D&D 5E Companion thread to "5E Survivor - Subclasses (Part VI: Fighters)"


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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Hack Your Eldritch Knight
Here are some tips and tricks for adding flavor and panache to your Eldritch Knight. No complete rebuilds here, just minor tweaks...but even minor tweaks should be discussed with your Dungeon Master beforehand.

If you're disappointed with how you're Eldritch Knight is playing, consider one or more of the following tweaks. I've used them all, and I can vouch for each one.
  • Ignore the "two of which must be Abjuration or Evocation" requirement. It's silly.
  • Choose your spells from a different class list. I've played EKs who used Warlock spells and Druid spells, and they were a lot of fun. If you are one of the folks stuck in the "green flame blade and shield" rut, this can help nudge you out of it.
  • Playing a high-magic campaign and need more power? Add more spell slots per level.
  • Playing a low-magic campaign and need to curb the magic a bit? Reduce the number of spell slots per level.
  • Frustrated with a lack of versatility? Add more Spells Known. I let the players add their Intelligence bonus to the number of spells known, but that might be a bit much for some campaigns. Even one extra spell at 1st level can make a big difference.
 

Hack Your Eldritch Knight
Here are some tips and tricks for adding flavor and panache to your Eldritch Knight. No complete rebuilds here, just minor tweaks...but even minor tweaks should be discussed with your Dungeon Master beforehand.

If you're disappointed with how you're Eldritch Knight is playing, consider one or more of the following tweaks. I've used them all, and I can vouch for each one.
  • Ignore the "two of which must be Abjuration or Evocation" requirement. It's silly.
  • Choose your spells from a different class list. I've played EKs who used Warlock spells and Druid spells, and they were a lot of fun. If you are one of the folks stuck in the "green flame blade and shield" rut, this can help nudge you out of it.
  • Playing a high-magic campaign and need more power? Add more spell slots per level.
  • Playing a low-magic campaign and need to curb the magic a bit? Reduce the number of spell slots per level.
  • Frustrated with a lack of versatility? Add more Spells Known. I let the players add their Intelligence bonus to the number of spells known, but that might be a bit much for some campaigns. Even one extra spell at 1st level can make a big difference.
The ability to pick up spells from race, background and feats makes these not needed any more. And I think an EK with the warlock spell list is very much more powerful than an EK with the wizard spell list.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Because what they do best is have a really high AC. And there is no point in having a really high AC unless you are in front getting hit.
There is no reason to hyper-focus AC. It isn’t worthwhile.
Also, you can make a great EK archer by picking up Hunters Mark or Hex, but the lineage and feat that enable that are relatively new to the game, and not everyone is an early-adopter. Fighting Styles in Tasha's are also great for rapier+bow EKs. Quickened Enlarge is also cool, but requires Tasha's and MoM.
So later books don’t count. Nah.
What I have seen tried that actually doesn't perform very well is an EK built for melee, but uses spells for ranged. This is where MAD hurts.
Eh depends on the table.
Hack Your Eldritch Knight
Here are some tips and tricks for adding flavor and panache to your Eldritch Knight. No complete rebuilds here, just minor tweaks...but even minor tweaks should be discussed with your Dungeon Master beforehand.

If you're disappointed with how you're Eldritch Knight is playing, consider one or more of the following tweaks. I've used them all, and I can vouch for each one.
  • Ignore the "two of which must be Abjuration or Evocation" requirement. It's silly.
  • Choose your spells from a different class list. I've played EKs who used Warlock spells and Druid spells, and they were a lot of fun. If you are one of the folks stuck in the "green flame blade and shield" rut, this can help nudge you out of it.
  • Playing a high-magic campaign and need more power? Add more spell slots per level.
  • Playing a low-magic campaign and need to curb the magic a bit? Reduce the number of spell slots per level.
  • Frustrated with a lack of versatility? Add more Spells Known. I let the players add their Intelligence bonus to the number of spells known, but that might be a bit much for some campaigns. Even one extra spell at 1st level can make a big difference.
These are great. I prefer to just add a few spells to the EK spell list, myself, but these are very fun too.
The ability to pick up spells from race, background and feats makes these not needed any more.
Totally false. There are other things to spend those features on, and the game shouldnt encourage playing X Race because Y Class can make good use of its features, rather than for conceptual reasons.

