I think it Might be the Mage; Not the Fighter that's broken

I've been doing sheer number comparison between classes, based on Feats obtained, damage power, striking probability, etc. and as many have stated the fighter is underpowered compared to the Wizard, however, so is every other class, across the board the wizard is over-powered if you consider that the designers were really trying to "bring balance" to the game.

As an aside the various edition have use the following methods to attempt play balance. 1st & 2nd edition used the sliding XP scale to alleviate obvious problems though it wasn't perfect either. 4th edition just made everyone spellcasters and bland... 3.X however, seems to have just ignored the problem in hopes it would go away.

For example, let's look at Feats: the cleric, the other major spell casting class, has weapons, hit points and armor as well as turning at first level....and that's it. It never changes, neither does the sorcerer. Meanwhile the wizard gains bonus feats, Why? No other spellcasting class gains them in such a way, not the cleric or the sorcerer and even though the druid picks up quite a few extra abilities these "mostly" affect skill rolls and saving throws, it seems to be balanced by metal aversion.

So other than allowing wizards to gain crafting feats,, which they aren't required to take, why the bonus Feats? All it does is allow the wizard to bump his/her damage quotient, should they so desire. Anyone have any ideas? Comments?

I ask, because I'm currently working up rules for a home brew that grasps a little more realism and the wizard is blowing the curve WAYYY out of proportion.

The other classes have been relatively easy to alter - I'll post the dissected paladin later - basically I made it an off shoot of cleric instead of fighter and worked up to a PC that turns into the paladin. It seems to work well, but that's another post.
 

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Sadrik

First Post
If I grasp what you are going at - I agree, I think it is with the full casters that the game has a problem. And most people who want to fix the power curve issue want to give more to the non-full casters to balance them. This is a prudent way of tackling the problem but it might make the most sense to go the other route and subtract from the full caster.

The conclusion would be:
A new spell level every third level rather than every second level. So, 1/4/7/10/13/16/19 for 1st/2nd/3rd/4th/5th/6th/7th then reserve 8th and 9th level spells for epic level play. This would push the power threshold out longer through the mid levels. To make this work a spell chart with a comperable number of spells per day to the normal would be important. So if a 5th level caster has 9 spells a day then a 5th level caster should also have 9 spells per day.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
On a certain level, I don't have a problem with the Wizard being overpowered. To use a military analogy, the Wizard is like an Aircraft Carrier. However, you can't just have a force comprised of top units- you need other elements to keep those units alive. That's why Aircraft Carriers operate in carrier strike groups with destroyers, missile cruisers and other units. Its hard to close on an Aircraft Carrier hiding behind its multifaceted, multiply-layered protective envelope. But if you do, they can't really defend themselves.

Still, I can see this as a problem from the gamer's standpoint.

The combination of having the bulk of the best spells in the game coupled with the option of gaining bonus feats to enhance them clearly lets them stand out.

(However, many players would assert that the Cleric and Druid are at least as powerful as the Wizard, if not moreso, citing CoDzilla builds.)

One thing we tried in the last D&D game was doing away with Metamagic as Feats and folding it into spell research. Note- the PC in question was a Sorcerer. So, instead of a Wizard gaining access to a feat that he could apply to any spell he had access to, he would have to learn the "metamagic" version of the spell as a distinct spell. So, a Stilled version of Magic Missile would be a completely new 2nd level spell. A Stilled, Silent version of Magic Missile would be a completely new 3rd level spell.

What this does not do:

1) It does not decrease the power of a particular spell & feat combination. An arcanist is still capable of having an empowered, maximized Lightning Bolt.

2) We didn't apply this to any divine caster, so we can't speak to what it did there. (More accurately, nobody playing a divine caster was interested in any of the metamagic alterations.)

What this does:

1) It decreases the variety in a given caster's spell list. If he wants to learn a spell, its empowered version, its maximized version, and its empowered and maximized version, that's 4 spells he has to learn, and that is a real opportunity cost. It means a mage can't be an Über-Blaster AND even a competent buff-master.

I would imagine that, over time, this means more wizard players would gravitate towards specialists for maximum effectiveness within a build style, and the generalist wizard players would eschew metamagic entirely, and may favor crafting or Reserve feats instead.

(We did not alter Crafting or Reserve feats either, FWIW.)

