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Gideon Falcon
2011-06-11, 03:43 PM
There are several fighter fixes on the boards, as well as fixes for other melee classes. The problem is, not a single warrior class can stand up to the more powerful spellcasters. The purpose of this thread is to isolate the main obstacles that a fighter would need to overcome in order to defeat a wizard.

In addition, I would like to have help in figuring out the kinds of things that certain fighting styles need to be able to do, but that will be reserved for later.

As far as I can tell, these are some of the major issues:

* Flight

* Wall spells, including Force Cage and Prismatic Sphere.

* Save-or-die spells

* Domination and mind control

* Summoning bigger creatures

I realize that some of the things need to be overcome by nerfing the spellcasters, but that's a story for another time.

What we need to do is figure out what abilities the fighter needs to gain in order to overcome these problems, preferably without losing the (Ex) feel of the class.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-11, 03:47 PM
You forgot the big one.

* No class features.


Anyway, start by giving the fighter the best chassis. Full BAB, all good saves, and d12 hit die. Seriously, these guys are expected to brunt a dragon's breath, stare down a medusa, and shake off a dominate spell. And they're supposed to do it while attacking at full force.

Seerow
2011-06-11, 03:57 PM
1) Versatility. This is the biggest lack in the Fighter's arsenal. You need the ability to buff yourself at the very least, if not others. You need the ability to debuff enemies. You need to be able to deal with simple common issues like "the enemy is flying" or "a gargantuan creature grabbed me". You should be able to with a days heads up be able to tailor your abilities to a specific type of enemy, including feats if your fighter fix still focuses on that.

2) Mobility. This kind of feeds into the previous bit, but is a big enough issue to warrant a discussion on its own. All non-magic classes lack seriously in the mobility department. You need to be able to have the ability to reposition yourself tactically without killing yourself. By mid-high levels, you should have teleport-esque ability in the short range. You should be able to jump high enough to grab any flying enemy that is within range of you. You should be able to move as swift and immediate actions.

3) Resource. All classes should have some sort of resource they have to manage. If they don't, then they do the same thing every turn of every encounter every day, because they're going to pick their most powerful ability and spam the crap out of it. It can be daily or encounter based, but you need something to restrict you from just using your best abilities daily.

You can go with something like maneuvers from ToB (a bunch of 1/encounter abilities), a more in depth combat focus set of abilities (a la the PHB2 feats, but better), or something more flexible (Personally I'm currently a fan of a stamina system, where you have a pool of points available to spend on abilities, that refreshes with a short rest. I can post details on what I have if you're interested).

4) Flexibility. This isn't necessarily the same as Versatility. Here I am refering to flexibility in concept. All of the above 3 refer to any martial class, not just the fighter. But the Fighter itself, at its core, is all about flexibility. That is literally the only thing it has going for it, so if you want to fix the fighter, that is what you need to preserve. It is the Wizard of the martial world, it can be anybody or anything, and embody any martial concept, from the lightly armored duelist to the sword and board tank to the chain tripper, it should be able to handle these concepts all to a similar degree. It doesn't need to be able to do them all at once, or even all available as a character on different days, but you should be able to take the same fighter and build a variety of different concepts using it, or you failed at making a fighter.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-11, 04:12 PM
On top of my suggestion, it should also get evasion, uncanny dodge, improved uncanny dodge, and mettle. Maybe improved evasion and/or improved mettle.

It should also get the warblade skill list, plus all knowledges (mageslayer=arcana, general=history and geography, wilderness warrior=nature, etc.), hide and move silently (guerilla warrior), spot and listen (why don't they get this already?), and spellcraft (mageslayer). Fighters should also get 6+int skill ranks per level.

The skills plus the bonus feats should handle Seerow's flexibility thing, though it doesn't cover versatility, mobility, or resource.

Ziegander
2011-06-11, 04:58 PM
The problem is, not a single warrior class can stand up to the more powerful spellcasters. The purpose of this thread is to isolate the main obstacles that a fighter would need to overcome in order to defeat a wizard.

To be frank, no offense, but from those statements you seem to have neither the correct design goals nor the requisite game knowledge to fix the Fighter/generic warrior class.

It is probably impossible to create an (Ex) feeling class that is capable of defeating any competent Wizard. And if it is possible, that class would not remotely resemble what 90% of players want in a Fighter/generic warrior class.

In fact... that's part of the problem. The basic assumptions the designers built into the game make a Fighter obsolete by about 5th level. From 1st level on you begin fighting monsters and very quickly you work your way up to fighting supervillains. The generic warrior concept in 3.5 is not and has never been "superhero" and most of the players don't want it to be. The highest level fighter is never even as competent as Batman or Captain America and yet by 5th level (when he's comparable to a pissed off teenager) he's facing off against threats comparable to Green Goblin wearing the Venom symbiote or Whiplash (of Iron Man 2 fame). If the foe is mundane (like a Dire Lion) it's out of your league and if it's supernatural you're outclassed. It's honestly pretty absurd.

Gideon Falcon
2011-06-11, 07:00 PM
The point of this project is to allow the fighter to become Batman or Captain America. Also, if you know the design goals that I don't, then I would very much like to know them.


On top of my suggestion, it should also get evasion, uncanny dodge, improved uncanny dodge, and mettle. Maybe improved evasion and/or improved mettle.

Improved Mettle is a given. It defeats most of the literal SoDs. Evasion, maybe. Uncanny Dodge is a definite.


It should also get the warblade skill list, plus all knowledges (mageslayer=arcana, general=history and geography, wilderness warrior=nature, etc.), hide and move silently (guerilla warrior), spot and listen (why don't they get this already?), and spellcraft (mageslayer). Fighters should also get 6+int skill ranks per level.
I'm not sure whether it needs quite that many skill points.


1) Versatility. This is the biggest lack in the Fighter's arsenal. You need the ability to buff yourself at the very least, if not others. You need the ability to debuff enemies. You need to be able to deal with simple common issues like "the enemy is flying" or "a gargantuan creature grabbed me". You should be able to with a days heads up be able to tailor your abilities to a specific type of enemy, including feats if your fighter fix still focuses on that.

Don't worry, my idea of the fighter class is inseparable from the 11 bonus feats. Self-buffing and enemy debuffing are both doable easily, as Stunning Fist and similar abilities testify. Dealing with massive grapplers can be more difficult. The flying thing, of course, is the most difficult to deal with in terms of melee combat, and may be one of the issues that requires magic items to solve (such as wings of flight).


2) Mobility. This kind of feeds into the previous bit, but is a big enough issue to warrant a discussion on its own. All non-magic classes lack seriously in the mobility department. You need to be able to have the ability to reposition yourself tactically without killing yourself. By mid-high levels, you should have teleport-esque ability in the short range (emphasis by me). You should be able to jump high enough to grab any flying enemy that is within range of you. You should be able to move as swift and immediate actions.

This one will be a bit harder. What we need is some way to replicate the benefits of teleportation without the magic. As far as I can see, that is simply the ability to bypass obstacles and move without provoking critical hits.

As for bypassing obstacles, this presents two options: You jump over or around the obstacle, or you destroy the obstacle. Other options are not as easy to see. A burrow speed, if it could be pulled off, would be an excellent addition.

As for jumping high enough to get flying enemies, that would still not fully solve the problem since they can always fly higher.


3) Resource. All classes should have some sort of resource they have to manage. If they don't, then they do the same thing every turn of every encounter every day, because they're going to pick their most powerful ability and spam the crap out of it. It can be daily or encounter based, but you need something to restrict you from just using your best abilities daily.

You can go with something like maneuvers from ToB (a bunch of 1/encounter abilities), a more in depth combat focus set of abilities (a la the PHB2 feats, but better), or something more flexible (Personally I'm currently a fan of a stamina system, where you have a pool of points available to spend on abilities, that refreshes with a short rest. I can post details on what I have if you're interested).

Good advice; thank you. I'll keep this in mind, and key some of the abilities to a similar pool. At the moment, I'm thinking one that regains one every round or so, possibly faster or slower.


4) Flexibility. This isn't necessarily the same as Versatility. Here I am referring to flexibility in concept. All of the above 3 refer to any martial class, not just the fighter. But the Fighter itself, at its core, is all about flexibility. That is literally the only thing it has going for it, so if you want to fix the fighter, that is what you need to preserve. It is the Wizard of the martial world, it can be anybody or anything, and embody any martial concept, from the lightly armored duelist to the sword and board tank to the chain tripper, it should be able to handle these concepts all to a similar degree. It doesn't need to be able to do them all at once, or even all available as a character on different days, but you should be able to take the same fighter and build a variety of different concepts using it, or you failed at making a fighter.

Indeed. My current plan has options for primary ability score, weapon style, offensive style, defensive style, and hopefully others. This will be elaborated on later.

Other ideas I have include:

* Breaking force effects, such as a forcecage.

* Preventing lesser warriors and wizards from interrupting your actions, shunting readied and immediate actions until you finish what you were doing.

* Spell Resistance. Definitely Spell Resistance.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-11, 08:13 PM
Alright, make it only 4+int skill ranks per level.

DoomHat
2011-06-11, 10:33 PM
I actually tried addressing this issue by making this thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=202476) a little while ago.
At the end of the day, the real problem is that Casters and Non-casters are playing two entirely different games. The only honest options are to either completely reevaluate the core mechanics, ban casters, or (my favorite) just strait up make fighters into a kind of caster.

Gideon Falcon
2011-06-11, 11:03 PM
I've seen that argument plenty of times. I don't think it is completely impossible to get warriors and casters in line with each other. You just have to know what to add and what to subtract. For example, removing spells that make casters better at fighting than warriors (Transformation, etc.), or at least nerfing them.

The point is, I want the warrior archetype to actually work. I want the warrior classes to carve a niche that wizards can't fill. I want the warrior classes to be able to do the amazing stunts you see in the stories, to contribute to the party.

Unfortunately, the mage archetype simply doesn't work unless it can throw fireballs that take enemies out more powerfully than a blade, and similar things. But I don't want that fact to completely eliminate the need for melee combatants and archers. As I've been typing this, I realize just how tall an order that is.

That is why I'm not trying to do this on my own. This is not a one-man deal; it's a group effort to find a way to keep the warrior important for more than just fluff. Still, it will mostly be supported by the fact that even avid powergamers can still be attracted to hard-core fighters. There is, after all, the primal joy of crushing your enemies that even exploding them can't quite satisfy. [/rant]

DoomHat
2011-06-11, 11:09 PM
Hey, I'm not saying it's impossible to have thuggish hackin'slash types coexist with player character wizards...
Just not in D&D.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-11, 11:10 PM
Hey, I'm not saying it's impossible to have thuggish hackin'slash types coexist with player character wizards...
Just not in D&D.

Tome of Battle and 4e say hi.

DoomHat
2011-06-11, 11:17 PM
Right, 4E. Good point. But that's really an example of an utter transformation of the paradigm.

And as for ToB, doesn't that basically fix the problem by giving Fighters a thousand and one spell-like abilities.. often just plain spells?

Jade Dragon
2011-06-11, 11:21 PM
Right, 4E. Good point. But that's really an example of an utter transformation of the paradigm.

And as for ToB, doesn't that basically fix the problem by giving Fighters a thousand and one spell-like abilities.. often just plain spells?

Um, swordsages and crusaders have a few supernatural abilities, but warblades have none and you can easily make a non-supernatural swordsage, and crusaders are meant to replace paladins, which have magical abilities anyway.

Lord_Gareth
2011-06-11, 11:23 PM
What you need to ask yourself is, "What did fighters do in myths and legends?"

Well, for one thing, one of 'em slew a thousand demons with a storm of arrows. One of them was so thirty he drank the ocean and so strong he lifted a serpent the size of a world. Fighters have cleaved through illusions with the force of their will and they've killed invulnerable creatures with their own claws and cunning. How did they accomplish this? Skill, training, and dedication. Re-read the D&D definition of an extraordinary ability and you'll actually find it's quite broad.

Basically, I'm trying to sum it up as this: if it's been done through training alone in legends, it is not an 'item-only' solution. Your fighter should be able to sprout wings made of raw hatred if that's what it takes.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-11, 11:26 PM
What you need to ask yourself is, "What did fighters do in myths and legends?"

Well, for one thing, one of 'em slew a thousand demons with a storm of arrows. One of them was so thirty he drank the ocean and so strong he lifted a serpent the size of a world. Fighters have cleaved through illusions with the force of their will and they've killed invulnerable creatures with their own claws and cunning. How did they accomplish this? Skill, training, and dedication. Re-read the D&D definition of an extraordinary ability and you'll actually find it's quite broad.

Basically, I'm trying to sum it up as this: if it's been done through training alone in legends, it is not an 'item-only' solution. Your fighter should be able to sprout wings made of raw hatred if that's what it takes.

I'm not sure about the first example, but the second one is a god.

Seerow
2011-06-11, 11:29 PM
I'm not sure about the first example, but the second one is a god.

Hey, so is a level 20 wizard. Lookit that.

Lord_Gareth
2011-06-11, 11:30 PM
Hey, so is a level 20 wizard. Lookit that.

Seconded. If you're obeying the laws of physics past level eight, there's a problem.

DoomHat
2011-06-11, 11:35 PM
What you need to ask yourself is, "What did fighters do in myths and legends?"

Well, for one thing, one of 'em slew a thousand demons with a storm of arrows. One of them was so thirty he drank the ocean and so strong he lifted a serpent the size of a world. Fighters have cleaved through illusions with the force of their will and they've killed invulnerable creatures with their own claws and cunning. How did they accomplish this? Skill, training, and dedication. Re-read the D&D definition of an extraordinary ability and you'll actually find it's quite broad.

Basically, I'm trying to sum it up as this: if it's been done through training alone in legends, it is not an 'item-only' solution. Your fighter should be able to sprout wings made of raw hatred if that's what it takes.

Or you could just play Exalted? I think (can't be sure though) what we're really aiming for here is Connan, or possibly Miyamoto Musashi. Men with no supernatural capacity beyond massive testicular fortitude and good old fashioned talent for butt-whoopin'

Lord_Gareth
2011-06-11, 11:41 PM
Or you could just play Exalted? I think (can't be sure though) what we're really aiming for here is Connan, or possibly Miyamoto Musashi. Men with no supernatural capacity beyond massive testicular fortitude and good old fashioned talent for butt-whoopin'

So the Fighter as written. Look, without the capacities I'm talking about, any fighter fix is going to stay t5. This is because the concept you're talking about is inherently t5. If there's any actual interest in making them, I don't know, fixed, then they need nice things. These nice things get to be (Ex) abilities, this is true, but they remain nice things that the "Just a warrior" paradigm simply does not get.

Basically: shape up towards mythology, or accept that there is no fixing Fighter.

Seerow
2011-06-11, 11:42 PM
Or you could just play Exalted? I think (can't be sure though) what we're really aiming for here is Connan, or possibly Miyamoto Musashi. Men with no supernatural capacity beyond massive testicular fortitude and good old fashioned talent for butt-whoopin'

Conan is around a 5th-10th level character, at best. You can't actually model a 20 level class after him, because his capabilities are not that of a 20th level character.


Now I'm not saying that the Fighter should have divine salient abilities by level 20, but by that level he should be able to do some really impressive things by force of will. He should be able to cleave through a force cage, jump hundreds of feet in the air if not straight up fly, and be able to stand toe to toe with a collosal creature in his chosen specialization. He should be grappling with a tarrasque and putting it in a head lock. Because that's what level 20 characters do.


Garreth is a bit on the extreme side of things, he is right that a fighter needs to be able to do far more than what he currently can. I disagree that without the ability to bend the universe to his whim the Fighter will always be a t5, most standard fixes that just give a few things bring it to t4 easily, but to get it beyond that, you really do need more than just what you see in Conan.

Lord_Gareth
2011-06-11, 11:52 PM
Garreth is a bit on the extreme side of things, he is right that a fighter needs to be able to do far more than what he currently can. I disagree that without the ability to bend the universe to his whim the Fighter will always be a t5, most standard fixes that just give a few things bring it to t4 easily, but to get it beyond that, you really do need more than just what you see in Conan.

Seerow, Hill Giant Rangers can hide, buck-ass naked and painted bright pink, in the middle of the desert with nothing to hide behind. Somehow, I don't think flying fighters or fighters with "I swing so ferociously it might dispel your buffs" is outside the paradigm. Hell, there's a really bad feat in the Mage Slayer line that does pretty much the latter (it's just not worth it as-written).

Ziegander
2011-06-12, 12:08 AM
I would like to have help in figuring out the kinds of things that certain fighting styles need to be able to do, but that will be reserved for later.

1) If you're attempting to match the power of the Wizard fighting styles simply isn't the way to do it. Even a Specialist Wizard has leagues and away more versatility than any mundane fighting style could hope to have.


As far as I can tell, these are some of the major issues:

Okay, Seerow already commented quite competently on many of the issues with not only the Fighter class in specific but 3.5 melee as well. However, it can't hurt to touch on your initial base assumptions either.


* Flight

Not necessarily an issue if you're talking about a non-flying Fighter vs a flying-Wizard. With little to no optimization an archer can make swiss cheese out of a non-buffed target (non-buffed being VERY important here).


* Wall spells, including Force Cage and Prismatic Sphere.

These are a definite and legitimate concern. Wall of Force and later Force Cage are among many tools in the Wizard's arsenal to simply tell a Fighter, "not now, not ever."


* Save-or-die spells

With stuff like Steadfast Determination this isn't as much of an issue as it used to be. Most optimization of spellcasters is not in the boosting save DCs into oblivion range, and a lot of that optimization relies on really cheesy stuff that's more than likely to be banned.

Still something to counterbalance is always welcome, even if it is only something like the Diamond Mind counters.


* Domination and mind control

Virtually the same as the above point.


* Summoning bigger creatures

This one is really easy to fix. Look at what summoned monsters are capable of, fully buffed and with optimized summoning feats accounted for, and make sure that when you come up with a "fixed" Fighter not a single Summon X spell can come close to replicating your character. Seriously. NOT. EVEN. CLOSE.


I realize that some of the things need to be overcome by nerfing the spellcasters, but that's a story for another time.

Indeed.


What we need to do is figure out what abilities the fighter needs to gain in order to overcome these problems, preferably without losing the (Ex) feel of the class.

An idea that just came to me was to design "weapon tricks" in the vein of spells, or, dare I say it, manevuers based on specific weapons. No more 9 disciplines with ~50 maneuvers. Design 20+ tricks for every weapon printed in the PHB. That will at least get you on the right path to coming anywhere near the versatility that a Wizard is able to churn out.

Even with "weapon tricks" though, you have to make sure that whatever requirements you have for them that they do not require the weapon that they are based on. A Wizard's material components are most likely ignored in most games, and even when they aren't their component pouch basically holds an infinite amount of every component they could possibly need. It would be impractical to give a Fighter an "infinite weapons holster" so simply waive that requirement. This basically gives them something like the Warblade's Weapon Aptitude but on crack. In a good way.

Around level 5, 6, or 7 a Fighter needs to look like a rookie superhero. And from there he needs to REALLY ramp up his game FAST.

Gideon Falcon
2011-06-12, 12:10 AM
Thanks for the pep-talk, Gareth. You're right.

Yes, our fighter will fly by JUMPING REALLY HIGH and then FALLING IN STYLE!

THIS! IS! FANTASY!

So the bad guy is a Colossal 20th level Wizard! DEATH! PIERCE THE HEAVENS WITH YOUR DRILL! Wall of Force behind a Prismatic Wall behind a Wall of Iron protecting a Wizard surrounded by Balors wielding Vorpal Scimitars? NO PROBLEM! GIMME 10 SECONDS AND... And... and...

...

did I just type that?

*ahem* So, yeah. Excellent Point. Ziegander, now, yes, I do realize the ease of saving throw stuff. I was going to bring that up later. The only thing needed to finish it off was Improved Mettle and Steadfast determination stuff. Indeed, ability scores, spell focus, and the spell enhancer spell are the only ways I know of to optimize save DCs, and it leaves them starved for numbers.

As for flight, I'm not talking about the problems between a flyer and an archer. I'm talking about melee-focused fighters, who need to be able to actually fly in order to catch up with the wizard. Otherwise, you have good points.

Lord_Gareth
2011-06-12, 12:14 AM
I'm not sure how much of that was sarcasm and how much was just humor, but consider this for a moment: in the battle of damage output, a wizard at level 11 gains disintegrate, amongst other things, as a wiz/sorc exclusive feature. Fighters gain an additional +2 weapon damage.

