PDA

View Full Version : [Pathfinder] Fighter House Rules



Porkslope
2011-12-15, 02:17 PM
I frequent a few other RPG boards -- mostly 4chan's /tg/ Traditional Games, and Something Awful's Traditional Games Discussion boards -- and one topic that keeps coming up in both 3.X and Pathfinder is how underpowered fighters and monks are compared not only to casters, but also to other classes. While the point of this thread is NOT to discuss whether or not it's true (so please don't do it), here's why I made this set of abilities:

The lack of unique options for the fighter. I'll admit that this problem isn't nearly as bad as it was in 3.X D&D because in Pathfinder there are not only more feats, but there are more USEFUL feats. All characters get more feats, which translates to a fighter getting one at every level. Fighters can dip into and even complete more feat trees than any other class -- however, Pathfinder's class features for fighters (Bravery, Weapon Training, Armour Training) still boil down to "better numbers" instead of "unique options" which is what my house rules were trying to address. And let's face it, as useful as they are, Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization just aren't exciting.

Enough words words words for now, here's the meat of the post: The house rules themselves. I'll go into more detail in a second post.

FIGHTER HOUSE RULES Updated: December 30, 2011

Skills: The fighter gains 4 + Int skill points per level instead of 2 + Int.

Versatile: At level 1, the fighter can select any three skills to designate as class skills.

Bravery: The bonus to Will saves against fear granted by Bravery is now doubled. At level 18, the fighter becomes immune to fear effects.

Combat Focus: Starting at 4th level, a fighter can attain Combat Focus, entering a state of heightened focus that grants special abilities during battle. A fighter gains combat focus in three ways:


Natural 20: Each time the fighter rolls a natural 20 on an attack roll during combat, he regains combat focus.
Killing Blow: When the fighter reduces a creature to 0 or fewer HP with a weapon attack, he regains combat focus.
Full-Round Action: A fighter can use a full-round action to gain combat focus. Most fighters do this at the beginning of the day and retain focus throughout, until they need to expend it.


Once you gain focus, you retain it until you expend it, become unconscious, or go to sleep. You also cannot regain combat focus in the same round in which you expend it. At level 4 and every four levels thereafter (8, 12, 16, and 20) a fighter can select one Focus Power from the list below:

Battle Cunning: A fighter with this focus power gains a +1 bonus on damage rolls against flanked or flat-footed opponents for each focus power he possesses as long as he retains his combat focus. He can expend his combat focus as part of an attack against a flanked or flat-footed opponent to deal +1d6 damage for each focus power he possesses. All bonus damage granted by this power is subject to the same limitations as the rogue's sneak attack.

Burst of Speed: A fighter with this focus power increases his base speed by 5 feet as long as he retains his combat focus. He can expend his combat focus as a swift action to increase his base speed by 30 feet for 1 round.

Deadly Technique: A fighter with this focus power gains a +1 bonus to all weapon damage rolls for as long as he retains combat focus. He can expend his combat focus as part of an attack to deal maximum base weapon damage on that single attack. This power must be activated after the attack hits but before damage is rolled. Extra damage dice from feats, weapon enchantments, critical hits, and sneak attacks are not maximized.

Defensive Riposte: A fighter with this focus power gains an additional +1 bonus to AC when using total defense, fighting defensively, or using the Combat Expertise feat. He can expend his combat focus as an immediate action when he is missed with a melee attack while fighting defensively or using the Combat Expertise feat to make a single melee attack at his highest bonus against the creature that missed him. A fighter must be at least 8th level before taking this focus power.

Deft Opportunist: A fighter with this focus power gains a +1 bonus to attack rolls when making attacks of opportunity for each focus power he possesses as long as he retains his combat focus. He can expend his combat focus as an immediate action when a foe provokes an attack of opportunity from him to make an immediate melee attack against that foe. This attack does not replace the normal attack of opportunity; he can use this focus power in addition to or instead of making a normal attack of opportunity.

Fearsome Charge: A fighter with this focus power gains a +1 bonus to weapon damage rolls while charging for each focus power he possesses as long as he retains his combat focus. He can expend his combat focus as part of a charge to add his fighter level as a bonus to his charge attack's weapon damage roll.

Focused Stability: A fighter with this focus power gains a +1 bonus to his CMD for each focus power he possesses as long as he retains his combat focus. He can expend his combat focus as an immediate action to force an adjacent enemy to roll their combat maneuver check against him twice and take the worse result.

Heroic Surge: A fighter with this focus power can expend his combat focus as a swift action to move up to his speed and make a full attack, as a full round action. The fighter must be at least 8th level before taking this focus power.

Impel Action: A fighter with this focus power can expend his combat focus as a standard action to grant an ally within line of sight a move action. This move action is used immediately and does not affect the ally's initiative count, and the round continues normally after the fighter's turn is over. At 12th level, a fighter can grant an ally a standard action.

Juggernaut: A fighter with this focus power gains DR 1/- for each focus power he possesses as long as he retains his combat focus. He can expend his combat focus as an immediate action in response to being attacked to gain DR 10/- until the start of his next turn. A fighter must be at least 8th level before taking this focus power.

Karmic Strike: A fighter with this focus power can expend his combat focus as an immediate action in response to being damaged by a melee attack. He can make a single melee attack at his highest bonus against the creature that damaged him. A fighter must be at least 8th level before taking this focus power.

Maneuver Expert: A fighter with this focus power gains a +1 bonus to his CMB for each focus power he possesses as long as he retains his combat focus. He can expend his combat focus as part of executing a combat maneuver to roll his attack roll twice and take the better result.

Quick to Act: A fighter with this focus power gains a +1 bonus to Initiative rolls for each focus power he possesses as long as he retains his combat focus.

Tactical Awareness: A fighter with this focus power can learn the current HP total of a single adjacent opponent as a swift action as long as he retains his combat focus. He can expend his combat focus as a swift action to learn the current HP total of a single enemy within line of sight.

Victory Shout: A fighter with this focus power can expend his combat focus as an immediate action after reducing an enemy to 0 or fewer HP with a melee weapon attack. The fighter and all allies who can hear the fighter gains a +1 bonus to weapon damage rolls for each focus power he possesses on their next attack.

