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5E New(?) Fighting Style: Tactical

bedir than

Registered User
There are other features that allow you to add INT to Initiative, but I suppose for Fighters this would be a great boon if you favor frontloading your nova abilities. Otherwise, as a pet peeve of mine, I have never valued Initiative highly since after the initial action, it is just a "I go, you go, I go, you go" thing... so I would rather see something you will benefit from every round, not just the first.
That's why the Tactical Style allows you to shift your place in the order
 

Pauln6

Explorer
How about applying intelligence to AC at the cost of a bonus action. You could cap the bonus at your proficiency bonus. You can use your action to do the same for an ally that can see or hear you. If you have multiple attacks you can use one of these.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
That's why the Tactical Style allows you to shift your place in the order
But once it is shifted, there is no benefit, unless you roll initiative every round (we used to, but decided to stop because of speed of play). Or maybe I am misunderstanding you? How about an example:

Round 1:
21 A
18 B
14 C
12 D
5 E

But D has the Tactical Style and INT 16, allowing a +3 to Initiative, so the order becomes

21 A
18 B
15 D
14 C
5 E

placing D before C.

Using the same initiative for each round (default in 5E), once applied the order remains for the rest of the encounter.

This gets back to my point about initiative in 5E. Supposing C was the enemy forces, once ABD all go, C goes, then E followed by ABD, then C. Repeats EABD, C, EABD, C, and so on. Everyone in the party goes (EABD) and then the DM (C). The repetitive cycle makes it so modifying initiative is only a benefit to D on the very first turn, after that, it really doesn't matter. Also, if D's bonus wasn't enough to bring it above C, it wouldn't benefit at all.

Do you see my point?

How about applying intelligence to AC at the cost of a bonus action. You could cap the bonus at your proficiency bonus. You can use your action to do the same for an ally that can see or hear you. If you have multiple attacks you can use one of these.
Not bad either, but I am focused more on using INT for attacking, preferably on the attack roll itself. However as others have pointed out, most combatants, if they lack high STR, tend to have high DEX, and will simply use DEX-based weapons.

However, your idea could work somehow as a feat as well.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
I'm on record here as being decidedly anti-simulationist, but if stepping away entirely from the game balance aspect, this is absolutely true. I wonder what would happen if you just got rid of the finesse property and had DEX governing to-hit for all weapons, and STR affecting damage for all weapons except crossbows (and you got rid of the crossbow expert feat). A lot more rogues would use crossbows, I guess, though they don't care all that much about their static damage bonus after a point. But I kind of like the strategic tradeoffs inherent in having to decide whether your character is going to to hit harder or more often.
For a fantasy heartbreaker I designed I did it like this. But the goal there was fewer total ability scores, and all are important to all characters.

For D&D, it could work but would requires some thought - but the first order repercussions would be:
  • All weapon wields become a lot more MAD. A front liners would want DEX, CON, and STR plus whatever their class wants like CHR for a paladin or WIS for ranger. Without either an offsetting buff, or a matching debuff for casters, this messes with class balance.
  • Make DEX even more valuable.
  • Make STR even less valuable. It's a "nice to have" except for heavy armor wearers.
  • Need to evaluate some existing features & feats (Reckless Attack needs rework, Elven Accuracy gets a big power boost and may need to be pulled back, etc.)
  • You have things "backwards" like two handed weapons do better mathematically with more DEX (hit to apply that high base damage) while two weapon fighting with light weapons wants a higher STR because the bonus is a much bigger percentage to the total damage.
  • Hurts the narrative that AC is armor and plating and thick hides that needs to be pierced, which may make armor granting AC a bit odd.
 

bedir than

Registered User
[MENTION=6987520]dnd4vr[/MENTION]

I'm saying my concept of Tactical Style would allow a Held Action in every round. This would represent the ability to analyze the action in battle and respond. Essentially they would choose their place in initiative each round.
 

Mrodron

Villager
Replacing a physical stat with a mental one makes the already abstract ability scores and the already abstract game mechanics even more abstract. This can cause disassociation between the game mechanics and the imagined fantasy world.
 

