Poll

Should the Fighter have access to utility features useful beyond combat?

Yes
50 (86.2%)
No
8 (13.8%)

Total Members Voted: 58

Author Topic: Should the Fighter be good/great at out of combat stuff?  (Read 9103 times)

Offline Lord Slasher

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 54
  • I'm new!
  • Respect: 0
    • View Profile
Call me crazy but in addition to Spot, Listen, & Survival, I don't understand why fighters don't have knowledge (Arcane), (Religion), and (Nature) for class skills. You would think that if these guys are going to be fighting all sorts of monsters for a living, that they would at least want to know the best way to fight them because knowing is half the battle.

Offline SneeR

  • Legendary Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1531
  • Sneering
  • Respect: +22
    • View Profile
I haven't read the rest of the thread yet; just want to throw this in first: Any character that can't be good out of combat is not a "character." It is a bazooka tied to a mobile mannequin.
A smile from ear to ear
3.5 is disappointingly flawed.

Offline SneeR

  • Legendary Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1531
  • Sneering
  • Respect: +22
    • View Profile
Upon reading the thread, I think you guys are just splitting hairs. A fighter should be able to emulate all concepts of a "fighting man." This means the men at arms, the samurai, the conscripts, the commanders, and the warrior poets. This is not my conceit; this is what the fighter was set upon to do by the designers. A poorly-made fighter is a conscript; a fighter that focuses on skills and finesse is a warrior poet; a fighter that buffers the morale of allies and leads them to war is a commander or general. All of these are a "fighter."

Now, having defined a "fighter" as any fighting man, we must address the fact that fighter as-is cannot do any of the above but a conscript. This fact alone should make it obvious that the answer to the poll is a resounding "YES," for a class designed only to "fight" misses the mark of fantasy roleplaying, for, as I stated previously, roleplaying cannot be accomplished only on the battlefield. Indeed, a class designed only to "fight" misses the mark of any character concept at all, really, and must, therefore, be capable of doing something else--anything at all, really, will do.

Fighters would do with a selection of traits chosen at the outset of the class that would give it a variety of other noncombat abilities in a themed set, in addition to any one "fighter fix" which would otherwise miss the point of a "character class."
A smile from ear to ear
3.5 is disappointingly flawed.

Offline ariasderros

  • Epic Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2506
  • PM me what you're giving Kudos for please.
  • Respect: +27
    • View Profile
Upon reading the thread, I think you guys are just splitting hairs. A fighter should be able to emulate all concepts of a "fighting man." This means the men at arms, the samurai, the conscripts, the commanders, and the warrior poets. This is not my conceit; this is what the fighter was set upon to do by the designers. A poorly-made fighter is a conscript; a fighter that focuses on skills and finesse is a warrior poet; a fighter that buffers the morale of allies and leads them to war is a commander or general. All of these are a "fighter."

Now, having defined a "fighter" as any fighting man, we must address the fact that fighter as-is cannot do any of the above but a conscript. This fact alone should make it obvious that the answer to the poll is a resounding "YES," for a class designed only to "fight" misses the mark of fantasy roleplaying, for, as I stated previously, roleplaying cannot be accomplished only on the battlefield. Indeed, a class designed only to "fight" misses the mark of any character concept at all, really, and must, therefore, be capable of doing something else--anything at all, really, will do.

Fighters would do with a selection of traits chosen at the outset of the class that would give it a variety of other noncombat abilities in a themed set, in addition to any one "fighter fix" which would otherwise miss the point of a "character class."

I want to hug you for that post. Upvote, oh Upvote, why can I only trigger you once.
My new Sig
Sorry I haven't been on much. Will try to get things back in order soon.

Offline Jackinthegreen

  • DnD Handbook Writer
  • ****
  • Posts: 6105
  • I like green.
  • Respect: +94
    • View Profile
SneeR, that was awesome.   :clap
Please let me know via PM if you vote up one of my posts.

