A question about the Fighter.

SO I've been seeing the last few days that it's fine to let the Fighter not have very many OOC juse at all since he's the best at combat.

One thing I want to ask though that I have yet to find a good answer for.

What is "best at fighting?" How exactly is the Fighter the "best at fighting?"
Really, the "best at fighting" right now comes down to having the highest HP, and the Barbarian breaks this out as well (though the Barbarian may have lower AC). Monks and Fighters are comparable on damage and maneuvers, and the Rogue and Fighter have comparable damage, so ... I don't know what "best at fighting" means.

Poe's Law is alive and well.

Its a cop-out perpetuated by Mike saying in a L&L column at least once that their intent was for the fighter to be best in combat. Their lack of success in that regard is in my mind somewhat offset by the overall in combat balance I've seen at this time. Now if we can just get some parity Out of Combat for the Fighter...
SO I've been seeing the last few days that it's fine to let the Fighter not have very many OOC juse at all since he's the best at combat.

One thing I want to ask though that I have yet to find a good answer for.

What is "best at fighting?" How exactly is the Fighter the "best at fighting?"

They aren't. At best, they are the best at taking melee attack damage. That VERY narrow "best" IMO isn't enough to keep them from having nice things, like OCC abilities.

Offense, Defense, and Versatility all at once.
Fighter isn't there yet.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

SO I've been seeing the last few days that it's fine to let the Fighter not have very many OOC juse at all since he's the best at combat.

One thing I want to ask though that I have yet to find a good answer for.

What is "best at fighting?" How exactly is the Fighter the "best at fighting?"



Like how rogue can get twice the skills, fighter can get twice the combat stuff. 

I can pick a fighting style and get feats to support it. 

Offense, Defense, and Versatility all at once.
Fighter isn't there yet.



Agreed but I think they may be very much on their way with the next iteration.
 

What is "best at fighting?" How exactly is the Fighter the "best at fighting?"



Like how rogue can get twice the skills, fighter can get twice the combat stuff. 
Your going to have to point this one out to me.

I don't like one class being better at combat than everyone else, because it makes every combat-focused build of another classes trap options.
It's not even true, the barbarian has better HP and better potential AC thanks to being able to run builds entirely on dex-con.

I don't like one class being better at combat than everyone else, because it makes every combat-focused build of another classes trap options.




That's not actually completely true as combat is a cumulative effect game. Everyone contributes damage and HP toward the victory and D&D uses multiple offense/defense combinations and (usually) noncombat. So as long as the combat focused other class's contribution to victory is meaningful without sacrificing all other aspects, it's not a trap.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Right now that multiple defense system only comes into play for mages so really they're the best at combat since they can target a weak defense while everyone else is facing a chokepoint at AC.
have to point this one out to me.



Polearm Master Speciality plus maneuvers. Lunge anybody? 

There a reason why no fighter picks deflect feat, because they have parry.

Edit: There a reason why fighter get no OOC, because he trade it for more combat stuff. :P 




Feb 17, 2013 -- 4:11PM, cassi_brazuca wrote:

I don't like one class being better at combat than everyone else, because it makes every combat-focused build of another classes trap options.





That's not actually completely true as combat is a cumulative effect game. Everyone contributes damage and HP toward the victory and D&D uses multiple offense/defense combinations and (usually) noncombat. So as long as the combat focused other class's contribution to victory is meaningful without sacrificing all other aspects, it's not a trap.


I disagree. If one class is better at combat than everyone else, the other build are trap options. "Want to do a combat-focused wizard? But the fighter is always better at combat..." No, this scenario cannot happen. I think that a combat-focused wizard should be so good at combat than a combat-focused fighter. I think that two combat-focused characters should be balanced in combat, no matter their classes. If the fighter is always combat-focused, okay, but do not make it better at combat than everyone else.



Feb 17, 2013 -- 4:11PM, cassi_brazuca wrote:

I don't like one class being better at combat than everyone else, because it makes every combat-focused build of another classes trap options.







That's not actually completely true as combat is a cumulative effect game. Everyone contributes damage and HP toward the victory and D&D uses multiple offense/defense combinations and (usually) noncombat. So as long as the combat focused other class's contribution to victory is meaningful without sacrificing all other aspects, it's not a trap.


I disagree. If one class is better at combat than everyone else, the other build are trap options. "Want to do a combat-focused wizard? But the fighter is always better at combat..." No, this scenario cannot happen. I think that a combat-focused wizard should be so good at combat than a combat-focused fighter. I think that two combat-focused characters should be balanced in combat, no matter their classes. If the fighter is always combat-focused, okay, but do not make it better at combat than everyone else.




It's a matter of degree.

Since combat is (usually) not a pass fail even but a slider from full HP to 0 HP (on both sides), as long as the degree on class is better than another does not disenfranchise the contribution of the second class, it is not a trap.The dragon has 200HP. If the fighter is doing 40-60 damage and everyone 1-5, then the degree is off.

