D&D 5E Another Fighter: the "Heroic" Fighter

DND_Reborn

Legend
So, here is yet another attempt (or revision from prior attempts) at a "heroic" fighter class. By "heroic" I mean things that are feasible by real world standards, even if they really stretch the bounds of plausibility. While extreme potentially, they are not meant to be "super heroic", but can certainly approach it.

For example, this version would fit in a Hercules or Xena style game; not something more mundane or super heroic.

Deign Notes:
  1. Fighting Styles. You begin with one and gain more at higher levels.
  2. Second Wind. Unlike RAW, you gain additional uses at higher levels. Since it requires your bonus action, you can still only use it once on your turn. [SUGGESTION: instead of gaining more uses of Second Wind, scale it so you only have one use that grants a larger boost to hit points when used.]
  3. Martial Maneuvers. You get a battle master maneuver at 2nd level and more later on. Your maneuver dice is shown on the table and your number of uses equals your proficiency bonus. I highly suggest for people who want to use the new maneuvers in later books to do so as it will increase the types of things you can choose for your maneuvers.
  4. Action Surges. You still get more, but quicker. Using a surge still gives you one additional action on your turn, and you can use more than one on your turn if you have multiple uses. If you used all four Action Surges on your turn, you would have a total of five actions. See the note about Extra Attack below. Also, you substitute improving your jump distance or carry capacity (and lift) for an action. If you used all four Action Surges in this way, your jumps would be 5x and your lifts/carry capacity for the turn as well. So, a STR 20 fighter could long jump 100 feet (yes, this really is close to the limits for "heroic" and for some of you exceeds it, but I am okay with it) or drag/lift/push 3,000 lb. (again, well beyond real life, but "imaginable" IMO).
  5. Indomitable. So, this is given much sooner, and has more uses faster. Also, you'll note not only does it include failed saving throws, but I added you can use it with ability checks using Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution. [SUGGESTION: two uses of Indomitable allows you to treat your roll as if you rolled a 20. This might not be enough to succeed if the DC is sufficiently high.] / [SUGGESTION: three uses of Indomitable allow you to succeed instead of rerolling, regardless of the DC.] / [SUGGESTION: You can use your reaction and spend a use of Indomitable to make a critical hit you've suffered into a normal hit.] / [SUGGESTION: You gain resistance to any damage taken when you use this feature (from the source that caused you to use the feature, that is).]
  6. Extra Attack. I added the caveat that you can only use Extra Attack once on your turn. This means if you use Action Surge for more Attack actions, each use will only give you one attack, not a number of attacks provided by the Extra Attack feature. Well, technically it could allow you to do this once, if your regular action wasn't used to Attack. At most, with Extra Attack (3) giving you four attacks, and using four uses of Action Surge for one additional attack each, you have the same RAW 8 attacks on your turn you could otherwise have.
  7. Exploration and Social Pillars. This build does not include any special features for these pillars. I did this for two reasons: a) fighters can contribute to these pillars already via background, race, and skill choices, as well as using one or both of their bonus ASIs at 6th and 14th level to take feats to enhance the pillars further, and b) excelling at these pillars is not for forte of fighters, but of other classes such as rogues, bards, etc. It would be certainly possible to add features, but I would replace the ASIs at 6th and 14th levels to do so, personally. Since I don't want to force players into features designed for pillars they might not care about for their fighter, I am allowing the other options (race, background, skills, feats) to do that for the players who want improved performance in the exploration and social pillars. [SUGGESTION: add subclasses with features that emphasize the exploration and social pillars, so the core class doesn't need to have them inherently.]
Over all, I think this brings fighters closer to the power of casters, without going overboard. Again, I know for some of you it isn't enough, and for others it might be too much, but there has to be a compromise/ middle ground someplace--and I am starting here. :)

Any feedback or thoughts is appreciated, as always. Particularly I know the wording for using Action Surge to enhance jumps/lifts/etc. needs some work.

1644980004919.png


Draft of the Tactician martial archetype:
1645034508872.png


Draft of the Frontiersman martial archetype:
1645036887395.png


Draft of the Warlord (???) martial archetype:
1645040315005.png
 
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Indomitable should be like it was early in the playtest - use means an auto success. A truly meaty ability that actually means something.

