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Playtest (A5E) Level Up Playtest Document #2: Fighter

Welcome to the second Level Up playtest document. This playtest contains a candidate for the first 10 levels of game’s fighter class, and our new combat maneuvers system.

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This playtest document begins to address three issues which you said were important in the survey we posted last month:
  • Meaningful character choices at each advancement level
  • A fully fleshed out exploration pillar*
  • A range of martial maneuvers to give non-spellcasters more options in combat
*Exploration knacks, as introduced in this playtest document, only form part of the exploration pillar.

Download the playtest document

What this is
This is a playtest document. We’d love you to try out the rules presented here, and then answer the follow-up survey in a few days.

What this is not
This is NOT the final game. It’s OK if you don’t like elements of these rules; that’s the purpose of a playtest document. Be sure to participate in the follow-up survey in a few days. All data, positive or negative is useful.

What we use this for
Your survey responses help form the direction of the game as it goes through the development process.

Don’t forget!
Sign up for the mailing list for notifications of playtests, surveys, and news, and to make sure you get notified on Kickstarter when the project launches in 2021.

Continue reading...
 
Last edited:
Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Currently, the Fighter proficiencies are:
• Simple weapons: all
• Martial weapons: all
• Tools: none

Even in concept, I would expect a Fighter to be an excellent tool user: making or repairing their armor or sword, applying an herbalist kit, or even being good at making beer! (Actually, a practical skill to help boost the morale of comrades.)

I would rather see the Fighter be something like:
• You gain 8 proficiencies of your choice from any weapons, tools, or skills.

The choice of tools also improves the Fighter competence in noncombat challenges.

Also, the choice of weapons and tools is flavor, and the assemblage helps concretize a concept.
 

Stalker0

Legend
I'll post my gritty review later on, but I did my first read through (detailed read thought with only a cursury look through the manuevers).

My initial reaction...a lot to like here. My thoughts:

1) Exploration Knacks are both cool but also unobtrusive. I am liking this devision of abilities that are generally more combat useful but can only be done 1/rest, vs abilities that are generally weaker but are always on...that's a balance point that keeps things interesting. Sure adding proficiency to my strength checks (for grapples and the like) is the most generally useful ability...but I can be good at climbing ALL THE TIME. That's a tough choice, a good choice.

2) Steely Mein is nice. The three chosen archetypes I think any fighter has had come up, and wishes they were better at. Again, subtle and unobtrusive, but still useful.

3) Martial Lore is a bit tooo fluffy to me. While I can see Steely Mein coming up more often, some of the martial lores here seem a bit more vague.

4) Reputation: I think there is a power difference in the ones presented, but I'll save that for nitty gritty. However, again I like what you are going for....something flavorful and cool that a player and DM can "latch on to", to make a high level fighter interesting.

5) Minor Advantage: This one is one of the biggest ones to see in actual playtest. My initial gut reaction is I don't like the extra die rolling, and I don't like that players have to be looking at their natural die rolls more than they already do. But it does open up some design space, and since this is designed for crunchier players might be ok. I at least want to see this in play.

6) Combat Traditions: I understand what you are going for here, this both organizes the abilities into themes, and provides some power restriction (ensuring I don't cherry pick from every area). But I immediately disliked this. First, the names are way too Bo9S.....and some people don't want asian sounding schools for their martial maneuvers.

It also organizes things in a way I hate....the same is if spells were organized by school. It might help on my first run through, but any time after I'm going to reference the list I'm going to go (okay Charge I need to look that up....that's C of course...oh wait what tradition is that under again?)

Literally my first reaction on the read through was (I hope these die in a fire).

7) Maneuvers: Mainly cover this in my nitty gritty review. Just one that stood out immediately, the Charge maneuver does nothing...in fact it actually hurts the fighter. A fighter can already move 30 feet and make all of their attacks.

That said, I like the variety of maneuver types, stances, bonus actions, some consuming 1 or more attacks....opening up a lot of design space but in ways that I think make intuitive sense.

8) Exertion: Good name, it immediately feels "martial". I like the amount of exertion, that fighters get some bonus.... very solid. I don't like the regaining exertion by spending hitdie....on the surface its makes complete sense, and it offers the "breather" option. But this means that fighters are going to be blowing their healing for "manuevers".... like a lot. Like....who wouldn't do that?

I learned this lesson a long time ago in some other boardgame designs I worked on....never give the option for a player to sacrifice defense "points" for awesomeness "points". Either a player will blow all of their points on awesome....and then feel crappy when they die because of its lack, or they will be constantly paranoid about how much to spend, or they get annoyed that the cleric won't heal them more to let them get back their manuevers. I would divorce the concept.... either allow some recovery of Exertion with "breathers" or just drop it...but don't mix it with hitdie spends.
 

ThatGuySteve

Explorer
Will archetypes be as per players handbook or are they getting a rewrite too? Would be nice to see an example archetype along with the class for a fuller picture.

Overall, love what you've done. Knacks are a nice addition and Maneuvers are what I'd hoped for. Interesting choices to make (except at 7th level, unless new archetypes also have options), with lots of flavour for the non - combat stuff.
 

Horwath

Hero
Will there be an options for classes also to trade-in heavier armor proficiencies?

Some Regions/cultures might not have/use heavy armor or medium even.

