Fighter


A revision of the fighter class follows. The Pathfinder class features of weapon and armor training are now choices in a broader range of “fighter talents” (analogous to rogue talents). The bravery class feature has been superceded by the fighter’s new saving throw progression, which simulates the 1st edition fighter’s primary class feature: the best saves in all categories at high levels.

A number of the fighter’s talents have been specifically chosen so as to allow the fighter to naturally supercede the Duelist prestige class, as well as a number of other base classes and prestige classes in 3.5 edition sources such as Complete Warrior. Some such class features have been converted into feats instead (q.v.), so that characters other than fighters can simulate these classes.

Table: The Fighter (Hit Dice: d10)

Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +2 +2 +2 Fighter talent or bonus feat
2nd +2 +3 +3 +3 Bonus feat or sneak attack
3rd +3 +3 +3 +3 Fighter talent
4th +4 +4 +4 +4 Bonus feat or sneak attack
5th +5 +4 +4 +4 Fighter talent
6th +6/+1 +5 +5 +5 Bonus feat or sneak attack
7th +7/+2 +5 +5 +5 Fighter talent
8th +8/+3 +6 +6 +6 Bonus feat or sneak attack
9th +9/+4 +6 +6 +6 Fighter talent
10th +10/+5 +7 +7 +7 Bonus feat or sneak attack
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +7 +7 Advanced fighter talent
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +8 +8 Bonus feat or sneak attack
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +8 +8 Advanced fighter talent
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +9 +9 Bonus feat or sneak attack
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +9 +9 Advanced fighter talent
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +10 +10 Bonus feat or sneak attack
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +10 +10 Advanced fighter talent
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +11 +11 Bonus feat or sneak attack
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +11 +11 Advanced fighter talent
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +12 +12 Weapon mastery, bonus feat

Class Skills: The fighter’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Athletics (Str), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Endurance (Con), Handle Animal (Cha), Knowledge (Warfare) (Int), Linguistics (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), and Survival (Wis).
Skill Points per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A fighter is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with all armor (heavy, medium, and light) and light and heavy shields. Additionally, you gain proficiency in one exotic shield (e.g., tower shield or vambraces); you can choose to give up your exotic shield proficiency to gain Dodge a bonus feat instead.

Canny Defense (Ex): You can choose to trade your medium and heavy armor proficiencies for the Canny Defense class feature. When wearing light or no armor, you add 1 point of your Intelligence bonus (if any) per fighter level as an insight bonus to Armor Class and CMD. If you are caught flat-footed or otherwise denied your Dexterity bonus, you also lose this bonus. This supercedes the duelist prestige class feature of the same name.

You may substitute your Wisdom bonus instead of your Intelligence bonus; once this choice is made, it cannot be changed.

Fighter Talent (Ex): Starting at 1st level, and at each odd-numbered level thereafter, select one talent from the Fighter Talents list.

Bonus Feat: The fighter can select any combat feat for which he meets the prerequisites. Alternatively, one bonus feat can be traded for sneak attack (as the rogue class feature of the same name). If this option is selected, sneak attack damage is 1d6 for each time you select this option (so that a fighter spending five bonus feats on Sneak Attack would have sneak attack +5d6).

Advanced Talent (Ex): Starting at 11th level, each time the fighter would gain a new talent, he can select an advanced talent instead, from the list of Advanced Fighter Talents below. If you cannot meet any of the prerequisites for a new advanced talent, you can select a regular talent instead.

Weapon Mastery (Ex): At 20th level, all your critical threats are automatically confirmed, and you treat the critical multiplier of weapons you wield as one higher than normal (a ×2 becomes a ×3, for example).


Fighter Talents

ALIGNED STRIKE

Benefit: As a free action, you can orient your weapon along one alignment component that you possess. For example, if you are chaotic good, you can make your weapon either chaotic- or good-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. This effect lasts until you choose to end it or change it (as a free action) to the other alignment component, or until you no longer wield the weapon.

