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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    I'll not deny that it can be boring, but for me half the point of being a Fighter style character is that you have the freedom to do as you please instead of being restricted to the limited effects of the written spells and abilites of other classes. Maybe it's just my experience from playing AD&D, where 'combat maneuvers' like shoving enemies aside, tripping them up and such were something done on the fly and just given an ad-hoc ruling by the GM instead of relying on a rule to do it for us.
    You see, this is exactly what I don't want to see. The DM doesn't adjudicate on whether or not a fireball goes off or a healing spell works. But everything you're listing for a Fighter requires that kind of permission.

    I want Fighters to have that same degree of fiat and world-manipulation. But they can do it because they are impressive, skilled warriors - paragons of fighting ability - rather than because they read a few books somewhere or prayed really hard.

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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    You're correct, yes, that I chose three examples of maneuvers that the Warblade doesn't have access to. This is largely because they are some of the only examples that I remember from reading a book I had access to for a short period of time several years ago. I've got a good memory, but it's not an eidetic one, sorry.

    That the Warblade doesn't have access to the particular examples I gave is besides the point; there are others that the Warblade does have access to that have similar psuedo-magical effects. Admittedly, not perhaps as overtly so as those that the Swordsage gets, but they crossed the line enough for me to ditch the book as something I wasn't interested in.
    Actually, no. Well ok, there is one maneuver that I cannot explain that Warblades get, Lightning Throw, which pretty much allows you to be Captain America throwing your weapons everywhere and having them come back, which I personally cannot explain. So, no Warblade I've ever made has ever gained that maneuver. It's actually really easy to only have your Warblade pick maneuvers that fit your personal level of realism. Hell, you can go from level 1-20 with your character just being able to do a variety of awesome strikes, if things like negating magic effects by being an awesome warrior feels wrong to you. It's a bit boring, since some of the cooler abilities are counters and boosts, but it can be done.

    As for repetitious actions, yeah, it's something that the Fighter has long been prone to. This is because the combat system in D&D has long been quite abstract; HP do not map directly to "health", the "attack roll" is not just a single swing of your sword, etc. I'll not deny that it can be boring, but for me half the point of being a Fighter style character is that you have the freedom to do as you please instead of being restricted to the limited effects of the written spells and abilites of other classes. Maybe it's just my experience from playing AD&D, where 'combat maneuvers' like shoving enemies aside, tripping them up and such were something done on the fly and just given an ad-hoc ruling by the GM instead of relying on a rule to do it for us. The very basic combat system was just used as a framework to hang the rest of the actual action instead of the be-all and end-all of the Fighters role. One of the things I disliked most about 3ed is that it pinned those "moves" down with rules and made them very difficult or even impossible to achieve without the requisite Feat or Class ability.
    Now for me personally, I like that things are given rules on how to bull-rush, how to disarm, and so on. I just think 3-3.5e messed up in it's difficulty. At the very least Fighters should by say level 5 or 6 or so should not be suffering AOO for doing things that all the cool warriors in shows and stories do.

    Personally, I believe a similar level of abstraction has to be used by Magic Users and Warrior. If every minor little thing you can do with magic is given it's own spell, then warriors should have a list of attacks they should be able to do.

    Now what should a Fighter be?

    I personally enjoy playing more lower power level style campaigns. So for me a Fighter should be:
    Level 1: Most skilled of the new recruits
    Level 5: Trained soldier
    Level 10: Champion of an army
    Level 15: Conan
    Level 20: Druss the Legend

    An army coming at you should always be worrying, even if they're 10-15 levels lower than you. Of course casters would be scaled down to match.

    As to how they'd play. They should have varying stuff to do that is useful in different situations. If you pick up a fighting style to focus on what you've come to expect that someone with that fighting style should be able to do you should be able to by around level 5. Beyond that you just get better. Now that doesn't mean you don't learn new tricks, that'd be dumb, but let's say you want to be a shield fighter. Looking at what shield guys do in books/movies: Block attacks, defend against AOE, protect allies, push folks away with shield, knock people silly by hitting them in the head. Ok those 5 things need to be able to be done by level 5. Beyond that level you can perhaps gain an area around you were you can protect allies, maybe earlier you could only daze an opponent with your shield, later you can stun them. And so on. Plus add in a few more tricks that I haven't even thought of (I am not a very good game designer), and that should be a very fun to play class.

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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    That the Warblade doesn't have access to the particular examples I gave is besides the point; there are others that the Warblade does have access to that have similar psuedo-magical effects. Admittedly, not perhaps as overtly so as those that the Swordsage gets, but they crossed the line enough for me to ditch the book as something I wasn't interested in.
    Yeah, I see what's so mystical about making two attacks against two enemies, or shrugging off a status effect. Or even looking at his highest level maneuvers, get +damage, make two full attacks in a round, deal constitution damage, save or die, you and your allies charge a target and stun them.

