Fighter subclasses?

I think Fighters need a subclass choice (like Domains, Traditions, Schemes, etc.) oriented toward what they do other than just kill people and break things.

As some examples of ideas:
Knight - bonuses related to diplomacy, being respected, etc.
Bodyguard - bonuses related to perception, detecting danger, etc.
Brute - bonuses related to intimidation, raw strength, etc.

Does anyone else have ideas of character archetypes that are reasonably strongly linked to Fighter fighting style (heavy armor, weapons, no magic) and that can serve as a conceptual basis for giving Fighters something to distinguish themselves outside of combat?

Do you guys think this sort of flavor subclass is appropriate to add to the Fighter? I think it's needed because the Fighter, as such, has no real implications of what it does outside of combat other than maybe strength checks.      

I'm not wanting to get bogged down in what the specific mechanics should be. Ideally each archetype should have an obvious conceptual direction so that it is easy to come up with mechanics that are fitting. 
There is no reason not to have something like this added to the existing Fighter Styles.
I actually thought that's what the fighting styles should have been, but never quite achieved.
I thought about light fighters specialized into infiltration, assassination and close combat.
Oh, wait ! Sorry ! They called them rogues… 

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

Fighters used to have subclasses. Pally, barbarian, and ranger.
Color me flattered.

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Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

Fighters used to have subclasses. Pally, barbarian, and ranger.

And rogues since 3rd edition.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

There is no reason not to have something like this added to the existing Fighter Styles.



I think there is actually. Namely, I think the non-combat character archetype is basically unrelated to combat style. There can be some default linkage (like the fighting styles' suggested Backgrounds), but there shouldn't be a hard linkage. Not all Bodyguard need to be Protectors, even if it's the most common. A Bodyguard could be a Slayer who keenly watches out for danger and attacks it head on instead of hanging back and holding the line. A Knight might be a Duelist, wielding rapier and dagger in the classic noble style.

This could be handled solely through Background, but in that case we just get what we have now: Fighters as the one class with zero non-combat advantages to distinguish them. Everyone other class has a reason you might want to play them or might be glad they are in your party outside of a fight, but Fighters only have what other classes could already get. It's better than nothing (assuming your campaign doesn't drop Backgrounds), but it definitely singles you out as they guy that doesn't care about anything outside of fighting. 
I think the options are starting to get numerous enough as it is.  I'd rather just let the backgrounds and specialties speak for themselves.  If players get free reign on what backgrounds or specialties to choose, they can make pretty much anything with a Fighter already.
I think the options are starting to get numerous enough as it is.



And the vast majority of those options are meant specificly for caster classes. Why don't we concider removing some of the caster options before saying martials should get less?
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I think the options are starting to get numerous enough as it is.



And the vast majority of those options are meant specificly for caster classes. Why don't we concider removing some of the caster options before saying martials should get less?


Because I don't believe the martial classes are getting less, really.  Tricks, maneuvers and Monk-ish stuff stack up to spells, in my opinion.  Now, Cleric gets a lot of options, to be sure.  I'm of the opinion that it's really not the number of options you have, but what you do with them.  How many characters are you making per class, really?
Weapon effects or capabilities that are fighting style specific would do much to differentiate the frighter.

Danny

Combat styles may grant a bonus feat, a trained skill and some feature like inmunity to fear, adventage against charm, skill die to STR check (or contest).
I would like fighter subclasses to focus around different fighters playing differently.

The knight subclass might have a defenders aura type mechanic.

The swashbuckler subclass might lose medium and heavy armor proficiency but gain access to rogue maneuvers and skill tricks.

The martial artist subclass might lose all armor proficiency but gain access to monk maneuvers and the monks unarmed combatant features.
I would like fighter subclasses to focus around different fighters playing differently. The knight subclass might have a defenders aura type mechanic. The swashbuckler subclass might lose medium and heavy armor proficiency but gain access to rogue maneuvers and skill tricks. The martial artist subclass might lose all armor proficiency but gain access to monk maneuvers and the monks unarmed combatant features.

Good thoughts! (As always.)

I would very much like for the rogue's skill tricks to spawn a shared list of skill tricks much like maneuvers has done, with skill trick-using classes having their own special additions (just like maneuvers, actually). I could definitely see the bard using skill tricks, as an example.

I like the idea of a fighter that has incentive to fight bare-fisted, but access to monk maneuvers should be restricted at all costs. Class-specific maneuvers should be protected, cherished and defended as bastions of differentiation. Too much cross-pollination dilutes the experience of class. -- Maneuvers specifically geared at brawling are more than welcome additions, though.

Danny

Side rant: I wish Ki abilities were encounter based and played a bigger role in monk design. That would truly separate the monk from a "brawler fighter".
I think that there are already many types of fighters now based on backgrounds and feat trees as well as fighting styles. Personally I think PrCs or multi-classing should focus on the combinations that could be made of different types of characters that step on the toes of one or more classes...
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I think they should leave the Fighter as it is rather than muck up a number of perfectly good archetypes by tying them up with such a niche class.
The issue is in my eyes is that the monk and rogue serve no purpose. They do not play distinctly and the fact that they share 90% of the same mechanics as the fighter leads them to be entirely too similar.

