Can we talk about how the Cavalier is just better than the Fighter?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Deighton Thrane wrote:
There's more than these 3 things, but I find these are kind of the big things that do tend to come up often. So there's investment (both monetary and feat-wise) the cavalier has to make, and significant challenges they have to have contingencies for in order to perform well. A fighter usually doesn't have to worry about these all or any of these things and can spend the resources needed to address these elsewhere. Don't get me wrong, I do think that some of the cavalier class features are pretty good (otherwise I wouldn't have played one), but I don't think they make them in every way better than a fighter.

We have a disparity in perspective then. Since PFS tends to be heavy on low level activities while my experiences are at level 7+ where you grab the flying mount because there it is THE most important investment for many of the reasons you listed. If it wasn't for Monstrous Mount and Monstrous Mount Mastery, I would discount the entire class as being trash. Like most of your features wrapped around a stupid horse? Hard pass.

But that leaves the lower levels as something that only sort of matters in my eyes and is where the fighter shines because his feats aren't outclassed yet. But lower levels is also where an animal companion is really really strong and the extra hoops you jump through are entirely justified.


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Your cavalier doesn't go first, i assure you.
Feats for improved initiative
Archer fighter so high dex build
+3 to 7 to initiative from trained initiative via AWT
+1 to 5 to initiative from Sprightly armor via AAT.

Cavalier doesn't have anything remotely close to the options for boosting initiative rolls that fighter does now.


Ryan Freire wrote:

Your cavalier doesn't go first, i assure you.

Feats for improved initiative
Archer fighter so high dex build
+3 to 7 to initiative from trained initiative via AWT
+1 to 5 to initiative from Sprightly armor via AAT.

Cavalier doesn't have anything remotely close to the options for boosting initiative rolls that fighter does now.

So?


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So *cavalier wins initiative* is profoundly unlikely and right up there with "and then i paid off my student loans with a small win in the powerball lottery"


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Ryan Freire wrote:
So *cavalier wins initiative* is profoundly unlikely and right up there with "and then i paid off my student loans with a small win in the powerball lottery"

Winning a pvp fight at level 20 because you go first means next to nothing.


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Rhedyn wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
So *cavalier wins initiative* is profoundly unlikely and right up there with "and then i paid off my student loans with a small win in the powerball lottery"
Winning a pvp fight at level 20 because you go first means next to nothing.

You're the one in the business of creating threads to compare classes.

Things that a pure fighter can choose to have access to that a pure cavalier does not:

A familiar
A pseudo magus weapon enchanting ability
The warpriests sacred weapon ability
DR comparable to the invulnerable ragers while wearing adamantine armor
Way way WAY more skills
A strong will save
Solo tactics from the inquisitor class
Earlier access to weapon/armor mastery feats which offers a better deflect arrows.
The ability to wear adamantine armor for DR/- and not have mobility be hindered while not mounted.
The ability to damage/sacrifice their own weapons or armor to prevent themselves or an adjacent party member from being dropped
A higher AC ceiling from armor specialization
A higher initiative ceiling
Enough feats to invest in competence with a secondary fighting style.

Other than the familiar it can do all of these things without even archetyping. Not necessarily all at once but still.

Edit: oh yes, and a single AAT choice gives 2 feats and level in skill points for becoming a crafter of your own armor/shields.


Rhedyn wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
So *cavalier wins initiative* is profoundly unlikely and right up there with "and then i paid off my student loans with a small win in the powerball lottery"
Winning a pvp fight at level 20 because you go first means next to nothing.

That statement is contradictory considering your previous statement of winning initiative to kill the Archer Fighter. Flagged for trolling.


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Guys, guys, I gave up on this last night when I realized OP does not want to actually discuss but inform us that Fighters are BADWRONGFUN because in a strict theorycrafting interpretation with all advantages going to cavalier they have bigger numbers in certain areas.

Whether OP is intending to or not, this is becoming a trolling thread.


Darbius Maximus wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
So *cavalier wins initiative* is profoundly unlikely and right up there with "and then i paid off my student loans with a small win in the powerball lottery"
Winning a pvp fight at level 20 because you go first means next to nothing.
That statement is contradictory considering your previous statement of winning initiative to kill the Archer Fighter. Flagged for trolling.

The same response where I said pvp doesn't really matter?

And it is still true, if the cavalier wins initiative, he still kills the fighter. Most level 20 pvp fights come down to who wins initiative.

But that doesn't matter since any good fight in an actual game will last 3 rounds or more.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
So *cavalier wins initiative* is profoundly unlikely and right up there with "and then i paid off my student loans with a small win in the powerball lottery"
Winning a pvp fight at level 20 because you go first means next to nothing.

You're the one in the business of creating threads to compare classes.