    I can really see the magic just oozing off the page.
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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    I'm pretty well known for stumping for the Fighter around this forum; he's one of the few classes (the only one that I know of) who has no spells, supernatural, or even extraordinary abilities, and so I see him as the "people's champion", the ordinary guy who has the sheer cajones to try to slay a dragon with just a sword and his wits and courage. It shouldn't be EASY for him, obviously, but I take more than a little umbrage at how he's dismissed as utterly useless (tier 5), especially on the website of a comic whose main character is a Fighter and generally an awesome guy - Roy is not precisely a typical fighter, given his Intelligence, but he does strike me as a great illustration of how any Fighter that isn't just a dumb mook ought to be portrayed - savvy, pragmatic, and never calling it quits. Fighters make great quintessential hero-types to me, though of course there's plenty of room for ordinary sell-swords, bullies, blood knights and so forth within the class.

    In every case, I think it's very appropriate for them to officially have no class features, but have the GM pulling for them in any way that he thinks is within his rights; they shouldn't have plot armor or a charmed life, but they should get opportunities to put their particular strengths to good use, opportunities that need not be pushed so far for characters who have inherent powers to rely upon. (This obviously needs to be done with a great deal of finesse not to come across as being completely unfair; I think of it as an extension of the same principle as XP awards for good roleplaying, not a violation of the game's rules but just a stretching of them to the limit of their acceptible reach.)

    A level 20 fighter should be a Gilgamesh, a Hercules, a Goemon or a Rambo. At level 1 he's just a guy with the guts to intentionally place himself in (or as) harm's way; through the low-to-mid levels, he becomes a seasoned veteran, and past level 10-15 he starts to become a living legend, like the best and brightest celebrities of our world, people who do something that anyone theoretically could do, but make it seem miraculous.

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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    It shouldn't be EASY for him, obviously, but I take more than a little umbrage at how he's dismissed as utterly useless (tier 5), especially on the website of a comic whose main character is a Fighter and generally an awesome guy - Roy is not precisely a typical fighter, given his Intelligence, but he does strike me as a great illustration of how any Fighter that isn't just a dumb mook ought to be portrayed - savvy, pragmatic, and never calling it quits. Fighters make great quintessential hero-types to me, though of course there's plenty of room for ordinary sell-swords, bullies, blood knights and so forth within the class.
    That's Problem 1.

    I agree that Fighters are portrayed as awesome in fiction. Is it too much to ask that their mechanics help make them awesome?

    In every case, I think it's very appropriate for them to officially have no class features, but have the GM pulling for them in any way that he thinks is within his rights; they shouldn't have plot armor or a charmed life, but they should get opportunities to put their particular strengths to good use, opportunities that need not be pushed so far for characters who have inherent powers to rely upon. (This obviously needs to be done with a great deal of finesse not to come across as being completely unfair; I think of it as an extension of the same principle as XP awards for good roleplaying, not a violation of the game's rules but just a stretching of them to the limit of their acceptible reach.)
    IMO, no class should need to depend on DM whim or fiat to do the basic stuff which makes them capable of playing on the same table as people who are warping the fabric of reality.

    Again - I agree this is the fictional ideal. I disagree that it in any way resembles what the pre-4e D&D Fighter actually does.

    A level 20 fighter should be a Gilgamesh, a Hercules, a Goemon or a Rambo. At level 1 he's just a guy with the guts to intentionally place himself in (or as) harm's way; through the low-to-mid levels, he becomes a seasoned veteran, and past level 10-15 he starts to become a living legend, like the best and brightest celebrities of our world, people who do something that anyone theoretically could do, but make it seem miraculous.
    At Level 1, a Wizard is flinging spells around and putting rooms full of kobolds to sleep. At Level 1, a Cleric is calling on powers from their god and compelling skeletons and zombies to retreat in fear.

    A Level 1 Fighter in AD&D had the title of Veteran. I think that sounds about right. They are capable and powerful warriors already - or should be - rather than just scrubs.

    I'd love it if a higher-level fighter were mythical figures like Gilgamesh or Hercules (and lower-level fighters were on their way to getting that impressive). The problem is, there's nothing whatsoever in the class's mechanics that lets them do this. No superhuman feats of strength, no mythical endurance, no ability to divert the flows of rivers to clean out stables or anything like that. At higher levels they get to hit things more reliably and ... trip stuff. And when mechanics are suggested that would let them fulfill these great and legendary things ... well, it's too magical.

    -O

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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    The way I see fighters is thus:

    At level one they are the new recruits, they will have far more potential than warriors or other NPC classes, but they are the new blood.

    At level 3-4 we are looking at professional soldiers, they fight and drill for a living, they will be brave, smart and disciplined; able to adapt to situations as they come.

    Levels 5-6 are elite soldiers, the finest troops in the regular army or specialists from a crack company. They are the private guards of Nobility or powerful organisations.

    7-8 are officers and men with years of combat experience, they've nearly seen it all and very little would surprise them. You might find small units of veterans like these, they will be renound units that have never lost a fight and are the pride of a nation. These are seasoned adventurers that have seen more than their fair share of carnage.

    9-10 are the most capable men and women you are likely to find, they can dispatch most threats with out breaking out in a sweat. They will be the heroes that companies rally around, the champions of villages or cities. Songs will be sung about them in local taverns and places they fight in.

