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DoodlesD
2010-06-19, 10:47 AM
I've noticed in some of the other threads that people generally tend to regard the core fighter class as weak with no real increase in power over the course of leveling. Is this true or have i misinterpreted? and if it is true, why is this now the case? i remember back in AD&D when you HAD to have a fighter in the group or your party was toast. is this no longer the case?

Bayar
2010-06-19, 10:51 AM
something akin to that yeah. A cleric or druid can fill the role of meatshield effectively in core. If you dont want that, get tome of Battle and replace the fighter with the Warblade. More flavor, more awesome powers...

Fighters are good if you know how to optimise them. They have a lot of trap feats in the books, and even afterwards, you wont have a lot of options in combat, only whack it with a pointy stick until it stops moving or fly with your magic item and pepper it with arrows or something.

DragoonWraith
2010-06-19, 10:52 AM
The Fighter class is awful. It's poorly designed, doesn't have any unique schticks, and is worthwhile for, at the very maximum, 6 levels (and then only for taking a very specific Alternate Class Feature in place of their 2nd and 6th level bonus feats). Dipping for a bonus feat or two is OK if you're really strapped for feats, but generally class features are muuuch better than feats, so you really should only do that if you're desperate.

The Warblade from Tome of Battle is basically a Fighter-that-works, so if you're interested in the fighting-man concept, I strongly suggest picking up that book. Or, ya know, just use the freely and legally available Tome of Battle excerpt (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20060802a&page=2) to get all the rules for the Warblade, and the Maneuver Cards (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20061225a) enhancement to get all of the Maneuvers. The only other thing that you need to know is that you may only choose maneuvers of a level no greater than 1/2 (rounding up) of your Initiator Level, and your Initiator Level is equal to your level in any maneuver-granting class (like Warblade), plus 1/2 of your level in any non-maneuver-granting class. Congratulations, you now can play the Warblade absolutely free.

mikej
2010-06-19, 10:55 AM
This topic has been done before, countless times. Best to use the search function next time around.

Short Answer: Yes

Long Answer: Wait to see how this thread resolves.

Further explanation on why. Check out this resource here (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=4869.0)

Edit: Go down till you see the "Fighter" spoiler tag.

tyckspoon
2010-06-19, 11:10 AM
i remember back in AD&D when you HAD to have a fighter in the group or your party was toast. is this no longer the case?

Even then you were better off with a Ranger or a Paladin if you could get the stats to support it, or later on any of the various Fighter-based kits and other player options.

A lot of the basic reason has to do with them keeping the Fighter as close to the old game as they could while the rest of the game changed around him. HP and stat values, in particular, increased by quite a bit. So while in both editions a bog-standard sword-and-board Fighter 11 may strike 3 times a round for 1d8+10 + 2d6 worth of magic enhancements.. in one edition, his opponents have maybe 60-70 HP to fight through, and he does good damage. In the other, his opponents can have up to 200 HP (CR 11 Elder Elementals, which he is nominally capable of fighting solo if he has to) and now that Fighter looks pretty sad. The same trends made blasting spells poorer choices; the Wizard has all kinds of other effects to take up the slack, but it took almost the entire lifespan of 3.5 for the Fighter to get any kind of similar compensation.

Matthew
2010-06-19, 11:11 AM
Basically yes. A fighter is still more or less the same functionally as in AD&D from levels 1-4 (maybe a bit higher, even), but after that he no longer has the same degree of potential to contribute to party success. This is all relative, however, as there are widely recognised to be different "tiers" of power with regard to classes within the D20 system. The fighter is on the lowest rung, above perhaps a handful of other classes (Samurai, for instance).

Greenish
2010-06-19, 11:16 AM
The fighter is on the lowest rung, above perhaps a handful of other classes (Samurai, for instance).Well, technically there are tier 6 and truenamers below fighter, and fighter is not far from tier 4.

Matthew
2010-06-19, 11:30 AM
Well, technically there are tier 6 and truenamers below fighter, and fighter is not far from tier 4.

Yeah, but to be fair tier 6 is mainly filled with NPC classes. That said, it has been a while since I saw the list, and I don't suppose everybody agrees on every specific.

herrhauptmann
2010-06-19, 11:34 AM
I've noticed in some of the other threads that people generally tend to regard the core fighter class as weak with no real increase in power over the course of leveling. Is this true or have i misinterpreted? and if it is true, why is this now the case? i remember back in AD&D when you HAD to have a fighter in the group or your party was toast. is this no longer the case?

Some of the reasoning, along with what's already been said, is that until the fighter takes a monster to 0 HP, it's still just as effective as it was at full HP. This is actually true for anything that fights by dealing damage only.
A spellcaster at his own discretion, can deal HP damage, cast a spell where the penalty for the target failing the save is that the target is now ineffective, that the target is Dead. And at times, even if the target makes his save, he's still ineffective in combat. Or worst of all, there's no save, the target is suddenly ineffective.

Finally you have the fighter's dependence on magical buffs. Where possible, he can buy/find items to allow him to move through difficult terrain, or reach an airborne enemy, but when he can't, he's going to be stuck in mid-high levels unless the party caster casts a spell to help him out.

nightwyrm
2010-06-19, 11:34 AM
A lot of the basic reason has to do with them keeping the Fighter as close to the old game as they could while the rest of the game changed around him. HP and stat values, in particular, increased by quite a bit. So while in both editions a bog-standard sword-and-board Fighter 11 may strike 3 times a round for 1d8+10 + 2d6 worth of magic enhancements.. in one edition, his opponents have maybe 60-70 HP to fight through, and he does good damage. In the other, his opponents can have up to 200 HP (CR 11 Elder Elementals, which he is nominally capable of fighting solo if he has to) and now that Fighter looks pretty sad. The same trends made blasting spells poorer choices; the Wizard has all kinds of other effects to take up the slack, but it took almost the entire lifespan of 3.5 for the Fighter to get any kind of similar compensation.

+1

Basically, the fighter remained pretty much the same as earlier editions while the whole system changed around them and now they no longer do well. Casters got more spells and can cast in combat easier. The system for saving throws and SR changed such that spells got through much easier in higher levels. Secondary meleers (clerics, druids, rogues etc.) got better as a unified BAB system gave them multiple attacks that used to belong only to the fighter. Monsters got more a ton more hp, making hp only attacks less useful.

For the fighter to keep up with all these changes, they should've gotten more stuff. But instead all they got were additional feats which could be taken by anyone.

Yora
2010-06-19, 11:57 AM
A spellcaster at his own discretion, can deal HP damage, cast a spell where the penalty for the target failing the save is that the target is now ineffective, that the target is Dead. And at times, even if the target makes his save, he's still ineffective in combat. Or worst of all, there's no save, the target is suddenly ineffective.

Finally you have the fighter's dependence on magical buffs. Where possible, he can buy/find items to allow him to move through difficult terrain, or reach an airborne enemy, but when he can't, he's going to be stuck in mid-high levels unless the party caster casts a spell to help him out.
A wizard can only use so many direct damage spells after he weakened his enemies. If he's fighting with a fighter by his side, he can use all his magic to weaken the enemies and have the fighter chop them to death. He could defeat a single or maybe even a handful of enemies by himself, which would be pretty hard for a fighter to do. But in the end, they get the most enemies down, and pretty fast, when they work together.
RPGs are a team game, the last time I looked.
Which is the same reason it's not a problem a fighter needs buffs to survive against the strongest enemies.

It's somewhat different with clerics and druids, who are more efficient with doing the melee themselves than having a fighter do it for them, but that's a problem with these classes, not with fighters.

sonofzeal
2010-06-19, 12:02 PM
Fighters are a little underrated. They're quite poor in core for the following reasons....


1) There's only a few good feats and it's difficult to find any real synergy, so eighteen feats by level 20 looks less and less attractive as you go on.

2) AC doesn't scale well relative to monster attack bonuses

3) Monster damage scales too fast compared to PC health

4) Fighter damage doesn't scale well relative to monster hp

5) Fighters lack methods of gaining and controlling "Aggro"

6) There's very few viable combat options.


Non-core massively helps #1, and that dramatically improves #4 and #6, with a moderate boost to the others too. That doesn't make them powerhouses, but Fighter benefit more than anyone else from the plethora of feats available outside Core, and that does give them a significant boost. Most optimizers who've played Core-only remember that, and remember the depths of fail, but I think Fighters (and possibly Clerics) gain the most from non-Core. The rest are generally doing what they did before only with a few more options, but Fighters with their feats and Clerics with their DMM are the two that really need that to flourish.

...not that Fighters and Clerics are on the same power level now, of course, just that both got a substantial boost from where they were before at "pretty terrible" and "quite solid" respectively. Now Fighters are up at "decent" and Clerics are up at "in the Big Five".

DragoonWraith
2010-06-19, 12:14 PM
Uh... that would fly in the face of most optimizer's perspective. Yes, Core helps everyone, and non-casters relatively more than casters (mostly because they had more to gain), and Fighters see a huge boost. This does not, in my opinion, make them decent.

And before there was a "Big 5", there was a "Big 3", and it was Cleric, Druid, and Wizard. The Cleric didn't need DMM. It's just a huge boost to an already overpowered class.

Escheton
2010-06-19, 12:29 PM
In the beginning the fighter could be both a decent archer, meatshield and crowdcontrol by getting improved trip.
Due to more spells and a revamp of the rangerclass that which was reserved for fighters is now reserved for everyone but fighters.

DragoonWraith
2010-06-19, 12:39 PM
In the beginning the fighter could be both a decent archer, meatshield and crowdcontrol by getting improved trip.
Due to more spells and a revamp of the rangerclass that which was reserved for fighters is now reserved for everyone but fighters.
Are you talking about changes between 2e and 3e, 3e and 3.5, or something splatbooks did within an edition (and if the last, which edition)?

theos911
2010-06-19, 12:41 PM
Big 5 meaning ?

-Cleric:smallsmile:
-Wizard:smallbiggrin:
-Druid:smallcool:
-?
-?

What are the other two?

Matthew
2010-06-19, 12:41 PM
Are you talking about changes between 2e and 3e, 3e and 3.5, or something splatbooks did within an edition (and if the last, which edition)?

I think he means levels 1-4, by "beginning".

Greenish
2010-06-19, 12:42 PM
-Cleric:smallsmile:
-Wizard:smallbiggrin:
-Druid:smallcool:
-?
-?Artificer and archivist.

theos911
2010-06-19, 12:43 PM
Never heard of the former, and only small bits of the latter.

sonofzeal
2010-06-19, 12:43 PM
Uh... that would fly in the face of most optimizer's perspective. Yes, Core helps everyone, and non-casters relatively more than casters (mostly because they had more to gain), and Fighters see a huge boost. This does not, in my opinion, make them decent.
A lot of things fly in the face of popular consensus around here. That doesn't make them wrong. This community has a tendency to horribly exaggerate any difference of power and make it far more important than it actually is. Weaker classes "wtf faaaail" and stronger classes are "omfg pwwwwwns". Artificers are not as good as most people think unless you've got nigh-infinite supplies of gold (in which case you probably have bigger issues), although they're still pretty good. CW Samurai are not as horrible as most people think, although they're still pretty bad.

Fighters were nerf in Core, but they've received a stronger boost than most other classes and are now significantly more competitive. They're not "good", but they're good enough to justify their existence. And they're certainly not "absolute crap", which is what this thread was suggesting.

tyckspoon
2010-06-19, 12:43 PM
Big 5 meaning ?

-Cleric:smallsmile:
-Wizard:smallbiggrin:
-Druid:smallcool:
-?
-?

What are the other two?

Archivist (Cleric spell list + potential access to any other spell that has ever been Divine for any reason) and Artificer (make and use any magic item, scroll, wand, whatever you want) usually. Spell-to-Power Erudite generally gets a mention as well, because.. you know, any spell as a psionic power, with the benefit of converting expensive material components into a modest additional PP cost.

Draz74
2010-06-19, 12:49 PM
A lot of things fly in the face of popular consensus around here. That doesn't make them wrong. This community has a tendency to horribly exaggerate any difference of power and make it far more important than it actually is. Weaker classes "wtf faaaail" and stronger classes are "omfg pwwwwwns". Artificers are not as good as most people think unless you've got nigh-infinite supplies of gold (in which case you probably have bigger issues), although they're still pretty good. CW Samurai are not as horrible as most people think, although they're still pretty bad.

