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


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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As stated, a wand of Shrink Animal or a wand of Carry Companion can solve quite a few issues in regards to getting your mount through places. In regards to your prized mount dying at higher levels...if it dies, oh well. Familiars and animal companions die too. When it does, you only really lose out on charging and the extra DPS/mobility that comes from being mounted for a while. Then you drop by the local church and rezz it, or go get a new one. Sure that is some money down the drain, but it is otherwise a free 3/4ths BAB assistant. An AC is effectively leadership lite. Even without the animal companion you still have access to tactician, your order abilities, challenge, and whatever the battle-standard thing is called. It weakens you, but it does by no means cripple you.

Also, what fighting styles can a Fighter use that a cavalier cannot? I'm truly curious, as the addition of a mount allows for additional fighting styles rather than taking away any options.


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ShroudedInLight wrote:
Also, what fighting styles can a Fighter use that a cavalier cannot? I'm truly curious, as the addition of a mount allows for additional fighting styles rather than taking away any options.

None. The Cavalier do any fighting style. There are just many the Fighter is much better at. A Cavalier could be a Halfling slinger, a Dex based... anything, twf, archer, (multiple) combat style user etc, but it's clear given the core class or archetypes what fighting style the Cavalier is supposed to be going for, because they absolutely excel in those areas they're pushed towards. Fighters kill it in focused builds, especially really bizarre and/or clandestine builds. The Fighter can make more things work surprisingly well.


To me it was never about which class was better to be honest. More which was more interesting to take as a class and to me the Cavalier is just more interesting imo. Yes I know their is more material found in other books that may make the Fighter interesting yet I prefer the Cavalier.

Targeting and attacking a spellbook, mount, gun is a good and valid tactic when it's done with moderation. If the DM keeps attacking all three all the time then it's poor form imo. A DM can attack my mount yes when the DM keeps doing it over and over is when I ask the DM if he has a issue with the character and if I can make a new one.

I have to agree with SIL in that at higher levels death is a issue not only for the Cavalier mount. It's a issue for other classes and their animal companions as well. The Druid/ Ranger Animal Companion is terribly easy to take out of combat. Players either don't buff them up. Send them straight at the enemy even one with reach. Don't bother giving the mount even the ability to wear light armor. I sometimes wonder if Drizzt pet cat Guenhwyvar may have made them out to be stronger than they really are with players thinking that the fiction matches reality.


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Drizzt's cat did well because he was written by the worst fantasy writer of this generation. Don't put that on the stats.


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Just the worst.


I'm sure the way Drizzt cat was written probably made the Animal Companion something more than it was. I just think animal companions are highly overrated. Note I did not say useful. Yet not the do all, beat all that some make them out to be. Then again it might be the groups I have played in.

The Exchange

The Thing From Another World wrote:
I'm sure the way Drizzt cat was written probably made the Animal Companion something more than it was. I just think animal companions are highly overrated. Note I did not say useful. Yet not the do all, beat all that some make them out to be. Then again it might be the groups I have played in.

Not just your group, I can assure you. They die easily.

However, they can get replaced fairly easily too. Same as Cavaliers mount I suspect.

Depends on how invested the player is in the animal - is it a character or is it a set of stat boosters. I've seen them run as both.


Frosty Ace wrote:
ShroudedInLight wrote:
Also, what fighting styles can a Fighter use that a cavalier cannot? I'm truly curious, as the addition of a mount allows for additional fighting styles rather than taking away any options.
None. The Cavalier do any fighting style. There are just many the Fighter is much better at. A Cavalier could be a Halfling slinger, a Dex based... anything, twf, archer, (multiple) combat style user etc, but it's clear given the core class or archetypes what fighting style the Cavalier is supposed to be going for, because they absolutely excel in those areas they're pushed towards. Fighters kill it in focused builds, especially really bizarre and/or clandestine builds. The Fighter can make more things work surprisingly well.

Ok, so what specifically makes the fighter much better at those builds than a cavalier? I personally see little evidence that this is the case. This isn't an attack on your statement, I am just trying to understand where that line of thinking is coming from and what you have to support it.

I know its not weapon training since a static +4 to hit and damage, while nice, is contrasted and then some verses challenge. That is a trade off of staying power vs bursting down individuals. Is it the advanced weapon training? Because there are very few options there that would qualify as "exceling" over other classes. Do not get me wrong, there are some neat build defining ones in there like Focused Weapon but otherwise the weapon related AWTs are interesting but overall minor increases in build efficiency. The best options for AWT are save increases, access to martial versatility through barroom brawler, and a few other purely defensive/utility effects. If it is access to additional feats, the Cavalier "only" lags behind by seven feats. However, that is still more than other classes get and those classes manage to perform the various fighting styles without issue if they focus on that style. Heck, they even get the feats at 6th and 12th level which is inline for gaining access to 6 BAB and 11 BAB feats that other classes might lack.

