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Mr. Mask
2014-06-15, 02:35 AM
Some systems make this easy to pull off (usually because it's the only option). Systems like DnD, don't make it easy to do.

Anyone tried this? I always liked the idea of playing a group of knights of the Round Table or what have you, so I thought I'd see if anyone had tried it before or thought about it.

DM Nate
2014-06-15, 02:41 AM
It's easy enough to do in a homebrew campaign. My last two involved the players choosing classes only from Magic of Incarnum, which has no inherent access to restorative magic. I focused a lot on combat and puzzles, with periodic potion drops to compensate.

Akodo Makama
2014-06-15, 03:29 AM
Some systems make this easy to pull off (usually because it's the only option). Systems like DnD, don't make it easy to do.

Anyone tried this? I always liked the idea of playing a group of knights of the Round Table or what have you, so I thought I'd see if anyone had tried it before or thought about it.

Do you mean "Fighters" as in the class, or "Fighters" as in people that hit things with swords and don't use any but the most rudimentary magic?

In D&D 4e, the first is pretty tough to do, due to the Fighter mark feature interfering with each other, and multiple defenders not synergizing really well anyway. But Fighters do have very high damage (for a non-striker), and excellent survivability. So it can work.

In D&D 4e, the second is almost trivial. All martial classes can easily be fluffed to fit into a 'round table' type environment, opening up a host possible character archetypes with minimal effort. They all just 'hit things with weapons until it stops moving', no magic involved. The different classes just reflect different 'fighting philosophies'. Fighters are men-at-arms: protecting their allies and keeping the enemy off balance. Warlords are drill sergeants: experts at getting men to tap hidden reserves of energy and positioning their allies for maximum effect. Rangers believe that the least dangerous enemy is a dead one: damage is their domain. Rogues study weak spots and take every advantage offered. If you want to remove dependency on magic loot, use the inherent bonus option from the DMG2 (basically, grants a +1 "awesome" bonus every 5 levels to to-hit, AC, FORT, REF, WILL). Then they'll be on par with beasties as listed in the MM3.

inexorabletruth
2014-06-15, 09:27 AM
Psh. I've run an all monk campaign in D&D 3.5. My players crushed it!

Some of the fun that is unique to low tier classes are the things they cannot do, so it effects combat strategy (and also when to just run away) and RP significantly. And if the DM bares in mind that certain encounters will not be possible for some groups, then the game will come out fine.

Plus, don't forget, fighters are feat generators. With a lot of feats to play with, you can make each Fighter unique. Running a campaign with strict class or race restrictions can make a game interesting, because it forces the players to think outside the box when building, too. It won't be an optimized game, but where is it written that all PCs have to be highly optimized for a game to be fun?

prufock
2014-06-15, 10:07 AM
Tome of Battle makes this easier. Crusader can be a tanky healer, swordsage can be your sneaky striker, warblade your main damage dealer. You can toss a duskblade or psychic warrior in there for some "arcane" support. You just may have to adjust your encounters a bit.

Pluto!
2014-06-15, 08:28 PM
Pendragon is a sweet game and is 100% about this.

You should try it because it's awesome.

Mr Beer
2014-06-15, 11:00 PM
Yeah, I don't see why it would be a problem if you are writing the adventure. If you are buying a module, you need to read and adjust.

The first thing they should get is a bunch of healing potions obviously.

Mr. Mask
2014-06-15, 11:30 PM
Feels a bit like party of alcoholics. Might have to homebrew in the Estus Flask to make me feel better.



Will have a look at Pendragon.

Yora
2014-06-16, 03:10 AM
The more class abilities characters have in a game system, the more difficult it gets to have a group of similar characters not getting in each others way. Charakters are very much defined by their special abilities and if you want to do something well, you often get to have the right ability for it.
In a game like AD&D (or ACKS, AS&SH, and so on), it's not a big problem. Everyone can do everything that a normal person should be able to, with no special rules required. In a group with all fighters, the players can easily define their characters beyond "I'm good with weapons". Because there are no special rules, you can make up everything. Just have a high Dexterity and wear light armor, and ask the GM that you're the best climber in the group. Maybe not as good as a thief would be, but still able to climb most places where his plate armor friends can't go.

