What's wrong with the fighter


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Jader7777 wrote:
- What if you made the Fighter automatically proficient with every single exotic weapon at say, level 9?

Depending on how you handle things, that could cause significant issues since you likely have at least 3 feats invested in a weapon prior to level 9.

Jader7777 wrote:
- Have weapon focus and weapon specialization apply to weapon groups, not just single weapons.

I do that as a house rule. I also allow the creation of new weapon groups that are reasonable (so that someone like, y'know, Valeros can actually dual-wield a Longsword and Short Sword without being dumb). Sort of a "Medium Blades" group (np Greatswords, no Daggers, etc).

But...I don't think that addresses people's fundamental concerns here. Which I haven't personally experienced yet as I've never played a character past level 7 and the highest campaign I'm running is level 6.


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Jader7777 wrote:

snip...

- Have more fighter specific feats for lower levels
....snip

Some more Fighter specific feats for higher levels would be better. A feat that would be good for a 4th level fighter when the casters are getting their first 2nd level spells doesn't seem so impressive when you're a 16th level character and the casters have 8th level spells. If you can't offer feats that a caster would give up a 7th level spell slot to obtain, then don't give a class extra feats and claim that's equivalent to giving the class 7th level spells, because it's not believable.


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Bluenose wrote:
Jader7777 wrote:

snip...

- Have more fighter specific feats for lower levels
....snip
Some more Fighter specific feats for higher levels would be better. A feat that would be good for a 4th level fighter when the casters are getting their first 2nd level spells doesn't seem so impressive when you're a 16th level character and the casters have 8th level spells. If you can't offer feats that a caster would give up a 7th level spell slot to obtain, then don't give a class extra feats and claim that's equivalent to giving the class 7th level spells, because it's not believable.

Frankly, even a lot of the feats that are gated off to super-high levels aren't often that impressive.

You can't get Greater Vital Strike until you're 16th or 17th-level, at which point casters are at their final level of spellcasting.

Casty McSpellsalot just figured out how to stop time and now you can do 8d6+STR+Whatever else with your greatsword. Which is a pretty powerful slug, mind you, but the dragon sorcerer could do 8d6+8 fireballs eight levels ago, and his 8d6 attack could hit a bunch of mooks at once to wipe out entire mobs of weaker enemies.

Stunning Assault and Blinding Critical are some pretty cool abilities for your high end shenanigans, but those cap out at DC 20. Which is a bit of a problem when that means the CR 15+ enemies you're fighting against at the levels you can get those feats have maybe a 10% chance of not making their saving throw against your specials. Against bosses like the Balor, you are guaranteed to fail with any of those DC 10+BAB feats unless it fumbles its save.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Stunning Assault and Blinding Critical are some pretty cool abilities for your high end shenanigans, but those cap out at DC 20. Which is a bit of a problem when that means the CR 15+ enemies you're fighting against at the levels you can get those feats have maybe a 10% chance of not making their saving throw against your specials. Against bosses like the Balor, you are guaranteed to fail with any of those DC 10+BAB feats unless it fumbles its save.

Um, 10 + BAB feats cap at DC 30, not 20.


Blackwaltzomega wrote:
Stunning Assault and Blinding Critical are some pretty cool abilities for your high end shenanigans, but those cap out at DC 20. Which is a bit of a problem when that means the CR 15+ enemies you're fighting against at the levels you can get those feats have maybe a 10% chance of not making their saving throw against your specials. Against bosses like the Balor, you are guaranteed to fail with any of those DC 10+BAB feats unless it fumbles its save.

As mentioned, those feats cap out at DC 30. That's of course still bad against a Balor (+29 Fort save), but not that different from what many high level Wizards will be putting out in terms of the DCs

RotRL:
(most of Karzoug's spell DCs are in the 26-32 range)
I do wish that they had included a scaling factor (+STR mod? +1/2 STR mod?) in some of these feats, possibly specifically for Fighter, since it would make these more likely to land against CR appropriate enemies, and would be a buff for Fighter.

Heck, they could have made a Fighter specific combat feat that said "Add your +STR bonus to the DC for any Critical feats you have." Still way weaker than the stuff that Wizards are doing, but that's a feat that's actually fairly powerful, and Fighter-specific, especially if you have Critical Mastery as well.