Jack's Junk

Offline brujon

  • Legendary Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2424
  • Insufferable Fool
  • Respect: +40
    • View Profile
    • My Blog (in PT-BR)
Upon reading the thread, I think you guys are just splitting hairs. A fighter should be able to emulate all concepts of a "fighting man." This means the men at arms, the samurai, the conscripts, the commanders, and the warrior poets. This is not my conceit; this is what the fighter was set upon to do by the designers. A poorly-made fighter is a conscript; a fighter that focuses on skills and finesse is a warrior poet; a fighter that buffers the morale of allies and leads them to war is a commander or general. All of these are a "fighter."

Now, having defined a "fighter" as any fighting man, we must address the fact that fighter as-is cannot do any of the above but a conscript. This fact alone should make it obvious that the answer to the poll is a resounding "YES," for a class designed only to "fight" misses the mark of fantasy roleplaying, for, as I stated previously, roleplaying cannot be accomplished only on the battlefield. Indeed, a class designed only to "fight" misses the mark of any character concept at all, really, and must, therefore, be capable of doing something else--anything at all, really, will do.

Fighters would do with a selection of traits chosen at the outset of the class that would give it a variety of other noncombat abilities in a themed set, in addition to any one "fighter fix" which would otherwise miss the point of a "character class."

I expressed this point of view in my posts. The fighter as intended was supposed to work the way you described, but the thing is, a generic fighter that's capable of performing all of the roles you described (perhaps not all at once), would quickly become the go-to class for any melee or ranged build. Then we would open another thread "Should the Knight be good/great at out of combat stuff?" and then "Should the X be good/great at out of combat stuff?". All things considered, most people are responding a resounding YES to this thread but considering the fighter alone, and not considering the system as a whole.

The 3.5 system was not designed to cater to generic classes the way GURPS was, for example. Each class has a niche, some very narrow, some less so, casters break this, but let's not consider them for a moment. A generic class, poorly designed, can go two ways: 1 - The fighter as it is right now. Subpar in anything if not multiclassed; 2 - A generic melee class that can fill any role that other melee base classes fill right now, except for gish based ones.

Give the Fighter too many options, ACF's, etc... And you will quickly see the fighter replacing the Ranger, the Scout, etc... Not unlike many people consider the Crusader to be the new Paladin and the Warblade the new fighter. In a system like D&D, making a generic class is making that class too much dip-friendly, because the system actively encourages multiclassing and dipping already. 3.5 is a game of niche classes, and the fighter has to fill the "Striker" niche, using 4E terms. As he is, he can't without multiclassing, and his options are too much limited as they can only be granted by feats, which if created, other classes would have access and you would have an overall power boost effect on every class that has access to fighter bonus feats.

This is why a fighter fix is a hard one, because if one is to maintain the generic nature of the class, they most likely won't be able to address all of the issues i've mentioned, and will either boost the power too much making the other base classes redundant, or still make the fighter only good as a dip. I'm making constructive criticism here. The reason for my "No" vote, is that i don't want to increase overlap in the system, i don't want a generic fighter that's stronger than other base classes that were created to represent certain styles of fighting, or other PrC's.
"All the pride and pleasure of the world, mirrored in the dull consciousness of a fool, are poor indeed compared with the imagination of Cervantes writing his Don Quixote in a miserable prison" - Schopenhauer, Aphorisms: The Wisdom of Life

Offline Unbeliever

  • Legendary Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2288
  • gentleman gamer
  • Respect: +85
    • View Profile
I think you might be finding Brujon, that absolutely no one would ever want to play a "generic fighter" then. 

As another poster noted, a bunch of combat stats who can't do anything out of combat isn't much of a character.  So, while there may be some debate about what non-combat abilities to give the Fighter so that there would still be place for the Knight, Paladin, and Ranger as distinct classes, a class whose sole skillset consists of "I hit stuff" is a non-starter. 