Wall of Steel: A fighter with this focus power can expend his combat focus as an immediate action to gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC until the end of his next turn.

Wild Card: A fighter with this focus power can expend his focus as a swift action to gain the use of one Combat Feat until the end of the encounter. He must meet all prerequisites for this feat, and can only have one Wild Card feat at a time.

Porkslope
2011-12-15, 02:18 PM
BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

As you can see, Combat Focus as a mechanic is drawn heavily from D&D 3.5's Expanded Psionics Handbook psionic focus ability. There are also abilities pulled from the Miniatures Handbook, Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords, and even Mike Mearls's Iron Heroes book.

As a mechanic, Combat Focus provides unlimited uses per day -- it never runs out. It's not per day or per encounter or even from a pool of points like the Monk or the Magus; you can only expend focus on one thing at a time, and there is no way to hold more than one focus at a time. My rules explicitly state that you cannot regain focus in the same round you expend it, which is intended to prevent abuse and space out the use of the abilities. Many focus powers also require swift or immediate actions, which not only gives fighters something to actually do with their swift or immediate actions, but is another layer of abuse prevention.

The conditions under which you regain focus took some effort to decide on, and I'm still not sure about the critical hit part, since it favours crit-focused builds; for example, a fighter with a keen scimitar will be able to regain focus more often than a fighter with a battleaxe. Delivering a killing blow to regain focus was an easy choice, but I also added the option of regaining focus as a full-round action to force fighters to think more strategically -- do you really want to give up your entire turn to regain focus, or do the benefits of having focus outweigh what you could do with that turn?

You might notice there are several passive focus powers, ones that provide a bonus as long as you retain focus. These are there to cater to people who want to play fighters but don't want to hassle with juggling another mechanic. This way, a player could pick up a bunch of passive powers to get some nice bonuses and forget the combat focus mechanic even exists (great for new players). With one exception, the bonus provided by these passive powers scales, with a blanket "equal to the number of focus powers you possess" statement so you can quickly and easily figure out what the bonus is and to keep the passive bonuses useful as the fighter gains levels.

The existence of active, passive, and reactive powers adds a layer of strategy for the fighter, since he or she will have to decide what is worth expending focus and what isn't. It also adds customization, since you could build a fighter as described in the previous paragraph with nothing but passive powers, making them a little bit better at things they can already do (Battle Cunning, Deft Opportunist, Fearsome Charge). You could also build a fighter with a focus on reactive powers, giving them plenty to do when it's not their turn (Defensive Riposte, Hindering Defense, Wall of Steel), or build a fighter with a wide array of special attacks (Assured Strike, Burst of Speed, Deadly Technique).

That the fighter gets their first focus power at level 4 is to prevent further front-loading of the class. In many discussions of the fighter in 3.X, the idea of the fighter as a class that's only good for a two-level dip was pretty common. That focus powers are gained at level 4 and every four levels after is to help space things out and prevent too much benefit from dipping.

I should also point out that one of the key design philosophies I always kept in my head while writing these is clarity. I tried to be clear and specific about when these focus powers can and can't be used. Simplicity was also important.

SO! What do the PF players here think? Too strong? Not strong enough? What would you change, if anything? Don't sugar-coat!

Deepbluediver
2011-12-15, 11:01 PM
I love seeing fighter fixes.

2 comments though:
While I love all the variety in the Combat focuses, are you sure the +1 bonuses are enough to keep players interested at higher levels? You specifically put it lots of rules to prevent stacking, but that also limits the ability to scale, I think. Frankly, given what some other classes can do, the ability to stack/abuse special abilities might be helpful, and not that unbalanced, comparatively.

The second thing: what differentiates one fighter from another? I realize not every class needs to have half-a-dozen paths laid out, but maybe there should be some way to improve certain focuses depending on the fighters specialization.

Just things I was thinking about; if I ever get around to writing up my own fighter fix I might steel some of your ideas for bonuses.

Porkslope
2011-12-15, 11:27 PM
I love seeing fighter fixes.

2 comments though:
While I love all the variety in the Combat focuses, are you sure the +1 bonuses are enough to keep players interested at higher levels? You specifically put it lots of rules to prevent stacking, but that also limits the ability to scale, I think. Frankly, given what some other classes can do, the ability to stack/abuse special abilities might be helpful, and not that unbalanced, comparatively.

The second thing: what differentiates one fighter from another? I realize not every class needs to have half-a-dozen paths laid out, but maybe there should be some way to improve certain focuses depending on the fighters specialization.

Just things I was thinking about; if I ever get around to writing up my own fighter fix I might steel some of your ideas for bonuses.

To address your first point: Aside from Focused Strikes, the passive powers do scale, providing a +1 bonus for each focus power the fighter possesses. This works out to a +5 bonus at level 20, but it also makes any passive powers taken at high levels attractive because you'll still be getting a higher bonus.

For example, if a fighter takes Focused Stability at level 4, that's a +1 bonus to his CMD as long as he's focused. By level 8, regardless of what he picks, Focused Stability's bonus becomes +2. If he were to take another passive power, like Deft Opportunist, that one would would also be up to +2 because he has two total focus powers.

I didn't scale Focused Strikes because the fighter already has Weapon Training as well as (almost) exclusive access to Weapon Specialization. Those, plus feats like Vital Strike and Power Attack, as well as weapon enchantments, do a perfectly fine job of increasing damage.

As for the second point, I think that the passive powers scaling as I described address it nicely. The other powers that allow or force rerolls, provide extra attacks under certain circumstances, improve mobility or defense, or further increase the fighter's versatility (which was already greatly improved by being able to swap out old feats for new ones) provide plenty to differentiate one fighter from another.

Deepbluediver
2011-12-16, 09:49 AM
Ah ok; I misunderstood how it works then.

My apologies.

motionmatrix
2011-12-16, 10:33 AM
This is awesome! I have been looking for a way for my new player who is a fighter (level 7 now, started at 1) to have more to do other than "I swing with or without combat expertise".

This has a lot of potential for fun while not being just the same as everyone else.