As long as the combat ability of the fighter doesn't overshadow other classes, it's not a trap. Better is okay as long as it doesn't make it meaningless. That is what 4e did well, allow eeryone to tweak to their preference while still (usually) being helpful. 

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!


Feb 17, 2013 -- 4:43PM, cassi_brazuca wrote:

Feb 17, 2013 -- 4:20PM, Orzel wrote:




Feb 17, 2013 -- 4:11PM, cassi_brazuca wrote:

I don't like one class being better at combat than everyone else, because it makes every combat-focused build of another classes trap options.







That's not actually completely true as combat is a cumulative effect game. Everyone contributes damage and HP toward the victory and D&D uses multiple offense/defense combinations and (usually) noncombat. So as long as the combat focused other class's contribution to victory is meaningful without sacrificing all other aspects, it's not a trap.


I disagree. If one class is better at combat than everyone else, the other build are trap options. "Want to do a combat-focused wizard? But the fighter is always better at combat..." No, this scenario cannot happen. I think that a combat-focused wizard should be so good at combat than a combat-focused fighter. I think that two combat-focused characters should be balanced in combat, no matter their classes. If the fighter is always combat-focused, okay, but do not make it better at combat than everyone else.





It's a matter of degree.

Since combat is (usually) not a pass fail even but a slider from full HP to 0 HP (on both sides), as long as the degree on class is better than another does not disenfranchise the contribution of the second class, it is not a trap.The dragon has 200HP. If the fighter is doing 40-60 damage and everyone 1-5, then the degree is off.

As long as the combat ability of the fighter doesn't overshadow other classes, it's not a trap. Better is okay as long as it doesn't make it meaningless. That is what 4e did well, allow eeryone to tweak to their preference while still (usually) being helpful. 


The problem is, if one class is better at combat than everyone else, one class is better at combat than everyone else, and choosing other classes is a trap option if you want a combat-focused character, because the fighter is always the best options for a combat-focused character. I think that two combat-focused characters should be balanced in combat, no matter their classes. 4e have balanced classes at combat, although some classes are better at one aspect of combat then others, but this is no problem to me. It's when some classes are better at combat as a whole, in that case I don't like it.
I think the fighter should easily be the best at fighting.  Other classes that pick combat-oriented builds don't need to be as good at fighting as the fighter to grant those classes "something more" in combat, which I thought is the point of the builds?  We may be well served by a class breakdown of warriors, wizards, priests, and rogues, such as 2nd edition had, though.  Then "all warriors" would be "in the same league but not necessarily equal" at fighting, given it's their specialty.

I think the fighter should easily be the best at fighting.  Other classes that pick combat-oriented builds don't need to be as good at fighting as the fighter to grant those classes "something more" in combat, which I thought is the point of the builds?  We may be well served by a class breakdown of warriors, wizards, priests, and rogues, such as 2nd edition had, though.  Then "all warriors" would be "in the same league but not necessarily equal" at fighting, given it's their specialty.

Then you have lots of trap options. No, I think that a combat-focused wizard should be so good at combat than a combat-focused fighter. I think that two combat-focused characters should be balanced in combat, no matter their classes. If the fighter is always combat-focused, okay, but do not make it better at combat than everyone else.
At present Fighters are very strong, perhaps overstrong, at one somewhat limitted form of combat. This is due to the Parry mechanic. 

When a Fighter is in combat with a single monster, Parry will often allow them to absorb all the damage caused. However if the Fighter is in combat with a high damage opponent or multiple opponents, then they are far less impressive and indeed a raging Barbarian is better. 


 
It's not even true, the barbarian has better HP and better potential AC thanks to being able to run builds entirely on dex-con.




then why not modify a barabrian dex bonus his lack of armor is made up with hitting power so the fighter can get better ac and do good damage. the barbarian gets worse ah but better damage
I don't like one class being better at combat than everyone else, because it makes every combat-focused build of another classes trap options.



I don't like one class being better at non-combat than everyone else, because it makes every non-combat focused build of other classes trap options.

Hmm....


Carl
I am willing to take a different perspective on the fighter, if the intent of the game design is to implement the feel of 1e/2e in the basic edition of the game, then add on complexity as we go. So in the basic edition of the game, only rogues and maybe monks would have dedicated class skills, and all the other classes would just draw from backgrounds. However, that would mean the rogue would need to change to tone down their skill tricks. They should not have features like taunt, or adding saves beyond reflex. Some of those items need to be brought back to the fighter, to make them more versatile. I would remove parry as a fighter option, if that is the key to add more features.
if they brought back the non weapon profiency as it was intended and gave classes points you could pick good non combat skills and then you wouldnt need character backgrounds
I would accept non-weapon proficiencies as well, and actually prefer them as they are broad categories versus very specific skills. But the same feel can be gained by making skill broader in general. There was a great thread on tying different types of skill use together from all editions of D&D, even including a mechanism to buy into more specific skill use. I will link it to this thread once I find it.