There's not enough there to build a character around. 

Also, your examples contradict your point.  The out of combat skills of the Ranger and the Scout are nigh identical.  As are the Knight and the Paladin.  But, no one thinks those classes are redundant.  Well, maybe Ranger and Scout b/c Ranger is terrible ... 

And, I call shenanigans on the idea of 3E being niche class oriented.  4E was explicitly.  There's not much in the way of character roles in 3E, which is evident by the multiclass system and the fact that any role you can think of (damage-dealing, support, tank, whatever) can be done by a number, usually many, classes and class combinations. 

If I were building the system from the ground up, I'd stick with the idea of the Fighter as a master of arms.  He could be an archer, a knight, a polearm fighter, whatever.  The fact that a Fighter could know heraldry, lead men, and ride like a madman would not in any way obviate the Knight or Paladin classes.  Those have particular other ideas and niches.  Not all knights are Knights from PHB II -- Gregor Clegane isn't interested in fighting his enemies one on one.  Maybe that makes the Fighter sound more generic, though it's no moreso than a Wizard or Sorcerer, who can be blasters, conjurers, gishes, etc. 
« Last Edit: August 28, 2012, 03:24:45 PM by Unbeliever »

Offline veekie

  • Spinner of Fortunes
  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 5422
  • Chaos Dice
  • Respect: +56
    • View Profile
Quote
The fighter as intended was supposed to work the way you described, but the thing is, a generic fighter that's capable of performing all of the roles you described (perhaps not all at once), would quickly become the go-to class for any melee or ranged build.
Untrue, one class having capabilities does not prevent other classes from exercising theirs.

Lets take the core Fighting classes for a whirl now:
Barbarian: As the primitive warrior archetype, the barbarian naturally, comes with a pack of survival, mobility, and SOME of the sensory and diplomatic skills, with the advantage of actually having skill points to invest in them. These are non-exclusive capabilities. However, the Barbarian is also straight out better than even the expanded fighter in the following attributes, mobility(by having a movement speed bonus and Rage, the Barbarian will outclass a Fighter in feats of athleticism), durability(having a larger hit dice and a combat-time bonus to Con) and straight martial damage.
The expanded Fighter will beat it in the realms of tactics, leadership, senses(somewhat), stealth and diplomatic ability, while also focusing more heavily on feat intensive fighting styles over raw stats.

Paladin: As the divine warrior archetype, the paladin has selective, but potent focused offense, actual spells, a buttload of defense and the suite of social skills, plus the charisma to use them with. Again, the enhanced fighter would trump it in terms of tactics, stealth and nature survival skills, but is going to be way behind on the socials and the healing, not to mention no matter how you spec for it the paladin is going to be the better mounted warrior. Senses wise, they're good at different kinds, Detect Evil is going to be pretty boss for finding potential enemies, but it won't be any good beyond that.

Ranger: The nature warrior archetype, with a full suite of senses, mobility, stealth, potential mount, feat based combat and perception skills. Here, it seems the enhanced fighter is going to be eating into a niche! However, as with the paladin, the Ranger is going to be better at senses (higher Wis + sensory spells), mobility(damned spells again), stealth(spells again), mounted combat (animal companion) and perception(spells~), though probably not all at the same time. Its combat niche meanwhile, is giving access to a range of feats with waived ability prereqs, as well as a more narrow version of the paladin's hate-on. Skill wise, unless the Fighter suddenly got a lot more skill points to work with, its a foregone conclusion that the ranger will have a better skill setup, though diminished by the multiply redundant skills.
The Fighter would be better at the leadership and diplomatic stuff, as well as tactics. Combat wise the fighter is more flexible, barring niche setups to sacrifice Dex for Str

Overall, giving the fighter out of combat stuff barely begins to eat into the niche of the other fighting classes. They are more specialized, and more attuned to these tricks than the Fighter is, especially with the partial casters backing up their chosen focus with spells. The only one who might be threatened is the barbarian, which is more an asskicker than a survivalist. And the barbarian kicks ass in a distinctly different manner from the fighter, using raw stat bonuses.
Everything is edible. Just that there are things only edible once per lifetime.
It's a god-eat-god world.

