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View Full Version : D&D 3.x Class Thought Experiment [Fighter Fix Related]



AuraTwilight
2014-03-13, 12:30 AM
Now, the Fighter's terrible. We all know this. But just an idea that came out of an argument with Jakinbandw on Skype.

Let's say the Fighter is otherwise mostly untouched. Class features and lack thereof are the same, more skills and skill points, but the chassis is otherwise untouched.

Now give them Maneuvers and stances. Which they can select from any discipline, ever, having to choose a few of them at character creation, or something.

How does this shake things up?

toapat
2014-03-13, 12:36 AM
assuming the progression is balanced correctly, you end up with something that zigzags a par line across the Warblade.

it doesnt fix the issues of the fighter being incompetent outside of combat though.

Just to Browse
2014-03-13, 01:09 AM
It's a warblade, but with a higher op ceiling and lower op floor. You're probably better off just allowing Warblades and letting switch disciplines at chargen.

SacrificerPS3
2014-03-13, 12:19 PM
I don't know much about the history of the fighter, but I do think the concept sounds cool. I've heard good and bad things about the Warblade. What exactly do you mean by stances? Like fighting styles and forms they can switch between that give them passive boons?

toapat
2014-03-13, 12:26 PM
I don't know much about the history of the fighter, but I do think the concept sounds cool. I've heard good and bad things about the Warblade. What exactly do you mean by stances? Like fighting styles and forms they can switch between that give them passive boons?

there are 4 types of Initiation spells: Strikes, Stances, and 2 others i cant remember and am not going to look up

Stances follow their own level progression from the other 3 types of initiations,

Adam1949
2014-03-13, 12:29 PM
there are 4 types of Initiation spells: Strikes, Stances, and 2 others i cant remember and am not going to look up

Stances follow their own level progression from the other 3 types of initiations,

Boosts and Counters, I believe.

Seerow
2014-03-13, 12:31 PM
One thought I've been toying with recently: Dungeoncrasher is generally seen as pretty good because it turns a niche tactic (bullrushing) into a tactic you can and want to use every round.

Are there ways to move that same philosophy to other combat maneuvers? Like can we make a character charging around the battlefield back and forth like a pinball, overrunning everyone a valid tactic? Or one using grapple every round (ideally without dragging the game to a halt?). Or any of the other basic combat maneuvers?

Because that seems like it'd be a better place to start than most "Let's make better Fighter feats!" fixes I've seen.

Adam1949
2014-03-13, 12:55 PM
One thought I've been toying with recently: Dungeoncrasher is generally seen as pretty good because it turns a niche tactic (bullrushing) into a tactic you can and want to use every round.

Are there ways to move that same philosophy to other combat maneuvers?

4th edition is actually really good in making the fighter play like that, since pretty much every conceivable style works in tandem to do what anyone would need. One in particular, the Brawler style, works by taking the two things that are really bad ideas for Fighters in 3.5 (using a single weapon in one hand, and grappling with the empty other hand) and turns it into an extremely efficient way at locking down and defeating single opponents, while still being useful at defending your allies (since you only need to grapple with one hand, and can swing your blade around with the other). Perhaps an ACF that works like that to make it viable? Perhaps "Pit Fighter" or "Gladiator". Hmmm, I think I know what to try doing now...

toapat
2014-03-13, 03:36 PM
One thought I've been toying with recently: Dungeoncrasher is generally seen as pretty good because it turns a niche tactic (bullrushing) into a tactic you can and want to use every round.

Are there ways to move that same philosophy to other combat maneuvers? Like can we make a character charging around the battlefield back and forth like a pinball, overrunning everyone a valid tactic? Or one using grapple every round (ideally without dragging the game to a halt?). Or any of the other basic combat maneuvers?

Because that seems like it'd be a better place to start than most "Let's make better Fighter feats!" fixes I've seen.

