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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence
    A Guide to Fightering

    Image by Franz von Matsch

    "Hither came Conan the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet."
    - Robert E. Howard, The Phoenix on the Sword

    "The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp."
    - Terry Pratchett, The Light Fantastic

    Barbarians rage. Paladins preach. Rangers range. MonksÖ keep sitting cross-legged at the tops of mountains for some reason. And you?

    Youíre going to paint your name into the history books with the blood of your enemies.

    Welcome to being a Fighter. Others dabble in war. You master it. You have embraced it in a way no one else can. It is part of you. It is your art.

    The Fighter is one of the oldest classes in D&D, appearing in the very first version of OD&D, and itís been tanking along ever since. From the beginning, itís specialized in two things: dealing damage and taking punishment, and boy can he do both now.

    Color Scheme
    • This is freaking amazing! It provides many options, or will do one thing extremely well.
    • This is really good, but not quite phenomenal.
    • This is good. It will regularly be useful, though it won't provide many tactical choices.
    • Bad. It will be extremely rare that it's useful at all.


    • Occasionally very useful, but limited in scope or applicability.


    Table of Contents:
    1. Know Thyself
    2. Fantastic Fighters
    3. Ways of the Blade
    4. You Have the Power
    5. Fine Tuning
    Last edited by EvilAnagram; 2016-04-26 at 11:31 AM.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence
    Know Thyself

    Image by Sakimichan on deviantart

    Ability Scores
    • Strength: If this isnít your primary, DEX is. It can also improve your Athletics and help you Grapple.
    • Dexterity: DEX gives you a common save, some skills, and your AC in Medium Armor. It can also be your primary stat.
    • Constitution: Hit Points are good. Itís also a great save.
    • Intelligence: A good dump stat unless youíre an Eldritch Knight, in which case itís your second most important stat.
    • Wisdom: Good for saves and skill checks.
    • Charisma: Also good for skill checks, and might be useful for a Battle Master.



    Class Features
    • Hit Dice: 1d10 per level. Only Barbarians have it better, and they swing an axe like an amateur.
    • Armor Proficiency: You are proficient with all armor and shields. Go nuts.
    • Weapon Proficiency: You are the martial master. At no point should you have fewer than four sidearms with the Thrown property, unless theyíre all embedded in your enemies. You should have a weapon for all occasions and be willing to use it.
    • Saving Throws: STR is the second most rare. There arenít really better saves than CON if youíre a caster. If youíre not, itís still good.
    • Skills/Tools: You have no Tool proficiencies, but you get some skills.
      Acrobatics: Will get you around obstacles.
      Animal Handling: Nearly necessary with a mount: but otherwise will rarely come into play.
      Athletics: Needed for Grappling and getting around obstacles
      Suvival: Will get you through some situations, but it's not necessary outside of wilderness campaigns.
      Insight: A solid conversational tool.
      Intimidation: Interrogations are a classic RPG trope.
      Perception: Can actually save your party.
    • Fighting Styles:
      Archery is fantastic, especially for ranged Battle Masters.
      Defense is great for tanks, and you can be a great tank.
      Dueling is good for a sword-and-boarder who wants decent damge, plus it can leave a hand free for casting.
      Great Weapon Fighting is obviously for those who want to wield bigger weapons, and the damage boost it provides means you'll be dealing more damage, more consistently than everyone else.
      Protection is another sword-and-board ability, but you won't always be able to utilize it.
      Two Weapon Fighting is much better than early impressions suggested. The more difficult a creature is to hit, the more useful Two Weapon Fighting is. With Dual Wielder, it's even better.
      Mariner is a new one from the UA Waterborne. It's not particularly strong, but the +1 AC and side options are nice if you're lightly armored.
      Close Quarters Shooter is a new one from the Underdark UA. It mixes a +1 to ranged attacks with a bucket of benefits for fighting in close quarters with a ranged weapon. It's pretty nice.
      Tunnel Fighter is the other Underdark style, and it's quite nice for defending an area. It's a bit of an offensive defense.
    • Second Wind: Recover Hit Points as a bonus action. A perfectly good ability, but the HPs start out great and end up mediocre. In lower levels it makes you a tanking god. In higher levels it will keep you from spending your hit dice too quickly.
    • Action Surge: This is the perfect nova ability. Or "put together a sweet combo" ability. Having two turns in one turn is awesome.
    • Ability Score Improvement: Obviously good for obvious reasons. You get so many ASIs, itís absolutely ridiculous. Pump up all the stats you want, and grab a couple feats to boot.
    • Extra Attack: This is one of the principal features that make you the most capable damage dealer in the game.
    • Indomitable: Rerolling saves? Even saves you had advantage on? Multiple times? Awesome.


    Unearthed Arcana Fighting Styles
    The "Light, Dark, Underdark" article in WotC's Unearthed Arcana series provides us with two broken fighting styles that I would personally never allow in my game. If you can convince your DM to let you play them, then go ahead and take one. Archers should look at Close Quarters Shooter, which provides two features from two different feats, plus a +1 to ranged attacks. That's pretty broken, but Tunnel Fighter lets you use your op attack as in older editions, not using your reaction. This is a major force multiplier when locking down enemies.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence
    Fantastic Fighters

    Image by Sandara on deviantart

    It should be noted that any time I call out the Eldritch Knight, that option is rated only for the Eldritch Knight, excepting the Minotaur.

    NOTE: If you want to use a particular race, do so. Optimization doesnít help as much in 5e as it does in others, and all the races offer you something fun.

    Player's Handbook
    • Hill Dwarf: Fighting is a perfectly respectable calling for a Hill Dwarf, though your mother wishes you had gone into the clergy.
    • Mountain Dwarf: +2 STR and CON? And youíre still a Dwarf? Yeah, this is fantastic.
    • High Elf: High Elves are a chief exporter of DEX-based Eldritch Knights.
    • Wood Elf: Wisdom is a very nice stat, but itís not a secondary for any Fighters. Still, a great choice for a DEX Fighter.
    • Drow: Perfectly good at Fightering until they walk into direct sunlight. Try to avoid that.
    • Lightfoot Halfling: +2 DEX is good, and the Halfling features are awesome, but the Lightfoot stuff wonít do much for you.
    • Stout Halfling: Take the Halfling and make him just a tad Dwarfy, and you get an excellent DEX Fighter.
    • Human: +1 to every attribute is solid.
    • Variant Human: Do you really need another feat?
    • Dragonborn: That STR bonus is nice, and the breath attack is a sweet little AoE when youíre starting out.
    • Forest Gnome: A fantastic Eldritch Knight. Not a great anything else.
    • Rock Gnome: Okay for the EK, all else say Nay.
    • Half-Elf: You can add one to a primary and secondary, but that +2 CHA isnít a big deal for you.
    • Half-Orc: Hit harder, tank longer. Thatís the Half-Orc brand.
    • Tiefling: Not really Fighter material. Okay for an Eldritch Knight, I guess.


    Ask your DM before using any splat material below, especially if itís outside the SCAG or EE.

    Dungeon Master's Guide
    • Eladrin: Eldritch Knights can have fun here.


    Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide
    • Duergar: They are absolutely great, providing you with excellent spells, perfect stat boosts, and the basic Dwarf package. Of course, if you happen to be in Sunlight theyíre miserable.
    • Deep Gnome: A DEX Eldritch Knight if there ever was one. Primary, secondary, and amazing Gnome shenanigans, including a feat in case you have the ASI to spend on it (hint: you do).
    • Ghostwise Halfling: Like other Halflings, it's a decent Fighter.
    • Feral Tiefling: Now we have the makings of a decent Eldritch Knight. Other Tiefling alternatives are of varying, but minor levels of effectiveness, save winged, which is not allowed in Adventurerís League play.


    Volo's Guide to Monsters
    • Aasimar: The ability scores aren't terribly helpful, for the most part. The everything else is very helpful, though.
    • Firbolg: The STR is nice, but the invisibility is why you choose a Firbolg.
    • Goliath: Certain races are made to be Fighters. Strangely enough, the race named after a gigantic mythical warrior is one of them. Everything it has contributes to Fightering.
    • Kenku: It's perfectly good for a DEX Fighter who wants some utility.
    • Lizardfolk: The stats are nothing special, but the Bite, the Natural Armor, and the bonus action attack are great. I wouldn't even worry about needing to spend an ASI on your STR.
    • Tabaxi: Claws, mobility, and DEX. Quite nice.
    • Triton: Tritons make decent Fighters thanks to their ability spread and resistance, and they boost the casting of an Eldritch Knight.


    Volo's Monstrous Races
    • Bugbear: You usually use either DEX or STR, but it's still nice to have both. The reach and the bonus damage are awesome, though.
    • Goblin: Goblins apparently make excellent archer Fighters.
    • Hobgoblin: Saving Face is the Saving Grace of the Hobgoblin Fighter. Getting that extra hit in a clutch round is pretty nice.
    • Kobold: Kobold archers are very nice. Pack Tactics even wipes out Sunlight Sensitivity.
    • Orc: They're very good at hitting things with other things, and this is the wheelhouse of the Fighter. Aggressive is quite nice, but not all that nice.
    • Yuan-Ti Pureblood: Nothing about this improves Fightering, but the poison immunity and adv. on saves are nice.


    Elemental Evil
    • Aarakocra: Flight and DEX make this great for an archer build, though other builds may find it lacking.
    • Genasi: The Genasi all have CON, which is nice. Youíll pick them for their other abilities though.

    Spoiler: Genasi Subtypes
    Show
    • Air Genasi: Did you want a flying archer? Good.
    • Earth Genasi: Oh, two primary stats and okay buffs. Nice.
    • Fire Genasi: If youíre an Eldritch Knight, this looks pretty damn good to me. You get both secondaries, a 1/day spell, Darkvision, and resistance on top? Nice.
    • Water Genasi: The resistance and CON are nice, and a little WIS never hurts.


    Plane Shift Zendikar
    Holy crap, it's a Magic/D&D crossover. A lot of the races in this supplement don't fit the races in traditional D&D settings that well, so be sure to talk to your DM before utilizing them.
    • Human: About what you'd expect.
    • Kor: Ghostwise Halfling drops psychic shenanigans for a climb speed.
    • Merfolk: You know what's not great for Fighters? Casting stat boosts across the boards.
    • Vampire: The stats aren't what you're looking for, but healing yourself and damaging your enemies with a grapple seems nice to me.
    • Goblin: A boost to Constitution and two resistances is going to be nice for any class.
    • Elf: Tajura get very little that's helpful. Juraga get a DEX boost and Mul Daya get a STR boost, and both have solid secondary features.


    Unearthed Arcana are basically official homebrews. Ask your DM before using them.

    Eberron
    • Changeling: Not particularly good.
    • Shifters: A Shifter can make an okay DEX build. Shifting is a decent trait by itself.