That same wizard could also use that spell known to gain a buff, or flight, or a dozen other things. Do you know what the fighter spends on? I'll give you a hint - it's more damage.

Versatility. Is. A. Must.

NeoSeraphi
2011-06-12, 12:20 AM
Other problems fighters face:

Concealment, incorporeal, invisibility, if it's dark out and they're human, damage reduction, regeneration, touch AC (Hate negative levels so so so much), drowning, Swallow Whole, Trample, Swarms, etc etc etc.

The entire world is out to get melee. That's the problem. So many defenses made for monsters were designed to combat melee.

Meanwhile SR is actually able to be gotten around straightforwardly. (Sure, you can get around DR/X if you've got X, but SR just requires a caster level check and even then, the dice can save you against an otherwise unreasonable powerful enemy) Incorporeals are basically made to be killed by casters who laugh as they chuck Orbs of Force or etc. Regeneration is again, made to be killed by casters with their fire and their acid. Swarms, tailor-made to be killed by casters with their AOEs. Monsters pander to casters for who knows why. That's the problem you're facing Gideon. But I wish you luck in overcoming it.

Gideon Falcon
2011-06-12, 12:21 AM
Also, this fighter fix will have improved mettle. Guess what that does to disintegrate? Yeah. Fort save or take 5d6 damage. Pitiful. This fix, hopefully, will be able to outclass that kind of damage in his sleep. And now I'm tempted to make a class feature that allows you to fight in your sleep. And wake up perfectly refreshed.

And yeah, that was mostly just humor. I really do agree with you, and I'm going to have a lot more fun with this fix than I thought I would.

...

...

Falling with style. heh. heh.

Anyway, the next step is with the fighting styles.

First off, there's weapon styles. Specifically: Unarmed, Two Weapon, Two Handed, One Handed, Sword-and-Board, Ranged. Each will have certain abilities that one would expect from it. The One Handed, though, will be the most challenging to fix, as it combines the weaknesses of two styles with the benefits of... nothing.

Then there's the actual weapon, which includes improvised weapons and the various weapon groups.

As for Offensive Styles, I can think of: Flurry, Reckless (like a barbarian), Heavy (Single, powerful strikes as opposed to several), and Incapacitating (focusing on combat maneuvers such as tripping and disarming, and possibly specializing in status effects).

Defensive Styles include: Skirmish (Be out of reach), Untouchable (massive dodge bonuses, may overlap or even merge with skirmish), Tank (DR and massive Hit Point reserves, ignoring the damage), Reactive (AoO lockdown), and Carapace (Armor and Shields).

Any additional categories that you think of are welcome. Now, let's think about what kind of thing you would expect from each fighting style.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-12, 12:49 AM
How about this ability somewhere along the line?

Pierce Magic
As a full-round action, you can do one of two things.
First, you can make a single attack at your full attack bonus against a spellcaster that overcomes magical defenses, such as the armor bonuses from mage armor or shield, the natural armor bonuses from barkskin or Tenser's transformation, and the DR from things like stoneskin or iron body.
Second, you can make a single attack at your full attack bonus against something like an illusion you've disbelieved, a prismatic wall, a wall of force, or a force cage. The armor class of the spell is equal to 10+the caster level of whoever cast it, and the spell has ten hit points per spell level.

NeoSeraphi
2011-06-12, 12:51 AM
How about this ability somewhere along the line?

Pierce Magic
As a full-round action, you can do one of two things.
First, you can make a single attack at your full attack bonus against a spellcaster that overcomes magical defenses, such as the armor bonuses from mage armor or shield, the natural armor bonuses from barkskin or Tenser's transformation, and the DR from things like stoneskin or iron body.
Second, you can make a single attack at your full attack bonus against something like an illusion you've disbelieved, a prismatic wall, a wall of force, or a force cage. The armor class of the spell is equal to 10+the caster level of whoever cast it, and the spell has ten hit points per spell level.

I agree, though you should specify that the weapon used to attack must be magical (for attacking force effects) otherwise it'd probably shatter the blade.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-12, 12:56 AM
I agree, though you should specify that the weapon used to attack must be magical (for attacking force effects) otherwise it'd probably shatter the blade.

Hm, yeah that makes sense. Or how about either a magical weapon, natural weapon, or unarmed strike?

NeoSeraphi
2011-06-12, 12:57 AM
Hm, yeah that makes sense. Or how about either a magical weapon, natural weapon, or unarmed strike?

Well, if you punch a forcecage, it's going to punch you back. Just saying.

Ziegander
2011-06-12, 01:19 AM
Anyway, the next step is with the fighting styles.

I gotta say it again, I really disagree with any sort of fighting styles system.

Let's talk about the Warmage for a minute. It's considered, what, Tier 4? It masters the "casting style" of "blowing **** up with magic." To do this it dips into Conjuration, Evocation, and a little Transmutation. Honestly, even if the Warmage ONLY cast Evocation spells and ONLY those on the Warmage spell list, at all but lowest levels the Warmage would still be a more powerful, more versatile character than the Fighter. And that's saying something.

Any Fighter that has to choose to be a Heavy Weapons Fighter is, at the very best, a high Tier 5 or a low Tier 4. Seriously, even with area attacks, superpowered jumping, and a high level earthquake strike, that guy is always going to be Tier 4.

EDIT:
I agree, though you should specify that the weapon used to attack must be magical (for attacking force effects) otherwise it'd probably shatter the blade.

Also. This is precisely why non-casters can't have nice things.

Seerow
2011-06-12, 05:00 PM
Any Fighter that has to choose to be a Heavy Weapons Fighter is, at the very best, a high Tier 5 or a low Tier 4. Seriously, even with area attacks, superpowered jumping, and a high level earthquake strike, that guy is always going to be Tier 4.


I disagree. A weapon type distinction isn't quite the same as a spell school distinction. The difference between a pure evoker and a wizard is monstrous. The difference in concept between what a two hander and TWFing or other weapon styles can manage isn't as great. The biggest thing would be missing out on archery, which is still something you can overcome.

While I am a fan of the Fighter having more than one weapon style at a time (see: My personal fighter fix, where the Fighter has 4 different combat styles worth of feats that he switches between seamlessly), I wouldn't say that it is impossible to have a solid tier 3 character that can't do that. See for example the Warblade. Warblades generally focus on only one fighting style (usually two handed fighting) and are considered solid tier 3.

Ziegander
2011-06-12, 07:26 PM
While I am a fan of the Fighter having more than one weapon style at a time (see: My personal fighter fix, where the Fighter has 4 different combat styles worth of feats that he switches between seamlessly), I wouldn't say that it is impossible to have a solid tier 3 character that can't do that. See for example the Warblade. Warblades generally focus on only one fighting style (usually two handed fighting) and are considered solid tier 3.

But see the Warblade isn't forced to focus on any one fighting style. Some specialization is encouraged in that higher level maneuvers require a number of lower level maneuvers as prerequisites, but he can still pick up effective options of multiple fighting styles and use them all simultaneously. In the discussion of how to make a mundane warrior-type stack up against a Wizard, forcing specialization, or even just encouraging it like a Warblade does, seems to be taking zero steps forward and two steps backward.

Also, to note, a Warblade isn't considered Tier 3 because of it's fighting prowess. If Warblades didn't have access to stuff like Hunter's Sense, Iron Heart Surge, White Raven Tactics, Hearing the Air, and Iron Heart Endurance it would fall back into Tier 4. None of those maneuvers have a thing to do with fighting style.

A few other points for comparison:

1) A clever Wizard can use its Familiar to great effect (a simple shared spell Polymorph works wonders). What, if anything, can we imagine for a mundane warrior-type to achieve a similar effect?

2) A Wizard is single-attribute dependent. Constitution is helpful, especially in the lower levels, and Dexterity is nice for mages that like touch attacks and rays, but a Wizard only ever really needs Intelligence. For many Conjurers and Transmuters, the Wizard doesn't even really need a high Intelligence (they hardly ever use anything that allows a saving throw). How do we solve the multiple-attribute dependency problem of the Fighter?

3) A Wizard, with the proper feats, can cast his spells naked, in the dark, while bound and gagged, and if he's built right this doesn't even increase the spell level. On the other hand, if a fighter is so much as disarmed he's totally screwed.

Seerow
2011-06-12, 07:51 PM
But see the Warblade isn't forced to focus on any one fighting style. Some specialization is encouraged in that higher level maneuvers require a number of lower level maneuvers as prerequisites, but he can still pick up effective options of multiple fighting styles and use them all simultaneously. In the discussion of how to make a mundane warrior-type stack up against a Wizard, forcing specialization, or even just encouraging it like a Warblade does, seems to be taking zero steps forward and two steps backward.


Okay I guess I misunderstood what you were saying. I was reading it as "Any fighter that can't use any fighting style equally well is going to be tier 5 at best" which I disagree with. I do agree with the idea that despite any specialization made, you should still have the ability to access abilities outside of that specialization.



On single attribute dependency, I think that's an area where wizards and their ilk should be nerfed. I personally feel any class should need at least 2 stats, potentially 3. I personally see the Fighter as always having con a secondary stat, with Str or Dex as a primary. Int or Wis is a commonly used tertiary/secondary to get away from the Big Dumb Fighter cliche, but I'm not certain if that should be worked in or not.

Ernir
2011-06-12, 08:03 PM
There are several fighter fixes on the boards, as well as fixes for other melee classes. The problem is, not a single warrior class can stand up to the more powerful spellcasters. The purpose of this thread is to isolate the main obstacles that a fighter would need to overcome in order to defeat a wizard.

In addition, I would like to have help in figuring out the kinds of things that certain fighting styles need to be able to do, but that will be reserved for later.

As far as I can tell, these are some of the major issues:

* Flight

* Wall spells, including Force Cage and Prismatic Sphere.

* Save-or-die spells

* Domination and mind control

* Summoning bigger creatures

I realize that some of the things need to be overcome by nerfing the spellcasters, but that's a story for another time.

What we need to do is figure out what abilities the fighter needs to gain in order to overcome these problems, preferably without losing the (Ex) feel of the class.

Have you seen The Fighter Manifesto (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=149854)? It's what I had in mind when creating my own Fighter fix...

Ziegander
2011-06-12, 08:06 PM
Okay I guess I misunderstood what you were saying. I was reading it as "Any fighter that can't use any fighting style equally well is going to be tier 5 at best" which I disagree with. I do agree with the idea that despite any specialization made, you should still have the ability to access abilities outside of that specialization.

The crux of my argument is that any kind of fighting style specialization should not be required or even encouraged by the class. Specialization of fighting style should be, if done at all, purely by player choice. I stand by my opinion that "Heavy Weapons Fighter" is a Tier 4 concept at best.


On single attribute dependency, I think that's an area where wizards and their ilk should be nerfed. I personally feel any class should need at least 2 stats, potentially 3. I personally see the Fighter as always having con a secondary stat, with Str or Dex as a primary. Int or Wis is a commonly used tertiary/secondary to get away from the Big Dumb Fighter cliche, but I'm not certain if that should be worked in or not.

Then the goal should be that a Fighter with stats Str 18 Dex 8 Con 16 Int 10 Wis 10 Cha 6 is just as playable as one with stats Str 6 Dex 18 Con 16 Int 10 Wis 8 Cha 10. That may seem extreme to some of you, but that's similar to how a 1st level Wizard might align his stats.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-12, 09:19 PM
We should also give the fighter some sort of supernatural legacy starting at 11th level.

Legacy ideas:

Celestial: you had an angel, archon, solar, or eladrin in your ancestry, or was given a boon by a good-aligned god. Must be nonevil.

Fiendish: had some kind of demon, devil, or other evil outsider in your ancestry, or accepted a boon from an archdevil or demon lord. Must be nongood.

Battle: you have been noticed and given a boon by a god of battle, such as Kord, Heironeous, or Hextor.

Draconic: one of your ancestors was a dragon, or you have been granted a boon by a draconic god.

PairO'Dice Lost
2011-06-12, 09:34 PM
On single attribute dependency, I think that's an area where wizards and their ilk should be nerfed. I personally feel any class should need at least 2 stats, potentially 3. I personally see the Fighter as always having con a secondary stat, with Str or Dex as a primary. Int or Wis is a commonly used tertiary/secondary to get away from the Big Dumb Fighter cliche, but I'm not certain if that should be worked in or not.

On introducing caster MAD, I agree completely. Note that all of the casters that have 2 key scores are at least 1 tier below the casters most similar to them (cleric with Wis vs. favored soul with Wis/Cha being the prime example). As far as a quick fix to depower casters a bit goes, making them dual-attribute dependent works nicely--or even triple-stat dependent, making them need Int, Wis, and Cha like most martial characters need at least passable Str, Dex, and Con. I've tried out making all arcane casters Int-based for save DCs and bonus spells (even spontaneous casters need to understand arcane magic to some degree) and all divine casters Wis-based, while making max spell level dependent on Cha for all casters, and it worked out pretty well.

On tertiary martial stats, take a page from the ToB classes. You can play a martial adept with a 6 in each mental stat with no problem at all; however, if you do happen to have a high-Int warblade or a high-Wis swordsage or a high-Cha crusader, you get benefits from that. Contrast this with a swashbuckler or paladin, where if you don't have a high Int or Cha, respectively, you can't really use your primary class features at all. So there should be some benefit to high mental scores for fighters, whether through class features or feats, but no mental stat should be a "built-in" tertiary stat, if you know what I mean.

Seerow
2011-06-12, 09:37 PM
We should also give the fighter some sort of supernatural legacy starting at 11th level.


That's way too narrow in flavor for my tastes. Things like that should be represented by templates, not class features. It's bad enough it's been shoehorned onto sorcerers over the course of 3.5, let's not get into that with Fighters too.


The crux of my argument is that any kind of fighting style specialization should not be required or even encouraged by the class. Specialization of fighting style should be, if done at all, purely by player choice. I stand by my opinion that "Heavy Weapons Fighter" is a Tier 4 concept at best.


On the other hand, every character is going to specialize whether they intend to or not, simply by virtue of the feat system. Either they're going to go two handed fighting and be able to do nothing else, or they're going to be dumping feats into being able to use the other fighting styles. I think that encouraging diversity in this is something that should be encouraged rather than discouraged.


Then the goal should be that a Fighter with stats Str 18 Dex 8 Con 16 Int 10 Wis 10 Cha 6 is just as playable as one with stats Str 6 Dex 18 Con 16 Int 10 Wis 8 Cha 10. That may seem extreme to some of you, but that's similar to how a 1st level Wizard might align his stats.


No, that sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Honestly the only thing really in the way of that is some feat prerequisites.

Glimbur
2011-06-12, 09:49 PM
How do we feel about the War Marked (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=190893)? They avoid the problem I have seen in some fighter fixes of every level X Fighter being about the same because they all get the same class features, which is nice.

Lord_Gareth
2011-06-12, 09:56 PM
How do we feel about the War Marked (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=190893)? They avoid the problem I have seen in some fighter fixes of every level X Fighter being about the same because they all get the same class features, which is nice.

I <3 the War Marked deeply and use them as my comprehensive non-ToB melee fix for stubborn players that won't use Manuevers.

Ziegander
2011-06-12, 10:12 PM
On tertiary martial stats, take a page from the ToB classes. You can play a martial adept with a 6 in each mental stat with no problem at all; however, if you do happen to have a high-Int warblade or a high-Wis swordsage or a high-Cha crusader, you get benefits from that. Contrast this with a swashbuckler or paladin, where if you don't have a high Int or Cha, respectively, you can't really use your primary class features at all. So there should be some benefit to high mental scores for fighters, whether through class features or feats, but no mental stat should be a "built-in" tertiary stat, if you know what I mean.

Well said. I agree.


That's way too narrow in flavor for my tastes. Things like that should be represented by templates, not class features. It's bad enough it's been shoehorned onto sorcerers over the course of 3.5, let's not get into that with Fighters too.

I fully agree.


On the other hand, every character is going to specialize whether they intend to or not, simply by virtue of the feat system. Either they're going to go two handed fighting and be able to do nothing else, or they're going to be dumping feats into being able to use the other fighting styles. I think that encouraging diversity in this is something that should be encouraged rather than discouraged.

The feat system is not the way a warrior character should be getting their level appropriate fighting capabilities. This is something we already know and have known for years. A Fighter shouldn't be spending all of his feats to be passably good at pulling off ONE WEAPON SKILL within ONE FIGHTING STYLE.

And by the simple virtue of NOT encouraging specialization we conversely DO encourage diversity. Look at a Wizards. (Without Focused Specialist options) the class doesn't encourage specialization and all Wizards all the time pick the best spells they can find from as many different spell schools as they can, because why wouldn't they? Versatility is key.


No, that sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Honestly the only thing really in the way of that is some feat prerequisites.

And again, feats are our enemy in this endeavor.

PairO'Dice Lost
2011-06-12, 10:25 PM
The feat system is not the way a warrior character should be getting their level appropriate fighting capabilities. This is something we already know and have known for years. A Fighter shouldn't be spending all of his feats to be passably good at pulling off ONE WEAPON SKILL within ONE FIGHTING STYLE.

[...]

And again, feats are our enemy in this endeavor.

Not necessarily. The current system with its pathetic excuses for feats and feat trees and all that won't work at all, of course, but we shouldn't discard the feat system as a valuable component of a fighter fix. If you could pick up a single "I Can Haz Archery" feat that granted the benefits of every single archery-related feat in 3e at the appropriate levels, that would be a good expenditure of resources: a single feat gives one fighting style which is automatically level-appropriate and never becomes obsolete. Granted, condensing dozens of feats into one is far too complicated as-is and might not be worth it even then for many styles, but the concept of needing only a single feat for mastery of a fighting style is, I think, a good one.

That way, you can have class features for all-around competence and feats for specialization. Think of it like the druid--all druids have wild shape and an animal companion (barring ACFs), so you have a certain baseline for a druid's powers and schtick to ensure that they can compete at an appropriate power level. Then the druid's spellcasting is what lets him choose whether he wants to be a summoner or a blaster or a utility caster or a crowd controller or whatever. Likewise, I feel that the fighter's class features should give him the necessarily levels of mobility, resilience, utility, and the usual fighter fix staples that he requires to keep up, while it is the feats that take that base resilience and turn him into a tank or that base mobility and turn him into a skirmisher or whatever.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-12, 11:00 PM
Here's how the new feats should work.

For two weapon fighting, use this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=201059), which greatly reduces feat tax.

Two handed weapon can stay the same.

Einhander doesn't even have feats, unless you consider the unarmed strike feats as feats for the einhander style.

Shield bashing rolls agile shield fighter and improved shield bash into one feat.

Seerow
2011-06-12, 11:20 PM
Here's how the new feats should work.

For two weapon fighting, use this (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=201059), which greatly reduces feat tax.

Two handed weapon can stay the same.

Einhander doesn't even have feats, unless you consider the unarmed strike feats as feats for the einhander style.

Shield bashing rolls agile shield fighter and improved shield bash into one feat.

I prefer my own weapon styles see here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=199946).

It condenses two weapon fighting, sword and board, and archery down to 3 feats, and gives new feats for two handed fighting, einhander style, and reach weapons, as well as supporting unarmed combat. Basically letting you work with just about any fighting style you want for on average 3 feats. (Some styles can be accomplished with only 2 feats, by ignoring a later feat that only gives an option you may not want or care about. Some styles can be extended with more investment, typically by hybridizing one or more styles, for example mixing two weapon fighting with sword and board, or unarmed combat with any of the styles).

I know some of you here looked at it early on, but I've made several updates/itterations on some of the feats since the last time I got any input, so there should be a fair bit of new material there for anyone to look at.




Okay now that I'm done advertising my own stuff...



The feat system is not the way a warrior character should be getting their level appropriate fighting capabilities. This is something we already know and have known for years. A Fighter shouldn't be spending all of his feats to be passably good at pulling off ONE WEAPON SKILL within ONE FIGHTING STYLE.

And by the simple virtue of NOT encouraging specialization we conversely DO encourage diversity. Look at a Wizards. (Without Focused Specialist options) the class doesn't encourage specialization and all Wizards all the time pick the best spells they can find from as many different spell schools as they can, because why wouldn't they? Versatility is key.


We're arguing the same point from two different angles here. No, a warrior character should not rely soley on feats, that I think we can all agree on, or we wouldn't be participating in a "fix fighters" thread. But that doesn't mean you can't have feats as a part of what the fighter is.

