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

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
For 6-8 hours. Sure, you got through 6-8 combats but do you remember any thing that happened in any of them?
You remember the big hits and/or the important hits (through dramatic tension).

One of the issues IMO is most often any combat maneuvers don't deal damage, so players default to attacking because reducing the target to 0 hit points is the fastest way to end the fight.

Which I find ironic in cases where the enemy has a weapon, because disarming those weapons would be the fastest way to end the fight.

Anyway, so performing a maneuver needs to grant some advantage equitable to dealing damage, or why bother doing it?
 

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Undrave

Hero
Having messed around with Lancer a bit (fun game!), I appreciate how they manage their Advantage / Disadvantage system. Their rolls use a d20, but it is not a d20 system. Each level of Adv/Dis grants you a +/- d6 to the roll. They cancel out as you would expect. If you gain more advantage, you would, say, roll 2d6 and apply the highest, not the total, to the d20. That could be a useful application of "tactical" dice, and be able to add to attack, damage, AC, saves, movement (1 corresponds to 5', 2 to 10', &c.).
Sounds like a neat system!

What if the Fighter had a pool of stamina they could spend on things the would recharge on long rest, but that they could recharge some of them by spending a hit dice? Spend and roll a hit dice, recover stamina dice equal to the result? They could use that Stamina to buff their attack rolls, their damage, their AC, their saves, etc whenever a dire situation calls for it, using the system you mention where they can roll as many as they want but only take the highest number.

Honestly, I don't know why rolling multiple dice like this annoys me, but it does.

I had a player who liked to roll his attack roll and damage roll together to speed things up. It always bothered me. I know rationally it is a good practice, but for whatever irrational reason is just bugs me. 🤷‍♂️
I think it’s because it robs you of the separate excitement of wait for the damage roll. There’s tension in knowing if you hit, and then tension again in knowing how much damage, but if you roll them together, you’re cutting off one half of the tension! You immediately know how much damage the attack will do.
Anyway, so performing a maneuver needs to grant some advantage equitable to dealing damage, or why bother doing it?
Ideally it would make the job of the rest of the party easier. Also we need a maneuver that disables flying speed for 1 turn. Would be incredibly useful at later levels.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Anyway, so performing a maneuver needs to grant some advantage equitable to dealing damage, or why bother doing it?
The way I did it was that anyone can push, shove and trip, but martials get abilities that hit for damage, then push, shove or trip.

From my rebuild:

Bring Them Down – Standard Action – 3FP

[Technique – Flexible, Unarmed – Trip]


Make a single melee attack against a target within reach.



On a hit, deal 1[WD + STR modifier damage] + ½ level and you may immediately attempt to Trip the target. This Trip attempt does not provoke an attack of opportunity.



At 9th level, the damage increases to 2[WD + STR modifier] + ½ level. You may now use this technique whenever you would be allowed to use a Basic Strike.



At 18th level, the damage increases to 4[WD + STR modifier] + ½ level.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I think it’s because it robs you of the separate excitement of wait for the damage roll. There’s tension in knowing if you hit, and then tension again in knowing how much damage, but if you roll them together, you’re cutting off one half of the tension! You immediately know how much damage the attack will do.
It's as good a reason as any LOL and could well be the case. :)

Ideally it would make the job of the rest of the party easier.
Maybe, but if your PC as primary damage dealer is performing the maneuvers, it is usually a zero-sum game.

For example, say you knock a target prone (cost you an attack) but then your next attack is with advantage against a prone target. So, you aren't gaining anything.

However, if you make it so your critical hit range increases to 19-20 against a prone target as well. But now, it is always advantageous to knock your target prone.

It becomes a struggle between creating a viable alternative and one that is always better (making two attacks obsolete).

Also we need a maneuver that disables flying speed for 1 turn. Would be incredibly useful at later levels.
Sort of a hamstringing maneuver would work. A ranged attack (most likely) which reduces the creature's speed to 0 until the end of its next turn.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
You remember the big hits and/or the important hits (through dramatic tension).

One of the issues IMO is most often any combat maneuvers don't deal damage, so players default to attacking because reducing the target to 0 hit points is the fastest way to end the fight.

Which I find ironic in cases where the enemy has a weapon, because disarming those weapons would be the fastest way to end the fight.

Anyway, so performing a maneuver needs to grant some advantage equitable to dealing damage, or why bother doing it?
But disarming an opponent to end the fight requires either that you then execute them (which can be uncomfortable), that you take them prisoner (with all the complications that implies) or that you let them go (which has its own set of complications).
 

Celebrim

Legend
But disarming an opponent to end the fight requires either that you then execute them (which can be uncomfortable), that you take them prisoner (with all the complications that implies) or that you let them go (which has its own set of complications).