Jader7777 wrote:

- Have weapon focus and weapon specialization apply to weapon groups, not just single weapons.

Would this really be that useful? outside of campaigns where weapons are randomly generated switching between weapons of the same group doesn't seem like that much of an advantage.


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vorArchivist wrote:
Jader7777 wrote:

- Have weapon focus and weapon specialization apply to weapon groups, not just single weapons.

Would this really be that useful? outside of campaigns where weapons are randomly generated switching between weapons of the same group doesn't seem like that much of an advantage.

My thought is no, it wouldn't be, so why not have it? It isn't something one would build around, but in cases with random loot (or foe appropriate loot) it increases a martial's versatility without it being an increase in power, which is something the fighter especially desperately needs. You no longer feel shafted when the world keeps giving you weapons that aren't exactly the one you've been taking feats for.

Grand Lodge

I always felt like the fighter should have a menagerie of weapons strapped all over them, fire swords, lighting lances, poison daggers, sonic bows, thunder hammers etc along with a selection of shields and armour to tailor to their enemies tactics. A weapon for all occasions and armour for all demands; it's their form of flexibility- prepared casters prepare spells and fighters put on a magical equipment fashion show.

Sadly the mechanics punish you for such ideas, as with the affirmationed "Valeros can't understand why one of his swords is shorter, so he loses all the bonuses" issue.

I can understand why at lower levels it would be a concern but once you've moved into the teen levels the one-weapon pony is bad mechanically and thematically.

Grand Lodge

BadBird wrote:
Nitro~Nina wrote:
What you guys have discovered is that it is, with effort, possible to make a build with the Fighter that nothing else can duplicate.
With 'effort'? This stuff is pure fun. There are whole books out there full of feats that make me think 'gee, if only there was a way to combo some of these feat chains'... and then I remember that there's a class with some major built-in always-on combat buffs that happens to grant a massive number of feats - and that's very multiclass-friendly as well. Then the scheming begins.

Which yes, makes them absolutely amazing for Multiclassing and I won't abide anyone dissing their ability to Multiclass. The problem is that this thread is about what the Fighter can do without getting help from other classes, and in most cases the Fighter is worse for an individual concept than most martial classes. I commend your ability to find a concept that only works for one-to-twenty solo Fighters.

But yeah, I agree we should more focus on fun than optimisation... and that's why I really don't like the Fighter. It has so many issues, thematically speaking, with being what it's supposed to be. It's not even truly versatile in the same way that the Brawler can be.


Blackwaltzomega wrote:


Your GM hasn't heard of Touch Attacks or saving throws?

With AWT, fighters have all good saves.


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Snowlilly wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:


Your GM hasn't heard of Touch Attacks or saving throws?

With AWT, fighters [can] have all good saves.


they fight


dharkus wrote:
they fight

What class can't fight?


Have you guys seen this YouTube video by "The Writer"?, he makes really good D&D videos. This ones on "How to Make Fighter Not-Boring".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTr4wPrJlsA&t=1766s

Edit: Sorry, I corrected the link. :o


I'd like to mention that making an Unchained Fighter would be pretty easy and well worthwhile since unless you go book-diving you are left with a pretty substandard class for anything other than cheating in extra feats in your build or taking strange archetypes.

Don't get me wrong, its possible to have fun and do well with a Fighter...just like it is possible to have fun and do well with a chained rogue. The problem is that You could do it better with any other class.

I'd like to see some real class features instead of feat chains, let feat chains be something the ranger gets...give the Fighter an actually useful ability and see how he does.


CorvusMask wrote:
Blackwaltzomega wrote:
The more I hear about adventure path design,

Well, okay okay okaaaay, gotta reply to this part in particular, thats just sounds like confirmation bias to me :D Ya know, the thing where you have particular opinion and believe opinions that support that opinion

I mean, at least read through one of them before commenting on AP design please xD

That being said, yeah like it was said before, they are designed for 4 point buy 15 unoptimized parties. I think its common sense that any optimized party needs to have campaign customized them, optimized pathfinder's math breaks hard so designing for it is ridicolous. I mean, the way system works, challenge ratings means nothing for optimized parties. Thats why my group prefers to do it more casually than optimizing much. I mean, they do somewhat plan ahead and such, but as far as I know, they just don't bother with effort that optimization needs. They might also just avoid optimized choices on purpose to keep difficulty right, but I think its just case that not everyone wants to do tons of calculating and planning in their hobbies.

