Discussion:Is the fighter underpowered?

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Is the Fighter Underpowered?[edit]

Blue Dragon 23:02, 29 April 2007 (MDT)[edit]

Hello everyone. I have been wondering whether or not the fighter is underpowered in comparison to other typical base classes.

Cúthalion 08:03, 30 April 2007 (MDT)[edit]

I believe the fighter is underpowered. I made a similar observation at one point, although I can't find that conversation now. When I made up a class comparison spreadsheet (before someone told me about CCS), the fighter came off looking by far the worst, even lower than the bard (although, empirically, I think I'd put the bard lower). I proposed bumping the fighter's HD to d12 and giving them a good reflex save. The higher HP, in particular, makes sense along conceptual grounds.

Dmilewski 08:07, 30 April 2007 (MDT)[edit]

There's been terribly long discussions about this on the WotC board. Many fighter builds were shown that can kill Balors in one round. "Power" is a distraction to the class's issues.

A few facts:

  • Spellcasters are much stronger than non-spellcasters, especially at the higher levels. The Druid and the Cleric are especially used for their incredibly high raw-power.
  • Fighters shares a number of issues with non-spellcasters vis-a-vis casters.
  • The optimizers have found large numbers of combos for spellcasters, and this information is easy to find. This raises the general power of casters as most melee does not have the same overly-effective combos. (There are combos, just not as many.)
  • Most spellcasters can recover from poor spell selection within a day or completely redesign their powers in a day.

This means that we can not effectively compare non-spellcasters to spellcasters. That difference huge structural issue in the game.

Is fighter the weakest of the melee classes? If you play the game as the design recommends, fighters do fine. If you look at the equipment recommendations form the Magic Item Compendium, you find a power curve considerably different than the one often talked about on the boards. Players often prefer "power" level games, which spellcasters can adapt to, but melee (being far more regulated) can not adapt to.

I've seen only one good assessment of this situation. The game design principal is that a base class should be reasonably optimized for its job out of the box. The fighter starts non-optimized and requires considerable knowledge of the game to correctly make choices. That makes the fighter a poorly designed class. THAT is the fighter issue.

Power-wise, I am convinced that the class is fine. A sharp operator can pimp out a killer fighter at high levels. The real issues with the class is that the class is very unforgiving if you make the wrong choice; the class is overly dependent on equipment; and other classes only need short chains to get the feats that they need to work, so the need for feats drops off rapidly by levels 9-12.

That's a rough summary of what I see as legitimate issues with both the game and the fighter. This all traces back to a 4 encounters/day design, and the boosting of the cleric to cover healing. The most effective way to solve this is to completely redesign the game into an encounter-centric design. That takes us into 4E territory.

Blue Dragon 16:05, 30 April 2007 (MDT)[edit]

Thanks for the replies! I guess that I am not going to play a fighter anytime soon.

I also modified some of the formatting, let me know what looks good for Discussions, or go ahead and modify it.

Pwsnafu 22:21, 30 April 2007 (MDT)[edit]

The problem I have when people ask "Is X weaker than Y?" is that it suggests "power" is some ultimate measure of performance for a class, especially at high levels. Classes do not exist in a vacuum, they exist in relation to a party. I don't like discussing char. op. because few people would use them in the game (who plays Pun-Pun?). If your talking about potential power of a class then fine, but hypotheticals and contrafactuals have next no meaning in a real game if the GM just throws 100 black dragons at you in response to your super-combo.

Anyway, for most players of fighters, it's about qualifying for prestigue classes by getting feats, thus level 20 fighters are next to non-existant in RL. 16:07, 1 May 2007 (MDT)[edit]

I don't think the fighter is underpowered. I agree with what Pwsnafu said - it's all about qualifying for prestige classes.

Hooper 17:07, 2 May 2007 (MDT)[edit]

My main character in a current game is a fighter, and I couldn't disagree more. Although I don't think that power is a big deal. But, well, let me put it this way. I'm a 10th level fighter and I took down an 16th level paladin NPC. Just saying. Spellcasters get one shot at me, if I get to them first, they're screwed.

Aarnott 06:06, 4 May 2007 (MDT)[edit]

As Dmilewski said, it is basically about knowing feat choices if you are trying to compare raw power. Fighters are criticized for having "dead levels". Basically, levels where you don't get much than a few skill points, +1 BAB, and some save increases. That is a pretty boring thing to play especially. It sucks when you level up and find "now I can survive 9 more damage and have a +1 to hit".

You can however, get a lot of versatility with the bonus feats. You can build better archers, grapplers, tacklers, trippers, disarmers, sunderers, etc. than any other class. That counts for something.

More often than not though, fighters are used to qualify for a good PrC. Does this make them inherently bad themselves? I don't think so. I just think they are inherently bland not bad. That goes back to the dead levels (as well as no special thing to them besides a bucket o feats).

Skwyd 16:20, 4 May 2007 (MDT)[edit]

I agree that the fighter class, as written is a pretty bland class. I don't know anyone who has played a pure-class fighter beyond about 7th or 8th level. I have seen players go pure-class rogue, paladin, wizard, and monk all the way through 13th (of course, that's when most of the campaigns end). I think that it is a matter of "flavour" and not power.

The fighter class gives you tons of options and no real direction. You can be a brute-strength-high-AC-tank fighter, you can be a highly-agile-nible-dodging-multi-attacking fighter, or you can be any of a million other options. And once you include all (or even just some) of the supplimental books for their feat selections, the options become almost endless. It is up to the player to come up with an interesting concept and then make it happen.

With other classes, you have variations, but most of them have a clear general direction due to their class abilities.

So, in terms of min-max-munchkin-power-curve-optimization, the fighter is just fine and, if done right, can stand toe to toe with most other characters. In terms of cool-conceptual-role-playing-story-based-fun, the fighter probably isn't the best choice.

But then, that's my 3.5 cents. 02:55, 30 May 2007 (MDT)[edit]

Compare a fighter to a warblade. The fighter is very much the weaker of the two. To rectify this, I sugest a keen longsword or greatsword (any weapon with crit 19-20) and the improved critical feat. This makes the fighter crit 13-20. This may help the fighter to become stronger when paired with power attack and great cleave!

MorkaisChosen 08:49, 30 May 2007 (MDT)[edit]

Only thing being that Keen doesn't stack with Improved Critical- but if it did work, do it with a rapier... 05:12, 22 June 2007 (MDT)[edit]

He is not so much underpowered, as set up to be a generalist in a specialist world. I mean, really, how many people want to take the time to learn how to use all those weapons only to end up specializing in 1. if that were the case i'd specialize in 1 from the beginning and pick up others as i deem them necessary. This also has the side-effect of making Sunder as an attack option more devastating. 22:17, 9 September 2007 [edit]

i dont think the fighter is underpowered. sure if you fail to use his feat selections effectively youll make him pathetically weak but thats the same with the other classes if the fighters feat selections are used effectively thenthey can be as deadly as special abilities.

