Personal Request for Fighters

The issue I have with the Fighter comes around since about late 2e and definitely 3e to 4e.  In fact 4e encapsulates the problem.

The hyper focusing of the Fighter into 'builds'.  There's a lack of variety forced onto only ONE class.

In 4e, for example, you have the Great Weapon fighter, the One Weapon and Shield fighter, the Two Weapon fighter, the WWE/Grapple fighter, the...  What IS the Battlerager's purpose anyway?

And yet, outside of Essentials (and the Mage's bonuses for picking a specific school, and even then they get a secondary bonus to a second one at later levels) no other class is restricted in this.  Except maybe Cleric, but at least they get a wide variety of effects, as well as dedicated healing.  Like summoning storms or lazers from their eyes.

The Rogue can be both a ranged or melee 'expert' on a fight to fight basis.

The Wizard, in any edition since AD&D 1e could 'specialize' but more often than not (and it was considered smarter to do so) can pick spells will nilly (OK, I'll take a Melf's Acid Arrow, Tenser's Floating Disk, a Raise Dead, a Mass Teleport, Disintegrate and what Divination school spell should I use to utterly destroy the GM's plot today...  Hmmm...)

Of the 'side' classes, the only other one that might have a bit of a problem starting from 3.5 is the Ranger, either two weapon, weapon and beast or archery.

The Paladin can still smite his/her foes with a one handed or two handed weapon, doesn't really matter how, their powers are generally divine.

The Druid's schtck has always been to throw animals at the problem (PETA, where are you?) and they have many ways to do that, including using themselves as beast of a weapon.

The Bard has always been misnamed the 'Jack of All Trades' when in reality his 'job' makes him the Face of the Party (Go see A Knight's Tale (2001), and forget how unrealistic or whatever it is about the flick, go look at the Geoffrey Chaucer character played by Paul Bettany, THAT is what a Bard IS.)  But that's a player made problem, really.

The Monk has always been a one trick pony with no real justification to exist in D&D outside of the whiny "But I want KUNG FU!!!!!"  A Fighter could do that better.

And the Barbarian/Berserker is nothing more than a Fighter with anger management issues, and lot's practice with swinging big hunks of copper/iron/bronze/steel around.

That covers all the important and iconic D&D classes.

What I'd like to see is for the Fighter the same thing that most of the other classes get, the ability to switch 'combat' styles on the fly, or as required.

I'd also like if each of the major combat styles, like Sword and Board, Two Weapon (Yes, technically these two are effectively the same), and Two handed got their own unique flavours to boot.

This ISN'T a Video Game where the main Fighter hero (typically in a JRPG) is given an 'iconic' weapon and that every weapon shop carries that specific weapon type for you.  And the rest of your party.  Some times you'll find that Bullpucky Bob's Bargain Basement of Magical Katanas doesn't have an outlet in this particular town, so you'll need to scrounge up a hand axe or short blade instead of the great whopper hammer you've been carrying around.

If there's going to be a bounded accuracy and the ability to be disarmed in a fight (which in real life is usually instant death, but this is a fantasy game) I want to be able to grab the Orc in front of me, smash his skull in with my helmet, grab his axe, draw my dagger at my waist and suddenly I am properly armed and BACK in the fight.

That's pretty badass to me.

I have nothing against specializing, but it shouldn't overshadow the fact that there are other weapons in the world, and a Fighter is a master of them all (especially when he gets over level 10.)  Maybe you like swords better than axes, that's fine, but if all you have access to is an ax at a banquet, or even just a carving knife when you and your friends get ambused, wouldn't you want to be as effective with it, too?

Just a request, that I'm pretty sure will get flamed or ignored.  Thank you for your time.

(And for the record, all those examples, I've seen when I ran a 2e game about 20 years ago.  We didn't know any better back then.)
 


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If there's going to be a bounded accuracy and the ability to be disarmed in a fight (which in real life is usually instant death, but this is a fantasy game) I want to be able to grab the Orc in front of me, smash his skull in with my helmet, grab his axe, draw my dagger at my waist and suddenly I am properly armed and BACK in the fight.

You can currently do all these things in D&D Next.

Grab: Strength vs Strength (or Dexterity) contest. 
Smash with Helmet: melee attack with improvised weapon
Grab his axe: Strength vs Strength (or Dexterity) contest.  If you are unarmed you have disadvantage...I wouldn't count that because you are grabbing the orc and are using your helm as an improvised weapon.

Also, note about 4E and fighter builds.  I think you are selling the variability far short.  While it is true that the fighter must pick a single style (1 handed weapon, 2 handed weapon, battlerager, etc) you are free to take any power for which you qualify (which, by the end, was a lot).  Anyone trained in endurance could benefit from Invigorating powers, for example. 