I thought of the problems you mentioned about abusing crits for more focus and came up with the following suggestions:

-Remove: Critical hit: When a fighter confirms a critical hit, he gains combat focus. Make it into a Focus power instead.

-Add: Full Attack: When a fighter hits with each hit in a full attack action, he regains his combat focus. Since it requires a full attack action, low level characters who only have one attack, and therefore do not take full attack actions, do not gain access to this method right away.

-Add: Combat flourish: When a fighter successfully uses an ability that requires a CMB roll, he regains his combat focus.


I would also add focus powers that were based on weapons: bonuses for bludgeoning (chance of stun, or double damage against objects and creatures that are weak to bludgeon), reach (you double your reach for an attack, or perhaps extra attack of opportunity), even dagger (perfect weapon to hit vital areas, granting you 1d6 sneak attack as long as you are focused), etc.

Porkslope
2011-12-16, 11:05 AM
This is awesome! I have been looking for a way for my new player who is a fighter (level 7 now, started at 1) to have more to do other than "I swing with or without combat expertise".

This has a lot of potential for fun while not being just the same as everyone else.

Thank you for the kind words! What I did here was make the sort of abilities I'd want if I were playing a fighter. I'm glad other people find it appealing.


I thought of the problems you mentioned about abusing crits for more focus and came up with the following suggestions:

-Remove: Critical hit: When a fighter confirms a critical hit, he gains combat focus. Make it into a Focus power instead.

-Add: Full Attack: When a fighter hits with each hit in a full attack action, he regains his combat focus. Since it requires a full attack action, low level characters who only have one attack, and therefore do not take full attack actions, do not gain access to this method right away.

-Add: Combat flourish: When a fighter successfully uses an ability that requires a CMB roll, he regains his combat focus.

Rather than removing the critical hit for regained focus entirely, I could further refine it by saying that it only works on a natural 20 on your attack roll, but that you don't actually need to confirm the crit.

The problem with regaining focus after a full attack is that it gets more difficult to do as you go up in level and get more attacks. A fighter who only has to hit twice is going to succeed at that more often than a fighter with four attacks, and gods help you if you're going Two-Weapon Fighting!

I rather like the idea of regaining focus after using a combat maneuver. It would certainly encourage any fighters in the party to use maneuvers more often, even if it's something as simple as a Dirty Trick.



I would also add focus powers that were based on weapons: bonuses for bludgeoning (chance of stun, or double damage against objects and creatures that are weak to bludgeon), reach (you double your reach for an attack, or perhaps extra attack of opportunity), even dagger (perfect weapon to hit vital areas, granting you 1d6 sneak attack as long as you are focused), etc.

Designing focus powers that only work with particular weapons can be tricky because there are already several feats that do similar things. Lunge is a feat right from the core rulebook that adds reach, Bludgeoner from Ultimate Combat lets you deal nonlethal damage with a bludgeoning weapon at no penalty, and Impaling Critical does stuff when you score a crit with a piercing weapon.

I would probably pull from the early 3.5 book Complete Warrior, which has some interesting weapon style feats. Most of them have special abilities that activate when you hit an opponent more than once in a round with that feat's weapon combination.

I'm not sure how I feel about giving the fighter sneak attack, even with a piddly weapon like the dagger. What self-respecting fighter is even going to specialize in the dagger's use, anyway?

Seerow
2011-12-17, 01:18 AM
I like this. It's very similar in style to my old Fighter fix.

One thing I would recommend: Give every focus ability both a passive and expend benefit. Even if it's something minor, having the choice between a few minor effects and one major effect is meaningful. As it is, you can pick a bunch of expend effects, and basically be a swordsage with fewer maneuvers and a random recharge mechanic.

Other thing: Since you're doing this via pathfinder, why not have the focus abilities replace an archtype, and have the bonuses come accordingly? Right now you've got a lot loaded onto even levels, which while not unbalanced still doesn't feel quite right.

Porkslope
2011-12-17, 02:17 AM
I like this. It's very similar in style to my old Fighter fix.

One thing I would recommend: Give every focus ability both a passive and expend benefit. Even if it's something minor, having the choice between a few minor effects and one major effect is meaningful. As it is, you can pick a bunch of expend effects, and basically be a swordsage with fewer maneuvers and a random recharge mechanic.

I never thought of that, but I like it. Giving each ability a passive and an expend benefit further caters to the two playstyles I designed this for. I might consolidate the list a bit and see what works and what doesn't. The list is already plenty large for something you only get to pick five of.


Other thing: Since you're doing this via pathfinder, why not have the focus abilities replace an archtype, and have the bonuses come accordingly? Right now you've got a lot loaded onto even levels, which while not unbalanced still doesn't feel quite right.

I designed this specifically to power up the fighter as a class rather than replace anything, so these abilities aren't affected by any archetypes. I placed the new powers at 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 partly because on those levels, the fighter only gets bonus feats, so it's not being piled on top of Weapon Training or Armor Training or Bravery.

There are also just so many archetypes that replace the fighter's existing abilities that trying to integrate this stuff into those would be a whole other can of worms to open up. I like to think these abilities are balanced at first glance, but I haven't had a chance to actually playtest them. I'm currently running a PF game over IRC and two of my players have fighters, so I'll bug them about it and maybe throw a couple NPC enemy fighters at them.

Seerow
2011-12-17, 02:24 AM
Well if you decide you want some more inspiration for abilities, like I said my old fighter fix had a very (almost identical, except with a set round recharge time) similar mechanic to the combat focus. Here's the abilities I had:


Active Assault
Focus: With this ability a fighter can flawlessly place himself where he is most needed in combat. So long as he maintains his Warrior's Focus, he may take a 5-foot step as an immediate action. This is in addition to any other movement he takes during his turn, even another 5-foot step.

Expend: You may expend your focus as an immediate action to take a full move action.

Adapt to Opponent
Focus: The Fighter chooses one opponent, for each round a fighter is engaged in combat with an opponent, or observes an opponent fighting, he gains cumulative +1 circumstance bonus on attack rolls, damage rolls, and AC against that opponent until the end of encounter. This bonus cannot exceed +1 per 3 fighter levels.

Expend: Double the bonus against the target for the next 3 rounds.