2) It decreases the flexibility of a given caster. He can't learn one Metamagic feat and use it over and over again for any spell he knows.
 

Eldritch_Lord

Adventurer
If I grasp what you are going at - I agree, I think it is with the full casters that the game has a problem. And most people who want to fix the power curve issue want to give more to the non-full casters to balance them. This is a prudent way of tackling the problem but it might make the most sense to go the other route and subtract from the full caster.

The conclusion would be:
A new spell level every third level rather than every second level. So, 1/4/7/10/13/16/19 for 1st/2nd/3rd/4th/5th/6th/7th then reserve 8th and 9th level spells for epic level play. This would push the power threshold out longer through the mid levels. To make this work a spell chart with a comperable number of spells per day to the normal would be important. So if a 5th level caster has 9 spells a day then a 5th level caster should also have 9 spells per day.

I don't think making it every 3rd level is necessarily the best approach, since before 7th level they're not too amazing and after that they really take off. In 2e, there was a 1-level gap between 5th and 6th level spells (so it went 1/3/5/7/9/12/14/16/18), but given the power boost the 3e wizard gets, I'd insert 2 level gaps. The first really good spells come around 4th level (phantasmal killer and polymorph, for instance), so 1 gap between 3rd and 4th and another between 6th and 7th would be good (for a final pattern of 1/3/5/8/10/12/15/17/19).

This delays the power curve but still leaves 8th and 9th level spells in the nonepic game, which is an important consideration for various reasons (having mind blank is almost necessary for the bad guys at higher levels, you need wish to take out the tarrasque, etc.).
 

Ilja

First Post
EldritchLord has a good point. While a fireball is powerful, it's doesn't really change game play in the way 4-th level spells do. The most gamechanging spells of level 3 must be Fly, Clairvoyance, and Invisibility Sphere. All of these are still FAR more limited than spells such as Polymorph, save-or-dies, and Dimension Door. But what about slowing down the progress after that point? Making it every 3 levels after level 7 allows 8th level spells, but not 9th level nor empowered 7th level. These could only be gained at epic levels. Also, reducing spells per day gives back some of the limitation that the wizard should have (but rarely has at high levels). A table might look something like this:
[sblock=Wizard spells per day]
Code:
[b]Clvl  0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8[/b]
1     3   1   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
2     4   2   -   -   -   -   -   -   -
3     4   2   1   -   -   -   -   -   -
4     4   3   2   -   -   -   -   -   -
5     4   3   2   1   -   -   -   -   -
6     5   3   3   2   -   -   -   -   -
7     5   4   3   2   1   -   -   -   -
8     5   4   3   3   2   -   -   -   -
9     5   4   4   3   2   -   -   -   -
10    5   4   4   3   2   1   -   -   -
11    6   4   4   4   3   2   -   -   -
12    6   4   4   4   3   2   -   -   -
13    6   4   4   4   3   2   1   -   -
14    6   4   4   4   3   3   2   -   -
15    6   4   4   4   4   3   2   -   -
16    6   4   4   4   4   3   2   1   -
17    6   4   4   4   4   3   3   2   -
18    6   4   4   4   4   4   3   2   -
19    6   4   4   4   4   4   3   2   1
20    6   4   4   4   4   4   3   3   2
[/sblock]
With this, they'll get their basic spells at about the same rate, but the more powerful will take more time to master. Also, they won't have a long line of "4 per day's" at level 20; spell levels 6, 7, and 8 will at most have 3, 3, and 2 times per day respectively.

There are three levels where not much happens though; 12, 15, and 18. However, I don't see this as a big problem, as these are the same levels where new feats are gained (at level 12, it's also an attribute point, possibly increasing spells per day anyway, and at level 15 it's two feats).

Now, this would make sorcerers gain spells faster than wizards. I don't have a problem with this either; sorcerers aren't as overpowered as wizards as is, and it feels quite logical that sorcerers, who has magic in their blood, learn to master advanced spells more quickly. Wizards on the other hand has greater versatility and learns more of the theoretical aspects (leading to more metamagic and item creation feats).
 