Tokara2132 01:17, 11 September 2007[edit]

Well, I have much experience playing fighters (my first ever D&D character was a fighter) and while it is a bit "bland" compared with the "fight unarmed and naked" monk, but the strength and power of the fighter comes not from a blandness of rules but the ability of the role player. The fact that the fighter can become just about any kind of fighter make it very versatile, and with a little imagination a fighter can easily be as complex and unique character. One need only look towards Rich Burlews brilliant Order of the Stick to illustrate that point. So it takes a little longer to Min/Max a fighter, big deal. I find it rather annoying that people try to Min/Max a game that requires a great amount of fore thought and planning. That is what Video Games are for. Sure, I enjoy myself a little Min/Maxing, but not when I can create a truly classic character, myself, even if it is just in my mind.

MorkaisChosen 10:03, 15 September 2007 (MDT)[edit]

I think that blandness is the problem. It's not just more work to min/max a fighter; it's also more difficult to create a strong character without the central hook and inspiration given by a class. The other classes still need work doing, but they have the root and trunk of the character, so to speak, and just need the branches and leaves of background and personality; a fighter is only the root, without the pre-made "trunk" given by a class- Wizards are scholarly, good-aligned barbarians are noble but uncivilised, Clerics are devoted, Druids are half-wild, but a fighter is just that- someone who fights. Every other class does that, but they have a bit more on top.

It can be fun to mess around with the stereotypes, of course, but again, the fighter loses out because it doesn't really have a stereotype.

Sam Kay 13:33, 15 September 2007 (MDT)[edit]

You are right, though if you have in mind the "standard" fighter from fantasy movies (LotR, Troy, etc.) it can be quite cool. People say "a fighter with well chosen feats..." but it is really easy to muck it all up, just to choose things like cleave, that look cool, but become useless at higher levels. One thing I dont get is that a monk has better saves AND more special stuff than a fighter: you may get more choice with a fighter, but you loose out when it comes to actual gameplay. I've always prefered the fighter to the monk (It is just more cool. Fighting unarmed to "master yourself", meanwhile blathering on about Ki or Chi or whatever it is called this week is not just uncool, but seriously uncool). They just got lazy with the fighter. But it does seem that they are redoing it (see WotC page, though those that have seen the thing on the fighter may agree with me that we probably wont describe our fighters as "he's a sword and broad, man"). What I want is someone like Achilles, not the current fighter.

MorkaisChosen 09:13, 17 September 2007 (MDT)[edit]

I like what they appear to be doing, too- rather than Generic Hitty Guy, the fighter is turning into a Weaponmaster- someone whose life revolves around weapons training. As far as I know, you'll have the choice of versatility (a talent or two with most weapons) or concentration, mastering their favoured weapon beyond all else.

Fighter/Cleric multi-classing could get interesting if there's a bit of Favoured Weapon stuff for Clerics...

Verictord1768 02:32, 12 February 2008 (MST)[edit]

I honestly prefer playing a fighter in campaigns, of course I do play them a little off-beat of the run into melee range and hack away endlessly... I prefer to play them as a ranged class, taking feats from PHB, PHB2, Complete Warrior, and Complete Adventurer. At one point with feats alone my character maximum range for an arrow was effectively over a mile, while you can't see anything that far (unless there is no obscuring view of some sort, but even then their tiny)it seemed a little overpowered to our group. All combat feats are considered fighter feats, so you can get point blank shot and all the other goodies that make range combat ungodly overpowered. So essentially a fighter is limited to his feats and how well you can utilize them.

Kelly 02:11, 14 February 2008 (MST)[edit]

You know, I don't understand why anyone would think fighters are underpowered. They will pretty much wipe the floor with any other character of equivalent level in straight up combat, and have got the hit points to survive a hell of a lot of magic thrown at them. And in terms of playing an adventure, spellcasters have to constantly ration their spells, never sure if they might need them more later, while a fighter can just keep doing the thing they do best, encounter after encounter.

MorkaisChosen 04:23, 14 February 2008 (MST)[edit]

But casters can often just rest to get their spells back (depending on the DM), and fighters fall flat if they get hit with a Save-or-Die (or worse, Dominate...).

Kelly 18:23, 14 February 2008[edit]

Yeah, that "Depending on the DM" bit is crucial. Myself, I don't like the video game style of play where spellcasters can just decide to rest whenever it's conveneient.

And doesn't everyone fall flat some variety of Save-or-Die spells? Just depends on the type. Remember, Disintegrate is a fort save, something Fighters are great at but most spellcasters aren't. And watch out for those poisoned arrows... 19:19, 17 February 2008 (MST)[edit]

Is it video game style to stop swinging a long sword at something immune to slashing damage?

Kelly 19:53, 18 February 2008 (MST)[edit]

Wow. I have no idea what that comment is supposed to mean.

Hijax 12:08, 6 February 2009 (MST)[edit]

kelly, while a fighter may be good at fort saves (and therefore disintegrate and the like), there's a TON of spells that use will saves. as staed, dominate person/monster is a good example.

S1Q3T3 22:16, 14 February 2009 (MST)[edit]

You can't talk about the Fighter class without talking about the power curve; some classes start off vulnerable and get really powerful (spellcasters, manifesters, monks), some start out strong and get better at a more stately pace (fighters, barbarians, rouges) while others, while they can be fun to play, are not very powerful and never will be (paladins, soulknives). A second level fighter is the king of ECL 2; with the right racial options, he can be at or near the top of the heap pushing ECL 10. After that, the casters that have been cowering behind him for a dozen levels will rapidly become more powerful than he is. As it must be, or else they will for nought have suffered through what at least should be many a near-death experience, courtesy of their poor armor class, hit points, and fighting skills.

The trouble is that the interdependence of the middle levels starts to break down in the upper levels. I don't know what the answer to that is, except to keep a tight rein (on spellcasters especially) and enforce their vulnerabilities and the limits of their magic. Then they will continue to respect the fighter's strong arm, and balance will be maintained.

Also, if you're going to play a fighter, optimize him! For example, dust off your Savage Species template rules, and take your standard Warforged (+2 Con, -2 Wis, -2 Cha), apply the Lolth-touched template (+6 Str, +6 Con, +1 LA) and Draconic (+2 Str, +2 Con, +2 Cha, +1 LA), and Incarnate Construct (-2 LA). You are left with an LA +0 race with +8 Str, +10 Con, -2 Wis. Give 'em a warforged fighter substitution level (Races of Eberron) and Improved Initiative, throw in an Aggressive trait from UA (+2 initiative) and you're left with +4 to hit and damage, insane Con, and +9 initiative -- at ECL 1. Go forth and terrorize those casters while you can!

DarkDank6666 12:27, March 9, 2009 (MST)[edit]

In most regards many of you are right the fighter does drop in "Power" at higher levels most begin to see the curve at around 10-12th level when feats are not very valuable anymore unless you wait till epic but even then it gives only a slight advantage when dealing with similar level encounters. All feats that use an effect on another regarding a fort or will save at high level is a waste of a feat as most critters can easily pass these with ease. with the way the fighter is designed it appears it was never intended to be a solitary class in that a mix of classes and prestiges is required to stop from falling off the curve.
And yes if you have no idea about feats or combinations don't play a fighter because all your gonna do is ruin the parties survival rate. But if your crafting and want to spend "HOURS...." pouring over feats and creating your fighter feat tree then it can be worth it, i myself have a few epic fighters now while they stand no chance against a well prepared spell caster i say whos stupid enough to take on a spell caster when he is ready for you.
A fighter at high level requires the rest of the party just like at low level the party requires the fighter, a high level melee who is boosted by a high level cleric or mage or even both can be a war machine that can bring down entire armies for as long as the casters can maintain him.
If you make a comparison between a spell caster class and a non spell caster by themselves it really is no contest, but with the right feats and class combination or a well designed party (yeah right how many groups design their characters with each other in mind)nothing is impossible.