Things that a pure fighter can choose to have access to that a pure cavalier does not:

A familiar
A pseudo magus weapon enchanting ability
The warpriests sacred weapon ability
DR comparable to the invulnerable ragers while wearing adamantine armor
Way way WAY more skills
A strong will save
Solo tactics from the inquisitor class
Earlier access to weapon/armor mastery feats which offers a better deflect arrows.
The ability to wear adamantine armor for DR/- and not have mobility be hindered while not mounted.
The ability to damage/sacrifice their own weapons or armor to prevent themselves or an adjacent party member from being dropped
A higher AC ceiling from armor specialization
A higher initiative ceiling
Enough feats to invest in competence with a secondary fighting style.

Other than the familiar it can do all of these things without even archetyping. Not necessarily all at once but still.

Edit: oh yes, and a single AAT choice gives 2 feats and level in skill points for becoming a crafter of your own armor/shields.

OK, I would like a sample build of all of that because I am curious to see that.

And it is only fair to provide a build of my own:
Human Order of the Shield Cavalier || 18 14 14 12 10 8 || Climb (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis) || Fav(+¼ Banner Bonus)
1. Challenge 1/day, mount, order(Shield), tactician(Escape Route), Mounted Combat, Ride-By Attack
2. Order ability(Resolute)
3. Cavalier's charge, Spirited Charge
4. Challenge 2/day, expert trainer
5. Banner, Monstrous Mount
6. Bonus feat(Power Attack)
7. Challenge 3/day, Monstrous Mount Mastery
8. Order ability(Stem the Tide)
9. Greater tactician(Shake It Off), Combat Reflexes
10. Challenge 4/day
11. Mighty charge, Blind-Fight
12. Bonus feat(Trick Riding), demanding challenge
13. Challenge 5/day, Indomitable Mount
14. Greater banner
15. Order ability(Protect the Meek), Mounted Skirmisher
16. Challenge 6/day
17. Master tactician(Coordinated Charge), Dazing Assault
18. Bonus feat(Stunning Assault)
19. Challenge 7/day, Iron Will
20. Supreme charge

I'll even throw in a fighter build too:
CG Human Fighter || 18 14 14 10 10 10 || Climb, Perception, Survival || Seeker, Blood of the Dragon (low light vision)
1. Shield Brace, Shield Focus, Combat Reflexes
2. Blind-Fight
3. Armor training, Master Armorer
4. Power Attack
5. Weapon Training (Polearms), Versatile Training (Diplomacy, Sense Motive)
6. Cut from the Air
7. Adaptable Training (Knowledge Engineering), Guarded Charge
8. Armor Specialization
9. Smash From the Air, Versatile Training (Bluff, Intimidate)
10. Armed Bravery
11. Armored Juggernaut, Dazing Assault
12. Pin Down
13. Warrior Spirit, Adaptable Training (Acrobatics)
14. Adaptable Training (Climb)
15. Adaptable Training (Disguise), Fighter’s Reflexes
16. Improved Initiative
17.Trained Initiative, Sprightly Armor
18. Armored Sacrifice
19. Armor Mastery, Devastating Assault
20. Weapon Mastery, Weapon Sacrifice


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Rhedyn wrote:
Darbius Maximus wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
So *cavalier wins initiative* is profoundly unlikely and right up there with "and then i paid off my student loans with a small win in the powerball lottery"
Winning a pvp fight at level 20 because you go first means next to nothing.
That statement is contradictory considering your previous statement of winning initiative to kill the Archer Fighter. Flagged for trolling.

The same response where I said pvp doesn't really matter?

And it is still true, if the cavalier wins initiative, he still kills the fighter. Most level 20 pvp fights come down to who wins initiative.

But that doesn't matter since any good fight in an actual game will last 3 rounds or more.

Going first does not make a difference when you are 300+ feet away.


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Ok,

First you make a two hander fighter, your weapon of choice matters a lot here as the only real requirements for a two hander fighting style are power attack and maybe furious focus. The options tend toward greatsword, falchion, or exotic: usually curve blade or fauchard.

Greatsword is the least feat intensive, you need power attack and FF, eventually improved critical.

Falchion is crit focused, it needs PA, FF, IC, and 2 to 3 other feats invested in critical feats, that becomes a personal taste issue. It also eventually takes the sacred weapon option to up the damage dice.

Exotic is like Falchion, in that the most common choices have a good crit range so they tend to do a little crit fishing. Fauchard will want polearm trick and the weapon mastery feat Difficult swings. Curve blade will want an impact weapon or Warrior bond asap.

Now look at the class and the advanced armor/weapon training options

You can spend a feat to take an AAT at level 3 (and another one for feat every 3 levels after) and can pick one option for free at 7, 11, and 15. Overall you can choose between 0 and 9 AAT options

You can spend a feat to take an AWT option at level 5, 10, 15, and 20. You get one effectively free at levels 9,13, and 17. So anywhere from 0-7 advanced weapon training options.

You'll buy gloves of dueling ASAP whatever the build, realistically you can afford them around 9th-10th level.

