D&D 5E [+]What does your "complex fighter" look like?

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
NOTE: This is a + thread -- because I know I myself have been a little dismissive about this concept. Since it keeps coming up, I want to try and actually understand this desire and understand what the missing need is. So please let's all try and keep it both positive and productive.

So, if you are one of the people that feels like there is an unmet need for a "complex fighter" class/build/whatever -- what does that mean to you? What are you looking for in the game mechanics? What is missing, or what is actively restricting this?

One note: let's NOT talk about spellcasters if we can avoid it. We don't need another martials versus casters thread. What I am hoping is we can at least explicitly enumerate what people want, even if we can't solve the situation in this thread. Thanks.
 

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DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I'll begin by commenting on something I said in another thread: the Fighter is TOO GENERIC. This, IMO, is a large issue.

Strong martial: Barbarian
Dexy martial: Ranger/ Rogue?
Hardy martial: Fighter/ Ranger?
Intelligent martial: Rogue???
Wise martial: Monk
Charismatic martial: Paladin

That is just one way to look at it, of course!

I had an in-depth discussion with a player Sunday about this: What is the focus of the Fighter? It seems to lack one, only marginally defined by subclass and feat selection.

Now, many posters seem to imply (or outright say) that Fighter improvements should not revolve around combat--combat and DPR, etc. is someplace the Fighter does well.

So, what is left? Exploration and Social Pillars, in their diverse ways. How can the Fighter do these well in ways the other martials can't?

Rangers and Rogues will generally excel over Fighters in Exploration, while Rogue, Monks, and Paladins might do better in Social.

I think one thing that could make Fighters better is giving them more skills, at least a 3rd, and include more options to choose from. Granting two tools (including vehicles) and/or languages might be a good idea. Maybe give them advantage on certain checks for specific skills instead of giving them expertise (which is more the Rogue's forte) would help with the idea they excel in these.

Anyway, Fighters are not really in any way obviously the best at fighting (if they really are at all... YMMV), but they can't match other marital classes in Exploration or Social.

Sure, the extra ASIs Fighters get help, but honestly for most players all they will get is the 6th level one as few games reach the rarified 14th level ASI for Fighters.

I'm not sure what people really want, keeping this confined to a MARTIAL discussion, but I can see some form of Commander/ Tactial, Weapon Master, a Pugilist, etc. With the newer books, some options exist for these already.

Here is a shameless plug for a thread on this I made a while back with some of these ideas in mind. :D

 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
Pretty much the same but I (want to) layer on some manoeuvres and stances. Paladins and rangers would get these too, but a fighter would be better at them by getting more and also being able to use them as part of an opportunity attack.

I was going to ask a player to try some out, but then we went on a bit of a hiatus, and now we're back playing a game with different classes.
 

I would say in a perfect world I want the 4e classes of fighter and warlord ported in but just modified to fit the edition, but I don't think that will ever happen.

in my 'could happen' I want to take the warlock chaise.

2 subclasses, 1 at 1st and 1 at 3rd.

at 1st you would pick between a cha leader type, a int leader type, a wis defender type and a Dex striker type being based loosely on the 2 warlord builds, the fighter from the PHB of 4e and the slayer from 4e.

have 6-8 at will combat exploits similar to cantrips (some combat buy at least 1 social and 1 exploration maybe 1 that is strong rp)

then you pick from a list of 'exploits' each that has a prereq level (1st, 5th, 9th, 13th, 17th) and basically scale in power like spells do (so 1st ones are equal to 1st level spells, 5th level ones are between 2nd and 3rd level spells, 9th are about like 4th level and 13th equal to about 5th level and 17th in line with about 6th level spells) each of these you learn is like learning a spell for a warlock... and 1st choice of subclass opens up some options... but you basically get 2+ 1 every other level... more or less. You get 1 at 1st level and 2 at 2nd 'exploits' that allow you to use these... they come back on a short rest (again like warlock spells) and some scale as you level others have trade off ones as you level... but that we can nail out later. at level 11 you get a 3rd use per short rest and at 17th a 4th.

