Defensive Characters - Not Just Fighter, Please

So, this is simple.  Fighters shouldn't have a monopoly on defensive, protect-your-friends type characters.  The idea of moving Parry to being fighter-only is something I don't agree with.  Yes, I'm aware that this doesn't solve the "how do we make the fighter unique" problem, but that problem shouldn't be arbitrarily solved just for the sake of solving it, there should be a reason behind it.

Other classes than Fighter deserve to be in this category.  From the 'core' list, we have the Fighter and Paladin that I think everyone can agree on.

But to that list, I would also like to add Monk.  It would be a different style, no doubt, but the results should be effective.  Distraction and disruption of enemies, supreme dodgyness, and really really fast hands are the order of the day.  Ideally, this could be done in a way such that it feels different from the Sword&Board styles that Fighters and Paladins might employ.

I'd also like to make the case for the Druid.  There are a lot of really tough creatures out there, and with Wild Shape you should be able to become them, not just the typical attack-predator types.  Have it be a bit more balanced than it was in 3.5, but more effective at being defensive than it was in 4e.  Emphasize the protect-your-friends aspect, because friendness is something I associate with Druids.

There's also plenty of room for the defensive arcanist, whatever class you want to call that - abjurer, swordmage, the name isn't all that critical.  The point is that the existence of defensive magic - shields, resistance, mage armor - can and should lead to people who specialize in it, and use it in much the same way that fighters use armor and shields made of metal.

If we go into the psionics realm, then there's a parallel with them for the same reasons as an arcanist - defensive psionics are a thing, therefore there will be people who become specialists at it.

Bottom line, it's an incredibly enjoyable way of playing, to me, and I'd really hate it if only Fighters could do it.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
You know moving parry to fighter only is not the Devs saying that they wont have defensive support for other classes right? The ability alone does not a protective character make There's plenty of room for defensive clerics, rogues, and wizards!
My two copper.
You know moving parry to fighter only is not the Devs saying that they wont have defensive support for other classes right? The ability alone does not a protective character make There's plenty of room for defensive clerics, rogues, and wizards!


Yes, I know that they're not saying that they won't.  This is not objecting to anything they've done, but rather a suggestion for something they should do.

Also, there are more classes than clerics, rogues, and wizards.  Not a single one of those I expect to have a defensive style anywhere near as effective as a Fighter.  If you're a "core four" adherent, you will not find any common ground here.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I agree with the concept, Mand12. If someone's familiar with fighting at all, he knows something about defence. There shouldn't be anything stopping a PC from "specialising" if you will, in defence rather than attack. In our last playtest, the Protector fighter tried to do that as much as he could (at least, when his buddies were nearby ).

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

Needs a cape wearing rogue that can redirect attacks and confuse enemies with it. That would be an epic defensive character.

Mystical Disarm Technique: When an enemy attacks the rogue or an ally adjacent to the rogue, as a reaction the rogue can spend 3 expertise dice to make an attack roll with his cape. If he succeeds he wraps the target's arm in his cape and uses it to disarm the opponent. The weapon drops in a space adjacent to the opponent. The attack is interrupted this way.

Horrible wording because it just came off the top of my head :P
My two copper.
well the parry manuver only reduces damage on yourselve it is it is the protect manuver that prevents damage to others.
It makes the fighter the tough guy being able to take lots of damage by reducing it.
 
I don't know if i see the rogue or monk to be as though as the fighter.
 
 
I agree for the most part. 
So, this is simple.  Fighters shouldn't have a monopoly on defensive, protect-your-friends type characters.  The idea of moving Parry to being fighter-only is something I don't agree with.  Yes, I'm aware that this doesn't solve the "how do we make the fighter unique" problem, but that problem shouldn't be arbitrarily solved just for the sake of solving it, there should be a reason behind it.

Other classes than Fighter deserve to be in this category.  From the 'core' list, we have the Fighter and Paladin that I think everyone can agree on.

