Thoughts about the Protection Fighting Style

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
So I've been thinking about the Protection Fighting Style. Like the Defense and Two-Weapon Fighting Styles, it does not scale with the number of attacks or with Action Surge. I've found a way to fix Two-Weapon Fighting on this front. Now I'd like to find a way to have the Protection Style scale.

One interesting thought I had considered the Help action. Looking into Help, I discovered that (to my surprise), the Help action had no defensive utility. It could help a person land an attack, but you can't help a person avoid an attack. I found that a bit interesting.

Then I looked at the Dodge action. Enemies have disadvantage on all attacks against you, and you have advantage on all Dex Saves.

That got me thinking how these might be applied to a Protection Fighting Style. I want something that will scale and function with Action Surge. But I also want it to maintain a bit of oompf since purely defensive abilities can be a little boring. I want someone that uses the Protection Fighting Style to still have fun, but also make it feel like they are effective guardians. So this is what I'm considering:

Protection
When you take the Dodge action, you can instead choose to apply the benefits to one ally you can see within 5 feet. If an enemy you can see successfully hits your ally with an attack, you can use your reaction to do one of the following options:

Attack. You can make one weapon attack against the enemy. The enemy must be within reach or range of the weapon you are using.

Defend. You are treated as if you were the original target of the attack. The attack is considered a hit, even if the attack roll wouldn’t normally hit your armor class.

Reasoning: I like this for a few reasons. It scales into the higher tiers and interacts with Action Surge. But it also give the player using this something they can do. They aren't just protecting someone. They are engaged in the combat. They have some limited ability to do some offense, or they can go even harder into the defensive aspect and become the target of the attack. I also like the idea of any kind of fighter being able to defend. It isn't limited to someone carrying a shield, and can even work with an archer. I think this is important for those with multiple fighting styles, like the Champion.

But, this is just a draft. What do others think? Does this go too far in terms of what the other Fighting Styles offer? Does this make it too good to use? Might this somehow break the game in ways I haven't considered?
 
I like the concept you are shooting for, but I don't think it is quite there yet. The fighter is giving up all of his attacks per turn to possibly make one attack or take damage for an ally. Unless the ally is about to die, it doesn't seem like a fair trade in most cases.
 

GlassJaw

Adventurer
I like Protection Style but I agree it could use a boost. Your fix is on the right track but way too complicated and over-designed.

The simplest solutions I've seen are to remove the reaction requirement and/or increase number of uses per round. Uses could equal number of attacks or simply grant a second use at level 11.
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
I agree that it is a bit more clunky and complicated than the other styles. But part of that is because I have a sense that 5e in general is designed more for offense than defense. The current protection style doesn't seem to play any differently than other fighters, except they get to potentially disrupt one attack. To me, that doesn't seem effective for a fighter trained to protect others. When I think Protection fighting style, I picture something like secret service men jumping in front of bullets, or Henderson putting himself directly in front of Gentlemen Johnny Marcone before triple tapping a dude. That is what I'd like to represent. The existing Protection Style seems like defense is an after thought to offense.

So the challenge as I see it is to make a Protection Fighting Style that is fun, balanced, thematically appropriate, and relatively in-line with existing fighting styles.
 
How about for every additional attack you have beyond 1, from any source, you may add your shield AC bonus to the AC of an ally with 5' (or 10'). The bonus lasts until your next action. No ally may benefit more than once at a time from this ability from any source.
 

Worrgrendel

Explorer
I like the concept you are shooting for, but I don't think it is quite there yet. The fighter is giving up all of his attacks per turn to possibly make one attack or take damage for an ally. Unless the ally is about to die, it doesn't seem like a fair trade in most cases.
I agree with BluejayJunior here. The fighter is built on more attacks that anyone else and this would scale even more poorly the higher level you got to. Giving up 1 attack at levels 1-4? Okay, I can see that in the right situation. Giving up 2 attacks at levels 5-10? Mmmmmm.... really, really situationally. Maybe. Giving up 3 attacks at levels 11- 19? Ahhhh.... nope. Giving up 4 attacks at level 20? Nope. Nope. Nopity nope nope.