Arvok

Villager
My 2 cents:

There are a bunch of people posting their opinions of how or why this idea will or won't work. Unless you've been absolutely convinced one way or the other, give it a try. Let one of your experienced players test it out with the understanding that if it fails to be fun and/or balanced, he'll need to re-work his character. Then, come back and tell us how it worked for you. 5e rules seem (to me) to really stress that the DM is free to modify/ignore/abandon rules as he sees fit so his players have fun. Maybe it will be a colossal failure, or maybe it will be great. Even if it is a spectacular success for you, it doesn't mean it will work for everybody.

Give it a try and have fun:cool:.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
@dnd4vr

I'm saying my concept of Tactical Style would allow a Held Action in every round. This would represent the ability to analyze the action in battle and respond. Essentially they would choose their place in initiative each round.
Ah, got it. Hmm... that sounds interesting but doesn't fit the feel of a Fighting Style by the other mechanical benefits they offer. I have to work on that really.

My 2 cents:

There are a bunch of people posting their opinions of how or why this idea will or won't work. Unless you've been absolutely convinced one way or the other, give it a try. Let one of your experienced players test it out with the understanding that if it fails to be fun and/or balanced, he'll need to re-work his character. Then, come back and tell us how it worked for you. 5e rules seem (to me) to really stress that the DM is free to modify/ignore/abandon rules as he sees fit so his players have fun. Maybe it will be a colossal failure, or maybe it will be great. Even if it is a spectacular success for you, it doesn't mean it will work for everybody.

Give it a try and have fun:cool:.
LOL that's ok that they are giving opinions, I want them (doesn't mean I'll listen of course, I can be stubborn at times. ;) )

I'll present it to the other players and get their input, I am just trying to find a way to really make INT a viable option for fighting-classes, and Fighting Styles seemed to be a good way to fit it in. We'll see.
 

Esker

Explorer
For D&D, it could work but would requires some thought - but the first order repercussions would be:
  • All weapon wields become a lot more MAD. A front liners would want DEX, CON, and STR plus whatever their class wants like CHR for a paladin or WIS for ranger. Without either an offsetting buff, or a matching debuff for casters, this messes with class balance.
They would be more MAD, but the impact of each stat would be reduced, so you could build an accurate character, a hard hitting character, or somewhere in between. Everyone would do less damage on average though so you'd probably want to do some HP scaling.

  • Make DEX even more valuable.

  • Make STR even less valuable. It's a "nice to have" except for heavy armor wearers.
I think on balance that's probably true, but for normal weapon attacks against most typical ACs, an extra point to damage has a slightly bigger impact on average damage than an extra point to accuracy. So for ranged characters with extra attack, they might actually choose to prioritize STR over DEX (SS aside, which definitely shifts things in favor of accuracy boosts; that's a whole other can of worms). I could imagine adding strength requirements to use heavy weapons.

  • Need to evaluate some existing features & feats (Reckless Attack needs rework, Elven Accuracy gets a big power boost and may need to be pulled back, etc.)
Yeah. Quite a lot of things would need reworking after a change as sweeping as this one. Elven accuracy could be restricted to certain classes of weapons instead of certain classes of ability score. If elven accuracy excluded two-handed melee weapons and reckless attack excluded ranged weapons (as it does now), then the only weapons that could benefit from both would be one-handed melee weapons, for which there's no -5/+10 feat to abuse the superadvantage. I could also see replacing the advantage benefit of reckless attack with an extra bonus to-hit equal to your strength mod, so it no longer interacts at all with elven accuracy (which it feels like it shouldn't anyway).

  • You have things "backwards" like two handed weapons do better mathematically with more DEX (hit to apply that high base damage) while two weapon fighting with light weapons wants a higher STR because the bonus is a much bigger percentage to the total damage.
Yeah, that's a good observation. Requiring minimum strength scores for heavy weapons would address that to an extent, though it wouldn't remove the issue.

  • Hurts the narrative that AC is armor and plating and thick hides that needs to be pierced, which may make armor granting AC a bit odd.
Yeah, maybe, though it's already a bit odd now vs finesse and ranged weapons. I don't know that anyone is actually piercing metal armor now though, are they? It feels more plausible to me to say that higher quality armor leaves fewer vulnerable areas to target.
 