    Spoiler: Shifter Subtypes
    Show
    • Beasthide Shifter: The AC and CON work well with the Shifter package.
    • Cliffwalk Shifter: Pure DEX with a movement buff and the Shifter package.
    • Longstride Shifter: Exactly the same as the goat dude above.
    • Longtooth Shifter: Having both STR and DEX is sub-optimal, but the attack-grapple is okay.
    • Razorclaw Shifter: Paired with Dueling, this guy can outpace Great Weapon damage.
    • Wildhunt Shifter: The Shifter package is still good, but theis doesnít add much.

    • Warforged: Living weapons tend to make good living weapons.


    Waterborne
    • Minotaur: They can make a decent Fighter for any archetype, but also make solid Eldritch Knights.

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence
    Ways of the Blade

    Image by Yoshi taka Amano, whose name keeps getting filtered out

    The different path you take defines your tactics both in an out of battle. Will you be a powerhouse who makes use of his incredible physical prowess? A masterful tactician who controls the field of battle? Or a mystical warrior equally skilled with blade and spell? Perhaps you could be a leader of men, a warrior whoís skill will bring others through to the end? All are valid paths for a Fighter.

    Champion
    The Champion is a physical powerhouse whose simplicity makes it perfect for newer players.
    • Improved Critical: This is your major damage dealing feature. Doubling your ability to crit is an excellent ability.
    • Remarkable Athlete: A more limited version of Jack of All Trades. It can come in handy. It's worth noting that some spell effects will require these ability checks to escape them, and it works on Initiative.
    • Extra Fighting Style: A chance to nab a defensive style if you picked an offensive one first, or an offensive style if you went defensive first.
    • Superior Critical: A 50% boost to your already prodigious critical chances. Itís not as big a boost to your damage as the first one was, but itís still quite nice.
    • Survivor: Regeneration when youíre under half HP? Well, that seems pretty nice to me.


    Battle Master
    Some have called it Warlord Lite, but the Battle Master provides excellent control mixed with solid damage. A potent mix.
    • Combat Superiority: Your primary feature is extremely nice. Up your damage, your battlefield control, or your defense, and replenish it on a Short Rest.
    • Student of War: You proficiency with some out of combat tools. Make a potion or silver your blades.
    • Know Your Enemy: You can occasionally discover which stats you should target, but you need time to do it.
    • Improved Combat Superiority: Increasing damage is quite nice.
    • Relentless: Never run out of Superiority Dice


    Eldritch Knight
    The Eldritch Knight is exactly what you want out of a gish: lots of slashing and lots of casting. The magic is primarily designed to keep you safe while you cut everyone else to ribbons.
    • Spellcasting: Quite limited casting, but you get exactly what you need to gish your little heart out, including weapon cantrips and defensive boosts.
    • Weapon Bond: A fluffy little feature that makes it extremely difficult to disarm you.
    • War Magic: Cast & Slash exactly as a gish should. Works extremely well with the Sword Coast cantrips. Lightning Lure something closer to you, then slash it. Hit something with Booming Blade, then slash it. Shock it with Shocking Grasp, then slash it. Minor Illusion a floating middle finger at it, then slash it. The world is your oyster.
    • Eldritch Strike: A very nice feature to use with Action Surge, and it makes save-or-sucks much more appealing.
    • Arcane Charge: A short-range teleport is perfectly good in a melee.
    • Improved War Magic: Cast a spell and attack in the same turn. Itís a great ability.


    Banneret aka, Purple Dragon Knight (SCAG)
    The Banneret is another Warlord Lite straight out of the Sword Coast Adventurerís Guide, but this one is more explicitly designed to buff and protect his allies. A Banneret may be weaker than the other options on its own, but it provides a massive boost to the combat capabilities of the entire group.
    As always, ask your DM before using material from splats.
    • Rallying Cry: A perfectly nice little boost to HP at no cost to you if you were already going to Second Wind.
    • Royal Envoy: A solid boost to a solid skill. Useful, but not a major boost.
    • Inspiring Surge: Increase the potency of your surge. Itís pretty damn nice.
    • Bulwark: This is pretty nice. Allowing allies to make use of your Indomitable feature when you use it essentially doubles its potency.


    Cavalier (Unearthed Arcana: Kits of Old)
    A noble knight who excels in both mounted combat and social pleasantries. This archetype is an official homebrew and is thus illegal in Adventurer's League play. The Cavalier is ultimately a perfectly solid option for a mounted combatant, using Battle Master features to increase his combat effectiveness, but he is ultimately less adaptable than the Battle Master, with fewer Maneuver options and more conditions to fulfill for their use.
    Ask your DM before using splats.
    • Bonus Proficiencies: Really solid proficiencies for a mounted knight, especialy with the tool option.
    • Born to Saddle: It's exactly what you need to stay mounted, and that's pretty important to you.
    • Combat Superiority: You have everything you need for mounted combat, but only mounted combat.
    • Ferocious Charger: Better spike damage with a rider, but you're doubling the Superiority dice you use for a single effect. It's not bad, but it's not amazing.
    • Improved Combat Superiority: More damage is always nice.
    • Relentless: Never run out of Superiority dice.


    Scout (Unearthed Arcana: Kits of Old)
    Do you want to be a Ranger without being a Ranger? A lot of people seem to, and this makes a very nice non-magical alternative to the Ranger class. Once again, this relies on Battle Master-esque Maneuvers to increase the combat effectiveness of the archetype, but does not include the flexibility of the Battle Master. Still, it's somewhat more flexible than the Cavalier, though it lacks the damaging potential of both the Battle Master and Cavalier. Honestly, it's only black because the basic Fighter Chassis is so powerful. It's simply a good deal of utility on top of that.
    Once more, ask your DM before using splat.
    • Bonus Proficiencies: Wow. Those are excellent proficiencies. No other Fighter gets anything close to these extra options, and you get to pick three of them. The only better utility option is the Eldritch Knight's spellcasting.
    • Combat Superiority: You only get three Maneuvers, and none of them add damage. Martial Adept is necessary to improve your versatility.
    • Natural Explorer: A little situational bonus that's very flavorful. Helps cement this as the not-Ranger Ranger.
    • Improved Combat Superiority: Nice, though it's hampered by your options.
    • Relentless: Again, nice to have, but hampered by your options.
    Last edited by EvilAnagram; 2016-04-12 at 11:25 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence
    You Have the Power
    aka: Least Controversial Section

    Image by Jason Chan

    Still under development.

    Maneuvers
    Battle Master only

    A Note on Selecting Maneuvers
    When selecting maneuvers, it is important to consider two things: your primary means of attacking, and how you fit into your party. An archer, for example, does not benefit from Tripping Attack to the same degree as a melee Fighter because you are at Disadvantage when attacking a Prone enemy. Likewise, disarming an enemy without being able to toss their weapon away does nothing. However, an archer who knows that her allies will have turns before her enemies can use Tripping Attack and Disarming Attack with abandon to provide her allies with advantages.

    So ask yourself, will making an enemy prone help my allies? If I disarm an enemy, will I be able to help my allies? Will my allies benefit more from buffs on them than from debuffs on the enemy? Will one of my feats (Great Weapon Master, Sharpshooter) affect the usefulness of a Maneuver (Precision Attack)? An archer Battle Master can stand away from the fight inflicting negative statuses on enemies with ease. A melee Battle Master can wade into battle, concentrating his attacks on one or two enemies instead. Plan your Maneuvers to match your style.

    Spoiler: Maneuvers
    Show
    • Commanderís Strike: You use your bonus action and lose an attack. Nothing is gained, unless an ally has a much better attack than you, and even that uses the die without knowing if it will inflict the damage. The only saving grace is that itís almost always going to be useable if you do have an ally whose attack is more damaging than yours. If you work with a Paladin, Rogue, or Barbarian, it can be great.
    • Disarming Attack: Remember that you can interact with one object for free each turn, and that can include kicking the Death Knightís sword across the room. The damage is just gravy. The only thing keeping it from being sky-blue is the fact that so many enemies donít carry weapons.
    • Distracting Strike: You should only use this if you completely lack confidence in the Tripping Attack save, or if the targetís turn is directly after yours.
    • Evasive Footwork: Avoid op attacks. Reducing the damage you take is always nice.
    • Feinting Attack: Set yourself up for a furious assault. I like it, even if the damage is uncertain. Pairs well with Tripping Attack.
    • Goading Attack: Almost like a 4e Mark. Not bad at all.
    • Lunging Attack: In any situation in which you need this, you can draw a hand axe and use that instead. Using a die without knowing if it will damage its target just makes this worst.
    • Maneuvering Attack: Extra damage is always welcome, and you can get an ally out of a jam. Perfectly nice.
    • Menacing Attack: Disadvantage is nice, and if you have reach or hit with a ranged attack you can completely shut down an enemyís ability to attack you.
    • Parry: A nice DEX reaction. Excellent for archers, and still quite nice for finesse Fighters.
    • Precision Attack: You can decide to pop this Super die after you make the attack roll, which is exactly what you want with that.
    • Pushing Attack: Add extra damage and okay control. A solid pick if you find yourself fighting near ledges frequently.
    • Rally: A good reason to grab Charisma. Temp HP is great at low levels, but it doesnít scale terribly well. Still, les damage taken is always nice.
    • Riposte: You spend the die even if it misses, which is lame. But it gives you a very damaging reaction, which is nice. It's better if you multiclass Rogue.
    • Sweeping Attack: Itís a nonmagical Green Flame Blade! That scales worse than Green Flame Blade! And uses a resource! It could be useful in a fight against a large group of weak enemies, and rarely otherwise.
    • Trip Attack: Knock a target prone, giving you advantage for all your other attacks while you deal extra damage for this one. Even limited to Large and smaller creatures, this is awesome.


    Spells
    Eldritch Knight only

    Notes on Spell Selection
    Remember that Eldritch Knights only receive one first level spell that is neither an abjuration, nor an evocation. All other spells, cantrips aside, must come from one of those two schools. This should absolutely inform the way you pick spells. All non-AE spells at first level will be marked with an asterisk.

    Generally, because your cantrips are so limited, you should be very careful with what you pick. You only have two at first, and you only get one more over time. This means that unless you have other means of acquiring cantrips, you should stick to the most useful and widely applicable ones you can get. Remember that you already have excellent attacks, so your spells should focus on enabling your ability to shoot and hit things.

    Itís also worth noting that your spell progression is, objectively, terrible. At max level, you have the spell slots of a seventh level Wizard, with fewer spells known. Therefore, with some exceptions, it is important to select spells that provide you with something other than single target damage. Your attacks already accomplish that, what you need are spells that can be useful at any level, which is why itís lucky that you can pick abjurations. You might want damaging cantrips and first level spells, but the potency of damage-dealing spells is reduced at subsequent spell levels, and you might want to switch some of those spells out at higher levels.

    Finally, note that while the Adventurerís League does allow both the Elemental Evil (EE) and Sword Coast Adventurerís Guide (SCAG) splats, you are limited to either one or the other when building a character. That is to say, you may use either EE or SCAG, but not both. Generally, ask your DM before using either.

