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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Partial Fighter / Champion Fix [PEACH]



AngryJesusMan
2017-05-24, 09:02 AM
Based on this post...




Inside combat, Fighters have few unique round-to-round options. They don't have the tools for area control, dealing buffs or nerfs, defending allies, attacking saves (instead of AC) or really anything but DPS. Possibly contributing to this, the Fighter's tools are all very samey, because there are few mechanical differences between weapons and armours. Fighting Style tries to differentiate, but mostly it makes weapons better at what they're already doing instead of lending new capacities to them.
Outside combat, Fighters have essentially no unique options at all. They can use skills and roleplay to get things done, but so can anyone of any class.

The Battle Master at least has Maneouvres to lend options in combat, but these are limited per rest, and many are just improved versions of options everyone has (disarming, tripping, shoving, improved accuracy, improved damage, improved defense).

And the Eldritch Knight solves the Fighter problem by essentially multiclassing Wizard, and not by creating more martial options.

EDIT: To make this criticism more constructive:

I think Fighters need a martial equivalent to cantrips, or features akin to Eldritch Invocations, in order to be more flexible in combat. These would be useable at will and balanced accordingly, offering alternatives to normal actions and movements rather than upgrades. They might be specialized based on the equipment the Fighter uses (melee vs ranged, light armour vs heavy, shield vs two-handed weapon vs two-weapon, etc), or they might be agnostic to that sort of thing (charging, flanking, parrying, riposting, etc).


... I thought "I can probably work some of this out." So I worked this up as a result. It uses the one resource that is available to fighters that is not available to anyone else in the same quantity - extra attacks - as a currency to achieve what GalacticAxekick was suggesting. Give it a look and let me know what you think. I just need to know where you think it could be used in the Fighter and/or Champion progression. I lean toward giving it to the Champion because all of the other Fighter Martial Archetypes have their own expendable currency, or at least some mechanic around which the subclass is built and flavored. The Champion is the only one that strikes me as having a glaring same-ness for everything it does. I would hope that this might make the subclass a bit more versatile, but I don't want to give it too much power, so I just need some ideas on how to use this. Thanks.


Gambit

Focusing on your prowess in combat, you have learned that not every encounter can be tackled with a straightforward approach. Your experience allows you to sacrifice raw power in an effort to change your tactics. Itís not what youíre good at, but this makes you more fluid and less predictable, which can often translate into making you a more deadly combatant despite the sacrifice.

When you use the Attack action, you can give up one attack and use a bonus action to gain one of the following benefits.

You take a Disengage action.
You take a Dash action.
You do not suffer disadvantage on attacks until the beginning of your next turn.
With one of your remaining attacks, you can make a fast or overwhelming attack that forces a target to save against a DC. When you use this, the attack obeys all normal stipulations, but instead of rolling an attack roll the target makes a Dexterity save. The save DC equals 8 plus your proficiency modifier plus your Strength or Dexterity modifier (your choice). On a success, you miss. On a failure, you hit and deal damage as normal.
With one of your remaining attacks, you can make an attack that attempts to trick the target into making a mistake and forces it to save against a DC. When you use this, the attack obeys all normal stipulations, but instead of rolling an attack roll the target makes a Charisma save. The save DC equals 8 plus your proficiency modifier plus your Charisma modifier. On a success, you miss. On a failure, you hit and deal damage as normal.
With one of your remaining attacks, you can make a calculated attack that forces a target to save against a DC. When you use this, the attack obeys all normal stipulations, but instead of rolling an attack roll the target makes an Intelligence save. The save DC equals 8 plus your proficiency modifier plus your Intelligence modifier. On a success, you miss. On a failure, you hit and deal damage as normal.

GalacticAxekick
2017-05-24, 11:52 AM
Yo, I'm thrilled someone saw my post and decided to take a shot at the issues! And I think this is a good start! Just a few comments:


You take a Disengage action.
You take a Dash action.
Dashing and Disengaging as a bonus action steps on the Rogue's toes a bit. Those are totally reasonable features for a Fighter to have, but they make multiclassing a bit less worthwhile and can make a classes a bit more samey as long as the Rogue has the same thing, which is always something I want to avoid.

Instead, I might offer climbing/swimming speeds, improved jumps, or treat the Fighter's speed a resource that can be spent!

