What is the Ranger to you?

and the Fighter is both the best tank and in the top tier of damage dealers.
To be fair, the Fighter (Slayer) was explicitly a Striker sub-class, and the design prevented any cross-pollenating of it's striker function to the Fighter (Weaponmaster or Knight) and almost completely prevented the reverse (a Slayer might spend a feat to swap /one/ Power Strike for a Fighter Encounter power that had some Defender utility even without Combat Challenge).

(OK, also to be fair, "Tank" and Defender are not the same thing. Defender is more active with mechanical support, Tank just connotes toughness, which the Slayer had in ample degree.)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
To be fair, the Fighter (Slayer) was explicitly a Striker sub-class, and the design prevented any cross-pollenating of it's striker function to the Fighter (Weaponmaster or Knight) and almost completely prevented the reverse (a Slayer might spend a feat to swap /one/ Power Strike for a Fighter Encounter power that had some Defender utility even without Combat Challenge).

(OK, also to be fair, "Tank" and Defender are not the same thing. Defender is more active with mechanical support, Tank just connotes toughness, which the Slayer had in ample degree.)
Two things.

A) I nowhere refered to the Slayer. I was talking about the PHB Fighter, later renamed the Weaponmaster. Sadly the wotc forums CharOp threads discussing the damage output of the Fighter when built for maximum DPR are all lost, but it wasn't a controversial opinion to place the Fighter in the top tier. It isn't going to beat the other top teir strikers, who are all actually strikers, but it can beat strikers below that level pretty handily.

2) Tank refers to damage absorption, which is what the person I replied to brought up.


Also, as an aside, the idea that a class can be identified by "being the best at straight up combat" is so completely unteneble to me that it boggles me that the Fighter continues to exist. That isn't a concept, on any level or axis.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
...nod, unless the Fighter were in a duel, then his defender features did absolutely nothing.
Sure but a class isnt JUST those, See a Brash Strike is a bit like the Berserker Fury ability... but for a single use case, it turns off some defensiveness in favor of a pop to your to hit and damage without an ally being involved.
You take the +2 to hit and -2 ac if you are the tough guy flavor with decent high Con, I suspect the Hammer/Mace or Axe requirement probably wont hurt your feelings. And that is just an at-will. Unlike the Berserker the fighter doesnt lose his defenderisms because of it.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Two things.

A) I nowhere refered to the Slayer. I was talking about the PHB Fighter, later renamed the Weaponmaster. Sadly the wotc forums CharOp threads discussing the damage output of the Fighter when built for maximum DPR are all lost, but it wasn't a controversial opinion to place the Fighter in the top tier. It isn't going to beat the other top teir strikers, who are all actually strikers, but it can beat strikers below that level pretty handily.
Yes I remember that, and I think even if your group doesnt charop it has enough feat support and powers to bring on some real pain.
 
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Also, as an aside, the idea that a class can be identified by "being the best at straight up combat" is so completely unteneble to me that it boggles me that the Fighter continues to exist. That isn't a concept, on any level or axis.
I disagree.
It's "best at combat, with weapons, without magic." In the advertising sense of best - that is, no one else can definitively prove that they're /better/ (within those restrictions). So the Monk can be better at combat without weapons, and everyone else can be better at combat with magic.

...hm...

OK, let me rephrase that...

I disagree.
The Fighter concept is not "best at straight up combat," it's the archetypal warrior-hero who does not use magic, himself, but bravely goes on a dangerous journey to return with a valuable prize, and gets the girl.

(OK, yeah, that's pretty binary, but it's an old archetype, cut it some slack.)

And that familiar, relatable archetype has made the fighter the most popular class in the game, throughout it's history. (I'd like to think that while 'human' and 'fighter' have always been the most popular, naming your human fighter 'Bob' is maybe a new thing... Church of the Sub-Genius propaganda of some kind, perhaps?)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I disagree.
The Fighter concept is not "best at straight up combat," it's the archetypal warrior-hero who does not use magic, himself, but bravely goes on a dangerous journey to return with a valuable prize, and gets the girl.

(OK, yeah, that's pretty binary, but it's an old archetype, cut it some slack.)

And that familiar, relatable archetype has made the fighter the most popular class in the game, throughout it's history. (I'd like to think that while 'human' and 'fighter' have always been the most popular, naming your human fighter 'Bob' is maybe a new thing... Church of the Sub-Genius propaganda of some kind, perhaps?)
That still isn't a concept. At all. The rogue is also that, but also other things. Most fighter subclasses are that, but also have an identity.

The fighter was popular in previous editions because it was simple and it was the only class that could be excellent at weapon use. In modern dnd its part tradition, part "here is the most basic, simple, learn to play class", and part "if you prefer a blank slate to put your own concept onto with no input from the book, play this class."