    11-15 These are the champions of armies, elected to do single combat to win honour or glory, these are the men and women that are sung about across a country. These are king's personal go-to men. Adventures of such renound that kings and queens will know their names personally and follow them with interest.

    16-20 Legends in their own right, these are the sorts of people that songs are sung about should they leave any witnesses to their deeds. A kingdom might have a few fighters this level and if they are lucky they will be elect to use their powers for good. A force of nature that could only be stopped by some immense combined effort. They will be the rulers or champions of the most powerful noble houses or Royal lines, or mercenaries that decide the fate of battles and wars.

    21+ Far beyond mortal limits, they can barely be touched by any other man. They are killing machines that fear nothing and are known to the Gods, they direct the fate of worlds and planes
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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    Quote Originally Posted by obryn View Post
    I agree that Fighters are portrayed as awesome in fiction. Is it too much to ask that their mechanics help make them awesome?
    Good idea in theory, I just don't like pretty much every attempt I've ever seen at executing it, and dislike those efforts more than I dislike the as-written fighter (though I have admittedly never tried to make a Fighter 20 work to my satisfaction, I may eventually end up agreeing with the community, but that doesn't mean I'll accept their jaded assessment as more fact than bias; I'm big on figuring things out for myself).

    At Level 1, a Wizard is flinging spells around and putting rooms full of kobolds to sleep.
    Maybe three times a day, he is doing those things. The Fighter is all that keeps him from being killed seventeen times after he runs out of spells and before he goes to bed for the night. (This is one big piece of the LFQW problem, unsurprisingly; the fighter always has the same amount of longevity, while the wizard gets more spells per day even while his existing spells get more powerful and he gets access to higher spell levels - actually, why do they say "quadratic" rather than "cubic"?)

    At Level 1, a Cleric is calling on powers from their god and compelling skeletons and zombies to retreat in fear.
    Okay, I'll give you that one - but that's practically the cleric's entire shtick, and IMO undead are overused. In my game the cleric will routinely go a month without ever finding undead to turn, and then when he finally finds some, his daily turning allotment will run dry before the zombie horde stops coming. Undead are NOT about playing fair; treating them as a level-appropriate challenge is doing a disservice to their potential for horror.

    A Level 1 Fighter in AD&D had the title of Veteran. I think that sounds about right. They are capable and powerful warriors already - or should be - rather than just scrubs.
    I completely disagree because of the way 3E's mechanics work. There IS no way to build a raw recruit who eventually becomes a "veteran" at Fighter level 1 and character level 1. If you take levels in Warrior or Commoner, you are detracting from the maximum fighter level you can ever attain, and making it take far longer to attain the first fighter level than if you just started as a fighter. Technically, the way the rules are set up doesn't make any sense outside of the adventurer paradigm, because they don't allow you to be a character before you take your first level; it's assumed that all the people around you are level 1 commoners, but you never were one, so why are they? It is for much this reason that the Warrior class simply doesn't exist in my campaign world (though I plan to eventually brew up a modified version of it to represent orcs and goblins and such who live by the club in the wilderness, something a little closer to a Barbarian or Ranger without the full features of those classes, with better HD and skill points). So in my game, the Fighter 1 is a fresh graduate of a military academy, a tribe member heading off to earn his manhood in the first hunt, a citizen accepting the call of destiny to defend their family against a sudden attack, or a budding mercenary off to prove that he's worth what it'll cost to keep him eating. At level 3-5 the "veteran" label starts to apply, though it might still be valid until 10 or later.

    No superhuman feats of strength, no mythical endurance, no ability to divert the flows of rivers to clean out stables or anything like that.
    Actually D&D characters in general pretty much have all that, though it's more because of shortcomings in the rules than anything deliberate. There's not much in the way of fatigue rules, and the carrying limits are pretty generous; adventurers in general are pretty superhuman, and one simple way to make fighters look better would be to invent various rules for the strain of heavy physical labor, which are applied to characters in inverse order of hit die size (okay the Barbarian would still end up looking better than the Fighter, but that's appropriate since he's the one guy who is even more about living by the sweat of his brow).

    [quote]And when mechanics are suggested that would let them fulfill these great and legendary things ... well, it's too magical.

    There is a very fine line indeed between stretching the suspension of disbelief and snapping it. The best place to look for examples of what a "hyper-human but not superhuman" character ought to be capable of is probably the summer action movie, but unfortunately those tend to be quite long on cars and guns, and thus it's not easy to adapt them to D&D's medieval milieu.

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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slipperychicken View Post
    To make the non-magical guy with a stick to work, you need the system well-balanced with them in mind.

    If you're going to have things like Flight and Invisibility in the game (which they shouldn't be IMO, since they're very powerful effects), the Fighter needs to be able to compete. Maybe he becomes enough of a hardcore badass to beat these things by virtue of his class abilities. Maybe magic or Ki see how awesome he is and start attaching to him as he grows in level, allowing him to do things which "Muggles" couldn't otherwise (see magic in the air, use his sword as a boomerang, cut spells in half, step through dimensions, etc). He should also be able to inflict more status effects and replicate spell effects (smack someone on the head to trigger a Save vs. Daze, knock people around by hitting them really hard, move so fast he can't be seen, etc).


