5E Updating Fighting Styles (Work in Progress)

dnd4vr

Keeper of the Seven Keys
Based on the poll I made and other threads on Fighting Styles, I wanted to begin a new thread with my drafts so far. I will update them here in the OP as changes are made. Please review them if you are interested and if you have any feedback or suggestions, please let me know and thanks! (Also my thanks to those members who have already made suggestions!) My greatest concerns are for balance and synergies which might not be at first apparent as well as wording so the intent is clear.

UPDATE #1: All bonus action and reaction features are not available until you have the Extra Attack feature.

Archery
You gain a +2 bonus to ranged attack rolls you make with ranged and thrown weapons.

In addition, you can use your bonus action to take aim on a target. You gain a bonus on your next ranged weapon attack roll equal to your proficiency bonus if you make that attack before you move. You cannot be in the reach of a hostile creature to use this feature.

If a hostile creature moves within 5 feet if you, you can use your reaction to immediately move up to half your speed. This movement does not provoke an opportunity attack from that creature.

Blind Fighting
Being unable to see a creature doesn’t impose disadvantage on your attack rolls against it, provided the creature isn’t hidden from you.

You can use your bonus action to indicate the position of an unseen creature which is not hidden within 5 feet of you. Any of your allies also within 5 feet of that creature can make melee weapon attacks against it without disadvantage until the start of your next turn.

When you are being attacked by a creature that is not hidden from you, you can use your reaction to deny that creature advantage on its next attack against you.

Defense
While you are wearing armor you gain the benefits of this style. You gain a +1 bonus to your AC and you can don and doff armor in half the normal time required. You can reduce your level of exhaustion even while taking a long rest in armor.

When you take the Dodge action, you can use your bonus action to make a melee weapon attack, but your attack is made with disadvantage. If you have the Extra Attack feature, this attack is made without disadvantage.

If you are wearing armor and you are hit by an attack, you can use your reaction to reduce the damage you take by an amount equal to your proficiency bonus (to a minimum of 0).

Dueling
When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.

You can use your bonus action, instead of a weapon attack, to attempt to disarm your target. (See DMG, p. 271)

When a melee weapon attack is made against you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack. You must be aware of the attack to use this feature.

Great Weapon Fighting
You must be wielding a weapon with two hands, and that weapon must have either the two-handed or versatile property, for you to gain any benefit from this style. When making a melee weapon attack, you gain a +1 bonus to your attack roll and a +1 bonus to your damage.

When you take the attack action and hit a creature, you can use your bonus action to attempt to shove that creature.

If you are not surprised, you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against a target when it enters your reach.

Jousting
You do not suffer disadvantage when you attack a target within 5 feet of you when wielding a lance.

In addition, you can use your bonus action to spur your mount into a charge while you are mounted. If your mount moves at least 20 feet prior to your making a melee weapon attack with a lance, your damage increases to 2d12 for the weapon.

If you would fall from your mount, you can use your reaction to stay on your mount instead.

Polearm Fighting
When you make an attack with a weapon with the reach property against a creature not within 5 ft. of you, make the attack roll with advantage.

If a hostile creature is within 5 feet of you, you can use your bonus action to disengage and move 5 feet away from the creature.

When a creature misses you with a melee weapon attack, you can use your reaction to attempt to shove the creature.

Protection
You must be wielding a shield to gain any benefits from this style. You grant all allies within 5 feet of you a +2 bonus to their AC if you are not incapacitated. Your ally can gain this benefit even it they are also wielding a shield.

You can use your bonus action to grant yourself an additional +1 bonus to your AC until the start of your next turn.

When 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 the attack roll.

Thrown Weapon Fighting
You can draw a weapon that has the thrown property as part of the attack you make with the weapon provided the weapon is readily accessible. In addition, when you hit with a ranged attack using a thrown weapon, you gain a +1 bonus to the damage roll.

When you make a ranged weapon attack with a thrown weapon, you can use your bonus action to gain advantage on your attack roll.

If you have a weapon with the thrown property in hand prior to your first turn in combat, you can use your reaction to make a ranged weapon attack with that weapon prior to your first turn as long as you are not surprised.

OPTION under consideration: If a hostile creature within 20 feet of you provokes an opportunity attack by moving away from one of your allies, you can use your reaction to make an opportunity attack against that creature with a weapon that has the thrown property.

Two-Weapon Fighting
When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.

When you use your bonus action to make an attack with a second weapon, you can make two attacks with that weapon instead of one if you have the Extra Attack feature.