Procrastination is the thief of time; Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves; The vast concerns of an eternal scene.

Offline Sinfire Titan

  • Hustler 3
  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1439
  • You have one round to give a rat's ass.
  • Respect: +28
    • View Profile
Quote
I say: No. Give the fighter the tools to beat the hell out of any summoned creature/animal companion. Make him better than the Cleric fully-buffed at combat with only his class features and WBL and were hitting the mark. Maybe add diplomacy or an ACF for a General type fighter. Create ACF's for scouting, archery, etc... This is the way, at least for me. The fighter was not made to be really awesome at out of combat stuff. To me, he represents the Mercenary extraordinaire, the master of whatever martial arts he wants to master. The king of kicking ass. This is what the fighter was supposed to be.

Except there is an NPC class capable of doing this almost as well as the Fighter (Warriors are capable of being Chargers, Chain Trippers, and a couple of other "Fighter" builds). When your primary trick is something an NPC class can rival you in, it's time to find a new trick.


Seriously, the Fighter has 2 things going for it over the NPC Warrior and those are HD size and bonus feats.
Concerned about how moderation works here? Please PM this account.

Offline Lord Slasher

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 54
  • I'm new!
  • Respect: 0
    • View Profile
I just realized something. You know how the classic D&D fighter is supposed to become a lord and all that. Well he wouldn't be a very good ruler because he lacks 1 important skill, Diplomacy.

Offline veekie

  • Spinner of Fortunes
  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 5422
  • Chaos Dice
  • Respect: +56
    • View Profile
More than that, rulership actually requires quite a diverse set of skills (which was in part, why feudalism worked, would-be rulers needed training to be able to manage their estates and defend them). You got the basics of Diplomacy/Intimidate + Sense Motive for the face to face interactions, and you need some knowledge skills to have anything useful to order people around for.
Everything is edible. Just that there are things only edible once per lifetime.
It's a god-eat-god world.

Procrastination is the thief of time; Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves; The vast concerns of an eternal scene.

Offline SolEiji

  • Epic Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2991
  • I am 120% Eiji.
  • Respect: +84
    • View Profile
    • D&D Wiki.org, not .com
It's a bit of thread necromancy, but I felt that putting this here was relavent since reading this inspired me to do a little alt classing (more of a fix if anything).

Adventuring Fighter.

With the skill point per level boost, they're still limited to a few things but now they can pick skills, and the vastly expanded class spell list gives them the option.  The rest is mostly gravy.  Maybe it interests future readers of this thread.
Mudada.

Offline FlaminCows

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 600
  • Push that button. Doo eeet.
  • Respect: +520
    • View Profile
I just realized something. You know how the classic D&D fighter is supposed to become a lord and all that. Well he wouldn't be a very good ruler because he lacks 1 important skill, Diplomacy.
That's the AD&D fighter. AD&D fighters weren't as starved for skills (nonweapon proficiencies) as 3rd edition fighters, and skills weren't as important back then either.

They dropped the "supposed to be a lord" thing from fighters during the edition change.

Offline Raineh Daze

  • Epic Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 8717
  • Somewhat Angry, Most of the Time
  • Respect: +71
    • View Profile
And it lives again? O_o

My opinion is 'no'. Then again, I'm not really a fan of the fighter existing to represent anything more than a period where the character mostly focused on martial improvement (hello, feats) at the expense of everything else. Never really liked the idea of a fighter fix that gives it all the options to be everything. Just make different classes at that point... >_>;
I hate picking signatures.