If you're going to limit action surges to 1 attack then they should also be applicable to reactions. Having the fighter be able to have more than one reaction per turn is truly meaningful (and since it requires a significant resource cost it's not the least bit overpowered) and means a fighter with a feat like sentinel is actually a threat as opposed to an annoyance.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Indomitable should be like it was early in the playtest - use means an auto success. A truly meaty ability that actually means something.
I was leaning in this direction, if it was only once per short or long rest, and you had to use it before you rolled, not after. Otherwise it is basically Legendary Resistance.

Would one auto succeed be worth up to four uses as it currently is?

If you're going to limit action surges to 1 attack then they should also be applicable to reactions. Having the fighter be able to have more than one reaction per turn is truly meaningful (and since it requires a significant resource cost it's not the least bit overpowered) and means a fighter with a feat like sentinel is actually a threat as opposed to an annoyance.
Hmm... that isn't a bad idea. I agree it certainly wouldn't be OP due to such a limited resource.

If I did it, I think a good balance would be you could use Action Surge to gain additional reactions, but not to the same triggering event.

Thoughts?
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
I was leaning in this direction, if it was only once per short or long rest, and you had to use it before you rolled, not after. Otherwise it is basically Legendary Resistance.

Would one auto succeed be worth up to four uses as it currently is?
I think effectively giving the fighter legendary resistance is a GREAT idea. A fighter that lives in a world of magic would learn how to deal with magic. The fighter, especially a decent level fighter, SHOULD make the caster work for it.

Plus, I've seen indomitable be completely useless too many times because the caster has a high save DC and the fighter doesn't have a bonus or proficiency in the save (so even with indomitable only has a 5-10% chance).

Hmm... that isn't a bad idea. I agree it certainly wouldn't be OP due to such a limited resource.

If I did it, I think a good balance would be you could use Action Surge to gain additional reactions, but not to the same triggering event.

Thoughts?

Yes, one reaction per event makes sense.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
I think effectively giving the fighter legendary resistance is a GREAT idea. A fighter that lives in a world of magic would learn how to deal with magic. The fighter, especially a decent level fighter, SHOULD make the caster work for it.

Plus, I've seen indomitable be completely useless too many times because the caster has a high save DC and the fighter doesn't have a bonus or proficiency in the save (so even with indomitable only has a 5-10% chance).
I agree and it is why I was thinking of making it auto-succeed instead of reroll.

Maybe instead of multiple uses at 4, 9, 14, and 19, make it re-roll at 4th and the auto-succeed at 9th, an Indomitable "improvement" as it were?
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
I agree and it is why I was thinking of making it auto-succeed instead of reroll.

Maybe instead of multiple uses at 4, 9, 14, and 19, make it re-roll at 4th and the auto-succeed at 9th, an Indomitable "improvement" as it were?

Sure, or:

have reroll be 1 use but auto success be 2 uses. Somewhat the same but more versatile and really gives the player more options/choices as levels increase (actually it's a bit evil because the choice will likely be a struggle).
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Okay, so step to is subclasses that add Exploration and Social perks like a Great Leader and Combat Analyst which focus on manipulating ally and enemy emotions and exploiting the environment and enemy weaknesses respectively.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Sure, or:

have reroll be 1 use but auto success be 2 uses. Somewhat the same but more versatile and really gives the player more options/choices as levels increase (actually it's a bit evil because the choice will likely be a struggle).
One of my group members also suggested that this weekend on a prior version LOL.

Well, I suppose that is a great compromise. :)
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Okay, so step to is subclasses that add Exploration and Social perks like a Great Leader and Combat Analyst which focus on manipulating ally and enemy emotions and exploiting the environment and enemy weaknesses respectively.
Sure, I agree with others a good Warlord subclass and others could help make fighters who do have more focus for exploration and social pillars, I just don't think that needs to be "core" to the class.

I know it the other thread people sometimes equate such things to "mind control magic", but I don't see it that way if you flavor it correctly. There are leaders IRL and conmen, etc. who can convince people to do just about anything (for good or bad).

So... which subclass would you like to explore?
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Sure, or:

have reroll be 1 use but auto success be 2 uses. Somewhat the same but more versatile and really gives the player more options/choices as levels increase (actually it's a bit evil because the choice will likely be a struggle).
Ok, I've added the suggestion to the OP, but with the idea two uses gives you a 20. If a 20 is not enough to succeed, well then you have a serious weakness IMO. It might not be what you wanted, but I am not a fan of auto-succeed since that really is Legendary Resistance and not something a PC should have as I see it.

