D&D 5E D&D Next Blog - The Fighter

Depends how you flavor it.

"Once per round, you may intercept an attack an enemy has aimed at an ally next to you. The enemy makes the attack against you instead of your ally."

Now its not mind control. Its you shouldering your way in between the monster and your friend. But mechanically its the same thing. The enemy wanted to attack Joe, but instead it attacked Steve.

This is awesome, but it is not the same thing as a mark. Imposing yourself as a shield for an ally is not the same thing as giving the bad guy an evil eye that just makes it slightly harder to attack someone else.

In this instance, the enemy does whatever it was planning to do and YOU the fighter, make the defense happen.

This kind of blocking as a theme specialty for defender/protector types I can fully support.:)
 

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This is awesome, but it is not the same thing as a mark. Imposing yourself as a shield for an ally is not the same thing as giving the bad guy an evil eye that just makes it slightly harder to attack someone else.

In this instance, the enemy does whatever it was planning to do and YOU the fighter, make the defense happen.

This kind of blocking as a theme specialty for defender/protector types I can fully support.:)
Honestly I prefer the 4e version - you get in their space so you can smack them with your sword if they attack someone else. You the fighter make the hit happen. (It's clearer, admittedly, with Defender Aura). Marking is more akin to marking in basketball or football than a condition you impose.
 

Dragonblade

Adventurer
This DnDN blog post is just ridiculous. It tells me the designers know nothing about how to make a good fighter.

First of all, the whole notion of a newbie class needs to die in a fire. If 5e core meets the designers goals then any class should be equally sufficient as a newbie class. I don't want to see the 5e fighter forced into that role.

Also, and this is a side rant, but the whole grapple, sunder, disarm, trip BS needs to go. These were introduced in 3e and were some of the most abused, and cheesed mechanics in the game. No edition of D&D before, or after wanted anything to do with them, and I don't see want to see them back in 5e except as maybe very rare specialized maneuvers at the end of a very long feat/power chain.

Finally, the original 3e fighter is a joke. There is nothing about that class that I want to see in a 5e fighter. Their so-called customization options required them to be a one trick combat pony to effective. And all they could do was spam their one trick repeatedly.

The Tome of Battle Warblade was what the 3e fighter should have been. The Warblade and the Pathfinder fighter, especially the entire section on variant fighters in Advanded Player's Guide, should serve as the basis of design for the 5e fighter.
 
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Remathilis

Legend
What's dangerous about the 3.X fighter is that although it looks like a simple class to play, I am hard-pressed to find another class where:
1 - to effectively do some things (disarm, trip, grapple, etc), you need to take a very precise chain of feats;
2 - There are more feats that look like they would be useful for the class, but are actually traps that are solely there to punish a lack of system mastery.

The problem with feats was that it cost too much to take. Great cleave was 3 feats, precise shot was 2, spring attack was 3, most of them low-power. I think if some of these feats were 1 feat only, the 3e fighter could focus on more than one style easily.

Well, in trying to define classes by role, the 4e designers did a lot of "excluding of options" so that your class would always be in its role. Since fighters were supposed to wade into melee and draw attacks to themselves, they simply couldn't be given the option of using bows. It would have violated concept.

Similarly, the ranger was supposed to be EITHER a two-weapon fighter or an archer. Doing both was just sub-optimal.

In other words, 4e's power system pigenholed every character into basically using one weapon for his whole career. While niche protection is very good for defining roles, it practically screams "THIS IS A GAME!" and is not the least bit realistic.

My two cents.

4e did that a lot: there were few ranged powers initially for warlords, fighters used great weapons or sword-n-board, rogues were stuck with daggers and crossbows (really? No longsword or shortbow?), rangers were archers or dual-wielders, barbarians got max benefit out of 2-handed weapons, etc. I can see some use for iconic weapons (rogues don't need greataxes) but pigeonholing a class to one type of weapon is bad.
 

Crazy Jerome

First Post
This is awesome, but it is not the same thing as a mark. Imposing yourself as a shield for an ally is not the same thing as giving the bad guy an evil eye that just makes it slightly harder to attack someone else.

If a guy wearing good armor, waving a sword, axe or similar like he knows how to use it, with the physique to back up the threat, gets in your face, then calling it the "evil eye" is a kind of missing the point. I guess from a particularly odd point of view, that is a kind of mind control. Yeah, the guy is probably getting in your head a bit. But even if you are totally collected and not letting any head games happen, you'd have to acknowledge, "pay some attention to me or pay the consequences, your choice".