What precisely is keeping a fighter from switching styles?

In fact wasn't there a build that actually encouraged weapon swapping via powers with multiple listed weapon effects? 
What precisely is keeping a fighter from switching styles?

In fact wasn't there a build that actually encouraged weapon swapping via powers with multiple listed weapon effects? 

Yup.  In the PHB, every other level of encounter attack powers had riders based on your weapon.  For example, level 3 had: Armor-Piercing Thrust (light blade or spear), Crushing Blow (axe, hammer, or mace), Dance of Steel (polearm or heavy blade), Rain of Blows (light blade, spear, or flail), and Sweeping Blow (axe, flail, heavy blade, or pick).
I want every fighter to retain the ability to be cool with whatever they happen to pick up. Even if its not their preferred shtick. Yes, they should still be allowed focus if they want, but not to such an extent that they suck if they aren't being optimal every moment of the day.

When a (normally) greataxe-wielding fighter has to pick up a trident, for whatever reason, he should still be a fighter. Doing things with it the other martial characters wish they could. He shouldn't be relegated to second-tier just because something happened for story, or some other situational, reasons.

Again, I go back to one of my favorite movie scenes:



"I said I never had much use for one. Never said I didn't know how to use it." - Matthew Quigley
If there's going to be a bounded accuracy and the ability to be disarmed in a fight (which in real life is usually instant death, but this is a fantasy game) I want to be able to grab the Orc in front of me, smash his skull in with my helmet, grab his axe, draw my dagger at my waist and suddenly I am properly armed and BACK in the fight.

You can currently do all these things in D&D Next.

Grab: Strength vs Strength (or Dexterity) contest. 
Smash with Helmet: melee attack with improvised weapon
Grab his axe: Strength vs Strength (or Dexterity) contest.  If you are unarmed you have disadvantage...I wouldn't count that because you are grabbing the orc and are using your helm as an improvised weapon.

Also, note about 4E and fighter builds.  I think you are selling the variability far short.  While it is true that the fighter must pick a single style (1 handed weapon, 2 handed weapon, battlerager, etc) you are free to take any power for which you qualify (which, by the end, was a lot).  Anyone trained in endurance could benefit from Invigorating powers, for example. 





Arthe, you're right in that the Fighter in 4e can pick any power (and the most versatile was actually the Grappler Fighter.  Arm yourself with a pair of Cestus [with the feat that makes 1D8 weapons], and now you are considered ARM and HAVING A HAND FREE.  Dual Strike?  Done!  That basic Grab and Strike?  Done!  Any power that required either a weapon OR a free hand, you had FULL access to.)

But if you're a Battlerager with a Shield or a Two handed weapon Fighter, you CANNOT take Dual Strike or Grab and Strike (or whatever it's called) without having to drop a weapon, and if you do, especially for a two handed sword, hammer, axe, you've just removed most of your 'bonuses', which we've been trained to desperately want.

Also, I want D&DN (no offence, 4e IS fun.  I am PLAYING it, as well as running the Encounters for a local gaming club) to back away from the proliferation of powers.

Here's a scenario for you:

Barbrawl.  Unarmed, facing an opponent.  There's a cask, a stool and a carving knife within reach, and I'm a One Weapons and Shield Specialist Fighter.  Still with me?

OK, first thing I would do is look at my sheet and consider mmy options.  I have a couple of at-wills but nothing all that useable without a weapon in hand.  Well, I'm not going to move, this is 4e after all.  So I have a couple of Minor actions.  I also have Tide of Iron and Cleave as my powers as a Dragonborn.

Well, Cleave is useless, and I'm not blowing a daily on a Bar brawl.  And most of my Encounters aren't going to be that impressive.  So that leaves either, Melee Basic (WHY???) or Tide of Iron.

Notice the first thing I did?  I looked at my character sheet and checked out my powers.  This is a common trap.  Instead of looking around and seeing the 'battlefield' for options, the first thing I did (and I'm not the only one who does this.  Most 4e players I know, and see on this very forum does the same thing) was my Character Sheet.

Instead of grabbing the cask and smashing it over the goons head, which would be useless because I would be (assuming level one here, OK?) rolling at +5 vs. AC.  Which might give me anything from a 50% to a 65% to hit.  But it's a Melee basic and it's only 1D4 damage.  [Math was off, you only get your Strength Bonus on an Improvised weapon.]

I'm more likely to grab that knife, and a stool, wheedling my GM into accepting that I can use Tide of Iron because the Stool is now my Shield, and because a Dagger is a +3 weapon, the bonus now jumps up to (Str: 20= +5, Guardian Weapon Bonus: +1 for a one handed weapon, +3 Dagger Proficiency = +8) a 65% to 90% chance of hitting.

