Balancing Casters vs Fighters


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Grandlounge wrote:
Fighters need duleing gloves to keep there numbers on par with other classes and estate a little behind. Rangers, paladins, and cavilier will spike higher damage. Bloodragers and bard have more hp and better saves for much lower armor class. Animal companions are amazing at most levels when you put them a pc it is hard to keep up.

Bloodragers with Shield and Mirror Image seem to have better physical defenses that Fighters.

Fighters also aren't going to be able to afford Gloves of Dueling until, what, 9th level? 10th level? Possibly even level 11-12. The campaign I'm running has the PCs at 9th level right now and the lack of Gloves of Dueling bonuses for enemies is very noticeable (keep in mind, for example, that NPC fighters have far less WBL -- and according to the CR system, a level 9 Fighter with PC wealth is equal to a level 10 Fighter with NPC wealth).


Nothing will do mundane AC better than the fighter.

Ever.


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master_marshmallow wrote:

Nothing will do mundane AC better than the fighter.

Ever.

Setting aside that contest would likely be won by significant multiclassing that would only involve Fighter, why is this a meaningful niche? The game as a whole breaks in the absence of magic, so antimagic fields and dead magic zones are very much the exception, not the norm, and even in that case, their mundane AC is not going to be a meaningful defense against level-appropriate threats.


I think that AC is very under rated. While it might be of adequate or fair usefulness against single monster encounters, it is important against multiple creature encounters and against creatures with numerous attacks.

With that said, the last time I GM'd, I had a wizard player who wanted to see how well he could do without using illusion. So, no mirror image and no displacement. I don't recall the exact numbers, be he had a very difficult to hit AC, with fairly minimal investment. At level 7 he spent several rounds toe-to-toe with a vampire I built as a boss encounter.
AC=
Size small +1
Dex +3
Shield spell +4
Mage armor +4
Deflection +2
NA (from Elemental Body (earth) spell) +4
28 Total AC, without anything funky.
Considering this is essentially equal to the AC of a 10th level generic 2 handed fighter, I don't really see how fighters have much advantage. I'm sure they could do better, but not by much.

NOTE: The one area that Fighters are generally far superior to casters-who-fight, is in surprise encounters. In the surprise round and first round or two of an unexpected combat, fighters have a huge edge over classes that mimic fighters through magic.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Omnius wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

Nothing will do mundane AC better than the fighter.

Ever.

Setting aside that contest would likely be won by significant multiclassing that would only involve Fighter, why is this a meaningful niche? The game as a whole breaks in the absence of magic, so antimagic fields and dead magic zones are very much the exception, not the norm, and even in that case, their mundane AC is not going to be a meaningful defense against level-appropriate threats.

I also don't know that the fighter is such a clear win on the AC front, even sticking to single-classed builds. I haven't seriously crunched the numbers since before Armor Master's Handbook came out, but prior to that barbarians could have higher ACs than fighters with some of their available options like beast totem (up to +6 natural armor, stacks with amulet of natural armor), and they weren't so dependent on chasing armor training with Dex boosts to do it. Monks can also have very impressive ACs accompanied with far superior saves. Mundane AC alone is one of the least relevant defenses and I don't think even that falls so clearly in the fighter's favor.

Many other classes could spike their AC above the fighter with class abilities, spells, etc., though that ties in to other conversations about "how useful are so-called 'all day' resources anyways". I've personally never been in a group where the fighter went "Wait, you all don't have any resources left to heal me, buff me, help me circumvent obstacles, or protect me from negative status effects? Well, I'm going on without you, see you on the other side!" I haven't seen that both because that's probably a very bad move on the fighter's part, but also because (as I've shown earlier), actual casters using the resources naturally available to them don't run out of options that often. YMMV though.


Omnius wrote:
master_marshmallow wrote:

Nothing will do mundane AC better than the fighter.

Ever.

Setting aside that contest would likely be won by significant multiclassing that would only involve Fighter, why is this a meaningful niche? The game as a whole breaks in the absence of magic, so antimagic fields and dead magic zones are very much the exception, not the norm, and even in that case, their mundane AC is not going to be a meaningful defense against level-appropriate threats.

I feel like this is somewhat backwards. To me the *reason* higher level adventurers include so many things that can negate stratospheric high AC is *because* otherwise certain classes/builds can become nigh-unhittable.


Fighters only have AC because they can wear Armor, but Armor based AC is the worst type of AC to have. Touch attacks negate it, incorporeal touch attacks negate it, even brilliant energy weapons negate it (which only adds to the disparity between Fighters and equivalently leveled monsters, who ignore it entirely).

Moreover, just wearing the armor heavily restricts your DEX bonus to AC, greatly exacerbating the problem that these touch attacks pose. And unlike DEX based classes that can get Uncanny Dodge to ignore being flat-footed, there is no similar defense from touch attacks...except for Scales of Deflection...a spell.

Then there's the fact that it heavily encumbrances you, destroys your already poor skills with Armor Check Penalty, makes you drastically less mobile, takes forever to put on or take off (making you much more vulnerable to ambush scenarios), and on top of all of that it also costs an arm and a leg to buy and maintain.