Maybe the Fighter can Tumble (read: crawling speed equal to base speed, ability to crawl through occupied spaces, disadvantage opportunity attacks while crawling) as an alternative to walking, effectively disengaging and moving through melee, but covering less ground if they want to stand up at the end of their movement.

Maybe the Fighter can Charge, more-or-less as the feat allows, or perhaps using rules more akin to the Charge/Trampling Charge features of some creatures.

Or maybe the Fighter can Brace, gaining bonuses to opportunity attacks (like making opportunity attacks against approaching foes and stopping foes on hit) if they have not moved since the start of their last turn (basically spending all their speed for these bonuses).


You do not suffer disadvantage on attacks until the beginning of your next turn.
Sacrificing one attack to make the rest without disadvantage is actually too weak when you have 2 attacks, because the small increase accuracy isn't worth massive damage you might miss out on (unless your foe has more than 22 AC, says my math). With 3 attacks, the cutoff is at 19 AC, and with 4 attacks, the cuttoff is at 17. Basically, this tool scales very oddly.


With one of your remaining attacks, you can make a fast or overwhelming attack that forces a target to save against a DC. When you use this, the attack obeys all normal stipulations, but instead of rolling an attack roll the target makes a Dexterity save. The save DC equals 8 plus your proficiency modifier plus your Strength or Dexterity modifier (your choice). On a success, you miss. On a failure, you hit and deal damage as normal.
Rolling 1d20 against 10 AC, my attacks will hit 55% of the time. Demanding a 1d20 save against DC 8, though, my attack will only hit 35% of the time. Saves are fundamentally weaker than attack, both because save DCs start low (8) and because the foe has the opportunity to roll the DC or more, putting leeway in the defender's favour, while attacks let you roll the AC or more, putting leeway in the attacker's favour. Basically, demanding a save is mathematically equivalent to attacking with a -4 penalty.

Why does this matter? Well sacrificing an attack to make one of your remaining attacks at a -4 penalty sorta sucks! And against anyone who uses Dexterity for AC (almost everyone) demanding a Dex save is doing just that! It's even worse when the target has proficiency in Dexterity saves (which you can think of as an even greater penalty to your "attack").

That's not to say this feature is useless: it's a decent tool to ignore Strength-based AC (heavy armour!), magical AC (mage armour!) and the Unarmoured Defense or Natural Armour of creatures who either lack Dex (Dragons) or lack Dex save proficiency (Barbarians). But because demanding Dex saves already has a balance of strengths and weaknesses, why should it have the added penalty of requiring a sacrificed attack? Replacing any attack roll with a Dex save should be a free option, so that Fighters are rewarded for their good judgement.


With one of your remaining attacks, you can make an attack that attempts to trick the target into making a mistake and forces it to save against a DC. When you use this, the attack obeys all normal stipulations, but instead of rolling an attack roll the target makes a Charisma save. The save DC equals 8 plus your proficiency modifier plus your Charisma modifier. On a success, you miss. On a failure, you hit and deal damage as normal.
With one of your remaining attacks, you can make a calculated attack that forces a target to save against a DC. When you use this, the attack obeys all normal stipulations, but instead of rolling an attack roll the target makes an Intelligence save. The save DC equals 8 plus your proficiency modifier plus your Intelligence modifier. On a success, you miss. On a failure, you hit and deal damage as normal.

These don't have the same problem as the Dex save option, since Intelligence and Charisma are never used (in my knowledge) to determine AC. In fact, letting the Fighter replace any attack roll with an Int, Wis or Cha save would let them totally ignore the defenses of almost any creature. Also, I like that this encourages Fighters to take mental stats! We need more Intelligent, Wise and Charismatic Fighters! So good job here!

But sacrificing one of several attacks to make one of your remaining attacks demand a save feels a little clunky to me. Why not all of the remaining attacks, or any number of the remaining attacks? In fact, why not let players mix and match, making one a Cha save and the next an Int save (attacking two different targets, almost certainly). Flexibility is fun!

One way I might streamline this is, instead of sacrificing one attack to make another attack rely on a save, I'd sacrifice your ability modifier to damage to make the current attack demand a save. An attack for 1d12+5 becomes a Cha save for 1d12 damage, flat. This not only resembles spells very closely, but also scales like a cantrip, adding one die at 5th, 11th and 17th level (in the form of extra attacks)!