A single Advanced weapon training option ties for number of maxed skills, A single advanced armor training option exceeds it with Craft(armor). As a Fauchard build, you can take advanced weapon training for skills twice and have Diplomacy, Sense motive, Intimidate, and Bluff with max ranks. For the other options ive listed you replace sense motive with Ride.

At 19, in adamantite full plate, by taking a single AAT option or feat expenditure for armored juggernaut, you have DR 11/- Comparable but a little lower than an invulnerable rager's potential. A second AAT choice or feat for armor specialization means your +5 adamantite full plate provides a +18 AC all by itself at the same level, +19 at level 20. If you're still concerned about defense a single AWT option for defensive weapon training will add a +4 shield bonus to that from your +5 weapon.

Now this part depends on some feat interaction i'm not entirely sure of. With armed bravery, your base will save is effectively 11, or one shy of a primary save. If Improved bravery the feat works (armed bravery applies bravery to will saves, the feat applies it to mind affecting effects) you're looking at base 16. I'm not confident of that interaction because of functionally applying the same bonus to the same roll twice if not TECHNICALLY doing it. Its a strong argument for building cha heavy if it works, especially with how easy it is to be max ranks in any given social skill.

Beyond those key points it really doesn't matter what else you take for feats, its the skeleton of a strong build with 5+int skills that includes item creation and 3-4 social skills at max ranks. A great weapon fighter of any stripe will do PLENTY of damage so you don't have to worry about being a drag, and by mid/high levels will be significantly tough to whittle down with physical attacks.

If you take this skeleton using the most feat intensive weapon choices and 2 or 3 crit feats and ONLY use feats to buy the AAT AWT options you still have like 9 feats left over + 3 AAT and 3 AWT options.

You have like 14-15 left over if you only use the free weapon/armor training options available. Given that 5 of those things i list are advanced weapon training options (you can have up to 7) and 5 are from advanced armor training (you can have up to 9) you should be able to see how you can fit literally everything i said into one character.


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I feel like "what class can have the highest numbers in a perfect situation" is not really relevant to what classes are more appealing than other classes.

Instead it's "What class is capable of fulfilling a vision for a character that I like, while being strong enough and survivable enough for me to have a good time playing it."

So for me, at least, a Cavalier ranks really low on my list of preferred classes because I simply don't care to play a character defined by being mounted. Who does the highest damage is pretty irrelevant because damage is, after all, fungible (and something specific like a vital striking cave druid/monk is going to outpace everything anyway.)


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PossibleCabbage wrote:

I feel like "what class can have the highest numbers in a perfect situation" is not really relevant to what classes are more appealing than other classes.

Instead it's "What class is capable of fulfilling a vision for a character that I like, while being strong enough and survivable enough for me to have a good time playing it."

So for me, at least, a Cavalier ranks really low on my list of preferred classes because I simply don't care to play a character defined by being mounted. Who does the highest damage is pretty irrelevant because damage is, after all, fungible (and something specific like a vital striking cave druid/monk is going to outpace everything anyway.)

^

This is pretty much it. You can approximate a non paladin knight with fighter, but cavalier does it better. Cavalier has a number of non-mounted archetypes but realistically the things its trying to imitate do the job better.

Also basically every optimized build intending to do damage does damage in excess of what it's really going to need to in order to have adventure success unless they're adventuring far beyond their party level anyway. It was one of my frustrations when trying to discuss the potential of a desnan cha paladin. Yes being a starknife wielder who adds cha to everything does less damage than other builds, optimized it still does more than enough though.


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Cavalier is much better than the Fighter... whenever I want to point out that the build someone is saying "does way too much damage" is still strictly inferior to the standard "one big hit" build (Cavalier charging with a lance). The math is super easy. +level for challenge, Power Attack, Strength, multiply it all by 3. More complicated than that requires that I actually make a build, fill in all those fiddly bits. It's just not worth it.

As for actually using them, they do two entirely different things. Saying the Fighter is a worse mounted combatant than the Cavalier isn't news. That's what the Cavalier was designed to do. If it's worse than the Fighter then someone at Paizo screwed up. If you're trying to actually compare their merits then you can't just say "here are things the Cavalier does that the Fighter doesn't do as well" while completely ignoring all the other class features of the Fighter. Especially when your original post included the classic martial line "and if other characters dedicate themselves to supporting me I can be better than this other guy with no support". Or as you put it "your mounted features work with ... wildshaping druids" because clearly the best use of a druid is to ferry around the Cavalier so they can be better than the Fighter.

But since the argument is so vacuous, let's respond with the same format.

Better saves? Any @#$%ing Dwarf can take Steel Soul and Glory of Old to get +5 to all saves against spells and SLAs. Way better than just fear, charm, and compulsion.

Better damage? A Rogue gets +1d6 damage every two levels, a Cavalier only gets +2. A Rogue therefore does more damage than a Cavalier.