Anything more than Medium Armor generally isn't worth wearing on any character in my honest opinion.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like this is somewhat backwards. To me the *reason* higher level adventurers include so many things that can negate stratospheric high AC is *because* otherwise certain classes/builds can become nigh-unhittable.

Given AC, CMD, Reflex, Will, Fortitude, Touch AC, Flat-Footed AC, and no-save effects are all valid approaches to target an opponent, it seems like it ought to be natural to target more than just one of them on a regular basis. Almost everyone is bad at one of these things, so flexibility helps counter a broad range of threats.

AC is one of the worse cases of divergent modifiers in the game. It can just end up all over the map. Yeah, you can get it high enough to be relevant without too much trouble. But that's generally in the context of combining class abilities, items, and spells. One of the few things that are about as bad as AC is AB, which can also be all over the map.

The specific niche of purely mundane AC is what I'm talking about as not particularly relevant outside of a very narrow niche.


Granted, I'm pretty sure Touch AC only exists so that ray-focused casters don't go crying to mommy that they can't hit the dude in magical plate mail at will.


Getting your AC so high that nothing can hit you is a trap for fighters. Power-turtling only encourages monsters to avoid you, and GMs to create meaningful challenges that do not rely on overcoming your ultra-high AC power-turtle shell.


Omnius wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I feel like this is somewhat backwards. To me the *reason* higher level adventurers include so many things that can negate stratospheric high AC is *because* otherwise certain classes/builds can become nigh-unhittable.
Given AC, CMD, Reflex, Will, Fortitude, Touch AC, Flat-Footed AC, and no-save effects are all valid approaches to target an opponent, it seems like it ought to be natural to target more than just one of them on a regular basis. Almost everyone is bad at one of these things, so flexibility helps counter a broad range of threats.

What I mean though, is that "avoiding the primacy of armor class" is why most of those other things exist in the first place.


Unless your job is to not get hit so the paladin can soak the damage that he can just heal off?

I just don't get it, everything the class gets from being the class it is gets sh*t on by this forum.

And it gets a lot, like a lot.

Honestly, in a fighter vs mage fight where the fighter is built for taking down the wizard, there really isn't a contest.

They get the best AC and maneuverability in the game (this includes the fact they can Craft Magic Armor with their class features), the best initiative in the game, the most indiscriminate high damage, and the ability to have variable that other classes don't, like skills and feats they can change on the daily.

Why are we still complaining?

Like, I'm pretty sure the AM fighter is clinically better than the AM barbarian with the exception of maybe having less hoops to jump through to get "pounce" working.

AC doesn't matter? Really? What?
This is getting ridiculous, but that's to be expected since the juxtaposition of most fighter threads literally comes down to: "we haven't read the things that fix the fighter, and we shouldn't be expected to!!!"


I never said AC does not matter.

I said mundane AC is incredibly niche, since the math of the game assumes magic is in play.

And even regular AC is of limited value when there are so many options to engage the enemy through touch attacks, or simply go after saves.

In the case you propose of the Fighter/Mage fight, the Fighter has one option. Attack the mage. If that option does not succeed in one shot due to losing initiative (and the victory is not firmly in the Fighter's court, as has been hashed out here already), not killing the mage in a single shot (significantly more difficult if the Wizard has any of their normal buffs up), or not being able to reach the mage immediately. If the mage gets a chance to go, the Fighter will probably lose, simply because a decently leveled mage has so many options to render them irrelevant.

The Fighter you present as a "normal" example is drawing on multiple books and going for very specific options to maybe stand against a mage in the very limited context of a duel, without meaningful options to interact with the world or influence the course of the story outside of a straight fight.


Omnius wrote:

I never said AC does not matter.

I said mundane AC is incredibly niche, since the math of the game assumes magic is in play.

And even regular AC is of limited value when there are so many options to engage the enemy through touch attacks, or simply go after saves.

In the case you propose of the Fighter/Mage fight, the Fighter has one option. Attack the mage. If that option does not succeed in one shot due to losing initiative (and the victory is not firmly in the Fighter's court, as has been hashed out here already), not killing the mage in a single shot (significantly more difficult if the Wizard has any of their normal buffs up), or not being able to reach the mage immediately. If the mage gets a chance to go, the Fighter will probably lose, simply because a decently leveled mage has so many options to render them irrelevant.

The Fighter you present as a "normal" example is drawing on multiple books and going for very specific options to maybe stand against a mage in the very limited context of a duel, without meaningful options to interact with the world or influence the course of the story outside of a straight fight.

Between Improved Initiative, Trained Initiative, Bravery in action, and stamina points, there's very little that stops fighters from killing initiative.

Literally everything else but the diviner abilities are just as available to fighters as they are to casters. Fighters get auto 20s on Initiative well before level 20.

This is not a debate.

Fighters can threaten and follow casters, negate the propensity of concentration, and that's assuming the fighter decided not to otherwise grapple or use whatever ability they have to inflict auto crits that stun/blind/hinder casters.

