D&D General The Crab Bucket Fallacy

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
So you take the noble background and don't min max totally focused on combat. My first PC in 5E was a fighter. He didn't focus on being charismatic, he was an investigator, and it worked just fine.

If you want a fighter that contributes (mechanically, you can always contribute in other ways) you can make it happen. Is he going to be as good as a rogue who has the same focus? No. Then again the rogue can't go toe-to-toe with the bad guys either.
Rogues are actually pretty good at going toe to toe. Their AC is at least as good, they can just about always get advantage for high damage on sneak attack, and they have evasion to break glass in case of explosion.

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I think where all of this comes in focus is with the Champion Fighter. This is the most vanilla version of a class that you can get, set at the lowest power base in the game. It's good at swinging a sword and that is all it is pretty much designed to do. All other subclasses and classes are upwardly mobile in options, abilities and power. It is geared towards the gamer who just wants a no-nonsense experience to fighting monsters without having to track maneuvers, spells, or any other sort of resource beyond hit points.

Where the problem is that when folks attempt to add to the overall fighter's repertoire, this subclass holds the design space hostage. "Can't do that, it's too supernatural," is the general cry, and thus the fighter gets stuck in plate, holding a shield and swinging a sword - and not doing much else.

I am not for the craziness that we saw in 3.5E's Tome of Battle, but it is time to drop the shackles of the Champion Fighter. The class isn't even allowed to reach olympic-level abilities let alone the mythical abilities of stories and legends. There still needs to be that basic Champion Fighter for those that want a straightforward character, but its abilities need to be better than simply swinging a sword three or four times in a row. The greatest difficulty is to give the Champion Fighter those needed abilities in a way that doesn't require a player's mental load to remember the smorgasbord of options available to them, and simply just "works" (I can't tell you how many times I've had casual Champion Fighter players fail to use Second Wind simply because they forget they have it).

And do it in a way that does not marginalize the Ranger further (whose already lost his wilderness and tracking specializations to letting everyone in on those once specialized abilities), nor overshadow the Barbarian or Paladin.

I like playing champion fighters, don't take it away. Some of the people at my table would probably be better off playing champion fighters. If you want other options, play one of the other classes. 🤷‍♂️


A wizard in my game had better be really careful casting friends and/or charm person. In both cases, it's a minor benefit and the target remembers you did it to them. Friends only gives you advantage on charisma checks. The spell even points out that the target is likely to become hostile - so good luck getting out of there in less than a minute! Charm person only makes you a friendly acquaintance, not your best friend. It's the guy you know by name at the office, maybe do the non-committal "How's it going?" when you don't really care how it's going. That's it. After an hour they also realize they were influenced, so you'd better hope you don't run into them again.

Maybe people in other campaigns never run across the same people and only use these spells in a location they never plan to visit again. In my game, using the spells has logical repercussions which can be anything from being mistrusted by people to arrest.


I like playing champion fighters, don't take it away. Some of the people at my table would probably be better off playing champion fighters. If you want other options, play one of the other classes. 🤷‍♂️
I don't want to take it away either, several of the people that play under me or with me enjoy the subclass. But something needs to be done to bring up its other (non-combat) abilities to par. As is, it's holding back the design space for the whole class.


Three-Headed Sirrush
I can also play a fighter because I enjoy the class and build them so that I feel like I can contribute meaningfully outside of combat.
I agree. Personally I'd prefer it if there was a wider variety of ways to make a fighter who can contribute meaningfully outside of combat. But it's not important to me whether that wider selection comes in the form of fighter class abilities or simply providing more options for everyone.

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Leaving players completely incapable of contributing to something--beyond the absolute rock bottom literally anyone could do in their place--is bad.

If it's something you actually want to opt into, where you actively go out of your way to exclude things you could've gotten, fine. Do as you like.

But don't force me to do it simply because I wrote "Fighter" on my character sheet.

Or, to turn your own questioning back at you: Why should I be shackled by your lack of interest, simply because I like playing martial characters?
Plenty of 5e 3pp out there with better fighters.

Just sayin'.


The issue was in the 2014 version the feat costs your ASI and you cannot take one until level 4.

Again, sure, and these things are being addressed. I mean you are essentially saying here 'I cannot stay on top of my damage optimization'. Which...yes, I get it. You want to do better at Social, but you dont want to fall off the optimization curve of the ASI?

Choices and consequences and all that.

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