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View Full Version : [3.5 Revision] Fighter (or how I learned to love the sword)



Brickroad
2013-11-02, 03:03 AM
Fighter, Revised
This revision is intended to be as close to the original as possible. As such I limited the introduction of new mechanics and made changes to existing material before providing new material. Because all of the Fighter's abilities are defined by feats, none of the base class features were changed. Skills, Saving Throws, and everything of that sort are unchanged.

The following is perhaps my favorite aspect of Fighter and is one I will defend as part of the class even as I'm putting my first foot into my grave.

The perspective of a Fighter in the fantasy world in general has to be exausting. Imagine being transported into a world full of monsters and Evil... and EVIL. A world in which the zombie apocalypse has already occurred and which has already been tabled because we really need to deal with these giant floating eyes that shoot lasers instead. A world host to a stylistically clashing menagerie of gods and nightmares, filled with people more seductive and dangerous than any human being has a right to be.

Now imagine you have none of those things at your disposal. You eat filthy food. You hardly ever get to bathe in clean water. You sweat and bleed and spend every day earning every ounce of muscle and grit in your body. You get one day off from work in ten. There are actual robots replacing you in every field of work.

And the wizard next door does not have to deal with any of this. He waves his hands and says nonsense (an act that, by today's standards, would appear very much like entering a website password on an invisible keyboard while muttering to himself) and then the wizard's problem goes away. It takes less than six seconds to... prepare a meal... clean your clothes... move heavy furniture... blow every window and wall out of your neighbor's house.

The irony amuses me. A wizard is meant to parallel the power our modern science grants us over our environment. A parallel that should not go unappreciated. For example, our doctors used to prescribe ingesting mercury to cure... well... almost anything. Even hysteria in women (not a real thing). (Did you know there are gaseous forms of mercury that, when inhaled, fuse with your DNA? It cannot be removed by any means and it kills you slowly as your DNA replicates. Hooray, science!)

However, the parallel is not an inspiring one. I find it hard to relate to someone who shares none of my own hardships. Even in this modern world where my most inconsequential "LOL" can reach people thousands of miles away (like some sort of wizardry), this is not the thing that defines me nor would I ever find that aspect attractive in another person.

"Love and respect me, for I own a Playstation and have full health coverage!"

I live in a world where inequality, inadequacy and injustice threaten to overtake the less fortunate every second. I see these things looming on the horizon even from the comfortable chair in which I sit. What is inspiring is that, rather than wish away the dark clouds looming ever closer, rather than resolve everything with the least effort possible, the Fighter is the one who takes a stand on our terms and pays for it with hit point after hit point until he has no more to give.The fighter is a fairly abstract class that really harnesses the feat system introduced in third edition in a way that no other class has. The branching and interchangable nature of Feats enables a character to mix and match roles in a single character. However, this system only works properly when those role-defining feats are available and cost effective.

Class Abilities have become the downfall of the Fighter's ingenious design. When introducing a new class, class abilities are intended to be the defining characteristics of the role that class plays. The authors of such classes, not wanting to risk the class becoming obsolete or redundant, are encouraged
to not make class abilities available in feat form, not even in a limited capacity. If the abilities are available in feat form, the author is alternatively encouraged to make the class abilities greatly exceed what is generally available. Finally, if a class ability is provided to a class and also available as a feat, the option of stacking the two becomes a design flaw.

Being abstract, Fighter potentially might represent Guards, Mercenaries, Archers, Man-At-Arms, Kensai, Samurai, Knights, Shield Maidens, Martial Artists, Wrestlers, Brawlers, Thugs and so on. Each of these might be represented as a subset of feats. Instead these specializations became new classes meant to supplant Fighter and prestige classes designed to provide class abilities in place of the inferior feat selection.

The solution is not easy and I have no intention of detailing all its intricacies, but I will summarize my view of it. Firstly, the problem is in the creation and immediate downplaying of the modular feat system in favor of class-based features. To preserve the feat system, class features would have to be translated into the same format as feats. Second, for the sake of preserving roles, classes would be given immediate access to their classes' defining features with better progressions. Third, these new feats would have to be integrated into the existing pool of feats with reasonable prerequisites and subsequent branches. In a sense, every class would become more like the Fighter, Monk or Ranger, using bonus feat lists in place of class tables. The end result might not be a better game, but it would at least capture the character customization that 3e tried so hard to push in place of the traditional fantasy caste system. Frankly, there are so many classes, many of which boil down to what may be a single feat (I'm looking at you, Assassin) that I can't be bothered with the ensuing flame war and miniscule returns for the absurd level of effort it would require. And none of this even tackles the whole class-based spellcasting system.The core elements of the Fighter are weapon specialization, fighting styles, and leadership.

