5e Fighters Are Not Boring, or, You're Not Creative Enough



SUMMARY: This is really long, so I'll summarize real quick. People complain that fighters in 5e are boring, but that's because they're not being creative. The rules make it easy to do anything you can think of, more or less; you just need to think like a warrior. I give some examples of things the current rules support.


EDIT - I also posted this on reddit, phrased differently on some places. Just FYI.


Now then. One of the main complaints I see with the 5e playtest is that fighters are dull to play. Just hack and slash and move on, with nothing cool happening. I've read that fighters have no cool abilities. That's incorrect--fighters have almost any cool ability you can think of. Since rolls are now based on stats, not skills, a fighter will excel at anything that uses strength. This is an amazing system--you don't have to train or take feats to do anything other than swing a sword like in other versions. You don't look at your list of abilities to decide what you're allowed to do. You use your imagination, and then you DO IT.


This is a result of two things: Advantage and Contests.


Advantage means that any interesting maneuvering on your part has an immediate benefit, if you're successful. ANY INTERESTING MANEUVERING. Think about that for a second.


Contests cover basically ANYTHING that isn't a direct weapon attack. There are a lot of things that happen in combat that aren't direct weapon attacks.


Also, take note of the Improvise section of the How to Play guide. It more or less backs me up here.


One last note before the interesting stuff: 5e has absolutely nothing in it that should lead to a Mother-may-I experience. Never ask the DM if you are allowed to do something. You simply say you're going to try it, he assigns a DC (if applicable) and you roll. The end. Don't ask for permission, and if you're DM, don't expect to be giving it. Empower the players.


I'm giving you a list of things that could reasonably be done under the current rules that will make a fighter an interesting and dynamic thing to be. Keep in mind that you can only do one thing per round, so I usually make the advantage roll take effect on the turn afterward. This is all stuff for a player to come up with on the fly. My player will say 'I'm going to trip him,' and I as DM improvise how that might work. None of these ideas are intended to become new rules, or even act as such. It's more about helping players think like a warrior, and helping DMs accommodate them. If you don't like how I ruled it, rule it differently in your game. NEVER TELL A PLAYER NO. They can try whatever they want, and the rules let that happen.


1 - Choke. Attacker has disadvantage and must use a free hand, but on successful hit, str contest to choke. Success causes restrained. Contest each round to maintain, and after three successful rounds, next round causes stunned. Next round causes unconscious. Death ten rounds later (which is actually too short in real life). Come here, goblin! (A fighter within arm's reach of a mage will probably never lose, which I and my players have generally been happy about.)


2 - Lock Joints. Again, attacker has disadvantage, needs two free hands. Str or dex contest, depending on circumstances and DM whim. Success causes restrained. I usually only give the defender one attempt to break the hold.


3 - Disarm. Attacker has disadvantage, successful hit triggers dex contest to disarm.


4 - Trip. Dex or Str contest, depending. This could be anything from a sweep attack to a bullrush and lifting up the enemy. Attacker gets advantage if the halfling is ducked down behind the target, giving him something to trip over :D Once tripped, target is prone.


5 - Throw net. I know it's not on the EQ list. Make one. Then throw it. Successful hit causes restrained. Then toss an Alchemist's Fire for extra fun. After dumping oil on them.


6 - This is really one for the rogue, but I had a player manacle an enemy's legs with two hidden attacks.


7 - Oil up the floor and make the enemies fight while standing on it.


8 - As a ready action, duck under a strike and end up behind the enemy, ready to hit him from behind next round. Gave that a dex DC of 17.


All of those were improvised on the spot, and the rules made it very easy to accommodate. Here are some other things that were tried or talked about (I'm sparing the rules I used since by now I think you have the idea):


Launch the halfling over an enemy. Throw a goblin to knock another goblin over. Make and throw mud. Gouge out eyes. Knock away the enemy's shield, giving the next person to hit them advantage. Throw **** (yes, that happened.) Hold the end of a rope for the thief to walk across like a tightrope. Dwarf, grab that ogre's nuts.


One last thing. This isn't really about the rules or covered by them in any DnD system of which I'm aware, but I do it to make things more fun. Sometimes when an enemy is brought to 0 hitpoints, instead of killing them, I make them combat incapable but still conscious. For example, "Your greataxe cuts right through both of the orc's knees, severing them and dropping him to the ground screaming." The legless orc might then, for example, flop around and get in the way, still try to swing his sword, lay about screaming in pain, beg for mercy, or who knows what. The party then may do roleplay-ey sorts of things involving the orc if they wish. Basically, it still meets the spirit of the rules, but it gives the party a better sense that they're interacting with the world than simply 'You killed it to death. It dies.' Other things are cut off an enemy's sword arm, causing him to yield; disembowel something large, causing its guts to spill all over and make the ground slick, etc.



I just posted this thought in another thread, but I'll put it here too because it responds to why I disagree with what you're saying. 

I'll make it shorter than I did before:

A lvl 10 fighter has practically zero options that a lvl 1 fighter does not have. 

For me, that's why the 5e fighter runs the risk of being boring. 

Now the lvl 10 fighter will be better at doing things than the lvl 1 fighter, but they will still be the same things. 

