D&D (2024) Monks Are Not Tanks And Shouldn’t Be

Chaosmancer

Legend
No, they can't. 3e Fighter bonus feats are specifically limited to ones that make them better at fighting. I mean, they could use their regular feats for the other stuff, but not the fighter bonus feats.

Well OK, they can be used to get better at riding horses, but only in the context of mounted combat.

Sorry, I'm not super familiar with 3.5, and my books are in storage. Are we saying that the Fighter feats were a curated list that the players had to choose from? It just said "bonus feat" on the Wiki.

And if they are all just a curated, fighter-only list of abilities.... why are they feats?

It means that with the same starting resources, a paladin that's any good at paladinning will be less good at fighting, because the paladin stuff costs resources that could otherwise be used for fighting.

I suppose if Fighters are restricted to only taking feats that make their numbers better, this could be true in 3.5

Is it true in 5e? No.

They have to take those feats. I mean, they could do dumb stuff like taking widely disparate feats that don't synergize with one another or with their stats, but we usually assume that people don't actively aim for their feet when shooting.

I've often been tempted, in certain games, to take abilities that make a thing I am bad at, less bad. And a few times, I have been told "no, this makes you worse, because the game assumes you must take the abilities that make you better at what you are good at"

It does not help to assume everyone will play "the right way" because they may interpret the information differently than an expert does.
 

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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Sorry, I'm not super familiar with 3.5, and my books are in storage. Are we saying that the Fighter feats were a curated list that the players had to choose from? It just said "bonus feat" on the Wiki.

And if they are all just a curated, fighter-only list of abilities.... why are they feats?
It's all martial combat feats.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Fighter and wizard got bonus feats (along with a smaller number for some PrCs iirc). The vast majority of combat and caster feats had a little blurb reading "
Special: A fighter may select Shock Trooper as one of his fighter bonus feats" with the wizard bonus feats swapping fighter for wizard. Noncombat and more niche feats (ie there were some monstrous and draconic sorcerer targeted feats) tended to not be in either bonus feat pools. They could still take them with a standard feat slot (every 3 levels iirc) but not a bonus feat slot awarded in place of class abilities (almost every level for fighters, wizard was every 5 For bonus feats iirc).

A fighter could take shock trooper as a bonus feat but not a wizard, then vice versa for a metamagic or (most/all?) crafting feats but neither could take skill focus unless they waited for a general feat slot.
 


Staffan

Legend
Sorry, I'm not super familiar with 3.5, and my books are in storage. Are we saying that the Fighter feats were a curated list that the players had to choose from? It just said "bonus feat" on the Wiki.

And if they are all just a curated, fighter-only list of abilities.... why are they feats?
Most of them are available to anyone (with a small number of exceptions like Weapon specialization, Greater Weapon Focus, and Greater Weapon Specialization specifically requiring you to be a 4th/8th/12th level fighter). Fighters get more of them, from this specific list of feats that make you better at fighting.
I suppose if Fighters are restricted to only taking feats that make their numbers better, this could be true in 3.5
Their bonus feats are restricted to feats that make them better at fighting. This is not strictly limited to "Bigger numbers" but sometimes unlock special moves. For example, the Cleave feat triggers an extra attack once per round if you drop an enemy to 0 hp, but you have to use it against someone next to that enemy.
I've often been tempted, in certain games, to take abilities that make a thing I am bad at, less bad. And a few times, I have been told "no, this makes you worse, because the game assumes you must take the abilities that make you better at what you are good at"

It does not help to assume everyone will play "the right way" because they may interpret the information differently than an expert does.
When given a bunch of extra option points of some sort because your class is supposed to be good at a certain type of thing, it's probably a good idea to spend them on that sort of thing. In addition, D&D in particular is a game that rewards specialization. You can only do one thing at a time, so you might as well be good at that thing. There's some value in versatility, particularly defensively, but offensively specialization is the name of the game.

