Review A critique and review of the Fighter class

I just haven’t found the exhaustion to be that punitive. The bonus attack is so potent that I don’t see it as something meant to be used every time you rage: it’s a powerful ability saved for when you really need it. Which, let’s face it, by design often (maybe even usually) comes right before a long rest. Which is something all but the most novice of players become pretty good at judging. And for the times that a long rest isn’t imminent, well, it’s a powerful ability with risk.

The only changes I would make are:
1) You get the bonus attack as part of entering the rage, rather than waiting until the next turn.
2) You can decide to enter the frenzy in a later round.
3) There is a Con saving throw for the exhaustion. Maybe even increasing by 5 each time.


EDIT: Another way of thinking about it is that it could have been written so that you can use frenzy without penalty but only once per long rest, and it still would have been a solid ability. Personally I'd rather have the published version, because I can choose to use it more than that. I wish more abilities were designed with that kind of risk:reward choice, instead of a strict X times/rest.
 
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Not every class is exactly what I want it to be, either. Some of them not even close, so I don’t play them.
wow so... no, one should ever talk about what they want more... that is defiantly a choice on a message board.
Seems to me if I really like a few of the classes that’s a victory, and if other people really like other classes, well, that’s a good thing.
and the example is (much like my group) we can only play with all casters or no casters or else some of us get the raw end... so we are complaining about THAT.
I suspect that if every class were designed exactly the way I prefer, the game would be less popular over all.
but I guess you shouldn't express that
 

wow so... no, one should ever talk about what they want more... that is defiantly a choice on a message board.

and the example is (much like my group) we can only play with all casters or no casters or else some of us get the raw end... so we are complaining about THAT.

but I guess you shouldn't express that
I was going to say something about how tiresome all the hyberbole gets, and also the race to mischaracterize an opposing position as a ridiculous extreme, but really your post demonstrates that more eloquently than I can.
 

I just haven’t found the exhaustion to be that punitive. The bonus attack is so potent that I don’t see it as something meant to be used every time you rage:
But the bonus attack isn't that potent. It has the serious limitation that it takes a bonus action which means that (a) you can't use it on the turn you rage and (b) a Great Weapon Master fighter (and let's face it most berserkers should take GWM thanks to Reckless) already gets an extra attack as a bonus action on any turn they either kill someone or get a critical hit.
it’s a powerful ability saved for when you really need it. Which, let’s face it, by design often (maybe even usually) comes right before a long rest.
So it's essentially a 1/long rest ability that only actually triggers in the second round of combat and frequently causes a negative play experience in newbies. This would be acceptable if (a) it was made clear in the text and (b) this wasn't the default barbarian subclass.
 

But the bonus attack isn't that potent. It has the serious limitation that it takes a bonus action which means that (a) you can't use it on the turn you rage and

Yeah you seemed to have deleted the part of my post where I said I didn’t like this part

(b) a Great Weapon Master fighter (and let's face it most berserkers should take GWM thanks to Reckless) already gets an extra attack as a bonus action on any turn they either kill someone or get a critical hit.

Some choices in the game interfere with each other. To balance them around the assumption that they will exist in the same character, in a way that makes them even more powerful on their own, seems like a poor design decision.

I personally save Frenzy for bursting down single large targets…such as bosses,
…against which GWM is much less likely to give you bonus attacks. Then you take a long rest and clear the exhaustion.

So it's essentially a 1/long rest ability that only actually triggers in the second round of combat and frequently causes a negative play experience in newbies. This would be acceptable if (a) it was made clear in the text and (b) this wasn't the default barbarian subclass.

I’m pretty skeptical in general of “we must protect the newbies” arguments. Especially when it conveniently coincides with a position held by the person offering it.
 
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Mort

Legend
Supporter
I’m pretty skeptical in general of “we must protect the newbies” arguments. Especially when it conveniently coincides with a position held by the person offering it.

It isn't just about "protecting the newbies."

One of the central features of the class is just terrible. It's presented as this big benefit when it isn't even that big and the downside is REALLY significant.

That's worth noting!
 

It isn't just about "protecting the newbies."

One of the central features of the class is just terrible. It's presented as this big benefit when it isn't even that big and the downside is REALLY significant.

