Saturday, January 28, 2012

The “Complex” Fighter (Pathfinder)


I commented a few times that I created a house-ruled version of the Fighter class. It all started with an old design idea of mine that each non-spellcaster class should have an unique mechanic/feature. Barbarians have rage (and rage powers), Rangers have favored enemies and terrains (besides some other tricks), Rogue sneak attack and gain talents etc.

Fighters get extra feats…wow! How… huh… well, that’s hardly exciting (from a mechanical standpoint). Ok, they have some cool exclusive feats, but they’re still feats (sometimes I wonder if these exclusive feats shouldn’t have been converted to “Warrior Talents” or something like that).

I thought about using the Token pool mechanic from Iron Heroes once (maybe even using the Man at Arms class from that great game), but I still have to play test this idea. After that I decided to create a variant Fighter.

The “Complex” Fighter was created using material from Trailblazer, mixed with the new Fighter Focus class feature – my (first and clumsy) attempt at a resource-management mechanic (from which I later elaborated the Prowess Pool class feature of my Swashbuckler).

Ironically, I was reminded of my house-rule class because of all this talk of D&D 5E’s modularity and (theoretically) how each player will be able to choose how much complexity he wants in his character. In part, I created the “Complex” Fighter to give to my rules-lover players some shiny thing to play while playing a warrior (I have the Book of Nine Swords, I love it, but I wanted something different). A second design goal was to allow my players to pick which type of class they wanted: The “Complex” Fighter or the normal Fighter. Unfortunately I didn’t reach this last objective (however, I guess it may be attainable if you give the new Weapon Dominance class trait to the normal Fighter).

Currently one of my Pathfinder campaigns has one Complex Fighter on the table and we aren’t having any problems – although I must point out that half of my gaming group doesn’t care too much about rules.

Anyway, here it is for your perusal. As always, any feedback is really welcome.


"Complex" Fighter (Variant Class)

Hit Die: d10.

Class Skills: The fighter’s class skills are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (engineering) (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks Per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: Fighter
Level
Base Attack
Bonus
Fort
Save
Ref
Save
Will
Save
Special
1st
+1
+2
+0
+0
Bones feat, weapon dominance, fighter focus (basic talent)
2nd
+2
+3
+0
+0
Bones feat, bravery
3rd
+3
+3
+1
+1
Weapon Mastery, talent
4th
+4
+4
+1
+1
Bones feat, extra focus
5th
+5
+4
+1
+1
Armor Mastery, talent
6th
+6/+1
+5
+2
+2
Bones feat
7th
+7/+2
+5
+2
+2
Weapon Mastery, talent
8th
+8/+3
+6
+2
+2
Bones feat, extra focus
9th
+9/+4
+6
+3
+3
Armor Mastery, talent
10th
+10/+5
+7
+3
+3
Bones feat
11th
+11/+6/+1
+7
+3
+3
Weapon Mastery, talent
12th
+12/+7/+2
+8
+4
+4
Bones feat, extra focus
13th
+13/+8/+3
+8
+4
+4
Armor Mastery, talent
14th
+14/+9/+4
+9
+4
+4
Bones feat
15th
+15/+10/+5
+9
+5
+5
Weapon Mastery, talent
16th
+16/+11/+6/+1
+10
+5
+5
Bones feat, extra focus
17th
+17/+12/+7/+2
+10
+5
+5
Armor Mastery, talent
18th
+18/+13/+8/+3
+11
+6
+6
Bones feat
19th
+19/+14/+9/+4
+11
+6
+6
Weapon Mastery, armor mastery, talent
20th
+20/+15/+10/+5
+12
+6
+6
Bones feat, extra focus, the riddle of steel

Class Features
The following are class features of the fighter.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency
A fighter is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with all armor (heavy, light, and medium) and shields (including tower shields).

Bonus Feats
At 1st level, and at every even level thereafter, a fighter gains a bonus feat in addition to those gained from normal advancement (meaning that the fighter gains a feat at every level). These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as Combat Feats, sometimes also called “fighter bonus feats.”
Upon reaching 4th level, and every four levels thereafter (8th, 12th, and so on), a fighter can choose to learn a new bonus feat in place of a bonus feat he has already learned. In effect, the fighter loses the bonus feat in exchange for the new one. The old feat cannot be one that was used as a prerequisite for another feat, prestige class, or other ability. A fighter can only change one feat at any given level and must choose whether or not to swap the feat at the time he gains a new bonus feat for the level.