Fighters were nerf in Core, but they've received a stronger boost than most other classes and are now significantly more competitive. They're not "good", but they're good enough to justify their existence. And they're certainly not "absolute crap", which is what this thread was suggesting.

QFT. In most normal games, where people aren't trying to make their characters unstoppable PvP duelists, the difference between even a Tier 1 character and a Tier 5 character is surprisingly small.

The only thing sonofzeal has said in this thread that I disagree with: Leaving out the Bard on the list of "most helped by non-Core material" classes.

gbprime
2010-06-19, 12:57 PM
well I still plan on taking Fighter 20 as my next character build, just to show that it can be done and can be effective. (3 Mountains, Cometary Collision, etc) Of course, in the teen levels, I'm using feats to take stances and manuvers from ToB. So if anything, it's just an admission that the classes in that book have truly eclipsed the fighter.

Greenish
2010-06-19, 01:02 PM
Cometary CollisionWhy? A feat for extremely situational +4 damage doesn't seem worth taking even with fighter 20 build.

chiasaur11
2010-06-19, 01:04 PM
No. Or, more accurately, yes with the removal of subconditions.

The now implies they weren't crap before.

Eldariel
2010-06-19, 01:06 PM
The biggest issue with Fighter really is the item dependency. Most of the stuff he needs at high levels, he can't do himself but he needs magic items for. This easily reduces Fighter to little more than a sum of his items (though there's certainly a lot of powerful feats out-of-core, at a point you begin to get diminishing returns); though thanks to ACFs, it's a decent 9-level class with some good variants.

But yeah, Fighter's magic item dependency is really his worst failing. That and the utter lack of skills (Thug has some more but still misses out on Eyes and Ears among others) that normally help to accomplish some stuff without magic.

DragoonWraith
2010-06-19, 01:06 PM
A lot of things fly in the face of popular consensus around here. That doesn't make them wrong. This community has a tendency to horribly exaggerate any difference of power and make it far more important than it actually is.
In reality, this community has pretty weak tendencies towards optimization in general; Brilliant Gameologists and the Wizards CO boards would be a much more valid place to complain about the community's position on CO.

But, that said, you're talking about people who have spent a very large amount of time and energy running the numbers, experimenting with builds, exploring possibilities, and this is the perspective they've come up with. I have not done these things, but having read a fair amount of their efforts, I find your assertions difficult to believe in the face of the very considerable experience of char-op, and further I feel that it does not compare terribly well even with my own in-game experience, limited though that is.

The Fighter is just a terribly designed class. A few bonus feats are nice, but most builds can get them without actually dipping Fighter. No class needs the 11 bonus feats that the Fighter gets. Not badly enough to sacrifice everything else they might get. There is nothing, in the entire publication history of 3.5, that justifies more then 6 levels in Fighter from a mechanical perspective, and then only if you're a Dungeoncrasher - if you're talking only about feats, 4 levels is a bad plan and more than that is insanity.

A build that dips Fighter for a level or two because it's strapped for bonus feats does not count as a "Fighter build". The class has absolutely nothing that is simultaneously worthwhile and unique to offer, aside from Dungeoncrasher, which is still only 6 levels. That makes the class absolute crap.

Draz74
2010-06-19, 01:10 PM
rant

He's not arguing with any of that. He's just saying that if you do pick the suboptimal path of playing a straight Fighter, with minimal optimization (i.e. avoiding the really crappy Feats, but otherwise not optimizing at all), in a game with other nonoptimizers, you'll still generally be able to contribute enough to not be labeled "worthless" or "absolute crap."

DragoonWraith
2010-06-19, 01:12 PM
He's not arguing with any of that. He's just saying that if you do pick the suboptimal path of playing a straight Fighter, with minimal optimization (i.e. avoiding the really crappy Feats, but otherwise not optimizing at all), in a game with other nonoptimizers, you'll still generally be able to contribute enough to not be labeled "worthless" or "absolute crap."
Doesn't change the fact that you're playing, hands-down, the most mechanically boring class in the game, and among the worst designed, to boot. It is in that sense that it is "absolute crap" no matter how well it pulls its weight. It's just a terribly designed class.

gbprime
2010-06-19, 01:13 PM
Why? A feat for extremely situational +4 damage doesn't seem worth taking even with fighter 20 build.

Attitude. :smallamused: Lots of people take Hold the Line as a method of managing traffic, but a burly fellow who actively seeks to slam into someone just has more... character... to it.

Besides, if the build was about being efficient, it wouldn't be Fighter 20, now would it? :smalltongue:

Draz74
2010-06-19, 01:15 PM
Doesn't change the fact that you're playing, hands-down, the most mechanically boring class in the game, and among the worst designed, to boot. It is in that sense that it is "absolute crap" no matter how well it pulls its weight. It's just a terribly designed class.

Short of nitpicking about NPC classes being even more boring, I can't argue with that. :smallsmile:

Mr.Moron
2010-06-19, 01:15 PM
QFT. In most normal games, where people aren't trying to make their characters unstoppable PvP duelists, the difference between even a Tier 1 character and a Tier 5 character is surprisingly small.


This isn't really a fair statement. The problem is you can just stumble upon a pile of worthless with the weakest classes. To be fair, I'm pretty big into CharOP and really try to squeeze every last drop I can out of my concept. However doesn't change the fact the party's fight is just ineffectual by any reasonable standard. We're level 14 and her entire gimmickis still swinging a few times a turn for 1d6+9 damage.

I'm hardly saying that people should always spend a whole bunch of time digging into every book and juicing themselves out with the best features. However, even when someone just chooses a class at random and then all of its options at random most legal configurations should be at least minimally functional.

Yora
2010-06-19, 01:15 PM
The issue is the same as the difference between a plastic toy car and a $10,000 remote controlled F-16.
When all you want is to play with your cars and say "wroom-wroom", the plastic car is more than enough and it would be rediculous to argue about the quality of manufacture, its fuel efficiency, and accuracy of detail. But the RC-plane is still a toy.

And while the points optimizers make in discussions about character optimization may be completely valid, the criticism of certain aspects of the game can be almost meaningless to standard games. Which I assume are much more frequent.

And if you would excuse me now: I'm going to prepare for our low level, core only campaign. And we will have FUN doing it!

Greenish
2010-06-19, 01:18 PM
Doesn't change the fact that you're playing, hands-down, the most mechanically boring class in the game, and among the worst designed, to boot. It is in that sense that it is "absolute crap" no matter how well it pulls its weight. It's just a terribly designed class.Indeed, the class is singularly uninspired. I can see how they went for customizability, but even then fighter is a cop-out. It's successor, the warblade, is a good example of a chassis on which you can build hugely varying builds.

As pathfinder's designers realized, class features are fun.

Umael
2010-06-19, 01:29 PM
Attitude. :smallamused: Lots of people take Hold the Line as a method of managing traffic, but a burly fellow who actively seeks to slam into someone just has more... character... to it.

Besides, if the build was about being efficient, it wouldn't be Fighter 20, now would it? :smalltongue:

Bravo.

The number one point of a game is that a game is meant for entertainment (unless you are talking about a different definition of "game", in which case, the Hunting & Fishing forum website is thataway). I have had plenty of characters who were "suboptimal". Why? Because the build was fun.

From a certain viewpoint, I am a major optimizer. However, I optimizer for the character concept I have in mind, NOT the character concept that is more efficient. I am the type who would create a spiked-chain fighter instead of a sword-and-shield fighter because of the character concept, even if a sword-and-shield concept was more mechanically sound (which is should be).

Yora
2010-06-19, 01:30 PM
But somehow it seems that the game has become all about class features and spells.
People played the game before 3rd Ed., when there were no class features and no feats. And they still managed to have great fun with it.
A forum that is mostly frequented by optimizing players gets you a rather one-sided picture of things, but testing out character builds is not why I want to play the game.

The game we start next week has only barbarians, fighters, rangers, rogues, sorcerers, and cloistered clerics and will otherwise be a PHB-only E6 game. We'll see how this works out.

Greenish
2010-06-19, 01:33 PM
Attitude. :smallamused: Lots of people take Hold the Line as a method of managing traffic, but a burly fellow who actively seeks to slam into someone just has more... character... to it.Yes, but you don't need a feat to do it, you can just ready a charge against the first enemy who tries to charge.

I object to the feat because it's useless and ugly and allows you to do something you could do anyway. It's aesthetically offensive! :smallfurious:

[Edit]:
But somehow it seems that the game has become all about class features and spells.Are you referring to someone specifically or is that just a generic strawman to flaunt the superiority of your way of gaming to?

Zaq
2010-06-19, 01:36 PM
The problem with the hyper-weak classes, like Fighter, is that you have to have the rest of your group actively limit themselves to accommodate you. Sure, a Fighter can have a place in a severely unoptimized game where people intentionally ignore good choices so as not to outshine you, but the game is so broken (and Fighter et al. so weak) that you don't have to try to upstage a Fighter. You have to try not to. It's not a matter of optimization... yes, any decent level of optimization will pull you farther and farther away from the Fighter's power level. But you don't have to optimize at all to say "hey, Druid, that looks like fun. I'm gonna turn into a lion! Rawr!" and then eat the Fighter's lunch. It's depressingly easy to make the Fighter out-and-out redundant. "I perform the same role as him, only worse."

If you're at least playing towards a middle power level, you only have to worry about people intentionally optimizing to overshadow. If you're just playing a straight Fighter and expecting your party to go along with it... well, you better talk to them, or they're going to accidentally outshine you.

The problem isn't being weaker. The problem is being weak enough to feel weaker, which isn't fun.

Draz74
2010-06-19, 01:37 PM
This isn't really a fair statement. The problem is you can just stumble upon a pile of worthless with the weakest classes. To be fair, I'm pretty big into CharOP and really try to squeeze every last drop I can out of my concept. However doesn't change the fact the party's fight is just ineffectual by any reasonable standard. We're level 14 and her entire gimmickis still swinging a few times a turn for 1d6+9 damage.

Yeah, I don't know what's wrong with your Fighter. Even without optimizing, he should be doing a lot more damage.

My last party (playing mostly Core-only) consisted of:

a Wizard, played by the player with, by far, the most optimization skills in the group (me). Granted, I wasn't trying to break the game with him.
a Druid, played by a player with a lot of D&D experience but total apathy for optimization. He traded Wild Shape for a disgusting amount of Monk class features (which still probably weren't quite as powerful as Wild Shape), and he had one of the stronger options for an animal companion (wolf).
a Rogue, played by a newbie, who alternated between crossbow plinking, short sword fighting, and attacking with magic items.
a Cloistered Cleric, played by a semi-newbie, focusing on Summon Monster X spells.
a Ranger, played by an experienced player. Archery-focused, no real optimization tricks at all.
a Fighter, played by a newbie. He didn't listen to any of my feat suggestions, and ended up taking the Weapon Focus (bastard sword) feat tree and fighting with a Bastard Sword and shield. :smallyuk:
another Wizard, played by a newbie. Elf blaster. (No, not gray elf, just normal elf.)


Result? Well, of course the casters were a lot more powerful than the noncasters when it came to non-combat utility like Teleporting. :smalltongue: Although the Fighter actually impressed me a number of times with coming up with noncombat solutions to various problems.

But in combat?

The Rogue sucked. Other than that, contributions were fairly equal all around. You can be surprised all you like, but no, the higher-tier classes generally did not dominate combat.

The Fighter, Ranger, blaster Wizard, and Druid did comparable amounts of damage. Except when I Polymorphed the Fighter, in which case he far outshone the rest of the party in damage-dealing (but that counts partially as my contribution too, of course).

The Druid, the class who supposedly breaks the game by accident? Well, the DM got annoyed after a while with how high his AC was. Otherwise, not really an issue.

First character to bite the dust? The almighty Batman Wizard (me). :smalltongue: Phase spider ambush, a couple of unlucky rolls for Constitution damage from poison, dead Tier 1 character. Obviously that's not the area where Wizards are meant to shine ... but the point is, it just goes to show that, often, Tiers just don't matter in actual play.