THIS IS NOT A DEBATE.


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master_marshmallow wrote:
Omnius wrote:

I never said AC does not matter.

I said mundane AC is incredibly niche, since the math of the game assumes magic is in play.

And even regular AC is of limited value when there are so many options to engage the enemy through touch attacks, or simply go after saves.

In the case you propose of the Fighter/Mage fight, the Fighter has one option. Attack the mage. If that option does not succeed in one shot due to losing initiative (and the victory is not firmly in the Fighter's court, as has been hashed out here already), not killing the mage in a single shot (significantly more difficult if the Wizard has any of their normal buffs up), or not being able to reach the mage immediately. If the mage gets a chance to go, the Fighter will probably lose, simply because a decently leveled mage has so many options to render them irrelevant.

The Fighter you present as a "normal" example is drawing on multiple books and going for very specific options to maybe stand against a mage in the very limited context of a duel, without meaningful options to interact with the world or influence the course of the story outside of a straight fight.

Between Improved Initiative, Trained Initiative, Bravery in action, and stamina points, there's very little that stops fighters from killing initiative.

Literally everything else but the diviner abilities are just as available to fighters as they are to casters. Fighters get auto 20s on Initiative well before level 20.

This is not a debate.

Fighters can threaten and follow casters, negate the propensity of concentration, and that's assuming the fighter decided not to otherwise grapple or use whatever ability they have to inflict auto crits that stun/blind/hinder casters.

THIS IS NOT A DEBATE.

Look we already had this contest. Schrodinger's Fighter never showed up. So you are right there is no debate. In practice and theory, Wizards have this. The fact that you believe grappling, stuns and blinds would even affect a caster shows a severe lack of understanding of a caster's power. For consideration:

Immune: Magic Sleep, Fear, ability damage, acid, blindness, critcal hits, charm and compulsion effects, deafness, death effects, disease, drowning, electricity, fire, acid, cold, petrification, poison, stunning, all spells or attacks that affect your physiology or respiration; Resist cold 30, electricity 30; SR 32
+2 v. enchantment spells and effects

Is pretty basic. (And yes that's both Immune to and Resist 30 cold and electricity. Not a typo.) Factor in the obvious Freedom of Movement and literally everything you suggested would be completely useless.


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master_marshmallow wrote:

Between Improved Initiative, Trained Initiative, Bravery in action, and stamina points, there's very little that stops fighters from killing initiative.

Literally everything else but the diviner abilities are just as available to fighters as they are to casters. Fighters get auto 20s on Initiative well before level 20.

This is not a debate.

Fighters can threaten and follow casters, negate the propensity of concentration, and that's assuming the fighter decided not to otherwise grapple or use whatever ability they have to inflict auto crits that stun/blind/hinder casters.

THIS IS NOT A DEBATE.

The Wizard can get a +4 from having a familiar, a +level/2 from being a diviner, and a +5 from a measly first-level spell.

As your constitution score is added to your stamina pool, and wizards tend to have good constitution scores as they can afford to dump or nearly dump three stats, and then frequently tend to boost it further with magic items, if we're bringing in the non-PFS legal "Stamina and Combat Tricks" OPTIONAL RULE, they tend to be able to do that somewhere in the level 10-12 range.

Bravery starts at level 2, and increases by 1 every 4 levels after. Advanced Weapon Training starts at level 9 at 2, and increases by 1 every 4 levels after, to a maximum of +9. Simply being a core rule book diviner meets or surpasses those combined bonuses at literally every level, and that very initiative bonus does make being a diviner a very appealing option. Other initiative boosts from being a wizard are just gravy from there.

A Wizard can take a familiar that grants +4 to initiative, and the lowly first-level spell Anticipate Peril grants up to a +5. So, as being able to auto 20 on initiative is, on average, a +9.5 to your initiative score, the combined +9 from your familiar and a single spell means that even in the level range where the Fighter can auto-20 initiative but the mage can't, a level range in which Diviner definitively beats Bravery in Action and Advanced Weapon Training hasn't come into action yet, the Wizard normally beats that auto-20.

What's more, crit builds don't actually come online until high levels, where the diviner's initiative has continued to scale.

And if everything goes to plan, and the Fighter manages to go first, if they're not in charging range of the mage when the fight starts, they can't attack unless they're an archer. Mage is flying? Fighter has more trouble getting flight than the mage does. Mage is invisible? Fighter has more trouble getting See Invisibility than the mage does. Even if they are in range, and the mage isn't already under some effect that renders melee engagement irrelevant, at the level of optimization you're talking about, the Wizard probably has some sort of Contingency ready to go. Stunning Critical isn't even an option until level 17, after all. Hell, at that point, the Wizard is capable of dropping a time stop.

Even after all of this, it's still a Fighter trying to stay relevant next to a Wizard in the realm of combat, with no impact on the fact the muggle gets nothing to meaningfully impact the narrative outside of combat.


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I don't think master_marshmallow realized that Combat Stamina wasn't a Fighter-only ability. Which kind of speaks to one of the problems with the Fighter. Zero niche protection.