That's worth noting!

Yeah I just haven’t experienced that. But, again, I don’t think of it as something I should get to do every time I rage. I save it for when it’s optimal to use it. And then it’s awesome.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Yeah I just haven’t experienced that. But, again, I don’t think of it as something I should get to do every time I rage. I save it for when it’s optimal to use it. And then it’s awesome.
The point is every subclass of barbarian is designed to boost rage.

WOTC designed the berserker to flurry 50%+ of the times they rage.
 

The point is every subclass of barbarian is designed to boost rage.

WOTC designed the berserker to flurry 50%+ of the times they rage.

Yes, exactly. Well, maybe not even once a day, depending on circumstances.

Most (all?) of the other subclasses make rage a little bit better every time you use it. Frenzy makes it a lot better, but only some of the time. It’s why it’s written as choice: when you rage you may also go into a frenzy, but it’s optional.

I dunno. I get the sense from the criticisms that people think they should be able to use it every rage. But it’s a straight up 100% bonus to damage at Tier 1, and 50% after that.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Yes, exactly. Well, maybe not even once a day, depending on circumstances.

Most (all?) of the other subclasses make rage a little bit better every time you use it. Frenzy makes it a lot better, but only some of the time. It’s why it’s written as choice: when you rage you may also go into a frenzy, but it’s optional.

I dunno. I get the sense from the criticisms that people think they should be able to use it every rage. But it’s a straight up 100% bonus to damage at Tier 1, and 50% after that.

The criticisms that people think they should be able to use it every rage is that every other barbarian subclass works that way.

It's odd that the easiest class to understand and build was given a complex rage upgrade in their subclass whereas the most complex martial class to build and understand was deem the simple class.

in 90% of VG PRGs the barbarian is the noob class and the "fighter" is a "advanced but not expert" class. D&D feels backwards or old fashioned in that sense. Hey Gramps, we give the axe wielding rageaholic to the new players.

I mean the Barbarian (Paladin, and Ranger) is in the basic rules so there is no need for the fighter to be so simple and bland. Just change flurry and make the Fighter subclass somewhere between the Champion and Battlemaster in complexity. Feels like the fighter was shafted to appeal to the 1% of groups that ban barbarians.
 

The criticisms that people think they should be able to use it every rage is that every other barbarian subclass works that way.

Sure. But that doesn't seem to acknowledge that the benefit of frenzy is so much greater than those other benefits. (Unless you also have GWM and you're fighting groups of minions...but I don't think it should be designed around that case.)

It's odd that the easiest class to understand and build was given a complex rage upgrade in their subclass whereas the most complex martial class to build and understand was deem the simple class.

Ok, I won't try to argue with "odd", although I thought Fighter was the easiest class to understand. And I'm not sure "odd" explains/justifies the rhetoric and vitriol.
 

I dunno. I get the sense from the criticisms that people think they should be able to use it every rage. But it’s a straight up 100% bonus to damage at Tier 1, and 50% after that.
Except that as mentioned it isn't. It doesn't trigger in the first round in which you rage which drastically reduces its effectiveness as front loaded damage is always more important. It also only provides that damage bonus if you ignore feats - and most barbarians' favourite feat is Great Weapon Fighter, while Pole Arm Master is pretty good as well. I'd estimate that abut half the barbarians I've seen have taken GWF at level 4 - meaning that you've only a single level where it's even remotely what you say.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Sure. But that doesn't seem to acknowledge that the benefit of frenzy is so much greater than those other benefits. (Unless you also have GWM and you're fighting groups of minions...but I don't think it should be designed around that case.)
That goes with how every other babraian works different from Berserker.

The PHB gives you two barbarians: one with a toggled huge upgrade and one with an always on big upgrade.
Then every other subclass follows the latter.
Ok, I won't try to argue with "odd", although I thought Fighter was the easiest class to understand. And I'm not sure "odd" explains/justifies the rhetoric and vitriol.

