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  1. - Top - End - #91
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    You don't have to improve the base saves (and on top of everything you mentioned, improving the base save might be a bit much), I'm just saying you have to do something--base saves, abilities, or otherwise--and that there are no grounds for objecting to doing so on the basis of "tradition" rather than math. As someone who's looking at this from a mathematical and design perspective rather than the "fighters 'should' be weak-willed" perspective, we're on the same side here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Okuno View Post
    Oh, well then, cool ^-^
    I would concur with this as well. At that point, the only question to be resolved is which medicine the patient needs and what dosage to prescribe. My preferred medicine for the fighter is crunchy mechanical benefits and ablative defenses, because these seem to fit the playstyle of fighter players.

    To provide some perspective on the Will save issue, imagine that a remixed fighter and a beguiler are planning how to remain free to act on the battlefield, knowing that the enemy might use charms, dominates, holds, or the like. The players of the two characters are having a friendly competition to see who can can hold out longest against the DM's monsters.

    BEGUILER, arguably the strongest Tier 3 class.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Avoids detection: Silent Spell and Still Spell as bonus feats, Hide and Move Silently as class skills, plus enough skill points to comfortably max out both of these skills. Can additionally use spells like glitterdust, the invisibility line, or illusions to remain undetected by foes.
    Vigilance: Can detect and respond to hidden threats using see invisibility, arcane sight, locate creature, true seeing, discern location, and foresight.
    Immunities: Spells like freedom of movement, nondetection, spell turning, and mind blank offer immunity to broad categories of mind-affecting spells
    Mobility: To get out of harm's way. No proficiency with medium or heavy armor means faster movement than a heavily-armored fighter. Can augment movement with magic such as expeditious retreat, haste, ethereal jaunt, or shadow walk.
    Panic buttons: Can use halt, hesitate, stay the hand, swift etherealness or moment of prescience to respond to an unanticipated attack.
    Mechanics: As a last resort if unable to avoid an attack completely, has a Good Will save progression and is fairly SAD, so Wis is likely to be contributing at least a small bonus.
    Buffs: Can purchase a ring of resistance.


    REMIXED FIGHTER, a contender for Tier 3
    Spoiler
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    Avoids detection: Cunning fighter is good at sneaking around. Other kits are generally highly conspicious.
    Vigilance: Watchful fighter is quite perceptive. Watchful fighter has access to strong feats that bypass illusions and magical concealment. Other kits are not especially perceptive.
    Immunities: No relevant immunities. Minimal feat support at higher levels for briefly delaying Will-save effects.
    Mobility: Barbaric fighter is somewhat faster than average. Cavalry fighter is much faster, and can acquire a flying mount. Other kits somewhat slower. Mobile Combatant does enable the fighter to remain fully effective while moving, which casters could already do. Strong feat support for most kits to gain mobility-enhancing options.
    Panic buttons: Countering strike offers a limited ability to disrupt unexpected enemy actions. Most kits have sufficient feat support to develop one or two other panic buttons.
    Mechanics: As a last resort if unable to avoid an attack completely, has a Good Will save progression. Most versions fairly MAD, so Wis is likely to contributing little or no bonus.
    Buffs: Combat aura offers scaling bonus to saves. Commanding fighter can add Cha to one save at a time. Commanding fighter has Can purchase a ring of resistance.


    Against most kits, the beguiler has a convincing advantage in 5 of 7 categories of defense. The fighter consistently leads in self-buffing and may compete well or even lead in one other category depending on kit choice. To my eyeballs, the fighter is the one more likely to fail a Will save during an actual game. At the end of the game session, the conversation would probably go something like this:

    Beguiler player: "Well, you failed that roll, so I win the competition."
    Fighter player: "That's not fair! I had to make Will saves all night long, and you never even had to roll!"
    Beguiler player: "...exactly."
    Last edited by jiriku; 2011-05-25 at 03:10 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #92
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lonely Tylenol's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    Quote Originally Posted by Okuno View Post
    Yikes, I didn't think I came off that strong <.<
    You didn't; I just proved to myself how continuing the discussion with you would be semantic, because since we're mostly on the same boat regarding skills, and the only thing I could think of after reading the next paragraph was "well, I'd make this minor modification instead". Basically, the next thing I had to say was semantic.

    (Phone-posting 0.0 Well, I guess they write novels on their phones in Japan...)
    Yeah. Phone posting.

    On the other hand, a paragraph might house a thought, but an argument has several thoughts within. What can I say, I read David Lewis and Richard Fumerton.
    Lewis's work is interesting, though I must admit I've only read his earlier works. I've never heard of Richard Fumerton; could you point me in the direction where I could find something of his? Please don't list bookstores--my island doesn't have one.

    An argument has several thoughts within, but all that means is that a larger argument can be broken down to its base components--its individual thoughts and premises--so that each can be analyzed and assessed individually. In spite of my Vaarsuvius-esque long-winded rants, I like to think that every idea can be summarized in a sentence within the expression of that idea, and in some particularly beautiful sentiments, a word.

    Now, I'm not going to interrupt your discussion with Pair-o'-Dice Lost any further; I want to address jikiru's counter-arguments while he's around.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Going into this I'll say that I don't expect to please all of you - fixing the fighter requires too many changes for everyone to agree with all of them.
    Nonsense! I demand everyone be pleased.

    [B]The Good Will save progression may be "too good for a fighter"They need it: Saves don't exist in a vacuum. They're part of your overall defensive strategy, which includes AC, miss chance, energy resistance, spell resistance, damage reduction, immunities, debuff and battlefield control. Fighters have fewer options in this arena than, say, a beguiler, crusader, warlock, or swordsage, so their base defenses should be stout.
    I'm not going to address the others because, frankly, I don't regard them as design concerns, but roleplaying concerns.

    Frankly, Fighters don't need good Will save progression to get a good Will save when you consider all your fixes. I'm aware that I'm skipping 19 levels by doing this, but we'll jump to level 20, where the difference between a "good" save and a "bad" save is greatest (+6). Counting only class features, a Fighter will only get +6 to Will saves with a bad save, but a Fighter that takes the Resilient Troops aura gets a +5 to all saves, and a Barbaric Fighter gets a +4 morale bonus to Will while in Rage (if they choose Rage as a class feature), plus Indomitable Will as a bonus feat (an extra +4 to enchantments), meaning that even with a bad save, no items, no WIS bonus and no extra feats, the Fighter can run into battle with +15 to his Will save (+19 vs. enchantments) as a virtue of class features alone. The Wizard, by contrast, will have a +17 raw bonus to their Will save--but only by virtue of the bonus they gain from the Fighter--so, individually, a Fighter can easily have equal or better saves than the Wizard. By contrast, a Fighter with good Will saves would have +21 to his Will save (+25 vs. enchantments) as a class feature, so your Fighter wouldn't just have a good Will save, he would have the best Will save.

    Giving a Fighter better save options itself is benign--all it means is that Fighters are less incompetent at saves--but I am of the impression that, in your attempt to shore up clear weaknesses of the Fighter, you gave it too many class features that interact with each other in such a way that actually overcompensates for the weakness and makes it unnecessarily strong. (This is basically my complaint with skills as well.)

    Some kits are similar to but more powerful than a paladin, rogue, or bard.
    Paladin and rogue are bad classes: paladins do nothing well, while rogues are frequently useless in combat and most of their class functions can be duplicated with 2nd- and 3rd-level spells. It speaks well of the fighter remix if it outshines these poor classes. Refer to my knight-paladin and daring outlaw classes for remixes of the paladin and rogue.
    I am still of the mind that any homebrew has to pass the test of "would I allow this to be homebrewed into my campaign?"--and if the answer is "sure, but only if I also homebrew x, y, and z to keep this from completely outshining x, y, and z", then as a stand-alone, the homebrew revision has failed; it is dependent on a total class overhaul in order to fit in.

    I suppose this is where you and I are simply going to see things differently--you're looking at the big picture ("what can I do to fix all these classes and balance everything out?"), whereas I'm looking at individual pieces and trying to see how they'd fit in without changing much of anything else. Since you're trying to fix everything, you've already accepted the premise (or assumed that those who would use your revisions have accepted the premise) that if one class has to be revised as a matter of resolving balance issues, then all classes have to be revised to resolve these same balance issues--a premise which I've already rejected. To that end, you would prefer to compare your Fighter to your Daring Outlaw, whereas I'd rather compare it to the traditional Rogue.

    It seems we're at an impasse on this one.

    A commanding fighter is similar to a bard, but doesn't replace the bard: bardic music can easily be optimized to equal or outshine Combat Aura and Commanding Aura. And so what if the two are roughly comparable with skills? Each has its own strengths: the bard can be more versatile by virtue of his powerful spellcasting, while the fighter is more capable in melee combat by virtue of his bonus feats and better combat statistics. You probably wouldn't want both a commanding fighter and a bard in the same party, but it's not a no-brainer to pick the former over the latter.
    I'd say that it is; even at its current status, the Fighter fulfills a basic role that is essential to every party; he is the stereotypical Big Dumb Fighter, the first line of defense, the guy who cuts through big baddies like butter and makes sure nothing stains the Wizard's robes.

    The Bard isn't.

    The Bard is the fifth wheel, and is in almost every party a convenience item--he exists for large-party scenarios, where buffing a lot of people tends towards superior results over, say, buffing two. When the Fighter can already perform a very similar task much more easily (even if the Bard can technically do it better, it requires concentration on the Bardic song and has limited duration, whereas the Fighter can switch auras as a swift action and maintain them for free indefinitely, so the Fighter wins both in action economy and in sustainability), the Bard loses its one essential role--being the buffer. Since Wizards and Clerics, with their superior spellcasting ability, can duplicate just about every essential buff spell on the Bard's list, the only distinct feature the Bard has in this regard is their performance--and while their performance can still technically exceed the Fighter's auras in overall bonuses, it also incurs a much greater cost and has greater limitations, such that it's really not worth it.

    The number of genre-crossing options depletes the niche value of each kit.
    Similar isn't bad: likewise, when such-and-such kit is similar to another class, is that a problem? You choose the option that you like. An issue only arises when one class is overdetermined because it is much better than all other choices. For example, wizard is a bad class because it fills every role and is better at all of them than almost all of the other choices in each niche.
    Not that I don't agree that similar isn't bad, I thought that the Fighter subsumed all similar classes (Barbarian, Marshal, Samurai, and perhaps Cavalier) in part to eliminate this?

    The key skill feature is overpowered.
    This argument has some weight, and I'm considering making adjustments. The mathematical argument was especially compelling, because I'm really a numbers guy.
    But are we measuring with the right kind of ruler? It's easy to compare bonuses from one class to another, but looking strictly at magic item costs only produces a true comparison if a magic item is the optimum way to obtain the same bonus. Usually, magic items that grant bonuses are overpriced, and the same benefit can be had for much less by thinking outside of the box.
    At level 17, we might look at the watchful fighter and the dread necromancer and conclude that the dread necromancer must pay 160,000 gp to duplicate the fighter's competence bonuses to Intimidate, Listen, Sense Motive, and Spot. However, the DN probably wouldn't buy those items; instead, he'd find a cheaper way to achieve a similar capability.
    For example, the DN could spend a fraction of that sum to improve his rebuke undead ability, then rebuke a nightshade, gaining the benefit of the creature's impressive Listen, Sense Motive, and Spot modifiers (and excellent sensory capabilities) plus its formidable combat skills and many special abilities. Or he could simply confront and kill the 17th-level watchful fighter, raise him as a vampire and rebuke it, and he's set. Either approach would produce a better return on investment than paying 160k for some skill bonuses.
    I think we as a community tend to chronically overvalue bonuses, which merely let you play the game, and undervalue options, which let you redefine the game. What's your perspective?
    First, a little quip--Okuno's table uses the cost for two key skills, so I believe it's actually twice that for the four skills listed.

