5E Fixing the fighter (I know...)

Todd Roybark

Villager
The casters can grow into any fantasy archetype - your wizard can become Merlin or Dumbledore. But, the non-magical types have a hard ceiling that they cannot ever be allowed to break through. You can be Conan or Aragorn, but, you can NEVER be Beowulf or Hercules, or Odysseus. Because anything that is outside the realm of the mundane can only ever be accomplished by magic.

But, a fighter that can swim across the ocean? Drink a lake dry? Leap across the tops of trees? Don't be daft. You can't do that without magic. :erm:
Odysseus was a cunning warrior and athlete, whom used his human talents to get home despite the enmity of Poseidon. Seems 5e doable.

Conan, in the frozen land of Nordheim was the sole survivor of a battle of 80 men. Near unconscious Conan spied the scantily clad form of the daughter of the King of the Ice Giants, and pursued her across the frozen landscape until she called upon Ymir for rescue.
Rapey and distasteful....but doable by a high Con warrior against Exhaustion saves in 5e.

Beowulf- A peerless ( high stats) warrior with the Tavern Brawler feat, made a called shot after beating an Ogre into submission, and the DM allowed the player to rip the ogre’s arm off. It could happen at 1st level, with high stats and luck. Mr Bee-wolf also in the tales had a magic sword to kill the un-killable.

The heroes of myth were not made with the Standard Attribute Array....by mostly the heroes of myth are the extreme.

Best Longjumper in our world today, 29 feet. Str 20 Fighter... base of 20’....why can’t you leap from tree top to tree top.

Also, Magicians in myth are typically not the protagonist but NPCs.
Dumbledore was a NPC. Harry was a PC, he could cast Patronus , (essentially Prot from Evil), and ride a Magic Broom....but he was clever....and had Hermione and Snape. Ron just sucked.

Gandalf was a NPC- he died against a Balor. Merlin was a NPC, tricked by another NPC.

Egil of the Scandinavian Sagas was a warrior skald and skilled in runes, ( he cursed the king of Norway), so a Bard of the College of Valor could work, but again not many spellcasters appear as protagonists in the myths.


No one in 5e or life can drink an ocean, but with clever play and some plot devices, like in the myths it can easily be accomplished. I just do not find your argument holds water, no offense intended.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Also, Magicians in myth are typically not the protagonist but NPCs.
Sure and less powerful than D&D ones (in many ways) .... almost always.

Although arguably Gandalfs are so completely out of role as the mentor types its hard to figure what the phrase powerful means.
 

Hussar

Legend
And, with responses, we see exactly the issue at hand.

The non-magical PC's have a hard ceiling. They can NEVER be legendary. Whereas the caster classes can very nicely emulate all sorts of legendary and fictional characters.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
And, with responses, we see exactly the issue at hand.

The non-magical PC's have a hard ceiling. They can NEVER be legendary. Whereas the caster classes can very nicely emulate all sorts of legendary and fictional characters.
See also 5e attribute caps and incredibly pedestrian interpretation of the meaning of the attributes and huge amounts of MAD (with really restrained ability to perform extraordinary heroic bursts unless its dm improvised and bound by random dice - sure action surge and do exactly the same thing you could already over again) ... combined with almost no progress ins skill oh look 25 raging percentiles improvement in athletics what a joke ... which obviously isn't the case for mages (abilities not really bound by skill or attributes aka spells).
 
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dnd4vr

Adventurer
@SacrosanctSo at 3rd level, I would say we could offer proficiency in either Acrobatics or Athletics and expertise in one of those skills of your choosing.

At 7th level, with remarkable athlete add expertise in the other skill (this kind of presumes that a fighter takes one of them to start with from Fighter skills I guess?)

I don't mind the extra fighting style at 10th. I would always be open to another one of those frankly and wish more fighters got that as an option.

The theme of the subclass is to deal devastating blows. I'm not feeling a 19-20 Crit at 3rd and a 18-20 at 15th is really embracing that concept.

Maybe double down on the Critical hit focus of the Subclass as well? Give them a brutal critical type thing where when they do crit, they do +1 weapon damage die on top of the normal crit. Maybe also expand the crit ranges? so at 3rd make it 18-20, at 15th make it 17-20?
Along these lines my suggestions would be:

@3rd: Critical on 18-20, gain one more skill proficiency chosen from the Fighter class list.