You might also tack on status effects based on the save (Cha? Fear or Charm! Str? Shoved, disarmed or knocked prone!) in true spell-like tradition.

AngryJesusMan
2017-05-24, 02:15 PM
Thanks for the feedback. Let me see if I can address any of this.



Dashing and Disengaging as a bonus action steps on the Rogue's toes a bit. Those are totally reasonable features for a Fighter to have, but they make multiclassing a bit less worthwhile and can make a classes a bit more samey as long as the Rogue has the same thing, which is always something I want to avoid.


I had that thought about these options when I put them on there, but when I think of modifying classes I try to think of it in terms of tools that I would like to have in their toolbox. Dash and Disengage seem like mobility options that any Fighter should have, though not nearly as easily as more those classes that are meant to be more mobile. While multiclassing is a valid option, it strikes me as something that players shouldn't have to use to get something that they need to make a class whole. As for stepping on toes or making multiclassing less attractive, I point to the Monk's Ki options to do the same thing; they may overlap, but in a single-classed character it's something that is both needed and fitting. The extra opportunity cost - the attack - make the multiclassing overlap slightly less substantial since you would still be gaining something by having access to Cunning Action. In that way, it almost perfectly matches a monk spending a Ki point and a bonus action. Overall, I don't think this is too big a stumbling block.



Instead, I might offer climbing/swimming speeds, improved jumps, or treat the Fighter's speed a resource that can be spent!

Maybe the Fighter can Tumble (read: crawling speed equal to base speed, ability to crawl through occupied spaces, disadvantage opportunity attacks while crawling) as an alternative to walking, effectively disengaging and moving through melee, but covering less ground if they want to stand up at the end of their movement.

Maybe the Fighter can Charge, more-or-less as the feat allows, or perhaps using rules more akin to the Charge/Trampling Charge features of some creatures.

Or maybe the Fighter can Brace, gaining bonuses to opportunity attacks (like making opportunity attacks against approaching foes and stopping foes on hit) if they have not moved since the start of their last turn (basically spending all their speed for these bonuses).


These all feel like decent options. I don't know that Speed as a resource would do much, especially with climbing, since that's kind of the default (movement costs double). Climbing and jumping, charging, and bracing are all good, but I've been trying to avoid overlap with Feats (Athlete, Charger, and Spear Mastery from Unearthed Arcana: Feats respectively). Though I have to admit that sometimes they cut into options and contain something that's too perfect to pass up. I'll have to think about this and determine if I want to ignore my initial thoughts about avoiding Feats.



Sacrificing one attack to make the rest without disadvantage is actually too weak when you have 2 attacks, because the small increase accuracy isn't worth massive damage you might miss out on (unless your foe has more than 22 AC, says my math). With 3 attacks, the cutoff is at 19 AC, and with 4 attacks, the cuttoff is at 17. Basically, this tool scales very oddly.


I didn't do the math, but I knew that this becomes a more attractive option with more attacks. I'll have to decide whether it's worth leaving in. Though it sounds a little niche, it might still be worth having in extreme circumstances.



Rolling 1d20 against 10 AC, my attacks will hit 55% of the time. Demanding a 1d20 save against DC 8, though, my attack will only hit 35% of the time. Saves are fundamentally weaker than attack, both because save DCs start low (8) and because the foe has the opportunity to roll the DC or more, putting leeway in the defender's favour, while attacks let you roll the AC or more, putting leeway in the attacker's favour. Basically, demanding a save is mathematically equivalent to attacking with a -4 penalty.

Why does this matter? Well sacrificing an attack to make one of your remaining attacks at a -4 penalty sorta sucks! And against anyone who uses Dexterity for AC (almost everyone) demanding a Dex save is doing just that! It's even worse when the target has proficiency in Dexterity saves (which you can think of as an even greater penalty to your "attack").

That's not to say this feature is useless: it's a decent tool to ignore Strength-based AC (heavy armour!), magical AC (mage armour!) and the Unarmoured Defense or Natural Armour of creatures who either lack Dex (Dragons) or lack Dex save proficiency (Barbarians). But because demanding Dex saves already has a balance of strengths and weaknesses, why should it have the added penalty of requiring a sacrificed attack? Replacing any attack roll with a Dex save should be a free option, so that Fighters are rewarded for their good judgement.