    Spoiler: Cantrips
    Show
    • Acid Splash: I personally donít like saves for cantrip attacks. Itís almost like an AoE, but the damage is weak. Weaker than simply attacking, thatís for sure. Itís good for avoiding Sunlight Sensitivity, though.
    • Blade Ward: If this were a bonus action to cast, it would be fine, but it isnít. Itís okay after you pick up War Magic because you can take a defensive action and still get an attack in, but thatís it.
    • Booming Blade (SCAG): An excellent gish cantrip. Combos well with Witch Bolt on the Action Surge. Works well with War Magic.
    • Chill Touch: A perfectly decent ranged attack. Worse than a normal Fighterís ranged option, but still usable if you donít feel like carrying a javelin.
    • Control Flame (EE): A perfectly good utility spell whose uses are hampered by the limited number of cantrips you can learn.
    • Create Bonfire (EE): A save cantrip that uses Concentration. Itís a bit like a weaker Cloud of Daggers. Again, avoid Sunlight Sensitivity.
    • Dancing Lights: The only reason to use this over Light is because youíre a Drow.
    • Firebolt: A good damaging cantrip for when you need range, but weapons often provide better options.
    • Friends: Itís some good utility, but its drawback can be nasty. Pairs well with Disguise Self for shenaniganery.
    • Frostbite: A save cantrip (boo) with a nice rider (yay!). This might be the cantrip of choice for avoiding Sunlight Sensitivity.
    • Green-Flame Blade (SCAG): Another great Gish spell.
    • Gust (EE): Totally situational. Too situational for someone with so few cantrips to pick from.
    • Light: A decent cantrip for anyone lacking Darkvision.
    • Lighting Lure (SCAG): Donít let anyone out of your reach. Combos well with War Magic.
    • Mage Hand: Versatile utility, but itís in a competitive slot.
    • Mending: To situational to take up half your cantrips for half your levels.
    • Message: Situational, but it can keep you in contact when youíre scouting.
    • Minor Illusion: One of those utility cantrips that are so versatile you can hardly justify not taking it.
    • Mold Earth: Situational, but potentially very useful, especially if you have time to prepare a battlefield.
    • Poison Spray: Save for a d12 damage. The range is terrible, but if you have Sunlight Sensitivity it could be worth it.
    • Prestidigitation: I love this spell, but you rely so much on cantrips, and you have so few to pick.
    • Ray of Frost: Perfectly good at range if you donít have better options.
    • Shape Water(EE): Too situational for a 1/3 caster.
    • Shocking Grasp: If youíre melee, and you canít use SCAG, pick this up. The control is solid, and the damage is okay.
    • Sword Burst (SCAG): A free burst with okay damage is... well, okay. It's perfectly fine, if not terribly fun.
    • Thunderclap (EE): The damage is weak, and it has no rider. Honestly, youíll almost always be better off just attacking, even if there are more than two enemies around you.
    • True Strike: Garbage. Even War Magic canít make this worthwhile.


    Spoiler: First Level
    Show
    • Absorb Elements (EE): Itís a reaction, it reduces damage against you, and it provides a boost to your next attack. Lovely.
    • Alarm: If you take Ritual Caster, this is fine. OtherwiseÖ not so much.
    • Burning Hands: This is one of those rare damaging spells thatís totally worth taking. Itís a solid AoE with decent damage, you get it at a level at which itís still useful, and itís not overshadowed by your ability to cut everything around you to ribbons.
    • Catapult (EE)*: Not worth taking up your only non-A/E.
    • Charm Person*: I would only take this with Magic Initiate. Friends does a good enough job mimicking its effects.
    • Chromatic Orb: Good for bypassing resistances for creatures like Demons, but is it really better than attacking two times with a bow?
    • Color Spray*: Blind is okay, but it only lasts a round. There are better debuffs to pick from.
    • Comprehend Languages*: Youíve so few spells to pick, and without Ritual Caster itís just not worth it.
    • Detect Magic*: Some Widely applicable utility, but the competition for the non-A/E is fierce.
    • Disguise Self*: This might be worth taking up that non-A/E slot. It works extremely well with Friends, and it can save your butt in a lot of situations.
    • Earth Tremor (EE): The range is crap, but youíre probably in melee anyways. The damage is crap, but the rider is nice, and Prone never stops being useful to you. Itís a solid spell for a gish.
    • Expeditious Retreat*: Moving quickly is pretty nice for ranged and melee Knights alike.
    • False Life*: A 10-20% boost to health is pretty nice, but its usefulness declines in later levels.
    • Feather Fall*: Itís life-saving every once in a while, and itís useless aside from that. Remember, you only get one non-A/E.
    • Find Familiar*: Useful. More useful if you take it through Ritual Caster, but still useful.
    • Fog Cloud*: Itís a good way to provide yourself some cover for sneaking and avoiding attacks.
    • Grease*: This might be the only time I ever rate Grease equal to Earth Tremor. Having someone prone at a range is simply less useful for a melee combatant, and when youíre making ranged attacks prone is less than helpful. Still, itís such a good spell when you have melee allies.
    • Ice Knife (EE)*: Iím fond of this spell. Itís a decent AoE that deals good single target damage to boot. Itís Hail of Thorns with ice, and this is the perfect level to grab a damaging spell. Is it worth your only non-A/E spell, though?
    • Identify*: A fine spell that you absolutely should not take unless itís with Ritual Caster.
    • Illusory Script*: Not worth your only non-A/E.
    • Jump*: See above.
    • Longstrider*: Again, see above.
    • Mage Armor: Your armor is perfectly adequate as it is, but some DEX builds can benefit from this early on.
    • Magic Missile: You probably donít need this. Your single-target ranged power primarily comes from your weapons, not your spells. Still, Magic Missile is as reliable as magic can be.
    • Protection from Evil and Good: Youíll need it very badly sometimes and not need it at all the rest of the time.
    • Ray of Sickness*: Honestly, ranged cantrips are better most of the time, at least until you get Improved War Magic.
    • Shield: Who doesnít want a bonus to AC?
    • Silent Image*: Iíd just stick with Minor Illusion. The boost this provides to it just isnít worth your only non-A/E.
    • Sleep*: This is always a good spell. Thereís not a single build that canít benefit from it at lower levels.
    • Tashaís Hideous Laughter*: I love this spell. Iím probably overrating it, but completely disabling someone on a save is great, and the prone just makes it better.
    • Tenserís Floating Disc*: With Ritual Caster? Sure. Otherwise? No.
    • Thunderwave: Okay damage and a bit of forced movement. Not bad.
    • Unseen Servant*: Itís a very nice spell, but you only get one non-A/E.
    • Witch Bolt: This is not a very good spell. That said, you can make it work thanks to your CON save and your other abilities. Use this, then Action Surge and attack with Booming Blade, then bonus action attack with War Magic. Theyíll take this damage if they donít move, and theyíll take Booming Blade damage if they do.


    Spoiler: Second Level
    Show
    • Aganazzarís Scorcher (EE): If you think three damage and a line of effect is worth an extra spell level over Burning Hands, go for it.
    • Alter Self*: Disguise Self, with a couple upgrades. The Natural Weapons could be useful, but at level 7 it's really not that great. Magic Weapon gives you the same benefit, and you get to use a better weapon.
    • Arcane Lock: Decent utility for safeguarding the home base.
    • Blindness/Deafness*: The effect just isn't that powerful, and you're giving them a save every round.
    • Blur*: Oh, look, a spell that benefits you just as much as Blindness would, but doesn't have any saves involved. A necessary choice if you don't want to pump Int.
    • Cloud of Daggers*: I don't think blocking an entryway is worth your 8th level non-A/E.
    • Continual Flame: Have you ever wanted a 50 GP Light spell? Neither have I.
    • Crown of Madness*: This spell has fatal flaws, and it doesn't help that you'd be passing up on awesome spells to pick it up
    • Darkness: A good way to avoid getting cut to ribbons or balance out your own disadvantage.
    • Darkvision*: Not a terrible spell, but many races already have Darkvision, and many that don't shouldn't waste a spell slot on it.
    • Detect Thoughts*: Solid information gathering utility.
    • Dust Devil (EE)*: It provides okay control, but it's not necessarily useful enough to justify giving up one of your four non-A/Es.
    • Earthbind (EE)*: If you're dealing with flying enemies, bringing one of them to the ground could be useful. Otherwise, it's pretty useless, and an Eldritch Knight really needs to pick more consistently useful spells.
    • Enlarge/Reduce*: It provides solid utility and an excellent buff/debuff in one spell.
    • Flaming Sphere*: Solid control, and you can deal damage as a bonus action.
    • Gentle Repose*: You will rarely need this, and you'd be giving up a non-A/E to get it.
    • Gust of Wind: Provides some okay control and utility.
    • Hold Person*: Paralyzing someone is an excellent debuff, and once you get Eldritch Strike you can really increase your odds of pulling it off.
    • Invisibility*: Very nice both in and out of combat
    • Knock*: You either have good Strength or good Dexterity, so you can get through a door without this.
    • Levitate*: Great for archers.
    • Locate Object*: Possibly helpful once or twice, but not worth the opportunity cost of missing out on a better spell.
    • Magic Mouth*: As above.
    • Magic Weapon*: If you don't have a magic weapon yet, this spell could be useful.
    • Maximilian's Earthen Grasp (EE)*: The control is really inferior to Hold Person, and it's the same opportunity cost, and the damage you can deal with it is strictly inferior to the damage you inflict with a stick at this level.
    • Melfís Acid Arrow: Spend a second level slot to attack for an average of 15 damage, or attack twice with a crossbow for around 17 points of damage.
    • Mirror Image*: On par with Blur as a defensive buff, but it doesn't use Concentration.
    • Misty Step*: I like teleports, especially for melee fighters.
    • Nystul's Magic Aura*: It does nothing for a Fighter.
    • Phantasmal Force*: The damage is terrible, but it's a solid distraction, especially for a ranged Fighter, and it has all the benefits of any illusion.
    • Pyrotechnics (EE)*: Provides a decent debuff, and ranged Fighters will probably benefit a lot more from it.
    • Ray of Enfeeblement*: Pretty good debuff, but your enemy gets a save every turn.
    • Rope Trick*: Good if you really need a Short Rest. Or if you need to hide. There's not much else to it. Maybe leave it for the Wizard.
    • Scorching Ray:This can actually provide some solid single target damage.
    • See Invisibility*: It's a massive opportunity cost for a very minor benefit.
    • Shatter: Like Aganazzar, but with a bit of a rider. Shattering objects might be more useful than the damage.
    • Skywrite (EE)*: Pretty weak for the opportunity cost.
    • Snillocís Snowball Swarm (EE): The damage isn't even barely over Burning Hands'. Not worth the spell slot.
    • Spider Climb*: It's an fun little spell, but not necessarily worth taking.
    • Suggestion*: I love this spell, but I don't know if this is a good pick for a Fighter.
    • Web*: Trap you enemies, then shot and/or cut them to ribbons. Solid spell.