Also just above you talk like those new options don’t matter because they’re very recent.
And I think an EK with the warlock spell list is very much more powerful than an EK with the wizard spell list.
Not really.
 


RealAlHazred

Frumious Flumph
In the earlier version of the Variant Fighter I posted, all fighters get 2 maneuvers at 2nd level, and then an additional maneuver at 3rd, 7th, 10th, 15th, and 18th level. There's some maneuvers any Fighter can take (Arresting Strike, Disarming Strike, Distracting Strike, etc.) and then there are maneuvers specific to your subclass. For example, in the Eldritch Knight variant, you can take Ethereal Edge (where you change a weapon's damage type to force damage on your turn) and Infused Strike (where you deliver a spell's damage, but not a cantrip's, through a weapon attack) in addition to the usual options. This is in addition to the usual spells and abilities of the Eldritch Knight. Frankly, the only thing I was unhappy with in this variant is I wanted more maneuver options for several subclasses, but that's easier to homebrew.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Hack Your Eldritch Knight
Here are some tips and tricks for adding flavor and panache to your Eldritch Knight. No complete rebuilds here, just minor tweaks...but even minor tweaks should be discussed with your Dungeon Master beforehand.

If you're disappointed with how you're Eldritch Knight is playing, consider one or more of the following tweaks. I've used them all, and I can vouch for each one.
  • Ignore the "two of which must be Abjuration or Evocation" requirement. It's silly.
  • Choose your spells from a different class list. I've played EKs who used Warlock spells and Druid spells, and they were a lot of fun. If you are one of the folks stuck in the "green flame blade and shield" rut, this can help nudge you out of it.
  • Playing a high-magic campaign and need more power? Add more spell slots per level.
  • Frustrated with a lack of versatility? Add more Spells Known. I let the players add their Intelligence bonus to the number of spells known, but that might be a bit much for some campaigns. Even one extra spell at 1st level can make a big difference.
So all of these.

Which is rebuilding it into a better subclass.

Doesn't actually make the base, unmodified version good, imo.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
So all of these.

Which is rebuilding it into a better subclass.

Doesn't actually make the base, unmodified version good, imo.
I mean sure, if you consider using a different spell list and adding spell slots to be "rebuilding it." (I don't, but I'm hardly an authority on the subject.)

But honestly though: plenty of folks don't care for the base, unmodified version of the Eldritch Knight, and I doubt these adjustments will be enough to change any minds. (And I'm okay with that. There are other options for "magical swordsman" in 5E.) These hacks are for the folks who like the Eldritch Knight subclass as-is, and just want to tweak it a little bit for "flavor and panache." My tweaks aren't intended to be fixes (imo, it doesn't need fixing).
 
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Vaalingrade

Legend
Basically, I'm out to kill it because it's not the thing you made it with minimal effort.

If they just made minimal effort to make a minimally satisfying caster warrior subclass, well it would be in the class of the Battlemaster: The best of a mess. But at least an effort.

Instead it's a pretty lazy attempt with no real consideration of the many, many things people want a gish to be, all while force feeding their idea of it with the abjuration /evocation thing.
 

There is no reason to hyper-focus AC. It isn’t worthwhile.
Most of the time full plate and a shield is enough. But it's useful if the tank has an extra +5 to turn on against heavy hitters. Getting attacked is the tank's job.

Or you can use it to not carry an actual shield without getting hammered.
So later books don’t count. Nah.
I'm talking about why SOME tables might struggle to get the most out of the subclass. Not everyone allows the latest books. And in a no-feat game the EK suffers more than most.

But the main thing about the EK compared to the BM is every time the game gets spells added the EK gets more options, whereas the BM very rarely gets anything new.
Eh depends on the table.
Maybe. I'm just talking about my own experience of that style of play. The only time I have seen a player disappointed with an EK was when they tried to play like that.
Totally false. There are other things to spend those features on, and the game shouldnt encourage playing X Race because Y Class can make good use of its features, rather than for conceptual reasons.
I just don't agree with that view of the game. To me "race" is just a set of abilities that add to class abilities. And the EK is already very strong (by fighter standards) it doesn't need more help.
Not really.
Hex, Armour of Agathys, Hellish Rebuke are stronger for an EK than anything on the wizard list aside from Shield and Find Familiar, which the Warlock also gets.
 