If a creature hits you with a melee weapon attack, you can use your reaction put your opponent off-balance, imposing disadvantage on their next melee weapon attack.

Unarmed Fighting
Your unarmed strikes can deal bludgeoning damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier. If you strike with two free hands, the d6 becomes a d8.

When you successfully grapple a creature, you can deal 1d4 bludgeoning damage to the grappled creature. Until the grapple ends, you can also deal this damage to the creature whenever you hit it with a melee attack.

When you have a creature grappled, you can use your bonus action to try to move it up to half your speed if you move with it, or you can attempt to knock it prone.

If a creature successfully escapes your grapple, you can use your reaction to attempt to grapple the creature again. If you fail, the creature gains advantage on any attacks it makes on you until the end of its turn.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I did see a fairly elaborate one for Warlords which allowed bonuses to team initiative every fight and allowed swapping your initiative with theres and some other effect and my comment was wow that is just so far more elaborate than any fighting style currently on the board it should make it obvious that this isn't going to make a Warlord without some upgrading
 

Xeviat

Explorer
Based on the poll I made and other threads on Fighting Styles, I wanted to begin a new thread with my drafts so far. I will update them here in the OP as changes are made. Please review them if you are interested and if you have any feedback or suggestions, please let me know and thanks! (Also my thanks to those members who have already made suggestions!) My greatest concerns are for balance and synergies which might not be at first apparent as well as wording so the intent is clear.
I was just looking at the balance of the styles against each other myself (I'm frustrated that Great Weapon Fighter is a smaller bonus than Duelist, and I've always been questing to fix TWFing).

My first reaction is you have greatly increased the benefit of "Fighting Style", possibly up to the "full feat" territory. This might be a bit much, as Fighting style doesn't make up an entire level's worth of abilities for any class EXCEPT for the Fighter (Champion)'s Level 10 feature (which I dislike since choosing a second offensive style is just an increase in options, while a choice of the opposite of offense or defense from your first level choice is the actual power gain). This might be okay for the Fighter's 1st level, since most class's first level abilities seem to be worth more than a feat, but it would be a big boost for the Paladin and Ranger's 2nd level (unless you believe the bonus action would compete with their spellcasting, and thus balance out).

I do LOVE that you're giving a bonus action and a reaction to each style. It's a really cool thing.

I'll go through them all here.

Archery
You gain a +2 bonus to ranged attack rolls you make with ranged and thrown weapons.

In addition, you can use your bonus action to take aim on a target. You gain a bonus on your next ranged weapon attack roll equal to your proficiency bonus if you make that attack before you move. You cannot be in the reach of a hostile creature to use this feature.

If a hostile creature moves within 5 feet if you, you can use your reaction to immediately move up to half your speed. This movement does not provoke an opportunity attack from that creature.
I'd rather the aim feature use advantage. This would prevent stacking advantage and aim, and create parity between Fighter and Rogue options. Also, your wording on the "before you move" part means you can move, aim, and fire, where the Rogue aim doesn't allow movement at all.

Blind Fighting
Being unable to see a creature doesn’t impose disadvantage on your attack rolls against it, provided the creature isn’t hidden from you.

You can use your bonus action to indicate the position of an unseen creature which is not hidden within 5 feet of you. Any of your allies also within 5 feet of that creature can make melee weapon attacks against it without disadvantage until the start of your next turn.

When you are being attacked by a creature that is not hidden from you, you can use your reaction to deny that creature advantage on its next attack against you.
Neat. Hard to compare it to the others. I kind of would rather leave this in feats rather than make it a fighting style.

Defense
While you are wearing armor you gain the benefits of this style. You gain a +1 bonus to your AC and you can don and doff armor in half the normal time required. You can reduce your level of exhaustion even while taking a long rest in armor.

When you take the Dodge action, you can use your bonus action to make a melee weapon attack, but your attack is made with disadvantage. If you have the Extra Attack feature, this attack is made without disadvantage.

If you are wearing armor and you are hit by an attack, you can use your reaction to reduce the damage you take by an amount equal to your proficiency bonus (to a minimum of 0).
Did you consider just allowing dodge as a bonus action, but imposing disadvantage on your action attacks? I just kind of don't like features that don't work with Extra Attack.

Dueling
When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.

You can use your bonus action, instead of a weapon attack, to attempt to disarm your target. (See DMG, p. 271)

When a melee weapon attack is made against you, you can use your reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack. You must be aware of the attack to use this feature.
Nice. I'm assuming you'd be absorbing the Defensive Duelist feat? It's kind of a weak feat as it stands.

