5E Fighter Non-Combat Ability Brainstorm

GlassJaw

Explorer
The "Fixing the fighter" thread was a...spirited...discussion, and one that I'm not interested in repeating here. However, there were a lot of good ideas presented for giving the fighter some non-combat (social/exploration) abilities. I'm interested in continuing that brainstorm here.

I've been using Fighting Style as a template: create a short list of abilities in the exploration and social pillars that are unique to the fighter. Call it Field Training or Specialist Training or something like that. Fighter can select one ability from the list. I'd grant it at 2nd level so there isn't an additional choice at 1st level but it still comes fairly early.

I'm mainly concerned with brainstorming possible options and less with scaling or balance at this point. I also find abilities that are conditional more interesting versus simply granting another skill/tool proficiency or advantage on a roll. Again, this a brainstorm so no wrong answers at this point.

Anyway, here are some ideas I have so far (assume 1/short rest when applicable):

Max Effort
bonus/reroll/adv on Str, Dex, Con check

Commanding/Intimidating Presence
Adv on a Persuasion/Intimidation check

Dig Deep
Grant advantage to self or ally on Constitution check against environmental effects

Improvise/Kitbash
Gain advantage on a tool check to craft or repair something

Mentor
If you spend 1 min with an ally, grant advantage to that ally on their next untrained skill check that you are proficient in

Motivate
Forced March bonus? Ally can ignore effects of exhaustion for a short time?

Teamwork/Coordinate
Grant a number of allies equal to your proficiency bonus advantage on a group ability check

Vigilance/Guard Duty
Gain advantage on next Passive Perception check against an ambush

Well-Traveled
Movement/travel speed? Languages, History

Nightwatchman
Ignore Perception penalty in dim light, require less rest (ignore exhaustion when keeping watch?)

Also, @CleverNickName posted the following in that thread:

Special Training
Your training extends to unique circumstances and situations that arise both on and off the battlefield. Choose a Special Training from the list of optional features below. You can't take the same Special Training option more than once, even if you get to choose again.

Equestrian Arts
You gain proficiency in Animal Handling if you don't already have it. Mounting and dismounting only costs you 5 feet of movement.

Leadership
You gain proficiency in Persuasion or Insight. (Or perhaps: Once per long rest, you may cast command as a 1st level spell; Charisma is your spellcasting ability for this spell.)

Tracking
You gain proficiency in Survival. You have Advantage on skill checks to find and follow the tracks of any creature that you have wounded in the last 24 hours.

Scouting
You gain proficiency in Perception. Once per long rest, you may cast longstrider on yourself (only) as a 1st level spell.

Espionage
You gain proficiency in Stealth, and proficiency with your choice of either the Forgery Kit or the Disguise Kit.

Field Medic
You gain proficiency in Medicine and proficiency with the Herbalism Kit. (Or perhaps instead, you learn the spare the dying cantrip?)
Again, my preference is to avoid granting additional proficiencies but I like the concept of some of these.

Thoughts?!
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Lots of good ideas to give fighters the non-combat flavor people seemed to be searching for in the prior thread. Hopefully, this one will stay positive and not degrade.

Here were some of my suggestions from there:

Maybe something where a Fighter can remove a condition (like being Charmed? or Poisoned? etc.) once per short or long rest? This could be useful in combat of course, but at least has the potential to be useful out of combat as well.

Another idea is something to remove a level of exhaustion? Again, could be useful in combat, but could also be useful after a long day marching, sleeping in armor IIRC, etc.

Something "skill-oriented" might be a feature where the player chooses one ability score and can reroll a failed ability check once per long rest? Also potentially useful out of combat...
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Max Effort
bonus/reroll/adv on Str, Dex, Con check

Commanding/Intimidating Presence
Adv on a Persuasion/Intimidation check

Dig Deep
Grant advantage to self or ally on Constitution check against environmental effects

Improvise/Kitbash
Gain advantage on a tool check to craft or repair something

Mentor
If you spend 1 min with an ally, grant advantage to that ally on their next untrained skill check that you are proficient in

Motivate
Forced March bonus? Ally can ignore effects of exhaustion for a short time?

Teamwork/Coordinate
Grant a number of allies equal to your proficiency bonus advantage on a group ability check

Vigilance/Guard Duty
Gain advantage on next Passive Perception check against an ambush

Well-Traveled
Movement/travel speed? Languages, History

Nightwatchman
Ignore Perception penalty in dim light, require less rest (ignore exhaustion when keeping watch?)
My write-ups/suggestions for your ideas. Some use mechanics you might not have intended, so know these are suggestions in the spirit of purposeful collaboration.