But to that list, I would also like to add Monk.  It would be a different style, no doubt, but the results should be effective.  Distraction and disruption of enemies, supreme dodgyness, and really really fast hands are the order of the day.  Ideally, this could be done in a way such that it feels different from the Sword&Board styles that Fighters and Paladins might employ.

I'd also like to make the case for the Druid.  There are a lot of really tough creatures out there, and with Wild Shape you should be able to become them, not just the typical attack-predator types.  Have it be a bit more balanced than it was in 3.5, but more effective at being defensive than it was in 4e.  Emphasize the protect-your-friends aspect, because friendness is something I associate with Druids.

There's also plenty of room for the defensive arcanist, whatever class you want to call that - abjurer, swordmage, the name isn't all that critical.  The point is that the existence of defensive magic - shields, resistance, mage armor - can and should lead to people who specialize in it, and use it in much the same way that fighters use armor and shields made of metal.

If we go into the psionics realm, then there's a parallel with them for the same reasons as an arcanist - defensive psionics are a thing, therefore there will be people who become specialists at it.

Bottom line, it's an incredibly enjoyable way of playing, to me, and I'd really hate it if only Fighters could do it.

+1 to this.  Let Fighters keep unique offensive abilities.  Let other classes have the desired and needed defensive abilities.

+1 Mand12

Also I love parry as normal at-will ability, but its not a sexy special ability for fighter class.

I say, make the unique abilities for fighters attached to their style, so my archer can feel like an archer and not a fighter using a bow.




My mind is a deal-breaker.

Why not give fighters the ability to mark opponents again or allow them to do more effective or multiple AoO?   That would give them more of the combat field superiority they need to work the battle and protect the rest of the party and deal more damage when the situation works for them.   That would give the fighter something unique that other classes just couldn't do.

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Marking is a really hamfisted approach to kludge together some sort of reason why the monster wouldn't just ignore the tin can and go Kill The One In The Dress.

There are better ways of doing it.  Interference with attacks, counterattacks, protection from damage - these are all better, and don't require the marking mechanic.

I am a 4e fan, by the way, so I fully understand and accept how marking works.  That doesn't mean I don't think there's a better way.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Not to mention using a choke point if one is available, and making a "kill pocket."

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

I really loved the Guardian Theme (with a small tweak) as a solution to this problem. It perfectly addresses the want/need to be able to provide a Protector type character without forcing that archtype onto the Fighter exclusively. You'd have to get rid of the silly shield proficiency requirement to make it work of course. Why shouldn't a wizard be able to throw up a quick, distracting illusion or a rogue throw some sneezing powder to protect an adjacent ally? 
  
Not to mention using a choke point if one is available, and making a "kill pocket."



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Marking is a really hamfisted approach to kludge together some sort of reason why the monster wouldn't just ignore the tin can and go Kill The One In The Dress.

There are better ways of doing it.  Interference with attacks, counterattacks, protection from damage - these are all better, and don't require the marking mechanic.



The fighters Mark is interference with attacks and counterattacks.

Marking is pretty much just an advanced version of threatening, I'm not sure why people have a problem with it. I figure it's probably more of a bad word choice than anything else. It should probably be something like covered or suppressed instead of marked.

Marking is a really hamfisted approach to kludge together some sort of reason why the monster wouldn't just ignore the tin can and go Kill The One In The Dress.

There are better ways of doing it.  Interference with attacks, counterattacks, protection from damage - these are all better, and don't require the marking mechanic.


Well, one advantage 4e Marking had over the current protection type effects in 5e is that Marking had a static penalty effect, even if the other effects could only be used once per turn, like the Swordmage's variety of powers or the Paladin's direct damage, so it was possible to having several people marked, while punishing one particular enemy. Now, it is just protect / punish one particular enemy once per turn. It is a far weaker form of protection.

I can certainly accept moving away from the Marking mechanic, but I would still like to see a decent Defender-like suite available for someone, it doesn't necessarily have to be the Fighter, but I just don't like the "everything requires a Reaction" thing going on now.
Marking is a really hamfisted approach to kludge together some sort of reason why the monster wouldn't just ignore the tin can and go Kill The One In The Dress.