Obviously in 4e, just the addition of a role adds an actual concept to the fighter. They're a protector, a frontline tough guy who keeps enemies away from their allies. It's a thin concept, but at least it's mechanically interesting and very effective.

But in 5e, there isn't really anything there.

IMO the rogue is a better fit for the archetype you're talking about. The fighter is that guy's sidekick who is there to comment on the hero's actions and troubles and thus inform the listener/reader/audience.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
I've always felt mechanically classes boil down to being a mixture of Combat, Skill, and Spells*. With things like Champion and Berserker being pure combat and most Wizards and Sorcerers being pure spells with Thief being pure Skill (I know not completely true but bear with me).

Arcane Trickster gets a dash of magic. Bard gets more than a dash of skill, but still less than a Rogue. Valor Bard gets a dash of Combat too.

Ranger for me stands at the center of the venn diagram of all three (with subclasses able to specialize further in an area) This is why I've always had a tough time seeing them as purely a fighter or rogue subclass. Either of those loose too much from the other or from the Spells category.

So I still see the D&D Ranger more easily implemented as it's own class than anything else purely from a mechanical perspective.

*Note, I used to be firmly in the camp of the spell-less ranger and I'm still a huge fan of the 5e Scout Fighter form UA, but my mind was changed in regards to the D&D Ranger in no small part due to posts on this very forum.

That still isn't a concept. At all. The rogue is also that, but also other things. Most fighter subclasses are that, but also have an identity.

The fighter was popular in previous editions because it was simple and it was the only class that could be excellent at weapon use. In modern dnd its part tradition, part "here is the most basic, simple, learn to play class", and part "if you prefer a blank slate to put your own concept onto with no input from the book, play this class."

Obviously in 4e, just the addition of a role adds an actual concept to the fighter. They're a protector, a frontline tough guy who keeps enemies away from their allies. It's a thin concept, but at least it's mechanically interesting and very effective.

But in 5e, there isn't really anything there.

IMO the rogue is a better fit for the archetype you're talking about. The fighter is that guy's sidekick who is there to comment on the hero's actions and troubles and thus inform the listener/reader/audience.
I do think there's been a rise in the prominence of the Rogue archetype. Han Solo is a much more popular archetype than Conan these days. The noble warrior was much more popular before a rise in individualism.

For example in the movie Tombstone the main character is the Wyatt Earp warrior, but the movie is entirely stolen by Kilmer's portrayal of the roguish Doc Holiday despite him being objectively the sidekick.
 
That still isn't a concept. At all. The rogue is also that, but also other things. Most fighter subclasses are that, but also have an identity.
Sure, the archetypal hero is a concept. It just subsumes redundant concepts like rogue, ranger and the like, but D&D deigns to give them classes, anyway. ;P

The fighter was popular in previous editions because it was simple and it was the only class that could be excellent at weapon use. In modern dnd its part tradition, part "here is the most basic, simple, learn to play class"
I really don't think so. In 3e, for instance, the fighter was /not/ the simplest class and the only one that could be good with weapons - the Barbarian was simpler and very effective at swinging weapons around, and it was the ideal "training wheels" class because it had mountains of hps and rage taught you to manage resources - /but the fighter was the most popular class/. In 4e, almost any striker played simpler than a defender - an Archery Ranger was the simplest thing you could play - but the Fighter was the most popular class.


Obviously in 4e, just the addition of a role adds an actual concept to the fighter. They're a protector, a frontline tough guy who keeps enemies away from their allies. It's a thin concept, but at least it's mechanically interesting and very effective.
It was always there, though: the fighter's job was to stand in the front, preferably two of 'em in a 10' corridor, forming a 'wall' to protect the valuable characters. In porting that to primitive AIs, game designers came up with Aggro, and then sometime in the 3e era, people started noting that the fighter /didn't have that/, even though the way the fighter had always been was /why/ it was invented. ::sigh::

But in 5e, there isn't really anything there.
Consequence of being designed (unnecessarily) for "simplicity," I guess. That and stretched thin covering the basic bone-simple old-school pre-everything-cool fighter, the 4e Weaponmaster (and it's 6 or so builds and 400 powers) and Warlord (and it's 6 or so builds and 300 powers) and 3e & Essentials Knight and 3e featastic customizeable fighter (and it's 11 bonus feats) and 2e DPR-king fighter, /and/ old-school Fighter/Magic-User, all in only 3 subclasses and two bonus feats.
Yeah, y'might have a point there.