I could see a cavalier ending up less defensive, less quick, or less utility orientated that a Fighter but hardly significantly less effective on the offense.


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While AWT warrior spirit takes a standard action to activate, it constitutes a huge bonus to DPR at mid levels.

For example - level 9 fighter with a +2 weapon and gloves of dueling. Warrior spirit boosts the weapon to +5 bane. This gives effectively +5 hit +5+2-12 damage over his normal +2 weapon (average +5 hit/+12 damage).


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Shrouded in light
Take a look at my archer up thread, I am capable all the necessary fears by lvl 13. The cavalier would only manage at 20.

To me that combined with the ability to get even more feats to make me even better at that style means I do that style better.


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Yeah, I mean, you can, strictly speaking, do anything the fighter can do in another class, since the fighter's big class feature is "piles of feats" and everybody gets feats. But sometimes what makes the difference is "how long do you have to wait for enough feats for your concept to work".

Like I recently rolled up a "completely blind swordsman" character, and by starting with "Unarmed Fighter" I manage to have the entirety of Blinded Blade Style and all three Blind Fight feats by level 3, so now I can start taking feats that actually make the character better at fighting, not just less bothered by blindness. The last fighter I played was a Halfling Slingstaff specialist, and to get that off the ground you need to be able to combine slipslinger style (so you can reload a slingstaff as a free action) with startoss style (Crowd Control and bonus damage) by level 6, in addition to picking up Point blank, precise, and rapid shot. You can strictly speaking take all these feats on anybody, but everybody else (Save the Arsenal Chaplain Warpriest) has to pay the "Martial Focus" tax to get Weapon Style Mastery.

So it's not that "some things can only be done by the fighter" it's that "fighters are capable of doing certain things before anybody else can" and we generally need to play our characters at every level; rather than just jumping to the point where they work great.


they are different.

Fighter can get more complex feat chains, or rule many maneuver type in the same time.

a Cavalier need to focus. it can be amazing in 1 thing and medium in the rest.

it's a good class, one i like both as small character riders and a the cavalier with a dog for a smite - moral free hunter.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

Yeah, I mean, you can, strictly speaking, do anything the fighter can do in another class, since the fighter's big class feature is "piles of feats" and everybody gets feats. But sometimes what makes the difference is "how long do you have to wait for enough feats for your concept to work".

...(SNIPPED FOR SPACE)...
So it's not that "some things can only be done by the fighter" it's that "fighters are capable of doing certain things before anybody else can" and we generally need to play our characters at every level; rather than just jumping to the point where they work great.

Exactly.

In over 10 years of playing pathfinder, I've never actually played a 20th level character.
I plan my build up to 20th, but such builds always end up being purely academic.


Exactly.

In over 10 years of playing pathfinder,

Where'd you get your time machine from?


Maneuvermoose wrote:

Exactly.

In over 10 years of playing pathfinder,

Where'd you get your time machine from?

Well, the first part of Rise of the Runelords came out in August of 2007 didn't it? So that's just barely possible now.


Ugh, I hate build offs but fine. Since this interests me I'll give in this once.

So any ranged Cavalier is generally going to be a luring cavalier. The archery feats necessary to function include PBS, PS, RS, DA, MS, CS, and IPS. All other feats are superfluous. A Human fighter can have these online at 11th level with 6 feats to spare. A human cavalier can have these all online at 11th level with 1 feat to spare. They come primarily online at level 7, since they have obtained every feat except for IPS at that point. 4 attacks with +4 to damage that are added together before damage reduction and ignore the melee shot penalty is where Archers really start to shine. I do not consider Snapshot, Shot on the Run, or etc to be necessary archery feats.

The Fighter being able to swap between several types of combat, while useful theoretically, lacks efficiency since pathfinder is a game of specialization. The fighter being able to potentially gain access to two different fighting methods also suffers in terms of action economy. Even if the Fighter is good at multiple methods of combat they can only ever use one at once, thus when they are not using their other combat method they are losing all value from investing in that method. If they had spent those feats into further specialization, they would have gained consistent value.

In regards to maneuvers, the Cavalier can specialize in a maneuver while his/her mount specializes in another or in simply assisting the Cavalier. There are actually a number of cavalier orders that benefit maneuvers considerably. I'd put them at about equal, once again in terms of specialization.

I will give Fighters the advantage towards style combinations thanks to their access to specific weapon feats due to Weapon Training. That is a good spot on your part, Cabbage. I generally only think of MoMS when it comes to style blending and forgot about that specific feat. So that is something that the Fighter has going for it that the Cavalier cannot easily match. Thank you Cabbage, that was the type of information I was looking for.