DragoonWraith
2010-06-19, 01:38 PM
Short of nitpicking about NPC classes being even more boring, I can't argue with that. :smallsmile:
I'd argue that the Expert, with his decent skill points and choice of his own, decently sized, class skill list, and the Adept, with his spellcasting, are both pretty interesting even in comparison to a Fighter. Still, fair enough, fair enough.


Indeed, the class is singularly uninspired. I can see how they went for customizability, but even then fighter is a cop-out. It's successor, the warblade, is a good example of a chassis on which you can build hugely varying builds.

As pathfinder's designers realized, class features are fun.
Yup, this, pretty much. Though I'm not convinced that the Pathfinder Fighter does much better.

Draz74
2010-06-19, 01:42 PM
I'd argue that the Expert, with his decent skill points and choice of his own, decently sized, class skill list, and the Adept, with his spellcasting, are both pretty interesting even in comparison to a Fighter. Still, fair enough, fair enough.

I didn't say all NPC classes. :smalltongue:

Greenish
2010-06-19, 01:43 PM
Yup, this, pretty much. Though I'm not convinced that the Pathfinder Fighter does much better.I meant they got the general idea right, they gave even wizards and sorcerers class features.

[Edit]:
Yeah, I don't know what's wrong with your Fighter. Even without optimizing, he should be doing a lot more damage.There is no such thing as "no optimizing". It's a continuum, and there's no standard level of "no optimization" where a fighter "should be doing" any specific amount of damage.

Also, what's wrong with that fighter? He just has optimized poorly, but hey, that shouldn't matter, right? So why would you say there's something wrong with him?

Draz74
2010-06-19, 01:52 PM
[Edit]:There is no such thing as "no optimizing". It's a continuum, and there's no standard level of "no optimization" where a fighter "should be doing" any specific amount of damage.
True. I stand corrected (or nitpicked, as the case may be).


Also, what's wrong with that fighter? He just has optimized poorly, but hey, that shouldn't matter, right? So why would you say there's something wrong with him?

... I think you're trying to make some sarcastic jab at me here, but I'm not getting what it is.

Anyway, the post I was responding to implied that the Fighter's "ineffectual" status was annoying its player and/or Mr.Moron, so there is indeed "something wrong."

Mr.Moron
2010-06-19, 02:04 PM
Yeah, I don't know what's wrong with your Fighter. Even without optimizing, he should be doing a lot more damage.


What's "wrong" with her is that she followed a rather reasonable line of thinking with her character concept. She wanted a character that was combat-centeric and used one-handed weapons. So that's... what she made. No two-handed power attacks, just a pointy piece of metal stabby, stabby.

I took a rather extreme example, I'll admit. However, it remains true that the sum of the fighter's ability is to swing a weapon at someone next to them and deal hit point damage vs AC. They have exactly one way of having a respectable performance in this role (Two-Handed Weapon, Power Attack). If someone not familiar with game mechanics chooses a fighter, and chooses ANYTHING other than THF+Power Attack, they're up the useless creek without paddle. This only becomes more pronounced if restricted to "core only".

On the other hand, at least a wizard will have a hard time bumbling into useless. Even if they just choose to blast, blast and then blast some more they're going to be putting out non-trivial damage on multiple targets. They don't even have to know specifics like power attack, they just take fireball and point in the right direction and it works. They still have a ton of very obvious outside of combat on top of that as well.

You can take a wizard of almost any level and pick out their spells totally at a random, and just wind up with something that's going to be genuinely useful. It won't batman level utility and won't leave the same sort of smoking craters as metamagic-stacked casting. However you've probably still got a set of spells that well, do things. The same can't be said of fighter that has picked out their feats without seriously considering how they interact.

DoodlesD
2010-06-19, 02:11 PM
Well here's another question to consider. Is a fighter still a good choice to play with if you don't plan on taking your characters much above level 10? does he still generally get the job done and survive attacks often enough to be worth including in a party as a damage dealer?

Also, if you used those bonus feats to establish different different trees, couldn't you make a fighter who was decent at everything? like a fighter with power attack-cleave-great cleave AND Archery feats? does trying to round out a character hamper their abilities? From what most people have been saying it seems like the fighter's power peters out after a certain level, so wouldn't it be beneficial to branch out from a single specialization and select other areas of expertise?

Zaq
2010-06-19, 02:22 PM
Well here's another question to consider. Is a fighter still a good choice to play with if you don't plan on taking your characters much above level 10? does he still generally get the job done and survive attacks often enough to be worth including in a party as a damage dealer?

Also, if you used those bonus feats to establish different different trees, couldn't you make a fighter who was decent at everything? like a fighter with power attack-cleave-great cleave AND Archery feats? does trying to round out a character hamper their abilities? From what most people have been saying it seems like the fighter's power peters out after a certain level, so wouldn't it be beneficial to branch out from a single specialization and select other areas of expertise?

The fighter is generally considered a 2-level class, or 6-level at the very most if you're going Dungeoncrasher (see the book Dungeonscape for info on this). The exact number varies, but as a whole, D&D 3.5 is considered to be not horrifically broken up to 6th level or so (there's still great power disparity, but it's less immediately apparent... and some people put the mark at 3rd or 4th level, some go up to about 8th or so), but by 10th level you're pretty solidly in the "Player A and Player B are no longer playing the same game" territory, unless the party has worked together to establish a baseline power level.

As for your other question... no, not really. A melee-type pretty much has to specialize if you want them to stay useful as they level up. (This is one major way in which the fluff of the fighter is horribly misaligned with the crunch... they're supposed to be versatile weapon masters, but they're kinda not.) Also, without support from other class levels, a Fighter is pretty much limited to being a lockdown-style spiked chain user or a charging Power Attack user. (Or, again, Dungeoncrasher, but let's not get into that.) Nothing else really works from Fighter feats alone. You can't really be a properly competent archer, for example, with just Fighter levels. Sure, you can plink away with a bow, but you have no way of making it do enough damage for your enemies to really care about you, especially once monster HP starts to spike up. This is a failing of the system, but the way to get around it is not simply to ignore it.

Draz74
2010-06-19, 02:24 PM
I took a rather extreme example, I'll admit. However, it remains true that the sum of the fighter's ability is to swing a weapon at someone next to them and deal hit point damage vs AC. They have exactly one way of having a respectable performance in this role (Two-Handed Weapon, Power Attack). If someone not familiar with game mechanics chooses a fighter, and chooses ANYTHING other than THF+Power Attack, they're up the useless creek without paddle. This only becomes more pronounced if restricted to "core only".

Did you read my counter-example at all? Our party Fighter (Core-only, other than a minor homebrew feat that gave him more class skills) was one of the lead damage-dealers in the party, even though he used a bastard sword and a shield and refused to use Power Attack.


Well here's another question to consider. Is a fighter still a good choice to play with if you don't plan on taking your characters much above level 10?
A good choice? No. Not if you're going above Level 6 ... and even then, only if you build the Fighter very carefully.


does he still generally get the job done and survive attacks often enough to be worth including in a party as a damage dealer?
Sure. In practice, inbalances in the game are often small enough that all party members still feel like they're able to contribute a reasonable amount. At least up to level 10 or so.


Also, if you used those bonus feats to establish different different trees, couldn't you make a fighter who was decent at everything? like a fighter with power attack-cleave-great cleave AND Archery feats? does trying to round out a character hamper their abilities? From what most people have been saying it seems like the fighter's power peters out after a certain level, so wouldn't it be beneficial to branch out from a single specialization and select other areas of expertise?

Side note: Great Cleave is a terrible feat. The only time it does anything is when you kill more than one target in a single round, and still have more targets in your threatened area. That's a rare situation, and even when in happens, it generally means you're fighting critters who are weak enough that you don't need to spend feats to beat them.

The real problem with what you're saying is ... ok, at Level 8 your Fighter finishes getting good feats for his melee weapon, and starts getting archery feats. Great. So now, while the party spellcasters are picking up Level 5 and 6 spells (and getting options that are WAY more powerful than they could have gotten at low levels), your Fighter is picking up abilities that ... he could have gotten at Level 2. :smallsigh: Yes, he's getting more powerful and more flexible, but ... not nearly as quickly as other characters of his same level range.

(Not to mention, you have to start worrying about paying for a good magic bow, while still spending money to keep improving your main melee weapon ...)

Vaynor
2010-06-19, 02:24 PM
Well, technically there are tier 6 and truenamers below fighter, and fighter is not far from tier 4.

That's also pretty much only because they make good archers. Which doesn't help the OP's role for the fighter as a party tank and melee combatant.

DragoonWraith
2010-06-19, 02:25 PM
Well here's another question to consider. Is a fighter still a good choice to play with if you don't plan on taking your characters much above level 10? does he still generally get the job done and survive attacks often enough to be worth including in a party as a damage dealer?
If you want a single-classed warrior-type above level, say, 6, you should be looking at the Warblade. It's available for free, legally, on Wizards' website.

In situations that play to the Fighter's strengths, he can do what you describe. If enemies stay firmly on the ground, and don't have too many magical defenses, he can really ruin their day. But completely ignoring the Fighter through magical effects is all too easy.


Also, if you used those bonus feats to establish different different trees, couldn't you make a fighter who was decent at everything? like a fighter with power attack-cleave-great cleave AND Archery feats? does trying to round out a character hamper their abilities? From what most people have been saying it seems like the fighter's power peters out after a certain level, so wouldn't it be beneficial to branch out from a single specialization and select other areas of expertise?
No. Because each tree will make you pretty good at something by around level 6. You'll compare well. Then you'll start another tree. You'll be level 12, and be able to do two different things about as well as any level 6 character could do either, but a level 12 character should be much better than two level 6 characters and the Fighter just isn't.

Kaiyanwang
2010-06-19, 02:30 PM
One thing I would say about fighter class features: I generally complain about how feats scale badly, and obviously this is reflected in a class that only recevies some bonus feat (barring ninja-pimpings like Zentharim Soldier).

But, regardless of the power level, I don't find the fact that feats alone are not a class features, or are not inspiring. The edition is huge, and if you combine feats, I appreciate the fact that one fighter is a big charging hulk, another one a quick TWFighter, and so on.

Of course this is valid if all the build are viable, but this not makes the fighter bland per se. When I see the fighter (and in an extent, a rogue), I see sort of a blank paper.. I can draw on it the warrior I imagine.

DragoonWraith
2010-06-19, 02:32 PM
When I see the fighter (and in an extent, a rogue), I see sort of a blank paper.. I can draw on it the warrior I imagine.
To a very great extent (ignoring only the archery types), the Warblade can be the same blank slate, but actually work without trawling through all the books looking for appropriate feats.

PersonMan
2010-06-19, 02:33 PM
The Fighter can work, in some groups. It can even nearly match up with the casters in the party-this is how it is in my group. Why? Because the Fighter is always played by the optimizer of our group, and he can wring out enough stuff to make it about equal with the casters of the party, which tend not to optimize much and blast.

So, yes, if the entire party is optimizing the Fighter quickly gets left in the dust. However, if there are only a few optimizers in the group and they play the Fighters/other melee characters, then you end up with a near-equal group.

Zaq
2010-06-19, 02:33 PM
If you want a single-classed warrior-type above level, say, 6, you should be looking at the Warblade. It's available for free, legally, on Wizards' website.

Specifically, the Warblade is here (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20060802a&page=2), and all of the Tome of Battle maneuvers (including the ones open to the Warblade: Diamond Mind, Stone Dragon, Iron Heart, Tiger Claw, and White Raven) can be found here (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20061225a). 100% free, 100% legal, 100% WotC-sanctioned.

The Warblade is much more powerful than the Fighter. This is not because the Warblade is overpowered. This is because the Fighter is pretty terrible. However, a name is just a name, the Warblade has the exact same fluff as the fighter, and your stern but loyal guardsman / cunning and devious mercenary / knight in shining armor / tired but vengeful old veteran / spunky young swordsman trying to prove himself / etc. doesn't know he's got "Warblade" on his sheet instead of "Fighter."

Greenish
2010-06-19, 02:35 PM
But, regardless of the power level, I don't find the fact that feats alone are not a class features, or are not inspiring. The edition is huge, and if you combine feats, I appreciate the fact that one fighter is a big charging hulk, another one a quick TWFighter, and so on.