The Barbarian is way simpler.
  • Primary Score:
  • Build Choices: Only subclass at level 3
  • Tactics: Run forward n Smash. Reckless Attack if you want. Rage if monster is scary.
Vs Fighter's

  • Primary Score: 2 STR or DEX
  • Build Choices: Fighting Style at level 1. Subclass at level 3. Feat/ASI at level 6
  • Tactics: Varies
 

Except that as mentioned it isn't. It doesn't trigger in the first round in which you rage which drastically reduces its effectiveness as front loaded damage is always more important. It also only provides that damage bonus if you ignore feats - and most barbarians' favourite feat is Great Weapon Fighter, while Pole Arm Master is pretty good as well. I'd estimate that abut half the barbarians I've seen have taken GWF at level 4 - meaning that you've only a single level where it's even remotely what you say.

I agree that it should be useful in the first round. But even as it is, in a 4-round fight it will increase your damage by 75%. How is that anything other than $&@#ing amazing? If you get that once every third adventuring day it’s good. And in a pinch you can use it multiple times a day!

As for the GWM thing, I keep addressing that but you either don’t care, don’t understand, or disagree. Whatever.
 


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
And every fighter subclass works differently than Battlemaster. What’s the problem?
There isn't the problem.

What I am saying is you shouldn't be confused that others criticize why 1 path has a toggle and every the other 7 dont. So many would assume Flurry was supposed to be always on.

The Fighter at least started with a always on subclass, a spell sublclass, and resoruce subclass and got more of all three as time passed.
 

I agree that it should be useful in the first round. But even as it is, in a 4-round fight it will increase your damage by 75%. How is that anything other than $&@#ing amazing?
Again it's backloaded.

Let's compare it with another class that does something similar. The Beast subclass. The beast subclass, of course, needs to be one handed but as such can use a shield. It doesn't have to go in with the extra attack; instead it can tank - but when it does go all out on damage it gets an extra attack on the turn it rages. Or when it tanks it has a reactive AC bonus on top of the shield. At T1 the claws barbarian takes until about round 4 for the frenzied barbarian to overtake. Which is longer than many fights go on - but the claws barbarian can do this every fight.

Or let's look at the Zealot. The first foe the barbarian hits each round takes an extra d6+ half level damage. Which is about half the damage of an extra attack with a two handed weapon. Round 1 the zealot will be ahead, and round 2 it will be about break even. Again it takes the third round of the fight before the berserker takes the lead (and that if e.g. great weapon master's bonus attack doesn't proc). T2+ this of course scales better than the bonus action attack and you've two rather than one chances of proccing it.

So yeah, by the time the fight is over the berserker may have done more damage than a high damage barbarian from another path. Once per day - and it will have been slower out of the starting blocks. And that's only if the berserker frenzies while the beast and the Zealot are doing this every rage.
As for the GWM thing, I keep addressing that but you either don’t care, don’t understand, or disagree. Whatever.
Your defence seems to be that in the specific situation of a boss with no minions (that is going to be torn apart by the action economy). So it's an edge case.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
To be fair, the Clawbarian and the Zealot were created later; it might be that WotC realized they were a bit too conservative with the Berserker, but given their desire to keep the PHB "evergreen" with very little changes, the subclass was allowed to grow fallow as they printed better options.
 

There isn't the problem.

What I am saying is you shouldn't be confused that others criticize why 1 path has a toggle and every the other 7 dont. So many would assume Flurry was supposed to be always on.

The Fighter at least started with a always on subclass, a spell sublclass, and resoruce subclass and got more of all three as time passed.

Sure, but…minor criticism? The game is filled with mechanics whose use is more subtle than is immediately apparent. And after the first combat or two they’ll figure it out. If they are really that disappointed (and who hasn’t found subclasses disappointing?) they can ask the DM if they can change.

Look, I understand the point, but…really? While I disagree with the assessment of how great a feature Frenzy is, I can at least acknowledge that if you think it’s not worth the downside it’s a bad design.

But this whole “it’s different from other barbarian subclasses and people will be confused” argument strikes me as grasping at straws.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Especially since we're looking at this from the eyes of a new player who is somehow comparing the first subclass to all the others, then, having read the others, goes back to the first one and fails to read it in it's entirety to realize "hey, this one isn't like the others, so if I want an always-on benefit, I shouldn't take this one".

The confusion at this point is the player's own fault.
 

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