The only Cavalier I like is the Daring Champion archetype. Other than that I love the versatility of the Fighter. It is one of that classes that you can play with along the flow of the campaign, without overthinking too much if I want to focus on something or not.

Cavall wrote:
Drizzt's cat did well because he was written by the worst fantasy writer of this generation. Don't put that on the stats.

That's because D&D notorious NPCs were firstly written, then they gave them stats for in game purposes. Probably almost any famous novel character wouldn't be able to do half their deeds if they followed the game rules.

Even NPCs written for the campaign game settings makes you wonder how the hell did they do that (Scyllua Darkhope slaying a Pit Fiend).

Oh and of course Drizzt is Salvatore's Mary Sue with and incredibly huge plot armor.

Liberty's Edge

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ShroudedInLight wrote:
So any ranged Cavalier is generally going to be a luring cavalier. The archery feats necessary to function include PBS, PS, RS, DA, MS, CS, and IPS. All other feats are superfluous. A Human fighter can have these online at 11th level with 6 feats to spare. A human cavalier can have these all online at 11th level with 1 feat to spare. They come primarily online at level 7, since they have obtained every feat except for IPS at that point. 4 attacks with +4 to damage that are added together before damage reduction and ignore the melee shot penalty is where Archers really start to shine. I do not consider Snapshot, Shot on the Run, or etc to be necessary archery feats.

There's a difference between not being a must have feat, and a feat not being useful at all. There's a number of feats that are either harder, or impossible for the cavalier to get. Personally I love Burrowing Shot. And I would consider Point Blank Master a must have for any character that can get it. Sure, a cavalier can move away from a target so that each attack doesn't provoke, but they're likely still taking one attack for the movement unless both them and the mount have taken escape route, while point blank master can just stand there and attack. And the fighter still has enough feats to get a mount and combine both.

Also, lets not forget that saying a human cavalier has one feat left over at level 11 means that any non-human cavalier has to put all their feats into this.

ShroudedInLight wrote:
In regards to maneuvers, the Cavalier can specialize in a maneuver while his/her mount specializes in another or in simply assisting the Cavalier. There are actually a number of cavalier orders that benefit maneuvers considerably. I'd put them at about equal, once again in terms of specialization.

Here, I half agree with you. The cavalier can be pretty good at either grappling, with the constable archetype, and orders like hammer or penitent. And they can be particularly good at sundering. But there's not a lot of orders that really add to maneuvers beyond this, which is a shame because the mighty charge's ability to provide a free combat maneuver would be great, except that disarm and trip tend to require a number of feats and stats to be good at that don't really fit with most mounted builds, and bull rush tends to be worse than sunder in most cases. The one nice thing is that a couple of these options like mighty charge, and the order of the hammer's challenge ability to add a grapple or sunder on a full attack is that they're free action, and don't provoke, so even if you're not great at them, there's no reason to not try them, except for maybe the trip attempt.

Thing is, the fighter can be good at any combat maneuver though. Not only will their large number of feats get them the improved/greater maneuver feats, but they'll have plenty left over for things like dirty fighting, or kraken style for extra damage and a better chance at maintaining a grapple. On top of that, their weapon training bonus helps with any maneuver they perform with that kind of weapon. So I find that fighters are usually as good as the cavalier at maneuvers the cavalier is good at, while also being able to be good at the ones they're not good with, like my favorite, dirty tricks.

The Exchange

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Maneuvermoose wrote:

Exactly.

In over 10 years of playing pathfinder,

Where'd you get your time machine from?
Well, the first part of Rise of the Runelords came out in August of 2007 didn't it? So that's just barely possible now.

The first three adventure paths were written under 3.5 rule set.

It came about as a consequence of the 4th edition release and Wizards cancelling the partnership with Paizo in working on Dungeon and Dragon magazine, which is what their bread and butter was in those days.

It wasn't until Crimson Throne that the Pathfinder rules were in play. So that makes it about late 2008/early 2009 maybe?

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I know there will be several people saying I'm building them wrong, but my usual base fighter stats (for a human) are: Str 15 (17 w/racial) Dex 14 Con 14 Int 13 Wis 10 Cha 10. This opens every single combat feat for whatever I need. I usually don't plan ahead besides an idea of where I want to go.

I like Fighters, they are (now) my third favorite class behind Brawlers, and Inquisitors.

And a feat chain for humans only is almost designed for a fighter.

Fast Learner
[hide]
Prerequisites: Int 13, human.

