D&D General Vote Up a 5e-alike: Poll 6: Archetypes and Fighters/Warriors NOW WITH EXTREME FIRST DRAFT!

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I am not sure if there is a Combat Tradition in Level Up that has maneuvers that do either of those things. The closest Combat Tradition that comes close IMO is Sanguine Knot.

Legion, Teamwork, Trust

A battle fought alone is often a battle already lost and practitioners of the Sanguine Knot tradition focus on the opportunities presented when an ally is nearby to help. While they may be weaker alone ,these warriors are lethal in tandem and the trust they have for their companions make them truly valuable adventurers to keep nearby.

Bodyguard is a 4th degree Sanguine Knot reaction.

You interpose yourself to take a hit for your ally. When an ally within your reach is hit by an attack, you can use your reaction to swap places with them and become the target of that attack, taking half as much damage as normal.
Ah, that works for me :) had a look at a5e.tools - formation manouveres are awesome!
 

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Faolyn

(she/her)
To be honest, I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'archetype' here.
Sorry, I use the term for sub-classes, since that's the most commonly-used term in regards to the sub-classes. Like, my swashbuckler is one of the rogueish archetypes and gives me abilities at 3rd level, 9th level, etc., that are separate from the standard rogue abilities (I have no idea how much of 5e you know/have memorized).

Fighters should be able to become proficient with any weapon (i.e. they can choose any weapon they like) but the number of weapons you can be proficient in should be very limited a la 1e (and even more limited for non-warrior classes).
That's more like what I was assuming. I didn't write the question well, unsurprisingly. I imagine something like, fighters can start out proficient in, say, six weapons or weapon groups and can choose those from any weapons, but wizards start out proficient in two and can choose from a much smaller group of options.


Archer should be its own class. Swashbuckler should be its own class. The styles used should be baked in to those classes and emphasized there, while a generalist Fighter can only learn the basics of any given style(s).
That gets back into archetypes/subclasses though. Or a game where there's a hundred different classes, which is close enough.

Increased crit effects, such that when a Fighter does crit it packs a bigger punch? Hell yeah. :) Maybe when a Fighter crits the Fighter's level is added to the damage and then all the damage is multiplied (none of this rolling another die, just add it all up and double it).
That's definitely a possibility! Whether it is multiplied or extra dice are added, that's one way to give fighters an edge.

No, mostly because I want social mechanics to largely come out altogether and this goes the other way.
What does the bolded bit mean?

I'd say this kind of thing should be baked in - if you're a Fighter, your knowledge of such things is likely to be better than that of the average Joe. That said, "better" doesn't mean "perfect"; and it'd be easy to overdo this.
Well, it would be more like, you gain a bonus/can always use your proficiency bonus/have expertise/whatever on rolls made to do X.

As for what else Fighters should get? The one thing that leaps to mind is the cap should come off as to how many magic items they can use, i.e. Fighters get to ignore attunement limits. That way, high-level Fighters who have accumulated some tinker toys are better positioned to keep up with the casters.
For all items, or just for weapons and armor? Coz it'd be weird to me if a fighter could use more wands than a wizard.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Can you elaborate on the connection between the question and it being a low magic gritty game?
...I'm not sure I remember my justification for including that line anymore.

I despise that aspect of 3/.5e with such a deep and intense hatred that this one choice would ensure absolutely that I would never even open a PDF of the resulting game. It is one of the worst mechanical dynamics ever used in any version of D&D. I’d rather have to hit tables and different dice to do different activities rather than unified d20, and like…different xp tables, than have the BAB multiple attacks dynamic from 3/.5e back. I’d rather never be allowed to play D&D again, than have to play with a system that uses it.
Heh--fair enough. I didn't like it either.

skills, and hooks into the game world. An identity.
Hmm. So what sort of hooks and identity do you mean here?
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Curious - what's so bad about multiple attacks? I didn't like the 3e version where each successive attack was at a bigger minus to hit, but even in 1e Fighters got multiple attacks starting at 7th (eariler if using UA weapon specialization), so it's not like this is a new development.
I like the idea of a cleave mechanic, where one can continue attacking so long as you keep taking down enemies. Makes the fighter a great goonsweeper, which is a solid (and fun) niche. And I'm talking about a class feature here, not a feat.