Mount! The thing anyone can get with a three feat chain. Well, anyone can get the same @#$%^& list the Cavalier has to pick from. The Druid and Hunter get to pick from the real list, which includes the Pteranodon, Roc, Giant Wasp, Giant Mantis, and apparently something called a Quetzalcoatlus. And those are just the fliers. Want to ride a snake into battle? Not as a Cavalier. Want to ride a Lion, Tiger, Bear, T-Rex, basically any Dinosaure? Hope you didn't want Expert Trainer or Heavy Armor.


Ryan Freire wrote:
you should be able to see how you can fit literally everything i said into one character.

Which the fighter build I showed you does, while being able to wield a two-handed pole with a shield even more defenses, even more skills and stacking armor buffs to fly.

My problem is you don't get it quickly. You are at least level 5 before you match the Cavaliers skills and only if the cavalier picks a skill combo available to you. Skills matter the most at low levels so this is important even if I normally discount low level play. I still have to go through it.

That's why I asked for a build, because "get it easily by 20" is not the same as "get abilities at levels where they are worth it" many cool feats at level 5 are not exciting options at 15. The cleric just got earthquake. The cavalier can now move and full attack. The fighter gets an armor or weapon training that would have been more useful 10 levels ago?

Also I'm not claiming the cavalier is better because it gets bigger numbers in certain situations. They get bigger numbers against challenged foes, while mounted, or mounted charging. They only fall behind the fighter while on the ground against a mook. But the main reason the cavalier pulls away is that their incomparables are better designed, organized properly, and better for more levels.


The brawler is also stronger than the fighter


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This seems a lot of effort for deciding which of two of the worst tier 4/high tier 5 classes is actually worse than the other.


Calth wrote:
This seems a lot of effort for deciding which of two of the worst tier 4/high tier 5 classes is actually worse than the other.

I wouldn't put cavalier under unchained rogue, swashbucklers, brawlers, unchained barbarian, chained monk, or even unchained monk.

It may tie with slayers though.

Gunslingers outpace cavaliers. They only get DPR. But it is a disruptive amount. When it comes to problems that need to be immediately dealt with, gunslingers can outpace wizards in DM kill priority.

Fighters are just the other mundane heavy armor class.


Rhedyn wrote:
Calth wrote:
This seems a lot of effort for deciding which of two of the worst tier 4/high tier 5 classes is actually worse than the other.

I wouldn't put cavalier under unchained rogue, swashbucklers, brawlers, unchained barbarian, chained monk, or even unchained monk.

It may tie with slayers though.

Gunslingers outpace cavaliers. They only get DPR. But it is a disruptive amount. When it comes to problems that need to be immediately dealt with, gunslingers can outpace wizards in DM kill priority.

Fighters are just the other mundane heavy armor class.

If the GM has to specifically target the character then clearly that class is better than the other class. Your reasoning, not mine.


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I would put cavalier under unchained rogue, Urogue does similar damage, limited by positioning rather than uses per day, has more out of combat utility than the cavalier, AND can play debuffer just only slightly less efficiently than the frostbite magus.


Ryan Freire wrote:
I would put cavalier under unchained rogue, Urogue does similar damage, limited by positioning rather than uses per day, has more out of combat utility than the cavalier, AND can play debuffer just only slightly less efficiently than the frostbite magus.

Similar damage? No not even close.

More out of combat utility? Maybe at low levels where skills matter the most. High strength score actually has a lot of out of combat utility, but the Urogue does not receive narrative power that approaches expert trainer.

Debuffer? Just some minus 2s for allies. The greater debuffs only apply for the rogue. The cavalier brings buffs while some cavaliers also debuff pretty well (if Urogue is considered good). Also any FULL BAB class can bring dazing assault which is infinitely that Urogue debuffs.

Perhaps you meant eldritch scoundrel Urogue? In which case I would agree with you, but that combo pumps into tier 3 with the rest of the partial casters.


All this talk about 5' corridors

is irrelevant

Halfling Order of the Paw (with Outrider racial trait) wins, flawless victory.

The Exchange

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So in order to make an effective Cavalier you have to be a halfling and ride a small mount?

I mean, that's not restrictive at all

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Or you could take Undersized Mount and play a Medium creature riding a Medium mount. Pretty sure there's also a feat mounts can take to squeeze with minimal penalties.

The Exchange

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How do medium mounts go in terms of strength for carrying medium creatures in heavy armour? Just curious.

Also, now that you're riding a medium mount, how are you off for flying mounts, which is what he was proposing as a workoaround for many of the other issues mounts come with.

I'm sure there are times where a Cavalier is just pure awesome sauce. But my experience and with all the APS I've read as well as played, I just see them as a class that's too restricted in too many situations to do what they're meant to do.

