PDA

View Full Version : My Spin on the Fighter (warning: quite long)



Realms of Chaos
2010-01-30, 05:59 AM
Well, I realize that it is a common thing to try fixing up the fighter so I figured that I’d try fixing it up a bit to see what happens.

First, to summarize what we already know, the fighter is weak. It is supposed to be the generic “melee” class and fails at melee about as well as it succeeds at being generic (very). Awhile ago, we received a real treat in the form of the Tome of Battle, which helped make combat more versatile and fun for many people (myself included).
Alas, not all were pleased. Many pointed out how some of the maneuvers in the book (and indeed, some entire disciplines), seemed to believe that physical might = rewriting reality. And lo, this was labeled as “anime” (perhaps not the best description, but one that many can understand at some level). These people wanted to see something astounding, mundane combat comparable with spellcasting, and were disappointed.

Through the medium of a revised fighter base class, I sought to see how far mundane combat could be pushed and I arrived at a startling conclusion. I didn’t have anybody (fictional or otherwise) to use as a proper example. One thing that I have learned the hard way and that you too must learn is that you probably don’t know of any level 20 fighters.

It has been pointed out many times that reality is best held within the first 5-6 levels of gameplay. Robin hood was probably a level 2 ranger. Conan the barbarian is probably level 3. Even Hercules, though a quasi-deity, could probably complete his legendary tasks as early as level 7 or so (despite the statistics given for him in deities and demigods). By the time that someone reaches level 20, they are something of a god amongst men. This means that a level 20 fighter should be capable of tasks that pale most legends you have ever heard of. Shooting an arrow through a fly’s wing over a mile away should be a very real possibility for them, if not easy. Being immensely powerful need not mean breaking the laws of reality. The fighter I have created is simply the pinnacle of purely mundane combat.

I do admit that I knew from the start that combat is never as good as spellcasting. It is impossible to really compare killing people to doing whatever you want whenever you want (including killing people). At the very least, this fighter remains useful for longer and is capable of contributing to a fight in a truly meaningful way. That is all that could really be hoped for it.

Realms of Chaos
2010-01-30, 06:30 AM
The Fighter

Across the world, there are many types of combatants. Many warriors rely on supernatural talents to supplement their strength in combat. More than a few call upon spells to alter reality as they wade across the battlefield. It is said that a few rare soldiers have mastered both magical and martial talents, blending them together in a way that could only be described as poetic.

This is not a story about those soldiers.

For every gifted paladin that reveres Pelor, droves of mundane templars whisper his name as they ride into combat. For every mystical ranger knocking her arrow, five more normal woodsman watch the forest roads for bandits. For each monk seeking enlightenment, there is a bar filled with pugilists waiting for an excuse to test their unarmed prowess. In many cases, these poor fools are mere warriors, powerless combatants seeking to leave their mark on the world. A few of them press beyond this level, however. Whether by fate, luck, or training, their talent in combat is exceptional, allowing them to make exceptionally difficult strikes at a whim. Their talent makes them among the few who could hope to fight amongst dragons and wizards and remain alive. Though they share little in common, these combatants are far more than mere warriors.

They are fighters.

The Fighter
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Maximum Gambit Rank

1st|
+1|
+2|
+0|
+0|Called Shots, Code of Conduct, Combat Mastery, Defensive Style|Minor

2nd|
+2|
+3|
+0|
+0|Favored Stratagem, Passive Gambit, Quick Drawing|Minor

3rd|
+3|
+3|
+1|
+1|Bonus Feat, Weapon Training|Minor

4th|
+4|
+4|
+1|
+1|Specialized Swing, Field Training|Minor

5th|
+5|
+4|
+1|
+1|Defensive Style|Minor

6th|
+6/+1|
+5|
+2|
+2|Favored Stratagem|Moderate

7th|
+7/+2|
+5|
+2|
+2|Bonus Feat|Moderate

8th|
+8/+3|
+6|
+2|
+2|Field Training|Moderate

9th|
+9/+4|
+6|
+3|
+3|Defensive Style|Moderate

10th|
+10/+5|
+7|
+3|
+3|Favored Stratagem|Moderate

11th|
+11/+6/+1|
+7|
+3|
+3|Bonus Feat|Masterful

12th|
+12/+7/+2|
+8|
+4|
+4|Field Training|Masterful

13th|
+13/+8/+3|
+8|
+4|
+4|Defensive Style|Masterful

14th|
+14/+9/+4|
+9|
+4|
+4|Favored Stratagem|Masterful

15th|
+15/+10/+5|
+9|
+5|
+5|Bonus Feat|Masterful

16th|
+16/+11/+6/+1|
+10|
+5|
+5|Field Training|Perfect

17th|
+17/+12/+7/+2|
+10|
+5|
+5|Defensive Style|Perfect

18th|
+18/+13/+8/+3|
+11|
+6|
+6|Favored Stratagem|Perfect

19th|
+19/+14/+9/+4|
+11|
+6|
+6|Bonus Feat|Perfect

20th|
+20/+15/+10/+5|
+12|
+6|
+6|Field Training, Inescapable|Perfect[/table]


Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d8
Class Skills: The fighter’s class skills (and key ability score for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Ride (Dex), Spot (Wis), and Swim (Str). Furthermore, all fighters gain 2 additional class skills of their choice, representing their unique training or experiences.
Skill Points at 1st level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int Modifier

Notes and Explanation
The alignment probably shouldn’t need explanation as it remains unchanged so I’ll move on to the next alteration.
I do admit that the hit dice has been lowered. If you keep reading, though, you’ll see that most fighters gain at least 1 extra hit point per level, putting them on par with an average fighter.
I’ve always felt that listen and spot belonged on a fighter’s skill list as they have always been the default guard class. Giving two more class skills will in most case allow for more fighter concepts to be explored (a tracker will go with survival and gather information while a diplomatic, civilized fighter might choose diplomacy and speak language). Of course, I’m not so silly as to think that you optimizers won’t automatically consider taking Iajutsu Focus and Use Magic Device. I see no problem with doing so.

Class Features:
All of the following are class features of the fighter

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: You are proficient with all simple and martial weapons but with no armor or shields (but see defensive style, below). Furthermore, you either gain proficiency with an exotic weapon of your choice or gain improved unarmed strike as a bonus feat.

Notes and Explanation
Once again, you’ll need to keep reading onwards to see what types of armor proficiencies a fighter can get. The exotic weapon or improved strike is once again so that the fighter feels more unique, even at level one. As this fighter fix doesn’t get a feat at level 1, this doesn’t seem too unbalanced.
To show that I’m keeping track with all of those optimizers out there, we have a level 1 fighter with Iajutsu Focus, Use Magic Device, and a Spiked chain, I guess.

Combat Mastery (Ex): Whatever their background, a fighter is excellent at combat, always seeming to hit their foes when it counts. You receive a pool of 4 mastery points per class level. Whenever you make an attack roll, you may spend a number of mastery points to gain a bonus of equal size to your roll. Doing so requires no action but must be done before the dice is rolled. You may not spend more mastery points in a single round than twice you class level.
At the start of each round, you regain mastery points equal to your base attack bonus (this increase may not bring the you past your normal maximum). As a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, you may regain additional mastery points equal to your base attack bonus (again not bringing you past your maximum). Exactly what this action entails differs from fighter to fighter. Some fighters stop to catch their breath while others take a moment to assess the combat or close their eyes in silent prayer. Any suitable action suggested by a player should be allowed, so long as it possesses no inherent benefit (mechanical, tactical, or otherwise).

Notes and Explanation
This is the lynchpin of the fighter class for 2 reasons.
First of all, the fighter is the basic martial class, focusing on nothing but fighting. If the fighter is unable to hit something despite its best efforts (or because of bad luck), they are unable to provide meaningfully to the party (even paladins and rangers can eventually use spells that require no rolls or a monk can teleport/turn ethereal). Besides, as the basic marital class, I see no problem in enabling it to hit whatever it wants.
Secondly, you’ll soon read about a fighter’s ability to make called shots, something that imposes huge penalties to the attack roll. This ability is really the only thing that ever allows the fighter to use a called shot and hope to hit the enemy.
Another thing that you’ll notice about the recharge rate of this ability is that the fighter is able to make full expenditures (2 x class level) on the first three rounds of combat before slowing down, either…
1) making half-sized expenditures each round
2) making full-sized expenditures every other round
3) making full-sized expenditures 2 out of 3 rounds and provoking attacks of opportunity on the third.
All three of these methods are acceptable. To keep track with the optimizers out there, the level 1 fighter has Iajutsu focus (I know that I’m spelling that wrong, by the way), Use Magic Device, Proficiency with a Spiked chain, and a +1/+2 bonus to an attack roll each round. The class seems really well-rounded but nothing so far seems broken.


Code of Conduct (Ex): At 1st level, a fighter may choose to follow a code of conduct if they do so desire. There is no inherent benefit in choosing not to but you may not later change his decision.
A fighter who chooses to follow a code of conduct chooses four of the following maxims below. So long as you act in concordance with your code of conduct, you may call upon it for comfort, security, and strength. Once per day per class level, you may gain a +1 morale bonus to any attack roll or saving throw. Use of this ability must be declared before the roll is made.
If you willingly break your code of conduct, you lose all benefits of your code and take a –1 penalty to all attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks until you rest for 8 hours. Although this time normally includes some self-reflection or prayer, some fighters merely sleep or sleep away their sorrows.
A fighter who breaks their code of conduct under the influence of a compulsion effect or whose code of conduct demands conflicting actions in a given situation loses all benefits of his code until he rests for 8 hours but takes no penalty.

Making Maxims
As there is no way for me to make a comprehensive list that may be found in a code of conduct, here is a guide to making maxims.
0. Rule 0: as with everything in a game, the DM has the final say in what maxims are allowed or not.
1. Do not allow contradictory maxims: although a player would need to be bonkers to submit something like “hurt people without hurting people”, be on the lookout for maxims that may, in certain consequences, contradict themselves.
2. Maxims must be relevant: Simply put, a maxim must be something that actually affects that character. Good examples of what a maxim should not be, above and beyond silly ones like “can never say the word ‘please’” are ones like the sample Wu Jen taboos (from complete arcane).
Things like never wearing green or being unable to eat meat won’t affect the character in a day-to-day manner. In fact, it will only make a difference if the DM specifically tailors things to be that way (kind of like how a wizard’s spellbook is only a disadvantage if your DM tries destroying it). If such maxims seem culturally relevant to a character, encourage them to add them on as voluntary maxims, providing no extra benefit and no risk if they are broken.
Note that combat actions that a player is unlikely to take (such as making overrun attempts) do not qualify in this category (but see below).
3. Allow no more than one prohibition on a specific combat action: although this seems somewhat arbitrary, this rule is in fact very important. Without it, players could list four combat actions that their characters have never used (for me it would be withdrawing, fighting defensively, using the total defense option, and tripping) and simply outlaw those. Although denying one may make sense for a character, allowing more is just asking for trouble.
4. Breaking maxims must be possible: this one is simple but it still needs to be said. If a fighter says that his code involves never casting magic, he had better already have spellcasting ability. Similarly, vowing never to fly is a no-no unless you have wings. Do not allow maxims that sacrifice future options (such as “I vow to always be a fighter and nothing but a fighter”) as such maxims are either perpetually followed or perpetually broken.
5. Maxims may not be vague: a maxim must be pretty clear on what it does and does not allow. The most popular example of a vague maxim are those involving loyalty, either to a god, lord, or monarch. Loyalty does not ensure or prevent any action. Although it implies following their orders, any player could say that an order didn’t truly come from their leader/their leader is mind controlled/etc. Instead, such a player would have to say “I will follow to the letter all instructions and orders of *insert name hear*, delivered directly or through reputable sources” or something to that effect. Another example would be comparing the vague term “being honest” with the specific maxim “always tell the truth”.

Notes and Explanation
Yep, I’m stepping a bit on the toes of both the knight and the paladin here. I’ve always thought that having a code of conduct should provide you with some benefit if it can also turn against you. The bonus is small and the penalty is larger but still not too significant, making it possible for DMs to place fighters in situations where they are forced to break their code without coming across as being completely sadistic. To top it off, you don’t need one if you don’t want one, a freedom that other classes never give.
Keeping track, the level 1 fighter has 2 desirable skills, a good exotic weapon, a small attack bonus each round, and (possibly) a single +1 morale bonus to a single roll each day. Nothing bad here.

Defensive Style (Ex): Just as there are a multitude ways to harm an opponent, so too are there several ways to defend oneself. The defining characteristic to defense, in many cases, is the degree of armor that one wears. At 1st level, choose one of the defensive styles below, gaining the benefits listed. You may not later change your decision.

Unarmored: This type of fighter relies on speed in order to keep himself alive. Using this quick speed, such a fighter can deliver a rapid series of strikes. You gain no proficiency with any armor or shields but gain two extra skill points at each class level (multiplied at 1st level as normal). You gain a dodge bonus to his AC equal to his Dexterity modifier. This bonus is lost while wearing armor, carrying more than a light load, and when you would lose your Dexterity modifier to your AC. Lastly, If unarmored and carrying no more than a light load, you may make a full attack as a standard action once per encounter.
At 5th level and every 4 levels afterwards, your dodge bonus to AC increases by +2 and you may make a full attack as a standard action one additional time per encounter.

Lightly Armored: This type of fighter relies about equally on armor and experience to keep themselves from harm. Thanks to their training, they rarely even notice their armor and can make a fast attack when needed. You gain proficiency with light armor and shields (other than tower shields) as well as an extra skill point and hit point at each class level (the skill point is multiplied at 1st level as normal). You ignore the armor check penalty and maximum dexterity bonus of any shield (but not tower shield) and light armor you wear. Lastly, if wearing no more than light armor and carrying no more than a light load, you may make a full attack as a standard action once per day.
At 5th level and every 4 levels afterwards, you gain a +1 competence bonus to AC and may make a full attack as a standard action one additional time per day. You lose this bonus to AC whenever you would lose your Dexterity bonus to AC against an attack.

Medium Armor: In some ways, this type of fighter gains the best of both worlds, receiving the superior protection of their armor and gradually learning to treat it as a second skin. Although their armor is too restrictive to make rapid assaults, the fighter can use it to protect himself well. You gain proficiency with light and medium armor and shields (other than tower shields) as well as an extra skill point and hit point at each class level (the skill point is multiplied at 1st level as normal). You may sleep in medium armor without penalty and ignore any movement penalty imposed by medium armor. you gain damage reduction 1/- while wearing medium or heavy armor. Lastly, you may prevent all hit point damage you would take from any source as an immediate action once per day unless the damage would be enough to kill you.
At 5th level and every 4 levels afterwards, reduce the armor check penalty of medium and light armor you wear by 1 and increase the maximum Dexterity bonus of such armor by +1. For each point by which your armor’s armor check penalty would be reduced below 0, instead increase its armor bonus by +1. Furthermore, increase the value of your damage reduction by +1. Lastly, you may prevent all damage to yourself one additional time per day.

Heavy Armor: This type of fighter is fully clad in metal, wading into combat without fearing harm. Though mobility remains beyond their reach, they are masters of endurance and can even withstand the most powerful of assaults. You gain proficiency with all armor and shields (even tower shields) as well as two hit points per level. You may sleep in medium and heavy armor without penalty and gain damage reduction 2/- as long as you wears heavy armor. Lastly, you may prevent all hit point damage you would take from any source as an immediate action once per encounter unless the damage would be enough to kill you.
At 5th level and every 4 levels afterwards, increase the value of the your damage reduction by +2 and you may prevent all damage to yourself one additional time per encounter.

Notes and Explanation
Now you see those hit points, skill points, and proficiencies I was talking about. Anyhow, this ability allows for a far greater degree of customization than the normal fighter allows in most cases. I’ve seen thread after thread asking how to make decent duelist/pirate-esque fighters with less than full armor. This not only answers that problem but allows for everything from unarmored duelists to lightly armored soldiers to knights decked in full plate to be played on approximately the same level.
For all of you optimizers out there, this ability is a good part of what pushes the fighter from the realm of decent into the realm of pretty darn good (at least at early levels).
Let’s take this step by step and take a closer look:
Unarmored: Yeah, I’ve finally come up with a way to do unarmed combat that does not punish your AC. Fully optimized, an elven fighter could expect an AC of 44 before applying magic items (although your flat-footed AC would reek). The ability to make full attacks as a standard action doesn’t actually come into play until later on but it helps to simulate the feel of a monk’s rapid blows without creating a “flurry of misses”. The two extra skill points also puts you on par with the monk, allowing you more use outside of combat.
Light Armor: This option makes you a bit more well-rounded as a combatant. Your hit points go up and though your AC may go down in the long run, you now possess a potent flat-footed AC to rely on (plus the special qualities of magical armor and shields, something that unarmored fighters simply cannot imitate). You aren’t really penalized at all for using your armor and you still gain the ability to make full attacks as a standard action, albeit less often.
Medium Armor: One step up the ladder, we get an interesting contender. Normal penalties with medium armor are negated either immediately or as you level up, you gain damage reduction instead of bonus AC, and you can negate damage rather than making full attacks. This build is basically a tank for those who need a bit more maneuverability (if you want to be a tank while using guerilla warfare or while sneaking around, this is a pretty good choice. Some might even say that your unreduced speed would make you the tank of choice in a large battlefield).
Heavy Armor: This is the full-on tank, forgetting everything about maneuverability in order to take a hit. Bonus hit points put it on par with the barbarian, the damage reduction is doubled, and you can negate damage far more often. If you can attract attention to yourself (either through the goad feat or through your deadly attraction gambit [see below]), this guy can actually do what is expected of a tank.

Called Shots (Ex): A fighter is adept at hitting foes in more specific ways than normal combatants, giving them greater flexibility in combat. Whenever you make a weapon attack roll, you may turn it into a called shot as a free action. To make a called shot, you apply the attack roll penalties of one or more special abilities called gambits. If the attack succeeds, all utilized gambits function normally. If you miss, nothing happens as normal.
When making a called shot, a natural 20 is not an automatic hit (although it may still threaten a critical hit) and either a natural 1 or 2 is an automatic miss. All gambits to be used with a called shot must be declared before making the attack roll and all penalties stack. Unless otherwise stated, assume that no gambit may be applied to a single attack multiple times but that the effects of all gambits stack with themselves.
Gambits come in four distinct ranks based on difficulty to perform, Minor, Moderate, Masterful, and Perfect. You automatically gain access to all gambits of a rank up to that given on the class table above.

Notes and Explanation
First thing’s first, I do admit that I was inspired by Monte Cook’s Book of Iron Might. I did not reference that material when I was typing this ability up, however, and I believe that this method might be simpler than the one presented there (if I remember right, Monte Cook also created a set of mitigating factors, something I did not create).
Note that gambits are generally not available to anybody other than fighters (although I did make a feat to provide access in the next post). The reason for this is that only the fighter has been trained well enough/is lucky enough to pull off such martial accomplishments at the drop of a hat. In my mind, other martial classes get about as much general martial training as the average warrior and continue onwards with their particular talents (whereas the fighter never stops trying to master these basic talents).
As another note, this ability does something rare in that it, combined with combat mastery, allows the fighter to increase with usefulness at an exponential level. If a spellcaster gains spell slots at a linear pace, their power expands at an exponential level in part because those spell slots can be used for increasingly varied selections of spells per day. Similarly, as the fighter’s attack bonus increases linearly, the combination of different attacks that the fighter can make using this ability increases at an exponential rate. Although this doesn’t put the fighter on even terms with spellcasters, it does mean that the fighter continues noticeably increasing in power well into epic levels.
As one final note, realize that the weapon supremacy feat (PHB II) does indeed allow you to take 10 on a called shot attack roll, making that feat even more useful.

Favored Stratagems (Ex): All fighters eventually form a fighting style of sorts, learning how to fight best in certain circumstances. At 2nd level and every 4 levels afterwards, select one circumstance from the list below. You may not select a circumstance that is mutually exclusive with another you have already chosen.
For each circumstance describing your current situation, your weapon attacks gain a +2 insight bonus to the attack roll and deal +1d6 damage. This extra damage is not multiplied with a successful critical hit.

Circumstances

Adjacent to a single enemy
Adjacent to two or more enemies
Adjacent to no allies
Adjacent to two or more allies
Enemy is flanked
Enemy is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC.
Target is two or more size categories larger than you
Target is two or more size categories smaller than you
The enemy has injured you within the last round
The enemy has yet to injure you in this encounter
The enemy is unarmed and possesses no natural weaponry
You are unarmed and possess no natural weaponry
You did not attack during the previous round
The enemy did not attack during the previous round
You are making an attack of opportunity
You are making a readied attack
You have moved at least 10 feet before making the attack
You have not moved more than five feet since the start of the last round
You are prone
Enemy is prone
You have yet to hit an enemy with an attack in this encounter
You have yet to miss an enemy with an attack in this encounter
You are on higher ground than your enemy
Your are on lower ground than your enemy
You have downed a creature within the past round
You have yet to down a creature in this encounter
Enemy has attacked an ally in this encounter
Enemy has yet to attack an ally in this encounter
You are at over half of your total hit points
You are at under half of your total hit points


Notes and Explanation
In 3.5, combat strategy means almost nothing to mundane characters. Everything is simply answered in the same way, a full attack. This ability is meant to add some semblance of tactics into the mix, making your fighter fight better under certain circumstances.
Take note that there in no harm in taking only circumstances that are easy to achieve. Indeed, I did my math for the creation of this class assuming that players would always get the full benefit.
Also take note that this list of circumstances is by no means complete. Feel free to suggest new ones if you see something that you feel should be there.