Weapon Dominance (Ex)
A fighter takes Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization not with specific weapons, but with weapon groups. Only fighter bonus feats can be used for this purpose.
Weapon groups are defined as follows (GMs may add other weapons to these groups, or add entirely new groups):

Axes: battleaxe, dwarven waraxe, greataxe, handaxe, heavy pick, light pick, orc double axe, and throwing axe.
Blades, Heavy: bastard sword, elven curve blade, falchion, greatsword, longsword, scimitar, scythe, and two-bladed sword.
Blades, Light: dagger, kama, kukri, rapier, sickle, starknife, and short sword.
Bows: composite longbow, composite shortbow, longbow, and shortbow.
Close: gauntlet, heavy shield, light shield, punching dagger, sap, spiked armor, spiked gauntlet, spiked shield, and unarmed strike.
Crossbows: hand crossbow, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, heavy repeating crossbow, and light repeating crossbow.
Double: dire flail, dwarven urgrosh, gnome hooked hammer, orc double axe, quarterstaff, and two-bladed sword.
Flails: dire flail, flail, heavy flail, morningstar, nunchaku, spiked chain, and whip.
Hammers: club, greatclub, heavy mace, light hammer, light mace, and warhammer.
Monk: kama, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, shuriken, siangham, and unarmed strike.
Natural: unarmed strike and all natural weapons, such as bite, claw, gore, tail, and wing.
Pole Arms: glaive, guisarme, halberd, and ranseur.
Spears: javelin, lance, longspear, shortspear, spear, and trident.
Thrown: blowgun, bolas, club, dagger, dart, halfling sling staff, javelin, light hammer, net, shortspear, shuriken, sling, spear, starknife, throwing axe, and trident.

Bravery (Ex)
Starting at 2nd level, a fighter gains a +1 bonus on Will saves against fear. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 2nd.

Fighter Focus (Ex)
A fighter is a superb warrior, with a natural knack or superior training, capable of adapting to situations that would leave must warriors defenseless. This is represented by Focus. All fighters have a number of Focus that they can use, on a round basis, to gain bonus and special attacks called Talents.
A 1st level fighter begins with just 1 Focus per round. A fighter normally uses his Focus at the beginning of his turn (but there are exceptions, see Talents below). A fighter can’t use a Focus if flat-footed.
All fighters also have the Basic Talent.

Basic Talent: spend 1 Focus to gain a +2 bonus to one of the following options – Armor Class, CMB, CMD, Attack Rolls or Damage Rolls. You keep this bonus until the beginning of your next turn. If you have more than 1 Focus per round, you can spend additional Focus on all options above. If you place more than 1 Focus in the same stat, you gain a bonus equal to +2 plus +1 for each extra Focus. For example: a 8th level fighter (3 Focus per round), could use 1 Focus to gain +2 to AC, another to gain +2 to Attack Rolls and the third to gain +2 to Damage Rolls; or he could use all 3 Focus to AC, gaining a +4 AC bonus (2 + 1 + 1).

Talents
At 3rd level, and at every odd level thereafter, a fighter gains a new talent. Each talent below details how many Focus must be spent on it every round. The talents are selected from the following list:

Interrupt Action: if an enemy provokes an Attack of Opportunity, make instead a CMB roll against him. If successful, you interrupt whatever action he was executing. Requires 1 Focus.

Hold Enemy: choose one enemy inside your threatened area at the beginning of your turn. If he moves (even a 5-foot step), make a CMB roll. If you succeed, your enemy provokes an Attack of Opportunity from you. Requires 1 Focus.

Draw Attention: choose one enemy inside your threatened area at the beginning of your turn. Every time he attacks a target other than you, he must roll twice and take the worse result. This talent doesn’t work on other fighters of equal or higher level than you. Requires 2 Focus. If you place 3 Focus he must roll thrice and take the worst result.

Protect Ally: choose one adjacent ally at the beginning of your turn. You grant your shield bonus to him, as well as any Focus bonus to AC. Requires 1 Focus.