All of the creative things you list above can be attempted at lvl 1, or 2, or 7, or 15 . . . 

Now, knowing players, if one or two of them tend to work, those will be attempted more often than others. 

If an improvised action is better than just a basic attack then a player will choose it everytime it can be chosen.  If it isn't better than a basic attack, then the player will not choose it. 

I find that this tends to move in the direction of boring fighters. 
I love "Throw goblin into another goblin!" I thought of that while playing with the fighter as well and it absolutely cracked my table up. My DM treated it a basic attack without using the weapon bonus (+4 instead of +6). We figured a goblin would do about a 1d6 damage the same way a chair or a barrel might. What made it really interesting was getting into the room with the cooking fire and the pot of boiling soup.
I just posted this thought in another thread, but I'll put it here too because it responds to why I disagree with what you're saying. 

I'll make it shorter than I did before:

A lvl 10 fighter has practically zero options that a lvl 1 fighter does not have. 

For me, that's why the 5e fighter runs the risk of being boring. 

Now the lvl 10 fighter will be better at doing things than the lvl 1 fighter, but they will still be the same things. 

All of the creative things you list above can be attempted at lvl 1, or 2, or 7, or 15 . . . 

Now, knowing players, if one or two of them tend to work, those will be attempted more often than others. 

If an improvised action is better than just a basic attack then a player will choose it everytime it can be chosen.  If it isn't better than a basic attack, then the player will not choose it. 

I find that this tends to move in the direction of boring fighters. 



See, I still disagree with you. Your mindset is that your character does what his character sheet says. At level 10, you could be investing your gold in training up a local militia or searching through the orphanages to find yourself a disciple. I really think DnD (and I'm not going to start an edition war, trying really hard not to) has become all about combat, and everything else in the game is designed to get people into combat. Not preparation for combat, or research for combat, or study and training for combat, just combat itself. When's the last time your players spent time in a library trying to find the weaknesses of some monster? Fighters are supposed to be the exclamation point at the end of the sentence, "You're going to die!" They fight. They don't need powers. They don't need skills that basically give them permission to do things they should be doing anyway. They need ideas, they need DM interaction, and they need creativity. If you're the kind of player where when it's your turn, you stammer and read your character sheet wondering what to do, don't play fighters.

Fighters are for the best roleplayers, not the worst. Fighters are for the characters who can think on their feet and handle any situation. Fighers know whether to fight or flee, and whether to ambush or charge head on. They're the experienced, knowledgable ones who can take a party through battle and win the day when the chips are down. That's their role and their place in the party. What more do they need than cunning, creativity, and lots and lots of damage?

Gotta disagree with you there...the fighter pregen is boring. I like it. This specific build is supposed to be boring. It's meant for the min/maxers out there who want to do as much damage as possible. It's fun and it's simple.

As far as being creative goes, that applies to all characters and all editions. If your DM asks you what you do and your first instinct is to look at your character sheet, stop doing that. Close your eyes and picture the scene in your head (yes, even if you're playing with minis on a grid), decide what sort of action you'd like to do, then look at your character sheet and figure out the best way to translate that into game mechanics. That works for any edition of the game you pick up or any other roleplaying game out there. You'd be surprised how much more fun you can have playing that way.
But the thing is, that creativity DOESN'T apply to all characters in all versions. Look again at the list of things I mentioned, then think about what you'd need to do to be able to do that in prior versions. You'd have to have all kinds of skills and feats and powers and whatnot, and if it wasn't given a rule, you're basically not allowed to do it. Can you find me a rule that gives you a bonus to trip if there's a halfling ducked behind your target? Or in the recent celebrated example, a bonus for swinging from a chandelier? All the good stuff that has rules is nerfed to hell anyways because it would be 'too powerful', like choking an opponent to death. However, think about how many movies have that awesome scene where one dude grabs the other guy's neck and lifts him off the ground. Shouldn't your fighter be able to do that?

I know that in this version, every character can be creative and do interesting things. I applaud that. Fighters just excel at fighting, and the high strength and grittiness goes a long way in tossing around all your opponents on the battlefield, not just rolling dice at them until they die, like the accusation states. People just need to start thinking about what a person could actually do in a situation, not what line on their fancypants attacks list gives them the numerically optimal result.

I'm sure that fluff and extra rules will be added, to the system's detriment, but for now, there's a nice, clean, streamlined way to do anything you can think of, in combat or out of it.
No, you could do them. You just probably couldn't do them as effectively or in one turn in 3.x/4e, but you could do them. I had 4e players who did all kinds of wacky crap over the stretch of my campaign. Thankfully I knew the rules well enough to be able to figure out what 5 skill rolls would be needed to do something like that.

And if you think that player creativity and performing odd stunts wasn't a part of 1st or 2nd edition, you really need to play those games again.
People complain that fighters in 5e are boring, but that's because they're not being creative. The rules make it easy to do anything you can think of, more or less; you just need to think like a warrior. I give some examples of things the current rules support.

Incorrect. 

You are making the same mistake as everyone else who makes this claim: assuming that the rules and roleplaying are the same thing. This is false. 