Now, in reality, you perfectly free to say, "Whatever, I'm not afraid of you," and go smack someone else. It's merely that when you tried that, the hit you took would be far worse than what 4E lets the fighter deal out. So if you want to add to marking something like the ability to ignore the mark in return for risking much greater damage, I'd be fine with that. To keep it simple, they decided that most people would rarely want to make that choice, though.

I can't even comprehend the kind of mindset that thinks marking is somehow out of place or immersion destroying or mind control or whatever objection we have this week, but thinks that completely ignoring a highly trained, heavily armed opponent is realistic. And then on top of that, the poor guy is dinged for being a "defender" when he "should be hitting people hard", and the first thing they want to get rid of is one of his best ways for hitting people hard. You'd almost suspect that someone had no idea how 4E or realistic combat actually worked, but rather had some stylized view of combat derived from earlier games that isn't being shared clearly. :D
 

4e did that a lot: there were few ranged powers initially for warlords, fighters used great weapons or sword-n-board, rogues were stuck with daggers and crossbows (really? No longsword or shortbow?), rangers were archers or dual-wielders, barbarians got max benefit out of 2-handed weapons, etc. I can see some use for iconic weapons (rogues don't need greataxes) but pigeonholing a class to one type of weapon is bad.

There's one word you use but don't emphasise enough. Initially. Almost everything listed is opened up. The archer warlord is completely viable as of Martial Power 2. Fighters use whatever the hell they like, including one build with improvised weapons and another with fists (I'm now having visions of an arena fighter using his greatbow with the improvised weapon rules in melee for what amounts to close range gun fu). Rogues now get shortbows and had maces very early - along with shortswords. You just need a feat for a longsword. The Whirling 2-weapon Barbarian was in Primal Power, and there's a sword and board Beserker build. The Hunter PHB ranger uses ranged weapon and two handed weapon, the marauder throws and smacks face, and IME Scouts carry longbows and are pretty good with them.
 

JohnSnow

Hero
4e did that a lot: there were few ranged powers initially for warlords, fighters used great weapons or sword-n-board, rogues were stuck with daggers and crossbows (really? No longsword or shortbow?), rangers were archers or dual-wielders, barbarians got max benefit out of 2-handed weapons, etc. I can see some use for iconic weapons (rogues don't need greataxes) but pigeonholing a class to one type of weapon is bad.

Agreed. But I think it's especially bad for the martial types. It's okay if wizards can only use one weapon effectively, because they have magic spells to fall back on.

I have no problem with there being a certain amount of incentive to use the iconic weapons of your class - barbarians should use big scary weapons rather than rapiers and knives, rogues should be the reverse. That's cool, and thematic. But what needs to die in a fire is that niche protection means that we can't build martial characters that are equally effective (or damn nearly so) in both melee and ranged combat. And one of the iconic combinations that HAS to be supported is "blade and bow."

What should the fighter class be? Let me respond with a (slightly edited) quote...

A fighter is a human who studies combat. Fighters usually have greater strength than other characters. They usually hit monsters more often and inflict more damage.

Fighters protect the weaker characters. Strength is needed in many situations. For example a door may be stuck, or a huge boulder may block the party's progress; a strong fighter can often solve these problems. Magic might also work, but magic is limited, and a fighter can use strength as often as desired.

(The) fighter could probably survive a dungeon adventure when exploring alone...the other classes are not as self-sufficient as the fighter. Magic-Users and thieves are much weaker, and although clerics can wear any type of armor, they are limited in other ways.

Fighters need no special abilities to survive and prosper. Their great strength, hit points, strong armor, and many weapons make them a powerful character class.

(Dungeons & Dragons Player's Manual, Frank Mentzer, ed.; 1983.)

I think that sums up the fighter. He should be the strong, self-sufficient character class that can use any weapon and is useful in any situation. He's certainly skilled, but doesn't need to rely on tricks and cunning to survive.
 

SKyOdin

First Post
This is awesome, but it is not the same thing as a mark. Imposing yourself as a shield for an ally is not the same thing as giving the bad guy an evil eye that just makes it slightly harder to attack someone else.

In this instance, the enemy does whatever it was planning to do and YOU the fighter, make the defense happen.