Quick Drawing (Ex): Whether to switch between weapons or to draw a single favored one, a fighter must be quick when it comes to taking out their weaponry. Starting at 2nd level, you may draw or sheath any weapon as a free action.
If you possess no weaponry on your person (other than natural weaponry), your quick reaction time instead manifests as a +2 bonus to Initiative checks.

Notes and Explanation
Until your character learns how to ignore regeneration and damage reduction, the odds are that you’ll need to change weapons now and then. Even after you learn to ignore them, you’ll likely switch between a melee and ranged weapon now and again. For these reasons, giving this ability only makes common sense.
The secondary ability is there for the benefit of those few fighters who think themselves to be monks, I suppose.

Passive Gambit (Ex): Although they are normally reserved for attacks, a few gambits can be used in combat without an attack roll, at least to a certain degree. Starting at 2nd level, you may select one of the gambits listed below and utilize it as a standard action, benefiting as if you had made a called shot using the gambit and succeeded on your attack roll by 1 point (other effects of a successful attack, like damage, are not delivered in this way). However, in return, gain the gambit’s normal attack penalty on all attack rolls you make until the end of your next turn. You may not passively activate a gambit if doing so would lower your attack bonus with whatever weapon you have drawn down to +0 or less.
Passive Gambits: Defensive Posture*, Inspirational Attack, Demoralizing Blow, Create Opening*, Deadly Attraction, Slow Opponent*, Distracting Blow*, Encompassing Strike, Inspire Fear*, Invigorating Strike, Pressure Opposition*, Extend Reach, Open the Gap
Gambits marked with a * function in regards to a single foe within your threatened area that can see and hear you.

Notes and Explanation
You may have noticed as you read through the gambits that not all of them seemed to really require an attack to go with them. Well, I noticed the exact same thing. Although you can only get a certain amount of usefulness from them, this ability lets you use certain gambits without even making an attack (meaning that you can automatically use create opening and deadly attraction to be an ideal tank).
When the text says that you can’t use a gambit if it would lower your attack bonus to +0 or lower, do not take into account any bonus that you could choose to gain, such as those from combat mastery or from your code of conduct. You do take into account, however, your favored stratagems class feature (which is a static bonus depending on your current situation).
I hope that makes sense.

Bonus Feat: At 3rd level and every 4 levels afterwards, you gain a single bonus fighter feats. You must meet all prerequisites of the feats that you choose, as normal.

Notes and Explanation
Although it took awhile to get here, we finally arrive at the feats, the traditional bread and butter of being a fighter. My fighter revision takes a real hit to its bonus feat count (down from 11 to 5, less than the psychic warrior) but it should still be enough to get through.

Weapon Training (Ex): Starting at 3rd level, a fighter learns how to use their weapon training in a variety of ways. With a little bit of work, the training they did with longswords can be applied to the way they use longspears, clubs, or even nets. After 8 hours of work, a fighter may change any number of feats that designate a specific weapon (like weapon focus) to designate a different weapon. You must possess all of a feat’s prerequisites in order for a feat to function.
In order to use Weapon Training with any kind of weapon, a fighter must’ve fought using that weapon in the past and must have access to a weapon of the proper type.

Notes and Explanation
This is pretty simple and similar to the warblade ability but also a bit different (in part because I don’t have access to the tome of battle). Let me just quickly explain the sentence “You must possess all of a feat’s prerequisites in order for a feat to function.”
Let’s say that a fighter has weapon focus and weapon specialization in short swords and decides, because he’s an idiot, to only change his weapon focus to now affect long swords. Weapon specialization stops functioning immediately.
My previous wording of the ability had it so that all feats using a changed feat as a prerequisite or acting as a prerequisite to a changed feat automatically changed as well but there was another problem with that wording. If a fighter had weapon focus with both short swords and long swords but only had weapon specialization with the longsword, a fighter using my previous wording wouldn’t be able to switch weapon specialization without also gaining a useless duplicate of weapon focus (short sword).

Specialized Swing: Starting at 4th level, a fighter learns how to capitalize upon their weapon’s weight, using lighter weapons to create a flurry of strikes and heavier weapons to create more punishing strikes. As a free action, you may elect to take a penalty of any size up to your class level on all attack rolls for 1 round. The benefit that you receive in return depends on what type of weapon you are using.

Light Weaponry: When making a full attack, you may make a number of extra attacks at your full base attack bonus equal to half of the penalty.
One-handed Weaponry: You receive a bonus to all damage rolls equal to half of the penalty, rounded down. Furthermore, when making a full attack, you may make a number of extra attacks at your full base attack bonus equal to one-fourth of the penalty, rounded down.
Two-handed Weaponry: You receive a bonus to all damage rolls equal to the penalty.

If wielding two weapons, choose one to which the benefit applies (the benefit does not apply to attacks with the other weapon, even if the weapons are of the same kind). If you change weapons after using this ability, the bonuses end but the penalty remains (unless taking out another weapon of the same kind). You may only use this ability once per round.

Notes and Explanation
One thing that has always seemed odd to me is that there is so little difference between the different weapon types. To give them a bit more distinction, I created this ability. I had to think long and hard about the balance on this and I think that I did an alright job.
At first glance, light weaponry seems by far superior as 14 attacks are likely to deal more damage than 4 attacks with +20 damage. However, there is another factor that balances things out: combat mastery.
If you use light weaponry and get a bunch of attacks, you have to split your mastery points among all of them, hardly recuperating any of the attack penalty you just took and creating, as the term goes, a “flurry of misses”. On the other hand, if you use two-handed weaponry and take the maximum penalty, you can use combat mastery to help out a whole lot more. In the end, what type of weaponry is most optimal depends on your attack bonus. Combatants with a low attack bonus are best served by using two-handed weaponry while those with higher bonuses deal more with one-handed or light weapons (and even then, one must ask if they mightn’t be better served by using power attack in combination with two-handed weaponry).

Field Training (Ex): Although their training in battlefield tactics are extensive, most fighters quickly pick up tricks that they didn’t learn in training, drilling important lessons into their minds. At 4th level and every four levels afterwards, choose one of the following selections:
Skill Training: Choose one cross-class skill. That skill is now considered a fighter class skill for you and you immediately gain 2 skill points to either spend on ranks in this skill or to gain a skill trick (if you meet the prerequisites for any). This ability can be chosen multiple times.
Battle Hardened: You gain a +4 bonus on all Will saves against fear effects and a further +2 bonus on all Will saves. This ability can be chosen multiple times, its effects stack.
Clever Packer: Your carrying capacity is doubled for a creature of your size. Furthermore, you may draw out any item (from a pack, a belt pouch, or some other container on your person) as a move action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Uncanny Dodge: You retain your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. You still lose your Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.
You may select this ability a second time, preventing you from being flanked. As such, a rogue cannot sneak attack you by flanking you unless the attacker has at least four or more rogue levels than you have fighter levels. You gain these benefits the first time you select this ability if you already possessed uncanny dodge from another source.
Master of Poison: You do not risk poisoning yourself when applying poison to a weapon. You may select this ability multiple times, increasing the Save DCs of poison you use by +2 each time.
Exotic Weapon Master: You gain proficiency with a number of exotic weapons equal to your class level. Whenever you gain a class level, you gain proficiency with an additional weapon of your choice.
Trap Sense: You gain a +1 bonus to Reflex saves made against traps and a +1 bonus to your AC against attacks made by traps. Lastly, you gain a +2 bonus to reflex saves. You may select this ability multiple times, its effects stack.
Incredible Toughness: You do not die until your hit points equal your negative Constitution score or –10, whichever is less.
Smashing Specialist: You add half of your class level as a bonus to Strength checks made to break items and as a bonus to damage against constructs and when making sunder attempts.
Hardened Fortitude: You only require half as much sleep or meditation as normal and can survive twice as long without food and water before needing to make checks.
Scout: You only take a –1 penalty to Spot and Listen checks for every 20 feet of distance, rather than for every 10 feet and may make both a Spot check and a Listen check each round as a free action.
Exploration Specialist: You gain a climb and swim speed equal to half your base land speed. As such, you gain a +8 bonus to Climb and Swim checks and may take 10 on these checks even when rushed or threatened.
Fleet Feet: Increase your base land speed by +10 feet. You may select this ability multiple times, its effects stack.
Bonus Feat: You may select a bonus fighter feat in place of a field training ability.

Notes and Explanation
As I may have mentioned earlier on, I have a very broad idea of what a fighter is. As such, I feel that they should get a great deal of customization. Here to fill this need is field training. Did you foolishly not add use magic device to your class list at character creation? Add it now. Want to run fast like a real monk? Now you can. Is poison your weapon of choice? Go nuts.
There are two things that I’m looking for in regards to this ability. First of all, I’d like to know if there are any more big ideas that I may have missed. Secondly, I want to know if allowing the bonus feat option to be taken more than once would make all other options useless (as I suspect would be the case).

Inescapable: At 20th level, you can almost guarantee success in most of your combat endeavors, hitting enemies even when they seem to dodge your attacks. When making normal attacks (not making a called shot), a natural 19 is an automatic hit like a natural 20. When making a called shot, a natural 2 is no longer treated as an automatic miss.
Lastly, whenever you miss with an attack, you deal damage equal to your Strength modifier to the target (or targets). This only functions if you target the proper square, you did not roll a natural 1, and the result of your attack roll is greater than 1. All gambits added to the attack treat the attack as having missed (not functioning in most cases). This ability does not function against incorporeal creatures unless using a ghost-touch weapon.

Notes and Explanation
This is the ultimate expression of combat mastery, being able to harm foes even with a failed attack (likely through a minor follow-up attack, wind currents blown by their weapon, or being hit by the weapon’s hilt or something of that sort).
In addition, your normal attacks (including those made when using specialized swing) have a greater chance of hitting and your called shots have a greater chance of not randomly messing up. This is as good as it gets.

Realms of Chaos
2010-01-30, 06:32 AM
Gambit List

Minor Gambits

Calling Card: -2 attack roll
Your attack leaves a mark or scar of your choice upon your opponent. The mark remains even after the target has healed to full hit points, although the regeneration spell can remove all such marks from a target.

Notes and Explanation
Whether you want to be a murderer leaving a calling card, a slaver marking your merchandise, or if you want to play as Zorro, this is the easiest of all gambits to pull off so have fun with it.

Subduing Strike: -4 attack roll
You strike your opponent without intending to kill them. All damage dealt by your attack becomes nonlethal damage. For every 4 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, you deal 1d6 extra points of nonlethal damage.

Notes and Explanation
This gambit basically takes the place of the normal penalty to use nonlethal damage. Note, however, that any feat or ability that negates the normal penalty does not negate the penalty of this gambit. This one is fairly easy to use early on.

Defensive Posture: -4 attack roll
Your attack better prepares you to defend against your target. You gain a +2 dodge bonus to your AC against the attacks of your target until the start of your next round. For every 4 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, your dodge bonus increases by +1. Such bonuses gained from attacking different foes are tracked separately.

Notes and Explanation
This is what fighting defensively looks like when used by a duelist, pretty much. The fact that it improves over time hopefully makes up for the fact that fighting defensively normally defends you against everyone.

Inspirational Attack: -5 attack roll
Your attack inspires your allies onwards to greater success. All allies within 60 feet who can see and hear you gain a +1 morale bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws against fear effects until the end of the encounter. These bonuses remain in place even if a target moves out of range. For every 10 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, the morale bonus increases by +1. This gambit does not stack with itself. This gambit is a mind-affecting effect.

Notes and Explanation
Yeah, this kind of messes with the mojo of the bard and martial class but it also kind of makes sense. It probably won’t be used too often after early levels (and won’t be used much even then unless there is another main combatant in the party) so there Isn’t too much of a problem.

Demoralizing Blow: -5 attack roll
Your attack crushes the confidence of your enemies. All enemies within 60 feet who can see and hear me gain a –1 penalty to attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws against fear effects until the end of the encounter. These penalties remain in place even if a target moves out of range. For every 10 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, the penalty increases by –1. This gambit does not stack with itself. This gambit is a mind-affecting effect.

Notes and Explanation
Just the reverse of Inspirational Strike. This is likely the superior ability, protecting your allies from harm and increasing the odds of an allied spellcaster using Phantasmal Killer (or some other fear effect) successfully. Still, this ability is likely not that big of a deal, just a useful tool to use once at the beginning of combat.

Disfiguring Assault: -5 attack roll
Your attack leaves your opponent with a terrible injury or disfigurement. The target takes a –2 penalty on skill checks with a skill of your choice (chosen as you make the attack). For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, increase the penalty by –2. The wound remains even after the target has healed to full hit points, although the regeneration spell can remove all such wounds from a target. This gambit may be applied to a single attack multiple times, targeting a new skill each time.

Notes and Explanation
This is basically a better version of that first gambit, letting you wound enemies in a way that actually penalizes them. At the DM’s option, players may be required to explain what kind of wound would cause the chosen skill penalty.

Create Opening: -10 attack roll
Your attack forces your enemy to open a gap in its offense, preventing it from making attacks of opportunity for 1 round. For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, this gambit lasts 1 additional round. This gambit does not stack with itself.

Notes and Explanation
This is gambit may or may not be worth using every now and again, depending on the composition of your party. It really does help you act as a tank on the battlefield so that makes things a-okay.

Deadly Attraction: -10 attack roll
Your flashy attack or loud boasts and threats attract the attention of all those around you. Creatures within 10 feet concentrate their attacks and other aggressive actions on you (if capable of doing so) for 1 round. For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, creatures up to 10 feet further away are affected. Targets must be able to see or hear you to be affected. This gambit does not stack with itself.

Notes and Explanation
The quintessential tank ability. I know that there is no saving throw here and that is something that you should get used to seeing here. No gambit allows a saving throw, regardless of what it does. The fighter knows what he’s doing (or is just plum lucky enough) to pull off what it wants to pull off. An attack roll should be enough for this guy. If not allowing a saving throw makes this fighter exceptionally powerful, I say it’s about time that mundane players got nice things.

Slow Opponent: -10 attack roll
Your wound manages to harm the target’s means of locomotion. Reduce the target’s speed in one mode of your choice by –5 feet for 1 hour (minimum 0 feet). Creatures with a fly speed reduced to 0 feet cannot fly and fall if they were already flying. Creatures that have their climb or swim speed reduced to 0 feet lose the benefits of having such a speed but don’t fall or sink unless their land speed is also reduced to 0 (or if they don’t have such a speed). Burrowing creatures cannot longer burrow. A creature whose land speed is reduced to 0 falls prone on land and can drag itself 5 feet as a move action that provokes attacks of opportunity. For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, increase the penalty by –5 feet. If you pass the target’s AC by at least 10 points, this penalty lasts for 24 hours. The speed reduction is ended early if the target is restored to full hit points by any means. This gambit can be applied to a single attack multiple times, targeting a different movement speed each time.

Notes and Explanation
Okay, this is one of the wordier abilities but it hopefully does its job well. Creatures with fast healing and regeneration limit the use of this ability but I couldn’t think of any way to overcome this limitation and still let the ability make sense (I toyed around with the idea of this gambit working via pain rather than actual damage but then you wouldn’t be able to target constructs and undead).
This wording is probably for the best.

Distracting Blow: -15 attack roll
You make an attack focused on distracting your foe from the task at hand. The target takes a –5 penalty to concentration checks for 1 round. For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, increase the penalty by –5.

Notes and Explanation
Behold the first of a small handful of gambits made to fight against spellcasters. It doesn’t do much but it does what it does pretty well.

Encompassing Strike: -15 attack roll
Your attack is wild enough to make it difficult to pass by you. All squares that you threaten require 2 squares of movement to enter for 1 round. For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, entering a threatened square requires one additional square of movement. This effect does not stack with itself.

Notes and Explanation
Out of all of my gambits, this is probably one of the most “anime”, which is certainly a good sign as it isn’t hard to imagine this ability being used in reality. For those who can’t picture it, imagine that part of this gambit relies more upon the fighter’s stance and footwork than upon their actual attack. In reality, it would be hard to pull off and suicidal to use in combat unless you knew exactly what you were doing. Hence, the fighter can do it.

Lasting Wounds: -15 attack roll (-20 if targeting Constitution)
Your attack delivers serious wounds to your enemy. You deal 1d4 ability damage to an ability score of your choice (chosen as you attack). For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, deal 1 extra ability damage. This gambit may be applied multiple times to a single attack, targeting a different ability score each time.

Notes and Explanation
Not much to say here. I know that damaging certain abilities of certain creatures (like the intelligence of animals) leads to an easy win. I, however, see no problem with giving the fighter a couple of situational win buttons.

Moderate Gambits

Inspire Fear: -20 attack roll
The target(s) of your attack is shaken until the end of the encounter. For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, up to one addition creature who sees the attack is also shaken. For every 20 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, all targeted creatures are panicked for 1 round (no saving throw). This effect does not stack with itself. This gambit is a mind-affecting fear effect.

Notes and Explanation
Now we arrive at the –20 gambits, gambits that I calculated to be the extent of what could be accomplished in reality with few problems. Once again, there is no saving throw. Rendering your opponents shaken is hardly an overpowered maneuver and a very temporary means to put enemies out of commission is very powerful but by the time you can use it regularly, many enemies will possess immunity to mind-affecting effects.

Inspire Exhaustion: -20 attack roll
Your attack knocks the wind out of your enemy. The target is fatigued for 10 minutes. For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, this condition lasts for an additional 10 minutes. If your attack passes the target’s AC by at least 20 points, the target is instead exhausted. This effect does not stack with itself.

Notes and Explanation
Compared with inspire fear (above) and inspire nausea (below), this ability may seem a little weak. I do believe that it has its place, however, such as exhausting a powerful foe so you (or at least your allies) can run away to safety. Very situational in use but the long duration makes me think that there should be some use for it, if you look long enough.

Inspire Nausea: -20 attack roll
Your attack is particularly sickening to those around you. All creatures within 10 feet who can see the target (not including the target) are sickened for 1 round. For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, foes up to 5 feet further away are affected. If your attack passes the target’s AC by at least 20 points, foes are nauseated for 1 round (no saving throw). Creatures cannot be affected by a single fighter’s use of this gambit more than once in a 24 hour period.

Notes and Explanation
One of the few gambits that does not affect the target of your attack. Sickening targets (even a large number of them) for 1 round is a decent combat trick (and useful in a large battlefield) and nauseating them really swings things in your favor. That you can’t affect a single creature twice in a row keeps this thing balanced, I think.

Special Maneuver: -25 attack roll
You may immediately make a bull rush, overrun, trip, disarm, sunder, feint, or grapple check against the foe following the attack. This attempt takes no extra action and provokes no extra attacks of opportunity. Furthermore, you need not make an additional attack roll if one would normally be required. For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, you gain a +2 bonus on any relevant opposed rolls. You may only initiate a grapple check if your opponent is within your reach. You may only make a bull rush or overrun attempt if you still possess a move action for the round (making the attempt uses this action as you move).
Only one called attack using this gambit can be made each round.

Notes and Explanation
We have now passed the realm of what a warrior could realistically hope to do on purpose in combat and have moved onto theoretically possible attacks that are borderline impossible in real combat. This one is fairly self-explanatory.

Past the Armor: -25 attack roll
Your attack passes through weaknesses in your enemy’s armor and reveals such weaknesses to others. Your attack is made as a touch attack. For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, the target gains a –2 penalty to its normal and flat-footed AC, to a minimum value of its touch AC or its flat-footed touch AC, respectively. This penalty lasts until the end of the encounter.

Notes and Explanation
For the record, I am well aware that this gambit actually ends up providing attack bonuses in the long run. By the time it does so, however, the fighter is likely in need of another boost just to remain relevant in combat.

Knock off Center: -25 attack roll
Your attack catches your opponent off guard and keeps them guessing. Your attack treats the target as flat-footed. For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, the target is treated as flat-footed against all attacks for 1 round. This effect does not stack.

Notes and Explanation
Not as useful as past the armor but it does allow you to set up enemies for an ally’s sneak attack or sudden strike. Teamwork is the name of the game hear and this gambit does its job well.

Tricky Shot: -30 attack roll
Your attack can overcome almost any obstacle. So long as you can draw an uninterrupted path between you and your target, ignore any cover that the target may have (even total cover). You suffer from ranged penalties according to how far your opponent is away from you, rather than tracking the path of your projectiles. If you cannot pinpoint your target’s location, you can attempt to attack a square that they may occupy. For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, you gain a +2 bonus to your damage roll. This gambit does not stack and may only be used with ranged weapons and thrown weapons.