I agree you should have other abilities beyond feats. Like I mentioned early on, I'm working on a stamina system I intend to adapt to all martial-type characters that gives access to level appropriate powers for those characters. The main component I need to work on at this point is the powers themselves, which given the scope and variety needed, can potentially take a while. You're looking at a minimum of probably about 200 powers to make it flexible enough to be competitive with casters, and that's before considering out of combat options which similarly need to exist. (That said out of combat utilities that are considered appropriate for mundanes that a caster can't do easier is one thing that is really hard to place. I actually started a thread some time back to try to stir up discussion on that and it went nowhere fast)

Ziegander
2011-06-12, 11:38 PM
No, see, the reason feats are the enemy of warriors is because even when they're taking the better stuff like Combat Reflexes and, uh, Improved Trip, a spellcaster is taking stuff like Arcane Disciple or Divine Metamagic or any number of more awesome and more useful feats. The Fighter has to take feats to enable him to do anything useful. A spellcaster has spells, and more of them than a Fighter has feats, to do useful things. A spellcaster uses feats to make the useful things they can already do even more useful, and/or powerful, and/or versatile.

Seerow
2011-06-13, 12:05 AM
No, see, the reason feats are the enemy of warriors is because even when they're taking the better stuff like Combat Reflexes and, uh, Improved Trip, a spellcaster is taking stuff like Arcane Disciple or Divine Metamagic or any number of more awesome and more useful feats. The Fighter has to take feats to enable him to do anything useful. A spellcaster has spells, and more of them than a Fighter has feats, to do useful things. A spellcaster uses feats to make the useful things they can already do even more useful, and/or powerful, and/or versatile.

First, I think you are still exaggerating this, and ignoring anything anyone is saying in favor of continuing your rant against feats. Hell, I just got done saying that feats shouldn't be the core of your level appropriate abilities. That however does not change the fact that feats are useful, and give some nice things, just not enough of them, and not powerful enough nice things.

I agree that a fighter should be able to pick up a sword, and even if he normally prefers fighting with two of them, or with a shield instead, that he should be able to use it adequately via his other abilities.

However, agreeing with that does not mean that feats have no place at all, or that they are inherently bad, which is the point you keep trying to convey. Feats are not the enemy. Bad feats with terrible MAD inducing prerequisites are. But feats in themselves are nice, and can be useful.


You make the point that casters use their feats to either become more powerful or more versatile. That's exactly what feats for melee should be doing. However just because Clerics got something as cheesy as Divine Metamagic doesn't mean that everyone out there who doesn't have something that amazingly strong is somehow broken or worthless. I'm pretty sure that's some sort of fallacy even if I don't know what it is specifically.

Ziegander
2011-06-13, 12:27 AM
First, I think you are still exaggerating this, and ignoring anything anyone is saying in favor of continuing your rant against feats.

People are saying that Two-Weapon Fighting is something Fighters should be taking to do anything useful. Those kinds of feats are the enemy to any kind of Fighter fix. Two-Weapon Fighting shouldn't even be a feat. Improved Trip shouldn't be a feat. Stand Still, Robiliar's Gambit, Knockback - none of these should be feats.

I'm not saying feats are stupid. I'm saying attempting to "fix" the Fighter by making I Can Haz Archery feats is the exact opposite of what would be good.

My post that you just quoted was pointed toward Pair O'Dice Lost and Swiftmongoose not you, you just happened to reply before I did. You and I are arguing close enough to the same thing.


Feats are not the enemy. Bad feats with terrible MAD inducing prerequisites are. But feats in themselves are nice, and can be useful.

See, when I say "feats are the enemy" I'm talking about published feats and any homebrew feats that would be designed to work anything remotely like published warrior feats.


You make the point that casters use their feats to either become more powerful or more versatile. That's exactly what feats for melee should be doing.

But they don't. And they never can until Fighters do useful things before they ever take a single feat.


However just because Clerics got something as cheesy as Divine Metamagic doesn't mean that everyone out there who doesn't have something that amazingly strong is somehow broken or worthless. I'm pretty sure that's some sort of fallacy even if I don't know what it is specifically.

It was just an example, dude.

PairO'Dice Lost
2011-06-13, 01:31 AM
People are saying that Two-Weapon Fighting is something Fighters should be taking to do anything useful. Those kinds of feats are the enemy to any kind of Fighter fix. Two-Weapon Fighting shouldn't even be a feat. Improved Trip shouldn't be a feat. Stand Still, Robiliar's Gambit, Knockback - none of these should be feats.

I'm not saying feats are stupid. I'm saying attempting to "fix" the Fighter by making I Can Haz Archery feats is the exact opposite of what would be good.

My post that you just quoted was pointed toward Pair O'Dice Lost and Swiftmongoose not you, you just happened to reply before I did. You and I are arguing close enough to the same thing.

Again, I'm not saying that the current model wherein you have to take feats to be good at anything is workable; you know and I know and everyone else knows that that won't work. I'm saying that taking feats completely out of the equation is going too far in the opposite direction. When it comes to the hypothetical I Can Haz Archery feat, I'm not suggesting something like Rapid Shot or Manyshot or trivial stuff like that. I completely agree that "Take penalties for extra attacks" and "Make attacks as a standard action" and "Ignore concealment and cover" and "Use combat maneuvers at range" and the like should be basic combat options just as you're suggesting. Think of it as generalizing Power Attack to every style: you can pick up a two-handed weapon and smack people with it and do just fine, Power Attack and its successors simply make you better at it--not better as in "I need it to compete" but rather better as in "I can go from merely highly competent to exceedingly competent."

Now, what does an equivalent archery (or TWF or...) feat look like? Hell if I know; if I knew that, I'd have posted a bunch of feat fixes of my own by now. Improving basic archery and TWF and everything else to the point that it doesn't require you to have feats to not suck is certainly a daunting task. But one thing that shouldn't be done is entirely divorcing combat styles from feats, for a couple reasons. First is the low advancement ceiling: if every style is equally good out of the box, any feats at all that would improve them would be too powerful, and if there are no feats to improve them then there's no way to really specialize in a particular style. Another is the "silo-ing" of class abilities--if you turn these combat style improvements into fighter class features, no other class can get them, and if they simply become class features for all martial classes they might as well be feats. Feats were originally designed to allow more customization in build, and having a good degree of customization is still desirable even if the combat essentials become part of the base chassis instead of being stuck under Feat Tax #37.

If it helps, think of potential new fighter feats as metamagic feats. If Joe Wizard takes Chain Spell, he can take the things he can already do perfectly well (e.g. buff allies, debuff enemies, suppress items, etc.) and do them even better; he doesn't have to take Chain Spell to do these things at all, and taking it doesn't prevent him from doing other stuff, but taking it lets him specialize in those things where taking, say, Searing Spell would focus him in a slightly different direction. If Joe Fighter takes I Can Haz Tankiness, he can take the things he can already do perfectly well (e.g. defend allies, shut down enemies, suppress movement, etc.) and do them even better; he doesn't have to take I Can Haz Tankiness to do these things at all, and taking it doesn't prevent him from doing other stuff, but taking it lets him specialize in those things where taking, say, I Can Haz Stealth would focus him in a slightly different direction. See where I'm coming from?

Jade Dragon
2011-06-13, 02:24 PM
People are saying that Two-Weapon Fighting is something Fighters should be taking to do anything useful. Those kinds of feats are the enemy to any kind of Fighter fix. Two-Weapon Fighting shouldn't even be a feat. Improved Trip shouldn't be a feat. Stand Still, Robiliar's Gambit, Knockback - none of these should be feats.

This is a good idea, but you're doing it terribly wrong. You're saying that any warrior, no matter how untrained, can just pick up two weapons he's proficient with and use them effectively, or make an enemy stand still just by attacking them. Two weapon fighting should be a feat, but improved and greater two weapon fighting shouldn't be feats, instead they're just part of two weapon fighting. Improved trip should be a feat, otherwise anyone can just pick up a guisarme and spiked gauntlet and go to town. Weapon finesse, power attack, and combat expertise shouldn't be feats, as they're just basic attack and defense options.

Seerow
2011-06-13, 02:43 PM
This is a good idea, but you're doing it terribly wrong. You're saying that any warrior, no matter how untrained, can just pick up two weapons he's proficient with and use them effectively, or make an enemy stand still just by attacking them. Two weapon fighting should be a feat, but improved and greater two weapon fighting shouldn't be feats, instead they're just part of two weapon fighting. Improved trip should be a feat, otherwise anyone can just pick up a guisarme and spiked gauntlet and go to town. Weapon finesse, power attack, and combat expertise shouldn't be feats, as they're just basic attack and defense options.

Two-Weapon fighting is a proficiency, not a feat. A completely untrained person shouldn't be able to pick up two weapons and go to town, but a someone should be able to train in that style without spending a feat. Specifically, Fighters, Rangers, Rogues shouldn't be wasting a feat on it. TWFing requiring a feat is like requiring holding a weapon in both hands requiring a feat. Extra attacks on a full attack with limited penalty just comes from baseline proficiency. Other things come from feats. (again, check out the weapon styles I linked upthread)

On the rest I more or less agree. Weapon Finesse should be automatic for any finessible weapon. Power Attack and Combat Expertise I think should be general combat options.

For improved trip and the other improved X combat options, I'm thinking the attack of opportunity those maneuvers provoke should be removed baseline. The feats are still worthwhile for basically +1 size category while using that maneuver, and in some cases a little extra (for example imp trip gives the bonus attack after you trip). If more of the improved X feats gave a little bonus like that in addition to the numerical bonus, in place of removing the AoO, they'd probably be more bearable. For example improved grapple removing the limit of you cannot hold something more than 2 size categories above you. But the extra little bonuses don't need to be added if you don't want to redo every feat in the game, just removing the AoO is good enough to make the options viable without the feat, with the feat making them better, as it should be.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-13, 02:45 PM
For improved trip and the other improved X combat options, I'm thinking the attack of opportunity those maneuvers provoke should be removed baseline. The feats are still worthwhile for basically +1 size category while using that maneuver, and in some cases a little extra (for example imp trip gives the bonus attack after you trip). If more of the improved X feats gave a little bonus like that in addition to the numerical bonus, in place of removing the AoO, they'd probably be more bearable. For example improved grapple removing the limit of you cannot hold something more than 2 size categories above you.

I never got why you provoked an AoO for punching someone.

Seerow
2011-06-13, 02:55 PM
I never got why you provoked an AoO for punching someone.

My guess was it was supposed to model people trading a lot of punches but not really accomplishing much in a real fight for some stupid reason. Also to make the new AoO rules come up more.

Gideon Falcon
2011-06-13, 03:07 PM
Also, the thing with saying that fighters shouldn't have to take feats is; One of the major aspects of this class is that they don't technically have to take those feats, instead getting them for free. In addition, they will have several class features other than feats.


The Fighter has to take feats to enable him to do anything useful.

But they don't. And they never can until Fighters do useful things before they ever take a single feat.
That is what we're trying to change. The point of the fix is not to make a fighter that can't do anything useful without taking a bunch of feats, it's to make a fighter that already has those feats either effectively or literally. Some feats will be replicated by class features that are even better than the actual feat. Some will be given as bonus feats.

Also, the fighting styles will be allowed to change with some training time, and you will gain the basic benefits from additional styles as you progress. So, using Seerow and Jiriku's fixes, possibly with a little tweaking, the fighter's styles become roughly similar to a specialist wizard with no prohibited schools, more specialization benefits, and secondary specializations in additional schools, that can be overhauled with a day or two's notice.

Don't worry, I appreciate the archetype of a fighter who has a cart full of weapons.

Seerow
2011-06-13, 03:19 PM
Just to give an idea of what I think is appropriate feat-wise, here's a snippet from the chasis of the current fighter fix I'm working on, which is supposed to work in conjunction with the stamina system I alluded to earlier giving powers as well as this. This would work along with the weapon style feats I linked earlier in the thread:

1-Style Feat, Fast Retraining
2-Bonus Feat
3-Style Feat
4-Bonus Feat
5-
6-Style Feat
7-
8-Bonus Feat
9-
10-
11-Flex Feat
12-
13-
14-
15-Flex Feat
16-
17-
18-
19-Flex Feat
20-




Style Feat (Ex)-At first level, you gain two bonus [Style] Feats of your choice that you meet the prerequisites for, but may only use one of the styles at a time. You choose which of these to use at any given time. You may switch which of the styles you are currently using as a swift action. At 3rd level, and again at 6th level, you gain another style feat that has the first feat as a prerequisite. These followup feats are active along with their prerequisite feat.

These bonus feats are in addition to the feat that a character of any class gets from advancing levels. A fighter is not limited to the list of fighter bonus feats when choosing these feats.

Example: A fighter at first level chooses as his two style feats Two-Weapon Rend, and Improved Two-Handed Fighting. At 3rd level, he gains Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, and Mighty Blows. Now at any time he can have either Two Weapon Rend And Improved Two Weapon Fighting active, or he can have Improved Two Handed Fighting and Mighty Blows active. He may switch between these as a swift action.

Fast Retraining (Ex)-The Fighter gains many bonus feats as he increases in level. When he gains the level, he automatically learns the new feat, as if it was one of his normal feats gained by leveling up. However, the Fighter is able to familiarize himself with new techniques faster than others. With 8 hours of personal training, or 2 hours of training with someone else who already knows the feat, a Fighter may familiarize himself with another feat that he meets the prerequisites for. At the beginning of each day, the Fighter can spend an hour practicing to switch the feats he currently knows with any feat he is familiar with. He cannot retrain out of a feat that is being used as a prerequisite for another feat without first retraining that feat.

Bonus Feat (Ex): At 2nd, 4th, and 8th levels, the Fighter gains a bonus feat which he meets the prerequisites for. These feats must be drawn from the feats noted as fighter bonus feats.

These bonus feats are in addition to the feat that a character of any class gets from advancing levels. A fighter is not limited to the list of fighter bonus feats when choosing these feats.

Flex Feat (Ex): At 11th level, and every 4 levels after that, the Fighter gains a flex feat. The Fighter chooses one new feat upon gaining the level, and treats that feat as a familiar feat, however a fighter can change a flex feat to any other feat that he is familiar with as a swift action. Making this switch costs 7 stamina, but the Fighter may choose to switch as many flex feats as he has access to, as long as he follows the normal rules for retraining feats otherwise (ie the fighter cannot retrain a feat that is being used as a prerequisite without first retraining the feat that requires the prerequisite, and the fighter cannot gain a feat he does not meet the prerequisites for).

Gideon Falcon
2011-06-13, 03:53 PM
Excellent. I do like your fighting style fixes, they are quite elegant. Here are a few more abilities that could be keyed off stamina, which could be chosen from a larger list as you progressed:

Falling with style: You gain a glide speed with perfect maneuverability equal to your land speed. In addition, you may pay x stamina to jump without needing a solid surface to jump from. You may make standing jumps without increasing the DC, and jumps are no longer restricted by your movement speed.

Spellwarp Strike: You may pay x stamina when making an attack or strength check. If you do so, you may dispel any active spells on the target as if with Dispel Magic, except it is an extraordinary effect. Instead of a caster level check, you make a strength or constitution check opposed by the caster's primary ability modifier check.

Seerow
2011-06-13, 04:16 PM
Excellent. I do like your fighting style fixes, they are quite elegant. Here are a few more abilities that could be keyed off stamina, which could be chosen from a larger list as you progressed:

Falling with style: You gain a glide speed with perfect maneuverability equal to your land speed. In addition, you may pay x stamina to jump without needing a solid surface to jump from. You may make standing jumps without increasing the DC, and jumps are no longer restricted by your movement speed.

Spellwarp Strike: You may pay x stamina when making an attack or strength check. If you do so, you may dispel any active spells on the target as if with Dispel Magic, except it is an extraordinary effect. Instead of a caster level check, you make a strength or constitution check opposed by the caster's primary ability modifier check.


Yeah I intend to have a large pool of abilities to choose from that you can use with stamina. Divided into 9 levels like maneuvers/spells, I'm thinking somewhere around 200 total is the minimum, with about as many skill tricks (which I would also incorporate into the system so they could be used more than once per encounter, instead using stamina), with the Fighter getting more of the combat maneuvers, and the rogue getting more skill tricks, but both having similar numbers of powers known. The Barbarian would have fewer powers, but more self buffing abilities using stamina as class features. I was also thinking the half casters would also get a half stamina progression, making them more of a true hybrid, as opposed to a halfassed druid/cleric.

Gideon Falcon
2011-06-13, 04:54 PM
Indeed. This project may blossom into an overhaul of most warrior classes. The Tome of Battle might even need some improvements to keep up.

Also: on the subject of tiers; I don't think having limited options out of combat compared to wizards and such is an actual problem for the warrior classes. As long as they can actually do stuff out of combat, which everyone can do (Skills), they don't need to be able to convince anyone to do anything, or stuff like that. That's what the diplomancers, diviners, and utility casters are for, after all. Thus, I don't think the inability to do anything but fight should be considered a hindrance for the class. Sure, that may lock it in T3, but these classes are about killing anything, not doing anything.

Seerow
2011-06-16, 06:35 PM
I think Skill Tricks were a great step in the right direction to fixing the "mundanes can't do cool things", though Magic needs to be limited somewhat as well.

Basically, if you want a mundane to be on par with a Wizard, he needs to be able to slash your sword to open up a gateway to another plane. He needs to be able to jump and suddenly appear thousands of miles away. ie sorts of things I don't think most of us would consider appropriate even for high powered martial heroes.

Those sorts of things I think should remain the domain of casters, effects that are so different that they may only be explained by magic, nothing else makes sense. But at the same time, most spells that duplicate skills should be toned down or flat out removed, to give skills a niche only they can fill. Then add in skill tricks so you can use those skills to do awesome things, and you win.

I agree the Fighter shouldn't be able to do anything, and his skills should still be restricted when looked at next to a rogue or a beguiler, because they aren't his schtick. But he should have at least 4 per level, and a skill list that includes Spot, and Listen at the very least, along with the normal fighty-type skills (also cross class skills should probably be handled a la pathfindere, ie crossclass skills are just like class skills but without the +3 bonus). But a rogue should be doing awesome things with his skills, cause skills are what he is all about, just like Fighting is what the Fighter is all about.

edit:
But anyway, instead of just rambling about what I have planned, maybe we could set this topic to the purpose of brainstorming what sorts of powers and skill tricks are appropriate?

Also, how would you divide up powers, if you try to do schools a la ToB, it ends up feeling very similar to spells. I was thinking dividing them with very generic descriptive terms. ie you get powers in the following types:

-Defensive
-Offensive (ie damage)
-Counters
-Self Buffing
-Debuffing
-Inspire Allies
-Mobility

Gideon Falcon
2011-06-16, 07:09 PM
In addition, we might have ACF's to trade in powers for maneuver progressions, possibly having the fighter fix trade in bonus feats in order to swallow the Warblade. The Battle Clarity and such line could be easily replicated, and it would still be more powerful than the original Warblade.

I agree perfectly with you about the definitively magical effects, and I will lightly touch on them that the teleport and plane shift spells should have their casting times extended to become combat-unusable.

Anyway, there should also be some constant abilities thrown in, whether like stances or just non-activated class features.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-16, 07:12 PM
Basically, if you want a mundane to be on par with a Wizard, he needs to be able to slash your sword to open up a gateway to another plane.

There's the passage enchantment for weapons in Oriental Adventures, allows plane shift once per day.

Lord_Gareth
2011-06-16, 07:29 PM
There's the passage enchantment for weapons in Oriental Adventures, allows plane shift once per day.

Say it with me: items are not class fixes. Items are not class fixes. Items are not class fixes.

If you find yourself saying, "Well, they'll just have to use an item for that," stop and re-think what you're making. That's the thought line that got fighters where they are today.

Gideon Falcon
2011-06-16, 07:39 PM
I think seerow's point with those was that there are some things that even the most powerful warrior archetype can't do without magic. As I said before, they shouldn't even need to be able to do them.

Lord_Gareth
2011-06-16, 07:41 PM
I think seerow's point with those was that there are some things that even the most powerful warrior archetype can't do without magic. As I said before, they shouldn't even need to be able to do them.

In a universe where mages have no reason not to stay in their safe room and send their projected image out to adventure for them, yes, they need to be able to do certain things. Granted, plane shifting may not need to be one of these things, but they gotta be able to do something.

Seerow
2011-06-16, 07:45 PM
I think his point with those was that there are some things that even the most powerful warrior archetype can't do without magic. As I said before, they shouldn't even need to be able to do them.

