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Fixing the Fighter - Making room for the warlord, ranger, barbarian, rogue, and more.

mellored

Villager
Let's see what it takes to open up the fighter in order to make it nicer.

What works...
Fighting Style: We've already seen new options, so we could just make a few new ones.
3, 7, 10, 15: sub-classes are flexible. Again, just make a few new ones.
4, 6, 8, 12, 14, 19: ABI's are also flexible.
9, 13: Indomitable... it's works for anyone, but it's pretty... meh.


What needs fixed...
1: Second Wind: this need to be flexible.
2,5,11,17,20 Multi-attack: The main issue. You need a way to convert the damage into effects.

What may need fixed...
2, 17: Action Surge: Generic action is flexible, but it implicitly scales with multi-attack. So if that get's changed...




My Suggestions:

Level 1: Greatly expand Fighting Style: Choose 2 fighting styles and gain an additional choice at level 6, 9, 13, and two at level 17.
*Second Wind and Indomitable are now fighting style choices.

Level 2: Action Surge -> Combat Reflexes: At the end of a creature turns (including your own), you can use your reaction to make a weapon attack.


Level 5,11,20: Multi-Attack -> Improved Combat Reflexes: You have an additional reaction each round.


Fighting styles
*All previous options, stay the same.
*Second Wind and Indomitable
stay the same.
*Unarmored Defense: When you are wearing no armor, your AC is equal to 10+Dex+Con.
*Rage: As a bonus action, you enter a rage. Any weapon damage you take is halved as long as you keep attacking]
*Brutal Critical: When you score a critical hit, maximize your base damage.
*Reckless Attack: You can take advantage on your attacks until the start of your next turn. If you do, enemies have advantage to hit you until the start of your next turn.
*Fast Movement: Your speed is increased by 5'.
*Hunter Mark: As a bonus action you can designate a creature or tracks of a creature within 30'. You deal 1d6 extra damage against that target, have advantage tracking it, and it has disadvantage to hide from you.
*Whirlwind: When you make an attack, you can attack each creature adjacent to you.
*First Aid: As a bonus action, you can let someone spend a hit die.
*Direct the Strike: When a creature you can see makes an attack, you can use your reaction to give them advantage.
*Rally: When you roll initiative, each ally who can see and hear you gains THP equal to half your level (minimum 1).
*Helper: When you take the help action, you can help all your allies within 30'.
*Battlefield Movement: As a bonus action, you can dash, disengage, or dodge.
*Slippery: When you move into cover, you can use your reaction to take the hide action.
*Sneak Attack: When you hit a creature while you have advantage, you can use your reaction to deal an extra 2d8 damage. You can use multiple reactions on the same attack, adding 2d8 for each one spent.
<and a bunch of other stuff>


Sub-Classes
*All the old ones. stay the same.
*Assassin: If you hit a creature who has not acted yet, it is a critical hit...
*Berserker: You gain the rage fighting style or another one if you already have it. You deal +1 damage when raging...
*Beastmaster: You gain a pet...
*Hunter: You gain expertise in survival...
*Tactician: You gain the direct the strike if you already it. When you use direct the strike, and the attack hits, it deals extra damage equal to your Int modifier.
*Shining Knight: You gain the rally fighting style or another if you already have it. You can add your Charisma modifier to the number of THP gained...
<and a bunch more>

Multi-classing: The attack granted from Combat Reflexes does not benefit from other multi-class features, such as rogues sneak attack, barbarians rage, or paladins improved divine smite. Though it can still benefit from spells such as elemental weapon.
 
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Tony Vargas

Adventurer
By 5e standards the Fighter already suffers from being too generic and broad in concept. Just look at how narrow some of the other concepts that do rate full classes are, and not just the ones the fighter overlaps by virtue of its 'best at fighting' mandate.
 

mellored

Villager
By 5e standards the Fighter already suffers from being too generic and broad in concept. Just look at how narrow some of the other concepts that do rate full classes are, and not just the ones the fighter overlaps by virtue of its 'best at fighting' mandate.
I don't see it as being any more broad than "wizard", "cleric", or "sorcerer".

But any thoughts on the proposed mechanics?
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
I don't see it as being any more broad than "wizard", "cleric", or "sorcerer".
It's as broad as a hypothetical "Caster" class that encompasses all three of those, plus the Druid & Bard.

Consider this checklist:

Do you use magic? No.
Do you sneak around murdering things? No.
Do you go berserk? No.

Your only option in the PH is fighter.

That's pretty broad.