    Spoiler: Third Level
    Show
    • Animate Dead*: You probably should have gone with an Oathbreaker if you wanted to be a necromancer with a sword. You won't get to use this spell to its fullest by a long shot.
    • Bestow Curse*: It's a damn good thing you have Eldritch Strike, because this is a fantastic spell, and you want it to stick. Especially since it gives you the freedom to come up with your own effects at DM's approval.
    • Blink*: A lovely little teleport and defensive boost with a chance of doing nothing. Still, multiple teleports for one slot is worth it for a melee Fighter.
    • Clairvoyance*: Do you want to waste a non-A/E on this? It's fine for a Wizard, but you aren't a Wizard.
    • Counterspell: The best way to counter a caster.
    • Dispel Magic: Abother good way to eliminate magical effects.
    • Erupting Earth (EE)*: Weaker than Fireball, but the difficult terrain over a large area might make this worth it. It could certainly keep a group of people from reaching an archer.
    • Fear*: Some truly excellent control over an area that can benefit from your Eldritch Strike.
    • Feign Death*: Useful once in a blue moon, but the opportunity cost to an Eldritch Knight is massive.
    • Fireball: This was an excellent spell when the Sorcerer took it eight levels ago. For you, it won't deal as much as your attacks deal, but it can deal the damage to more people.
    • Flame Arrows (EE)*: Worse than Hunter's Mark, but an archer could still make decent use of this to up his damage. Cast it before combat, and you can deal more damage than a Fireball with it.
    • Fly*: This is a great spell that can benefit anyone. Archers love it.
    • Gaseous Form*: A situationally useful spell. It provides limited flight as well as helping with stealth.
    • Glyph of Warding: On the one hand, shenanigans. On the other, one hour casting time makes it very situational.
    • Haste*: As close to mandatory as a spell can be. Every Fighter benefits from more attacks.
    • Hypnotic Pattern*: Massive turn denial with enough range to be useful to both melee and ranged Fighters. I like it.
    • Leomundís Tiny Hut: Perfectly good spell that allows you the chance to take a Short Rest uninterrupted. As a Fighter, you love Short Rests.
    • Lightning Bolt: Like Fireball, your attacks are better, but this can still be useful.
    • Magic Circle: Definitely only useful when you're dealing with extraplanar baddies, but it can be very useful indeed.
    • Major Image*: An illusion. A big illusion. A big illusion that includes multiple sensory outputs. It's nice, but not necessarily important for Fighters. Still, illusions are infinitely applicable.
    • Melfís Minute Meteors (EE): You can full-attack while casting damaging spells all around you. 2d6 on a bonus action isn't terrible. It's not good, but it isn't terrible. Casting it before a battle could be all kinds of fun.
    • Nondetection: A completely situational ability in a crowded field. Only take this if you know someone is scrying you and there isn't a Wizard around to take it.
    • Phantom Steed*: Mounts are nice. This could be key to a Lance-Fighter's ability to stay useful.
    • Protection from Energy: Any time you know you're going to be dealing with a specific damage type, this is nice to have.
    • Remove Curse: Mean DMs can make this necessary if there isn't a Cleric in the party.
    • Sending: You don't have many spells, and you won't use this one much at all.
    • Sleet Storm*: Effectively blinding everyone in a 80'x80' area without a save while they save not to fall on their butts is very, very nice at any level. Of course, you won't be able to attack anyone in the area, even with Sharpshooter, but you'll be able to avoid them.
    • Slow*: The defensive version of Haste. Haste is more widely applicable.
    • Stinking Cloud*: The best spell to use when punctuating a fart joke. Solid control with action denial, excellent for ranged Fighters
    • Tidal Wave (EE)*: The damage is bad, but knocking prone is nice.
    • Tongues*: You know how I said that you should pick the most widely applicable spells you can? This isn't one of those.
    • Vampiric Touch*: You can already make melee attacks and heal yourself, but better.
    • Wall of Sand (EE): Solid control. Keeping the battlefield working in your favor is always nice.
    • Wall of Water (EE): Again, the control is decent, but it won't stop your enemies in their tracks most of the time.


    Spoiler: Fourth Level
    Show
    • Arcane Eye*: While this is fine for Wizards, it is not fine for a capstone spell.
    • Banishment: A quality save-or-suck that can remove a character from combat for ten rounds. With Eldritch Strike and a decent Int, you can almost guarantee a success.
    • Blight*: If you fight a lot of magical plants, this is amazing. If not, it's pretty good, but not for the level you are now.
    • Confusion*: It provides decent control over a limited area, but other spells can provide better control without using your only Fourth Level spell.
    • Conjure Minor Elementals*: Far too limited at epic levels.
    • Control Water*: Do not waste your slot on this.
    • Dimension Door*: Teleporting is nice, but this is a massive resource to spend on one.
    • Elemental Bane (EE)*: You can impose disadvantage on the save, and if your party works together this can be very useful.
    • Evard's Black Tentacles*: Restrained over a large area is pretty nice. The damage is negligible.
    • Fabricate*: As much as I love this spell, this is a terrible use of your highest level slot.
    • Fire Shield: A decent buff for any Fighter. No concentration, and it essentially provides reactions without using your reaction while providing resistance to your choice of cold or fire. It's a pretty sweet buff for a melee Fighter, though a ranged Fighter might not like it quite as much.
    • Greater Invisibility*: The only drawback is using your Concentration. It's fantastic. It's necessary if you don't want to pump your Int.
    • Hallucinatory Terrain*: Great spell for a Wizard, which you are not.
    • Ice Storm: You only get one slot at this level, and this one certainly doesn't hold up to the standards of epic level play.
    • Leomund's Secret Chest*: Not worth your 4th.
    • Locate Creature*: As above
    • Mordenkainen's Faithful Hound*: There are less useful spells at this level. This one is of limited use, though.
    • Mordenkainenís Private Sanctum:It's not useless, but it would very odd to dedicate your capstone spell to securing a small area for a short amount of time.
    • Otilukeís Resilient Sphere: Another decent way to take something out of combat, if less useful than Banishment.
    • Phantasmal Killer*: A great spell when the Wizard got it ten levels ago.
    • Polymorph*: A great spell. Even at epic levels it can hold its own.
    • Stone Shape*: Like many spells, this one is great for not-Fighters.
    • Stoneskin: At the level you get this, most damage you face will be magical, so this won't help. Even if it can help, you have to maintain concentration.
    • Storm Sphere (EE): having a constant bonus action attack that provides a degree of control is very nice, especially since you can use your incredible attack power while you zap away.
    • Vitriolic Sphere (EE): Your action normally deals roughly 40+ damage at this level. This action deals a little over 30. Firebolt can deal 22 damage on average at this level without costing a spell slot.
    • Wall of Fire: The control is decent, and if you or your allies can force movement you can constantly force your enemies into the fire.
    • Watery Sphere (EE)*: Excellent control, though it takes actions to use effectively.


    *=Not Abjuration/Evocation
    Last edited by EvilAnagram; 2017-02-22 at 08:39 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence
    Fine Tuning

    Image by MarschelArts on deviantart

    Feats
    Feats are an important part of the Fighter's arsenal. You get more than anyone else, and that gives you a lot of room with which to customize your character. Generally, feats fall into 3 categories: Statistical boosts that provide measurable increases in the numbers you use to hurt people, Tactical changes to the way you can affect the battlefield, and Situational options you can add to your arsenal.

    Generally, when selecting feats you need to realize that you are making choices that necessarily limit your future choices. If you take Medium Armor Master, you are a Medium Armor Fighter. Don't worry about Heavy Armor. If you want to focus on ranged feats, don't pick up Polearm Master. If you go with Polearm Master, then stick to feats that improve your ability to use polearms, like Great Weapon Master. Let the feats build on each other. If you branch out and try to cover competing feat paths, such as Dual Wielder and Great Weapon Master, you're simply limiting your competence.

    Spoiler: Feats
    Show
    • Alert: If you multiclass Rogue Assassin this is sky-blue.
    • Athlete: Improving your skills for half a feat is pretty nice.
    • Actor: Pretty nice if you decided to boost your CHA a bit. Deception is certainly useful in mot games.
    • Charger: A melee Fighter can get a lot of mileage out of this. Probably more useful if you use a battle map, but the chance to damage someone who used to be out of your reach is nice.
    • Crossbow Expert: Machine gun crossbows? I don't know how it works, but it works quite well.
    • Defensive Duelist: Are you wielding a finesse weapon? Do you like not to get hit? Take this.
    • Dual Wielder: Perfect for Two-Weapon Fighting, which has been looking much better after recent mathematical analysis.
    • Dungeon Delver: A perfectly good feat. Great if your DM is a bit trap-happy.
    • Durable: A straight up statistical bonus to healing for half a feat. Not bad at all.
    • Elemental Adept: An Eldritch Knight can get some mileage out of this, but he should be focusing on non-damaging spells most of the time. Can still help with cantrips like Green-Flame Blade.
    • Grappler: Grapple builds always hang out in the periphery of optimization discussions. They can certainly be rewarding and fun, but most Fighters won't want to bother with this.
    • Great Weapon Master: Great Weapon Fighters will probably want this feat.
    • Healer: Early on this can really help out a struggling party. After a few levels, not so much.
    • Heavily Armored: You already have the benefits.
    • Heavy Armor Master: Are you a melee Fighter in heavy armor? Get this.
    • Inspiring Leader: You might not have thee Charisma, but temp HP is always nice.
    • Keen Mind: You have the feats to spend on flavorful stuff with few benefits like this, and you might even get use out of the INT.
    • Lightly Armored: You already have the benefit.
    • Linguist: Knowing the right language can really save your skin, depending on the game. Certainly worth taking for Adventurer's League.
    • Lucky: Incredibly powerful.
    • Mage Slayer: Having trouble with mages? Use, Mage Slayer!
    • Magic Initiate: Did you always want to use magic? Do you have some magic, but want even more magic? Take this!
    • Martial Adept: A Battle Master can get some use out of another Superiority die and a little more flexibility in how he uses it.
    • Medium Armor Master: DEX Fighters can't do any better than this when it comes to armor options, be they Archers, Two-Weapon Fighters, or Duelists.
    • Mobile: A sweet suite of passive treats.
    • Moderately Armored: You already have the benefit.
    • Mounted Combatant: If you have a mount, this is really nice.
    • Observant: A solid bonus to important skills.
    • Polearm Master: Perfect if you're wielding a polearm, and it has amazing synergy with Sentinel.
    • Resilient: A successful save will keep you standing and fighting for your buddies. This is an extremely good feat.
    • Ritual Caster: Gain more spells, save spell slots. It's a great complement to an Eldritch Knight's abilities.
    • Savage Attacker: More damage is a good thing, but this is a bit limited, and Great Weapon Fighting is strictly superior. Still, those Two Weapon Fighters and Duelists will get use out of this.
    • Sentinel: I don't want to say that you have to take this feat, but I will say that if you specialize in melee fighting that you have to take this feat. Its the tankiest feat that ever did tank!
    • Sharpshooter: This is awesomesauce. Ignoring cover and dealing extra damage are two things archers love to do, and that -5 to attack is offset by the +2 archery bonus already!
    • Shield Master: If you use a shield, this provides a nice blend of offensive and defensive boosts.
    • Skilled: Boosting your skills is always a worthwhile endeavor.
    • Skulker: Sneaky stuff can always work to your advantage. Better for a DEXbased pally.
    • Spell Sniper: Don't take this, even if you know magic. Your ability to hit things with other things will always outperform your ability to cast magic in pure damage dealing.
    • Tavern Brawler: Not a terribly powerful ability, but it gives opens up your options and provides excellent synergy with Grappler.
    • Tough: More HP is More HP.
    • War Caster: Solid for an Eldritch Knight with Booming Blade.
    • Weapon Master: You already have everything this provides.