Notes and Explanation
This is the only gambit that can actually add to your damage roll, making it somewhat unique in that regard. Note that the path your weapon takes to reach your target may include any number of arcs and turns, relying of the spinning of your ammunition and banks off of objects in order to reach the target.

Invigorating Strike: -30 attack roll
Your attack awakens a bit of bloodlust or determination in you, allowing you to better withstand attacks. You gain temporary hit points equal to your Base Attack Bonus until the end of the encounter. For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, you gain an additional +5 temporary hit points.

Notes and Explanation
This is probably the closest that a gambit gets to simulating the feeling of a barbarian’s rage, and it does a pretty poor job at doing so. Still, this technique really helps keeps the fighter alive and will probably be a favorite of tanks.
I’ll take this moment to say that I know well that several of these gambits seem more advantageous if you use them on a random caged cat or summoned elemental (which has less AC than your foe). I could change this but it actually seems to make more sense in most circumstances. In this case, I find it a bit more believable that reducing a cat into a red stain on the floor would pump you up more than making a scratch on a golem. Similarly, if you don’t need your full talent to hit an enemy, you can use more of your energy making the attack horrific, disgusting, flashy, etc.
I know that I’m sending a veritable army of kittens and celestial monkeys to their grave by saying this but I’m inclined to say that such tactics are ok unless the DM specifically prohibits them.

Great Inertia: -30 attack roll
Using your attack for inertia or to make an opportunity, you can make a quick movement. After making the attack, you may move up to 5 feet. For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, move up to 5 feet further. You can’t move further in one round than your speed using this gambit.

Notes and Explanation
This attack is a pretty big help to all fighters. Fighters in light or no armor gain an even greater boost to their mobility when they use it and those in heavier armor can use full attacks and still move a bit into a more tactical location. Good times.

Absolute Aim: -35 attack roll
You take careful aim with your attack, illustrating how best to hit the opponent. Ignore any miss chance that a creature possesses against you (if you attack the right square). For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, the miss chance of the target decreases by –5% for all that can hear or see you until the end of the encounter.

Notes and Explanation
This is another feat that at first glance seems to press the limits of reality. Allow me to rationalize it to some degree. You make your attack in a very wide arc so that regardless of where they may be standing, they’d have to actively dodge your attack. As for providing the benefit to allies, this really depends on whether the target has simply faded from view (via blur, displacement, or invisibility) or if the miss chance comes from ambient conditions. If the target has faded from view, a spout of blood, chipped rock, or running ichor leaks from the creature, giving the allies a better idea of where it is. If ambient conditions such as fog or darkness provide the miss chance (but your allies can still see you, as they must in order to benefit), seeing you make the attack successfully helps their senses become more discerning in order to find the target.

Disabling Attack: -35 attack roll
You deprive the target of a vital ability. The target is rendered either blind, deaf, or mute for 1 hour. For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, the effect lasts for 1 hour longer. If your attack passes the target’s AC by at least 20, the effect is permanent. This gambit can be applied more than once to a single attack, choosing a different effect each time.

Notes and Explanation
I honestly almost named this gambit “no evil” but the joke would be lost on many and it would sound too much like a maneuver from tome of battle. Needless to say, this is another gambit that helps to take care of pesky spellcasters.

Knock Back: -35 attack roll
Your attack pushes your target away from you. Your target is pushed 5 feet away from you, provoking attacks of opportunity from others (but not from you). For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, increase the distance by 5 feet. If the target runs into an obstacle, it falls prone and stops its movement. This gambit does not stack with itself.

Notes and Explanation
This gambit is powerful but it is hard for me to gauge exactly how powerful. Provoking attacks of opportunity definitely makes it another “teamwork” gambit. As another note, realize that if an attack of opportunity is provoked from another fighter by this movement, that fighter may use the exact same gambit with his/her attack of opportunity (as the gambit does not stack, the previous effect ends as the new movement begins).

Masterful Gambits

Pouncing Assault: -40 attack roll
You end a charge with a flurry of attacks. If the attack hits, you may make a full attack against the enemy, treating this as the first attack. This gambit may only be applied to an attack made at the end of a charge. An attack made using this gambit can only be used once per round. This gambit does not stack with itself or with other abilities allowing full attacks at the ends of charges.

Notes and Explanation
One of the traditionally strongest builds for the fighter, along with the chain tripper, is the ubercharger. I felt as though giving the fighter pounce only felt right and just.

Bleeding Wounds: -40 attack roll
Your attacks possess a lethal aftereffect, causing living creatures to bleed and others to crumble. If your attack deals lethal damage to your target, that target takes additional damage equal to the damage dealt or your strength bonus, whichever is less (minimum 1), at the start of each of its turns until the end of the encounter or until it is fully healed, whichever comes first. This extra damage ignores damage reduction and regeneration. This gambit can be applied multiple times to a single attack.

Notes and Explanation
I never felt that the wounding special ability properly reflected what a huge wound should do to someone. This is more along the lines of what I would expect. It is now a very real strategy for a fighter to make a single attack and then wait for its opponent to bleed slowly to death.

Endless Range: -40 attack roll
Your ranged attacks may travel any number of range increments, taking the normal penalty per increment. Your weapon or ammunition falls to the ground after traveling enough increments to lower your attack result to 0. This gambit can only be applied to ranged attacks and does not stack with itself.

Notes and Explanation
Fighters need some nonmagical way to fight wizards flying so high up in the air that their long range spells can barely reach the ground. In fact, fighters just needed some way to fight flying creatures effectively. Ranged weaponry was the obvious choice and this is the gambit that helps push the limits further.

Pressure Opposition: -45 attack roll
You put your opponents under constant pressure to prevent clear thought or tactics. Your target has its actions restricted as if in a barbarian’s rage for 1 round (the target gains none of the other benefits or downsides of being in a rage). For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, the duration of this gambit is increased by 1 round as long as the target is attacked at least once per round.

Notes and Explanation
Another anti-mage gambit. This one works pretty darn well, although, as always, you need a clear shot at the spellcaster before you can use it.

Pierce Damage Reduction: -45 attack roll
Your attack pierces through the target’s defenses, leaving a gap that others can use to their advantage. Ignore the target’s damage reduction, if any. For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, reduce the value of the target’s damage reduction by –2 until the end of the encounter (minimum value 0). If the target possesses multiple types of damage reduction, all values are reduced.

Notes and Explanation
You no longer need to keep a silver, cold iron, and adamantine copy of your favorite weapon just in order to ensure that you hurt people. By the time that you can use this ability, overcoming the Tarrasques damage reduction is just the type of thing that could be expected of you. Go to work.

Extra Target: -45 attack roll
Your attack is made against more than one foe. Regardless of whether the attack hits or misses its intended target, it is made against an additional target as well (the attack roll is compared against the AC of each target). If using a melee weapon, both targets must be in your threatened area. If using a ranged weapon (or are throwing a weapon), you must be able to draw a straight line from yourself through both targets, coming across no cover (if used in combination with Tricky shot, both target must simply be within range of your weapon). This gambit can be applied multiple times to a single attack, allowing you to target an additional creature each time.

Notes and Explanation
Another pretty wordy one, I guess. This one has a special place in my heart as it is one of the few that I could picture someone stacking over and over again to a single attack as they level up.

Dazing Blow: -50 attack roll
You hit an opponent hard enough to take them out of action for a moment. The target is dazed for 1 round (no saving throw). For every 10 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, the target is dazed for 1 additional round. This gambit does not stack with itself.

Notes and Explanation
Dazing with no saving throw is a pretty big deal. However, by the time you’re doing so, allied spellcasters are likely throwing out save-or-suck spells each turn or performing similarly incredible feats of martial prowess.

Staggering Strike: -50 attack roll
Your attack ruins your target’s rhythm in combat, forcing them to regain their bearings. The target is limited to a single move or standard action (but not both) each round for 1d4 rounds. For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, the duration of this gambit lasts an additional round. This gambit does not stack with itself.

Notes and Explanation
Lasts longer than dazing blow but does less. Pretty self-explanatory.

Rend Limb: -50 attack roll
Your attack renders on of the opponent’s limbs useless. The target loses the use of one arm, leg, tentacle, or wing for 24 hours. If an arm or tentacle is lost, anything held in it (or in it’s hand) is lost unless it weighs less than the target’s maximum heavy load and was also held by another hand (like a two-handed weapon). Furthermore, natural attacks requiring that limb may not be used. Lastly, the target takes a –8 penalty to grapple checks, climb checks, and swim checks. If an arm is attached to a creature’s wing, the wing is also damaged (see below).
If a creature loses a leg but possesses more than half of its legs, the creature takes a –5 ft. penalty to speed in all modes of movement other than flight (minimum 5 ft.) and a –2 penalty to grapple checks, climb checks, swim checks, jump checks, and tumble checks. Otherwise, it falls prone, can’t move using any speed other than a fly speed, and takes a –4 penalty to grapple checks.
If a creature loses a wing but possesses more than half of its wings, the creature takes a –5 ft. penalty to its flight speed and its maneuverability drops by one degree (minimum of poor). Otherwise, the creature immediately plummets to the ground unless flying through supernatural or magical means.
If your attack roll passed the target’s AC by at least 20 points, the limb is gone permanently. Either way, use of the limb (and the limb itself) can only be regenerated through the use of the regenerate spell or similar effects. Creatures with the regeneration ability regrow limbs normally at a normal rate. This gambit can be applied to a single attack multiple times, targeting a different limb each time.

Notes and Explanation
Behold, the wordiest gambit of them all. This was hard to write up and I’m sure that I missed at least one type of limb (tails) but I didn’t want to worry about the implication of each type of limb. In the end, however, ripping someone’s arm off is one of the perks to being a fighter.

Critical Hit: -55 attack roll
Your attack is particularly successful. Roll a critical confirmation roll with this gambit’s penalty. If it fails, the attack deals normal damage, if it succeeds, the attack is treated as a critical hit. If the confirmation roll passes the target’s AC by at least 10 points, this gambit functions on foes normally immune to critical hits.

Notes and Explanation
Pretty simple gambit. Use it well. Take note that the critical confirmation roll fails on a natural 1 or 2 just like a normal gambit attack roll.

Onslaught: -55 attack roll
You use your attack for optimal effect, devastating your foe and setting yourself up for another successful attack. The attack deals maximum damage to the target. Furthermore, you gain a +5 bonus to the next attack roll you make against that target so long as it is made within the next round.

Notes and Explanation
It’s hard to say if this is better or worse than critical hit and I think it depends on the circumstance. In most cases, critical hit is a better decision as die’s average result x 2 = maximum dice result + 1. I guess it all depends on whether you trust yourself to succeed on two consecutive dice rolls (and on if there is any damage that a critical hit would not multiply, such as from your favored stratagems).

Extend Reach: -55 attack roll
You make a quick lunging strike, preparing you to lash out at other opponents that come too close. Whether or not your attack hits or misses, your reach is extended by 10 feet for the purpose of making the attack. If the attack hits, your reach is extended by 10 feet for 1 round. For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, your reach remains extended for 1 additional round. This gambit can only be used with melee weapons and does not stack with itself.

Notes and Explanation
This gambit relies more on fast footwork than on the actual attack itself, jumping forward to strike and then jumping back, remaining on your toes if someone else gets near. I admit that it sounds more like a stance than a strike (to use tome of battle terms) but it seemed silly to make a single stance and 43 strikes.

Perfect Gambits

Stun Opponent: -60 attack roll
You knock your opponent temporarily senseless. The target is stunned for 1 round. For every 10 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, the target is stunned for one additional round. This gambit does not stack with itself.

Notes and Explanation
Another win button at the fighter’s disposal. It will always function 1 round less than your dazing blow gambit so it is more useful when you want to kill a foe (and dazing blow is useful when you just want to leave a combat).

Disable Regeneration: -60 attack roll
Your attack prevents your opponent’s body from restoring itself properly. Ignore any regeneration possessed by the target. For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, reduce the target’s regeneration by 1 point (minimum 0) for 1 hour.

Notes and Explanation
If slaying the hydra made an approximately level 7 hercules famous, what would make a level 17 fighter famous? Killing the tarrasque, of course. This gambit gets rid of the single defense that so many high-level creatures gain, preventing the fighter from having to sort between five different weapons to kill a collection of baddies (many fictional heroes are dedicated to the use of a single specific weapon and this gambit helps that trend to continue).

Open the Gap: -60 attack roll
The distraction made by your attack creates a chance for your opponent to move about. Any single ally who can see and hear you may immediately take a move action. For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, you may designate one additional ally.

Notes and Explanation
Stomp, stomp, stomp on the marshal’s turf. This is the biggest “teamwork gambit” that you get and it is pretty darn decent. Have fun gaining tactical superiority.

Knockout Assault: -65 attack roll
Your attack knocks your target’s lights out. The opponent falls unconscious and cannot be awakened for 5 minutes or until damaged, whichever comes first. For every 5 points by which your attack roll passes the target’s AC, increase the time that the target spends unconscious by 5 minutes. This gambit does not stack with itself.

Notes and Explanation
When you need someone down and out, this is how you do it. Stunning the opponent is still more useful if you want to kill them (as damaging them won’t “wake them up”) but dazing creatures is rendered pretty obsolete (save as a cheaper alternative).

Immediate Attack: -65 attack roll
You need not make the attack immediately. You may make your attack at any time before the start of your next turn, even in the middle of someone else’s action. As such, you could attack a creature trying to tumble past you or interrupt a caster who succeeds at casting defensively.

Notes and Explanation
This is a very simple gambit. I like it and hopefully you will learn to like it as well. Note that this gambit can be used to interrupt a villain’s monologue.

Unstoppable Attack: -65 attack roll
Your attack is made too fast for others to respond. Regardless of whether the attack hits or misses, it cannot be responded to until it is over. As such, no attacks of opportunity, readied actions, or immediate actions may be made in response. Furthermore, the attack does not trigger contingent items and effects. If another creature possesses a higher base attack bonus than you, however, it may respond with an attack using the immediate attack gambit (if it has access to said gambit).

Notes and Explanation
Okay, this gambit definitely wins the reward for being bound by reality the least. As a fighter grows stronger and his/her reaction time increases, the greatest feat that can be accomplished would be moving faster than magic. Of course, anyone can simply look at that ability could also say that nothing is capable of moving faster than magic and that this ability is thus “anime”.
Even in the worst-case scenario, however, this attack is the type of “anime” where a sword chops something too fast for you to see it and the object splits in half a moment later as opposed to the type of “anime” where people start flying, teleporting, and shooting blasts of energy.

Combat Surge: -70 attack roll (see text)
The flow of adrenaline through you lets you act and react faster than most others would believe possible. You gain an extra move action this round. If your attack roll passed the target’s AC by at least 20 points, you may take an extra standard action instead. If your attack roll passed the target’s AC by at least 40 points, you may take an extra full-round action (but not a move action and a standard action) instead. Each time this gambit is used in a round after the first, increase the penalty by –20.

Notes and Explanation
Yeah, this is one of the two most powerful gambits in all of existence. It lets you enter “bullet time” as it were, getting more action out of your body in less time. It should be noted that this gambit grows further and further from reality as you enter into epic levels and gain the ability to make any number of actions (AKA: make a full attack using this on each attack to gain two moves actions and two full-round actions, actions which are used to make full attacks using this gambit). All that I can say in my defense is that this type of slow slope away from the boundaries of reality is the only thing that will give this thing any hope of relevance by the time you can do it.

Killing Blow: -70 attack roll
The target is instantly killed. This gambit does not function on creatures immune to critical hits unless your attack roll passed the target’s AC by at least 10 points. This gambit does not stack with itself.

Notes and Explanation
Behold the big guns. Instant death with no saving throw. This thing is very difficult to pull off even at 20th level so you had best believe it is a challenge to use. The fighter now has a genuine “I win” button.

Called Shot Guidelines
Through the medium of called shots, I am trying to tap into that brutal part of ourselves that might make us want to be a fighter in the first place. While some people might be satisfied rolling a bunch of dice and hearing from the DM how those dice rolls tear up the enemy, called shots bring the player into the process. Using them, a player could freely declare that they stab out an enemy’s eye, hamstring them, cut off a finger, or perform any number of other specific attacks. Even so, some guidelines are required.
Guideline 1: Miss, Hit, or Kill
It is difficult for a player to describe their attack until they get the gist of what happens. Generally, a DM should completely resolve the attack (including damage) before letting the player describe it.
Guideline 2: More than One Way to Skin a Cat
Simply put, there are multiple ways to represent similar wounds in combat. If 3 characters are making a “head shot” on their enemies, one might be dealing Intelligence damage, the second might be dazing the foe, and the third may be trying to kill the foe instantly. I advise most DMs to be fairly lenient about such matters, so long as the desired attack and desired result can be linked rather sensibly.
Guideline 3: When Called Shots Aren’t Really Called Shots
I admit that some gambits do very little to describe the actual wounds that the attack delivers. When this is the case, perhaps it is best to let the player only describe whatever part of the attack is dependant on the gambit. The following is an example, using tricky shot.
Player: I take out an arrow and fire it from my bow, aiming it at the tree just off to my left so that it might bank and hit my foe.
*rolls*
DM: The arrow is now stuck in the tree.
Guideline 4: Some of its Parts, Nothing More
This one is simple. The effects of a fighter’s gambits have not special synergistic effect, regardless of what the fighter really does. The fighter can’t use disfiguring assault five times to cut all five fingers from a creature’s hand and stop them from using that hand from other purposes. If a player tries to pull of such shenanigans, do not let them, even if it would seem realistic (have the gambit make a different wound with the same effect instead).
Guideline 5: Let’s Make a Deal
Sometimes people don’t quite describe gambits in a way that would properly work. For example, trying to use inspire fear by ripping entrails from a pig with a scythe might not work at all against a mindflayer (who just doesn’t see that as scary). In such a situation, feel free to either suggest a more sensible course of action or tell them what is wrong and let them try revising it.
Guideline 6: The Game Comes First
Regardless of what all other guidelines up until now may suggest, the campaign takes priority over gory descriptions of attacks. If called shots start devolving into gross gorefests, everyone stops taking them seriously, or they end up slowing the game down, a DM is more than justified in putting a kibosh on it. I suggest initially limiting descriptions down to one sentence, 10 words, or 5 words. If things still slow down, DMs should stop the narration altogether and take over with whatever amount of narration he or she normally uses.

Realms of Chaos
2010-01-30, 06:33 AM
Epic Fighter
{table=head]Level|Special

21st| Defensive Style

22nd|Favored Stratagem

23rd|Bonus Feat

24th|Field Training

25th|Defensive Style

26th|Favored Stratagem

27th|Bonus Feat

28th|Field Training

29th|Defensive Style

30th|Favored Stratagem[/table]

Defensive Style: your defensive style benefits continue to improve at the same rate, improving at level 21 and every 4 levels afterwards.

Favored Stratagem: At level 22 and every 4 levels afterwards, you may select a new favored stratagem

Bonus Feat: You gain a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic fighter bonus feats [Epic Level Handbook]) at level 23 and every 4 levels afterwards.

Field Training: At level 24 and every 4 levels afterwards, you gain another field training benefit, selecting from the same list of abilities.

Realms of Chaos
2010-01-30, 06:36 AM
Feats:

Make Called Shot
You can make called shots even in the heat of combat
Prerequisites: Base Attack Bonus +2
Benefits: You can make called shots, much like a fighter. You gain access to a number of minor gambits of your choice equal to half your base attack bonus (rounded down). As your base attack bonus increases, you gain access to more gambits.

Improved Gambit Access [Epic]
You can make all types of attacks in combat.
Prerequisites: Make Called Shot, Base Attack Bonus +25
Benefits: You can now have access to all minor and moderate gambits when making called shots.

Combatant Without Peer [Epic]
You never stop learning new tricks on the battlefield.
Prerequisites: Inescapable class feature
Benefits: In place of the normal epic attack bonus, your base attack bonus equals your level. You do not gain access to more than 4 attacks as your base attack bonus increases.
Special: A fighter may select this feat as a bonus fighter feat.

Infallible Assailant [Epic]
Mere bad luck never stops your attacks from succeeding.
Prerequisites: Combatant Without Peer, Base Attack Bonus +30
Benefits: Your attacks, whether made normally or as a called shot, do not automatically fail with a natural 1.
Special: A fighter may select this feat as a bonus fighter feat.

Greater Combat Mastery [Epic]
You gain far more benefits than normal from your combat mastery.
Prerequisites: Combat Mastery Class feature
Benefits: The size of your mastery point pool expands by your Fighter class level. Furthermore, the number of mastery points you can spend in a single round is increased by your Fighter class level.
Special: This feat may be taken multiple times. Its effects stack.
Special: A fighter may select this feat as a bonus fighter feat.

Aggressive Mastery
Willingly placing yourself in danger, you use the adrenaline to keep yourself going.
Prerequisites: Combat Mastery Class feature
Benefits: At the start of each round, you may take a penalty to your AC up to your Fighter class level to regain an equal number of mastery points (you can’t pass your normal maximum in this way). The penalty remains until the start of your next round and you may not reduce your AC below 1 in this way.
Special: A fighter may select this feat as a bonus fighter feat.

