[WIP] Fighter Ideas

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[WIP] Fighter Ideas

Post by koil » 25 Feb 2020, 05:59

Apologies for the long post.
I'm liking the new direction that fighters are taking, but I have a question and some suggestions to improve further.

Question: It is stated in help files that Weapon Mastery is superseded by Lethal Strikes. Does this mean that upon taking Lethal Strikes that you LOSE the ability to not be disarmed?

Suggestion 1: Move Greater Weapon Focus and Greater Weapon Specialization to Level 11. This will prevent people 'dipping their toe' into the class to gain an absurd number of combat feats for relatively low commitment.

Suggestion 2: Dedicated Fighters (over level 20) need significant improvement. As it stands, fighters are at the mercy of casters with massively inflated AC and Saves, as well as heavy alpha strike damage. Fighters have no way to increase AC other than endgame equipment, and after a point, there is no more AC to be had. PK is a foregone conclusion. I don't like the idea of the nerfhammer, people enjoy what they have, let them keep it. But Fighters could use a few new tricks of their own.

- Epic Weapon Specialization [Epic]
Choose one type of weapon, such as greataxe. You deal extraordinary damage wielding this weapon.
Prerequisites: Epic Weapon Focus, Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization
Benefit: Add +4 to all damage you deal using the selected weapon. If the weapon is a ranged weapon, the
damage bonus only applies if the target is within 30 feet.

-Epic Weapon Focus [Epic]
Choose one type of weapon, such as greataxe. You are especially good at using this weapon.
Prerequisite: Weapon Focus in the weapon to bechosen.
Benefit: Add a +2 bonus to all attack rolls you make using the selected weapon.

-Improved Critical (Combat)
Attacks made with your chosen weapon are quite deadly.
Prerequisite: Proficient with weapon, base attack bonus +8.
Benefit: When using the weapon you selected, your threat range is doubled.
This effect doesn’t stack with any other effect that expands the threat range of a weapon.

- Overwhelming Critical [Epic]
Choose one type of melee weapon, such as longsword or greataxe. With that weapon, you do more damage on a critical hit.
Prerequisites: Str 23, Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Critical (weapon to be chosen), Power Attack, Weapon Focus (weapon to be chosen).
Benefit: When using the weapon you have selected, you deal +1d6 points of bonus damage on a successful critical hit. If the weapon’s critical multiplier is ×3, add
+2d6 points of bonus damage instead, and if the multiplier is ×4, add +3d6 points of bonus damage instead.
Special: Creatures immune to critical hits can’t be affected by this feat.

- Armor Skin [Epic]
Your skin becomes like armor.
Benefit: You gain a +2 natural armor bonus to Armor
Class, or your existing natural armor bonus increases by 2. This feat does not stack with any natural armor bonus granted by magic items or nonpermanent magical effects.

- Bulwark of Defense [Epic]
Prerequisites: Con 25, defensive stance 3/day.
Benefit: Your defensive stance bonuses increase to +4
Strength, +6 Constitution, +4 resistance bonus on all saves, and +6 dodge bonus to AC.

- Epic Toughness [Epic]
You are preternaturally tough.
Benefit: You gain +20 hit points.
Special: A character can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects stack.

- Armor Focus (Combat) <-------------------- I have a personal like of this one, perhaps extending it even further with base fighter class
Your familiarity with a specific type of armor increases the amount of protection you receive from it.
Prerequisite(s): Base attack bonus +1, proficiency with selected armor.
Benefit(s): Select one type of armor, such as chain shirt or splint mail. The AC bonus granted by the selected armor increases by 1.
Special: You can gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new type of armor. The Armor Focus feat counts as the armor training class feature for the purpose of armor mastery feat prerequisites and determines what types of armor you can use with armor mastery feats.

- Improved Parry (Combat)
A flick of the wrist binds your opponent’s weapon.
Prerequisite(s) Int 13, Combat Expertise.
Benefit(s) When you successfully parry a foe’s melee attack (with a dueling parry or the parry class feature), your next melee attack against the target does not allow the enemy to apply its Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). This attack must be made before the end of your next turn.

- Penetrating Strike (Combat)
Prerequisites: Weapon Focus, base attack bonus +1, 12th-level fighter, proficiency with weapon.
Benefit: Your attacks made with weapons selected with Weapon Focus ignore up to 5 points of damage reduction. This feat does not apply to damage reduction without a type (such as DR 10/—).

- Greater Penetrating Strike (Combat)
Your attacks penetrate the defenses of most foes.
Prerequisites: Penetrating Strike, Weapon Focus, 16th-level fighter.
Benefit: Your attacks made with weapons selected with Weapon Focus ignore up to 10 points of damage reduction. This amount is reduced to 5 points for damage reduction without a type (such as DR 10/—).