Benefit: When you gain a level in a favored class, you gain both +1 hit point and +1 skill rank instead of choosing either one or the other benefit or you can choose an alternate class reward.
[/hide]

Improvisation
[hide]Prerequisites: Int 13, Fast Learner, human.

Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on all skill checks for skills you have no ranks in. Furthermore, you can use all skills designated “trained only” untrained.[/hide]

Improved Improvisation
[hide]Prerequisites: Int 13, Fast Learner, Improvisation, human.

Benefit: Your nonproficiency penalty with weapons, armor, and shields is halved. In addition, the bonus on all skill checks for skills you have no ranks in increases to +4 instead of +2.[/hide]

A fighter using these can have all 3 on line at 3rd without significantly impacting their combat performance. While any other class will have to dedicate every feat they get to have them online at 5th.


After digging more into eldritch guardian,

You can't stack mauler with improved familiars, since those familiars do not gain "speak with its own kind" which mauler replaces. Which means these pets can't really compare to a mount no matter what you do.

I am back to thinking the fighter really just can't compete with the Cavalier no matter what you do. The builds just do not work out in getting the fighter to somehow compete with basically two martials worth of damage and HP sponge, while still pumping combat utility and out of combat utility.

Your guys' attempts at adequate builds are appreciated, but I found all of them wanting for the kind of games I tend to play in. Peace.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Now to figure what I did wrong with the {hide} command


Obviously rounded up.


Wait, it's only been 8 years?

looks back at oldest character sheets

Holy poop you're right!
I swear I was playing for longer...

Wow...

Okay, umm it's been almost 8 years and I...


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Rhedyn wrote:

After digging more into eldritch guardian,

You can't stack mauler with improved familiars, since those familiars do not gain "speak with its own kind" which mauler replaces. Which means these pets can't really compare to a mount no matter what you do.

I am back to thinking the fighter really just can't compete with the Cavalier no matter what you do. The builds just do not work out in getting the fighter to somehow compete with basically two martials worth of damage and HP sponge, while still pumping combat utility and out of combat utility.

Your guys' attempts at adequate builds are appreciated, but I found all of them wanting for the kind of games I tend to play in. Peace.

If that's your criteria, then why would you ever play a cavalier over a druid?

Shadow Lodge

PossibleCabbage wrote:
Yeah, I mean, you can, strictly speaking, do anything the fighter can do in another class, since the fighter's big class feature is "piles of feats" and everybody gets feats.

Feats are not the his "big feature". Easily retraining them isn't even his big feature. No, it's Weapon Training.

Other classes don't (with the exception of a few archetypes) get either Armor Training (when eventually permits the fighter to run around in plate like it's a chainshirt, as well as trade bonuses for a laundry list of other goodies) or Weapon Training. A fighter with Gloves of Dueling (doable as early as 5th-level) will be permanently rocking +3/+3 with in chosen weapon-group. Any other class with a similar feature (e.g. barbarian rage + Reckless Abandon rage-power) has limited uses per day. Needless to say, barb2 is a powerful accelerant to any multiclass fighter concept not planning on a 20th-level capstone.


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Sir Thugsalot wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Yeah, I mean, you can, strictly speaking, do anything the fighter can do in another class, since the fighter's big class feature is "piles of feats" and everybody gets feats.

Feats are not the his "big feature". Easily retraining them isn't even his big feature. No, it's Weapon Training.

Other classes don't (with the exception of a few archetypes) get either Armor Training (when eventually permits the fighter to run around in plate like it's a chainshirt, as well as trade bonuses for a laundry list of other goodies) or Weapon Training. A fighter with Gloves of Dueling (doable as early as 5th-level) will be permanently rocking +3/+3 with in chosen weapon-group. Any other class with a similar feature (e.g. barbarian rage + Reckless Abandon rage-power) has limited uses per day. Needless to say, barb2 is a powerful accelerant to any multiclass fighter concept not planning on a 20th-level capstone.

Honestly the "best" martial likely involves like two or three dips.

Shadow Lodge

Ryan Freire wrote:
Honestly the "best" martial likely involves like two or three dips.

Yup. And having +6/+6 via barb2/figh[weapon master]3+gloves is serious raw power that only a smiting "chaladin" can hope to match in terms of numeric bonuses at that level.

Still, it's quaint to see people claim that a particular class is "best" or "worst", and argue so from an unrealistic context of straight-classing. E.g., "Rogues suck" or "fighters suck" (while rogu4/barb4/fighX can generate any number of insanely strong synergistic builds).


Sir Thugsalot wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Honestly the "best" martial likely involves like two or three dips.
Yup. And having +6/+6 via barb2/figh[weapon master]3+gloves is serious raw power that only a smiting "chaladin" can hope to match in terms of numeric bonuses at that level.