For the rest, I am quite pleased with the Level Up fighter in general and would want to keep as much of that as possible.
 

What about Cleave as a combat maneuver? ;)

Cleaving Swing (2 points)1st degree Adamant Mountain reaction
After you slam your weapon into an opponent you work the momentum of the blow into another strike at a second enemy nearby in a devastating display of might. When you hit with a melee weapon attack using a weapon with the heavy property, you can use your reaction to make an additional melee weapon attack against a second creature that is also within your reach.

I am wondering if Extra Attack could be made a part of the Cleaving Swing, especially if you are going up against three opponents. The first two opponents get your Attack and your Extra Attack as a part of your Action, and then the third opponent receives the attack made with your Reaction.

At any rate, I also like the Level Up fighter because of the Exploration and Social interaction pillars, and because it can choose any 3 combat traditions to be proficient in. However, I kind of wish you could get additional benefits with whatever Fighting Style you pick up at 1st-level.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
...I'm not sure I remember my justification for including that line anymore.


Heh--fair enough. I didn't like it either.


Hmm. So what sort of hooks and identity do you mean here?
So some classes are easy to develop some “this exists in the world” traits, right, like Bards having an easy time getting into courts and high level wizards being consulted as one of the Wise, etc.

But fighters have less identity than those. Previously in other threads I’ve floated the idea of fighters being easier for the common man to talk to and to trust, expanding what activities fighters just don’t need to roll for, or bumping suspicious townsfolk or guards or whatever to neutral, etc.

Another idea would be a feature that lets the player invent the school or other institution at which they trained, a master under whom they learned their fighting style, etc. as well as a place they’ve served as a professional combatant.

Basically stuff that 2014 PHB puts in backgrounds, but with a little more heft.

These give the character built in hooks for the DM to present “personal quest” type stuff, and ties the PC to the world a bit more, while providing a pretty strong identity. Even a noble knight may be easy to approach and to trust, because they aren’t actually far removed from the Folk, and they’re not a wizard or a Paladin or warlock or other scary overtly supernatural guy.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
This one is entirely write-in. I think there's too much to talk about that merely checking a button wouldn't work.

General Class Questions

1. Archetypes: Yea or nay? By archetype, I mean the way they're currently done in 5e. If archetypes aren't done like that, they could be done in the sense of "to play a Green Knight, take this class, these options, and these feats," but you would still be free to deviate however you want.

EDIT: By archetypes, I mean subclasses.
yes i think there should be subclasses/archetypes but i think that there should only be a minimal 2-3 of them that would lean into the most fundamental areas of each of the class archetypes(for example the weapon-based and animal companion-based hunter and beastmaster of the ranger), as a significant amount of customisation should be done through feats and secondary build options
2. If you want there to be archetypes, should all archetypes be taken at the same level? If so, what level? I would say level 2: it prevents 1-level dipping and represents a training period, while also not making you want too long for the cool stuff. Or should we have them still taken at various levels?

3. Should all archetype features be granted at the same levels regardless of class--thus possibly allowing for different classes to take the same archetype? (I really liked the idea when it was presented in a UA, but it doesn't work at all with the current 5e setup.) In fact, should archetypes be limited by class, or should they be available to anyone who can meet the prereqs?
yes and yes, level 2 seems like a reasonable level but i didn't really have a problem with 3rd level subclasses either, and i do think all archetypes should progress at the same rate, for both progression balance and the ability to combine different base classes with any archeype the character meets the prerequisites for is definitely something i think should be allowed.
4. Should there be a single Warrior class, and you can use in-class choices and feats to model barbarians, fighters, rangers, paladins, etc. (including possibly things like swordmages)? For instance, at level 2, you can choose between a smite, a rage, beastmaster abilities, and other, more fighter-y abilities? Or should all those be separate classes?