Realms of Chaos
2010-01-30, 06:38 AM
Final Analysis:
Did I manage to fix the fighter? Not quite, although I did fix some things.

Dead Levels? Problem fixed. Now you gain some sort of benefit with every level up.

No use outside of combat? Additional skills and field training help to solve this issue a bit, though the fighter still can’t do the impossible.

Advances at linear pace? As described under my analysis of the called shot ability, the fighter class gains access to an exponentially larger selection of possible attacks they can make as they level up (and their attack bonus increases). The increase isn’t as fast as spellcasters but I do believe it to be exponential.

Quickly Outpaced? I think that the fighter remains useful for longer, capable of meaningfully contributing to combat even at high and possibly at epic levels.

Reliance on Full Attack? Less armored fighters can use full attacks more efficiently, the Great Inertia gambit allows for full attacks to be combined with some movement, and the Combat Surge gambit allows for more actions in a round. In addition, now that each attack can perform so many different tasks, the actual damage dealt by your attacks mean less, meaning that you can get away with making a single attack (using combat mastery to the fullest rather than splitting the bonus over multiple attacks) and still contribute in a very real way.

Reliance on Magical Equipment? I didn’t really do much about this as it isn’t really possible to do anything. As I mentioned before, the actual damage from your attacks doesn’t matter as much, meaning that you don’t really need enhancements like flaming burst or holy (eventually, you don’t even need such qualities to bypass regeneration). On the opposite side of the spectrum, every point of enhancement bonus helps your attack rolls and you need a magical weapon to harm incorporeal creatures.
As for armor and shields, you get a fairly good deal from your defensive style (whatever degree of armor you choose to go with) but there is never any real reason not to go with magical armor instead.
In the department of miscellanea, all that a fighter really needs is something to fly (to overcome obstacles, not to fight flying creatures), something to breathe water (if it ever comes up), and something to see invisible creatures.
All-in-all, I could actually picture certain builds of unarmored fighters doing relatively well for themselves with vow of poverty, although they’d eventually need a spellcaster ally for some purposes.

Note: Generic Taken Too Far?
Some people are sure to think that I have over-generalized what it means to be a fighter. I currently define the term in my head as being a highly competent (or at least highly lucky) combatant who fights enemies using completely mundane means. Just as we all know of a Paladin/Monk (with a small dip in Crankypants) who called herself a Samurai, this class can easily call itself a paladin, ranger, monk, swashbuckler, scout, marshal, knight and many, many other things.
I, however, do not believe this to be a problem. As I mention in my notes below, I produced this class already knowing that several others in existence are rendered obsolete by its presence. “Fixed” versions of many classes, however, function alongside it easily (in fact, any pathfinder class converted back into 3.5 rules can run alongside it with no real problem).
As far as fluff… nobody ever said that a fighter functioning like a member of a class occupies the same role in society. I believe that there is room in a campaign for both Monks and Pugilists, Rangers and Woodsman, Paladins and Templars. The relationship between these classes may be rural vs. civilized, leader vs. follower, or just about anything else (or the classes can even be unrelated). Perhaps there is a divide between them among different natures, cultures, races, or social classes. Maybe they work together but perform different functions in their organization.
This stuff presses the limit of what it means to be a generic anything but I don’t think that I have quite crossed the line into complete unusability.

A VERY IMPORTANT NOTE ON BALANCE
Before you reply, one thing that I must say is that I have finally (knowingly) broken one of my cardinal rules. I have constructed this class knowing quite well that it makes several others in existence quite useless. This class is meant to be played among the F&K Tome Classes, Tome of Battle, Spellcasters, The Factotum, and any of the numerous popular Paladin fixes, not among the standard array of classes that you may see in the players handbook. Thank you.

IcarusWings
2010-01-30, 08:14 AM
sweeeeet!

That's all I have to say

arguskos
2010-01-30, 11:35 AM
...wow. I am impressed, Realms. On first glance, it really looks like you made something pretty sweet here, and it's as in-depth and thought out as everything you make.

I don't have the time to do a better break down right now, but I do have a single question: how does the Fighter acquire Gambits? Does he know them all automatically? If so, perhaps you could state that above, since I was veeery confused as to how he gets them (maybe I just missed it).

Dante & Vergil
2010-01-30, 01:28 PM
Wow, winna winna, chiggen dinna! This is awsome!
That's saying something as I know of F&K's Fighter!

peacenlove
2010-01-30, 02:30 PM
As all your previous work this is interesting and in-depth. Having given it a quick read i can't see any glaring problems aside of the occasional typo (although the gambits are largely based on the optimization levelof the player not on the defenses of the defending creature, i mean Fighter A with a bard (or debuffer rogue with ambush feats), cleric and some polymorph abuse will easily cancel the -70 penalty to attack for the autokill gambit, while Fighter B without so much support would have a much harder time).

Realms of Chaos
2010-01-30, 05:07 PM
I admit, I had a very hard time calculating optimization. I went under the general assumption that a moderately optimal fighter will always get a result of 100 or so by level 20 (20 BAB + 40 Weapon Mastery + 10 Favored Stratagems + 10 Str + 5 enhancement bonus + 2 greater weapon focus + 1 Luckstone + 2 Heroism effect + taking 10 with weapon mastery) but I now see that assumption is flawed.
The morale bonus could easily be pumped up to +5 by a bard, the luck bonus increased to +10 by an item creating an improvisation effect, the insight bonus increased by another +15 by a moment of prescience effect, and the Str bonus as much as doubled by a polymorph effect (offset by about a -2 size penalty, I'd say).
If the new average total is increased to 138, this will be achievable by about... level 14. Okay, not good, especially as that doesn't include possible AC penalties.
Luckily, I originally divided Gambits into four tiers based on when I thought players would be able to use them. I'll go up and make that division official so that insta-kill doesn't get out of hand.

Edit: It is now fixed. Now that I've corrected it (and it is now clear how you obtain gambits), I'm especially happy as that kind of solves one of my huge worries about this class, that a wizard would take a 1 level dip for access to all gambits and then use them better than the fighter. Now there is almost no chance for wizards to ever gain masterful or perfect gambits, which is a relief.
I will fix up the spoilers later today as promised.

Jallorn
2010-01-31, 04:32 PM
I really like this fix. It seems more flavorful and balanced. I've already bookmarked it in fact.

Oslecamo
2010-01-31, 06:36 PM
Good sir, I've seen a LOT of fighter "fixes" over my gaming life.

This one is the best I've ever seen. By several light-years. Some little details I disagree with, but otherwise a beatifull work of originality and freshness, a new flavourfull and powerfull take on the fighter. While keeping the butload of feats.

Thank you very much.

Realms of Chaos
2010-02-01, 04:24 AM
It is my hope that this fighter can one day be half as famous as some other fixes (such as the F&K Tome Fighter or the BearwithLazers fighter [BearzwithLazers?]).

Thank you for your praise, everybody. It took me a week to write this up in my spare time and it was definitely time well-spent. :smallbiggrin:

By the way, there is one last note that I didn't get a chance to make earlier. For any of you out there who do like Tome of Battle but want to make this thing more familiar, feel free to create pseudo-maneuvers out of selections of gambits, writing down the penalty of your most common attack combinations so that you don't need to do the math each time.
Another benefit to making pseudo-maneuvers is that it allows for multiple fighters (or even a party of just fighters) to avoid feeling redundant. Each player tends towards types of attacks that helps its specific build or that just feels right with the character, even though it technically can use an ally's attacks.
I have named my favorite pseudo-maneuver "Daruma-san". Suffice it to say, it has a -200 penalty to the attack roll but I consider the resulting image worthwhile (especially if you beat the target's AC by 20 :smallamused:).

Simba
2010-02-01, 05:46 AM
Very well done! Can I use it in my uncoming group?

Realms of Chaos
2010-02-01, 06:33 AM
but of course. That's what it's here for. :smallbiggrin:

Zeta Kai
2010-02-01, 07:59 AM
Very well done! Can I use it in my uncoming group?

No, you cannot. It is a violation of Realms' intellectual property, which in turn is a gross misuse of WotC's IP right in regards to the the OGL. Expect a call from our lawyers. [/BS]

Simba
2010-02-01, 08:06 AM
No, you cannot. It is a violation of Realms' intellectual property, which in turn is a gross misuse of WotC's IP right in regards to the the OGL. Expect a call from our lawyers. [/BS]

LOL (10 chars)

arguskos
2010-02-01, 12:17 PM
No, you cannot. It is a violation of Realms' intellectual property, which in turn is a gross misuse of WotC's IP right in regards to the the OGL. Expect a call from our lawyers. [/BS]
At first I was :smallannoyed: but then I :smallbiggrin:.

So, yeah, with the gambit fix, this is solidly into my "this wins" area, along with Temoti's Debaser, Person_Man's Force Adept, and everything afro and Zeta have ever made. :smallamused:

Draz74
2010-02-01, 01:12 PM
One minor thing that's surely just an oversight, but that I think needs to be fixed:


Lightly Armored: This type of fighter relies about equally on armor and experience to keep themselves from harm. Thanks to their training, they rarely even notice their armor and can make a fast attack when needed. You gain proficiency with light armor and shields (other than tower shields) as well as an extra skill point and hit point at each class level (the skill point is multiplied at 1st level as normal). You ignore the armor check penalty and maximum dexterity bonus of your armor. Lastly, if wearing no more than light armor and carrying no more than a light load, you may make a full attack as a standard action once per day.

There's nothing limiting this version of the Fighter from wearing any armor, even heavy, and benefiting from this complete immunity to armor's downsides. In low-level campaigns that aren't expected to go to higher levels, I could even imagine a heavy-armored Fighter selecting the Light Armor defensive style, just to benefit from this. (In higher-level campaigns, at least, this wouldn't happen, as the Heavy defensive features eventually become cooler than just ignoring these penalties anyway.)

To comment on the work as a whole: you've clearly labored over this very carefully! There are a number of things I disagree with - big things that you probably don't want to change, like preserving the iterative attack system in general. And while I haven't sunk my teeth into the Gambits yet, I think in general I would prefer to play a Warblade, just because it means having to keep track of less bonuses and penalties to attack rolls. That said, this is certainly much better than most Fighter fixes I've ever seen.

Realms of Chaos
2010-02-01, 04:23 PM
I fixed that glaring error right up. :smallwink:

When I saw Zeta Kai's post, my reaction is best expressed by the following: :smallconfused::smallamused:

I did choose to keep iterative attacks rather than rewrite the entire system like F&K's races of war in part to be more consistant with the rest of the game. Keep in mind that by 20th level you can effectively make all attacks at your full BAB using Combat Mastery (and still have 10 +1 bonuses to apply as you see fit). If your gripe is about a lack of attacks per round, I made some small steps towards independance on full attacks and specialized swing can allow for up to 14 attacks in a round by level 20.
My personal view on this class versus tome of battle is the following. I think that I'm just as likely to play this as I would a warblade. Both have their own special advantages but in some ways, this fighter and the warblade compare like a wizard and sorcerer (except more balanced). The warblade gains a relatively small selection of prepackaged effects and is generally not predisposed towards making full attacks in any circumstance. Meanwhile, the fighter gains a huge selection of more modular powers and uses full attacks but can't break reality the same way that a warblade can (and doesn't get ironheart surge).
Generally, warblades are for beginners and for those who want to hop right into the game while fighters are more for those who value combat immersion or who want to play the role of "mundane but awesome".

Dante & Vergil
2010-02-02, 02:48 PM
You know, there needs to be some PrCs that flow with this fighter, and maybe inlcude modified preexisting ones. For example, for every spellcasting level increase in Eldritch Knight, you get the same for obtaining Fighter gambits.

Draz74
2010-02-02, 03:00 PM
I fixed that glaring error right up. :smallwink:
Glad to be helpful!


I did choose to keep iterative attacks rather than rewrite the entire system like F&K's races of war in part to be more consistant with the rest of the game. Keep in mind that by 20th level you can effectively make all attacks at your full BAB using Combat Mastery (and still have 10 +1 bonuses to apply as you see fit). If your gripe is about a lack of attacks per round, I made some small steps towards independance on full attacks and specialized swing can allow for up to 14 attacks in a round by level 20.
Keeping iterative attacks is definitely a lot easier. I can understand why you do it. But it's still not a system I'm fond of.

Not in the way you seem to expect, though. The fact that later iterative attacks usually miss is annoying, but my bigger gripe with the system is that I'd rather have high-level melee classes attack better rather than attack faster. Essentially my fix of choice for iterative attacks is similar to 4e's: get rid of them entirely, and only allow multiple attacks per round if they're granted by some kind of special ability.


Meanwhile, the fighter gains a huge selection of more modular powers and uses full attacks but can't break reality the same way that a warblade can (and doesn't get ironheart surge).
Sure he does. Martial Study. :smallwink:

What's this "breaking reality" you speak of?


Generally, [...] fighters are more for those who [...] want to play the role of "mundane but awesome".

Yeah, I see we have different views on the Warblade. With a handful of exceptions (mostly Lightning Throw, but also things like Earthstrike Quake and liberal interpretations of Iron Heart Surge), the Warblade is plenty "mundane but awesome," in my book. (And my Warblade builds tend to avoid learning those few wuxia powers.)

EDIT: Also, I second Dante & Virgil's comment. This class would be more interesting if there were some PrCs that were defined to advance its Gambit access.

Oslecamo
2010-02-02, 04:21 PM
Yeah, I see we have different views on the Warblade. With a handful of exceptions (mostly Lightning Throw, but also things like Earthstrike Quake and liberal interpretations of Iron Heart Surge), the Warblade is plenty "mundane but awesome," in my book. (And my Warblade builds tend to avoid learning those few wuxia powers.)

That's pretty much like saying that a wizard is a low-magic class because it can choose to pick just subtle lv1 spells for his entire career. Your warblade still needs to show off if he wants to recover his maneuvers mid-battle.



EDIT: Also, I second Dante & Virgil's comment. This class would be more interesting if there were some PrCs that were defined to advance its Gambit access.
You could say that from ANY melee class. How many Prcs advance rage? Or sneack attack? Or the monk abilities? Or even maneuvers? Ok, there's a few, but compare with the army of Prcs that advance spellcasting togheter with extra abilities.

Realms of Chaos
2010-02-02, 04:22 PM
The fact that later iterative attacks usually miss is annoying, but my bigger gripe with the system is that I'd rather have high-level melee classes attack better rather than attack faster.

The thing about this is that the fighter actually does hit better. Nobody is forcing you to make iterative attacks. With gambits to fall back on, the ability to cut off an enemy's leg or simply daze them makes your actual damage output of secondary importance. As such, you can make a single attack each round and still provide alot (unlike the PHB fighter).
To put it in another sense, this class' iterative attacks are like a person's appendix. They do provide some benefit but it can be removed (or in this case, ignored) without any reprocussions. It doesn't seem necessary to actually remove the system (or an appendix) unless it is actually a bad thing, as opposed to a not good/optimal thing.

Then again, you may be referring to how higher level attacks deal more damage in 4e. To that, I respond that specialized swing with a non-light weapon helps in this department and that favored stratagems deals more damage to foes as you level up. In addition, certain special conditions gambits can add (such as dazing, stunning, limiting to one action, panicking, nauseaing, knocking unconscious, or killing) simply make such extra damage a bit...unecessary.

As for PrCs, we'll see...

peacenlove
2010-02-02, 05:38 PM
Critical Hit: -55 attack roll
Your attack is particularly successful. Roll a critical confirmation roll with this gambit’s penalty. If it fails, the attack deals normal damage, if it succeeds, the attack is treated as a critical hit. If the confirmation roll passes the target’s AC by at least 10 points, this gambit functions on foes normally immune to critical hits.

Notes and Explanation
Spoiler


Pretty simple gambit. Use it well. Take note that the critical confirmation roll fails on a natural 1 or 2 just like a normal gambit attack roll.


Onslaught: -55 attack roll
You use your attack for optimal effect. The attack deals maximum damage to the target.

Notes and Explanation
Spoiler


It’s hard to say if this is better or worse than critical hit and I think it depends on the circumstance. In most cases, critical hit is a better decision as die’s average result x 2 = maximum dice result + 1. I guess it all depends on whether you trust yourself to succeed on two consecutive dice rolls (and on if there is any damage that a critical hit would not multiply, such as from your favored stratagems).

Just wanted to say that not all critical hits double their damage. Many triple or quadruple the amount or in the case of the wounding and greater wounding enhancement double their ability damage (not to mention weapon enhancements like cursespewing and maiming that trigger on successful critical hits). The critical hit gambit is much MUCH better than the onslaught one.

Realms of Chaos
2010-02-03, 02:04 AM
I guess that I was thinking of gestalt fighter//rogues when I made onslaught, for some reason... Is there any additional benefit that I could tack onto onslaught to make it more worthwhile? Perhaps I should move the ability to hit enemies with a missed attack from inescapable (which would be renamed) onto onslaught?

Thoughts?

peacenlove
2010-02-03, 02:48 AM
I guess that I was thinking of gestalt fighter//rogues when I made onslaught, for some reason... Is there any additional benefit that I could tack onto onslaught to make it more worthwhile? Perhaps I should move the ability to hit enemies with a missed attack from inescapable (which would be renamed) onto onslaught?

Thoughts?

I believe that just reducing the attack penalty for onslaught by 5 would be okay. onslaught is only better than critical hit only if most of the fighter's damage output comes from extra dice, but that needs a) expensive (and usually ineffective) weapon enchantments b) multiclassing c) using martial maneuvers or d) you having a high chance of scoring a critical hit (but then you wouldn't choose critical hit anyway).
Also do not forget that power attack damage is multiplied by a critical hit :smallwink:

Temotei
2010-02-03, 03:00 AM
At first I was :smallannoyed: but then I :smallbiggrin:.

So, yeah, with the gambit fix, this is solidly into my "this wins" area, along with Temoti's Debaser, Person_Man's Force Adept, and everything afro and Zeta have ever made. :smallamused:

Wow. I'm famous in more than go-karting magazines. :smallamused:

Latronis
2010-02-03, 05:01 AM
Though they share little in common, these combatants are far more than mere warriors.

They are fighters.

That made me laugh. I understand why considering the warrior is pretty dodgy even compared to PHB fighter but you gotta admit it kinda loses some of it's poetry that way.

I think you've done a splendid job of making the mundane beatstick perfectly playable across the spectrum

Athaniar
2010-02-03, 02:02 PM
This is just what the fighter needed. It is awesome.

Realms of Chaos
2010-02-06, 07:28 AM
Thank you for your kind words, Lord Xavius and Latronus. :)

Although I'm a bit late, I finally altered onslaught. As I am loathe to break the pattern of 3 gambits per attack penalty, however, I made onslaught more powerful rather than dropping down the penalty. Now, onslaught is capable of adding a +5 bonus to a future attack roll against the target, so long as it is made within the next round.

With a combination of this and weapon supremacy, we can get a very decent full attack.

Attack 1: Taking 10 via weapon supremacy. Gets full attack bonus -55 and deals max damage.
Attack 2: This time we roll the dice but due to the bonus from onslaught, our attack bonus does not drop during this attack.
Attack 3: Rolling the dice but due to the bonus from onslaught (on the second attack) and the further benefits of weapon supremacy (to get another +5 bonus), there is again no drop in the attack bonus.
Attack 4: There is no fourth attack in this full attack. Instead, the first attack of your next round gets an extra +5 bonus on top of the normal attack bonus, letting you use better called shots.

I hope that everything is okay now.

cnsvnc
2010-02-06, 12:05 PM
Definitely awesome. By far the best looking fighter ever seen.

If DnD consisted of only 4 very broad classes like this, I would probably be able to play it without loathing. Wonder if you'd wanna try your hand at a rogue...

Krazddndfreek
2010-04-24, 08:16 PM
The Heavy Weaponry Specialized Swing is pretty subpar. Its only half as strong as power attack. Something should be done about that. Possibly just make it the same.

EDIT: Also, I would like to take this time to say what a beautiful thing this is.

Cute_Riolu
2010-04-26, 04:17 PM
Bump, because this deserves so much more attention than what it got.

Samm
2010-04-27, 01:52 AM
The Heavy Weaponry Specialized Swing is pretty subpar. Its only half as strong as power attack. Something should be done about that. Possibly just make it the same.

EDIT: Also, I would like to take this time to say what a beautiful thing this is.

Yeah, I think it'd be much better to go with the light weapons for that class feature.

Also, I'm using this class in an adventure that I'm playing with my friends, all I can say is - it's pretty cool, DR1 and negate damage one a day with medium armour, saved my characters life!

Futhermore, I think the gambits make the class much more useful than the SRD fighter.

Realms of Chaos
2010-04-27, 03:54 AM
Hmmm... you guys raise an interesting point, here. I've made the two-handed specialized swing weaker than power attack... which it stacks with... and which half of all fighters take... and which has been proven mathematically to make light and one-handed weapons pretty much obsolete (outside of certain two-weapon tempest builds).
Geez, it's almost as if I made the other options stronger on purpose so that a two-handed fighter with power attack can fight a one-handed or light-weapon fighter without power attack on a more even playing field. :smalltongue:

Power attack is to most preconceptions of two-handed fighting as natural spell is to the druid. Not absolutely necessary but you'd need a pretty good reason for not taking it. Not only is is powerful and the cornerstone for a bunch of builds but it is also the prerequisite for many low- and medium-powered feats that get across the "I'm a brute" message quite well (like cleave or improved bull rush).