I really want to experiment a bit with two weapon fighting Ubarbs. It seems Ubarb rage is much better suited TWF than chained barb. That plus accurate stance + keeping access to pounce seems like a working character.

Shadow Lodge

TWF? ...barb[urban]2or4(chained)/Urogue3or4/XYZ is how you chassis one of those. Min/max for DEX and you'll smash CR-appropriate encounters when it gels at rog3 (4th CL). You'll wreck so hard that PFS table judges will think you're cheating. 17,14,12,12,12,07 20pt array = pain-wagon.


Mediums are really good for TWF, too.

As far as dealing with the charging Cavalier goes, I would probably just make a halfling fighter with all three slipslinger feats. Feel free to look those up, combine them with tanglefoot bags, and that's the fight.


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Rhedyn wrote:

After digging more into eldritch guardian,

You can't stack mauler with improved familiars, since those familiars do not gain "speak with its own kind" which mauler replaces. Which means these pets can't really compare to a mount no matter what you do.

I am back to thinking the fighter really just can't compete with the Cavalier no matter what you do. The builds just do not work out in getting the fighter to somehow compete with basically two martials worth of damage and HP sponge, while still pumping combat utility and out of combat utility.

Your guys' attempts at adequate builds are appreciated, but I found all of them wanting for the kind of games I tend to play in. Peace.

"No matter what you do..."

First, any Archetype trading Bravery or Weapon Training isn't really gonna be worth what it gives.

Second, if you truly cannot see how a Fighter can EQUAL a Cavalier under any and all circumstances and builds, that either A) Speaks to your bias, or B) to your lack of creativity. A Fighter, at this point in time, puts out what you're willing to put into it. It's kind of a test of system mastery and book knowledge. Is that annoying and tedious? Yes, but ultimately is actually worth it. Asking for a build is pointless. They're all gonna be as different as the people posting them. You're just as likely to get an human archer as you are a TWF gnome, charismatic dwarf or a blind swordsman. That all of those are viable, strong additions to any party should speak to why a Cavalier isn't just flat out better.


Frosty Ace wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:

After digging more into eldritch guardian,

You can't stack mauler with improved familiars, since those familiars do not gain "speak with its own kind" which mauler replaces. Which means these pets can't really compare to a mount no matter what you do.

I am back to thinking the fighter really just can't compete with the Cavalier no matter what you do. The builds just do not work out in getting the fighter to somehow compete with basically two martials worth of damage and HP sponge, while still pumping combat utility and out of combat utility.

Your guys' attempts at adequate builds are appreciated, but I found all of them wanting for the kind of games I tend to play in. Peace.

"No matter what you do..."

First, any Archetype trading Bravery or Weapon Training isn't really gonna be worth what it gives.

Second, if you truly cannot see how a Fighter can EQUAL a Cavalier under any and all circumstances and builds, that either A) Speaks to your bias, or B) to your lack of creativity. A Fighter, at this point in time, puts out what you're willing to put into it. It's kind of a test of system mastery and book knowledge. Is that annoying and tedious? Yes, but ultimately is actually worth it. Asking for a build is pointless. They're all gonna be as different as the people posting them. You're just as likely to get an human archer as you are a TWF gnome, charismatic dwarf or a blind swordsman. That all of those are viable, strong additions to any party should speak to why a Cavalier isn't just flat out better.

To me it seems they did this.

Mount and cavalier have a combined HP of 300 at lv20, fighter only has 200hp, thus not as good a "damage sponge" as the cavalier.

Challenged lance charge with pouncing mount is 500DPR, fighter can only reach 300DPR, thus not as good at dealing damage as cavalier.

And then that's it for deciding that the fighter loses.


I consider Weapon/Armor Training okay abilites. Pretty average imo but nothing really that versatile and powerful. It's made worse because one needs the extra material from Weapon/armor Masters sourcebooks to make those two class abilites shine. Using just the core at higher levels it's not that great.

The Cavalier may not get access to those two class abilites. He just better class abilities at the cost of less damage and more skill penalties. I rather be able to give the group access to a teamwork feat 24/7. It comes from becoming a standard to a swift action over time.

Neither class is perfect to honest yet I'm still not sold on the Fighter being more interesting as a class.


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The real answer is that both classes suck, at least from a design perspective.

Core Cavalier is too niche to deserve to be its own class, especially given that modularity is theoretically the cornerstone of the fighter's design.

And the Fighter actively makes every other martially inclined character in the game worse by allowing developers to justify terrible feat design.

Shadow Lodge

swoosh wrote:
...Fighter actively makes every other martially inclined character in the game worse by allowing developers to justify terrible feat design.

What do you mean?