    An easier way would be to play a low-magic system (sort of like TES). That is, one where magic doesn't have so many "game-changers" and "plot breakers" like Invisibility, Flight, Teleport, and so on. Mental control is very limited, and essentially constitutes a bonus on social skills. Most spells are either blasting, shielding, have a long casting time, or are otherwise severely restricted (costly components, short duration, etc). The Fighter is at home here; he can stand up to warlocks and magicians, snapping their pencil-necks in a straight-up fight, as he should. Of course, if the magicians have time to scheme or gather their own fighting-men to hold him back, then the Fighter should be wary, or make preparations of his own...
    Not really, you don't have to cut out flight, invisibility and teleport to make the fighter keep up. You just need to model capability and keep magic from being all or nothing. If flight magic had a requirement that you move 1/2 your move distance every turn, then a fighter could have an ability that lets him hit you so hard with a ranged attack that you can't make that required distance, so you fall out of the air. Invisibility can be countered by giving fighters the ability to recieve AoO against melee attacks, or a immediate action ability, and not include any "line of sight" mechanics to it's activation. Invisibility is an advantage, but a fighter is so good at fighting, that he still gets a 50% chance of nailing you on your turn.

    But the main thing is to make it outright impossible for a fighter to specialize in just one weapon. As an adventurer he should have a bow or some throwing weapons for distant enemies, not moaning about how an enemy is flying and he can't do anything to it. This also means that mundane combat has to change so that at all levels without any specific investment into a weapon, a character can still contribute, not as well as a character invested into that weapon. This also means enemies need to be designed such that all players are fighting it, so that it's not "optimal" to only let the ranger/wizard shoot at it or the fighter punch it to death.

    And that's another thing, optimization. The system needs account for people doing profoundly stupid things in the name of "optimal" and when that actually harms the play experience, punish them for it. The GM needs the license to point out that "theoreticals" don't necessarily work on paper, which as far as D&D goes doesn't work because "Gentlemen's Agreement".

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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    Good idea in theory, I just don't like pretty much every attempt I've ever seen at executing it, and dislike those efforts more than I dislike the as-written fighter (though I have admittedly never tried to make a Fighter 20 work to my satisfaction, I may eventually end up agreeing with the community, but that doesn't mean I'll accept their jaded assessment as more fact than bias; I'm big on figuring things out for myself).
    The thing is - you can't have it both ways. If you relegate the fighter to only being capable of things via DM approval rather than player fiat (the mechanic spellcasters use) you'll always run into this. Fighters need the same degree of fiat capability. It can be handled differently - I think Next's Combat Superiority is a good step in that direction - but the ability to directly affect the game-world is hugely important.

    I completely disagree because of the way 3E's mechanics work. There IS no way to build a raw recruit who eventually becomes a "veteran" at Fighter level 1 and character level 1. ... At level 3-5 the "veteran" label starts to apply, though it might still be valid until 10 or later.
    If the way the mechanics work is unsatisfying, change how the mechanics work. 1st level Wizards are not limited to cantrips. 1st level Clerics are not limited to orisons. And Fighters shouldn't be scrubs.

    Actually D&D characters in general pretty much have all that, though it's more because of shortcomings in the rules than anything deliberate. There's not much in the way of fatigue rules, and the carrying limits are pretty generous; adventurers in general are pretty superhuman, and one simple way to make fighters look better would be to invent various rules for the strain of heavy physical labor, which are applied to characters in inverse order of hit die size (okay the Barbarian would still end up looking better than the Fighter, but that's appropriate since he's the one guy who is even more about living by the sweat of his brow).
    I refuse to accept that "carrying lots of gear" is functionally similar to "cleaning out the Aegean stables." :) And really, those are only the tenth part of the sorts of things high-level Fighters should be doing. I'm using Hercules as an example, but "capably clean stables through creative use of natural resources" is hardly enough to hang a class concept around.

    There is a very fine line indeed between stretching the suspension of disbelief and snapping it. The best place to look for examples of what a "hyper-human but not superhuman" character ought to be capable of is probably the summer action movie, but unfortunately those tend to be quite long on cars and guns, and thus it's not easy to adapt them to D&D's medieval milieu.
    That's one of the fundamental problems, then. It's a limit of imagination, not a limit of the milieu. You're imposing vicious restraints on a Fighter's capabilities, but given that magic has unlimited potential, none on the clerics and wizards beyond, "Eh, just ... not too often, okay?"

    Once you start worrying too much about realism when Wizards are calling down meteor swarms and Clerics are calling earthquakes, there is no possible way in which a character that's limited to being "good with a sword" can keep up. By that point, Fighters should be capable doing things every bit as impressive as raining fire from the heavens. (Or close, at least!)

