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 8579 times)

Offline brujon

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-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...

Yeah, i've been drinking and posting again and maybe i just want to change the whole game and yeah it's pretty complicated... And that's because i shouldn't be drinking at all because my liver looks like it's been shot.
"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 Raineh Daze

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-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...

Yeah, i've been drinking and posting again and maybe i just want to change the whole game and yeah it's pretty complicated... And that's because i shouldn't be drinking at all because my liver looks like it's been shot.

Not drinking is probably the best idea.
Warning: Abrasiveness Likely

Offline Nunkuruji

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I will simply state that I think any class should have one avenue of social competency available to them. I think it's more enjoyable at the table if any person has the opportunity to succeed at a particular social encounter, rather than someone needing to always be fairly mute due to having no social in-class skills to rank up.

Offline linklord231

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I think there's definitely conceptual space for a "generic Fighter" class.  Someone who is good at bringing the hurt to the enemy, while tough enough to take a few blows himself.  Someone who relies on his own martial prowess, rather than drawing upon holy might or trickery or fury or whatever.  Someone trained in the use of all weapons, not just a few select styles - he can pick up a longsword and shield, a pike, or a nodashi and use them all equally.  He isn't necessarily a "leader of men" (though he could be), so that should be an option rather than a mandate. 

The problem is that there's not much design space left in 3.5 for that kind of Fighter.  There's not really a "martial power source" like there is in 4e.  He doesn't Rage like a barbarian, or Sneak Attack like a rogue, or cast spells or have a pet like a Paladin or Ranger.  Which begs the question, what does the Fighter do that another class doesn't?  And that's what every Fighter fix needs to answer.  Obviously, there can be some overlap with other classes - Paladins share a lot of design space with Knights and Rangers do with Scouts, but all are still distinct classes.  Actually, the fact that a given archetype can be filled by so many different combinations of base/prestige classes is one of my favorite things about 3.5.  Having a class that's "Like the Barbarian, except without Rage" is perfectly fine, as long as he gets something else to make up for Rage. 

The way I see it, there are a few possible directions for a Fighter fix. 
One is the Warblade - seriously, looking back on my first paragraph, that's exactly what the Warblade does.  I probably would have given him heavy armor proficiency and access to some of those sword and board maneuvers the Crusader has, but there are literally hundreds of homebrew disciplines or even full classes that fix that. 
Another would be something akin to the Generic Warrior from UA.  It would have a list of "Fighter Talents" that you'd pick from, including combat styles, weapon die size increases, Pounce, auras, an ability that lets you tank, armor or weapon specialization (bonuses to hit and AC, speed increases, etc) and so on.   
Obviously there are others, but essentially a good Fighter fix should find some way to emphasize the fact that your skill with weapons comes from your own dedication and training, and has something to make up for the loss of whatever a "specialist" class like Barbarian or Ranger or Paladin has that the Fighter doesn't.  And for crying out loud, just give it 4 + Int skill points.  No class should only have 2. 
I'm not arguing, I'm explaining why I'm right.

Offline Leviathan

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I agree that every class should have some competency out of combat, and support proposals to give the fighter more of a "soldier" flavor.


A lot of the suggestions that people have made sound more like prestige classes to me. A PrC that lets you cost-effectively have a useful weapon for every situation, a PrC focused on tanking, a PrC focused on mundane ranged combat, a PrC focused on leadership and teamwork, maybe a PrC that leverages intensive training to get personal, extraordinary equivalents of some useful buff spells. That way you have several classes each with a strong focus, instead of one class (the fixed Fighter) with too many options and not enough focus.

Offline Sleepyphoenixx

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I'd be content with just increasing skill points to 4+int and adding a few class skills. That way you can get listen & spot, a knowledge, profession or fluff skill and at least one social skill. That's the bare minimum for basic rp competency for me. For the dumb brute archetype you have barbarians (who get 4+int skills despite being, presumably, uneducated savages).
No, it doesn't make fighters on par with wizards but it's a very basic "your PC is actually a functional being, not just a longsword delivery vehicle" kind of thing.

The same applies to any other class that only gets 2+int skill points imo. If your worried about balance give the skillmonkeys something actually cool to compensate. :tongue

Offline Frogman55

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I'd be content with just increasing skill points to 4+int and adding a few class skills. That way you can get listen & spot, a knowledge, profession or fluff skill and at least one social skill. That's the bare minimum for basic rp competency for me. For the dumb brute archetype you have barbarians (who get 4+int skills despite being, presumably, uneducated savages).
No, it doesn't make fighters on par with wizards but it's a very basic "your PC is actually a functional being, not just a longsword delivery vehicle" kind of thing.

The same applies to any other class that only gets 2+int skill points imo. If your worried about balance give the skillmonkeys something actually cool to compensate. :tongue
See: Factotum, Beguiler, Swordsage.

But yeah, the fighter aught to be good at something.  :P Frankly, at the moment he's really not good at anything, so we may as well make him effective out of combat.