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Undrave

Hero
since we're talking tweaks to Fighters, might as well share this here...

I’ve been mulling over this concept for a while now, Advanced Fighting Styles (or Secret Fighting Styles?) that are linked to skills. Either you need proficiency in a skill to gain them or you learn that skill as part of the training for that style. I’m not sure where to slot this idea: as a subclass feature or as an alternate rule or a bonus?

Here’s what I got so far :

Dancing Mantis
Skill: Performance
If you inflict slashing damage to a creature, that creature cannot make opportunity Attacks against you until the end of the turn.

Dazzling Unicorn
Skill: Arcana
Once per turn, while you are holding a weapon and have a free hand, you can spend a bonus action to enchant your weapon until the end of your next turn, or until you drop the weapon. While enchanted, your weapon inflicts magical Radiant damage. Starting at level 11, add your Intelligence modifier to the damage dealt by your enchanted weapon.

Hunting Eagle
Skill: Perception
Once per turn, when attacking with a ranged weapon while you do not have advantage or disadvantage, you can choose to attack with disadvantage. If that attack hits, it is considered a critical hit.

Patient Turtle
Skill: Insight
If you do not move on your turn, or you use Second Wind, the next attack made against you before the start of your next turn is made at a disadvantage.

Prowling Wolf
Skill: Nature
When attacking with a simple weapon, you gain a +2 to the attack roll if an ally you can see is within 5 feet of the target.

Rushing Rhino
Skill: Athletics
You can attempt to shove creatures 2 sizes larger than you rather than just 1.

Steadfast Bear
Skill: Intimidate
You have advantage on all saving throws against the Frightened condition. You add your Strength modifier to any ability check that uses your proficiency in the Intimidate skill.

Striking Cobra
Skill: Sleight of hand
You have advantage on attacks made using a Light weapon you drew as part of your Attack action. You can apply poison to a Light weapon as a bonus action.

Tumbling Monkey
Skill: Acrobatic
If you inflict damage to a creature using a weapon with the reach property, or a quarterstaff held in two hands, you can move 5 feet as a free action. This movement does not count toward your maximum movement speed for the turn.

Unstoppable Boar
Skill: Survival
Whenever you take damage, you gain temporary hit points equal to your Constitution modifier.

Feel free to suggest concepts that could work for the missing skills: Animal Handling, Deception, History, Investigation, Medicine (buff to your Second Wind?), Persuasion, Religion, Stealth.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Most of the time full plate and a shield is enough. But it's useful if the tank has an extra +5 to turn on against heavy hitters. Getting attacked is the tank's job.
Fighters don’t have to be tanks, and past plate and shield the tank doesn’t need to focus on AC anymore unless they’re a Dex tank.
Or you can use it to not carry an actual shield without getting hammered.
Okay? I never said it wasn’t good for being a tank, I said it’s not the only way to build and play an EK effectively.
Maybe. I'm just talking about my own experience of that style of play. The only time I have seen a player disappointed with an EK was when they tried to play like that.
Okay, and I’ve seen it work very well.
I just don't agree with that view of the game. To me "race" is just a set of abilities that add to class abilities. And the EK is already very strong (by fighter standards) it doesn't need more help.
Eh, we aren’t going to see eye to eye on that.
Hex, Armour of Agathys, Hellish Rebuke are stronger for an EK than anything on the wizard list aside from Shield and Find Familiar, which the Warlock also gets.
Hellish Rebuke is not that great tbh. Depending on build, mage armor and absorb elements are just as good as the above. The EK’s problem is the small number of known spells, the entire setup of known spells casting generally, and the painfully slow spell progression.

The ranged EKs problem is mostly that the game doesn’t have much in it outside the ranger to add to rangers weapon attacks, but that’s not a big issue, it’s just a bummer because you always know you’d have stuff like shadowblade and absorb elements and booming blade if you were melee. Still, the ranged EK can use utility and defensive spells to stay out of range of enemies, get high ground, etc, and is already in position to use very good wizard ranged spells.
 