    Multiclassing
    Honestly, there's not a single class that can't benefit from a dip into Fighter. If not for Second Wind, then for Action Surge. Chalk it up to the universal applicability of hitting things hard and often, but the sacred art of Fightering is a rewarding dalliance for any multiclasser. This guide, however, looks at what other classes offer the Fighter. We already know Fightering is awesome. It's time to see what everyone else has to offer.

    Spoiler: Multiclassing
    Show
    • Barbarian: Sweet synergy here! It's a front-loaded melee class that improves STR Fighters quite a bit. Champion crit-fishers might want to stick around for Brutal Critical.
    • Bard: Become a skill monkey! With songs! And Magic! If you have Charisma, a Lore Bard makes a solid multiclass opportunity. There's a bit too much overlap with the Valor Bard.
    • Cleric: Some Clerics are nearly Fighters already. Fightering for a god could be tons of fun, and WIS is a good stat to cast with.
    • Druid: Honestly, there's no real synergy here.
    • Monk: Every time I see a Monk/Fighter build, I think they should have ditched one of those two classes. Both are great classes, they're just not great together.
    • Paladin: Plenty of Synergy, you don't have to pump CHA that much, and you only have to stick around long enough to get smites. Even sticking through Channel Divinity options can be worth it.
    • Ranger: As with Paladin, you can grab a few features and go in less than four levels. You can even stick to spells that don't need much WIS.
    • Rogue: Damage and skills.
    • Sorcerer: It's not bad. Gain some casting ability and have a blast.
    • Warlock: The Pact of the Blade combines well with this.
    • Wizard: Spellcasting synergy with Eldritch Knight makes this a great multiclass.



    Niche Builds
    You know what makes Fighters different from almost every other class? Freedom. It's the 'Merica of classes. You can do whatever you want so long as your daddy's the mayor you stay within the rules. Wanna be a DPS monster? Cool. Wanna be a ranged controller? Cool. Wanna fight exclusively through bear hugs? Also cool. It's like a Disney movie: you can be anything you want, just wish upon a star learn the rules and build your character.

    Spoiler: The Hawkeye
    Show
    It's important to remember that Fightering isn't just about Fightering with swords. Sometimes you have to Fighter with bows. Sometimes, you want to use that bow to maintain complete control over the battlefield. This is how you do that.

    The core of this build is the use of Maneuvers to control the battlefield while you rain death upon your enemies. Your choice of Maneuvers is important.
    • Disarming Strike: Useful if your companion can kick the weapon away.
    • Goading Attack: If your enemy can't reach you, he'll just have disadvantage on his attacks.
    • Maneuvering Attack: Provide covering fire while your companion reaches safety.
    • Menacing Attack: The enemy can't move closer to you. Melee enemies can't hurt you at all.
    • Precision Attack: For when you just *have* to hit.
    • Pushing Attack: Knock someone off a cliff or keep them out of reach.
    • Trip Attack: For when you have melee allies.


    Feat Selection
    • Crossbow Expert: Absolutely necessary for anyone hoping to use a crossbow as their primary weapon. Even longbow users might want this for the melee ranged attacks.
    • Martial Adept: Another chance to use a maneuver.
    • Sharpshooter: All archers should take this feat if they can.

    Feats like Alert, Lucky, and Medium Armor Master are also welcome additions to this build, though less necessary than the three above.

    Weapon Selection
    • Shortbow: The only reason to use the shortbow is being too small for a longbow.
    • Longbow: The obvious favorite in non-angry styles of bow.
    • Hand Crossbow: Depending on your reading of Crossbow Expert, it's either not bad, but not great or game-breakingly amazing. I'm not sure which side of this Crawdad is on.
    • Light Crossbow: About on par with the Longbow if you have Crossbow Expert. Otherwise, a poor choice.
    • Heavy Crossbow: Once again, this assumes Crossbow Expertise. If you have it, this works out extremely well.
    • Sling: The Sling is actually perfectly capable of fulfilling the requirements of use in this class. It just has such low damage.


    Spoiler: Stupid Eldritch Knight
    Show

    How do you gish in 5e? With an Eldritch Knight and the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, generally.

    However, there are really two approaches to Gishing as a Fighter in 5e. The first is to boost your INT and pick whichever spells suit you. The second is to ignore your INT and pick only spells that don't rely on it. My primary spell list is focused on the former approach, but the latter is equally valid. Let's take a look at it.

    Stupid Gish Spells
    Cantrips
    • Booming Blade (SCAG)
    • Green-Flame Blade (SCAG)


    1st Level
    • Absorb Elements (EE)
    • Expeditious Retreat*
    • False Life*
    • Find Familiar*
    • Fog Cloud*
    • Shield
    • Sleep*


    2nd Level
    • Blur*
    • Darkness
    • Enlarge/Reduce*
    • Magic Weapon*
    • Mirror Image*
    • Misty Step*



    3rd Level
    • Blink*
    • Counterspell
    • Dispel Magic
    • Flame Arrow (EE) *
    • Fly*
    • Haste*
    • Leomund's Tiny Hut
    • Phantom Steed*
    • Protection from Energy
    • Remove Curse
    • Wall of Sand (EE)
    • Wall of Water (EE)


    4th Level
    • Fire Shield
    • Greater Invisibility*
    • Wall of Fire


    *=Neither Abjuration, nor Evocation

    As you can see, this path severely limits your spell selection, and Eldritch Strike goes to waste entirely. Still, it's a valid build if you want to focus on your physical abilities.


    Spoiler: Huggy Bear
    Show

    Step 1: Be Proficient in Athletics
    Step 2: Take Grappler
    Step 3: Take Tavern Brawler

    Battle Masters and Champions alike make decent Huggers. Your turns should focus on grappling, restraining, and attacking your enemies as they struggle against you. This is as niche as builds get, so have a ball.


    Spoiler: The Invincible
    Show

    Are you sick of pesky things like damage? Boy, have I got a build for you! The core of this build lies in taking advantage of every minor boost to defenses. This build works best with Champions thanks to Survivor or Eldritch Knights with defensive spells.

    Steps to Take:
    • Take the Defense Fighting style.
    • Use heavy armor and shield.
    • Take Heavy Armor Master and Shield Master.
    • If Champion, take Magic Initiate for Shield or Absorb Elements.
    • If Eldritch Knight, take those spells in addition to Blur, Mirror Image, and Haste. Take Magic Initiate for Cure Wounds.


    The basic premise here is to reduce the amount of damage you take, and to make the damage you do take irrelevant. The worst insult you can give to an enemy is to ignore them.


    Spoiler: Captain America
    Show

    Honestly, this is purely for players who want to be Captain America. Works best with Battle Master or Banneret, though Champions work well, too.

    • Start as Variant Human with Tavern Brawler to improve your unarmed attacks and attacks with shield.
    • Use Strength build with heavy or medium armor.
    • Take Shield Master

    The basic premise is that you fight like Captain America. Tavern Brawler makes you proficient in hitting things with your shield and increases the damage of your unarmed attacks. As a Battle Master, you exercise battlefield control and with maneuvers you can Dominate in melee. As a Banneret, you can inspire your allies while dominating your foes.

    Feats to Consider:
    • Martial Adept
    • Grappler
    • Heavy Armor Master
    • Resilient (Wis)



    Spoiler: Negasonic Spearlord McAwesomesauce
    Show

    Thanks to Garwig, whose post is here:
    Quote Originally Posted by Garwig View Post
    I'd like to propose a new build I call the Spearman.
    • Get the Tunnel Fighter fighting style from UA:Underdark, the Polearm Master feat, and run around with a glaive or halberd. This fighting style allows you to make opportunity attacks without expending your reaction. In other words, unlimited number of opportunity attacks in exchange for your bonus action. The feat allows you to make opportunity attacks against enemies who enter your reach. Obviously it only works if your turn is before the enemy closes to melee range, but it makes you incredibly good against hordes. Something the fighter usually lacks.
    • You can pair it up with Sentinel to literally build a wall of monsters who can't get close to you.
    • It gets even better if you are an EK and take the War Caster feat. Now you can Booming Blade everyone who enters your reach. In this case I don't recommend Sentinel, as the extra damage from BB will immediately go off if they continue to move to melee distance with you. [EvilAnagram Note: requires Spell Sniper as well.]



    Any other build suggestions are welcome, as are comments and criticism .
    Last edited by EvilAnagram; 2017-01-06 at 01:14 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Troll in the Playground
     
    JellyPooga's Avatar

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    For a Fighter, Intelligence is always secondary to Wisdom, even for an Eldritch Knight. If an EK is throwing around Spell Attacks and Save Spells, he's probably doing something wrong; focus on those buffs and spells that don't have a save or attack. There's plenty enough of them. Dump Int, dump it hard.

    Wisdom, on the other hand, cannot be ignored. You're not proficient in Wis Saves, so there's even an argument to try and get it at least as high (if not higher) than your Con. Fail a Wis Save and you could be out for the count, regardless of your HP. Then there's Perception to consider. You can't fight what you don't see; Fighters want Perception, thus Fighters need Wis.
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    I disagree on the sky-blue rating for Counterspell. It's a niche spell on a class with very limited spells known (as much as you want it in that situation, most campaigns don't see players fighting spellcasters in most encounters), and on top of that, when you have the spell slots of a Wizard a third of your level, you can't guarantee success against an enemy spellcaster's big guns. A nice spell to have when it's needed, but not sky blue.

    EDIT: Along with the above, Counterspell really can't be considered in a vacuum; you only really need one member of your party to have it, and chances are there will be somebody better for it than the Eldritch Knight.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    Snip
    I can't disagree more with this. I tried, but I can't. You are always going to be bad at one important save, and while Wisdom saves are important - I'd even recommend going Resilient Wis - it's perfectly okay to have a weak Wis score. You're missing out on some things, but it's fine. It is not okay to have a weak CON score as a Fighter - you just get attacked too much for that.

    And while you can stick purely to spells that don't involve Int, you won't be able to use any of your AoEs or save-or-sucks effectively if you do. You actually have access to solid spells that compliment your natural abilities, and there's no reason to ignore that.