Edit: On second thought, shock trooper can't be combined with specialized swing so there might not be a problem with doubling the bonuses. Let's see what others have to say.

Lateral
2010-05-03, 04:18 PM
I was going to comment on how two-handed SS is nerfed easily by Power Attack, but actually, it has one (and only one) thing over Power Attack:

Doesn't cost a feat.
Power Attack is essential to most normal fighter builds, but with this you don't need to get power attack for some builds- just the builds that either focus on sheer damage output (which would be less common b/c of this fix) or need one of the feats that has PA as a prereq.

Krazddndfreek
2010-05-03, 08:38 PM
See, but the thing is, its largely useless unless you're using a two-hander (most likely ubercharger) build. 1 attack for one damage isn't worth it really.

Zeta Kai
2010-05-03, 09:43 PM
BTW, I just had to jump in & say that this is the best Fighter fix that I have ever seen. This is even better than Fax's Fighter-The-Way-That-It-Should-Have-Been. Awesomesauce & Kudos, RoC. You have a great eye for game mechanics.

Doc Roc
2010-05-03, 10:25 PM
What's the tier target, here?

Zeta Kai
2010-05-03, 10:34 PM
What's the tier target, here?

I'd say that this is solidly Tier 3, possibly even ascending into Tier 2 territory, with the proper gambits/maxims/stratagems/etc., but that's just me.

Doc Roc
2010-05-03, 10:36 PM
I'd say that this is solidly Tier 3, possibly even ascending into Tier 2 territory, with the proper gambits/maxims/stratagems/etc., but that's just me.

That was my feeling, I think, though I'd pin it more smack-dab mid 3.

Zaakar
2010-05-04, 08:17 AM
See, but the thing is, its largely useless unless you're using a two-hander (most likely ubercharger) build. 1 attack for one damage isn't worth it really.

Agreed. I don't do powerbuilds but for me it really seem like Specialized Swing doesn't change the fact that PA will be nigh mandatory. Especially so with the Combat Mastery class feature easing the attack penalty (or constantly equaling it, if you play full fighter and choose to do so).

Also, the capstone feels really... meh.

Having that said, this is awsome. Bookmarked :smallbiggrin:

Realms of Chaos
2010-05-04, 08:33 AM
BTW, I just had to jump in & say that this is the best Fighter fix that I have ever seen. This is even better than Fax's Fighter-The-Way-That-It-Should-Have-Been. Awesomesauce & Kudos, RoC. You have a great eye for game mechanics.

Yay! I was complimented by my idol. Today was truly a good day. :smallbiggrin:

Doc Roc: Yeah, this was made to be a solid tier 3 that some optimizers might be able to push into tier 2 category.

Does anybody else have an opinion on the two-weapon specialized swing? I'd want a general consensus before I change anything.

Edit: and yeah, I made the capstone kind of "Meh-ish" but I feel that it does it's job well enough. It's just a generic little "extra push" that rewards the fighter for his/her dedication. Having the odds of an automatically-failed called shot halved is more useful than you'd think.

Cogidubnus
2010-05-04, 08:35 AM
Bookmarked and suggested to a player in my campaign trying to build a sensible pirate out of a fighter (I mean, you basically need heavy armour with the core fighter, which kinda rocks her boat a bit). Awesome.

Doc Roc
2010-05-04, 08:46 AM
Bookmarked and suggested to a player in my campaign trying to build a sensible pirate out of a fighter (I mean, you basically need heavy armour with the core fighter, which kinda rocks her boat a bit). Awesome.

You actually basically need a mile-wide masochistic streak with the core fighter, but you know, maybe that's her thang. More likely than heavy armor, which fills me with an abiding shame regarding my chosen culture.

Knaight
2010-05-04, 12:29 PM
This is absolutely brilliant, though it could do with some playtesting (The penalties get pretty insane, and I'm not sure how well mastery is actually able to handle them.). It reminds me of the Shifts system in my Signature, except better.

Samm
2010-05-08, 11:08 PM
I may have found a lurk. Or it's just me being a complete idiot.

Okay, take a 20th level fighter, with Power attack and Weapon Supremacy. He can spend 40 Combat mastery points in one turn. These combat mastery points give him a bonus equal to his attack roll, but he's taking 10 so that'll be 10 each.

If this is the case, he gets a +400 bonus to attack rolls. Then, he can put all or some of that in Power Attack and gain +800 bonus to damage, if he's using a 2H weapon. That's in one turn.

Even if he can't take 10, that's the average roll, so it should serve as a reasonable baseline here.

Edit: Okay, when one has access to the Killing Blow Gambit, this sort of becomes useless. But before that, the damage is insane...

Realms of Chaos
2010-05-09, 06:52 AM
I may have found a lurk. Or it's just me being a complete idiot.

Okay, take a 20th level fighter, with Power attack and Weapon Supremacy. He can spend 40 Combat mastery points in one turn. These combat mastery points give him a bonus equal to his attack roll, but he's taking 10 so that'll be 10 each.

If this is the case, he gets a +400 bonus to attack rolls. Then, he can put all or some of that in Power Attack and gain +800 bonus to damage, if he's using a 2H weapon. That's in one turn.

Even if he can't take 10, that's the average roll, so it should serve as a reasonable baseline here.

I honestly don't know what any of this is supposed to mean. :smallconfused:

Edit: Oh, now I see. You misread combat mastery (or at least I hope I didn't botch my wording that badly). The intent was the following.

Correct: you gain a bonus to your attack roll equal to the number of points spent.
Incorrect: Each point adds your attack bonus as a bonus to your attack roll.

edit edit: nope, my wording wasn't messed up. Here is the original text.


Whenever you make an attack roll, you may spend a number of mastery points to gain a bonus of equal size to your roll

the ability seems quite clear and straightforward in what it does. :smallconfused:

nonsi
2010-05-09, 11:36 AM
I hate to be the one to wear the hat of the party pooper, but...

1. It seems like you don’t really understand what the Fighter’s shortcomings (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=149854) are. Your fighter is hardly tier-3, since it’s still as useless as the core fighter out of combat. And even within combat, it does have a kicks ass assault (when it finally gets the opportunity to attack) and it’s harder to hit, but that’s about it.
2. Too many of your fighter’s features totally ignore 3e’s mechanics (e.g. gambits that don’t specify saves or other means of thwarting/avoiding the fighter’s attempts) or even the most fundamental laws of physics (I don’t remember seeing any “(Su)”/”(Sp)” features).
3. A combat round, on average, will take a lot longer with your fighter around, because the player has the luxury of playing around with the numbers, which would frequently lead to inaccuracies, misunderstandings and arguments.

Realms of Chaos
2010-05-09, 03:20 PM
Hmmm... I actually don't see what you mean.

1. I've seen the fighter manifesto and my fighter seems to adress all 10 goals that it gives in the opening post at least to some degree. :smallconfused:

For example, putting aside the fact that the "uselessness out of combat" that you refer to is only a secondary goal of the fighter manifesto you link to, I have worked to partially solve it with the two personalized skills, the ability to get more skill points with most forms of armor, and almost all field training abilities (which can give you alternate movement speeds, help you break things, give you more class skills and skill points/skill tricks, trapsense, and the like).

2. Yes. I gave the fighter a means to do stuff to the enemy without a saving throw. I do not see the issue in doing so. You say that I'm "ignoring 3e mechanics" but what I'm trying to do is give the fighter capability that nobody else posseses. Allowing saving throws against special conditions is the norm, not the rule. :smallwink:

On a side-note, I acknowledged that some of the gambits pushed the limits of believability (such as attacking "faster than magic" and shooting a bow with incredible range) but nothing there quite seemed to warrant a supernatural tag. As explained in my opening post, there are almost no suitable analogs for a level 20 fighter in mythology. As such, a level 20 fighter should be able to push things to the very edge of believability without quite shattering physics. If the cragtop archer can increase his/her range as an (ex) ability, for example, a level 20 fighter should be able to do so to a far higher degree.

3. ...inaccuracies, misunderstandings and arguments, eh? I'm sorry but I just don't see it. When you make an attack, you just declare the bonus you want and what gambit(s) you want. Oh, and you quickly check your favored strategems. Everything is pretty darn clear.
I will admit that the class slows down the combat round a bit (about the same as a spontaneous caster loaded up with metamagic feats) but so long as things are not slowed down to an unenjoyable level (which I haven't heard from the other people who have apparently used this class), I don't see the problem here.

nonsi
2010-05-10, 10:37 AM
Ok, let’s see...


Before we begin, it’s important for me to note that I don’t know you and have absolutely nothing against you. I just analyze things to the best of my understanding and gaming experience.


>> I've seen the fighter manifesto and my fighter seems to
>> address all 10 goals that it gives in the opening post
People tend to sanctify OPs too much. The discussion later refines the shortcomings and the needs.
But we’ll soon be examining the table and see how it achieves the noted goals. But before we do, when I point at a problem, don’t tell me that a certain stratagem/field-training provides the answer, because a player doesn’t have to take it (and definitely can’t take them all).


>> 2. Yes. I gave the fighter a means to do stuff to the enemy
>> without a saving throw. I do not see the issue in doing so.
From level 1?
In that case, we differ quite substantially.


>> shooting a bow with incredible range
You said “infinite range”. For starters, your bow will snap way before that and a 45-degree angle is the max you’ll get out of it just before it does.


>> If the cragtop archer can increase his/her range as an (ex)
>> ability, for example, a level 20 fighter should be able to
>> do so to a far higher degree.
But basically that’s all the cragtop archer does, while your trusty fighter is supposed to do so much more.


And now for your fighter table and the noted goals:
1. An appropriate Fighter/Warrior should be by far the hardest cookie to crack – Battle Hardened doesn’t even come close. It doesn’t scale and is not a hardwired feature.
2. Good tanking doesn’t mean bending the will of god himself (Deadly Attraction) to attack you with no saves.
3,4. Good battlefield control is achieved by being able to do a lot of things without compromising on your mobility. I detect no feature that deals with the Action Economy problem.
5. 2 extra class-skills are far from enough.
6. Same as with the tanking issue.
7. To vague to really be an objective.
8. Found nothing for this one.
9. Same as with the tanking issue.
10. Same as with the tanking issue, but even worse. Combat Mastery pumps the damage potential to ridiculous levels.


Other issues with your class.

CoC:
I’ve read and seen enough in my years and I don’t recall CoC EVER attributed to make you more effective. The most it does is make you more virtuous, which makes you interact with others better. I see no reason for it to be a class feature and definitely not one for the top-dog martial dude.

Mastery Points:
Given they’re replenished each round, there’s no real combat strategy there. You can NOVA every round. The thing about battle tactics and combat strategy is when to conserve and when to fire the big guns – and doing the latter should be a compromise on your defenses, otherwise it misses the whole point of the game (except for kids that want to play themselves with super powers. Had one in my group many years ago – he was kicked out after 4 sessions). Furthermore, They kinda nullify the penalties imposed by gambits (unless I didn't really understand the mechanics).

Stratagems:
The game has enough machanical facts to remember. Now the DM needs to remember that just for you some of them work differently (and which ones, according to your selections).
This is cumbersome to the gameflow.

Gambits:
I could go on and detail my issues with a lot of your proposed gambits and field trainings, but a day only has 24 hours and other obligations take precedence.


In general...
1. Whatever issues you did handle – you did so with “I-WIN” abilities that totally disregard levels and CRs. This is a poor design. Being an effective class doesn’t mean having an arsenal of magic buttons that end encounters from the very moment you pushed one of them. Once you got the hang of things, the game stops being challenging (and thus no longer interesting).
2. Your proposed defensive styles and field-trainings are very far away from allowing real diversity of archetypes. And in the end you end up with all defensive styles, so you lose the archetype distinction (and having severl is kinda pointless).
3. You have no feature to overcome conditions after they occur (some sort of second wind is the bread and butter of heroes in folklore).
4. There’s nothing that feels heroic about your fighter. When it does have the opportunity to make an attack roll, it feels almost like sitting behind a desk and firing NUKE buttons. Your fighter (unless I missed some major defensive tricks other than stat-boosting) is a glass-cannon on steroids. It pushes the game over the edge of the cliff of “first-shot first-kill”.

Samm
2010-05-11, 07:14 AM
I honestly don't know what any of this is supposed to mean. :smallconfused:

Edit: Oh, now I see. You misread combat mastery (or at least I hope I didn't botch my wording that badly). The intent was the following.

Correct: you gain a bonus to your attack roll equal to the number of points spent.
Incorrect: Each point adds your attack bonus as a bonus to your attack roll.

edit edit: nope, my wording wasn't messed up. Here is the original text.



the ability seems quite clear and straightforward in what it does. :smallconfused:

Right, I'm a complete idiot. It's just the wording felt rather confusing.

I think you could word it better though maybe something like this: "For every mastery point you spend, you gain a +1 bonus to your attack roll. These bonuses stack."

Zaakar
2010-05-11, 07:46 AM
I actually think the wording is more clear the way it is now. Guess that's kinds subjective...

Realms of Chaos
2010-05-11, 08:33 AM
Nonsi


Ok, let’s see...


Before we begin, it’s important for me to note that I don’t know you and have absolutely nothing against you. I just analyze things to the best of my understanding and gaming experience.

I take absolutely none of this personally. It's nice to have a nice kick in the pants to wake one out of complacency every now and again. Thank you for taking the time to put together this well-organized post. I can't stress how much I appreciate it.

If half of what is here seems to be accurate, it looks as though I will have to restart this project from scratch to iron out those mini-van sized holes. :smallwink:

First, I hope that you'd allow for the asking of a few qualifying questions. :smallsmile:


People tend to sanctify OPs too much. The discussion later refines the shortcomings and the needs.
But we’ll soon be examining the table and see how it achieves the noted goals. But before we do, when I point at a problem, don’t tell me that a certain stratagem/field-training provides the answer, because a player doesn’t have to take it (and definitely can’t take them all).

I'v read (or at least skimmed) the entire thread in its entirety a few weeks ago and again when you linked to it earlier. It seems that the primary consensus over there is to create a complex series of techniques that function as sprawling feat trees exclusive to the fighter in order to keep the fighter as a viable option. The primary statistics (HD, Skills, and so on) don't seem to have been covered too much as they are still working over the "feats" (and have come up with some very nifty ones).


From level 1?
In that case, we differ quite substantially.

Yeah, stuff like this is pretty much the result of the following conversation with myself. :smallredface:

Me: You know, myself, this fighter is still going to be far weaker than the spellcasters. I mean, that's a foregone conclusion that neither of us can change.
Myself: To hell with that. I'm going to ram this thing directly into the face of spellcasters. Mundanes need nice things. *takes shot of absinthe*
Me: But you're going a bit overboard, aren't you. Half of these abilities look like you came up with the desired effect first and tried to cram it into a fighter's capabilities. Half of these effects should have saving throws.
Myself: Well, some spells have saving throws and others require touch attacks. So there.
Me: But... those attacks normally just deal damage! Ugh, hand me that absinthe.
Myself: Only if you shut up.
Me: Deal!



You said “infinite range”. For starters, your bow will snap way before that and a 45-degree angle is the max you’ll get out of it just before it does.

Yeah... See the above conversation.



And now for your fighter table and the noted goals:
1. An appropriate Fighter/Warrior should be by far the hardest cookie to crack – Battle Hardened doesn’t even come close. It doesn’t scale and is not a hardwired feature.

As far as not scaling, I admit that it wasn't my best decision. I thought at that moment in time that making it stackable was sufficient (note to self: NO!).
As for not being a hardwired feature, however, I think that there's a decent argument to be made for that. Although you and many people may view the fighter as "the hardest cookie to crack", I was trying to accomodate such players and other players who don't share that view by making its inclusion optional. Then again, as you point out below, I've actually hobbled any true chances of exploring archetypes.


2. Good tanking doesn’t mean bending the will of god himself (Deadly Attraction) to attack you with no saves.

Again, should've allowed a will save and (probably should've) limited its range to 5 feet. Does this sound more reasonable (as it is more akin to the Knight class feature except targetting more foes who must be closer to you)?


3,4. Good battlefield control is achieved by being able to do a lot of things without compromising on your mobility. I detect no feature that deals with the Action Economy problem.

There are a couple of gambits here and there that help... a little... far too late to do any good... but I do see your point.
The problem, however, is that the only readily obvious way to resolve this problem is to use the BearsWithLazers path and create huge menus of abilities to choose from that wuold give the fighter something else to do with their other actions.
One thing that I only noticed right now is that pretty much every single other fighter fix that I've ever seen was designed to be a headache to create but quite simple to actually play, as opposed to my build, which reverses that entirely (Note to Self: Not a good thing).


5. 2 extra class-skills are far from enough.

Four actually (with the addition of spot and listen as well) but that really doesn't make any difference. I was actually about to alter the field training for extra skills to grant you a bonus class skill and one extra skill point per level (even retroactively) but limit it to being taken twice.
Although I recognize that the fighter indeed needs to be capable of functioning outside of combat, the array of fully mundane tasks that are vital for an average adventuring party is unfortunately quite small (unless you try getting very, VERY creative about it). The reason that I created Field Training was that I didn't think that what fighters in general do outside of combat should be dictated to them. That said, it now seems quite obvious that the fighter needs to get is far before 4th level.
I personally believe that giving the fighter somewhere between 4 and 6 bonus skills, up to 4 extra skill points per level, and a selection of (soon to be scalable) out-of-combat abilities should provide the fighter with a passable presence outside of combat. Does this suffice?


6. Same as with the tanking issue.
9. Same as with the tanking issue

Saving throws for all and to all a good night. Oh, and a few peripheral changes, of course.


8. Found nothing for this one

Yeah, I realized after my last post that I indeed didn't have anything involving this one.
As far as I can tell, the very act of being a front-line combatant stresses the importance of Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution to a certain extent. Obviously certain builds would cut one of these abilities out of the picture (duelists with weapon finesse not needing strength and knights in full-plate not needing Dex).
As such, the biggest need for any ability score-based abilities would be the mental ability scores and physical ability score ones need to have abilities too to compensate the people not using their mental ability scores. As it would be hard to run these abilities off of skills (I doubt I could stretch the Concentration skill that thin without ripping off tome of battle), it would inevitably wind up as either a)18 or 24 menus of abilities (3 or 4 per ability score with multiple levels of power) or b)several specifically branched feat trees (requiring gambits as a prerequisite to prevent other classes from stealing them). Path B seems to be the superior choice in this situation but I'd be interested in hearing an argument to the contrary (likely involving the feat-hungry nature of the class as we all know it).


10. Same as with the tanking issue, but even worse. Combat Mastery pumps the damage potential to ridiculous levels.

I admit that the entire system of using bonuses from combat master to cancel out penalties from gambits due to my original wording for the class.

I originally didn't break up the gambits into different tiers and I was using the penalties as the only things keeping low-level fighters from using high-level gambits. Now that things are broken up into tiers, however, I could revise things quite a bit.
Perhaps I could have the gambits themselves cost mastery points and take away the attack bonuses altogether to prevent further shock trooper madness.


CoC: I’ve read and seen enough in my years and I don’t recall CoC EVER attributed to make you more effective. The most it does is make you more virtuous, which makes you interact with others better. I see no reason for it to be a class feature and definitely not one for the top-dog martial dude.

This was mostly a (failed) experiment on my part. I know that CoCs should make characters more virtuous but I've always thought that having one should never totally make you useless and that the limitations on your actions should be rewarded with some sort of benefit (trading a role-playing "downside" with a mechanical benefit? What was I smoking and where can I get more of it?).
Even if that idea was somehow sensible, however, giving a freely customizable version (which is therefore better than everybody else's CoC) to the fighter of all classes is just... I honestly don't know what I was thinking anymore.


Mastery Points:
Given they’re replenished each round, there’s no real combat strategy there. You can NOVA every round. The thing about battle tactics and combat strategy is when to conserve and when to fire the big guns – and doing the latter should be a compromise on your defenses, otherwise it misses the whole point of the game (except for kids that want to play themselves with super powers. Had one in my group many years ago – he was kicked out after 4 sessions). Furthermore, They kinda nullify the penalties imposed by gambits (unless I didn't really understand the mechanics).

Now that I have the power of hindsight in my corner, I agree with you on the general principle of this statement but not quite on the specifics. I do agree that going nova should render you incapable of doing so again (at least without some pause in the action) but actually lowering your defenses above and beyond this doesn't seem strictly necessary.
That said, I've recently come up with a possible revision of the class that may provide a solution to most (or some) of this class's problems.


Stratagems:
The game has enough machanical facts to remember. Now the DM needs to remember that just for you some of them work differently (and which ones, according to your selections).
This is cumbersome to the gameflow.

I could see how this would be the case.


Gambits:
I could go on and detail my issues with a lot of your proposed gambits and field trainings, but a day only has 24 hours and other obligations take precedence.

Let's see. I don't have your specific arguments but let's see if I can't guess away some of the big ones.