Because of the powers, I immediately switch to them.  And the LFR (of which I was a part of) adventure system for RPGA groups reinforced, which bleeds into my home games...



In a relatively recent Red Box (and I mean the old Basic, Expert, Companion, Master, Immortal set of 83) game, I was also playing a Fighter, and we had a bar brawl situation.

Which I didn't start.  Honest!  I didn't have any skills pertinent to the discussion upstairs so the DM decided that someone started a fight.

So during this fight, I have no weapons, no armour (But neither does anyone else) and I have a table in front of me with, yep, a cask, a dagger, but instead of a stool, a five foot bench behind me.

And I have two guys to deal with a Dwarven Merc and someone I can 'sense' behind me.  The exchange went something like this:

Me:  "So there's a guy behind me?"

DM: "Yeah, he's not being subtle. (as in running in, screaming)"

Me: *Thinks* "Bench is 5 feet long, right?"

DM: "Yep."

Me:  "I'm pretty strong, so could I, like, slam my foot on the end of the bench and have the other side swing up and clock him in the jaw?"

A pause, I swear he thought I was going to pick up or something, cuz he just sat there looking at me for a couple of seconds.  Then he grins and nods (the guy really is awesome, much better than me and my 28 years of DMining experience.)

So I roll my D20, I get the 15 I needed (I had like an 18 strength, I think.  Or was it 15?  I forget.)

And BOOM!  The back end of the bench swings up, knocks goon B out.  While the next round (After taking a solid punch to the jaw by Mr. Dorf) I grab the cask, smash it over Mr. Dorf's head, taking him out of the fight.

Then the DM switch over the rest of the team, got their updates, and then went back to me.  At the end of that fight, I was down 5 HP from 30.  I described as having half my face swollen, knuckles bruised, both wrists were sprained, splinters of chairs in my buttocks and back...

It seriously was eye opening for me.  This is what I want in D&D.  As much fun as Kroduhk the Battlerager for LFR was, I want something that HELPS (keyword, it's up to the GM and Players to AGREE on this point) more 'free form' stuff.

See where I am coming from?

4e is EXCELLENT for what it does.  And what it does is bring a tactical feel to combat in between some rather rousing (personal experience) Role Playing scenes.  It makes you think about where you are, where your enemies, how much you can move, if you can move, and what are you willing to sacrifice to make that (Standard, Minor, Move, Free) move.
I want every fighter to retain the ability to be cool with whatever they happen to pick up. Even if its not their preferred shtick. Yes, they should still be allowed focus if they want, but not to such an extent that they suck if they aren't being optimal every moment of the day.

When a (normally) greataxe-wielding fighter has to pick up a trident, for whatever reason, he should still be a fighter. Doing things with it the other martial characters wish they could. He shouldn't be relegated to second-tier just because something happened for story, or some other situational, reasons.

Again, I go back to one of my favorite movie scenes:



"I said I never had much use for one. Never said I didn't know how to use it." - Matthew Quigley


I agree with you, but I have to raise you one.  For a fighter to truly qualify as a fighter for me, she must be able to weaponize things.  A fighter should be able skip over the improvised weapon entries and be able to treat anything they wield like the weapon that it most closely represents.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I want every fighter to retain the ability to be cool with whatever they happen to pick up. Even if its not their preferred shtick. Yes, they should still be allowed focus if they want, but not to such an extent that they suck if they aren't being optimal every moment of the day.

When a (normally) greataxe-wielding fighter has to pick up a trident, for whatever reason, he should still be a fighter. Doing things with it the other martial characters wish they could. He shouldn't be relegated to second-tier just because something happened for story, or some other situational, reasons.

Again, I go back to one of my favorite movie scenes:



"I said I never had much use for one. Never said I didn't know how to use it." - Matthew Quigley


I agree with you, but I have to raise you one.  For a fighter to truly qualify as a fighter for me, she must be able to weaponize things.  A fighter should be able skip over the improvised weapon entries and be able to treat anything they wield like the weapon that it most closely represents.


Chris, I was thinking that EXACT scene when I wrote this up.

I am also a HUGE Robert E. Howard and Frank Frazetta fan, and in a lot of the Conan stories he's never using the same weapon twice.  (I grew up reading them in the Public Library behind my parents back.)

And MechaPilot that would be a cool feature, actually.  If you ever want to pitch it as a suggestion:  I will throw my vote into your hat. 
Here's a scenario for you:

Barbrawl.  Unarmed, facing an opponent.  There's a cask, a stool and a carving knife within reach, and I'm a One Weapons and Shield Specialist Fighter.  Still with me?