    I believe that the Dread Necromancer wouldn't necessarily even take the option of rebuking a Nightshade for the purposes of shoring up their perceptive weaknesses, because it's assumed in a party setting that the Dread Necromancer isn't going to have to do much searching for anything. You could say that a Wizard doesn't put ranks in Spot because the Divination school gives them access to Arcane Eye, which fulfills any Spot needs that they may have, but I'd say it's much more likely that the Wizard doesn't put ranks in Spot because the Rogue/Ranger/Scout does, and that's why they keep them around.

    Well, until the Fighter comes along and does it much better, of course.

    The competence bonuses to the central skills isn't necessarily where it ends, though. The feats that offer key skills essentially give you two "take 40" skills for the cost of one feat, which, compared to the options that other classes have for the same cost (feats like Alertness, which give +2 to two skills/+4 with sufficient rank investment, and Skill Focus, which gives +3 to one skill/+6 with sufficient rank investment) is frankly absurd. Not to mention the fact that the ability to "take 20" without increasing the time it takes to use the skill, itself, is broken--even with a Nightshade, or an Arcane Eye, a Dread Necromancer or a Wizard could never hope to emulate the level 17 Watchful Fighter's perceptive abilities (untrained) save for some very lucky rolls of the die, and unlike the Fighter, they have to expend some of their valuable daily resources to even come close to a Watchful Fighter's untrained Spot Check at level 17. Oh, and don't forget the aura! (I just did.)

    I believe where Okuno and I reached an agreement is in that, even with all this in mind, having this apply to one, or even two skills doesn't create a drastic imbalance; it allows the Fighter to be incredibly good at something skill-based, even to the point of being unparalleled at those skills, without a tremendous opportunity cost. As written, however, I can, for the cost of three feats and a martial style selection, gain twelve skills with which I automatically gain a +20 competence bonus by level 17 (scaling up to that until then), plus an additional +5 from the Follow my Lead aura (which is shared with the party), plus the ability to "take 20" on any of these skills without cost, which is something no other class can emulate--even with an entire equipment list consisting only of competence bonus items and heavy skill investment--and I can do all of this without investing a single skill point in any of these "key skills". Oh, and I also get more skill points than I used to--4 + INT per level--which I can choose to spend on these skills (to make even epic-level abilities free) or whatever else.

    As written, the key skills just balloon into absurd extremes; the Fighter can now do everything out-of-combat better than any other class could hope to do without devoting an entire build to it (which the Fighter didn't necessarily have to do), and can even do some things with it in combat (without any extra cost, really) that even tier 1 classes like Wizards and Clerics can't do without considerably greater build investment. For example, a blaster has to invest all of their feats, as well as their highest-level slots, to beat the damage-per-action output of the Greater Insightful Strike Fighter example I posted, at equal level--while the Figher simply has to choose a martial style with Concentration as a key ability and invest some skill points into Concentration as a skill (one per level, so even skill-wise, the Fighter still has more skills per level than they did before; essentially, nothing is lost).

    Also, when looking at skills, let's dispense with the Diplomacy argument: that horse won't run. The Diplomacy skill is broken, and Rich Burlew's fix is praiseworthy and should be used instead.
    I agree that Diplomacy is imbalanced (and I won't continue to use it), but I'd like to point out that this falls under the "homebrew that relies on other homebrew" problem I pointed out earlier. In this case, Commanding Fighter (or the appropriate feat) makes Diplomacy more broken by making its epic-level achievements effortless, so even having Diplomacy as a key skill on any class is ridiculous unless a revision to Diplomacy is homebrewed in.

    The combat aura feature is overpowered.
    I've seen people call this "weak" and I've seen it called "too good". Can anyone in the "weak" crowd tell me what the "too good" crowd is missing? My thought is that the aura reproduces a number of basic buff spells on the cleric list, but scales less well, and makes it nigh-impossible to stack buffs. Hardly anyone would be complaining about a martial class with some very weak clerical half-castery stuff, so I'm wondering what the concern is about
    I think the "weak" people are missing it; the thing that makes the combat auras "too good" is that they're essentially free. Unlike the Bardic Performances, or the Wizard/Cleric/Bard buffs, or other such bonuses, which are temporary and expend daily resources to maintain, the Fighter has a selection of full-party buffs that are always available to him and to his entire party, require no sacrifice in action economy, have no time limits, and have no drawbacks. A Fighter's auras can always be considered to be "on" unless afflicted with a certain condition, but True Grit mitigates even that.

    A Fighter can gain, say, Motivate Ardor, Motivate Care, Motivate Attack, Resilient Troops, and Follow My Lead for all-purpose benefits (I wouldn't get Motivate Urgency, because people moving further per round means they're either moving away from you in combat--in which case they will lose the benefit of the aura--or they're moving toward you in combat--in which case they're close to you already, and don't need to move far to get where they need to be--but it can be considered a contender) without stepping on anybody's toes buff-wise, and even though these buffs may not be as strong as the higher-end capabilities of the Cleric, the Wizard or the Bard, they can be maintained indefinitely for free--something that no other class really has at their disposal save the Paladin, who can "share" its CHA bonus to saves with a feat (and that spreads the bonus thin the more people you have). +5 to your attack rolls, or damage, or AC, or DR, or saves, or energy resistance, or skills, or movement speed individually might not seem like too much to people--but when you have a toolbox of these abilities you can draw from, and you can have any of them whenever you want, it adds up.

    On another note, I couldn't help but notice your Beguiler/Fighter comparison:

    Avoids detection: Cunning fighter is good at sneaking around. Other kits are generally highly conspicious.
    Stealthy Commando eliminates this problem (treats Hide and Move Silently as class skills and "key skills", meaning they get a free +20 competence bonus, +5 from auras, and the "take 20" ability). For the cost of one feat (one of eighteen for most Fighters, nineteen for Humans), your Fighter can sneak around better than any Beguiler could (at least, through mundane means).

    Mobility: Barbaric fighter is somewhat faster than average. Cavalry fighter is much faster, and can acquire a flying mount. Other kits somewhat slower. Mobile Combatant does enable the fighter to remain fully effective while moving, which casters could already do. Strong feat support for most kits to gain mobility-enhancing options.
    Motivate Urgency.

    Mechanics: As a last resort if unable to avoid an attack completely, has a Good Will save progression. Most versions fairly MAD, so Wis is likely to contributing little or no bonus.
    Rage, Resilient Troops (admittedly, noted below this).

  3. - Top - End - #93
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Okuno's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    the fellow who usually gets dominated by the evil wizard is the guardsman or man-at-arms -- an NPC warrior.
    Speaking of wrong rulers... -.^

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol
    ...I am of the impression that, in your attempt to shore up clear weaknesses of the Fighter, you gave it too many class features that interact with each other in such a way that actually overcompensates for the weakness
    I also get this impression with the fix. Mainly, it seems that some class features that were intended as secondary are actually primary in terms of balance.

    Now, I will tackle the non-math issues, because redundant arguments are superior:
    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Saves don't exist in a vacuum.
    Neither does the fighter: he's got casters to provide buffs as part of the combined arms design (I know I keep hitting it, but it's really the biggest flaw in the extant system).


    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    It speaks well of the fighter remix if it outshines these poor classes.
    Agree. No one's using the paladin class anyway, it's another bad ruler. It's a little different with the bard, since in large-party it does see the light of day.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    What if you want to play a dishonorable samurai infamous for cheating during iaijutsu duels...
    Cross-class into iaijutsu focus, then cheat like a normal sneak.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    or a special-forces soldier skilled at wilderness survival...
    Why aren't you playing a ranger?

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    or a dirty-tricks pit gladiator who iai-draws against his opponents?
    You know that you yourself built in the ability to have multiple combat styles? A little look-see later, and I'd say scrap the key ability feats, then allow your 2nd&3rd combat styles let you pick up class skills, but you can only spend so many ranks (as if you were a character 8 or 16 CL less than you are, depending on how late you take it).

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Similar isn't bad:...An issue only arises when one class is overdetermined because it is much better than all other choices.
    Yeah, it's been demonstrated at least to me, and obviously some others, that the fighter at-post indeed eclipses other classes. After the math Tylenol did, I think it eclipses your daring outlaw (though not as much as the vanilla rogue). One of the main causes of this is the ability to get two key skills to a feat; and to add insult to injury, feats are the most abundant resource the fighter has. The aura is another biggie, but at least that's only one class at a time finding its main feature obsolete.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    But are we measuring with the right kind of ruler? It's easy to compare bonuses from one class to another, but looking strictly at magic item costs only produces a true comparison if a magic item is the optimum way to obtain the same bonus.
    I mainly argue for the use of this ruler because of its effectiveness in evaluating opportunity cost, not as a direct measure. I'll agree, it's difficult and I'll admit I set the bar at a fairly random 25% gold recouped. I might be persuaded to go as high as 50% saved, but only with playtesting. Never 200%. Not for a secondary class feature, anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    the dread necromancer must pay 160,000 gp to duplicate the fighter's competence bonuses to Intimidate, Listen, Sense Motive, and Spot. However, the DN probably wouldn't buy those items; instead, he'd find a cheaper way to achieve a similar capability.
    But wouldn't it be great if he could do away with his +20 handbook of spellcraft? And Knowledge (arcana)? And concentration? Oh, I get a fourth: UMD, too kthx. I know I try not to op much in an evaluation, but the bare-bones min/max while respecting class goals doesn't hurt <.<

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    I think we as a community tend to chronically overvalue bonuses, which merely let you play the game, and undervalue options, which let you redefine the game. What's your perspective?
    I agree, options are more powerful, they're what lets hackers break the game. That being said, watch bloody well out for them! Characters redefining the game too much can wreck balance, easy. What uber-builds don't rely on features that modify the everyday rules? You can break the truenamer with enough splatbooks (and some overly healthy DM fiat, IMHO)!

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Also, when looking at skills, let's dispense with the Diplomacy argument: that horse won't run. The Diplomacy skill is broken, and Rich Burlew's fix is praiseworthy and should be used instead.
    Honestly, I've never taken diplomacy seriously. The best games I've played or DMed dispensed with the rules and just role-played it. Kinda off-topic, though...

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    I'm wondering what the concern [over the aura] is about.
    Bump everything Tylenol has to say about that. (Except Motivate urgency can help out the scout's skirmish, IIRC. I haven't run a scout anywhere, though... Whoops, and it can really help a heavily-armored fighter with spring attack to get in and out with a full attack in there. Multiclass for some skirmish and you might have the start of a serious build there.)