Nopal

First Post
Wizards aren't over powered. They are the core to the game. Everything else should compare to them. If you want to talk power how about the sorcerer. He is under powered. He gets no special ability at all. Even the spontanious cleric the Favored Soul gets more than just able to cast on the fly. Wizards and Fighters are the base they should be the best. All others should compare to them or be less than them.
 

slwoyach

First Post
The best way to reign in wizards is to bring back the old limitations they had. Give every spell a casting time equal to the spell level. If a wizard begins casting fireball on initiative 17 it doesn't go off until 14, giving enemies time to interrupt him. Memorizing a spell requires 10 minutes per spell level. So memorizing a single fireball requires 30 minutes of study. Completely replenishing a high level wizard's spell list would take several days. This is the main thing that kept wizards in check in earlier editions, they had to use their spells more conservatively. Yeah they could nuke the BBEG, but the fighter had to keep him alive long enough to reach it.
 

Sadrik

First Post
Eldritch_Lord & Stringburka:
These are very good possibilities. I suppose there is no wrong way to do it. Essentially the idea is to slow down the caster progression to limit full casters. Whichever way it should bring in line the other classes more to the full casters, especially at the top end. Conceptually, I still like the simpler and slower progression of every 3rd CL gain a new spell level. But I can see the merits of having it other ways.

The following is probably my best effort at the representation of the idea. It increases the number of spells you get so as to compensate for the loss of the upper level spells.

As you move forward through the epic levels and your caster level increases you get more spells until you max out at 5 across the board (0-9th) for the Cleric, Druid and Wizard and 7 for the Sorcerer. Additionally the specialist wizard and domain bonus both add +1 to each spell level as usual.

Cleric, Druid and Wizard Progression
Code:
CL	0	1	2	3	4	5	6	7	8	9
1	4	2	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-
2	4	3	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-
3	5	4	1	-	-	-	-	-	-	-
4	5	4	2	-	-	-	-	-	-	-
5	5	4	3	-	-	-	-	-	-	-
6	5	5	4	1	-	-	-	-	-	-
7	5	5	4	2	-	-	-	-	-	-
8	5	5	4	3	-	-	-	-	-	-
9	5	5	5	4	1	-	-	-	-	-
10	5	5	5	4	2	-	-	-	-	-
11	5	5	5	4	3	-	-	-	-	-
12	5	5	5	5	4	1	-	-	-	-
13	5	5	5	5	4	2	-	-	-	-
14	5	5	5	5	4	3	-	-	-	-
15	5	5	5	5	5	4	1	-	-	-
16	5	5	5	5	5	4	2	-	-	-
17	5	5	5	5	5	4	3	-	-	-
18	5	5	5	5	5	5	4	1	-	-
19	5	5	5	5	5	5	4	2	-	-
20	5	5	5	5	5	5	4	3	-	-
21	5	5	5	5	5	5	5	4	1	-
22	5	5	5	5	5	5	5	4	2	-
23	5	5	5	5	5	5	5	4	3	-
24	5	5	5	5	5	5	5	5	4	1
25	5	5	5	5	5	5	5	5	4	2
26	5	5	5	5	5	5	5	5	4	3
27	5	5	5	5	5	5	5	5	5	4
28	5	5	5	5	5	5	5	5	5	4
29	5	5	5	5	5	5	5	5	5	4
30	5	5	5	5	5	5	5	5	5	5

Sorcerer Progression
Code:
CL	0	1	2	3	4	5	6	7	8	9
1	7	3	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-
2	7	4	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-
3	7	5	-	-	-	-	-	-	-	-
4	7	6	3	-	-	-	-	-	-	-
5	7	7	4	-	-	-	-	-	-	-
6	7	7	5	-	-	-	-	-	-	-
7	7	7	6	3	-	-	-	-	-	-
8	7	7	7	4	-	-	-	-	-	-
9	7	7	7	5	-	-	-	-	-	-
10	7	7	7	6	3	-	-	-	-	-
11	7	7	7	7	4	-	-	-	-	-
12	7	7	7	7	5	-	-	-	-	-
13	7	7	7	7	6	3	-	-	-	-
14	7	7	7	7	7	4	-	-	-	-
15	7	7	7	7	7	5	-	-	-	-
16	7	7	7	7	7	6	3	-	-	-
17	7	7	7	7	7	7	4	-	-	-
18	7	7	7	7	7	7	5	-	-	-
19	7	7	7	7	7	7	6	3	-	-
20	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	4	-	-
21	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	5	-	-
22	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	6	3	-
23	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	4	-
24	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	5	-
25	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	6	3
26	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	4
27	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	5
28	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	6
29	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	7
30	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	7	7



Nopal & slwoyach:
What I am talking about is reigning in Full Casters rather than improving other classes to match the wizards power. Spread out the spell levels and you have a very easy way to adjust without whole sale alterations of game rules.
 