The only way I would see that style working is to cheese 2 levels of Rogue for Cunning Action and using your bonus action from that to use the Dodge action for the Protection Style beneift and still get in all of your attacks each round.
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
The only way I would see that style working is to cheese 2 levels of Rogue for Cunning Action and using your bonus action from that to use the Dodge action for the Protection Style beneift and still get in all of your attacks each round.
Cunning Action doesn't grant Dodge. Just Dash, Disengage, or Hide. A monk could do it that way, but need to spend a ki point each time.
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
You know, as I'm thinking about it maybe what I proposed above would work better as a feat, similar to how TWF has Dual Wielder, Great Weapon Fighting has Great Weapon Master, and Archery has Sharp Shooter.

Thinking even more, I'm reminded of the Wildhunt shifter ability. Maybe the Protection Fighting Style should be as follows:

Attackers can never have advantage on attacks against allies within 5ft of you. If you are wielding a shield, allies within 5 feet of you benefit from your Shield bonus to AC if they do not have a shield themselves.
 

Esker

Abventuree
I like @Undrave 's solution pretty well, but from a fiction perspective it's hard for me to imagine how the fighter is protecting more than one person at the same time, all without even using a reaction. I think I would leave it mostly alone but have it scale better: Something like,

"When you have a shield equipped and a creature you can see attacks a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on that attack roll and any subsequent attacks made by that enemy against that target until the start of your next turn."
 

Stormonu

Hero
I don’t like the Defend portion; the plate-wearing fighter getting hit on the robe-wearing wiz’s AC doesn’t sit well with me, even if the hp are coming off the fighter instead of the wizard. I’d prefer the target of the attack changes to the fighter - new AC and all.

Overall though, I think it would be better if when the protection fighter gets extra attacks they can protect an extra ally or against an additional attacker/attack.
 

Undrave

Hero
I like @Undrave 's solution pretty well, but from a fiction perspective it's hard for me to imagine how the fighter is protecting more than one person at the same time, all without even using a reaction. I think I would leave it mostly alone but have it scale better: Something like,

"When you have a shield equipped and a creature you can see attacks a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on that attack roll and any subsequent attacks made by that enemy against that target until the start of your next turn."
It's a good solution, could used to be worded a bit better but I think protecting from 1 enemy and not just 1 attack is fine.
 
Protection:
When you take the Dodge action, until the start of your next turn if an enemy attacks an ally of yours and either is within your reach, you can make an attack roll with your weapon. If it beats the attack roll, the attack's damage is reduced by your weapon damage. If reduced to 0, the attack is considered to have missed.

You can do this a number of times equal to how many attacks you could make with your extra attack feature. If you are using a shield, you get a bonus to your attack rolls equal to your shield AC bonus.
 

Xeviat

Explorer
I like that you're putting thought into this. I think fighting style would have been a great opportunity to build in 4E style roles and bake them into the bonus action economy (thereby not letting someone get two and then do two roles at once).

Where did you show your work on TWFing?
 

GlassJaw

Adventurer
"When you have a shield equipped and a creature you can see attacks a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on that attack roll and any subsequent attacks made by that enemy against that target until the start of your next turn."
I like it! Slightly tweaked wording:

Protection
When a creature you see attacks a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on that attack roll, and on any subsequent attack rolls, made by that creature against the target until the start of your next turn. You must be wearing a shield.
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
I like that you're putting thought into this. I think fighting style would have been a great opportunity to build in 4E style roles and bake them into the bonus action economy (thereby not letting someone get two and then do two roles at once).

Where did you show your work on TWFing?
I don't remember where I posted it, but this is what I settled on:

Two-Weapon Fighting Style
When you take the attack action wielding two weapons and miss with your main weapon attacks, you may make one weapon attack with your off-hand weapon for each missed attack. If you hit with your off-hand weapon attacks, you do not add your ability modifier to the damage.
 

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