    It's on another computer, so I'll edit in my first take at auras. They do a good job of not interferring with the bard, but I'd still up the bard's usage anyway.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Combat Aura (Ex): At 3rd level, you learn to project an aura that grants you and nearby allies a special benefit. As you gain levels, you learn to project new types of auras that offer different benefits as shown on Table: The Fighter, but you may project only one combat aura at a time.
    Projecting and sustaining a combat aura is a swift action. You may project auras for up to a number of rounds per day equal to your fighter class level. This time may be split up as desired, both with regards to how long to use the aura and with regards to which aura you use. Using an aura involves haranguing, ordering, directing, encouraging, cajoling, or calming allies. You size up enemies, allies, and the terrain, then give allies the direction that they can use to do their best.
    Unless otherwise noted, your combat aura affects all allies (including yourself) within five feet per fighter level who can hear you. Affected allies must have an Intelligence score of 3 or higher and be able to understand your language. Your aura is dismissed if you are dazed, unconscious, stunned, paralyzed, or otherwise unable to be heard and understood by your allies.
    The bonus granted by an aura starts at +1 and improves by another +1 at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th level. Combat aura does not stack with the benefits of the Commanding Aura feat or the Aid Another action.
    Follow My Lead: You give your allies a competence bonus on skill checks with your key skills (see the Fighting Style class feature for details) equal to twice your combat aura bonus.
    Hardy Soldiers: Your allies gain damage reduction (or an improvement to their existing damage reduction) equal to the amount of bonus the aura provides minus one. For example, if you are 10th level, everyone affected gains DR 2/-. You cannot learn this aura before 6th level.
    Motivate Ardor: Morale bonus on damage rolls. You cannot learn this aura before 10th level.
    Motivate Attack: Morale bonus on melee attack rolls. You cannot learn this aura before 6th level.
    Motivate Care: Morale bonus to Armor Class. You cannot learn this aura before 10th level.
    Motivate Urgency: Your allies gain a morale bonus to their base land speed equal to 5 x your combat aura bonus. For example, if you are 10th level, everyone affected adds 15 feet to their base land speed.
    Resilient Troops: Morale bonus to one save. You may choose a different saving throw each time you project the aura.
    [i]Steady Hand: Morale bonus on ranged attack rolls. You cannot learn this aura before 6th level.
    Weather the Storm: Your allies gain energy resistance against all of the following energy types: acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic. This energy resistance does not stack with energy resistance gained from other sources. The amount gained is equal to the amount of bonus the aura provides. For example, if you are 10th level, you could grant all of your allies resistance 3 vs. all energy types.


    MORE EDIT: While I'm at it, I already said we might need to compensate elsewhere for nerfing auras and skill, so let's see what we can do about continuing to scale the awesome main guns, maybe:
    Spoiler
    Show

    [b]Come Here (I Dare You):[\b] At 5th level and every four levels thereafter (9th, 13th, 17th), the fighter gains an extra attack of opportunity each round. This stacks with combat reflexes.
    Astounding Strength (Ex): At 13th level, you can apply your strength even more effectively. Your Strength bonus counts double when dealing damage with a melee or ranged attack, or when making a Strength check, a grapple check, or a Strength-based skill check. Thus, you deal your full Strength bonus to damage with off-hand weapons, twice your Strength bonus to damage with weapons held in your primary hand, and thrice your Strength bonus to damage with weapons wielded with two hands.
    This bonus applies equally to melee, thrown, and ranged weapons, unarmed strikes, and natural attacks (if you have any), but cannot be used in conjunction with abilities that allow you to apply a different ability bonus to damage instead of Strength. This feature replaces Exceptional Strength and therefore does not stack with it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol
    he is the stereotypical Big Dumb Fighter
    Yeah see, but that's what this class is trying to fix: not every fighter need be retarded: Faramir, Drizzt&Catterbrie (again, bleh...), Thor (the archetype, I mean, I'm not comparing a PC class to a god <.<), Patton (yeah, I'm counting RL, whaddya gonna do about it?), &c. The fact is, this fighter feels like it can provide some inspiration to the wizard, cleric and rogue, who would normally be locked in a tower, helping the weak or stealing in-town, respectively. Maybe that's are just as invalid a set of sterotypes as what you suggest, but at least the option to play it is there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol
    Lewis's work is interesting, though I must admit I've only read his earlier works. I've never heard of Richard Fumerton...
    Oh snap, fellow arm-chair philosopher! No prob, but it'll be PM, since it's so OT.

    ---

    I love this, we're way deep in the system (that's what he said?).

    That being said, I've argued both for and against modularity in previous posts. I think I've come to a conclusion: what are you homebrewing, jikiru? If you're making an entire system, that's fine, but it's a lot of work to build and learn, so it will help fewer people. Building a fighter that can be plopped right on into a largely unmodified framework may well create more fun-for-the-buck even if it's still a little off. Even better, in your own game, tweak it to fit. Other DMs who recognize it as still in need of something can tweak it, too. I vote modular.

    Shameless plug for a yet non-existent fix: the party roles are totally confused as it is. It's no surprise the cleric and wizard are T1, they fill two party roles without any op (caster+support-y-tank-y and artillery/air support+spy, respectively). Any examination of the deep roots of D&D will show this deficiency and the same if you made it through Sun Tzu.

    Having said that, the fighter we build here should fulfill it's role, but not step out of it to the extent that more problems are created. In combat, he should hold the line, deal damage. The aura can help hold, but it shouldn't be too hearty a support feature. Out of combat, let the fighter use skills, but let him use skills related to strength, like busting in doors when the rogue fails to pick the lock. Leave social niceties to the spy even if the commanding fighter can inspire his troops; the cunning fighter should be able to fight dirty, but the rogue should infiltrate.

    Okay, there's been a lot of critique, so, lemme just say that I adore the ideas presented here. They give the fighter a unique flair, and I like that far beyond the blah of the 2-level "get some feats" class. I'm not worried about a T2 fighter, but I am worried that the ideal party after T2+ is banned would be three fighters and a beguiler. Try to balance this class such that the forces urge the players to choose fighter, rogue, healer and beguiler.
    Last edited by Okuno; 2011-05-25 at 09:53 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    Quote Originally Posted by Okuno View Post
    Yeah see, but that's what this class is trying to fix: not every fighter need be retarded: Faramir, Drizzt&Catterbrie (again, bleh...), Thor (the archetype, I mean, I'm not comparing a PC class to a god <.<), Patton (yeah, I'm counting RL, whaddya gonna do about it?), &c. The fact is, this fighter feels like it can provide some inspiration to the wizard, cleric and rogue, who would normally be locked in a tower, helping the weak or stealing in-town, respectively. Maybe that's are just as invalid a set of sterotypes as what you suggest, but at least the option to play it is there.
    Oh, I know the Fighter's not dumb. The only Fighter I've really ever built was an aging ascetic who had WIS and INT as his two highest stats, respectively, and relies on each to give himself a superior tactical advantage in battle against younger, more foolish opponents. But that's not my point. My point is that a distinct role for the Fighter does exist--the Fighter fulfills a role that is central to the party dynamic, so even if the Fighter isn't tier 1, 2, or 3, there really isn't a great risk of being rendered completely obsolete. As long as the party needs a Big, Dumb Fighter, the Fighter will live on--even if they're not big or dumb.

    The Bard, on the other hand, fulfills no such essential role; it is purely a convenience item, something that is only necessarily pursued when the party is large enough to start tacking on non-essentials. Even then, the only reason Bards are a popular choice is because they have a unique role that they are distinctly good at: they are the party's buffer. The way auras are currently designed, however, the Fighter steps on the Bard's toes in a big way, as the Fighter not only performs his own essential role in the party dynamic, but performs the already extraneous role of the Bard decently as well. What, then, is the point of the Bard?

    Now, to address your PM...

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    Argh. I have been beaten at the wall-o-text game. Must construct bigger wall!

    Ok, theorycrafting and vigorous debate. This is a whole evening of fun, but where to start?

    Fighters with good Will saves
    My preference is that passing saving throws should be something that fighters are good at, all the time, regardless of build. Commanding fighters should be able to buff party saves. So given this, it seems to me that we're down to dickering about Combat Aura and the effectiveness of thereof. I'd like to remind you that the commanding aura + combat aura + Good Will progression that's got you concerned is ripped almost exactly from the Miniatures Handbook Marshal, which has Major Aura, Minor Aura, and... a Good Will progression! And yes, I know the marshal is a different case because that's the only thing it has going for it.

    The remixed fighter obsoletes the rogue and paladin.
    You're right, we are at an impasse. Swordsage also obsoletes the rogue, while crusader obsoletes the paladin. The remixed fighter is intended to achieve parity with the swordsage and crusader. It is impossible to match these classes and also match the classes that they overshadow.

    The commanding fighter obsoletes the bard.
    If true, this is a problem. I'll think more on this, because it is a serious concern. I'm not yet persuaded by the arguments, which seem to dismiss the possibility that bardic spellcasting is actually good (which it is). Honest question: you guys ever seen someone twink out a bard? I have. It was... gloriously terrifying.

    The kit-feats grant too much for too little investment.
    The key skill class feature is overpowered.
    Ok, you've got me here. Even compared to the best feats in the game, the kit-feats are overpowered because of the way they interact with the fighting style bonuses. I have several thoughts on how to nerf.
    • Limit total kitfeats to 1, which must be taken when acquiring the 1st level of fighter.
    • Limit the total kitfeats to 1, a limit that may relax with the acquisition of Second Style and Third Style.
    • Grant the fighter his fighting style bonus with only one or two key skills of his choice, rather than all.
    • Reduce/delay the scaling of the fighting style bonus.
    • Convert Combat Aura to a competence bonus so it does not stack with the key skill bonus.


    Worth noting: I didn't mention this earlier because I wasn't directly his post, but Okuno's table contains an error. At levels 5, 9, 13, and 17, he lists the gp value and % of WBL for the skill bonuses at double what he should (using bonus squared x 200, instead of bonus squared x 100, which is the correct formula). I don't consider this a huge deal though, as his original point (that the numbers are quite large), still stands. It just stands half as tall.

    If you've ever thumbed through the thread on my monk remix, then you know that I stake out a controversial position on skill bonuses. They are wildly, wildly, astronomically, stupendously overpriced. No really, they're so far off that it's just dumb. Eskimos would rather buy ice than buy magic items that grant large competence bonuses on skill checks. You'd rather invest in subprime mortgages than buy these things. Even Bernie Madoff wouldn't touch them. Just looking at an example, a set of +30 competence bonus to Climb, Jump, and Balance sets me back 360,000 gp, which is more than the entire WBL of a 17th level character. However, a continuous item of fly, which is better in every conceivable way that even remotely matters, could cost as little as 30,000 gp, which is nearly affordable at 8th level. Meanwhile, a warlock can pick up continuous flight as a class feature as early as 6th level. Skill bonuses from items are just not costed correctly.

    In fact, most "epic" uses of skills approximate the effects of 2nd or 3rd-level spells. Thus, gaining a class feature that moves your skill checks into the epic range by level 13 is...well, milktoast. I mean, really, imagine the conversations.

    Fighter: "Hey beguiler, check out my stealth checks!"
    Beguiler: Casts invisibility sphere and zone of silence, concealing the entire party.
    Fighter: "Oh. Well, never mind, then."
    Fighter: "Hey bard, lookit my sweet Sense Motive and Spot mods!"
    Bard: Casts improvisation and glibnesss, then convinces the fighter that he is not wearing any pants.
    Fighter: "Oh snap."
    Silliness aside, however, you're correct again that the fighter is intended to be extremely good at making skill checks with a small selection of thematic skills. Perhaps even unparalleled in the arena of his specialty. It seems to me that what you're really saying though is that fighters shouldn't be better at skill use, even within their specialization, than members of other classes. Instead, members of other classes should be better at using the fighter's skills than the fighter is. Am I correct here?