OK, first thing I would do is look at my sheet and consider mmy options.

I'm going to stop you right here, because you've got the wrong guy.  While I love 4E, I also realized a while ago that I'm not a huge fan of powers for the exact reason you say.  In my few playtest sessions, my players have improvised far more than they ever do during 4E combats.

That said, there is a very good argument for giving characters at least SOME powers: players shouldn't have to improvise all the time in order to be effective.  So it is cool that the D&D Next fighter has maneuvers and expertise dice.  It gives you a few default things to fall back on, but at the same time it keeps those options to a minimum so as not to limit you. 

Also, spellcasters get a plethora of powers in all editions of D&D that results in, "Let me see what I have on my sheet".

So it is a tricky issue and requires careful balance.  I think a big part of it is making sure that, as the DM, you allow improvised actions to be cool and effective at the same time.  I'll use 4E as an example.  If improvised actions are weaker than at-will powers (they hit less, or they do less damage, or they don't carry cool effects, etc), there is no reason for players to attempt them.  In my current campaign, I make most improvised actions stronger than at-will attacks, and sometimes stronger than encounter attacks (it depends on the repeatability of the action and the risks involved).  As a result, I have seen a slight increase in improvised actions, but it is a slow process (the powers are strong in my players).  My latest idea is to have the monsters take advantage of the potential improvised actions, and this has seemed to spur my players on.  Just the other day, they entered a dark warehouse, and heard something moving on the other side of some shelves packed with boxes.  I expected them to run around the shelves to confront whatever it was.  One player (who has a halfling barbarian) asks, "Can I try to push the shelf over?"  He did, and it was awesome.



Grab: Strength vs Strength (or Dexterity) contest. 
Smash with Helmet: melee attack with improvised weapon
Grab his axe: Strength vs Strength (or Dexterity) contest.  If you are unarmed you have disadvantage...I wouldn't count that because you are grabbing the orc and are using your helm as an improvised weapon.



None of these are truly virtues of a fighter, though.  Anybody can do these things, and they're not particularly optimal choices as it is.  In fact, they're so terrible, that I wouldn't personally consider any of them.


Grab: Strength vs Strength (or Dexterity) contest. 
Smash with Helmet: melee attack with improvised weapon
Grab his axe: Strength vs Strength (or Dexterity) contest.  If you are unarmed you have disadvantage...I wouldn't count that because you are grabbing the orc and are using your helm as an improvised weapon.



None of these are truly virtues of a fighter, though.  Anybody can do these things, and they're not particularly optimal choices as it is.  In fact, they're so terrible, that I wouldn't personally consider any of them.


To a large extent though, being something "anybody can do" is a trap for all martial classes by the very nature of their non-magicality.  And, in that same vein, things that "anyone can do" cannot be optimal choices or else everyone will do them (in some cases, choosing to do one or more of them instead of their class-provided options).

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.



Grab: Strength vs Strength (or Dexterity) contest. 
Smash with Helmet: melee attack with improvised weapon
Grab his axe: Strength vs Strength (or Dexterity) contest.  If you are unarmed you have disadvantage...I wouldn't count that because you are grabbing the orc and are using your helm as an improvised weapon.



None of these are truly virtues of a fighter, though.  Anybody can do these things, and they're not particularly optimal choices as it is.  In fact, they're so terrible, that I wouldn't personally consider any of them.

I never said they were virtues of a fighter.  The OP simply said that he wants to be able to have his fighter do such things, and I was pointing out that, currently, you can do all of it in Next.

Whether or not they are optimal choices isn't part of this issue (unless I really misread the OP), though it is certainly something that can be addressed by the system.

Arithe is correct, whether or not those actions are optimal is not the point here.

The point is, I want a balance of 'powers' and free form.

And I also want a decoupling of the Fighter being their Weapon. A Fighter is not a Great Sword, a Halberd or a Sword and Shield.  They ARE the Weapon, their tool becomes a PART of them rather than being all important to be.

Which brings to a secondary point.

Here's another scenario.  The PCs are on a Castle Rampart, Dragon flying out of reach for now.

Wizard can cast spells, but most of them are damage dealing, and not realy able to bring the dragon down.  The Rogue has a bow and is trying to cripple a wing with it (as a bit of cross over, for now) not much luck.  The Fighter grabs a fallen soldier's loaded heavy cross bow, fires it.  Not on his side, he misses.  Then he sees a Ballista mounted on the top of a tower.  He gets his buddies to help funnel the dragon into it's firing path.  Shoots, nails it, brings it down.

This 3.x example was used in conjunction of Mike Mearl' old Book of Iron Might, which Monte Cook sold under his imprint.