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Runestar

First Post
I would say that the fighter's problems come from a variety of reasons. That they are weaker compared to a full spellcaster is just one of those reasons. And the interesting part here is that people tend to miss the mark when they try to determine why the fighter is inferior to a spellcaster. And by nerfing spellcasters, you just end up making both classes suck and equally unfun to play.

I will give you a hint - damage is not the reason why fighters suck. So anyone claiming that wizards are overpowered because they can deal 6d6 fire damage in a 20-ft burst at 6th lv has failed to understand just why spellcasters dominate the game.

You know they will have missed the mark when their fighter revision does nothing to address their long standing weaknesses, and focuses on boosting their already strong points, such as letting them do more damage or get more hp/AC.

I could summarize everything I feel is problematic with the fighter with just one word - warblade (from tome of battle). Everything the warblade can do just serves to highlight the flaws of a fighter, most notably its lack of mobility, reliance on the full-attack action for the bulk of his damage (which ties back to the issue of mobility), the ease with which status effects can shut him down and the inability to deal with these debuffs, poor use of the action economy (stemming from a lack of swift-action abilities). Feats provide a linear-scaling (or stagnant) benefit, while spells double in power every lv on average. The list goes on.

I personally feel that the warblade fixes the fighter and makes melee fun again, by giving the player more options, making it as exciting to play as a spellcaster.

It is ironic when you realize that the fighter actually does not have issues with his damage output. This is why spellcasters are advised to stay away from direct damage spells. Why bother trying to compete with the fighter (who is capable of dishing out a limitless amount of damage) when you can complement the fighter instead (disable the foes so the fighter can whack them without fear of retaliation).
 


Eldritch_Lord

Adventurer
Personally, I can't stand most of ToB, so...you can guess I'm not really in agreement over your assessment of Warblades.

Not liking ToB doesn't imply that the highlighted problems (full-attack reliance, inability to protect himself against debuffs, etc.) aren't more problematic for the fighter than lack of straight numerical benefits.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Not liking ToB doesn't imply that the highlighted problems (full-attack reliance, inability to protect himself against debuffs, etc.) aren't more problematic for the fighter than lack of straight numerical benefits.

I didn't say they were- I'm just saying that I don't like the way the Warlord (and other ToB classes) address such things- namely the stances.

In addition, some of the Warblade's powers are just variations on Feats or are lifted from other classes.

Color me unimpressed.

Some of what is cited aren't necessarily even inherent flaws of the Fighter. Consider debuffs.

Fighters- like Warblades- have Fort as their highest save. Any Fort based debuff is going to have problems affecting or lasting against either class. Debuffs that target Will, however, are equally bad for either.

IOW, if the problem is perceived that Fighters are too easily debuffed, perhaps its because too many debuffing effects don't work against Fort (a possible metadesign issue).

If this is indeed the case, then the question may be one of design of the system as a whole: should debuff effects work only against one particular save, or should there be some (or many) instances in which the target chooses which save should apply?

OR

Perhaps save quality should be partially or entirely divorced from class, with each player deciding (via build points, level dependent benefits, feats or some other mechanic) for each PC which save is his PC's best. In this case, one Ftr might have a high Fort save (traditional), while another may have a high Ref save (a mobile warrior) and a third a high Will save (grim & determined).

The "dependency" on the full attack could be rewritten by a class specific level dependent benefit- being able to do combat "full attacks" as a standard action (and perhaps swift or free) after a certain level, perhaps. In that, it would be similar to the ToM's Shadowcaster who gains increased and eventually unlimited access to their low-level abilities.

In such a case, perhaps a high-level warrior could even do certain things like initiate a grapple as a free action- meaning that if he somehow failed to do so, he could still execute a full attack.
 