Weapon Specialization
Although it was not part of the class in the beginning, it is something that grew out of the class. Originally a minor feature (it began as merely a +1 attack, +2 damage bonus) it was soon expanded to include two, three, and still more levels of specialization. In 2nd edition, however, hit dice were fewer and constitution influenced hitpoints less. Spellcasters with no more than 80 hitpoints now easily boast 150. Warrior types who once had roughly that amount can now reach over 250 by 20th. Specialization also used to carry with it additional attacks per round for single-classed Fighters, so in addition fewer hit points all around, single-classed Fighters could get one or two more attacks than other classes. Even the small difference between 2 and 3 attacks is a 50% increase, not counting the extra damage. Simply put, Fighters originally did more damage in pure melee than any other single class.

Fighting Styles
This is something of a mixed bag, because the proficiency system of AD&D 2e really was just another form of weapon specialization. Redundant but it adds a nice flavor. It's not like you could use a two-handed weapon with anything other than two-handed fighting style, or a shield with anything other than sword and shield. This is the one area where 3e has improved everything with style to spare. Shield bashing, tripping, shoving, grabbing, fancy swordplay. Two handed weapons are big and powerful, two weapons creates a flurry of little attacks, and one handed weapons are useful either with or without a shield. Few changes are required here.

Plain Old Leadership
If you put a magical person in charge of non-magical people, there is rarely a situation not addressed by magic. If you put the least magical person in charge of magical people, every situation calls for teamwork. Certainly, the cleric knows his faith best and a wizard is smart enough to figure out everything by himself, but a cleric only sees cleric solutions and a wizard only sees wizard solutions. It is the Fighter, having nothing but the worst solutions at his disposal, who is forced to find better alternatives. That said, a core component of Fighter should be the ability to perform his single purpose better than any alternative. Nobody should question him being at the front, nobod should question WHY he has decided not to multiclass. His specialization, odd though it may seem, must remain as being the singularly most one-dimentional class. This means no fancy bells and whistles, no proxy spellcasting, no "talent points", no magic stances, no extra skill points, no inherent ability bonuses or special war prances.

Grab a sword and get to stabbing, boyo.
Fighter Feats
All of the following are part of the Fighter's bonus feat list. The following set of feats are meant as stand-alone supplement/revision and are not meant to be used with... well... the hundreds of other Fighter feats that attempt to infuse plain old hard work with mystic nonsense.

Fighter Weapon Proficiency
This is perhaps the most complicated addition. However, I believe this helps address all three aspects of the Fighter.

1. It improves damage output with a variety of weapons instead of just one and without escalating the damage per hit at all.
2. It allows for a choice between three distinct weapon paths that roughly correspond to "Peasant Warrior", "Knight", and "Weapon Specialist"
3. It makes the Fighter more reliable on an attack by attack basis.

Your knowledge of weapon handling better allows one attack to flow into the next.

Details
Choose one of the following weapon categories: Simple, Martial, or Exotic. (You must also have improved unarmed strike for your unarmed strikes and grapples to benefit.)

When attacking with a weapon in the chosen category with which you are proficient, your base attack bonus progression is improved.

Prerequisites
Proficiency with at least one weapon in the chosen category, fighter level 6th.

Benefit
When attacking with a weapon in the chosen category with two hands, each subsequent attack in your attack progression suffers only a cumulative -4 penalty. When attacking with a weapon in the chosen category with one hand, the cumulative penalty is only -3. When fighting with two weapons or with a double weapon, only attacks made with your main hand benefit from improved weapon proficiency.

For example, a 12th level fighter would possess a base attack bonus of +12/+8/+4 with two-handed attacks made with weapons in the chosen category and +12/+9/+6 with one-handed attacks made with weapons in the chosen category and +12/+7/+2 with everything else. When switching between attack progressions, each attack uses the corresponding bonus in its relevant progression.

Normal
Each attack after the first in an attack progression suffers a cumulative -5 penalty.Your next attack is always beginning before the previous ends.

Details
Choose one of the following weapon categories for which you already possess the corresponding improved weapon proficiency: Simple, Martial, or Exotic. (You must also have improved unarmed strike for your unarmed strikes and grapples to benefit.)

When attacking with a weapon in the chosen category with which you are proficient, your base attack bonus progression is further improved.

Prerequisites
Improved Weapon Proficiency with the selected weapon group, fighter level 12th.