The point is, that although any one could have thought of that, ballista and castle tactics are sort of his schtick.

Not just skill with weapons.

I want Fighters to BE FIGHTERS.  To bush league Gods of War.

Rogues can get so good with skills they can sneeze and still stealth through any magical motion detector alarms.

Wizards can STOP TIME ITSELF!  Is there any more that needs to be said?

And Clerics can be both the VOICE and FIST of their Gods, shaking or embolding Nations.

But Fighters?  Eh, he just fights well. 
I'm with the OP on the whole "Improvisation is Great and Fun" thing. I love when my players get that sparkle and grin and then ask if they can use something I described in the room, usually without thinking about it. 
I usually try to make it seem pretty damn cool when they start thinking outside of the box. The box being "I hit it with 'insert weapon here'" or "I cast 'insert spell here' at it." I try to generally make that seem moderately compelling but when they start getting more descriptive and creative I try to give them something more.
One thing though, so far Next doesn't really have any kind of Weapon Specialization feats or anything like that. In no way does it seem that the Fighter is getting locked into a single weapon type. I usually try to keep my Fighters from becoming hyper-focused on a single weapon type, unless its a part of the character concept (scythe fighters are scary). The fighting styles give relatively minor increases in power in regards to sword and board types and dual weapon types, in the previous packet. There is nothing, though, about those bonuses that would hold any fighter back in the barbrawl example that was given.
Deadly Strike + 5 ft. bench (or barstools)Laughing
 I never said they were virtues of a fighter.  The OP simply said that he wants to be able to have his fighter do such things, and I was pointing out that, currently, you can do all of it in Next.

Whether or not they are optimal choices isn't part of this issue (unless I really misread the OP), though it is certainly something that can be addressed by the system.


Actually, I think it's quite directly at the heart of this issue.  You pointed out that, technically, the Fighter can already pull off that cool stunt.  But when you described having to win two ability contests and make an attack to do it, it may as well have just stopped being possible.  That's three chances to fail, and about three times as many resolution mechanics as I'd want to bring into it, myself.  It's Pokemon Syndrome in full swing.
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
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4enclave, a place where 4e fans can talk 4e in peace.
Arithe is correct, whether or not those actions are optimal is not the point here.

The point is, I want a balance of 'powers' and free form.

And I also want a decoupling of the Fighter being their Weapon. A Fighter is not a Great Sword, a Halberd or a Sword and Shield.  They ARE the Weapon, their tool becomes a PART of them rather than being all important to be.

Yay!  What do I win?

So far, I think we have seen a decoupling of the Fighter from a specific weapon in Next.  In the past, the only reason you would get stuck to a weapon is because of things like Weapon Specialization and Feats.  If you have invested a ton of resources into Swords, you aren't going to want to pick up an Axe, because you won't fight as well.  Next doesn't have anything like that currently.  There is no weapon specialization, feats don't give weapon specific bonuses, and maneuvers are weapon neutral.

So far, I think we have seen a decoupling of the Fighter from a specific weapon in Next.  In the past, the only reason you would get stuck to a weapon is because of things like Weapon Specialization and Feats.  If you have invested a ton of resources into Swords, you aren't going to want to pick up an Axe, because you won't fight as well.  Next doesn't have anything like that currently.  There is no weapon specialization, feats don't give weapon specific bonuses, and maneuvers are weapon neutral.

...and as you level, your bonus damage begins to trump your weapon die more and more. So a 10th-level fighter with a broken table-leg is a very dangerous thing by virtue of +3d10!

I'm all for free form roleplaying and taking actions that aren't specifically codified by the rules.  However, achieving a good balance of ruled and ruleless actions is a literal impossibility, as some groups do not allow actions that aren't written in a book.  My group, for example does not allow houseruling or any sort of free form actions that aren't listed in a book. 

The problem with the aforementioned examples is that the player is seriously just better off taking the nearest thing that resembles a weapon and using Deadly Strike to down a foe.  Even then, very rarely is a fighter going to be without a weapon, and it takes a hell of a DM to consistently do that to a player.  Would you feel the same way if the DM was routinely taking a wizard's spellbook away?
So far, I think we have seen a decoupling of the Fighter from a specific weapon in Next.  In the past, the only reason you would get stuck to a weapon is because of things like Weapon Specialization and Feats.  If you have invested a ton of resources into Swords, you aren't going to want to pick up an Axe, because you won't fight as well.  Next doesn't have anything like that currently.  There is no weapon specialization, feats don't give weapon specific bonuses, and maneuvers are weapon neutral.

...and as you level, your bonus damage begins to trump your weapon die more and more. So a 10th-level fighter with a broken table-leg is a very dangerous thing by virtue of +3d10!