    So. Limit the casters by reducing the efficacy of their spells and enforce better niche protection of the other classes. Make Wizards and Clerics as good at fighting as Fighters are at spellcasting. Give Fighters better defense against magic than other classes, for example through spell resistance. Incorporate some sort of fiat system - like 4e's powers or Bo9S's maneuvers - to bring them up to par. Not necessarily all of these, but you have to start somewhere.

    -O

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeful View Post
    And that's another thing, optimization. The system needs account for people doing profoundly stupid things in the name of "optimal" and when that actually harms the play experience, punish them for it. The GM needs the license to point out that "theoreticals" don't necessarily work on paper, which as far as D&D goes doesn't work because "Gentlemen's Agreement".
    In 3.5, I find "optimal" usually means "Counter [X situation] with [Y magic] with 92% chance of success, then have the Fighter stomp its inert body into pulp".

    I'm not sure which "profoundly stupid" things you're talking about. They do exist, although they usually aren't Optimal.
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    By level 20 though, you aren't capturing a wizard. A character lives to level 20 by being the most ruthless, lucky, capable, and paranoid bastard around. A wizard is throwing around a 30+ Int score and has, entirely in character, planned contingencies for his contingencies. He may well be running around with flat out total immunity to harm, he does not walk outside without an entire bevy of defensive magics around him and enough magic items to buy himself a nation.

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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    A fighter should be able to act far faster than a spellcaster. To me, that is the number one problem.

    IF a lightning bolt took a full round to cast (start on round 1, spell goes off at start of mage turn on round 2), then the fighter could do much, much more to disrupt the spellcaster and level the playing field.

    Also, the fighter needs to be far more powerful at dealing precise damage. Crtical threat ranges should drop and damage increase by level. That way, you could accurately portray the limb-hacking, neck-cutting swaths through minions more accurately. Also, you could have those moments where the well placed dagger throw pierces the spellcasters hand at a critical moment of gathering the magical energies, disrupting the entire ritual.

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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slipperychicken View Post
    In 3.5, I find "optimal" usually means "Counter [X situation] with [Y magic] with 92% chance of success, then have the Fighter stomp its inert body into pulp".

    I'm not sure which "profoundly stupid" things you're talking about. They do exist, although they usually aren't Optimal.
    By "pofoundly stupid" I'm talking over-specialization, where a character is so far twinked out that only way to meaningfully challenge that character is to invalidate that character. If as a DM the only options are "let you destroy everything", "prevent you from playing at all", or "cheat so the encounter is still interesting at your expense" then quite frankly both the player and system have failed at their jobs.

    But then I have a dim view of optimization in general due to that as a DM, I'm restricted to the same 10% of material, regardless of how powerful the players get, because "Gentleman's Agreement".

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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    Renamed.

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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    To the folks complaining about Tome of Battle, please keep this in mind:

    Before Tome of Battle, martial characters in D&D were incapable of basic combat maneuvers such as sword parries or being trained in diving for cover. Thanks to Tome of Battle, they may now do things that every single fighting tradition on Earth considers the realm of novice-level learning like, oh, block shots or do jujitsu.

    Just keep it in mind.


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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    I'll just chime in and say that DM Fiat is not a good substitute as a primary feature of a class' power and versatility.

    All the way back in 1st Edition, spells were highly specific. A fireball dealt a set number of damage, a certain type of energy, and had a set area radius. Since the rules of a game are a common reference for everyone, the power of a fireball by a 15th-level Wizard/Magic-User was virtually the same from one campaign to another.

    With DM Fiat as a primary feature for the Fighter, the Fighter's power level and versatility varies drastically based upon the individual Dungeon Master and his personal standards of what a Fighter should be. Ideally, the Dungeon Master will have a good head on his shoulders and allow the Fighter to do cool stuff (probably through some house rules). Worse case scenario, he'll want all the Fighters to be bound by the "realistic limits of a human being." This is disastrous for a high-level fantasy game where dragons, titans, archmages, and other such characters are performing amazing feats beyond real-world limits.

    I'm not saying that DM Fiat should never be used; in fact, it's great for home games. But it should not serve as an end-all be-all solution for the shortcomings of a class in official products.



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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    You're correct, yes, that I chose three examples of maneuvers that the Warblade doesn't have access to.
    ...
    That the Warblade doesn't have access to the particular examples I gave is besides the point;
    Um... no. It completely undermines your point when you say the warblade can do something and he can't.

    there are others that the Warblade does have access to that have similar psuedo-magical effects.
    Then don't take them. You might consider Iron Heart Surge to be too magical. (By the RAW I'd agree but only because Iron Heart Surge is spectacularly badly written). But there is nothing that says that any given Warblade has access to any given power - you pick the powers at character creation. And if you want to make them fairly simple things from Iron Heart, Diamond Mind, or even White Raven or Tiger Claw you can. On the other hand if you want to jump around like Wolverine on a pogo stick with Tiger Claw you can also do that. A level 20 Warblade knows a grand total of 13 maneuvers. Finding that many maneuvers that aren't more than lightly cinematic (on a character that can survive being dropped from orbit without any trouble) is not hard. The rest are irrelevant to any given warblade.