Assuming the Abilities were worked out:

Disarm: could be converted into the typical joke about subduing monks, litterally cutting off the target's limbs. Same deal with Sunder

Charge: This is actually rather easy. Awesome blow already provides the ability to launch foes, being able to combine the Awesome Blow action with Charge, and have it reliably throw enemies 15' at least is the objective

Feint: not sure

Grapple: Needs new rules

Mounted Combat: cant be improved for fighter without screwing over paladin

Overrun: Needs a way to convert into a bull rush on failed knock down check. The overrun mechanic needs a dodge roll for opposition otherwise it absolutely requires Improved Overrun to use

Trip: isnt this already effective? Also needs the ability to trip the un-trippable.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-03-13, 03:53 PM
there are 4 types of Initiation spells: Strikes, Stances, and 2 others i cant remember and am not going to look up

Stances follow their own level progression from the other 3 types of initiations,

Yes because maneuvers are spells. I wasn't aware of this fact... Damn that just blows my mind...

The Fighter, and other mundane classes need to be on the same playing field as the casters.

Unless people stop forcing Non-Casters to play LotR while casters get to play Scion... Nothing you do will really fix the problem.

ToB/4e helps put Non-Casters close to the same playing grounds. Instead of being punished at every twist and turn... ToB and 4e gives options and versatility to the Non-Casters.

Which you don't even need to go that far. Fix the system they are already in. Stop with the AoO for performing a combat maneuver like bullrush or disarm. Stop with limiting skills to what seems realistic in real life, this is a fantasy game not a simulation game... Or as another poster suggested, all the mages would be Rogues with maxed out slieght of hand and bluff.

Jormengand
2014-03-13, 04:00 PM
Yes because maneuvers are spells. I wasn't aware of this fact... Damn that just blows my mind...

And now you are.

Seriously, things which want to fix mundanes need to be more imaginative than "I cast spells with my sword!"

Pyromancer999
2014-03-13, 04:50 PM
And now you are.

Seriously, things which want to fix mundanes need to be more imaginative than "I cast spells with my sword!"

Tome of Battle isn't spells(although Shadow Hand, Desert Wind, and Devoted Spirit are undeniably magical). Because it has slots and a selection of techniques to choose from, though, coupled with the fact that there are a couple magical disciplines, some people think they are spells or Weaboos. It's a system of its own, though, and non-magical disciplines are not magic or spells.

Back on the original topic, though, the change mentioned in the original post just makes them a Warblade with a frack ton of Fighter feats, which may or may not be a good thing. If you want to incorporate ToB into the Fighter, I recommend the common implementation for that! which is just to let them take the Martial Study feat as many times as they like with an initiator level equal to their fighter level.

AuraTwilight
2014-03-13, 04:52 PM
Maneuvers aren't spells though; they really only have superficial similarities in their framing device.

Which is kind of unavoidable if you want mundanes to have quadratic, scaling, customizable, and versatile abilities of some sort.

Jormengand
2014-03-13, 04:56 PM
Maneuvers aren't spells though; they really only have superficial similarities in their framing device.

Which is kind of unavoidable if you want mundanes to have quadratic, scaling, customizable, and versatile abilities of some sort.

They're spells, called maneuvers, that you cast by hitting things with a stick. Same way powers are spells called powers that you cast with points, and utterances are spells called utterances that you cast by talking to the universe and telling it that it should heal that fighter over there. They may be different in some ways, but they're basically the same thing. For a fighter fix to feel as though it's doing anything other than casting spells, it needs to do something that's actually different.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-03-13, 05:39 PM
They're spells, called maneuvers, that you cast by hitting things with a stick. Same way powers are spells called powers that you cast with points, and utterances are spells called utterances that you cast by talking to the universe and telling it that it should heal that fighter over there. They may be different in some ways, but they're basically the same thing. For a fighter fix to feel as though it's doing anything other than casting spells, it needs to do something that's actually different.