    If you're that worried about Wisdom saves, be a Variant Human and take Resilient.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rhaegar14 View Post
    I disagree on the sky-blue rating for Counterspell. It's a niche spell on a class with very limited spells known (as much as you want it in that situation, most campaigns don't see players fighting spellcasters in most encounters), and on top of that, when you have the spell slots of a Wizard a third of your level, you can't guarantee success against an enemy spellcaster's big guns. A nice spell to have when it's needed, but not sky blue.

    EDIT: Along with the above, Counterspell really can't be considered in a vacuum; you only really need one member of your party to have it, and chances are there will be somebody better for it than the Eldritch Knight.
    I wouldn't really call it a niche spell (preventing damage to the party and avoiding nasty enchantments is always nice) I think you raise some good points.
    Last edited by EvilAnagram; 2015-12-08 at 08:22 AM.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    I wouldn't really call it a niche spell (preventing damage to the party and avoiding nasty enchantments is always nice) I think you raise some good points.
    Yeah, but you can't always do that with Counterspell. It's only usable against an enemy with spellcasting. That's what makes it a niche spell; it is literally, utterly useless outside that situation, and it's a situation that many groups may not see every adventuring day, let alone every encounter. When you only get 12 spells known you generally want to stick with choices that you can use more often than not.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    I can't disagree more with this.
    I disagree that you're always going to be bad at one important save; using point-buy Dex, Con and Wis 14 are all quite doable whilst still having points for a Primary stat at 16 (albeit having to hard-dump the other two). Dex is probably the least important of the Big-3 (much as I loathe the fact); especially so for the Fighter who can wear Heavy Armour to make up for some of the lack. For a front-liner like the Fighter, Con probably takes precedence over Wis, but a Fighter already has d10 HP and as I said in my previous post, Con Save proficiency; he needs actual Con less than other classes that lack his innate toughness. If he dumps Wisdom, on the other hand, he's never going to improve in that area (without taking a Feat for it, as you say). I'm not saying dump Con, not by a long shot, but Wisdom is an important consideration for a Fighter that wants to stay in the game...

    ...More so than an EK needs Intelligence. Much more. Simply put, the investment required for an EK to get Int to a level that's actually worth a damn is far too great an opportunity cost compared to the primary role of a Fighter. If you want to sling spells, be a spell-slinger. EK's cannot be good at AoE or Save-or-Suck/Die without compromising their primary function of being a Fighter.

    Take a look at the spells that an EK will commonly be using; how many require an attack roll or saving throw? Shield; nope. BB/GFB; nope. Absorb Elements; nope. Do you want me to go on? Blur, Darkness, Enlarge/Reduce, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Misty Step, See Invisibility, Blink, Counterspell, Dispel Magic, Haste and so on and so forth. This is the EKs spellbook (including a couple of off-list ones he's likely to pick up). By the time an EK gets access to an offensive spell, it's already obsolete; a Wizard or Warlock has been playing with it for several levels already and is better at it than you are. You simply can't compete in those stakes, so why bother trying? "Go big or go home" is the rule in D&D; half-measures are largely a waste of time. Seriously; Int is always a dump stat for a Fighter, EKs included.
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    I do t think Dueling can quite be Blue while Two a Weapon Fighting is Red. Dueling adds +2/4/6/8 Damage per round throughout the game, while Two Weapon Fighting adds +2/3/4/5 capping out earlier often while excluding additional weapon damage and Crit chance. I mean through 10th level TWF will often be adding as much or more damage per round compared to Dueling. At level 11-19 it will often average only 1 damage less than Dueling excluding damage dice. Early game it is the superior damage dealing style excluding Varient Humans with Pole Arm Master. Even a 16 Str GWF GWM hits 35% for 21.33 averaging 7.5DPR while a dual Shortsword hits 60% of the time with two attacks for 2d6+6 or 7.8 DPR. If we make the TWF a Varient Human his DPR jumps to 9. A PM Varient Human only has a DPR of 8.4.

    For a Fighter TWF is the best damage dealing style through level 4(20% of the game). It starts to fall off 5-10, assuming 18 Str. A Duelist deals 12.6 DPR, GWF deals 14.8 DPR, a GWF GWM deals 15.6DPR, PM deals 15.3 DPR, a PM GWM deals 18.4DPR, while the TWF Duelist deals 15.3 DPR or 13.5 without duelist or 11.1 DPR without even TWF.

    At level 11-19 if falls behind, but still deals more damage than Duelist. At level 20 it ends up slightly behind a Duelist in damage if you didn't take a Duel Wielder.

    Now, sure, it takes a bonus action, but Fighter doesn't have a ton of uses for his bonus action and I don't feel that something that is the superior damage dealing style at lvls 1-4, is extremely competitive lvls 5-10, and still out damages Duelist except for possibly lvl 20 should be rated as Red while Duelist is rated Blue. Either Duelist needs to drop down to Black or more likely Two Weapon Fighting needs to bump up to Purple/Black or even both

    Archery is extremely strong. A +2 Static modifier to hit is amazing,mite still be Blue if it was a +1. It is by far the strongest Fighting Style.

    Defense is solid. A static +1 to defense means a lot, it really does.

    Great Weapon Fighting should not be Sky Blue unless you are multiclassing to something that throws extra damage dice.m as a pure damage upgrade, 1.33 per attack with a Greatsword, worse on every other weapon, it's mediocre and sub par compared to Dueling, TWF, and certainly Archery. It adds 1.3/2.7/4/5.33 Damage or worse. IMP GWF is Purple, Skyblue if you Multiclass to something like Paladin or even Eldritch Knight with melee Cantrips. It is not better than Black for most characters.

    Protection. Situationally Sky Blue, often Red.

    Two Weapon Fighting! Starts Blue for early levels, Mid levels is Black, and Purple for late levels. Lvl 20 it's Red.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by Zman View Post
    For a Fighter TWF is the best damage dealing style through level 4(20% of the game).
    This is going to be the primary source of our disagreement. The first four levels do not represent 20% of the game. The experience needed to pass through these levels is much, much lower than subsequent levels. Even adjusting for the increased experience of higher level monsters, the first three levels fly by, and that is by design. Those are introductory levels designed to introduce you to the class and system, and they purposefully have low bars for moving forward. In fact, many groups skip ahead to level 3 through 5 when they start, further reducing the importance of those levels.

    This means that for the vast majority (if not the entirety, depending on your starting point) of the game, TWF is declining in usefulness, and unless you have the feat you're giving up a shield bonus to use it. Dueling stays consistently competitive while allowing you to boost your AC with a shield.

    That said, you've made some good points, and I'm willing to bump TWF up to black.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zman View Post
    Great Weapon Fighting
    First, Battle Masters get extra damage dice, not that it matters because Crawdad declared it only works on the weapon dive. Second, Champions benefit the most from the rerolls because of crits. Third, the damage you deal with a great weapon is numerically superior to other styles, and this style adds to that. I think I'm going to drop it to blue, but I'm still going to call it out as consistently superior in damage.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    Take a look at the spells that an EK will commonly be using; how many require an attack roll or saving throw? Shield; nope. BB/GFB; nope. Absorb Elements; nope. Do you want me to go on? Blur, Darkness, Enlarge/Reduce, Invisibility, Mirror Image, Misty Step, See Invisibility, Blink, Counterspell, Dispel Magic, Haste and so on and so forth. This is the EKs spellbook (including a couple of off-list ones he's likely to pick up).
    Half of those are off-list spells that are only available through multiclassing or racial features. This is not a multiclassing guide.

    Also, Counterspell and Dispel Magic both require Int to pull off effectively. Maybe you should reread those spells.

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    By the time an EK gets access to an offensive spell, it's already obsolete; a Wizard or Warlock has been playing with it for several levels already and is better at it than you are.
    I already pointed this out, if you read my guide. However, when the Eldritch Knight gets first level spells, they are not obsolete, and it's perfectly reasonable to take those spells. It's also perfectly reasonable to take spells like Banishment, Counterspell, and Tashaís Hideous Laughter, which all rely on your Intelligence and all stay competitive.

    I'm not saying that you should definitely pump your Int if you're an Eldritch Knight. It's perfectly possible not to. However, there are plenty of reasons why you would want to boost your Int, and Wis saves aren't so necessary that you should limit your casting options severely to give it a small boost. You already have Indomitable, and spellcasters are not the most common enemies, enchanters even less common.
    Last edited by EvilAnagram; 2015-12-08 at 10:50 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    This is going to be the primary source of our disagreement. The first four levels do not represent 20% of the game. The experience needed to pass through these levels is much, much lower than subsequent levels. Even adjusting for the increased experience of higher level monsters, the first three levels fly by, and that is by design. Those are introductory levels designed to introduce you to the class and system, and they purposefully have low bars for moving forward. In fact, many groups skip ahead to level 3 through 5 when they start, further reducing the importance of those levels.

    This means that for the vast majority (if not the entirety, depending on your starting point) of the game, TWF is declining in usefulness, and unless you have the feat you're giving up a shield bonus to use it. Dueling stays consistently competitive while allowing you to boost your AC with a shield.

    That said, you've made some good points, and I'm willing to bump TWF up to black.


    First, Battle Masters get extra damage dice, not that it matters because Crawdad declared it only works on the weapon dive. Second, Champions benefit the most from the rerolls because of crits. Third, the damage you deal with a great weapon is numerically superior to other styles, and this style adds to that. I think I'm going to drop it to blue, but I'm still going to call it out as consistently superior in damage.
    I could easily argue that it is much more than 20% of the game experience. I bet if we took a survey of all the currently running 5e games that we'd find the majority them were 10th level or less and that the majority of those games were under level 5. Levels 1-4 may fly by, but they represent the greatest amount of playtime for most groups and adventures. Either way, TWF is not worth of Red, Purple or Black is appropriate.


    No, GWF will be the source of our disagreement. You've rated it Sky Blue, like Archery, while Defense is Blue. Let's look at what GWF does vs say Archery. Archery raises your to hit chance from 60% to 70% which is a 17% increase in damage, more with Sharpshooter. At low levels, where GWF is at its best it raises Greatsword damage from 7+3 to 8.33+3 or 13% and it doesn't nothing for GWM. Dueling provides a 4.5+3 to 6.5+3 increase in damage or 27% increase in damage. Yes, Twohanded weapons deal superior damage, but GWF adds a small amount of damage. A Twohanded fighter without GWF still does great damage, GWF makes it a little bit better. Look at a Greatsword wielding Fighter with GWF vs Defense. AC16 dealing 11.33 damage or AC17 dealing 10 damage.

    Dropping it to blue is reasonable, I'd still say Black.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    I think he has the two weapon fighting red, because of how much of a bad choice TWF is for the fighter. TWF is already a weak option, that is very badly supported. And for the fighter I think it is fair to say that it is by far the worst option. Hence the fighting style that works with the worst option for the class, should be red.

