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

Celebrim

Legend
@GMforPowergamers : There is so much to address that I hardly know where to begin, so I'll try to confine my response to one area and that is that you don't seem to distinguish between in fiction and out of fiction. You switch freely back and forth between an in fiction perspective and an out of fiction perspective, without seeming to note or mark that you have done so. This is very confusing to follow.

So let's talk about the claim "Robin Hood is the protagonist".

Now out of the fiction, Robin Hood is the protagonist. From the perspective of someone outside of the book or story, we know that Robin Hood hits the target because he is protected by the power of plot. He will succeed whenever the story needs him to succeed and fail whenever the story needs him to fail. Robin Hood hits the target from the out of story perspective because the writer wanted him to because the writer had full control over the story.

But inside the story at the level of the fiction, Robin Hood is not the protagonist. Robin Hood inside the story is a skilled warrior. He hits what he is shooting at not because the author of the story wants him to hit, because neither the author nor the story exists. He hits the target because he's the best archer in England. Robin Hood's archery skills within the story are not outside of what a real archer can do, because one of the things the story author wanted was to make Robin Hood a believable figure in the real world. One of the things real world trick archers do is recreate the splitting the arrow shot. Therefore, it doesn't require magic. Moreover, in the story Robin Hood doesn't hit because he's the protagonist, but because he's a skilled archer. Inside the story, Robin Hood can miss shots. He's merely the best archer in England. He doesn't have any magical abilities. So regardless of whether he finds the shots he's called on to do within his ability, there is some level of shot which even Robin Hood cannot make, which would stretch his skills to far. It's merely the story never asks him to do any of that.

From the standpoint of the game, Robin Hood doesn't have power of plot. He's a player character. He wouldn't be the protagonist less if he was a druid or a rogue rather than a whatever class you think Robin Hood is. Regardless of whether he is the protagonist or not, he has to test the fiction because Robin Hood's player is not the sole author of the story. Even more so, from the standpoint of the game, not every fighter is the protagonist. The third level fighter who is the gate watchman for a town isn't the protagonist. So saying that a fighter should have power of plot just because Robin Hood does in a story is weird. The game is not a novel.

One way this becomes immediately apparent is if we start comparing Robin Hood to other story characters like Deadshot and Bullseye who do have magical and supernatural levels of skill. Unlike Robin Hood, inside the story itself they are supposed to be able to do impossible shots that are beyond human ability. Both claim to "never miss". But of course, they do. If Deadshot or Bullseye try to shoot a target that has sufficiently good defensive ability and reflexes, they can and do regularly miss despite being much better shots than Robin Hood.

A power like "1/day, hit a target without missing" is magical in the context of a story, because it doesn't test against the fiction. It doesn't matter how far away the target is, how small the target is, or how good the target's defenses are, if you have that power you still hit. That's not something that depends on skill, because skill is not tested - "Is my skill higher than the skill of whom I'm shooting at?" That is magic.

Something is not magic just because you call it magic and something doesn't stop being magic just because you say it isn't magic.

"A jedi uses the force to pull a weapon from an enemy's hand
Harry Potter casts a spell disarming his opponent
Conan slams his axe down disarming his opponent

Two of those involve action at a distance governed by the mental force or will of a person who was born special. The other one is a guy with an axe. Action at a distance when governed by the mind is magic. Jedi are space wizards. In fact, I think that even in canon they are called sorcerers and wizards by other characters. "The Force" is just the in-universe explanation for magic in Star Wars.
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
do you want to go through every subclass for both classes?
It's going to be more than the 2 you gave to the fighter. I've never even seen a champion played.
nope 1 good crit turning a 3x attck into a 6x attack has more then once ended an enemy in our games
The fighter has several times more opportunity for crits. That steadier damage is still going to end more fights early. Once in a while you will end a fight with a crit. The fighter will be reducing the duration of every fight since he isn't wasting anywhere near as many rounds as you are.
what makes it crappy?
Besides the crappy to hit and crappy damage?
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Reading this thread I keep thinking of the scene in Mystery Men (sorry can’t find the clip) where the characters are talking about a superhero named The Sphinx. When asked what his superpowers are, one of the characters says, “He’s like, really mysterious. And he cuts guns in half with his mind.”
 

Undrave

Hero
Do people consider the maneuvers displayed in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon mundane, uncanny, or magical? Is there anything there that people would consider outside the theme of a fighter, or placed only in a subclass?
What about Dynasty Warrior? (ignore the glowing bit at the end, that's just Musou)
Ah. I think ECMO3 did a similar reckoning. He pointed out that Fighters' weapon and armour proficiencies actually break down into dozens of different choices. Therefore fighters did in fact have an equivalent number of choice of class feature as wizards do.
Oh yeah I remember that. Lol.
Holy false equivalence, Batman!