I don't see wood elf fighter having many use for heavy armor.

trading armor proficiencies one-on-one basis for extra class skill seems fair, maybe shields for tool only.
 


Sacrosanct

Legend
I apologize if this was mentioned in another thread; I haven't been reading all of the leveup threads, but I seem to recall that it was a requirement that the advanced version be compatible with the existing version and they could be side by side. Did that go away? It seems like the A5e fighter has several additional abilities that the regular 5e fighter does not, making them significantly better in pretty much every way.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
General overview, still need to dig through the maneuvers.

1) Overall beginning class features. No problems. As someone else, I think 1 tool would be warranted. Everything else fits (since it mirrors 5e, this makes sense.)

2) Non-combat features. Love, love, love. Steely mien is a standout to me, both options exude cool. Martial Lore, Reputation and Knacks are all good, some I like better than others, but nothing jumps out as too strong or too weak.

3) Manuevers. Love the names of the schools. Was a little confused about the words under the schools, at first I thought they were keywords, not adjectives. My only critique is that I don't like how the exertion points scale in two different manners, once from proficiency bonus and also from the Reserves class features. If the points need to scale in a non-linear manner, I'd rather see that as another column in the class description.

4) Extra Attack. Honestly, I was kind of hoping that Extra Attack at 11th and 20th would go away, in exchange for stronger maneuvers. I think it makes balance easier to achieve with some legacy 5e feats.
 

I apologize if this was mentioned in another thread; I haven't been reading all of the leveup threads, but I seem to recall that it was a requirement that the advanced version be compatible with the existing version and they could be side by side. Did that go away? It seems like the A5e fighter has several additional abilities that the regular 5e fighter does not, making them significantly better in pretty much every way.

Skimming through most of it and reading some parts rather close I too wondered about the backwards compatibility to the point I went back and re-read the first level up description, and they weren't lying that its a crunchier 5E.

22 pages for 10 levels of 1 class seems a bit long. I'm sure this has to do with it being a playtest pdf and not formatted for the actual book. Parts just seemed overly wordy to me.
 


RSIxidor

Adventurer
Like last time, I'm curious how far you can break from the 5E norms. I was hoping we wouldn't see any archetype choices past level 1. For most classes, they are so defining for the character build that I've always hated them being level 2 or 3 for some classes. It's more of a small complaint than a real issue, though.

Protection fighting style is still meh. TWF is still going to be the same as it was, I take it, based on the fighting style not changing? Also meh, IMO.

Manuevers being core to the Fighter class is +++

Burst of Strength could use an exertion option, maybe? Maybe just the option to use it if you've used it already since your last rest? Kind of like the sorcery point stuff we saw in some of the UA articles.

Minor advantage/disadvantage is weird, I don't care for it. Advantage as presented in 5E is plain and simple, this just seems like unnecessary extra steps.

EDIT: Exploration Knacks are a great idea. I feel like I mostly focused on negative above, but I actually am mostly thinking positively about this vision of the fighter as someone who actually does things other than hurt the enemy.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
I am curious how to adjudicate a case where the character has both advantage AND minor disadvantage (and vice versa).
 



Undrave

Hero
IK really wish you would come up with new Fighting styles. I feel like every keyword on the Weapons table should have a Fighting style attached to it. There should even be one that key off 'simple weapons'.

3) Manuevers. Love the names of the schools. Was a little confused about the words under the schools, at first I thought they were keywords, not adjectives. My only critique is that I don't like how the exertion points scale in two different manners, once from proficiency bonus and also from the Reserves class features. If the points need to scale in a non-linear manner, I'd rather see that as another column in the class description.

22 pages for 10 levels of 1 class seems a bit long. I'm sure this has to do with it being a playtest pdf and not formatted for the actual book. Parts just seemed overly wordy to me.

I'm guessing that other Martial and Martial-adjacent classes will have Exertion Points and access to maneuvers. The Fighter gets bonus Exertion as class features, taking the place of other features a Paladin or Ranger might get, while the others will just scale on their proficiency bonus.

And the playlets is long because the Maneuver section is basically the equivalent of a Spell section.
 



Mike Myler

Advanced Fifth Edition: https://www.levelup5e.com/
Just one that stood out immediately, the Charge maneuver does nothing...in fact it actually hurts the fighter. A fighter can already move 30 feet and make all of their attacks.

A fighter can use their movement, then make an attack. Charge lets a fighter use their movement, then move 30 feet, and make an attack.
What action are you thinking of that lets you move 30 feet and make an attack as part of the same action?
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
IK really wish you would come up with new Fighting styles. I feel like every keyword on the Weapons table should have a Fighting style attached to it. There should even be one that key off 'simple weapons'.
I was thinking it would be cool if each of those descriptive words under the style names (Distance, Flowing, Legion, etc) had one maneuver per level, and you could build your own Fighting Style by combining any 3.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
A fighter can use their movement, then make an attack. Charge lets a fighter use their movement, then move 30 feet, and make an attack.
What action are you thinking of that lets you move 30 feet and make an attack as part of the same action?
Fairly technical question; I know techniques can be used as attack replacements during an Attack option, which makes sense. Do maneuvers that count as "Actions" also count as the Attack action for purposes of abilities that require an Attack option? (I'm thinking specifically of two weapon fighting, or feats like Shield Master.)
 

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