(The game is inundated with crappy feats, and the buying public ever hungers for more. It's easier for a noob to make a crappy fighter than most other classes simply because it's easier for him to put more crappy feats into a class that gets more of them.)


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Sir Thugsalot wrote:
swoosh wrote:
...Fighter actively makes every other martially inclined character in the game worse by allowing developers to justify terrible feat design.

What do you mean?

(The game is inundated with crappy feats, and the buying public ever hungers for more. It's easier for a noob to make a crappy fighter than most other classes simply because it's easier for him to put more crappy feats into a class that gets more of them.)

The point is in example whirlwind or spring attack. Because the fighter can have lots of feats by lv5 they make these long feat chains because if it was a shorter chain the fighter could have the power to early, but then they are really hard to get for other classes.

Also things like combat expertise and maneuver feats and maneuver feats taking multiple feats to be good. The fighter can get all of them by lv5, so we need lots of them so that he can't access them to fast, but then they are really hard to get for other classes.

People view this as stuff they don't like about feats, and that the reason they are like this is because the fighter gets so many feats. That if the fighter didn't exist as Feat-man, then feats wouldn't be made as hard to get.


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I do think they figured out that if we want to gate feats to be primarily for fighters, a better way than "making them huge chains" it works better to do things like "weapon/armor training bypasses a prerequisite" or "fighter levels grant early access" as you don't see a lot of long feat chains anymore (barring something like Outslug Style, which only has "Combat Expertise" as a dead prereq, but "CE exists" is its own problem.)

So I think we can just write off Spring/Whirlwind Attack as dead options, barring something like an archetype that has early access built in.

Like the real problem feats, for the most part, are cruft like Mobility and Combat Expertise, which are from the CRB.


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Rhedyn wrote:

After digging more into eldritch guardian,

You can't stack mauler with improved familiars, since those familiars do not gain "speak with its own kind" which mauler replaces. Which means these pets can't really compare to a mount no matter what you do.

I am back to thinking the fighter really just can't compete with the Cavalier no matter what you do. The builds just do not work out in getting the fighter to somehow compete with basically two martials worth of damage and HP sponge, while still pumping combat utility and out of combat utility.

Your guys' attempts at adequate builds are appreciated, but I found all of them wanting for the kind of games I tend to play in. Peace.

You can also take animal ally and literally get the mount class feature.

Liberty's Edge

J4RH34D wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:

After digging more into eldritch guardian,

You can't stack mauler with improved familiars, since those familiars do not gain "speak with its own kind" which mauler replaces. Which means these pets can't really compare to a mount no matter what you do.

I am back to thinking the fighter really just can't compete with the Cavalier no matter what you do. The builds just do not work out in getting the fighter to somehow compete with basically two martials worth of damage and HP sponge, while still pumping combat utility and out of combat utility.

Your guys' attempts at adequate builds are appreciated, but I found all of them wanting for the kind of games I tend to play in. Peace.

You can also take animal ally and literally get the mount class feature.

It's also important to note that the mount is not going to be doing nearly as much damage as a martial class. Did a comparison of his monstrous mount build and your archer build yesterday at level 11. Against a CR +2 creature the archer should reliably do mid 50s in damage, the mount does about 6 or 15 depending on whether it's charging. It's enough to push the cavalier and mounts damage above the archer on a charge, even without challenge. Except haste or blessing of fervor makes the archer better again. And that's not even including things like DR, or the fact that the archer can split damage between multiple targets. And of course, specialty arrows like bane.

EDIT - Should also point out that a mauler familiar will likely have as good or better accuracy than a mount. A mauler will gain 20 BAB and +9 strength over it's career, while an animal companion only gains 12 BAB and 6 strength. So a +24 to attack, versus the +15 a mount gets. The choice to not have maulers that can pounce, or that can handle weapons is intentional. Having a lyrakien Azata peppering enemies with arrows, along with it's archer master would be ridiculous.

The Exchange

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Chess Pwn wrote:
Frosty Ace wrote:
Rhedyn wrote:

After digging more into eldritch guardian,

You can't stack mauler with improved familiars, since those familiars do not gain "speak with its own kind" which mauler replaces. Which means these pets can't really compare to a mount no matter what you do.

I am back to thinking the fighter really just can't compete with the Cavalier no matter what you do. The builds just do not work out in getting the fighter to somehow compete with basically two martials worth of damage and HP sponge, while still pumping combat utility and out of combat utility.

Your guys' attempts at adequate builds are appreciated, but I found all of them wanting for the kind of games I tend to play in. Peace.

"No matter what you do..."

First, any Archetype trading Bravery or Weapon Training isn't really gonna be worth what it gives.

