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

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
I don't understand why people want to give the fighter more social and exploration abilities when there are martial classes that focus on these things. Why should the fighter be a generalist who is good at everything.
 

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Haplo781

Legend
Because a class that basically sits on it's hands when out of combat isn't very much fun? I mean "good at combat" is a baseline expectation for classes in 5e- and most classes can do that and more. And it's not like the Fighter is all that much better at fighting than other classes.
Really, your class should primarily define "how you do combat", with your background and race covering the other pillars more.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I don't understand why people want to give the fighter more social and exploration abilities when there are martial classes that focus on these things. Why should the fighter be a generalist who is good at everything.
Here's the thing (as others have sort of said):

Every class can be good in combat, which makes sense due to combat being the most used pillar in many game styles IME.

Now, other martials are also good in other pillars, beyond simply a skill proficiency. Rangers and Rogues can both excel at exploration, as can monks. With a little DM leeway, even Barbarians due to STR advantage while raging can really be impactful outside of combat.

Paladins (due to high CHA typically) and Rogues (possible high CHA and/or expertise) can really shine in social at times.

But for the Fighter, the only thing the only feature is maybe Action Surge IMO. Now, they do get the extra ASIs which could be used for feats to help in these areas, but a lot of players don't want to have to spend those feats in such a manner and feel the class should have something to help them out.

In other words, if every martial can fight as well as a fighter, why can't the fighter do other things as well as those martial classes???
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
About the most "complex Fighter" I can think of is the Pathfinder 1E Fighter, with its plethora of feats and features and stacking bonuses and prestige classes. It's hard to compete with that level of complexity.

But this is a 5E thread, so my answer would be a Battle Master using the "optional" rules for feats. The FIghter would have at least some magical ability as well, whether it's the High Elf's cantrip or the Eladrin's fey step ability, or V.Human with the Magic Initiate (Warlock) feat. It would use the rules in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything to distribute racial ability scores and swap out skill proficiencies as needed to get the right bonuses in all the right places. Layer in a couple of levels of Paladin for the buffs and smites, just to make things extra complicated. And just for a little extra bang (pun intended), use the optional DMG rules for Firearms.

Most folks in this thread are suggesting their "dream fighter," though...not the 5E fighter necessarily. So in that case, the perfect level of complexity I would want in a fighter is very close to the Battle Master or the Samurai. I'd also like to see certain abilities and maneuvers that could only be done while wielding certain weapons. If you're thinking "martial abilities are spells," then also think "weapons are spell components" and you're in the ballpark.
 

Yeah you could build the Fighter so they were actually significantly ahead of all other classes at "winning combat" as a prize for not being able to contibute in the other pillars, but that would be a very different dynamic and I'm not sure one people want anymore. So Fighter gets Combat 10, Exploration 1, Social 1. Wizard gets Combat 5, Exploration 5, Social 5. Rogue gets Combat 3, Exploration 7, Social 10

From 3e on people seem to have the expectation that classes all contribute more than just "marginally" to "winning combat" which I think is fair given it's prominance in modern D&D. If other classes get to be 8 or 9 and you get to be 10 then it's not enough of a gap to justify your 1s.

Some people think the Fighter isn't anywhere near 10 at higher levels anyway so it's even worse of a situation today.
 

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.
What sort of game are we playing?

Fundamentally a complex fighter needs two things.
  1. Options rather than just making generic attacks
  2. To have to respond to an unfolding situation so the options available to the fighter are not the same every round.
Any fighter who has the same best choice almost every round isn't actually complex. Complexity comes from having options to weigh. The 4e fighter was a good complex one using positioning - but the 3.5 Crusader with a random selection of their maneuvers being available each round also qualifies - and works better with Theatre of the Mind. (I don't consider either of the other two Bo9S to be complex; you ran straight through their maneuvers, top to bottom much of the time).

They also need one of two things:
  1. To be comfortably the best class at fighting in the game and able to make every other class feel inadequate in combat by comparison
  2. To be able to hang with other classes out of combat by having abilities of their own that others can't match just as other classes have abilities they can't match rather than being basically a glorified commoner out of combat
Having both of these isn't necessary - but if classes are balanced within the combat pillar then they need to be balanced within all three pillars. What they can not be is the fighter being balanced in combat and just plain bad at social and exploration compared to other classes (which is the current situation). Do fighters need to be masters out of combat? No. But e.g. the Echo Knight has their things that no one else can match.

Edit: And I've yet to see a complex Pathfinder fighter - they are in my experience just fiddly, Counting a lot of bonuses - but spamming the same attack every turn.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
this is a good idea and can be bolted on to fighting styles if you givve the class multi.

thank god, that is what is needed most.

I like them...

one for being charming was my first thought to be honest
Charming... how about something like:
Play to my Strengths [Stance]
While in this stance, one can use Strength instead of Charisma for Persuasion, Intimidation, and Deception as long as one includes a physique or feat-of-strength component.
If the DM is using the Variant: Skills with Different Abilities (PHB 175) that would already allow this, instead you may add your Proficiency bonus to those rolls.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I wonder how people would view the class "distribution" (for lack of a better term) if you consider the three pillars with an idea of having 20 points to spend.

For example, I could see the following:

Class--------Combat--Explore--Social
Barbarian-------9--------8---------3---
Bard------------5--------5--------10---
Cleric-----------7--------4---------9---
Druid-----------7--------9---------4---
Fighter--------10--------6---------4---
Monk-----------8--------6---------6---
Paladin---------9--------3---------8---
Ranger---------8-------10---------2---
Rogue----------6--------7---------7---
Sorcerer--------6--------6---------8---
Warlock--------7--------4---------9---
Wizard---------7--------6----------6---

Obviously, subclass choices, etc. all have a big impact on this...
 

Haplo781

Legend
I wonder how people would view the class "distribution" (for lack of a better term) if you consider the three pillars with an idea of having 20 points to spend.

For example, I could see the following:

Class--------Combat--Explore--Social
Barbarian-------9--------8---------3---
Bard------------5--------5--------10---
Cleric-----------7--------4---------9---
Druid-----------7--------9---------4---
Fighter--------10--------6---------4---
Monk-----------8--------6---------6---
Paladin---------9--------3---------8---
Ranger---------8-------10---------2---
Rogue----------6--------7---------7---
Sorcerer--------6--------6---------8---
Warlock--------7--------4---------9---
Wizard---------7--------6----------6---

Obviously, subclass choices, etc. all have a big impact on this...
Only works if you're playing in a game with an equal distribution of all 3.
 

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