D&D 5E Hopes for the 5E Fighter


First Post
Tokens? I think you are thinking of Iron Heroes.
Yeah, I was. Too many Mearls/Malhavoc books with Iron in the title, apparently. :p

Edit: Looking over the samples you linked to...

I would not like that kind of system. Too complicated (very complicated...) for too little effect. Not enough flash, just a lot of numbers. Penalizes people for attempting anything unconventional, which is a big disincentive for anyone who wants to do anything more than make basic attacks. Point buy systems are not going to be as effective as power systems for this kind of thing, especially when you need to run a non-trivial amount of math to arrive at a -10 hit penalty to have a chance at inflicting a -2 penalty on an enemy's attacks...
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Things I liked from 2E/3E was the fighter having to make important decisions over:

Mounted or foot?
Armour type worn?
Range or melee?
Weapon style?
To weapon specialize?

I liked how a lot of this was decided early and could be developed additionally throughout the levels. Some kind of 1st level tick box system where you could have:

1) Fleet footed, lightly armoured, dual rapier and unarmed combat proficient, skilled in off-hand trips and throws.

2) Mounted, plate armoured, sword & shield, skilled in blocks and parries.

3) Heavy footman, moderately armoured, crossbow, specialized in placed shots.

You get the idea. Hopefully they'd all pull their weight - and the stats all fit on 1 A4 page.


First Post
I want the 5E Fighter to be able to uniquely fill his role as the best front-line all-around adventurer.

There should be no way for any other class - even with magic - to consistently fill fighter's shoes in this specific and valuable role.

No matter how they do 5E fighter, if other classes are able to do fighter's job better than fighter himself at any level, it's going to be a failure.

Other than that, I'd like to see seemingly realistic and gritty fighter with mythical touch, not some superhero who bounces around and does bullet-time dodges.

A strong, sturdy and scarred veteran. Not Super Mario with some supernatural abilities.

Mr. Patient

Why not leave the choice in the hands of the spellcaster? Give each spell a "short casting mode" which requires just one round and deals less damage, and a "long casting mode" which requires the spell to be cast over two or more rounds and becomes significantly effective if cast successfully, but the wizard runs the risk of losing the spell (or losing control of the spell) if he takes damage before the spell is completed.

I'd be down with something like this, and also with Elf Witch's suggestion to keep Concentration from being an easy roll. I'd like to see mechanics that allow the fighter and wizard to be a little more distinct than they were in 4e, but give the fighter a boost from his 3e incarnation.


First Post
Mike and Monte released the Book of Iron Might a long time ago, and in my opinion it is the best supplement for the fighter class so far. I hope they can put in 5e some of the ideas from that book.
I don't like powers and/or feats that give certain "maneuvers" to the fighter because I believe it narrows the player's choices in combat, whilst the options in BoIM actually inspire the players' imagination and description, something the latest edition lack.


First Post
I to hope that 5e allows non-magical characters to perform impressive feats and use advanced combat techniques. However, I hope that, with both Mearls and Monte in charge of 5e, it means that we will not see 4e powers or Tome of Battle. I hope it means that we will see a maneuver system similar to the one Mearls created for the Book of Iron [Heroes] which was published by Monte's company, Malhavoc.
Wait, Mearls did something good? For fighters? I'm going to have to check that out.



i want fighters to always be useful, but in the games I DM (right now, level 13, going on 14 party) and this campaign has to run into higher epic levels due to what the players' goals are (it's a long running game; since 1994 - we use 3.5E/Pathfinder as 4E was wholly rejected after playing it for a while)

Anyways; my players do not find fighters as useless, especially at higher levels (10+).

I think alot of it has to do with DM style.

For example; I normally DM'd Dark Sun and Planescape games. The current game started as a std Greyhawk/FR campaign with a different DM, and I've taken it over and the need was there to move it to Planescape. Fine.