IMO the rogue is a better fit for the archetype you're talking about. The fighter is that guy's sidekick who is there to comment on the hero's actions and troubles and thus inform the listener/reader/audience.
... OK... I can think of an example or two...
either way, actually. Tough hero with sneaky side-kick or vice-versa.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I've always felt mechanically classes boil down to being a mixture of Combat, Skill, and Spells*. With things like Champion and Berserker being pure combat and most Wizards and Sorcerers being pure spells with Thief being pure Skill (I know not completely true but bear with me).

Arcane Trickster gets a dash of magic. Bard gets more than a dash of skill, but still less than a Rogue. Valor Bard gets a dash of Combat too.

Ranger for me stands at the center of the venn diagram of all three (with subclasses able to specialize further in an area) This is why I've always had a tough time seeing them as purely a fighter or rogue subclass. Either of those loose too much from the other or from the Spells category.

So I still see the D&D Ranger more easily implemented as it's own class than anything else purely from a mechanical perspective.

*Note, I used to be firmly in the camp of the spell-less ranger and I'm still a huge fan of the 5e Scout Fighter form UA, but my mind was changed in regards to the D&D Ranger in no small part due to posts on this very forum.



I do think there's been a rise in the prominence of the Rogue archetype. Han Solo is a much more popular archetype than Conan these days. The noble warrior was much more popular before a rise in individualism.

For example in the movie Tombstone the main character is the Wyatt Earp warrior, but the movie is entirely stolen by Kilmer's portrayal of the roguish Doc Holiday despite him being objectively the sidekick.
Id posit that Wyatt and Doc are both Rogues. Not their fault the class isn’t named that well.

Conan definately isn’t a 5e Fighter, IMO. 4e he’s a ranger, 3.5 fighters aren’t even a class, their a math chassis and a vehicle for defining a character via feats. I don’t care about older editions that much, but ODND barely had anything that wasn’t a fighter that could use weapons, so it’s hard to pare it down.
 

Mercule

Adventurer
Rogues are better at non magical noncombqt solutions than anyone else in 4e, and the Fighter is both the best tank and in the top tier of damage dealers.

4e did what you’re saying the game should do.
It's possible. My group's issues with 4E were plentiful. We didn't play more than a few months before bailing. I won't say that I have exhaustive knowledge of the edition. Conceptually, I think what I said about the roles is valid. It's entirely possible it didn't play out that way, though, especially in the "revised" edition (actual name escapes me).
 
Conceptually, I think what I said about the roles is valid.
You said nothing about the roles. You went on a bit about how the classes shook out in the past, as if it were how things /should/ be - certainly valid, conceptually, if you're talking an OSR game, or other classic-D&D imitator, or 5e.

Conan definately isn’t a 5e Fighter, IMO. 4e he’s a ranger
Into TWF & Archery, was Conan? (I'd think fighter would suit him well - no primal invocations like the 4e barb, thanks - but with good choices of Background, Theme, PP, & ED to fit his story arc).

5e Fighter probably works for Conan as well as 5e Barbarian (OK, not very) or 5e Rogue...

3.5 fighters aren’t even a class, their a math chassis and a vehicle for defining a character via feats.
You say that like it's not the best idea D&D ever had.



really, while he's called "The Barbarian" Conan's probably best modeled (in D&D or anything much resembling it) by 3.x style MCing. He starts out a literal Barbarian, learns more formal Fighting skills, becomes a thief and pirate, acquits himself well as an armored mailed knight & field commander, and finally, of course, wears the Crown of Aquillonia on a troubled brow.
Quite the 'build.' (npi)
 
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Xeviat

Explorer
Did 4e have a Ranger that primarily used a Versatile Weapon in two hands or heavy weapon and shield? I always thought it was all Two Weapon Drizzty type Rangers.

Depends on your power choice. TWFing was baked into powers so you could have a two handed or shield using ranger I think ... I'm not sure if they got shield profs now that I think about it ...
 
Depends on your power choice. TWFing was baked into powers so you could have a two handed or shield using ranger I think ... I'm not sure if they got shield profs now that I think about it ...
Not hard to acquire proficiencies, just hard to put them to good use with exploits that all assume TWFing or Archery. I don't recall Conan using a spiked shield a whole lot, either.

Ultimately, he didn't fit into D&D's paradigm of hyper-specializing non-casters, at all.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Did 4e have a Ranger that primarily used a Versatile Weapon in two hands or heavy weapon and shield? I always thought it was all Two Weapon Drizzty type Rangers.
I created a custom build option for the Versatile weapon... if you use it in both hands its treated as one of those double weapons with no plus 1 to damage. (and you just use the twin weapon powers). There is precedent for doing that for a different weapon (a staff I think). Anyway its a very trivial addition.
 