TK-Squared 08:33, 9 March 2009 (MDT)[edit]

Second point;

some classes start off vulnerable and get really powerful (spellcasters, manifesters, monks)
Discussion, Monkman

This is not a discussion about the inadequacies of the manifesters, the lack of power of the monk or the steady power of the spellcasters, but rather a discussion on the lack of power found within the fighter, which brings us to the most important part of this; the main body.

I'm sure I'm going to have various posts later telling me I'm wrong, either about anything from this point onwards or anything before this point, but most of them are probably just from people who are trying to tear that bone apart. Anyhow, we move onto the main body.

The Fighter is a weak class, yes. This is a generally accepted idea from many persons and/or optimizers. Why is it weak? Because it gets nothing except feats. Perhaps if you add in the Dead Level powers from Wizards of the Coast, they'll seem more inspiring; but they're still lacklustre. The only way you can get a powerful attack from a Fighter is to build them specifically; because feats have pre-requisites and such, you're going to have to plan out your fighter, you can't just see it, if you do, you're not going to go anywhere fast. Then, there's the point that everyone else outclasses them; well except Samurai, Paladins, Truenamers and Monks, this is quite true. They are outclassed. A Barbarian gets rage and various other neat class features that can't be emulated by feats, the rogue gets extra damage from his sneak attack and a Wizard can cast spells that finish battles before they even know they're going to begin.

Of course, there is always the option of doing Monkman's idea; take every broken thing you can find and put it into your fighter, call it "optimization" and think you've done something radical. This is not what you should do, please put down Savage Species. It's a book that shouldn't be used, you don't want to try and show off how good a fighter is by breaking shit; what the hell is the point of that? Does it show a fighter is super-duper? Hell no, it shows x, y and z you tacked onto your fighter are.

I'll talk about what a fighter's true strength in a bit, but first we've got to ask the question; what good is a Fighter? Well, it's a dip class. Plain and simple. Two levels? Two feats and full HD. If you need a Fighter Feat, you can easily grab them with dipping. That's right, Fighter joins Paladin, Monk, Totemist and Lion-Totem Barbarian in that delicious distinction of dip class. There's simply no incentive to go to level 3; no class feature worth it.

Feats; they're good and all, but they're not class features. Class features are pretty much better than feats (in most cases; not, for example, Slow Fall or some other shit similar). What would you rather get? A feat of Combat Reflexes or, maybe (just maybe), Uncanny Dodge? Maybe if you're building towards a Control build, you'll want Combat Reflexes, but otherwise; who doesn't like retaining Dex to AC when flat-footed? Good times, eh? A feat is a nice thing, but a Fighter gets them and then starts drowning in them. When I've built a fighter, I've run out of feats to take. What do I take then? Toughness? Another piddly 3hp? Whoop-de-doo! But, let's stop focusing on the bad things about Fighters, let's see what good they have.

How to really work a Fighter? As Krusk once said, Power Attack (sure, he was talking about about Barbarians, but, y'know, it applies). Power Attacking is where the damage is in for a fighter. What a Fighter wants to do is stack feats that give them modifiers to their damage. A Fighter soon becomes a one-trick pony; hit the enemy with something sharp REALLY HARD. But, if you apply multipliers to your damage, soon the damage becomes more than any enemy can stand. Of course, then people bring up the idea that you just reduced all your attack to do alot of damage! Don't worry, you have FEATS to spare, so you pick up tactical feats to negate that attack bonus and shift it your AC. If your enemy's dead, it doesn't matter right?

Or you build a "Battlefield Controller". You use your feats to pick up a Spiked Chain, Combat Reflexes, Knock-Down, Improved Trip, Power Attack, Stand Still, Improved Disarm and various other things that have Improved in them to control a battlefield. Tripping people or just forcing them to stand still, you control your enemies by controlling where they can and they cannot go. You become as-though a sub-wizard (in the respects of minor battlefield control). Getting a permanent Enlarge Person (or a Ring of Continuous Enlarge Person) is easy enough and you threaten larger areas.

But, a Fighter lacks the true versatility that class may appear to have. It's good for beginners, because it's useful to get used to the feat-based 3.5 system and it's easy enough to just hit things. I, myself, enjoy this idea of just hitting things; it's always fun and has no fiddly mechanics behind it apart from "POWER ATTACK FOR FULL", which is always fun when you hit an enemy with your sword/club/pike/axe/whatever/Eiji/party's monk (He's useful!)/chicken. But, ultimately, a Fighter lacks behind a well-played class, say; Wizard or even just a rogue. But, there must be some sort of saving grace for people who just want to take a sword and beat the shit out of something else, mustn't there?

Of course there is! That saving grave is the Tome of Battle and it's the shining awesome called the Warblade. He sits there, beckoning you to take him instead of Fighter. Why? Because he can do what a Fighter does, just better. With finesse!

So, ultimately; a fighter can be made into a decent damage dealer, but he'll never outshine the stronger classes because he's too specialized. He's too much of a one trick pony. If you really want a class like a fighter, with the feel of a fighter, but all the glamour of being a meaningful contribution, be a monk Warblade.

Green Dragon 09:54, 13 March 2009 (MDT)[edit]

TK-Squared please refrain from being rude to others users. This hinders communication and ultimately stops the discussion in it's tracks. Even though you have a valid point, it's validity is only hindered by you being rude. The warning is above. --Green Dragon 09:54, 13 March 2009 (MDT)

TK-Squared 10:04, 13 March 2009 (MDT)[edit]

Two paragraphs hinder an entire post. I see. This makes sense, amirite?

S1Q3T3 18:24, 14 March 2009 (MDT)[edit]

Almost never.

When you presented your supposedly unbeatable spellcaster, he was a pathetic, cobbled-together weakling who died in a single round. You tried everything -- changing your tactics and your equipment and your feats. This is not surprising since, as you freely admitted, your character got to ECL 20 via a pathetic 10hp at ECL 5, with no Improved Initiative until ECL 12. In no real campaign does that character live to ECL 20 to see you kill him with your ignorance of the rules and ass-backwards tactics.

Green Dragon 18:47, 14 March 2009 (MDT)[edit]

S1Q3T3 this is a warning. Please try to be nice to other users and refrain from personal attacks.