Of course this is valid if all the build are viable, but this not makes the fighter blad per se. When I see the fighter (and in an extent, a rogue), I see sort of a blank paper.. I can draw on it the warrior I imagine.But if you want to make a quick TWFer, or an elegant duelist wielding a rapier, fighter can't do it. Not competently.

Warblade, however, can do either of those, or a big charging hulk. They can be used to make a viable warrior of any stripe (though archery is a bit tricky).

[Edit]: And they do it without being a soggy pile of bonus feats. That's what I meant with fighter class being uninspired.

Kaiyanwang
2010-06-19, 02:48 PM
To a very great extent (ignoring only the archery types), the Warblade can be the same blank slate, but actually work without trawling through all the books looking for appropriate feats.

I know. My group current tank is a Kight//Fighter / Warblade. I refluffed ToB techniques being invented by Wind Dukes of Aaqa (and I dropped the 9 sword for a special artifact built with Dragon Magazine, Refluffed Kaorthi Resin and a well timed support of this board.. inspired by a Wind-Kissed Blade from a famous MMORPG).

One thing I noticed, both seeing the PC owner playing it and building my own NPCs that Fighter and Warblade are far better if used together. IMO the best advice is not "roll warblade instead" but "multiclass with Warblade here is it the link".

The girl using the character above is having fun and I am very thankful to this forum for letting me know the class.

Nevertheless, in a previous campaign one of my player played a fighter til level 40. Simply, the tone and the power level of the campaign allowed it. I don't want to say that ToB is not fun, but is not mandatory for having fun.

Moreover, feats model the warrior in game better than maneuvers. Maybe this is due mainly to the fact that I recently play in a more freeform way. I generally answer asking for 1-2 skill roll and a feat for any complicated maneuver the players ask.


But if you want to make a quick TWFer, or an elegant duelist wielding a rapier, fighter can't do it. Not competently.


See what I bolded in the part of post you quoted.

For the rest, read above.



*Of course, this does not mean that I force my players to fit my tastes.

lsfreak
2010-06-19, 02:55 PM
Correction on fighter being a 6th level class: the Zhentarim ACF found here (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20060327a) makes it a possible 9-level class. The original Jack B. Quick build is better with a fighter due to the heavy feat investment it requires. Both have non-fighter versions that you can play, but aren't quite as good.

A level or two for extra feats can be okay if you're really strapped. The Resolute ACF from CC can be okay at 2nd level, but probably not worth it in the majority of builds. Four levels for eventual Weapon Mastery chain (PHB2) can be okay in a few builds (mostly archery), but generally isn't worth it.

Two of biggest problems with fighters is they don't scale (they never get more than 6th-level power), and they can't do crap about nonstandard combat. Solid fog? You're screwed. Invisible? You're screwed. Tactical movement? You're screwed. Long-distance enemy with rough terrain in the way, and you picked Shock Trooper? You're screwed. ToB helps a lot with these things by pretty much always giving them something to do. There's also the problem that fighters suck at one-handed and TWF, and are pretty pitiful at shield combat and archery as well. ToB does all of those but archery fine, and if you know what you're doing, can do archery as well.

Greenish
2010-06-19, 02:59 PM
See what I evidencied in the part of post you quoted.I have no idea what you were trying to "evidencify" on your post, other than that fighters aren't "blad" despite having no class features.

Now, a class you can customize to fit how you pictured your character is good. Fighters just fail that, if you pictured your character being competent.

A fighter is not a blank slate, it's a blank piece of soggy toilet paper. A warblade is an example of a blank slate made right.

DragoonWraith
2010-06-19, 02:59 PM
I know. My group current tank is a Kight//Fighter / Warblade. I refluffed ToB techniques being invented by Wind Dukes of Aaqa (and I dropped the 9 sword for a special artifact built with Dragon Magazine, Refluffed Kaorthi Resin and a well timed support of this board.. inspired by a Wind-Kissed Blade from a famous MMORPG).

One thing I noticed, both seeing the PC owner playing it and building my own NPCs that Fighter and Warblade are far better if used together. IMO the best advice is not "roll warblade instead" but "multiclass with Warblade here is it the link".

The girl using the character above is having fun and I am very thankful to this forum for letting me know the class.
Oh, Warblade and Fighter multiclass very well, it's one of the crowning achievements of Tome of Battle that it works so well.

That said, giving up the Dual Stance feature for a few feats... is not worth it, IMO.


Nevertheless, in a previous campaign one of my player played a fighter til level 40. Simply, the tone and the power level of the campaign allowed it. I don't want to say that ToB is not fun, but is not mandatory for having fun.
Anything can be fun. Who hasn't had fun with no rules at all? That's kind of a cornerstone of childhood, after all. But the Fighter really doesn't bring anything to the table, IMO. You're having fun because of your character, your friends, etc., but nothing about your build is exciting or interesting or adding to the fun, IMO.


Moreover, for my personal tastes, I prefer feats to maneuver, in the way I conceive the game*. This is due mainly to the fact that I recently tend to more freeform and to gather in a couple of skill use and one feat most thing my player ask "if is it possible".[/U]
Uhm. Sorry to do this to ya, buddy, but uh, language issues here. I am not understanding you at all here...

DoodlesD
2010-06-19, 03:03 PM
What about the Critical Feats in Pathfinder? do the these increase the effectiveness of Fighters by giving them variability in the effects of their attacks?

Ormagoden
2010-06-19, 03:09 PM
Why do we still answer these threads?

Zaq
2010-06-19, 03:10 PM
I've never played Pathfinder, but just after browsing those feats on the Pathfinder SRD, I have to say that they don't seem worth it. A fighter isn't having any problems with the fight is already going his way (such as when he's critting). It's his inability to change the terms of combat to make them go his way that really bites him. Inconsistently applying status effects won't change it. They're nice to have (who doesn't like blinding a foe? Glitterdust is a classic for a reason), but not nearly enough to actually make a difference. (The fact that a significant chunk of the creatures you'll fight by the time your BAB is high enough to take those feats will be immune to crits anyway just kind of rubs that in.)

Kaiyanwang
2010-06-19, 03:13 PM
Uhm. Sorry to do this to ya, buddy, but uh, language issues here. I am not understanding you at all here...

Yeah, I was doing 2 things at once. Hope now is clear. You are kind...

Talking about kindness: @Greenish: er.. nevermind.


I've never played Pathfinder, but just after browsing those feats on the Pathfinder SRD, I have to say that they don't seem worth it. A fighter isn't having any problems with the fight is already going his way (such as when he's critting). It's his inability to change the terms of combat to make them go his way that really bites him. Inconsistently applying status effects won't change it. They're nice to have (who doesn't like blinding a foe? Glitterdust is a classic for a reason), but not nearly enough to actually make a difference. (The fact that a significant chunk of the creatures you'll fight by the time your BAB is high enough to take those feats will be immune to crits anyway just kind of rubs that in.)

Nothing to say about the "change the terms of combat" thing, but as far as I can see, those feats are intended, IMO, to be used in combo.

There are strikes that can be delivered only if the enemy is stunned, so a stunning crit can be useful for a "cool" (maybe not so useful) finishing move on a stunned enemy.

Morevorer, meleers are now intended, IMO to be more fun if played in couples: barring the good old rogue + flanker, think about monk stun + fighter or rogue (deadly stroke or SA), stunning/staggering critical + monk medusa wrath, barbarian intimidating rage or terrifying howl + anyone with shatter defenses, rogue + fighter rain of bleeding attacks, fighter stun/blind + rogue or another fighter deadly stroke, greater X maneuvers (greater feint + rogue or fighter/barbarian performing a maneuver, greater trip or greater bull rush + allies)... and so on.

Finally, creatures immune to critical hits has been reduced in pathfinder. As an exemple, corporeal undeads are vulnerable to crits, as well as constructs. and true dragons, pit fiends, linnorms, balors, are all high level and vulnerable.

DragoonWraith
2010-06-19, 03:15 PM
Yeah, I was doing 2 things at once. Hope now is clear. You are kind...
Ah, OK, I can see how that would work. Honestly, I find it infuriating how 3.5 expects you to have a Feat for everything, or a Maneuver or a Spell or a specific skill DC, or whatever. It gets annoying. Your way sounds better.

DoodlesD
2010-06-19, 03:17 PM
If feats existed that were exclusive to fighters that would effectively level the playing field, what exactly would they have to do?

Gnaeus
2010-06-19, 03:22 PM
I took a rather extreme example, I'll admit. However, it remains true that the sum of the fighter's ability is to swing a weapon at someone next to them and deal hit point damage vs AC. They have exactly one way of having a respectable performance in this role (Two-Handed Weapon, Power Attack). If someone not familiar with game mechanics chooses a fighter, and chooses ANYTHING other than THF+Power Attack, they're up the useless creek without paddle. This only becomes more pronounced if restricted to "core only".

That isn't really true.

Battlefield controllers (trippers especially, grapplers and bull rushers to lesser extents) can be quite effective. They don't have enough feat support in core, but If I were building a fighter 20, I would take improved trip and combat reflexes in most games before Power Attack.

Archers can be effective in moderate optimization campaigns. A decently built archer can compete with a warmage or blaster wizard/sorcerer for damage if the caster doesn't know the tricks. Their big weakness is that it is way too easy to shut them down with low level effects.

It is really just Sword and Board and TWF that fail by default, and even the Sword and Board can be useful if the DM allows them to tank instead of playing monsters smart.



a Druid, played by a player with a lot of D&D experience but total apathy for optimization. He traded Wild Shape for a disgusting amount of Monk class features (which still probably weren't quite as powerful as Wild Shape), and he had one of the stronger options for an animal companion (wolf).

The Druid, the class who supposedly breaks the game by accident? Well, the DM got annoyed after a while with how high his AC was. Otherwise, not really an issue.

Trading away Wildshape is ALWAYS a bad option for a druid if his goal is (Power/Versatility/Damage). Every replacement for Wildshape is weaker. Most are easier, faster in play, some are arguably more fun, but none is comparable on the breaking the game by accident scale.

Wolf isn't even the strongest first level animal companion (much weaker than riding dog). It is much weaker than the higher level options. The fact that your druid chose weak options and STILL ran on a level with other characters says the opposite of what you suggest.

gbprime
2010-06-19, 03:27 PM
sword and board works if you have several dedicated melee types. If they all at least have a buckler, then you can build a shieldman using Phalanx fighting, Allied Defense, and other tricks that add to both his and his buddies' AC. He won't be the primary damage dealer, though, but neither will he be wasting his time.

I put a "Squire" together like this that supported the party paladin. Cranked both their AC's way up and he used Hindering Opportunist to convert attacks of opportunity into Aid Another actions instead.

Zaq
2010-06-19, 03:27 PM
If feats existed that were exclusive to fighters that would effectively level the playing field, what exactly would they have to do?

The playing field is enormous. It'd be basically impossible to bump them up to the level of a wizard or cleric, or even a sorcerer or psion. The Warblade is generally considered to hit the middle of the power curve, which many consider the sweet spot, but you can't reduce the Warblade down to a few feats, since the whole point is that it's a fighter with class features.

Offhand, if a Fighter could truly say "no" to a Wizard and get through a lot of their tricks (cutting through a wall of force, ignoring a solid fog, having some way to dampen or suppress contingencies...), that might be a start. You'd have to be careful to make these abilities useful for actual play instead of "Fighter vs. Wizard" (which is a VERY VERY BAD THING THAT WE ARE NOT TRYING TO DISCUSS THANK YOU), but it would at least give them a leg up and a unique trick. My understanding is that this was at least part of the design goal of the Warmarked (a homebrew class that can be found somewhere around here), but I freely admit that I haven't scrutinized the Warmarked much at all.

Kaiyanwang
2010-06-19, 03:30 PM
Ah, OK, I can see how that would work. Honestly, I find it infuriating how 3.5 expects you to have a Feat for everything, or a Maneuver or a Spell or a specific skill DC, or whatever. It gets annoying. Your way sounds better.

Yeah, I call it the "you need Improved Bathroom to go to the bathroom in 3.5" syndrome.

Indeed, my theory is that ToB, even if did great and needed thing to action economy (my favourite maneuver is not Time Stands Still, but the humble Sudden Leap) pushed the design to an even more needed specialization.

Of course, what I said makes sense only if re-state that feats should be reworked in the way they scale.