You cite the existence of the "improvise" action as precedent for why the Fighter is interesting. However, you overlook one detail: the "improvise" action is available to everyone. There is, quite literally, nothing that the Fighter can attempt by using the "improvise" action that any other character cannot also attempt. Additionally, all characters can move and make melee and ranged attacks.

However, in addition to these general actions, all characters other than the Fighter are capable of taking additional special actions. The Rogue is capable of making Sneak Attacks and using two skills that are unique to it (Open Locks and Find/Remove Traps); the Wizard has access to up to six of ten different spells, six cantrips, and gains a familiar that further expands the possible usages of these sixteen different effects; the Dwarf Cleric also has access to spells and cantrips, a Channel Divinity that grants two discreet actions, and has a unique reaction available; and the Human Cleric has spells, cantrips, Channel Divinity, and the benefits of the Herbalism feat. The Fighter cannot replicate any of these effects.

Let's distil that down some:

1. Because all classes can improvise equally, roleplaying and creativity can be applied equally to all classes. No class gains any advantage because it is "better" at improvising than any other.

2. The Fighter has no actions it can take that the other classes cannot also take.

3. However, the other classes all DO have actions they can take that the Fighter cannot.

Therefore: The Fighter is mechanically less interesting.
Just one question: what can the Dwarven Fighter do that the Dwarven Cleric of Moradin cannot?


  • Deal more damage?  Give the Cleric the Fighter's weapons and all he's missing is 2 damage on a hit, 3 damage on a miss (the miss damage doable by taking the Slayer theme instead of Defender theme).

  • Choke?  The Cleric can do that too.

  • Lock Joints?  The Cleric can do that too.

  • Trip?  The Cleric and the Rogue can do that too.

  • Throw net?  Heck, the Wizard can do that too.

  • Goblin-a-pault?  Doable with the Cleric.


Now, what can the Cleric do that the Fighter cannot?


  • Cast magic.


    • Healing magic that lets him attack in addition to healing

    • Attack magic that lets him effectively attack twice



And that's just with the playtester material *unaltered*.

I really do pray that they give subclasses/kits/options that let everyone especially the Fighter do something other than just damage, as I would seriously prefer a "Once a day you enter the Bar the Doors of Hell stance for five minutes.  Enemies that can see and hear you must make a Charisma check at the start of their turn.  If they fail to do so, they cannot move past you and have disadvantage for any attacks that do not include you".   To even a +20 to damage.
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Let's distil that down some:

1. Because all classes can improvise equally, roleplaying and creativity can be applied equally to all classes. No class gains any advantage because it is "better" at improvising than any other.

2. The Fighter has no actions it can take that the other classes cannot also take.

3. However, the other classes all DO have actions they can take that the Fighter cannot.

Therefore: The Fighter is mechanically less interesting.

The fighter is not better at improvising than any other class.  The fighter cannot do anything that other classes cannot attempt.  The Fighter cannot cast spells.  I'm not sure on what basis you've determined non-Rogues can't find traps--they may not be able to open locks or disarm traps without proficiency in thieves tools, but I think finding the traps is general--but I guess that's besides the point.

None of this means that the Fighter is more or less interesting, though, because assuming that the number of unique actions available to your character is the entirety of the measure of "interesting" is a false premise.

The Fighter can do a lot of things better than anyone else.  They hit more accurately, deal more damage, and have a significantly larger hit die.  Now, I do fear for the future when full spell lists are released--I hate quadratic wizards--but at the moment, I honestly feel like the classes are pretty balanced.

And I don't think it's especially more interesting to say, cast Arc Lightning a couple times a day than it is to deal more damage on every attack I ever make.   

Let's distil that down some:

1. Because all classes can improvise equally, roleplaying and creativity can be applied equally to all classes. No class gains any advantage because it is "better" at improvising than any other.

2. The Fighter has no actions it can take that the other classes cannot also take.

3. However, the other classes all DO have actions they can take that the Fighter cannot.

Therefore: The Fighter is mechanically less interesting.

The fighter is not better at improvising than any other class.  The fighter cannot do anything that other classes cannot attempt.  The Fighter cannot cast spells.  I'm not sure on what basis you've determined non-Rogues can't find traps--they may not be able to open locks or disarm traps without proficiency in thieves tools, but I think finding the traps is general--but I guess that's besides the point.

None of this means that the Fighter is more or less interesting, though, because assuming that the number of unique actions available to your character is the entirety of the measure of "interesting" is a false premise.

The Fighter can do a lot of things better than anyone else.  They hit more accurately, deal more damage, and have a significantly larger hit die.  Now, I do fear for the future when full spell lists are released--I hate quadratic wizards--but at the moment, I honestly feel like the classes are pretty balanced.

And I don't think it's especially more interesting to say, cast Arc Lightning a couple times a day than it is to deal more damage on every attack I ever make.   