Great Weapon Fighting
You must be wielding a weapon with two hands, and that weapon must have either the two-handed or versatile property, for you to gain any benefit from this style. When making a melee weapon attack, you gain a +1 bonus to your attack roll and a +1 bonus to your damage.

When you take the attack action and hit a creature, you can use your bonus action to attempt to shove that creature.

If you are not surprised, you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against a target when it enters your reach.
I really like this splitting the difference between Archery and Duelist. It does mean a Longsword with Duelist deals 6.5+Str, and a Greataxe deals 7.5+Str, but the attack bonus will round things out. I missed +Str on a miss; that always felt particularly Great Weapon-y to me.

I like the bonus action shove. I like it consuming part of polearm master.

Jousting
You do not suffer disadvantage when you attack a target within 5 feet of you when wielding a lance.

In addition, you can use your bonus action to spur your mount into a charge while you are mounted. If your mount moves at least 20 feet prior to your making a melee weapon attack with a lance, your damage increases to 2d12 for the weapon.

If you would fall from your mount, you can use your reaction to stay on your mount instead.
Interesting.

Polearm Fighting
When you make an attack with a weapon with the reach property against a creature not within 5 ft. of you, make the attack roll with advantage.

If a hostile creature is within 5 feet of you, you can use your bonus action to disengage and move 5 feet away from the creature.

When a creature misses you with a melee weapon attack, you can use your reaction to attempt to shove the creature.
Woah, nearly universal advantage ... not entirely sure about that. Advantage kind of works out to +4.5 to hit at the base 65% chance to hit most of the game is balanced around. It wouldn't stack with other sources of advantage, but woah.

Protection
You must be wielding a shield to gain any benefits from this style. You grant any ally within 5 feet of you a +2 bonus to their AC if you are not incapacitated. Your ally can gain this benefit even it they are also wielding a shield.

You can use your bonus action to grant yourself an additional +1 bonus to your AC until the start of your next turn.

When 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 the attack roll.
Is this +2 AC to one ally within 5 feet of you, or all allies within 5 feet of you? With no action, it seems like you can grant it to all allies. What's the intent? Since Defense is +1 AC to yourself, I think this should be +1 AC to all adjacent allies.

Thrown Weapon Fighting
You can draw a weapon that has the thrown property as part of the attack you make with the weapon provided the weapon is readily accessible. In addition, when you hit with a ranged attack using a thrown weapon, you gain a +1 bonus to the damage roll.

When you make a ranged weapon attack with a thrown weapon, you can use your bonus action to gain advantage on your attack roll.

If you have a weapon with the thrown property in hand prior to your first turn in combat, you can use your reaction to make a ranged weapon attack with that weapon prior to your first turn as long as you are not surprised.

OPTION under consideration: If a hostile creature within 20 feet of you provokes an opportunity attack by moving away from one of your allies, you can use your reaction to make an opportunity attack against that creature with a weapon that has the thrown property.
Why isn't Thrown Weapon Fighting the ranged version of Two-Weapon Fighting?

I wouldn't want to see making ranged opportunity attacks when they make an opening from someone else. The opportunity attack models that you're making multiple attack attempts each round, and dropping your guard means there's a chance of another attack slipping through. Ranged opportunity attacks don't make sense, because you aren't firing multiple arrows at a target in a round since you only mark off one arrow, so dropping your guard shouldn't allow you to fire/throw another weapon.

Two-Weapon Fighting
When you engage in two-weapon fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second attack.

When you use your bonus action to make an attack with a second weapon, you can make two attacks with that weapon instead of one if you have the Extra Attack feature.

If a creature hits you with a melee weapon attack, you can use your reaction put your opponent off-balance, imposing disadvantage on their next melee weapon attack.
WOAH. Um, that second feature is huge. TWFing becomes THE melee damage feature at this point. Also, how does it interact with the Fighter's Extra Attack 2 and 3 feature?

Unarmed Fighting
Your unarmed strikes can deal bludgeoning damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier. If you strike with two free hands, the d6 becomes a d8.

When you successfully grapple a creature, you can deal 1d4 bludgeoning damage to the grappled creature. Until the grapple ends, you can also deal this damage to the creature whenever you hit it with a melee attack.

When you have a creature grappled, you can use your bonus action to try to move it up to half your speed if you move with it, or you can attempt to knock it prone.