I took it as either not realizing constitution modifier was added to stamina pool or assuming the Wizard had a stamina modifier of zero.


Bodhizen wrote:
Wilheim Upenzi wrote:

If your desire is for fighters to be equal to casters in not only combat but all roleplay and the power to shape a game, quite simply, you have to remove 95% of spells from the game. Keep a few very narrow, damage/combat only spells from each list, and allow only skill points and ranks to be factors in or of combat challenges.

The sheer amount of silliness you need to do to make a fighter equal to a wizard... It's far asier to just restrict casters to World of Warcraft rules: no difference out of combat, one uses a sword and the other uses ice balls in combat.

I don't think that you need to remove 95% of the spells from the game, but I do think it's a little strange and slapdash that you can learn to cast a fireball, but you never learned a spell that lets you light a candle, or create a campfire, first. When studying magic, and having schools of magic, and studying how magic works, and how to perfect it, it just seems odd to me that you can summon demons of great power, despite never having learned how to summon a chihuahua first. Granted, forcing spellcasters to learn a low-level version of a spell that generates wind (for example) before they can conjure a tornado limits the spellcaster greatly, but when we're talking about overall balance of martial characters versus spellcasters, it's certainly a valid topic of discussion.

It's obviously not an easy solution, but yeah, Fireball and Summon Monster would have to go. As you go on to say, rightly so, the things Fighters would have to do to get an equal parity to these abilities... like the ability to hurl an axe that hits everything within a 20 foot radius. It gets too stupid to really rationalize.

IMHO, there's no way that a Fighter is going to be equal to a Wizard in their ability to impact an adventure without basically throwing the rulebook out the window and making Full Casters essentially a new class with only a handful of very direct, single target spells (maybe a 5 foot AoE spell that works like Cleave). Or essentially going full World of Warcraft where fighters throw their weapons, hitting everything within a 10 foot radius, gaining abilities like "Ignore Pain" that function like Stoneskin or the ability to shoot explosive tipped arrows that hit ranged touch and explode for 4d6 damage every 4 levels.

That's not to say Fighters are useless in Pathfinder even now... they just tend to have 1-2 tricks... usually raw damage and maybe some CMB... and a smart Wizard will leverage that to do some insane things. It's just a different roleplay fantasy and you certain can be a Fighter/Barbarian/Ranger type who *destroys* things in combat or does a few things great out of combat too. You're just a little limited in other ways that Full Casters really aren't.


Fighters can win AC races, potentially. That's about all they have going for them from what I can tell reading this thread. But tanking as a strategy is meaningless without Combat Reflexes, a high enough DEX mod to actually make use of it, a high enough AB to land those AoOs, and Stand Still. Otherwise the enemy will just go around you since you aren't a threat.

Now here's the thing that I think this whole thread forgot: This isn't about Fighters vs Wizards exclusively. By my read on this, Fighters are the official worst martial class, since Rogues (who also seem to be getting a lot of flak) win big on skill points compared to them, and Wizards are the official best Caster class. That's fine and well, but you have to keep in mind that this affects everyone in between as well.

How do Fighters stack up against the worst Caster? The worst Hybrid? What's the best Martial class? How to they hold up to Wizards? What's the best Hybrid? How do they compare to the best Martial and the Wizard? Is this in combat or out of combat? Do any classes fill a niche well enough that even though a Wizard could probably do it just as well if not better with some research and effort, it's easier to just have that other class around?

And what is this magical Ragelancepounce I keep hearing about that's supposed to bring Wizards down a notch?


Ikorus wrote:
Fighters can win AC races, potentially.

Nope, that prize is going to go Oracles.


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Ragelancepounce is nothing but a Barbarian build that does a lot of damage. It's actually pretty explanatory. Rage, Mounted Charge w/ Lance, use Pounce. You might also hear of "BattyBat," which is generally a synthesist summoner Leadership cohort, in the form of a giant flying bat. Because Synthesists can get ludicrously high fly speeds, this translates to an incredible distance on a mounted charge.

The original idea was use the Lance's double/triple damage on a charge ability with the extra attacks from Pounce, but this has long since been nerfed by Paizo such that the extra damage only applies to the first attack in a charge. That said, even with the nerf it's still a tremendous amount of damage.

A caster unprepared for a flying, pouncing Barbarian with access to True Sight could easily find themselves felled. Even more so if the Barbarian has access to Spell Sunder as well.

Of course, a properly prepared/paranoid caster, could certainly deal with such an issue.


Wilheim Upenzi wrote:


It's obviously not an easy solution, but yeah, Fireball and Summon Monster would have to go. As you go on to say, rightly so, the things Fighters would have to do to get an equal parity to these abilities... like the ability to hurl an axe that hits everything within a 20 foot radius. It gets too stupid to really rationalize.