This kind of blocking as a theme specialty for defender/protector types I can fully support.:)

Marking is not "giving the bad guy an evil eye". I always imagine marking to be like those scenes in movies where two characters in a swordfight have their blades locked together. The term actually comes from sports (handy wikipedia link), and generally means putting a lot of pressure on an attacker as part of a defensive strategy. It doesn't make sense if you imagine everyone in D&D combat just standing around twiddling their thumbs when it is not their turn, but every edition I have ever played has specifically spelled things out otherwise. I think marking is pretty simple and logical in concept.
 

JohnSnow

Hero
There's one word you use but don't emphasise enough. Initially. Almost everything listed is opened up. The archer warlord is completely viable as of Martial Power 2. Fighters use whatever the hell they like, including one build with improvised weapons and another with fists (I'm now having visions of an arena fighter using his greatbow with the improvised weapon rules in melee for what amounts to close range gun fu). Rogues now get shortbows and had maces very early - along with shortswords. You just need a feat for a longsword. The Whirling 2-weapon Barbarian was in Primal Power, and there's a sword and board Beserker build. The Hunter PHB ranger uses ranged weapon and two handed weapon, the marauder throws and smacks face, and IME Scouts carry longbows and are pretty good with them.


So, I've got Martial Power and Martial Power 2. I've also got HoFL and HoFK. And while I concede (nominally) that it makes the archer warlord a semi-viable build, exactly what version of which fighter build can use a bow? Because I sure as hell couldn't find it.

As for rangers that are "equally viable" with bow and blade? I'd be interested in seeing that. Which hunter build? Are we talking the Martial Power 2 one? Because the one in HoFK is pretty clearly bow-focused. And I don't see how the Scout can be "pretty good" with a longbow when his one and only encounter power (Power Strike) is MELEE-ONLY!

Sure, he might be arguably viable at 1st-level, but without being able to ramp up the damage, his best tactic past about 6th-level is probably to throw his bow away.

It seems to me that while 4e has broadened the options to include multiple weapon choices (I can make a melee ranger, a throw and stab ranger, or an archer ranger), it's still pretty obvious that trying to be versatile (I want to be an archer ranger sometimes AND a melee ranger at others) is rather obviously sub-optimal. 4e penalizes those attempting to be versatile. Or perhaps I should say, it STRONGLY rewards specialization - overly so in my opinion.

I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but that's been my experience.
 
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If a guy wearing good armor, waving a sword, axe or similar like he knows how to use it, with the physique to back up the threat, gets in your face, then calling it the "evil eye" is a kind of missing the point. I guess from a particularly odd point of view, that is a kind of mind control. Yeah, the guy is probably getting in your head a bit. But even if you are totally collected and not letting any head games happen, you'd have to acknowledge, "pay some attention to me or pay the consequences, your choice".

Now, in reality, you perfectly free to say, "Whatever, I'm not afraid of you," and go smack someone else. It's merely that when you tried that, the hit you took would be far worse than what 4E lets the fighter deal out. So if you want to add to marking something like the ability to ignore the mark in return for risking much greater damage, I'd be fine with that. To keep it simple, they decided that most people would rarely want to make that choice, though.

I can't even comprehend the kind of mindset that thinks marking is somehow out of place or immersion destroying or mind control or whatever objection we have this week, but thinks that completely ignoring a highly trained, heavily armed opponent is realistic. And then on top of that, the poor guy is dinged for being a "defender" when he "should be hitting people hard", and the first thing they want to get rid of is one of his best ways for hitting people hard. You'd almost suspect that someone had no idea how 4E or realistic combat actually worked, but rather had some stylized view of combat derived from earlier games that isn't being shared clearly. :D

D&D combat has no connection to realistic combat.

X is baaaad fighter (shut yo mouth!:p) I'm talkin bout X.

O and his brothers are also baad fighters.

In reality, it would be a death sentence to ignore ANY of these guys right?



Y
O O
X O
O


X is fighting O and his baaad brothers. O and his brothers get no advantage for ganging up on X. :( He has to pay attention to all of them but his divided attention costs him nothing.

Y sees that his buddy X is in deep otyugh dung and rushes over to help.
X marks the O to the NW. Now if that O goes to attack Y, X gets a free attack somehow (despite being heavily pressed) because THAT O was "marked"?

This is why the whole opportunity attack system is ridiculous. It only takes into account consequences for the triggering target.

This is why I think all these immediate actions have little place in an abstract (AC/HP) combat system.

(EDIT: Mentally shift the X and adjacent O a space or two to the right. Posting shoves them "neatly" all over to the left :-( )
 
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