Right, a Fighter doesn't need to be able to Plane Shift or use Greater Teleport (though I think short range teleports are perfectly within the range of what should be available, with it simply fluffed as really fast movement) to be competitive. However for every trick a caster has that can't be replicated by a non-caster, non-casters should have a trick that a caster doesn't have a direct correlation for, and there should be a fair bit more overlap between the two.

The question is where to draw the line of things that magic can and can't do. What sorts of awesome things are appropriate for a mundane type, and what sorts of things are casters currently too good at that should be nerfed?

Gideon Falcon
2011-06-16, 07:48 PM
Indeed, and a lot of them are replicated in ToB and with skill tricks, although some of them need more power. Thus, those are the sources we need to look for for some of the baselines for the powers available.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-16, 08:02 PM
I should get CScoundrel, I need to see these skill tricks everyone talks about.

Seerow
2011-06-16, 08:11 PM
I should get CScoundrel, I need to see these skill tricks everyone talks about.

Mostly they're cool in concept only. The implementation is still on the weaker side of things, sadly. There are a few nice ones hidden in there though. The concept of unique maneuvers that you gain cheaply from having good skills is what's neat, and something I want to try to expand upon. For example, skill tricks for heal that can let you heal on a similar level to a magical healer, so you don't need to rely on a cleric or magic wands for healing, and letting the heal skill do what it actually should have done from the start.

I think a good place to start for these would actually be 4e, they have a fair number of Skill Powers in one of the books... PHB3 I believe, that could probably be pretty easily adapted as a starting point.

Jade Dragon
2011-06-16, 08:58 PM
I think a good place to start for these would actually be 4e, they have a fair number of Skill Powers in one of the books... PHB3 I believe, that could probably be pretty easily adapted as a starting point.

Yeah, those are for DMs who don't let you use skills to do fancy tricks not covered by the book. If you're trained in a certain skill you can take it instead of a regular power for that level.

The 4e powers in general might be a good start, as some of the fighter ones improve depending on what weapon you're wielding.

Ingus
2011-06-17, 06:45 AM
Since now I was too lazy to put down my fighter fix. Would you please put down my figter fix (just kidding)

My idea is based on weapons. Every weapons just works normally for everyone else, but fighters can use it better, with a power just them can unleash.
To put down an example:

Greatsword
(fluff)
Fighters: A fighter with a Greatsword can perform extra stunts based on his level
1st Sweeping blow: once per encounter, the fighter spins his greatsword attacking his target and then spins with it, attacking with another blow. This grants an extra attack with his base attack bonus +2 against the same target. This can be done twice per encounter at level X and three times at level Y
Xth Mighty sweep: once per encounter, the fighter can attack all foes in a 3m cone with one might blow. Otherwise, resolve this attack as per whirlwind attack feat.
(got it?)

To keep versatility, a fighter should use a weapon for every occasion. To say: need to attack multiple foes? Greatsword and Mighty sweep. Need to attack at very long range? Composite longbow and X.

This, however, is not all



Anyway, the next step is with the fighting styles.

First off, there's weapon styles. Specifically: Unarmed, Two Weapon, Two Handed, One Handed, Sword-and-Board, Ranged. Each will have certain abilities that one would expect from it. The One Handed, though, will be the most challenging to fix, as it combines the weaknesses of two styles with the benefits of... nothing.


This could be the source of extra add-ons. Take one weapon style at first level, one at fifth and one every five after (we should adjust it with time)
One Handed could be focused on trip&disarm shaneningas and maybe on dirty play (sand in your eyes, huh?)
Sword-and-Board should be focused on stunning, defending maneuvers and stability
Ranged on special debuffing effects (weakening shot, crippling shot, blinding shot) or fast killing (head shot, heart shot... save or die suggested)

This sistem is based on weapons as fighter's spells. So, he should be able to: Sheathe and Draw
At first level, the fighter is able to switch weapons with ease. He can sheathe a weapon and draw another one as a single swift action once per turn. This subsides and does not stack with Quick Draw. This class feature can be used instead of Quick Draw to qualify for feats, prestige classes and so on.

This is not far from ToB and I'm unsure about it. Since it is lot of work, I would like to have your opinion first

Gideon Falcon
2011-06-29, 10:43 PM
Alright, as a drawing board for a rehaul of most warrior classes, here are some rough outlines of the concepts:

Fighter: Sort of the 'wizard' of the system, having the greatest number of powers available.

Monk: 'Sorceror' equivalent, trading number of powers known for class features, unique powers, and a larger stamina pool. Very slight focus on Counters and Debuffing. I would like it to borrow from T.G. Oskar's fix.

Rogue: Trades some power numbers and stamina pool size for skill tricks, sneak attack, and other class features. Minor focus on Offensive and Mobility. May swallow Swashbuckler, ala jiriku's Daring Outlaw.

Ranger: Trades some powers for spellcasting, animal companion, hiding abilities, and favored enemy. Also might borrow from jiriku's fix and focus on Mobility and grant the scout's skirmish progression.

Paladin: Trades some powers for spellcasting, a few class features, and an epic smite attack. may swallow Knight, ala jiriku's Knight-Paladin. Will likely swallow Soulborn as a variant or ACF.

Marshall: Inspire Allies specialist, much like the Dread Necro and Beguiler to the Wizard. Secondary specialization in defense and counters

Barbarian: Self Buffing specialist, with secondary focus on Offensive powers.

Hexblade: Debuffing specialist, with some powers traded for spellcasting and curses. May borrow from T.G. Oskar's Bez-Kismet and/or Lord Gareth's Malefactor.

Samurai: Possibly fighter variant, unsure of specifics.

Martial Adepts: Some maneuvers may need boosting, otherwise unchanged.

Any classes I may have missed?

togapika
2011-06-30, 04:13 AM
Look at certain races for the speed idea like pathfinder's Quickling.

Seeing invisible opponents by other cues, auditory and otherwise.

Fear effects via feats of skill and strength.

elliott20
2011-06-30, 06:03 AM
Whenever I see a fighter fix thread, I generally see the following approaches.

Give fighter's class features
pros
- generally the class features give them a great deal of oomph
- class features often scale with level, and does away with dead levels
cons
- with class features that are straight forward and simplistic, it tends to make the fighters all come out the same
- with class features that are highly customizable, it makes adapting to the system more difficult as it's ANOTHER subsystem to pick up and incorporate

Condense feats
pros
- fighters, with their large number of feats, can quickly pick up a bunch of different new toys to play with.
- not as intrusive, as you can leave the fighter class more or less intact
cons
- what benefits the fighter also benefits everyone else. By making, for example, TWF easier to learn, you basically just make it easier for say, a cleric to go TWF as well. This is not necessarily a bad thing, mind you, but it really doesn't necessarily give the fighters more power as it does give everybody more options

Longer feat trees
pros
- more feats that build upon existing feats can give more things for the fighter to spend their feats on.
- least intrusive approach, as you're just adding more ontop instead of changing things around
cons
- further forces specialization for effectiveness, which means more investment
- if the effect is powerful enough, still means that it will be worth it for non-fighters to take it

TOB
pros
- officially released
- has large number of users familiar with it as result of the above
- fairly robust
cons
- doesn't actually fix the fighter but rather just replaces them
- a lot of people feel the system feels to much like a sorcerer mechanically. (really, why hasn't anybody come up with an alternative resource management and just keep the feats? why hasn't anyone just create a stamina point system and append it to the TOB classes? that fixes this one little problem immediately)
- flavor wise, a lot people believe it's too "wuxia" or "anime".

New Point system
pros
- a completely new system that works on points is much easier to manage
- with some kind of new point system, it means that you have to actually manage your resources, which is often a good thing for the pace of play.
cons
- you would have to find a way to let this mesh with other classes or else it's too narrow a fix
- creating one of these things is a LOT of work. And unless it becomes really popular, you might not get a lot of people playtesting it for you.
- as with flexible ACFs, you can end up with a very difficult system to pick up.

Now, I personally love TOB, and I have no problem just letting the fighter class go, and use TOB as my primary means of filling out the martial needs of the world. But I understand that a lot of people don't like it.

to me, the best fix for the fighter really should be coming from feat fixing. If you mix condensing with extended feat trees, you can actually more or less get a lot of what people are looking for here. But that does take a lot of work.

However, if I had the time and patience to do this, what I would do is
- condense what the current feats do so that taking a single feat actually gives you quite a big boost
- creating long feat trees with increasingly more powerful effects. Make it so that the best feats require not just one feat chain, but a feat pyramid. (So you need to have at least two chains to get the best feat on top of the pyramid)
- create feats that have synergies so that rewards taking diverse feats
- for feats that are primarily supposed to benefit the warriors, slap a BAB requirement on them. This way, the warrior types can take them first.

i.e. the save boosting feats on their own are only worth a +2, what I would do is make those feats now give you a better save progression for starters, and then create more feats that allow you to build off of them. Mettle, btw, just got a lot more awesome.

You would then want to figure out what areas you want to expand these feats
I figure you'd want to have feats in at least these areas
- weapon feat tree: these are basically the condensed version of the weapon focus/specialization trees. make them do more in terms of numbers, and Create feats that with a single one can give you a bunch of weapon tricks. (with appropriate skill check, of course)
- mobility feats: these feats are there to increase how fast you move, how you move across new terrains, and also giving you a bunch of jumping feats. That is, jumping feats which will at it's later level, basically give you so much air time you might spend several rounds in the air for a single jump.
- endurance tree: condense so it gives more, and then create more feats that allow you sustain things that you should no business resisting. (i.e. disintegration? bah, it's just a flesh wound)
- iron will feats: again, condense and change effects. Create more feats that let you resist enchantment spells with ease.
- agility feats: condense and change effects, but also starts to replicate things like uncanny dodge and what not. (feat pyramid idea, at the top of the feat pyramid where you took multiple better resistance feats, you can start picking up immunity feats and stuff that gives you DR and SR)
- archery tree: condense and streamline.
- might tree: these feats basically give you the ability to do the charles atlas stuff. The first one might just give you a 1/encounter ability to really push yourself and get a single roll where your strength gets a huge bonus. (This will also benefit barbarians too) A second feat might increase your effective size when calculating for things like grappling, tripping, etc
- combat tricks tree: things like trip, disarm and all that should have follow up feats that don't just make you better at disarming or tripping, they should give you stuff like disarming as a swift/immediate action, or hitting a guy so hard that he can't use that limb for a short time. (gives a whole new meaning to the word, disarm) Tripping? At first you're tripping. But by say, 20 the level, you're not tripping, you're causing a minor earthquake or juggling people with a whirlwind you create.

Again, a lot of this stuff should go in feat pyramids. I think we really need to step away from the concept of feat chains or feat trees and start moving towards feat pyramids, as it is in my opinion, the best way to reward someone who gets a lot of feats.

Lord_Gareth
2011-06-30, 12:30 PM
Hexblade: Debuffing specialist, with some powers traded for spellcasting and curses. May borrow from T.G. Oskar's Bez-Kismet and/or Lord Gareth's Malefactor.

Aww, I'm flattered. You might just use Malefactor straight-up and just add more utility Malefactions - gods only know I'm open to suggestions. As they stand they're fairly T3, if on the higher end of the "RAW POWAH" scale without optimization.

DracoDei
2011-06-30, 01:07 PM
Have you seen The Fighter Manifesto (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=149854)? It's what I had in mind when creating my own Fighter fix...
I second this, IMHO it was the best looks at the problem (not necessarily solutions, but the problem) that I have seen.



Not necessarily an issue if you're talking about a non-flying Fighter vs a flying-Wizard. With little to no optimization an archer can make swiss cheese out of a non-buffed target (non-buffed being VERY important here).

I searched the thread for a while to make sure I wasn't going to be repeating someone else's point. Good thing I kept at it since my first few keywords missed this post. I agree, and further-more think that this applies against most flying MONSTERS (which I think are more common than flying NPC caster's in most games).

As for flight, I'm not talking about the problems between a flyer and an archer. I'm talking about melee-focused fighters, who need to be able to actually fly in order to catch up with the wizard. Otherwise, you have good points.
To my way of thinking, any fighter THAT focused on melee to the exclusion of range can either get an item for those situations, go find a rock to hide behind and let the rest of the party take care of it, or die like the fool they are.


Oh, and before anyone mentions Windwall, there is potentially a very simple solution to that if the fighter has both a ranged weapon and enough movement speed (granted the current realities of the class discourage both, but changing these to the extents needed is less of a big deal than granting flight)... it doesn't even depend on changing RAW of the spell per se, just understanding the limits of it under RAI.
Caster on the other side of the wall? Run to other side then fire.
Caster on the same side as you, above windwall? Not a problem.
Caster above jumping reach but inside Windwall? Get DIRECTLY below them and fire STRAIGHT up... then ask the GM how much damage you should add for the extreme tail-wind assisting your shot. This is where the movement rate becomes CRITICAL since you need to be able to traverse the same distance along the wall and still fire (at least one shot) as the caster can traverse and still be able to cast effectively. So... 60' movement rate by level 5 or 6, while in Heavy (or at least Medium) armor? Sounds a reasonable thing to at least make possible based on some of the other standards you set.

Yitzi
2011-07-01, 12:40 PM
I'm not so sure that's the right way to go. Fighters should be somewhat weak to magic, with what resistance they have (other than a good Fort save) simply coming from being impressive enough to be decent even with minor debuffs.
Save the "warrior class that demolishes casters" for another class, probably monk.

Jade Dragon
2011-07-01, 01:42 PM
I'm not so sure that's the right way to go. Fighters should be somewhat weak to magic, with what resistance they have (other than a good Fort save) simply coming from being impressive enough to be decent even with minor debuffs.
Save the "warrior class that demolishes casters" for another class, probably monk.

Um, the fighter is supposed to shrug off everything. From a dragon's breath to a wizard's spell to a medusa's gaze.

Gideon Falcon
2011-07-02, 12:51 PM
Also, the goal is becoming less to create a class that can fight off wizards, it is to make classes that can fight off wizards by introducing a new mechanic.

There is absolutely no conceivable reason why fighters should be especially vulnerable to magic, and indeed the archetypes they are based on, as Swiftmongoose said, are supposed to be able to withstand the most powerful magics.

Vladislav
2011-07-02, 01:01 PM
The way to fix the fighter is to gestalt it with Knight, Monk and Barbarian, while getting rid of the alignment requirements. For some of the monk features, possibly also getting rid of "not wearing armor or wielding a shield" requirement.

Jade Dragon
2011-07-02, 01:12 PM
The way to fix the fighter is to gestalt it with Knight, Monk and Barbarian, while getting rid of the alignment requirements. For some of the monk features, possibly also getting rid of "not wearing armor or wielding a shield" requirement.

I don't have PHBII, and besides, that's the easy way! Also, it doesn't help with the "wizards fly, fighters cry" thing, unless you say the monk ACF in Dungeonscape plus the fast movement and maxing out jump is close enough to flying, which it's not.

grimbold
2011-07-02, 04:44 PM
The way to fix the fighter is to gestalt it with Knight, Monk and Barbarian, while getting rid of the alignment requirements. For some of the monk features, possibly also getting rid of "not wearing armor or wielding a shield" requirement.

yeah this is how i usually do it

however you have to balance it out at the lower levels

Gideon Falcon
2011-07-02, 04:52 PM
As Swiftmongoose said, the abilities of Barbarians, Monks, Knights, and Fighters combined are still nothing compared to a Wizard as the system stands. That is why we are doing this project. The goal is to allow Fighters, Monks, Knights, Barbarians, Marshals, Rangers, Paladins, Hexblades, etc., to do some of the same tricks as wizards, do several tricks that make Wizards go green, and react to tricks they can't do by punching the squishball in the face so fast the contingency doesn't know what happened. They need to break through Force Cages, take no damage from being in the middle of an Insanely Overpowered Fireball(tm), and do the kind of things that impossibly powerful fighters are supposed to do.

Yitzi
2011-07-02, 09:48 PM
Um, the fighter is supposed to shrug off everything. From a dragon's breath to a wizard's spell to a medusa's gaze.

What would be the archetype in question here? (What are some characters of that sort, etc.)

Not to mention that a fighter can generally shrug off a dragon's breath (just by having enough hit points), as well as a medusa's gaze and a wizard's spell of a straightforward nature (they have good Fort saves). Against "wizards' tricks" (to use the term used IIRC by Regis), they naturally aren't so good, but neither is that archetype (well, except the really good ones, but that's just high-level characters having high saves.)

Jade Dragon
2011-07-02, 09:52 PM
What would be the archetype in question here? (What are some characters of that sort, etc.)

Not to mention that a fighter can generally shrug off a dragon's breath (just by having enough hit points), as well as a medusa's gaze and a wizard's spell of a straightforward nature (they have good Fort saves). Against "wizards' tricks" (to use the term used IIRC by Regis), they naturally aren't so good, but neither is that archetype (well, except the really good ones, but that's just high-level characters having high saves.)

In a movie or book, whenever a spell such as dominate person is used, does the fighter succumb to it for more than a few seconds? Really, the Driizz't Do'urden books are a bad example here, because Entreri was also able to resist the effects of the ruby, which was a powerful magc item. The ones affected by it were low level rogues and experts.

Plus, a high level fighter shouldn't just resist a dragon's breath, he should literally be able to cleave it in two with his sword.

Curious
2011-07-02, 11:57 PM
The fatal failing of theoretical threads like this is that they are trying to balance martial classes against wizards as is. But the fact of the matter is that wizards as they are at present simply cannot be balanced. They have spells and abilities for every conceivable situation, and without complete system overhaul, no martial character is going to have the power or versatility to deal with them.

I think the best thing to do in this situation is to save the fighter rebuilds for later, and rebuild the wizard in a more manageable form first.

Yitzi
2011-07-03, 07:30 AM
Say it with me: items are not class fixes. Items are not class fixes. Items are not class fixes.

If you find yourself saying, "Well, they'll just have to use an item for that," stop and re-think what you're making. That's the thought line that got fighters where they are today.

The problem with using items as class fixes is that anyone could use that item, whether of that class or not.

But if it's used just to plug a hole in the class...what's wrong with that?


In a movie or book, whenever a spell such as dominate person is used, does the fighter succumb to it for more than a few seconds?

Unless he's really awesome (i.e. high level) or more of a monk than a fighter, generally yes. Unless you have good counterexamples...

If you did want to make dominate person easier to shrug off, I'd say do that with a change to the spell; something like sleep or charm, though, the fighter definitely won't shrug off easily.


Really, the Driizz't Do'urden books are a bad example here, because Entreri was also able to resist the effects of the ruby, which was a powerful magc item.

Entreri had a pretty good Will save thanks to his level. Knowing what it did might also give a circumstance bonus.


Plus, a high level fighter shouldn't just resist a dragon's breath, he should literally be able to cleave it in two with his sword.

Cleave the breath in two? That's not something I envision from an [Ex] class.

Jade Dragon
2011-07-03, 11:02 AM
Entreri had a pretty good Will save thanks to his level. Knowing what it did might also give a circumstance bonus.Even with a circumstance bonus, Entreri's a 16th level ranger/rogue/fighter/assassin. None of those have good will saves, and you can't get to the maximum like if you're straight classed.
Cleave the breath in two? That's not something I envision from an [Ex] class.

There's the problem, right there. Here's the definition of [Ex] from the SRD.


Extraordinary abilities are nonmagical, though they may break the laws of physics. They are not something that just anyone can do or even learn to do without extensive training.

And this is were most people screw up. "Oh, sure the wizard can stop time and put down a bunch of delayed blast fireballs with no explanation on how they work, it's magic!". But when it comes to mundane "The crusader shouldn't be able to heal as an extraordinary ability. You can't do that in real life!"

Gideon Falcon
2011-07-04, 01:03 PM
The Archetype I'm talking about is people like King Arthur and Kamina, unstoppable warriors rather than Big Stupid Fighters.

@ Curious, I completely disagree. By nerfing some of the more powerful abilities, and making it much harder to figure out what spells need to be prepared, the wizard can be taken to a more manageable level, where sufficient fixing can bring the fighters up to in-combat par with.

Yitzi, continuing on Swiftmongoose's explanation, you demonstrated the very kind of thinking that brought about the fighter's current situation: Limiting high-level fighters to doing things that you could do in real life. This is a fantasy game, and fighters need to be able to do the impossible in order to function. Warrior classes are supposed to be Hardcore, not idiots who can't last half a round against a wizard. They need to be able to take down those cowards who hide behind their spells, even if that means stretching the limits of (Ex).