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
one thing i dont like for broad skill categories is that it is not clear what they contain and some stuff has to be made up on the fly. i perfer a selection of specific skills that way customization can be made personal by the players
At present Fighters are very strong, perhaps overstrong, at one somewhat limitted form of combat. This is due to the Parry mechanic. 

When a Fighter is in combat with a single monster, Parry will often allow them to absorb all the damage caused. However if the Fighter is in combat with a high damage opponent or multiple opponents, then they are far less impressive and indeed a raging Barbarian is better. 


 



Actually if you run the math, A barbarian is better against 3 opponents, the Rogue is better (or equal) against the same number of opponents (if they pick the right class features), the Wizard is always better off because they have things like blink, dimension door, stone skin, etc...Smile
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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.
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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.
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I don't see how options can be "trap options".  It seems unfair to the designers to call them that.  I am sure it never was their intent.  Every class can contribute, and be fun, and that's the point.  
I don't see how options can be "trap options".


3e was explicitly designed to have trap options. Toughness was designed to be a terrible feat so people would "feel smarter for picking the better option."

That is an easy sign of terrible game design. If an option is built to be not picked, it shouldn't be in the game in the first place.
You know as long as they do it right, multiclassing will solve some of the problems. Your fighter dips into rogue looses some combat to gain some ooc. Isnt that kinda the point of multiclass dipping.

These new forums are terrible.

I misspell words on purpose too draw out grammer nazis.

You know as long as they do it right, multiclassing will solve some of the problems. Your fighter dips into rogue looses some combat to gain some ooc. Isnt that kinda the point of multiclass dipping.


A fair point. However, I expect the class to function properly without multiclassing.
I understand that but to be honest I dont want every class to do every thing. I might be in the minority here but I like classes to have some weakness in some areas.

These new forums are terrible.

I misspell words on purpose too draw out grammer nazis.

I understand that but to be honest I dont want every class to do every thing. I might be in the minority here but I like classes to have some weakness in some areas.


No one is asking for every class to do everything.

WHat all classes should be able to do, however, is have the option to participate in all 3 pillars as well as the next class, but in their own unique way by default. From there is the player wants to lower the effectiveness in one pillar to be better in another one, that's their decision.
one thing i dont like for broad skill categories is that it is not clear what they contain and some stuff has to be made up on the fly. i perfer a selection of specific skills that way customization can be made personal by the players




One thing I like for broad skill categories is that it is not clear what they contain and some stuff has to be made up on the fly. 

I prefer a selection of broad skills that way customization can be made personal by  the players.

Carl
I understand that but to be honest I dont want every class to do every thing. I might be in the minority here but I like classes to have some weakness in some areas.


No one is asking for every class to do everything.

WHat all classes should be able to do, however, is have the option to participate in all 3 pillars as well as the next class, but in their own unique way by default. From there is the player wants to lower the effectiveness in one pillar to be better in another one, that's their decision.



I wouldn't even necessarily go that far. IMHO, all classes should be able to participate mechanically and usefully in all three pillars. Certainly, classes should have different levels of specialization - but no class should ever be at 0% in any pillar, or actually hurt the group's performance should it choose to participate in any pillar.

EDIT: just to clarify. The Fighter doesn't need as much utility in interaction or exploration, but the Fighter should have their own niche where they can contribute usefully. Just as the Rogue has spike damage but not reliable round-to-round damage in combat, the Fighter should have "spike" usefulness in exploration and interaction compared to the Rogue's reliable omnicompetence.
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I understand that but to be honest I dont want every class to do every thing. I might be in the minority here but I like classes to have some weakness in some areas.


No one is asking for every class to do everything.

WHat all classes should be able to do, however, is have the option to participate in all 3 pillars as well as the next class, but in their own unique way by default. From there is the player wants to lower the effectiveness in one pillar to be better in another one, that's their decision.



I wouldn't even necessarily go that far. IMHO, all classes should be able to participate mechanically and usefully in all three pillars. Certainly, classes should have different levels of specialization - but no class should ever be at 0% in any pillar, or actually hurt the group's performance should it choose to participate in any pillar.

EDIT: just to clarify. The Fighter doesn't need as much utility in interaction or exploration, but the Fighter should have their own niche where they can contribute usefully. Just as the Rogue has spike damage but not reliable round-to-round damage in combat, the Fighter should have "spike" usefulness in exploration and interaction compared to the Rogue's reliable omnicompetence.