-Spellcasting Harrier [Epic]
Spellcasters you threaten find it difficult to cast defensively.
Prerequisite: Combat Reflexes.
Benefit: Any spellcaster you threaten in melee takes a penalty on Concentration checks made to cast defensively equal to 1/2 your level. <---- Yes, I know we don't have concentration checks. Maybe we should, or another variant can be made?

- Greater Vital Strike (Combat)
You can make a single attack that deals incredible damage.
Prerequisites: Improved Vital Strike, Vital Strike, base attack bonus +16.
Benefit: When you use the attack action, you can make one attack at your highest base attack bonus that deals additional damage. Roll the weapon’s damage dice for the attack four times and add the results together before adding bonuses from Strength, weapon abilities (such as flaming), precision based damage, and other damage bonuses. These extra weapon damage dice are not multiplied on a critical hit, but are added to the total.

Ok, so its a lot of wishlisting. The idea though would be to lock these feats to post 20/30/40 so that only those that dedicate to fighter gain the benefit of significantly increased fighting potential. It's already a thing with thief, more or less, with scaling stabs. Maybe flash should get a rework along a similar style.
Have at it. :D

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Re: Fighter Ideas

Post by avharokai » 25 Feb 2020, 07:59

I agree that high end fighters are essentially bait for casters in pk. There needs to be more benefit for pure classing for classes beyond 20/30.
No amount of extra feats can make up for a single caster doing 700+ damage in a round from a spell when you SAVE on it.

No-one can argue Shadow caters to casters. More damage, more defences, more fodder, more hit-points AND they don't suffer from the classic on-hit interruptions attempts and spell-casting failures because they got tapped gently by a fighter.

Give us poor melee peons something.
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Re: Fighter Ideas

Post by gaius » 25 Feb 2020, 13:47

I'm sure many can agree to some of these dedicated fighter feats - I think a number of them are really interesting. Fighters definitely have difficulties dealing with casters.

That said, it's not an issue relegated to Shadow alone.
High level casters in DnD, in pretty much every edition, have their way with melee. 5th might be the closest edition to finally doing some justice to fighter, and I'm not sure how you make that iteration work here.

The system, in and of itself, is going to make it difficult to narrow the high end class gap. I wish you all luck! 🙂
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Re: Fighter Ideas

Post by koil » 25 Feb 2020, 20:55

That of course is the challenge. One of the biggest problems is that dnd officially caps at 20, and extension goes only to 30. We are very much in uncharted waters. Just because fighters have always been fodder for spellcasters doesn't mean they should be. In the interest of fairness, quality of life and enjoyment, shouldn't we be obliged to seek alternatives? Its not about making any class unbeatable in a particular sphere, its about providing enough options that success can be had. This is particularly evident with pure class characters (not just fighter)

thank you for your input.

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Re: Fighter Ideas

Post by ilmarinen » 26 Feb 2020, 19:17

koil wrote:
25 Feb 2020, 05:59
Thanks for filtering out these, it'll help a lot to whoever continues to code in fighter stuff.
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Re: Fighter Ideas

Post by ergo » 27 Feb 2020, 01:14

Stating damage for a single target spell, and comparing it to a fighter's auto attacks is overlooking some massive issues.

1) Fighters who build to be a strong fighter don't necessarily WANT to be a high input class, and there's nothing wrong with that. If they wanted to be high input, they would have rolled something else. Don't take that away from them.

2) Stating single target spell damage overlooks that in the case of every single caster there are other damage sources. AoE spells, minions(which are not only providing damage, but also soaking it, the fighter has none of that). A caster is NOT pigeon-holed into casting only single target spells. And lets not forget that these are not the only effects spells have, death saves are spamable on the same target, control spells abound too. The versatility of a caster is its strength.

The issue of fighter vs caster is not an easy one to sort out, but maybe it would be good to have consensus on if people even want the class changed before just making changes.

Fighter is not weak IMO, it's also not overpowered. It fills a role, and has pros and cons.

I do like the idea of giving fighter something nice for being more than 20 fighter.
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Re: Fighter Ideas

Post by ramius » 27 Feb 2020, 22:37

For what it's worth, Ramius does on average 587 damage per round assuming three aoes, a travel aoe, and Ride the Lightning (and nobody saving against any spell).

As Ilmarinen pointed out, Aoes are mostly useless in PK as it takes a round each to get them rolling and are easily dispelled by certain items.