Except

1. They don't hit more accurately.  None of their class features add to accuracy.
2. While more damage might be true at higher levels, at the kick-off of the game, they are only 2 points ahead of the Cleric, especially when you consider that the 3 damage on a miss is a theme thing, not a class thing.  The bigger damage die?  That's a dwarf thing, not a class thing (according to the playtest-related articles, at least).
3. Larger hit die just means that they have a chance at being better in terms of 1) maxHP, and 2) HP recovered.  In fact, in the D&D Next HP model, Wizards actually fare better HP-wise because even though they only have d4 HD, because Constitution modifiers give HP and determine the minimum HP, a 16 CON Wizard will always regain 1d4+3 HP and will always gain 3-4 HP per level, whereas a 16 CON Fighter will have to roll a 5 or better to ensure that he doesn't get the same HP as the Wizard... and note that not everybody is that lucky on the die rolls.  In short, Wizards heal faster and are more reliable HP-wise than Fighters.

That's the THREE things the Fighter does better.

As for the "Rogue is the only one who can find traps", I concur that non-Rogues can find traps; the 10 or 11 foot pole exists for a reason, after all.  Disarming traps, however, not so doable as a non-Rogue.  This would certainly provoke (strawman?) situations where you have traps that hamper or block parties when triggered instead of disabled, but isn't that pushing the group to a corner just because nobody felt like playing the Rogue?
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This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging

My experience is more valid than your experience argument, is about as useful as my love of x edition is more valid than your love of x edition. 


Some people found the fighter boring. That is valid. What is important is that the explanation of why is there along with it. Similarly, your experience of 'fighter is cool' is a good post because you say why you thought so. That disparaging of others who don't - that's not good. The designers can read all these posts about the fighter and then come to some sort of conclusion based upon whatever goals they set themselves for this playtest. If 'fighters can be cool because they can improvise more because they are less tied down to class mechanics consuming action economy' - is enough for the designers, then so be it. Some people don't want that to be the case however, and are simply expressing that concern in the current basic fighter that's presented.


I have an idea.

Let's take ALL the abilities, spells and powers off of the Cleric and Wizard.

Then we give them a single "arcane/divine attack" power and a "do magic stuff" ability, totally adjudicated by the DM.

If that isn't acceptable to you then you should probably stop moaning about people not being "creative enough" with their Fighters and accept that EVERYONE deserves an equal amount of mechanical support for cool stuff BEFORE they start using their imagination and creativity to ADD to what the game has already given them.      

 



SUMMARY: This is really long, so I'll summarize real quick. People complain that fighters in 5e are boring, but that's because they're not being creative. The rules make it easy to do anything you can think of, more or less; you just need to think like a warrior. I give some examples of things the current rules support.


EDIT - I also posted this on reddit, phrased differently on some places. Just FYI.


Now then. One of the main complaints I see with the 5e playtest is that fighters are dull to play. Just hack and slash and move on, with nothing cool happening. I've read that fighters have no cool abilities. That's incorrect--fighters have almost any cool ability you can think of. Since rolls are now based on stats, not skills, a fighter will excel at anything that uses strength. This is an amazing system--you don't have to train or take feats to do anything other than swing a sword like in other versions. You don't look at your list of abilities to decide what you're allowed to do. You use your imagination, and then you DO IT.


This is a result of two things: Advantage and Contests.


Advantage means that any interesting maneuvering on your part has an immediate benefit, if you're successful. ANY INTERESTING MANEUVERING. Think about that for a second.


Contests cover basically ANYTHING that isn't a direct weapon attack. There are a lot of things that happen in combat that aren't direct weapon attacks.


Also, take note of the Improvise section of the How to Play guide. It more or less backs me up here.


One last note before the interesting stuff: 5e has absolutely nothing in it that should lead to a Mother-may-I experience. Never ask the DM if you are allowed to do something. You simply say you're going to try it, he assigns a DC (if applicable) and you roll. The end. Don't ask for permission, and if you're DM, don't expect to be giving it. Empower the players.


I'm giving you a list of things that could reasonably be done under the current rules that will make a fighter an interesting and dynamic thing to be. Keep in mind that you can only do one thing per round, so I usually make the advantage roll take effect on the turn afterward. This is all stuff for a player to come up with on the fly. My player will say 'I'm going to trip him,' and I as DM improvise how that might work. None of these ideas are intended to become new rules, or even act as such. It's more about helping players think like a warrior, and helping DMs accommodate them. If you don't like how I ruled it, rule it differently in your game. NEVER TELL A PLAYER NO. They can try whatever they want, and the rules let that happen.


1 - Choke. Attacker has disadvantage and must use a free hand, but on successful hit, str contest to choke. Success causes restrained. Contest each round to maintain, and after three successful rounds, next round causes stunned. Next round causes unconscious. Death ten rounds later (which is actually too short in real life). Come here, goblin! (A fighter within arm's reach of a mage will probably never lose, which I and my players have generally been happy about.)


2 - Lock Joints. Again, attacker has disadvantage, needs two free hands. Str or dex contest, depending on circumstances and DM whim. Success causes restrained. I usually only give the defender one attempt to break the hold.


3 - Disarm. Attacker has disadvantage, successful hit triggers dex contest to disarm.


4 - Trip. Dex or Str contest, depending. This could be anything from a sweep attack to a bullrush and lifting up the enemy. Attacker gets advantage if the halfling is ducked down behind the target, giving him something to trip over :D Once tripped, target is prone.


