Design intent - Combat Fighting Styles


Playing the Game


The most common fighting styles in the various versions of D&D are:

Two Handed
One Handed + Shield
Two Weapon Fighting
One handed weapon + Free Hand (mostly for casters that needed a free hand for S + M compenents
Unarmed
Ranged - almost always bow
Finesse - a variant relying on DX to attack with finesse style weapons, usually TWF or One handed + free hand

These are really broad and I could be missing some (maneuvers) etc. The playtest rules seems to have these styles of fighting gated to the martial classes (especially in regards to any specialization). Some martial classes have access to many different styles, some to only a few. So my question is as follows:

Is this the design intent or is this due to space constraints?

I have seen it mentioned a few times that space was an issue and there was desire to test specific things.

If this is the desire, to limit fighting styles to certain classes, my feedback is to broaden this. I do not need every martial class to be viable at every style, but I do think each martial class should have 3 viable styles. The fighter should have the most.

Take the monk, he has one style, unarmed. I believe he should at least have the basics for other styles, why give him no proficiency in monk weapons?

The ranger has two styles (TWF and ranged - oddly focused on crossbows). He needs more options, and I do not consider snares an option!

I like idea of the Barbarian only knowing general combat and relying on his Rage power, but he should have access to shields.

The rogue should be able to do more than finesse. A str build should at least be an option. A thug style of character.

I could go on, but i think I made my concern. Give the fighter the most combat styles, give the other martials a few combat styles.

One last point. I do like how casters get no specialization (for the most part). This i agree with. They already get a high BAB with the new system and spells. They should multiclass if they want to get a specialized combat style.

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