Blitzkrieg
Focus: The Fighter can use his ranged attacks to distract an enemy from an approaching melee attacker. While maintaining his Warrior's Focus, whenever you hit an enemy with a ranged attack, that enemy is considered flanked by you for the purpose of adjudicating your allies' melee attacks. This flanked condition lasts until either the enemy is attacked by one of your allies or until the start of your next turn, whichever comes first.

Expend: The Fighter can expend his Focus as part of an attack action, if the attack hits, the target is treated as staggered for 1d6 rounds.

Charging Assault
Benefit: While maintaining his Warrior's Focus, the Fighter can charge or run over difficult terrain, and can make up to one 90-degree turn during a charge or run action.

Expend: The Fighter can expend his focus as a free action while charging to make a full attack at the end of the charge.

Clip His Wings
Focus: The Fighter can aim his ranged weapon at a flying creature in an attempt to force it to land. This allows the Fighter to make a ranged Trip attack against any flying creatures with less than perfect maneuverability. If the attack is successful, the creature must make a Ref save instead of a Str check, with a DC equal to the attack roll. The creature receives a +4 to this save for every step his maneuverability is above Clumsy. Failure means the creature plunges downward a number of feet equal to double his speed, falling damage applied as normal.

Expend: The fighter may attempt to trip even a target with perfect maneuverability, and the target falls at 3 times their normal speed.

Climb the Mountain
Prerequisite: BAB +15
Focus: The Fighter has become especially good at grappling large opponents. While maintaining his Warrior's Focus, any creature using Crush, Snatch, or any other ability that automatically does damage to a grappled creature does not automatically damage the Fighter. Instead they must win an opposed Grapple check to do the damage. The action type for the damaging ability is unchanged. The Fighter in this state is an especially distracting opponent; any creature who grapples the Fighter while attempting to be treated as not being in a grapple with the Fighter--for instance, with the Improved Grab or Swallow Whole feats--takes a -2 penalty on attacks, saves, ability checks, skill checks and weapon damage rolls so long as he continues to grapple the Fighter.

Expend: The Fighter eliminates both his and a single opponent's size modifiers in any opposed grapple checks against that opponent for the next 3 turns.

Combat Foil
Focus: An enemy attacked by the Fighter takes a -5 penalty to all concentration checks per successful attack until the start of the Fighter's next turn.

Expend: The Fighter attempts to foil an enemy's action, as an immediate action. To foil, a fighter must hit with a melee touch attack or, providing he has a ranged weapon available, ranged touch attack within the ranged weapon's first range increment. A Fighter may not foil a move or charge action that began out of range.
If the touch attack is successful, the target is entitled to either a Ref save or a Concentration check, whichever he chooses, with a DC equal to the fighter's attack roll. If the check fails, the foiled action is wasted, and any spell slots, limited ability uses, or the like used to power it are expended.

Cover Fire
Focus: While maintaining his Warrior's Focus the Fighter gains the ability to use ranged attacks to keep his foes pinned down and use cover to it's maximum advantage. Any foe the Fighter attacks with a ranged weapon this round counts the Fighter as being in cover, if the Fighter is already in cover he counts as being in improved cover, and if the fighter is already in improved cover he counts as having total cover.

Expend: The Fighter can expend his Focus to give the defensive benefits of this ability to all allies within 30' until the beginning of his next turn

Dance of the Weave
Prerequisite: BAB+19, Master of Arms
Focus: The Fighter may make an attack of opportunity to nulify a spell or spell-like ability that is targetting him. This attack of opportunity is made, rather than as a normal attack, as an opposed check. The Fighter's BAB plus his Weapon's Enhancement Bonus against the Caster's Caster Level.

Expend: The Fighter can expend his focus as a free action to reflect the attacked spell back onto the caster, as if affected by Spell Turning.


Double Weapon Master
Prerquisites: Two Weapon Mastery, Exotic Weapon Proficiency(Any Double Weapon)
Focus: While maintaining his Warrior's Focus, the Fighter weilding a double weapon gains an extra attack at highest attack bonus when making an attack as a standard action.

Expend: As a standard action, make one attack with each end of your weapon against every enemy adjacent to you, at your highest base attack bonus -2.

Empty Hand Combat
Prerequisites: Improved Trip or Improved Disarm, Improved Unarmed Strike
Benefit: The Fighter's unarmed attacks deal damage as though he were a Monk of 1/2 his Fighter level.
Focus: The Fighter can fight more effectively while unarmed. If he has the Improved Trip feat, he can no longer be counter-tripped if he fails an unarmed Trip attempt. If he has the Improved Disarm feat and has both hands free, his unarmed strike counts as a two-handed weapon for the purposes of disarming an opponent.

Expend: Make an unarmed Trip or Disarm attempt against all opponents within reach as a standard action, with a -4 on the melee touch attack portion of the attempt.

Heavy Armor Supremacy
Prerequisites: Armor Mastery
Focus: While you are in your Warrior's Focus, you gain DR/- equal to 1/4 your fighter level.

Expend: Negate the physical damage of one hit, as if for that hit you had infinite DR for that one hit. This ability can be used as an immediate action, after the attack roll, but before damage is calculated. Energy and other nonphysical damage (stat damage, etc) are not affected, as per normal rules for DR.

Height of War
Focus: The warrior becomes immune to fear effects.

Expend: As a free action, reroll any roll you choose chooses. Use of this ability must be announced before the result of the first roll is declared.

Hold the High Ground
Focus: With this ability the fighter has become an expert at receiving and holding onto the benefits of a superior position. The fighter now receives the benefits of being on higher ground by default, and only loses them when his foe has the higher ground.

Expend: The Fighter can force an enemy into a tactically poor position. When the fighter has higher ground than his opponent, he can expend his Warrior's Focus as part of a full attack action. During this full attack, each time the fighter hits an enemy he can, in addition to doing damage, force the enemy to move 5ft, as if the fighter has successfully Bull Rushed him. The Fighter may choose to move into the space the target previously occupied. The enemy provokes attacks of opprotunity for this movement, but not from the fighter."