5 - Throw net. I know it's not on the EQ list. Make one. Then throw it. Successful hit causes restrained. Then toss an Alchemist's Fire for extra fun. After dumping oil on them.


6 - This is really one for the rogue, but I had a player manacle an enemy's legs with two hidden attacks.


7 - Oil up the floor and make the enemies fight while standing on it.


8 - As a ready action, duck under a strike and end up behind the enemy, ready to hit him from behind next round. Gave that a dex DC of 17.


All of those were improvised on the spot, and the rules made it very easy to accommodate. Here are some other things that were tried or talked about (I'm sparing the rules I used since by now I think you have the idea):


Launch the halfling over an enemy. Throw a goblin to knock another goblin over. Make and throw mud. Gouge out eyes. Knock away the enemy's shield, giving the next person to hit them advantage. Throw **** (yes, that happened.) Hold the end of a rope for the thief to walk across like a tightrope. Dwarf, grab that ogre's nuts.


One last thing. This isn't really about the rules or covered by them in any DnD system of which I'm aware, but I do it to make things more fun. Sometimes when an enemy is brought to 0 hitpoints, instead of killing them, I make them combat incapable but still conscious. For example, "Your greataxe cuts right through both of the orc's knees, severing them and dropping him to the ground screaming." The legless orc might then, for example, flop around and get in the way, still try to swing his sword, lay about screaming in pain, beg for mercy, or who knows what. The party then may do roleplay-ey sorts of things involving the orc if they wish. Basically, it still meets the spirit of the rules, but it gives the party a better sense that they're interacting with the world than simply 'You killed it to death. It dies.' Other things are cut off an enemy's sword arm, causing him to yield; disembowel something large, causing its guts to spill all over and make the ground slick, etc.






1. They don't hit more accurately.  None of their class features add to accuracy.

None of their listed features do, and yet they clearly have a higher attack bonus than the other characters (and one point higher than they should by all known calculations).

2. While more damage might be true at higher levels, at the kick-off of the game, they are only 2 points ahead of the Cleric, especially when you consider that the 3 damage on a miss is a theme thing, not a class thing.  The bigger damage die?  That's a dwarf thing, not a class thing (according to the playtest-related articles, at least).

2d6+7 is only two points ahead of 1d10+2?  Or do you mean 1d8+4?  You can argue weapon choice is irrelevant to the point, and that's fine, but they still have a +7 vs. a +2 or +4.  Again, we don't know what the calculations are, but the sheets are correct.

3. Larger hit die just means that they have a chance at being better in terms of 1) maxHP, and 2) HP recovered.  In fact, in the D&D Next HP model, Wizards actually fare better HP-wise because even though they only have d4 HD, because Constitution modifiers give HP and determine the minimum HP, a 16 CON Wizard will always regain 1d4+3 HP and will always gain 3-4 HP per level, whereas a 16 CON Fighter will have to roll a 5 or better to ensure that he doesn't get the same HP as the Wizard... and note that not everybody is that lucky on the die rolls.  In short, Wizards heal faster and are more reliable HP-wise than Fighters.

Er, what?  How is 1d4+3 more Hit Points than 1d12+3?  That makes absolutely zero sense.  The wizard is going to average 5.5 HP gained/recovered and the Fighter is going to average 9.5  That's a big advantage.

Fighters should get 2 actions around, it will not hurt the game speed more than waiting for saves or hits on multiple monsters when a wizard casts a spell.  And for a fighter this would go along way to allow him to perform an improvised action and still make an attack. 


The fighters surge power/idea should be made into some kind of adrenaline surge for double damage 2 times a day instead or allow him to have advantage in a situation.  If action points make a return that would still be something that every character has access to.   The fighter should be allowed to fight.

Whatever the fighter can or cannot do in relation to the other classes, the character class is also lacking any kind of "choice point" for players to make.

Everyone gets Race-Class-Background-Theme as choices then each class also get further choices with the class itself:

Clerics - Choice of Deity (Pelor and Moradin so far) which likely affects both Channel Divinity and spell options
Wizards - which spells they have access to
Rogues - their is a Rogue Scheme - which implies choice

Fighters - sure the get Weapon Mastery, but it's not a choice, their is nothing present in this fighter class that allowes a player to select options that will define their character - thus making is possible for that players character to feel unique.

In the older editions of the game, other than the players "RP vision" of their character the only difference between two fighters would be the magic items they'd aquired and how high their Strength score was.

D&D Next needs to evolve, not devolve.
I have an idea.

Let's take ALL the abilities, spells and powers off of the Cleric and Wizard.

Then we give them a single "arcane/divine attack" power and a "do magic stuff" ability, totally adjudicated by the DM.



I personally like this idea, or a variant of it, though I realize it's a totally infeasible sell.  Too bad.

Fighters are supposed to be like Humans in a sense, the basic class others are variation of.  They ARE supposed to be able to do the basic stuff better, maybe a little better than other than they currently do, but that's their role.  Any person/character should be able to be a Fighter when they start off life, it just takes dedication.  If they chose a different path, they sacrifice a little of the general fighting ability everyone has (to a greater or lesser extent) to get different abilities.