Anyone who wants to use this homebrew can certainly make it an auto-succeed if they want to.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Sure, I agree with others a good Warlord subclass and others could help make fighters who do have more focus for exploration and social pillars, I just don't think that needs to be "core" to the class.

I know it the other thread people sometimes equate such things to "mind control magic", but I don't see it that way if you flavor it correctly. There are leaders IRL and conmen, etc. who can convince people to do just about anything (for good or bad).

So... which subclass would you like to explore?
Just a few ideas for the Combat Analyst:

  • And insight check that then grants advantage on Persuasion or Intimidation against a targets.
  • A feint maneuver
  • a maneuver that forces movement based on psyching the target out and making them move where you want.
  • Superiority die to Insight and Investigation
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Just a few ideas for the Combat Analyst:

  • And insight check that then grants advantage on Persuasion or Intimidation against a targets.
  • A feint maneuver
  • a maneuver that forces movement based on psyching the target out and making them move where you want.
  • Superiority die to Insight and Investigation
It's late, so I'll give this some thought and get back to you tomorrow when I have time. We'll see what we can come up with. :)

EDIT: ok, real quick before i go to bed...

Master Tactician
Beginning at 18th, your ability to command others and influence the tide of battle is unmatched. As an action, choose up to six (?) creatures you can see within 60 feet of you. The creatures must be able to hear you, but do not need to see you. Until the start of your next turn, attacks made against the creatures you choose have disadvantage and the creatures you choose gain advantage on attack rolls and saving throws. If they are surprised, they are no longer surprised and can act normally. Once you use this feature, you cannot use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
 
Last edited:

Horwath

Hero
I like the variant.

I would streamline the maneuvers a little.

Number of maneuvers known and number of dice equal to proficiency bonus, and die size tied to same level when bonus increases.
+2 - d4, +3 - d6, +4 - d8, +5 - d10, +6 - d12.

battlemaster could just doubled the number of dice and maneuvers.

also, I would limit Action surge to 1/turn and keep the double (extra) Attack action.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
It's a nice upgrade to the fighter class. I'd rather it focused on adding more non-combat options, since that's where I see the greatest disparity, but that wasn't your stated focus for the design, so nicely done.

I like the idea regarding spending two uses of Indomitable for an automatic success.

Just a thought, but what if Indomitable could also be used to change a critical hit into a non-critical hit? That would make it more useful in fights where you don't need to make any saves (not an uncommon occurrence IMO), and help fighters to normalize their damage. Even with a high AC, the DM rolling a(n) (un)lucky series of crits can be devastating to a front-liner.
 

Exploration and Social Pillars. This build does not include any special features for these pillars. I did this for two reasons: a) fighters can contribute to these pillars already via background, race, and skill choices, as well as using one or both of their bonus ASIs at 6th and 14th level to take feats to enhance the pillars further, and b) excelling at these pillars is not for forte of fighters, but of other classes such as rogues, bards, etc.
This is where I have an extreme disagreement with your approach. As you have left things the fighter is neither more nor less than a glorified commoner unless they are fighting. A wizard gets precisely as many background, race, and skill choices as a fighter - and then gets magic on top of that with cantrips being at will.

The idea that burning feats is an acceptable solution is, and always has been, a joke. 90% of games finish by level 10 and fighters only get three ASIs by that point. It takes two ASIs to get your primary stat up to 20, and your pick of one of the combat feats is very hard to pass up.

However. The fix isn't hard. All you need to do here is two things:
  • More skills known for the fighter. Instead of choosing two known they choose four. Which makes them not as knowledgeable as the rogue (who get four plus thieves' tools) but still at the upper end of skilled characters.
  • One more maneuver known. This allows the fighter to start with two maneuvers rather than one. This has two effects.
    • It means that even at second level fighters who choose to specialise in combat have options.
    • It means that fighters who wish to play in non-combat pillars can take something like Precision Strike, Menacing Attack, or Riposte for melee and Commanding Presence, Ambush, or Tactical Assessment for one or more of the other pillars
I'd also advocate some sort of dash-as-bonus-action for fighters.
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
Number of maneuvers known and number of dice equal to proficiency bonus, and die size tied to same level when bonus increases.
+2 - d4, +3 - d6, +4 - d8, +5 - d10, +6 - d12.

battlemaster could just doubled the number of dice and maneuvers.
Glad you like it! I am sure it will be updated a bit, but hopefully it is fairly complete at this point.