Like, just example of what unoptimized but not "bad"(as in unable to play the AP at all due to getting far enough that they can't keep up with high level monsters) party is about like: ** spoiler omitted **...

yeah, we are "forcing" unoptimized parties/characters by having to ban certain classes. it's not the best solution, but we are having a hard time getting our players from always optimizing their characters. So by getting rid of the classes we've seen to be most troublesome, hopefully we can bring back some of the challenge to the game.


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TxSam88 wrote:
we are having a hard time getting our players from always optimizing their characters. So by getting rid of the classes we've seen to be most troublesome

Isn't that like saying, "We have a problem with people driving drunk, so we're going to ban the types of car they tend to drive"?


Matthew Downie wrote:
TxSam88 wrote:
we are having a hard time getting our players from always optimizing their characters. So by getting rid of the classes we've seen to be most troublesome
Isn't that like saying, "We have a problem with people driving drunk, so we're going to ban the types of car they tend to drive"?

Pretty much.

A skilled player can optimize any class, given the time and effort.


Snowlilly wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
TxSam88 wrote:
we are having a hard time getting our players from always optimizing their characters. So by getting rid of the classes we've seen to be most troublesome
Isn't that like saying, "We have a problem with people driving drunk, so we're going to ban the types of car they tend to drive"?

Pretty much.

A skilled player can optimize any class, given the time and effort.

Exactly. If there are choices, then one will be better than the other. Choosing the better choice is optimizing.


Matthew Downie wrote:
TxSam88 wrote:
we are having a hard time getting our players from always optimizing their characters. So by getting rid of the classes we've seen to be most troublesome
Isn't that like saying, "We have a problem with people driving drunk, so we're going to ban the types of car they tend to drive"?

It's more like forcing cars to go under 10 mph so you can't crash in any meaningful sense.

Or go to many interesting places


Snowlilly wrote:
A skilled player can optimize any class, given the time and effort.

Are you claiming all (or even most) classes are of roughly equal power when optimized?

If not, then removing the option to play the most powerful ones does bring down the overall power available to the PCs.


Balkoth wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
A skilled player can optimize any class, given the time and effort.

Are you claiming all (or even most) classes are of roughly equal power when optimized?

If not, then removing the option to play the most powerful ones does bring down the overall power available to the PCs.

I am not claiming all classes are equal.

Banning classes that have a higher ceiling tends to also lower the available options for the non-optimizing players. You don't wind up with a more even table, you just have a lower ceiling for both optimized and unoptimized players.

The better solution is to discuss the issue with the optimizer and get him to agree to dial things down a notch or two.


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Snowlilly wrote:
Balkoth wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
A skilled player can optimize any class, given the time and effort.

Are you claiming all (or even most) classes are of roughly equal power when optimized?

If not, then removing the option to play the most powerful ones does bring down the overall power available to the PCs.

I am not claiming all classes are equal.

Banning classes that have a higher ceiling tends to also lower the available options for the non-optimizing players. You don't wind up with a more even table, you just have a lower ceiling for both optimized and unoptimized players.

The better solution is to discuss the issue with the optimizer and get him to agree to dial things down a notch or two.

we tried that, didn't work..

But yeah, we got rid of the Ferrari, and made the players all max out with Camaro's, still fast and powerful, and can be optimized, but not as awesome as the Ferrari


Snowlilly wrote:
The better solution is to discuss the issue with the optimizer and get him to agree to dial things down a notch or two.

I feel like one of the problems with games like this is that there are some classes or archetypes that are dripping with flavor, but are often avoided because they're either not powerful or there are far more efficient traditional ways to build a whatever. So when there's a clear gulf in system mastery between you and everybody else playing in the game, this is your opportunity to build something that's flavorful but you wouldn't play it in a game where you felt the need to "keep up".

I mean, when am I going to get to play a Swashbuckler or a Tetori if not in a game where other people aren't as experienced?