Second, if you truly cannot see how a Fighter can EQUAL a Cavalier under any and all circumstances and builds, that either A) Speaks to your bias, or B) to your lack of creativity. A Fighter, at this point in time, puts out what you're willing to put into it. It's kind of a test of system mastery and book knowledge. Is that annoying and tedious? Yes, but ultimately is actually worth it. Asking for a build is pointless. They're all gonna be as different as the people posting them. You're just as likely to get an human archer as you are a TWF gnome, charismatic dwarf or a blind swordsman. That all of those are viable, strong additions to any party should speak to why a Cavalier isn't just flat out better.

To me it seems they did this.

Mount and cavalier have a combined HP of 300 at lv20, fighter only has 200hp, thus not as good a "damage sponge" as the cavalier.

Challenged lance charge with pouncing mount is 500DPR, fighter can only reach 300DPR, thus not as good at dealing damage as cavalier.

And then that's it for deciding that the fighter loses.

Except it isn't one thing with 300 hp, it's one with high hp and one with low hp. So the mount is just one round killed at high level and makes the cavaliers one trick of charge damage useless.

So now he actually can't do what he sold to everyone as his power he brought to the party.

Plus, the Cavalier only gets his big damage "if" he can charge, and only on five tragets a day with his challenge. Fighter pumps his out consistently.


Wrath wrote:

Except it isn't one thing with 300 hp, it's one with high hp and one with low hp. So the mount is just one round killed at high level and makes the cavaliers one trick of charge damage useless.

So now he actually can't do what he sold to everyone as his power he brought to the party.

Plus, the Cavalier only gets his big damage "if" he can charge, and only on five tragets a day with his challenge. Fighter pumps his out consistently.

I agree, but that seems to be what was used to figure that out. It's the only thing that makes sense. (or he has bad builds, but I'm giving the benefit of the doubt here)


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Chess Pwn wrote:
Wrath wrote:

Except it isn't one thing with 300 hp, it's one with high hp and one with low hp. So the mount is just one round killed at high level and makes the cavaliers one trick of charge damage useless.

So now he actually can't do what he sold to everyone as his power he brought to the party.

Plus, the Cavalier only gets his big damage "if" he can charge, and only on five tragets a day with his challenge. Fighter pumps his out consistently.

I agree, but that seems to be what was used to figure that out. It's the only thing that makes sense. (or he has bad builds, but I'm giving the benefit of the doubt here)

The build he offered chose archetypes that gave up bravery and AWT, didn't take advantage of a single AAT, then summarized as Equal to slightly higher damage, worse defenses, worse out of combat utility and worse at downtime. So...


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Sir Thugsalot wrote:

What do you mean?

(The game is inundated with crappy feats, and the buying public ever hungers for more. It's easier for a noob to make a crappy fighter than most other classes simply because it's easier for him to put more crappy feats into a class that gets more of them.)

Chess Pwn has the right of it. Long feat chains are pretty miserable. Fighting styles or abilities that might otherwise appeal to a player end up not fully coming into their own until level 5, 7, 9, sometimes even higher. Heaven forbid someone wants to mix and match or combine ideas too.

But instead of being viewed as a horrible problem that needs to be fixed, the design is instead treated like a cool special feature of classes like the fighter because they can chew through the feat chain twice as fast and maybe actually get to play the character the player envisioned before the campaign ends.

In a world without fighters I just think it'd be significantly harder to justify many of the feat chains we have to deal with now.


swoosh wrote:
Sir Thugsalot wrote:

What do you mean?

(The game is inundated with crappy feats, and the buying public ever hungers for more. It's easier for a noob to make a crappy fighter than most other classes simply because it's easier for him to put more crappy feats into a class that gets more of them.)

Chess Pwn has the right of it. Long feat chains are pretty miserable. Fighting styles or abilities that might otherwise appeal to a player end up not fully coming into their own until level 5, 7, 9, sometimes even higher. Heaven forbid someone wants to mix and match or combine ideas too.

But instead of being viewed as a horrible problem that needs to be fixed, the design is instead treated like a cool special feature of classes like the fighter because they can chew through the feat chain twice as fast and maybe actually get to play the character the player envisioned before the campaign ends.

In a world without fighters I just think it'd be significantly harder to justify many of the feat chains we have to deal with now.

In a world without long feat chains fighters niche could be the martial that can fight reasonably with any given weapon and use multiple maneuvers at the drop of a hat effectively. Or they could be the martial that has feats to spare for non combat benefits.