    I dont agree with dumping intelligence. Wis saves are important to keep you into the game, but I think it is not the worst thing in the world to spend a feat on it (resilient wis), while keeping a decent int score (14-16), to let you use 1 or 2 area or save/suck spells from time to time. Remember that you have eldritch strike, which can make you better than a wizard with higher intelligence as far as imposing SoS spells goes. Having a couple of extra spell options is worth it imo, although I can see how dumping int is a solid option too.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    I dont agree with dumping intelligence. Wis saves are important to keep you into the game, but I think it is not the worst thing in the world to spend a feat on it (resilient wis), while keeping a decent int score (14-16), to let you use 1 or 2 area or save/suck spells from time to time. Remember that you have eldritch strike, which can make you better than a wizard with higher intelligence as far as imposing SoS spells goes. Having a couple of extra spell options is worth it imo, although I can see how dumping int is a solid option too.
    Yeah, both options are perfectly viable, but the Eldritch Knight is particularly good at getting save-or-sucks to work, so dumping Int is not necessary. Besides that, a +1 Wis and Indomitable will get you through quite a lot of the Wis saves the MM creatures can inflict, and Resilient makes it even better. You don't need to boost Wis much to have a decent save there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zman View Post
    I could easily argue that it is much more than 20% of the game experience. I bet if we took a survey of all the currently running 5e games that we'd find the majority them were 10th level or less and that the majority of those games were under level 5. Levels 1-4 may fly by, but they represent the greatest amount of playtime for most groups and adventures.
    I simply disagree. In my experience, levels 4-7 represent the most time spent playing, and in any long campaign taking TWF will absolutely hamper your ability to deal damage in the long run, especially if you have alternative means of getting bonus action abilities (Eldritch Knight, Great Weapon Master, Polearm Master, Razorclaw Shifting, Crossbow Expert, etc.). I'm willing to bump it up a bit, but not much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zman View Post
    No, GWF will be the source of our disagreement. You've rated it Sky Blue, like Archery, while Defense is Blue. Let's look at what GWF does vs say Archery. Archery raises your to hit chance from 60% to 70% which is a 17% increase in damage, more with Sharpshooter. At low levels, where GWF is at its best it raises Greatsword damage from 7+3 to 8.33+3 or 13% and it doesn't nothing for GWM. Dueling provides a 4.5+3 to 6.5+3 increase in damage or 27% increase in damage. Yes, Twohanded weapons deal superior damage, but GWF adds a small amount of damage. A Twohanded fighter without GWF still does great damage, GWF makes it a little bit better. Look at a Greatsword wielding Fighter with GWF vs Defense. AC16 dealing 11.33 damage or AC17 dealing 10 damage.

    Dropping it to blue is reasonable, I'd still say Black.
    GWF is at its best when you have more attacks, and therefore more chances to reroll dice. Let's look at level 5, when you have two attacks and +4 to hit and damage. A duelist can deal an average of 21 damage per turn. A TWF can deal 22.5. Without GWF, a Greatsword wielder can deal 22 damage, less than TWF and more than Dueling. With GWF, it's 24.7 damage, more than everything else, and with rerolls you roll more consistently, so the variation in your damage is much lower. It's worth dropping to Blue, but it's still an excellent choice if you like to focus on offense.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    Half of those are off-list spells that are only available through multiclassing or racial features. This is not a multiclassing guide.
    Apart from the three spells you get at 8th, 14th and 20th. I 'm not talking about multiclassing either.

    Also, Counterspell and Dispel Magic both require Int to pull off effectively. Maybe you should reread the book
    Also incorrect. Counterspell and Dispel Magic can do just fine without needing Int at all. Ideally, you won't need Int for them. In a pinch (i.e. when you're casting below par), yes, high Int helps, but largely speaking you're more reliant on luck than anything else in those cases. Effective use of these spells means using the right spell slot, not chancing the lucky dice roll.

    I already pointed this out, if you read my guide. However, when the Eldritch Knight gets first level spells, they are not obsolete
    When EK gets Burning Hands, Wizard is playing with Scorching Ray. When EK gets Scorching Ray, Wizard has been playing with Fireball for two levels already and is now starting to play with the likes of Banishment. When EK gets Banishment, Wizard has been Wishing for a level.

    Take a look at what else the Fighter can do by comparison; at 7th level, an EK can cast Scorching Ray. 3x2d6 fire damage up to 120ft. Solid damage output for a Wizard at level 3. That Fighter with a Longbow can be dishing 2x(1d8+Dex) at far greater ranges. Add an extra 10 damage/hit for Sharpshooter if you like. Or go Crossbow Expert and a Hand Crossbow for 3x(1d6+Dex+10). Every turn. Scorching Ray doesn't look so hot, does it? It's obsolete compared to the Fighters own abilities, let alone what a full caster can do. Consider also that Dex adds to AC, Initiative and Stealth and is one of the Big-3 Saves and that Int...doesn't. How high are you willing to get that Int? +2? +3? How effective is a decent AoE debuff like Web or Slow (to take a couple of off-list examples, because there's really nothing on-list of the kind) going to be with a middling score like that at the level the EK gets it? It's just not worth the investment when you consider that the party Wizard has better options that are more reliable.

    No, an EK is a powerful Archetype because he can buff himself without having to devote his own resources (i.e. ability scores) or those of his team-mates (i.e. the other full-casters Concentration) to it. I'm not saying you can't go that route with an EK, just that you're probably better off leaving it to the big boy casters.
    Last edited by JellyPooga; 2015-12-08 at 11:12 AM.
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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    GWF is at its best when you have more attacks, and therefore more chances to reroll dice. Let's look at level 5, when you have two attacks and +4 to hit and damage. A duelist can deal an average of 21 damage per turn. A TWF can deal 22.5. Without GWF, a Greatsword wielder can deal 22 damage, less than TWF and more than Dueling. With GWF, it's 24.7 damage, more than everything else, and with rerolls you roll more consistently, so the variation in your damage is much lower. It's worth dropping to Blue, but it's still an excellent choice if you like to focus on offense.
    Its also easy to forget how GWF combos within the fighter build: With Champion, you are getting a crit 1 in 10 rolls, and re-rolling a bit more dice; with Combat Superiority, you are rolling a few more dice as well without multi-classing.

    Also, for TWF you are getting an extra attempt to land those attacks to activate Combat Superiority effects. If you are looking at pure damage, the difference is (imo) negligible. If you are looking at the effects of pairing TWF with cool effects, TWF gets better.
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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    Also incorrect. Counterspell and Dispel Magic can do just fine without needing Int at all. Ideally, you won't need Int for them. In a pinch (i.e. when you're casting below par), yes, high Int helps, but largely speaking you're more reliant on luck than anything else in those cases. Effective use of these spells means using the right spell slot, not chancing the lucky dice roll.
    When you only have two slots to choose from, you'll often have to go with the die roll when it comes to Counterspelling.

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    When EK gets Burning Hands, Wizard is playing with Scorching Ray. When EK gets Scorching Ray, Wizard has been playing with Fireball for two levels already and is now starting to play with the likes of Banishment. When EK gets Banishment, Wizard has been Wishing for a level.

    Take a look at what else the Fighter can do by comparison; at 7th level, an EK can cast Scorching Ray. 3x2d6 fire damage up to 120ft. Solid damage output for a Wizard at level 3. That Fighter with a Longbow can be dishing 2x(1d8+Dex) at far greater ranges. Add an extra 10 damage/hit for Sharpshooter if you like. Or go Crossbow Expert and a Hand Crossbow for 3x(1d6+Dex+10). Every turn. Scorching Ray doesn't look so hot, does it? It's obsolete compared to the Fighters own abilities, let alone what a full caster can do.
    I agree completely that the attack spells are terrible compared to what the Eldritch Knight can do on his own. However, they are fine when it comes to supplementing an Eldritch Knight's abilities. For example, a melee STR EK might not have a great ranged attack, but having Scorching Ray or even just Firebolt could mean that he's not completely out of the fight just because his enemy is at range. It patches over his lack of range without losing anything in the bargain. He can still have Resilient and a Wis of 12.

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    Consider also that Dex adds to AC, Initiative and Stealth and is one of the Big-3 Saves and that Int...doesn't. How high are you willing to get that Int? +2? +3? How effective is a decent AoE debuff like Web or Slow (to take a couple of off-list examples, because there's really nothing on-list of the kind) going to be with a middling score like that at the level the EK gets it? It's just not worth the investment when you consider that the party Wizard has better options that are more reliable.

    No, an EK is a powerful Archetype because he can buff himself without having to devote his own resources (i.e. ability scores) or those of his team-mates (i.e. the other full-casters Concentration) to it. I'm not saying you can't go that route with an EK, just that you're probably better off leaving it to the big boy casters.
    The EK isn't just powerful because he can buff himself. Buffing himself is totally valid, but he can also do a better job casting save-or-suck spells than even Wizards thanks to Eldritch Strike. I'd be perfectly willing to buff an EK's Int to 18 over the course of 20 levels, devoting no more than a singe ASI to it. The debuff potential of Eldritch Strike simply makes a save-or-suck very powerful for an Eldritch Knight.

    Let's look at a level 20 High Elf Eldritch Knight.

    He has 4 cantrips, enough to get his gish on. Let's say, Booming Blade, Lightning Lure, Firebolt, and Minor Illusion. His stats started out at 9, 16, 14, 16, 11, 8 With three ASIs, he could boost his DEX to 20 and INT to 18, and he has plenty of room for feats, including Resilient at level 6. He can lay down powerful save-or-sucks with a high probability of success. He can carry around a bow for range, or he can take some ranged attack spells and still get off a War Magic attack when he needs to deal with Range. He has decent saves in all the Big-3. He's a solid gish, and he can still cast whatever spells he wishes. He's a solid character that loses nothing from investing in Int.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gfishfunk View Post
    Its also easy to forget how GWF combos within the fighter build: With Champion, you are getting a crit 1 in 10 rolls, and re-rolling a bit more dice; with Combat Superiority, you are rolling a few more dice as well without multi-classing.

    Also, for TWF you are getting an extra attempt to land those attacks to activate Combat Superiority effects. If you are looking at pure damage, the difference is (imo) negligible. If you are looking at the effects of pairing TWF with cool effects, TWF gets better.
    Very good point, look at 5th level Fighter vs a High AC opponent. You have two attacks, a GWF is in a tough spot, GWM is worthless and your trip attack need the first attack to be a hit for the second to benefit from it. A TWF can Trip on the first or second attack and then follow up with a second attack and/or a bonus attack.




    About TWF being the worst build on a Fighter, that is arguable. TWF can still be done quite well, look at a Dex based fighter which is a perfectly viable build. Dex based with Scimitars or Dual Wield for Rapiers works well and will out damage a Duelist. It also allows for good AC in Light armor or for Stealth Builds(easily acquired as a Variant Human, half Elf, Urchin Background etc) etc. There are entire archtypes that can be very well expressed here that are solid builds and completely viable. It isn't the optimal from a damage perspective, but TWF is perfectly viable and doing something effectively better than other classes doesn't warrant a Red rating.



    Edit: I see you changed the color ratings. You said it falls quickly behind when feats aren't in play, that isn't quite true, it is still good, just not when GWM and PM are in play.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by Zman View Post
    Very good point, look at 5th level Fighter vs a High AC opponent. You have two attacks, a GWF is in a tough spot, GWM is worthless and your trip attack need the first attack to be a hit for the second to benefit from it. A TWF can Trip on the first or second attack and then follow up with a second attack and/or a bonus attack.