At least in 4e the rogue, monk, and fighter all had radically different play styles even though they shared an AEDU structure. Now the fighter, monk, and rogue all share the same ED structure and most of the same maneuvers.

I feel the game would be better off lumping monk and rogue into the fighter class but creating subclasses within the fighter to encourage play style differences than give us the piles of garbage that are the 5e monk and rogue.

That way we can have monks and rogues that are truly unique as their own concept instead of having them be gimped fighters.
I feel the game would be better off lumping monk and rogue into the fighter class but creating subclasses within the fighter to encourage play style differences than give us the piles of garbage that are the 5e monk and rogue.

Yes, please.

The monk has the supernatural thing for him to justify its own archetype, rogue is just a rip-off from the fighter (warrior) archetype.

The acrobat scheme is a vague positive idea of what could be good rogues schemes for a rogue that wouldn't be a military class.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

Lawolf, you stole my idea about the Monk's Ki abilities. I am tinkering with the fighter and Monk and that was one of my first changes. I created a Ki ability that is only granted when the Monk is defeated.
I feel that the Rogue could be a Fighter variant as it currently stands (and to a lesser degree the Monk).


I hope they differentiate them more in the next packet (and make them all less cluttered), especially before releasing the Paladin and Ranger.
The issue is in my eyes is that the monk and rogue serve no purpose. They do not play distinctly and the fact that they share 90% of the same mechanics as the fighter leads them to be entirely too similar.



I disagree pretty strongly with this, at least for Rogues.  They have a different HP progression, a focus on skills, an almost completely different set of "manuevers" which operate via a different mechanic/resource, and most importantly various choices of features that highlight the fact that they fight in a sneaky or underhanded fashion.  Other than the fact that both classes use martial damage dice and both classes use weapons and armor, they really aren't very similar.  It would be more complicated to try to make rogues a subclass of fighters while still keeping them recognizable as rogues than it is to have them just be a separate class.
The issue is in my eyes is that the monk and rogue serve no purpose. They do not play distinctly and the fact that they share 90% of the same mechanics as the fighter leads them to be entirely too similar.



I disagree pretty strongly with this, at least for Rogues.  They have a different HP progression, a focus on skills, an almost completely different set of "manuevers" which operate via a different mechanic/resource, and most importantly various choices of features that highlight the fact that they fight in a sneaky or underhanded fashion.  Other than the fact that both classes use martial damage dice and both classes use weapons and armor, they really aren't very similar.  It would be more complicated to try to make rogues a subclass of fighters while still keeping them recognizable as rogues than it is to have them just be a separate class.


I agree with this.  I think it would be easier to make the Monk into a Fighter 'subclass'.
Rogues with sneak attacks fight with weapons in military ways, with training to hit the right spots even in the heat of combat.
Assassinate is okay, as you basically have to be "out of combat" to use it.
But sneak attack is something fighters should have in ther arsenal if they specialize in dirty fighting.

As they are, rogues are just light fighters with the idea that being more skill focused and in light armors creates a full archetype. Rogues in melee or at range are not really different than fighters with the same weapons and light armors. Archetypal monks dance naked, hit with their feet, and run everywhere like cockroaches, nothing like fighters.

Rogue has no identity, and it will be worse as soon as rangers will come into play.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

Rogues with sneak attacks fight with weapons in military ways, with training to hit the right spots even in the heat of combat.
Assassinate is okay, as you basically have to be "out of combat" to use it.
But sneak attack is something fighters should have in ther arsenal if they specialize in dirty fighting.

As they are, rogues are just light fighters with the idea that being more skill focused and in light armors creates a full archetype. Rogues in melee or at range are not really different than fighters with the same weapons and light armors. Archetypal monks dance naked, hit with their feet, and run everywhere like cockroaches, nothing like fighters.



I know some swashbucklers, and French Sailors that would argure with you on that.  Savate is a French Sailor's martial art, which was a form of kick boxing and only with the feet.

Maybe we'll end up with subclasses as being more like two "half-classes". I could see backgrounds being used to flesh out a character this way. Archetype+Background=Class type of thing.

Make sense?
Rogues with sneak attacks fight with weapons in military ways, with training to hit the right spots even in the heat of combat.
Assassinate is okay, as you basically have to be "out of combat" to use it.
But sneak attack is something fighters should have in ther arsenal if they specialize in dirty fighting.

As they are, rogues are just light fighters with the idea that being more skill focused and in light armors creates a full archetype. Rogues in melee or at range are not really different than fighters with the same weapons and light armors. Archetypal monks dance naked, hit with their feet, and run everywhere like cockroaches, nothing like fighters.



I know some swashbucklers, and French Sailors that would argure with you on that.  Savate is a French Sailor's martial art, which was a form of kick boxing and only with the feet.


Sorry, but savate appeared from french fencing tradition, and it also use the fists.

And swashbucklers were totally fighters (let's say warriors), they were weaponmasters, not the dancers described in old romantic novels and movies. 