Originally I didn't have maneuver dice, just a flat bonus which was equal to the proficiency bonus (so +2 to +6), but as you noted that mirrored the increasing die type, so I was going to go with that... but then finally decided to use a die just less than Battle Master dice, otherwise a strange thing happens at 17th level... Fighters would use a d12, but Battle Masters don't get d12 until 18th level!

Also, I thought 6 maneuvers was too much, frankly, as I don't want to make the Battle Master more or less obsolete.

But all that being said, these were just my design choices. If you wanted to adapt it and make the changes you suggest, I doubt it would hurt at all if it fits your game better. As we play with it more and see how things work in game, some of the changes you suggest might be adopted. We'll see and thanks for your input!

also, I would limit Action surge to 1/turn and keep the double (extra) Attack action.
Again, you could certainly do that if you wanted. Part of my goal was to allow the Fighter to do more if they want, not just more attacks.

By changing extra attack and allowing more action surges, a Fighter could Dash, Extra Attack (3), Attack (+1), Dodge, and Dash again by using all four actin surges. At 20th level, that is a ton of stuff, but you are using all your action surges so personally I am ok with it.

It also allows for a lot of movement. You could Dash (30+30), AS 1 Dash (+30), AS 2 Dash (+30), AS 3 Dash (+30), AS 4 Dash (+30) for a total of 180 feet! Not quite IRL WR speed, but pretty fast. Add Mobility feat, and it is 240 feet, which is much faster than IRL WR (which is about 210 feet per round).

If I limit AS to 1/ turn, such speeds and other physical acts aren't possible--I'd have to rewrite it to make them work.

It's a nice upgrade to the fighter class. I'd rather it focused on adding more non-combat options, since that's where I see the greatest disparity, but that wasn't your stated focus for the design, so nicely done.
Thanks, I think it will work fairly well.

I know a lot of people want more non-combat options, but do you not think race, background, and the two bonus feats could make up for it? Or do you think such other options could be better fitted to subclasses that emphasize those other pillars?

I like the idea regarding spending two uses of Indomitable for an automatic success.
Well, currently it isn't an auto-success, but a 20, which if the DC is high enough might not succeed since a natural 20 doesn't always succeed in 5E (although many groups play it that way...).

So, do you think making it a 20 is sufficient (should be in most cases) or do you really want it an auto-success? After I went to bed I was thinking about it and thought perhaps three uses of Indomitable could be auto-success, regardless of DC. What do you think?

Just a thought, but what if Indomitable could also be used to change a critical hit into a non-critical hit? That would make it more useful in fights where you don't need to make any saves (not an uncommon occurrence IMO), and help fighters to normalize their damage. Even with a high AC, the DM rolling a(n) (un)lucky series of crits can be devastating to a front-liner.
Oh, that is a great idea! Maybe using your reaction and a use of Indomitable changes a critical hit into a normal hit. I'll add that to the OP and discuss it with my group. Thanks for the idea! :)
 

DND_Reborn

Legend
This is where I have an extreme disagreement with your approach. As you have left things the fighter is neither more nor less than a glorified commoner unless they are fighting. A wizard gets precisely as many background, race, and skill choices as a fighter - and then gets magic on top of that with cantrips being at will.
(bold added)

That is totally fair and I understand your reproach about it. This is just a difference of views on the class. It is not just Fighters, but Barbarians as well who have less to offer the other pillars, other than perhaps Fast Movement. Monks and Rogues both have features which can help, mostly in exploration, and of course Paladins and Rangers have spells (as well as the Ranger having excellent exploration features).

Anyway, yes, wizards gets the same choices to emphasize other pillars as Fighters (as everyone, really), and can choose spells to help with exploration or social challenges, but then those choices limit combat options.

The larger issue is the loss of niches. WotC designed 5E so everyone can contribute to combat via direct damage, casters via cantrips as well as some spells. So, for our game we capped cantrips at 2 dice of damage and added a recharge mechanic.