Ganre 06:06, 6 April 2009 (MDT)[edit]

I do not think the fighter an under powered character, particularly with the addition of feats like Weapon Supremacy, Robilar's Gambit, and several others. The fighter does not tank like a Bar Bar, but he can take a fair amount of damage. He does not evade like a monk or rogue, but he can use his fists, or fire a bow with very good accuracy. The true strength of a Fighter is versatility.  11:53, 6 April 2009 (MDT)[edit]

Well i don't feel the fighter is underpowered. If any character is outshining all others i'd say it's more the DM's fault not the class in itself. yeah in a perfect world the wizard can always get his powerfull spells off and a rogue can always sneak attack. But D&D never should be so static and combat shouldn't always be so perfect. One thing nice about the fighter that i haven't seen mentioned is consistancy. A fighter is the most likely to consistantly hit and do dmg, while it may be a small amount it's consistant and reliable. And he can consistantly TAKE damage and rely on his armor. Another note is fighters have access to some awsome magical arms and heavy armor-keep that in mind as heavy armor is a class skill!

It's up to the DM to provide adventures where EVERY character has chances to stand out. No player should ever feel his character is inferior to any other character. If the party wizard is consistantly blasting away enemies before the fighter can close in than Dm has basically failed his role. below i will list some examples of WHY the fighter can shine and why he is still a powerfull class.

1)put in some small space dungeons- all of a sudden a wizards blasting area spells don't seem so so devastating, unless he wants to take out his party too!

2)go underwater!-some spell components just won't work under water or can be destroyed. some spells don't work altogether.

3)bring in some monsters with high relflex and will saves,energy resistance, spell resistance,and improved evasion. "what do you mean my spell had no effect!"

4)an evil thing i did- a sphere that had permanent anti magic field that filled a hole room. YEAH that was fun!

5)not all monsters are stupid! DM -use there skills and smarts! ex(monster- that wizard is killing us time to go for him!).

6)the wizard consistantly hides in the back even up into higher levels casting, provide a good suprise rear attack while a battle is going on ;)

7)"i'm out of powerfull spells, i need to rest!) it's ok for a wizard to rest and regain spells but not all the time! have the party be hunted by a foe they can't overcome where they need to push on to survive. Another nice thing to through in from time to time (remember the old school pool of radiance where you always wanted to rest but was attacked!) a wizard needs uninterupted rest to prepare or cast spells. have them attacked numerous times during the night and unable to ready spells! other things can interupt rest too-bad storms,false encounters, a stampede, earthquakes, a party going on, a character next door making love all night. these can be usefull mischeivious tricks that can be used on numerous characters where they rely on powers used in a day ;)

8) as a side note random nightly encounters don't always have to disupt spell preperation but it can be used when the wizard is low on spells and doesn't have many blasting spells left. this gives the fighter a chance to show his worth.

9)use random treasure. while catering to a parties needs is nice it shouldn't be done all the time. while magical treasure can be sold to purchase specific magic items a fighter can make good use of magical armor and weapons. If the party fighter apears to be falling behind the the rest of the party in aptitude hook him up with some good magic heavy armor or weapons.

in all the examples a fighters consistancy really stands out and gives him merit he's less effected by random events and scenerios. he might only be able to do 10-30 damage per hit but for the most part you can rely on him do so each round (and thats before he gets multiple attacks), and keep standing as well. while some classes seem more powerfull at later levels they never would have even gotten there if not for the fighter keeping them alive so long! also keep in mind that D&D is not a war game it's a RPG!!! a party is made up of individuals that make up a team if it seems one player is stronger in combat-SO WHAT!!! you get an equal share of treasure and experiance and your a vital part of the team that has a role no matter who tells you your class is inferior or what blog is written!!!!

in summary i wille state again that if a fighter is always being outshined it's because of the DM NOT WoTC.

here are some suggestions if an unexperianced DM has problems making his player fighter stand out without changing the rules.

1)give the player a chohort-yes leadership gives you a cohort but no where in the rules does it state that a player can't just attract one. maybe a cohort who can buff him would bring his so called low powerlevel up.

2)give the fighter access to a guild where he can buy/sell goods for decreased/increased price. this will give the fighter access to stronger magical items. since it will be used to increase the fighter only make it so items can be only sold and bought for his personal use only! maybe the guild can even give him bonus items or rewards for quests done in the guilds name!

3)use those additional books with new feats! a fighter is weakest if only the feats from the players handbook is used. there are some really good feats in other sources that can REALLY buff a fighter up. a lot of those feat have high prequisit feats making the fighter the most likey to ever even learn them!

-you might also allow fighters-only to take some feats from extra sources.

Surgo 11:22, 6 April 2009 (MDT)[edit]

Rogues should always be getting off their sneak attacks, otherwise they are failing as Rogues. Anyway, on to the points you were making...

One thing nice about the fighter that i haven't seen mentioned is consistancy. A fighter is the most likely to consistantly hit and do dmg, while it may be a small amount it's consistant and reliable. And he can consistantly TAKE damage and rely on his armor.

A fighter has the ability to consistently fail. You already admitted that the damage was small. The ability for the fighter to take damage is next to useless. You already admitted that the monsters should be smarter later down in the page. That means ignoring the fighter and going right to the people who are actually making a difference in the fight (the spellcasters and the Rogue). Ability to take damage is worthless when the game allows monsters to simply walk right past you.

It's up to the DM to provide adventures where EVERY character has chances to stand out. No player should ever feel his character is inferior to any other character.

The problem with this is that the fighter has so few options and generally sucks so hard it's hard for the DM to give any situation for the fighter where another character can't really do it better. Let's get to the individual points.

1)put in some small space dungeons- all of a sudden a wizards blasting area spells don't seem so so devastating, unless he wants to take out his party too!

Wizards have plenty of single-target spells, and generally don't "blast" in the first place. A blasting wizard is a weak wizard.

2)give the fighter access to a guild where he can buy/sell goods for decreased/increased price. this will give the fighter access to stronger magical items. since it will be used to increase the fighter only make it so items can be only sold and bought for his personal use only! maybe the guild can even give him bonus items or rewards for quests done in the guilds name!

The need for bonus magic items to make up for his own failures is basically an admission that the fighter, as written, is failing. Other classes don't need this boost.

3)bring in some monsters with high relflex and will saves,energy resistance, spell resistance,and improved evasion. "what do you mean my spell had no effect!"

There are plenty of spells, really good spells, that bypass all of that. Amazing spells that don't allow a save or spell resistance. Reflex is generally the most useless save, by the way.

4)an evil thing i did- a sphere that had permanent anti magic field that filled a hole room. YEAH that was fun!

See response to #2.

5)not all monsters are stupid! DM -use there skills and smarts! ex(monster- that wizard is killing us time to go for him!).

This one just highlights the uselessness of the fighter, as I already mentioned. If the monsters are just walking past fighters, that means that the fighters are not contributing meaningfully to the fight.

6)the wizard consistantly hides in the back even up into higher levels casting, provide a good suprise rear attack while a battle is going on ;)

This would be convincing if Wizards couldn't easily make themselves better fighters than actual fighters. But they can, so this is rarely a big deal.


By the time you're past level 5 or so, you won't be running out of spells. You'll have to rely on your lower level ones, sure, but there are plenty of those that stay awesome (like Silent Image).


I don't quite understand this one.

9)use random treasure.