But any thoughts on the proposed mechanics?
Your assessment of the existing fighter mechanics is spot-on. I might move Indomitable to "may need to be fixed," just to make it less meh.
 
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phantomK9

Explorer
My belief is that all fighters should, at 2nd level get Maneuvers and Superiority Dice (just 2 d6 to start with) and then as they level, they should have a choice of either an ASI at 6th and 14th levels, or an additional Maneuver and Superiority Die.

The Battle Master would of course gain more Maneuvers, more Superiority Dice and of course larger Superiority Dice as it gains levels, basically it should be the Maneuver/Superiority Dice focus variant from the core Fighter functionality.
 

mellored

Villager
My belief is that all fighters should, at 2nd level get Maneuvers and Superiority Dice (just 2 d6 to start with) and then as they level, they should have a choice of either an ASI at 6th and 14th levels, or an additional Maneuver and Superiority Die.

The Battle Master would of course gain more Maneuvers, more Superiority Dice and of course larger Superiority Dice as it gains levels, basically it should be the Maneuver/Superiority Dice focus variant from the core Fighter functionality.
IMO using a dice pool prevents a simple fighter.

Where as using fighting style gives you flexibility for things like +2 to hit with bows, or +1 AC, as well as dice. In addition to other maneuvers.
 

Satyrn

Villager
But any thoughts on the proposed mechanics?
Having to choose from so many fighting styles seems like it eliminates any sort of Champion - the "take this subclass and never make a choice again" subclass. I exaggerate, the Champion still has those ASIs and a second fighting style, but still, I'd miss the option to skip having options.
 
What, no pure of heart: when you fight fiends or undead (or fey-who are all evil, but have exceptionally skilled publicists), your pure heart makes your weapon count as magical for purposes of overcoming resistance or immunity? Sadly the strength of ten men (the traditional benefit of being pure of heart) is a little hard to do in D&D....

Might I suggest that instead of just adding fighting styles, maybe steal the invocation idea from the warlock, and put all the barbarian, ranger, paladin, monk, and warlord (not to mention nifty social and exploration) stuff in there, and have the fighter get martial invocations at the same rate warlocks get regular invocations. That would go a long way to "fighter as caster" in terms of customization, since you pick fighting styles and martial invocations.
 
Let's see what it takes to open up the fighter in order to make it nicer.

What works...
Fighting Style: We've already seen new options, so we could just make a few new ones.
3, 7, 10, 15: sub-classes are flexible. Again, just make a few new ones.
4, 6, 8, 12, 14, 19: ABI's are also flexible.
9, 13: Indomitable... it's works for anyone, but it's pretty... meh.


What needs fixed...
1: Second Wind: this need to be flexible.
2,5,11,17,20 Multi-attack: The main issue. You need a way to convert the damage into effects.

What may need fixed...
2, 17: Action Surge: Generic action is flexible, but it implicitly scales with multi-attack. So if that get's changed...




My Suggestions:

Level 1: Greatly expand Fighting Style: Choose 2 fighting styles and gain an additional choice at level 6, 9, 13, and two at level 17.
*Second Wind and Indomitable are now fighting style choices.

Level 2: Action Surge -> Combat Reflexes: At the end of a creature turns (including your own), you can use your reaction to make a weapon attack.


Level 5,11,20: Multi-Attack -> Improved Combat Reflexes: You have an additional reaction each round

<snip>
I don't mean to single you out, but it's a really common error (among forum-goers) to lead with mechanical changes without stopping to take the time and explain what assumptions or play experiences you're basing your re-design on.

I've done extensive hacking of the fighter class, and would be happy to offer my perspective or review of your work, but first: What are you observing in the game that's problematic? Is it based on theory or actual play? And what are your proposed changes intended to accomplish (i.e. what's your "big picture" goal)?
 

FrogReaver

Explorer
Giving fighter subclasses a bigger percentage of fighter levels for abilities would probably fix the fighter.

Take out a few bad fighter features or not so good ones and give those to the subclass.

Level 1 - Keep the same
Level 2 - Keep the same
Level 3 - Keep the same
Level 4 - Keep the same
Level 5 - Keep the same
Level 6 - Remove and add a subclass ability level (Possibly let this feature be the Champion fighters level 6 feature)
Level 7 - Keep the same
Level 8 - Keep the same
Level 9 - Remove and add a subclass ability level (Possibly let this feature be the Champion fighters level 9 feature)
Level 10 - Keep the same
Level 11 - Keep the same
Level 12 - Keep the same
Level 13 - Remove for a subclass ability
Level 14 - Remove for a subclass ability

I think keeping the rest of the abilities basically the same works too

Basically the fighter needs more levels where he gains subclass abilities and less levels where he gains primary class abilities IMO.
 

mellored

Villager
Nod. What if it just adds damage, like the eFighter's Power Attack?
Could work.
But that seems more like sneak attack. Where multi-attacking is the fighter's thing. And this still let's you multi-attack, just using reactions instead.