@7th: While it might seem underwhelming, it is pretty good really when you consider this bonus is also added to initiative. You could even include this bonus in Death Saves, which would really set Fighters apart from all other classes in only they receive this bonus.

@10th: Since many of the fighting styles don't combine, you could even offer two new styles at this level! Or, one would still be fine.

@15th: Keep the 18-20 critical range, but allow an extra weapon die on critical hits maybe.

All that being offered, a lot of this (other than the skill at level 3) is still "combat-oriented" and I would like to see a bit more in the realm of the other pillars for Champions. My other post has suggestions in that regard.
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
I can't believe I slogged all the way through that. :wow:

The thing is, this whole thread is based on a false premise. The premise is that there is this apparent need to make fighters equal to casters. .
Um...no. That's not the premise at all. In fact, in my original post, I stated as such. The premise, (and the thread that started this whole thread) was around how fighters (specifically the champion) don't have hardly any class features that give them out of combat functionality, and those that do (like remarkable athlete) are woefully lacking in that regard. This thread has never been about trying to make the fighter equal to a caster in that regard.
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
The Champion needs (Minimum0) added to its athlete jumping ability.
I sure seems like if not for anything else, we can all agree the jumping rules in the game need to be tweaked lol

And, with responses, we see exactly the issue at hand.

The non-magical PC's have a hard ceiling. They can NEVER be legendary. Whereas the caster classes can very nicely emulate all sorts of legendary and fictional characters.
I'm not sure why you would say that after the many examples of legendary feats that a current champion fighter can do have been given. If a person can defeat a T REX (or even dragons) all by themselves with nothing but a sword, that's pretty legendary. And it's a common folklore story about legendary heroes doing just that (Martin, St. George, etc). Then you've also got examples like Perseus, Jason, or a half dozen other heroes just from the Greek pantheon who didn't do anything that a champion fighter couldn't do.

*Edit: There is a difference between champions can never be legendary or do legendary things (a false position that is not the point of this thread) and how to we improve the out of combat functionality of champions while adhering to the design requirements of the class (which is the point of this thread). Arguing the former is out of scope and not going to achieve anything. Arguing the latter is in scope, and is something that we can have productive discussion about as long as people stick the point and don't start making hyperbolic claims like the former.
 
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dnd4vr

Adventurer
Seriously. They can't allow you to replicate a real world record, let alone exceed it.
Well, they could but IMO shouldn't since most jumps made by PCs are:

in full clothing and/or gear and armor
not with a 50-100 ft running start (10 feet for a long jump is really more of a "lunge")
not landing in a sand-filled pit stretching out for maximum distance... PCs like to land on their feet

With those things in mind, I think the long jump rules are fine. A bit of a tweak maybe, but in general they are simple and represent ability "well enough."
 

Undrave

Adventurer
Well, they could but IMO shouldn't since most jumps made by PCs are:

in full clothing and/or gear and armor
not with a 50-100 ft running start (10 feet for a long jump is really more of a "lunge")
not landing in a sand-filled pit stretching out for maximum distance... PCs like to land on their feet

With those things in mind, I think the long jump rules are fine. A bit of a tweak maybe, but in general they are simple and represent ability "well enough."
The World Record for a standing long jump would require a STR of 24 to make it (note that the jump rules don't impose any sort of penalty for armour) so I think that's a problem. The rules also don't give you extra distance if you're willing to not land on your feet, or you run more than 10 feet, both things you might be willing to do to clear a large gap in a cavern or something.

Furthermore, I think a level 20 PC SHOULD be able to reach that record even with full plate on. They're legendary heroes at that point, the stuff of legend, the peak of physical power! And without it? They should be able to exceed it.

Maybe the rule, instead of "You jump your STR" could be "Make an Athletics Check, you jump a number of feet equal to your check result OR your STR, whichever is highest" so you have a baseline you know you can reach, but also a chance to exceed it that increases with your proficiency bonus and potential bonuses to Athletics.