It's also not necessarily that easy. Disarming isn't something that in reality or in the genre happens all that much. It's usually a maneuver that the protagonist uses to show their absolute domination over an opponent that isn't close to their own skill level. As such, it I think definitely should be a rare tactic in the arsenal. A peer level fighter should be very difficult to disarm, so much so that it's not worth the effort to focus on it as a tactic.

Being able to end the fight with a foe that is not close to your level of ability without killing them immediately does however has it's uses.

And a feat that said something like, "If you hit a target and they are then at 20% or less of their normal maximum hit points, you may attempt to disarm them for free." would be fun and provide for some genre emulation that wasn't an exploit and which didn't break suspension of disbelief.
 

(Guess I missed some stuff last night, sorry!)


Ya know, I’m not a big fan of superiority dice… I just feel like they focus too much attention on sheer damage instead of the interesting effects found in the maneuvers. Damage’s not exactly a department the Fighter is missing out on, but it’s valued so much that they only get a handful of dice. I’d rather get the maneuvers at-will without the extra damage.

It’d be a lot more fun if superiority dice were just completely divorced from maneuvers and just be a different thing where the Fighter can throw some extra D6/D8/D10 to their damage in a similar way to a Paladin’s Smite (call it ‘extra effort’ if you want).
I mean, this is not the Fighter we're talking about. This is a new class not beholden to the design of the Fighter.
For instance we don't need Extra Attack. We can use maneuvers spending superiority dice to provide damage instead.
 

Undrave

Hero
Sort of a hamstringing maneuver would work. A ranged attack (most likely) which reduces the creature's speed to 0 until the end of its next turn.
Could be useful in melee too so the target can't fly away from you, especially good on OA.

and speaking of ranged attack, the range of thrown weapon should increase at certain STR scores.
However, if you make it so your critical hit range increases to 19-20 against a prone target as well. But now, it is always advantageous to knock your target prone.
What about a system where critical hit bonus damage wasn’t a basic rule (except maybe for monsters?) and instead each weapon using class had their own selection of effects applied to crits? And that there would be many ways – class features, feats, weapons, tactics, conditions, etc – that improved your crit range? Maybe the Barbarian would have a simple explosive damage system (roll 2d6 extra damage, roll any 6, you get an additional d6!); while the Fighter would have ways to disarm opponents or maybe send them flying, ragdoll style, like an angry Lu Bu or stuns; while a Paladin would gain some kind of Divine Boon, maybe a Rogue Crit could bypass damage rolls all together and just take off half the enemy’s HP if they fail a CON save…

Crit fishing would then involve trying to gain the high ground, or use distracting moves to improve your allie’s crit range…

Just a thought.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Could be useful in melee too so the target can't fly away from you, especially good on OA.
Sure.

and speaking of ranged attack, the range of thrown weapon should increase at certain STR scores.
A simple rule would be add 5 feet per point of STR modifier to long range?

What about a system where critical hit bonus damage wasn’t a basic rule (except maybe for monsters?) and instead each weapon using class had their own selection of effects applied to crits? And that there would be many ways – class features, feats, weapons, tactics, conditions, etc – that improved your crit range? Maybe the Barbarian would have a simple explosive damage system (roll 2d6 extra damage, roll any 6, you get an additional d6!); while the Fighter would have ways to disarm opponents or maybe send them flying, ragdoll style, like an angry Lu Bu or stuns; while a Paladin would gain some kind of Divine Boon, maybe a Rogue Crit could bypass damage rolls all together and just take off half the enemy’s HP if they fail a CON save…

Crit fishing would then involve trying to gain the high ground, or use distracting moves to improve your allie’s crit range…

Just a thought.
I was just watching a movie and thinking of things like a hit that would knock a target prone if either:

1. it was a critical hit, OR
2. it hit by 5 points or more

Choose an option. I prefer the 5 or more rule, but that involves maths, and it seems like "modern" players don't enjoy doing maths as much as older players do. 🤷‍♂️

I like the idea of riders to attacks more than just replacing attacks.
 

Another option would be adding an element of randomness but without requiring something as rare as a crit to do something interesting.
e.g. The class has an "Opportunity die" which increases as the class levels that is rolled at the same time as their damage roll.
If the roll is even, they just add the roll to their damage.
If the roll is odd then they can use an Opportunity maneuver. Opportunity maneuvers are picked from a pool of options and are ranked based on the minimum number that they require to have appeared on the opportunity die.
Level 1 opportunity maneuvers might be Target has disadvantage on its next attack roll. Or Target is pushed 5ft. Or The next attack against this target has Advantage.
Level 9 maneuvers might be extremely powerful, because they can only be used at a level where the opportunity die is d10 or d12 and even then require it to come up as 9 or 11. That is where your Save or die, or Prof bonus allies can use their reaction to take an additional action. or other suitably powerful effects.