As such, I mix in alot of creatures with various immunities, resistances, etc. Now some will say it's not fair that some creatures are immune to what I can do. What my players say, adapt. Think of how to be useful.

What happened in one of our recent 'boss' battles. The enemy being a powerful god aspect, was resistant to many things. THe casters, realized they couldn't just nova it. Instead, they started using spells to slow it down, nullify certain powers to aid the party. Cleric cast a spell to stop spells like Gate/Teleports. Then started healing those in need while casting support spells (to help people in combat). the wizards, started turning the ground to mud, messing around with random objects, etc to make life just a bit more difficult.

The warriors then engaged. It was the fighter characters (1 elven fighter, 1 dwarven) + paladin that brought it down.

The key here; not everyone is going to be able to do everything all the time. BUT there is nothing wrong with that. What needs to be there; is the ability to do something. Much of this is on the DM and players to think of ways to allow for stuff to be done.

Players have to think beyond what a spell/item/situation says. A creature immune to fire, but that still walks on the ground. Maybe a fireball can weaken the wooden floor and cause the creature to fall; taking tons of falling damage. The fighters can then jump on it as it gets up and beat it down, etc.

Some things we do use as optional rules, that we find a lot more fun:

* pathfinder optional rules of armour as DR thus they can even protect from some spell damage in many cases, etc
* bleeding rules (we found them in old dark sun gladiator handbook) for weapons
* we added extra movement - to simulate a situation where in a film a person may run through a crowd, slashing with a dagger in each hand at different people all around; we implemented free 5 ft steps after attacks.

What this did, I found instead of players standing toe to toe, when there were lots of enemies. Warriors would move in, attack, then move around, and some would disengage and move (taking even an AoO) to reposition beside a different target; while another warrior would stick with the first target and try and distract him so he won't attack the others the next round from behind.

* I'm thinking in 5E: maybe modifying movement rules so that off turn 5 ft stepl similar movements, and the ability to actually wade into a battle would help from one front.

* rules for armour to really act like armour would help as especially at low levels (I also DM a low level game just starting), the armour helps people survive. it means, as a DM, i can do more with the players and notworry "oh, that gnoll may be too tough at level 1-2)

* the most important thing I would like to see; a more fluid combat system - what we did is integrate combat in such a way; that anything is possible. In other words, if you can physically do it, the warrior/rogue can roll it.

Example was: a half-orc barbarian, ducked low and swung an axe in a circle around him; As the braindead zombies kept walking towards him; due to the height of where the axe was twirling, he could physically hit most of the zombies and slice them up (we treated as half damage to everyone in the circle). if they keep coming, it happens round after round).

in a way, we are gettign away from strict mechanics (ie. feats) to a more logical combat system. Just do what you believe you would be able to do. I will tell you if it's a bit much. "You're not the Silver Surfer, you can;t destroy planets with your attacks, BUT you are able to climb up a colossal creature by stabbing it with daggers and holding on for deal life, then reaching it's neck and slitting it's throat" (as it fights the rest of the party; yes, this happened; yes, the wizards' fireball hurt them as well, but the players had so much fun no one cared).

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Greg K

Yeah, I was. Too many Mearls/Malhavoc books with Iron in the title, apparently. :p

Edit: Looking over the samples you linked to...

I would not like that kind of system. Too complicated (very complicated...) for too little effect. Not enough flash, just a lot of numbers. Penalizes people for attempting anything unconventional, which is a big disincentive for anyone who wants to do anything more than make basic attacks. Point buy systems are not going to be as effective as power systems for this kind of thing, especially when you need to run a non-trivial amount of math to arrive at a -10 hit penalty to have a chance at inflicting a -2 penalty on an enemy's attacks...

I would agree with you about to hit penalty. However, the maneuver that you cited, Called Shot: Arm, should actually have a net penalty of 0. Someone screwed up. That first line should read .
Effect: Inflict Penalty (-2 to attacks): -10
(Inflict Penalty is -5 to your attack roll for each 1pt penalty inflicted on your opponent (max 5)). Also, not listed is that on a critical hit, the penalty increases by 1.