    I had much to say on Combat Aura, but it's late and I'm tired, so that will wait until tomorrow.
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  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    I'll let you win this round of wall-of-texting and keep my repsonses as short as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Fighters with good Will saves
    My preference is that passing saving throws should be something that fighters are good at, all the time, regardless of build. Commanding fighters should be able to buff party saves. So given this, it seems to me that we're down to dickering about Combat Aura and the effectiveness of thereof. I'd like to remind you that the commanding aura + combat aura + Good Will progression that's got you concerned is ripped almost exactly from the Miniatures Handbook Marshal, which has Major Aura, Minor Aura, and... a Good Will progression! And yes, I know the marshal is a different case because that's the only thing it has going for it.
    First, "small big grin" is an oxymoron, and I love it.

    The extra-large Will saves that are class features of the Marshal and the Paladin are such because they are primary class features; heck, they're pretty much all they've got going for them. Considering this Fighter has a thousand and one other cool things going for it, giving it full Will save progression along with Will-enhancing bonuses just seems like that fifth slice of cake at a wedding: too much.

    The remixed fighter obsoletes the rogue and paladin.
    You're right, we are at an impasse. Swordsage also obsoletes the rogue, while crusader obsoletes the paladin. The remixed fighter is intended to achieve parity with the swordsage and crusader. It is impossible to match these classes and also match the classes that they overshadow.
    Crusader overshadowing the Paladin is a problem, and I wish they hadn't given the Crusader most of the Paladin's class features. I still don't think the answer is to give people a class with even more preferential alternatives to the Paladin (replace Smite Evil with appropriate aura; when needed, replace Divine Grace with appropriate aura; and so on). I'd say that might be a case where I'd rather take a Paladin homebrew over a Fighter homebrew, or perhaps even both, but that's neither here nor there.

    I can see how most attempts at buffing the Fighter will push the Paladin further into obscurity, so I guess there's nothing I can do about that.

    Rogue still has some applications that are unique to itself (out-of-combat skills and tricks, Sneak Attack still has some decent uses), so Swordsage doesn't necessarily replace it in its entirety.

    The commanding fighter obsoletes the bard.
    If true, this is a problem. I'll think more on this, because it is a serious concern. I'm not yet persuaded by the arguments, which seem to dismiss the possibility that bardic spellcasting is actually good (which it is). Honest question: you guys ever seen someone twink out a bard? I have. It was... gloriously terrifying.
    Bards can be something impressive, but Bardic spellcasting isn't necessarily replaced by anything the Fighter does, so much as it is replaced by the superior spellcasting of the Wizard, Cleric, Druid and Sorcerer, so Bardic spellcasting is often just a matter of freeing up spell slots for the aforementioned by using buffs so that they don't have to.

    Bardic performance is the only unique feature of the Bard that sees a lot of play (since most of the Bard's spells are shared with the Cleric or Sorcerer/Wizard spell lists), so it's the one that one needs to watch out for most in regards to securing the Bard's place in relevance; otherwise, there's no reason not to leave the buffing to a well-built Fighter and just roll a Beguiler or a backup Wizard/Cleric/Sorcerer instead.

    The kit-feats grant too much for too little investment.
    The key skill class feature is overpowered.
    Ok, you've got me here. Even compared to the best feats in the game, the kit-feats are overpowered because of the way they interact with the fighting style bonuses. I have several thoughts on how to nerf.
    • Limit total kitfeats to 1, which must be taken when acquiring the 1st level of fighter.
    • Limit the total kitfeats to 1, a limit that may relax with the acquisition of Second Style and Third Style.
    • Grant the fighter his fighting style bonus with only one or two key skills of his choice, rather than all.
    • Reduce/delay the scaling of the fighting style bonus.
    • Convert Combat Aura to a competence bonus so it does not stack with the key skill bonus.
    If I might provide a suggestion for revisions:
    • The fighter gains all of the "key skills" of the respective fighting styles as class skills, but must select one (or perhaps two) for which the competence bonuses are earned (as in list item 3).
    • The fighter gains both of the skills from the skill feats as class skills, but if they choose either (or both) of these skills to gain competence bonuses, they must replace the competence bonuses for existing skills. Example: a Cunning Fighter takes the Stealthy Commando feat, gaining Hide and Move Silently as key skills; he then gives up his competence bonus to an existing skill (Gather Information) in order to gain the competence bonus in a new skill granted by the feat (Hide). (This may have to be limited to level 1 or something, for mechanic's sake.)
    • Skill Mastery can extend to all key skills (as it does normally), but the ability to "take 20" on a skill should only extend to the skill(s) that they choose to gain the competence bonus from.
    • Where applicable, Diplomacy should be replaced by Gather Information, because barring the intentional homeruling of Diplomacy, the skill will always be broken with a "take 40" rule.
    • This isn't really relevant to our existing conversations, but... Take a page from the Pathfinder Fighter; as the Pathfinder Fighter levels up, they gain a higher maximum dexterity bonus to their armor, as well as a lower armor check penalty. This applies more to physical skills, but it also makes the Fighter less useless at things like Jump, Climb or Swim while wearing half-plate.


    The aura doesn't need to become a competence bonus if you apply these fixes; all it means is that the Fighter will gain a +5 bonus to a wider number of skills with this fix, but they won't gain +20 bonuses to all of them on top of it. (Small competence bonuses applying everywhere > large competence bonuses applying everywhere, or even large competence bonuses period.)

    If you've ever thumbed through the thread on my monk remix, then you know that I stake out a controversial position on skill bonuses. They are wildly, wildly, astronomically, stupendously overpriced. No really, they're so far off that it's just dumb. Eskimos would rather buy ice than buy magic items that grant large competence bonuses on skill checks. You'd rather invest in subprime mortgages than buy these things. Even Bernie Madoff wouldn't touch them. Just looking at an example, a set of +30 competence bonus to Climb, Jump, and Balance sets me back 360,000 gp, which is more than the entire WBL of a 17th level character. However, a continuous item of fly, which is better in every conceivable way that even remotely matters, could cost as little as 30,000 gp, which is nearly affordable at 8th level. Meanwhile, a warlock can pick up continuous flight as a class feature as early as 6th level. Skill bonuses from items are just not costed correctly.
    I get that impression as well. Even when most of your class's features are built around a single skill (like my Wizard/Incantatrix is built around Spellcraft, and my party's Fighter/Dragoon is built around Jump), skill bonuses on their own are pretty ridiculous. In most cases, I'm willing to simply settle for Masterwork tools and call it a day.

    In fact, most "epic" uses of skills approximate the effects of 2nd or 3rd-level spells. Thus, gaining a class feature that moves your skill checks into the epic range by level 13 is...well, milktoast. I mean, really, imagine the conversations.

    Silliness aside, however, you're correct again that the fighter is intended to be extremely good at making skill checks with a small selection of thematic skills. Perhaps even unparalleled in the arena of his specialty. It seems to me that what you're really saying though is that fighters shouldn't be better at skill use, even within their specialization, than members of other classes. Instead, members of other classes should be better at using the fighter's skills than the fighter is. Am I correct here?
    What I'm trying to get at is more along the lines of "fighters shouldn't be better at skill use, even within their specialization, than members of other classes without making some investment for that skill, as other classes have to do for theirs." To that end, I think Skill Mastery isn't broken, nor is giving the Fighter more skill points outright, or giving them more available class skills (either as a straight class feature or a fighting style unlock), but giving them a way to make epic-level checks without ever investing a rank into it is another story. I mean, I, as a Wizard, am not expected to make a considerably higher Spellcraft roll than the party's Cleric without investing ranks into Spellcraft, even though Spellcraft is central to my class and not to his; similarly, he, as a Cleric, is not expected to make a considerably higher Knowledge (religion) check than I am without first investing ranks into it.

    I guess what I'm getting at is, even though many classes have certain specializations (some of them even having skill specializations), no single class has "expert at this skill for free" as a class feature; in order for a Rogue to be better at opening locks and hiding than, say, the Cleric from above, they have to invest a considerable number of skills into Open Lock and Hide. In order for me to beat the Rogue at Spellcraft, I have to invest ranks into Spellcraft. Some class features will implicitly aid these classes in their respective "strong skills" (Rogues are one of very few classes who don't treat these certain skills as cross-class, so a Rogue is needed in order to even have full access to these skills; a specialist Wizard gets a +2 bonus to Spellcraft checks within his own school), but the big payoff comes as a result of investing appropriately in that skill.

    I guess you could say that's by big complaint both with the current "key skill" feature, as well as the auras; they're free. The concept of "high-risk, high-reward" isn't really an issue when there's no risk incurred; unlike the Barbarian's Rage (or your Rage feature), or the Bard's performance, or the Paladin's Smite Evil, or the Cleric's turning, or even the Wizard's spells, there is no such thing as a wrong time to use these abilities; if you have the Resilient Troops aura up for an hour non-stop while dungeon crawling, you've lost nothing, but if a Barbarian (or a Barbaric Fighter) has Rage up for a minute, they've lost enough of their key class feature's use per day to be measured in percentages, even at the highest levels. If a Wizard uses an eighth-level spell, they may bend reality with it, but the point is they can only do it a few times per day (five, max, if they're specialist) so they'd better make it count when they cast that eighth-level spell (and, accordingly, they'd better have made strong eighth-level spell choices for the day)!

    The difference between your auras, Martial Aptitude, and even skill bonuses and, well, every other class feature worth mentioning is that yours have no cost to use them, and have no limits to their regular usage, whereas others do. If you are a revised Fighter and you are terrible at resource management, you are rewarded for using three or more class features every turn, but if you're a Wizard and you are terrible at resource management, you turn to the crossbow by the third room of the dungeon (this is especially true at the early- to mid-level, where Wizards don't have nearly as many resources to manage); if you are a Fighter and you're terrible at appropriate uses of resources, that's okay, you can switch out as a swift action, but if you're a Wizard and you are terrible at selecting appropriate resources, you prepare Fireball cooked a dozen different ways against the Elder Fire Elemental boss of the fire-themed volcano-dungeon, unless your party lets you rest for eight hours so you can change spells. (Sorcerers have the opposite problem; they can switch between spells spontaneously, but if they select inappropriate spells upon level-up, they have a maximum of ten chances ever to reverse the decision.)

    I guess the point I'm trying to make is, "no-risk, good-reward" is a better trade than "high-risk, high-reward", even if the payoff is a little less, because you're getting everything for free and without repercussions for inappropriate choices or resource management. It's one thing when a single, central feature of the class is given out for free (Paladin gets Divine Grace for CHA bonus to all saves, but other features, like turning and Smite Evil, have daily restrictions), but when all of them are free and require no investment, it just stops being fun to think about it.
    Last edited by Lonely Tylenol; 2011-05-26 at 03:47 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Must construct bigger wall!
    What? Impossible!

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    My preference is that passing saving throws should be something that fighters are good at, all the time, regardless of build.
    Woah, there. A stance like that could easily be read as "blaster wizards shouldn't be able to soften up the enemy", which is something no one wants. Combat shouldn't devolve into the fighters duke it out while the blasters waste 3/4 of their spells.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    And yes, I know the marshal is a different case because that's the only thing it has going for it.
    Yeah, very different case, since there's been a lot of effort here to give the fighter something going for it other than massive mental fortitude. I'm not even touching that part of the argument, it's going nowhere...

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    The remixed fighter obsoletes the rogue and paladin.
    Yeah, I think I said I don't give about the paladin, whatever, but the rogue should be the skillmonkey. More on skill monkey later, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    • Limit total kitfeats to 1, which must be taken when acquiring the 1st level of fighter.
    • Limit the total kitfeats to 1, a limit that may relax with the acquisition of Second Style and Third Style.
    • Grant the fighter his fighting style bonus with only one or two key skills of his choice, rather than all.
    • Reduce/delay the scaling of the fighting style bonus.
    • Convert Combat Aura to a competence bonus so it does not stack with the key skill bonus.
    Of the list, 1 seems okay, add 4 and we're getting somewhere, though I don't think it needs terribly much dealy/reduce, as my suggested numbers demonstrated.