Except for the part where they don't get their bonus to hit because they're using an improvised weapon.  Although a nice DM might call it a club.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

The issue I have with the Fighter comes around since about late 2e and definitely 3e to 4e.  In fact 4e encapsulates the problem.

The hyper focusing of the Fighter into 'builds'.  There's a lack of variety forced onto only ONE class.

In 4e, for example, you have the Great Weapon fighter, the One Weapon and Shield fighter, the Two Weapon fighter, the WWE/Grapple fighter, the...  What IS the Battlerager's purpose anyway?

It's a berserker.   Lot of overlap with the Barbarian,  but the barbarian was a striker, so it's a "defender barbarian," before the actual Berserker class came out in Heroes of the Feywild.  FWIW.  
And yet, outside of Essentials (and the Mage's bonuses for picking a specific school, and even then they get a secondary bonus to a second one at later levels) no other class is restricted in this.  Except maybe Cleric, but at least they get a wide variety of effects, as well as dedicated healing.  Like summoning storms or lazers from their eyes.

The Rogue can be both a ranged or melee 'expert' on a fight to fight basis.

The Wizard, in any edition since AD&D 1e could 'specialize' but more often than not (and it was considered smarter to do so) can pick spells will nilly (OK, I'll take a Melf's Acid Arrow, Tenser's Floating Disk, a Raise Dead, a Mass Teleport, Disintegrate and what Divination school spell should I use to utterly destroy the GM's plot today...  Hmmm...)

Of the 'side' classes, the only other one that might have a bit of a problem starting from 3.5 is the Ranger, either two weapon, weapon and beast or archery. 

The issue isn't so much that the fighter has 'builds' - every class does, whether they're given names right in the book like in 4e, or ferreted out by charop, there are builds.  The issue is that the fighter is subjected to a brutal double-standard.  It exists in a fantasy world, but, often virtually alone among classes, it is held to more stringent standards of 'realism' because it lacks any sort of magical fig-leaf to cover extraordinary abilities.  No ki or divine aid or arcane finger-wiggling or anything, hell, even being able to carry a tune seems to give you carte blanche in D&D's version of ''fantasy,' but a mere sword-swinger comes up hard against 'reality.'  

So, while another class's 'build' might be a modest preference for laser beams over thunderbolts, the fighter is left with the very limited menue of medieval weapons and how they might, in the jaded eyes of todays nerds, be used.  Mere weapon choice thus becomes the basis for fighter 'builds,' which are nothing more than very narrow slices of the "I hit 'em with a stick" spectrum allowed the benighted class.

It goes all the way back to 1e UA and "Weapon Specialization."  Choosing one weapon to go steady with let the fighter get more attacks/round and higher damage.  It's not that it made a tremendous amount of sense, its just the poor fighter needed /something/ and rather than credit him with the extraordinary abilities of heroic warriors out of myth/legend/literature/etc, they just took the very limited set of things he could do and said, hey, you can have this bone if you pick just /one/ of these pitifully few things to be your schtick.   2e was basically the same deal.  3e at least expanded it, there were more combat options - most of them pretty poor - but the fighter could, by devoting many feats to them, become really good at one or two.  Thus were 'builds' born.  CharOp eventually came up with a few that were even downright viable, chain-gun-trippers, and 'battlefield control' and high-damage-charger "builds."  

Just as 4e put names to the sources characters had always used and the roles they'd always played in the party, it put names to "builds" and laid them out, in front of the curtain.


But, yes, the basis for 'fighter builds' was still terribly limited, because, even with the effort made to balance the classes, the martial source was still being given too little credit.

 

 

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Except for the part where they don't get their bonus to hit because they're using an improvised weapon.

Huh? What bonus? I don't understand.

Except for the part where they don't get their bonus to hit because they're using an improvised weapon.

Huh? What bonus? I don't understand.



In 4e (I forget in 3.x and earlier) all you get is your base strength bonus.  Not sure if you even get your half-level, which you might, helps mitigate it, but you'll still be wanting to stack those bonuses.
Except for the part where they don't get their bonus to hit because they're using an improvised weapon.

Huh? What bonus? I don't understand.



The one from the listed attribute.  Read page 7 of the equipment pdf.  It says you don't get the attack bonus.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Except for the part where they don't get their bonus to hit because they're using an improvised weapon.

Huh? What bonus? I don't understand.

Proficiency.

 

 

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Except for the part where they don't get their bonus to hit because they're using an improvised weapon.

Huh? What bonus? I don't understand.