IMHO, there's no way that a Fighter is going to be equal to a Wizard in their ability to impact an adventure without basically throwing the rulebook out the window and making Full Casters essentially a new class with only a handful of very direct, single target spells (maybe a 5 foot AoE spell that works like Cleave). Or essentially going full World of Warcraft where fighters throw their weapons, hitting everything within a 10 foot radius, gaining abilities like "Ignore Pain" that function like Stoneskin or the ability to shoot explosive tipped arrows that hit ranged touch and explode for 4d6 damage every 4 levels.

That's not to say Fighters are useless in Pathfinder even now... they just tend to have 1-2 tricks... usually raw damage and maybe some CMB... and a smart Wizard will leverage that to do some insane things. It's just a different roleplay fantasy and you certain can be a Fighter/Barbarian/Ranger type who *destroys* things in combat or does a few things great out of combat too. You're just a little limited in other ways that Full Casters really aren't.

The optimal idea, I believe, is to increase the fighter's utility in generic situations (i.e. give them abilities that simply give them more to do that doesn't specifically revolve around combat), and to give them specific abilities that are unique to the fighter and to no other class. Paladins can Smite Evil, and no other class can do that. Warpriests get access to blessings that no other class gets. Summoners get their eidolons, and no other class gets them. Fighters get... A bunch of feats. That's great and all, but there's nothing they can do that no other class can. Even wizards, who are the generalists of the arcane casting classes, can do awesome and spectacular things that not everyone else can do by sheer virtue of being able to choose from such a wide spell list that there's bound to be something that they do that no one else in the party is capable of doing for the good of the whole.

Personally, I think that fighters should be masters of Combat Maneuvers, and should get access to some auxiliary abilities that allow them to have a wider range of options both inside and outside of combat. Some social abilities would be nice, as would the ability to inspire others around them, or to grant bonuses on the field of battle by calling out tactical suggestions (i.e. "No! Cast your magic missile at the ogre, not the goblins!") that party members get if they follow the fighter's suggestions. Make them tactical masters. Make them masters of the taproom and guild hall when it comes to friendly interaction with NPCs, especially guards or mercenaries. Make them "likable" - after all, who doesn't like the big, friendly jock that is willing to lend a hand when it comes to a little physical labor? Everybody's got that buddy that helps them out with the heavy lifting once in a while. Let 'em toss cabers (or hurl stones) like highlanders do.

Give them the ability to take a hit, and then shrug it right off (i.e. limited auto-healing, or limited damage reduction). Let them have a bit of battlefield control by giving them better bonuses to bull rushing, dragging, grappling, or simply throwing an opponent around. Let 'em have access to punches that can potentially knock an opponent out (similar to a nonmagical version of a sleep spell). Give them the ability to more effectively deal with swarm damage (forcing the swarm to make an attack roll against them instead; swarms do get BAB). I'll admit that I'm lacking more in non-combat options that would not break verisimilitude, but that's where I think they really deserve expansion. The point of all of this is that fighters could gain a couple of niche abilities in combat that make them effective in certain situations, and then we'd just have to come up with a few things that they can do outside of combat to give them greater versatility.

Best wishes!


Anzyr wrote:
Look we already had this contest. Schrodinger's Fighter never showed up. So you are right there is no debate. In practice and theory, Wizards have this.

Funny, I seem to remember a fighter with a couple dips dealing 200 damage to an invisible caster in the first round of combat.

Disclaimer: Wizards are, of course, far more powerful and versatile than fighters, and that arena does nothing to suggest otherwise. It was, on the whole, an optimization contest.


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master_marshmallow wrote:

Unless your job is to not get hit so the paladin can soak the damage that he can just heal off?

I just don't get it, everything the class gets from being the class it is gets sh*t on by this forum.

And it gets a lot, like a lot.

Honestly, in a fighter vs mage fight where the fighter is built for taking down the wizard, there really isn't a contest.

They get the best AC and maneuverability in the game (this includes the fact they can Craft Magic Armor with their class features), the best initiative in the game, the most indiscriminate high damage, and the ability to have variable that other classes don't, like skills and feats they can change on the daily.

Why are we still complaining?

Like, I'm pretty sure the AM fighter is clinically better than the AM barbarian with the exception of maybe having less hoops to jump through to get "pounce" working.

AC doesn't matter? Really? What?
This is getting ridiculous, but that's to be expected since the juxtaposition of most fighter threads literally comes down to: "we haven't read the things that fix the fighter, and we shouldn't be expected to!!!"

master_marshmallow wrote:

Between Improved Initiative, Trained Initiative, Bravery in action, and stamina points, there's very little that stops fighters from killing initiative.

Literally everything else but the diviner abilities are just as available to fighters as they are to casters. Fighters get auto 20s on Initiative well before level 20.

This is not a debate.

Fighters can threaten and follow casters, negate the propensity of concentration, and that's assuming the fighter decided not to otherwise grapple or use whatever ability they have to inflict auto crits that stun/blind/hinder casters.

THIS IS NOT A DEBATE.

And yet here we are, disagreeing with you. Repeatedly. So unless you've conceded the point, clearly this is a debate.

Best AC is up for debate but I don't care enough to run the numbers (personally I think a Elf/Half-Orc druid will win).