    Now, as for five, it doesn't really solve the problem. However, if you do make it competence, I see no reason not to double the bonus granted. This would be fluffed as the fighter teaching and instructing his allies on-the-fly for a specific situation.

    Over all, however, I agree with Tylenol and his assessment of the aura as a free lunch. The truth is, the aura should be used to get his party out of dire straights: it's far more cinematic and engaging that way. Time limits on the aura is the way to go to encourage players to do exactly this. I think I said 1 round per day per level, broken up as the fighter sees fit. You could add cha bonus to that, too (bonus, not modifier, I think)

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Worth noting: I didn't mention this earlier because I wasn't directly his post, but Okuno's table contains an error. At levels 5, 9, 13, and 17, he lists the gp value and % of WBL for the skill bonuses at double what he should
    Ooh, I was going to hate myself I had bungled that math <.< Luckily, I checked and I haven't. There are two places you could be missing the factor of two:
    1) The table lists two items' total, so that would provide an extra 2. Since you've actually got four key skills, the problem so far is twice as tall as I make it out to be. 0.o It's just I was arguing w/ Tylenol over two skills at that point.
    2) Since the bonuses don't eat item slots, they're worth twice as much, DMG table 7-33 again.
    So, final formula is bonus squared *100 * 2 (no item slots) * 2 (two skills given bonuses) = bonus squared * 400. You'll find the numbers as listed correspond. Before it comes up, I did wonder about 2*2=3, but that doesn't apply since one of those multipliers is honest-to-goodness having a second thing rather than breaking the rules a second time.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    If you've ever thumbed through the thread on my monk remix, then you know that I stake out a controversial position on skill bonuses.
    Yeah, but you built that monk as a skillmonkey, and really, monks should do wuxia pre-epic, it's their flavor, for god's sake. So the monk's fine, but the fighter... he's a different story.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Eskimos would rather buy ice than buy magic items that grant large competence bonuses on skill checks.
    Now I love hyperbole more than the next man, but it's not just gold we're talking about. And I have no idea why I didn't put it this way before: the opportunity cost recouped also includes skill points that would otherwise have been spent.

    With four key skill bonuses as described (which approximate max ranks, btw), the fighter can spend his four skill points elsewhere. That means we're looking at a fighter gaining equivalent skill points equal to 8+int per level. That's skill monkey, plain and simple, and it doesn't fit the archetype that any of us are going for.

    Also, I checked the daring outlaw, too. Even though he's the serious skillmonkey, he never gains a take 20 on any skill. Never even a free action feint. No, you really are obsoleting classes that shouldn't be made obsolete.

    Ooh, sorta off topic, but why does your daring outlaw get the option of Devious Scoundrel at level 10 when clerics are casting freedom of movement three levels earlier? Ten minutes per CL of auto-success vs. try again once after a delay. Yeah, I know I argue later against bringing things up to caster abilities, but we have some universal application of logic fail here.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    In fact, most "epic" uses of skills approximate the effects of 2nd or 3rd-level spells. Thus, gaining a class feature that moves your skill checks into the epic range by level 13 is...well, milktoast. I mean, really, imagine the conversations.
    And let's be fair, a magic world ought to mean an anti-magic world. Items are dispellable, but key skill bonuses are not. Sure, this plays into the overpriced-skill-bonii argument, but I don't care about that one anymore, in fact, in my opinion, it's good that it plays in. What considering antimagic does is makes the key skills more desirable: now the DM can't plaster antimagic over the 50ft wide bottomless chasm and hope to stop the party.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    It seems to me that what you're really saying though is that fighters shouldn't be better at skill use, even within their specialization, than members of other classes.
    No, fighters can buy ranks like the rest of 'em. Any bonus gives them some sort of edge. If we're talking pure logic, then a bonus to a mainstream fighter ability implies a commensurate bonus to a wizard's spellcraft checks. If we're talking game balance, especially out-of-combat, some bonuses for the fighter are fine, not huge ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Instead, members of other classes should be better at using the fighter's skills than the fighter is. Am I correct here?
    Aw, heeal nah! >.< Where'd that even come from? Because wizards subsume every other class by means of their spells? Suck it, they're T1, that's what they do, and you shouldn't make a T3 fighter try to best a broken class. Now, if you want to pull the wizards down... that I can dig.</not-my-accent>

    Now, to deal with those quotes, as hilarious as they were, the underlying point that they demonstrate is flawed.
    1) Sneaking isn't even a tertiary feature of the fighter: they don't sneak at all. Okay, maybe it's a tertiary of the cunning fighter, but...
    Quote Originally Posted by fighter dude
    Sneaking is for traitors and cowards, not big, manly men! hahaha ^o^
    2) Same thing for scouting and enchanting
    Quote Originally Posted by fighter dude
    Come out and face me, coward!
    Quote Originally Posted by fighter dude
    Fowl enchantress! Begone, I'll have none of your silly tricks!
    Seriously, you could see Legolas saying versions of these things... Gimli says all of them, IIRC.

    The primary class feature for all fighters is, drum roll please: hitting things to death. It suits them, that's why we play fighters (or fighter-types anyway).
    The secondary class features could include inspiration, cheating, defending, blah-dee-blah, but that's just it: they're secondary.

    EDIT: "The wall isn't big enough, we need more power!"
    "Don't worry Jim, I've got a pill for that."

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol
    I still don't think the answer is to give people a class with even more preferential alternatives to the Paladin
    Yeah actually, the game balance would be vastly improved if you gave the cleric a mount, paired it's spell list to be more paladin-y, and called it the paladin. No one plays paladin, it's not a break point, and it's the break points that we're interested in here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol
    Bardic performance is the only unique feature of the Bard that sees a lot of play
    Exactly, though bardic knowledge is good if you like make an attempt at not metagaming.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol
    Skill Mastery can extend to all key skills (as it does normally), but the ability to "take 20" on a skill should only extend to the skill(s) that they choose to gain the competence bonus from.
    Actually, I'ma go further on this one. Since the daring outlaw has no take 20s, I see no reason to give take 20s to the fighter. I'm not of the opinion that take twenty is something anyone should do before epic: remember it would be cramming twenty minutes into a few seconds usually. If I'm being generous, I'd let the rogue pick a skill from a shortlist at level 17+, he can take twenty on it once a day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol
    as the Pathfinder Fighter levels up, they gain a higher maximum dexterity bonus to their armor, as well as a lower armor check penalty.
    Ooh, now that sounds bloody excellent. Maybe I should look into pathfinder. I definitely vote a yes on integrating this: it's pure archetype, makes RL sense, can't break anything or perturb combined arms, and it's something you want your fighter character to be able to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol
    Small competence bonuses applying everywhere > large competence bonuses applying everywhere
    I have no idea what you mean by that @.@ Edit, please? Oh, I can read the notation, but...

    EDIT: I had the wrong quote in here, I think this is the one I meant.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol
    I guess the point I'm trying to make is, "no-risk, good-reward" is a better trade than "high-risk, high-reward", even if the payoff is a little less, because you're getting everything for free and without repercussions for inappropriate choices or resource management.
    Bang on, sir! but I do have to cite my sources, so yeah, I've integrated this point into the above argument.
    Last edited by Okuno; 2011-05-28 at 05:22 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    Quote Originally Posted by Okuno View Post
    Yeah actually, the game balance would be vastly improved if you gave the cleric a mount, paired it's spell list to be more paladin-y, and called it the paladin. No one plays paladin, it's not a break point, and it's the break points that we're interested in here.
    Very well.

    The Fighter just has more features that detract from the Knight-Paladin, which is jikiru's own revision of the Knight and Paladin which, by all conventions, doesn't suck.

    Actually, I'ma go further on this one. Since the daring outlaw has no take 20s, I see no reason to give take 20s to the fighter. I'm not of the opinion that take twenty is something anyone should do before epic: remember it would be cramming twenty minutes into a few seconds usually. If I'm being generous, I'd let the rogue pick a skill from a shortlist at level 17+, he can take twenty on it once a day.
    But that's what I was saying!

    I have no idea what you mean by that @.@ Edit, please? Oh, I can read the notation, but...
    I had to read this five times, followed by the paragraph you were quoting (in full) five times, before I realized that you were referring to the ">" symbol as literal mathematical notation.

    I'm going to have problems with "less is more" around you, aren't I?

    Bang on, sir! but I do have to cite my sources, so yeah, I've integrated this point into the above argument.
    Thanks.

    I'm speaking "out of turn" here, so to speak, but I just wanted to say to jikiru that I have now read your Daring Outlaw, Knight-Paladin and Monk, and loved all of them. I hope my foaming-at-the-mouth rants about your Fighter aren't discouraging.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol View Post
    The Fighter just has more features that detract from the Knight-Paladin,
    Yeah, I haven't read that one, except now I am... curse you @see!
    Meh, having skimmed it, I'm not sold on that one, really. Maybe the name's just a little off for the idea, or maybe it's that I've never gotten into the whole striker/defender thing as a dichotomy. As it stands, the disciplined and watchful fighters should be able to be built as defenders, and when I think knight, I think cavalry fighter, but maybe that's just me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol View Post
    But that's what I was saying!
    Yeah, pretty much. OTOH, the more I see the lack of precedent, the more I'm like "where does this fit in?" ergo convergent evolution.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol View Post
    I'm going to have problems with "less is more" around you, aren't I?
    Ohhhh... okay, that makes snes now. >.>

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol View Post
    I am still of the mind that any homebrew has to pass the test of "would I allow this to be homebrewed into my campaign?"--and if the answer is "sure, but only if I also homebrew x, y, and z to keep this from completely outshining x, y, and z", then as a stand-alone, the homebrew revision has failed; it is dependent on a total class overhaul in order to fit in.
    You guys have way too much text for me to keep up, but let me comment on this bit: by this logic, I cannot make any decent class with two-weapon fighting and intimidate unless it's on par with the CW samurai, as it's unfair to the samurai to have classes I would choose over it every time. Jiriku's fighter actually makes your job easier because you need to update fewer classes (since this class replaces so many).

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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    Quote Originally Posted by Pechvarry View Post
    You guys have way too much text for me to keep up
    Yeah, I know all too well <.< That's alright, I'll cut you some slack and refer to this snippet from above:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol
    I still don't think the answer is to give people a class with even more preferential alternatives to the Paladin
    Quote Originally Posted by Okuno
    No one plays paladin, it's not a break point, and it's the break points that we're interested in here.


    With that in mind, let me address your point:

    Quote Originally Posted by Pechvarry View Post
    I cannot make any decent class with two-weapon fighting and intimidate unless it's on par with the CW samurai, as it's unfair to the samurai to have classes I would choose over it every time.
    Samurai isn't a break point either. No one plays him, so no one should care if he gets steamrolled by something. There are no logical impediments to your hypothetical TWF class.


    Bleh, there's also so much logic flying around it's hard to keep track of it all and how it interacts with itself @.@ Maybe I should try to summarize some key principles?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    To give you some food for thought while I finish fleshing out the watchful fighter bonus feats that I'm working on right now, here's a bit of my thought process on large skill bonii.

    • All classes need utility functions in order to contribute fully to the game.
    • All classes specifically need a social capability of some kind.
    • All classes specifically need a transport capability of some kind.
    • All classes specifically need an information-gathering capability of some kind.

    Without the above abilities, a character may struggle to contribute to certain types of games.