Or you just add your proficiency bonus to the distance you can jump, I dunno.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
The World Record for a standing long jump would require a STR of 24 to make it (note that the jump rules don't impose any sort of penalty for armour) so I think that's a problem. The rules also don't give you extra distance if you're willing to not land on your feet, or you run more than 10 feet, both things you might be willing to do to clear a large gap in a cavern or something.

Furthermore, I think a level 20 PC SHOULD be able to reach that record even with full plate on. They're legendary heroes at that point, the stuff of legend, the peak of physical power! And without it? They should be able to exceed it.

Maybe the rule, instead of "You jump your STR" could be "Make an Athletics Check, you jump a number of feet equal to your check result OR your STR, whichever is highest" so you have a baseline you know you can reach, but also a chance to exceed it that increases with your proficiency bonus and potential bonuses to Athletics.

Or you just add your proficiency bonus to the distance you can jump, I dunno.
I do this weird thing where if the player wants their character to try a long jump I think about whether they should automatically succeed, automatically fail or or if they should roll an Athletics check.

Jumping rules? Don't need 'em.
 

Undrave

Adventurer
I do this weird thing where if the player wants their character to try a long jump I think about whether they should automatically succeed, automatically fail or or if they should roll an Athletics check.

Jumping rules? Don't need 'em.
Sensible way to go about it and probably should be the default because the way it's written in the book just holds you back from trying to do more. It's just a vague "Here's how it works. Maybe, if you're nice and ask politely, The DM may let you roll for Athletics or something to jump further, I dunno, whatever. Just use the Jump spell it's faster. LOL"

Okay but then what is the basis for the Athletics check?! Why not just put a nice little "DC check X to exceed distance by Y amount of feet" table and just TELL us how it works?
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
In relation to jumping - seems to me the only way to make jumping rules realistic is to factor in armor and carrying capacity - at which point the game becomes much less fun for armored adventurers and more complex altogether.

As such I think the current jumping rules are a good compromise between playability and realism.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
There are all sorts of ways you can write jumping rules, but none that would appease everyone and are really simple. We already house-ruled jumping in armor imposes a distance penalty equal to the AC of the armor -10. So, if you jump in plate, subtract 8, etc. High jumps are reduced by 1/3 of the same amount.

While heroes are legendary, etc. so are world-record holders who were entirely focused on their events when those records were set.

I think the RAW are generous actually. Try wearing 50 lbs of gear, only running 10 feet, and jumping as far as you can while landing on your feet (even if you then fall forward). You won't get far.

Skill should be part of the equation. When I was in college, my best long jump was 21.5 feet (respectable, but not great by any means). Now, I had, IIRC about a 65' approach and that is landed extended in the sand. When I did my practice "approaches" and simply lunged into the pit, I was still able to easily get 16-17 feet, but again that was with a full 50+ feet run, no gear (just skimpy clothes), with no risk of failure. I know I certainly didn't have a 16+ STR even then, maybe a 13 or 14 if I was VERY generous!
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
The heroes of myth were not made with the Standard Attribute Array....by mostly the heroes of myth are the extreme.

Best Longjumper in our world today, 29 feet. Str 20 Fighter... base of 20’....why can’t you leap from tree top to tree top.
Great point, a 20 Str... anyone can jump 10' from limb to limb without any check at all. Seems like you could do tree running with that as long as the terrain was right and the DM was on board with it. Maybe require an acrobatics check every now and again for some "balance" (;))?

Ron just sucked.
Hey now, leave Ron bashing for another thread!

No one in 5e or life can drink an ocean, but with clever play and some plot devices, like in the myths it can easily be accomplished. I just do not find your argument holds water, no offense intended.
Well, one of the things that hit me about Hussar's post and the responses... myths are MYTHIC. Did someone in a story drink an ocean? I seriously doubt that the "origin" of that myth has anything to do with really drinking an ocean. I.e. even if it were generated from some real "event", it grows with each telling until the character is drinking an ocean.

I think it could be a fun RP to have an incident from early in the PC's career coming back later being told by a random bard/minstrel in a random city, but WAY exaggerated.

