D&D (2024) Weapon Masteries too Ubiquitous? New Fighter ability suggestion.

Clint_L

Hero
Rating those four classes in combat sort of depends on the tier of play (levels 1-4, 5-10, 11-16, 17-20)

Offence:
Tier 1: Fighter B, Ranger A, Paladin A, Barbarian A
Tier 2: Fighter A, Ranger B, Paladin A, Barbarian A
Tier 3: Fighter S, Ranger B, Paladin A, Barbarian A
Tier 4: Fighter S, Ranger B, Paladin A, Barbarian A

*you could make a case for Rangers staying at A, especially since Tasha's.

Once they get that third attack, I think fighters are in a league of their own when it comes to sustained DPR. At level 20, with double action surge and four attacks, fighters can lay the hurt far beyond what any other class can do, both in terms of nova or sustained damage. An echo knight can get 20 (!!!!) attacks in the first two rounds of combat which...is a lot (let's say they have a flame tongue great sword with GWM, for example...that's 660 base damage in two rounds...Jeebus).

Defence: This one is simpler for me: fighters and paladins are consistently an A, Rangers a B (at best - maybe a C), and barbarians an S.

So fighters always have a place in combat and are welcome in any party - we all know this to be true. But, especially depending on sub-class, that place is kind of boring. You roll a bunch of attacks and you soak a bunch of hits. Barbarians are in a similar spot, IMO. Paladins are frequently considered an S tier class because they are just as capable of doing the basic combat stuff (hitting and soaking) but gain the flexibility that magic offers, including some pretty clutch healing, and can be the party face outside of combat. Rangers I think are widely considered the weakest in combat but get to do that exploration role outside of it, which is fun. They are often seen as kind of interchangeable with rogue (and to a lesser extent monk, which is the last place finisher out of all these classes, with no clear niche in or out of combat).

I agree that fighter and barbarian design feels like the bare minimum but...even though the rage mechanic is super basic, it just feels really fun, you know? Like, when I start a combat by saying, "first, as a bonus action, I would like TO RAGE!!!" it feels like everyone wants to cheer. So even though I think that barbarians are technically in a similar spot to fighters, and have fewer and less interesting sub-classes, it feels less like they need something. Rage may be basic, but it's unique and really good. Fighters need that thing that gives them flavour and I think leadership should be it, with abilities that benefit the party both on and off the battlefield.

That's what I mean when I state that fighters are good but boring. They lack a core identity, IMO.
 
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Chaosmancer

Legend
Rating those four classes in combat sort of depends on the tier of play (levels 1-4, 5-10, 11-16, 17-20)

Offence:
Tier 1: Fighter B, Ranger A, Paladin A, Barbarian A
Tier 2: Fighter A, Ranger B, Paladin A, Barbarian A
Tier 3: Fighter S, Ranger B, Paladin A, Barbarian A
Tier 4: Fighter S, Ranger B, Paladin A, Barbarian A

*you could make a case for Rangers staying at A, especially since Tasha's.

Once they get that third attack, I think fighters are in a league of their own when it comes to sustained DPR. At level 20, with double action surge and four attacks, fighters can lay the hurt far beyond what any other class can do, both in terms of nova or sustained damage. An echo knight can get 20 (!!!!) attacks in the first two rounds of combat which...is a lot (let's say they have a flame tongue great sword with GWM, for example...that's 660 base damage in two rounds...Jeebus).

I will disagree with you that Fighter's are superior in sustained damage in Tier 3.

At 11th level a sword and board fighter will get 3d8+modsx3, meanwhile a Paladin with Radiant Strikes/Improved Divine Smite will get 4d8+modsx2.

Now, a Fighter's Nova can surpass a paladin, easily, but a Fighter can only Nova once. A paladin can use Smites multiple times per day. So, I think in terms of damage, the Paladin is also an S.