Maximum Effort
You can add choose to reroll a failed Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution check or saving throw. Once you use this feature you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.

(EDIT: This is very close to Indomitable so needs some work. Having it only apply to checks and not saves is probably better...)

Dig Deep
You can use your reaction to provide yourself or an ally advantage on a Constitution check or saving throw against environmental effects or conditions. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum 1) and regain all expended uses after a long rest.

Mentor
If you spend 1 minute coaching an ally in a skill you are proficient in, your ally gains advantage on their next check using the same skill. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum 1) and regain all expended uses after a long rest.

(OPTION: instead of 1 minute, make it your bonus action and the ally must perform the skill before the end of their next turn.)

Motivate
You can help a number of creatures (up to your (Wisdom or Charisma?) modifier) ignore the effects of exhaustion. Once you use this feature you cannot use it again until you finish a long rest.

Teamwork/Coordinate
You can choose a number of creatures (up to your (Wisdom or Charisma?) modifier) and grant them advantage on their next group ability check. Once you use this feature you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.

Vigilance/Guard Duty
You gain advantage on Perception checks to avoid surprise.

Well-Traveled
Your speed increases by 5 feet, your hourly rate by 1 mile per hour, and your daily speed by 8 miles per day. You gain advantage on Intelligence (History) checks.

Nightwatchman
You do not have disadvantage when making Wisdom (Perception) checks in dim light. You only need to sleep 4 hours during your long rest, but your long rest is still 8 hours.

My goal is also to grant fighters features which will encourage INT, WIS, and CHA investment. I am sure those who are "focused" on getting the most from combat, won't appreciate this but that is fine with me.
 
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The "Fixing the fighter" thread was a...spirited...discussion, and one that I'm not interested in repeating here. However, there were a lot of good ideas presented for giving the fighter some non-combat (social/exploration) abilities. I'm interested in continuing that brainstorm here.
Thoughts?!
One issue is that there's not a whole lot of non-spell, non-combat options in 5e, as it stands. Rituals make non-combat magic readily available and quite effective. Checks are, thanks to BA, relatively fungible - unless you have Expertise, it's unlikely you're able to make checks that couldn't also be occasionally passed by an unmodified d20, let alone make them consistently. There are a few class abilities (no Action Surge and Cunning Action are not among them) with clear out of combat applications, of course...

I'm mainly concerned with brainstorming possible options and less with scaling or balance at this point. I also find abilities that are conditional more interesting versus simply granting another skill/tool proficiency or advantage on a roll.
Good, because re-rolling checks or gaining proficiency (unless you're high level, /and/ have a high stat) don't really stand out much under BA.

I think there are already existing features that could be expanded or improved. Remarkable Athlete, for instance, could be allowed to stack with proficiency - a sort of broad, half-power Expertise.
Indomitable, once revised to do more than a largely pointless re-roll, that is, might be allowed to work on interaction checks.
Action Surge and CS dice (and, for the Rogue, Cunning Action) could be adapted to exploration scenes where there's danger or time-important moments involved.

Max Effort
bonus/reroll/adv on Str, Dex, Con check
Commanding/Intimidating Presence
Adv on a Persuasion/Intimidation check
Dig Deep
Grant advantage to self or ally on Constitution check against environmental effects
Improvise/Kitbash
Gain advantage on a tool check to craft or repair something
Mentor
If you spend 1 min with an ally, grant advantage to that ally on their next untrained skill check that you are proficient in
Vigilance/Guard Duty
Gain advantage on next Passive Perception check against an ambush
Bonus or auto success would be better than re-roll/advantage, because of BA.


Forced March bonus? Ally can ignore effects of exhaustion for a short time?
Nightwatchman
Ignore Perception penalty in dim light, require less rest (ignore exhaustion when keeping watch?)
Exhaustion is a nasty little sub-system, dealing with it in some way could be quite helpful.
Staying vigilant during a rest or for part of a rest might do it.

Teamwork/Coordinate
Grant a number of allies equal to your proficiency bonus advantage on a group ability check
Nice.
 
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Quartz

Explorer
Maximum Effort
You can add choose to reroll a failed Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution check or saving throw. Once you use this feature you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.