Okay? I never said it wasn’t good for being a tank, I said it’s not the only way to build and play an EK effectively.
Which I agree with. I'm trying to explain why some people see it that way, not tell you they are right.
Hellish Rebuke is not that great tbh. Depending on build, mage armor and absorb elements are just as good as the above.
Mage Armor? Why would an EK ever want that? Even with 20 Dex full plate gives the same AC (as does Studded Leather +1). And I ran an EK with Absorb Elements. I used it exactly once. It's far too situational given the EK's limited spells known.
The EK’s problem is the small number of known spells, the entire setup of known spells casting generally, and the painfully slow spell progression.
That's why they benefit from extra spells acquired through race, feats and backgrounds.
very good wizard ranged spells
How do you get round the low INT bonus? My experience is "very good wizard ranged spells" always miss or are saved against.

I guess you could use Artificer Initiate to pick up Magic Stone and play an INT based slinger, but I think that would be more gimmicky than good.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Which I agree with. I'm trying to explain why some people see it that way, not tell you they are right.
Okay, didn’t come across that way.
Mage Armor? Why would an EK ever want that? Even with 20 Dex full plate gives the same AC (as does Studded Leather +1). And I ran an EK with Absorb Elements. I used it exactly once. It's far too situational given the EK's limited spells known.
It’s +1 studded leather, without the weight. And again, not all fighter are heavy armor. The Dex fighter exists, and is effective.
That's why they benefit from extra spells acquired through race, feats and backgrounds.
Eh every known caster does. It’s a weakness of the system, as is the setup of 1/3 casting though that’s harder to fix.
How do you get round the low INT bonus? My experience is "very good wizard ranged spells" always miss or are saved against.

I guess you could use Artificer Initiate to pick up Magic Stone and play an INT based slinger, but I think that would be more gimmicky than good.
16 is all you need in a casting or attack stat, and you can have 16 Dex and Int with the floating race ASI, or by starting with 15/15 and bumping at level 4.
 

It’s +1 studded leather, without the weight. And again, not all fighter are heavy armor. The Dex fighter exists, and is effective.
I've never found the weight mattered. And there is no reason for DEX fighters not to wear medium or heavy armor, there is no penalty for doing so. EKs get so few spell slots that using one for something that could be bought in a shop seems like a huge waste to me.
Eh every known caster does.
The fewer spells you know in the first place, the more you benefit from gaining extra.
16 is all you need in a casting or attack stat
Not my experience, especially when it comes to saving throws, if your casting stat isn't maximised there is no point in casting the spell.

It may be we are running different types of encounters though. Most encounters I run are "deadly" by the CR are system, so enemies usually have high ABs, ACs, and saves. Spell resistance is common too.
 
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W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
16 is all you need in a casting or attack stat
this is so false that 5e's encounter math literally disagrees with it. you are 100% expected to have a 20 in your casting/attack stat by level 8, and you can see that from looking at the CR table. it's a big reason why i genuinely hate that ASIs and feats take up the same resource (and that they seem to be doubling down on it for 5.5).
 

So this [Samurai] fella has persisted into the Top Seven, but it's barely been mentioned at all in the discussions. I've never played one, so I'm a neutral party. What do you think is keeping it on the list? What does it do better than the other previously-eliminated options?
I think it's the right way to do a simple, effective subclass (what Champion wishes it was).

Its actual gameplay is just the Nova Fighter: bonus action gets you advantage to all your attacks this turn, here comes Action Surge. But that kind of decisive striking doesn't feel out of theme, and a Wis save feels fitting, and you can use an actually useful stat for your social skills... it just feels fine.

However... if your group already has a way to get advantage (knockdowns, restrains, Wolf totem Barb, using flanking), then your whole defining feature isn't really needed in the melee. Which kind of encourages you to just become Legolas the class, Sharpshootering things from the back, because that always works (and Elven Accuracy gets you super-advantage).

So I can't say the design is perfect. It just seems like it accomplishes a goal.
 
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