Something that Pathfinder accomplished only partially (Power Attack scales, but you have to take Vital Strike 3 times to improve it :smallsigh:).

lsfreak
2010-06-19, 03:32 PM
If you want a fighter that can compete fairly well with T3 classes, look here (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=2096.0). Feat's aren't enough to level the playing field, they need something much better.

Khellendross
2010-06-19, 03:33 PM
Fighters can be made to be effective but they aren't amazing at higher levels. In my game I give a fighter a feat every level, and extra 2 skill points a level, always gets half hit points per level on a bad roll, and their weapon selections are more like weapon groups in 4e than 3.5. If you take weapon focus Heavy blades it covers a lot. Last thing I think I added to them is they are proficient in all weapons and armor even exotic unless it's a racial weapon.

It's a boost to the fighter but it's still no tier 1 or 2.

Mr.Moron
2010-06-19, 03:35 PM
That isn't really true.

Battlefield controllers (trippers especially, grapplers and bull rushers to lesser extents) can be quite effective. They don't have enough feat support in core, but If I were building a fighter 20, I would take improved trip and combat reflexes in most games before Power Attack.


This works if your campaign is entirely limited to medium-sized bipedal warrior-type enemies.

Big Monsters are insanely hard to trip or grapple. Magic users and ranged combatants aren't easily to trip or grapple on account of them being well, not next to you.

DoodlesD
2010-06-19, 03:36 PM
I like that Khellendross. Does that solve at least some of the other problems people encounter with the fighter class??

gbprime
2010-06-19, 03:36 PM
Most of our campaigns give a similar boost to anyone who sticks with a base class past level 10. Big bonuses to clerics and sorcerers, less to fighters and wizards, very small ones to druid and monk (since they're encouraged not to PrC anyway). House rules like that help level the playing field a bit, but are certainly not the fix the system needs.

DragoonWraith
2010-06-19, 03:40 PM
If feats existed that were exclusive to fighters that would effectively level the playing field, what exactly would they have to do?
Look at the spells available at each level, and consider that a Wizard gains a minimum of two of them each level. The Fighter needs ways of dealing with the realities of a battlefield when there's spellcasters that can radically alter the landscape or characters in play as a standard action, and you have absolutely no way of either preventing them from doing so or knowing ahead of time which way they'll alter it. The Fighter needs to be able to fight no matter what, which he cannot currently do. Currently, he gets shut down far too easily - he can be a good charger, but if prevented from charging (easily done), he's useless. He can be good at trip-lockdown, but if prevented from tripping (not so difficult), he's useless.

He needs to be able to act in a wide variety of situations effectively, and he just cannot. 11 feats are a lot, but ultimately it doesn't give you enough tricks that you'll be able to pull out to adapt with a situation, especially since many are going to be wasted on weak pre-reqs and many are going to be simple numerical bonuses. The feats would need to give him new options, and allow him to act in situations where he normally couldn't.

Aharon
2010-06-19, 03:42 PM
You could make feats scale with Base Attack Bonus, so you only need one feat for the whole archery style, and another one for the whole fighting with two swords style. That would be a start...

lsfreak
2010-06-19, 03:42 PM
I like that Khellendross. Does that solve at least some of the other problems people encounter with the fighter class??

More feats is not enough. They still don't have ways of bending the action economy, and they can't make good use of swift and immediate actions, they're still too far on the MAD side of things, and they have a hard time dealing with even common spell effects.

Khellendross
2010-06-19, 03:43 PM
I like that Khellendross. Does that solve at least some of the other problems people encounter with the fighter class??

It helps. Having 20 feats can sure help a fighter. He can take both ranged and melee feats and even a few maneuvers from TOB to round himself out. The hit point thing helps but I also gave that to barbarians in my game and making them use weapon groups over individual gives them some versatility. I feel its close to teir 3 at that point with those changes which is why I did that.

Gnaeus
2010-06-19, 03:43 PM
This works if your campaign is entirely limited to medium-sized bipedal warrior-type enemies.

Big Monsters are insanely hard to trip or grapple. Magic users and ranged combatants aren't easily to trip or grapple on account of them being well, not next to you.

Big monsters and ranged attackers are handled by size boosts. Goliath, Half-Ogre, Potions of or Permanent Enlarge Person, PAO, Psionic Tattoos etc.... Changing your battlefield controller's size is critical to the concept, and not difficult. A large fighter with a Guisarme or Spiked Chain can move into the center of most rooms and threaten everyone within.

Magic Users can only really be beaten by other Magic Users, although a battlefield controller with the Mage Slayer line is more effective at it than 95% of muggle builds.


Most of our campaigns give a similar boost to anyone who sticks with a base class past level 10. Big bonuses to clerics and sorcerers, less to fighters and wizards, very small ones to druid and monk (since they're encouraged not to PrC anyway). House rules like that help level the playing field a bit, but are certainly not the fix the system needs.

Good plan. Clerics need a boost after level 10. Monks, they don't need anything, I mean, look at all the free feats they are getting from VOP. :smalleek:

DoodlesD
2010-06-19, 03:47 PM
You could make feats scale with Base Attack Bonus, so you only need one feat for the whole archery style, and another one for the whole fighting with two swords style. That would be a start...

I don't quite understand. How exactly does this work out?

lightningcat
2010-06-19, 03:48 PM
I've played a Fighter 18, using nothing but core (early days of 3.5), and few magic items, and no buffs (The group was 2 fighters, and 2 rogues, and no UMD). And this was before I had even heard of "Optimization". I did 75-150 points of damage per round, depending on weapon. As most things in d&d have less then 500 hp, a fight against a single creature was ususally less then 5 rounds, if I was working solo. Of course I did also take punishment, but it was survivable.

So to answer the original question, NO. So while they're not at the top of the pile, they do what they need to do, but they still could be improved.

If I was to rebuild the character, I would probably make him as a Fighter/Warblade, and use the higher levels of weapon specialization feat tree from the PH2.

lsfreak
2010-06-19, 03:49 PM
I don't quite understand. How exactly does this work out?

Weapon Focus normally gives +1. Greater Weapon Focus is removed, and instead for every 6BAB you have (every time you get an extra attack from BAB), it goes up by an addition +1. I think this is how it should be with feats like Weapon Focus, Dodge, and so on all the time, rather than only for fighters. Which means it still does nothing to make fighters better compared to other classes.

EDIT:
@lightningcat
Damage output means nothing. Damage doesn't make the class. Fighter has no way of dealing with things as simple as diplomacy situations, no way of being a good lookout, no way of shrugging off the suggestion that was just dumped on him. Damage is not the fighter's problem, which is why more feats rarely works.

Aharon
2010-06-19, 03:54 PM
@IsFreak
It all depends on the effects you get... Two examples from the Frank&K tomes:
Great Fortitude [Combat]
You are so tough. Your belly is like a prism.
+0: You gain a +3 bonus to your Fortitude Saves.
+1: You die at -20 instead of -10.
+6: You gain 1 hit point per level.
+11: You gain DR of 5/-.
+16: You are immune to the fatigued and exhausted
conditions. If you are already immune to these
conditions, you gain 1 hit point per level for each
condition you were already immune to.


Point Blank Shot [Combat]
You are crazy good using a ranged weapon in close
quarters.
+0: When you are within 30 of your target, your attacks
with a ranged weapon gain a +3 bonus to-hit.
+1: You add your base attack bonus to damage with
any ranged attack within the first range increment.
+6: You do not provoke an attack of opportunity when
you make a ranged attack.
+11: When armed with a Ranged Weapon, you may
make attacks of opportunity against opponents
who provoke them within 30 of you. Movement
within this area does not provoke an attack of opportunity.
+16: With a Full Attack action, you may fire a ranged
weapon once at every single opponent within the
first range increment of your weapon. You gain no
additional attacks for having a high BAB. Make a
single attack roll for the entire round, and compare
to the armor class of each opponent within range.

Those are quite good, I think. If you get 11 feats with effects similar to these, you can either specialize to be really good at melee, or be rather versatile.

Plus, they remade the Fighter to be insanely strong.

DoodlesD
2010-06-19, 03:57 PM
What if fighters had better saves and better spell resistance, reducing the effectiveness spells have on them and making them suitable for countering casters in enemy parties?

gbprime
2010-06-19, 03:58 PM
Making a feat scalable is a rather new concept. When 3.5 was written, it was unheard of. Now, the devotion feats in Complete Champion (one of the last books written for 3.5) pretty much all scale up as you do.

making a line of feats that depend on weapon specialization (or similar fighter-only kung fu) might be a way to address this.

lsfreak
2010-06-19, 03:59 PM
@IsFreak
It all depends on the effects you get... Two examples from the Frank&K tomes:

Those are quite good, I think. If you get 11 feats with effects similar to these, you can either specialize to be really good at melee, or be rather versatile.

Ah, yup. That stuff is much better, but also a significant rewrite of an existing system, which is more than some people want. The simple scaling is probably more palatable to many, for the sake of simplicity, but it really doesn't do enough to make the fighter any better than it is. Frank&K stuff is much better in that department.

Salbazier
2010-06-19, 04:01 PM
@IsFreak
It all depends on the effects you get... Two examples from the Frank&K tomes:



Those are quite good, I think. If you get 11 feats with effects similar to these, you can either specialize to be really good at melee, or be rather versatile.

Plus, they remade the Fighter to be insanely strong.

That looks good. I've never hears of Frank&K. What is it?

Koury
2010-06-19, 04:04 PM
What if fighters had better saves and better spell resistance, reducing the effectiveness spells have on them and making them suitable for countering casters in enemy parties?

SR is pretty much a joke, between Assay SR, Caster Level boosts and other things like that.

As for saves... Well, good saves sure didn't help the monk, now did it? :smallbiggrin:

lsfreak
2010-06-19, 04:06 PM
What if fighters had better saves and better spell resistance, reducing the effectiveness spells have on them and making them suitable for countering casters in enemy parties?

Better saves: It helps. The ability to add their Con to saves at some point would be a huge help (see Rebalancing Compendium fighter I linked before, Warblade with Reflex saves).

Spell Resistance: Eh. What they really need is an active way of resisting or shrugging off spells- see the Resolute ACF in CC, Iron Heart Surge from ToB, Slippery Mind for rogues, the Shake if Off ability from Rebalancing Compedium, and a number of spells that grant allies re-saves.

Reduce spell effectiveness: Eh. Hard to pull off well, I'd think, compared with just giving the an IHS-like ability.

Counter enemy casters: If it could be pulled off well, possibly. In practice, it's the lack of defenses and reliance on magic items (read: wealth sinks like getting flight) that are the fighter's downfall when it comes to casters.

Draz74
2010-06-19, 04:09 PM
If feats existed that were exclusive to fighters that would effectively level the playing field, what exactly would they have to do?

Here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30692) is a good example of a Fighter Fix that brings Fighters up to Tier 3 (i.e., the same as the Warblade; still a lot weaker than a Wizard or Druid can be).


Trading away Wildshape is ALWAYS a bad option for a druid if his goal is (Power/Versatility/Damage). Every replacement for Wildshape is weaker. Most are easier, faster in play, some are arguably more fun, but none is comparable on the breaking the game by accident scale.
Um, I already admitted that losing Wild Shape made him less powerful. I don't know what you're trying to prove here.

This guy had a stronger replacement for Wild Shape than any published ones, at any rate. Full Monk unarmed progression, including Flurry of Blows; Monk speed boosts; Monk AC boosts (including WIS); and a handful of lamer Monk features. It was practically a Monk//Druid gestalt except without Wild Shape. In a non-Gestalt game.

Oh yeah, not to mention, this character started off at Level 2 or 3. Good luck convincing me that his Monk features weren't stronger than Wild Shape up to Level 5. :smalltongue:


Wolf isn't even the strongest first level animal companion (much weaker than riding dog). It is much weaker than the higher level options.
Wolf is marginally weaker than riding dog. It is stronger than any other first level animal companion. I forgot to mention that he did "advance" it into a Dire Wolf once we were high enough level. I'm not worried about comparing it to a Dire Bear or Dire Tiger, because (a) this campaign never got to those levels, and (b) the early levels are where the Animal Companion is the most dominant class feature anyway.