Light Armor Supremacy
Prerequisites: Master of Armor
Focus: While under the effects of your Warrior's Focus and wearing light armor, you gain an insight bonus to armor class equal to one fourth your Fighter Level, and increase the max dex of the armor by 1/6th of your Fighter level.

Expend: You may expend your Warrior's Focus as an immediate action to avoid a single attack, or succeed on a single reflex save.

Master of Armor
Focus: While under the effect of Warrior's Focus, your armor gains an enhancement bonus to AC equal to one fourth your Fighter Level.

Expend: Switch out points of enhancement bonus to gain armor enhancements for a number of rounds equal to your Fighter Level. Any remaining enhancement bonus remains active, even outside of your warriors focus, for the same amount of time. Reentering Warrior's Focus does not gain you an additional Enhancement bonus.



Quality Point Cost
Enhancement bonus 1*
Fortification, light 1
Slick / Shadow / Silent moves 0.5 each **
Spell resistance (= fighter level) 1
Slick / Shadow / Silent moves, improved 1 each
Elemental resistance (per element) 1
Slick / Shadow / Silent moves, greater 2 each
Elemental resistance, improved (per element) 2
Fortification, moderate 3
Spell resistance (= fighter level +5) 3
Elemental resistance, greater (per element) 4
Spell resistance (= fighter level +10) 4
Fortification, heavy 5
Spell resistance (= fighter level +13) 5
Note that these are just enhancements available from the PHB, and the DM is encouraged to find other suitable enhancements from any suplement he uses. Particularly any enhancements that seem to denote skill more than an overtly magical effect

Master of Arms
Focus: While under the effect of Warrior's Focus, your weapons gain an enhancement bonus equal to one fourth your Fighter Level.

Expend: Switch out points of enhancement bonus to gain armor enhancements for a number of rounds equal to your Fighter Level. Any remaining enhancement bonus remains active, even outside of your warriors focus, for the same amount of time. Reentering Warrior's Focus does not gain you an additional Enhancement bonus.



Quality Point Cost
Enhancement bonus 1*
Bane 1
Defending 1
Ghost Touch 1
Keen 1
Ki Focus 1
Mighty Cleaving 1
Throwing 1
Wounding 2
Speed 3
Vorpal 5
Note that these are just enhancements available from the PHB, and the DM is encouraged to find other suitable enhancements from any suplement he uses. Particularly any enhancements that seem to denote skill more than an overtly magical effect


Master of Improvisation
Benefit: A Fighter with this ability can improvise weapons quickly and easily. In addition to being able to pick up anything handy on the battlefield and immediately use it as an improvised simple weapon*, he can also, with 8 rounds of work and a successful DC 15 Craft check, gather scraps from the battlefield together to make an improvised martial weapon. This Craft DC increases by 2 points for every round taken off the preparation (minimum 1 round), and by 5 points if improvising an exotic weapon. Like improvised simple weapons, the improvised martial/exotic weapon mimics the weapon characteristics of a specific martial or exotic weapon which the Fighter chooses at the time he creates it.

Focus: While maintaining his Warrior's Focus, the Fighter gains Proficiency with his simple or martial improvised weapons, and can use them without the normal -4 penalty. If he has proficiency with a particular exotic weapon, he also gains proficiency with an exotic improvised weapon that mimics its weapon characteristics.

Expend: The Fighter throws an improvised weapon as a standard action, doing 1d6 of weapon damage per 2 Fighter levels, plus strength modifier on a successful ranged attack roll. If the weapon was an improvised martial weapon (see above), the weapon damage dealt is 1d6 per Fighter level, plus 3 times strength modifier. An improvised martial weapon thrown in this manner is unusable afterward. In either case, half the weapon damage dealt is considered precision damage, like the rogue's Sneak Attack dice, creatures immune to such damage take half damage.

Master Rider
Focus: The fighter gains the ability to drive his mount to perform better in combat as a move action. To successfully drive a mount, the Fighter must make a Ride check with a DC of 20+the mount's total Hit Dice. If the fighter has trained the animal (taught it at least one trick), he receives a +10 bonus on this skill check.

While being Driven, the mount receives the following benefits:
-temporary HP equal to the check result
-a +2 morale bonus to all saves and a 10-ft enhancement bonus to speed for every 4 ranks the Fighter has in the Handle Animal skill.
-the mount uses his own HD total or the fighter's for determining the effect of spells that are Hit Dice dependant, whichever is greater.

The effects last for a number of rounds equal to 5+the animal's Con modifier, after which it is fatigued (-2 penalty to Strength, -2 penalty to Dexterity, canít charge or run) for 5 rounds. An animal cannot be normally be affected with a second use of this ability while Fatigued.

Expend: The Fighter can drive even a mount no matter what state it is in. After being Driven while fatigued, the animal is Exhausted (moves at half speed and takes a -6 penalty to Strength and Dexterity).

Medium Armor Supremacy
Prerequisites: Master of Armor
Focus: While under the effects of Warrior's Focus and wearing medium armor, the fighter does not suffer movement penalties due to his armor, and he adds his Armor bonus to AC to touch attacks, up to a maximum equal to his Fighter Level.

Expend: As an immediate action reduce all damage taken for the rest of the round by 50%, and convert the damage from the next attack taken into subdual damage.

Reflexive Style
Focus: The fighter may opt gain the benefits of a [Fighter] feat he does not have that he qualifies for when he enters Warrior's Focus. This feat lasts for 4 rounds, or until the warrior reenters his Warrior's Focus, at which time he chooses a different feat.

Expend: The fighter may switch his combat styles, and choose a new feat feat that he may use with this combat style. A bonus feat gained in this way lasts until the end of the encounter. This may be used as an immediate action. At 17th level this power becomes a free action.

Relentless Assault
Focus: With this ability, a fighter's iterative attacks become more accurate. So long as he maintains his Warrior's Focus, the fighter's iterative attacks are made as successive -3 penalties, rather than the normal -5. This does not give the fighter any more iterative attacks than he would normally have. For example, a fighter who normally makes attacks at +17/+12/+7/+2 would now make attacks at +17/+14/+11/+8.