Fighters just don't have that restriction in place. Unless you build a mont riding fighter I suppose.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Wrath wrote:

How do medium mounts go in terms of strength for carrying medium creatures in heavy armour? Just curious.

Also, now that you're riding a medium mount, how are you off for flying mounts, which is what he was proposing as a workoaround for many of the other issues mounts come with.

I'm sure there are times where a Cavalier is just pure awesome sauce. But my experience and with all the APS I've read as well as played, I just see them as a class that's too restricted in too many situations to do what they're meant to do.

Fighters just don't have that restriction in place. Unless you build a mont riding fighter I suppose.

Many GMs arbitrarily restrict mounts when there's no reason to do so, which I think is probably the number one problem. After that, it's so easy to allow a Medium sized creature to carry a Medium sized rider it's barely worth delving into. Any number of belts, traits, feats, etc. can allow the mount to have the requisite carrying capacity. There's a few items for storing large mounts in tight spaces, like a hosteling suit of armor or shield, and even while their mount is tucked away the cavalier still has challenge, banner, orders, and tactician at their disposal. You can also have the mount fight side-by-side with you in situations where you can't be mounted; the mount is, after all, essentially just an animal companion. Even simply leading your mount can grant mechanical advantages since doing so still means you could use Tactician and Escape Route to back out of a dangerous situation without provoking attacks of opportunity. Combined with a traditional cavalier reach weapon like a lance or halberd, and even your worst case scenario can easily be flipped to your advantage.

Liberty's Edge

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Well, there's the problem that technically the only mounts you get without feats or archetypes as a medium cavalier is a horse or a camel, and they both start large. Sure you can talk to your GM about that in a home game, but is a bigger problem in PFS, or online play.

As for the other abilities, well challenge is a no brainer, awesome ability. I don't think anyone is contesting that. Banner, Orders and Tactician are definitely a lot more circumstantial though. Banner is okay, but the bonus to attack is only on the charge, which might not happen at all in combat, and the bonus to fear doesn't stack if you have a bard. Also frustrating is when you have a cleric who's still using a wand of bless first thing in combat, because it doesn't stack with the banner, and you have 4th level spells, why are you still casting bless? (sorry, just remembering some of the frustrating sessions while playing the cavalier)

Order and Tactician both don't really take off till higher level when you gain the 8th level order abilities, which can be fairly good, and 9th level when tactician becomes a swift action. I think in the entire career of the cavalier PC, I only used tactician ability once to give the party Escape Route while it was a standard action. Even as a swift, it often wasn't a better use of actions than challenge, mounted combat or indomitable mount. A lot of order abilities can be hit or miss too, like the ability to cast darkness on your weapon, good if everyone in your party has darkvision, and the opponents don't, and you're not fighting in bright light. If instead you have a couple humans, or some halflings, and you're fighting some demons, well you might as well have not bothered.


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Everyone is mentioning small corridors. I don't think I have seen any response to difficult terrain. If their is difficult terrain and you haven't prepared to deal with it all your charges become useless.


IME online it's certainly possible to negotiate with the GM. And the mount of a cavalier of the Order of the Beast gets wild shape at 8th level...

If you're not playing in PFS you can actually make plans for the people in your party, one way or another. Even in PFS, I suspect if you know the people there you might be able to organise something. I don't know if you can blame the Order of the Eclipse's abilities for not working with a random party. Many things won't.

There are a bunch of orders for which the challenge or 2nd level abilities are more than decent. Order of the Eastern Star, 2nd: DR 1/- and +2 on all saves (albeit you probably want the daring champion archetype). Order of the Flame: the glorious challenge is an impressive if risky ability, and the 2nd level ability to move & stop being flat-footed at the time of the initiative check (50% of the time) is fairly unique and useful. Etc.

The Exchange

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Ssalarn wrote:
Wrath wrote:

How do medium mounts go in terms of strength for carrying medium creatures in heavy armour? Just curious.

Also, now that you're riding a medium mount, how are you off for flying mounts, which is what he was proposing as a workoaround for many of the other issues mounts come with.

I'm sure there are times where a Cavalier is just pure awesome sauce. But my experience and with all the APS I've read as well as played, I just see them as a class that's too restricted in too many situations to do what they're meant to do.

Fighters just don't have that restriction in place. Unless you build a mont riding fighter I suppose.

Many GMs arbitrarily restrict mounts when there's no reason to do so, which I think is probably the number one problem. After that, it's so easy to allow a Medium sized creature to carry a Medium sized rider it's barely worth delving into. Any number of belts, traits, feats, etc. can allow the mount to have the requisite carrying capacity. There's a few items for storing large mounts in tight spaces, like a hosteling suit of armor or shield, and even while their mount is tucked away the cavalier still has challenge, banner, orders, and tactician at their disposal. You can also have the mount fight side-by-side with you in situations where you can't be mounted; the mount is, after all, essentially just an animal companion. Even simply leading your mount can grant mechanical advantages since doing so still means you could use Tactician and Escape Route to back out of a dangerous situation without provoking attacks of opportunity. Combined with a traditional cavalier reach weapon like a lance or halberd, and even your worst case scenario can easily be flipped to your advantage.

