5E What IS a level 1 Fighter?

When I say "Level 1 Fighter" what image first comes to mind?

  • A farm hand picking up a sword to go slay goblins

    Votes: 7 7.9%
  • Someone who just started training with weapons

    Votes: 12 13.5%
  • A veteran who turns his skills with weapons toward adventuring

    Votes: 47 52.8%
  • Something else entirely

    Votes: 23 25.8%

  • Total voters
    89
The direction a target faces is never mentionned in the rules. It's not a state represented by the game mechanics. Thus, there are no facing rules in DnD 5e.
I wasnt talking about 5e

When you said there were no facing rules you specified "in dnd". I was responding on the basis of all dnd. Back stab is an example. Attacking in general can be an example in some ways according to being concealed which you get an advantage toward if the npc is facing away. And other examples.
 

Undrave

Adventurer
I wasnt talking about 5e

When you said there were no facing rules you specified "in dnd". I was responding on the basis of all dnd. Back stab is an example. Attacking in general can be an example in some ways according to being concealed which you get an advantage toward if the npc is facing away. And other examples.
This is a 5e thread though. It didn't occur to me I had to specify 5e all the damn time.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I even see Sorcerers as individuals who have had some training. Sure, their powers manifest without training but by the time they're 1st level they're able to use their spell with a great deal of precision while suffering the stress of combat. They've had some practice. A Fighter starts out with the ability to effectively use almost all arms & armor in existence. Those ladies and gentlemen have had a fair bit of training to reach that point.
As someone who's used a shield, you have to learn it. An ill used shield hinders you more than the enemy! So to master all weapons and armor, that's some pretty devoted training. Historically a lot of soldiers knew a few weapons and that was enough.
 
That's my point. Claiming a Fighter represents a farm boy hero is thus ridiculous.
I don't understand why you think that? You object to a farm boy being a fighter because they haven't got training, but you also object to the farm boy being a fighter because they have special powers because they are the son of a god/Darth Vader/the rightful king/the Chosen One which stands instead of training?

So you get to quote stuff like The Hobbit and Aliens, and my pointing out the vast majority of fantasy written in the last 40 years isn't like the Hobbit just shows I'm a trash person with trash tastes? Also the only things allowed to influence D&D are on Appendix N because history stopped in 1977? 'Kay.
I specifically did not say "trash". Those modern fantasy novels are perfectly good, many are much better written than the pulp fantasies that influenced Gygax, but they are not representative of the whole of the genre. GRRM wrote A Song of Ice and Fire specifically because he felt the heroism of Tolkien's characters to be unrealistic. Which is both true and to miss the point. Tolkien wrote the world as he wanted it to be, not as he believed it to be.

So, if you like you D&D grimdark, and characters to only have abilities that are "realistic", then that's fine. But don't try and tell those of use who like our fantasy old fashioned and heroic that we are doing it wrong.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
So, if you like you D&D grimdark, and characters to only have abilities that are "realistic", then that's fine. But don't try and tell those of use who like our fantasy old fashioned and heroic that we are doing it wrong.
I'm not even sure that's what he was saying, though I can't speak for him.

I love both types of fantasy as great stories.

I don't think the classes of D&D represent those story journey's very well, especially at the beginning where the classes assume a level of competence in the characters that those classic/heroic stories rarely assume in their protagonists.
 
I'm not even sure that's what he was saying, though I can't speak for him.

I love both types of fantasy as great stories.

I don't think the classes of D&D represent those story journey's very well, especially at the beginning where the classes assume a level of competence in the characters that those classic/heroic stories rarely assume in their protagonists.
Just how competent is a 1st level character? I seem to remember them falling down wells, setting each other on fire and running from goblins.
 

Ruin Explorer

Adventurer
I don't understand why you think that? You object to a farm boy being a fighter because they haven't got training, but you also object to the farm boy being a fighter because they have special powers because they are the son of a god/Darth Vader/the rightful king/the Chosen One which stands instead of training?
The problem for 5E is that an L1 Fighter is an extremely competent and well-trained combatant, who knows every kind of armour and every normal weapon out there, and has fighting so developed, he has a "style". I can definitely see Second Wind and Action Surge as just "heroic" qualities sure.

But that's already not a "farm boy", because of that level of training.

They don't get any special powers, if they have them, until level 3, and that's kind of problematic. If they got them at L1 it would much easier to say "Okay this dude has these powers because of the Force" or whatever. Chosen One-types frequently do need and have had a lot of training. Rand al'Thor comes to mind. He'd been trained for a long time by his dad, and you don't get much more "chosen one" than him.

This is a situation created by the rules conflicting with what you want to do with them. 5E doesn't have a great "Chosen One" class. Monk actually might be the best. You can re-skin Monk very easily (just as we'd want to re-skin Fighter to be a "farm boy", but all the proficiencies etc. make it weird). Indeed his unarmed attack, lack of need for armour, and ability to make a wide variety of weapons deadly actually scream "Chosen One" from fantasy.