Expend: The fighter can end his Warrior's Focus state as part of a full attack action to make all of his iterative attacks at his highest BAB for that round. The above Fighter in this case would make attacks at +17/+17/+17/+17. Expending Warrior's Focus in this fashion is especially exhausting; the fighter's Warrior's Focus recovery time is increased by 1 round

Shield Ally:
Focus: While in the Warrior's Focus, a fighter can share his shield bonus to AC with an ally within his reach. As long as both the fighter and the ally are 5 feet away, the fighter shares shield bonus to the ally against opponent threatened by fighter. The fighter's ally does not suffer any ill affects of using a shield, such as an armor check penalty or arcane spell failure. A fighter may shield a number of allies in this manner equal to 1/4 his fighter level.

Expend: Completely take the damage from one attack against an ally the Fighter is sharing his AC with. Use of this ability must be declared after the attack hits, but before damage is rolled.

Shield Evasion
Focus: While in the Warrior's Focus, and wielding a large or tower shield, a fighter gains the evasion ability, as the Rogue special ability except it works with heavy armor. In addition, whenever a fighter makes a Reflex save to which evasion applies, he gains circumstance bonus on that save equal to his shield bonus to AC.

Expend: A Fighter may expend his Warrior's Focus as an immediate action to end one status effect currently on him.

Suppressive Fire
Focus: The Fighter can aim his attacks in an attempt to force his opponent to drop prone. As a standard action, the Fighter can target a single enemy with an attack. The enemy has a choice: to drop prone as a free action and automatically evade the attack, or remain upright and take damage as if the Fighter had landed with a critical hit. Enemies who are already prone cannot be targeted by this ability.

Expend: The Fighter unload a hail of arrows or similar ammunition over an area, forcing all combatants in the area to seek cover or take damage. To use this effect the Fighter takes a full-round action and chooses a cone-shaped area, with a range of his bow's first range increment. Until the Fighter's next turn, all creatures who end their turn in the area and don't have total cover relative to the Fighter take damage as if the Fighter had hit them with half the total number of ranged attacks he can make in a full attack (damage rolled once, on the Fighter's turn). Creatures affected by this ability are entitled to a Reflex save for half damage, DC equal to 10 plus 5 times his total number of attacks.This action uses a number of arrows equal to twice his total number of attacks.

Swashbuckling Tactics
Prerequisite: Dodge, Mobility, Elusive Target
Focus: While using a one-handed or light weapon in one hand and carrying nothing in the other, the Fighter can turn his body away from attacks, reducing his profile and openness to attack. Against the specific opponent to which the Fighter applies his Dodge feat, the Fighter also has soft cover (+4 to AC) and the equivalent of light fortification (a 25% chance of negating a critical hit or sneak attack). Unlike the normal rules for cover, this form cover does not provide the Fighter the conditions needed to Hide, but both the fortification and the soft cover stack with any magical, racial, or other similar abilities.

Expend: The Fighter can expend his focus as a swift action to put his whole weight into an all-out blitz. Until his next turn, the Fighter doubles the number of attacks made with his light or one-handed weapon against the opponent designated by his Dodge feat, but in exchange he gives up his Dex to AC against that opponent. A Fighter using this ability can receive extra attacks from the Haste spell and similar magical effects, but such attacks are not doubled by this ability. If at least half of the Fighter's attacks hit during this full attack, the target must make a Fortitude Save DC10+1/2 Fighter Level+Your Dex mod, or be dazed until the end of the Fighter's next turn.

Swift Strike
Focus: While in the Warrior's Focus, whenever a fighter uses standard action to make an attack, he can make two attacks at his highest attack bonus instead.
Expend: Take a full attack action as a standard action.

Tactical Genius
Prerequisites: BAB+11
Focus: While in the Warrior's Focus, a Fighter posessing any of the following feats can add one-half his total Fighter level as a bonus to the indicated ability: Combat Casting, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Disarm, Improved Grapple, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Improved Overrun, Improved Sunder, Mobility, Run (bonus to Jump checks).

Expend: The Fighter may expend his Warrior's Focus to increase this bonus to his full Fighter level for one round, and effectively increase his size category by 1 for purposes of Bull Rush, Disarm, Grapple, Sunder, Overrun, and Tripping.

Take the High Ground
Prerequisite: Hold the High Ground
Focus: With this ability the fighter receives a +2 bonus for being on higher ground than his opponent, rather than the normal +1. This bonus increases by +1 for every additional 6 ranks the fighter has in Balance or Climb (+3 when the fighter has 12 ranks in Balance and Climb, +4 when the fighter has 18 ranks in both skills, and so on.).

Expend: You can expend your focus as a part of an standard attack, to knock the target back one square per 4 Fighter levels, you may opt to move into any of the squares they were pushed through as a part of this attack.

True Threat
Focus:: A Fighter makes himself a presence to be feared on the battlefield. While under the effects of Warrior's Focus, he invokes dread in his enemies, and all enemies within 60' lose all morale bonuses to attack or damage.

Expend: Make an intimidate check to force any single oponent within 60ft to attack him. The targeted creature must make a modified level check (adding his wisdom bonus to his HD for the check) against your intimidate check. If the creatre fails this check, it must target the Fighter exclusively, or flee for 2d6 rounds. The targetted creature may still fight intelligently, a spellcaster may target others with an area of effect spell, a melee warrior can still use a whirlwind attack, etc, however the enemy must be attacking the Fighter in some way at all times. The creature may retry its saving throw at the end of each round at the end of its turn (after moving and/or attacking the Fighter). Any creature that resists your True Threat becomes immune to it for 24 hours. Mindless and dominated creatures are unaffected by this ability.

Two Weapon Mastery
Prerequisites: Two Weapon Fighting, BAB+11
Focus: While maintaining his Warrior's Focus, the Fighter reduces his penalties from Two Weapon Fighting by 1 per 5 Fighter levels. (to a maximum of 0), and can make an offhand attack when making a standard action attack.

Expend: The Fighter may expend his Warrior's Focus as a free action after hitting a target with both of his weapons in one turn. The target is inflicted with ongoing damage equal to one hit from their mainhand weapon at the start of each turn, this effect may be ended with a fortitude saving throw, with a DC equal to 10+1/2 fighter level+the Fighter's dexterity modifier, made at the end of their turn.