I also think Rangers are easily an A until 11th level. Your basic Hunter Ranger is going to be dealing 2d8+1d8+2d6+modx2 in a fairly sustained manner by level 5, and that is VERY good damage. Maybe better than the fighter and Paladin. Even at level 11 I'd argue it isn't B tier damage.

So fighters always have a place in combat and are welcome in any party - we all know this to be true. But, especially depending on sub-class, that place is kind of boring. You roll a bunch of attacks and you soak a bunch of hits. Barbarians are in a similar spot, IMO. Paladins are frequently considered an S tier class because they are just as capable of doing the basic combat stuff (hitting and soaking) but gain the flexibility that magic offers, including some pretty clutch healing, and can be the party face outside of combat. Rangers I think are widely considered the weakest in combat but get to do that exploration role outside of it, which is fun. They are often seen as kind of interchangeable with rogue (and to a lesser extent monk, which is the last place finisher out of all these classes, with no clear niche in or out of combat).

I do often wonder if the Ranger is not as weak as people might remember. Even back in 2014, it was often the case that the Ranger's damage was fine, but the Beastmaster was a mess. It was often the ranger's utility in exploration which caused the frustrations they felt.

I agree that fighter and barbarian design feels like the bare minimum but...even though the rage mechanic is super basic, it just feels really fun, you know? Like, when I start a combat by saying, "first, as a bonus action, I would like TO RAGE!!!" it feels like everyone wants to cheer. So even though I think that barbarians are technically in a similar spot to fighters, and have fewer and less interesting sub-classes, it feels less like they need something. Rage may be basic, but it's unique and really good. Fighters need that thing that gives them flavour and I think leadership should be it, with abilities that benefit the party both on and off the battlefield.

That's what I mean when I state that fighters are good but boring. They lack a core identity, IMO.

I can agree with that, though I often feel like Barbarian damage is weaker than it should be without the right subclass. Rage Bonus damage is just the dueling fighting style, and they don't actually get anything else base-line to increase their damage. Reckless Attack is good for accuracy, but the reason it rocketed up their damage was actually just because of the GWM feat, not the Barbarian class
 

Clint_L

Hero
That's a good point - without GWM we might see barbarian popularity slide significantly. But this thread is about fighters and why they are basic Bettys/Barrys.
 

Azzy

ᚳᚣᚾᛖᚹᚢᛚᚠ
Fair enough but

This is not going to change, not from Wizards of the Coast at any rate. For starters to change anything would break compatibility and even if they were willing to make such a change it would never pass muster at the survey. It is not that you are wrong, as much as I would like to emulate Finn McCool or even a bankai or a shaikai, it is not going to happen in official D&D.
Regardless, I'm still going to push for it in the surveys and I suggest that others that feel the same do so as well.
 

Azzy

ᚳᚣᚾᛖᚹᚢᛚᚠ
Not by much if they only get 3.
More than that gives diminishing returns, though. How often will a fighter switch between more than three weapons in a single 24-hour period? Especially when you can switch out weapon masteries with a long rest. So, giving the fighter more masteries really isn't a real boon and doing so eats up design space that could go to a more useful (and potentially more interesting) feature.
 
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Azzy

ᚳᚣᚾᛖᚹᚢᛚᚠ
Yeah, I don't like weapon masteries being given out like candy. Non-Fighters should only get one mastery (barring a feat to get another).
 

Guythegard

Villager
I would keep the class flavor of “your reliably good” concept and make the ability’s less powerful and make them not once per sort/long rest…. Like the blindsight, and protection fighting stiles but I do agree that the dulling, defense, and archery fighting stiles are mostly bland.

Keep in mind that the designers want to discourage you from using the flame tung rapier just because its good, give the fighter tow options to pic from fighting stiles, give them the privilege of changing them whenever they gain an extra attack feature make them more tactically based, make them all specific to a weapon/armor ex, and make them scale by class level you got them in.
The other classes will get there fighting stiles back but only get to pic one and I‘d keep the fighting stile feet.
 


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