Apparently, someone applied the Effect for Ability score damage which is -20 to inflict 2pts of ability damage (-4 on a confirmed crit) with the penalty lasting until restored to full hit points or 1hr whichever happens last


Back in the days of 3rd edition, we had weekly "Fix the Fighter" threads on the WotC boards. I've never seen one on 4th edition boards. In 4th ed, the class works perfectly fine, once you wrap your head around the fact that it requires tactics, not just an endless repetition of "I whack the orc". I really don't ever want to play a frontliner without proper defender mechanics again.


And there really is no need for spell disruption rules or similar contrievances that were discussed here, because these issues can easily be solved by giving fighter and wizard similar power progression.


First off, I want to say that the following comes from the perspective of someone who has grown estranged from 4E and doesn't like Pathfinder. I started with 3E and grew dissatisfied with its many flaws, but neither of its replacements really suited me.

I sympathize with you greatly.

To state it crudely, I hope 5E doesn't have a Fighter class. Or rather, I hope it doesn't repeat the mistakes of some older editions and try to create a single class that is somehow supposed to embody all the concepts of "a skilled warrior who fights without the aid of magic". All that does is create a generic, flavorless chimera of a class that inhibits the development of more interesting class concepts.

However, I very much hope you or someone like you isn't in charge of 5E design.

To speak freely, I think you've become cynical and disspirited. Now, I can't blame you in that exactly, but I do want to say that just because you've seen obvious problems go largely unsolved and ignored for years doesn't mean that no solution exists or that we must settle for something which, while perhaps fine in itself, is perhaps a solution to a problem other than the one we had in the first place.

I like seeing all kinds of different warrior variants. Heavily armored knights, archers, swordmasters who forego the use of armor, lightly armored cavaliers, etc. I hope 5E's rules leave room for all of these kinds of concepts and let different character types shine.

There is absolutely no reason why these things can't be done in a single interesting well done fighter class. The tools are there, but among other things it requires a less hesitant, passive and conservative skills system than 3e provided. Tumble is an example of where they could go with skills having potentially relevant roles in combat. It also means accepting that skills beyond a certain level represent superheroic and not merely mundane ability - Batman's abilities at dodging out of rooms unseen, taking long cuts to end up ahead of those he chases, jumping from incredible heights without taking damage, and so forth.

I also hope that 5E continues some of the good ideas from the Tome of Battle and 4E by letting such non-magical characters still perform impressive feats and use advanced combat techniques.

You mean by letting non-magical characters still perform magic. This is the cynics solution to the problem, and I reject it.

and creating class-independent fighting powers similar to 3E's arcane and divine spell lists could be really interesting.

Notice that we keep trending towards, "Well, if only spellcasters can be awesome sauce, we ought to let everyone be spellcasters."? But note, that the real problem is, "Everyone should be able to be awesome sauce."

Older editions seem to have always marginalized such rules based on the idea that mounts don't belong in a dungeon...

I agree with you that unusual play styles shouldn't be marginalized, but in older edition's defense, part of the problem is that a mount usually is more trouble than they are worth in a many dungeons. The real problem here is the assumption that dungeon delving is the core activity of the game, and so other varieties of play don't need full support. The game should let you play the game you want to play, whether its Cossacks on the steppes of the 'Real World', or fantasy dungeon delvers in a quasi-medieval tolkien-esk consensus fantasy settings. If your campaign takes place on an virtually endless open plain, mounts are going to play a big role and the rules should support that. If you are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike, then it should support that to and not insist that, because the game has mounts that they must be just as useful (Poke-mounts) in all situations. This suggest one of the reasons I dislike the notion of a 'mounted class' and other narrow and inflexible concepts.

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