Of all points you've tried to make, this one is the worst because it actually bones fighters and Wizards don't care about it. Wizards don't need magical gear to be powerful. Fighters do, and they need very specific gear. Giving random treasure screws fighters hard because they can't get the crap that they need' to even attempt to keep up with the other classes.


a lot of those feat have high prequisit feats making the fighter the most likey to ever even learn them!

Most of those feats are pretty bad. That's the problem with feats: they mostly suck. Maybe if feats were better (and they have been made so) I'd be more convinced.

Ganre 06:29, 7 April 2009 (MDT)[edit]

"The problem with this is that the fighter has so few options and generally sucks so hard it's hard for the DM to give any situation for the fighter where another character can't really do it better. Let's get to the individual points." Surgo

No-one has more options than a Fighter, he gets 19 feats through his progression. He can literally qualify for any other Feat, generally with just a small dip into another class. If you think the ability to take damage is irrelevant, your DM is not throwing high enough damage bad-guys against you. When the party encounters a Frenzied Berserker, I'll bet your wizard will appreciate someone to stand in front of him. --Ganre 06:29, 7 April 2009 (MDT)

Surgo 07:39, 7 April 2009 (MDT)[edit]

Maybe if the ability to have feats actually meant something, I'd be impressed by the fighter's ability to gain 19 of them. Unfortunately, feats suck, thus that ability sucks.

I thought I explained this one pretty well, but I guess not: it's not that the ability to take damage by itself is irrelevant. It's that the fighter's ability to take damage is irrelevant. Because as it stands now a monster can basically walk past the fighter onto targets that are actually worthwhile to attack and not even care. If your whole lot in life is to take damage, and you can't even make monsters care about you enough to damage you instead of somebody else, you've failed.

Aarnott 10:07, 7 April 2009 (MDT)[edit]

Knights are much better at just taking damage because they are actually a little sticky so guys can't move away from them so easily. There are some decent fighter builds involving spiked chains, but I think that is the best the fighter is going to get: decent.

Ganre 15:38, 7 April 2009 (MDT)[edit]

So this has turned into feats suck, not fighters suck? I am sorry, but i fail to see how raising your damage by 4 or more every hit sucks, over the 250 encounters or so a character can be expected to participate in, a fighter will probably hit something at least 5-10 times, more at later levels, so that comes out to 5K-10K increased damage over his career. Not to mention, with Weapon Supremecy, he can take 10 on attack rolls. I've seen a fighter with improved trip and weapon supremecy murder a paladin, a ranger, and a monk. It comes down to how you play the fighter.

Lord Dhazriel 16:06, 7 April 2009 (MDT)[edit]

Meh Bite of the Werebear increase your damages by +8 and your attack by +8, give you other shinny like nat armor and nat attack. It a mere spell, not a 8th-9th one, maybe a 6th level one (at least I believe). Divine Power... just divine power. Spells outshine fighter feats, a feat is generally weaker then a class feature anyway. Proof: increasing Sneak Attack by 1d6 is an epic feat. Feats are way to customize your character, by synergy with your character's class features. Metamagic are a good example. The fighter only get feats, no class feature. No synergy, no power. Look at all those rage's feats, look at all metamagic feats, look at all the feats in fact. Clerics get their own feats (mostly divine metamagic feats), wizard and sorcerer egt their own feats (metamagic). The rogue get TWF (synergy with Sneak Attack), Again the fighter lack this synergy, he can't increase his own ability through it, thus he lack one of the biggest source of power in the game.

Surgo 16:21, 7 April 2009 (MDT)[edit]

So this has turned into feats suck, not fighters suck?

Considering how the fighter's class features consist solely of getting feats, a discussion involving fighters pretty much has to.

Ganre 01:32, 8 April 2009 (MDT)[edit]

Thanks for addressing the rest of my point, Surgo, not taking one part and commenting solely on that, o, wait...

Bite of the Werebear, Divine Power, Righteous Might, all of these take spells slots, those can be spent, stolen, countered by a variety of methods. Weapon spec/Greater Spec, Melee Weapon Mastery, Weapon Supremecy, all of these are always on. If you hit an Iron Collosus, 100 Ft antimagic aura, you still get the benefit of your feats. If you are underwater, that guy that specout out his spell casting, he can't even speak, Fighter's feats? still work. The point i am getting at is consistancy, you can count on weapon spec giving you 2 damage every time. You get synergy with it as well, Two-Weapon Fighting can mean double benefit from all of his fighter feats.

Surgo 01:47, 8 April 2009 (MDT)[edit]

Thanks for addressing the rest of my point, Surgo, not taking one part and commenting solely on that, o, wait...

I thought Lord Dhazriel did a pretty good job of commenting on it.

If you cast a spell to do something that the fighter would do, only better, you still have (n-1) spell slots and are also better at fighting than the fighter. That's just embarrassing, and this is the basic problem that the fighter has. A quick dash of Persistent Spell (available for free to both Clerics and Wizards by various methods) makes the effects always on. There's even a second level Sorcerer/Wizard spell that gives you a fighter bonus feat. I wish I was joking about that.

I'm not really concerned about the random Iron Colossus because not only are they CR 33 and long past the point where the game stopped making sense, they are also neutered by a single level 3 spell (along with the rest of the closet troll family). And seeing as how the iron colossus is the only such example of a monster who could in theory maybe make spells stop working (both clerics and wizards have hilarious ways to be immune to antimagic field long before epic), that's a pretty horrible argument. (And I'm seriously not concerned about an Iron Colossus when I'm level 33. It's not even a monster, it's a trap.)

Fighter's "consistency" isn't worth writing home about. Another class can cast Polymorph and make it last all day (there's your consistency), and then right there you're a better fighter than the Fighter. And you still have (n-1) spell slots left to spend on other things. Next to something like that, Fighters are a complete joke.

those can be spent, stolen, countered by a variety of methods

No, they really can't. You can become immune to Dispel Magic with a +2 weapon. Seriously. And even if you couldn't, Dispel Magic isn't exactly an equalizer.

Ganre 06:34, 8 April 2009 (MDT)[edit]

How are you "immune" to an antimagic field? Even if you are out side of it, you can't cast into it. Your +2 weapon? as a wizard, you will be disarmed by someone with a half decent base attack, let alone someone who is good at it. Persistent Polymorph is a 10th level spell. The monster i am refering to I think is in MM2, and it's a CR 9 construct with Mordenkainen's Disjunction at will. This is a bit of an extreme example, but it is for illustration. And the Iron Colossus seems a like it's in the creatures section of the epic handbook in my lap here... The point is, you think that fighter is under-powered, and no arguement presented will change that. Perhaps you are looking at it from the wrong angle. If a class is performing outside it's CR, perhaps it is overpowered.

Surgo 10:13, 8 April 2009 (MDT)[edit]

Initiate of Mystra makes clerics able to cast in / have their spells work in Antimagic Fields, Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil makes Wizards immune to them (and all other spells for that matter).

Persistent Polymorph is a 10th level spell.

Did you miss that part where clerics and wizards have way to get Persistent Spell on their castings for free?

Your +2 weapon? as a wizard, you will be disarmed by someone with a half decent base attack, let alone someone who is good at it.

You don't need to wield it to get the benefit.