Thanks for outlining that! :smallsmile: It's an interesting conundrum. It can be incredibly useful in certain situations, I agree that it's something that should be available, and I believe you when you say that the penalty to hit is substantial enough to consider letting them do it all the time. However, I feel like giving them this option all the time for free would cut into a vital balancing factor that was deliberately put in place by the designers. It's a feeling that I can't shake, so if I intend on using this I'll probably leave the cost as-is. But thank you for arguing your point.



These don't have the same problem as the Dex save option, since Intelligence and Charisma are never used (in my knowledge) to determine AC. In fact, letting the Fighter replace any attack roll with an Int, Wis or Cha save would let them totally ignore the defenses of almost any creature. Also, I like that this encourages Fighters to take mental stats! We need more Intelligent, Wise and Charismatic Fighters! So good job here!


Thanks! It occurred to me that that players that increase what would normally be a dump stat for them might do so for RP purposes. I liked the idea of rewarding those choices with options that capitalize on them.



But sacrificing one of several attacks to make one of your remaining attacks demand a save feels a little clunky to me. Why not all of the remaining attacks, or any number of the remaining attacks? In fact, why not let players mix and match, making one a Cha save and the next an Int save (attacking two different targets, almost certainly). Flexibility is fun!

One way I might streamline this is, instead of sacrificing one attack to make another attack rely on a save, I'd sacrifice your ability modifier to damage to make the current attack demand a save. An attack for 1d12+5 becomes a Cha save for 1d12 damage, flat. This not only resembles spells very closely, but also scales like a cantrip, adding one die at 5th, 11th and 17th level (in the form of extra attacks)!


Good point. I didn't like the idea of sacrificing attacks, but its the only thing that was readily apparent when I took a look at the class. Since I was leaning toward the Champion for this, I considered the crit range increase, but that impacts combat on such an infrequent basis that I figured it would be too attractive to do it all the time and just consider it free extras.



You might also tack on status effects based on the save (Cha? Fear or Charm! Str? Shoved, disarmed or knocked prone!) in true spell-like tradition.

It's a fair point, but not something I'd be inclined to include in something that is ostensibly martial in nature. If this was something I was considering for a class that had any kind of spellcasting baked into the core class, then it would be much easier to justify in my mind.

Thanks for all of that. Let me know if anything I said makes any sense.

GalacticAxekick
2017-05-24, 03:00 PM
I had that thought about these options when I put them on there, but when I think of modifying classes I try to think of it in terms of tools that I would like to have in their toolbox. Dash and Disengage seem like mobility options that any Fighter should have, though not nearly as easily as more those classes that are meant to be more mobile. While multiclassing is a valid option, it strikes me as something that players shouldn't have to use to get something that they need to make a class whole. That's a fair perspective. I personally value differentiating classes more, and I wouldn't consider the Fighter less than whole for lacking these options provided they have other defense and mobility options.


As for stepping on toes or making multiclassing less attractive, I point to the Monk's Ki options to do the same thing; they may overlap, but in a single-classed character it's something that is both needed and fitting. The extra opportunity cost - the attack - make the multiclassing overlap slightly less substantial since you would still be gaining something by having access to Cunning Action. In that way, it almost perfectly matches a monk spending a Ki point and a bonus action. Overall, I don't think this is too big a stumbling block.I'd actually remove the Monk's ki Dash and ki Disengage, if I ever finish my Fighter rework and move on to the other martial classes. I don't like that multiclasses completely invalidates the Monk feature, and I'd have the same problem with multiclassing completely invalidating the Fighter's Dash and Disengage.


These all feel like decent options. I don't know that Speed as a resource would do much, especially with climbing, since that's kind of the default (movement costs double). Climbing and jumping, charging, and bracing are all good, but I've been trying to avoid overlap with Feats (Athlete, Charger, and Spear Mastery from Unearthed Arcana: Feats respectively). Though I have to admit that sometimes they cut into options and contain something that's too perfect to pass up. I'll have to think about this and determine if I want to ignore my initial thoughts about avoiding Feats.Oh, I said to offer special speeds, improved jumping or speed as a resource. Speed as resource wouldn't make a difference with climbing, but that's not what I meant to suggest.