Vladislav
2011-07-04, 01:14 PM
The Archetype I'm talking about is people like King Arthur and Kamina, unstoppable warriors rather than Big Stupid Fighters.As far as I know, King Arthur had no ability to fly, nor to escape a Forcecage. The only reason he turns out so awesome in the epos, is because he never had to fight enemies using Flight or Forcecage.

You're trying to enforce a change* on an existing game system, with existing rules and an existing set of spells, based on a fictional epos which had none of that. This endeavor is doomed to fail. You can only make the fighter so much better before you discover you made a Wizard MK II.

* Here you would probably use the word "fix", but I beg to differ. A fix it is not.

Jade Dragon
2011-07-04, 01:26 PM
As far as I know, King Arthur had no ability to fly, nor to escape a Forcecage. The only reason he turns out so awesome in the epos, is because he never had to fight enemies using Flight or Forcecage.

You're trying to enforce a change* on an existing game system, with existing rules and an existing set of spells, based on a fictional epos which had none of that. This endeavor is doomed to fail. You can only make the fighter so much better before you discover you made a Wizard MK II.

* Here you would probably use the word "fix", but I beg to differ. A fix it is not.

King Arthur was powerful because there wasn't a wizard and a cleric in every adventuring party. If there had been, he would've been far more powerful to balance it out.

PairO'Dice Lost
2011-07-04, 05:40 PM
On the subject of good Will saves for fighters: I think the idea that "fighters traditionally have weak mental saves" and "oh, that guy just has a high Will save because he's high level" and so forth is bogus. I don't mean from a pop-cultural perspective--though pop culture certainly disagrees as well, take a look at Conan, Aragorn, and most other hit-things-with-metal protagonists--I'm just talking about D&D tradition here. History lesson time!

In 1e, the fighter's base "Will save" (save vs. spells/save vs. rod) was only 3 points behind his base "Fort save" (save vs. polymorph/save vs. death magic) on average at 1st level, and only 1 point behind on average at the highest levels. In fact, starting around level 10ish, a fighter's "Will saves" pulled ahead of the cleric's, and his base "Reflex save" (save vs. breath weapons) was better than the thief's by level 5! Fighters started out with poor Will saves, sure, but their saves advanced fastest (every 2 levels, as opposed to every 3 for the cleric, every 4 for the thief, and every 5 for the magic-user) and by the endgame (levels 17 and up) they had among the best saves.

If you look at all the last numbers on the saving throw chart (level 17+ for fighters, 19+ for clerics, and 21+ for thieves and magic-users), fighters had 4 of their 5 base saves better than clerics (all but Death Magic) and 3 of 5 better than thieves and magic-users (Rod and Spells)--and if you just look at level 17-18, the fighter had saves equal to or better than every other class in every single category. In the first five levels, when the fighter and its subclasses have traditionally been better than the other classes for the most part, yes, the fighter has weak Will saves; it's a good weakness in an otherwise all-around good class. When dominate person comes online at level 9, however, the fighter has as good a save as the cleric and thief (only worse than the magic-user by 2), and by the time the truly dangerous Will-targeting Enchantment and Illusion spells come online (mass versions of hold X and dominate X, the power words, and so forth), it's actually the clerics and thieves you need to worry about until you hit "epic levels" at 21st.

So if you're going to fix the fighter, he should not only have a better-than-poor Will, he should have better-than-poor Ref as well. Giving the fighter good Will is not "enforcing a change on an existing game system" or "going against the archetypes," it's restoring the ability to shrug off impediments mundane and magical that the AD&D fighter had all along and the 3e fighter lost for no good reason.

Yitzi
2011-07-04, 07:04 PM
The Archetype I'm talking about is people like King Arthur and Kamina, unstoppable warriors rather than Big Stupid Fighters.

Where is there any indication that Arthur would be particularly resistant to mental tricks?
And Kamina's class appears to be Charisma-based, so whatever it is it's clearly not fighter. I'd make "spiral warrior" into a homebrew class, as it really doesn't fit any of the D&D classes I know.


Yitzi, continuing on Swiftmongoose's explanation, you demonstrated the very kind of thinking that brought about the fighter's current situation: Limiting high-level fighters to doing things that you could do in real life. This is a fantasy game, and fighters need to be able to do the impossible in order to function.

I don't really see why; what has Garet Jax, for instance (now there's a good example of the fighter archetype for you), done that's really impossible? Awesome and incredibly skilled? Sure. Impossible, not really.


Warrior classes are supposed to be Hardcore, not idiots who can't last half a round against a wizard.

That's really wizards being overpowered; taking out a fighter (as opposed to simply neutralizing him via magical trickery or the like) should be far harder than half a round. But that toughness is expressed by a good Fort save. Where the issue is one of trickery rather than a straightforward attack (i.e. it targets a different save), why should a fighter be so good at it?


They need to be able to take down those cowards who hide behind their spells, even if that means stretching the limits of (Ex).

Can you really see Garet Jax (Arthur is a bad example, as to be a good king he'd need a high WIS) being effective against someone who refuses to stand and fight?


Conan, Aragorn

Both bad examples; Conan is a barbarian (so when raging he'd get a boost to Will saves and would have a better WIS score anyway); Aragorn is probably a ranger, but as the heir to the throne could be expected to have good WIS....and of course as part-Numenorian would probably get racial bonuses to saves and abilities anyway.


In 1e, the fighter's base "Will save" (save vs. spells/save vs. rod) was only 3 points behind his base "Fort save" (save vs. polymorph/save vs. death magic) on average at 1st level, and only 1 point behind on average at the highest levels. In fact, starting around level 10ish, a fighter's "Will saves" pulled ahead of the cleric's, and his base "Reflex save" (save vs. breath weapons) was better than the thief's by level 5! Fighters started out with poor Will saves, sure, but their saves advanced fastest (every 2 levels, as opposed to every 3 for the cleric, every 4 for the thief, and every 5 for the magic-user) and by the endgame (levels 17 and up) they had among the best saves.

If you look at all the last numbers on the saving throw chart (level 17+ for fighters, 19+ for clerics, and 21+ for thieves and magic-users), fighters had 4 of their 5 base saves better than clerics (all but Death Magic) and 3 of 5 better than thieves and magic-users (Rod and Spells)--and if you just look at level 17-18, the fighter had saves equal to or better than every other class in every single category. In the first five levels, when the fighter and its subclasses have traditionally been better than the other classes for the most part, yes, the fighter has weak Will saves; it's a good weakness in an otherwise all-around good class. When dominate person comes online at level 9, however, the fighter has as good a save as the cleric and thief (only worse than the magic-user by 2), and by the time the truly dangerous Will-targeting Enchantment and Illusion spells come online (mass versions of hold X and dominate X, the power words, and so forth), it's actually the clerics and thieves you need to worry about until you hit "epic levels" at 21st.

So if you're going to fix the fighter, he should not only have a better-than-poor Will, he should have better-than-poor Ref as well. Giving the fighter good Will is not "enforcing a change on an existing game system" or "going against the archetypes," it's restoring the ability to shrug off impediments mundane and magical that the AD&D fighter had all along and the 3e fighter lost for no good reason.

Ah, this piece I did not know. It was presumably due to the levelling tendency of 3e (only one poor save progression and one good save progression), but it probably would make sense to restore that advantage then...perhaps a +1 bonus to saves vs. poison and abilities (including spells and even supernatural and extraordinary abilities, but not things like natural phenomena) every 5 levels.

One Step Two
2011-07-04, 07:23 PM
*snip*
So if you're going to fix the fighter, he should not only have a better-than-poor Will, he should have better-than-poor Ref as well. Giving the fighter good Will is not "enforcing a change on an existing game system" or "going against the archetypes," it's restoring the ability to shrug off impediments mundane and magical that the AD&D fighter had all along and the 3e fighter lost for no good reason.

I agree wholeheartedly, I think someone mentioned in the first few posts that our fighter should be out-fitted with the best starting stats, d12 HD, All good saves etc. This over-all gives the fighter a good amount of resillience, failed save or no, the higher average HP gives him an edge as well. The other point someone made was giving the fighter Evasion and Mettle, as neat as this option is I can't help but feel thats too much to recieve both, even for our humble fighter who needs so much help. Mettle, I agree is something all fighters should have, but evasion has always been the cornerstone of the lightly armoured classes. I cannot find the fighter fix that mentioned this, but using a class feature of Armor specialisation to give extra benefits along these lines would be appropriate, such as Light armour specialisation gaining Evasion, and Heavy Armour specialisation getting Mettle. I'll dig around for the thread. This leads me to my next point of class features, and feat fixes.


Whenever I see a fighter fix thread, I generally see the following approaches. *snip*

Elliott20 made great points in the breakdown in what's both right and wrong in fighter fixes, that:
A) Bloat the existing mechanics, or
B) Provide side benefits to other classes.
I am paraphrasing his post horribly I admit, so do give it a proper read. What he did mention as a staple idea, is Feat Fixing. This Link (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Races_of_War_%283.5e_Sourcebook%29/Warriors_with_Style#The_Failure_of_Feats) Goes into detail in what is wrong with feats, and provides new feats to be used instead which scale with BAB, the most powerful effects landing in the realm of the +16 BAB, meaning that non-full BAB classes would not see any great benefit without creative PrC'ing, or in Epic levels.

These feats are by no-means perfect, even the low level effects are extrodinarily useful to non-full BAB classes, and we land back in the zone where despite it being made to help fighters, it helps anyone else as well. Not that it's a bad thing really, but it certainly isn't our goal.

An Idea I had was making the humble feat more useful to a fighter than anything else, unfortunately, it's difficult to do without making addendums to every fighter feat.
To use an example, Combat Expertise (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#combatExpertise), as soon as a fighter take the feat, he now can disarm, and trip without provoking attacks of oppertunity. Taking either improved Disarm or Trip gives you the +4 bonus on the opposed rolls, and would count as 1 size category larger for the attempt, netting a +8 bonus against other same sized opponents in most cases. The same would occur for Power attack, and it's branching feats of Improved Bullrush, Overrun, and Sunder. This allows the fighter to spread his feats a little more thinly while getting benefits of others, and if he did take the others, he'd get a bigger boost.
Thus making the feats more useful to fighters, without making them more useful to others. This would also perhaps require changing pre-requisites of feats like Shock Trooper, and other Combat style feats. While there are fewer of these than spells, it's still a large task to undertake.

Sorry if that came off rather long, but I wanted to add my two copper peices to this thread, and hope it comes off as useful.

Jade Dragon
2011-07-04, 07:41 PM
I don't really see why; what has Garet Jax, for instance (now there's a good example of the fighter archetype for you), done that's really impossible? Awesome and incredibly skilled? Sure. Impossible, not really.Never heard of the guy, but he sounds like he wasn't past 12th level. A high-level fighter should be able to do stuff like the guys in Kung Fu Panda did, or stuff that the warrior gods did.
That's really wizards being overpowered; taking out a fighter (as opposed to simply neutralizing him via magical trickery or the like) should be far harder than half a round. But that toughness is expressed by a good Fort save. Where the issue is one of trickery rather than a straightforward attack (i.e. it targets a different save), why should a fighter be so good at it?

A Dominate spell is not trickery, it's a contest of two wills, and whoever has the stronger will wins. A fireball spell is not trickery, it's literally blasting the guy with fire.

PairO'Dice Lost
2011-07-04, 08:19 PM
Both bad examples; Conan is a barbarian (so when raging he'd get a boost to Will saves and would have a better WIS score anyway); Aragorn is probably a ranger, but as the heir to the throne could be expected to have good WIS....and of course as part-Numenorian would probably get racial bonuses to saves and abilities anyway.

First off, Conan the Barbarian would actually be better represented in 3e as a warblade/feat rogue, a fighter/rogue, maybe a fighter/ranger, or other combinations depending on which version you want to stat up; "barbarian" in the Cimmerian sense of uncivilized person and "Barbarian" in the D&D sense of skilled tough guy who fights in a rage/trance/etc. aren't the same archetype. Likewise, Aragorn wouldn't necessarily be a pure ranger in 3e, though it fits him much better than barbarian does Conan.

Also, AD&D drew from Conan, Aragorn, etc. for its fighting types, and in 1e barbarians and rangers were fighters, in that both classes were subclasses of fighters, so my points on "D&D fighters have had all-around good defenses in the fluff and mechanics since the beginning" apply equally to barbarians and rangers, as well as paladins, hunters, swashbucklers, and other AD&D/3e martial types.


Ah, this piece I did not know. It was presumably due to the levelling tendency of 3e (only one poor save progression and one good save progression), but it probably would make sense to restore that advantage then...perhaps a +1 bonus to saves vs. poison and abilities (including spells and even supernatural and extraordinary abilities, but not things like natural phenomena) every 5 levels.

The most straightforward solution is to just give the fighter all good saves, as several have mentioned already. There's no need to introduce new mechanics when a simpler fix will do. Even the Grace and Battle Fortitude abilities of the swashbuckler and scout are unnecessary kludges that could have been done without. If desired, the fighter could be able to pick two saves of his choice to be good ones if you are hesitant about giving martial types all good saves for whatever reason; monks have all good saves and it doesn't make them any more amazing. As well, there's no reason to exclude natural phenomena; why shouldn't a fighter be good at withstanding extreme temperatures, avoiding pits, and other mundane hazards?

Gideon Falcon
2011-07-04, 09:12 PM
As far as I know, King Arthur had no ability to fly, nor to escape a Forcecage. The only reason he turns out so awesome in the epos, is because he never had to fight enemies using Flight or Forcecage.

You're trying to enforce a change* on an existing game system, with existing rules and an existing set of spells, based on a fictional epos which had none of that. This endeavor is doomed to fail. You can only make the fighter so much better before you discover you made a Wizard MK II.

* Here you would probably use the word "fix", but I beg to differ. A fix it is not.

You haven't even seen what we're doing yet. All we've said in this thread so far is that it will have an ability system that will give them several abilities that will help put them on a decent power level. Thus, you cannot just dismiss it as a failure without even giving it a chance.

As for your assertion that you can't take a fighter to higher power levels without turning it into another wizard, I am firmly opposed to that notion. As I said before, The point of this fix is NOT to make the fighter able to do anything. It is to make the fighter able to be COMPETENT. This is not impossible, and it will not automatically make a 'Wizard Mk. II'.

Yitzi
2011-07-05, 01:35 AM
Never heard of the guy

Shannara series.


A high-level fighter should be able to do stuff like the guys in Kung Fu Panda did, or stuff that the warrior gods did.

Such as?
And warrior-gods level should be more like epic fighter (at least) rather than simply high-level.


A Dominate spell is not trickery, it's a contest of two wills, and whoever has the stronger will wins.

That's not a problem with the fighter, that's a problem with having just one will save; if you want to distinguish Dominate from trickier stuff you should introduce a fourth save (maybe "mental fortitude") against compulsions and the like, and make it Charisma-based.


A fireball spell is not trickery, it's literally blasting the guy with fire.

And why should a fighter be particularly good at avoiding the damage from that? (Taking the damage and just going on anyway, sure, but he does have that already.)


First off, Conan the Barbarian would actually be better represented in 3e as a warblade/feat rogue, a fighter/rogue, maybe a fighter/ranger, or other combinations depending on which version you want to stat up; "barbarian" in the Cimmerian sense of uncivilized person and "Barbarian" in the D&D sense of skilled tough guy who fights in a rage/trance/etc. aren't the same archetype.

So Conan isn't a berserker sort? Interesting.


Also, AD&D drew from Conan, Aragorn, etc. for its fighting types, and in 1e barbarians and rangers were fighters, in that both classes were subclasses of fighters, so my points on "D&D fighters have had all-around good defenses in the fluff and mechanics since the beginning" apply equally to barbarians and rangers, as well as paladins, hunters, swashbucklers, and other AD&D/3e martial types.

Although most of the other classes do have some sort of boost to will saves.


The most straightforward solution is to just give the fighter all good saves, as several have mentioned already. There's no need to introduce new mechanics when a simpler fix will do.

That makes sense. And the fighter's weakness would then be "stuff that isn't combat", plus rogues.


monks have all good saves and it doesn't make them any more amazing.

It makes them far more effective against wizards. Admittedly, not so much as to be noticeable unless wizards are de-broken.


As well, there's no reason to exclude natural phenomena; why shouldn't a fighter be good at withstanding extreme temperatures, avoiding pits, and other mundane hazards?

Extreme temperatures are a Fort save, which he is good at anyway, but why should a fighter be good at avoiding pits? He trained to fight, not to avoid traps.


As for your assertion that you can't take a fighter to higher power levels without turning it into another wizard, I am firmly opposed to that notion. As I said before, The point of this fix is NOT to make the fighter able to do anything. It is to make the fighter able to be COMPETENT. This is not impossible, and it will not automatically make a 'Wizard Mk. II'.

It might be a good idea to specify what tier you're aiming for.

One Step Two
2011-07-05, 06:52 AM
It might be a good idea to specify what tier you're aiming for.

Just to expound on this point:

A Default Fighter is Tier 5

A Zhentarium Variant Fighter (from the Champions of Valour web suppliment) is considered tier 4.

The difference? The Zhentarium fighter gets Diplomacy and Bluff added to his Class skills, a bonus feat, the ability to make indimidate last 24 hours, and eventually the ability to do-so as a swift action.
The last three bonuses, while nice, don't necessarily raise it's Tier (it certainly doesnt hurt!), it's actually the introduction of Diplomancy and Bluff, allowing the fighter to do stuff other than straight up hit things, it's increased versatility raises it one tier.

gkathellar
2011-07-05, 08:11 AM
And warrior-gods level should be more like epic fighter (at least) rather than simply high-level.

Clearly you haven't noticed that high level wizards can stop time, and suck all the hydration out of someone's body while my ninth-level cleric can call pillars of celestial fire from the sky and raise the dead.

Aspects of D&D characters that people generally agree don't need to be fixed can replicate nearly everything you actually see in mythology by tenth level. Why should fighters be any different?

PairO'Dice Lost
2011-07-05, 08:43 AM
Such as?
And warrior-gods level should be more like epic fighter (at least) rather than simply high-level.

In AD&D, gods were merely high level and killing gods was, if not an expected part of a character's career, at least as common as a "save the Prime" plot. As is widely quoted in these sorts of discussions, Lolth had a grand total of 66 HP in the days of the original Demonweb Pits module; gods weren't pushovers by any means, but they weren't what would be considered epic in 3e.


So Conan isn't a berserker sort? Interesting.

Not really; he did a bit of angry in perhaps one or two stories, but overall I wouldn't peg him as a berserker. In AD&D they statted him as a fighter/thief even after the barbarian class came out in UA. Also, from another thread on the topic (spoilered for being long and a bit of a derail):


Inspired by the "Barbarians as a Race" thread and the fact that I watched C the B the other day, I got thinking about Conan in D&D terms and realised that although he is the iconic Barbarian, in D&D he probably wouldn't have any levels in Barbarian...one or two at most.

Have a think. He's not illiterate, in fact he's actually quite well educated (in a way), so that rules out pure Barbarian (unless he wasted some skill points on becoming literate). He doesn't 'Rage' as such except possibly once or twice in the Pit fights (and that only in the earlier fights...his later fight show a lot of restraint). About the only pure Barbarian features that Conan has are the incredible toughness (DR, d12 HD), he's more skilled than a straight Fighter would be given his intelligence (4+Int skill points, better list) and he's very aware of his surroundings in a fight (Uncanny Dodge).

His background as a Pit Fighter might warrant a couple of levels of Barbarian, but I'd be more inclined to make them Fighter levels because Barbarians get more skill points and he didn't learn anything but combat during those years. After the Pit fighting, he was sent to be trained by the greatest weaponsmasters of the East...this is going to translate as more Fighter levels, though maybe a level of Monk might not be amiss, especially given his 'Discipline of Steel' which may also translate as some of the Monks abilities.



About the only pure Barbarian features that Conan has are the incredible toughness (DR, d12 HD), he's more skilled than a straight Fighter would be given his intelligence (4+Int skill points, better list) and he's very aware of his surroundings in a fight (Uncanny Dodge).

you basically described a straight Warblade.

Although most of the other classes do have some sort of boost to will saves.

Granted, though making it good save + boost rather than poor save + boost wouldn't be problematic at all, I don't think.


It makes them far more effective against wizards. Admittedly, not so much as to be noticeable unless wizards are de-broken.

It's a nice perk, but an extra +6 to two saves over 20 levels isn't exactly "far more effective," more like "expected baseline competence for anyone whose schtick is supposed to be fighting casters."