The monster i am refering to I think is in MM2, and it's a CR 9 construct with Mordenkainen's Disjunction at will.

Unless you tell us what this monster actually is, no one can respond to this.

Perhaps you are looking at it from the wrong angle. If a class is performing outside it's CR, perhaps it is overpowered.

Fighters perform significantly under their CR, and fail everything in the same game test. on 10th April 2009[edit]

Surgo you seem to favor all these high level spells which is fine. but the way i see it fighters are stronger than wizards under level 10 or so. Yes by this statement i admit that at later levels a waizard is probably more powerfull than a fighter BUT over there hole career it balances out. you crossed some of my points so i will do the same.

5)not all monsters are stupid! DM -use there skills and smarts! ex(monster- that wizard is killing us time to go for him!).

"This one just highlights the uselessness of the fighter, as I already mentioned. If the monsters are just walking past fighters, that means that the fighters are not contributing meaningfully to the fight."

Actually fighters usually do hold the front ranks so you just pointed out how usefull they can be. If not for a fighter holding the front ranks a wizard would hardly last long enough to get off those precious spells you favor so much OR survive long enough to get powerfull spells. Fighters are great at holding the front line so give credit were credit is due. Also you took just one side of my point, going after a wizard doesn't have to mean moving past the fighter to get to you! They could rain down arrows (at mid to higher levels this would probably be canceled out by your precious spells),target the wizard with there own spells, summon monster behind the wizard to attack him, use a magical item(horn of blasting,wand, necklace of missles etc), breath weapon, barrow underground,fly, release a trap. those really aren't the fighters failings just situations ALL characters have to deal with.

"Wizards don't need magical gear to be powerful"

Really!? last i knew scrolls and spell books were magic items which is where wizards get most of there spells. how many different spells would you have, to overcome variable situations without them?

"By the time you're past level 5 or so, you won't be running out of spells. You'll have to rely on your lower level ones, sure, but there are plenty of those that stay awesome (like Silent Image)." and how many of those spells could you get off on say 6 ogres and disable or kill them without a fighter bidding you time holding them off at say level 6? The party i Dm usually pushes on instead of resting after every encounter everaging 4-5 such battles a day. this usually has the wizies saving spells per encounter and letting the fighter fill his role allowing him to exploit his consistant damage.

"Most of those feats are pretty bad. That's the problem with feats: they mostly suck." NO most of the feats in the PhB sucks some are still good. lets look at a level 5 fighter with at least a 20 strength (22-24 is reasonable as well by lvl 5)a +1 keen falchion (8k easy by level 5) and using power attack at +5 and specialized. 2d4 +7 (2hnd str)+2(spec.)+1(magic enh.)+10(2hnd power atack) and crits on a 15-20 x2. Thats 22-28 dmg and 44-56 on a crit which crits 25% of the time and the attack is still made at +7 to hit with no save 100% of the time and unlimited use. thats good damage at lvl 5 no matter how you look at it. at lvl six that would jump to 2 attacks as well and improved power attack could be made use of. you could also take monkey grip and fight with a giant falchion or weapon. also if a fighter builds his intimidate up like he should he can avoid encounters altogether by sheer intimidation, just as a wizard can incipacitate or avoid encounters with spells.

"initiate of Mystra makes clerics able to cast in / have their spells work in Antimagic Fields, Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil makes Wizards immune to them (and all other spells for that matter)."

aren't those prestige classes? we're talking about Base classes. fighters can take many prestige classes too.

in the end i still don't feel there underpowered, there just taken for granted and underapreciated. they usually do there job well so players begin to overlook the aid of the fighter. As i keep saying. if a fighter hasn't been holding the ranks then a wizard wouldn't have even survived this long. take a fighter and a wizard-adventure them SOLO to level 20 and see who lives to see level 20 or get there 1st- i bet it would be the fighter as the wizard would have to fight such weak enemies by himself that by the time he would get to level 2 the fighter would be at level 5. In my campaign the fighter plays a valuable role and isn't so underapreciated for the players realize his use and role. they often spend ther own cash aiding the fighter with stronger magic items not because he is weak but because a stronger fighter makes a stronger party and in turn makes the rogues and wizies stronger as a team.

(Sign your posts)

TK-Squared 10:45, 10 April 2009 (MDT)[edit]

First off, guy above me; dear god, could you attempt to type in proper English? I'm having a hard time reading what you just said because it looks terrible, dude. Anyway...

Point #1: Fighters aren't good at holding the front line without very specific builds of Battlefield Control. A Crusader or Warblade is much better at holding the front line, using Thicket of Blades stance and various maneuvers to keep people where you want them. A Fighter is capable of Battlefield Control, but he loses out so much to Crusader or Warblade, which are classes similar to the Fighter (in their role, not design). But, a Wizard is leaps and bounds better at Battlefield Control than a Fighter. Yes, even at level 1.

Point #2: Wizards are powerful from level 1 to level 20. Their real power leap comes at about level 9 or 11, but before that they have plenty of spells that can quickly shut down a battle with ease. What's the Fighters will save at level 1? Will he be able to take Color Spray? Will your enemy be able to take it? That's a finisher right there. Sleep, Deep Slumber, Charm Person, Charm Monster, Solid Fog, Cloudkill, Orb of X, etc, etc. The Wizard has spells that can fill nearly any given situation and just taking a single prestige class, which only has the problem of a naff requirement feat (Spell Focus(Abjuration) and Greater Spell Focus(Abjuration)), the Initiate of the Sevenfold Veil can just decimate, being immune to spells when he reaches level 7.

Point #3: Spellbooks aren't magical. The Wizard only has a minor need for magic items. Infact, all he needs is items, mundane ones for spell components and the spellbook. Scrolls, Staves, Wands and Wondrous Items are all just bonuses to the mighty power of the Wizard. Only the Druid can say that he doesn't need any of that. A +1 Eager / +1 Warning Quarterstaff is just a nice toy for the Wizard, he doesn't need it (especially with Celerity spells). A Fighter DOES need magic items. The Fighter is one of the classes that really does need magic items. Unless he picks his race specifically, how's he going to fly? Flying is really necessary for later levels and it's useful at earlier levels. The Wizard can do it at level 5 and then do it for an entire day at level 9. Can the Fighter?

Point #4: Battles, by the definitions in the DMG, should be averaging at 4 CR appropriate encounters per day (Each takes 25% of the resources of a 4-man party). 6 Ogres? Colour Spray. Will save (+1 wut) or be stunned and blinded for 1d4 rounds and then stunned for another 1 round. Using metamagic enhancements, you can easily get any of them in that there area. Boom. That's a single level 1 spell. According the Encounter Calculator, 6 ogres (CR 3) vs a Level 5 Wizard is a CR 8 encounter and "Unbeatable".

Point #5: Your example of a Fighter at level 5 is... Wrong. 8k is "easy by level 5", really? The WBL is 9k for level 5. You just spent all your money on that weapon there. That means you have to be a Half-Orc (or another LA +0 creature with +2 Strength) with STR 17/18 (or an Orc, or another LA +0 creature with +4 strength, with 15/16 strength) to get 20 strength by level 5. It's not entirely unreasonable to assume this, you just didn't mention a race, so I have to guess here. First, your attack doesn't "crit 25% of the time", it makes a threat 25% of the time (and only crits 5% of the time). So... You're doing al that and then the Wizard just casts, say... Color Spray?