In some previous additions, this was most clearly delineated by a fighter getting to two attacks per turn faster than other classes, and that seems to be the case in Next (looking at the level two ability).

All that said, there are some good points that the Fighter might not be enough better at the basic stuff than other classes.  One possible solution would be that a Fighter get +X (Going up in levels, maybe +1/3 lvls) to ALL checks made during the heat of combat to indicate their general ability to handle combat better than other classes. 
The only problem with the OP is that any class can do those things, its not something specific to the fighter. So once again the excuse that the fighter can improvise or use magic items is negated by the fact that all classes also have those advantages...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I love "Throw goblin into another goblin!" I thought of that while playing with the fighter as well and it absolutely cracked my table up. My DM treated it a basic attack without using the weapon bonus (+4 instead of +6). We figured a goblin would do about a 1d6 damage the same way a chair or a barrel might. What made it really interesting was getting into the room with the cooking fire and the pot of boiling soup.



A goblin is a two handed improvised weapon, i.e. disadvantage and 1d10 damage...
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
Telling people that "You're not creative enough" if you don't like X is an ad hominem attack. It goes beyond telling people that you disagree or that they're wrong about something and ventures into attacking them personally for their lack of creativity.

----------------------

As to the ideas presented in this thread, I have never found that having a powers list for a fighter or any other character limited what my character could try in game. Players in 4e occassionally needed to be reminded that they could venture beyond their powers list for actions in combat. But that doesn't mean that many of these creative options didn't exist in previous  editions of the game, including 4e.

I do welcome the addition of flexible rules to adjudicate things like tripping, disarming, grappling, or whatever else a player can imagine. I will almost certainly adapt these ideas to my current 4e game. The problem I have with the playtest fighter (and the rogue to a lesser extent) is that it lacks the interesting and flavorful powers that the wizard and clerics were given. In my view 4e was a major advancement in overcoming the notion that 'fighters cannot have nice things'. I see this iteration of the fighter as a major regression and I am not happy with this direction for the game at all.

The fighter does also have the "any weapon" advantage and the "any armor" advantage.  I think the fighter tested fine and held his own around the other characters. 


I believe I saw dev toss around the idea of "a fighter gets to pick two themes".  Depending on how themes progress as the levels go up, that seems like a fine enough addition to me.  Clerics and Wizards are spelly, rogues are skilly, fighters are Featy.

I'm also okay with the fighter being "boring" as presented.  The devs said long ago that they wanted an easier class to play.  The current fighter is it. 
For those who love the more involved fighter who might get combat manuvers, I'm sure that will come as a module down the road.

Comparing him to the combat cleric, he had the potential to blast more damage.  (better + to hit, more base damage.  I'll assume that the great axe in a non dwarf is 1d12, not 2d6, but the cleric was also a dwarf, so his hammer damage was likely upped too.)
The cleric could cast Divine Favor for 1d6 or so extra an hour, and the other spell for +1 to hit +2 to damage for a minute, but each of those spells would cost him an action.  (granted, he could cast divine favor well before combat)

Still, with those up, the cleric isn't out damaging the fighter unless the dice are fickle.  (which is why I used the cleric's defender theme and spent most of the combat tanking for the fighter, including dodging on my turn so I was a better tank.)

I like the idea of giving the fighter a second action every round, although the abusability of that would pretty much make it impractical.

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1 - Choke. Attacker has disadvantage and must use a free hand, but on successful hit, str contest to choke. Success causes restrained. Contest each round to maintain, and after three successful rounds, next round causes stunned. Next round causes unconscious. Death ten rounds later (which is actually too short in real life). Come here, goblin! (A fighter within arm's reach of a mage will probably never lose, which I and my players have generally been happy about.)


2 - Lock Joints. Again, attacker has disadvantage, needs two free hands. Str or dex contest, depending on circumstances and DM whim. Success causes restrained. I usually only give the defender one attempt to break the hold.


3 - Disarm. Attacker has disadvantage, successful hit triggers dex contest to disarm.


4 - Trip. Dex or Str contest, depending. This could be anything from a sweep attack to a bullrush and lifting up the enemy. Attacker gets advantage if the halfling is ducked down behind the target, giving him something to trip over :D Once tripped, target is prone.


5 - Throw net. I know it's not on the EQ list. Make one. Then throw it. Successful hit causes restrained. Then toss an Alchemist's Fire for extra fun. After dumping oil on them.


6 - This is really one for the rogue, but I had a player manacle an enemy's legs with two hidden attacks.


7 - Oil up the floor and make the enemies fight while standing on it.


8 - As a ready action, duck under a strike and end up behind the enemy, ready to hit him from behind next round. Gave that a dex DC of 17.




the disadvantage is that all thse cost your action.
so they are intresting but usualy worse options then just attacking.

6 can't be done in the current rules, as you become un hidden after you make a attack.

 
The current incarnation of the fighter is fine. I find him mechanically useful and he can be fun to play.

The problem is that they didn't concurrently release a more mechanically heavy fighter at the same time.

The devs have stated that there will be multiple options to make a character mechanically simple or complex. Releasing one and not the other to a diverse crowd such as this was poor planning on their part.