Just wanted to throw the numbers out there.
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Re: Fighter Ideas

Post by ergo » 28 Feb 2020, 00:17

If we are going to talk about pk, it needs to be pointed out that a mage, or any caster really, does not take a supposed 1000 damage a round from a fighter. Mage Defense is so deep, damage reduction, AC, resistances, contingency, and minions, which take almost all the melee hits a fighter deals out. This isn’t TT where a fighter or any melee is able to direct their attacks, with the exception of rush, impale and the like. Monster summoning alone is so strong that a caster can walk into a room of melee otherwise unbuffed and take very few, or even no hits.
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Re: Fighter Ideas

Post by koil » 29 Feb 2020, 06:24

lets not even get to the pk situation - that one is a big fish. I was in a situation with my 40 fighter/10 immortal defender several weeks ago when fighting a shifter solo (no merc) where he didnt go down for ten minutes. Snake spam and healing just meant i couldn't touch him. If I want to go places, I rarely do so alone, just takes too long. And I never challenge bosses. Usually instant death (learned the hard way). Don't have that problem with any of my other multiclass characters.
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Re: Fighter Ideas

Post by nienne » 29 Feb 2020, 09:04

A few ideas that were originally in the wings for fighters were:

-flash to scale similarly to stab (more fighter levels, more win), since so many people dip 10 or 20 fighter in any build under the sun but little value is placed on full class levels. Whereas casters always get value from more class levels to everything they do. Continued fighter feats these days, at least, is a pretty solid draw-card so this may be not as necessary an addition as it once was. Would still be nice for flash to actually do something worthwhile tho :)
-fighter ability (probably 2nd bracket) to designate a particular foe, representing their superior command of physical combat flow, to position themselves in range of their target better.

I may look at working on the 2nd sometime in the coming weeks, RL permitting, unless folks don't like it. It would need to scale with fighter level vs target level, at least, but haven't really looked at the lib on how that would work.

I do have to voice my strong opposition at least to the recent weapon focus/mastery change. This seems contrary to both D&D and pathfinder game design, of more power coming with later levels. Especially in Shadowgate's case, the 10-level brackets were our keystone from the outset to preventing MANY munchkin tabletop builds, so something this powerful shouldn't be gained in the first bracket. Casters don't access higher spells until second bracket for a reason - fighter should not gain its second set of bonus hit/damage until second bracket either, so these should be L11 minimum for balance purposes. I would also suggest, as per design with most other classes, to move L20 weapon mastery down to L17. All core classes except the most recent additions (monk, inquisitor) stop gaining feats after L17 deliberately, so that level adjusted characters don't miss out (we have no race above 3LA still, AFAIK?).

I understand this probably isn't something more recent coders were aware of; as part of the team that did a lot of the 3e class design (after Ares' epic original install of course!), I'm probably a bit more conscious of the strategies we had used to avoid twinking pitfalls. I'm also strongly aware of the arms race we seem to be getting of late, which does worry me that we're now balanced against power-built characters to the exclusion of "average" builds. End bosses are already becoming impossible for joe-blogg fighter or thief to even hit; they all seem balanced around casters and power hybrid builds only.

I'm not trying to be a critic or a complainer, so please do take this post in the spirit it's written. As an experienced ex-admin I'm trying to offer solutions, & a willingness to code them so I'm not imposing on anyone. I don't want to see constructive suggestions from the players (above) dismissed without consideration, as the concern about straight fighters has been a problem literally for years. I'm happy to work on fighter if it would help, as it had been my next target before I went AWOL anyway. Or at least I hope the insight into class design may be of use to someone if it's preferred I butted out! Not always feeling my input these days is relevant/desired so would rather ask first, rather than changing someone's recent additions :)
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Re: Fighter Ideas

Post by ergo » 29 Feb 2020, 10:26

Regarding the "average" fighter/thief vs high level boss, don't make it impossible for them to hit, just add more HP. Noone feels good about missing more than 50% of attacks.

Same idea with perception, it should be at a reasonable level for an average geared player to hit at least 50% of stabs.
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Re: Fighter Ideas

Post by nienne » 29 Feb 2020, 14:42

An update - discussion between many of us this evening (ImmGate!) & we have some tweaks we are going to add both for fighter and thief. They are not visually major so please don't panic if they seem underwhelming; we don't want to knee-jerk and swing this the complete opposite direction. But they should be relatively quick to implement and hopefully enough to help balance things. In theory at least...

We're pretty happy with the caution these days around the end-game bosses and don't want to lose that; we are only looking to make sure that everyone can feel like they can participate. Please stay tuned & I will update with changes (or delays) accordingly.

Also to note there will probably be other fighter additions long-term, and some of the ideas here will be very helpful. But all things as we get time :)
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Re: [WIP] Fighter Ideas

Post by ilmarinen » 12 May 2020, 15:41

Think what we can implement now got implemented... Vital strikes could have been nice, mewbe.

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