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Ilja

First Post
The problem of being too easy to subdue with debuffs could be partially tackled in a very simple way: Changing the save calculation method. Overall, I think there is too big difference between good and bad saves, especially at high levels.
Instead of giving good saves 2+(CL/2) and bad saves CL/3, you could calculate all saves by total character level/2, with +2 base save if any of the characters classes has it as a main save. So at level 10, instead of base saves 7/3/3, the fighter would have 7/5/5. At 20 he would have 12/10/10 instead of 12/6/6.
Reduces the difference between good and bad saves and solves the multiclass saves issue.
Obviously, this increases the power of one good save classes, effectively nerfing those with several good. Cleric and druid can take it I think, but ranger, bard and especially monk are already quite weak classes.

-----------------

Another way to solve it might be to make a couple of medium to high-level feats that improve save chances. This would obviously benefit fighter more than the other classes, as he has more feats to put into such things, and as said before another problem is that fighters improve linear while wizards improve exponentially. An example:

Unbending Resolve (Combat Feat)
Prerequisites: Iron Will, BaB 7+
Benefit: Whenever the character fails a saving throw against a mind-affecting spell or spell-like ability, the character may postpone the effects of said ability for up to two rounds. Should the character or monster using the ability or spell be slain during that time, the character with Unbending Resolve gets a +4 bonus on the save.

(I know the wording is kind of crappy, sorry).
 

Runestar

First Post
Some of what is cited aren't necessarily even inherent flaws of the Fighter. Consider debuffs.

It is not so much an inherent flaw per se, but more of an inability to deal with the rammifications.

True, both a fighter and a warblade are going to be equally affected when an enemy wizard catches them both in a cone of exhaustion, but at least the warblade is able to negate that on his next round with iron heart surge. Ditto for other effects such as maze which can remove you from combat altogether. And if he is able to acquire shadow jaunt, even forcecage cannot contain him.

Notice that I am deliberately using spells that do not allow saves, which will affect you all the same regardless of how high your fighter may be able to crank them.

Worst comes to worse, should the enemy be able to shut down the warblade somehow, he can still contribute meaningfully by using those white-raven maneuvers like white raven tactics to "buff" his allies. The fighter just stands there impotently like some glorified doorstop.

The warblade also has those diamond mind maneuvers that let him sub a concentration check for a save, which makes him more resilient to save-based effects. This is all the more crucial when you realize that fort and will save effects tend to be save-or-die (or worse, as is the case for domination-based spells), so you can't afford to fail even one.

Simply put, I feel that a fighter is too vulnerable to these debuffs. A warblade has the advantage here in that it is harder (though not impossible) to shut him down.

This is why I cite the warblade as being the answer to the fighter's flaws. He has a multitude of options, each of which seems designed to answer to a fighter's traditional shortcomings.

I admit that someone could probably design a new fighter class from the ground up. But I am lazy, and I personally see little need to invest so much time and effort when the answer (in the form of a warblade) is already standing right in front of me.

To add insult to injury, wotc even gave him 4+int mod skill points/lv and a vastly expanded skill list.
 

Sadrik

First Post
It is not so much an inherent flaw per se, but more of an inability to deal with the rammifications.

Simply put, I feel that a fighter is too vulnerable to these debuffs. A warblade has the advantage here in that it is harder (though not impossible) to shut him down.

First of all the Fighter is illustrated as having these problems but note that these are also problems for the Barbarian, Paladin, Ranger and Bard. It seems pretty universal.

The Fighter is getting a lot of heat in the area of full attack dependence but lets face it that is a design feature of the game. To change that is to change the game.

Countering debuffs is a joke too, what do you expect these classes to have? I agree with the common house rule that Stringburka puts forth with the altered save progression (it is in my house rules). I see this one as a no brainer because at upper levels DC for spells outstrips save bonuses by quite a large margin for single classed characters. At +1/2 level you simplify multiclassing too. But really what do you want them to do to debuff? Give them evasion, mettle or once-per-battle Concentration checks that cancel the first Will save thrown against them? No, that is not their flavor. If you want to get evasion multiclass it is easy enough.

The only argument that I have seen worth its salt, that is leveled directly at the fighter is that it is a 2 or 4 level class. This is not to say that a level 15 fighter cannot be effective but more that the fighter is suboptimal when built that way. This is two problems that the fighter has: it is very easy and effective for Full BAB characters to multi-class, and fighter abilities do not scale or get better so there is no reason to keep leveling with them.