5. Or should there be a single Warrior class but there are archetypes that model barbarians, rangers, swordmages, etc.? Remember, this is supposed to be a lower-magic, slightly gritty type of system.
there should definitely be multiple warrior classes but also archetypes and feats to lean into separate class identities, a hypothetical 'unarmed warrior' archetype would be most effective on a monk or a fighter who already gets/can take buffs to their unarmed attack but there's no reason a rogue or a druid couldn't take it too, and on top of that the monk could take a feat to be able to rage and the rogue one to get a ranger animal companion.

considering the half-caster classes seemed to mostly be excluded from the desired class list i'd cut paladin as a class too and just make subclasses to model eldritch knight, (magical) ranger and paladin that any martial class could take
6. Should there be Warlords/Marshals (a non-magical support class), or a similar option available via choices and feats? I don't like the Warlord name, but the class is fine and there are plenty of other options for names.
definitely
7. Should we keep things like d10 Hit Dice for fighters and spending HD to regain hp at short rests and other such basics?
yes to class hit die sizes, no to spending them to recover on short rests, short rests should recover a flat percentage of health(a possible feat idea to increase the amount) and hit die sizes are used to determine the die size you use whenever you use something like a healing spell or potion,
8. Should we keep short and long rests? The actual length of time for those rests doesn't matter right now; I just mean the concept.
i think the most important thing is that everyone is on the same resting schedue, but short and long rests can stay
Actual Fighter Questions
We have generally decided that classes are going to be mostly front-loaded, so assume that the abilities I'm talking about are going to be obtainable, at least in basic form, before 10th level.

1. Weapon Proficiencies: Should fighters be proficient in all weapons, or should we limit the number of weapons or weapon groups they know? If so, how many? Should fighters gain a Weapon Mastery ability which grants them benefits when using their favored weapon? If so, at what level(s)?
fighters should naturally be proficient in all weapons/weapon groups, perhaps the only class to be so without investment, 'martial' classes can gain expertise in whole weapon groups when they use weapon expertise, casters can only gain expertise in one weapon at a time, weapon mastery abilities are a separate thing from weapon expertise, weapon mastery comes from a weaponmastery fighting style
2. Fighting Styles: Should Fighting Styles be part of the Fighter class, or should they be represented solely by feats? If Fighting Styles are part of the Fighter class, should feats be available to enhance them (e.g., take the Archery style and the Sharpshooter feat), or should the styles increase in power and versatility as you go up in level, thus allowing you to spend feats on other options?
they should be part of the fighter class but also available via feats, fighting styles should naturally scale as you level (like cantrips) but yes also feats that supplement certain styles
at 5th, 11th and 17th level your chosen fighting style gains the listed improvement
dueling: +1 bonus damage
two weapon fighting: +1 attacks with bonus action attack (up to your extra attack total)
archery: +1 attack bonus
blind fighting: blindsight range increases by 10ft
defense +1 AC
great weapon fighting: damage can be rerolled on a result of 3, 4 and finally 5
interception: triggering effect range increases by 5ft
protection: triggering effect range increases by 5ft
superior technique: gain +1 superiority die or increase the size of your available die
thrown weapon fighting: +1 bonus damage
unarmed fighting: die size increase d4>d6>d8>d10>d12>(d12 with advantage on damage roll)
blessed warrior: gain an additional cantrip
druidic warrior: gain an additional cantrip
close quarters shooter: +1 attack bonus
mariner: +1 AC
tunnel fighter: +1 attacks on opportunity attacks (up to your extra attack total)

bardic/arcane/sorcerous warrior: works the same as blessed/druidic warrior fighting styles except for bard/wizard/sorcerer cantrips (i would let fighter access all 5 styles)
3. Maneuvers: The Battle Master has a selection of 20+ maneuvers (including the ones from TCE) and grants Superiority Dice with which to use them. Level Up has a collection of well over 100 maneuvers, divided into Traditions and tiers (levels), requires the expenditure of exertion points to activate them, and all non-caster classes have access to at least some of them, although fighters get the most. Dungeon Crawl Classics, which I have never played or really read, apparently allows fighters to do whatever they want as long as they roll high enough on their deed die. Should our Fighters have maneuvers baked into the class (instead of being part of an archetype)? If so, should there be a short list of options (5e), a long list (LU), or should it be freeform (DCC)? Or something else? I'm inclined towards something a little more complicated than the Battle Master's maneuvers but far less complicate that Level Up's.
maneuvres are something that i think need to be learnt, either from class/subclass/feat, but once learned can be unlimited use on any basic attack
4. Expanded Criticals: Should all fighters gain increased crit ranges as they level up, like Champions? If you want archetypes, should they be limited to specific archetypes? Should masterwork weapons grant increased crit ranges?
yes fighters should get expanded crit range, also expanded crits in general from masterwork weapons, weapon expertise/specialisation and specific weapons(like daggers and sickles), multiple crit expansion bonuses stack
5. Exploration Options: Level Up gives each class options that support the exploration pillar, such as by allowing for different or faster movement speeds, giving bonuses to various rolls when in certain environments, allowing the character to require less sleep or march longer without taking exhaustion, by gaining a new sense for a brief time, etc.? Should this be part of the fighter class, and by extension, all other classes?