Having to choose from so many fighting styles seems like it eliminates any sort of Champion - the "take this subclass and never make a choice again" subclass. I exaggerate, the Champion still has those ASIs and a second fighting style, but still, I'd miss the option to skip having options.
Fair.
Would "Champion Suggested Fighting Styles: Second Wind, Defensive, Brutal Critical, ..." work well enough for that?

What, no pure of heart: when you fight fiends or undead (or fey-who are all evil, but have exceptionally skilled publicists), your pure heart makes your weapon count as magical for purposes of overcoming resistance or immunity? Sadly the strength of ten men (the traditional benefit of being pure of heart) is a little hard to do in D&D....
That isn't a complete list. Just some examples.
Overcomming magic resist seems pretty good and easy to add.

Might I suggest that instead of just adding fighting styles, maybe steal the invocation idea from the warlock, and put all the barbarian, ranger, paladin, monk, and warlord (not to mention nifty social and exploration) stuff in there, and have the fighter get martial invocations at the same rate warlocks get regular invocations. That would go a long way to "fighter as caster" in terms of customization, since you pick fighting styles and martial invocations.
That's more or less what I did. Except I kept the name "fighting style". But you get 2-7 (compared to the warlocks 2-8).
And yea, monk stuff like unarmed combat can fit there too.
 

mellored

Villager
I don't mean to single you out, but it's a really common error (among forum-goers) to lead with mechanical changes without stopping to take the time and explain what assumptions or play experiences you're basing your re-design on.

I've done extensive hacking of the fighter class, and would be happy to offer my perspective or review of your work, but first: What are you observing in the game that's problematic? Is it based on theory or actual play? And what are your proposed changes intended to accomplish (i.e. what's your "big picture" goal)?
The "big picture" is in the title, to expand what the fighter can do to more than just damage.

And the basic idea is to break up multi-attack into invididual pieces, so you can trade 1 attack for 1 something else.

Also, to give instant-buffs, which helps keeps things simple since you don't need to track them, as well as to give it a different from magic.
 
Could work.
But that seems more like sneak attack. Where multi-attacking is the fighter's thing. And this still let's you multi-attack, just using reactions instead.

Fair.
Would "Champion Suggested Fighting Styles: Second Wind, Defensive, Brutal Critical, ..." work well enough for that?

That isn't a complete list. Just some examples.
Overcomming magic resist seems pretty good and easy to add.

That's more or less what I did. Except I kept the name "fighting style". But you get 2-7 (compared to the warlocks 2-8).
And yea, monk stuff like unarmed combat can fit there too.

I realize I was going for something a little more meta then I intended (the existing fighting styles were still fighting styles that would be picked as normal and the "gimmicks from other classes" would be in martial invocations). I am picturing the fighter as someone who has time to dabble a little bit more in other classes (without going so far as to multiclass or take a "touch of a class" feat) then members of other classes....

Also, I definitely like the suggested fighting styles approach.
 
The "big picture" is in the title, to expand what the fighter can do to more than just damage.

And the basic idea is to break up multi-attack into invididual pieces, so you can trade 1 attack for 1 something else.

Also, to give instant-buffs, which helps keeps things simple since you don't need to track them, as well as to give it a different from magic.
Ah, I see. No, that wasn't clear to me based on your title.

So, to be clear, by "more than just damage" you mean "cool combat tricks" NOT out-of-combat stuff, correct?

I actually was leaning into this approach in my own fighter hack, but stopped because it was getting too complicated (whereas I think the base fighter needs to be simple in play). Here's an example:

[SECTION]Pinning Shot (active)
When you use the Attack action to attack a target with a ranged weapon, you can pin its arm or leg on a hit. The target must make a Constitution saving throw, and on a failure it reduces its speed to zero. At the end of its turns, the target can make a Constitution saving throw to restore its speed to normal. Alternately, the arrow or bolt can be ripped out as an action, restoring the target’s speed.
Recharge: Gain unobstructed line of sight to the target.