    Casting classes typically use spells for utility, social interaction, and mobility. Noncasters typically use skills and/or a mount.

    In the rare cases where they rely on skills, casters frequently enhance those skills with magic. Consider spells such as moment of prescience, lore of the gods, divine insight, primal hunter, vision of the omniscient eye, divine presence, spiritual advisor, surge of fortune, invisibility, and jump, which directly enhance skill checks, along with spells such as polymorph, cat's grade, bite of the werebear, sirine's grace and many more, which grant ability bonuses, which in turn improve skill checks.

    Given this access to skill-check-boosting magic, it should be understood that a caster will outperform a noncaster, given equal ranks invested in a skill.

    In remixing old classes and developing new classes an approach I have taken level the playing field is to provide non-casters and limited-list casters with class features that provide static skill boosts to key class skills. They also get a larger class skill list and more skill points than casters. This enhances their suite of utility options and (at least partially) compensates for their lack of spells.

    These boosts serve as a "handicap" to balance against the assumed bonus that a full caster receives through casting skill-boosting spells.

    Now, stylistically you may object to these because they "cost nothing", but they do carry significant opportunity costs.

    • First, there is the cost of a lost class feature, because I would surely have added something else if I had omitted the skill booster.
    • For the fighter's key skills, there's the cost of the skills not boosted. Selecting a fighting style prevents the fighter from gaining bonuses to the key skills of the other fighting styles.
    • For the fighter's combat aura, there's the cost of the auras not learned or invoked. Should the fighter select the skill-boosting aura, he permanently gives up the chance to learn a different aura. Should he activate the aura, he forfeits the benefit of every other aura he knows.


    Now, you may argue that "other classes don't get cool stuff like this", but that's kind of the point. One of the reasons fighters suck is because they don't get toys that belong uniquely to them. I'm fixing that.

    I think there's a valid case to be made that the bonuses are too many and too large. I'm not convinced yet. Really, what can you do with a +20 mod to Intimidate, Listen, Sense Motive, and Spot at 17th level? +20 Spot will help you defeat invisibility (a mere 2nd level spell), but +20 Listen won't break a silence spell. +20 Sense Motive is nice, but a bard 10 levels lower can probably still challenge you with one casting of a glibness spell. +20 Intimidate is useful, but Intimidate is opposed by HD, which scales faster than PC level, so your level appropriate foes are still going to present an obstacle.

    So what am I saying? Much of your analysis has consisted of comparing remixed fighter features to what other classes get. I'd suggest instead that you compare these features to what other classes can do. So for example, a beguiler doesn't gain a competence bonus to Bluff checks like a cunning fighter does... but the beguiler is still more tricky, because he can use spells like disguise self, glibness, and major image. The beguiler still wins the "being sneaky contest", even though the fighter's skill bonus allows him to contribute effectively in a social challenge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Okuno View Post
    Actually, I'ma go further on this one. Since the daring outlaw has no take 20s, I see no reason to give take 20s to the fighter. I'm not of the opinion that take twenty is something anyone should do before epic: remember it would be cramming twenty minutes into a few seconds usually. If I'm being generous, I'd let the rogue pick a skill from a shortlist at level 17+, he can take twenty on it once a day.
    Actually, that's a pretty good idea for inclusion in the list of special ability options for the daring outlaw. It could be fluffed as a "stroke of luck" that allows him to perform the task perfectly on the first try.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonely Tylenol View Post
    I'm speaking "out of turn" here, so to speak, but I just wanted to say to jikiru that I have now read your Daring Outlaw, Knight-Paladin and Monk, and loved all of them. I hope my foaming-at-the-mouth rants about your Fighter aren't discouraging.
    No harm, no foul. And flattery is always welcome.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2011-05-27 at 08:38 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    Not that I'm actually disagreeing with this point at all but...

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    One of the reasons fighters suck is because they don't get toys that belong uniquely to them.
    Sorry, being a little pedantic, but they DO get unique toys, the entire weapon focus feat tree from spec onwards is fighter specific. They're lame in comparison, but I HAD to point it out, sorry!
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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    Quote Originally Posted by Veklim View Post
    Sorry, being a little pedantic, but they DO get unique toys, the entire weapon focus feat tree from spec onwards is fighter specific. They're lame in comparison, but I HAD to point it out, sorry!
    ...except that warblades can pick that up too, because they count as a fighter of [level-2] for meeting prerequisites. The only unique thing they had, stolen right out from under them by the class meant to replace them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by abadguy View Post
    Darn you PoDL for making me care about a bunch of NPC Commoners!
    Quote Originally Posted by Chambers View Post
    I'm pretty sure turning Waterdeep into a sheet of glass wasn't the best win condition for that fight. We lived though!
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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    ...except that warblades can pick that up too, because they count as a fighter of [level-2] for meeting prerequisites. The only unique thing they had, stolen right out from under them by the class meant to replace them.
    With the -2 though, they still can't pick up Weapon Supremacy until epic levels, which is the only really cool feat out of that whole chain anyway.
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    With the -2 though, they still can't pick up Weapon Supremacy until epic levels, which is the only really cool feat out of that whole chain anyway.
    If you have a way to get an extra feat at 20th (heroics, taint, DCFS, psychic reformation, etc.) you can still pick that up, it just might take some finagling.
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    Quote Originally Posted by abadguy View Post
    Darn you PoDL for making me care about a bunch of NPC Commoners!
    Quote Originally Posted by Chambers View Post
    I'm pretty sure turning Waterdeep into a sheet of glass wasn't the best win condition for that fight. We lived though!
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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    while I finish fleshing out the watchful fighter bonus feats that I'm working on right now
    Yay ^-^

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    • All classes need [X].
    Unless X is something basic like breathing, there's some downsides to making these sorts of claims.

    Firstly, everyone has their preferred play style. If a player just likes to bash heads in, he won't use the utility/social/cetera options you give him, options given at the expense of bashy options. What's worse, in some cases, the player may feel overwhelmed by what he is asked to worry about beyond what he really wanted to do. Same thing if a player just wants to play a silver-tongue courtier or the party healer. I literally had one fellow PC who only wanted to cast cure spells, to the exclusion of everything else, even though I helped round out his ability to tank; it was weird, but who am I to argue? I'm starting a campaign with my family, but my mom isn't up to snuff with 3.5 like she was with AD&D, so she was thinking to play a straightforward fighter.

    Secondly, too many cooks spoil what would otherwise have been a good stew, an this is no less true in D&D. Consider the challenge imposed on the DM when he integrates a social scene and all four of his players are moving in to get a slice of the action. It can be very hard to get people to realize that there are rules of initiative and turn order because these are unwritten. With one or two socialite characters, things can become manageable, and the other players can take a quick break for snacks. Same thing when the rogue goes to scout a bit: if everyone could explore on their own, we'd split the party into too many groups and it'd be a management nightmare. With one scout, he can go scouting a little, the rest of the party grabs a cookie and there's no problem.

    This actually is where I think I'd like the Burning Wheel social combat system if ever I could get a group to play with it instead of familiar old 3.5. </OT>

    Now, it'd be intellectually lazy if I didn't point out that I ascribe to the theory that every class should have combat options, which is clearly of the form I'm criticizing. At first sight, I'm not sure how to handle this apparent contradiction, but I've got a couple paths I can pursue. Firstly, the majority of D&D comes down to combat a lot (there are lots more bash-in-doors groups than full-on method actors, and the groups in between have sufficient combat, too), so combat options may turn out more important (and better organized) than any other sort of conflict. Secondly, I might just admit that some classes shouldn't really have combat options. In fact, I'm halfway there already if I ever create the much-needed spy class.

    D&D is about a party working together, so a better thing to say might be that every party needs utility options, social capability, transport, information gathering, and combat ability. The DM can then still run adventures with multifarious challenges and not everyone will feel like they need to be on-edge, ready to act all the time.

    Now, I'm not arguing that each class should be railroaded into exactly one party role, but for a basic class like fighter, they should have a primary role and excel at it. Other roles should be secondary and kept to no more than two. That said, the cleric should (even after fixing it into something like a T3) have better utility options than the fighter because that's what they do. Wizards are similar, but are given blaster options as well and it's up to the player to decide what style they need that day. A fixed paladin would cater to a player's desire to bash heads and cast divine spells. I'm itching for an acceptable wizard/fighter so I can cast fireball before running into the action. Core classes provide the depth of focus, hybrids provide breadth of field.

    Your fighter is primarily a front-line stabbity kinda guy. I like the idea that he can secondarily buff, and I like the idea that skills are no longer a non-starter. Similarly, it's great that you can choose to become a little more versatile by picking the cunning, barbarian or commander kit. Ultimately, their ability to fill a utility role needs to be secondary, though. If you want to play a utility person, choose a skillmonkey class, or a hybrid class like your remixed monk.

    A class should represent the broad goals of the player in the game, not just a packet of powers that can do anything the player wants to massage it into. Enough classes means that the player can easily get where he wants without being overly distracted by build paths or blindsided by a better build from another class.

    If we take five basic roles (fighter, rogue, cleric, wizard, spy), then make hybrids of these and we have 20 classes minimum (which your fighter handles more than one). Then we add flavor-y classes like the ranger and druid, and we can fit the player to the class nicely without being overwhelmed with minor variants. That's all system-level balance, but it illustrates nicely the role classes are meant to play as a mechanism.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    • All classes specifically need an information-gathering capability of some kind.
    Now, this one I'm getting more perturbed about everyday. Information-gathering is a party role that is wholly underrepresented and overrepresented by the rules. It's underrepresented insofar as there is no basic spy package. The bard almost counts, but not really because it's really a backup class. It's overrepresented because any wizard or cleric who wants to cast a divination spell can find out anything. And they have options to buff/debuff. Oh, and they can massively kill, too?

    If I, or someone, can work out a spy class, then we can pretty much drop divination and enchantment from the wizard spell lists and cut down on its illusion too. The spy then would be a good 5th party member option along with the bard, so your 5th player wouldn't feel as forced. </rant>

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Without the above abilities, a character may struggle to contribute to certain types of games.
    The druid (if it weren't T1, i.e. properly crafted), would suffer in an urban campaign. This should be the case. It does create a problem for the DM, but not an overwheming one, in fact, a barely perceptible one.

    Every DM lets the players know what kind of game they'll be playing. If it's a bunch of rooms with monsters, then the DM say you don't need a rogue and a player who always plays rogues (in addition to needing a little attitude adjustment) can choose not to play, or the DM can try to add something if he's up to it. If its urban espionage and subterfuge, the fighter doesn't need to come into play unless it's run with a sense of humor and it's okay if the fighter blows everyone's cover. The DM, as the organizing force, already tailors the classes and the challenges to fit each other. Having to tailor an adventure for a fighter is no more work than he is already doing. His job is made harder if he doesn't know before he writes up some ideas if his fighter player will be swinging his axe blindly or trying to manipulate people. As you said, options are powerful, and I shoot back with powerful enough to break the game, so you should be restrained with them. Not totally restrained, but have some respect for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Given this access to skill-check-boosting magic, it should be understood that a caster will outperform a noncaster, given equal ranks invested in a skill.
    I'm generally not talking about what specific things a player can do, that's more Tylenol's tactic. I'm more worried about making the fighter be a T3/4 than making him break even with a T1. I don't care how the fighter balances with the samurai or the paladin, because they are too far away balance-wise to be of comparative use. The same problem, if not a worse one, exists trying to compare the fighter to T1/2 casters. I know I've only said it about T5/6, but after bumping it in it's refined form...