That said, 3e was to a certain degree infamous for the number of "trap" options in the system. To some degree these options were primarily intended for NPCs (which were mostly built using PC rules, instead of the ad-hoc creature building rules 5e uses), but they were there for PCs too. For example, in most campaigns Cleave would see more use than Deceitful (+2 to Disguise and Forgery), but Deceitful and the more generic Skill Focus explain why a 2nd-level NPC forger can have a Forgery bonus of +13 when the 4th level rogue PC only has +8 (because the NPC has Deceitful, Skill Focus, Masterwork tools, and a higher Int).
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
The sheer volume of bonus feats fighters got can't be excluded from the attempts at fighter pity. Everyone got a feat at 1+ 3/6/9/12/15/18 (fighters included). In addition fighter got a bonus feat at 1* 2/4/6/8/10/12/14/16/20. A level 20 paladin would have seven feats while a level 20fighter would have seven-teen feats. That's not a small gap for the paladin

*yes that is in addition to the earlier mentioned level 1 feat everyone got
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Most of them are available to anyone (with a small number of exceptions like Weapon specialization, Greater Weapon Focus, and Greater Weapon Specialization specifically requiring you to be a 4th/8th/12th level fighter). Fighters get more of them, from this specific list of feats that make you better at fighting.

Their bonus feats are restricted to feats that make them better at fighting. This is not strictly limited to "Bigger numbers" but sometimes unlock special moves. For example, the Cleave feat triggers an extra attack once per round if you drop an enemy to 0 hp, but you have to use it against someone next to that enemy.

Okay, so this leads back to the two questions.

1) Why are these fighter exclusive feats.... feats? Why aren't they just class features?

2) Even with the curated list, how do you justify saying all fighters are better in combat than paladins, if the fighter might take non-combat feats for their normal feats, and rely on their bonus feats for additional features? Are they not then... the same?

When given a bunch of extra option points of some sort because your class is supposed to be good at a certain type of thing, it's probably a good idea to spend them on that sort of thing. In addition, D&D in particular is a game that rewards specialization. You can only do one thing at a time, so you might as well be good at that thing. There's some value in versatility, particularly defensively, but offensively specialization is the name of the game.

That said, 3e was to a certain degree infamous for the number of "trap" options in the system. To some degree these options were primarily intended for NPCs (which were mostly built using PC rules, instead of the ad-hoc creature building rules 5e uses), but they were there for PCs too. For example, in most campaigns Cleave would see more use than Deceitful (+2 to Disguise and Forgery), but Deceitful and the more generic Skill Focus explain why a 2nd-level NPC forger can have a Forgery bonus of +13 when the 4th level rogue PC only has +8 (because the NPC has Deceitful, Skill Focus, Masterwork tools, and a higher Int).

Right, and this is a very important note in Fighter design. We keep designing fighters to take feats, then acting as though everyone will do the thing we expect, instead of looking at feats as options. I understand the idea behind 3.X's design, to include NPCs, and I'm glad we've moved away from it, but it is more accurate to talk about optimization in this context than it is general trends.

After all, it may make sense to you, as an expeirenced person, to focus specialization, to stack them on a single weapon choice and playstyle. But another person might split them between defense, melee offense, and ranged offense, not realizing how the math of the game will punish them for that.
 

Staffan

Legend
Okay, so this leads back to the two questions.

1) Why are these fighter exclusive feats.... feats? Why aren't they just class features?
First, because some fighters might choose to focus differently. They might think that Great Cleave (like Cleave, but without the 1/round restriction) is better than Weapon Specialization. There is something to be said for not putting all your eggs in one basket hilt, particularly in 3.5e where it was pretty common for monsters to have damage resistance you needed a particular material or damage type to overcome. So it might be a good idea to have both a cold iron battleaxe and an alchemical silver warhammer, but you might not want to spend the feats to specialize in both. Being the Swiss Army Fighter who always has the right tool for the job can be fun.