(EDIT: This is very close to Indomitable so needs some work. Having it only apply to checks and not saves is probably better...)
Actually, ion another thread I suggested expanding Indomitable to cover this.
 

dave2008

Hero
I love this idea and think I will see what my players think. Now, when would you have the opportunity to take more of these "non-fighting styles?" Are these just added on top or in place of regular fighting styles (after 1st & 2nd level)
 

aco175

Adventurer
Can you add other options to the Action Surge and 2nd Wind? This way you don't need more powers to track, just additional ways to use the ones you have.

Action surge can do things like make another check or save, perhaps with advantage and 2nd wind seems like you should be gaining something like removing exhaustion or breaking an enchantment or such.

Some more funny abilities could be;
Swift Kick- kicking something to make it work, such as a fixing a wagon or getting an animal to do something.
Beer and Wenches- You use your swagger to make things cost less for you.
Earshot- your just around the corner when your fighting abilities are needed by the rest of the party. They may be investigating the library and speaking with the mayor, but you are enjoying the Beer and Wenches ability when trouble breaks out.
550 cord and 100mph tape- You can fix anything for a time, getting you back to town at least.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
@Quartz @dave2008


You give me too much credit. I started to work on a Warrior class in early 2017, but never finished or did any substantive playtesting. My "camp talents" were similar to the ideas that @dnd4vr was sharing.
I know what that's like, I'm often creating classes/subclasses but never finishing them. I've just had another read of it, your warrior class was a full class with a half dozen subclasses, a large undertaking. It looked like it was shaping up to be an cool class with some great ideas.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Adventurer
OK. Lets start throwing things out there.
I have suggested levels for these, but could do with suggestions to fit them better.
These are mostly based off the concept of the Fighter as a highly trained and practical person with solid knowledge of tools and items other than weapons.
Nothing here should be of excessive power or step on too many toes, particularly given most fighter's stat distribution: They are designed to give the fighter some non-combat options to aid the party narrative without impinging on the power of most spells or rituals.

Grounded: A fighter's training is generally less esoteric than a spellcaster, and less isolated than a Rogue's. It often brings them in contact with the lives of people around them.
The Fighter gains an additional Background, with associated proficiencies.
At 6th level, the Fighter may apply their proficiency bonus to Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma checks relating to people within either of their backgrounds. If they have the relevant skill proficiency, they may apply twice their proficiency bonus.
The Fighter's experience with tools also extends beyond those used for killing. At 6th level they gain proficiency in two sets of Artisan's tools, or vehicles. If they are already proficient, they may apply twice their proficiency bonus to checks involving them.

Practical planning: The Fighter is an old hand at packing and carrying gear, planning ahead and improvising items. Once per long rest, the fighter may produce mundane items that they had not declared on their character sheet. The character must lose funds equal to the item's price when they produce it, and the items cannot weigh more than the character's Strength score. If the item could be made by a set of tools that the character is proficient in and has available, this weight limit is doubled.

Strife in all its forms: The Fighter can apply their training and knowledge of combat to noticing related details, and their perception and common sense to issues of strategy and tactics.
When making an Intelligence or Wisdom ability check relating to combat, the Fighter may apply both their Intelligence and Wisdom modifiers to the roll. Combat-related checks could range from Wisdom(Insight) checks to determine whether a thug is ready to fight or just posturing, to Knowledge(History) checks to recall details about a historic battle. The DM is the arbitrator of what constitutes combat-related.
The Fighter also adds both Intelligence and Wisdom bonuses to their Initiative.
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
If you want to go simple, instead of expertise you can go with a "reliable" option. You can go with a "grace under pressure" option for certain skills...and then use your skills to get various non-combat option.

Another option is allowing Action Surge to grant a +4 to a check or a something (bardic inspiration like but just with the surge).
 

Quartz

Explorer
Grounded: A fighter's training is generally less esoteric than a spellcaster, and less isolated than a Rogue's. It often brings them in contact with the lives of people around them.
The Fighter gains an additional Background, with associated proficiencies.
At 6th level, the Fighter may apply their proficiency bonus to Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma checks relating to people within either of their backgrounds. If they have the relevant skill proficiency, they may apply twice their proficiency bonus.
I like this but I would suggest Fighters riff off the Bard's Jack of All Trades and add half their Proficiency Bonus to non-proficient checks.
 
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FrogReaver

Adventurer
It might help to start at an extreme. Suppose a fighter auto succeeded on every skill check he ever attempts. Would that actually be enough to bring him up to a wizard or even surpassing a wizard?
 

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