Best maneuverability is just flat out wrong. The Fighter gets to move faster in heavy armor. That's it. A Travel Cleric in heavy armor would move just as fast. Item Mastery feats are not Fighter exclusive. Armor Mastery feats are but I saw none that raise maneuverability. Craft Magic Arms and Armor is available to every single caster. What other than Armor Training is the Fighter getting? What are they getting at all that's comparable to Wildshape?

Best initiative might be possible (again, too lazy to run the close ones) but required an Eldritch Guardian archer Fighter who dumped a @#$%load into it. Outside of that very specific build a Wizard who invests almost nothing (the school being the only big thing) wins.

The cavalier wins at condition free damage (which is I assume what you meant by indiscriminate). Period.

The Fighter ability to change their feats on the fly is literally just a weaker form of what the Brawler gets. There's also a very specific magic item that they can use to change their skills but only from a very specific list. They will never be flexing into any Knowledge but engineering, for instance.

AM Barbarian is clearly the greatest. He said so himself.

Yes, most (maybe all?) of the same initiative boosters are available to the Fighter as long as you spend resources on them. The familiar and the spells are provided to the Wizard for a significantly reduced cost (up to and including "free"). And, again, you're comparing max level. The Fighter can't afford some of those boosts at low level and others aren't nearly as powerful. You're not getting access to the benefits of a familiar at level 1 without giving up Bravery in Action later, for instance (and it takes three general feats to get the benefit, so you'd get it earliest at level 3 with Human or 5 for others).

A Wizard casts Plane Shift. What exactly does the Fighter do? Because the only thing I can find is "make an AoO" and that's absolutely nothing like "following". Disruptive is only a +4 to cast defensively and literally countered by Combat Casting. I didn't find any other ability that makes concentration harder. Grapple is negated by a Ring of Freedom of Movement (something only casters can make) or by the spell Freedom of Movement (and as you seem to be talking about level 20, I assume literally everyone has one of these). Automatic confirmed criticals. Very different thing. If you could trigger an automatic critical hit those feats would be much nicer. Also the Wizard cannot be in a form immune to critical hits (Ring of Continuation and Shapechange for Elemental Body IV, for instance). As I keep telling people, go with the Assault feats instead. Requires melee but at least you can trigger them on purpose instead of hoping for a lucky roll.

I believe the colloquialism is "put up or shut up". If you insist a Fighter can do these things, make the Fighter. I'm sure there's people happy to make the casters (or have an old build lying around somewhere). But right now you're insisting that you have secret knowledge no one else does (because they refuse to read it) and somehow we're expected to take you at your word. I'm pretty sure I've read almost everything you're talking about (only skimmed Stamina) and I don't see this "solution" you seem to think exists.


I think this thread is getting pretty derailed with the Fighter vs Wizard battle thing. It doesn't matter. Even if you make a Fighter who can kill a Wizard, it doesn't have anything to do with the actual topic, because doing so sacrificed everything or nearly everything to devote to a single purpose: killing that wizard. Meanwhile the Wizard generally doesn't do anything they wouldn't have ordinarily done anyway to pose a major threat to even the magekiller Fighter, and still has plenty of options to muck about with the plot between combats.

Its not about the fighting. Although making the fighting more engaging is certainly something to look into, its about giving the fighter (and other martials) the tools they need to solve problems in the world that can't be solved by just making HP go down as fast as possible. Lots of good suggestions have been made for how to do that. Some kind of lame suggestions have also been made. But the question of "Can a Fighter kill a Wizard in single combat?" just isn't important.

Also the answer is yes. Yes he can. The Wizard has better odds, but anyone can die to anything at any time if your luck with the dice sucks hard enough. And swords in the face don't feel good.


By this logic(and all the topics like this) I would think I should have already won the AP I'm in. Or atleast have the Martials huddling in a corner saying "He took our jobs".


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Kaouse wrote:
Of course, a properly prepared/paranoid caster, could certainly deal with such an issue.

GENERALLY WHEN CASTY AM TRYING FOR BEING PARANOID, THIS AM ACCOMPLISHED BY CASTY YELLING 'NUH UH THAT AM CLONE/CONTINGENCY/INVISIBLE/INSTANT TELEPORT/EMERGENCY FORCE SPHERE,' SERIOUSLY, AM LIKE SIXTY BILLION PAGES OF EXAMPLES. THING AM, WHILE CASTY AM BUSY TALKING ABOUT RULES AND PROTESTING BASED ON WHAT BARBARIAN DO OR NOT DO, BARBARIAN AM BUSY SMASH. THEN CASTY AM GOING TO HIDE IN CASTY TOWER AND EAT ICE CREAM, NOT REALIZING THAT BARBARIAN HAVE PHD IN ENGINEERING, AM BRINGING WHOLE TOWER DOWN ON CASTY FACE. THAT AM NOT GOOD DAY FOR CASTY, EVEN IF PARANOID ENOUGH TO HAVE SIX BACKUP PLANS. WANT TALK ABOUT NARRATIVE POWER, COLLAPSING ENTIRE DUNGEON AM PRETTY GOOD.