    About TWF being the worst build on a Fighter, that is arguable. TWF can still be done quite well, look at a Dex based fighter which is a perfectly viable build. Dex based with Scimitars or Dual Wield for Rapiers works well and will out damage a Duelist. It also allows for good AC in Light armor or for Stealth Builds(easily acquired as a Variant Human, half Elf, Urchin Background etc) etc. There are entire archtypes that can be very well expressed here that are solid builds and completely viable. It isn't the optimal from a damage perspective, but TWF is perfectly viable and doing something effectively better than other classes doesn't warrant a Red rating.



    Edit: I see you changed the color ratings. You said it falls quickly behind when feats aren't in play, that isn't quite true, it is still good, just not when GWM and PM are in play.

    I think that when discussion things from an optimisation standpoint this is a pretty good baseline. From level 8+ I would say that if you have nothing better to do with your bonus action on a turn than to make a single d8+stat attack you are doing something wrong. Compare this to other martial style uses like shoving prone or a cleave type attack from great weapon mastery (d12+str+10) and it doesn't look too good. You can compare it with magic initiate for hunters mark or hex - with two attacks that is 2d6 hard to resist damage per turn + the riders on top of that. Feats give loads of better ways to use a bonus action than a low damage attack with a small weapon; if fighters were MAD and so needed more ASIs than other classes or if they got fewer feats than other classes then I could maybe see more of a place for TWF but as it is is fine, just not good for a fighter.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by EvilAnagram View Post
    When you only have two slots to choose from, you'll often have to go with the die roll when it comes to Counterspelling.
    Granted.

    having Scorching Ray or even just Firebolt could mean that he's not completely out of the fight just because his enemy is at range.
    If you've gone with high Int anyway, sure. For no character investment cost at all, though, you could grab a handful of Darts and still be doing comparable damage to Scorching Ray using Str instead of Dex.

    The EK isn't just powerful because he can buff himself. Buffing himself is totally valid, but he can also do a better job casting save-or-suck spells than even Wizards thanks to Eldritch Strike. I'd be perfectly willing to buff an EK's Int to 18 over the course of 20 levels, devoting no more than a singe ASI to it. The debuff potential of Eldritch Strike simply makes a save-or-suck very powerful for an Eldritch Knight.
    Getting Int to 18 with one ASI means starting at 16. That means putting at least a base 14 (if you go Gnome or V.human with a +Int Feat) or 15 (for any other +Int Race); what's the cost of that when you're also going to want the same in at least one other stat, if not two and when you consider that Int isn't one of the Big-3? As I say, it's very doable to play a high Int EK and as you point out Eldritch Strike makes Save-or-Suck great if it's a single save spell (as opposed to a save-per-turn one).

    On the other foot, Eldritch Strike is also an argument against needing high Int. The Disadvantage it imposes making up for the lack of Int. If we accept that Disadvantage is the equivalent of -5 to a check, then Eldritch Strike is the equivalent of giving you 20 Int whenever you attack someone first. Yes it stacks with actually having 20 Int, but it also means you're as good as a Wizard in that regard when you've only got average Int, allowing you to focus stats elsewhere.

    It's a preference thing, certainly, but I think (and it is only my opinion) that there's more of a case for dumping Int as an EK than pumping it.

    edit:
    He's a solid gish, and he can still cast whatever spells he wishes. He's a solid character that loses nothing from investing in Int.
    I'll counter your High Elf with a Hill Dwarf EK;

    Starting Stats: Str 14, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 8
    He takes Resilient (Wis), pumps Str to 20 with 3 ASI's and whatever else fits his playstyle (probably Great Weapon Master, and Con to 20). He focuses almost solely on self-buffs, but could pick up a couple of debuffs if he was feeling saucy. He's doing more melee damage, has (a lot) more HP and better Con and Wis Saves than your Elf and can throw weapons for Ranged damage output. Without needing any investment in Int.
    Last edited by JellyPooga; 2015-12-08 at 12:22 PM.
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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by MrStabby View Post
    I think that when discussion things from an optimisation standpoint this is a pretty good baseline. From level 8+ I would say that if you have nothing better to do with your bonus action on a turn than to make a single d8+stat attack you are doing something wrong. Compare this to other martial style uses like shoving prone or a cleave type attack from great weapon mastery (d12+str+10) and it doesn't look too good. You can compare it with magic initiate for hunters mark or hex - with two attacks that is 2d6 hard to resist damage per turn + the riders on top of that. Feats give loads of better ways to use a bonus action than a low damage attack with a small weapon; if fighters were MAD and so needed more ASIs than other classes or if they got fewer feats than other classes then I could maybe see more of a place for TWF but as it is is fine, just not good for a fighter.
    You can still use Hunters Mark or Hex from Magic initiative just fine with TWF, in fact with the extra attack as a bonus action you often have an additional d6 of damage per turn. You only dont get it on the first turn that may require sheathing one weapon then redrawing it the next turn, when casting it, norally out of move attack range anyway, or the turns you mark a new target, just as you wouldn't with cleave. Yes, cleaving is better, no doubt, but we knew that, though vs High AC enemies TWF will deal comparable damage all day every day, it falls off against low AC enemies.

    What uses are you expecting for Bonus actions for Fighters at various levels? I mean with a Rogue there is a huge action cost, fighter, less so.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Second Wind and Indomitable should be taken down a color.

    Second Wind once you get past the first couple levels is very very very forgettable and really doesn't give you enough HP to be used in combat (it tends to be forgotten). Any feature that can easily be forgotten, even by veteran players, should be red.

    Indomitable looks fantastic until you realize that any spell or effect that you are liable to fail (Dex, Int, Wis, and Cha) you have a good chance of failing again. When it works, great, but it is mostly a fail again feature. If it was once per short rest that would also help it but... It is once per long rest. This feature is just overall disappointing. There is a good idea there but the actual mechanics hold it back.

    Really Second Wind and Indomitable should be one feature usable 1/short rest. You can choose HP (bump up the HP from what you normally get) or to pass a failed save.

    Not a popular opinion but there you go.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Under no circumstances should second wind be lower.

    1. Free self-healing, even a small amount, is good. All it sacrifices is a bonus action.
    2. Its life-saving early game, and useful mid-game at the least.
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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Bonus action for martials from level 1, with V.Human the two I mentioned (I realise some of this may be repeated):

    Shove - shield mastery
    attack - Great weapon Mastery
    attack - charger feet
    attack - crossbow expert
    attack - polearm master
    grapple - tavern brawler
    rage - barbarian
    Vow of enmity - V.Paladin

    from slightly higher levels:

    attack - frenzy barbarian
    ensnaring strike - ranger
    hunters mark - ranger/V,paladin
    Hex - bladelock
    Martial arts - monk
    Smite spells - paladin (although you would rarely use the spells themselves, but on occasion they are worthwhile)

    Later on EKs can make bonus attacks after cantrips, bards and rangers can get swift quiver

    Broadening it a bit:

    Spiritual weapon - cleric
    Bardic inspiration - bard
    Wildshape - moon druid
    Second Wind - fighter
    War magic - eldritch knight
    Cunning action

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by gfishfunk View Post
    Under no circumstances should second wind be lower.

    1. Free self-healing, even a small amount, is good. All it sacrifices is a bonus action.
    2. Its life-saving early game, and useful mid-game at the least.
    Early game (level 4 and below) I would rate it as sky blue or gold, you are getting a good chunk of your HP back and it can be a lifesaver. After level 4 I would rate it as red. Compeltely forgettable. It doesn't keep up with the damage you will be taking and it doesn't heal enough. Its a bonus action to use (shield master, twf, and tavern brawler grapple compete for that bonus action) and just doesn't have the healing capabilities to be worth not killing a creature.

    If second wind was healing 25% of your HP no matter what the level then that would be worth it. 1d10+fighter level is pathetic. At a +3 con you eventually will be healing 14% of your HP. Short rests being completely DM dependant and from I hear not given out liberally... Second Wind is pretty pathetic.

    Also, if you go to 0 you can't use second wind to save your life. I wouldn't mind seeing second wind auto activating if you hit 0 hp.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by MrStabby View Post
    Bonus action for martials from level 1, with V.Human the two I mentioned (I realise some of this may be repeated):

    Shove - shield mastery
    attack - Great weapon Mastery
    attack - charger feet
    attack - crossbow expert
    attack - polearm master
    grapple - tavern brawler
    rage - barbarian
    Vow of enmity - V.Paladin

    from slightly higher levels:

    attack - frenzy barbarian
    ensnaring strike - ranger
    hunters mark - ranger/V,paladin
    Hex - bladelock
    Martial arts - monk
    Smite spells - paladin (although you would rarely use the spells themselves, but on occasion they are worthwhile)

    Later on EKs can make bonus attacks after cantrips, bards and rangers can get swift quiver

    Broadening it a bit:

    Spiritual weapon - cleric
    Bardic inspiration - bard
    Wildshape - moon druid
    Second Wind - fighter
    War magic - eldritch knight
    Cunning action
    Yes, but very very few of those are every round bonus actions with the exception of those that grant extra attacks like Frenzy, or Polearm master. The rest are either one timers like the Vow of Eminity, Second Wind, the Offhand attack with a Hand Crossbow(Due to Reloading), Hex/Hunters Mark. Or are tied to a specific fighting style like GWM, PM, Shield Master, etc. And you aren't precluded from Shoving like Shield Master, in fact you get the same number of attack and the same shove as part of your attack action, you just don't have the Dueling(If they even took it) Damage bonus, in fact it is better, as it doesn't require you to attack first.

    The question was more in regards to a Fighter, when you open up all the options of the other classes, sure. But, using your Bonus action for an additional attack is a viable Strategy and does not preclude most of those occasional or once of bonus actions.

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    Default Re: An Illustrated Manual for Inflicting Violence: A Guide to Fightering

    Quote Originally Posted by Zman View Post
    Yes, but very very few of those are every round bonus actions with the exception of those that grant extra attacks like Frenzy, or Polearm master. The rest are either one timers like the Vow of Eminity, Second Wind, the Offhand attack with a Hand Crossbow(Due to Reloading), Hex/Hunters Mark. Or are tied to a specific fighting style like GWM, PM, Shield Master, etc. And you aren't precluded from Shoving like Shield Master, in fact you get the same number of attack and the same shove as part of your attack action, you just don't have the Dueling(If they even took it) Damage bonus, in fact it is better, as it doesn't require you to attack first.

    The question was more in regards to a Fighter, when you open up all the options of the other classes, sure. But, using your Bonus action for an additional attack is a viable Strategy and does not preclude most of those occasional or once of bonus actions.
    If you are low enough on HP that any other option for bonus action is a bad choice then second wind isn't going to help. If you can't push, shove, or grapple then 14% of your HP isn't going to magically make those other options viable.

    Second Wind is a second rate use of a bonus action.

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