Extreme temperatures are a Fort save, which he is good at anyway, but why should a fighter be good at avoiding pits? He trained to fight, not to avoid traps.

I don't know, perhaps because combat doesn't always take place on a flat featureless plain? It's one thing to be a flashy acrobatic rogueish type, which is best represented by Evasion, Uncanny Dodge, and high ranks in Balance and Tumble, which I agree doesn't fit every fighter; it's another to simply have good battle-honed reflexes, which does fit the fighter almost by definition. A mid-level fighter shouldn't be less competent at avoiding pits and snares and such than the rogue, and only as competent as the party casters, just because one associates "good reflexes" with "trap finder."

Yitzi
2011-07-05, 10:03 AM
Just to expound on this point:

A Default Fighter is Tier 5

A Zhentarium Variant Fighter (from the Champions of Valour web suppliment) is considered tier 4.

The difference? The Zhentarium fighter gets Diplomacy and Bluff added to his Class skills, a bonus feat, the ability to make indimidate last 24 hours, and eventually the ability to do-so as a swift action.
The last three bonuses, while nice, don't necessarily raise it's Tier (it certainly doesnt hurt!), it's actually the introduction of Diplomancy and Bluff, allowing the fighter to do stuff other than straight up hit things, it's increased versatility raises it one tier.

Although I'd say that a better approach to raising the fighter's tier is to raise his power rather than his versatility. After all, he's called a fighter for a reason; he's supposed to be highly specialized.


Clearly you haven't noticed that high level wizards can stop time, and suck all the hydration out of someone's body while my ninth-level cleric can call pillars of celestial fire from the sky and raise the dead.

Well leaving aside that high level wizards cannot in fact stop time (just fake it)...yeah, fighters should have capability roughly on that level (probably more because they're less versatile, possibly less because their abilities are at-will). But that's still a far cry from a proper warrior god.


Aspects of D&D characters that people generally agree don't need to be fixed can replicate nearly everything you actually see in mythology by tenth level.

Maybe I'm overestimating mythology, although I think it's more likely that you're underestimating it. (It also depends on the mythology; for instance, Greek/Roman mythology is far weaker than those from Asia as far as I can tell.)


In AD&D, gods were merely high level and killing gods was, if not an expected part of a character's career, at least as common as a "save the Prime" plot. As is widely quoted in these sorts of discussions, Lolth had a grand total of 66 HP in the days of the original Demonweb Pits module; gods weren't pushovers by any means, but they weren't what would be considered epic in 3e.

But most concepts of warrior gods (including the 3e ones) are quite a bit further than that.

I'll get to the saves issue later, as I've done a bit of thinking about it and realized that everyone's underestimating the scope of the problem.


A mid-level fighter shouldn't be less competent at avoiding pits and snares and such than the rogue, and only as competent as the party casters, just because one associates "good reflexes" with "trap finder."

Not only trap finder, but also someone who makes their living on the edge of their wits and reactions.


Now, about saves:
According to the MM, a monster should have good saves roughly equal to 1.5XCR and poor saves equal to CR. If we look at high-level decently optimized characters and most monsters (which have DC=10+CR, at least as I could tell with a bit of checking), that means a 50% chance of success when targeting a poor save, and less when targeting a good save.

Now let's look at 3 saves (a fighter's will save for a "poor" save, a wizard's will save for a "good" save, and a raging barbarian's fort save for an "excellent" save) at level 1, level 11, and level 20.

Level 1: The fighter has a will save equal to his WIS modifier; assuming an elite array that's likely to be +0, a point buy will probably give +1. A bit low, but nothing serious. The wizard has a will save equal to 2 plus his WIS modifier, for +2 or +1, around right. The barbarian has a fort save equal to 4 plus his normal CON modifier (which will probably be +2 or so) for +6; very good, but that's only to be expected for an excellent save.
Level 11: The fighter has a will save equal to 3 plus his WIS modifier plus any resistance bonus; he has 66k character wealth, so can be assumed to have a cloak of resistance +3 or +4, but no WIS boosters, for a total of roughly +6. Seriously below what he should have (specifically, 5 below).
The wizard has a will save equal to 7 plus his WIS modifier plus any resistance bonuses. So that's a total of roughly +10; that's more like what the fighter should have. The barbarian has a fort save equal to 10 plus his normal CON modifier plus resistance bonuses; since CON is important to him, he can be assumed to have a periapt of health +2 in addition to the cloak of resistance, for a total of +16 or +17, a bit higher than what the wizard should have.
Level 20: The fighter has a will save equal to 6 plus his WIS modifier plus any resistance bonus; at 760k wealth he can be assumed to have a cloak of resistance +5 and probably at least +2 in WIS bonus (more if he uses custom items), for a total of 11 to 12...roughly 8 less than what he should have.
The wizard has a will save of 12 plus WIS modifier plus resistance bonuses, for 17 to 18, roughly 12 less than what he should have (and a bit under what a fighter should have). The barbarian has a fort save equal to 16 plus his normal CON modifier plus resistance bonuses; he can be assumed to have a cloak of resistance +5, an amulet of health +6, and probably also the benefit of a tome for +4, giving a total of +7 normal CON modifier and a +28 Fort modifier...which is still a bit on the low side compared to where it should be.

Conclusion: PC saves are too low, across the board, particularly at high levels.

My proposal: Introduce an "excellent" save progression, equal to level+3. Upgrade all "poor" saves in PC classes to "good", "good" saves to "excellent", and leave the poor progression for NPC classes and racial HD. Thoughts?

Seerow
2011-07-05, 10:23 AM
My proposal: Introduce an "excellent" save progression, equal to level+3. Upgrade all "poor" saves in PC classes to "good", "good" saves to "excellent", and leave the poor progression for NPC classes and racial HD. Thoughts?


level+3 seems a bit much. And it still leaves a large disparity between good and bad saves at high levels, a much larger disparity than at low levels.

If you really want to balance it, 4e did it right, all saves are 1/2 level, with a +2-3 bonus to defenses that are considered "good", and 2 different stats that can be applied to each save type.

The best of two different stats being applied to each save is the biggest thing, as it gives more opportunity for a character to have their save based off one of their good stats.


If you didn't want to go all the way and wanted to maintain different save progressions, I'd go for a more moderate approach, with the good save being 2+3/4 level, and a bad save being 1+3/5 level, giving a 17 and 13 respectively. 3+level just seems like it ends too high, that's literally doubling the base save. So when you have say a cleric, who is focusing on Wisdom, and has a good Will, and a cloak of resistance, you're looking at a +23+5+13=+41 save, far above where it should be (where with the current +12, it's +30 almost exactly where it's supposed to be, and with my change it's +35, somewhere in the middle)


Although I'd say that a better approach to raising the fighter's tier is to raise his power rather than his versatility. After all, he's called a fighter for a reason; he's supposed to be highly specialized.


No. The Fighter's chasis itself emphasizes versatility. It can be literally anything you want, as long as it involves physical combat. That is the aspect that needs to be improved upon, letting you envelope multiple concepts into the same build without gimping yourself.

The Fighter's raw power is fine. Just power attack + leap attack + shock trooper gives you all the power you could ever need and then some. You have the damage potential to one shot opponents, what you lack is the ability to do so reliably, because you have only one trick and that one trick can be shut down easily.

gkathellar
2011-07-05, 10:53 AM
Well leaving aside that high level wizards cannot in fact stop time (just fake it)...yeah, fighters should have capability roughly on that level (probably more because they're less versatile, possibly less because their abilities are at-will). But that's still a far cry from a proper warrior god.

Maybe I'm overestimating mythology, although I think it's more likely that you're underestimating it. (It also depends on the mythology; for instance, Greek/Roman mythology is far weaker than those from Asia as far as I can tell.)

I'm not sure what you expect warrior gods are capable of. Most of the really powerful myths are attributed to tricksters, magicians or omnipotent sky gods.

Again, look at Raise Dead. Raising the dead is, in most mythology, one of the most powerful things that anyone can ever do. Often, it's straightforwardly impossible, even for gods. There are whole religions founded on the idea that resurrection is totally sweet. 9th-level clerics can pull it off.

Or look at how in Journey to the West, the only fight Sun Wukong loses is against Erh Lang, who has a duel with him in the sky before chasing him down despite Sun Wukong's best shapeshifting tricks. I guarantee you I can replicate that fight with two tenth-level clerics that both have the Transformation domain.

You're not going to find many higher-powered fights in mythology than that. Zeus v. Typhon, sure, but Zeus is just a step short of genuine omnipotence, and a 5th level druid/wizard can replicate his best known ability (lightning).

Yitzi
2011-07-05, 11:42 AM
level+3 seems a bit much.

Now that I think of it, a wizard's will save is probably on the low side for a good save (because he has no other use for the key ability); a better example would be a melee ranger's reflex save. So that's roughly +2(DEX)+2 at level 1 for +4 (2 to 3 higher than the wizard), +3(DEX)+3(resistance)+7 at level 11 for 13 (3 below what it should be), and +7(DEX)+5(resistance)+12 at level 20 for 25 (6 below what it should be). So the "excellent" save probably should be equal to 2+5/6Xlevel, or in other words the "poor" save plus the "good" save (smoothed out a bit, so an additional +1 at levels 5, 11, and 17.)


And it still leaves a large disparity between good and bad saves at high levels, a much larger disparity than at low levels.

That's supposed to happen...it's just that instead of the disparity meaning you can't make the poor saves at high levels, it means that you can't hit the good saves at high levels.


The best of two different stats being applied to each save is the biggest thing, as it gives more opportunity for a character to have their save based off one of their good stats.

Yeah, that probably would be an advantage. It's not really a necessary change or fitting with the apparent intent, so I wouldn't do it, but definitely something to consider if you're going a high-houseruling approach.


So when you have say a cleric, who is focusing on Wisdom, and has a good Will, and a cloak of resistance, you're looking at a +23+5+13=+41 save, far above where it should be (where with the current +12, it's +30 almost exactly where it's supposed to be, and with my change it's +35, somewhere in the middle)

Yeah, it was a bit much; with the change I said above it comes out to +18+5+13 for 36; somewhat high, but on the other hand the wizard's is somewhat low at only 26 or so. Unfortunately, there's really a lot of variation due to usage of key ability scores as well, so it has to be a pretty rough approximation.


No. The Fighter's chasis itself emphasizes versatility. It can be literally anything you want, as long as it involves physical combat.

Yes, as long as it involves physical combat. So not bluff and diplomacy.


The Fighter's raw power is fine. Just power attack + leap attack + shock trooper gives you all the power you could ever need and then some.

Ah; I was thinking more of core.


because you have only one trick and that one trick can be shut down easily.

How?


Or look at how in Journey to the West, the only fight Sun Wukong loses is against Erh Lang, who has a duel with him in the sky before chasing him down despite Sun Wukong's best shapeshifting tricks. I guarantee you I can replicate that fight with two tenth-level clerics that both have the Transformation domain.

Not quite sure what that domain does.

Ingus
2011-07-05, 12:34 PM
I second almost every word of Gideon Falcon.



Limiting high-level fighters to doing things that you could do in real life. This is a fantasy game, and fighters need to be able to do the impossible in order to function.

This address the most common fallacy about fighters. Yes, RL or myth examples are all based on exceptional training and mundane ability, but those fighters fight other fighters.
Our poor D&D fighter is expected by level 20 to wrestle with a Great Wyrm dragon, keeping him to reach his spellcaster and healer. Usually, he ends entrapped in a forcecage cast by his fellow mage for his own safety.
So we come to the other quotation



The point of this fix is NOT to make the fighter able to do anything. It is to make the fighter able to be COMPETENT. This is not impossible, and it will not automatically make a 'Wizard Mk. II'.

What we do expect is to keep fighter an option (maybe not the best option, but at least a viable option) past level 5.
This means that he should be able to face (not vanquish, just face) at the very least the physical challenges adequate for the level: a Cloud Giant (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/giant.htm#cloudGiant) by level ten; a Greater Stone Golem (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/golem.htm#stoneGolem) by level fifteen; a Tarrasque (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/tarrasque.htm) by level twenty

To achieve that, it is necessary to improve fighter (IMO) starting by level 3. From level 8 on (again, IMO), the fighter needs increasing upkeep. And this improvement must be some sort of amazing otherwordly ability. Many otherwordly abilities.

My proposal was to partially use weapons, armor and shields (along with style abilities and maybe defensive class features) "abilities" viable only to fighters (and rangers, and barbarians, and monks and so on).
I writ something very chaotic and sooner or later I'll post it to review.

I don't second too much the stamina-based thing, but I would like to see it to express a real judgement.

Edit: since quote is often used to adverse the quoted statement, I wuold like to make clear that in this case is used to enforce and second the quoted statement

Yitzi
2011-07-05, 01:24 PM
What we do expect is to keep fighter an option (maybe not the best option, but at least a viable option) past level 5.
This means that he should be able to face (not vanquish, just face) at the very least the physical challenges adequate for the level: a Cloud Giant (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/giant.htm#cloudGiant) by level ten; a Greater Stone Golem (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/golem.htm#stoneGolem) by level fifteen; a Tarrasque (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/tarrasque.htm) by level twenty

To achieve that, it is necessary to improve fighter (IMO) starting by level 3. From level 8 on (again, IMO), the fighter needs increasing upkeep. And this improvement must be some sort of amazing otherwordly ability. Many otherwordly abilities.

I don't see why it needs to be otherworldly; while a great wyrm gold dragon is well beyond CR20, wrestling an old gold dragon can be made manageable without otherworldly ability. (Personally, I'd say that's still too much, as dragons are not only big and strong (a particular problem when grappling) but also pretty skilled combatants as well; a grapple-optimized fighter at level 20 shouldn't be able to have the advantage against anything more than, say, a titan. If he's facing a dragon, he should have to either grapple with intent to delay while the rest of the party takes it out or else attack without grappling.)


My proposal was to partially use weapons, armor and shields (along with style abilities and maybe defensive class features) "abilities" viable only to fighters (and rangers, and barbarians, and monks and so on).

Rather than making new stuff only available to warrior-sorts, why not just make it impossible for other classes to effectively use the stuff which was meant to play that role in the first place?

Jade Dragon
2011-07-05, 01:57 PM
Such as?

Escaping from a near-impenetrble fortress with dozens of guards, climbing up and jumping off falling boulders, and sparring while preventing a dumpling from touching the ground. Oh yeah, and the Wuxi finger hold. :belkar:

gkathellar
2011-07-05, 02:16 PM
I don't see why it needs to be otherworldly; while a great wyrm gold dragon is well beyond CR20, wrestling an old gold dragon can be made manageable without otherworldly ability. (Personally, I'd say that's still too much, as dragons are not only big and strong (a particular problem when grappling) but also pretty skilled combatants as well; a grapple-optimized fighter at level 20 shouldn't be able to have the advantage against anything more than, say, a titan. If he's facing a dragon, he should have to either grapple with intent to delay while the rest of the party takes it out or else attack without grappling.)

If the dragon is CR20, than a level 20 fighter should be a match for it at the very least on his battlefield of choice, if not all around.


Rather than making new stuff only available to warrior-sorts, why not just make it impossible for other classes to effectively use the stuff which was meant to play that role in the first place?

Because the existing stuff isn't good enough? It's not just that clerics and druids are better than fighters at their chosen role, it's that fighters are also insufficient for their chosen role.


Not quite sure what that domain does.

Access to polymorph. Only necessary because Wukong turns into a bird and a snake in order to escape.

Gideon Falcon
2011-07-05, 04:11 PM
In order to clear up some of the heated discussions that are going on (although they have mostly veered away from this issue), I think it would be a good idea to point out that if you don't think the fighter can be fixed, you needn't bother posting in this thread; you're not going to convince us, so just leave us to our deluded ramblings. Besides, this thread is about fixing the fighter, not about determining whether it can be fixed.

Back on topic, I think that the process of this overhaul has two main parts: The powers, which we will need a new and distinctive name for, hopefully something awesome, and the main class features. I think that some features should be shared among many of the classes, and the main class features should focus on general improvements.

Seerow
2011-07-05, 04:14 PM
Personally I think the main features should remain largely generic. I posted the chasis I was working with earlier in the thread. It lacks high level features, but so do most of the powerful classes, the powers should be your high level features.

Yitzi
2011-07-05, 08:09 PM
Escaping from a near-impenetrble fortress with dozens of guards

Yeah, the fighter should be able to handle dozens of mooks no problem.


climbing up and jumping off falling boulders

That sounds more like a monk ability.


and sparring while preventing a dumpling from touching the ground.

Should definitely be within a fighter's capabilities; preventing an item from touching the ground should be do-able with one of the weaker attacks in the full attack sequence.


Oh yeah, and the Wuxi finger hold. :belkar:

Also sounds more like a monk ability.


If the dragon is CR20, than a level 20 fighter should be a match for it at the very least on his battlefield of choice, if not all around.

No, as a dragon is even more grapple-specialized (by virtue of size, strength, and BAB) than a grapple-specialized fighter.
Furthermore, CR20 doesn't mean a challenge for a level 20 character, it means a challenge for a level 20 party.


Because the existing stuff isn't good enough? It's not just that clerics and druids are better than fighters at their chosen role, it's that fighters are also insufficient for their chosen role.

No question that they need a boost...but that should come from new class abilities (which includes new fighter feats), not from new items.


Access to polymorph. Only necessary because Wukong turns into a bird and a snake in order to escape.

And how often does he change form? I would suspect more than the number of appropriate domain spell slots a 10th level cleric gets.

Seerow
2011-07-05, 08:22 PM
No, as a dragon is even more grapple-specialized (by virtue of size, strength, and BAB) than a grapple-specialized fighter.


The Dragon is also a full caster, and has a breath weapon, natural flight... you can't just say every large monster is more grapple specialized than any player character. If a Fighter is focused on grappling, he should be able to be on equal footing with the strongest of brutes of their CR.


Furthermore, CR20 doesn't mean a challenge for a level 20 character, it means a challenge for a level 20 party.


On the contrary. A CR20 creature is an easy encounter for a party of level 20s. They're expected to go through 4 of these with no real risk, just chewing up resources.

Similarly, a level 20 Fighter is in theory a CR20 encounter. It should be posing the same relative challenge as the dragon in question. A Wizard or a Cleric could easily pose that level of challenge, but the Fighter? Not a chance.

Two CR20 encounters are supposed to be roughly equal in difficulty. So a level 20 character vs a CR20 encounter should be about the same. This means that a level 20 character should go mono e mono with a CR20 monster, and win 50% of the time.

Yitzi
2011-07-05, 10:24 PM
The Dragon is also a full caster

Not really; it'll generally cast at roughly 8-9 levels below its CR.


and has a breath weapon, natural flight... you can't just say every large monster is more grapple specialized than any player character.

It's not just the size; it's also the high BAB.


If a Fighter is focused on grappling, he should be able to be on equal footing with the strongest of brutes of their CR.

Strongest? Probably. Most skilled? Probably not.

The way I see it, a grapple-specialized fighter should be able to reduce the advantage of size and strength, but not the advantage of a higher BAB.

Keep in mind, a capstone feature "A 20th level fighter can completely ignore size and strength bonuses when grappling" (which is the sort of thing you want for the idea I think we're both aiming for, although somewhat too powerful IMO) still won't help the fighter break even with an old gold dragon.


On the contrary. A CR20 creature is an easy encounter for a party of level 20s. They're expected to go through 4 of these with no real risk, just chewing up resources.

No, it's meant to be challenging, with an individual death being rare but possible, and spending 20% of their resources on each one. That's not what I'd call easy.


Similarly, a level 20 Fighter is in theory a CR20 encounter. It should be posing the same relative challenge as the dragon in question.

Indeed it should. But not by being as hard to grapple. (He'd have other grappling advantages if specialized for such, such as the ability to start a grapple without provoking, but not the same modifier.)

My idea for a fix for combat-maneuver specialized fighters would give them a +4 bonus (on top of that from Improved whatever) to all combat maneuvers, as well as the ability to halve size and strength bonuses for both them and their opponent. The result would be extremely impressive, but not so impressive as to allow him to handle a +8 BAB advantage on top of the huge size.


A Wizard or a Cleric could easily pose that level of challenge, but the Fighter? Not a chance.

No question that the fighter needs fixing. But not by making him able to grapple something more skilled than himself.


Two CR20 encounters are supposed to be roughly equal in difficulty. So a level 20 character vs a CR20 encounter should be about the same. This means that a level 20 character should go mono e mono with a CR20 monster, and win 50% of the time.

Not necessarily, as the character might have strengths that are good against PCs but not against monsters.