Offline X-Codes

  • DnD Handbook Writer
  • ****
  • Posts: 1997
  • White, Fuzzy, Sniper Rifle.
  • Respect: +24
    • View Profile
While there's nothing wrong with archetypes, there are practical reasons why Fighters should be more than just "Moar Feets."

1) Nothing the Fighter does is really exclusive to the Fighter.  Fighter-exclusive feats are basically varying types of Weapon Specialization, and there aren't enough feats of any other variety to really support any sort of strategy other than some kind of "lockdown" build, which still really isn't worth 20 levels of Fighter.

2) If the Fighter is only good at combat, then the guy playing the Fighter can really only dick around outside of combat.  It's bad for player engagement to have characters be useless during some phase of the game.

3) I agree that Fighters shouldn't be disarming traps or reading spellbooks, but 2+Int skills means you've got a soldier that can't perform really basic athletic/acrobatic maneuvers or knows anything beyond the barest of common knowledge.  Common courtesy is completely lost on him and he knows nothing beyond really basic, common knowledge about any place he might have lived his entire life.  He doesn't even know any auxillary soldier skills like tracking, battlefield medicine, leadership, or tactics beyond personal combat.  The fact that 2+Int skills is rarely enough to do *any* of this is the issue.

Offline CaptRory

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 535
  • Could Get Lost in a Straight Hallway
  • Respect: +17
    • View Profile
First, you need to think of a class as one aspect of a given character. People talking about Samurais and Lords and what have you, that isn't a Fighter. That's a multi-class Fighter/Aristocrat or some fighter variant.

That said, I do think that fighters need a little more non-combat rounding out. It isn't a real fix, but we might be able to patch over some things with a tweak here and there. Like, using Strength or Dexterity in some crafting skills. Hammering out a suit of platemail armor? You need to be strong for that. Intelligence is a good choice in general for this sort of thing, but some skills could definitely benefit from a high strength score. Other options might be using your Base Attack Bonus for some skills like Intimidation or for some uses of Perform. Maybe taking feats to Sunder stuff would give the character a bonus for disabling devices. You might not be able to disarm a trap with it but give him a crowbar and two minutes alone with a wagon and it won't be going too far.

And I do believe that Fighters should have some more skills opened up to them. Things more along their focus like Strategy and Tactics and War and Logistics. Some uses for Intelligence that make it worthwhile to invest a bit would be nice.

Offline Unbeliever

  • Legendary Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2288
  • gentleman gamer
  • Respect: +85
    • View Profile
I'm in the "yes" camp.  But, I also think CaptRory has a good point above.  What is the Fighter archetype supposed to be? 

If memory serves, in 2E and before, he was essentially the soldier and the lord and the baron.  He's Achilles and Hector and so forth.  Which means, a bit contra what CaptRory indicates, that he should be able to capture the Samurai concept, to wit, the lordly warrior. 

But, what I want to freely acknowledge is that that is building more into the idea of Fighter than "guy/gal who hurts things in combat."  I was just pulling it from my dim recollections of 2E fluff.  But, it certainly needs something.

Rangers, Paladins, Barbarians, etc. all have something besides COMBAT, to echo X-Codes.  We can debate how well they cash out those ideas, but there's at least an attempt to round them out more.  The Fighter needs something like that.  Unless it does, it just becomes a dip to nab feats.

As I was writing this, I was thinking of the TOB classes, which are generally regarded as better put together warrior types.  Crusader and Swordsage have this extra element:  Crusaders are charismatic driven warriors and Swordsages are mystical monk-types, and they both have at least a little bit of skills to back that up.  Warblade, however, does have the same problem Fighter does.  It's sort of bland.  I hadn't noticed it before.  I do think that the maneuver choices available, though, allow you to paper over it pretty well.  And, they are just overall more capable.  So, you can pretty easily make someone who is quite athletic (conjuring images of Conan's cat-like good at everythingness), a leader of men (White Raven-focused), a savage, brutal warrior, a dashing duelist, etc. 

