D&D (2024) 2024 Player's Handbook Reveal #2: "New Fighter"

"The Fighter is now the weapon master equivalent of the Wizard!"


"The Fighter is now the weapon master equivalent of the Wizard" (with respect to versatility).


OVERVIEW

The Fighter seems to have been mostly set in Playtest 7. Most of the features described carry over from there, though Brawler has gone and is replaced by Psi Warrior form Tasha's.
  • Ranger and Fighter have the most new features.
  • Subclasses provide "different levels of mechanical idiosyncracy".
  • Weapon mastery (level1), tactical mind (2), tactical shift (5), studied attacks (13) -- all of these are as in PT7.
  • second wind -- increased number of uses (as PT7)
  • NEW: Level 9: Tactical master is like mastery of Armaments, but limited to push. sap, and slow. These properties are now always in the fighter's pocket, regardless of the weapon used. These properties add to Battle Master abilities.
  • Fighting Styles: new options available: Blindfighting, Interception, Thrown Weapons, and Unarmed fighting (from Tasha's). (YAY for thrown weapons and unarmed fighting!). Protection style "improved".
  • NEW: You can change your fighting style when you level up.
  • NEW: All classes now get an Epic Boon at level 19, replacing the ASI.


SUBCLASSES

Battle Master:
  • they considered making the maneuvers the core of the fighter, but that would undermine the goal of different playstyles for each subclass.
  • ambush, bait and switch, commanding presence, and tactical presence all brought over from Tasha's (as PT7)
  • Student of War also gives you a skill proficiency (as PT7)
  • Know your enemy has "limited number of uses per day" (PT7 had one, IIRC)
Champion:
  • same core identity, focusing on crits.
  • Remarkable Athlete: NEW. When you score a crit, you can move without receiving opportunity attacks.
  • Remarkable Athlete: advantage on initiative and athletics (as PT7). This works with the new surprise rules, which give you an edge but "defang" the one-sidedness of surprise.
  • Additional fighting style at 7, Heroic Warrior at 10, Survivor at 18 (as PT7).
Eldritch Knight:
  • for players who played OD&D when Elf was a class...
  • with the Psi Warrior are for people who want Fighter and X (mixed).
  • no school restrictions (also for Arcane Trickster)
  • NEW: you can now use an arcane focus.
  • War Magic and Improved War Magic: as in PT7, but at level 18 you can replace two attacks with spells up to level 2 (I think this is new).
Psi Warrior:
  • changes from Tasha: changes are primarily in rewording.

NEW RULES
Epic Boon:
  • you may choose a non-epic boon feat. They include an ASI that can go past 20, and include abilities go beyond what feats normally do.
  • Example: Boon of Combat Prowess. Once per TURN, you can turn a miss to a hit. Another example: You have Truesight. Another example: when you attack or take the magic action, you also teleport.
  • The PHB now has rules to go beyond level 20. Every time you hit some XP threshold, you can choose another Epic Boon (which could take one of your scores to level 30).
Other NEW rules clarifications:
  • Heroic Inspiration which lets you re-roll any one die (may be one damage die, but not all damage dice).
  • Surprise now gives you disadvantage on your initiative. (Champion, Assassin, and Barbarian are hard to surprise -- they won't have disadvantage on init).
  • No school restrictions for Arcane Trickster or Eldrtich Knight.
 

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CapnZapp

Legend
But they also are not wrong that it can end up being too much. We had a fight the DM did not think we could even win, that we destroyed without getting hit once, because we had surprise, which we leveraged to keep the enemy from attacking, and essentially got three free rounds of combat.

Which, as crawford said, at that point... feels like you should just declare victory and move on.
And what's wrong with that?

You accomplished something rare and difficult.

Could the group really not save the "exciting combat" idea for the next group of critters? Do you really need to enforce an equal combat start to every combat?

Because if that's what you want and need, cool, just say so.
 

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Hussar

Legend
All of the things you just described would make things WORSE for the Champion, not better, or have no effect on the comparison between these two features. Not using the actual flanking rules? Worse. Bardic Inspiration? Doesn't add more crits.

You want to make this into some kind of crazy-difficult thing. It simply is not. Champion gets 1 extra crit out of every 20 attacks. Battlemaster gets a floor of +4d8 damage per rest. The latter is simply, straight-up, mathematically superior.

Ummm, @Er? You and I both know a player with a fourth level battle master who has yet to use all four BM dice per short rest.

Which is kinda the point being made. Your calculations depend on SO many assumptions that there’s no way they count as proof of anything. Theory crafting is a great way to identify potential problems but it proves nothing.

If you want proof, you need to start tracking damage across multiple groups over time. That’s what play tests are for.

Because all the math in the world cannot even begin to predict what actually happens at the table.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
So at level 10 no additional advantage

A Battlemaster gets 5d10 bonus damage per rest
A Champion gets 1 extra crit damage every 7 turns (3 d20 rolls per turn)

At level 15 no additional advantage

A Battlemaster gets 1d8 bonus damage per turn and 6d10 bonus damage per rest
A Champion gets a 42% chance of extra crit damage every turn.

Nice.
 

All of the things you just described would make things WORSE for the Champion, not better, or have no effect on the comparison between these two features. Not using the actual flanking rules? Worse. Bardic Inspiration? Doesn't add more crits.

You want to make this into some kind of crazy-difficult thing. It simply is not. Champion gets 1 extra crit out of every 20 attacks. Battlemaster gets a floor of +4d8 damage per rest. The latter is simply, straight-up, mathematically superior.
EzekielRaiden,
My response was not to show the champion is equal to the other classes. My entire response is a rebuttal to the math is simple. It is simple, when you leave out the other 100 variables in the game. There are too many variables which differ across tables for anyone to say they can calculate whether a class's output is better or worse than another class. And, as I stated earlier, this is especially true for higher levels.
Might the battlemaster yield a higher damage count at a majority of tables? Sure, they might. Can anyone quantify all the variables in play at level 8? No. And this doesn't even include the extraneous abilities the champion receives versus the battlemaster, and how those class abilities might come into play at a given table.
The point is, it is much more of a DM problem than a class balance problem.
 



tglassy

Adventurer
Champion Fighters were always the class for the player that doesn't like to read their character sheet and just wants to cast "Skull Crack" every round with their hammer. Lots and lots of passive abilities and very little complexity while still being effective.
 

Oofta

Legend
Champion Fighters were always the class for the player that doesn't like to read their character sheet and just wants to cast "Skull Crack" every round with their hammer. Lots and lots of passive abilities and very little complexity while still being effective.

Or pretend to be a warlock by carrying around a big frying pan yelling "Cast Iron!" before smacking enemies with it. ;)
 


Horwath

Legend
Champion Fighters were always the class for the player that doesn't like to read their character sheet and just wants to cast "Skull Crack" every round with their hammer. Lots and lots of passive abilities and very little complexity while still being effective.
that is the problem, champion is not effective at all, that +1 crit range means next to nothing.

if you compare that to BMs 4 dice of +1d8 damage, you need 44 attack rolls to beat that average 18 extra damage. not counting added utility in additional effects with that +1d8 damage.
 

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