The fact that your druid chose weak options and STILL ran on a level with other characters says the opposite of what you suggest.
No, because I wasn't arguing, as you seem to think, that Druid isn't Tier 1 or isn't overpowered or can't break the game accidentally. Druid is much more likely than any other class (except maybe Spell-to-Power Erudite) to accidentally break the game in the hands of an inexperienced player.

But my argument was that it does not automatically break the game, every time. Which is the idea that this forum sometimes gives to new players who are trying to learn the what's and why's of class imbalance.

In any case, I was mainly discussing the party Fighter in this case. Even if the Druid did choose "weak options," so did the Fighter, and they still were comparable in practice.

DoodlesD
2010-06-19, 04:13 PM
Still, in 3.5 fighters have some really poor saves, excluding fortitude. In AD&D, Fighters had the best saves against pretty much everything, highest AC, Best attacks and damage. Now it seems like everybody else BUT the fighter has all of these things. This makes it more difficult for fighters to be more effective in combat than other classes which is the area in which they should excel most.

Also, It seems like the big power boost casters get is from not having spell restrictions like in former editions. Nowadays, most spells don't have material components, but in the old days of AD&D, Material components were EXPENSIVE!!! even if the components weren't expensive, they were still necessary and almost EVERY spell required them.

Now, a wizard can take Eschew materials and never stress about it again. I think that might be why casters seem to surpass fighters in 3.5, as very powerful and useful spells have become significantly easier to cast.

Draz74
2010-06-19, 04:15 PM
Still, in 3.5 fighters have some really poor saves, excluding fortitude. In AD&D, Fighters had the best saves against pretty much everything, highest AC, Best attacks and damage. Now it seems like everybody else BUT the fighter has all of these things. This makes it more difficult for fighters to be more effective in combat than other classes which is the area in which they should excel most.

Also, It seems like the big power boost casters get is from not having spell restrictions like in former editions. Nowadays, most spells don't have material components, but in the old days of AD&D, Material components were EXPENSIVE!!! even if the components weren't expensive, they were still necessary and almost EVERY spell required them.

Now, a wizard can take Eschew materials and never stress about it again. I think that might be why casters seem to surpass fighters in 3.5, as very powerful and useful spells have become significantly easier to cast.

Now you're catching on. :smallbiggrin:

Greenish
2010-06-19, 04:18 PM
Now, a wizard can take Eschew materials and never stress about it again. I think that might be why casters seem to surpass fighters in 3.5, as very powerful and useful spells have become significantly easier to cast.You don't say? :smallamused:

DoodlesD
2010-06-19, 04:21 PM
so instead of fixing the fighter class, would it be easier to put restrictions on spell casters and make higher level spells more difficult/expensive/dangerous to use?

Kaiyanwang
2010-06-19, 04:22 PM
Still, in 3.5 fighters have some really poor saves, excluding fortitude. In AD&D, Fighters had the best saves against pretty much everything, highest AC, Best attacks and damage. Now it seems like everybody else BUT the fighter has all of these things. This makes it more difficult for fighters to be more effective in combat than other classes which is the area in which they should excel most.

Also, It seems like the big power boost casters get is from not having spell restrictions like in former editions. Nowadays, most spells don't have material components, but in the old days of AD&D, Material components were EXPENSIVE!!! even if the components weren't expensive, they were still necessary and almost EVERY spell required them.

Now, a wizard can take Eschew materials and never stress about it again. I think that might be why casters seem to surpass fighters in 3.5, as very powerful and useful spells have become significantly easier to cast.

Is not only a matter of money cost. Is a matter of drawbacks (see AD&D haste), danger and randomness, lack of control on powerful spell effects (see AD&D gate), number of spell slots (compare AD&D magic user and 3.5 wizard) and concentration and defensive casting rules (try to cast in combat in AD&D, or even cast while riding an horse).


so instead of fixing the fighter class, would it be easier to put restrictions on spell casters and make higher level spells more difficult/expensive/dangerous to use?

I use it in my campaings.. like sanity and taint and violet rain and so on.

In truth, my player don't abuse the system and I play interaction with creatures and universe with care (example, planar binding)... so I don't need to always use mechanics above.

Casting time should be another thing to consider, too. Finally, some spell simply need a nerf (compare 3.5 SRD and pathfinder SRD forcecage.. that's at least something... you could work in that direction).

Draz74
2010-06-19, 04:26 PM
so instead of fixing the fighter class, would it be easier to put restrictions on spell casters and make higher level spells more difficult/expensive/dangerous to use?

"Easier," maybe not. A lot of people have tried, and no "fix" has really caught on in a widespread fashion. Boosting is always harder than nerfing.

But are the results more desirable? IMO, yes. I don't want a game where all the classes are brought up to the level of power of an optimized Wizard. I'd much rather have all the classes meet somewhere in the middle.

DoodlesD
2010-06-19, 04:28 PM
I use it in my campaings.. like sanity and taint and violet rain and so on.

In truth, my player don't abuse the system and I play interaction with creatures and universe with care (example, planar binding)... so I don't need to always use mechanics above.

Casting time should be another thing to consider, too. Some spell simply need a nerf (compare 3.5 SRD and pathfinder SRD forcecage.. that's at least something... you could work in that direction).

I'm not exactly familiar with taint, violet rain, planar binding, nerf, etc. What exactly are these things and why would they be effective?

lsfreak
2010-06-19, 04:29 PM
so instead of fixing the fighter class, would it be easier to put restrictions on spell casters and make higher level spells more difficult/expensive/dangerous to use?

You really need to do both. Take a look at the description of the Class Tiers (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=1002.0) (I don't remember if this is the most up-to-date version of the thread or not). Either you need to bring everything down to roughly T4-level, or level everything at T3, depending on your preferred level of play. Most optimizers seem to say that T3 is the sweet spot - no class excels at everything, but they're good enough to never be in a situation where they could be playing Xbox and still be as effective.

Either way, you've got your work cut out for you with spellcasting, just because it's so complex. There's been many attempts to try and make spellcasting more in line with T3 power, but it's difficult. It's really easier just to take the entire game, and cut out everything that's not T2/T3 (except for allows dips in lower-tier classes, like fighter), banning the most abusive spells still available to the T2 casters, rather than attempting to level the playing field a different way.

Greenish
2010-06-19, 04:30 PM
so instead of fixing the fighter class, would it be easier to put restrictions on spell casters and make higher level spells more difficult/expensive/dangerous to use?Easier still is to limit the classes players can pick. There are full casters that aren't stronger than non-casters. Dread Necromancers and Beguilers are right in tier 3 with ToB classes and quite a few others. Warmages and Healers are below that.

See the tier thread (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=5256.0). Generally, you'd want your players be around the same tier.

gbprime
2010-06-19, 04:37 PM
You can also limit your players to two PrC's each. This removes some of the level-dip cheese. Or you can just say no to stuff. Concept. :smallcool:

lsfreak
2010-06-19, 04:39 PM
You can also limit your players to two PrC's each. This removes some of the level-dip cheese. Or you can just say no to stuff. Concept. :smallcool:

That hurts T5/T4 classes much, much, much more than T1/T2. T1/T2 can get by in their own class and still dominate an encounter, while a T4/T5 may be crippled.

DoodlesD
2010-06-19, 04:39 PM
I agree that tier 3 would be the optimal level to play at. I'm amazed that characters can even get up to tier 1 as that is just ridiculously powerful.

I could understand characters being that powerful if using such power came at great personal expense. Back in AD&D, creating permanent magic items cost a caster a Constitution point. Talk about serious personal expense, especially if constitution score is low already.

Kaiyanwang
2010-06-19, 04:46 PM
I'm not exactly familiar with taint, violet rain, planar binding, nerf, etc. What exactly are these things and why would they be effective?

Violet Rain is an effect of evil weather in book of Vile Darkness. Check for the name because I've the Italian copy ("pioggia viola") so I could be wrong on the name. It simply shuts down any divine spell and power.

Taint mechanics started in Oriental Adventures. Then was changed in Unearthed Arcana, and then in Heroes of Horror. OAdv mechanics forced spellcasters (divine, but you can change it) to make a spellcraft check in certain zones when casting a spell or lose the spell and gain taint points. More taint point, the more you become a monster. Reaching 10 taint points, you are gone.

Sanity is in Unearthed Arcana (so in SRD). You start with an amount of sanity point. Each time you cast a spell (basing on the campaign: every spell, spell above a level, spell of a school, spell of a class, specific spell) you can lose sanity. When the sanity is gone, your character is gone insane. EDIT: quite a tautology, I guess. I meant: you are screwed.

Planar Binding is a core spell. I cited it because is often abused someway.


What I said is not meant to screw players. But you can use it as a base for some drawback mechanic for specific spells. Say, transmute yourself in a monster too often (polymorph abuse) or cheat with time (celerity, timestop), could, in some campaign, undermine your sanity.

This way you could keep magic powerful, giving drawbacks. Is just ONE way.. you could just simply nerf or ban what is too overpowered.

Knaight
2010-06-19, 04:51 PM
I'm not exactly familiar with taint, violet rain, planar binding, nerf, etc. What exactly are these things and why would they be effective?

I'm not sure about violet rain, but as for the rest of it.

Taint is a mechanical measure of how much people have been twisted by the forces of darkness (TM), in general having high taint is a bad thing, and you can set it up so that spells invite taint acquisition.

Planar binding is a spell, and an expensive one that summons an extraplanar creature for an extended period and forces them to do stuff for you. It is way powerful.

Nerf is a generic term meaning "to make weaker" or "makes weaker", depending on its use as a verb, or adjective.

lsfreak
2010-06-19, 04:52 PM
It is worth saying that, if you have knowledgeable people playing the T1 and T5/4 characters, it may never even be a problem. The T3 people can get by with any level of optimization (one of the hallmarks of T3 is that on the whole, they are partially pre-optimized), the T4 players optimize a lot, and the T1/T2 players play entirely as support for the others. For example, the T3 swordsage uses maneuvers to play a rogue-archetype, striking from stealth as the primary melee damage. The T5-ish ranger/barbarian/deepwoods sniper uses his archery to pick off weak targets and pincushion enemy casters. The T1 cleric plays a pseudo-paladin, primarily using his spiked chain to disable targets, as well as long-term buffing of others with DMM:Persist. The T1 wizard uses battlefield control to make sure his allies are never overwhelmed, uses tactical teleports to get allies into ideal positions, buffs them with in-combat buffs, and debuffs enemies to make them easier to hit.

Lycar
2010-06-19, 05:42 PM
Oh and another thing:

It has been mentioned that Cleave and Great Cleave aren't worth it because the things that a fighter can kill in one hit aren't dangerous anyway.

About that teamwork thing: Have you ever considered that, maybe, the fighter is able to Cleave a swath through the ranks of the enemy forces because a thoughtful wizard fireballed them down to size? :smallwink:

So yeah, the fireball didn't eliminate a single enemy by itself. Waste of an action? Or a boost for the fighter who now can play out his strength(s) against a debuffed foe?

It all lies in the teamwork, there is more to spells then SoD/S rule, blasting is ineffective...

Lycar

Hague
2010-06-19, 06:42 PM
One of my biggest gripes? That Leadership is not a Fighter Bonus Feat. They worked so hard to make the fighter so much like 2e, but they removed his ability to attract followers. Should be that Leadership is a Fighter Bonus feat or a Class feature at 9th level.

The Class Variants also make Fighters unique. A Knight/Fighter is a thing to marvel at when he picks up Counterattack. Knight's Challenge, and Bulwark of Defense. Enemies can't walk around you very safely, so they choose to attack you instead, getting whacked in response in addition to the added mobility that you get from the knight's class feature that ignores movement penalties for Heavy armor. Bonus Fighter feats let you pick up Shield Specialization, making you a pretty tough customer in the AC category too. Pick up cleave and you can challenge the primary goon, while getting attacked by secondary goons, counterattacking and killing them while dealing cleave damage to the big guy who is forced to full attack you by your knight's challenge, getting counterattacked in response.

How would you rule this: Can you fight defensively while using the Counterattack option? It says it's a full round action to use counterattack and making a single attack but fighting defensively states that you can use it on an attack action or a full-attack action. Is counterattack considered an attack action or simply its own action?

Knaight
2010-06-19, 06:47 PM
It has been mentioned that Cleave and Great Cleave aren't worth it because the things that a fighter can kill in one hit aren't dangerous anyway.