Picking between a longsword and a rapier is not comparable to having multiple level 1 spells let alone higher levels.
Ah! I know right? When you're a fighter you first pick if you're gonna go Sword & Board, Twin Weapon, Two-Hander or Ranged, then just pick whatever's the highest damage die you can get, same for armor, just pick the highest AC you can. it's not really rocket science.
Yeah, making a crappy to hit attack with a dagger or staff is not the same as a fighter with his weapon. Like not even close.
Before the Fighter gets a second attack the difference isn't that impressive. Especially if the Fighter is using a 1 handed weapon.
FWIW, I've seen clerics, druids, and wizard solely rely on cantrips for attacks (or forcing saves). In RotFM, I had a player with a cleric who actually threw his mace into the icy waters because he had no reason to carry it, toll the dead was better.
It's even worse for the Cleric, because their Cantrip gets buffed at level 5, but they only get their melee improving feature from their subclass at level 8! Meaning that between 5 and 8, your Melee Cleric is better off using their cantrip... and when they do get their buff it's just a D8, even though they could potentially have picked up a D10 damage weapon.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Reading this thread I keep thinking of the scene in Mystery Men (sorry can’t find the clip) where the characters are talking about a superhero named The Sphinx. When asked what his superpowers are, one of the characters says, “He’s like, really mysterious. And he cuts guns in half with his mind.”
"But why are my feet inside watermelons?"

"I don't remember telling you to do that."
 

Celebrim

Legend
Do people consider the maneuvers displayed in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon mundane, uncanny, or magical? Is there anything there that people would consider outside the theme of a fighter, or placed only in a subclass?

I consider them both magical and also, at the same time, within the theme of a generic high-level fighter. While fighters with as much Balance skill (in 3e) to perform the feats that the combatants in CTHD perform would be rare, they would be an available build. Further, whereas traditionally D&D has considered balancing on swaying bamboo, water, or clouds to be things characters can only do well after 20th level, I tend to see much of that as available at or before 20th level.

Spellcasters can cast a spell to walk on water. IMO, a sufficiently high level monk, rogue, or fighter with the right background/build eventually get to where they just can do it all the time by application of superhuman amounts of skill, albeit perhaps without perfect confidence of success except in favorable conditions (still water, for example).

I don't recall anything that is done in CTHD that is out of scope for what I think a martial character ought to be able to do. I'm not against them doing it, only against them being able to access these abilities as spells or powers. I want mechanical diversity and I want fiction dictating mechanics and not mechanics dictating fiction.

Is the Green Destiny effectively a magic item, or perhaps something that only an experienced fighter can get the most use out of?

It's definitely implied that the Green Destiny is a magic item, and that Jen is leveled up by the use of the Green Destiny and able to take on foes she wouldn't otherwise be able to take on. Li Mu Bai being much higher level, enjoys the Green Destiny but doesn't really need it against any foe he's likely to meet.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Before the Fighter gets a second attack the difference isn't that impressive. Especially if the Fighter is using a 1 handed weapon.
Let's say 3rd level. Wizards tank strength, so 8 strength and maybe 14 dex. The fighter is going to have a 16-18 in strength.

Wizard with dagger: +4 to hit, 1d4+2 damage
Wizard with staff: +1 to hit, 1d6-1 damage

Fighter with longsword and dueling style: +5 to hit, 1d8+5 damage
Fighter with greatsword and great weapon fighting: +5 to hit, 2d6+3 damage, re-roll 1s and 2s one time.

Average damage for wizard with dagger is 4.5. Average damage for the wizard with the staff is 2.5.
Average damage for fighter with longsword is 6.5. Average damage for fighter with greatsword is 10.

The wizard gets close to the same to hit ability with the dagger, but is hitting for rinky dink damage, and with the staff is supper crappy to hit and even worse damage.

The fighter comes out ahead with the longsword and significantly ahead with the greatsword. He is even farther ahead if he started with an 18 strength and has another +1 to hit and damage.

Let's face it. The wizard has a cantrip that has a better to hit and does more damage. If he's swinging his weapon, the player has done something wrong.
 

Undrave

Hero
Wizard with staff: +1 to hit, 1d6-1 damage
The Quarterstaff is a versatile weapon, so that should be 1d8+1.

I was thinking a Sword and Board Fighter with a Longword. Your exemple shows a 2 pts difference, if attack cantrip didn't exist.

But I agree a Wizard swinging a weapon is a little foolish...
 


DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I have seen people primary focus on cantrips but I have never seen a party were all the casters didn't carry any weapons.
First, to be clear, I never said "all the casters". ;)

My point is 9 times out of 10, they use cantrips. The 1 out of 10 times they have a weapon is because they need one for cantrips like shillelagh, GFB, or BB.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Yeah when I play a Wizard in 5e, there's really no purpose to carrying a weapon around. I usually have a dagger in my inventory because it's useful as a tool, but I don't wave it around or try to stab people with it!

Sure, I might run into an enemy I can't Firebolt, but I think even a humble Help action to one of my allies is going to be better than "throwing darts".

But at the same time, it wouldn't be hard to set a Wizard up to be a weapon user. Even ignoring the Bladesong cantrips, most Wizards like Dexterity, so all they need is proficiency and they can use a rapier or bow if they wanted.

AC was solved with the PHB, and it's only gotten easier, now that any race can get you the +2 Int you want.

(And, as an aside, how about Tortle Bladesingers? Why yes, I don't mind a 22 AC without wearing a scrap of armor!).
 

What about Dynasty Warrior? (ignore the glowing bit at the end, that's just Musou)
A cleave without end... that's top tier right there. To categorize it, I would consider it more preternatural than uncanny; there's definitely some qi going on there.

In my AD&D style game one of the things that I've adopted is that all fighters have cleave, parry and smite. So, extra attacks when you down opponents, channel attack bonus into AC or damage. I also have fighters gain half their level (rounded down) as a bonus to damage. Not only does their skill with weapons allow them to strike their opponents easier, but also to do more damage.

One of the consequences of this is that about 6th level they mow down reliably 1 HD creatures. Their minimum damage is at or above the average hit points. So they are taking out 5-6 of the opposing army reliably each round. By 9th level they are reliably taking out 3-4 4 HD creatures every two rounds.

I've been adapting the Battlemaster maneuvers and that seems to be going well-ish. I've dropped the superiority die, so they can perform the maneuvers pretty much at will. The main difference is that they can inflict standard damage or minimum damage with some effect. Sometimes an ability check for the target to resist. The fighter can sacrifice attack bonus, similar to parry and smite above, to give a penalty to their check to resist. Harder to hit, but harder to resist.

So far aggro, charge (-1 to attack for an extra 5 ft move), parry, and overrun (tide of iron-ish) have been the ones used. At the moment, I consider all of the maneuvers mundane, and I'm thinking about what uncanny and preternatural levels of them would look like.
 

It's going to be more than the 2 you gave to the fighter. I've never even seen a champion played.
I didn't use ANY subclass (I think I have seen champion multi into) I just read the class from D&D beyond and listed the number of time you get subclass eatures)
The fighter has several times more opportunity for crits.
from level 1-10 the fighter doesn't have more weapon attacks then other primary weapon attackers (including bards, warlocks and even a subclass of wizard)
 

jdrakeh

Front Range Warlock
So, I'm playing a level 6 rogue (Arcane Trickster)/level 5 fighter (Rune Knight) whose gimmick is to hulk out (giant's might), grapple (grappler feat) opponents, then shank them repeatedly with my +1 rapier. I average about 25 points of magical piercing damage per hit scored (sneak attack, duelist fighting style, giant's might once per turn) and usually hit with two attacks per turn. Which, is enough for me to be happy.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I didn't use ANY subclass (I think I have seen champion multi into) I just read the class from D&D beyond and listed the number of time you get subclass eatures)
That doesn't give the number of options, though. You're gimping fighters by doing that. But if you reaaaaaaly want to do it that way. Wizards get spellcasting as their feature, so the number of spells per level aren't part of that. So all of their spells from levels 1-20 = 1 feature. You would have to count that as only 1 feature at level 20, not 27(number of spell slots). See what I mean? ;)
 

So, I'm playing a level 6 rogue (Arcane Trickster)/level 5 fighter (Rune Knight) whose gimmick is to hulk out (giant's might), grapple (grappler feat) opponents, then shank them repeatedly with my +1 rapier. I average about 25 points of magical piercing damage per hit scored (sneak attack, duelist fighting style, giant's might once per turn) and usually hit with two attacks per turn. Which, is enough for me to be happy.
Um, good for you?

I don't think that's relevant to the discussion.
 


DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I don't see how anyone can in all honesty say that spellcasting is just one feature.
I agree.

While I won't count every single spell or spell slot, I do think counting access to each spell level and ritual casting works as 10 features (cantrips would make it 11, which I didn't count before).

IMO it is like counting Extra Attack (2) and Extra Attack (3) as separate from Extra Attack.
 


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