I'm not talking arbitrary blocking here, I'm talking published adventures.

I mean, you're spending cash and feats to make the mount viable in large parts of an AP, then the fighter is doing the same on things like flying items or any number of other items that makes them even more versatile.

The guy isn't saying "Cavaliers are good", he's saying "Cavaliers are better than fighters"
They just simply aren't.

Honestly, I would choose a fighter over a Cavalier 90% of AP's. They just have so much more flexibility in their builds so as I play and the AP evolves, I can too. Cavaliers really need very specific builds nearly every time in order to use everything available to them in order to "out perform" a fighter.

Liberty's Edge

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avr wrote:

IME online it's certainly possible to negotiate with the GM. And the mount of a cavalier of the Order of the Beast gets wild shape at 8th level...

But you also have to negotiate, it's not the standard, and GMs are well within their right to say no. Also it's funny you bring up order of the beast, cause that's one of the orders I was thinking of with a not so stellar second level ability with a great 8th level ability, which leads us to...

avr wrote:
There are a bunch of orders for which the challenge or 2nd level abilities are more than decent. Order of the Eastern Star, 2nd: DR 1/- and +2 on all saves (albeit you probably want the daring champion archetype). Order of the Flame: the glorious challenge is an impressive if risky ability, and the 2nd level ability to move & stop being flat-footed at the time of the initiative check (50% of the time) is fairly unique and useful. Etc.

I wasn't trying to say that second level abilities can't be good, but more universally they're not great while the 8th level ones are. And oddly, when the second level ones are good, the 8th level ones don't seem to be as good.

The point I was trying to get across though is that these abilities aren't universally great and useful in all situations. They come with caveats and restrictions, and there's often going to be times when they're not going to be all that great. Take the order of the eastern star ability, DR 1/- is okay, but locks you into light armor, so really only great with dex builds, and the bonus to saves is a morale bonus, which actually pretty common, it doesn't even stack with your own banner ability.


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Rhedyn wrote:
More out of combat utility? Maybe at low levels where skills matter the most. High strength score actually has a lot of out of combat utility, but the Urogue does not receive narrative power that approaches expert trainer.
Skill Unlock (Handle Animal) wrote:

5 Ranks: Creatures you have trained gain a +2 bonus on Will saves when adjacent to you.

10 Ranks: Creatures you have trained gain a +2 bonus on Will saves whenever you are within 30 feet and clearly visible. You can teach a trick in 1 day by increasing the DC by 20.

15 Ranks: You can train an animal to understand your speech (as speak with animals) with 1 week of effort and a successful DC 30 Handle Animal check. Its actions are still limited by its Intelligence. You can teach a trick in 1 day (increasing the DC by 10) or 1 hour (increasing the DC by 20).

20 Ranks: You can make your speech understandable to any animal for 24 hours with a successful DC 30 Handle Animal check (DC 40 for magical beasts or vermin). You can teach a trick in 1 day, 1 hour (increasing the DC by 10), or 1 minute (increasing the DC by 20).

How is Expert Trainer better than this?


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Rhedyn wrote:
Darbius Maximus wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
So *cavalier wins initiative* is profoundly unlikely and right up there with "and then i paid off my student loans with a small win in the powerball lottery"
Winning a pvp fight at level 20 because you go first means next to nothing.
That statement is contradictory considering your previous statement of winning initiative to kill the Archer Fighter. Flagged for trolling.

The same response where I said pvp doesn't really matter?

And it is still true, if the cavalier wins initiative, he still kills the fighter. Most level 20 pvp fights come down to who wins initiative.

But that doesn't matter since any good fight in an actual game will last 3 rounds or more.

I... don't know what to say to this...


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Tho Armed Bravery has been brought up, what about Bravery feats? Between Improved Bravery (Bravery works on mind affecting things), Inspired Bravery (Your [better] Bravery is an Aura) and Courage in a Bottle (Bravery gets a +2 when drunk and your immune to fear at Bravery +6), you not only get an effectively good will save (Against the worst stuff), but you can also get an Aura against most of the worst things in the game for your Party that better than a Paladin's that stacks with a Paladin's. There's also feats for your Bravery bonus to initiative or intimidate (If you have a two handed build an are swimming in feats).

Just as well, with these feats (Unless you know you're gonna deal with curses and channels a lot) you can pass on Armed Bravery, be a Dex build, and take Trained Grace for big damage, along with all the great boons of great Dex.

Fighters also make the best ranged and throwing builds. Both invalidating a need for mobility, with the latter building in switch hitting, working with TWF, and having absurd damage via Startoss Style and/or Trained Throw.

Really tho, I think both would make great additions to any party.