6. Social Options: Level Up also gives each class options that support the social pillar, by allowing bonuses to certain Charisma rolls at certain times or by causing others to have disad against the fighter at certain times. Should this be part of the fighter class, and by extension, all other classes?
yes and yes
7. Specialized Knowledge: Should there be an option where you choose a particular type of fighter-related knowledge? Examples: gaining a bonus to rolls to know about weapons and armor, historical battles, or knightly orders, or to know how to set or detect ambushes, etc?
i think there should be a similar knowledge specialty for all classes
(Note: the above three would be options granted at different levels. At level 2 you may gain a Specialized Knowledge, at level 4, an Exploration Option, and at level 6, a Social Ability.)
gain them at specific levels but don't gain them in a specific order, if someone wants to take the exploration feature at 2nd and someone else wants to prioritise social abilities and wait to take it til 14th to take the exploration one let them do that
8. Action Surge/Extra Attacks: Should this be a thing, or should we use the 3x model where all classes can get multiple actions and attack as they increase in level, with a penalty to attack rolls if you take more than one? Regardless, how often should fighters gain extra attacks or actions? Some people have previously suggested at 5th, 10th, 15th, etc. levels.
keep action surge/extra attack, gaining EA slightly more than they currently do in 5e seems a better idea
9. Indomitable: Should fighters keep this ability, or should they gain proficiency in a new save, both, or something else?
yes keep it, but get it earlier and more uses
What else should these fighters have that 5e fighters don't?
worthwhile options/uses for their mental stats
gain better attack bonus+flanking bonuses to/from your other teammates+similar
basic attacks that target AoEs (whirlwind spin, line rush, cone of arrows, ect)
nonmagical weapons count as magic when wielded by them like the monk's unarmed attacks
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
So some classes are easy to develop some “this exists in the world” traits, right, like Bards having an easy time getting into courts and high level wizards being consulted as one of the Wise, etc.

But fighters have less identity than those. Previously in other threads I’ve floated the idea of fighters being easier for the common man to talk to and to trust, expanding what activities fighters just don’t need to roll for, or bumping suspicious townsfolk or guards or whatever to neutral, etc.
I can definitely see this as a Social Option. Level Up's fighter has something similar. When you get to a 2nd level, you get a feature called Steely Mein, where you can choose from having a closed, emotionless mask that others can't read, being a Big Damn Hero everyone flocks to, or being a suspicious bastard that is good at reading other's emotions.

For this game--we should think of a name soon, but I suck at naming--I can see something similar, with a choice of a few options. Everyday Hero, whom the commoners and army grunts trust, or Trusted Warrior, who appeals to people in charge, and probably some other options.

Optionally, we divide feats into combat, social, exploration, background, whatever, and instead of just getting a feat every two or three levels, you get a combat feat every X levels, a social feat every Y levels, etc. Or combat or exploration feat every X levels and a social or background feat every Y levels.

Another idea would be a feature that lets the player invent the school or other institution at which they trained, a master under whom they learned their fighting style, etc. as well as a place they’ve served as a professional combatant.
I'm fine with that. This could be an interesting social ribbon.

Level 1: Fighting School. Choose one of the following options to determine how your character learned to fight, or make your own (with the GM's permission). In your homeland's army; in your town's watch; on the streets; in a specialized training school; as part of a militia; by a wandering mendicant warrior; by an older relative or family friend, themselves a fighter of some renown; completely self-taught and in secret. Name the master under whom you learned your fighting style or someone you always sparred with. This person is a contact and is often willing to help you out, at least for a price.

Depending on how maneuvers are done, your Fighting School could give you one maneuver for free, and any others you get at 1st level would be your choice.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I can definitely see this as a Social Option. Level Up's fighter has something similar. When you get to a 2nd level, you get a feature called Steely Mein, where you can choose from having a closed, emotionless mask that others can't read, being a Big Damn Hero everyone flocks to, or being a suspicious bastard that is good at reading other's emotions.