Offline brujon

  • Legendary Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2424
  • Insufferable Fool
  • Respect: +40
    • View Profile
    • My Blog (in PT-BR)
The fighter should be like the Factotum of combat, he can adapt and change his style to suit the situation he got himself into. He should be great in combat, and be able to fulfill the "generic adventurer" role by himself, and that means access to skills and other out of combat stuff. My idea includes having him to choose different forks along the levelling that kind of dip into other classe's role, but maintain some kind of flexibility, to a point where you can have 2 fighters in the group that took completely different directions and take completely different approaches to combat, but are unique enough on their own that they contribute to the party as a whole.

It's an idealistic and hard thing to work out, but i'm sure everyone here has wondered how we can make the fighter more "Rogue-like" or more "Paladin-like" or whatever. That's what i believe the fighter should be, based on my accumulated knowledge of the game especially in recent bouts of reading and playing.

For example, i don't think the fighter, the ranger, the paladin and the barbarian are sufficiently different to warrant completely different classes. Why don't consolidate all of them into the fighter and even open up some more paths for him to follow? Like an intelligent, strategist kind of fighter, or a charismatic warlord that leads hordes to do his bidding. I think 3.5 left too much up for multiclassing and prestige classes, and i think a more open approach to the classes might help alleviate the problem, not only for the fighter, but also for some other redundancies that exist in 3.5.

Like Sorcerer/Wizard, or Favored Soul/Cleric... They're not all that different base classes, so why they are two different base classes?

My point is that maybe, just maybe, consolidating stuff might help alleviate the fighter problem... Because he is a generic-class amidst a SEA of specialists, and that's his downfall. The Wizard preserves his ass by having access to literally thousands of spells that make him able to fulfill every role possible, but the fighter doesn't have access to that! ToB tried to fix it with it's classes, but i still think that it can be consolidated even further, allowing for one Fighter class that fulfills nearly every fantasy warrior-like archetype.

I may be day dreaming and i didn't do nearly enough homebrew to actually implement this kind of stuff, but this is what i want when i want to play a fighter. I want to be able to take him whatever direction i want, like i can with a Wizard or a Cleric, or an Archivist.
"All the pride and pleasure of the world, mirrored in the dull consciousness of a fool, are poor indeed compared with the imagination of Cervantes writing his Don Quixote in a miserable prison" - Schopenhauer, Aphorisms: The Wisdom of Life

Offline Sinfire Titan

  • Hustler 3
  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1439
  • You have one round to give a rat's ass.
  • Respect: +28
    • View Profile
3) I agree that Fighters shouldn't be disarming traps or reading spellbooks, but 2+Int skills means you've got a soldier that can't perform really basic athletic/acrobatic maneuvers or knows anything beyond the barest of common knowledge.  Common courtesy is completely lost on him and he knows nothing beyond really basic, common knowledge about any place he might have lived his entire life.  He doesn't even know any auxillary soldier skills like tracking, battlefield medicine, leadership, or tactics beyond personal combat.  The fact that 2+Int skills is rarely enough to do *any* of this is the issue.

Adding to this is the fact that most Fighters only have the 13 Int needed for Combat Expertise, unless they circumvented that prereq somehow (in which case they dump Int completely). 3-4 skills isn't enough to do anything, especially when some builds max out Intimidate as one of their 3-4.

HoB and CW both tried to give Fighters mechanical reasons for investing in other skills, but since they are CC and the benefits for doing so are largely fluff, it fell flat.
Concerned about how moderation works here? Please PM this account.

Offline Raineh Daze

  • Epic Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 8717
  • Somewhat Angry, Most of the Time
  • Respect: +71
    • View Profile
-Cut for brevity-

An easier solution, to me, seems to be 'get rid of the fighter' rather than 'make a class that is every martial class'. Consolidation is far harder and you're left with something incredibly complicated, so...
I hate picking signatures.