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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


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I can't remake my 3rd-level fighter character exactly here, since she's a Kalashtar Psi Knight. But I know, based on her background, that she'd have have the following:

Fighting Style: Great Weapon Fighting, because she's a greatsword-wielding tank.

Exploration Knack: Nightwatch, because she's ex-military.

Steely Mien: Dangerous Aura. She's a mama-bear--do not mess with her kids (she has two adopted teenage children, who are other PCs). Or anyone else she's decided to take under her wing. (I had originally made her when Kalashtar were only out in a UA, so she originally was going to get expertise in Intimidate; sadly, they removed that in the final version.)

Combat Tradition: This one's a toughie, since there are a couple that fit her, but I'll go with Razor's Edge.

Exertion Points: 4.

Maneuvers: Dangerous Strikes, Disciplined Combat Stance, Iron Will. She will cut you in half, she was a good enough soldier she got several promotions and commendations, and she has honed her people's naturally strong psyches.

And that's her to a T!

Now I can't wait for you to put out the Rogues and Warlock playtests, so I can do my other characters.

I agree with the folks who say that fighters should get either a skill or tool. After the war, my character opened a bar. She clearly needs the Brewer's tools.
 

Stacie GmrGrl

Adventurer
This is very cool stuff. Evocative and flavorful.

Why are there still Martial Archetypes? With everything else added to the class why not just take all the sub class archetypes abilities and let players pick those abilities at those particular levels too?
 


clsawyer0328

Villager
The Base Class is fine, much like in 5e. I wish the Saving Throws were STR, DEX as I think that plays fairer to DEX Fighters, and I would like to see them have even 1 Tool Proficiency.

I do think that there are WAY too many choices at 1st Level. I like the idea of players having a ton of choices they can make, but three at 1st Level is gonna be a hard sell for newbies. I don't mean people with no TTRPG experience either, I mean everyone. Also, Fighting Styles are still not well balanced, and that bothers me, perhaps more than it should.

I do like the idea of including manuvers in the base class, but I don't know if we need all these different ones! You're turning a Fighter into a Caster with the amount of bookkeeping, and that's not a great idea for the Fighter. Altho, maybe that's just the niche you're going for? I think the list could do with some refinement to cut them down to some more general options which could then be divided by Level/"Degree". I also don't like the idea that the Degrees scale at the same rate as half-caster Spell Slots but at 1 Level sooner. Just seems really off to me.

Steely Mien is cool, but the choices don't all seem to be balanced. Similar feelings towards Martial Lore and Reputation.

Exploration Knacks are also cool, and I like them a lot. I do wish they were introduced at a later Level tho. Too many choices per Level is still worse design imo; there's a reason why WoTC didn't do that.

Also, with the two paragraphs above, and the Manuvers being divided up into playstyles, I don't really see a reason for Archetypes. Heck, I feel that I can play any Fighter I can envision without them already; I say get rid of them and move some of the choices to those Levels.

Minor Dis/Advantage is a HORRENDOUS idea. The Advantage system is one of the best innovations in the entire hobby BECAUSE it simplified these things; complicating it defeats the purpose. Doubly so when you have some features that seem to be virutally the same other than the fact one has Minor and the other Major Dis/Advantage. It needs to be scrapped entirely.

Also, don't penalize people for trying to do cool things! For example, Heavy Swing. I'm already paying an Exertion Point and using my Reaction to Cleave; why do I need to possibly miss because of Minor Disadvantage? Doubleshot: I'm using my Bonus Action and paying an Exertion Point and an extra piece of ammo. Raking Strike: same thing, but with Major Disadvantage. Heck, even Knockdown Assault has a qualifier which can completely invalidate the point of spending the Exertion. This is just bad design.

Final Thoughts. I want to like this. There's a lot here that's interesting. Right now, it's interesting, but not good. Some problems are minor, others are Minor... major lol.
 


Guy Icognito

Villager
Insulting other members
looks like the fighter is going down the 4th Ed and Pathfinder 2nd ed route of forced complexity rather than chosen complexity

seems like a dick move to design the fighter for all the people saying "fighter sux!" rather than the people saying "fighter rules!"
specially as fighter is the most popular class according the dndbeyond by a goodly margin. Followed by the equally simple rogue
 



Corrosive

Adventurer
looks like the fighter is going down the 4th Ed and Pathfinder 2nd ed route of forced complexity rather than chosen complexity

seems like a dick move to design the fighter for all the people saying "fighter sux!" rather than the people saying "fighter rules!"
specially as fighter is the most popular class according the dndbeyond by a goodly margin. Followed by the equally simple rogue
If you're not interested in a more complex version of 5E why are you posting in a subforum about the playtests for a more complex version of 5E? It's literally the design goal.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Steely Mien? Anyone wearing a full helm is going to claim this.
Despite the name, the wording of Closed Helm doesn't indicate that any helm is being worn. It's that the face is an unreadable mask.

Every poker player is going to want to be a Fighter now. :p
 

Why are there still Martial Archetypes? With everything else added to the class why not just take all the sub class archetypes abilities and let players pick those abilities at those particular levels too?

Well, most of the archetypes are basically specializations that go beyond mere fighting ability. I think that the fighter class described in this doc kind of replaces both the Champion and the Battlemaster, but it doesn't replace the magic of the Eldritch Knight, Arcane Archer, or Echo Knight, the courtly ties of the Samurai and Purple Dragon Knight/Banneret, or the mounted combat of the Cavalier. I think the specializations are important for both flavor and to discourage minmaxers.

(Also, this is supposed to be backwards compatible; this is 5.5e, not 6e, so they can't just dump the archetypes.)
 




Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I really, really, dislike Minor Advantage / Disadvantage. KISS applies. Get rid of them, bury them, and never mention them again. Damnatio memoriae.
Survey will be out in a couple of days. If everybody agrees with you, we’ll likely change it. We hope people will try it first.
 

I decided to poll my friends re the minor (dis)ads, and the two who've responded don't really like it. One, however, suggested just adding or subtracting a dX from the roll instead. That particular mechanic is used already (bless, dragonmarked houses, etc.) and would be pretty useful. And perhaps then (if you wanted to get grainy) you can have different levels of minor (dis)ad: d4, d6, or d8.

When the survey comes out, I'll recommend that.
 


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