Tactics: once per round, if your hit an enemy, you can make a free combat maneuver against him. Requires 2 Focus.

Raised Guard: when you provoke an Attack of Opportunity that doesn’t entail moving, make a CMB roll against the highest CMD threatening you. If you succeed, your action didn’t provoke an Attack of Opportunity. Requires 1 Focus.

Correct Strike: if you miss an attack roll, roll again. You can only use this talent once per round. Requires 1 Focus.

Punish the Reckless: when you roll an Attack of Opportunity, add extra damage equal to half your fighter levels in d6s (minimum 1d6, maximum 10d6). Requires 1 Focus.

To Sail a Road of Blood and Slaughter: you can move and execute a full-round attack. Requires 3 Focus.

Bold Charge: you do not provoke Attacks of Opportunity by moving if you execute a charge. Requires 2 Focus.

Wear Out the Adversary: choose one adjacent enemy at the beginning of your turn. Every time he misses a melee attack against you, he suffers half your fighter level (minimum 1) in non-lethal damage. This talent doesn’t work on fighters of equal or higher level than you Requires 1 Focus.

Protect Self: add a bonus to your Reflex saves equal to half your total shield and armor bonus. This bonus only applies if you’re not flat-footed and can see the attack responsible for provoking the saving thrown. Requires 1  Focus.

Resist Magic: add a bonus to your saving throws against physical supernatural, spell-like or spell effects equal to half your total shield and armor bonus. The same conditions of Protect Self apply. Requires 2 Focus and Protect Self.

Iron Mind: add your Bravery class feature bonus to all Will saves against mind effects. This only works if you aren’t flat-footed.  Requires 1 Focus and Resist Magic.

Parry Magic: you gain SR (11 + your fighter level) against physical supernatural, spell-like or spell effects. You must be armed or using a shield to activate this talent. This only works if you aren’t flat-footed. Requires 2 Focus and Resist Magic.

Deflect Magic: same as Parry Magic but any spells that fails to pass your SR are sent back to its original caster. You must be armed or using a shield to activate this talent. This only works if you aren’t flat-footed.  Requires 4 Focus and Parry Magic.

Disable Adversary: choose one enemy in sight at the beginning of your turn. If you hit and damage him make a CMB roll. If you’re successful, you disable one natural weapon (or a supernatural weapon/ability) of him, like a claw, bite, breath weapon, gaze attack etc until your next turn. You can also remove his flight ability (if he has wings) or can reduce his landing speed by half. If he is a humanoid target you can disable one arm and force him to drop anything he’s holding. You must declare which part of his body you’re targeting before rolling. Requires 2 or more Focus. Each additional Focus increases the duration to another turn (but the target can try to recover with a move action and a successful Fortitude save against a DC of 10 + ½ BAB + your Str, Dex or Int bonus).

Cripple Enemy: choose one enemy in sight at the beginning of your turn. If you hit and damage him make a CMB roll. If successful, you inflict 2 points of temporary damage to one stat of your choice. Requires 2 Focus and Disable Adversary.

Battle Vigor: you gain a number of temporary hit points equal to 5 + ½ your fighter level until your next turn. Requires 2 Focus.

Warrior’s Resolve: at the beginning of your turn choose one condition you’re a suffering and make a CMB roll (either against the original DC or the responsible creature’s CMD). If successful, you ignore that condition for as long as you keep using this talent. You must make a CMB roll every round to sustain this talent. Requires 1 Focus per ignored condition.

Sudden Proficiency: you don’t suffer attack penalties for using a weapon for which you don’t have the respective weapon proficient feat. This can’t be used to substitute the Improved Unarmed Strike feat. Requires 1 Focus.

Combat Dominance: choose one enemy inside your threatened area at the beginning of your turn. The first time in the round he attacks you with a weapon for which you have Weapon Mastery, he provokes an Attack of Opportunity from you. This talent doesn’t work on fighters with the same Weapon Mastery, or of equal or higher level than you. Requires 2 Focus and the Sudden Proficiency.

Steel Storm: choose one enemy inside your threatened area at the beginning of your turn. Every consecutive hit against him increases your Critical Threat by 1 (maximum +3). This bonus last until you stop using this talent (in the following rounds), attack another target or scores a critical hit. Requires 2 Focus.