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

Maybe we'll end up with subclasses as being more like two "half-classes". I could see backgrounds being used to flesh out a character this way. Archetype+Background=Class type of thing. Make sense?



No thanks, I don't want my character's background to force me into a certain mechanical role.
I could see backgrounds granting weapon and armor proficiencies, increased or decreased hit dice, and skills.

This way a fighter (swashbuckler) might have a d8 hit die, light armor and finesse weapons, but have more skills than the fighter (soldier).

The issue is that those classes would still be mechanically identical in how they perform.

That is why I do not like the current monk/rogue incarnations. They play exactly the same at the table as the fighter.

I would rather see fighter be made more distinct (heavy weapons and armor only) with the rogue being a distinct light armor and weapons class. Or I would like the current fighter to absorb the 5e monk and rogue with various subclasses.

That would give room to make a truly unique rogue. Something like a combination of the 4e executioner and thief with "utility" power skill tricks would be really cool. No expertise dice needed or maneuvers needed.
Backgrounds are made to be optional, we can't have prime aspect of classe in them. 

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

Rogues with sneak attacks fight with weapons in military ways, with training to hit the right spots even in the heat of combat.
Assassinate is okay, as you basically have to be "out of combat" to use it.
But sneak attack is something fighters should have in ther arsenal if they specialize in dirty fighting.

As they are, rogues are just light fighters with the idea that being more skill focused and in light armors creates a full archetype. Rogues in melee or at range are not really different than fighters with the same weapons and light armors. Archetypal monks dance naked, hit with their feet, and run everywhere like cockroaches, nothing like fighters.



I know some swashbucklers, and French Sailors that would argure with you on that.  Savate is a French Sailor's martial art, which was a form of kick boxing and only with the feet.


Sorry, but savate appeared from french fencing tradition, and it also use the fists.



Actually no.  It was originally a way of fighting on decks of ships among bored sailors.  They would lash out with their feet while holding on to the rigging.  This was during...  The 18th century?  Before Boxing became a formalized sport.  It then became a street 'sport' because sword dueling got so lethal, that the French government banned carrying swords openly.  So cane techniques were added and Savate was adopted.

Actual Boxing techniques being added were a recently new thing, like 19th century.  It's also quite different to watch as compared to say MMA, or even Kickboxing matches.  Where in MMA/Kickboxing is mostly punches with a few kicks, in Savate they throw almost as many kicks as they do punches.  Quite something to watch.

If we talk about "martial arts" (in France), weaponmasters from 16th century were proficient in around 30 weapons and unarmed melee techniques using head, fist, elbows, and legs only for knocking prone and bull rushes.
Apart from this, it was common for peasants to fight unarmed or with staves.

During 17th century, there were not one unarmed combat style in France, there were three. In the lower parts of cities, bad boys used fists, arms, feet and knives. South french sailors are reported to only have used feets, but sailors from the north also used open hands. And the three used catch, projections, and other melee funny things. In the south, it has a name : the chausson.

But the name savate is not documented before the end of 18th century, with Vidocq having learnt savatte (old spelling) in prison, in 1797. It used fist, feet and all the nice unarmed melee things.

After that, Savate has been codified in 1820-25 by a fencing master. This savate only used feet, and the true influences remain unknown, as it used techniques coming from criminals as well as peasants.
And soon after, in 1832, techniques with fists come back to savate, inspired from english boxing.
After that, savate starts to lose its reputation of sports for criminals and evolve, in form and in name, until today.

Just to say that everybody fight with fist and feet everywhere since prehistorical times, but documents give the savatte name to a crude combat style used by criminals first.

So maybe we should consider that rogues and monks should be merged in a common archetype, lol.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

 
So maybe we should consider that rogues and monks should be merged in a common archetype, lol.



Gladiators and Pugilists of Greece and Rome very mingled in there historically, oh my oops? does that look like the archetypes of Fighter/Rogue/Monk had so much overlap its not funny. 

The knights fighting styles by the way included pommel and fist strikes and martial take downs and said to be quite complex, modern fencing/martial artists studying them say the fencing schools basically dissed them saying they were brute force only etc..  as a form of social attack trying to establish there own prominance.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

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

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

 

 
So maybe we should consider that rogues and monks should be merged in a common archetype, lol.



Gladiators and Pugilists of Greece and Rome very mingled in there historically, oh my oops? does that look like the archetypes of Fighter/Rogue/Monk had so much overlap its not funny. 

The knights fighting styles by the way included pommel and fist strikes and martial take downs and said to be quite complex, modern fencing/martial artists studying them say the fencing schools basically dissed them saying they were brute force only etc..  as a form of social attack trying to establish there own prominance.

It makes sense as description of full armored knight training tell about them as favoring quickness, evasion and dodge, never parrying with the weapon if it could be avoided.

The problem is that knighthood and the use of big armors started to die with the use of the english longbows on the battlefields. And D&D is full of longbows, fantasy crossbows almost reloading by themselves, and many piercing weapons (natural ones included).
In D&D, the average warrior should be swordmage or light warriors like samourais or rangers, and not full armored knights.

So when someone tells us that Bikini chainmail makes no sense, just say : longbow and big claws. 

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

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