    As for repetitious actions, yeah, it's something that the Fighter has long been prone to. This is because the combat system in D&D has long been quite abstract;
    No. It's because early D&D was designed with two factors in mind.
    1: It's a hacked tabletop wargame.
    2: You were intended to avoid combat as much as possible.

    I'll not deny that it can be boring, but for me half the point of being a Fighter style character is that you have the freedom to do as you please instead of being restricted to the limited effects of the written spells and abilites of other classes.
    This makes literally no sense at all. Everyone can do as they please within the laws of physics. The casters can just cast spells as well as doing what they please the same way the fighter can.

    And in combat the fighter should be the class least likely to improvise. You improvise when your standard techniques simply don't work. The fighter, as the best at fighting, should have his standard tricks as the most likely to work. The person who should be improvising in combat is the wizard (or the AD&D thief). Sticking a sword through someone is very effective and the fighter is best at this, so he has the least incentive to improvise - and the least additional ability to improvise. The fighter can use his body. The wizard can come up with creative spell use. And the rogue has exceptional skills.

    Maybe it's just my experience from playing AD&D, where 'combat maneuvers' like shoving enemies aside, tripping them up and such were something done on the fly and just given an ad-hoc ruling by the GM instead of relying on a rule to do it for us.
    You mean your DM made a string of house rules to make the fighter better that had little to do with the actual rules in order to compensate for the fact fighters were boring? This is looking really good for the fighter... Especially as things like the 3.X trip were meant to be to systematise the sort of house rules that were needed to make the fighter something other than boring.

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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    Before Tome of Battle, martial characters in D&D were incapable of basic combat maneuvers such as SWORD PARRIES or being trained in diving for cover. Thanks to Tome of Battle, they may now do things that every single fighting tradition on Earth considers the realm of novice-level learning like, oh, block shots or do jujitsu.
    SWORD PARRIES?! How dare WotC pervert my balanced medieval setting with this weeaboo munchkinry! Everyone knows that swords are for stabbing, not blocking! Next thing you know, they'll start begging to let Fighters hit people with their shields! No good can come of this, mark my words.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    By level 20 though, you aren't capturing a wizard. A character lives to level 20 by being the most ruthless, lucky, capable, and paranoid bastard around. A wizard is throwing around a 30+ Int score and has, entirely in character, planned contingencies for his contingencies. He may well be running around with flat out total immunity to harm, he does not walk outside without an entire bevy of defensive magics around him and enough magic items to buy himself a nation.

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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    First, let me establish one important thing: to me, Rangers, Paladins, Barbarians, Monks, Knights and Swashbucklers are just specializations of a Fighter. They really should've been Prestige Classes or ACFs or class paths for a fighter.

    But the essence of the broader archetype is three fold: the Fighter is Martial Artist - he can crush his enemies with any weapon from his own fists to siege machinery. He is a Schemer - he knows tactics, strategy and logistics and how they can aid him to victory. And he is a Leader - he can rally people under his own banner and make an effective military force out of them.

    A beginning (1st level) Fighter is a mook - someone who has gone through basic training and not much else. His place is to feed the gears of war.

    An experienced (2nd to 4th level) Fighter is a squad leader - he can lead a small band of troops from battle to battle. He is better fit both physically and mentally than most men, and can hand some lousy civilian their ass in personal combat. Think of a real-life Sergeant.

    An advanced (5th to 7th level) Fighter is a famous military officer, Sensei of an esteemed Dojo or a really notorious combarant. These people develop the Art of War and get books written of themselves, or write their own! On personal level, their achievements can defy belief. Think Miyamoto Musashi, Simo Häyhä or Erwin Rommel here.

    Master (8th to 10th level) Fighter has such prowess on the battlefield that they become figures of legend, their personal abilities hard to discern because they often get exaggerated in later retellings. Their feats are expected to include something like, oh, conquering most of the known world. Think of Julius Ceaser, Chengis Khan or Alexander the Great.

    Mythic (11th to 14th level) Fighter has personal skills and abilities beyond those you can believe to exist in the real world. The Fighter is not strictly supernatural, but he is superhuman; his feats might technically be possible within laws of nature, but no single real human could be strong, fast and tough enought to do them all. He can swim over the ocean, leap over trees, wrestle with giants and win, tumble down a mountain and survive, hit one particular leaf of a tree from mile away or fights against dozen enemy swordsmen with nothing but a stick. At this point, you should stop looking at real life for reference, and instead think of Wuxia or Demigods of Greece.

    Superheroic (15th+ level) Fighter stops bending laws of nature and instead spits on their face. Your closest reference points are now Zaraki Kenpachi from Bleach and the Strawhat Pirates from One Piece. Cut buildings with your sword! Grab cannonballs and throw them back! Spin your feet so fast the friction ignites them in flames! Run across the ocean! Drink the damn ocean! Shatter iron with your fingers! Take a dip in the local volcano and jump right back! Fall from orbit! Lift the World Serpent! Storm a fort of 10,000 troops by your lonesome! Get eaten by a dragon and tear your way out! Befriend people by punching them in the face! The root of your abilities are still the same, but so-called common sense is thrown out of the window.

