Harder than a Rock: The Fighter's Handbook
War is a conflict that determines not who is right - but who is left. -Shock troops
So, boys, you think you're real tough guys, huh? Well, I'm gonna see about that! This isn't Guard School where they just teach you to stand still and fill out papers! You came here to fight! That means, I'm gonna see how much punishment you can take! Why do I do this, you ask? Apart from the fact that it's great fun, you're gonna have a responsibility: you're gonna have to watch after a pretty wussy bunch of guys, and that means that you can't be one, boy! Now, drop down and gimme 40!!!
Selling Points: Why You Would Want To Play a Fighter
I'm sure by now that you've heard all about these other fancy Defender classes who are all packing magic. Now, why would you want to play a plain old Fighter after seeing them? Allow me to elaborate on some of the perks of life as a Fighter:
Fighters hit hard - The Fighter is a Defender with very good single-target damage potential. Even before your mark is triggered, you're usually a tick below Striker-level damage. If you don't have a Striker in your group or if he's light on the damage side, you should give the Fighter a look.
Fighters don't let people get away easily - A combination of class features and feats can make it almost impossible for an enemy to escape your grasp without giving in to your challenge and beating you (easier said than done). If you want to be able to hold off the big, bad Solo even though he's doing his best to get away from you, you've found your class.
Fighters have a multitude of builds available - Just about every weapon in this game has a different Fighter build focusing on it, and I haven't even talked about the specialized class features yet. If you want your playstyle to be centered on what weapon you prefer to wield or just plain have a lot of options, this is your stop.
This Handbook will use the following system for ratings:
Red: Garbage, or completely overshadowed by another option.
Purple: Situationally useful, but overall pretty meh.
Black: OK. You could do worse than pick this.
Blue: Good stuff. You probably want this.
Sky Blue: You want this. Period.
Gold: Why haven't you taken this yet? A defining choice for a build, or even the whole class.
This Handbook covers the following sources:
AP - Arcane Power
AV - Adventurer's Vault
AV 2 - Adventurer's Vault 2
BoVD - Book of Vile Darkness
D XXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
DMA 2009 - Dragon Magazine Annual 2009
DSCS - Dark Sun Campaign Setting
DP - Divine Power
EPG - Eberron Player's Guide
FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
HoS - Heroes of Shadow
HotFK - Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
HotFL - Heroes of the Fallen Lands
MM - Monster Manual
MM 2 - Monster Manual 2
MOTP - Manual of the Planes
MP - Martial Power
MP 2 - Martial Power 2
PHB - Player's Handbook
PHB 2 - Player's Handbook 2
PHB 3 - Player's Handbook 3
PHH 1 - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series 1
PHH 2 - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series 2
PHR: DB - Player's Handbook Races: Dragonborn
PHR: TF - Player's Handbook Races: Tieflings
PrP - Primal Power
PsP - Psionic Power
AP - Action point.
BBEG - Big bad evil guy.
Burst/Nova/Spike Damage - Generally understood to mean the highest amount of damage a character can inflict in the space of a single round. Usually, calculations for this allow 1 round of setup before the actual damage.
CA - Combat advantage.
CC - Combat Challenge.
DPR - Damage per round, which is generally meant to mean the character's expected damage value using At-Will powers against a standard enemy of the same level (eloquently described by Adslahnit as the Official CharOp Inanimate Block of TofuTM).
ED - Epic destiny.
HP - Hit points.
LX - Level X.
MAD - Multiple attribute dependency, which is defined as needing 3 or more ability scores for a given build.
MBA - Melee basic attack.
MC - Multiclass or multiclassing.
NAD - Non-AC defense.
OA - Opportunity attack.
PP - Paragon path.
RBA - Ranged basic attack.
SAD - Single attribute dependency, which is defined as a build that really only needs 1 ability score.
THP - Temporary hit points.
And Stay Down: The Polearm Momentum Handbook(x), by Wazat1:
Beowulf, Master of Grabs, by me:
Bob the Unstoppable Brawler, by Rathyr:
Dwarf Axe Fighter - Optimized, by Philip:
Dwarf Hammer Fighter - Optimized, by Philip:
The Dwarven Battlemaster, by Elder_basilisk:
The Fighter's Handbook, C_A:
Fighter/Warpriest/Demigod, by C_A:
Identity of a Hero: A Guide to Themes, by Lord_Ventnor:
Kinky!, by Auspex7:
Weapon Talent Fighter, by runreallyfast:
MC Hammer, by Titanium Dragon:
Mr. Smith, by me:
Holding the Line, by Squirreloid:
Saint of Killers, by McSmashin:
Super-Scrag, by herid_fel:
Swordmaster DPR, by runreallyfast:
The Taskmaster, by me:
Tank, by Gnoob:
Tank, v.2.0, by Gnoob:
The Taskmaster, by me:
The Iron Curtain, by langeweile:
The Reacher, by Shokatsuryou:
The Spartan, by obtusehobbit:
The Wise Wolf, by Adslahnit:
The Wise Wolf (Again), by Adslahnit:
Ultimate Defenders Ho!, by AlphatheGreat:
Wolfpack Guardian, by me:
NOTE: This Handbook deals with the strategies involved in building a classical 4th Edition Fighter (currently known as the Weaponmaster). If you're looking for advice for the Essentials Fighter builds (the Knight and the Slayer), you can check out my Knight's Handbook or my Slayer's Handbook.