Benefit
When attacking with a weapon in two hands, each subsequent attack in your attack progression suffers only a cumulative -2 penalty. When attacking with a weapon in one hand, the cumulative penalty is only -1. When fighting with two weapons or with a double weapon, only attacks made with your main hand benefit from greater weapon proficiency.

For example, a 12th level fighter would possess a base attack bonus of +12/+10/+8 with two-handed attacks with weapons in the chosen category and +12/+11/+10 with one-handed attacks with weapons in the category and +12/+7/+2 with everything else. When switching between attack progressions, each attack uses the corresponding bonus in its relevant progression.

Normal
Each attack after the first in an attack progression suffers a cumulative -5 penalty.You have perfected the pacing of your attacks, each is as effective as the last.

Details
Choose one of the following weapon categories for which you already possess the corresponding greater weapon proficiency: Simple, Martial, or Exotic. (You must also have improved unarmed strike for your unarmed strikes and grapples to qualify for and benefit from this feat.)

When attacking with a weapon in the chosen category with which you are proficient, your base attack bonus progression is perfected.

Prerequisites
Greater Weapon Proficiency with the selected group of weapons, fighter level 18th.

Benefit
Each attack made with a weapon in the chosen category uses your full base attack bonus. When fighting with two weapons or with a double weapon, only attacks made with your main hand benefit from perfect weapon proficiency.

For example, a 20th level fighter would possess a base attack bonus of +20/+20/+20/+20 for attacks made with weapons in the chosen category and +20/+15/+10/+5 when attacking with other weapons. When switching between attack progressions, each attack uses the corresponding bonus in its relevant progression.

Normal
Each attack after the first in an attack progression suffers a cumulative -5 penalty.You are able to gracefully switch your leading side as you move through combat, allowing your arms and armor to never obstruct one anotherís motion.

Details
You are able to employ your advanced weapon proficiency with two weapons simultaneously.

Benefit
When fighting with two weapons or a double weapon, improved weapon proficiency, greater weapon proficiency and perfect weapon proficiency also apply to your off-hand attacks. You still suffer the relevant penalties for fighting with two weapons.

Prerequisites
Any Improved Weapon Proficiency, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, fighter level 6th.

Weapon Focus & Specialization Feats
This is primarily a rescaling of Weapon Specialization to account for the large number of hitpoints and meat shields that casters have at their disposal. For a pure Fighter, Weapon Specialization is now about as powerful as vanilla GWS. Greater Weapon Specialization is now four times as powerful as original. WS adds half Fighter level to damage. GWS adds full Fighter level to damage.

To balance it out, half of the damage is rogue-like precision based and does not apply to constructs, undead, and such. This means spellcasters can protect themselves intelligently by means of concealment or immunity to critical hits. A 20th level fighter with a +20 bonus seems extreme, but it means Fighter doesn't have to rely on Power Attack to keep his damage up, and that bonus is only +10 vs undead and such, which is underwhelming. Likewise with ranged weapons. Five arrows with +20 may seem overkill, but the 30 foot limit on precision damage keeps it in check.

You understand how your weapon is best applied and where.

Prerequisites
Proficiency and Weapon Focus with the selected weapon, fighter level 4th.

Benefit
You gain a bonus on all weapon damage rolls made using the selected weapon equal to half your fighter levels (to a maximum of +10 at 20th). Half of this damage (rounded up) is precision based and as such does not apply to creatures that are incorporeal, have no discernable anatomy, are immune to critical hits, are concealed, lack vital organs or are more than 30 feet away.Prerequisites
Weapon Focus with the selected weapon, fighter level 12th.You understand how your weapon is best applied and where.

Prerequisites
Proficiency and Greater Weapon Focus with the selected weapon, fighter level 16th.

Benefit
The bonus on all weapon damage rolls made using the selected weapon, gained from weapon specialization, becomes equal to your fighter levels (to a maximum of +20).

Weapon Critical Feats
Improved Critical is changed to require Weapon Focus. Fighters are given access to Greater Critical as a capstone of a sort. Primarily this is to ensure Fighter continues to be devistating while transitioning into epic.

Prerequisites
Proficiency and Weapon Focus with the selected weapon, base attack bonus +8.Prerequisites
Greater Weapon Focus and Improved Critical with the selected weapon, fighter level 20th.

Benefit
You treat the selected weapon as having a critical multiplier 1 higher than usual.

Epic Fighter Feats
The epic Fighter is intended to be a beast slayer. Someone who can kill a giant with a mundane rock. In some instances, these feats are underwhelming, but useful. In others, they maintain the gradual, if absurd progression in the Fighter's damage output.