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Snowlilly wrote:
The better solution is to discuss the issue with the optimizer and get him to agree to dial things down a notch or two.
I feel like one of the problems with games like this is that there are some classes or archetypes that are dripping with flavor, but are often avoided because they're either not powerful or there are far more efficient traditional ways to build a whatever. So when there's a clear gulf in system mastery between you and everybody else playing in the game, this is your opportunity to build something that's flavorful but you wouldn't play it in a game where you felt the need to "keep up".

I agree, so how do you handle it when half the players build flavorful characters and the other half go for total optimization?


TxSam88 wrote:
I agree, so how do you handle it when half the players build flavorful characters and the other half go for total optimization?

Talk it out with the people at the table and come to a mutual understanding in terms of what people want and what they expect out of the game? This is really the sort of thing that can't be solved with rules, but can easily be solved by reasonable people having an honest conversation.

Shadow Lodge

TxSam88 wrote:
I agree, so how do you handle it when half the players build flavorful characters and the other half go for total optimization?

Cut off half the players.


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TOZ wrote:
TxSam88 wrote:
I agree, so how do you handle it when half the players build flavorful characters and the other half go for total optimization?
Cut off half the players.

but which half?


If a group has some optimisers and some not who picked themed classes and don't know where to go with them.

First step would be to talk to the group about it, the second in my opinion is to get the optimisers to help the none optimisers 8/10 times a concept can be made to work with a bit of system mastery.

Surely it makes more sense to help everyone in the party achieve what they're after than say one half is simply not allowed to play the game the way they want. I don't think many people are expressedly against powerful characters if they keep to the concept.


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M1k31 wrote:
TOZ wrote:
TxSam88 wrote:
I agree, so how do you handle it when half the players build flavorful characters and the other half go for total optimization?
Cut off half the players.
but which half?

The "flavor" ones.

In my experience, I've never meet someone good at roleplaying who isn't optimizing their characters by the second campaign.

Not optimizing tends to just mean "not caring".

As a GM, I'd rather have players that can do things because the is more interesting for me than a 9 page rogue backstory explaining why they are blind


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Rhedyn wrote:


As a GM, I'd rather have players that can do things because the is more interesting for me than a 9 page rogue backstory explaining why they are blind

The two are not mutually exclusive.

An optimizer can build a blind rogue capable of doing things while still providing a nine page backstory on her character.

Spoiler:
Personally I would go with the Dark Lurker archetype and make sure I had the means to deprive everyone else of vision.

Shadow Lodge

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M1k31 wrote:
but which half?

Take your pick.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
TxSam88 wrote:
I agree, so how do you handle it when half the players build flavorful characters and the other half go for total optimization?
Talk it out with the people at the table and come to a mutual understanding in terms of what people want and what they expect out of the game? This is really the sort of thing that can't be solved with rules, but can easily be solved by reasonable people having an honest conversation.

Why not all of the above?

Lower the ceiling on the optimization.

Raise the floor on the power level of the low end.

Talk to the players themselves to manage the space in between.

Liberty's Edge

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One issue I have with the fighter (I have a number, mostly aligned to Ssalarn's comments) is that its design seems to skew the entire combat feat design paradigm. Fighters get a lot of combat feats, so all good combat feats have to be buried in long chains filled with weak tax feats instead of having decent scaling options, as if it is a form of niche protection. This niche protection then forces other classes to be granted bonus combat feats to be able to get the feats they need.

I do acknowledge that Paizo did not create many of the issues with fighters, instead inheriting them from 3.5, but they certainly exasperated them with their feat design.

Silver Crusade

Rhedyn wrote:

In my experience, I've never meet someone good at roleplaying who isn't optimizing their characters by the second campaign.

Not optimizing tends to just mean "not caring".

As a GM, I'd rather have players that can do things because the is more interesting for me than a 9 page rogue backstory explaining why they are blind

I disagree whole-heartedly. Sure, there obviously can be useless characters and players who don't care, but most of the suboptimal characters I've encountered have either been as a result of inexperience or deliberate choices, neither of which imply a lack of care. I once had a character who was a one-armed, one eyed, pacifist. Had to come up with rules to deal with the penalties for her handicaps. From a pure mechanical perspective she was very suboptimal, but she was rarely useless and never was boring.