Maybe the PC fighter was a skilled/experienced siege engineer or something before he began adventuring and figured out a way to divert a river that constantly flooded an area or a town to save the town from the next floods. Then when the bards got ahold of it and by the time the PC's are hearing about it 10 levels later, the story has PC Fighter man gouging the ground in large swaths with the power of his might and sword. Or creating new cracks/fissures/channels with a blow from his maul. Then standing in front of the raging flood and forcing the waters down the new channels by the strength of his arms....

THAT is how heroes become MYTHIC IMO. Not by actually drinking an ocean.

There are some things that they can reasonably accomplish in the ruleset. Killing a legendary beast? Surviving mythic battles? All well within reason.

Drinking a sea or changing the course of a sun or something to do with affecting nature or the physical world on a large scale permanently (which is what many myths deal with) should have some root origin, but probably aren't really doable for anyone or anything in the game short of Wish and should probable be way beyond the scope of any updates to the fighter/champion subclass ;)

@7th: While it might seem underwhelming, it is pretty good really when you consider this bonus is also added to initiative. You could even include this bonus in Death Saves, which would really set Fighters apart from all other classes in only they receive this bonus.
I get that 7th is good, but it is still a "poor mans" Jack of all Trades (which also applies to init). Letting it apply to Death Saves might be a nice little bene that isn't out of line with the rest of the subclass. No one else gains any benefits there to my knowledge so that would be a nice little niche gain for the Champion.

The World Record for a standing long jump would require a STR of 24 to make it

Maybe the rule, instead of "You jump your STR" could be "Make an Athletics Check, you jump a number of feet equal to your check result OR your STR, whichever is highest" so you have a baseline you know you can reach, but also a chance to exceed it that increases with your proficiency bonus and potential bonuses to Athletics.
Okay but then what is the basis for the Athletics check?! Why not just put a nice little "DC check X to exceed distance by Y amount of feet" table and just TELL us how it works?
Yeah, jumping is the one thing where I wish they were a little more explicit in the PHB, or even in the DMG about it. Athletics is supposed to apply to jump per the description, but we're never told how.

I have an overly complicated set of rules for jumping at my table that I've been looking to simplify for a bit.

I'm thinking about if a PC is proficient in Athletics (only) applying their Athletics modifier to their Str before any division to see what their base ability is and then letting them roll if they way to exceed that. DC to exceed it would have to vary by circumstances, which is the DM's call. "Are you jumping off a ledge and get that extra arc on your jump? Adding 5' is probably easy or very easy."

I'm think a set amount, can add your long jumps. An easy way would be to use standard high jump distance (3+Str) and add it to your base # if you make the DC which is set by circumstances.

In my proposal, someone proficient in Athletics with an 18 Str at level 5 would automatically set world records for standing long jump, and with an athletics check can exceed it by up to 3.5 feet if they beat the check DC.

I'm going to allow +5' (2.5' for standing) for long jumps if they don't want to land on their feet as well. That makes sense though it might cause them unintended problems sometimes.

For high jumps... a Str 20 character already is reaching the world record with 3+Str, not even counting any Athletics check. So I'm going to say +1/2 proficiency (round down) new base. If you make your check then you can add full proficiency. At 1st level that gives a 16 str, proficient PC, a base of 7', and 8' (world record) by beating the DC. So setting world records at 1st level and landing on your feet.

Expertise would tack on to all this accordingly to all this.

If you're faster than 30' (Wood Elf, Barbarian, Monk, Mobile) then possibly grant advantage on certain checks depending on circumstances (i.e. standing jumps don't get it). Monk probably doesn't need it because of Step of the Wind, but yeah.

I think that is a neat compact system.
  • Jump = Str for running, 1/2 Str for standing, 3 + Str mod for high
  • Prof./Expertise Athletics Jump = Str+Athletics, 1/2 for standing, 3 + Str + 1/2 Prof for high
  • "maxing out" = beat DC set by DM based on circumstances from very easy to near impossible
    • Success = Long: Str+Athletics+(3+Str), Standing = 1/2, High = 3+Str+Prof
 
I can't believe I slogged all the way through that. :wow:
Tantamount to swimming from Götaland to Denmark, huh?

