yes they could do that, but it's entirely unhelpful when other people are walking around getting delicious frozen lemonade.

SheepishEidolon wrote:
Part of the problem is the strong start, in my opinion. Few classes offer you such a high AC and (often) instakill on hit at level 1. And players come up with the idea it will continue this way.

I have to disagree, even at level 1 the fighter is at best in a draw with the Barb. Certainly doesn't have the damage advantage to a meaningful degree, and the Barb has the option to rage or choose not to.

I think that's a separate problem Fighters have. They are so static in every statistic. It makes them easier to track for book keeping, which is nice in it's own way, but it means less to engage yourself with as a player. I like having a sub-system to keep account of. Ki, Grit, Lay-on-hands, Spell points (not Vancian casting), the stamina system could help the fighter, but then you need to find the info for your GM and ask really nicely to be the only one who can use it.


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My issue with some of the fighter fixes are they are using pretty "cheezy" stuff. Like using a flexible enhacment to get training to get a flexible feat to get ...

Like, It's the kind of stuff a lot of GMs would probably ban or limit. So I'd suggest a good base for deciding if the fighter is fixed or not is what is legal in PFS. No it isn't perfect but it's an attempt to have a base that people can use. And until it's fixed in PFS legal way, PFS players will continue on that the fighter needs fixing, because to them it doesn't have the options that fix it.


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Fun fact: a 1st level Magus or a 4th level Paladin can put on heavy armor by themselves as a standard action by spending a spell slot. (For the Magus, it costs 35 gp, once)

Less fun fact: a 7th level Fighter can put on heavy armor by themselves over the course of 2 minutes if they invest their Armor Training into it. Without it, they cannot fully put on heavy armor at all.

Of course, you could buy wands, but it's definitely much more investment than, say, a squire. Or having your Paladin friend help you into armor.

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