For some people the current fighter will be fine, for others not so much. The devs should have known better and should have released two versions for the test.

First, the fighter DOES get two actions on his turn:  twice per day, at level 2.  It seems like this class feature(?) was created to exactly balance the reaction that the fighter mechanically had less he could do, as so many have pointed out.


Second, I think ultimately this is more of a philosophy issue, as opposed to a rules issue or a creativity issue.  I love the OP's suggestions, but I also think some people tend to get stuck on the idea of "what is the most efficient action," as opposed to what would be fun or imaginative.  I believe that is what GEBELL was trying to say on post 2, and what is really the heart of this issue.  While some people think choking and tripping and jumping on chandeliers is worth the time, rule adjucation, and tactical disadvantage, others believe that the brutally efficient "move and attack" is their best option every time.  If they discovered that a 100 HP enemy could be killed in fewer rounds (more efficiently) by choking them, they would then use that tactic every time.


This is really something specific to each group, and really to each player/DM.  It is up to the DM to allow creativity without unbounding the reasonable limits of player power that make the game fun.  (After all, if you could 1-shot any enemy all the time, would it actually be fun?)  At the same time, the DM can only provide the sandbox:  they cannot make you have fun in it.  If you build the same sand castle over and over and get bored, is it the fault of the sandbox?


Personally, it sounds like what the OP is suggesting is for the DM to absolutely reward creative player actions and suggestions within a reasonable limit.  So if the fighter gets all choke-happy, enemies will notice and start to guard their necks (raising the DC until it's hardly worth the effort).  In the same way that repeating the same tactic over and over on a real battlefield doesn't tend to work, this could be the arbitration of the DM.  On the other hand, getting fun out of their character is aboslutely part of the player's job as well.  If the fighter's "move and attack" is all you ever do, try to mix it up and see if you can't find another action or series of actions that catches the enemy off-guard and ultimately is more efficient.  Yes:  you will risk being less efficient in the short term, but your reward may be that you end up doing something extremely memorable:  and isn't that ultimately more fun?

the disadvantage is that all thse cost your action.
so they are intresting but usualy worse options then just attacking.


This exactly summarizes my point:  this post's author believes that those options are "worse" because they are often less tactically efficient.  The OP suggests "move and attack" is "worse" because it is more creatively uninteresting.  Neither party is right or wrong.  It is up to each group/DM/player to determine which option is better for them.
It's worth mentioning again that improvised (I'm sorry, "creative") actions are not unique to the fighter class.
One of the things we keep hearing is "Wait until the maneuvers and other Fighter/non-spellcasting abilities come out. It'll be fine." mantra, and I have to wonder, HOW are they going to be implemented? It's apparent that they're not adverse to giving the Fighter daily effects (even though ppl complained about them so much in 4E) and this has me wondering if their maneuvers are going to be kin to spells? Usable X/day and no chance of recovery? Are they given at-will maneuvers, daily maneuvers, stances? Or is it Vancian for EVERYONE!!!!
Whatever the fighter can or cannot do in relation to the other classes, the character class is also lacking any kind of "choice point" for players to make.

That is an excellent point to which I have no counter.  If having a class specific choice point is important to you, the Fighter class will be a failure for you in its current implementation.  I don't believe such a thing is necessary, though.  I absolutely am in favor of balancing classes, but I don't think, "number of choices required to create" is a metric that needs balance.

Howdy folks,

I've moved this thread to D&D Next General Discussion, where it is more on topic.

Thanks.   

All around helpful simian

I agree with the OP, there is a lot that a Fighter can do, and in most cases, better then any other class.

The only thing missing is the ability to be able to use spells maneuvers from the Fighter casting maneuver list, which can hardly be considered to be "creative".

After all no one says that a Wizard is being creative when they cast Magic Missile.

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I agree with the OP, there is a lot that a Fighter can do, and in most cases, better then any other class.

The only thing missing is the ability to be able to use spells maneuvers from the Fighter casting maneuver list, which can hardly be considered to be "creative".

After all no one says that a Wizard is being creative when they cast Magic Missile.



Yes, because anything in the game that allows the Fighter to have some codified options automatically makes that a spell, even if it operates completely different from spellcasting. Casters are the only ones that should be designed to be awesome and have the system enforce that. Fighters should require DM permission to be cool.
No Samrin,

But they should not emulate the spell system. A fighters abilities should be always at the ready without having to imitate spell effects to compete.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

No Samrin, But they should not emulate the spell system. A fighters abilities should be always at the ready without having to imitate spell effects to compete.



They have never imitated spell effects. Maybe they had similar effects to weaker spells that applied some generic conditions, but I never saw a fighter summon up a giant magma beast, open an arcane gate to teleport across the battlefield, fill a room with an enlarged fireball, turn something into a frog, raise the dead, charm someone, fly, hit something with an invisible bolt of force without having to roll to see if he hits. Just a short list of many things that the wizard can do that the fighter can not. That is just in 4e.