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Libertad View Post
    Stuff.
    Perhaps I should clarify that my comments regarding DM fiat earlier were pretty much just me musing that my stance on the subject probably originated from earlier editions of D&D in which DM fiat dictates the abilities of Fighter. I would like to see a system that caters for the wide variety of abilities a Fighter should have, but I can't envision one that would work within the 3.5 ruleset without looking like magic-by-another-name.

    There would have to be a pretty serious re-working of the system to implement the kind of Fighter I'd like to see, starting with the whole to-hit mechanic in the first place. The relationship between Attack Bonus and Armour Class should be much more intrinsic; i.e. the higher the one the higher the other. After all, to coin a phrase, the best defence is a good offence and the reverse is arguably just as true. D&D, as far as I'm aware, is something of a peculiarity of a gaming system when it comes to its combat mechanic inasmuch as it doesn't factor the skill of the defender into the equation. By making the alteration to do this, you wouldn't need a "maneuver" to represent sword parries and block shots, because those things would already be factored satisfactorily into the already abstract combat system.

    As I've mentioned previously, the combat system of D&D is very abstract. trying to pin specific maneuvers onto it whilst maintaining that level of abstraction is hard. Arguably, tripping someone up could be modeled as nothing more than a reduction in HP...if HP are an abstraction of stamina, health, luck, skill and a general ability to continue to contribute meaningfully in a combat situation, then being forced to the floor can easily be seen a reduction in at least two of these things from an arguably incomplete list. There is an argument that any given 'combat maneuver' is nothing more than a standard attack, the result of which can be fluffed any which way you like.

    Now, I'm not advocating this as the way the combat system, or more specifically, the Fighter, should go, I'm just pointing out that this is something inherent to the system and has been since year dot. In order to make the Initiator system of the ToB (or whatever you want to call it), or something similar, viable in my eyes, then (as I said) there would have to be a significant revisiting of this abstraction. As part of this, for example, I imagine HP may have to map more directly to Health and by consequence, penalties for reduced (but above 0) HP may need to be implemented. Following this, amongst other things, a revision of the way HP increase with level would need to be considered, which would itself follow with its own consequences for Class balance and the way the level system itself works as a whole.

    I propose no solution to any of the ideas posited above, I merely mention them by way of explanation of my stance on this subject thus far. Hope it at least gives some food for thought
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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    I'll just note that, somewhat counter-intuitively, Fighters were a bit better off in AD&D (at least if Weapon Specialization is allowed) than they are in 3.x.

    Yeah, I know, no feats. But among their perks are...
    * Exceptional Strength (if they qualify)
    * Minion-sweeping
    * Much better ACs than most classes
    * Restricted Constitution bonuses so only they profited from exceptionally high scores
    * Hordes of followers
    * And most of all, a very favorable saving throw table, starting especially at mid-levels. This part is huge.

    What's more, interrupting spellcasting was fairly simple in comparison; there's no Concentration skill, so any hit is sufficient. And Wizards at least didn't get bonus spells for high Intelligence.

    (Now, 1e Rangers and Paladins are even better off than Fighters, but also more likely to have to put their high scores into unfavorable stats.)

    -O

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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    I think that Fighting Defensively and Total Defence were meant as abstractions for Sword Parries, the trouble is that they are not very good. They don't even scale with level.

    Ed: +1 to obryn's comments BTW.
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  22. - Top - End - #52
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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    I think Frozen_Feet nailed it here. The devotion to realism for non-magical characters means they'll always be far inferior to magical ones. While I'm not a fan of E6, I like that they define 6th-level as the top limit of realistic human capability.

    You should be able to be any realistic hero in fiction by 5th or 6th level. If you're not Conan or Dread Pirate Roberts by the time the wizard is throwing lightning bolts around, you're going to be permanently behind.

    Trying not to start a flame war here, but Drizzt, who is basically an unstoppable dervish of destruction (I think he's been beaten twice?) is stated by Wizards as being ~17th level. Consider that the only competent wizard in that series (Robillard, I think his name was?) is probably 11th-level at most, and is universally more useful that Drizzt is. In a system like Frozen-Feet's, I'd stick him at 9th-level, maybe.
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  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    The one and only problem I have with Frozen_Feet is that I do not automatically tie command of troops to a fighter. Take the Julius Caesar example, probably best not to put him down as a fighter, at all. If anything he'd be a weird non-magical Bard that decided to max out Intelligence and Perform (Oration).

    Now Alexander the Great has possibility, considering he (supposedly, as pointed out a lot of these achievements have been exaggerated) jumped over the wall of the opposing forces and defended himself against them until his army was able to breach the wall completely.

    That said, I don't think the potential for the leader style Fighter needs to be negated but I think it should be just one method of a Fighter to gain power and if done right, is about as useful as the guy who decided to just be one incredibly badass knight.

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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    Here's how I think about it:

    A level 1 Fighter is someone who has trained, but has little actual combat experience. Like the noble-born son who has trained for combat his whole life, but has seen very little combat himself.