Vinegar Tom
2014-06-16, 05:44 AM
That's actually a very interesting idea, because if the assumption is that everybody's a Fighter because the other classes are very rare, non-existent, or otherwise unavailable - it's highly unlikely that an Arthurian noble would ever get the chance to learn the skills of a Rogue, or indeed want to - then the only way they'll heal is by resting and letting nature take its course. Which means that every major combat is much more risky than it would be in a normal game, so the PCs will have to braver (or more desperate) than usual. Or more cowardly - "Bravely taking to his feet, he beat a very brave retreat, brave, brave, brave Sir Robin..."

In a homebrew Arthurian D&D campaign (something I've thought about doing but never quite gotten around to), Clerics would be very rare, always good, and live as saintly hermits. Of course, they'd all be NPCs. Other spellcasters would be rarer than hen's teeth, and almost certainly not entirely human - in some versions of the myth, Merlin is literally the son of Satan, and was meant to be the Antichrist but took after his mother and turned out good. Incidentally, he's probably a Druid rather than a Wizard. Basically, in order to have access to any magic whatsoever, you'd need to either be in the very good books of a major deity, or one person in a million. Rogues might be permissible as PCs if the knights have squires or servants, but the only spellcasting PC would be the Paladin. And to qualify for that, you'd be talking about a level of dedication which made Miko almost look normal. The only true Paladin in the Arthurian cycle is Sir Galahad, an inhuman monster who refuses to let his mother hug him before he sets out on a perilous voyage from which he'll probably never return because physical contact with any female is sinful, and whose idea of a good way to use a Wish is to ask God to generously permit him to drop dead from happiness in the presence of the Holy Grail and go straight to Heaven. Only very, very good roleplayers players with a sense of humor need apply!

Interestingly, many English folk-tales involve monsters which have killed numerous heroes and seem to be invincible being vanquished by somebody who uses his brain to figure out their weakness, so the key to being a successful knight is to combine bravery with cunning plans. Magic is very, very rare - if you have an enchanted weapon, it's because God Almighty gave it to you to prove that you're destined to be King. Which most PCs presumably aren't. Even a simple healing potion is a gift from a mysterious old man who gave it to you because he knew you were a true knight, not something you can buy in six-packs in every town.

Magic of the non-Divine variety is almost always either evil or disastrous, and frequently both; Arthur's downfall is the direct result of Merlin's prophecy which causes him to do something horrendous for the greater good, without realizing that a) he can't prevent something which is already predestined, and b) what he does to try to cheat fate is so awful that God no longer protects him, thus allowing the calamity he was trying to prevent to happen. Go figure that one out! Personally I think he should have stuck to shooting everyone in Los Angeles called Sarah Connor.

Also, supernatural forces, including the "good" ones, are dangerously capricious in the Arthurian universe. Arthur's primary mission in life - to unify Britain and create an incorruptible police-force of Úlite knights to keep the peace forever - is badly compromised when, at the exact moment when all 120 members of the Round Table have finally been assembled, God orders the whole lot of them to spend the next 5 years looking for the Holy Grail. This is completely stupid for several reasons. Firstly, the Grail is, like anything else belonging to God, not actually lost because by definition it can't possibly be. Secondly, it's a free-willed artifact that won't allow itself to be found by anybody who isn't holy enough, so it's only as lost as it wants to be. Thirdly, only 3 of the 120 knights are sufficiently righteous to get anywhere near the thing, and only one of them (Galahad, obviously) is capable of actually touching it, so 117 of them are totally wasting their time. And fourthly, finding the Grail accomplishes absolutely nothing because Galahad isn't allowed to keep it. And incidentally, while randomly searching the entire world for a useless cup which is actively avoiding almost all of them, half the knights die.

So you might be looking at a world in which magic exists but is usually more trouble than it's worth (there's one version of the story in which Merlin deliberately wrecked everything because he really was the Antichrist), the god you worship may not do precisely what it says on his tin, and one-on-one dragon-slaying is suicidally stupid unless you're luring the creature into range of a few siege-weapons. But there are distinct possibilities there, don't you think? Conan inhabited a very similar universe, and he seemed to come out of most situations a lot less dead than everybody else.