THAT AM PROBLEM WITH FIGHTY. THEM AM TRYING STEP WITH BARBARIAN, BUT BARBARIAN AM JUST BEST CLASS. FIGHTY NEEDS WAY TO PUNCH THROUGH MAGIC LIKE BARBARIAN, THEN AM ABLE SUNDER EVERYTHING, BE ONLY SLIGHTLY LESS GOOD THAN BARBARIAN. AM MAYBE NOT ABLE FIGURE OUT BREAK DC ON CRB LIKE BARBARIAN AM DOING WITH MODERATE TO HIGH FREQUENCY, BUT AM ABLE BE MIGHTYFINE.

ALTERNATIVELY, BARBARIAN CORDIALLY RECOMMEND BUYING BOW. ARCHERY AM PRETTY BROKE, ESPECIALLY WHEN PAIRED WITH CRYSTAL BALL AND FLEXIBLE DEFINITION OF MEANING FOR PHRASE 'LINE OF SIGHT TO TARGET.'


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Oh, my broken bones... Why won't that barbarian leave me alone?


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BROKEN WIZARD wrote:
Oh, my broken bones... Why won't that barbarian leave me alone?

UNION RULES. REGULATIONS AM VERY STRICT.


Thank goodness AM BARBARIAN is here, now we can have some uncivilised discussion!


This is one of the most fantastic things I have ever read. AM BARBARIAN, truly I thank you. I now must seek medical attention, as I think I may have broken my ribs laughing.


Bob Bob Bob wrote:
Best initiative might be possible (again, too lazy to run the close ones) but required an Eldritch Guardian archer Fighter who dumped a @#$%load into it. Outside of that very specific build a Wizard who invests almost nothing (the school being the only big thing) wins.

I was under the impression that because you lose Bravery, you couldn't use Bravery in Action.


AM BARBARIAN wrote:
FIGHTY NEEDS WAY TO PUNCH THROUGH MAGIC LIKE BARBARIAN, THEN AM ABLE SUNDER EVERYTHING, BE ONLY SLIGHTLY LESS GOOD THAN BARBARIAN.

Well, there's always this. Not as good without rage cycling, but you can still get five uses per day at 10th level with Abundant Tactics and gloves of dueling.


Avoron wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
Look we already had this contest. Schrodinger's Fighter never showed up. So you are right there is no debate. In practice and theory, Wizards have this.

Funny, I seem to remember a fighter with a couple dips dealing 200 damage to an invisible caster in the first round of combat.

Then you remember this as well. My favorite line: "Then as a move action Arhena removes his pants, letting them fall to the ground. Once they leave my possession, they become visible."

~snicker~


Schrodingers fighter wasn't schrodingers fighter, he was a dex or archery based fighter that spent three feats or two feats and forwent level 7 armor training reduction, and had two reasonable and common for the class magic items.

The wizard offered burned all his first level spells on a boost that ended each time initiative was rolled and carried a dueling weapon for some reason. The argument ended because as usual, a realistic build here is always met by an extreme build that no one would ever actually play in game but manages to outmath in theory.


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It's interesting to me how every wizard in Forum Theorycraft threads is a diviner wizard, but in actual games I've found those to be extremely rare both for PCs and NPCs.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
It's interesting to me how every wizard in Forum Theorycraft threads is a diviner wizard, but in actual games I've found those to be extremely rare both for PCs and NPCs.

Its also interesting to me how crafting is always assumed accessible when PFS disallows it, certain campaigns make it unfeasable due to time constraints, and some GMS ban it outright.


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Ryan Freire wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
It's interesting to me how every wizard in Forum Theorycraft threads is a diviner wizard, but in actual games I've found those to be extremely rare both for PCs and NPCs.
Its also interesting to me how crafting is always assumed accessible when PFS disallows it, certain campaigns make it unfeasable due to time constraints, and some GMS ban it outright.

The same can be said for stamina and WMH.


necromental wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
It's interesting to me how every wizard in Forum Theorycraft threads is a diviner wizard, but in actual games I've found those to be extremely rare both for PCs and NPCs.
Its also interesting to me how crafting is always assumed accessible when PFS disallows it, certain campaigns make it unfeasable due to time constraints, and some GMS ban it outright.
The same can be said for stamina and WMH.

Stamina yes, but PFS doesn't ban AWT, just some of the options, which makes for a larger swathe of "its ok to use" than (edit) IF PFS bans it.

I have my opinions on PFS but even I have to acknowledge its a large chunk of pathfinder games played and there's always someone on the boards whose only game access is PFS.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Its also interesting to me how crafting is always assumed accessible when PFS disallows it, certain campaigns make it unfeasable due to time constraints, and some GMS ban it outright.

It's hard to have a sane game that doesn't have some form of meaningful downtime.

If a campaign consists of sixty-five straight days of "fraught with peril" adventuring from levels one to twenty, I am going to viciously mock the ridiculousness of that situation. You generally have a week off somewhere along the way.

But the crafting isn't relevant to a mage's power.