For this game--we should think of a name soon, but I suck at naming--I can see something similar, with a choice of a few options. Everyday Hero, whom the commoners and army grunts trust, or Trusted Warrior, who appeals to people in charge, and probably some other options.
Yeah, I'm a big fan these days of not having a ton of choices to make at every level, but especially if archetype gets separated from classes I'd be down to choose between a couple choices of where in society you fit, if a general "basically anyone that isn't a magical weirdo is relatively comfortable in your presence, and react more positively, with specifics still up to their nature" is too strong.
Optionally, we divide feats into combat, social, exploration, background, whatever, and instead of just getting a feat every two or three levels, you get a combat feat every X levels, a social feat every Y levels, etc. Or combat or exploration feat every X levels and a social or background feat every Y levels.
I'm probably twitchy about this because I found making characters in PF2 to be an exhausting exercise that didn't produce any better resulting PCs than a let bean counting system, so I initially go eeeehhhh, but I did enjoy having class feats and "anything" feats in star wars saga edition, so as long as it isn't too in depth with the feats like PF2, it could be good.
I'm fine with that. This could be an interesting social ribbon.
Yeah stuff like this underpins a lot of my own system, but in a dnd like, it's more of just a tie into the world rather than a source of character and GM levers during play.
Level 1: Fighting School. Choose one of the following options to determine how your character learned to fight, or make your own (with the GM's permission). In your homeland's army; in your town's watch; on the streets; in a specialized training school; as part of a militia; by a wandering mendicant warrior; by an older relative or family friend, themselves a fighter of some renown; completely self-taught and in secret. Name the master under whom you learned your fighting style or someone you always sparred with. This person is a contact and is often willing to help you out, at least for a price.
So the way I like to do helpful contacts, is to say that you can call upon them once without any cost or strain on the relationship. If you ask for something that puts them at risk, or to act outside their comfort zone in a significant way, or call upon them more than once before completing at least a week of downtime in a place where you can interact with them and upkeep the relationship, they may require payment, ask a favor in return (a lever for the GM to complicate things later), or agree but the relationship is now strained and anything to do with them has a cost until you fix that.

If that's too complicated for a minor feature in this game, then yeah fair. It works for my game because every PC has at least 3 contacts, and the same rules apply to allies you make during play.
Depending on how maneuvers are done, your Fighting School could give you one maneuver for free, and any others you get at 1st level would be your choice.
Yeah for sure.

Speaking of maneuvers, have you considered the idea of making maneuvers work like PBTA Moves, with broader application, rather than the sort of martial spell paradigm dnd usually uses?

For reference, here are the basic moves of Monster of The Week. Translating that to an srd game, they'd roll their attack, and depending on how well they roll, they might be able to do something more complex or might have a complication, like with the Kick Some Ass move. Then, Fighting Styles, Weapon Mastery, Fighting School, etc, would layer on additional Moves.

An example more specialized move, from The Chosen's playbook:
The Big Entrance: When you make a showy
entrance into a dangerous situation, roll +Cool.
On 10+ everyone stops to watch and listen until you
finish your opening speech. On a 7-9, you pick one
person or monster to stop, watch and listen until
you finish talking. On a miss, you’re marked as the
biggest threat by all enemies who are present.

Rolling +[attribute] is as close to skills as the game gets, so when reading moves just imagine a version that replaces that language with 'make a Charisma (Intimidation or Persuasion) check" or "make a Strength Check, with proficiency" or whatever fits the breakdown of how martial maneuvers work. How the variable result works could be done a few different way, like "DC +5 is an advanced success" while DC -5 is a a particularly bad result, and results in between are fairly standard success or fail without modification, for instance. COuld also be a thing where you roll a second d20 using a success ladder, but tbh success ladders without an external DC work best IMO with a dice pool of at least 2 dice.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I like the idea of a cleave mechanic, where one can continue attacking so long as you keep taking down enemies. Makes the fighter a great goonsweeper, which is a solid (and fun) niche. And I'm talking about a class feature here, not a feat.
That only works if the foes don't have many hit points. That said, I wouldn't mind seeing an overall reduction in everyone's hit points; so maybe there's space for a cleave-like mechanic.
 

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