OK I think I finally managed to convince myself:
Dwarf(Mountaineer, Sky Sentinel, Craftsman) Fighter || 16 14 16 12 10 8 || Traits: Glory of Old, Seeker|| Perception, Climb, Craft(Clothing)
1. Steel Soul, Power Attack
2. Cleave
3. Master Armorer, Armor Training
4. Great Cleave
5. Master Craftsman (Clothing), Weapon Training(Axes)
6. Combat Reflexes
7. Craft Wondrous Item, Armored Juggernaut
8. Cut From the Air
9. Blind-fight, Versatile Training(Climb, Survival) [retrain climb ranks to fly]
10. Smash from the Air
11. Dazing Assault, Armor Specialization
12. Pindown
13. Critical Deflection, Defensive Weapon Training
14. Warrior Spirit
15. Armed Bravery, Sprightly Armor
16. Fighter’s Reflexes
17. Armored Sacrifice, Trained Initiative
18. Steel Headbut
19. Improved Initiative
20. Weapon Sacrifice

Damage: About equal. Eventually weapon training stacks enough to keep up with two characters and Warrior spirit can help a bit for high levels. This fighter is actually guaranteed gloves of dueling. A lot of the previous builds did weird things to axe their damage, like being dex focused. Just being two-handed eventually adds up to +10-11 damage (depending on final str score) pass the Cavalier with +6 from weapon training. Bane adds another 7 at high levels. That puts it close enough to challenge for me.

Damage mitigation: Fighter++. This one receives enough defenses to mitigate a lot of damage from spells, to range attacks, to crits.

Combat utility: Fighter -/2, Items are the big way to get utility with this build, but that doesn't kick in to mid levels. Warrior spirit provides some in high levels. No party support. Low level utility is just horde slaying via cleave/great cleave. Movement is poor until you can fly and haste yourself.

Out of Combat: Fighter-. Skills are worse with no extra boost. Items may or may not help the fighter here.

Downtime: Fighter+. Magic item creation


I can't help but laugh at the arc of this topic. Well I'm glad you finally found a Fighter you like, although I... don't think it's entirely legal. Power Attack should be at one, and why Cleave? You're a dwarf without the great Dwarven cleaving feats. If you're not gonna commit, you may as well take... anything else for utility rather than mobbing weak enemies.

Well whatever. My critique (And the fact I'd build a dwarf Fighter much different) just goes to prove my earlier point. Everyone is gonna build their Fighters differently, but as everyone, including yourself, has now said, shown or proven, different doesn't automatically equate to worse.


Frosty Ace wrote:
Well whatever. My critique (And the fact I'd build a dwarf Fighter much different) just goes to prove my earlier point. Everyone is gonna build their Fighters differently, but as everyone, including yourself, has now said, shown or proven, different doesn't automatically equate to worse.

Oh we are very far from showing that Fighters have any sort of build diversity if they want to compete with a Cavalier or any of the other t4 martials let alone classes like Paladin, ranger, or spell sunder barbarian.

Fighter build diversity is a myth. Especially 1-20 builds.

But, there are plenty of decent classes out their that don't have real build diversity.


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Rhedyn wrote:
Frosty Ace wrote:
Well whatever. My critique (And the fact I'd build a dwarf Fighter much different) just goes to prove my earlier point. Everyone is gonna build their Fighters differently, but as everyone, including yourself, has now said, shown or proven, different doesn't automatically equate to worse.

Oh we are very far from showing that Fighters have any sort of build diversity if they want to compete with a Cavalier or any of the other t4 martials let alone classes like Paladin, ranger, or spell sunder barbarian.

Fighter build diversity is a myth. Especially 1-20 builds.

But, there are plenty of decent classes out their that don't have real build diversity.

Eh, build diversity in combat style is kind of a myth. There are standard and required feats in a chain in order to make things like archery, two weapon fighting, thrown weapons, mounted combat or unarmed combat work.

But if your position is that the fighter is somehow less capable of fulfilling any of these roles you're profoundly wrong. In fact fighter may well be the only class that can pull off a decent thrown weapon build.


How is build diversity a "myth" again? Like Ryan said, you need certain feats to make something work, but outside of that you can branch into many things. Diversity as far as a Fighter's primary (Combat) function is more a myth, since there are many must have feats, but where "diversity" comes in are the secondary and tertiary functions of the character. Most classes have those functions within class features, and can't ever stray from them. A Fighter can choose much more freely what it adds since there are a bajollion feats(Even Advanced Weapon Training can changed based on your weapon). It also helps that plenty of feats are actually good now.

An example of this would be a basic two handed fighter. In stark contrast to your dwarf, Rhedyn, outside of power attack, I could make something much different. An example would be a Half-orc and going into an intimidation build. A positive charisma greatly rewards a fighter because of bravery feats (One of which adds Bravery to intimidation) and let's be real, there are a lot of ways to intimidate (It gets really silly with skill unlocks). There's even a style around it!

Both these Fighters are two handed, and hit things hard with an axe, but end up being very different, powerful presences in a party.

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