Now, if you're using "not caring" as shorthand for "not caring if the character has squeezed every drop of optimization out of the rules," I might agree, but I'd disagree that this is a bad thing.

The problem, tying this back to fighters, is that a sub-optimal fighter is much less effective that a sub-optimal almost anything else (with the exceptions of monk and rogue and maybe a few of the base classes).

Stack wrote:

One issue I have with the fighter (I have a number, mostly aligned to Ssalarn's comments) is that its design seems to skew the entire combat feat design paradigm. Fighters get a lot of combat feats, so all good combat feats have to be buried in long chains filled with weak tax feats instead of having decent scaling options, as if it is a form of niche protection. This niche protection then forces other classes to be granted bonus combat feats to be able to get the feats they need.

I do acknowledge that Paizo did not create many of the issues with fighters, instead inheriting them from 3.5, but they certainly exasperated them with their feat design.

I think giving fighters specific free feats would help (just give them combat expertise, weapon finesse, power attack, and dodge right out the gate) and allow them to ignore ability prerequisites (dex for TWF, etc.). As a start, anyway. Assuming you don't want to rebuild the entire feat system (which may not be a bad idea). One of the things I did in a home game was combine improved bull-rush, overrun, grapple, and sunder into a single feat and improved trip, feint, disarm, steal, and dirty trick into a single feat.


Isonaroc wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:

In my experience, I've never meet someone good at roleplaying who isn't optimizing their characters by the second campaign.

Not optimizing tends to just mean "not caring".

As a GM, I'd rather have players that can do things because the is more interesting for me than a 9 page rogue backstory explaining why they are blind

I disagree whole-heartedly. Sure, there obviously can be useless characters and players who don't care, but most of the suboptimal characters I've encountered have either been as a result of inexperience or deliberate choices, neither of which imply a lack of care. I once had a character who was a one-armed, one eyed, pacifist. Had to come up with rules to deal with the penalties for her handicaps. From a pure mechanical perspective she was very suboptimal, but she was rarely useless and never was boring.

Now, if you're using "not caring" as shorthand for "not caring if the character has squeezed every drop of optimization out of the rules," I might agree, but I'd disagree that this is a bad thing.

The problem, tying this back to fighters, is that a sub-optimal fighter is much less effective that a sub-optimal almost anything else (with the exceptions of monk and rogue and maybe a few of the base classes).

Stack wrote:

One issue I have with the fighter (I have a number, mostly aligned to Ssalarn's comments) is that its design seems to skew the entire combat feat design paradigm. Fighters get a lot of combat feats, so all good combat feats have to be buried in long chains filled with weak tax feats instead of having decent scaling options, as if it is a form of niche protection. This niche protection then forces other classes to be granted bonus combat feats to be able to get the feats they need.

I do acknowledge that Paizo did not create many of the issues with fighters, instead inheriting them from 3.5, but they certainly exasperated them with their feat design.

I think giving fighters specific free feats would help (just give...

I really like the idea of just reworking those trees to begin with. Something like

Combat Expertise: You gain a +2 to CMB, and your combat maneuvers no longer provoke an attack of opportunity.

Improved <Maneuver>: You gain a +2 to CMB checks when <maneuver> plus the kicker benefit of whatever Greater <maneuver> is currently.

Quick <Maneuver>: Remove greater maneuver requirement

Dodge: You gain a +1 dodge bonus to AC and may take a -1 to hitto increase this bonus by 1. For every 4 BAB you may take an additional -1 to hit to increase that bonus by another 1

Mobility Kill this feat entirely there are too many ways to avoid what its supposed to protect against out there, its a relic.

Whirlwind AttackLoses expertise requirement: As a Standard action, or attack at the end of a charge you may make 1 attack against all enemies within your reach, forfeiting any bonus attacks such as cleave and haste

Blistering Offense Prereq Whirlwind attack +6 BAB: You may make a full attack at the end of a charge.

It doesn't fix all of the problems with fighter, but a tiny bit of compression and improvement of feats opens up a lot for them.