Point #6: Let's not go all about just Fighters vs Wizards. Let's go for the Warblade (The replacement Fighter). He can do all that (except for specialization, he doesn't get that till level 6), but he also uses maneuvers and various other sweet things that will just decimate an encounter far easier than a Fighter can. So... Why is the Fighter good if people do stuff better than him again?

Point #7: Intimidation sucks.

Point #8: Initiate of Mystra is a feat for Clerics.

Point #9: Actually, a Fighter can't take that many Prestige Classes. Alot of Prestige Classes normally require spellcasting or a class feature. Guess what the Fighter lacks? Class features. Wizard is generally prestige'd from at level 5, because a prestige class gives you what the wizard gives except for some more feats (unless you go Loremaster, which does this anyway). While Prestige Classes are not essential, the Wizard's extreme power is only accented by these classes, rather than reliant on them.

Point #10: The Fighter is not a base class. It is a dip class. It is two levels long. Why on earth would you take Fighter 3? There is just no reason to do so; it's a useless level and offers you absolutely nothing except a +1 BAB. Like Monk and Totemist, it's a dip class. Quite a few builds use it because all it gets is feats; a Warblade 7 / Fighter 2 is a generally regarded way of getting good Battlefield Control with a melee build.

Point #11: Maybe in your campaign, yes. But, in general; the Fighter's role is easily replicated through classes that actually get class features. The Fighter is merely an attempt to create diversity; but feats never replace class features. Rage will always be better than Weapon Focus. Sneak Attack will always trump Weapon Specialization. Warblades will only come second in the sheer amount of feats that the Fighter gets; and does anyone EVER need that many feats? Not really.

Point #12: Sign your posts, like it says.

Ganre 16:20, 10 April 2009 (MDT)[edit]

I just wanted to point out, it's a lot easier to crit once you've threatened, so that 5% is inaccurate. so with a +12 to hit, critter with 22 AC. you need to to roll a 10 to hit, that's 55% success. Tha's 12.5% Also, with the addition of the PHB 2 feats, i feel fighter is no longer a dip class, there are some really interesting things it can do at high level. One last thing, if the wizard in your group is out performing everyone else, perhaps he needs to be toned down, not turn the fighter into a blender of death.

Lord Dhazriel 17:16, 10 April 2009 (MDT)[edit]

The we need to tone down a load of classes. I couldn't list them all. The best fighter is a 2nd level fighter with a lot of PrC. The best fighting men is a warblade or a crusader. Also: The warblade can learn the fighter tricks, he got a class feature allowing him to get fighter feats (warblade level -2). So yeah, you better go with the awesome F&K Fighter.

Ganre 22:08, 10 April 2009 (MDT)[edit]

Well, that means in any games I run, you won't find a Warblade, because doing that robs high level fighters of their uniqueness.


Low level half-orc fighter with a spiked chain, improved initiative, high-ish dex, maxed out strength, and improved trip could easily knock down and then immediately attack most spellcasters before they can react. Or, warforged with the aforementioned item/feats/stats for their various immunities.

maru hatsune[edit]

well personally It depends on your who build of your fighter and your equipment as well. if you make your fighter a tank type with power attack feats and a strong weapon, than yeah it could stand a chance. not to mention you can always charge at the nearest sorcerer and try to choke them out or something.

but over all i think spellcaster types have alittle more of an edge especially at higher lvls. god damn my friend and his phantasmal killer.

Ghostwheel 11:06, 1 August 2009 (MDT)[edit]

Ganre, you say that the Warblade robs high-level fighters of their uniqueness, but they do no such thing; let me explain. The uniqueness of Fighter is not tied to the feats they can take. It's tied to the *number* of feats they can take. No other class really makes them redundant since no other class can gain a generic bonus feat without losing BAB. For example, a high-level Fighter can have Stand Still, Thicket of Blades (gained via feats), Greater Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Specialization, Melee Weapon Mastery, Supreme Melee Weapon Mastery, Shock Trooper, Combat Brute, Spirited Charge and more; Warblades can't do that. So instead of saying that the Warblade makes the Fighter redundant, it might be more correct to say that the two classes are taken for different reasons (forget for a moment about flavor, let's concentrate on what makes a class a class--the mechanics). Warblade is taken for its maneuvers, access to schools, and class abilities. Fighter is taken for the bonus feats it gets. Neither invalidates the other.

Now, if only getting access to bonus feats is weak when compared to the things that virtually every other class gets... that's a different discussion. But neither class makes the other redundant, since their mechanical bits in combat are completely dissimilar.

Maru hatsune[edit]

I have to agree with ghostwheel on that one. not to mention the main build for a fighter is feats which is absolutely unique to all the class, since most of their build are based on special abilities and all. BTW: what book is the warblade class on?


It has occured to me that in my party, the linear progression (squishy lvl 1 wizards, strong lvl 2 fighters) doesn't matter: We don't play low level campaigns (lvl 1-3) and only occasionally play below fifth. So our fighters hit the ground worthless. Maybe other people use the first five levels?

Ghostwheel 02:09, 3 August 2009 (MDT)[edit]

Even at level 1, wizards and druids can overpower other classes. Druids get a war-trained riding dog, which is stronger than just about every other meleer at level 1, and wizards get access to Color Spray/Sleep, spells that destroy a whole encounter in one go.

Maru: Warblade is in Tome of Battle.

Jamesja12 11:20, 4 August 2009[edit]

I'm not sure but if the fighter gets great cleave he can take out a entire army of low levels in one go.

Crashpilot 09:13, 3 March 2011 (MST)[edit]

It is an old discussion but I want to answer anyway.

Are fighters underpowered? Well that would depend on the point of view. A fighter with the right abilities and feats can seriously damage any opponent that is susceptable to melee and can do that on a regular bases. With this I mean they are not subject to the need to flank someone, ambush , suddon strike etc. The damage is good (not uber) but flatrated. In that regard they are powerfull. In reality however the fighter lacks a large portion of simple roleplaying. They barely get skill points and it doesn't realy make sense to place a lot of points into int. Essencially they can hit hard but there it ends. A mage for example has loads of spells that may be used to perform RP tasks, divination, scrying, comprehend languages, read magic, etc.etc. and therefor has both large amounts of damage plus atleast the option to roleplay well. The bard has Bardic knowledge to be very usefull in that regard and spells to assist, a rogue has so many points that it will be able to train information and knowledge gathering skills to high levels without sacrificing any functionality. In that regard the fighter is underpowered and will fit any roleplayingphobe well, but people who want more then just bash skulls will find that fighters are highly frustrating becouse they cannot do much more then attack.

fighter Vs wizard[edit]

All of you have made good point. But the one thing you are for getting is that Wizard are not just to suppost to receive new spell when they level. They have to find someone to train them on the new spell or scirbe scroll. So that mean that they have to find there spells after level one. They just don't automaticaly get them. The DM decides what spells the wizard can find and what gear the fighter fines. I know most people just let there spell casters just pick there spells out of the book. You as a DM have control over how every encounter and abitily or spell that comes into play for the other players. There should never be a over powered character. What is the wizard going to do when they go to a Anti magic zone where there fire ball become mere sparks. And to the comment about the fighter holding the line and not letting the monster get pasted him. I don't think a fighter could hold back an ancient dragon. I don't care if he has +10 mod to str. he would be dust in the wind to that dragon moving pasted him.