Improved Pinning Shot: In place of 2 attacks, you make a shot that deals an extra weapon die of damage on a hit. If the target succeeds its saving throw, it regains only half its speed; to regain the rest of its speed it must succeed another save. Ripping the arrow or bolt out causes the target to suffer 1d4 bleeding damage at the end of each of its turns until its wounds are bound or it regains hit points.

Master Pinning Shot: In place of 3 attacks, you make a shot that deals two extra weapon dice of damage on a hit. If the target fails its save it is restrained until it makes a successful save, whereupon it only suffers from halved speed; to regain the rest of its speed it must succeed another save. Ripping the arrow or bolt out causes the target to suffer 1d6 bleeding damage at the end of each of its turns until its wounds are bound or it regains hit points.[/SECTION]

The basic idea is to allow a fighter to "trade in" Extra Attacks, sacrificing some damage for an additional trick.

Maths wise, the idea is to make each "level of a trick worth the foregone Strength or Dexterity modifier damage.
 

Wiseblood

Adventurer
Ah, I see. No, that wasn't clear to me based on your title.

So, to be clear, by "more than just damage" you mean "cool combat tricks" NOT out-of-combat stuff, correct?

I actually was leaning into this approach in my own fighter hack, but stopped because it was getting too complicated (whereas I think the base fighter needs to be simple in play). Here's an example:

[SECTION]Pinning Shot (active)
When you use the Attack action to attack a target with a ranged weapon, you can pin its arm or leg on a hit. The target must make a Constitution saving throw, and on a failure it reduces its speed to zero. At the end of its turns, the target can make a Constitution saving throw to restore its speed to normal. Alternately, the arrow or bolt can be ripped out as an action, restoring the target’s speed.
Recharge: Gain unobstructed line of sight to the target.

Improved Pinning Shot: In place of 2 attacks, you make a shot that deals an extra weapon die of damage on a hit. If the target succeeds its saving throw, it regains only half its speed; to regain the rest of its speed it must succeed another save. Ripping the arrow or bolt out causes the target to suffer 1d4 bleeding damage at the end of each of its turns until its wounds are bound or it regains hit points.

Master Pinning Shot: In place of 3 attacks, you make a shot that deals two extra weapon dice of damage on a hit. If the target fails its save it is restrained until it makes a successful save, whereupon it only suffers from halved speed; to regain the rest of its speed it must succeed another save. Ripping the arrow or bolt out causes the target to suffer 1d6 bleeding damage at the end of each of its turns until its wounds are bound or it regains hit points.[/SECTION]

The basic idea is to allow a fighter to "trade in" Extra Attacks, sacrificing some damage for an additional trick.

Maths wise, the idea is to make each "level of a trick worth the foregone Strength or Dexterity modifier damage.
This is what fighters should be getting. Battlemaster should be consumed by the other fighter subclasses. Half-sword and Murder stroke (mordhau?) sound badass and have practical application in combat.

Unfortunately there is a d&d orthodoxy that prohibits fighters from doing such things. Aside from AC resistance and vulnerability martial combat is forced to be bland. Only getting a boost from spells (random crits) and or descriptions.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
Ah, I see. No, that wasn't clear to me based on your title.

So, to be clear, by "more than just damage" you mean "cool combat tricks" NOT out-of-combat stuff, correct?
Based on the title, also to expand the fighter, mechanically, enough to encompass past and potential sub-classes, including multiple full classes. Since that list includes the Rogue, it seems out-of-combat would also be needed, at least, available to some sub-classes.

The basic idea is to allow a fighter to "trade in" Extra Attacks, sacrificing some damage for an additional trick.
It's a reasonable idea, I think.
 

mellored

Villager
So, to be clear, by "more than just damage" you mean "cool combat tricks" NOT out-of-combat stuff, correct?
I left room for both, such as helping everyone within 30', and expertise in ranger sub-class.
Though having separate "Fighting style" and "Non-fighting style" isn't a bad idea. But I wanted to keep changes minimal as possible, and let people still play their current fighter.

Also, you wouldn't trade attacks for out of combat-stuff.

I actually was leaning into this approach in my own fighter hack, but stopped because it was getting too complicated (whereas I think the base fighter needs to be simple in play).
That's why I like reactions.
"You need to remember that this monster can't move for a few turns from now, after the rogue goes, and the wizard, and 2 other monsters take their turn, and it might die before then anyways."
vs
"I stop the monster moving, now." - Direct and simple.

And while I though of "this manuver takes 2 reactions" I don't think it's needed. 2 trips is close enough to 1 immobilize.
Maybe as a sub-class feature, but not in the base class.
 

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