Offline MeanFightingGuy

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Throughout whole history, successful armies, such as those mustered by Alexander the Great, the Roman Empire, the Mongolian Empire, the Huns, Oda Nobunaga, Tokugawa Ieyasu and others, have been composed of *professional fighters*, even the heroes of those armies were professional fighters, and most, and of course you will find some exceptions, did nothing at all except fight. Had no special skills whatsoever outside of battle, and this is why you have many historical accounts of former knights/warriors/samurai turning to common banditry & mercenary work: it's because they didn't have ANY useful skills outside of battle. There are even some very famous Ronin mentioned in historical japanese accounts.

Okay, it's an outdated comment, but I wanted to pick that one up nevertheless.

First, extremely few people have knowledge at "nothing beside x". In fact, the AD&D2e PHB made a point by listing the different skills an average player in his teens might have due to schooling and the skills an NPC of comparable age would have because of his upbringing.

The ronin/bandit/highwayman examples you brought up? Somewhat valid, but you have to keep in mind that perhaps (speaking in ingame terms) these guys weren't that high level, had an int of 10 and dumped all skill points in skills that are relevant for physical feats and little else (spot, listening, intimidate, tumble etc.), instead of diplomacy, crafting and whatever. Or they had better skills in woodmanship, but instead of turning to a live as a hunter, they thought that travellers are a more profitable game. Even with a far wider array of class skills and 4 points/level, you can still create a one trick-pony that doesn't function well outside of purely physical situations.
That said, I think that the extremely limited skill sections for most classes are an artificial limit on their usefulness and their versatility. Okay, I can understand that the rogue is the only class that's really apt at rogue skills for balance reasons, but beside that? Nah.

That's what I liked about Howard's Conan stories (apart from the manliness-factor) - even though the guy is a high level fighter (or barbarian) with some levels of roguelike classes thrown in, he nevertheless has a lot more skills up his sleeve than one could recreate by using the classes and therefore can be of use in pretty much every scenario from robbing a wizard's tower to scouting the Pictish Wilderness to leading an army into battle. And on top of that kick pretty much everyone's ass... and he still wouldn't be a lot better than t3-4ish.

(which points at another problem aka "why are casting classes that good?" - but then again, in the Conan stories, Wizards can't just come up with anything and everything but are actually very limited when it comes to application of instant powers and are, like Thoth-Amon or Xaltotun, dependant on artifacts when they want to harness high-level or epic level magic)


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.

Here I wholeheartedly agree.
I have to admit it: I liked the basic concept of the warrior class with its customizability. Adding more feats into the game to represent different ways of fighting could have covered anything variety. Why, for example, is a samurai class needed if one might as well say "okay, bastard sword, short sword, weapon spec, all dual wield skills, take up the kiai feat, awesome, you're done"? 
And the same applies to baseline classes. Back in 2000(?) when I bought the PHB I wanted to recreate a Dark Sun campaign. However, just by looking at the classes I thought "cool, I don't need a gladiator because the fighter already covers everything needed." The same could be done with the barbarian (take up hp feats and introduce bonus movement and raging feats with some follow-ups, voilą, le barb). The ranger? Well, an archetypical archer/woodsman or dual wielder/woodsman, the druidic spells don't fit the concept that much anyway and could be represented by taking up some levels of druid or nature priest. The paladin is the only class where a separate class makes sense because of the code of conduct and the abilities being very specific (healing, immunities etc.). But even here one might as well have introduced a separate tree of feats to recreate a warrior paladin (btw, the same can be said about the bards in regards to the rogue). Instead of creating another (prestige-)class for each and every niche there is, they might as well have sticked to the concept of customizability via skills and feats, but of course this wouldn't have been as lucrative...
« Last Edit: April 13, 2014, 08:24:07 AM by MeanFightingGuy »

Offline linklord231

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So, something like UA's Generic Warrior, but with more variety?
I'm not arguing, I'm explaining why I'm right.

Offline MeanFightingGuy

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So, something like UA's Generic Warrior, but with more variety?

Well, with greater variety and a power level comparable to the baseline ability - a 4d6 sneak attack for a lvl 15 expert is definitely not on par with what we get for the rogue. But yeah, something like that. Of course, it would only really work if all classes would follow these mechanics and were brought in line power/versatility-vise with one another, but the fundamental idea - allowing the recreation of existing classes by molding them into the feat system - is there.

Offline Unbeliever

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Warblade kind of picks up MeanFightingGuy's idea, mostly relying on the variety inherent in maneuvers to develop different concepts.  Savage warriors can pick up Stone Dragon and Tiger Claw, ki-focused samurai can pick up Diamond Mind, etc. 

But, that's at the expense of a very different set of mechanics, and also isn't quite as broad as one would like.  It leaves rangers/highwaymen/woodsmen largely out in the cold, for instance.  Although I'm not immediately sure what mechanics those archetypes need besides some skills.

Offline Stratovarius

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But, that's at the expense of a very different set of mechanics, and also isn't quite as broad as one would like.  It leaves rangers/highwaymen/woodsmen largely out in the cold, for instance.  Although I'm not immediately sure what mechanics those archetypes need besides some skills.

Probably some kind of ambush or ranged fighting mechanics. Although, there have been just a few 3rd party disciplines that could cope with that.

ToB has to have been the most successful splatbook WotC released, or at least the one with the strongest impact. I certainly use its classes in place of the PHB beatsticks.