Fighters: Just My Two Cents...

I think fighter should be a blanket term for any melee focused character. I've studied eastern martial arts like Tang Soo Do and Karate, and also Boxing. In all the examples, we were called "fighters." In 5E, there should be a different path for every "fighter" in the fighter class.


Also, I don't understand why a Monk class should be anything but a different type of "fighter." Sure it's interresting to dream up a "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" sort of character. But in reality, eastern fighters are also good acrobats and tumblers. It looks cool, but there's nothing supernatural about their abilities.

When I think of fighters, I think of someone who has studied techniques, whether it's with a sword and shield or unarmed combat. I also think of great physical prowess, not just another brute with a club hitting on stuff. Some fighters would choose to develope their reflexes and study pressure points and not rely solely on a big weapon and huge muscles and heavy armor to avail them.  


I know D&D is trying to create fantasy archetypes to attract players. But, having seen real fighters fight in the real world, I don't understand why there's a need to make stuff up.


Just my two cents...  
You make a very good point, but the distinction you're looking for doesn't lend itself well to the fantasy themes that remain dominant in today's game.

In game terms, this sounds like a situation that calls for a bonus to attack and a bonus to damage.  Namely, when you choose a Fighter, you also choose one category of weaponry (short swords, long swords, two-handed swords, blunt weapons, unarmed strikes, and so the list goes), and you gain a bonus to attack and damage rolls with the chosen weapons.  

Aside from being added math, however, these choices may be mostly aesthetic; hence the D&D fighter's ability to use any common weapon.  I think the Monk is separate from the Fighter because one adheres to a mostly European concept (the armored soldier or knight) while the other adopts a host of myths and legends that combine the various elements of fictive ninjas and martial arts masters.  

   
D&D fighter and dozens of subclasses. Or packaged feats themes backgrounds that sort of emulate subclasses. Or just get together with your DM and say "I want my fighter to be this way." And work something out.

I do think that the fighter should be the preeminent default melee class in D&D 5e and I would like to see them based upon Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords. I think the fighter should have as many combat options as possible I am in favor of a more complex fighter with more options in combat.

In game terms, this sounds like a situation that calls for a bonus to attack and a bonus to damage.  Namely, when you choose a Fighter, you also choose one category of weaponry (short swords, long swords, two-handed swords, blunt weapons, unarmed strikes, and so the list goes), and you gain a bonus to attack and damage rolls with the chosen weapons.  



I'm in no way oppossed to having options to specialize, but I don't want this to be the default or mandatory.

It also leads to the rediculous posts you read (and I make snide comments in) where posters whine about the DM attacking them with flying creatures.  How their fighter or whatever lacks any options - because they don't carry a bow. 
Why don't they carry a bow??  Because they can't get their maximum hit/damage bonus with it, or can't get enough GP to magic it up to taste, so they see it as a waste.
What I'd like to see is for Fighters to still be viable without heavy armor. When talking about the different fighting styles they were talking archers and swashbucklers, right? Well, neither character archtype is known for going into battle with full plate armor. I'd like an option to be able to play a lightly armored Fighter and not be penalized for having gone into a fight with, say, studded leather instead of full plate on my archer or swashbuckler.


With any luck, this and this...





...will be as viable a choice as this.


            
If Fighters (or everybody) gets 'free Spring Attack' as a basic mechanic, and heavy armor carries a movement penalty (it's heavy!), then there's a damn good reason to not wear several dozen pounds of scrap metal.

Or just do what SWSE did, and have the math make armor useless and mostly decorative after 6-8 levels.

As is, the only real 'opportunity cost' to wearing fullplate is the gold-coin cost, and the fact of a few classess being specifically, systematically, and arbitrarily screwed over if they even think about wearing something heavier than a burlap sack.

There needs to be some sort of universal tradeoff to wearing heavy-ass armor other than "it costs alot of money!"  Some random ideas:


  • Bring back encumberance, and make it brutal.

  • Penalties to movement and initiative?

  • Perhaps armor can add DR, while making AC worse?


Additionally, every "DON'T WEAR ARMOR STUPID!" class-specific gimping needs to also die in a fire.
What I'd like to see is for Fighters to still be viable without heavy armor. When talking about the different fighting styles they were talking archers and swashbucklers, right? Well, neither character archtype is known for going into battle with full plate armor. I'd like an option to be able to play a lightly armored Fighter and not be penalized for having gone into a fight with, say, studded leather instead of full plate on my archer or swashbuckler.


With any luck, this and this...





...will be as viable a choice as this.


            



Works in 4e ... but yes I dont want to be nailed down to heaviest is better.
Ranger or Archer Warlord
Rogue or Fighter
Fighter or Warlord.

  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I vote in the exact opposite direction.  It has become clear to me that when most people think of fighter they just think "guy who fights with weapons."  This is simply not a good idea for a class, it is far to broad and all you are going to get out of it is a muddled mess.  The Fighter class has to go away because a lot of people don't seem to be able to change their mindset about what a fighter is.  If we could agree on one or two archetypes that the fighter covered then that could be a class but "Guy who uses weapons" is only ever going to be a mess.
If Fighters (or everybody) gets 'free Spring Attack' as a basic mechanic, and heavy armor carries a movement penalty (it's heavy!), then there's a damn good reason to not wear several dozen pounds of scrap metal.

Or just do what SWSE did, and have the math make armor useless and mostly decorative after 6-8 levels.

As is, the only real 'opportunity cost' to wearing fullplate is the gold-coin cost, and the fact of a few classess being specifically, systematically, and arbitrarily screwed over if they even think about wearing something heavier than a burlap sack.

There needs to be some sort of universal tradeoff to wearing heavy-ass armor other than "it costs alot of money!"  Some random ideas:


  • Bring back encumberance, and make it brutal.

  • Penalties to movement and initiative?

  • Perhaps armor can add DR, while making AC worse?


Additionally, every "DON'T WEAR ARMOR STUPID!" class-specific gimping needs to also die in a fire.




Funny, thats something I couldn't stand about SWSE. Why should there be a high penalty to wearing heavy armour, just give it to the classes that need it for their role and things are fine. Its not a competition between Fighters and Rogues to have a higher AC when they are deisgned to do different things and unless the Rogue & Fighter players are playing poorly the Fighter should be getting attacked more often.

Besides the penealties in D&D on movement wearing armour are already greater than historically accurate. This is coming from someone who owns a coat of plates btw, it wieghts a mere 10kg (worn on the torso thats nothing) something that is sorely missing from D&D armour roster (well technically Studded Leather was Gygax or whoever mistaking etheir brigandine or a coat of plates for something else).

People just need to get over the name "Fighter", "Ranger" and "Rogue" and just accept that in D&D "Light to Medium Armoured Combatants" are called Rangers and Rogues even if they are not theives or woodsmen. Its just a name, if its the class features or powers you want then ask your GM and if they say no oh well, guess you should have accepted that tanks need heavy armour to fill their role. If anything they should slay the sacred cow and rename the Fighter because his job isn't just dealing damage with weapons, its protecting his allies. 




  • Bring back encumberance, and make it brutal.

  • Penalties to movement and initiative?

  • Perhaps armor can add DR, while making AC worse?



Encumberance is still there, I've had to rework a charachter concept because of it. I know someone else who has a charachter that has chosen to be encumbered at all times. They do give penalites to movement and skill checks, penalty to initiative does make some sense, though. Why make AC worse?