Mr. Mask
2014-06-16, 06:23 AM
Yora: Yeah, you could still have specialization in what skills the characters are trained in and how they equip themselves (bows, spears, swords, etc.).



And if this thread had a prize, it would go to Vinegar Tom. That was an awesome summary. That's more interesting to me than standard DnD.

Brother Oni
2014-06-16, 06:58 AM
An all bushi party in Legend of the 5 Rings also fulfils the criteria (no Dragon clan allowed) and in keeping with the philosophy of 'Pen and sword in accord', they would have to alternate between courtly intrigue and straight up face smashing.

Odd school D&D made all Fighter parties possible, simply because they had the HP to use the non-optimal solutions (face checking into the unknown, using the Tom and Jerry school of trap disarmament, etc) whereas something squisher like a Wizard was fine until the first hostile surprise round.

Angelalex242
2014-06-16, 08:26 AM
About Arthurian:

There were actually 3 Paladins, by the one 1e Deities and Demigods book.

Arthur himself made the cut. He also has 5 bard levels for some reason.
For some reason, they made Excalibur a sword of sharpness instead of the Holy Avenger it really should be. I'd settle for a Sword of Sharpness/Holy Avenger gish, though. They did remember the sheath negated all bleeding, so slashing/piercing did half damage. For some reason, they didn't think blunt weapons caused bleeding.
Galahad obviously made the cut (But he was Exalted too) Strangely, the two knights who made it to the Grail with him did NOT make the cut. Percival and Bors are not listed as Paladins.
Lancelot made the cut till he committed adultery with Guinevere, then fell for doing so.

Yora
2014-06-16, 08:26 AM
Yora: Yeah, you could still have specialization in what skills the characters are trained in and how they equip themselves (bows, spears, swords, etc.).
Fighters are one case, in which it would even work with 3rd Edition and Pathfinder. Fighters are not stepping on each others toes, they can hack at their enemies together as a team.
With a group of rogues, bards, or rangers, it would be much more problematic, as there's always only a single person who can open a lock, take out a sentry, charm an officer, and so on. With fighters, you only have to make sure to use enemies which have different strength and weaknesses, so no single weapon or feat is consistently the most effective one.

Raimun
2014-06-16, 08:38 AM
So you might be looking at a world in which magic exists but is usually more trouble than it's worth (there's one version of the story in which Merlin deliberately wrecked everything because he really was the Antichrist), the god you worship may not do precisely what it says on his tin, and one-on-one dragon-slaying is suicidally stupid unless you're luring the creature into range of a few siege-weapons. But there are distinct possibilities there, don't you think? Conan inhabited a very similar universe, and he seemed to come out of most situations a lot less dead than everybody else.

So... what you're saying is that if you ever play in an Arthurian setting, play a Barbarian? Sounds like a solid plan. Sigmar was also a Barbarian.

As for the original topic, an all-warrior game campaign would be really cool. A band of warriors who all hear the call of battle but each one would have their own speciality and personality. Many great stories have been told with this as a central theme but it's rather unusual in RPGs.

I know that the people I play with wouldn't all be interested in this kind of thing. Some of them like to mainly play mages or (cowardly) rogue-types or scientists. Some even actively prefer to play pasifistic characters, apparently because absence of violence and inability in combat = instant roleplaying. :smallconfused: :smallamused:

Grod_The_Giant
2014-06-16, 09:35 AM
The more class abilities characters have in a game system, the more difficult it gets to have a group of similar characters not getting in each others way.
I would argue the opposite, actually. At least as long as there are choices to those class abilities. If everyone has the same chassis, then, well, everyone is the same. You can roleplay differently, but when the dice hit the table, there's no meaningful difference between you-- and the dice will have to hit the table sooner or later. It's like comparing a pair of (melee) fighters to a pair of warblades-- the warblades can be much more distinct.