So I read a PDF on my computer that has a title, appendix, pages, and hell even a cover... Does that make the PDF a book?

No. They have similar processes... They use the same logic to display information to the reader but a PDF is not a book.

So please tell how maneuvers are spells. Hell I guess power attack is a spell "inflict light wounds", "inflict moderate wounds", and "inflict serious wounds"! They both inflict hit point damage after all!

Grod_The_Giant
2014-03-13, 06:45 PM
Better yet, let's not rehash that tired old argument about a subject which we have all already made up our minds on. Please? For once?

Anyway, OP, what you're describing is a Warblade, with a few more feats and maneuver options, and a few less (mediocre) class features and skill points. In any case, a few fighter ACFs like Dungeoncrasher and Zhentrim Fighter and... uh... probably nothing else aside, I see no reason not to just use the three ToB classes as presented.

toapat
2014-03-13, 07:05 PM
Better yet, let's not rehash that tired old argument about a subject which we have all already made up our minds on. Please? For once?

i wasnt looking at it from the perspective of "it walks, talks, looks, smells and is basically an exact split between Vancian and Psionics" and moreso as this:

A Spell is any interaction in game that is a subsection of the primary mechanic, but that is itself largely unrelated to the governing mechanic.

IE: The full round Attack action, vs White raven tactics. The Full Round Attack Action defines when it is used, what it does, and how it can be used. White Raven Tactics defines when it can be used and what it does, But not how it can be used. That is defined in the second explaining the Initiation mechanics.

TuggyNE
2014-03-13, 07:07 PM
A Spell is any interaction in game that is a subsection of the primary mechanic, but that is itself largely unrelated to the governing mechanic.

So, feats? :smallconfused:

toapat
2014-03-13, 07:23 PM
So, feats? :smallconfused:

The tactical feats, yes.

I forgot to say that a Spell must have a direct interaction within the game.

Acrobatics gives +2 to Jump and tumble checks.

White Raven Tactics WRT's a target other then the caster to the initiative position -1 of the caster. It does not need another rule (beyond the attack roll and Initiative system, both of which are Absolutes) to do this.

Grod_The_Giant
2014-03-13, 10:13 PM
A Spell is any interaction in game that is a subsection of the primary mechanic, but that is itself largely unrelated to the governing mechanic.
You, ah... should maybe avoid assigning your own definition to a word that already has a different, more popular meaning. To most people, "spell" means something very specific-- trying to use it to mean something else is just confusing.

AuraTwilight
2014-03-14, 01:19 AM
Thanks everyone; Pretty much what everyone said is what I was trying to tell my friend, and you all put it better than I did. Thanks.

toapat
2014-03-14, 01:35 AM
You, ah... should maybe avoid assigning your own definition to a word that already has a different, more popular meaning. To most people, "spell" means something very specific-- trying to use it to mean something else is just confusing.

its the same problem as the word level, but personally i use spell as referencing basically everything activatable that isnt the basic maneuvers and smite

Seerow
2014-03-14, 01:45 AM
its the same problem as the word level, but personally i use spell as referencing basically everything activatable that isnt the basic maneuvers and smite

Okay I'll bite.


What is it that separates Smite from that definition?


And I'm assuming rage is a spell?

toapat
2014-03-14, 01:51 AM
Okay I'll bite.


What is it that separates Smite from that definition?


And I'm assuming rage is a spell?

Smite is derivative of the base rules only

Rage im not actually sure if it technically is, i think most "non martial adept stances" are not spells

TuggyNE
2014-03-14, 03:59 AM
The tactical feats, yes.

I forgot to say that a Spell must have a direct interaction within the game.

Acrobatics gives +2 to Jump and tumble checks.

White Raven Tactics WRT's a target other then the caster to the initiative position -1 of the caster. It does not need another rule (beyond the attack roll and Initiative system, both of which are Absolutes) to do this.