I have seen the Fighter stand toe to toe with a Balor, attack one enemy after another while shifting in between each into range of the next all in the same turn, be effective AND move at the same time, hit as hard or harder than some of the best "strikers" out there, knock an enemy prone and then manage to beat it into submission as long as it remains prone, grab an enemy with almost no chance of it escaping. Generally, I see them every session completely dominate a battlefield with their sheer presence there. Something the Fighter is supposed to be the best at doing. They can do most of this stuff with at-will abilities. So, I have no idea what you're talking about.

I'm not saying AEDU is the way to do things, which is why I'm advocating a more ToB style approach. I am saying that frequency of use has nothing to do with how the class plays. 4e classes are defined not just by their powers, but by their class features and how their powers interact with those features. Class features defining a class. Imagine that.

I find 3e classes to be far more "samey" than 4e classes. 4e classes only share frequency of abilities. 3e classes rarely even get unique class features. Open a 3e/3.5 phb and tell me how many times you see evasion as a class feature. Now how about improved evasion? Trapfinding? How about fast movement? Now, every melee class follows one basic rule. Full attack whenever possible.

Now, lets look at the spell section. Look at how many spells are shared by multiple classes. VERY few are class specific. So, you don't just have multiple classes sharing similar abilities. You have multiple classes re-using the exact same ones over and over and over again.

There is really nothing about a 3e class that sets it apart from others. They all share the same class features, which are FAR more important to a class than how often they can use their abilities. The only 2 classes that actually get some very unique features are the Druid and the Cleric. Ironically, they're the making of CoDzilla.
Improvised actions have their own baggage.

community.wizards.com/dndnext/go/thread/...
The martial classes in 4e can force enemies to come to them (command spell with multiple targets), heal themselves and allies in combat (imitation of healing spells from prior editions) if I bothered to take the time I could reference others.

Your style preference is to allow these types of effects to the fighter but that is a diversion from the core of DnD in the preceding 30 years of it's existence.

You may feel this is a good thing because of its balance but many of us would like to see some balance that doesn't involve giving magical effects to our mundane classes.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

The martial classes in 4e can force enemies to come to them (command spell with multiple targets), heal themselves and allies in combat (imitation of healing spells from prior editions) if I bothered to take the time I could reference others. Your style preference is to allow these types of effects to the fighter but that is a diversion from the core of DnD in the preceding 30 years of it's existence. You may feel this is a good thing because of its balance but many of us would like to see some balance that doesn't involve giving magical effects to our mundane classes.



Fine. I don't want to force anything on YOUR mundane class.

But do not think that I will allow you to limit MY martial hero.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

There is a nice little self created divide here. Shame there can't be more acceptance instead. I feel that is where the future of the game should be.

All this vitriol, pushing away, retroactive retaliation, and preemptive striking needs to stop.

I keep trying but some won't let things go. Will you?

 

Because you like something, it does not mean it is good. Because you dislike something, it does not mean it is bad. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it everyone's opinion. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it truth. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it the general consensus. Whatever side you want to take, at least remember these things.

Lawolf,

Understandable. While I love improv I do think having a single class rely more heavily on it than another can be a problem.

And on the other topic,
This fighter no longer needs an ability to "shift" in order to move between attacks. If he gets more attacks he can place each one anywhere within his move that he needs.

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

I'm all for battlefield control, letting the 5e fighter move freely between attacks is a great step. Allowing him to trip, stun, push, throw enemies,etc without having to give up his attack completely all go toward that goal.

Why does your fighter need spell slots to be acceptable?

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Valdark HP has never represented pure physical health (read many of the EGG quotes about this) so self healing is fine. 3e even had a feat that gave fast healing in the battle awareness line. So, nothing supernatural about recovering fatigue after a rest. Come and get it is a narrative tool to represent the hero motioning with his hand before the enemies rush him. And it was changed to an attack vs Will so again nothing supernatural here either. Nothing forces you to choose come and get it either so you an play a without these abilities if they offend you do much.

Now a 3e fighter was supernatural. He could cut a solid steel door in half. No 4e character can. A 3e fighter could lift a small car (1000s of lbs). A 3e fighter with a bow could easily fire an arrow per second. Armed with swords they can make 8 attacks in 6 seconds. So between the two 4e is a lot more realistic than 3e.
The martial classes in 4e can force enemies to come to them (command spell with multiple targets), heal themselves and allies in combat (imitation of healing spells from prior editions) if I bothered to take the time I could reference others. Your style preference is to allow these types of effects to the fighter but that is a diversion from the core of DnD in the preceding 30 years of it's existence. You may feel this is a good thing because of its balance but many of us would like to see some balance that doesn't involve giving magical effects to our mundane classes.



Fine. I don't want to force anything on YOUR mundane class.

But do not think that I will allow you to limit MY martial hero.



Forced movement is something they could do in previous editions, so I don't see how that is relevant. They don't get a command spell, either. They get grapple type of powers that physically pulls the enemy towards them. That is no different than using maneuvers in previous editions to do the same thing. The main difference is that they get to do that on top of attacking, instead of either/or.

They can not heal themselves like spells. They can spend one unassisted surge per combat at the expense of not being able to attack that round. Generally speaking, Second Wind is always considered a very bad thing to use unless you're a dwarf. If you're using that, things are going south very fast. 

Nothing you mentioned was in any way magical. 
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