So, Mr. Mask... I'd say that you should look for a system that's built around this idea. Riddle of Steel or Burning Wheel or something along those lines. Not D&D.

TheCountAlucard
2014-06-16, 11:04 AM
Once the new edition of Exalted comes out, I'd suggest hitting it up. A group of all-Dawn Castes would be outright scary.

Though even a group of heroic mortal warriors or soldiers can have a fun time, from what I hear.

Khedrac
2014-06-16, 01:29 PM
Pendragon is a sweet game and is 100% about this.

You should try it because it's awesome.
This. I never actually managed to play Pendragon but I heard really good things about it.

In some requests this is what Runequest did, except that everyone usually has some magic too.

Moving away from Fantasy, this becomes more common in military settings - some Traveller campaigns, The Morrow Project etc., though the question of what you count as a fighter emerges, for example what would a SuperHero team need to limit their powers to to comply?

Slipperychicken
2014-06-16, 06:17 PM
You could just make CLW potions cost like 5gp a pop, cure moderate cost like 25gp, and so on. And probably have temples provide free healing to nonevil characters willing to hear a sermon. And not overuse challenges which need magic, because that's just mean.

J-H
2014-06-16, 10:44 PM
An all-fighter-type party is actually the easiest way to play Baldur's Gate 2 (D&D 2.5ish). I'm lumping Rangers & Paladins in there with fighters, since they get very few spells.

Of course, the +5 Holy Avenger that gives 50% magic resistance and has a dispel-on-hit effect certainly makes spellcasters easier to kill, as does the True Seeing power that the Paladin who normally carries it has.

The final boss in TOB kept going down in one round of combat from 6 Greater Whirlwinds at once (yes, that's 60 attacks in one round, most of which probably hit - too fast to follow).

elliott20
2014-06-25, 02:25 PM
depends on several things:

1. is the game more player competitive where players have conflicting interests / goals or where players have a common goal working towards something? (competition vs. cooperation)

2. are we talking about a fighter CLASS or the fighter character archetype?

If you answer to #1 is competitive, then having everyone have same-y character abilities and occupy similar narrative space is not a big deal, as this drives conflict and forces them to duke stuff out, and everything else is mute.

However, if it's a co-op game, then the most critical element of making that work is to make sure every player has a niche of some kind. And I don't mean like, "this guy is REALLY good at swimming/in water/etc". That kind of stuff is fine, but I'm more speaking about a narrative role that they play in the party dynamic. are they the conscience of the group? are they the face? are they the token bad teammate? etc. Being able to occupy that unique space for yourself is critically important to make sure every player has stuff to do.

So that brings us to question #2

if you're talking about fighter the CLASS, well, that depends on the system it comes from. D&D 2E fighters are HARD to do this with because mechanically they are not all that different from one another, and so while the players might all occupy a unique party persona, so to speak, the system mechanically will not support that as well. If you use ToB or something, then mechanically you will have no problems.

However if you're talking about character archetype, then it depends on the kind of game you want to play, as different kinds of genre will have different levels of support for the warrior archetype. i.e. I ran a medieval crusader game using the Simple World system (which is highly narrative based), with all of the players being knights in one way or another. Because the Simple World Process actually forces you to come up with things that are uniquely for your character, this is never a problem there. However, there is never going to be room for more than ONE "the captain" type character unless we're playing a game about mutiny.

Broken Crown
2014-06-25, 10:33 PM
I ran a mostly-fighters 2e AD&D campaign in university. (It wasn't deliberate; most of the players just chose to play fighters.) It worked out pretty well, all things considered. Healing was a bit of a problem, since no one in the party had any healing magic, and AD&D natural healing is slow. A lot of in-game time passed while the heroes recovered from their latest perilous adventure, and there were several occasions where they decided to press on even when half the party was at negative hit points and everyone else was running low, simply because there was no time to recover. All in all, there was a general sense of peril that you don't get in more magic-heavy games, because there were no "instant win" buttons.

I must second Yora's comment about redundancy of roles: You only need one diplomat, one locksmith, one scout, and so on, but I've never seen anyone complain about having too many fighters. Because of the increased tactical options, they generally become more effective the more of them you have.