Edit: The Fighter also has feats for Weapon Mastery and Style feats (Looking at you, Ace Trip and Empty Quiver Style). I know you can't choose everything, but just a good focus or two makes for a potent ally.


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Deighton Thrane wrote:
Well, there's the problem that technically the only mounts you get without feats or archetypes as a medium cavalier is a horse or a camel, and they both start large.

I would say the monstrous mount feats are as mandatory for base cavalier as natural spell is for druids.

At-will unlimited use flight is just so ridiculously useful that it's one of the main mechanical draws for the cavalier as a martial or hell any class in general. Last class I remember playing that got it so easily was the 3.5 warlock.

Also your mount can take Narrow Frame (especially your 5 int griffon). So unless the dungeon is designed for small creatures and 5ft high ceilings, your mount can be their just fine. Maybe you can't be ON it in hallways, but it makes for a great rear guard.


Wrath wrote:

So in order to make an effective Cavalier you have to be a halfling and ride a small mount?

I mean, that's not restrictive at all

That's putting words in my mouth, mischaracterizing what I said, and trying to make me sound like a fool.

That's rather adversarial and disingenuous.
Do you have some personal issue with me?

The Exchange

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Malignor wrote:
Wrath wrote:

So in order to make an effective Cavalier you have to be a halfling and ride a small mount?

I mean, that's not restrictive at all

That's putting words in my mouth, mischaracterizing what I said, and trying to make me sound like a fool.

That's rather adversarial and disingenuous.
Do you have some personal issue with me?

I have No issue with you personally.

I have an issue with your logic and statement.

Telling people that restrictions for mounts is irrelevant is disengenuous. You provide one very specific build to counter what is easily a large portion of adventure paths.

That's a very restrictive build concept in order to make your chosen class effective.

Perhaps, instead of telling folks our arguments are irrelevant (your words), you should have said "Cavaliers have a work around for that by taking this build"

This is something that pops up in all these discussions about classes and is not unique to you, or me or this thread. Problems are posed, then people say "bah, that's stupidly easy to overcome because yadda yadda yadda ". The issue is when the problem posed is pervasive and the solution given is restrictive.

The Exchange

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I'd like to take a moment to sum up what I've read so far in this thread.

The claim - Cavaliers are better than fighters

The evidence - Cavaliers can do ridiculous amounts of damage on the charge, and provide good group buffs to companions. They have feats and gear that they can choose to help mitigate issues like small dungeon areas and flying etc.

The counter arguments - the mount is often easily countered in standard games. The feat and monetary cost invested to make the mount overcome its many restrictions can be conversely spent on fighters to do exactly the same thing. (Ie overcome their restrictions). The Cavalier really needs its mount in order to use most of its abilities.

So far, all I can conclude is neither class is better than the other at all.

Personally I'd never choose a Cavalier due to personal preference on my play style. Cavaliers need a careful and considered build to work as far as I'm concerned. Fighters do need to have a build path for certain feat chains, to be sure, but you can switch what's needed as the campaign evolves with a fighter, far better than you can with a Cavalier. For me, flexibility in a class trumps anything else you can throw at me.

I believe that's also,the reason why folks love all the magic using classes.

Ultimately, what you like to play is completely up to you, but I've seen no evidence so far that the Cavalier is a better class than the fighter, which is the initial claim.


Wrath wrote:
Ultimately, what you like to play is completely up to you, but I've seen no evidence so far that the Cavalier is a better class than the fighter, which is the initial claim.

You are only just saying that...

The only "evidence" being builds have been provided by myself and I sided with cavalier being better.

A fighter without a careful build is pretty much trash, and they can't really evolve or change feats easily at all. Many of the proposed counters to cavalier superiority are mutually exclusive and need many many feats or feature feats to compare well at all with what a cavalier gets naturally. The only thing established with all of that is that the fighter does better against low priority targets in dungeons made for small sized creatures with 5ft ceilings where everyone has to crouch. (Narrow Frame can be taken by the mount, it doesn't even require personal cavalier investment)

That is a very specific niche.


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I mean, other than fighter having options to make better use of teamwork feats, the ability to choose weapons based on crit modifiers and ignore damage dice, the ability to take hits better, the ability to have a higher initiative, the ability to use any fighting style, better saves if you build that way, more skills.

I mean yeah, ignoring all that the cavalier is totally better.

Grand Lodge

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Rheydon, there have been alot more substantial arguments for the fighter than what you've just reduced them to in your post. You're pretty clearly letting your personal bias get in the way of your reasoning.

Fighters can evolve or change feats far easier than cavalier as they can actually swap their old bonus feats out every few levels. I genuinely have no idea how you reached the conclusion that the class with more feats and that can swap out its bonus feats every few levels, "can't really evolve or change feats easily at all" compared to the class that can't do that at all.