Fighters play the same game all the way through. From 1st level to 20th level, a fighter doesn't really change a whole lot. Sure, they might succeed more often and they can do more of the same stuff they could attempt at 1st level, but, they can't do anything actually different.
Casters, OTOH, do not. They play completely different games at 1st level and at 20th level.
That's a reasonable qualitative description of the more quantitative LFQW, sure.

The casters can grow into any fantasy archetype - your wizard can become Merlin or Dumbledore.
Dumbledore is an ex post facto archetype, anyway. But, really, D&D casters rapidly outstrip their genre predecessors. "Gandalf was a 5th level magic-user," no spell he cast 'on screen' was beyond the reach of an old-school MU5. 2e PH called out Circe as an archetype - she only displayed Polymorph Other.
The issue with D&D modeling examples of caster archetypes is explaining away why they use such a narrow range of spells.

You can be Conan or Aragorn, but, you can NEVER be Beowulf or Hercules, or Odysseus. Because anything that is outside the realm of the mundane can only ever be accomplished by magic.
Aragorn was notoriously modeled by the spell-casting Ranger, because even using a rare herb in healing, or having a royal lineage, in D&D, apparently called for casting.

Conan has always been a bit difficult, depending on the vision of him.
The REH-pastiche-of-the-60s Conan, a loinclothed bodybuilder atop a pile of dead bad guys, was problematic for his lack of armor in most eds, but able to mow through lesser foes, in the TSR era so long as they were 0-level, in 3e via WWA or Great Cleave, in 4e via exploits such as those, and C&GI, Reapers Stance, etc - and minions, of course.
5e makes the unarmored 'DEX' fighter more practical, but not likely to be much of a bodybuilder - and BA makes building that pile of dead bad guys problematic.

...
Cut off heads? Slay 10 giants? Pierce the hide of the Nemean Lion?
Because, guess what? My wizard can do all those things.
I'm kind of baffled by the apparent assertion that fighters can't cut off heads or slay giants.
Sure, without magic, a D&D Fighter can presumably chop the head off a corpse, and a DM might narrate instant death from massive damage that way. But, to cut(pi) straight to decapitation he'll need a magical Vorpal Sword.

And, under 5e BA, it's tricky to single-handedly kill 10 of anything, one at a time - but can be possible to blow 'em up all at once.
 
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5ekyu

Adventurer
Along these lines my suggestions would be:

@3rd: Critical on 18-20, gain one more skill proficiency chosen from the Fighter class list.

@7th: While it might seem underwhelming, it is pretty good really when you consider this bonus is also added to initiative. You could even include this bonus in Death Saves, which would really set Fighters apart from all other classes in only they receive this bonus.

@10th: Since many of the fighting styles don't combine, you could even offer two new styles at this level! Or, one would still be fine.

@15th: Keep the 18-20 critical range, but allow an extra weapon die on critical hits maybe.

All that being offered, a lot of this (other than the skill at level 3) is still "combat-oriented" and I would like to see a bit more in the realm of the other pillars for Champions. My other post has suggestions in that regard.
One use of this shows with a dex based fighter - high dex, no prof spent on dex skills. Focus on DeX, Con, Wisdom scores - highest DeX of course. Then devote proficiencies to survival, animals, insight etc. Now you have good skill scores in all the dex skill from the half-bonus plus high dex and proficient strong skills in the Wisdoms as well. At 7th you are looking at +5 and higher at a lot of skills that tend to see a lot of use outside of combat.

Now, if one plays in a game where optimization drives the meme of "second best is useless" design choices, this may seem pointless, but in our experience in actual play it's far from that. It certainly did not hurt a wood elf archer champion I saw.
 

Undrave

Adventurer
Now, if one plays in a game where optimization drives the meme of "second best is useless" design choices, this may seem pointless, but in our experience in actual play it's far from that. It certainly did not hurt a wood elf archer champion I saw.
I mean, if only one person get to roll then yes, the second best is useless and mostly just resorts to say "I help".

But the rest? It's always a good idea to ask everybody to roll just because the dice are fickle and you never know. So that is an interesting build... though, don't you need proficiency to attempts certain skill functions?

That said, I don't find the 5e skill system to be THAT engaging in itself...
 

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