This class might have proficiency bonus number of additional dice and can choose to spend one to roll at the same time as the opportunity die to boos the odds of a good result. These would refresh on long or short rest. The class would not get Extra Attack until 11th level, but there would be opportunity maneuvers granting extra attacks. (For example a level 3 one might be Make an additional attack against a different target. Whereas a level 5 one might be Make one single attack against each creature of your choice within your reach other than your target.
 

Undrave

Hero
A simple rule would be add 5 feet per point of STR modifier to long range?
5 extra feet to both.
I was just watching a movie and thinking of things like a hit that would knock a target prone if either:

1. it was a critical hit, OR
2. it hit by 5 points or more

Choose an option. I prefer the 5 or more rule, but that involves maths, and it seems like "modern" players don't enjoy doing maths as much as older players do. 🤷‍♂️

I like the idea of riders to attacks more than just replacing attacks.
Whatever the case, I'd really like if the mechanics conveyed that fighting isn't just dumbly swinging a big stick, but that it requires intelligence, cunning and guile. Basically that instead of just spending a superiority dice you have to actively engage with the fight and environments.

Another idea I just had is a system where, when you have advantage, you can inflict a minor status ailment (say, you Slow the enemy until the end of your next turn) in addition to damage, but when you attack a target who is already suffering from a specific minor status, you can then inflict a much more serious affliction (say, if their attack currently has a penalty, your hit basically drops their speed to 0 for a while).

Basically, by having different riders trigger other riders on a different technique, you can combo your own hits. And if you have a partner who can also provide status, you might be able to just skip to your more dire attacks.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Man, I wish the game felt that way.

5 extra feet to both.

Whatever the case, I'd really like if the mechanics conveyed that fighting isn't just dumbly swinging a big stick, but that it requires intelligence, cunning and guile. Basically that instead of just spending a superiority dice you have to actively engage with the fight and environments.

Another idea I just had is a system where, when you have advantage, you can inflict a minor status ailment (say, you Slow the enemy until the end of your next turn) in addition to damage, but when you attack a target who is already suffering from a specific minor status, you can then inflict a much more serious affliction (say, if their attack currently has a penalty, your hit basically drops their speed to 0 for a while).

Basically, by having different riders trigger other riders on a different technique, you can combo your own hits. And if you have a partner who can also provide status, you might be able to just skip to your more dire attacks.

If I were designing a D&D-like game from scratch, I would make every class MAD, and make melee combat a rock-paper-scissors kind of thing. Not only would an Int built for martials be viable, one of the things it would do is give you an edge in RPS. I don't know exactly how it would work (everything that comes to mind feels overly complex) but somehow high Int would give you insight into your opponent's choice.

However, as cool as I personally think that would be, it wouldn't really be Dungeons and Dragons.
 



DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Another idea I just had is a system where, when you have advantage, you can inflict a minor status ailment (say, you Slow the enemy until the end of your next turn) in addition to damage, but when you attack a target who is already suffering from a specific minor status, you can then inflict a much more serious affliction (say, if their attack currently has a penalty, your hit basically drops their speed to 0 for a while).
This is a nice idea. I could see rogues benefiting (advantage granting SA and possibly a rider). It would also encourage knocking prone to gain advantage, however if the rider isn't sufficient you could still choose to attack twice instead of spending one of those attacks to shove.
 

There's also Iron Heroes, by Monte Cook, et al., and now owned by... someone else. Maybe @gameprinter ?

The game is basically 7 fighter classes, 2 rogue classes, and a half-baked wizard that performed better with an update. It has a number of interesting mechanics for the classes, although much of it is centered around class focused token pools and long feat chains. I have adapted a number of things from it, however.
 

Undrave

Hero
This is a nice idea. I could see rogues benefiting (advantage granting SA and possibly a rider). It would also encourage knocking prone to gain advantage, however if the rider isn't sufficient you could still choose to attack twice instead of spending one of those attacks to shove.
You'd have to add new ways to gain advantage (maybe use a different system for 'advantage'?) maybe, or other conditions to trigger the basic riders that's not just advantage.

The idea would be to not make it TOO universal either so that your fights don't all just devolve into 'Shove, stab, next turn STAB STAB' ya know?
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
You'd have to add new ways to gain advantage (maybe use a different system for 'advantage'?) maybe, or other conditions to trigger the basic riders that's not just advantage.
Advantage would be the best starting place, but yes you could have other actions / features allow them, perhaps using bonus actions or even reactions.

The idea would be to not make it TOO universal either so that your fights don't all just devolve into 'Shove, stab, next turn STAB STAB' ya know?
I think a few features which would work best with certain classes, particularly Barbarian, Fighter, and Rogue; as Monks have stunning strike already, Paladins have Smites, and Rangers--well--should have something already LOL.
 



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