There are better ways of doing it.  Interference with attacks, counterattacks, protection from damage - these are all better, and don't require the marking mechanic.



The fighters Mark is interference with attacks and counterattacks.

Marking is pretty much just an advanced version of threatening, I'm not sure why people have a problem with it. I figure it's probably more of a bad word choice than anything else. It should probably be something like covered or suppressed instead of marked.



Combat Challenge is, yes, but the mark itself isn't necessary to do that.  Having something like Combat Challenge is absolutely a good idea in Next, but marking has with it a lot of baggage.

I am completely aware of the advantages of marking, and I believe it was a quantum leap in defensive character design, but it's had its day and I think we can do better.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
The fighters Mark is interference with attacks and counterattacks.

Marking is pretty much just an advanced version of threatening, I'm not sure why people have a problem with it. I figure it's probably more of a bad word choice than anything else. It should probably be something like covered or suppressed instead of marked.



I like the idea of thinking of it as "suppression."

So, as part of a protective fighting style, you could pick up a maneuver called "Suppressive Strike," or "Covering Strike," spending Expertise Dice when you attack an enemy to keep it in check, so that you'd get a Reaction to smack them again if they took some kind of hostile action against one of your allies  (I imagine you'd deal damage equal to your highest ED roll).  For an archer-type, you could get "Suppressive Fire," which would probably only be usuable against opponents with cover, forcing them to keep their heads down, so to speak, or suffer retribution.  Just the idea that came off the top of my head.  Very similar to 4e Marking, but hopefully free of the requisite baggage.

The current shield-based maneuver is okay, but it's awfully limiting.  I think the opportunity to defend should be availably to a wider range of Fighters beyond sword-and-board, including the guy wielding a great axe, the Dex-based duelist and, yes, even the archer.  Maybe the sword-and-board guy could keep that extra maneuver to boost his protective potential, but the full array of over Fighter archetypes should at least have the option to be competent at it as well.

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan


 
I don't know if i see the rogue or monk to be as though as the fighter.
 
 



Rouges... not so much.  However monks, i completely agree they should have a completely defensive version.  In the basic terms, a monk is simply a fighter who has specialized in using his fist and feet as his weapons rather than some big piece of sharp metal.  they have also spent just as much time strengthening their bodies to outside physical attacks leading to their "unarmored defense" ability.  And if you want to, monks by nature are going to be more defensive than any other class as they dont enjoy being offensive imo.
I wholeheartedly agree that the Fighter should not be the only class capable of melee defense. An evasion-specialist Rogue would be awesome, dodsging enemy attacks and taunting the ogre that had his eye on the wizard. A Gish capable of magically defending himself would be neat, too. Of course, the Paladin will likely be highly defensive, depending on one's choice of virtue.
+1 to the OP.

Maybe instead of marking, look into adapting Defender's Aura? 
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Agree with the OP. Defending (which I like to think about as melee controlling) is a very satisying way of playing and should not be restricted to fighters only.
Problem is that right now not even the fighter is a viable defender - unless with this we intend 'defender of himself'.
So, it will be good to see some defending/controlling mechanics that can be made available to several classes and builds.
If every class could be described as being a master of one field of ability, the Fighter would likely be desccribed as the master of combat. This means that, in general, he is quite skilled at fighting, leaning slightly more towards offense than defense, agility, etc. The Barbarian would be the master of sheer destruction, making him more offense-oriented than the Fighter. The Paladin would probably be the true master of defense, especially if he is built with that in mind. I think that for the Fighter, as the playtest stands now, defense and protection of allies is a minor ability of theirs, not a major focus. Personally, I would like to see a little more room for defense specialization in the Fighter.
I agree defending should not be for martials alone.

I like the concept of a "ranged defender", something along the lines of a divine or arcane caster that can repeatedly provide either temp HP or a small AC boost once per round on an ally.

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