Delver Evolution: Fighter part 2

Sorry for the delay, I’ve had overtime every day this week and it’s been pretty draining. On with the show.

1st Edition AD&D

  • Hit die improves again to d10
  • Holdings now attract followers
  • “Exceptional Strength” is added as a Fighter exclusive ability
  • Allowed extra hp for very high (17-18) constitution
  • Multiple attacks per round become available against all targets , though even more attacks are granted against mooks
  • Gains more weapon proficiencies that other classes

The theme of being a tough guy continues here as fighter get extra hp al around.

Sadly, the only really new features at this point are both dependent on very high ability score. I’d not really fond of exceptional strength as they expanded the ability score table a few slots just for an ability that one in less than 200 character would have (using 3d6 to roll scores). It also creates a weird jump from a normal 18 to 19.

The extra hit point from extra constitution are a bit better, but it’s still a pretty lean class feature as it only kicks in with very high con while robbing perks from any other class with a similar score.

All the other stuff seems to just be adaptions or expansions from earlier editions. Weapon proficiency expands on the weapon mastery system of Basic D&D. Multiple attacks are opened up so they can be use on non-mooks. The stronghold at name level now grants follows automatically.

2nd Edition AD&D

  • Weapon specialization becomes fighter exclusive
  • Stronghold followers now include elite bodyguards
  • Warrior classes get worst non-weapon proficiency progression

Not much really stands out here. Weapon specialization brings a little more of the Weapon Mastery rules into AD&D while merging those rules with multi-attacks. The result is then made fighter exclusive.

This also seem to be the first case where the fighter start getting worse at non-combat skills than the other classes. The difference is pretty subtle, but it’s there.

Overall, this trend really isn’t appealing much. It looks like they’re pumping the fighter by cutting into other classes. Paying for it with non combat skills also all that thrilling as it seems to be making the fighter less versatile in general.

3rd Edition D&D

  • All classes get multiple attacks from Base Attack Bonus
  • Weapon proficiency becomes all simple and martial
  • Bonus feats replace strong weapon proficiency progression
  • Non-weapon proficiencies replace by fewer trained skills
  • Strong save become Fortitude

Here we are at the first big reboot by WotC. We’re actually fairly short on new features here. The most notable is probably the introduction of feats. Rather than pumping weapon proficiency slots into weapon specialization, Fighters get extra feats to flesh out their specializations. It’s a good idea. Too bad it tends to lead to hyper specialized one trick pony builds. The fighter has good from a master of all weapons, to a single weapon expert, and seems to headed toward even further specialization.

Another significant change is the fighter’s multi-attack shtick is now handed out to all classes, though warrior types still get the most attacks.

Proficiency in all weapon and armor is pretty much intact, though they’ll need to buy back some of the more unusual weapons.

The fighter’s non-combat skill are definitely on the low side here, both in terms of raw skill points and what they can be effectively spent on.

The stronghold building aspect gets decimated here, dropping down to a single Leadership feat.

4th Edition D&D

  • Defender role is formalized
  • Martial power source and associated powers are gained
  • Strength remains primary stat, with Wisdom, Dexterity, and Constitution becoming supporting stats
  • Plate armor proficiency is lost
  • Has lowest number of trained skills
  • Combat Challenge class feature make it dangerous to either attack anyone else while near the fighter or move away from the fighter
  • Combat Superiority makes it difficult to move past the fighter and makes shooting while they’re in melee range more dangerous
  • The fighter’s accuracy bonus is converted into Fighter Talents

The second reboot by WotC brings some interesting changes. The most notable of these is probably the power system. Fighters now get abilities that can only be used once per encounter and once pet day. This does help make fighter more dynamic, though some players find usage limitations hard to put in game world terms.

Combat Challenge and Combat Superiority both seems like new feature with a hint of older class features. Combat challenge seems to take the fighter’s multi-attacking and converts it into an ability that helps protect allies and punish movement. Combat Superiority shows a little of the fighter’s old accuracy edge, but add on movement blocking ability. Combined they make the fighter more of a spiky barricade than in earlier editions.

The oft mentioned role system actually doesn’t seem to be much of a change for the fighter. They’ve been charged with protecting weaker allies since Basic D&D. This seems to be more of a formalization of this trend. That being said, marking is a bit of a new angle as previously fighter seemed to defend more by acting as roadblock or living shield rather than trying to draw the attention of specific foes.

Annoyingly, the weak out of combat skills are still there, with Fighters being one of only a handful of classes with a mere 3 skill picks and no freebie skill.

Wrap Up

That bring us up to today. The class has had some significant changes but some themes seem to have stayed there though out. By this weekend I hope to get a thread up on rpg net about what those iconic features are and where we could go with them.

While that’s brewing, I’ll try getting another peak at Mezzo out. Right now I’m looking at how to introduce shared narrative control mechanics without having them over shadow the rest of the game.

Published in: on April 21, 2010 at 11:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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