I think it's fair to say that Fighter doesn't necessarily reflect a soldier, from an army, but it does reflect someone who has been trained to fight. I guess you could say "I was never trained, I just instinctively know how to do these things! It's a mystery!". That's cool, but it's like, definitely the default assumption.

Those modern fantasy novels are perfectly good, many are much better written than the pulp fantasies that influenced Gygax, but they are not representative of the whole of the genre.
I disagree. Genres are not stuck in amber in the 1970s. They progress and change. Writers are read and writers are forgotten. Tolkien is NOT the main touchstone for D&D, the pulp that Gygax read is. Gygax and others have been very clear about this. The Tolkien stuff was almost against Gygax's will, to hear him (and others) tell it. Early D&D's structure and goals are those, primarily, of sword and sorcery. So all this about "Tolkien wrote as he wanted the world to be!" is fine, but RE Howard and Moorcock and so on, all as big or bigger influences on D&D did not. Their stuff was every bit as dark and gritty as, say GRRM or Joe Abercrombie. The genre as a whole is far closer to Moorcock, now, than Tolkien, and so is D&D, I would suggest.
 
The problem for 5E is that an L1 Fighter is an extremely competent and well-trained combatant, who knows every kind of armour and every normal weapon out there, and has fighting so developed, he has a "style". I can definitely see Second Wind and Action Surge as just "heroic" qualities sure.

But that's already not a "farm boy", because of that level of training.
D&D is not a reality simulator. It has always assumed that if you can pick up a spear or shield you can use it to some degree. That it actually takes a considerable amount of practice and skill to use a sword is simply not part of the physical universe D&D represents, just as shooting lightning out of your fingertips is not part of our universe.

Consider a staff or a dagger - in reality it takes just as much skill to fight with these weapons as it does with a sword, or to hit something with a sling or light crossbow, but in D&D even the most desk-bound wizard can use them proficiently.

5e has flattened out the progression of attack bonuses from 1st level to maximum level, but this is a game mechanics quirk. It is not intended to indicate that 1st level characters are now supposed to be super-good. Compare the stats of a common or garden thug, who at CR1/2 is considered an equal match for two first level fighters.

A "fighting style" does not have to be "developed" before the adventure starts: It maybe the first time a farm boy picks up a bow over the course of their first adventure they discover they have a knack for hitting the target.

They don't get any special powers, if they have them, until level 3, and that's kind of problematic. If they got them at L1 it would much easier to say "Okay this dude has these powers because of the Force" or whatever. Chosen One-types frequently do need and have had a lot of training. Rand al'Thor comes to mind. He'd been trained for a long time by his dad, and you don't get much more "chosen one" than him.
Perseus is the original, and he didn't have any "superpowers" as a result of being the son of Zeus.


I disagree. Genres are not stuck in amber in the 1970s. They progress and change.
They change yes. Progress, no. Fashions go round in circles, clothing and literature both.

Writers are read and writers are forgotten.
Writers maybe, stories, no. No one wrote the Monomyth that formed the plot of Star Wars. I just quoted the retellling of the Greek and Norse myths by Fry and Gaiman that where published this year/last year and where UK bestsellers. And I suspect there are plenty of people who could tell you who wrote Le Morte d'Arthur or The Tempest.

Tolkien is NOT the main touchstone for D&D, the pulp that Gygax read is. Gygax and others have been very clear about this. The Tolkien stuff was almost against Gygax's will, to hear him (and others) tell it. Early D&D's structure and goals are those, primarily, of sword and sorcery. So all this about "Tolkien wrote as he wanted the world to be!" is fine, but RE Howard and Moorcock and so on, all as big or bigger influences on D&D did not. Their stuff was every bit as dark and gritty as, say GRRM or Joe Abercrombie. The genre as a whole is far closer to Moorcock, now, than Tolkien, and so is D&D, I would suggest.
ALL of this stuff is part of D&D, new and old. You are leaning very close to saying that Grimdark is superior, and people who like anything else are wrong.
 

MGibster

Adventurer
I don't understand why you think that? You object to a farm boy being a fighter because they haven't got training, but you also object to the farm boy being a fighter because they have special powers because they are the son of a god/Darth Vader/the rightful king/the Chosen One which stands instead of training?
In 5E terms that character is likely a Fighter with the Folk Hero background. Her or she may have started out as a humble farmer, but by the time we see them at 1st level they are a well trained Fighter. Maybe it wasn't formal training like the Knight received, rather it was informal on-the-job training. The use of backgrounds in D&D 5E indicates that even 1st level characters have some sort of past. They didn't just wake up this morning and find themselves 1st level adventurers.
 
Depends. Realism according to internal structure is a thing to.
No, it's not. It's just internal consistency.

Casting a 9th level spell with 0 experience for instance and no chance of dying horribly would harm that.
No spell in 5e carries an XP cost and wish is one of the few that carries any danger, at all.
And it doesn't have any other option for reaching to cast a spell normally beyond you at some risk, either.
 
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The other thing to consider is it might go the other way - you could create a mercenary captain with ten years combat experience - and they are still a 1st level fighter.

Suspension of disbelief is required either way.
 

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