If a creature successfully escapes your grapple, you can use your reaction to attempt to grapple the creature again. If you fail, the creature gains advantage on any attacks it makes on you until the end of its turn
I don't like the reaction to attempt to maintain the grapple. I'd rather a reaction if someone makes a melee attack against you, reaction to initiate a grapple, representing an unarmed block into a hold.
 

dnd4vr

Keeper of the Seven Keys
Thanks for all the feedback! Here we go...

First, I will probably update everything so that the bonus action and reaction features don't come online until the Extra Attack feature is gained. This prevents dipping into fighting style classes and getting a load of features. You really need to put in 5 levels to get these cool "extra" via Extra Attack being obtained. :)

ARCHERY:

I'd rather the aim feature use advantage. This would prevent stacking advantage and aim, and create parity between Fighter and Rogue options. Also, your wording on the "before you move" part means you can move, aim, and fire, where the Rogue aim doesn't allow movement at all.
It could just as easily be advantage, but something I wanted to do was actually raise the ceiling on this attack roll, allowing for the character to hit really high ACs. With advantage, a better roll is more likely, but the maximum possible isn't.

In requiring Extra Attack, the fighter/rogue parity takes longer and won't be worth as much. It would require a lot of investing, and I don't think out of the question since the bonus action aim only applies to one attack.

What about if I included that if you aim, it is your only attack? So, you have Extra Attack feature, but you would lose those additional attacks if you had to hit a really high AC??? Would it be too much of a penalty though?

DEFENSE:

Did you consider just allowing dodge as a bonus action, but imposing disadvantage on your action attacks? I just kind of don't like features that don't work with Extra Attack.
Dodge as a bonus action is too strong. It would allow you to take all your attacks (up to 4 or more with haste, action surge, etc.) and impose disadvantage on anyone who attacks you until your next turn! That is CRAZY strong!!!

That is why I worked it the other direction. The Defense style teaches you how to be defensive (i.e. Dodge action), but allows you to try to get a strike in anyway.

Think of it this way: any other character (for the most part) who choses to Dodge, doesn't get any attacks. You get one while still being super defensive. With the updated Extra Attack requirement, that one attack would not have disadvantage anymore.

DUELING:

Nice. I'm assuming you'd be absorbing the Defensive Duelist feat? It's kind of a weak feat as it stands.
Yeah, pretty much. No one at our table has ever taken the feat.

GREAT WEAPON FIGHTING

I really like this splitting the difference between Archery and Duelist. It does mean a Longsword with Duelist deals 6.5+Str, and a Greataxe deals 7.5+Str, but the attack bonus will round things out. I missed +Str on a miss; that always felt particularly Great Weapon-y to me.

I like the bonus action shove. I like it consuming part of polearm master.
I like the reaction feature for OA more for versatile weapons. Imagine a MC character of Champion build with Dueling and GWF wielding a long sword. At the end of your turn you tell the DM you are switching to a two-handed grip. An enemy enters your reach, BAM! OA-city, sweet heart. ;) This is VERY samurai-like to me.

POLEARM FIGHTING

Woah, nearly universal advantage ... not entirely sure about that. Advantage kind of works out to +4.5 to hit at the base 65% chance to hit most of the game is balanced around. It wouldn't stack with other sources of advantage, but woah.
Like it? I do. For a couple reasons. First, it will encourage polearm use, a sorely unused category IMO. Second, it makes "reach" important and effective in combat, another thing that is very important IRL. Last, the weapon needs "reach" as a property, so many "polearm"-qualifying weapons (staff, spear) don't qualify.

Also, losing the shield IMO is a big penalty. Now, this make the whip a very interesting weapon, right? Low damage, but it qualifies for Dueling and Polearm fighting, and you can use a shield with it along with it being a Finesse weapon. Can you imagine the synergies with a Fighter/Rogue gaining advantage and sneak attacking? DROOL, DROOL...

PROTECTION

Is this +2 AC to one ally within 5 feet of you, or all allies within 5 feet of you? With no action, it seems like you can grant it to all allies. What's the intent? Since Defense is +1 AC to yourself, I think this should be +1 AC to all adjacent allies.
Sorry, the intent was all allies within 5 feet. I'll update the writing.

Hmm... my thought was with the bonus action you are spending some amount of effort defending yourself. It makes the style more useful for someone who wants an option for a small AC boost but isn't as concerned with being a "team player."

Already granting the +2 AC bonus to all allies is strong enough. IF I changed it, I would maybe make it that you grant the bonus to one ally, but can then use your bonus action to grant the +2 AC increase to ALL your allies. This would make it more situational. If you have more than one person to protect, you can do it with your bonus action. I like that, actually, and might go that route. What do you think?