I tackle both problems in my House rules.
First, in a round about way I keep the fighters effectiveness even after you multi-class (bonus fighter feats) by allowing you to add bonus levels similar to how "initiator levels" stack (+1/2 level). I require a feat to be spent to get that bonus but at that point fighters class features (bonus feats) stick around and become better even while advancing in another class.
Second, I remove the weapon specialization feat chain and instead make them a class feature for the fighter that scales. Any weapon you have weapon focus with also gives a damage bonus equal to 1 + 1/4 your fighter level. This gives a reason to continue to gain fighter levels and it lowers their feat tax and improves their combat effectiveness all in one fell swoop.

I have played Bo9S extensively in several campaigns and have designed several other characters out of that book. I feel it is the most broken book ever published for 3.5, it even beats out the expanded psionics handbook. I know you and many others do not feel this way but from my experience with it I do. I felt like I was cheating... Conceptually it has some neat ideas, however its implementation is way out of whack.

Now I do feel that the upper level spell effects are a bit overwhelming and that they could be in the epic range 21+ level. The fighter and all of the other classes I noted can be more combat ready for their effects at those levels.
 

Eldritch_Lord

Adventurer
First of all the Fighter is illustrated as having these problems but note that these are also problems for the Barbarian, Paladin, Ranger and Bard. It seems pretty universal.

Generally, when the debate is about "fighter vs. wizard" it means "primary martial types vs. full casters," so "fighters can't have nice things," "fighters have issues without lots of magic items," etc. includes other full BAB classes.

The Fighter is getting a lot of heat in the area of full attack dependence but lets face it that is a design feature of the game. To change that is to change the game.

Not all that much. In 1e and 2e, you could make all your attacks and still move, and only fighters (and in this case I do mean just the fighter and its subclasses) could make multiple attacks. Changing the game to require full attacks in 3e was a step backwards.

Countering debuffs is a joke too, what do you expect these classes to have? I agree with the common house rule that Stringburka puts forth with the altered save progression (it is in my house rules). I see this one as a no brainer because at upper levels DC for spells outstrips save bonuses by quite a large margin for single classed characters. At +1/2 level you simplify multiclassing too. But really what do you want them to do to debuff? Give them evasion, mettle or once-per-battle Concentration checks that cancel the first Will save thrown against them? No, that is not their flavor. If you want to get evasion multiclass it is easy enough.

Not their flavor? It used to be (again, 1e and 2e) that by the time you got past, say, 13th level, fighters made pretty much every save on a 2+. Fighters were just as much the "Puny wizard, your spells cannot stop me!" type as the "I'm going to bash your head in with a blunt object!" type. Mettle, evasion, save bonuses, and other ways to avoid/ignore debuffs are right up their alley.

The only argument that I have seen worth its salt, that is leveled directly at the fighter is that it is a 2 or 4 level class. This is not to say that a level 15 fighter cannot be effective but more that the fighter is suboptimal when built that way. This is two problems that the fighter has: it is very easy and effective for Full BAB characters to multi-class, and fighter abilities do not scale or get better so there is no reason to keep leveling with them.

I tackle both problems in my House rules.
First, in a round about way I keep the fighters effectiveness even after you multi-class (bonus fighter feats) by allowing you to add bonus levels similar to how "initiator levels" stack (+1/2 level). I require a feat to be spent to get that bonus but at that point fighters class features (bonus feats) stick around and become better even while advancing in another class.
Second, I remove the weapon specialization feat chain and instead make them a class feature for the fighter that scales. Any weapon you have weapon focus with also gives a damage bonus equal to 1 + 1/4 your fighter level. This gives a reason to continue to gain fighter levels and it lowers their feat tax and improves their combat effectiveness all in one fell swoop.

Both are good ideas; more feats are always helpful, and taking the normal Focus/Spec chain is usually worthless.

I have played Bo9S extensively in several campaigns and have designed several other characters out of that book. I feel it is the most broken book ever published for 3.5, it even beats out the expanded psionics handbook. I know you and many others do not feel this way but from my experience with it I do. I felt like I was cheating... Conceptually it has some neat ideas, however its implementation is way out of whack.

Having seen your arguments and houserules, I don't see how this is the case. Maneuvers could just as easily be feats, you let fighters gain feats via a version of IL, and so forth...yet warblades are horribly broken? Steel Wind is Cleave, but you don't have to drop an enemy for the second attack. Wolf Fang Strike is TWF, but you don't take the -2 penalty on each. The entire Setting Sun discipline is "I can do combat maneuvers against bigger foes without sucking." All of these "broken" maneuvers are basically taking the sub-par feats and making them usable.

