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The Fighter, revisited (again) [D&D 3.5]

Originally Posted by Michael Silverbane View Post
Part of the reason for that is there are not a lot of cool things that can be done with skills alone, not that are hard-coded into the rules, anyway. Many of the cool things that could be done by mundanes are paywalled behind either feats or magic, rather than being accomplishable by skill and luck alone.

That, of course, leads to a discussion of things outside of the scope of simply fixing the fighter.
That's pretty much the root of the problem though. The reasons why fighters perform so poorly is because most rules that govern non-magical/mundane abilities/maneuvers are simply poorly thought out, clunky, lackluster, or restricted by too many caveats (can't pin, sneak attack, trip this and that and that as well... because!). Even if you give the fighter a few more class abilities, it still doesn't change the fact that the core melee/combat mechanics are still incredibly restricting. The other non-caster classes are generally pretty meh! as well. That's just a holdover from the workings and expectations of 1st and 2nd ed.

Honestly I think a lot of fighter problems could be fixed by implementing some "simple" changes to core melee mechanics, such as (among other things):

- grappling and pinning opponents doesn't put you at a massive disadvantage as it does now
- be able to knock flying creatures out of the sky with a well aimed throw or shot
- feint as part of a standard attack
- make grapple, trip, bullrush, etc more applicable, by eliminating size restrictions and reducing size modifiers
- spot for all
- be able to pinpoint things you can't see
- get rid of the "miss chance" mechanic altogether and make it a flat AC bonus
- give all classes with a full BaB uncanny dodge and evasion
- allow for save re-rolls each turn for save-or-suck effects that last more than 1 round
- eliminate most feat and prestige class requirements
- lower DR of certain monsters, or simply let BAB overcome a portion of it
- craft magic weapons and armor for classes with full BAB
- choose dex or str as melee attack or damage bonus for all full BAB classes
- change weapons as a free action

This wouldn't put fighters en par with spellcasters of course, but it would reduce the number of times where they can't do squat, because the rules won't allow them to do stuff.

I'm not sure I entirely agree. The core spellcasting mechanics are even worse... there aren't any. Everything with spells boils down to what any given spell lets you do. Fighter-types can not only attack but also grapple, trip, disarm, bull rush, etc right out of the box. The main problem is that these are generally bad ideas most of the time, especially at the high levels. At L1, anyone with a point of BAB and a high Strength probably has more options than the Wizard; by a few levels in, this is no longer the case, and the Wizard keeps getting better whilst the martial actually get worse, owing to those special attacks becoming less and less viable unless you invest in them.

By the way, you already can pinpoint things you can't see with a high enough check. Some save-or-suck spells do allow save rerolls - probably more should. They already lowered the DR when they moved to 3.5; I don't think that's actually the biggest issue since I can already deal like 100 damage or whatever per hit, it's all the other things which foil me.

Giving all classes uncanny dodge and evasion nerfs Rogues and blasters, two things which don't need to be nerfed. I would definitely give Weapon Finesse for free but I dislike Dex-to-damage since it makes Dex awesome and Str pretty useless. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me that you can have two identical characters except one has +10 Str and they do exactly the same damage.

The thing is, some of these ideas offend people just because Fighters can't have nice things. Grappling a Colossal person when you're Medium doesn't make a lot of sense, since you can't physically wrap your arms around any given limb. But actually, in a lot of ways, the "mundane" rules work better. With a high Spot or Listen you can pinpoint an invisible foe, and if you have Blind-Fight you roll your miss chance twice so you'll hit most of the time. Or you throw flour on them, or whatever. Meanwhile Wizards have See Invisibility which lasts ages and just 100% counters it! This is a problem... but I'm tempted to believe that See Invisibility is the problem (and, really, easy access to Invisibility in the first place). "Soft" counters are generally better balanced since we don't get so much into this binary game where everyone's immune to everything and if they aren't they lose.


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