Seerow
2011-07-05, 10:42 PM
Not really; it'll generally cast at roughly 8-9 levels below its CR.


Conceded that it isn't at level full casting but still 6th level spells at CR20 allows a lot of utility. You were claiming that the dragon is grapple specialized when grappling is the least of what it is capable of.


It's not just the size; it's also the high BAB.

Strongest? Probably. Most skilled? Probably not.

The way I see it, a grapple-specialized fighter should be able to reduce the advantage of size and strength, but not the advantage of a higher BAB.

Keep in mind, a capstone feature "A 20th level fighter can completely ignore size and strength bonuses when grappling" (which is the sort of thing you want for the idea I think we're both aiming for, although somewhat too powerful IMO) still won't help the fighter break even with an old gold dragon.


That high BAB comes from having a lot of HD thanks to it being a monster. If you go look at the other monsters, they tend to have just as many or more HD.

Seriously, how many CR20 brutes are out there that don't have a ton of HD? Actually as far as brutes go at CR20 in core, your choices are the Dragon (which I don't consider a brute really, since it has so much more going for it than just hitting itself, but it is what we are discussing) and the Tarrasque. Your other CR20 encounters are the Balor/Pit Fiend, which are easier to grapple, but they are intended to be more threatening via their spell like abilities and ability to summon a tag team buddy than their prowess at combat, and just greater teleport away.

Personally I'd say asking to be able to grapple the Dragon with his 30 HD/BAB is far more reasonable than asking to grapple the tarrasque, who has collosal and huge str/hd as his only strengths.

gkathellar
2011-07-05, 10:50 PM
Strongest? Probably. Most skilled? Probably not.

The way I see it, a grapple-specialized fighter should be able to reduce the advantage of size and strength, but not the advantage of a higher BAB.

Keep in mind, a capstone feature "A 20th level fighter can completely ignore size and strength bonuses when grappling" (which is the sort of thing you want for the idea I think we're both aiming for, although somewhat too powerful IMO) still won't help the fighter break even with an old gold dragon.

...blahblahblah...

No question that the fighter needs fixing. But not by making him able to grapple something more skilled than himself.

Except that monsters typically have high hit dice to accrue the large numbers needed to present a viable challenge, not to represent combat skill, and this has always been one of the reasons that grapple numbers on brutes are higher than they players can compete with. Most big monsters have high HD: higher than the level of the PCs they're expected to fight, and this is one of the factors that makes grapple historically problematic.

And yet ... these high bonuses from Hit Dice amount to "skill?" By your logic, the Tarrasque is a "skilled" grappler because it has 48 HD. Do you seriously envision a giant rampaging lizard as some kind of kaiju-jujitsu expert?


My idea for a fix for combat-maneuver specialized fighters would give them a +4 bonus (on top of that from Improved whatever) to all combat maneuvers, as well as the ability to halve size and strength bonuses for both them and their opponent. The result would be extremely impressive, but not so impressive as to allow him to handle a +8 BAB advantage on top of the huge size.

So ... your fix is to give them an impressive opponent, which you yourself are saying would not be enough to be useful against an extremely large number of opponents who pose a CR=level equivalent threat.


No, it's meant to be challenging, with an individual death being rare but possible, and spending 20% of their resources on each one. That's not what I'd call easy.

Yes, but the point is that it's supposed to be manageable for four PCs and an even fight for one. And you are specifically saying that we should not give a fighter abilities that might make combat against a CR-equivalent opponent an even fight.


And how often does he change form? I would suspect more than the number of appropriate domain spell slots a 10th level cleric gets.

Sure, spontaneous domain casting, whatever. Look, we can throw rules semantics back and forth at each other all day, but the point is that you cannot realistically pretend that D&D's power levels haven't reached pretty absurd heights by 9th level (and potentially as early as 7th).

Ingus
2011-07-06, 05:59 AM
Yatsi, allow me to restate my point of view, because in my opinion you're focusing too much on the wrestling thing, losing focus on the general problem.

Objective: keep fighter a possible option past level 5.
Obstacle: past level 5, fighter suffers a tremendous lack of options and a tremendous lack of efficiency. Increasing in level, not only a wizard/cleric/druid is a better choice, but it is also better in hit things.
Objective, restated: keep fighter a possibile option past level 5 granting him more flexibility and more power in hitting things.

This said, please follow me in analyzing the tactical threads I showed in my previous post:

Cloud Giant: it has better reach, better attack bonus and damage output, better hit points, equal armor class, better movement and even a small number of crowd control SLAs. If the party caster is on reach, the giant can even ignore the fighter and point him instead, then point to the healer and at the end to one of the useless guys (scoundrel, warrior).
If you very slightly optimize it, taking off "Awesome Blow" and adding "Brutal Throw", the giant has now a fighter-is-useless tactic: levitate out of melee range and throw rocks, now at +24 to hit instead of +12 (it should be +13). Even if the fighter is a moderately good/prepared archer, he could reach +14 to hit and 1d8+4 damage (and also count that range increment for rock throwing is higher than for composite longbow).
Outcome: the fighter can't win this fight without the "good class" PCs help, while they can.

Greater stone golem: due to spell immunity and construct immunity to sneak attack, it should be the "fighters can shine" encounter. It is, instead, the "wizards need polymorph and magic swords (or orbs spell)" encounter.
Golem has better to hit, better damage output, better grapple check, damage reduction and slow as a free action (targeting will, guess who's gonna be hit more often?). The encounter should go this way:
fighter: hit to no effect or hit to little effect
golem: hit hard twice and slow or grapple the fighter and slow.
Outcome: the fighter has no chance to win this fight without the "good class" PCs help, while they can.

Tarrasque: this is the "I told you that Run feat is useful even by level 20" encounter for fighter. The Tarrasque has ludicrous better attack routine, fantastic synergy with swallow whole, very good reduction and damage output, average AC and on top of it even a 80th level fighter machine can't definitely win without the intervention of the cleric/wizard intervention.
Outcome: run for your life, poor fighter.

And please mind that those are only the phisical encounters. One could argue that a balanced class should be able to fight decently a non physical encounter too


Solution: the topic of this thread

Roderick_BR
2011-07-06, 08:58 AM
<snip>
I agree about feats being changed to be more useful. I've actually been working on some ideas very similar to your Combat Expertize idea, making it simply allow you to do avoid AoO, and the improved feats giving others benefits.

Now, about feat fixes benefiting other classes, here's what I think:
1. It helps the fighter. Indeed, no doubt.
2. It helps other martial classes. It does, and it should. Barbarians, Rangers, and Paladins all need all the help they can, as well as monks, and even rogues.
3. It helps other non-martial classes. It does, but then again, not as much as you'd think. See, classes with good BaB and/or class features that support martial combat, benefits more than ther non-martial ones.
Compare a cleric using Divine Power to get fighter stats. He can use feats to enhance his fighting style, but he still doesn't compare to some class features that easier to "activate", like rage, fighting style, smite, or sneak attack.
Finally, comparing a cleric or druid to a fighter: If we steamline feats and make them more powerful, it greatly empowers the fighter, due to his bonus feat. For example, by level 3, a cleric can get 2 feats. If each feat combines 2 old weak feats' worth, he has a net of 4 effective feats. A fighter, with those 2, plus his 2 bonus feats, has effectively 8. By level 6, the cleric has 3 feats, 6 effective ones. Meanwhile the fighter has 7, effectively 14 feats.
You'll say that number of feats are not really important compared to full spellcasting, but allowing you to customize more in less time still helps a lot.
That same cleric could try to become an ubercharger around level 9 (due to BaB requeriments). The fighter, by that time, is an ubercharger, an spring attacker, an archer, and maybe even an artiful dodger.

So, direct changes to feats will give bonus to everyone else, but fighters still benefits more than everyone else, and other martial classes still benefits from them.

Now, about what fighters should be able to do. I see lots of people insisting that fighters shouldn't be able to do cool stuff at high levels, trying to compare to classic characters in media. Aragorn being an example. Remember that people consider Gandalf himself a wizard at around 5th-6th level in D&D, with 7th+ being the real epic stuff. I'd say that high level fighters should be comparable to people like Kratos from God of War. Currently, he could be build as a swordsage/warblade, aside from the magic weapons, so yeah, ToB is a good measure of what powerful meelers should be in D&D.
Basically, feats should be mundane, but as characters reach higher levels, they should start making things that no normal, low level people, can do, even if we should abuse the (EX) tag.

Finally, a thought about saves (long)
As someone already said, in older editions fighters used to be like this: start out with weak saves, and finally end the game with the best saves. It showed they were the resistant, gritty dudes. Casters would start with good saves and not progress that much, since they had spells for it, and to enforce the "glass cannon" hole.
In 3.x, they steamlined the saves, but made it in an odd way:
Martial, physical characters, are tough. They have strong fortitude, so they can survive poisons and diseases that normal people can't.
Quick, speedy characters have good reflex, so they can dodge around attacks that normal people can't.
Mythical, spellcasting characters, that exercise their mental power has good willsave, so they can resist the mental fatigue caused by magical attacks that normal people can't.
See what I mean? Think that a fighter is not "bad" in Will saves. He is just "normal". As in, his will power to resist mental attacks is as good as that of a commoner. Wizards/sorcerers, clerics/druids, and bards, all casters, are just better at it (and monk just like to get into stuff that has nothing to do with him). Unfortunatelly, difficulty is set by the strongest people, so anything without a "good" will save means that it is "bad" (as the description implies).
One alternative I saw in some places is to make an "average" save, and give it to the classes. Who'll get it, though? Hard to really say. Should a paladin get average will saves? I think so. Maybe even a good one, since he's also a partial caster, so you have an excuse. Should paladins have average will saves? Maybe. What about barbarians? Are they more vulnerable than fighters? And so on. Maybe we could just replace all bad saves by averages, leaving the bad ones only for monsters and NPC classes.

Anyway, here's my 2 cooper pieces for now.

Yitzi
2011-07-06, 11:58 AM
Conceded that it isn't at level full casting but still 6th level spells at CR20 allows a lot of utility. You were claiming that the dragon is grapple specialized when grappling is the least of what it is capable of.

It's not really grapple-specialized (since it lacks Improved Grapple), more grapple-resistant.


That high BAB comes from having a lot of HD thanks to it being a monster. If you go look at the other monsters, they tend to have just as many or more HD.

Yes; it still represents high martial skill. (It's also because dragons are one of the few types that get a good BAB progression, and unlike outsiders have HD substantially more than their CR.)


Seriously, how many CR20 brutes are out there that don't have a ton of HD?

The outsiders.


Personally I'd say asking to be able to grapple the Dragon with his 30 HD/BAB is far more reasonable than asking to grapple the tarrasque, who has collosal and huge str/hd as his only strengths.

No, he also has an insane BAB.

But gkathellar's points have persuaded me that BAB from racial HD should count similarly to size and strength rather than normal BAB.


And you are specifically saying that we should not give a fighter abilities that might make combat against a CR-equivalent opponent an even fight.

Who mentioned combat? This was just grappling; other fighter specializations are possible as well.


Sure, spontaneous domain casting, whatever. Look, we can throw rules semantics back and forth at each other all day, but the point is that you cannot realistically pretend that D&D's power levels haven't reached pretty absurd heights by 9th level (and potentially as early as 7th).

It's not just rules semantics: I was making the point that while D&D's power levels include limited-use abilities that would be very powerful if they were at-will, they are not, in fact, at-will.



2. It helps other martial classes. It does, and it should. Barbarians, Rangers, and Paladins all need all the help they can, as well as monks, and even rogues.

I'd say that with the exception of the monk, those are all at a good power level. It's the ones more powerful than them, the tiers 1 and 2, that need fixing.


So, direct changes to feats will give bonus to everyone else, but fighters still benefits more than everyone else, and other martial classes still benefits from them.

Also, in addition to (or even instead of) boosting feats, maybe provide a bigger selection of feats, so that a 6-feat combo (really only available before high levels to fighters; if playing with flaws you'd want to raise that to an 8-feat combo or whatever) is far better than a 2- or 3-feat combo.


Basically, feats should be mundane, but as characters reach higher levels, they should start making things that no normal, low level people, can do, even if we should abuse the (EX) tag.

Even so, they should be mundane (if awesome) in nature...some examples might be (for appropriate specializations):
-grappling a gold Wyrm dragon on a pretty even footing, or a Tarrasque at a substantial but not extreme disadvantage
-taking out a quarter of a pit fiend's hit points with a single standard (i.e. no charge, no leap, +5 weapon but no specials, yes power attack) attack with 70% hit chance
-shooting a monk (with deflect arrows, through a wind wall) at a distance of 2000 feet and having a decent chance of hitting
-Using his weapons to deflect and block all incoming attacks against not only himself but also his adjacent allies (maybe 40 or so bonus AC for him, and half that for his allies.)


See what I mean? Think that a fighter is not "bad" in Will saves. He is just "normal".

Very much this.


and monk just like to get into stuff that has nothing to do with him

Nah, monks having mental strength (they're actually better than anyone but divine casters) makes perfect sense.

Jade Dragon
2011-07-06, 12:49 PM
I'd say that with the exception of the monk, those are all at a good power level. It's the ones more powerful than them, the tiers 1 and 2, that need fixing.

And this, lady's and gentlemen, is why you have a problem with us.

Our goal here is not to make the tier 1-2 classes tier 3, even though that would be the balance point. Our goal is to make a fighter class that's on par with the wizard as it is by the official books.

gkathellar
2011-07-06, 01:18 PM
You're both right, and here's why.


I'd say that with the exception of the monk, those are all at a good power level. It's the ones more powerful than them, the tiers 1 and 2, that need fixing.

There was a very interesting exercise I saw conducted on these forums once, which I regret I don't have the google-fu to find and link to. In it, someone tried to prove that high-power casters were pretty much necessary to cope with the Monster Manuals as they stand. It's not an unreasonable claim, given that plenty of monsters have spellcasting or SLAs, and though I didn't entirely buy the argument it did raise a few good points about how the game actually assumes that the average power level of the part is going to be pretty high.

No one can argue that many casters don't need a tremendously reduced power level, the standpoint you seem to be arguing for. But as that goes down, others need to come up. Reducing Tier 1-2 power levels is the right move, it's the sane move, frankly, but in order to compensate for the lack of gamebreaking power you're going to have to increase the regular power of less competent classes because, frankly, they're not powerful enough to compete.


And this, lady's and gentlemen, is why you have a problem with us.

Our goal here is not to make the tier 1-2 classes tier 3, even though that would be the balance point. Our goal is to make a fighter class that's on par with the wizard as it is by the official books.

The wizard by the official books is not only an unreachable goal, but also an undesirable one, as Yitzi seems to recognize. And when I say unreachable, I mean it who remembers the Kensai class from way back, the one that was supposed to be Tier 2? A lot of people just thought it was overpowered Tier 3, despite the author's best effort to put it up there.

That's because Tiers 1-2 aren't, as many people assume, just the next step up in terms of power. Tiers 1-2 have mechanical abilities that actually break the game. Do you really want to put the fighter on par with Locate City Bomb? With True Mind Switch? With Wild Shape? With Divine Metamagic?

No, of course not. The power levels of these abilities are stupid, and if used with savvy they shatter games like the floor shatters wineglasses. Don't aim for the fighter which is "as good as the wizard," because the wizard is too good. Aim for the fighter which is "capable of being useful in a party with a wizard."

Lord_Gareth
2011-07-06, 01:18 PM
Yitzi, allow me to be frank: this project is probably not for you. Your design goals are very different from our design goals, and we've made it clear that we're not going to change. I fully encourage and support you to create a fighter fix that works for your game, but you're kinda wasting text trying to convince us of your viewpoint here, y'know? I'm not saying this to be rude or offensive and I'm not trying to imply that you're wrong - it's just that we have something in mind that you do not, and that difference is not going to be reconcilable.

Jade Dragon
2011-07-06, 01:35 PM
The wizard by the official books is not only an unreachable goal, but also an undesirable one, as Yitzi seems to recognize. And when I say unreachable, I mean it who remembers the Kensai class from way back, the one that was supposed to be Tier 2? A lot of people just thought it was overpowered Tier 3, despite the author's best effort to put it up there.

That's because Tiers 1-2 aren't, as many people assume, just the next step up in terms of power. Tiers 1-2 have mechanical abilities that actually break the game. Do you really want to put the fighter on par with Locate City Bomb? With True Mind Switch? With Wild Shape? With Divine Metamagic?

No, of course not. The power levels of these abilities are stupid, and if used with savvy they shatter games like the floor shatters wineglasses. Don't aim for the fighter which is "as good as the wizard," because the wizard is too good. Aim for the fighter which is "capable of being useful in a party with a wizard."

1 and 2) We're not talking about a simple increase in power level. We're talking about immunity to everything that allows a save, more skills (which means more out of combat stuff), and, at 20th, no, 15th, level, the ability to destroy an army in one minute. The ability to fly through sheer jumps, the ability to get anywhere on the plane they're currently in with a ridiculous fast movement bonus, probably +20 feet per level, and the ability to take a double move and a full attack that's not from charge+pounce.

3) We don't care about the "ideal" power level. If we did, we would be trying to make spellcasters tier 3. What we're trying to do is get the fighter, barbarian, monk, ranger, paladin, warblade, crusader, factotum, and swordsage to tier 1-2.

Gideon Falcon
2011-07-06, 01:43 PM
Technically, we are not trying to get them on tier 1 or 2 level. We are trying to get them to a point where they cannot be replaced or horribly outmatched by a T1 or T2 of the same level. This does not require them to be tier 2, although they will likely end up at that level anyway.

SamBurke
2011-07-06, 01:45 PM
What we need to do is figure out what abilities the fighter needs to gain in order to overcome these problems, preferably without losing the (Ex) feel of the class.

I echo those above me. The first consideration of this class should be:

BADASSNESS.

If these guys can stand next to a mage, they should be able to annihilate him, easy.

This may take more than one class, though.

PairO'Dice Lost
2011-07-06, 01:55 PM
Technically, we are not trying to get them on tier 1 or 2 level. We are trying to get them to a point where they cannot be replaced or horribly outmatched by a T1 or T2 of the same level. This does not require them to be tier 2, although they will likely end up at that level anyway.

Indeed. The definition of Tier 3 is the following:


Capable of doing one thing quite well, while still being useful when that one thing is inappropriate, or capable of doing all things, but not as well as classes that specialize in that area. Occasionally has a mechanical ability that can solve an encounter, but this is relatively rare and easy to deal with. Challenging such a character takes some thought from the DM, but isn't too difficult.

The definition of Tier 2 is the following:

Has as much raw power as the Tier 1 classes [i.e. "Capable of doing absolutely everything, often better than classes that specialize in that thing."], but can't pull off nearly as many tricks, and while the class itself is capable of anything, no one build can actually do nearly as much as the Tier 1 classes. Still potentially campaign smashers by using the right abilities, but at the same time are more predictable and can't always have the right tool for the job. If the Tier 1 classes are countries with 10,000 nuclear weapons in their arsenal, these guys are countries with 10 nukes. Still dangerous and world shattering, but not in quite so many ways. Note that the Tier 2 classes are often less flexible than Tier 3 classes... it's just that their incredible potential power overwhelms their lack in flexibility.

What I'm seeing here is an attempt to make the fighter much more versatile (adding functions to feats, giving out of combat capabilities, etc.) while keeping its focus solidly on combat mastery, which is very much a Tier 3 thing, and nothing anyone has suggested adding thus far seems game-breaking in the slightest, which implies sub-Tier 2.

The whole focus on "making T1/T2 martial classes" seems to be missing the point, I think; on that Kensai thread, so many people responded with "Nope, that's not Tier 1" without giving any useful feedback about whether the class met its goal of being a playable and interesting martial type. So I don't think we should aim to make the fighter match the Big Five, I think we should aim to give it more options and more power and worry about whether it's closer to the wizard or beguiler power-wise afterwards.

Ingus
2011-07-06, 03:00 PM
Oh dear, reached page 5 and suddenly we realize everyone has his vey own goal. One can make up an entire D&D spy-wise campaign after it :smallbiggrin:

In the first post Gideon clearly stated that the benchmark is the wizard. Maybe not the locate city bomb one, nor the reach-deity-with-simulacrum or wish-out-the-world-with-efreet-summoning. Just the plain PHB wizard.