Spell Cleaver: choose one enemy in sight at the beginning of your turn. If you hit him, make a CMB roll. If you succeed, your weapon works as if it were a +1 magic weapon. If your weapon is already magical, you increase its bonus for the purposes of bypassing DR. Requires 2 or more Focus. Each extra Focus increases the magic bonus for the purposes of DR. Worth remembering that higher bonus can bypass specific types of DR (+3 simulates silver and cold iron, +4 simulates alignments, +5 simulates adamantine).

Extra Focus
At 4th level, and every four levels thereafter, a fighter gains an extra Focus per round.

Weapon Mastery (Ex)
At 3rd level, the fighter gains Weapon Mastery with a chosen specific weapon (see below). He gains this ability again at 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th level. He can apply this ability to a previous weapon or choose a new weapon.
Choose a specific weapon (for example, dagger, greatsword, or dwarven war axe). Your ability with the chosen weapon increases. You may increase the base damage of the weapon, increase the threat range of the weapon, increase the critical multiplier of the weapon, or learn to use the weapon with certain combat maneuvers.

Increased Base Damage: The base damage die of the weapon increases by one step:

1 d2 d3 d4 d6 d8 d10 2d6 2d8 3d6 3d8
No weapon may have its base damage increased beyond 3d8.

Increased Threat Range: The threat range of the weapon increases by one step: 20 becomes 19-20, 19-20 becomes 18-20. No weapon may have its base threat range increased beyond 18-20. Improved Critical and other effects that increase the threat range apply to the improved threat range granted by expert weapon proficiency.

Increased Critical Multiplier: The base critical multiplier increases by 1: x2 becomes x3, x3 becomes x4. No weapon may have a base critical multiplier above x4.

Combat Maneuvers: You may use the weapon to perform one of the following maneuvers:
• Disarm: With this weapon, you get a +2 bonus on opposed attack rolls made to disarm an enemy (including the roll to avoid being disarmed if such an attempt fails).
• Light: You may choose this option only for a one-handed weapon. The weapon is now considered light for you. You may use the weapon in your off-hand without penalty, and you may use the Weapon Finesse feat with the weapon.
• Mounted: The weapon deals double damage when used from the back of a charging mount. If the weapon is two-handed, you may use it one-handed while mounted.
• Set: You may choose this option with a one- or two-handed weapon (but not a light weapon). If you use a ready action to set your weapon against a charge, you deal double damage on a successful hit against a charging opponent.
• Thrown: You may throw the weapon. It gains a range increment of 10. If the weapon does piercing damage, it gains a range increment of 20.
• Trip: You can use the weapon to make trip attacks. If you are tripped during your own trip attempt, you can drop the weapon to avoid being tripped.
• Reach: You may choose this option only for a two-handed weapon. You gain reach with the weapon. (Typically, this doubles your natural reach.) If the weapon already has reach, this maneuver allows you to attack adjacent foes.

Armor Mastery (Ex)
At 5th level, the fighter gains Armor Mastery with a chosen type of armor weapon (see below). He gains this ability again at 9th, 13th and 17th level.
Choose a type of armor (heavy, medium, light or shields). Your ability to use that kind of armor increases. Each time you gain an Armor Mastery you must specify to which type of armor it applies.

Increased Flexibility: reduce the armor check penalty by 2 and increase de maximum Dex modifier by 1. This benefit can be bought a second time.

Increased Defense: increase the armor/shield bonus (except while flat-footed) by 1. This benefit can be bought a second time.

Second Skin: your armor convert part of every hit you take to non-lethal damage (light armor 1, medium armor 3, heavy armor 5).

Increased Mobility: ignore armor speed reduction.

The Riddle of Steel (Ex)
At 20th level, a fighter chooses one weapon for which he has Weapon Mastery. Any attacks made with that weapon automatically confirm all critical threats and have their damage multiplier increased by 1 (×2 becomes ×3, for example). However, you still must confirm your critical against fighter of equal or higher level than you.
In addition, he cannot be disarmed while wielding a weapon of this type. Also, while on the master’s hand a weapon of this type add 10 to its hardness and 50 to its hit points. It never suffers the broken condition.
Finally, the fighter has 1 extra Focus while wielding the chosen weapon.