Second, because the Greater versions were a patch. The 3.0 PHB did not have Greater Weapon Focus and Greater Weapon Specialization, just Weapon Focus (which wasn't fighter-exclusive) and Weapon Specialization. I don't remember if they were added in a 3.0 splatbook or if they were new in the 3.5e PHB.

2) Even with the curated list, how do you justify saying all fighters are better in combat than paladins, if the fighter might take non-combat feats for their normal feats, and rely on their bonus feats for additional features? Are they not then... the same?
The fighter has a number of open feat options (the ones everyone get, at level 1 and every level divisible by 3) plus a slightly larger number of feats (level 1 plus every even level) that have to be combat-relevant. The paladin has the same number of general feats plus a bunch of class features that generally don't make them better at fighting, and is additionally hampered by needing to put resources into increasing two stats that don't do anything particular for fighters.

Now, can you make a fighter who chooses to spend their options on not fighting? Yes. Is that likely? No. Is someone who does that likely to be overly concerned with the balance between a fighter and a paladin? No, and if they are they only have themselves to blame.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
First, because some fighters might choose to focus differently. They might think that Great Cleave (like Cleave, but without the 1/round restriction) is better than Weapon Specialization. There is something to be said for not putting all your eggs in one basket hilt, particularly in 3.5e where it was pretty common for monsters to have damage resistance you needed a particular material or damage type to overcome. So it might be a good idea to have both a cold iron battleaxe and an alchemical silver warhammer, but you might not want to spend the feats to specialize in both. Being the Swiss Army Fighter who always has the right tool for the job can be fun.

Second, because the Greater versions were a patch. The 3.0 PHB did not have Greater Weapon Focus and Greater Weapon Specialization, just Weapon Focus (which wasn't fighter-exclusive) and Weapon Specialization. I don't remember if they were added in a 3.0 splatbook or if they were new in the 3.5e PHB.


The fighter has a number of open feat options (the ones everyone get, at level 1 and every level divisible by 3) plus a slightly larger number of feats (level 1 plus every even level) that have to be combat-relevant. The paladin has the same number of general feats plus a bunch of class features that generally don't make them better at fighting, and is additionally hampered by needing to put resources into increasing two stats that don't do anything particular for fighters.

Now, can you make a fighter who chooses to spend their options on not fighting? Yes. Is that likely? No. Is someone who does that likely to be overly concerned with the balance between a fighter and a paladin? No, and if they are they only have themselves to blame.
Also feats with the special can be taken as x bonus feat were not generally x exclusive. Anyone could take it as a general feat (and often did for some feats), but all of those opportunities to take extra bonus feat choices really added up. Fighter was solid enough in 3.x that is was almost a standard component in a huge percentage of multiclass CharOp builds for at least a few levels. Taking a few levels of a base class before jumping off to some PrC wasn't fighter specific either, that was the norm for the edition for a lot of PCs
 

Staffan

Legend
Also feats with the special can be taken as x bonus feat were not generally x exclusive. Anyone could take it as a general feat (and often did for some feats), but all of those opportunities to take extra bonus feat choices really added up. Fighter was solid enough in 3.x that is was almost a standard component in a huge percentage of multiclass CharOp builds for at least a few levels. Taking a few levels of a base class before jumping off to some PrC wasn't fighter specific either, that was the norm for the edition for a lot of PCs
Yeah, the fighter was pretty solid for 5-6 levels or so. But after that, the shallowness of the feat chains started showing itself. For example, let's look at a fighter making the fairly obvious choices for a greatsword build:
1: Weapon Focus (greatsword), Power Attack.
2: Cleave.
3: Dodge
4: Weapon Specialization (greatsword)
6: Great Cleave... and one more.

At level 6, that feat chain is done. It doesn't get any cleavier than that. Sure, there are other feats you can take, like Improved Overrun or Improved Bull Rush, or maybe feats working off Dodge like Mobility... but those are feats you could in theory have taken at level 1. Meanwhile, the wizard is upgrading from scorching ray to fireball. So, for the fighter getting a prestige class of some sort seems like a pretty juicy alternative to sticking with being a fighter.
 

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