    Trying to cross a giant chasm and have used up your fly spells for the day? Jump doesn't have personal range: cast it on your party's fighter, who btw has ranks and skill bonuses, because he's the most likely to jump the gap. You'll have two players being engaged at a time instead of only the one, and the whole party will agree if you've got a decent group. I remember I was going to buff a fellow PC, but the party caught that it'd be more effective if I cast it on my cohort, so that's the strategy we chose, and I ended up rolling more dice. People are fine, even happy to be left out a little.

    And remember, it's far easier for a DM to counter magic than raw, mundane skills. The bonuses granted are (Ex), so they're as difficult to counter as pure ranks. I wouldn't recommend making them (Su), that would suck, just remember how hard it is on the DM to create a challenge if the fighter essentially grows intangible, uncounterable wings through his epic skill use.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Now, stylistically you may object to these because they "cost nothing", but they do carry significant opportunity costs.
    What Tylenol and I have in mind is not the opportunity cost of one class feature as opposed to another, but the cost of using features once the player already have those features.

    Like Tylenol said, a caster still has to choose when he casts his spells; if he casts willy-nilly, his opportunity cost is that he'll be eaten later in the day. The fighter OTOH can use his aura until the pigs fly home to their frozen hell, and he pays nothing for that. This is a massive free lunch, which is bad on economic principle, but is also a problem for the feel of the game. What a free lunch does 1) is discourage smart play and 2) make the players take that lunch for granted, reducing the feature's ability to create fun.

    This is no stylistic difference of opinion: we disagree over the psychological facts of how rules drive the way the game generates fun. (And I'm on the fact's side, na-na-na-boo-boo XP ^o^)

    Now, I see, and have already seen, that there is the class feature cost. I've suggested some features to account for the loss of free lunching it, and Tylenol has suggested another ability as well which could offset as well, though I'm not sure that was his intension. With these new features and a proper nerf of the aura, the fighter actually gains in fun call-ons as well as passive abilities without reducing the power of the class too gratuitously.

    If this makes any sense, my argument is not that this fighter is over powered, it's that it sometimes applies its power in the wrong places.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    One of the reasons fighters suck is because they don't get toys that belong uniquely to them. I'm fixing that.
    Oh, I can dig it, but auras and skill bonuses aren't the only way to give them toys. The pathfinder-style improved armor use is a massively cool toy, and you can integrate it easily in such a way that only fighters get it. Exceptional strength has already been integrated in that way, and the ability to full attack as a standard action likewise (and that feature surpasses your monk's flurry toy, too). I bloody love cool toys, but just adding toys detracts from other (relevantly balanced) classes' toys, too, and that's not good for the game as a whole, even if it might be good for the fighter.

    (Oh, I looked over the pathfinder armor familiarity or whatever it's called, I'm surprised it allows an effective +8 to armor class with a properly dexxed fighter 0.o)

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    +20 Intimidate is useful, but Intimidate is opposed by HD
    Hmm, I've never really used intimidate much (probably for this reason), but that's a problem with the trunaming skill, too. They fixed the skill and left the class alone. Shouldn't it be by CR anyway? Because a sqishy mindflayer shouldn't be that intimidatable. Just a bit of idea-debris.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Much of your analysis has consisted of comparing remixed fighter features to what other classes get. I'd suggest instead that you compare these features to what other classes can do.
    To be fair, Tylenol specifically analyzed what your fighter could do and compared that with what a rogue could do. We're totally on the boat with this one. I'm maybe less able to see the "can do"s, but that's because I haven't pushed myself to be a builder. Once a see a "can do" example, I'm all over it, as long as it is an example pulled from a relevant class about a relevant class role.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    So for example, a beguiler daring outlaw doesn't gain a competence bonus to Bluff checks like a cunning fighter does... but the beguiler daring outlaw is still more tricky, because he can use spells like disguise self, glibness, and major image... um, nothing, I guess? Skill points, but there are max ranks, so no...
    Here's a problem. No real problem I see with your example, as the beguiler fills a good bit of the spy role, so let's indeed have him be trickier than either the fighter or the rogue, but shouldn't the cunning fighter should be more like a cunning fighter. The daring outlaw, having better combat capability than the vanilla rogue is already closer to being a cunning fighter than the rogue is. To protect the niches of your system, you'll want to remember that you originally called the cunning fighter a thug, and that's what fits the fluff, too. Remember, just as fighters don't have to be dumb, neither do thugs: "I'm a respectable employee of a respectable businessman, wink wink, nudge nudge." Let cunning fighters buy their ranks: not every streetman of the thieves' guild need be a smooth-talker.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    It could be fluffed as a "stroke of luck" that allows him to perform the task perfectly on the first try.
    I like that fluff, actually. It could turn me around about take 20 issue. That feature would also pull that class more in like with the intro fluff about luck, which mostly relegated to the feats.


    I didn't think I had that much to write 0.o Oh well, for victory!

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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    As usual, your hombrewing keeps supplying interesting stuff, and you've probably created the king of kings of customization, but . . .

    I think that this time you've overlooked an important hombrewing rull: KISS (keep it simple stupid).

    The class details spread on so many pages that it has practically become a mini game in and on itself.

    I'm sure I'll have quite a bit of interesting stuff to read in its detailed description, but I believe it to be impossible for such a lengthy detail not to comes somewhat at the expense of practicallity.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    Posted 10 additional watchful fighter feats, themed around vigilance, tanking, and protecting others.

    Reduced max skill bonus on key skills from +20 to +10, and eliminated the "free 20" option at 17th level.

    Specified that kit feats can only be taken when acquiring your first level of fighter, and you can only ever learn one kit feat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Okuno View Post
    ...everyone has their preferred play style. If a player just likes to bash heads in, he won't use the utility/social/cetera options you give him, options given at the expense of bashy options. What's worse, in some cases, the player may feel overwhelmed by what he is asked to worry about beyond what he really wanted to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    I think that this time you've overlooked an important hombrewing rull: KISS (keep it simple stupid).

    The class details spread on so many pages that it has practically become a mini game in and on itself.
    I hear that! There's an amazingly elegant homebrew class by Benly called the divine soul that comes to my mind. It's innovative, functional, flexible, effective... and the entire class fits on one page. I can't write classes like that. I wish I could. My classes are option-rich, but they're also complicated, and low-involvement players do get intimidated by the pages of STUFF.

    How can I simplify the remixed fighter? I suppose I could strip out the "kit" concept and present the weapon master fighter as "THE" fighter. Then I could present the kits as ACFs. That would offload a considerable amount of text from the OP and reduce the "required reading" to learn the basics of the class by 80%. Hmm. I like it. Imma do it.

    Edit: I am currently performing a comprehensive rewrite of the fighting style class feature and all posts relating to fighting styles or style-specific feats. This will take me several hours. Please hold.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2011-05-28 at 07:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    I'm sure I'll have quite a bit of interesting stuff to read in its detailed description, but I believe it to be impossible for such a lengthy detail not to comes somewhat at the expense of practicallity.
    I mean, let's see WotC write out 4-7 classes (I forget all the extant classes it subsumes) and their feats in that little space... ^o^

    While it's relevant, I prefer to have the progression for each kit together rather than split as you have it now. That way, I can more easily size up what each kit is good for.

    That's probably part of your idea as you do that reorganize thing, jiriku (omg, I think this is the first time I spelled it right <.<)

    Regardless, if the DM integrates it, he ought to be able to coach some as well, especially during build time. I think once it sees play this fighter really only has one extra thing over the old fighter to worry about, and that's the aura. Oops, my bad: two things, 'cause he can redo feats. My unwritten strategy would be like the way I deal with cleric spells: get a few loadouts ready and switch between with perhaps some tweaks for specifics instead of rethinking everything all the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku
    Reduced max skill bonus on key skills from +20 to +10, and eliminated the "free 20" option at 17th level.
    To 10, huh? Further than I estimated. I found +16 at 18th to be not unreasonable, so that could mean +15 at 17th (to keep it easy and with the existing fighting style bumps). I guess since you're keeping the kit feat option, but that might be hurting the non-kit featers if that's the reasoning. EDIT: Oh, no wait, you've not cut any of the key skills! That makes more snes than my line...

    I like the new feats. Particularly, challenging gaze just seems like the perfect sort of Worf-y goodness. Armored Menace is nice, too, though I was thinking sticky AoC instead. We don't see many feats that only work in heavy armor ^.^

    We'll see if the aura gets time-limited tomorrow, I suppose. In the meantime, I've got some copy-paste to do. (And all the manual re-formatting helps me know what's going on)
    Last edited by Okuno; 2011-05-28 at 08:49 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    Aaand it's done. Wow, that was time-consuming.

    Weapon Master fighting Style is now the stock fighting style for the fighter. the other fighting styles are now described as ACFs, and I've simplified the page for each ACF to make it a little quicker to read through. Building a "stock" fighter now requires a lot less reading.

    Additionally, I've removed the Second Style and Third Style class features and all of the kit feats, and replaced them with two new feats, creatively named Second Style and Third Style. I've also added an Extra Key Skill feat, since the fighter now has to pick and choose his key skills.

    I'm thinking that to please the Combat Aura crowd, I may provide an ACF for it. How about an option that permanently doubles the bonus, but limits you to a small number of rounds per day?
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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    I'd really like to see an "armor training" ability, similar to the pathfinder ability, that lets you move more efficiently in medium and heavy armors.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    It really is true, you just can't please some people....

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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    Armor training will be available as bonus feats. I was going to hold this back to release with a number of other feats I'm developing/revising, but since the demand is so great, I'll go ahead and spoil it here.

    ARMOR OPTIMIZATION, HEAVY [Fighter, General]
    You have trained extensively in heavy armor and you have learned to take advantage of the protection it offers.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Armor Proficiency (heavy), base attack bonus +4.
    Benefit: When you are wearing heavy armor, lessen the armor check penalty of the armor by 1 and increase the armor bonus by 1.
    Advancement: If you have base attack bonus +8 or greater, instead lessen the armor check penalty by 3 and increase the armor bonus by 2.
    If you have base attack bonus +12 or greater, instead lessen the armor check penalty by 5 and increase the armor bonus by 3.
    If you have base attack bonus +16 or greater, instead lessen the armor check penalty by 7 and increase the armor bonus by 4.


    ARMOR OPTIMIZATION, LIGHT [Fighter, General]
    You have trained extensively in light armor and you have learned to take advantage of the protection it offers and stay agile while wearing it.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Armor Proficiency (light), base attack bonus +4.
    Benefit: When you are wearing light armor, increase the maximum Dexterity bonus of the armor by 1.
    Advancement: If you have base attack bonus +8 or greater, instead increase the maximum Dexterity bonus by 2.
    If you have base attack bonus +12 or greater, instead lessen the armor check penalty by 1 and increase the maximum Dexterity bonus by 3.
    If you have base attack bonus +16 or greater, instead lessen the armor check penalty by 2 and increase the maximum Dexterity bonus by 4.