The idea that burning feats is an acceptable solution is, and always has been, a joke. 90% of games finish by level 10 and fighters only get three ASIs by that point. It takes two ASIs to get your primary stat up to 20, and your pick of one of the combat feats is very hard to pass up.
True, but again this is a matter of perspective. IME it is never necessary to get your main score up to 20. In fact, if you are only playing up to level 10, a 16 for your main ability is more than sufficient IMO. From your post obviously this is very different for you and your experiences I imagine?

As such, I can definitely understand not wanting to use feats or replace the bonus feats Fighters get with features to allow them to improve the exploration and social pillars. What are your thoughts about regulating the exploration and social pillars to a couple subclasses, as others have suggested?

However. The fix isn't hard. All you need to do here is two things:
  • More skills known for the fighter. Instead of choosing two known they choose four. Which makes them not as knowledgeable as the rogue (who get four plus thieves' tools) but still at the upper end of skilled characters.
  • One more maneuver known. This allows the fighter to start with two maneuvers rather than one. This has two effects.
    • It means that even at second level fighters who choose to specialise in combat have options.
    • It means that fighters who wish to play in non-combat pillars can take something like Precision Strike, Menacing Attack, or Riposte for melee and Commanding Presence, Ambush, or Tactical Assessment for one or more of the other pillars
We gave fighters 1 more skill already, so I don't see any issue with that. I think also giving fighters an artisan's tool proficiency (to represent a background occupation?) or for use in vehicles, etc. would help some.

Others have suggested more maneuvers and I would not be adverse to that, either, but currently we are play-testing one to start with. If we find that too limiting, I am sure we'll give fighters more.

I'd also advocate some sort of dash-as-bonus-action for fighters.
That is supposed to be one of the uses for Action Surge. It would also step on the toes of Rogues a bit by competing with their Cunning Action dashing. Also, why should Fighters be able to Dash as a bonus action when Barbarians and Rangers, who I see generally depicted as more "fast moving" can't?

Allowing Action Surge to fill that role means Fighters can do it, just not every round.

Now, an option I've explored but never seemed to gain much support (understandably) is spending a HD to do things like gaining an Dash during your turn.

Anyway, I know we won't see eye-to-eye on everything, and I don't think making the changes you suggest would hurt if you want them, but they don't fit into the model I am making at present. But please let me know what you think of the questions I've asked of you and we'll continue to discuss other aspects if you wish.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
I know a lot of people want more non-combat options, but do you not think race, background, and the two bonus feats could make up for it? Or do you think such other options could be better fitted to subclasses that emphasize those other pillars?


Well, currently it isn't an auto-success, but a 20, which if the DC is high enough might not succeed since a natural 20 doesn't always succeed in 5E (although many groups play it that way...).

So, do you think making it a 20 is sufficient (should be in most cases) or do you really want it an auto-success? After I went to bed I was thinking about it and thought perhaps three uses of Indomitable could be auto-success, regardless of DC. What do you think?
No, I don't agree that backgrounds et al provide sufficient utility for anything beyond a very combat oriented play style. Every class gets backgrounds et al. If that were sufficient, why do so many other classes gain heaps of utility on top of that, in addition to being effective in combat?

I think that a having it be a 20 (but not an auto success) is a fairly minor distinction. In the majority of cases, due to bounded accuracy, there will be no difference between an auto success and a 20. It doesn't really matter to me which one is used.
 

Laurefindel

Legend
So, more of (almost) the same things rather than new add-ons. I like that approach.

Although as it was said before, I'd be happier with an indomitable = legendary resistance feature. Perhaps make the 3rd indomitable/long rest feature a 20th capstone? In other words, a 20th level fighter becomes a (full-fledged) legendary creature. Hum, now I'm thinking about a castilian fighter subclass with "lair actions" features...
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
So, more of (almost) the same things rather than new add-ons. I like that approach.

Although as it was said before, I'd be happier with an indomitable = legendary resistance feature. Perhaps make the 3rd indomitable/long rest feature a 20th capstone? In other words, a 20th level fighter becomes a (full-fledged) legendary creature. Hum, now I'm thinking about a castilian fighter subclass with "lair actions" features...

While I think capstones are neat and all - they're mostly flavor text because so few campaigns reach anywhere near that level.

I much prefer fun abilities MUCH earlier so players can actually experience the fun of using them and want to continue.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top