Also, the comparable fighter builds requiring more feats is irrelevant, as they get far more feats than the cavalier in the first place.

Oh and btw, a cavalier without a careful build is also trash :)

The Exchange

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Meh, he's just set in his opinion and blind to anything else.

He has presented evidence which he's convinced is all that is needed, but so far seems to have failed the majority of peer reviews.

Let him play his Cavalier. Let me play my fighter.
Im fairly sure we'll both have fun, and more than likely we'll both be smiling at how wrong we think the other guy is.

No more arguing from me, I got the answer I needed from reading the thread.

Cheers all


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Yeah, this seems to have not been meant as an actual discussion thread but a let's mock fighters thread.


Jurassic Pratt wrote:

Rheydon, there have been alot more substantial arguments for the fighter than what you've just reduced them to in your post. You're pretty clearly letting your personal bias get in the way of your reasoning.

Fighters can evolve or change feats far easier than cavalier as they can actually swap their old bonus feats out every few levels. I genuinely have no idea how you reached the conclusion that the class with more feats and that can swap out its bonus feats every few levels, "can't really evolve or change feats easily at all" compared to the class that can't do that at all.

Also, the comparable fighter builds requiring more feats is irrelevant, as they get far more feats than the cavalier in the first place.

Oh and btw, a cavalier without a careful build is also trash :)

Changing a feat your dependent on with your feat chains at even levels are easily swapped out? OK. By that logic, sorcerers are basically prepared casters!

If you guys are so sure then post actual builds. I have been listening and I have been keeping better count than you guys have displayed at all the feats a fighter actually needs to compete with the cavalier and his mount or a cavalier with challenge.

You can quietly shake your heads at the ignorance of those who disagree with you or post actual builds in response to the critique "when do you actually get those things?".


Ryan Freire wrote:

I mean, other than fighter having options to make better use of teamwork feats, the ability to choose weapons based on crit modifiers and ignore damage dice, the ability to take hits better, the ability to have a higher initiative, the ability to use any fighting style, better saves if you build that way, more skills.

I mean yeah, ignoring all that the cavalier is totally better.

I bet you can't actually show that build.

Or will you respond with another essay outlining build options and how you think it works out, but my experience/builds say otherwise?

Grand Lodge

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Only you suggested the feat that was being swapped out was part of a feat chain. Even assuming it was, this still isn't showing how a fighter "can't really evolve or change feats easily at all" anymore than the cavalier.

And you keep talking about how only specific niche fighter builds are anywhere near comparable to a cavalier. Your argument for cavalier has also been using a very specific build. Mounted Combat, Spirited Charge, using a lance, Monstrous Mount, all very specific things you're choosing in order to maximise damage on your build and "prove" that its better than a fighter while dismissing those who argue for the fighter for doing the same thing.

Put simply, you're not interested in having a good faith discussion on the matter. You're interested in holding onto your original view point no matter what and "winning" an arguement.

And with that, I'll take my leave from this thread.


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I mean the reality is the cavalier sucks dick at mounted combat compared to the hunter anyway, hunter companions and their teamwork synergy crap all over what the cavalier does.


Jurassic Pratt wrote:

Only you suggested the feat that was being swapped out was part of a feat chain. Even assuming it was, this still isn't showing how a fighter "can't really evolve or change feats easily at all" anymore than the cavalier.

And you keep talking about how only specific niche fighter builds are anywhere near comparable to a cavalier. Your argument for cavalier has also been using a very specific build. Mounted Combat, Spirited Charge, using a lance, Monstrous Mount, all very specific things you're choosing in order to maximise damage on your build and "prove" that its better than a fighter while dismissing those who argue for the fighter for doing the same thing.

Put simply, you're not interested in having a good faith discussion on the matter. You're interested in holding onto your original view point no matter what and "winning" an arguement.

And with that, I'll take my leave from this thread.

I've only been considering party contribution not character cosmetics, which is all what hitting thing with X weapon really amounts too for the party.

I am asking for builds, you reply with how showing fighter builds is somehow mean spirited. (probably because collapsing schrodinger's fighter into something solid that you can see how it levels is not a reality you actually want to see)

I have also yet to see a fighter build that actually does keep up with the cavalier and his mount or a cavalier with challenge.


Ryan Freire wrote:
I mean the reality is the cavalier @#$@#% at mounted combat compared to the hunter anyway, hunter companions and their teamwork synergy crap all over what the cavalier does.

I ask: "when do you actually get those things?" as a fighter

You respond: Well Hunters are better! || (And you guys are saying I have been disingenuous. It's y'all who refuse to get specific or attempt to back up your claims at all.)

ASIDE: So are paladins, clerics, druids, and even sorcerers. Being good at specifically mounted combat wasn't even the question. It was Cavalier/Fighter in a contest of Heavy Armor mundane man. [Cavaliers do get some nice things that do make them remarkable, but the only other natural AC user they are competing with is the Ranger]

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