Curious
2011-12-17, 02:48 AM
While I like the system you've set up here, some of the abilities seem a little lacking. Notably, there is no way to move and full attack, and little in the way of utility options. Something that grants passive bonuses to perception, intimidate, and other fightery skills might be nice. Being able to ignore DR or Hardness is always good, as would be some ability that allows them to deal Con/Dex/Str damage.

Otherwise, I really like this. It feels intuitive, and gives some solid abilities, as well as a real reason to go Fighter 20.

Porkslope
2011-12-17, 10:54 AM
While I like the system you've set up here, some of the abilities seem a little lacking. Notably, there is no way to move and full attack, and little in the way of utility options. Something that grants passive bonuses to perception, intimidate, and other fightery skills might be nice. Being able to ignore DR or Hardness is always good, as would be some ability that allows them to deal Con/Dex/Str damage.

Otherwise, I really like this. It feels intuitive, and gives some solid abilities, as well as a real reason to go Fighter 20.

I've been meaning to add abilities like you described. The point of ability sets like these (and like the rogue's talents or the barbarian's rage powers) is to cover a class's weaknesses.

As for bonuses to skills, I haven't put it in place yet but I was planning on increasing the Fighter's skill points to 4 + int per level and adding a couple other class skills (haven't decided which yet), so a few focus powers that help with skills could be easily done. I'd stick with the "+1 bonus per focus power" thing I have, but adding an expend option for a higher bonus (maybe x2?) for some specific combat-related use of the skill. I'd restrict it to a combat-related use of a given skill because outside of combat, using a full-round action to regain focus isn't a particularly large use of resources, while in-combat it can mean the difference between life and death.

Porkslope
2011-12-19, 03:05 PM
So I decided instead of using the focus mechanic to mess with skills, I'd just do this to help out the fighter.

Skills: The fighter gains 4 + Int skill points per level instead of 2 + Int. Additionally, the fighter adds the following feats to his list of bonus feats: Acrobatic, Alertness, Animal Affinity, Athletic, Cosmopolitan (APG), Deceitful, Deft Hands, Magical Aptitude, Persuasive, Self-Sufficient, Skill Focus, and Stealthy.

I didn't actually change any of the fighter's class skills, but those are all the +2/+2 skill feats as well as Skill Focus, and Cosmopolitan from the Advanced Player's Guide, which lets you pick two additional languages as well as designate two Int-, Wis-, or Cha-based skills to have as class skills.

It is worth pointing out that when skills ranks hit 10, those +2/+2 feats become +4/+4 feats, and the bonus from Skill Focus goes from +3 to +6.

Porkslope
2011-12-30, 11:33 AM
t-t-t-TRIPLE POST!!!

I went through my list of powers and took Seerow's advice, changing things up so that most of them have both a passive and an expend benefit. This resulted in a few powers getting folded together into one. I also came up with a few teamwork-centric powers, and while I think this is a pretty good list to bring the fighter up to par with certain classes (particularly an Oracle with the Battle mystery), there's still room for more (such as a power that allows re-rolling of saving throws).

If anything here looks egregiously overpowered, please say so and say why!


Skills: The fighter gains 4 + Int skill points per level instead of 2 + Int.

Versatile: At level 1, the fighter can select any three skills to designate as class skills.

Bravery: The bonus to Will saves against fear granted by Bravery is now doubled. At level 18, the fighter becomes immune to fear effects.

Combat Focus: Starting at 4th level, a fighter can attain Combat Focus, entering a state of heightened focus that grants special abilities during battle. A fighter gains combat focus in three ways:


Natural 20: Each time the fighter rolls a natural 20 on an attack roll during combat, he regains combat focus.
Killing Blow: When the fighter reduces a creature to 0 or fewer HP with a weapon attack, he regains combat focus.
Full-Round Action: A fighter can use a full-round action to gain combat focus. Most fighters do this at the beginning of the day and retain focus throughout, until they need to expend it.


Once you gain focus, you retain it until you expend it, become unconscious, or go to sleep. You also cannot regain combat focus in the same round in which you expend it. At level 4 and every four levels thereafter (8, 12, 16, and 20) a fighter can select one Focus Power from the list below:

Battle Cunning: A fighter with this focus power gains a +1 bonus on damage rolls against flanked or flat-footed opponents for each focus power he possesses as long as he retains his combat focus. He can expend his combat focus as part of an attack against a flanked or flat-footed opponent to deal +1d6 damage for each focus power he possesses. All bonus damage granted by this power is subject to the same limitations as the rogue's sneak attack.

Burst of Speed: A fighter with this focus power increases his base speed by 5 feet as long as he retains his combat focus. He can expend his combat focus as a swift action to increase his base speed by 30 feet for 1 round.

Deadly Technique: A fighter with this focus power gains a +1 bonus to all weapon damage rolls for as long as he retains combat focus. He can expend his combat focus as part of an attack to deal maximum base weapon damage on that single attack. This power must be activated after the attack hits but before damage is rolled. Extra damage dice from feats, weapon enchantments, critical hits, and sneak attacks are not maximized.

Defensive Riposte: A fighter with this focus power gains an additional +1 bonus to AC when using total defense, fighting defensively, or using the Combat Expertise feat. He can expend his combat focus as an immediate action when he is missed with a melee attack while fighting defensively or using the Combat Expertise feat to make a single melee attack at his highest bonus against the creature that missed him. A fighter must be at least 8th level before taking this focus power.

Deft Opportunist: A fighter with this focus power gains a +1 bonus to attack rolls when making attacks of opportunity for each focus power he possesses as long as he retains his combat focus. He can expend his combat focus as an immediate action when a foe provokes an attack of opportunity from him to make an immediate melee attack against that foe. This attack does not replace the normal attack of opportunity; he can use this focus power in addition to or instead of making a normal attack of opportunity.

Fearsome Charge: A fighter with this focus power gains a +1 bonus to weapon damage rolls while charging for each focus power he possesses as long as he retains his combat focus. He can expend his combat focus as part of a charge to add his fighter level as a bonus to his charge attack's weapon damage roll.