Name Violation 15:07, 5 August 2011 (MDT)[edit]

A wizard begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level wizard spells (except those from her prohibited school or schools, if any; see School Specialization, below) plus three 1st-level spells of your choice. For each point of Intelligence bonus the wizard has, the spellbook holds one additional 1st-level spell of your choice. At each new wizard level, she gains two new spells of any spell level or levels that she can cast (based on her new wizard level) for her spellbook.

its automatic. a wizard just gains spells when they level. no teacher required. it represents learning and research, just as much as the big lummox swinging a sword all day picks up feats. 15:34, 6 August 2011 (MDT)[edit]

Most classes are designed to work without paying any attention to feats. Fighter is (usually) the only exception. The fighter can be made to be on the same level as other classes, but it would require someone who has experience playing fighters and knows what kind of feats work well together. Fighter is the only class that requires optimization to work effectively but rewards you for doing so by giving you feats faster.

However, any player who just starts playing not only has no idea how to optimize, but doesn't know that the fighter class needs optimization. When a first-timer plays a fighter and notices the power difference, they will do one of two things: 1)change classes or even characters and never play a fighter again or 2)look online for good fighter feat combinations.

Also, the number and range of feats leaves a lot to be desired. There are only a few paths an optimized fighter can take. Using the homebrew feats on this wiki changes this, but playing by the book would leave a first-timer bored.

So, are fighters underpowered? To any first-time player who, by definition, doesn't know how to optimize and is probably playing by the book? Yes. But for a long-time player who is probably able to optimize at least a little and is probably going to use some homebrew feats and rules? No. 09:55, 10 September 2011 (MDT)[edit]

Yes there are more powerfull classes than a fighter out there. Yes dead levels are deadly boring. Yes there are classes that need to be kept from ripping the world apart And fighters where the world needs to be kept from ripping them apart. But if the fighter is getting absolutely useless than this is a decition the DM has made and not fate.

A high level encounter may be a high level creature. Then the use of the fighter is very restricted. Or it may be many low level creatures. In this case a fighter is very usefull, because he can kill them without using resources. Saving resources of our more nova friends for when they are needed.

There are things that on can do to reduce the effectivity of spellcasters

If the many creatures are not standing dense and are actually running away from summoned creatures. Most spells will be ineffective.

If you have an intelligent enemy it may happen that you can just not rest during an adventure because he do not let you.

If you look like a monster people tend to treat you like a monster. If you run around polymorped or wild shaped all the time. It is completely reasonable that people attack you that are not really your enemies with all the unconfortable consequences.

When a fighter should make any sense than everytime a spellcaster wants to cast a high level spell he have to think hard and he have to think twice. Because this may be the spell that he is missing in the final battle and he and everybody else dies when he wastes it without need. (An intelligent enemy may let his minions even report what spells are already used...) And then it is the fighters task to fight the minions while the spellcasters save their energy and basically do nothing. So make the spellcaster be carefull and the fighter can contribute.

Or if you want to let the spellcasters go crasy take tome-fighters and let them go crasy too...

Frendle 17:10, 19 December 2012 (MST)[edit]

Fighters are an advanced class, not to be tried without a good deal of forethought. Used to be, in old school DnD, I suggested to new players that they try a fighter first to get the feel of the game before rolling one of the more difficult to play classes. Now I tend to suggest Wizard be the first class a newbie plays. It’s really hard to mess up a Wizard, in both how you build it and how you play it.

As for getting the Fighter up to speed…. One skill and two feats solve the problem of limited versatility.

Use Magic Device, Skill Focus, Magical Aptitude.

After that the Fighter becomes quite the terror.

A judicious use of feats and the right scrolls/wands etc will push the fighter up to the top of the list.

Also, I have always thought of Fighter only feats as a kind of "class feature."


Ok i may be new to dungeons and dragons but doesnt it really depend on the version you are playing?

In 3.5 the fighter is best before lvl 10 after that the casters take over but that doesnt mean that it is weaker. Those first 10 lvls that the fighter is better keeps the caster alive to get the stronger spells, after that the fighter is more of a meat shield.

In 4.0 the fighter is over all more combat ready through lvl 30 because of the fact that it can use higher grade of armor and weapons. That and its exploits allow for more damage and protection. Sure it cant cast a fireball or raise other players from the grave but it still is an important charecter to the group because again it keeps the weaker players alive.

at the same time fighters in all versions can make up for their lackings with magic items such as vorpal blades or other high end items. they can carry more than the "weaker" mage because of its strength score and lift the portcullises for the group to go under.

In my oppinion the fighter is like every other class. it has advantages and disavantages so really does it matter if the lvl 20 mage does more damage than the lvl 20 fighter?

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so, I've been reading the chain of this discussion and I believe there is a very simple answer to the question posed. No, the fighter is not an under powered class, just an under prepared for one. Ill explain, the main complaint of the fighter is that hes bland; so a character who can come from any race, background, or land is boring?. I think the blandness stems from straight forward thinking, hes a fighter- back story: he trained from a young age and now he kills things (its a generic fighter back story), there are so many feats that are fighter only; kinda like they're in their own club but i digress, that its easy to get lost and feel like your getting no where, however there one important thing none of you have mentioned among all the arguments, that changes everything. The fighter is combat; in battle one mistake can be fatal, all it takes is one ( this mistake is represent by the elements the player controls; example: if you have the possibility of going up against spell casters then pack for the trip, there are plenty of scrolls and equipment that can render spell casters less effective,( no i don't know any off the top of my head, but it is simple logic that everything has its kyrptonite, the same thing works in legit life, if someones coming to your house with a gun then it would be a good idea to find something that can stop a bullet). I notice most people focus on numbers, damage and what not; a magic user at higher levels may deal more damage, but essentially they are glass cannons, get to the blind spot and tap 'em with a hammer, D&d is a game of imagination ( ever hear of creative math?). The numbers are there to provide a general order to the game but they're essentially guidelines, they dont dictate how you must play a character only what they are generally capable of.When to Adapt,endure,offense,defense, when to retreat, when to push forward, the use of resources, the skill to win, the humility to accept defeat, the patience to wait for an opening, the wit to exploit it; numbers will tell one none of this. So in conclusion the main problem its seems people have playing a fighter is, very simply, they don't know how to fight.

Paladins and Rangers[edit]

I’m not sure the fighter is underpowered, its just that the other two main fighting classes are way better. The only real advantage a fighter gets over the two are extra attacks, and most people would rather have the options to play as a partial magic user than just hit stuff a bunch. This brings me to my second topic, why the Eldritch knight sucks. I mean, come on WOTC. A 1/3 spell caster doesn’t make up for what your losing. When you have a Eldritch Knight, it’s more or less a crappy paladin that can shoot magic missiles.

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