And yeah, there's certainly some overlap with feats. If anything, the same way the Arcane Initiate feat offers cantrips, I might focus on granting Fighters martial options and provide a feat that offers other classes a back door into them, replacing the current combat feats.


Thanks for outlining that! :smallsmile: It's an interesting conundrum. It can be incredibly useful in certain situations, I agree that it's something that should be available, and I believe you when you say that the penalty to hit is substantial enough to consider letting them do it all the time. However, I feel like giving them this option all the time for free would cut into a vital balancing factor that was deliberately put in place by the designers. It's a feeling that I can't shake, so if I intend on using this I'll probably leave the cost as-is. But thank you for arguing your point. No problem! To each their own.


It's a fair point, but not something I'd be inclined to include in something that is ostensibly martial in nature. If this was something I was considering for a class that had any kind of spellcasting baked into the core class, then it would be much easier to justify in my mind.That's fair. I personally don't consider saves intrinsically magical, but rather, representative of anything that doesn't target a creature's armour/AC, from shoving force to emotional stress.

AngryJesusMan
2017-05-24, 03:21 PM
That's fair. I personally don't consider saves intrinsically magical, but rather, representative of anything that doesn't target a creature's armour/AC, from shoving force to emotional stress.

Oh no, what I was referring to was the fear/charm aspect a the bottom of your original post. Those seem too magical in nature.

As for shoves and grapples: As I read it, the Player's Handbook allows shoves and grapples in place of attacks in the middle of an attack action already, so I don't think it's something that's missing. Maybe just mention that grapples and shoves are fair game too, instead of just damage. Of course, then that takes away the "modifier damage" cost that you suggested, so I don't know how that would fit with these options.

I'm almost to the point where I've convinced myself to do away with the Dash and Disengage, along with the ignoring disadvantage, and just offering these saves as options for attacks without calling for a cost other than a bonus action. Hmmm...

Thanks again.

GalacticAxekick
2017-05-25, 11:03 AM
Oh no, what I was referring to was the fear/charm aspect a the bottom of your original post. Those seem too magical in nature.Oh! Well frightening someone with an attack or brandishing act seems fairly mundane to me, and seems like a skill expected of many warriors (as a tool to debilitate foes with Fear's penalty to ability checks, or to hold them off with Fear's interdiction of forward movement).

Charm is more traditionally magical, however. But because the Charmed condition advantages social ability checks against the target and prevents the target from attacking the charmer, I consider it a reasonable stand-in for anything truely awesome: a spectacular weapon flourish, for instance.


As for shoves and grapples: As I read it, the Player's Handbook allows shoves and grapples in place of attacks in the middle of an attack action already, so I don't think it's something that's missing. Maybe just mention that grapples and shoves are fair game too, instead of just damage. Of course, then that takes away the "modifier damage" cost that you suggested, so I don't know how that would fit with these options.Good call.


I'm almost to the point where I've convinced myself to do away with the Dash and Disengage, along with the ignoring disadvantage, and just offering these saves as options for attacks without calling for a cost other than a bonus action. Hmmm...That doesn't sound half bad! Definitely more streamlined! My one fear is interference with two-weapon fighting.

AngryJesusMan
2017-05-25, 02:45 PM
That doesn't sound half bad! Definitely more streamlined! My one fear is interference with two-weapon fighting.

Well, I guess that's the idea of opportunity costs, anyway. :smalltongue: I'm calling it done unless someone else points out an inherent flaw. Thanks for the help.

stonegategames
2017-05-27, 01:04 AM
Well, I guess that's the idea of opportunity costs, anyway. :smalltongue: I'm calling it done unless someone else points out an inherent flaw. Thanks for the help.

This might be a stupid comment, but I always considered the Champion well-designed for people who liked simple classes and weren't concerned with special abilities. Are you trying to fix something that really isn't broken?

AngryJesusMan
2017-05-27, 04:13 AM
This might be a stupid comment, but I always considered the Champion well-designed for people who liked simple classes and weren't concerned with special abilities. Are you trying to fix something that really isn't broken?

You're probably correct for the majority of players. I'm just a fan of options, and the Champion is the most vanilla of subclasses out there. For people who enjoy vanilla, that's a perfect fit, and I won't begrudge them that determination. For anyone else, I was offering options that could address something that they felt might be lacking.

But primarily, it was also done in direct response to a specific post, so I don't feel that it was necessarily superfluous.