Esker

Explorer
Yeah, that's a good observation. Requiring minimum strength scores for heavy weapons would address that to an extent, though it wouldn't remove the issue.
You could also give light weapons 2xDEX mod to-hit and increase the base damage of non-light weapons. Even then, STR becomes more helpful than DEX when wielding light weapons for baseline attacks, except that rogues would still want to prioritize DEX to land their sneak attacks. The fighting styles would need rebalancing, but they already do. Maybe you could leave dueling alone, let TWF add proficiency to the damage of both weapons (on top of the STR mod to the main hand only) so it autoscales to keep it ahead of dueling for damage, compensating for not getting a shield and having to spend a bonus action, and replace the rerolls in the GWF style with a flat extra bonus to damage based on the strength mod (half rounded down, maybe, to encourage spending that ASI to get to +4?). That probably needs some further tweaking, but feels like it's on the right track.
 

bedir than

Registered User
A different path may be to allow the 1st Opportunity Attack to not count as a reaction, but just be free. This would be situational and allow other reactions that the character may have.
 

ParanoydStyle

Villager
But by the same logic, with armor increasing AC and STR adding to bonus to hit, it's "absurd to rationalize powering through full armor on every one of them without any accuracy, and therefore it's very hard to buy that being strong will add to your attack rolls on EVERYTHING". No matter how accurate I am with a rapier that has no affect at all on my chance to attack with a longsword, and no matter how bad my aim and reflexes, as long as I throw hard enough my thrown javelin will connect.

While I have different reservations about it, STR only to hit is so unbelievable that some other ability that can credibly affect damage at least some of the time is way ahead of it.
I respectfully disagree. Or maybe I misunderstand. I'm honestly not sure which. To me it doesn't stretch credibility that a stronger character has a better chance of battering through an opponent's plate mail to deal damage. Likewise to me it doesn't stretch credibility that a faster character* has a better chance of successfully striking an unprotected spot (gorget, chain cuisse beneath the armpits, helmet slit if you want to get a bit gruesome with it) to inflict a telling blow on an opponent. Intelligence being applied to these situations doesn't make a lot of sense to me though.

* I'm not sure if I'm making a completely unnecessary argument here, but many historical weapons were designed to harm with the speed of a blow, not the force behind it (even if both were important). The best example is the katana, which I used to have proficiency with but lost: without even getting into iaijutsu it is the speed of the pull-cut that causes harm, not the force with which the blade strikes the opponent. The same is true in modern day of combat knives (when wielded as slashing weapons), straight razors, and scalpels.

Idea I forgot to mention last time I think is that I've been toying with firearms rules in two or three different D&D 5E based projects, and one idea that seems obvious to me is to have the damage of firearms modified by Wisdom modifier, since Wisdom is firmly conceptually tied to perception and eyesight/accuracy seems to me the determinant of how devastating aimed gunfire can be.

Possibly the most absurd failure of the basic D&D weapons rules is the fact that a Strength 5 wood elf has no more trouble drawing a longbow than a Strength 15 half-orc. This is preposterous. I am guessing that bringing a longbow to full draw requires more upper body strength than I ever have had or ever will have (I'm probably around Strength 8-9).

Why is true strike so bad? I don't mean "what is bad about true strike", I get that, I mean why did they make it so bad?
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
Possibly the most absurd failure of the basic D&D weapons rules is the fact that a Strength 5 wood elf has no more trouble drawing a longbow than a Strength 15 half-orc. This is preposterous. I am guessing that bringing a longbow to full draw requires more upper body strength than I ever have had or ever will have (I'm probably around Strength 8-9).
As an aside, our house-rule is you must have a minimum Strength score equal to the maximum die damage of the weapon to wield it normally, otherwise your attack is with disadvantage.

In your example of a STR 5 wood elf, he would have disadvantage since the maximum die damage for the Longbow is 8.

If you want to wield a greatsword, you need a STR 12 (maximum from 2d6), or have disadvantage.