Gambits:
1. NEED SAVING THROWS!
check. :smallwink:
2. Many of them dive straight into what shoudl rightfully be the supernatural.
As stated above, most of these abilities were the result of me coming up with the effects instead of thinking of what a fighter could do. Ex: "how could my fighter class hit a level 20 wizard flying at the very edge of his/her long range effects? Ooh, I know. Let's give unlimited range with ranged weapons."
3. Cut down or remove "area of effect" gambits as they don't make sense.
Yessir! I'll aim to cut down the area rather than remove the gambit whenever possible but some of them likely can't be saved.
4. Some of them are quite redundant.
I don't know if this is a problem as I explain in my notes that most gambit retain some use even when they've been "replaced" by others.
5. You know, RoC, some of those gambits are pretty much class features/feats (and pretty powerful/worthless ones at that) that many/no other builds use.
Apart from one that permits an effective improved grab, one that kind of imitates the knockback feat, and one that is more or less the pounce ability, I'd need you to help me find the rest so I can address them.
6. Some of those gambits, above and beyond being "magical", simply don't make any sense at all.
Please help point those ones out so that I can see if they really don't make sense or if they're simply difficult to imagine (not that this is a good thing, either).
7. I see at least one infinite loop possible with one of your gambits.
I'll admit that I see a near infinite loop in one of my gambits already, one that requires a second fighter and combat reflexes but that seems to be quite dangerous. In this case, I've just been too lazy to point it out and have been hoping that the previous expenditure of the mastery points made repeat use of that gambit within a single round unlikely (although as we all know, polymorph makes anything possible).

And for Field Training:
1. These abilities should scale.
I'm currenly looking into the matter.
2. As your only real source of non-combat abilities, you are getting them too late.
Looking into this as well.
3. By putting together abilities that you basically require to be any good with a few purely flavorful abilities, it's obvious that nobody will ever take the flavorful abilities.
I actually have a plan to help address that (see below)
4. At least one of those is pretty darn abusable.
Which one? The exotic weapon one? Throw me a bone over here.



In general...
1. Whatever issues you did handle – you did so with “I-WIN” abilities that totally disregard levels and CRs. This is a poor design. Being an effective class doesn’t mean having an arsenal of magic buttons that end encounters from the very moment you pushed one of them. Once you got the hang of things, the game stops being challenging (and thus no longer interesting).

The win buttons will be toned down, allow saving throws, and hopefully have a cost that isn't as easily ignored.


2. Your proposed defensive styles and field-trainings are very far away from allowing real diversity of archetypes. And in the end you end up with all defensive styles, so you lose the archetype distinction (and having severl is kinda pointless).

Actually, you only ever possess a single defensive style but it increases in power at the later levels. I should make that more clear in the language when I put up my revision for this class.

As for the lack of real diversity, I am interested to hear more about this. I am still pretty confident in the defensive styles (except for the full-attack and damage negation parts, which I have plans for). Generally speaking, more armored combatants (see knight, paladin, and fighter) seem to have more emphasis on hit points than skills when compared with less armored combatants (see ranger or monk).
Of course this is just from my personal observations, there are several exceptions out there, and I have every intention of making specialized feats to reverse these bonuses and grant an additional bonus to compensate.



3. You have no feature to overcome conditions after they occur (some sort of second wind is the bread and butter of heroes in folklore).

Easily included, fortunately. :smallsmile:


4. There’s nothing that feels heroic about your fighter. When it does have the opportunity to make an attack roll, it feels almost like sitting behind a desk and firing NUKE buttons. Your fighter (unless I missed some major defensive tricks other than stat-boosting) is a glass-cannon on steroids. It pushes the game over the edge of the cliff of “first-shot first-kill”.

I'll deprive my fighter of it's beloved nuclear football but I'd like to hear your personal thoughts on what you think is "heroic" about a class. Being able to get a theatric battle with a nearly literary feel is hard to put down in words but I could use almost any guidance that you could provide.

Okay, and now to give the general basics of the idea that I have on my mind.

Step 1. I meld together my gambits and combat mastery into a single feature. You spend mastery points in order to use gambits. Furthermore, you take a penalty to your attack roll for each gambit utilized. Lastly, it takes an action of some sort in order to regain mastery points.
In this way, there is no longer a huge risk of getting a dozen other attack bonuses from elsewhere and overpowering the game, called shots are still difficult to make, and some degree of strategy enters into the matter.

Step 2. No more favored strategems.

Step 3. Field Training abilities will now be gained at all even level and scale in power as you gain access to higher levels of gambits. Also, more shall be created.

Step 4. To supplement the field training further, a second category of "non-combat" gambit will be introduced. Whereas field training generally gives rather static abilities, these abilities would require activation. Some of them will have combat applications (like the ability to know where invisible creatures are, which has been done in extraordinary means in several sources) but all will have some degree of use outside of combat. Several field training abilities may be turned into these gambits.
These gambits may be the perfect place to take advantage of other ability scores and perhaps even to help with the

I may use these secondary gambits as a place to take more advantage of other ability scores and I may include a few to help out with the action economy of this class.
Paying for these gambits in the same way as normal probably wouldn't work as you could just refresh your points so one idea would be to choose such gambits with 15 minutes of work and have them subtract from your maximum supply of mastery points. The big question afterwards is whether the abilities would then be useable at will (which requires careful crafting) or for an additional (paltry) activation fee (which may complicate things).
then again, I may want to switch things around so that Field training is activated while these gambits are passive (eliminating the activation problem altogether). Hmm, decisions, decisions.

This idea is still in its natal stages, of course, and I welcome all input that you may have on the matter.

Once again, thank you for the constructive feedback and I hope that you can help me transform this class into something halfway decent. :smallwink:

Edit: I've seen your thread and tried to open your compendium but my winzip isn't recognizing it as a proper archive so I can't see it. :smallannoyed:

That said, it looks as though you went in the general path of F&K's Races of War and rewrote the very mechanics of combat altogether. Although I can neither verify nor deny the supposed flaws found by others in your fix, I can say that I believe my class (once properly fixed) would have a rightful place next to yours for those people out there who are unwilling to modify the rules so completely. There's always a "market" for simplicity, after all.

Also, two more points.
1. I now understand what you mean by the mixing of archtypes making them less special. You don't think that commandos should try being caveliers, archers should try being sluggers, and what not.
I completely understand your perspective on this issue but respectfully disagree on this point. I believe that so long as many/most famous archtypes can be accomplished to some degree, allowing players to mix and match shouldn't really hurt anything.
It may prevent irrisponsible players from adopting truly heroic (or even anti-heroic) personas and capabilities but some players are playing the game just for the fun of it rather than for the collaborative storytelling process that DnD is so famous for. If they want to play odd hybrids, why on earth should I simply tell them "No!"?
2. I've now figured out how I plan to redo the field training and secondary gambits. Field Training is likely to be renamed "Archtype" or something similar, allowing for a single menu of scaling abilities that alters how the fighter is built (such as giving extra saving throws, skill points, hit points, proficiencies, etc.) and how it is played (giving a few activated abilities that aren't completely reliant upon attacks such as a helpful aura or the ability to overcome effects).
Meanwhile, the "secondary gambits" will become my field training. My current plan is to make 5 abilities per ability score (for a total of 30). They will all be scalable constant abilities that can be swapped with 15 minutes of work and that each subtract 5 points from your maximum supply of master points. I'm currently pondering if there might be an even more efficient way to do this.

And... after a day of thought, here is a completely different response, now with a bit of back bone, a flipped opinion on more than a few points, and my personal ideas. If you have to read just one of these responses, read the one below.


Ok, let’s see...


Before we begin, it’s important for me to note that I don’t know you and have absolutely nothing against you. I just analyze things to the best of my understanding and gaming experience.

A minor first difficulty here is that, after reading your thread, it seems quite apparent that you play the game with a highly modified version of the rules. Although you are far more qualified to speak about balance in DnD than I am to speak about it in, say, Exalted, I may take your advice with a tiny bit of salt here and there, seeing as some of what you say should be fixed may have been fixed in your version not within the boundaries of the class itself but rather in other areas of your modified rules.
I likewise have nothing against you and most of your points are quite good. Know, however, that this class is made for play in the already unbalanced and confusing ruleset of un-modified 3.5.


>> I've seen the fighter manifesto and my fighter seems to
>> address all 10 goals that it gives in the opening post
People tend to sanctify OPs too much. The discussion later refines the shortcomings and the needs.
But we’ll soon be examining the table and see how it achieves the noted goals. But before we do, when I point at a problem, don’t tell me that a certain stratagem/field-training provides the answer, because a player doesn’t have to take it (and definitely can’t take them all).

Yeah, I admit that I didn't quite cover all ten goals. I did however read through much of the thread.
For the record, however, I feel that pointing to field training is a completely valid option on my part when defending my class. Even if the fighter doesn't get enough of them to cover every weakness, having the ability to pick and choose which weaknesses yous till suffer is undoubtedly a step forward from simply having every sngle weakness and dealing with it.


>> 2. Yes. I gave the fighter a means to do stuff to the enemy
>> without a saving throw. I do not see the issue in doing so.
From level 1?
In that case, we differ quite substantially.

Nope. After alot of consideration, I don't see much of a problem here.
1. The stuff you get early on that "robs" creatures of their saving throws isn't totally taking creature out of the battle
2. the earlier real "debuffs" that you get are only small penalties or require tons of resources (AKA: attack roll bonuses) to function truly effectively.
3. The late-game, truly effective no-save-just-die abilities are gained at a level where it's not all that powerful in the grand scheme of things.

Mind you, if a player found a way to truly min-max his or her attack bonuses, the fighter would be a real beast. In such a situation, however, either that player is playing alongside min-maxers of equal skill who are doing far much more with their casters or is playing along people who play at a lower power level and min-maxing in a group who doesn't min-max always causes problems regardless of what character you try to make (with a couple exceptions *cough*truenamer*cough*).


>> shooting a bow with incredible range
You said “infinite range”. For starters, your bow will snap way before that and a 45-degree angle is the max you’ll get out of it just before it does.

It's not really intended to be infinite range. Instead, the ranged weapon is meant to continue until range increments lower the attack result to 0. I'll edit the actual text if need be to make that clear.


>> If the cragtop archer can increase his/her range as an (ex)
>> ability, for example, a level 20 fighter should be able to
>> do so to a far higher degree.
But basically that’s all the cragtop archer does, while your trusty fighter is supposed to do so much more.

And remind me why "so much more" can't include the cragtop archer's ability? It makes sense for certain types of fighter to have it so the fighter has it.



And now for your fighter table and the noted goals:
1. An appropriate Fighter/Warrior should be by far the hardest cookie to crack – Battle Hardened doesn’t even come close. It doesn’t scale and is not a hardwired feature.

I see no reason to type-cast every single fighter in existance like this. :smallconfused: Being the best at swinging around a sword is COMPLETELY unrelated to having a tough mind. In fact, it isn't necessarily even related to stupendous discipline. Although what you say does apply to MANY archtypes, this ability isn't hardwired because it doesn't apply to ALL of them.
As for making the ability scale, I think that I can do that a bit. Let's see what I can come up with.


2. Good tanking doesn’t mean bending the will of god himself (Deadly Attraction) to attack you with no saves.

Bending the will of god? Where? I don't see that anywhere. What I do see is having your DM describe you undertaking whatever action would result in those surrounding you being drawn (psychologically or physically) to attack you. Not possessing a saving throw is highly unusual for such an ability but it does not break the balance of the game.
Then again, I should probably state that creatures other than the one attacked are unaffected if they possess 4 or more HD than you possess. In that way, stabbing a cow or chicken won't make the tarrasque attack you. That sort of disregard for CR is certainly an abomination and shall be done away with. I'll put a similar line of text in for all passive gambits.


3,4. Good battlefield control is achieved by being able to do a lot of things without compromising on your mobility. I detect no feature that deals with the Action Economy problem.

While this class doesn't give you must to use your swift or move actions for, it does make your standard and full-round actions do more. With a full attack, this fighter could potentially knock 1 foe back, frighten another foe, renders a third foe incapable of making AoOs for one round, and sicken the whole group in a single action.
That's alot of stuff. When you consider that a gambit exists that lets you make a full attack after a charge (perhaps I should alter it so that it functions after any movement) and that all fighters in less than medium armor can make full attacks as standard action, it is possibe to make at least most of this full attack while not giving up any actions at all.
Also, as I've said before, this class doesn't really require full attacks as much as the core 3.5 fighter as this guy's attacks can be used to do other tasks (thus meaning that the fighter can contribute without being a massive damage machine).


5. 2 extra class-skills are far from enough.

2 Plus Spot and Listen (which helps make you a decent scout). I'm also going to modify the skill-granting field training to help make it a more attractive option.



6. Same as with the tanking issue.
9. Same as with the tanking issue.

I still see no bending of god's will. Some of the gambits are purposefully vague as they require the DM's description of the attack rather than the player's but they don't seem to break the game (unless powergaming it to the point where everything breaks) so there's still no problem.


10. Same as with the tanking issue, but even worse. Combat Mastery pumps the damage potential to ridiculous levels.

Combat Potential, sure. If you're running a shock trooper charger build, this can easily boost your damage a whole lot. The thing is, this is only really notable when already playing a build renowned for dealing just plain unfun amounts of damage with each strike. It's kind of like saying that the natural heavyweight feat from the planar handbook is utterly overpowered because the hulking hurler exists.
For most players, combat mastery would allow you to either use both power attack and specialized swing with a double weapon for perhaps two attacks in a full attack (+40 damage or +80 if I choose to fix specialized swing) or allow you to use both of them on a single attack and let you use full power attack on attacks beyond your first in the round (+120 damage if all three iterative attacks hit, still not that ungodly).


CoC:
I’ve read and seen enough in my years and I don’t recall CoC EVER attributed to make you more effective. The most it does is make you more virtuous, which makes you interact with others better. I see no reason for it to be a class feature and definitely not one for the top-dog martial dude.

I could picture several archtypical fighters possessing a code of conduct but I didn't want to saddle the others with the innate penalty of one. As no right-minded fighter would take an optional CoC as opposed to simply pretending that one existed, I went with the current system of bonuses and penalties. Although this ability is unprecedented, I don't think that it is mechanically unsound. If you'd prefer, I could rename it something like "fighter's code" as to not be linked to other codes of conduct.


Mastery Points:
Given they’re replenished each round, there’s no real combat strategy there. You can NOVA every round. The thing about battle tactics and combat strategy is when to conserve and when to fire the big guns – and doing the latter should be a compromise on your defenses, otherwise it misses the whole point of the game (except for kids that want to play themselves with super powers. Had one in my group many years ago – he was kicked out after 4 sessions). Furthermore, They kinda nullify the penalties imposed by gambits (unless I didn't really understand the mechanics).

Wait, what? :smallconfused:
How can battle tactics be about knowing when to go nova when fighters, scouts, barbarians, rogues, and most other hand-to-hand combatants are in fact completely incapable of going nova?
The entire reason that some people go with martial classes is that they never ever want to run out of spell slots/spell points/mana/etc. As a demotivator that I once saw most aptly said it.

Fighter
I never run out of sword!

Also, not every group sees the "entire point" of DnD as being tactical combat. The game has come a long way since its roots as a strategic warfare simulator and, for better or worse, it might actually be that you are in a minority at the moment.
Lastly, combat mastery is supposed to cancel out the penalties of gambits. I don't blame you for not reading my various creators' notes but you would've seen that if you did. Without combat mastery, in fact, the gambits would be pretty much worthless unless you power gamed yourself half to death.


Stratagems:
The game has enough machanical facts to remember. Now the DM needs to remember that just for you some of them work differently (and which ones, according to your selections).
This is cumbersome to the gameflow.

Wait, how is this cumbersome?
Even at level 20, that's only five things. Here's an example of what you may end up with.
1. Over half hit points
2. Have moved at least 10 feet in round.
3. Adjacent to no allies
4. Enemy is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC.
5. Adjacent to a single enemy
These aren't special mechanical facts for a DM to remember. These are a mere 5 yes-or-no questions with a small attack and damage bonus tied to each "yes" answer. It is easy for the player him/herself to keep track of and shouldn't stop gameflow unless you are going for lightning-fast rounds to simulate the speed of a real combat (which is not the norm in DnD, even when playing in person).


Gambits:
I could go on and detail my issues with a lot of your proposed gambits and field trainings, but a day only has 24 hours and other obligations take precedence.

I think that I touched upon most of the issues in my initial reactions to your post but my view has changed somewhat. More scaling field trainings are still in order but I'd say that the ranged gambits and no-save gambits work just fine as is (although I will add in the line about affecting creatures with 4+ HD more than you.



In general...
1. Whatever issues you did handle – you did so with “I-WIN” abilities that totally disregard levels and CRs. This is a poor design. Being an effective class doesn’t mean having an arsenal of magic buttons that end encounters from the very moment you pushed one of them. Once you got the hang of things, the game stops being challenging (and thus no longer interesting).

I'm putting some regard into the creatures you can affect as mentioned above but I still see nothing wrong with the "I-WIN" buttons. Unless you are an avid power gamer, the DM will generally be able to react and fun will continue being had by all (at least in theory).


2. Your proposed defensive styles and field-trainings are very far away from allowing real diversity of archetypes. And in the end you end up with all defensive styles, so you lose the archetype distinction (and having severl is kinda pointless).

As mentioned in my prior response, you only get a single defensive style with increases in time and I believe that there is no harm in mixing and matching old archtypes.


3. You have no feature to overcome conditions after they occur (some sort of second wind is the bread and butter of heroes in folklore).

Yes, second winds are the bread and butter in heroes of folklore. Most of those second winds, however, involve finding an inner reserve of strength to fight (AKA regaining combat mastery points as an action) or managing to shrug off wounds to continue the fight (And there is a gambit that grants temporary hit points).
The type of second wind that lets someone specifically overcome conditions (paralysis, mind-control, etc.) aren't as common in old folklore, although I do admit that they are rather common in recent fiction.


4. There’s nothing that feels heroic about your fighter. When it does have the opportunity to make an attack roll, it feels almost like sitting behind a desk and firing NUKE buttons. Your fighter (unless I missed some major defensive tricks other than stat-boosting) is a glass-cannon on steroids. It pushes the game over the edge of the cliff of “first-shot first-kill”.

This impression should only prove even remotely accurate at very high levels and the power of the game still tends to lean towards those with magic (including most enemies by that point).
As a side-note, you said previously that my class was "barely tier 3" but a "glass-cannon on steroids" (which this guy becomes with enough power gaming) is pretty much the definition of what a tier 2 class is. So, this class is a tier 3 class that can be pushed into tier 2 through optimization... like I fully intended.

Thank you once again for this detailed review of this class.

nonsi
2010-05-13, 09:29 AM
Ok, Realms, let's skip the politeness stuff before things start getting sticky and just get down to business.




seeing as some of what you say should be fixed may have been fixed in your version not within the boundaries of the class itself but rather in other areas of your modified rules.
Regardless of the fact that my classes reside within my HRs, I tried real hard to make each of them stand on its own as much as possible.
The rules that came along with my proposed Warrior are there because 3e is really poorly designed as far as martial combat goes.


Know, however, that this class is made for play in the already unbalanced and confusing ruleset of un-modified 3.5.
And so was my criticism. My analysis was not influenced in any way by the existence of my HRs.


Even if the fighter doesn't get enough of them to cover every weakness, having the ability to pick and choose which weaknesses you still suffer is undoubtedly a step forward from simply having every sngle weakness and dealing with it.
True.


1. The stuff you get early on that "robs" creatures of their saving throws isn't totally taking creature out of the battle
1. Still, compulsion is not martial prowess stuff.
2. At higher levels it's just as if, when the (supposadly)squishy guys start gatting their handy nukes here & there.


Being the best at swinging around a sword is COMPLETELY unrelated to having a tough mind.
When all you have going for you in battle are your muscles and your wits, after many times you’ve engaged enemies in mortal combat, honing them is practically an automatic by-product


should probably state that creatures other than the one attacked are unaffected if they possess 4 or more HD than you possess.
Or just that they get a save and let the tougher opponents prevail.


When you consider that a gambit exists that lets you make a full attack after a charge (perhaps I should alter it so that it functions after any movement) and that all fighters in less than medium armor can make full attacks as standard action, it is possibe to make at least most of this full attack while not giving up any actions at all.
Ok, now you’re left with the decision how much you’re willing to compromise credibility (which if fine, if it suits you).


2 Plus Spot and Listen (which helps make you a decent scout).
What about Knowledge (dungeoneering), Heal, and Sense Motive ?
Remember that having a skill as class-skill doesn’t compel you to put even a single rank into it.


I still see no bending of god's will. Some of the gambits are purposefully vague as they require the DM's description of the attack rather than the player's but they don't seem to break the game (unless powergaming it to the point where everything breaks) so there's still no problem.
Assume the worst when it comes to decisions left in the hands of players.


Combat Potential, sure. If you're running a shock trooper charger build
The thing is that hit & damage rolls are not among the 3e Fighter issues.