I feel like you have some definition that makes sense to you, but this is still far too inchoate to actually be useful for discussion, since it paints all kinds of things as spells that definitely shouldn't be.

For example, Feinting in combat is largely unrelated to out-of-combat bluffing and has a direct effect defined almost entirely by its subsection. Is that a spell? It doesn't have limited uses per day, of course, but then neither do maneuvers.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-03-14, 06:36 AM
Smite is derivative of the base rules only

Rage im not actually sure if it technically is, i think most "non martial adept stances" are not spells

Wait wait wait... So the (Su) ability to Smite Evil with divine energies isn't a spell but a guy getting really mad to pump himself up with adrenaline (Rage, Ex) might be a spell?

What kind of garbage is that?

I guess it boils down to "a wizard did it" is ok but Non-Casters can't be "just that good".

Ok... So if martial strikes are spells and martial stances aren't... How can you with your own logic justify that to yourself? It is like you randomly determine what is spells and what aren't by the roll of a d20.

Grod_The_Giant
2014-03-14, 07:30 AM
its the same problem as the word level, but personally i use spell as referencing basically everything activatable that isnt the basic maneuvers and smite
It's really not. "Level" has multiple meanings, but everyone knows and agrees on what they are. What you're doing is more like if I used the word "level" to refer to, I dunno, the feats I chose for a given build. I'm sure it makes sense in your head, but no-one else knows what you're talking about.

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-03-14, 10:45 AM
It's really not. "Level" has multiple meanings, but everyone knows and agrees on what they are. What you're doing is more like if I used the word "level" to refer to, I dunno, the feats I chose for a given build. I'm sure it makes sense in your head, but no-one else knows what you're talking about.

Obvious level means how tall a PC is, and only PCs that are 5'4" - 5'7" can be casters. Except those that are exactly 5'6 ", they have to be *LG* half-elf paladins of Orcus.

Edited for clarity

toapat
2014-03-14, 12:28 PM
Quick, Not wholly Accurate but general sumary of what i mean:

A spell Is:

Something that defines its effects and requirements for use in combat on its own

That is defined in power, preparation, and requirements by a subsystem that is not the Class system or the Skill system.

That is Active

Grod_The_Giant
2014-03-14, 12:50 PM
Quick, Not wholly Accurate but general sumary of what i mean:

A spell Is:

Something that defines its effects and requirements for use in combat on its own

That is defined in power, preparation, and requirements by a subsystem that is not the Class system or the Skill system.

That is Active
We understand what you mean. The issue is that your definition is different from everyone else's, which results in miscommunications. If you want to be understood, you should include a footnote or something in your signature.

Just to Browse
2014-03-14, 12:51 PM
I'm with toapat on the broad definition of "spells". There should be another term for it ("maneuvers", "abilities", "powers" are all taken), but at it's core all of utterances, maneuvers, spells, powers, spellshapes, invocations, follow a very similar pattern and that pattern needs to be labeled as something because they're so ubiquitous in design.

[Off-topic] In games like League of Legends, there are spells like with effects like "shoot arrows fast", "throw a bomb", and "jump". Those are called spells, despite having nothing magical about them, and they're a sign of changing norms. I believe that the term "spell" will mean something entirely different 10 years from now, and we might as well embrace it. [/Off-topic]

SpawnOfMorbo
2014-03-14, 01:14 PM
Quick, Not wholly Accurate but general sumary of what i mean:

A spell Is:

Something that defines its effects and requirements for use in combat on its own

That is defined in power, preparation, and requirements by a subsystem that is not the Class system or the Skill system.

That is Active

Spells are already defined in D&D. Your definition is so broad that sure it encompasses spells but it also encompasses so many other things.

It is like you are calling books information and then calling newspapers books, movies are books, and talking is a book... Because they all contain information.

If I said "I listened to someone talk to me yesterday day about D&D" would you think that they gave me a book to read? No, you would think they talked to me.