    ARMOR OPTIMIZATION, MEDIUM [Fighter, General]
    You have trained extensively in medium armor and you have learned to take advantage of the protection it offers.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Prerequisites: Armor Proficiency (medium), base attack bonus +4.
    Benefit: When you are wearing medium armor, lessen the armor check penalty of the armor by 1 and increase the maximum Dexterity bonus of the armor by 1.
    Advancement: If you have base attack bonus +8 or greater, instead lessen the armor check penalty by 2 and increase the armor bonus and maximum Dexterity bonus by 1.
    If you have base attack bonus +12 or greater, instead lessen the armor check penalty by 3, increase the armor bonus and maximum Dexterity bonus by 1, and ignore the movement penalty for wearing medium armor.
    If you have base attack bonus +16 or greater, instead lessen the armor check penalty by 5, increase the armor bonus and maximum Dexterity bonus by 2, and ignore the movement penalty for wearing medium armor.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2011-05-29 at 09:11 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    Nice, I like these, especially that they work differently for different armor types.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Fighter Remix: Doin' it old-school

    Spiffy ^-^ And that organization does make it easier to read through. The spoilers underneath "Playing a Remixed Fighter" ought to be a massive benefit for understanding. I can't wait to see what the witch hunter will look like (probably because I don't know why that wouldn't be a build or PrC?).

    EDIT: I ought to mention that I largely like the new key skill system. Choice of two to start, maybe a feat for a third, halved bonuses from earlier. It provides more flexibility than the suggestions I was tossing around and has roughly the same amount of power. Depending on the answer to a question below, I may or may not like the second/third style key skill system. If it works the way it seems to read, a fighter can get up to seven key skills, that'd be roughly 7.3 equivalent skill ranks to a level (9.4 for barbaric and cunning), moving the fighter to half-skillmonkey easy, possible full monkey. Not nearly as bad as before, but weird nonetheless.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Additionally, I've removed the Second Style and Third Style class features and all of the kit feats, and replaced them with two new feats, creatively named Second Style and Third Style. I've also added an Extra Key Skill feat, since the fighter now has to pick and choose his key skills.
    Heh, not sure what I think about moving that stuff to feats, but it could reduce the complexity, so I think I like it. Simple solution to put them in general so that retraining is bypassed, nice. A question about how the key skills interact with multiple style feats: do you gain the bonus as an X fighter of your total fighter level or as some number of levels less?

    That was murder to smush that into one question, so lemme clarify: with second style in X fighter, you qualify for X fighter feats as if you were eight levels less than your actual fighter levels. With skills, do you likewise count as 8 levels less, or do you gain the full key skill bonuses?

    EDIT AREA2: I'ma vote the former. That'd move the fighter's possible equivalent skill ranks to (I'm I' just WAGing this one, but) 4+1.5+.7+.3=6.5 (8.5 for certain kits). Then the fighter maxes around half-skillmonkey instead of maxing at full orangutan (^o^). [For external observers, jiriku rogues get 10/level.]

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    I'm thinking that to please the Combat Aura crowd, I may provide an ACF for it. How about an option that permanently doubles the bonus, but limits you to a small number of rounds per day?
    The whole aura to ACF? That'd be no good. I mean, my opinion is really summed up in that first spoiler from post #93. Most importantly, it makes the aura work a number of rounds per day equal to your fighter class levels. That might be too low, but somewhere around there is good. Some other commensurate options are one round per encounter per four/five full fighter levels, or 3+Cha modifier times per day for one minute at a time. If weather the storm was made mainly for travel through snow/&c, then it can easily have a longer timescale.

    Quote Originally Posted by Merk View Post
    Nice, I like these, especially that they work differently for different armor types.
    I dunno, given how some features have been offloaded into feats, I'd say a crunchy benefit like this would do better as part of the class, especially if it isn't broken up into different armors. OTOH, the feats give each armor a different feel, which is nice. Maybe just give the player's choice of one of these as a bonus feat? They aren't likely to want to retrain it ever.
    Last edited by Okuno; 2011-05-29 at 11:33 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Okuno View Post
    A question about how the key skills interact with multiple style feats: do you gain the bonus as an X fighter of your total fighter level or as some number of levels less?
    The key skills are added to your primary fighting style and thus function at your full fighter level. This is powerful. However, given the steep character level prerequisites on these feats, and given the number of levels the character has suffered through without the ability to spend skill points at the class skill exchange rate, this is powerful in a justified and paid-for way. Compare to my remixes of other skill-enhancing feats.

    Quote Originally Posted by Okuno View Post
    The whole aura to ACF? That'd be no good. I mean, my opinion is really summed up in that first spoiler from post #93. Most importantly, it makes the aura work a number of rounds per day equal to your fighter class levels. That might be too low, but somewhere around there is good. Some other commensurate options are one round per encounter per four/five full fighter levels, or 3+Cha modifier times per day for one minute at a time. If weather the storm was made mainly for travel through snow/&c, then it can easily have a longer timescale.
    I think we simply have an irreconcilable difference of opinion on the power and usefulness of static auras. When I look at the dreadful failures that are the dragon shaman and marshal classes, I see where WoTC assumed that a static aura providing a single bonus was a mighty thing, and so they wrapped a weak chassis around this supposedly "powerful" primary feature, but ultimately the class did nothing, because its "primary" feature was essentially a low-level persisted buff spell. The combat aura is a secondary feature at best.

    The long duration and easy activation of the aura is nothing to get excited about. It's comparable to the various party-buffing stances in the White Raven martial discipline, or to the many long-duration buffs that spellcasting characters typically cast on their party before entering an adventure zone. Although such buffs may last only hours, they might as be "all-day" buffs since the party usually retreats and rests once they wear off.

    The magnitude of the aura is likewise unimpressive. The spells that it mimics, such as mass resist energy, mass longstrider, mass conviction, and the like provide similar or greater bonuses, and are available to many classes.

    The effects the aura provides are likewise nothing to write home about, as, again, they can largely be duplicated by 1st - 3rd-level spells. At best, the fighter may be able to offer a buff that is incrementally better than what another party member can provide, but it's quite likely his buff stacks with those of his allies, so the fighter enhances his ally's ability rather than overshadowing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Okuno View Post
    I dunno, given how some features have been offloaded into feats, I'd say a crunchy benefit like this would do better as part of the class, especially if it isn't broken up into different armors. OTOH, the feats give each armor a different feel, which is nice. Maybe just give the player's choice of one of these as a bonus feat? They aren't likely to want to retrain it ever.
    I knew you would say this. The question to answer when deciding whether to make something a fighter class feature or a fighter bonus feat is "Will absolutely every fighter want to have this?" If the answer is no, it needs to be a feat. Incidentally, that's why I rebuilt Second and Third Style as feats.

    Not every fighter will want to tinker around with the numbers on his armor. Some fighters won't wear armor, instead multi-classing with a class that grants benefits while unarmored. A fighter who prefers light armor and has a modest Dexterity might not see any benefit from the Light Armor Optimization feat. Conversely, a charge-focused fighter with Shock Trooper might be planning to dump his AC into the basement and would not be particularly concerned with improving his AC. Another fighter might take the opposite tack, and wear different armor grades in different situations, or at different points in his career. Such a fighter would want more than one of these abilities, but won't need more than one at a time. This practically begs to be a fighter bonus feat, a modular option that can be added, changed or removed based on the fighter's short-term need.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    given the number of levels the character has suffered through without the ability to spend skill points at the class skill exchange rate, this is powerful in a justified and paid-for way.
    Fair enough, but it sorta doesn't fit the fluff, I guess. Sure the fluff is less important, but a sudden nevermind, I'm still thinking old bonus progression. There would actually be no super-sudden jump at levels 9&17, I see what you did there... <.<

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    I think we simply have an irreconcilable difference of opinion on the power and usefulness of static auras.
    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    Although such buffs may last only hours, they might as be "all-day" buffs since the party usually retreats and rests once they wear off.
    Actually, I don't think they're irreconcilable at all. I've started with one round per fighter class level, but as that's been percolating, that just seems too little (IIRC I hinted that before). The other suggestions I tossed out, which make the aura usable more like rage is, I think would be more suited, and you've said why in that second quote I pulled.

    How often does a fighter need his auras? He's got plenty of power for the orcs in leather, but anytime something looks mean, he can turn on the aura and not worry too much about running out for the day. If we go a minute per, that aura, more often than not, has essentially lasted the encounter.

    A little thought on the part of the player put into the aura goes a long way towards increasing engagement with the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    The combat aura is a secondary feature at best.
    Now obviously, this was about the marshall &c, but if we're going to leave the Bard something unique, the aura has to be secondary here. I think you agree here? I don't recall anything you've said specifically regarding that one.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    The magnitude of the aura is likewise unimpressive.
    Yeah, I get that impression. I think my write-up had a minus one to the DR so it's less than the vanilla barbarian's class feature (seemed an okay ruler, but I just got on forums and don't have all the historical buzz), and I also doubled the boost from the Follow My Lead. Tweaking on that level is a matter of testing and taste.


    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    it's quite likely his buff stacks with those of his allies, so the fighter enhances his ally's ability rather than overshadowing it.
    Yeah, and it's this stacking thing which makes the aura meaty instead of unimpressive. That's what we're looking for, right?

    I'm not arguing for time limits on the aura because omg! overpower!. Instead, I think the aura is a cool feature that has a cinematic flair. By time limiting it (remembering the same exploit long-duration buffs have), you can draw the players' attention to that feature in a natural way which would improve the sense of high action.

    I make no similar argument about key skills or armor proficiency because their not cinematic. I don't use the argument on countering strike or true grit because those are call-on, and so attention is already drawn. I'm just kinda worried that the fighter will put up his Motivate Attack aura and leave it up all day and the players will notate and forget.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    I knew you would say this.
    Tee-hee, excellent. That means I have internal consistency ^.^

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    This practically begs to be a fighter bonus feat, a modular option that can be added, changed or removed based on the fighter's short-term need.
    I was thinking that retraining can handle modularity issues. And 90% of fighters will armor up, so they'd benefit. I wouldn't suggest taking anything away from the main class to stuff it in, so if unarmored characters don't need the feat, they can ignore it. It's not a big quip, though, since there are good reasons either way.
    Crap, the way the system is set up, such a feat would not abide by retraining, which is really the linchpin of how I saw my suggestion working.

    So many mistakes today T.T I'ma give it a rest for a while...
    Last edited by Okuno; 2011-05-29 at 04:01 PM.

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    OK, cinema I can buy. Drama I can buy. Fun I can buy. But how to make it work, exactly? You can set a duration limit on the power, but there's nothing to stop a PC from saying "I will continuously reactivate the power every time it wears off." A per-day limit seems silly. "Sorry, you've run out of inspirational things to say today, but wait until tomorrow and I'm sure you'll be a more effective leader then"? Gimme a break. The power isn't significant enough to justify a move- or standard-action activation cost. What does that leave us with?
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    I have to agree that as is they are fine as being unlimited use. The majority of the auras are similar in power to very low level spells, having them up at all times at no resource cost isn't game breaking.

    What is being suggested is making it mirror bardic music, where it has limited uses per day and a set duration, if this is what you want, compare it to bardic music, I'm just going to say it doesn't really add up. Indeed, it is at best half as effective as the lowest bardic music ability (see: Inspire Courage vs Motivate Ardor), and without the options that a Bard has to make it stronger, much less the higher level uses for it that are more effective.

    What I'm getting at is the combat aura really isn't powerful enough to justify a limited duration. If you want to limit its use so that it is used situationally and tactically, I can get behind that, but the benefit needs to be much more powerful (how much more powerful depending on how much you limit the duration).

    Like if you go bard-esque duration, where it's 1 use per level, with 5-10 rounds per use, I'd say just merge some of the auras, make hit and damage come together. DR and energy resistance. Things like that.

    If you go with a more limited duration, like fighter level in rounds per day, or 1/4th fighter level rounds per encounter, the abilities should be far more potent, akin to a level appropriate spell or combat maneuver, the sort of thing that will turn the tide of battle. This is potentially an interesting route, but it turns a minor neat benefit into a class defining one.
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