    A level 5 Fighter is someone who has substantial experience under their belt besides their training. They've applied their training and have had time to hone it. They're the sword fighting hero of a fantasy novel reaching his maturity, but not yet his full potential. Like Eragon about the time when Brom dies.

    A level 10 Fighter would be one who is a veteran. They have seen plenty of combat, so that they have both the experience and the training to back their actions. They have had a chance to prefect some of their techniques, and their experience gives them insight. They're the kind who train the level 1 noble-born son types.

    A level 15 Fighter is a badass. They are the "master swordsman type". They have skills which they have honed from their training through a number of experiences. They border on Bruce Willis in Die Hard awesome. They would be a sought after teacher.

    A level 20 Fighter is the peak of human performance. They are complete masters of combat, with perfect and honed skills, tempered by their extensive combat experience. They ARE Bruce Willis in Live Free or Die Hard. They seemingly don't die when they should, and they strike in a manner that baffles and overpowers their opponents. Certified BAMFs. Basically every over-the-top action hero at their peak.
    Last edited by BootStrapTommy; 2012-09-27 at 05:28 PM.
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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    Quote Originally Posted by BootStrapTommy View Post
    Here's how I think about it:

    A level 1 Fighter is someone who has trained, but has little actual combat experience. Like the noble-born son who has trained for combat his whole life, but has seen very little combat himself.

    A level 5 Fighter is someone who has substantial experience under their belt besides their training. They've applied their training and have had time to hone it. They're the sword fighting hero of a fantasy novel reaching his maturity, but not yet his full potential. Like Eragon about the time when Brom dies.

    A level 10 Fighter would be one who is a veteran. They have seen plenty of combat, so that they have both the experience and the training to back their actions. They have had a chance to prefect some of their techniques, and their experience gives them insight. They're the kind who train the level 1 noble-born son types.

    A level 15 Fighter is a badass. They are the "master swordsman type". They have skills which they have honed from their training through a number of experiences. They border on Bruce Willis in Die Hard awesome. They would be a sought after teacher.

    A level 20 Fighter is the peak of human performance. They are complete masters of combat, with perfect and honed skills, tempered by their extensive combat experience. They ARE Bruce Willis in Live Free or Die Hard. They seemingly don't die when they should, and they strike in a manner that baffles and overpowers their opponents. Certified BAMFs. Basically every over-the-top action hero at their peak.
    The problem with this is who they're supposed to be paired with. Think of the most impressive feat of arms you have ever seen in one of those over-the-top action movies. I bet you that a wizard of significantly lower level than your proposed 20th could easily match that.
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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    Quote Originally Posted by kardar233 View Post
    The problem with this is who they're supposed to be paired with. Think of the most impressive feat of arms you have ever seen in one of those over-the-top action movies. I bet you that a wizard of significantly lower level than your proposed 20th could easily match that.
    The problem? No. My friend, we're talking about Fighters. Not Wizards. Why would you bring a Wizard into the discussion? Of course a Wizard could do that.

    THEY HAVE MAGIC.
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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    Quote Originally Posted by kardar233 View Post
    The problem with this is who they're supposed to be paired with. Think of the most impressive feat of arms you have ever seen in one of those over-the-top action movies. I bet you that a wizard of significantly lower level than your proposed 20th could easily match that.
    My knee-jerk response to this kind of comment is that perhaps it's the Wizard that should be brought down into line rather than the Fighter being brought up...
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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    My knee-jerk response to this kind of comment is that perhaps it's the Wizard that should be brought down into line rather than the Fighter being brought up...
    The correct answer is in the middle, but some people refuse to accept Wizards who can do less than everything, or Fighters who can do more than attack stuff.
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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    Quote Originally Posted by BootStrapTommy View Post
    The problem? No. My friend, we're talking about Fighters. Not Wizards. Why would you bring a Wizard into the discussion? Of course a Wizard could do that.

    THEY HAVE MAGIC.
    So fighters are supposed to be worthless compared to magic classes?

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    Default Re: What do you think a Fighter should be?

    I hate the word "magic" being used as justification for anything. Without further definition, it's just a carte blanche for any author whimsy - and undermines logicality of a setting.

    And once you actually go and define it to working condition, you no longer need the word "magic".

    To give a glimpse of what I mean: in D&D 3.5 Warlocks, Warmages, Healers, Adepts and Truenamers all have "magic", just as Wizards, Sorcerers, Druids and Clerics have "magic".

    But the former set does not outshine martial characters irreparably, while the latter does. That's because Invocations, Healer spells, Truenaming and limited Arcane spells don't include as much power or breath as unlimited Arcana spells, Druid spells or Cleric spells.

    You can't use the word "magic" to explain why one set is less powerful than the other. You'll end up babbling about "different kinds of magic", and eventually you're going to name invidual spell effects to explain just what makes these classes different.

    It is entirely possible to have level 20 fighter be a peak human, with just a slight touch of action movie hero, and then next to him have a level 20 Wizard who can do things impossible in real life, and still not overshadow him. But that's going to need a very specific sort of magic.

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