Focused Stability: A fighter with this focus power gains a +1 bonus to his CMD for each focus power he possesses as long as he retains his combat focus. He can expend his combat focus as an immediate action to force an adjacent enemy to roll their combat maneuver check against him twice and take the worse result.

Heroic Surge: A fighter with this focus power can expend his combat focus as a swift action to move up to his speed and make a full attack, as a full round action. The fighter must be at least 8th level before taking this focus power.

Impel Action: A fighter with this focus power can expend his combat focus as a standard action to grant an ally within line of sight a move action. This move action is used immediately and does not affect the ally's initiative count, and the round continues normally after the fighter's turn is over. At 12th level, a fighter can grant an ally a standard action.

Juggernaut: A fighter with this focus power gains DR 1/- for each focus power he possesses as long as he retains his combat focus. He can expend his combat focus as an immediate action in response to being attacked to gain DR 10/- until the start of his next turn. A fighter must be at least 8th level before taking this focus power.

Karmic Strike: A fighter with this focus power can expend his combat focus as an immediate action in response to being damaged by a melee attack. He can make a single melee attack at his highest bonus against the creature that damaged him. A fighter must be at least 8th level before taking this focus power.

Maneuver Expert: A fighter with this focus power gains a +1 bonus to his CMB for each focus power he possesses as long as he retains his combat focus. He can expend his combat focus as part of executing a combat maneuver to roll his attack roll twice and take the better result.

Quick to Act: A fighter with this focus power gains a +1 bonus to Initiative rolls for each focus power he possesses as long as he retains his combat focus.

Tactical Awareness: A fighter with this focus power can learn the current HP total of a single adjacent opponent as a swift action as long as he retains his combat focus. He can expend his combat focus as a swift action to learn the current HP total of a single enemy within line of sight.

Victory Shout: A fighter with this focus power can expend his combat focus as an immediate action after reducing an enemy to 0 or fewer HP with a melee weapon attack. The fighter and all allies who can hear the fighter gains a +1 bonus to weapon damage rolls for each focus power he possesses on their next attack.

Wall of Steel: A fighter with this focus power can expend his combat focus as an immediate action to gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC until the end of his next turn.

Wild Card: A fighter with this focus power can expend his focus as a swift action to gain the use of one Combat Feat until the end of the encounter. He must meet all prerequisites for this feat, and can only have one Wild Card feat at a time.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2011-12-30, 12:03 PM
t-t-t-TRIPLE POST!!!

I went through my list of powers and took Seerow's advice, changing things up so that most of them have both a passive and an expend benefit. This resulted in a few powers getting folded together into one. I also came up with a few teamwork-centric powers, and while I think this is a pretty good list to bring the fighter up to par with certain classes (particularly an Oracle with the Battle mystery), there's still room for more (such as a power that allows re-rolling of saving throws).

First off, edit this into the first post...I all but missed it here. Secondly, make it so that every ability has both a passive and an active: there's no reason that there should be exceptions to that.

I'd also make it so that a Fighter automatically gains Focus at the start of his first turn each encounter, rather than making it a constant thing. It doesn't make sense to have him combat focused all day, but I like the idea of him going into combat-mode when danger threatens.

Finally, I think the full-action to refresh is a bit restrictive. Make make it a move action: that limits the full-attack option while still allowing the fighter to either move and refresh or attack (once) and refresh...and will, I think, actually make refreshing the focus seem like a viable option rather than a tax. I don't, for instance, see any expending power worth my full attack routine. In fact, at higher levels, most seem worth a Swift action, at best.

Porkslope
2011-12-30, 12:40 PM
First off, edit this into the first post...I all but missed it here. Secondly, make it so that every ability has both a passive and an active: there's no reason that there should be exceptions to that.

I'd also make it so that a Fighter automatically gains Focus at the start of his first turn each encounter, rather than making it a constant thing. It doesn't make sense to have him combat focused all day, but I like the idea of him going into combat-mode when danger threatens.

Finally, I think the full-action to refresh is a bit restrictive. Make make it a move action: that limits the full-attack option while still allowing the fighter to either move and refresh or attack (once) and refresh...and will, I think, actually make refreshing the focus seem like a viable option rather than a tax. I don't, for instance, see any expending power worth my full attack routine. In fact, at higher levels, most seem worth a Swift action, at best.

Some powers don't have passive or expend options because I'm having trouble coming up with options for certain focus powers, like Heroic Surge and Quick to Act and Impel Action. I'll add those as I come up with them, but I am open to suggestions.

Gaining focus at the start of his first turn actually makes a lot more sense than gaining it first thing in the morning and retaining it throughout the whole day. If I were to use this, I'd eliminate the Quick to Act focus power entirely, since it would no longer apply -- and I'm having trouble coming up with an expend option for it anyway.

I agree with you that it's kind of restrictive, and that was my original intention, but I see your point. At higher levels, wasting a whole turn just to regain focus might mean the difference between life and death.

It wouldn't be difficult to retool the conditions under which a fighter can regain focus. Perhaps I should remove the "cannot regain focus in the same round you expend it" restriction to make the "killing blow" and "natural 20 on attack" conditions more appealing, and change it to a move action. Another idea is to change regaining focus to a standard action, then at level 10 make it a move action, then at level 15 make it a swift action, to add another sense of progression to it. What do you think?

EDIT: Just had another idea. In Tome of Battle, the warblade can recover spent maneuvers by spending a swift action and making an attack as normal. If it hits, he recovers his maneuvers. That's a pretty elegant mechanic that might be worth adopting for this.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2011-12-30, 05:16 PM
EDIT: Just had another idea. In Tome of Battle, the warblade can recover spent maneuvers by spending a swift action and making an attack as normal. If it hits, he recovers his maneuvers. That's a pretty elegant mechanic that might be worth adopting for this.

Either do that, or make it a Swift action, full stop, but retain the "can't regain focus in the same round you expend it." That, to me, would be the most elegant solution: you have a bunch of bonuses, or you can spend them to do something cool...but no more than every other round. Perhaps the natural 20 attack roll and/or the killing blow can allow you to circumvent the "can't regain focus in the same round" clause.