TOZ wrote:
TxSam88 wrote:
I agree, so how do you handle it when half the players build flavorful characters and the other half go for total optimization?
Cut off half the players.

been best friends for almost 30 years, group has gamed together for almost 20. we've optimized characters for most of that

the adventure paths have brought about a need for changing our level of optimization, some have caught on, others are having trouble adjusting.

"cutting off half the players" is not an option

Shadow Lodge

TxSam88 wrote:
"cutting off half the players" is not an option

Of course it is. Just not one you are willing to take.


Rhedyn wrote:
M1k31 wrote:
TOZ wrote:
TxSam88 wrote:
I agree, so how do you handle it when half the players build flavorful characters and the other half go for total optimization?
Cut off half the players.
but which half?

The "flavor" ones.

In my experience, I've never meet someone good at roleplaying who isn't optimizing their characters by the second campaign.

Not optimizing tends to just mean "not caring".

As a GM, I'd rather have players that can do things because the is more interesting for me than a 9 page rogue backstory explaining why they are blind

I disagree as well, a good role player will be spreading out this skill purchases and his feat purchases into non optimised places, as well as buying "flavorful" magic items and choosing "flavorful" classes to begin with.

whereas a ROLLplayer will make only optimal choices.

Shadow Lodge

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F&*@ your false dichotomy.


TOZ wrote:
TxSam88 wrote:
"cutting off half the players" is not an option
Of course it is. Just not one you are willing to take.

no it actually isn't an option.

Shadow Lodge

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Keep telling yourself that. Happy gaming.


TxSam88 wrote:

I disagree as well, a good role player will be spreading out this skill purchases and his feat purchases into non optimised places, as well as buying "flavorful" magic items and choosing "flavorful" classes to begin with.

whereas a ROLLplayer will make only optimal choices.

Pretending you said "optimiser" rather than "ROLLPlayer" for the sake of sanity. I'm guessing you've never met an optimiser who uses his system proficiency so that he can roleplay as characters with crappy flavour options that otherwise would be a burden on the party?


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TxSam88 wrote:

I disagree as well, a good role player will be spreading out this skill purchases and his feat purchases into non optimised places, as well as buying "flavorful" magic items and choosing "flavorful" classes to begin with.

whereas a ROLLplayer will make only optimal choices.

Because someone who regularly find themselves in life-or-death struggles should deliberately make choices that reduce their chances of getting out unscathed?

That's BAD ROLEPLAYING, unless the adventurer in question has a death wish.


Isonaroc wrote:
I disagree whole-heartedly. Sure, there obviously can be useless characters and players who don't care, but most of the suboptimal characters I've encountered have either been as a result of inexperience or deliberate choices, neither of which imply a lack of care. I once had a character who was a one-armed, one eyed, pacifist. Had to come up with rules to deal with the penalties for her handicaps. From a pure mechanical perspective she was very suboptimal, but she was rarely useless and never was boring.

Why was she adventuring?


Bluenose wrote:
Isonaroc wrote:
I disagree whole-heartedly. Sure, there obviously can be useless characters and players who don't care, but most of the suboptimal characters I've encountered have either been as a result of inexperience or deliberate choices, neither of which imply a lack of care. I once had a character who was a one-armed, one eyed, pacifist. Had to come up with rules to deal with the penalties for her handicaps. From a pure mechanical perspective she was very suboptimal, but she was rarely useless and never was boring.
Why was she adventuring?

Because supporting other people while they kill things is pacifism, as long as you don't swing the sword yourself.


Athaleon wrote:
Because supporting other people while they kill things is pacifism, as long as you don't swing the sword yourself.

I'd say their either they're partially responsible for the deaths caused (so they'll need low intelligence to not realise it goes against their pacifism), or they probably shouldn't get any XP.


I'm fairly confident a one-eyed one-armed pacifist who is nevertheless rarely useless as an adventurer could find plenty of other things to do that didn't stretch the definition of pacifist quite so far.


Milo v3 wrote:
Athaleon wrote:
Because supporting other people while they kill things is pacifism, as long as you don't swing the sword yourself.
I'd say their either they're partially responsible for the deaths caused (so they'll need low intelligence to not realise it goes against their pacifism), or they probably shouldn't get any XP.

Yes, tell the person playing the pacifist healer they don't get XP.

See how long if takes the rest of the group to find a new DM.

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