starting at 2nd level you get the equivalent of invocations. Some of these will give new at will abilities some will give 1/day use an exploit to do this big thing. some are passive bonuses. In my mind this is where things like 'charm somone' or 'expertise in a skill' can sit next to a stance ability like getting extra reactions but you need concentration...

now these exploits and invocation like things all need (IMO) labels like 'mondain, extortionary, supernatural (I used those from 3e but canny, uncanny, supernatural might be better) so in theory you can play from level 1-level 11 without ever having a supernatural ability if you want.

now here is the hard part... at 3rd level you get a subclass more invocative, something like Knight, local hero, chosen blade... but they have to all interact with all the 1st level choices.


now up above I said you should be able to play from 1st - 11th without supernatural abilities... I am fine if some of what comes next says 'no only supernatural choices' but it would be great if you could make it work without that.

starting at level 11 you get super exploits these don't silio with your others that come back on a short rest, you get them from a very short list and are the equivalent to game changing high arcana (so 6th-9th level spells)


keep it as a d8 medium armor all weapon prof class... give it something like Int and Con prof for saves, and do NOT give it extra attacks as default, but let them take one of there invocation like things to get a 2nd attack.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
(Throwing out different ideas separately for discussion.)

My complex fighter has Stances. Only one can be active at a time, and while active they grant an ongoing bonus. Starting and being in a stance generally is noticable. They can add to AC, negate disadvantage, give a bonus to thrown weapons, etc. Stances require Concentration, and a bonus action to start if in combat.

Not all stances are around combat. There are ones for forced marches, recovering exhaustion if kept for 1 hour, feats of athletics, and the like. There's also ones like "Ready!" which is not noticeable when assuming/in, but gives a bonus to Initiative, or "Fade to background" which grants stealth-like getting overlooked if you are appropriate to the scene. (Dressed like a guard in the palace, hanging in a tavern, etc.)

If other characters get stances, it will likely be around expertise in skills. Could be that in general each skill has a really cool special stance, and the fighter also gets a bunch.

Concentration was very specifically picked, even though it will bring in more dice rolling, so that it will be incompatible with Concentration spells. The fighter also starts with CON proficiency. Likely a later level feature would be something like "Hordebreaker", and one of the advantages it grants is automatically making Concentration saves equal to 10+Prof. This is mostly to reduce rolls.
 


Lord Shark

Adventurer
One of the things that made the 4E fighter stand out for me was that weapon choice actually mattered because of the feats and powers associated with each weapon type. Axes were less accurate but got bigger crits, spears and polearms were better for tripping and forced movement, swords were more accurate and better for attacks of opportunity (and therefore controlling your opponents' movement), hammers could daze and stun, etc. For a complex fighter, your choice of weapon should have as much an effect on your character's play style as a wizard's choice of spells does.

I'm in favor of giving the fighter more skills as well, but it needs to be accompanied by more guidance as to what skills can do other than "whatever the DM finds acceptable."
 

Haplo781

Legend
One of the things that made the 4E fighter stand out for me was that weapon choice actually mattered because of the feats and powers associated with each weapon type. Axes were less accurate but got bigger crits, spears and polearms were better for tripping and forced movement, swords were more accurate and better for attacks of opportunity (and therefore controlling your opponents' movement), hammers could daze and stun, etc. For a complex fighter, your choice of weapon should have as much an effect on your character's play style as a wizard's choice of spells does.
Having your choice of weapon mean more than die size and number of hands occupied was pretty nice.

I'm hoping "bonus feats" becomes the hallmark of martials in 1DD, so we can get some of the heavy specialization 4e allowed.
I'm in favor of giving the fighter more skills as well, but it needs to be accompanied by more guidance as to what skills can do other than "whatever the DM finds acceptable."
I had the wacky thought yesterday of flat out removing skills from casters to help address the disparity in out of combat utility.

Never gonna happen but it is a viable solution.
 


If casters get hundreds of pages of spells, then that's the amount of pages I want dedicated to martial maneuvers/exploits/tricks/stances/insights/etc as well. The different martial classes have different weightings for Combat/Exploration/Social, but everyone gets some in all categories.
if we get half the page count wizard spells get
no if we got 33.33333% of the page count it would be a huge improvement
 

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