• Resources are back! Use the menu in the main navbar. If you own a resource, please check it for formatting, icons, etc.

WotC A tweak for the Battlemaster fighter

Quartz

Explorer
TLDR: change the Battlemaster's maneuvers from per Short Rest to per round.

One of the big problems with the Fighter is that it actually sucks at fighting. Damage-wise it's balanced against the other battler classes - even the Ranger if you assume Hunter's Mark is active (and for a high level Ranger it can be active all day) - if you consider the basic attacks, but the other classes outshine it once you include attacks from the Bonus Action and the Reaction. The bonuses to damage that the other classes get simply outweigh whatever the Fighter gets.

Here's a typical table for higher-level PCs using the Duelling style. No feats.

Edit: tables snipped because they looked okay in composition but didn't on posting so I've uploaded the spreadsheet instead.

So how about adding per-round usage to the Battlemaster's maneuvers?

That is, at 3rd level the BM's maneuvers are as in the PHB, per Short Rest, but this changes at 5th level (maybe 6th?): in addition to the three uses per Short Rest, the Fighter gets one free use per round, two per round at 11th level, and three times per round at 17th level. You no longer gain extra superiority dice beyond the initial four. The BM gets a die or two of extra damage or can use them for other maneuvers.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Esker

Exploree
Comparing the fighter to the other martial classes without factoring in their two extra feats is naturally going to make them look like they fall behind. I'd never play a fighter in a game that somehow didn't allow feats (I've never encountered a DM that does this). Even if you are restricting the analysis to dueling style (and thus ruling out -5/+10 feats), the Battlemaster in particular has an easier time proc-ing a reaction attack than most, between riposte and Sentinel (a must-have feat for a dueling fighter, IMO).

That said, I like the idea of making maneuvers once per round, with some extra uses per short rest granted at various levels (you want some extra uses in there so off-turn maneuvers like riposte/parry can be used without having to forego a maneuver on your turn in anticipation of needing one later). In a standard adventuring day, that's about the same as 4-5 uses per short rest anyway, but it reduces bookkeeping and the difficulty of having to decide whether they're worth using. Twice/thrice per round seems like too much though.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I had an idea that allowed one to spend one of their attacks to analyse the enemy / or sometimes an ally to enable the subsequent attack to function like you had a superiority die. It sort of lets them use maneuvers more but you are putting more eggs in one basket. But if you feel they arent potent enough that wouldn't help have you considered just making short rests the 5 minute catch you breath kind so that every fight they had all their uses?
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
TLDR: change the Battlemaster's maneuvers from per Short Rest to per round.

One of the big problems with the Fighter is that it actually sucks at fighting. Damage-wise it's balanced against the other battler classes - even the Ranger if you assume Hunter's Mark is active (and for a high level Ranger it can be active all day) - if you consider the basic attacks, but the other classes outshine it once you include attacks from the Bonus Action and the Reaction. The bonuses to damage that the other classes get simply outweigh whatever the Fighter gets.

Here's a typical table for higher-level PCs using the Duelling style. No feats.

Edit: tables snipped because they looked okay in composition but didn't on posting so I've uploaded the spreadsheet instead.

So how about adding per-round usage to the Battlemaster's maneuvers?

That is, at 3rd level the BM's maneuvers are as in the PHB, per Short Rest, but this changes at 5th level (maybe 6th?): in addition to the three uses per Short Rest, the Fighter gets one free use per round, two per round at 11th level, and three times per round at 17th level. You no longer gain extra superiority dice beyond the initial four. The BM gets a die or two of extra damage or can use them for other maneuvers.
Ranger vs Battlemaster both using sword and shield

Over 20 rounds of combat (2 short rests) the ranger makes 40 attacks each at 1d8+1d6+7. Let's assume a 60% chance to hit.

The Fighter will make 46 attacks at 1d8+7 and do an additional 15d8 damage (with effects).

Ranger does 360 damage per day.
Fighter does 384.9 damage per day.

The Ranger has to be concerned about losing concentration. The fighter doesn't. The ranger's damage gets spread evenly throughout the fight. The fighters can be greatly frontloaded.