Your mastery of fighting enables you to make openings instead of wait for them.

Details
Choose one of the following weapon categories for which you already possess the corresponding perfect weapon proficiency: Simple, Martial, or Exotic. (You must also have improved unarmed strike for your unarmed strikes and grapples to qualify for and benefit from this feat.)

Each attack you make with a weapon from the chosen category that misses makes that target easier to hit in that round.

Prerequisites
Perfect Weapon Proficiency for the selected group of weapons, fighter level 22nd.

Benefit
Each attack you make against a specific enemy that fails to beat the enemyís AC gives you a cumulative +2 bonus on attack rolls made against that same enemy in the same round. The bonus is only gained from and applied to attacks made with weapons from the chosen category.Prerequisites
Greater Weapon Focus with the selected weapon, fighter level 24th.Your attacks have the odd tendency to find major arteries by 'accident'.

Prerequisites
Proficiency, Epic Weapon Focus and Greater Weapon Specialization with the selected weapon, fighter level 28th.

Benefit
You add your epic fighter levels (only those above 20th) to the greater weapon specialization bonus gained on weapon damage rolls for the selected weapon.

Normal
A fighter with Greater Weapon Specialization for a weapon only gains a bonus equal to his or her fighter levels (to a maximum of +20).

Special
This feat may be selected multiple times. Each time it is selected for the same weapon its effects stack.Prerequisites
Epic Weapon Focus and Greater Critical with the selected weapon, fighter level 32nd.

Benefit
When you threaten a critical hit with the selected weapon, you automatically confirm a critical hit. Effects other than the critical hit that depend upon the result of your threat must still be confirmed by a roll.

Brickroad
2013-11-02, 03:12 AM
Epic Special Action Feats
Not related to the Fighter Revision. Just some fun optional content related to combat.

Prerequisites
Combined BAB and EAB +21, Dexterity 19, Wisdom 19

Benefit
When using the Aid Another action an attack roll is no longer required. Additionally, the bonus is improved to +10. You may select this feat multiple times. Each time after the first improves the bonus by 10.Prerequisites
Base attack bonus +21, Dexterity 21, Wisdom 21, Epic Aid Another, Spring Attack

Benefit
You may Aid Another as a full-round action instead of a standard action to affect each opponent you threaten with your melee weapon. The bonus you select may differ for each valid target.Prerequisites
Base attack bonus +21, Dexterity 19, Intelligence 19, Improved Disarm

Benefit
Once per round you may either attempt to disarm an opponentís weapon with a +10 bonus on your opposed attack roll or attempt to snatch a worn item without having to pin the target first. You may select this feat multiple times, each time you are able to attempt one additional epic disarm each round.Prerequisites
Base attack bonus +21, Strength 23, Improved Sunder

Benefit
Once per round you may attempt a sunder attack that ignores the targetís concealment. Additionally, when attempting to sunder a carried shield or weapon, you get a +10 bonus on your opposed attack roll and when attempting to sunder a worn object an attack roll is not required. You may select this feat multiple times, each time you are able to attempt one additional epic sunder each round.Prerequisites
Base attack bonus +21, Dexterity 19, Intelligence 19, Improved Trip

Benefit
Once per round you may make a trip with its reach improved by 5 feet. If the trip is successful, you take a 5 foot step along the path of your attack toward your target. You may not use this ability if any squares you would move into are occupied and not if you would exceed your movement for the round, but does not count as your 5 foot step for the round. You may take this feat multiple times, each time you are able to make one additional epic trip each round.

nonsi
2013-11-02, 11:48 AM
This solves none of the 3e Fighter's shortcomings.

Using the right feat combo, a mid-level melle can produce ridiculous amounts of damage, like so:
L1: Power Attack, Battle Jump (http://dndtools.eu/feats/unapproachable-east--33/battle-jump--187/)
L3: Improved Bull Rush
L6: Leap Attack (http://dndtools.eu/feats/complete-adventurer--54/leap-attack--1741/)
L9: Shock Trooper (http://dndtools.eu/feats/complete-warrior--61/shock-trooper--2614/)
L12: Spirited Charge (http://dndtools.eu/feats/players-handbook-v35--6/spirited-charge--2733/)
You don't even need to be a Fighter to pull it off, but a fighter can have all the above and more by 8th level. Problem is that nothing interesting happens after that as far as being a fighter goes.



The 3e Fighter suffers from inferior mobility, inferior action economy and lack of options.

Click here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14982442), open the top spoiler and go over the specifications of what a martial character needs.


Feel free to ignore the proposed solution, but at least understand the problem you're attempting to fix.