Honestly, it is a simple rule and hasn't come up in our game except once where a Monk has most of his Strength drained by wights and couldn't even use his staff except with disadvantage (his STR was 5, btw, until the battle was over and we were able to rest so he could recover).
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
A few possibilities have been floated using Bonus Actions or Reactions, to represent tactical planning or springing a tactic. There's already a lot of uses for those kinds of actions, especially reactions, in combat.

How about representing keeping a 'Tactical' overview of the battle by requiring /Concentration/? Hey, no battle-plan survives first contact with the enemy('s weapon, unless you make a CON save).

Maybe you choose a tactical plan before combat, or at the start of combat, and gain a benefit until you lose concentration? No, too complicated. Then single INT-keyed benefit - damage, perhaps? - while you retain concentration.

Heck a whole sub-class could be devoted to accumulating alternate/unlocking more potent benefits to swap out for that basic one.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
Maybe a new fighting style isn't the solution, but I want some way to make an INT-based fighter than can (at least potentially) have enough advantages compared to STR- or DEX-based types that it is attractive as an option.

So something like a build of STR: 10, DEX: 12, CON: 12, INT: 16, WIS: 10: CHA: 12 would be fun to play, mostly as a battler, instead of as a caster. After all, such a person is basically average physically, but should still make a decent fighter even without huge bonuses from ability scores in the physical stats.

Such a character is not strong enough to wear the heavier armors, nor dexterous enough to be great in lighter armors, would have little to no attack or damage modifier, yet could easily represent your typical foot soldier (well, a very smart one, anyway...).

A fighting style or feat or something would do it, but what exactly...? A fighting styles would have to be in the same spirit as the current ones, so you can't really make it INT-based. A feat could, but then anyone could take it, but maybe that isn't a bad thing? Sigh...
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
A fighting styles would have to be in the same spirit as the current ones, so you can't really make it INT-based. A feat could, but then anyone could take it, but maybe that isn't a bad thing? Sigh...
..it'd be an issue, because there are INT based casters & 1/3rd casters who already need a lot of INT, which otherwise does nothing for combat - suddenly they could leverage it. And, those 1/3rd casters (EK & AT) are otherwise weapon-users...
...oh, and Bladesingers...
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
..it'd be an issue, because there are INT based casters & 1/3rd casters who already need a lot of INT, which otherwise does nothing for combat - suddenly they could leverage it. And, those 1/3rd casters (EK & AT) are otherwise weapon-users...
...oh, and Bladesingers...
Because swordmages are so intrinsically superior, snicker

They simply must be built as level 17
 

Quartz

Explorer
I wonder if it might be better if the Int fighter style affected the initiative order?

Fighter-only combat style:

Tactician.

1. You may add your Int instead of your Dex to your initiative roll.
2. For every round beyond the first you are fighting the same opponent or group of opponents you increase your initiative by your Proficiency Bonus to a max of 25. This extra bonus is lost if you do not interact with the opponents for 1 round.

The cumulative addition of the Proficiency Bonus represents the PC 'reading' the opponents. If multiclassing is allowed then change the increase to a plain +2. The max of 25 comes from a d20 roll of 20 with a +5 modifier.
 

Quartz

Explorer
Hmm... this could be better as an Alternate Archetype Feature for the Battlemaster fighter at 3rd level as an alternative to gaining proficiency in one type of Artisan's tools. I never understood why the Battlemaster got that anyway.

Note that this is still good for fighters without a high Int as they sttill improve their initiative score.
 
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dnd4vr

Explorer
I wonder if it might be better if the Int fighter style affected the initiative order?

Fighter-only combat style:

Tactician.

1. You may add your Int instead of your Dex to your initiative roll.
2. For every round beyond the first you are fighting the same opponent or group of opponents you increase your initiative by your Proficiency Bonus to a max of 25. This extra bonus is lost if you do not interact with the opponents for 1 round.

The cumulative addition of the Proficiency Bonus represents the PC 'reading' the opponents. If multiclassing is allowed then change the increase to a plain +2. The max of 25 comes from a d20 roll of 20 with a +5 modifier.
Like some of the others, this isn't bad at all, but IMO it doesn't keep in the spirit of the other fighting styles. Maybe nothing will, I don't know.
 

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