Except that spike combat effectiveness and spike OOC effectiveness are two very different things.  When a rogue spikes in combat, everyone knows it: he's doing almost double fighter damage (or more if he's an assassin).  When he's not spiking, he's still participating: making attacks, making decisions, rolling dice, doing damage, killing weaker foes or finishing off stronger ones, using skill tricks for some control effects...   He's playing the game, he's just not being as effective as the fighter.  Which is almost OK, because when he spikes it's the fighter who's also playing the game just not being as effective, and it evens out.  

When a fighter is useful OOC, he's not typically being "more" useful then a rogue or a wizard when they are useful out of combat.  But the real problem is that when he isn't "spiking," he's pretty much not participating.  He's not grinding down the interaction challenge's "social points" or the trap challenge's "disarm points" the way the non-spiking rogue is grinding down the combat challenges hit points, not even at a reduced rate.  While the party is still better off having the rogue and the fighter fight the monster together, if the rogue is better at the OOC challenge before them the fighter is better off twiddling his thumbs than trying to contribute.  So he's not making decisions (although he might be throwing advice to the guy who is), he's not rolling dice, he's not contributing even in a smaller way to the completion of the OOC task when someone else is better at it (unless he picks up the dice anyway and punishes the party with higher chance of failure).  When he's not "spiking," he's almost not playing, which isn't even close to being true of a rogue in combat (even before they upped rogue's in combat effectiveness) or even a wizard who is out of spells.   And that makes it bad design to have one class contribute less OOC: having your participation count for more IC doesn't begin to make up for being unable to participate as often OOC.  

Balance across pillars is inherently impossible even at a given table across an entire campaign, much less across multiple tables or individual game sessions, and even if you could pull it off in some non-euclidean bizarro world it would be a bad idea because the very concept of balancing across pillars is an attempt to make everyone bored equally frequently.  The goal should not be to bore everyone equally frequently, but to give everyone enough opportunity to participate at all times that they are always engaged.  
It's not even true, the barbarian has better HP and better potential AC thanks to being able to run builds entirely on dex-con.

This.

Also, after only 3 weeks of having the barbarian in our hands, the katana as a d10 finesse weapon already smells like cheese.

Danny

To make the Fighter the best in combat in the way that many of you have described, there would be only one way: transform D&D in a game where only the Warrior has an actual weight in combat, or rather a game where combat is not really so important.

On one hand, indeed, players want that ALL Clases are equal in combat. WhY? Because most players think that the most important D&D aspect is the moment when PC are fighting against enemies.
On the other hand, players want that only the Fighter is the best in combat.

Unfortunately you can not have both.
The Classes can be equal efficient in battle or they can't. You can not have a Fighter more powerful in battle than, for example, a Barbarian and also pretend to have an equal Class' power.
If the warrior has to be stronger in combat, then it should be for real. But than you would not have the chance to have balanced conflicts between classes.
The two are mutually exclusive things.

I think, therefore, it is necessary to rethink the meaning of the phrase "be the best in combat".
I understand that but to be honest I dont want every class to do every thing. I might be in the minority here but I like classes to have some weakness in some areas.


No one is asking for every class to do everything.

WHat all classes should be able to do, however, is have the option to participate in all 3 pillars as well as the next class, but in their own unique way by default. From there is the player wants to lower the effectiveness in one pillar to be better in another one, that's their decision.



I wouldn't even necessarily go that far. IMHO, all classes should be able to participate mechanically and usefully in all three pillars. Certainly, classes should have different levels of specialization - but no class should ever be at 0% in any pillar, or actually hurt the group's performance should it choose to participate in any pillar.

EDIT: just to clarify. The Fighter doesn't need as much utility in interaction or exploration, but the Fighter should have their own niche where they can contribute usefully. Just as the Rogue has spike damage but not reliable round-to-round damage in combat, the Fighter should have "spike" usefulness in exploration and interaction compared to the Rogue's reliable omnicompetence.




you mean like skills provide?
except that not only do rogues have more skills, they're better at using skills.  So the fighter's skills can only provide him a niche if the rogue deigns to let them.  Also, "spiking" is an inapt analogy with respect to OOC, and to the extent it is apt it doesn't apply to skills (it might to certain spells).  Also, balance across pillars is a terrible, terrible idea that needs to fall through the crack in Amy's bedroom wall.
except that not only do rogues have more skills, they're better at using skills.  So the fighter's skills can only provide him a niche if the rogue deigns to let them.

Depends on what's needed. I daresay a STR-based fighter would be better at rolling a boulder out of the way than the others in the group. An archery-based fighter could easily be better at shooting an arrow with a rope tied onto it into the broken bridge supports on the other side of the chasm. A fighter might be better at making friends with the jail guard (and getting him on their side) because he can talk weapons and training. I don't always worry about the specific "skills"; the players are pretty adept at coming up with solutions.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

except that not only do rogues have more skills



This is on a variable dial.  There are options built into the system that make this statement not always true.