THROW WEAPON FIGHTING

Why isn't Thrown Weapon Fighting the ranged version of Two-Weapon Fighting?

I wouldn't want to see making ranged opportunity attacks when they make an opening from someone else. The opportunity attack models that you're making multiple attack attempts each round, and dropping your guard means there's a chance of another attack slipping through. Ranged opportunity attacks don't make sense, because you aren't firing multiple arrows at a target in a round since you only mark off one arrow, so dropping your guard shouldn't allow you to fire/throw another weapon.
Well, as I see it, Thrown Weapon Fighting is probably the hardest to write up well. There are a lot of variables. Are you a viking with a shield, tossing handaxes maybe? Or are you a dagger-tossing ex-circus-performer turned Fighter/Bard or something?

The reaction OA option was just something I was thinking about that was different.

I would like to make something really cool for this style... but nothing has come up yet that fits the bill for me.

TWO WEAPON FIGHTING

WOAH. Um, that second feature is huge. TWFing becomes THE melee damage feature at this point. Also, how does it interact with the Fighter's Extra Attack 2 and 3 feature?
It is big, huh? But, TWF already uses your bonus action to make the second weapon attack, so the style has to offer something. An option I was considering, is that when you get Extra Attack, TWF frees up your bonus action instead of giving you more for it. This way, you don't get more attacks, but you gain the ability to use your bonus action for something else. In essence, you get the second weapon attack "for free." What do you think of that?

Otherwise, as it stands, you only ever get the additional (two total) second weapon attacks. Extra Attack 2 and 3 don't grant anything more.

UNARMED FIGHTING

I don't like the reaction to attempt to maintain the grapple. I'd rather a reaction if someone makes a melee attack against you, reaction to initiate a grapple, representing an unarmed block into a hold.
I kind of like the reaction to re-establish the grapple. It would totally frustrate the attacker because if you do re-grapple, they can't move still. :)

However, changing it to something like "When a creature misses you with a melee weapon attack, you can use your reaction to attempt to grapple that creature." would probably work as well. Whether or not I would include the rider "If you fail in your attempt to grapple, the creature gains advantage on any attack it makes on you until the end of its turn." or not, I don't know. It makes sense, you are basically putting yourself in harms way.

The nice thing, is either way, if you succeed you deal the 1d4 blundeoning damage as well. :)
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Just noticed the Defense option could actually be lazylordish if your dodge enabled an ally attack. Thread brain overlap.
 
While I wouldn't mind seeing additional fighting styles, I don't actually think increasing the power level of ANY of the existing ones is a good idea (without some other limitation at least...like evolving over levels in the appropriate class). The reason: Fighting styles are mostly gained very early on in class levels. Leading to easy abuse of multiclassing.
 

dnd4vr

Keeper of the Seven Keys
While I wouldn't mind seeing additional fighting styles, I don't actually think increasing the power level of ANY of the existing ones is a good idea (without some other limitation at least...like evolving over levels in the appropriate class). The reason: Fighting styles are mostly gained very early on in class levels. Leading to easy abuse of multiclassing.
That is why ultimately the additional features aren't gained until you have the Extra Attack feature, so the earliest a Fighter would get those features is level 5, and at least 6 for everyone else. By that point, the new features really aren't overly strong IMO.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
That is why ultimately the additional features aren't gained until you have the Extra Attack feature, so the earliest a Fighter would get those features is level 5, and at least 6 for everyone else. By that point, the new features really aren't overly strong IMO.
It is a neat trick actually
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
There is something I have been thinking of rejiggering on protection

When a creature you can see hits a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to induce a reroll of the attack. (details details)

The protection style story and function wise seems the most likely thing one would take in preparation for a sentinel feat - but the the two are very incompatible.
 

dnd4vr

Keeper of the Seven Keys
There is something I have been thinking of rejiggering on protection

When a creature you can see hits a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your reaction to induce a reroll of the attack. (details details)

The protection style story and function wise seems the most likely thing one would take in preparation for a sentinel feat - but the the two are very incompatible.
That is a good improvement since it allows you to only use your reaction after the fact. Powerful, but not OP.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
That is a good improvement since it allows you to only use your reaction after the fact. Powerful, but not OP.
It seemed underfed and if fighting styles are being redone the first thing I think is to look at what might not be working now and tweak it so it fits better with its own story and goals. (and the rest of the abilities in the game)
 
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