The only additional consideration is that the ranger can do typically gain some additional damage from whatever subclass he chooses. That will place daily damage a little ahead of the fighters but the fighter still has some important benefits like effects, front loaded damage, no concentration concerns, better AC (heavy armor), better stat spread due to being able to ignore dex, etc.

I much prefer the battlemaster fighter in 5e to the ranger when it comes to combat.
 

Ashrym

Explorer
I prefer the battlemaster over the ranger in combat as is.

The premise looks like "let's take the short rest nova potential of a battlemaster and approach it every round" at high levels tbh. Champions already take flack for the amount of effort to make them worthwhile in comparison and Eldritch Knights are still going to be relying on daily spell mechanics.

Relentless already guarantees at least one maneuver per combat, and the maneuvers are more about the added effects than just damage.

my 2cp
 

Quartz

Explorer
no need. I can do math
Really? Over 40 rounds a Ranger can make up to 160 attacks - two base attacks, an attack from a Bonus Action, and an attack from a Reaction each round.

The fighter is balanced excluding those, but fails when you include them. If you'd checked my spreadsheet you would have spotted this.
 

Esker

Exploree
Really? Over 40 rounds a Ranger can make up to 160 attacks - two base attacks, an attack from a Bonus Action, and an attack from a Reaction each round.

The fighter is balanced excluding those, but fails when you include them. If you'd checked my spreadsheet you would have spotted this.
What is the ranger using to get a bonus action and reaction every round? Did you factor in the fighter's action surge and BM maneuver damage? How many rounds of bonus action attacks did you deduct for having to cast/move Hunter's Mark? I'd figure probably 1/3 of the time or so, maybe more.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Really? Over 40 rounds a Ranger can make up to 160 attacks - two base attacks, an attack from a Bonus Action, and an attack from a Reaction each round.

The fighter is balanced excluding those, but fails when you include them. If you'd checked my spreadsheet you would have spotted this.
If you are using the bonus action then a better estimate is that you get it on half of your attacks IMO. Rounds 1 hunters mark + attack + attack. Rounds 2 attack + attack + attack -> enemy dies. Rounds 3 (repeat).

You are also sacrificing 1d8+2 damage vs 1d6 damage per attack.

Reactions attacks just aren't reliable unless you have 1-2 key reaction granting abilities so I have no idea how or why you are factoring them in.
 

Ashrym

Explorer
I was giving it some more thought as well. The "no feats" qualification is interesting because rangers tend to be MAD and fighters have 2 bonus ASI's they don't really need. I find fighters more likely to have feats or have them earlier. In a featless game this usually translates into ability score modifiers for skills or saves, or given the typical levels a game gets to more effective ability scores than a ranger (2-3 vs 3-5). Given the assumption of no 4th attack for the fighters it looks like the ASI's might be 4 vs 6. Bonus ASI's are under-rated, IMO.

I'm not sure about how the precision maneuver might be currently applied. It's one of the significant ones. I think more information on assumptions might be due. IME, battlemasters are preferable for combat.
 

Quartz

Explorer
If you are using the bonus action then a better estimate is that you get it on half of your attacks IMO.
And I factor this in to my spreadsheet. Just change the number of attacks the fighter gets to a number between 3 (11th level and no extra attacks) to 6 (20th level and bonus and reaction). If you want to emulate only one extra attack a round (i.e. Reaction OR Bonus) then choose 4 for a 11th level Fighter or 5 for a 20th level Fighter. You'll see that the Fighter still sucks.
 

Pauln6

Explorer
Be warned that raw data can be misleading. If you only count damage that matters, fighters fare much better than you expect. A paladin spending spell slots to inflict 60 damage on a creature with 10 hp is actually doing 10 hp. You do get peaks and troughs and variations dependant on whether you have Dungeon crawls, one off fights, or adventures set against the clock and whether you are fighting large meat sacks vs lots of minions. Overall, there is not much difference between the classes.

I ended up giving battle masters two extra manoeuvres from a fan supplement plus one extra die - basically the martial Adept Feat for free.
 

dave2008

Adventurer
Really? Over 40 rounds a Ranger can make up to 160 attacks - two base attacks, an attack from a Bonus Action, and an attack from a Reaction each round.