Libertad
2014-06-26, 11:30 PM
"Fighters" as in martial classes in general? Absolutely.

One of my earliest 3rd Edition games had 3 out of 4 players rolling up Barbarian characters because the class was straightforward and simple. The 4th one was a Cleric who healed and wore heavy armor while bashing people with a mace.

Now, "Fighters" as in the class? Never did that.

Jay R
2014-06-27, 11:39 AM
I was in a 2E game a few years ago in which we came to the first session with a Fighter, a Ranger, a Paladin, and my Thief. When I saw that I quickly changed my Thief to an Elvish Wizard Thief.

At the first few levels, that's still almost no magic. He was primarily a Thief who had one Sleep spell available. We learned pretty quickly to send in my Thief to sneak around, and make plans in advance.

When I reached 3rd level wizard, suddenly my Thief could be invisible, and was much more effective at hiding and sneaking.

And of course, the abilities of the party changed completely when I reached fifth level, and had Fireballs and Lightning Bolts. (And by then, my wife was playing a second Wizard.)

We did OK, and eventually got up to 10th level or so before the DM moved away.

FidgetySquirrel
2014-06-28, 11:16 AM
In 3.5 and PF, I've had a few parties like this. There was a party of a human fighter, human TWF ranger, and orc barb that worked really well. Then we had a party of a fighter/rogue, rogue/assassin, and ninja (all human). It was surprisingly effective, unless we fought an ooze or something. There was another party of fighter/rogue, rogue/assassin, and straight rogue (again, all human). We curbstomped a couple of EL 5s at APL 3. It was awesome.

Like a lot of people have already said, in mundane same-class groups, as long as the players aren't stepping on each others toes too much, it's not a big deal. However, the DM has to be more careful planning encounters. An all-fighter party at level 3 will probably obliterate an ogre, and could probably even beat two ogres pretty easily, but won't stand a chance against an allip. Without the party balance that the sourcebooks are assuming, encounter logic changes greatly. As long as that's kept in mind, there's no reason for any party to fail outright, excepting bad luck and bad playing.

Rolero
2014-07-01, 07:51 AM
Not exactly all fighters, but once I played a campaign were everyone ended up with some kind of fighter. One rolled a two-weapon one, another a monk, I played one focused on spears and maneouvers, and the last one played a war mage, witch was essentially a ranged fighter.

It was a full dps party and was so much fun. Our usual tactic was to try to ambush the enemy or charge our way in, hit as hard as we could for two rounds and if the opposition was still alive or stronger than anticipated, scramble. Without buffs and healing, we had to abuse hit and run, but since it was a low level campaign, worked pretty well :)

neonchameleon
2014-07-01, 12:24 PM
Some systems make this easy to pull off (usually because it's the only option). Systems like DnD, don't make it easy to do.

Anyone tried this? I always liked the idea of playing a group of knights of the Round Table or what have you, so I thought I'd see if anyone had tried it before or thought about it.

All martial in 4e? It was a blast. Fast, hard, and brutal. And worked well. In other versions of D&D? You need a cleric or replacement or the pacing gets massively changed.

Frozen_Feet
2014-07-02, 08:08 AM
I've done party of fighters in many D&D retroclones and other games, and it's generally easy (plus a hoot) if you know anything of how armies work in real life.

First of all, you have a ready-made, realistic excuse for a bunch of misfits to know each other. They're soldiers. Soldiers are kinda known for travelling in big groups. Due to various drafting and conscription systems that exists and have existed, it's also a common occurrence to get people with wildy varied backgrounds and abilities together. Anytime you find yourself wondering what the country mouse and city mouse are doing together in the middle of wasteland, the answer is "their government told them to bend over and take it. Duh."

Second of all, you have an excuse for everyone being good at combat and knowing at least some strategy and tactics. This allows them to work efficiently as a team, as noted by Yora.

And third, perhaps rather ironically, when everyone has about the same abilities, the personality of the characters comes to the fore much better. Instead of being the guy who picks locks or the guy who throws fireballs, you are the silent homesick guy, or the macho gay guy, or the psychotic knife-nut.