I could picture several archtypical fighters possessing a code of conduct but I didn't want to saddle the others with the innate penalty of one. As no right-minded fighter would take an optional CoC as opposed to simply pretending that one existed, I went with the current system of bonuses and penalties. Although this ability is unprecedented, I don't think that it is mechanically unsound. If you'd prefer, I could rename it something like "fighter's code" as to not be linked to other codes of conduct.
What I was trying to say is that CoC should have no bearings on your ability to do anything.
It shouldn’t be anyone’s feature, but rather an option open for everyone.
The benefit should be social, in the form of the esteem you get from others (regarding Diplomacy, Intimidate, Bluff etc. according to a given situation) for your virtues, and maybe also to your will saves, since following a strict CoC requires a lot of dedication and willpower.


Fighter
I never run out of sword!
Yes you do. Swords get broken, disarmed, lost etc.


combat mastery is supposed to cancel out the penalties of gambits.
So what’s the point in penalties that never come to be ?


These are a mere 5 yes-or-no questions with a small attack and damage bonus tied to each "yes" answer.
Sure. Different values to each “yes”.
You’re forgetting the DM has a game to run that’s full of stats.
This is just one (or several) more to juggle.

Realms of Chaos
2010-05-14, 05:54 PM
NONSI


Regardless of the fact that my classes reside within my HRs, I tried real hard to make each of them stand on its own as much as possible.
The rules that came along with my proposed Warrior are there because 3e is really poorly designed as far as martial combat goes.

I'm sorry for being so unfair about this. As I may have mentioned, my winzip refuses to open your compendium so all that I have to go by are the comments in your thread. :smallredface:


Even if the fighter doesn't get enough of them to cover every weakness, having the ability to pick and choose which weaknesses you still suffer is undoubtedly a step forward from simply having every sngle weakness and dealing with it.
True.

Hey. We agreed on something. Awesome. :smalltongue:



1. Still, compulsion is not martial prowess stuff.
2. At higher levels it's just as if, when the (supposadly)squishy guys start gatting their handy nukes here & there.

1. Actually there are a few fighting styles out there (not to mention a few archtypical tropes) involving getting one's opponent to act in a certain way to take advantage of that in the midst of combat. While a will save would indeed be appropriate, I'm instead running things so that you simply need to be good enough at using your fighting style (AKA you need to overcome the penalty and hit the foe).
2. Depending on how you define "Nuke", casters have pretty much been getting them since level 1. By the time you start dropping your nukes, the casters are already killing vast groups of people while invisibly flying around. If the fighter seems a bit too close to the level of a wizard for comfort... that was actually my aim with this class so... Yay me.


When all you have going for you in battle are your muscles and your wits, after many times you’ve engaged enemies in mortal combat, honing them is practically an automatic by-product

Hmm, interesting point. The thing is, everyone who goes through the life of an adventurer has their wits and is likely pushed to the psychological edge by their ventures. By your logic, just about every class in existance should have a good will save.

Similarly, everyone who becomes an adventure goes through physical hardship, (likely) takes a good amount of injuries, and is, over the course of their career, pumped with enough positive energy to fully animate a small hamlet of humanoids. By this logic, just about every class in existance should also have a good fortitude save.

I will admit that mind-affecting effects are a general problem out there, as are death effects. The thing is, giving just about everyone good saving throws or simple immunities to these abilities seems to be going a bit too far. This is like the argument that every single class should have some means of flying built in.


should probably state that creatures other than the one attacked are unaffected if they possess 4 or more HD than you possess.
Or just that they get a save and let the tougher opponents prevail.

My way may actually be more balanced as it stops an unfortunate natural one from making a balor succumb to a level 1 fighter's tricks (which seems pretty realistic).


Ok, now you’re left with the decision how much you’re willing to compromise credibility (which if fine, if it suits you).

The gambit pretty much imitates pounce (which already exists in extraordinary form) and the other ability is based on a half-dozen tropes involving fast strikes so taking a slight blow to verismilitude here seems acceptable as it does help to solve one of the fighter's problems.


What about Knowledge (dungeoneering), Heal, and Sense Motive ?
Remember that having a skill as class-skill doesn’t compel you to put even a single rank into it.

The three skills that you suggest don't seem as universal as spot and listen. Why a "knight" of a grand town, the guard of a city, or a guerilla combatant would have knowledge (dungeoneering) rather than royalty and nobility, local, or geography (respectively) is beyond me. What I may consider doing along those lines is simply adding Knowledge (any one). While fighters knowing about the planes or arcana woul be most unorthodox, I think that it would breed pretty interesting characters.
Heal and Sense Motive are a different story, however. Sense Motive is one of those skills that goes well with pretty much anything and heal, although not normally associated with some archtypes, doesn't actually clash with any. I'll have to think on it.

As for not being forced to put ranks in your skills, there are two things that I'd say to that.
1. Allowing players to choose what class skills they add pretty much ensures that they pick the ones that they want to invest in.
2. The only case(s) when this is not true is when players are (for some reason :smallconfused:) in love with the basic list of skills (you can lead a player to water but you can't make them drink, as the saying goes) or if they play a very low-intelligence character (and this is an inherent difficulty of playing such a character).


Assume the worst when it comes to decisions left in the hands of players.

To reiterate, if your players are powergaming to the point where these gambits are broken, the same player would've been breaking just about any other character that they may have been playing.
If anything, the DM should be glad that the player didn't decide to be a wizard, cleric, druid, artificer, psion, factotum, or so on.



The thing is that hit & damage rolls are not among the 3e Fighter issues.

Actually... they kind of are. In a sense.
As was pointed out in your thread (by Djinn), the 3e fighter has only a couple builds that are truly capable of hitting and really damaging foes on a regular basis.
With things such as combat mastery and specialized swing around, the fighter stands a good chance of hitting the foe and getting out more damage regardless of how the fighter actually builds himself and what weapon he uses.
Once again, I am more than willing to sacrifice a bit of believability here so that a fighter taking the entire spring attack/whirlwind attack line of feats can still deal decent damage.



What I was trying to say is that CoC should have no bearings on your ability to do anything.
It shouldn’t be anyone’s feature, but rather an option open for everyone.
The benefit should be social, in the form of the esteem you get from others (regarding Diplomacy, Intimidate, Bluff etc. according to a given situation) for your virtues, and maybe also to your will saves, since following a strict CoC requires a lot of dedication and willpower.

But by 3.5 DnD rules, Code of Conduct is indeed a class feature. It may be a stupid rule but I'm running 3e by the books (more or less) and nobody has a "real" code of conduct unless it is written on their class chart. In fact, the Knight from the PHB II shows us that the basic mold of "break-me-and-you-fall" CoCs can be broken. This is merely another variaton, using your self-assuredness in the fact that you are right and just to help keep you calm as you try to accomplish tasks.

That said, your idea intrigues me. Perhaps you could revise the honor rules from unearthed arcana to make them more organized and relevant.


Fighter
I never run out of sword!
Yes you do. Swords get broken, disarmed, lost etc.

Hmm, this hardly addresses the point being made about the fighter generally being expected to fight consistently without ever running out of resources (other than projectiles and hp) but I just have to say...

Touche. :smallwink:


combat mastery is supposed to cancel out the penalties of gambits.
So what’s the point in penalties that never come to be ?

Well... It generally takes awhile to overcome any of the penalties completely and by the time you do, better gambits are generally well within your reach. In the end, it all comes down to strategy.
At 20th level, you can spend no more than 40 mastery points in a round. it's up to you if you want to...
1. spend them all to help offset (but not totally erase) the penalty of a single big gambit on one attack.
2. to help apply multiple (smaller) gambits to that one attack.
3. to apply smaller gambits to multiple attacks (either to avoid the risk of miss chances or to hit multiple foes)
4. to simply make a single attack that can hit a high AC target
5. to add only a single weak gambit to an attack and pump up the result with the rest of your points (hitting your targets by a large margin causes many gambits to become more effective)
6. Make a full attack with each attack effectively at your full BAB and another 10 +1 bonuses to either pump up attacks or add gambits.
7. Use the points to help offset the penalty from your specialized swing class feature (probably the rarest use).
While you probably view this entire decision-making process as simply bogging down play, I personally believe that giving the player such a wide array of options to personalize their own actions (not even including the selections of gambits that could be made) helps the player get more into the combat. This degree of choice is something that other fighter classes don't grant and players who want more choice in what they do seem to like it.


These are a mere 5 yes-or-no questions with a small attack and damage bonus tied to each "yes" answer.
Sure. Different values to each “yes”.
You’re forgetting the DM has a game to run that’s full of stats.
This is just one (or several) more to juggle.

No. Each "yes" carries the exact same value (+2 to attack, +1d6 damage). You seem to have confused the mechanics of the defensive style (which gives one benefit that improves as you level) with strategems (which grants multiple static bonuses as you level).

On a side-note, when you mentioned earlier that keeping something might damage "credibility" rather than the "verismilitude", "realism", or even "believability" of the class, it could be interpretted that you are commenting not on the class' credibility but on mine due to the vague language of the statement.

I doubt that this was your intended message but please choose your language more carefully. :smallsmile:

nonsi
2010-05-14, 06:45 PM
I'm sorry for being so unfair about this. As I may have mentioned, my winzip refuses to open your compendium

Winzip los the archiving race years ago. Use 7zip, winrar or any one of several better applcations.




1. Actually there are a few fighting styles out there (not to mention a few archtypical tropes) involving getting one's opponent to act in a certain way to take advantage of that in the midst of combat.

Yes, but that's only after they already go for you. You falsify a weakness to lure them into dropping their defenses.




Hmm, interesting point. The thing is, everyone who goes through the life of an adventurer has their wits and is likely pushed to the psychological edge by their ventures.

Spellcasters use magic to resist/undo their opponents' horrors.
Unfettered skillmonkeys find a way around.
Warriors simply "face the music".




My way may actually be more balanced as it stops an unfortunate natural one from making a balor succumb to a level 1 fighter's tricks (which seems pretty realistic).

Ok, you got a point there.




That said, your idea intrigues me. Perhaps you could revise the honor rules from unearthed arcana to make them more organized and relevant.

I have. Within my HRs (entry #5; 2nd spoiler)

Kuprin
2010-08-09, 09:00 PM
I think this is the best fighter redo ever, and I think it's one of the best CLASSES ever. My critiques.

1. Favoured stratagems should STAY! These are really cool features. Tweak a little, but don't just axe them. Axing too much puts this class back in tier 6 where some people seem to think it belongs.

2. Piling on low-dc saving throws makes the class as useless as the Knight, the Goad feat, various crappy killing blow abilities, etc. You did say this class was meant to be playable alongside ToB. Most of the above arguments are tier 4-6 arguments.

3. I honestly like the mastery system. It lets the fighter either keep hitting, or risk missing and use a little gambit or two a round, or really drop a nuke with a big gambit and spend a few rounds recharging. Until you get into the Perfect gambits I don't see a "nuke button" at all. I see a wide variety of target control and buff/debuff abilities. I LIKE the fact that this class has a huge arsenal of stuff - it puts me, normally a wizard player, in a position where I'm really enjoying playing a warrior character.

Keep it up dude.

Here are a few ACFs I wrote up:



Weapon Talent (1st): You may sacrifice your exotic weapon proficiency
at first level to gain Weapon Focus with a weapon of your choice as a
bonus feat. (note: this is best used with the optional fixes to the
weapon specialization chain which adds more hit/damage than the feats
normally give)


Armour Specialist (1st): You may sacrifice your exotic weapon
proficiency in order to take any Armour Proficiency or Shield
Proficiency feat, regardless of your defensive style. (this will most
commonly be used to get Extreme Shields or Mountain Plate)


Berserker (1st): Replaces Defensive Style. You gain Rage as a
Barbarian of your class level instead, gaining new rage abilities at
the same Fighter level as a Barbarian would, and treating your Fighter
level as Barbarian level for all abilities and items that require it.


Armour Training (3rd): Replaces Weapon Training. You may retrain your
Defensive Style if you spend at least 8 hours in the new armour type
you wish to use. You gain all benefits of the defensive style, and
lose all benefits of your previous one until you retrain again.


Shield Specialized Swing (4th): You may not make specialized swings
with light weapons. Instead, when you make a specialized swing with a
shield, you may add one-half the penalty to attack rolls to your shield bonus
to AC for one round, instead of swinging it as a one-handed weapon. (Note: this is being tested as half, 3/4, and full penalty; I think half is probably the most balanced for the paranoid, full penalty is Expertise with no BaB cap...then again sword-and-board is bad, and light/one handed weapons get some STUPID powerful specialized swings)

New Field Training:

Favoured Enemy: as Ranger, but never advances. If you choose a second
one, the first gains no further bonus. If you gain any feat or class
that advances favoured enemy, you may not advance this favoured enemy.

imp_fireball
2010-08-09, 09:59 PM
To be honest, I think the lack of bonus feats negates from this fighter's genericness.

Also, for other settings, what if you wanted a fighter to use firearms? Or pilot a tank? Not so much for the latter, but still - bonus feats help if you had a bunch vehicular feats available. :smalltongue:

Kuprin
2010-08-09, 10:15 PM
Well...for one thing most very different settings use setting specific base classes. That said, the gambits and stratagems, etc, will still work with firearms, and nothing says they won't work with vehicle gunnery either. It would probably want some tweaking, but I don't think it's useless just because it gets fewer feats.

imp_fireball
2010-08-09, 10:32 PM
It's not useless, it's just less generic.

Tael
2010-08-22, 11:34 PM
Wow Realms, this is incredible. Do you have links to any of your other homebrew? I also really liked your Ascendant.

Temotei
2010-08-22, 11:37 PM
Expect some posts or PMs (whichever you would prefer) from me on this class, Realms. I'll be playing one. :smallbiggrin:

zenanarchist
2010-08-23, 06:22 AM
Realms, Tem's playing this in our campaign...He linked it. I wanted to say that I'm extremely impressed. Good job. I even borrowed one of your mechanics for my class.

Realms of Chaos
2010-08-24, 11:40 PM
Thanks guys. I acknowledge that some of this guy's abilities push the envelope (and believability) a bit but I'm glad to see that everyone is enjoying it.

Kuprin: Thanks alot for your ideas. I like the first four ACFs you made there (though the first one seems a bit iffy. Not because it's too good, of course, but because it's just good enough that most people would automatically choose it over the equivalent, barring specialized builds :smalltongue:). The last one, though, looks a bit specific to be a fighter class feature (though it would make for a totally awesome feat). The Field training is also a great idea (and one that I considered doing)

Imp Fireball: Whether you play in the renessiance or future, firearms can be used with the simple Exotic Weapon (firearms) feat, which this fighter can get at 1st level. A simple field training at level 4 can easily grant you proficiency with any other weaponry that you require.

Also, isn't it generally the skill monkey's job to deal with vehicles in most modern/future campaigns (that's how I've seen it done, at least)? :smallconfused:

That said, it's easy to make more field training abilities specialized to your specific campaign setting, effectively raising the number of "feats" you get from 5 + EWP to 10 + EWP (or 11 in total, same as the normal fighter). I know that it's not the same as you can't blow through as many feat trees but it should get the job done.

Tael: I have the links to my stuff on a flash drive somewhere. If I can find the flash drive, I'll make an extended signature. :smallwink:

Temotei: My PM box has been quite full in recent times so feel free to let us know here what does and doesn't work as you play. :smallsmile:

Zenanarchist: It's a pleasure and an honor to have been of some assistance. :smallsmile:

Temotei
2010-08-24, 11:53 PM
Temotei: My PM box has been quite full in recent times so feel free to let us know here what does and doesn't work as you play. :smallsmile:

Good. My PM box is getting pretty full, too. :smallcool:

imp_fireball
2010-08-26, 05:37 PM
Also, isn't it generally the skill monkey's job to deal with vehicles in most modern/future campaigns (that's how I've seen it done, at least)? :smallconfused:

You couldn't be more wrong. Vin Diesel is the muscle bound tank in most of his movies, and he does a lot of driving, particularly in TFatF.

In many many action movies, the protagonist is often the bad ass who gets the girl and drives really well.

It's the skill monkey's job to be the 'smart guy' usually - he's the one who works with computers or repairs vehicles or invents a new gadget. He can also drive, but his lack of tenacity gets the best of him - in a car crash, he'll be too wounded to keep on driving, unlike the beefier bad ass.

He's also the more wirey spy guy whereas characters like james bond are both tough and smooth talking spies - sort of gishes of the modern world.


Whether you play in the renessiance or future, firearms can be used with the simple Exotic Weapon (firearms) feat, which this fighter can get at 1st level. A simple field training at level 4 can easily grant you proficiency with any other weaponry that you require.

Yes, but there's nothing in your fighter that makes firearms more attractive than other weaponry.

Also in most of the more modern settings, firearms would probably fit into simple or martial weapons category (unless it's a setting where firearms are out of the norm or very difficult to use in ordinarily desperate encounters that adventurers get into). They're easy to use and anyone proficient in them can probably take them apart or know how to unjam them in the case of a mishap. The fighter is often ex-military and worldly, able to deal with many different types of guns and having an inate grasp of them and their advantages/disadvantages, whereas the barbarian is more of the barrel chested, ammo bandolier wearing shotgun happy shock trooper who fight in the roughest conditions and make do with what he has.

Fighters are more 'official' while barbarians may be mercenaries or third world rebels/terrorists. The rogue meanwhile knows how to use bombs with 'disable device' (the same check to set up a bomb or disable it methinks) and craft (explosives), for making them in his basement - he may also be the soft skinned spy that picks locks or his agile enough to side step trip wires and laser alarms (spot to notice the traps if they are visible, search to find them, escape artist for tight stepping). Rogues could even be snipers, with a feat (or perk or whatever; a new system I'm working on) to extend their sneak attack range - wilderness snipers could take a level in barbarian or mundane ranger to help withstand extreme conditions.


That said, it's easy to make more field training abilities specialized to your specific campaign setting, effectively raising the number of "feats" you get from 5 + EWP to 10 + EWP (or 11 in total, same as the normal fighter). I know that it's not the same as you can't blow through as many feat trees but it should get the job done.

You should probably actually write out that variant if you want people to use it for more industrial settings rather than sticking with the normal bonus feat fighter.

Realms of Chaos
2010-08-26, 10:18 PM
You should probably actually write out that variant if you want people to use it for more industrial settings rather than sticking with the normal bonus feat fighter.

Hmm... before I do so, let me see if I have this straight. I need an ability that makes the fighter especially good (skillful and masterful rather than blasty-blasty-barbarian) at guns and another that increases skill with vehicles. Is there anything else?

SigCorps
2010-08-27, 12:59 PM
I must say this was well thought out. Going to try this out in my next campaign. Nice work Realms.

Realms of Chaos
2010-08-28, 05:27 PM
Okay, here's a field training for dealing with vehicles.

Vehicular Mastery: Any vehicle that you drive or control gains a +5 foot enhancement bonus to its speed. Furthermore, you gain a +2 bonus on all checks made to control or maneuver vehicles and gain a +1 bonus on all attack rolls made using weapons built into or mounted upon a vehicle. This field training may be taken multiple times, its effects stack.

As for guns... well, I did some thinking and I think I realized the real problem here. If I'm right, the problem that you're seeing isn't that the class isn't generalized but that it is TOO generalized.
The normal fighter is pretty darn modular with its feats, allowing you to specialize in any area you want and even in multiple areas.
This fighter, however, takes away some of this potential for specialization and instead gives you generalized proficiency in combat. This fighter makes the differences between fighting with a sword, dagger, crossbow, or laser gun pretty darn insignificant. You can't specialize with any of them quite as well but you do possess an increased ability to fight in general and may well find yourself imitating the effects of some of those feat chains you can't take with the gambits you get instead.

I, for one, enjoy this general proficiency. You don't need three dozen feats made specifically for guns when you could have three dozen abilities that could work for any weapon at all (including guns).

Samm
2010-08-29, 02:57 AM
I like the defensive styles. I've decided to use something similar in a fighter fix I'm planning to post soon. I'd just like to make sure that you're okay with me using a mechanic that's based off yours. You're going to be creditted and I'm going to link to your thread.

Realms of Chaos
2010-08-29, 11:04 AM
Sure! Go ahead.

If this class helps give rise to even better fighters, I'll be happy. :smallsmile:

Samm
2010-08-29, 06:48 PM
Sure! Go ahead.

If this class helps give rise to even better fighters, I'll be happy. :smallsmile:

Brilliant. I should post it up relatively soon.

Meirnon
2010-08-30, 05:02 PM
I just want to say this is awesomely cool. I'm going to be revamping the fighter class for my campaigns, now and future, to use something similar to this. I don't like all of it, but I won't ask you to change it. I'd be willing to share my take of it with you through PM's, though. :smallbiggrin:

Kuprin
2010-09-08, 07:51 PM
By the way, if you want a good example of a 20th level fighter, watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Observe King Bradley and how he fights. THAT to me is a 20th level fighter.

Knaight
2010-09-08, 09:15 PM
Though as far as raw power is concerned, he is closer to 10th or 12th level. Still, the way he fights is certainly an example of a high powered mundane warrior.