If you consider core melee to be mostly fine and ToB and XPH (some of the most balanced books in 3e) to be broken, I don't know if any conversation about the fighter's (= core melee's) problems can have a common balance point.
 

Runestar

First Post
The Fighter is getting a lot of heat in the area of full attack dependence but lets face it that is a design feature of the game. To change that is to change the game.

More of a bug, IMO. If fighters move more than 5-ft, they are restricted to only 1 attack (unless you splash 1 lv of barb for pounce). Which severely limits their damage output. Compare this to a spellcaster, who has no problems moving, firing off an attack spell and another quickened spell each round. And he can still abrupt jaunt as an immediate action if the enemy comes too close.

The warblade improves the fighter along this line. Like a spellcaster, he can now move, initiate a boost (swift action), followed by a strike (standard action) and hold a counter (immediate action) in reserve. Or move as a swift action (quicksilver motion) followed by a full-attack (or full-round action maneuver such as time stands still).

You are able to make more meaningful use of your actions every round, which in turn makes the warblade fun and engaging to play. Not just stuck with deciding whether to move+attack or 5-ft step+full attack (which is actually more or less dictated by where your enemy is, now that you think about it).

Though I admit that with PHB2, the fighter has some options to improve his mobility, along the line of the bounding asasault feat tree (which lets you make extra attacks when you spring-attack) and slashing flurry (between them, you can move and still make up to 4 attacks, albeit at a -5 to-hit penalty). Still, this benefits only the fighter and is extremely feat intensive to acquire, so the other melee classes are still left in the cold.

Second, I remove the weapon specialization feat chain and instead make them a class feature for the fighter that scales.

I am not sure of the impact of this feature, given that the more effective fighter builds (most notably chain-trippers) don't even bother taking the weapon-spec feat tree. I guess I won't mind it as a free feature, but it really won't do anything to improve the fighter, IMO.
 

Sadrik

First Post
More of a bug, IMO. If fighters move more than 5-ft, they are restricted to only 1 attack
So what are the ramifications of simply adding in the ability of making full attacks as a standard action? Tell me.


I am not sure of the impact of this feature, given that the more effective fighter builds (most notably chain-trippers) don't even bother taking the weapon-spec feat tree. I guess I won't mind it as a free feature, but it really won't do anything to improve the fighter, IMO.
Agreed, it is not much but the specialization chain is simply no good because it costs a crap load of feats, feats that could have been spent elsewhere on improved trip or combat reflexes. So, I think that something like this is the right direction, it scales and that could keep them in the class for longer and most importantly it keeps the class within core flavor.

If you consider core melee to be mostly fine and ToB and XPH (some of the most balanced books in 3e) to be broken, I don't know if any conversation about the fighter's (= core melee's) problems can have a common balance point.
Agreed, we have different expectations from the system and I think that we will not be able to see eye to eye on how Bo9S and XPH balance unto the core system. I see them on one end of the spectrum and yourself the other.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Not that this is without value, but could we get back to discussing ways to work the perceived imbalance issue from the spellcasting side?
 

Runestar

First Post
So what are the ramifications of simply adding in the ability of making full attacks as a standard action? Tell me.

Make the fighter's damage output more consistent and superior to that of the warblade's? Considering that with standard action strikes, you are actually doing less damage than a full attack, since weapon-specific properties such as str mod, enhancement damage bonus, power attack and other misc pluses are applied only once. Of course, dr applies only once for a warblade...:p

It is already theoretically possible to full attack as a standard action (MIC has this pair of boots which lets you charge as a standard action, barb1 lets you pounce when you charge, put the 2 together...). But I haven't personally tried out this combo, so I can't say for sure if it is as game-breaking as it sounds.

Of course, the key advantage of maneuvers here is that it is typically faster to resolve, since only 1 attack/damage roll is required, as compared to a fighter's full attack, which involves 5+ attack/damage rolls.:D

I dunno...I just find the overall concepts of maneuvers fairly elegant. Care to elaborate on why you detest ToB so much, Sadrik? I am not criticizing your choice (in a negative sense), but I would like to know more of your experiences with it.:)
 

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