About that teamwork thing: Have you ever considered that, maybe, the fighter is able to Cleave a swath through the ranks of the enemy forces because a thoughtful wizard fireballed them down to size? :smallwink:

Of course, they all have to be right next to eachother, within reach of 1 fighter. Assuming 30 feet reach on the fighter (reasonable), and an enlarged fireball (reasonable), the fighter either has to be able to tumble into the center (questionable), or take the blast (reasonable if this is a standard tactic and loading up on fire resistant buffs/items/whatever is expected.) So, either an arc or a circle is reasonable, depending on the fire resistance. For creatures size huge, an arc will allow maybe 3 packed in who all got hit, gargantuan bigger probably gives you 1. 12 enemies in 1 fight is reasonable, over 16 and they are clearly all trivial, so 12 huge or smaller foes in the center of the fireball is reasonable, with some minor optimization.

Then the fireball or whatever has to just happen to reduce all of them to between 0 hit points (-1 is out of the fight after all) and however much damage can be dealt. The first guy should be easy complements of charging and power attack allowing high damage, but the rest lose charge advantages. Its a fairly narrow range, and big monsters probably need more than that anyways.

In short, this tactic is highly situational, and won't work at all in cases where enemies are highly spread out, of which there are likely many, will work poorly at best where there aren't large hordes, and is completely worthless against one enemy, and is screwed over by stuff like fire resistance. Somehow, a fireball great cleave combination seems pretty pathetic.

Now, that said, great cleave is useful if optimizing for horde fighting. A combination of combat reflexes, great cleave, and reach enhancement can probably get 100 feet of reach in every direction, and that is an army killer. But for the skirmish level stuff without hordes of chaff in every fight, great cleave remains near useless. Just cleave still has its niche use, and might just be worth taking.

Greenish
2010-06-19, 06:48 PM
About that teamwork thing: Have you ever considered that, maybe, the fighter is able to Cleave a swath through the ranks of the enemy forces because a thoughtful wizard fireballed them down to size? :smallwink:Again, Great Cleave is useful only if there are several enemies that the fighter can kill with a single attack within fighter's reach.

Doesn't seem useful to me.

Rin_Hunter
2010-06-19, 06:53 PM
I'm personally starting to quite like my own Fighter variant. Has lots of room for customisation and for me to add more Fighting Styles.

PId6
2010-06-19, 06:54 PM
Artificers are not as good as most people think unless you've got nigh-infinite supplies of gold (in which case you probably have bigger issues), although they're still pretty good.
A bit late, but I'd just like to comment on this. Out of the Tier 1s, Artificers probably require the most optimization to do well, but they are really powerful if done well. Between Metamagic Spell Completion and Metamagic Item, they get more mileage out of metamagic abuse than possibly even the cleric, and with proper use of cost reducers they don't even need much gold for what they do. Tier system expect high optimization, and Artificers are solidly Tier 1 when optimized well (and possibly Tier 6 when done badly).

Draz74
2010-06-19, 07:12 PM
Now, that said, great cleave is useful if optimizing for horde fighting. A combination of combat reflexes, great cleave, and reach enhancement can probably get 100 feet of reach in every direction, and that is an army killer. But for the skirmish level stuff without hordes of chaff in every fight, great cleave remains near useless. Just cleave still has its niche use, and might just be worth taking.

Eh, even if I'm hard-core optimizing for horde-killing, I think I'd rather get Whirlwind Attack than Great Cleave, once my reach was that big.

Let the records show that I did not discourage Cleave, though. It's a decent feat. (There are better choices if non-Core is allowed ... but it's not bad. Killing one critter per turn, and still having something else in your threatened area, is pretty believable.)


Tier system expect high optimization, and Artificers are solidly Tier 1 when optimized well (and possibly Tier 6 when done badly).

Hmm, can't they be, like, high Tier 4 at low levels, just by using the infusion that gives their allies Bane weapons (matching the Bane type to whatever type of enemy the party happens to be fighting)? Even without using any of their other abilities?

Runestar
2010-06-19, 07:21 PM
I do feel that a fighter has its place in a party. One is to go chain tripper and help deny your foes of their actions. Another is to focus on damage, since they are fairly good at it (even moreso than a wizard, since they don't need to expend slots to deal damage).

However, I doubt their contributions in a party will ever match those of a spellcaster. Even in the latter example, the fighter's job is to pretty much stand on the sidelines and wait for the wizard to disable the foes with long-duration battlefield control spells before wading in to mop up. In that sense, your role is synonymous with planar ally, crafted golem or even animal companion. :smallamused:

PId6
2010-06-19, 07:25 PM
Hmm, can't they be, like, high Tier 4 at low levels, just by using the infusion that gives their allies Bane weapons (matching the Bane type to whatever type of enemy the party happens to be fighting)? Even without using any of their other abilities?
Takes like a minute to cast that infusion though. You need to use action points to make it combat-usable, and that takes a bit of forward thinking.

lsfreak
2010-06-19, 07:26 PM
I do feel that a fighter has its place in a party. One is to go chain tripper and help deny your foes of their actions. Another is to focus on damage, since they are fairly good at it (even moreso than a wizard, since they don't need to expend slots to deal damage).

However, I doubt their contributions in a party will ever match those of a spellcaster. Even in the latter example, the fighter's job is to pretty much stand on the sidelines and wait for the wizard to disable the foes with long-duration battlefield control spells before wading in to mop up. In that sense, your role is synonymous with planar ally, crafted golem or even animal companion. :smallamused:

Generic fighter, you'd be right. Fighter fighter, as in someone actually in the class, not so much. Almost anything a fighter can do, a ToB class, cleric, bard, incarnate, barbarian, binder, psywarrior, paladin, rogue, and/or dip-heavy base can do better (which one depending on what role you're trying to fill).

Knaight
2010-06-19, 07:29 PM
Eh, even if I'm hard-core optimizing for horde-killing, I think I'd rather get Whirlwind Attack than Great Cleave, once my reach was that big.

Let the records show that I did not discourage Cleave, though. It's a decent feat. (There are better choices if non-Core is allowed ... but it's not bad. Killing one critter per turn, and still having something else in your threatened area, is pretty believable.)

Yeah, Whirlwind attack is the second most important feat to aim for when horde fighting. The first being martial stance for the crusader stance which heals you when you kill someone. However, you can get both Whirlwind Attack and Great Cleave, and Great Cleave can be used in conjunction with Combat Reflexes. Meaning that you can kill people until you roll a 1 or run out of people every time someone tries to close within reach, assuming that you are making sure to constantly get close to the enemy. After all, movement within your reach, not just out of it into it provokes, so if you have 100 foot reach, move to 30 feet away from the closest melee guy and let them attack you, you can attack everyone behind them as well.

DoodlesD
2010-06-19, 10:16 PM
I've been talking to my brother about possible homerule solutions close the gap between powerful casters and the weakened fighter.

The first was that would could make epic feets freely available to Fighters prior to them becoming level 20. Also, new Uber feats could be created on par with epic feats that would give the feats fighters get much more power or versatility.

Another option would be to add on special conditions exclusive to fighters to combat feats. For instance, anybody could take combat reflexes, but if a fighter took it, it would also come with the ability to perform a full attack as an attack of opportunity, or if a fighter took Greater cleave, he or she would be allowed to move 5 or 10 feet between each creature. The effectiveness of all the feats a fighter could take would then be more beneficial, and could possibly help to close that large tier gap.

Finally, to nerf the abilities of casters, we give them a significant drawback to casting spells, especially the higher level ones. I have an idea where each time a caster uses a spell, he has a percent chance based on spell level to take on a certain conditions (I'm not sure whether to use fatigued, Exhausted, or a temporary-Non-hp-related form of disabled). for instance, if a wizard casts magic missle, he has a 10% chance of taking on whichever condition it winds up being because its a first level spell. If the wizard casts Power Word Kill, he has a 90% chance of incurring the condition because its a 9th level spell. of course, using 0 level spells does not risk this condition. Obviously, the condition would have to be inflicted after the duration of the spell expired, or spells like Shape Change would be absolutely useless.

These are just some ideas i've been playing with today, and i'm open to criticisms and suggestions. I really just want to find a way to balance out the classes better, so any input that is constructive would be appreciative.

gbprime
2010-06-19, 10:20 PM
Again, Great Cleave is useful only if there are several enemies that the fighter can kill with a single attack within fighter's reach.

Doesn't seem useful to me.

Depends on how likley your DM is to have you fight mobs of lesser CR things. If it happens in your campaigns, then Great Cleave is a good buy. Personally I split the difference and stop at Cleave, all things being equal.

Knaight
2010-06-19, 10:48 PM
I've been talking to my brother about possible homerule solutions close the gap between powerful casters and the weakened fighter.

The amount of effort this would require is significantly more than that needed to learn a new, rules heavy system. Given how new you seem to d20, I would doubt that there is all that much attachment, so you might as well switch systems. I would advise Burning Wheel, its a nice, easy transition point between D&D and the wide world of indie RPGs.

DoodlesD
2010-06-19, 10:57 PM
I'm actually not new to d20. true, i am less experienced with D20 games then i am with AD&D, but i do understand most of the rules and such. My brother likes to update the editions we play and add new material constantly, which i find a little tedious to keep up with, so yes, new rules are introduced to me often and i admit i don't always read thoroughly. Also, i'm up to the challenge =) Half the fun of playing the game is making the game.

I wouldn't be opposed to trying Burning Wheel though, provided i can locate the materials. However, i wouldn't be interested if the game was radically different from DND because i'm not the only player/GM in our group. Updating constantly can be kind of a pain for our less regular players to catch up with and understand.

I am curious, though, if you really recommend it.

EDIT: I'd like to note that a HUGE reason i play DnD specifically is because of familiar themes, creatures, characters, etc. Nostalgia is a big motivator in my continued play. I'd be less interested in an RPG that doesn't have these familiar elements simply because it won't be what it was like when i was a kid.

Fizban
2010-06-20, 12:21 AM
I think one of the best things said so far is that feats usually do things that are appropriate for level 6. If you made some feats that you can't take till level 12 or 15 and do things that you actually need to do at level 12 or 15, that would help a lot. For inspiration just look at spells and maneuvers at those levels.

It's important to note that the game is very different at levels below and above 10. At levels 1-6, and even from 7-10 to some extent, the game can be "gritty", the heroes are awesome but not invulnerable, and magic does not level entire cities. After level 10 the game goes from heroic medieval fantasy to medieval superheroes, so fighters need superpowers. Except feats don't give you superpowers. The solution is to make feats that give you superpowers at high levels. It may seem silly to let a fighter punch a spell out of the air or walk through a wall of force, but it's silly that the wizard can kill you with a single spell or stop your movement without you having any way to avoid it.

Runestar
2010-06-20, 12:37 AM
Yeah, Whirlwind attack is the second most important feat to aim for when horde fighting. The first being martial stance for the crusader stance which heals you when you kill someone. However, you can get both Whirlwind Attack and Great Cleave, and Great Cleave can be used in conjunction with Combat Reflexes. Meaning that you can kill people until you roll a 1 or run out of people every time someone tries to close within reach, assuming that you are making sure to constantly get close to the enemy. After all, movement within your reach, not just out of it into it provokes, so if you have 100 foot reach, move to 30 feet away from the closest melee guy and let them attack you, you can attack everyone behind them as well.

There is so much wrong in this paragraph I don't even know where to start. :smallsigh:

First taking both great cleave and whirlwind, arguably 2 of the crappiest feats in dnd? Not to mention that whirlwind disables great cleave (because you cannot make extra attacks)? Whoa..better ease up on the optimization there. :smallwink:

Next, your foes probably to have better reach than you (most fighters manage 20-ft between spiked chain and enlarge person, more is tougher). If you are ever in a position to make multiple attacks via whirlwind, this also means that all those foes will likely also be in a position to attack you. You get to make 1 attack against each of them (which won't hurt them much), but they get to make full-attacks against you next turn. Enjoy this turn, it will likely be your last.

Also, any smart DM can easily position his foes accordingly to minimize the benefits of cleave.