Cieyrin
2010-09-09, 02:37 PM
Though as far as raw power is concerned, he is closer to 10th or 12th level. Still, the way he fights is certainly an example of a high powered mundane warrior.

Scar is probably a fairly similar in level and could equally be a fighter of this class, just the unarmored variety with some grafts to get his deconstruction/reconstruction powers.

Samm
2010-09-15, 08:17 PM
Realms, my fighter fix is up. I'm sorry about the late notice. I should have told you earlier. Unfortunately, my thread is a little derailed at the moment, but if you want to take a look, you're more than welcome to. The link's in my sig.

Ziegander
2010-09-17, 03:16 PM
Gotta say, I really dislike the Combat Mastery/Gambits system a lot, but I also really enjoy the whole Favored Stratagem feature.

Jallorn
2011-04-10, 01:43 AM
Nonsi



I take absolutely none of this personally. It's nice to have a nice kick in the pants to wake one out of complacency every now and again. Thank you for taking the time to put together this well-organized post. I can't stress how much I appreciate it.

If half of what is here seems to be accurate, it looks as though I will have to restart this project from scratch to iron out those mini-van sized holes. :smallwink:

First, I hope that you'd allow for the asking of a few qualifying questions. :smallsmile:



I'v read (or at least skimmed) the entire thread in its entirety a few weeks ago and again when you linked to it earlier. It seems that the primary consensus over there is to create a complex series of techniques that function as sprawling feat trees exclusive to the fighter in order to keep the fighter as a viable option. The primary statistics (HD, Skills, and so on) don't seem to have been covered too much as they are still working over the "feats" (and have come up with some very nifty ones).



Yeah, stuff like this is pretty much the result of the following conversation with myself. :smallredface:

Me: You know, myself, this fighter is still going to be far weaker than the spellcasters. I mean, that's a foregone conclusion that neither of us can change.
Myself: To hell with that. I'm going to ram this thing directly into the face of spellcasters. Mundanes need nice things. *takes shot of absinthe*
Me: But you're going a bit overboard, aren't you. Half of these abilities look like you came up with the desired effect first and tried to cram it into a fighter's capabilities. Half of these effects should have saving throws.
Myself: Well, some spells have saving throws and others require touch attacks. So there.
Me: But... those attacks normally just deal damage! Ugh, hand me that absinthe.
Myself: Only if you shut up.
Me: Deal!




Yeah... See the above conversation.




As far as not scaling, I admit that it wasn't my best decision. I thought at that moment in time that making it stackable was sufficient (note to self: NO!).
As for not being a hardwired feature, however, I think that there's a decent argument to be made for that. Although you and many people may view the fighter as "the hardest cookie to crack", I was trying to accomodate such players and other players who don't share that view by making its inclusion optional. Then again, as you point out below, I've actually hobbled any true chances of exploring archetypes.



Again, should've allowed a will save and (probably should've) limited its range to 5 feet. Does this sound more reasonable (as it is more akin to the Knight class feature except targetting more foes who must be closer to you)?



There are a couple of gambits here and there that help... a little... far too late to do any good... but I do see your point.
The problem, however, is that the only readily obvious way to resolve this problem is to use the BearsWithLazers path and create huge menus of abilities to choose from that wuold give the fighter something else to do with their other actions.
One thing that I only noticed right now is that pretty much every single other fighter fix that I've ever seen was designed to be a headache to create but quite simple to actually play, as opposed to my build, which reverses that entirely (Note to Self: Not a good thing).



Four actually (with the addition of spot and listen as well) but that really doesn't make any difference. I was actually about to alter the field training for extra skills to grant you a bonus class skill and one extra skill point per level (even retroactively) but limit it to being taken twice.
Although I recognize that the fighter indeed needs to be capable of functioning outside of combat, the array of fully mundane tasks that are vital for an average adventuring party is unfortunately quite small (unless you try getting very, VERY creative about it). The reason that I created Field Training was that I didn't think that what fighters in general do outside of combat should be dictated to them. That said, it now seems quite obvious that the fighter needs to get is far before 4th level.
I personally believe that giving the fighter somewhere between 4 and 6 bonus skills, up to 4 extra skill points per level, and a selection of (soon to be scalable) out-of-combat abilities should provide the fighter with a passable presence outside of combat. Does this suffice?



Saving throws for all and to all a good night. Oh, and a few peripheral changes, of course.



Yeah, I realized after my last post that I indeed didn't have anything involving this one.
As far as I can tell, the very act of being a front-line combatant stresses the importance of Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution to a certain extent. Obviously certain builds would cut one of these abilities out of the picture (duelists with weapon finesse not needing strength and knights in full-plate not needing Dex).
As such, the biggest need for any ability score-based abilities would be the mental ability scores and physical ability score ones need to have abilities too to compensate the people not using their mental ability scores. As it would be hard to run these abilities off of skills (I doubt I could stretch the Concentration skill that thin without ripping off tome of battle), it would inevitably wind up as either a)18 or 24 menus of abilities (3 or 4 per ability score with multiple levels of power) or b)several specifically branched feat trees (requiring gambits as a prerequisite to prevent other classes from stealing them). Path B seems to be the superior choice in this situation but I'd be interested in hearing an argument to the contrary (likely involving the feat-hungry nature of the class as we all know it).



I admit that the entire system of using bonuses from combat master to cancel out penalties from gambits due to my original wording for the class.

I originally didn't break up the gambits into different tiers and I was using the penalties as the only things keeping low-level fighters from using high-level gambits. Now that things are broken up into tiers, however, I could revise things quite a bit.
Perhaps I could have the gambits themselves cost mastery points and take away the attack bonuses altogether to prevent further shock trooper madness.



This was mostly a (failed) experiment on my part. I know that CoCs should make characters more virtuous but I've always thought that having one should never totally make you useless and that the limitations on your actions should be rewarded with some sort of benefit (trading a role-playing "downside" with a mechanical benefit? What was I smoking and where can I get more of it?).
Even if that idea was somehow sensible, however, giving a freely customizable version (which is therefore better than everybody else's CoC) to the fighter of all classes is just... I honestly don't know what I was thinking anymore.



Now that I have the power of hindsight in my corner, I agree with you on the general principle of this statement but not quite on the specifics. I do agree that going nova should render you incapable of doing so again (at least without some pause in the action) but actually lowering your defenses above and beyond this doesn't seem strictly necessary.
That said, I've recently come up with a possible revision of the class that may provide a solution to most (or some) of this class's problems.



I could see how this would be the case.



Let's see. I don't have your specific arguments but let's see if I can't guess away some of the big ones.

Gambits:
1. NEED SAVING THROWS!
check. :smallwink:
2. Many of them dive straight into what shoudl rightfully be the supernatural.
As stated above, most of these abilities were the result of me coming up with the effects instead of thinking of what a fighter could do. Ex: "how could my fighter class hit a level 20 wizard flying at the very edge of his/her long range effects? Ooh, I know. Let's give unlimited range with ranged weapons."
3. Cut down or remove "area of effect" gambits as they don't make sense.
Yessir! I'll aim to cut down the area rather than remove the gambit whenever possible but some of them likely can't be saved.
4. Some of them are quite redundant.
I don't know if this is a problem as I explain in my notes that most gambit retain some use even when they've been "replaced" by others.
5. You know, RoC, some of those gambits are pretty much class features/feats (and pretty powerful/worthless ones at that) that many/no other builds use.
Apart from one that permits an effective improved grab, one that kind of imitates the knockback feat, and one that is more or less the pounce ability, I'd need you to help me find the rest so I can address them.
6. Some of those gambits, above and beyond being "magical", simply don't make any sense at all.
Please help point those ones out so that I can see if they really don't make sense or if they're simply difficult to imagine (not that this is a good thing, either).
7. I see at least one infinite loop possible with one of your gambits.
I'll admit that I see a near infinite loop in one of my gambits already, one that requires a second fighter and combat reflexes but that seems to be quite dangerous. In this case, I've just been too lazy to point it out and have been hoping that the previous expenditure of the mastery points made repeat use of that gambit within a single round unlikely (although as we all know, polymorph makes anything possible).

And for Field Training:
1. These abilities should scale.
I'm currenly looking into the matter.
2. As your only real source of non-combat abilities, you are getting them too late.
Looking into this as well.
3. By putting together abilities that you basically require to be any good with a few purely flavorful abilities, it's obvious that nobody will ever take the flavorful abilities.
I actually have a plan to help address that (see below)
4. At least one of those is pretty darn abusable.
Which one? The exotic weapon one? Throw me a bone over here.




The win buttons will be toned down, allow saving throws, and hopefully have a cost that isn't as easily ignored.



Actually, you only ever possess a single defensive style but it increases in power at the later levels. I should make that more clear in the language when I put up my revision for this class.

As for the lack of real diversity, I am interested to hear more about this. I am still pretty confident in the defensive styles (except for the full-attack and damage negation parts, which I have plans for). Generally speaking, more armored combatants (see knight, paladin, and fighter) seem to have more emphasis on hit points than skills when compared with less armored combatants (see ranger or monk).
Of course this is just from my personal observations, there are several exceptions out there, and I have every intention of making specialized feats to reverse these bonuses and grant an additional bonus to compensate.




Easily included, fortunately. :smallsmile:



I'll deprive my fighter of it's beloved nuclear football but I'd like to hear your personal thoughts on what you think is "heroic" about a class. Being able to get a theatric battle with a nearly literary feel is hard to put down in words but I could use almost any guidance that you could provide.

Okay, and now to give the general basics of the idea that I have on my mind.

Step 1. I meld together my gambits and combat mastery into a single feature. You spend mastery points in order to use gambits. Furthermore, you take a penalty to your attack roll for each gambit utilized. Lastly, it takes an action of some sort in order to regain mastery points.
In this way, there is no longer a huge risk of getting a dozen other attack bonuses from elsewhere and overpowering the game, called shots are still difficult to make, and some degree of strategy enters into the matter.

Step 2. No more favored strategems.

Step 3. Field Training abilities will now be gained at all even level and scale in power as you gain access to higher levels of gambits. Also, more shall be created.

Step 4. To supplement the field training further, a second category of "non-combat" gambit will be introduced. Whereas field training generally gives rather static abilities, these abilities would require activation. Some of them will have combat applications (like the ability to know where invisible creatures are, which has been done in extraordinary means in several sources) but all will have some degree of use outside of combat. Several field training abilities may be turned into these gambits.
These gambits may be the perfect place to take advantage of other ability scores and perhaps even to help with the

I may use these secondary gambits as a place to take more advantage of other ability scores and I may include a few to help out with the action economy of this class.
Paying for these gambits in the same way as normal probably wouldn't work as you could just refresh your points so one idea would be to choose such gambits with 15 minutes of work and have them subtract from your maximum supply of mastery points. The big question afterwards is whether the abilities would then be useable at will (which requires careful crafting) or for an additional (paltry) activation fee (which may complicate things).
then again, I may want to switch things around so that Field training is activated while these gambits are passive (eliminating the activation problem altogether). Hmm, decisions, decisions.

This idea is still in its natal stages, of course, and I welcome all input that you may have on the matter.

Once again, thank you for the constructive feedback and I hope that you can help me transform this class into something halfway decent. :smallwink:

Edit: I've seen your thread and tried to open your compendium but my winzip isn't recognizing it as a proper archive so I can't see it. :smallannoyed:

That said, it looks as though you went in the general path of F&K's Races of War and rewrote the very mechanics of combat altogether. Although I can neither verify nor deny the supposed flaws found by others in your fix, I can say that I believe my class (once properly fixed) would have a rightful place next to yours for those people out there who are unwilling to modify the rules so completely. There's always a "market" for simplicity, after all.

Also, two more points.
1. I now understand what you mean by the mixing of archtypes making them less special. You don't think that commandos should try being caveliers, archers should try being sluggers, and what not.
I completely understand your perspective on this issue but respectfully disagree on this point. I believe that so long as many/most famous archtypes can be accomplished to some degree, allowing players to mix and match shouldn't really hurt anything.
It may prevent irrisponsible players from adopting truly heroic (or even anti-heroic) personas and capabilities but some players are playing the game just for the fun of it rather than for the collaborative storytelling process that DnD is so famous for. If they want to play odd hybrids, why on earth should I simply tell them "No!"?
2. I've now figured out how I plan to redo the field training and secondary gambits. Field Training is likely to be renamed "Archtype" or something similar, allowing for a single menu of scaling abilities that alters how the fighter is built (such as giving extra saving throws, skill points, hit points, proficiencies, etc.) and how it is played (giving a few activated abilities that aren't completely reliant upon attacks such as a helpful aura or the ability to overcome effects).
Meanwhile, the "secondary gambits" will become my field training. My current plan is to make 5 abilities per ability score (for a total of 30). They will all be scalable constant abilities that can be swapped with 15 minutes of work and that each subtract 5 points from your maximum supply of master points. I'm currently pondering if there might be an even more efficient way to do this.

And... after a day of thought, here is a completely different response, now with a bit of back bone, a flipped opinion on more than a few points, and my personal ideas. If you have to read just one of these responses, read the one below.



A minor first difficulty here is that, after reading your thread, it seems quite apparent that you play the game with a highly modified version of the rules. Although you are far more qualified to speak about balance in DnD than I am to speak about it in, say, Exalted, I may take your advice with a tiny bit of salt here and there, seeing as some of what you say should be fixed may have been fixed in your version not within the boundaries of the class itself but rather in other areas of your modified rules.
I likewise have nothing against you and most of your points are quite good. Know, however, that this class is made for play in the already unbalanced and confusing ruleset of un-modified 3.5.



Yeah, I admit that I didn't quite cover all ten goals. I did however read through much of the thread.
For the record, however, I feel that pointing to field training is a completely valid option on my part when defending my class. Even if the fighter doesn't get enough of them to cover every weakness, having the ability to pick and choose which weaknesses yous till suffer is undoubtedly a step forward from simply having every sngle weakness and dealing with it.



Nope. After alot of consideration, I don't see much of a problem here.
1. The stuff you get early on that "robs" creatures of their saving throws isn't totally taking creature out of the battle
2. the earlier real "debuffs" that you get are only small penalties or require tons of resources (AKA: attack roll bonuses) to function truly effectively.
3. The late-game, truly effective no-save-just-die abilities are gained at a level where it's not all that powerful in the grand scheme of things.

Mind you, if a player found a way to truly min-max his or her attack bonuses, the fighter would be a real beast. In such a situation, however, either that player is playing alongside min-maxers of equal skill who are doing far much more with their casters or is playing along people who play at a lower power level and min-maxing in a group who doesn't min-max always causes problems regardless of what character you try to make (with a couple exceptions *cough*truenamer*cough*).



It's not really intended to be infinite range. Instead, the ranged weapon is meant to continue until range increments lower the attack result to 0. I'll edit the actual text if need be to make that clear.



And remind me why "so much more" can't include the cragtop archer's ability? It makes sense for certain types of fighter to have it so the fighter has it.




I see no reason to type-cast every single fighter in existance like this. :smallconfused: Being the best at swinging around a sword is COMPLETELY unrelated to having a tough mind. In fact, it isn't necessarily even related to stupendous discipline. Although what you say does apply to MANY archtypes, this ability isn't hardwired because it doesn't apply to ALL of them.
As for making the ability scale, I think that I can do that a bit. Let's see what I can come up with.



Bending the will of god? Where? I don't see that anywhere. What I do see is having your DM describe you undertaking whatever action would result in those surrounding you being drawn (psychologically or physically) to attack you. Not possessing a saving throw is highly unusual for such an ability but it does not break the balance of the game.
Then again, I should probably state that creatures other than the one attacked are unaffected if they possess 4 or more HD than you possess. In that way, stabbing a cow or chicken won't make the tarrasque attack you. That sort of disregard for CR is certainly an abomination and shall be done away with. I'll put a similar line of text in for all passive gambits.



While this class doesn't give you must to use your swift or move actions for, it does make your standard and full-round actions do more. With a full attack, this fighter could potentially knock 1 foe back, frighten another foe, renders a third foe incapable of making AoOs for one round, and sicken the whole group in a single action.
That's alot of stuff. When you consider that a gambit exists that lets you make a full attack after a charge (perhaps I should alter it so that it functions after any movement) and that all fighters in less than medium armor can make full attacks as standard action, it is possibe to make at least most of this full attack while not giving up any actions at all.
Also, as I've said before, this class doesn't really require full attacks as much as the core 3.5 fighter as this guy's attacks can be used to do other tasks (thus meaning that the fighter can contribute without being a massive damage machine).



2 Plus Spot and Listen (which helps make you a decent scout). I'm also going to modify the skill-granting field training to help make it a more attractive option.




I still see no bending of god's will. Some of the gambits are purposefully vague as they require the DM's description of the attack rather than the player's but they don't seem to break the game (unless powergaming it to the point where everything breaks) so there's still no problem.



Combat Potential, sure. If you're running a shock trooper charger build, this can easily boost your damage a whole lot. The thing is, this is only really notable when already playing a build renowned for dealing just plain unfun amounts of damage with each strike. It's kind of like saying that the natural heavyweight feat from the planar handbook is utterly overpowered because the hulking hurler exists.
For most players, combat mastery would allow you to either use both power attack and specialized swing with a double weapon for perhaps two attacks in a full attack (+40 damage or +80 if I choose to fix specialized swing) or allow you to use both of them on a single attack and let you use full power attack on attacks beyond your first in the round (+120 damage if all three iterative attacks hit, still not that ungodly).



I could picture several archtypical fighters possessing a code of conduct but I didn't want to saddle the others with the innate penalty of one. As no right-minded fighter would take an optional CoC as opposed to simply pretending that one existed, I went with the current system of bonuses and penalties. Although this ability is unprecedented, I don't think that it is mechanically unsound. If you'd prefer, I could rename it something like "fighter's code" as to not be linked to other codes of conduct.



Wait, what? :smallconfused:
How can battle tactics be about knowing when to go nova when fighters, scouts, barbarians, rogues, and most other hand-to-hand combatants are in fact completely incapable of going nova?
The entire reason that some people go with martial classes is that they never ever want to run out of spell slots/spell points/mana/etc. As a demotivator that I once saw most aptly said it.

Fighter
I never run out of sword!

Also, not every group sees the "entire point" of DnD as being tactical combat. The game has come a long way since its roots as a strategic warfare simulator and, for better or worse, it might actually be that you are in a minority at the moment.
Lastly, combat mastery is supposed to cancel out the penalties of gambits. I don't blame you for not reading my various creators' notes but you would've seen that if you did. Without combat mastery, in fact, the gambits would be pretty much worthless unless you power gamed yourself half to death.



Wait, how is this cumbersome?
Even at level 20, that's only five things. Here's an example of what you may end up with.
1. Over half hit points
2. Have moved at least 10 feet in round.
3. Adjacent to no allies
4. Enemy is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC.
5. Adjacent to a single enemy
These aren't special mechanical facts for a DM to remember. These are a mere 5 yes-or-no questions with a small attack and damage bonus tied to each "yes" answer. It is easy for the player him/herself to keep track of and shouldn't stop gameflow unless you are going for lightning-fast rounds to simulate the speed of a real combat (which is not the norm in DnD, even when playing in person).



I think that I touched upon most of the issues in my initial reactions to your post but my view has changed somewhat. More scaling field trainings are still in order but I'd say that the ranged gambits and no-save gambits work just fine as is (although I will add in the line about affecting creatures with 4+ HD more than you.




I'm putting some regard into the creatures you can affect as mentioned above but I still see nothing wrong with the "I-WIN" buttons. Unless you are an avid power gamer, the DM will generally be able to react and fun will continue being had by all (at least in theory).



As mentioned in my prior response, you only get a single defensive style with increases in time and I believe that there is no harm in mixing and matching old archtypes.



Yes, second winds are the bread and butter in heroes of folklore. Most of those second winds, however, involve finding an inner reserve of strength to fight (AKA regaining combat mastery points as an action) or managing to shrug off wounds to continue the fight (And there is a gambit that grants temporary hit points).
The type of second wind that lets someone specifically overcome conditions (paralysis, mind-control, etc.) aren't as common in old folklore, although I do admit that they are rather common in recent fiction.



This impression should only prove even remotely accurate at very high levels and the power of the game still tends to lean towards those with magic (including most enemies by that point).
As a side-note, you said previously that my class was "barely tier 3" but a "glass-cannon on steroids" (which this guy becomes with enough power gaming) is pretty much the definition of what a tier 2 class is. So, this class is a tier 3 class that can be pushed into tier 2 through optimization... like I fully intended.

Thank you once again for this detailed review of this class.

I gotta say, I didn't read the whole back and forth, (I'm working on a fighter, and decided to skim the whole thread to make sure an issue I'm about to bring up hasn't been brought up before, so I don't currently have the patience to read the whole thing) but one thing that struck me was the statement that the fighter doesn't allow a saving throw. In fact, he does, it's called AC. Different? Yes, but it's still a saving throw in essence. That's all I'm going to say on that.

Now the issue that drew me to post: the ability of the Unarmored and Light Armor Defensive Styles to full attack as a standard action isn't actually useful necessarily until level 6 when you get your first iterative attack and a full attack is different from a standard attack.