The fighter is balanced excluding those, but fails when you include them. If you'd checked my spreadsheet you would have spotted this.
Hmm. I just checked your spreadsheet and you have the fighter doing more damage than the paladin and ranger. And that is without adding any "bonus" damage for the fighter's battle maneuvers or action surge. Did you upload the correct spreadhseet?
 

Quartz

Explorer
Hmm. I just checked your spreadsheet and you have the fighter doing more damage than the paladin and ranger.
Yes, Fighters do more damage as long as you don't factor in the attacks from Bonus Actions or Reactions. As soon as you figure in those, Fighters drop behind. As I said in my OP:

but the other classes outshine it once you include attacks from the Bonus Action and the Reaction
It's not that the higher-level Fighter gets three attacks to the others' two attacks but five to their four. Both the Paladin and the Ranger get bonus damage to every attack which the fighter does not get. The Paladin gets +4d8 damage and the Ranger gets +4d6 damage from Hunter's Mark.

I was giving it some more thought as well. The "no feats" qualification is interesting because rangers tend to be MAD and fighters have 2 bonus ASI's they don't really need.
I specified no feats so as to keep things simple.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Hmm. I just checked your spreadsheet and you have the fighter doing more damage than the paladin and ranger. And that is without adding any "bonus" damage for the fighter's battle maneuvers or action surge. Did you upload the correct spreadhseet?
That's actually hilarious. His own math shows the fighter doing more after he repeatedly told me to "check his spreadsheet".

He didn't account for action surge or superiority dice in any way. He didn't account for OA's (rare as they are in many games) at all, despite proclaiming they were in his spreadsheet.

I think I'm going to fix his spreadsheet and repost.

What we see is that a level 10 Ranger does a slightly higher DPR than a level 10 Fighter (subclasses excluded).

Keep in mind the fighter in this example has +2 AC or +3 AC over the ranger. He has one extra ASI, so in a featless game that would translate to +2 to con.

The fighter subclass will add a lot more in terms of damage to him than the ranger's adds for him. I didn't factor that in because precision is a bit difficult to get right, but it probably offers the best daily DPR total. Even something like trip attack could significantly boost the fighters DPR and help teammates DPR.
 

Attachments

FrogReaver

Adventurer
However you wash it, "No feats" is a de facto fighter nerf.
Honestly, even if feats are included and the big abusers are disallowed then it doesn't really help the fighter in terms of damage in that instance either.

I have no problem with the featless game concept. That's what I play. From experience I can tell you that fighter's (even battlemasters) do tend to get overshadowed by nearly every other melee class in such a game. It's really only with the -5/+10 feats that fighters become good.

The problem is without feats, all the other classes keep up in damage relatively well with the fighter, and the fighter has nothing to offer out of combat that they can't already provide along with lots of extra goodies. (I think after level 11 the fighter will step ahead of the ranger and barbarian in terms of damage in such a game, but paladin is still better and monk still offers the best utility.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Be warned that raw data can be misleading. If you only count damage that matters, fighters fare much better than you expect. A paladin spending spell slots to inflict 60 damage on a creature with 10 hp is actually doing 10 hp. You do get peaks and troughs and variations dependant on whether you have Dungeon crawls, one off fights, or adventures set against the clock and whether you are fighting large meat sacks vs lots of minions. Overall, there is not much difference between the classes.

I ended up giving battle masters two extra manoeuvres from a fan supplement plus one extra die - basically the martial Adept Feat for free.
Overkill is not a thing to be concerned with.
1. Damage is a variable range and so having enough damage to guarantee your next hit kills an enemy also naturally produces a higher overkill value
2. Dead is the best condition and guaranteeing (or greatly increasing your chance for dead) by increasing the amount of overkill you can do is still a good thing.
3. Thus all reports that overkill is damage your not doing, while true misses the bigger picture. We aren't actually concerned with damage, we are concerned with dead. Higher overkill causes the dead condition more often than lower overkill (Exception is on exactly equal DPR PC's). Higher DPR correlates to the dead condition being afflicted to the enemy faster. That's why we care about DPR, not because the number is bigger.
 

Advertisement

Top