In short, any horde weak enough to be affected by cleave/whirlwind is also weak enough to not pose any threat to a fighter anyways, so he can just slowly whack them at his leisure. Just focus on what he does best - damage via the full-attack action. :smallsmile:

Curmudgeon
2010-06-20, 01:01 AM
Of course, they all have to be right next to eachother, within reach of 1 fighter. Assuming 30 feet reach on the fighter (reasonable), and an enlarged fireball (reasonable), the fighter either has to be able to tumble into the center (questionable), or
Just a comment on this point. The Skilled City-Dweller (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20070228a) minor ACF lets you trade your Ride class skill for Tumble. I've found this to be helpful with a Dungeoncrasher, Zhentarim Soldier build. (And don't forget the Feathered Wings graft, for that 3rd dimension problem.)

Umael
2010-06-20, 01:25 AM
The trouble with closing the gap between the casters and the fighter (well, the non-casters, but we are concentrating on the fighter), is that you are looking at three issues - the class itself, the system of spell-casting, and most game-breaking, the spells themselves.

If you look at the wizard class, it's not that great of a class. One good save, Int + 2 skill points per level, 1d4 hit points per level, and its class features are few and far between.

If you look at the system of spell-casting, it's pretty bad too. The wizard knows a bunch of spells and can learn more fairly easily, but has to select a limited number of spells to actually cast - before actually casting them. Without advance warning (and/or foolish choices), a wizard's set of prepared spells can be next to worthless. But because the wizard CAN change spells, it is possible for a well-done wizard to reverse his or her ability to be useful.

The trouble is the spells themselves. Some of them are limited in scope, some of them are game-breaking. Furthermore, a wise/smart wizard knows the value of being prepared, which means having the means to get advance warning, have contingencies in case the wizard doesn't have advance warning, and having a wide variety of spells to fit a broad range of possible scenarios AND having a large selection of ways to resolve these scenarios.

Ex: Assuming WBL and a decent set of stats, if I gave an optimizer a pre-made wizard with a crappy list of spells and feats, the optimizer can simply spend some money to get some scrolls, transcribe them, and sudden the wizard is back and functional. Again, WBL and decent stats, if I gave an optimizer a pre-made fighter with a crappy set of feats, the character could be screwed over.

Looking at the cleric, we see a number of similar issues. Like the wizard, the cleric is incredibly front-heavy, although the cleric has two good saves, 1d8 hit points, and can wear armor without penalty. The skill list is pretty bad, but the character is still decent.

Instead of having a lot of spells that need to be transcribed into a spellbook, a cleric just has to pray. The spell list is already given as a whole collection, the cleric has to just pick which ones he or she knows for the day. Unlike the wizard though, if the cleric picks poorly, he or she can always "drop" spells to do a spontaneous cure, which is rather useful.

Again, like the wizard, the cleric has list of spells which makes the cleric very versatile. While the cleric lacks some of the aggressive potential of the wizard, the cleric's defensive and protection potential makes up for it. Mind you, I'm not touching Domain Spells or abilities.

Ex: Again, WBL and decent stats, the fighter with a bad selection of feats is in trouble. Even if a cleric has a bad selection of spells known, the cleric can always drop spells to cure. It is much harder to screw up a cleric.

The druid is a different issue. Even without spells, the druid has quite a high potential (animal companions and wild shape). As OOTS said, "I am a druid, I have special abilities that are more powerful than your entire class!" (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0346.html)

So nerfing spells is not only an incredibly drawn-out process, but an incomplete process. Do it wrong and you mess up the wizard so badly that it becomes unplayable. Do it right, and it still isn't enough to stop the druid from over-shadowing the fighter.

Curmudgeon
2010-06-20, 01:49 AM
Ex: Again, WBL and decent stats, the fighter with a bad selection of feats is in trouble.
This is correctable. Players Handbook II has feat retraining rules; that'll take care of one feat. For straightforward choices, paying an NPC manifester to use Psychic Reformation will swap out others. For really difficult cases (such as wanting to swap out feats you didn't choose), there's the Dark Chaos Shuffle, which will cost 4,900 gp per feat traded.

Special: Fighters automatically have Tower Shield Proficiency as a bonus feat. They need not select it.

Umael
2010-06-20, 02:21 AM
This is correctable. Players Handbook II has feat retraining rules; that'll take care of one feat. For straightforward choices, paying an NPC manifester to use Psychic Reformation will swap out others. For really difficult cases (such as wanting to swap out feats you didn't choose), there's the Dark Chaos Shuffle, which will cost 4,900 gp per feat traded.

Okay, correctable. But difficult (or at least, more difficult that it is to correct for a wizard), and non-Core. Furthermore, the wizard will still have a bunch of spells that might actually become useful one day - those feats the fighter re-trained are gone.

(Mind you, summon daisies isn't useful, even as a 0th-level spell, but who knows...)

sonofzeal
2010-06-20, 02:24 AM
I've been talking to my brother about possible homerule solutions close the gap between powerful casters and the weakened fighter.

The first was that would could make epic feets freely available to Fighters prior to them becoming level 20. Also, new Uber feats could be created on par with epic feats that would give the feats fighters get much more power or versatility.

Another option would be to add on special conditions exclusive to fighters to combat feats. For instance, anybody could take combat reflexes, but if a fighter took it, it would also come with the ability to perform a full attack as an attack of opportunity, or if a fighter took Greater cleave, he or she would be allowed to move 5 or 10 feet between each creature. The effectiveness of all the feats a fighter could take would then be more beneficial, and could possibly help to close that large tier gap.

Finally, to nerf the abilities of casters, we give them a significant drawback to casting spells, especially the higher level ones. I have an idea where each time a caster uses a spell, he has a percent chance based on spell level to take on a certain conditions (I'm not sure whether to use fatigued, Exhausted, or a temporary-Non-hp-related form of disabled). for instance, if a wizard casts magic missle, he has a 10% chance of taking on whichever condition it winds up being because its a first level spell. If the wizard casts Power Word Kill, he has a 90% chance of incurring the condition because its a 9th level spell. of course, using 0 level spells does not risk this condition. Obviously, the condition would have to be inflicted after the duration of the spell expired, or spells like Shape Change would be absolutely useless.

These are just some ideas i've been playing with today, and i'm open to criticisms and suggestions. I really just want to find a way to balance out the classes better, so any input that is constructive would be appreciative.
You're thinking too narrowly by making this just about Fighters, imo. Fighters are sort of a poster child for a whole school of classes that all have similar fundamental problems.

The problem is not lack of class features, no matter how much some people may say so. Clerics, Sorcs, and Wizards hardly have any class features and yet are immensely powerful. The CW Samurai, Divine Mind, Healer, Hexblade, Marshal, Monk, Soulknife, Spellthief, and Truenamer are all rated lower than the Fighter and yet have more class features.

No, the problem is a lack of role. Fighters don't generally have that good damage, have no real methods of gaining "aggro", have insufficient defences to really soak damage, can't heal, have harshly limited ability to buff or debuff, and don't have anything much to contribute outside of combat. They don't tank, they don't buff, they don't debuff, they don't heal, they don't have any special utility power, they're not great DPS... so what exactly do they do, again?

The other problem is lack of variety. If the only thing you can do every turn is full-attack, that gets boring fast. People like me live for variety, for trying new things and seeing what happens. I like being able to do a different thing each turn if I want to, even if the good old fullattack is a solid standby. I don't want to feel like I'm forced to do that every turn, because then it doesn't feel like I'm actually playing the character in combat. Basically, I don't want a character who runs himself. I want one that succeeds or fails based on my skill as a player, not just my skill as a character builder.

There are other classes, then, that have these problems. CW Samurai, Soulknife, and Swashbuckler are the three that come most readily to mind. The Barbarian and Monk have a bit more utility and a bit more variety (choice of when to Rage, choice of Stunning Fist / Quivering Palm), but still often suffer from the same issues.

In short, simply ramping up the power level like you're proposing isn't what you need. What you need is an alteration of philosophy, an expansion of options and a clarification of role. Here's my suggestion for each...


Barbarians have Rage, which is good and gives them choices already, but fairly quickly they can get more Rages than they'll have fights in a day and that removes most of the point. Given that the class has fairly good DPS, and an all-or-nothing flavour, I'd give them the ability to end a Rage early for one round of sheer domination. Maybe double damage on all attacks, over top of Rage bonuses, but after that their Rage ends and they're fatigued and can't Rage again for an hour.

Fighter, I'd like to see having more ability to tie up enemies in combat. That means better damage soak, and aggro control. "Martial Study: Iron Guard's Glare" could be thrown in automatically in one of their dead levels, and possibly an X/day ability to resist damage for a single round. It wouldn't be much, but it would give them some resource to parcel out and make decisions around, and the rest could be managed based on whatever feats they go for. Given the wealth of non-Core feats, interesting and useful combinations already exist, but building a couple of these things into the class itself would go a long way.

Monks have Stunning Fist, but most monsters have huge Fort saves, and it's not even default to the class anyway as Improved Grapple is very tempting as well (but at least can be picked up more easily). In terms of a clearer role, building in Spring Attack would help a lot, especially if the Flurry bonus attacks tied in with that. That would also make them more fun to play, as you'd have to be clever with positioning to pull it off well, so that works nicely. Giving some degree of Spider Climb would also be quite in flavour, expand their tactical options, and make them more obviously mobility-experts. There's several other critical power issues the class faces, of course, but these at least would give it a home and an enjoyable play experience.

CW Samurais, as-written, are good at Demoralize fear-stacking abuse, and have some semi-exploitable Perform Weapon Drill advantages, but neither of these really tie into the class flavour well and the rest doesn't give it a reason to exist over the Fighter. Really, I'd just replace the class wholesale with this (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=1025790), or something close.

Soulknives could work as debuffers with a little effort, taking "Knife to the Soul" and moving it down to lower levels, and letting options gradually unfold as level gets higher. I could see a soulknife Sacrificing a die of Psychic Strike to slow movement, or fatigue, or give a penalty on attack rolls, or force concentration checks on future spellcasting, or a variety of other debuffs. That would give them a clearer role closer to the Hexblade but executed differently, and give them more choices and flexibility in combat. Oh, and Multiple Throw should be default as well, just because it's ridiculous for it not to be. Again, there's some key power issues that could also be corrected, but my concern here is giving them a stronger role ("Debuffer"), and making them more tactically interesting to play.

Swashbucklers, I'd like to see filling a Tank roll, but perhaps in a different way from Fighters. I'd given them "Goad" and work on the "Dodge bonus" mechanic, increasing the AC boost and giving them a bonus on attack rolls against the chosen enemy. I'd give them an X/day resource as well, possibly a one-round Haste effect. This would be useful in combat for the extra attack, but also occasionally out of combat for the massive speed boost, and giving them that flexibility would play into their flavour.

tl;dr - the problem isn't isolated to Fighter, and isn't exactly in power level per se, so the fixes you propose wouldn't really do it for me.

Runestar
2010-06-20, 02:44 AM
Clerics, Sorcs, and Wizards hardly have any class features and yet are immensely powerful.

That's because their class feature is spellcasting.


No, the problem is a lack of role.

I think you are thinking too narrowly in 4e terms, where every class has to come with a predefined role. A fighter, like a wizard, can be anything you want it to be (though effectiveness may vary depending on amount of support). For example, a chain-fighter is a controller, but most of the time, a fighter is typically a striker of sorts, as damage is one thing it excels in.

sonofzeal
2010-06-20, 03:47 AM
I think you are thinking too narrowly in 4e terms, where every class has to come with a predefined role. A fighter, like a wizard, can be anything you want it to be (though effectiveness may vary depending on amount of support). For example, a chain-fighter is a controller, but most of the time, a fighter is typically a striker of sorts, as damage is one thing it excels in.
I agree the reduction to pure roles was a 4e thing. I think 4e tried to pidgeonhole classes into distinct categories, and I think that was a mistake as many 3e characters are often hybrids combining elements of different roles. But I do think the reason Fighters often flounder is because of a lack of place. They don't excel at damage, not without considerable effort. You're right that a chain-tripper lockdown build can do effective Battlefield Control, and that provides a valuable role in a team, but that's only one specific build and isn't indicative of the entire class.

Really, I think the problem is that the designers expected them to tank, and they can't. Ubercharger and Lockdown are two viable, and quite powerful, workarounds. But they're still workarounds and require a very narrow focus. They're certainly worth noting, but I also think that they aren't indicative of the class as a whole, if you know what I mean.