My personal objective here is a step down: as a good infiltrator, I'm here to watch and use the best ideas to my goal. Which I wouldn't ever, ever, ever reveal and which is to play a level 20 fighter as fun as a wizard of the same level.
And you will never figure out my goal. Never (maniacal laughter ensues)

PairO'Dice Lost
2011-07-06, 03:17 PM
In the first post Gideon clearly stated that the benchmark is the wizard. Maybe not the locate city bomb one, nor the reach-deity-with-simulacrum or wish-out-the-world-with-efreet-summoning. Just the plain PHB wizard.

This is true, but there's a big difference between aiming to make a fiighter who can "stand up to the more powerful spellcasters" and to "isolate the main obstacles that a fighter would need to overcome in order to defeat a wizard" and aiming to make a fighter that is itself Tier 1 like the wizard is. The former implies that the new-and-improved fighter can be the equal of the wizard in combat (making it solidly Tier 3, good at one thing and okay at other things) while the latter implies that he can be the equal of the wizard at everything (making it Tier 1), and the former is much more desirable than the latter.

Seerow
2011-07-06, 08:46 PM
First: On the subject of power level, I'd personally aim for a high tier 3, with that potentially breaking into a low tier 2 power level if the powers turned out nice enough. Breaking the laws of physics is fine, but tier 1 is where you are breaking the laws of physics to demolish cities on your own, create your own planes of existence, and gaining immunity to everything while slinging out abilities that can't be negated by any immunity or save. Tier 1-2 at the top of their game is frankly an unrealistic goal to pursue, that power level is outright game breaking.



Second: A thought I had when thinking about saving throw balance some more... a large part of the disparity comes from most people focusing on abilities that use their primary stat to determine their save DC... yet most people have a defending stat that isn't their primary.

Your save DC generally looks like 10+1/2 level+primary stat, your saving throw will typically look like secondary/tertiary stat + 2 + 1/2 level + 1/4th level for a good save, and secondary/tertiary stat + 1/3 level + 1/4th level for a bad save.

At low levels that's fine, the difference between good and meh is generally 3 points give or take. At high levels, that difference can be as wide as 13-14, though more typically a difference of about 10. The 1/4th level represents a resistance bonus item, and is a rough estimate, the bonuses do kick in slightly earlier normally.

So your character with a good save and a meh stat has say 3+12+5 = +20, vs a save DC of 33, very difficult to resist. However, if the character happens to have the resisting stat as a primary stat, you are looking at a +30 save instead, which is trivial

But here's a thought for the saving throw mechanic: What if we boosted base saves significantly, but cut down the contribution from stats? Say you only get half of the associated stat to your saving throw modifier, but the base saves were higher, as discussed earlier.

So now with a good save and a meh stat you are looking at say 1+17+5 = +24 vs a DC of 33, that is beatable, with a 55% success rate. With a good stat it is 17 + 7 + 5 = +29, slightly lower than before, but easily beatable.

The bad saves would change from 6+5+3 = +14 minimum and 6+5+13 = +24 maximum, to a 13+5+1 = +19 minimum and 13+5+7 = +25 maximum. That minimum makes the average DC at that level on a 14, a hard roll, but a possible one, while the maximum can make it on average.


Anyway tl;dr, suggestion is change saving throw mechanics upping base saves as previously suggested, but compensate by halving the effect of stats on saving throws, so there isn't such a huge swing depending on which of your stats is considered primary, and keeps saving throws in the expected range.

One Step Two
2011-07-06, 09:05 PM
Oh dear, reached page 5 and suddenly we realize everyone has his vey own goal. One can make up an entire D&D spy-wise campaign after it :smallbiggrin:

I think from the outlook we realised we all had different goals, but that doesn't stop us discussing, it's kinda the point :smallwink:. This thread, generated by Gideon has forced us to lay out some ideas on fighter fixes for his own use, atlesat that's what I intepreted, but this doesn't stop any of us doing the same. All the better.


*Snip* ...the new-and-improved fighter can be the equal of the wizard in combat (making it solidly Tier 3, good at one thing and okay at other things) while the latter implies that he can be the equal of the wizard at everything (making it Tier 1), and the former is much more desirable than the latter.

I agree with this sentiment whole-heartedly. A firm design goal is needed in any event, but we run into a couple of problems, namely the system we are working in. As mentioned by Ingus, the aim is not to match the Locate City Bomb optimised wizards, but a standard one. The problem is, however, even a standard PHB wizard has already alot of nice toys, and there's a good number of inherent flaws in the system for fighters to work with. Grapple and bullrush rules can be somewhat cumbersome to those who aren't familiar with them for example, but even with other combat options other than out-right hitting them with your weapons, such things are almost always useless on enemies larger than you.

This leaves us with two options. We either follow the Races of War (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Races_of_War_%283.5e_Sourcebook%29) and attempt to re-write the combat system along with feats as a whole, there's nothing wrong with this, it can work very well infact, but it makes it a larger project than simply fixing the Fighter.

The other option is to simply re-work the Fighter to over-come the difficulties allowing them to use all their combat feats to full effectiveness, both making them better than an NPC warrior, and able to apply them against opponents of larger stature.

Since I am an advocate for the second option, (as really, the first option is mostly done in the link provided), I am going to provide a simple idea for a class feature, critique or change it as you like.

Fighter 5th: Stand as Giants (ex)
A Fighter is a truly daunting foe, even to those who can look him in the eyes feel the Fighter looking down upon them as he easily assesses their capabilities. When the Fighter bears his skill upon them, adversaries feel over-whelmed as if fighting a man twice as tall.
Upon reaching 5th level a Fighter counts as being one size category larger than their base size for the purposes of all Bull-rush, Charge, Disarm, Grapple, Overrun, Sunder and Trip attempts. A fighter may never coun't as more than one size category larger than an opponent with this ability.
(For example, if a Medium Sized fighter is fighting a Small Sized opponent, he only gets the usual +4 Bonus. Fighting Other medium Sized opponents, he gets +4 for size, but against large opponents, he is on even footing.)


Fighter 11th: Stand as Titans (ex)
Truly powerful Fighters call upon their ability to stand over their opponents to allow them stand eye to eye with even the most hulking of creatures.
Upon Reaching 11th level the Fighter counts as two size categories larger than their base size for the purposes of all Bull-rush, Charge, Disarm, Grapple*, Overrun, Sunder and Trip attempts. A fighter may never coun't as more than one size category larger than an opponent with this ability.
(As before, but now he enjoys a +4 size bonus against large sized creatures, and is on even footing against Huge Sized creatures)

*Pinned opponents Two Sizes categories larger than yourself simply have thier movement reduced to 0, and may act normally otherwise at the GM's discression, as opposed to automaticlly failing.


The scaling I've offered is just a basic premise, if you like, you can make it something the fighter recieves every 4 levels after 5th (5, 9, 13, 17) allowing a Medium sized Fighter to even challenge Collosal creatures. But ontop of this it makes him more effective at stamping down same sized creatures, or even a Wizard who has summoned a big creature, or has shape-changed into one.

Yitzi
2011-07-06, 09:46 PM
No one can argue that many casters don't need a tremendously reduced power level, the standpoint you seem to be arguing for. But as that goes down, others need to come up. Reducing Tier 1-2 power levels is the right move, it's the sane move, frankly, but in order to compensate for the lack of gamebreaking power you're going to have to increase the regular power of less competent classes because, frankly, they're not powerful enough to compete.

True, at least the tier 5's (tier 4 should be able to compete with tier 3 in encounters that don't bypass their abilities)


Technically, we are not trying to get them on tier 1 or 2 level. We are trying to get them to a point where they cannot be replaced or horribly outmatched by a T1 or T2 of the same level. This does not require them to be tier 2, although they will likely end up at that level anyway.

Since T2 is defined as "game-breaking" (T1 is defined as "gets to choose how he feels like breaking the game today"), competing with a T2 would probably require being T2 himself. So, let's see what sort of totally broken abilities we can give the fighter...
-Mobile Combat (has spring attack and its prereqs as prereqs, probably other things as well): Allows you to move up to your speed in conjunction with your full attack; the movement can be taken before your attack, after your attack, in between the attacks, or any split between those. (Best combined with Great Cleave and one-shotting attacks to down a whole horde at once.)
-Acrobatic charge: As the duelist ability.
-Pounce: You know what this does. (Best combined with Mobile Combat and Great Cleave in a good charger build)
-Weaponmaster: Whenever you take a weapon-specific feat, it applies to all eligible weapons. (If you want really broken stuff, take out the word "eligible" and you can have fun with stuff like Lightning Mace)
-Some better damage boosters, probably percentage-based.
-Something to let him reduce or even ignore miss chances.
-Perhaps something to let him use Power Attack more effectively (say, halving the penalty and letting him choose for each attack independently)
-If you really want to get broken, give him a bullet-timing ability (essentially, Time Stop, but also can be used to move during someone else's time stop and lacks the restrictions, probably either at-will at some sort of personal cost or else a certain number of rounds per day.) Make sure to make it an immediate action to activate and give him the ability to use it flatfooted. :smallbiggrin:

Jade Dragon
2011-07-06, 09:50 PM
True, at least the tier 5's (tier 4 should be able to compete with tier 3 in encounters that don't bypass their abilities)



Since T2 is defined as "game-breaking" (T1 is defined as "gets to choose how he feels like breaking the game today"), competing with a T2 would probably require being T2 himself. So, let's see what sort of totally broken abilities we can give the fighter...
-Mobile Combat (has spring attack and its prereqs as prereqs, probably other things as well): Allows you to move up to your speed in conjunction with your full attack; the movement can be taken before your attack, after your attack, in between the attacks, or any split between those. (Best combined with Great Cleave and one-shotting attacks to down a whole horde at once.)
-Acrobatic charge: As the duelist ability.
-Pounce: You know what this does. (Best combined with Mobile Combat and Great Cleave in a good charger build)
-Weaponmaster: Whenever you take a weapon-specific feat, it applies to all eligible weapons. (If you want really broken stuff, take out the word "eligible" and you can have fun with stuff like Lightning Mace)
-Some better damage boosters, probably percentage-based.
-Something to let him reduce or even ignore miss chances.
-Perhaps something to let him use Power Attack more effectively (say, halving the penalty and letting him choose for each attack independently)
-If you really want to get broken, give him a bullet-timing ability (essentially, Time Stop, but also can be used to move during someone else's time stop, probably either at-will at some sort of personal cost or else a certain number of rounds per day.) Make sure to make it an immediate action to activate and give him the ability to use it flatfooted.

Those things aren't broken, except for the time stop. Lightning mace+aptitude weapon exists, and those don't deal with opponents who have special movement speeds like flying and burrowing.

elliott20
2011-07-06, 09:53 PM
I kind of thought the whole point of this discussion was to get fighters to tier 3 from the beginning... Anyway, I'm going to just go ahead and proceed.


I agree about feats being changed to be more useful. I've actually been working on some ideas very similar to your Combat Expertize idea, making it simply allow you to do avoid AoO, and the improved feats giving others benefits.

Now, about feat fixes benefiting other classes, here's what I think:
1. It helps the fighter. Indeed, no doubt.
2. It helps other martial classes. It does, and it should. Barbarians, Rangers, and Paladins all need all the help they can, as well as monks, and even rogues.
3. It helps other non-martial classes. It does, but then again, not as much as you'd think. See, classes with good BaB and/or class features that support martial combat, benefits more than ther non-martial ones.
Compare a cleric using Divine Power to get fighter stats. He can use feats to enhance his fighting style, but he still doesn't compare to some class features that easier to "activate", like rage, fighting style, smite, or sneak attack.
Finally, comparing a cleric or druid to a fighter: If we steamline feats and make them more powerful, it greatly empowers the fighter, due to his bonus feat. For example, by level 3, a cleric can get 2 feats. If each feat combines 2 old weak feats' worth, he has a net of 4 effective feats. A fighter, with those 2, plus his 2 bonus feats, has effectively 8. By level 6, the cleric has 3 feats, 6 effective ones. Meanwhile the fighter has 7, effectively 14 feats.
You'll say that number of feats are not really important compared to full spellcasting, but allowing you to customize more in less time still helps a lot.
That same cleric could try to become an ubercharger around level 9 (due to BaB requeriments). The fighter, by that time, is an ubercharger, an spring attacker, an archer, and maybe even an artiful dodger.

So, direct changes to feats will give bonus to everyone else, but fighters still benefits more than everyone else, and other martial classes still benefits from them.

Now, about what fighters should be able to do. I see lots of people insisting that fighters shouldn't be able to do cool stuff at high levels, trying to compare to classic characters in media. Aragorn being an example. Remember that people consider Gandalf himself a wizard at around 5th-6th level in D&D, with 7th+ being the real epic stuff. I'd say that high level fighters should be comparable to people like Kratos from God of War. Currently, he could be build as a swordsage/warblade, aside from the magic weapons, so yeah, ToB is a good measure of what powerful meelers should be in D&D.
Basically, feats should be mundane, but as characters reach higher levels, they should start making things that no normal, low level people, can do, even if we should abuse the (EX) tag.

Finally, a thought about saves (long)
As someone already said, in older editions fighters used to be like this: start out with weak saves, and finally end the game with the best saves. It showed they were the resistant, gritty dudes. Casters would start with good saves and not progress that much, since they had spells for it, and to enforce the "glass cannon" hole.
In 3.x, they steamlined the saves, but made it in an odd way:
Martial, physical characters, are tough. They have strong fortitude, so they can survive poisons and diseases that normal people can't.
Quick, speedy characters have good reflex, so they can dodge around attacks that normal people can't.
Mythical, spellcasting characters, that exercise their mental power has good willsave, so they can resist the mental fatigue caused by magical attacks that normal people can't.
See what I mean? Think that a fighter is not "bad" in Will saves. He is just "normal". As in, his will power to resist mental attacks is as good as that of a commoner. Wizards/sorcerers, clerics/druids, and bards, all casters, are just better at it (and monk just like to get into stuff that has nothing to do with him). Unfortunatelly, difficulty is set by the strongest people, so anything without a "good" will save means that it is "bad" (as the description implies).
One alternative I saw in some places is to make an "average" save, and give it to the classes. Who'll get it, though? Hard to really say. Should a paladin get average will saves? I think so. Maybe even a good one, since he's also a partial caster, so you have an excuse. Should paladins have average will saves? Maybe. What about barbarians? Are they more vulnerable than fighters? And so on. Maybe we could just replace all bad saves by averages, leaving the bad ones only for monsters and NPC classes.

Anyway, here's my 2 cooper pieces for now.

Well, if we're okay with feats helping other classes as well, then the solution to the saves problem is very simple, I think. Just change the save boosting feats.

Lightning Reflexes? now gives you good Ref save progression
Iron Will? now gives you good Will Save progression
Great Fortitude? you get the idea.

It's now a heck of a lot more useful instead of just being an expensive PrC requirement. Roderick_BR, do you have your revised feat list? I was going to write up my own, using the approach I outlined in my previous post, but I imagine somebody else has already done this plenty.

Just to reiterate, if we were to go with the feat improvement approach, I envision that the end result is a feat pyramid instead of a chain.

All the feats that currently exist which require no initial investments would become the feats at the bottom of the feat pyramid. Each feat pyramid would represent an area that fighters can run with. However, once you start going up the chain, you'll start seeing feats that start crossing areas of expertise.

Immonen
2011-07-06, 11:01 PM
This may be irrelevant given the direction that this thread is taking, but I'd recommend just saying "to the Nine Hells" with the Barbarian and merging the two classes. Essentially, a gestalt without being gestalt.

EDIT: Realized just now that this thread is 5 pages long, so this is definitely irrelevant by now.

Yitzi
2011-07-07, 07:08 AM
Those things aren't broken, except for the time stop. Lightning mace+aptitude weapon exists, and those don't deal with opponents who have special movement speeds like flying and burrowing.

Maybe we have different definitions of "broken"; I consider lightning maces with a falchion and improved critical to be broken...not as much as a wizard, but still pretty broken. Perhaps allow a combo that quadruples (or more) the threat range if you want to improve it further.
And putting a one-charge-kill build together with pounce and Mobile Combat (and, of course, Great Cleave) is definitely overpowered. It still won't help with special movement speeds, but I don't think there's any way to help the fighter with that (except maybe Jump bonuses and corresponding boosts to ranged weapon use, and even that's only for flying.)

Ingus
2011-07-07, 08:05 AM
Races of War (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Races_of_War_%283.5e_Sourcebook%29)

Thank you very much for this link. Never saw it. The author worked very well on it and the idea of feat power scaling with BAB is really good.
This can be the base for any further development on the fighter feat pyramid, like:
Prereq: Feat A + Feat B + BAB = +X, UberFeat: cool stuff
Prereq: UberFeat A + UberFeat B + BAB = +18, God'sWratFeat (you can have only one).

By the way and more in general, I think I'm falling in love of my ideal fighter fix. Do not disturb :p

One Step Two
2011-07-07, 08:32 AM
Thank you very much for this link. Never saw it. The author worked very well on it and the idea of feat power scaling with BAB is really good.
This can be the base for any further development on the fighter feat pyramid, like:
Prereq: Feat A + Feat B + BAB = +X, UberFeat: cool stuff
Prereq: UberFeat A + UberFeat B + BAB = +18, God'sWratFeat (you can have only one).

By the way and more in general, I think I'm falling in love of my ideal fighter fix. Do not disturb :p

Just so long as you share it with all of us. :smallwink:

Keep in mind that Races of War is intended to be an over-haul not only of the Fighter and Feats, but the actual way combat works in DnD 3.5, making a High BAB mean something, which is great.

This leads to a third option of the original two I made above, well more a modification of the first option at the very least. The creator(s) of Races of War did alot of good work, which we can choose to use as a basis, improve and expand it. Some one has done a lot of the groundwork, we can simply add a few flairs and tweaks.

In any case, I think I am going to dedicate more of my time tomorrow to some google-fu, and I am going to make a catalogue of Fighter fixes, comparisons and the like. It might give some perspective. If someone else has done the leg-work already, PM me, I do hate to re-invent wheels.

Yitzi
2011-07-07, 10:51 AM
Just so long as you share it with all of us. :smallwink:

Keep in mind that Races of War is intended to be an over-haul not only of the Fighter and Feats, but the actual way combat works in DnD 3.5, making a High BAB mean something, which is great.

Actually, over the course of a long campaign, high BAB will mean something.

The difference between someone at the 2.5% mark in luck and someone at the 97.5% mark (on a single d20, that's between a 1 and a 20) will, over the course of 100 rolls, be marginally better than a +1 bonus. The law of averages really means that, except when it comes to rolls with a long-term effect like ability scores (which still don't have all that much variation over the course of 6 rolls of 3d6), variation doesn't come out to be such a concern.

One Step Two
2011-07-07, 09:55 PM
Actually, over the course of a long campaign, high BAB will mean something.

The difference between someone at the 2.5% mark in luck and someone at the 97.5% mark (on a single d20, that's between a 1 and a 20) will, over the course of 100 rolls, be marginally better than a +1 bonus. The law of averages really means that, except when it comes to rolls with a long-term effect like ability scores (which still don't have all that much variation over the course of 6 rolls of 3d6), variation doesn't come out to be such a concern.

Oh, don't get me wrong a high BAB is good, races of war just makes it more useful than out-right hitting things better. Which is what we want to make our basic fighter. Do more than just hit stuff really well.

elliott20
2011-07-08, 04:54 AM
one-step-two: I think it would be a good idea to start putting down a list of things that we are comfortable with the fighter being able to do. From there, we can start creating feat pyramids for each thing.

here's what I can think of off the top of my head:

- jump great heights to reach those pesky fliers (and of course, this will benefit barbarians and monks even more)
- perform feats of fantastic strength like lifting a two-ton rock without having to twink out ridiculously
- run at great speed (again, should benefits barbarians and monks even more)
- hit things VERY well
- grapple against the most powerful creature (kind of falls under feats of fantastic strength, I guess)
- cut through some magical effects (wall of force? bah)
- stop attacks of other types
- survive against attacks that no mortal has any business surviving against.

Yitzi
2011-07-08, 07:09 AM
Oh, don't get me wrong a high BAB is good, races of war just makes it more useful than out-right hitting things better. Which is what we want to make our basic fighter. Do more than just hit stuff really well.

I'd put that more under "class features" than "boost to what BAB does", but ok...my main point was just that his arguments there put way too much emphasis on comparing bonuses to the variation of dice without realizing that the law of averages will cause the bonuses to be more important in the long term.

Qwertystop
2011-08-08, 11:15 AM
Seerow, Hill Giant Rangers can hide, buck-ass naked and painted bright pink, in the middle of the desert with nothing to hide behind.

I can has sig?