In 4e (I forget in 3.x and earlier) all you get is your base strength bonus.  Not sure if you even get your half-level, which you might, helps mitigate it, but you'll still be wanting to stack those bonuses.

Um... You do realize we are talking about D&DN? Right? Fighters don't lose any bonuses that I'm aware of, when using improvised weapons.

Except for the part where they don't get their bonus to hit because they're using an improvised weapon.

Huh? What bonus? I don't understand.



In 4e (I forget in 3.x and earlier) all you get is your base strength bonus.  Not sure if you even get your half-level, which you might, helps mitigate it, but you'll still be wanting to stack those bonuses.

Um... You do realize we are talking about D&DN? Right? Fighters don't lose any bonuses that I'm aware of, when using improvised weapons.



They do, as i noted above.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

The one from the listed attribute.  Read page 7 of the equipment pdf.  It says you don't get the attack bonus.

No. It says,

"Attacking with these weapons does not grant a bonus to the attack roll and deals damage as listed in the weapon table."

It does not say anything about losing your class or ability score bonuses that I can see. It just doesn't provide anything more than what you have to start with. That's how I read it.
The one from the listed attribute.  Read page 7 of the equipment pdf.  It says you don't get the attack bonus.

No. It says,

"Attacking with these weapons does not grant a bonus to the attack roll and deals damage as listed in the weapon table."

It does not say anything about losing your class or ability score bonuses that I can see. It just doesn't provide anything more than what you have to start with. That's how I read it.


None of the weapons grant a bonus apart from the ability modifier.  That is DDN's way of doing proficiency with a weapon.  If you use an improvised melee weapon, you don't get your Str modifier on your to hit roll.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

None of the weapons grant a bonus apart from the ability modifier.  That is DDN's way of doing proficiency with a weapon.  If you use an improvised melee weapon, you don't get your Str modifier on your to hit roll.

It says that nowhere. You are making things up.

And last I checked, Fighters get All Weapons. And, will ya lookie there, Improvised Weapons are right there on the list.
None of the weapons grant a bonus apart from the ability modifier.  That is DDN's way of doing proficiency with a weapon.  If you use an improvised melee weapon, you don't get your Str modifier on your to hit roll.

I says that nowhere. You are making things up.

And last I checked, Fighters get All Weapons. And, will ya lookie there, Improvised Weapons are right there on the list.



You quoted this: "Attacking with these weapons does not grant a bonus to the attack roll and deals damage as listed in the weapon table."

So tell me what bonus they were talking about in the quote that you are not granted because it does explicitly say you are not granted a bonus.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Oof.  The wording really ought to be cleaned up on that.  I'm not personally sure how I would rule that, myself.
None of the weapons grant a bonus apart from the ability modifier.  That is DDN's way of doing proficiency with a weapon.  If you use an improvised melee weapon, you don't get your Str modifier on your to hit roll.

I says that nowhere. You are making things up.

And last I checked, Fighters get All Weapons. And, will ya lookie there, Improvised Weapons are right there on the list.



You quoted this: "Attacking with these weapons does not grant a bonus to the attack roll and deals damage as listed in the weapon table."

So tell me what bonus they were talking about in the quote that you are not granted because it does explicitly say you are not granted a bonus.

So your counter argument is that a 10th-level fighter with a 20 strength rolls a flat d20+0 with improvised weapons?

Really? You think that's the intent of the rule?

Seriously?

None of the weapons grant a bonus apart from the ability modifier.  That is DDN's way of doing proficiency with a weapon.  If you use an improvised melee weapon, you don't get your Str modifier on your to hit roll.

It says that nowhere. You are making things up.

And last I checked, Fighters get All Weapons. And, will ya lookie there, Improvised Weapons are right there on the list.


The fact that it's open to debate, depending on the reading is proof positive that we are in a Alpha/Beat stage.  Wink
None of the weapons grant a bonus apart from the ability modifier.  That is DDN's way of doing proficiency with a weapon.  If you use an improvised melee weapon, you don't get your Str modifier on your to hit roll.

I says that nowhere. You are making things up.

And last I checked, Fighters get All Weapons. And, will ya lookie there, Improvised Weapons are right there on the list.



You quoted this: "Attacking with these weapons does not grant a bonus to the attack roll and deals damage as listed in the weapon table."

So tell me what bonus they were talking about in the quote that you are not granted because it does explicitly say you are not granted a bonus.

So your counter argument is that a 10th-level fighter with a 20 strength rolls a flat d20+0 with improvised weapons?

Really? You think that's the intent of the rule?

Seriously?


No.  Did I say that?  The fighter would still get the weapon attack bonus granted by his class at that level.  However, yes, he would lose the +5 that would be granted by his 20 Str.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

The fact that it's open to debate, depending on the reading is proof positive that we are in a Alpha/Beat stage.  