Omnius wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Its also interesting to me how crafting is always assumed accessible when PFS disallows it, certain campaigns make it unfeasable due to time constraints, and some GMS ban it outright.

It's hard to have a sane game that doesn't have some form of meaningful downtime.

If a campaign consists of sixty-five straight days of "fraught with peril" adventuring from levels one to twenty, I am going to viciously mock the ridiculousness of that situation. You generally have a week off somewhere along the way.

But the crafting isn't relevant to a mage's power.

People continually bring it up as though it is.

And a week gets you 2k of crafting, people are always bringing it up in the context of stat boosting items requiring 4-8 weeks

A week off is fine for wands, potions, scrolls and the like, its less useful for weapons, armor, wondrous items.


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Ryan Freire wrote:
Omnius wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Its also interesting to me how crafting is always assumed accessible when PFS disallows it, certain campaigns make it unfeasable due to time constraints, and some GMS ban it outright.

It's hard to have a sane game that doesn't have some form of meaningful downtime.

If a campaign consists of sixty-five straight days of "fraught with peril" adventuring from levels one to twenty, I am going to viciously mock the ridiculousness of that situation. You generally have a week off somewhere along the way.

But the crafting isn't relevant to a mage's power.

People continually bring it up as though it is.

And a week gets you 2k of crafting, people are always bringing it up in the context of stat boosting items requiring 4-8 weeks

A week off is fine for wands, potions, scrolls and the like, its less useful for weapons, armor, wondrous items.

A week gets you 14k of crafting, not 2k. And crafting gets brought up since martials are very gear dependent, while casters are not.


necromental wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Omnius wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Its also interesting to me how crafting is always assumed accessible when PFS disallows it, certain campaigns make it unfeasable due to time constraints, and some GMS ban it outright.

It's hard to have a sane game that doesn't have some form of meaningful downtime.

If a campaign consists of sixty-five straight days of "fraught with peril" adventuring from levels one to twenty, I am going to viciously mock the ridiculousness of that situation. You generally have a week off somewhere along the way.

But the crafting isn't relevant to a mage's power.

People continually bring it up as though it is.

And a week gets you 2k of crafting, people are always bringing it up in the context of stat boosting items requiring 4-8 weeks

A week off is fine for wands, potions, scrolls and the like, its less useful for weapons, armor, wondrous items.

A week gets you 14k of crafting, not 2k. And crafting gets brought up since martials are very gear dependent, while casters are not.

My bad, I'm not used to the crafting rules since they're among the most commonly banned rules in the game.

And casters are gear dependent, its just metamagic rods, scrolls, wands, pearls of power, etc etc instead of weapons and armor.


necromental wrote:
A week gets you 14k of crafting, not 2k. And crafting gets brought up since martials are very gear dependent, while casters are not.

Hold up everyone. A lot of incorrect stuff flying around here.

Crafting gets you 7K worth of stuff per week (it is measured in price, not cost). I think you can accelerate it, and take a spellcraft penalty, but I too am fuzzy on the specifics of that kind of thing.

Crafting is one of the pillars of the C/MD because it allows a wizard to have 150% of expected WBL. Martials ability to craft severely restricted.

Finally, crafting is often limited because it it so damn powerful. Who gets to access all that power?


We had this thread already, Warrior Spirit gets you any weapon ability or even a feat when you use it.

You can use this and Barroom Brawler to multiple variable feat slots, and the AWT that grants Item Mastery allows you to bypass item prerequisites. Whatever silly niche things you want can be done basically for free whenever, considering you can take versatile training to play around with skills and retrain them on the fly.

This is not news.

Being able to switch your training up on the daily and manipulate your weapon to be whatever you need while retaining the best flat damage and AC is pretty solid narrative power. People need to stop sh*ting on the fighter.

Also, snub.


Fergie wrote:

Who gets to access all that power?

NPC's only in most campaigns.


Ryan Freire wrote:
Fergie wrote:

Who gets to access all that power?

NPC's only in most campaigns.

I'll follow your anecdotal evidence with: it's been allowed in all the campaigns I've played ever.


master_marshmallow wrote:

We had this thread already, Warrior Spirit gets you any weapon ability or even a feat when you use it.

You can use this and Barroom Brawler to multiple variable feat slots, and the AWT that grants Item Mastery allows you to bypass item prerequisites. Whatever silly niche things you want can be done basically for free whenever, considering you can take versatile training to play around with skills and retrain them on the fly.

This is not news.

Being able to switch your training up on the daily and manipulate your weapon to be whatever you need while retaining the best flat damage and AC is pretty solid narrative power. People need to stop sh*ting on the fighter.

Also, snub.

As far as I know you still haven't built an example fighter. Yes I know all the tricks you are using and I'm coming up loads of feats short for all the alleged things the fighter is good at. So again, build him. Pick a level yourself.


necromental wrote:
Ryan Freire wrote:
Fergie wrote:

Who gets to access all that power?

NPC's only in most campaigns.
I'll follow your anecdotal evidence with: it's been allowed in all the campaigns I've played ever.

I'll follow your campaigns with "and banned in every PFS game ever ran"

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