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BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Ultimately, he didn't fit into D&D's paradigm of hyper-specializing non-casters, at all.
Very true. In open combat he seemed to prefer the Versatile weapon and shield with the heaviest armor that wouldn't slow him down, but in most adventuring tales he had limited access to those things and made due with whatever he had.
 
Very true. In open combat he seemed to prefer the Versatile weapon and shield with the heaviest armor that wouldn't slow him down, but in most adventuring tales he had limited access to those things and made due with whatever he had.
That's another point: D&D has been notoriously armor-dependent from the get-go. A non-Thief /choosing/ no or light armor when exploring caverns or scouting about? Virtually unthinkable (and pointless, even w/o the armor, you'd still be bad at it). To enable Barbarians, Monks, swashbucklers, and the like, the system has played all sorts of games(npi) with class features, feats, special abilities and whatnot to make something other than heavy armor practical for a serious melee type.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It's possible. My group's issues with 4E were plentiful. We didn't play more than a few months before bailing. I won't say that I have exhaustive knowledge of the edition. Conceptually, I think what I said about the roles is valid. It's entirely possible it didn't play out that way, though, especially in the "revised" edition (actual name escapes me).
Nothing about the roles makes the Fighter not great at dishing out damage, and everything about the class makes them good at taking damage. Straight from the PHB. I’m not denying your experience, just saying it isn’t actually the result of how the class is built compared to the rest of the system.

Did 4e have a Ranger that primarily used a Versatile Weapon in two hands or heavy weapon and shield? I always thought it was all Two Weapon Drizzty type Rangers.
It had perfectly good single attack powers, and eventually some minor action attacks IIRC. Not as much shield support as I’d have liked, but no class can do everything.

But rethinking, I’d build him as a custom strong/tough subclass of Rogue more than anything else. He’s much too versatile and adaptable to be anything else in most editions.

Into TWF & Archery, was Conan? (I'd think fighter would suit him well - no primal invocations like the 4e barb, thanks - but with good choices of Background, Theme, PP, & ED to fit his story arc).
4e rangers don’t have to be one of those.

You say that like it's not the best idea D&D ever had.
It was pretty terrible, even ignoring how bad 3.5 feats are.

EDIT: to be clear, the problem is that the 3.5 fighter has literally nothing thematic in it that doesn’t come from feats, and there is no real direction in the feats, because you can take pretty much any feat in the game. It isn’t a class, it’s a framework for building a level based game with no classes. And not a great one.

It works in Star Wars Saga Edition because the classes have funneling that provides a clear sense of what broad sort of character they represent, and talents are class specific.


really, while he's called "The Barbarian" Conan's probably best modeled (in D&D or anything much resembling it) by 3.x style MCing. He starts out a literal Barbarian, learns more formal Fighting skills, becomes a thief and pirate, acquits himself well as an armored mailed knight & field commander, and finally, of course, wears the Crown of Aquillonia on a troubled brow.
Quite the 'build.' (npi)
Sounds like a class that is versatile and gets decent skills. So, almost anything but fighter.
 
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Nothing about the roles makes the Fighter not great at dishing out damage, and everything about the class makes them good at taking damage. Straight from the PHB.
True enough.

4e rangers don’t have to be one of those. …
The PH ranger was archer or TWF. The Marauder & (e)Scout were TWF, the Hunter and, well, (e)Hunter were Archers. That leaves the Beastmaster, which is fine for, well, Beastmaster(Dar?), but not so great for Conan.
It had perfectly good single attack powers, and eventually some minor action attacks IIRC. Not as much shield support as I’d have liked, but no class can do everything.
I can't pretend I ever took a deep dive into the Ranger class, it was a striker, the role doesn't much interest me.
I do recall a /few/ single-attack powers, but that'd be really limiting your selections.
And, for what? Some woodsiness? Slightly higher DPR than the Fighter?

It was pretty terrible, even ignoring how bad 3.5 feats are.
I take all kinds of exception to that. ;) The 3.x fighter design was downright elegant - can't say that about any other D&D class design. Extremely customizeable, and 3.5 fighter-bonus feats weren't bad - not whacktastic crazy-broken like everything having anything to do with Tier 1 casters, but /good/.

Sounds like a class that is versatile and gets decent skills. So, almost anything but fighter.
More than one class, was the point. You can't wring much versatility from a class system unless you start mixing classes.

3.x Conan, Barbarian for initial concept, Fighter to snag Great Cleave early, Scout or Rogue (and/or those first 3 levels of non-casting Ranger) for skills through his time with Red Sonja, back to fighter, or likely a PrC, in Aquilonia.
 

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