Exactly.

Clearly that can't be the intent. That'd be just silly. The wording will be clarified at some point, certainly, to account for RAW Mongers.

None of the weapons grant a bonus apart from the ability modifier.  That is DDN's way of doing proficiency with a weapon.  If you use an improvised melee weapon, you don't get your Str modifier on your to hit roll.

I says that nowhere. You are making things up.

And last I checked, Fighters get All Weapons. And, will ya lookie there, Improvised Weapons are right there on the list.



You quoted this: "Attacking with these weapons does not grant a bonus to the attack roll and deals damage as listed in the weapon table."

So tell me what bonus they were talking about in the quote that you are not granted because it does explicitly say you are not granted a bonus.

So your counter argument is that a 10th-level fighter with a 20 strength rolls a flat d20+0 with improvised weapons?

Really? You think that's the intent of the rule?

Seriously?


No.  Did I say that?  The fighter would still get the weapon attack bonus granted by his class at that level.  However, yes, he would lose the +5 that would be granted by his 20 Str.

Strength bonus =/= proficiency. And isn't class bonus still a bonus? Why do they get that if it "clearly" says, not grant a bonus?

The fact that it's open to debate, depending on the reading is proof positive that we are in a Alpha/Beat stage.  

Exactly.

Clearly that can't be the intent. That'd be just silly. The wording will be clarified at some point, certainly, to account for RAW Mongers.


It's equally clear that the intent can't be that proficiency does nothing...

edit: actually, it would be more absurd to assume that proficiency does nothing than it would to conclude that non-proficiency disallows your STR bonus.  I'd expect that there was meant to be a proficiency bonus, and that the rule is refering to that, perhaps mistakenly if there is no longer such a bonus.  In the absence of a proficiency bonus, presumably, non-proficiency penalties would return.

Either way, it doesn't invalidate the point that a fighter could still hit you pretty hard with a table leg, nor that it wouldn't be a very good carreer choice for him to depend on a table leg when he could use the (hopefully magical, silvered, and/or cold-iron) longsword he's specialized in, instead.

 

 

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None of the weapons grant a bonus apart from the ability modifier.  That is DDN's way of doing proficiency with a weapon.  If you use an improvised melee weapon, you don't get your Str modifier on your to hit roll.

I says that nowhere. You are making things up.

And last I checked, Fighters get All Weapons. And, will ya lookie there, Improvised Weapons are right there on the list.



You quoted this: "Attacking with these weapons does not grant a bonus to the attack roll and deals damage as listed in the weapon table."

So tell me what bonus they were talking about in the quote that you are not granted because it does explicitly say you are not granted a bonus.

So your counter argument is that a 10th-level fighter with a 20 strength rolls a flat d20+0 with improvised weapons?

Really? You think that's the intent of the rule?

Seriously?


No.  Did I say that?  The fighter would still get the weapon attack bonus granted by his class at that level.  However, yes, he would lose the +5 that would be granted by his 20 Str.

Strength bonus =/= proficiency. And isn't class bonus still a bonus? Why do they get that if it "clearly" says, not grant a bonus?


It clearly refers to not getting a bonus to the attack roll (whether it's talking about getting no bonus at all or just losine one specific bonus can be debated).  That can't be denied.  You quoted it.  Under the wording that you quoted, you tell me what bonus they are talking about.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

It clearly refers to not getting a bonus to the attack roll (whether it's talking about getting no bonus at all or just losine one specific bonus can be debated).  That can't be denied.  You quoted it.  Under the wording that you quoted, you tell me what bonus they are talking about.

Easy. It's a cut-n-Paste from a previous rule. Either one they were experimenting with when weapons had bonuses.

Or even an earlier edition of the game. Since we've seen that they have been known to do this very thing other places in the book.

Didn't someone just mention this is an Alpha/Early Beta Test? Were you expecting perfection? How cute?

I'm gonna go ahead and just keep my common sense though. Thanksanyway.

It clearly refers to not getting a bonus to the attack roll (whether it's talking about getting no bonus at all or just losine one specific bonus can be debated).  That can't be denied.  You quoted it.  Under the wording that you quoted, you tell me what bonus they are talking about.

Easy. It's a cut-n-Paste from a previous rule. Either one they were experimenting with when weapons had bonuses.

Or even an earlier edition of the game. Since we've seen that they have been known to do this very thing other places in the book.

Didn't someone just mention this is an Alpha/Early Beta Test? Were you expecting perfection? How cute?

I'm gonna go ahead and just keep my common sense though. Thanksanyway.



Now who's backpedaling? Tongue Out

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

Play nice, boys, please.