Ammunition or a thrown weapon affected by this ability remains aligned until it either strikes a target or misses. Aligned strike is a supernatural ability.

Source: Complete Champion.

ARCANE RESISTANCE

Prerequisites: 5th level or higher.

Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus on all saving throws against spells and spell-like abilities for every 4 levels in Fighter you possess (to a maximum of +5 at 20th level).

Source: This talent supercedes the Hexblade class feature of the same name (Complete Warrior), and also the Occult Slayer’s “magical defense” prestige class feature.

ARMOR TRAINING

Prerequisite: Medium Armor Proficiency.

Benefit: Whenever you are wearing armor, you gain the following:
  • An additional +1 armor bonus to your armor class;
  • Reduction of the armor check penalty by 1 (to a minimum of 0)—this benefit stacks with the benefit for ranks in Endurance (-1 per 3 ranks);
  • Reduction of the arcane spell failure chance (if applicable) by 5% (to a minimum of 10%);
  • Increase the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed by your armor by 1; and
  • Damage reduction 1/―.

Finally, you suffer no reduction in your base movement rate when wearing medium armor.

Special: If you are actively using a light or heavy shield (not a buckler, animated shield, or shield spell), you gain your armor training bonus with the shield if no armor is worn. If using both armor and a shield, the benefits listed apply to both your armor and shield.

ARMOR TRAINING, IMPROVED

Prerequisite: Heavy Armor Proficiency; Armor Training.

Benefit: Your armor training benefits improve by 1 (i.e., the AC bonus and maximum Dexterity bonuses increases to +2 each, the armor check penalty is reduced by 2, the damage reduction improves to DR 2/―, etc.).

Additionally, you suffer no reduction in your base movement rate when wearing heavy armor.

Special: This talent can be selected multiple times. Each time, the benefits of your armor training improve by 1.

BONUS FEAT

Benefit: Any time you would normally receive a fighter talent, you can instead choose to gain a bonus combat feat for which you meet the prerequisites.

DEFLECTION, ARMED

Prerequisites: Dex 13, Weapon Finesse.

Benefit: When using a light or one-handed piercing weapon, once per round when you would normally be hit with a ranged weapon, you may deflect it so that you take no damage from it. You must be aware of the attack and not flat-footed.

Attempting to deflect a ranged weapon doesn’t count as an action. Unusually massive ranged weapons (such as boulders or ballista bolts) and ranged attacks generated by spell effects can’t be deflected.

Special: This talent can be substituted for the Improved Unarmed Strike and Deflect Arrows feats for the purpose of qualifying for another feat, such as Exceptional Deflection.

Source: 3.5 System Reference Document, “Epic Feats.” This talent also supercedes the duelist’s “Deflect Arrows” prestige class feature.

DODGE, AGILE

Prerequisites: Dex 13.

Benefit: When wearing light or no armor, and not using a shield, you gain a dodge bonus to AC of +1 per 4 fighter levels you possess. Unlike other named bonuses, dodge bonuses stack.

Source: This simulates the monk’s scaling bonus to AC.

ENERGY RESISTANCE

Benefit: You gain resistance 5 to acid, cold, electricity, fire, force, positive energy, negative energy, or sonic attacks.

Special: You may choose this talent multiple times. Each time, you may choose a different energy type. If you choose the same energy type, the effects stack.

EVASION

Benefit: If you make a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, you instead take no damage. Evasion can be used only if your base movement speed is unimpaired. A helpless character does not gain the benefit of evasion.

GIANT’S STANCE

Benefit: As a swift action, you can adopt a stance allowing you to put extra leverage into your blows. As long as you remain in this stance, you deal damage in melee as if any weapon you wield (or any unarmed strike) was one size greater than actual. You gain no size modifiers; only base damage changes.

This stance immediately ends if you move more than 5 feet for any reason (including being targeted by a bull rush or telekinesis, etc.).

Source: Tome of Battle.

HEXBLADE’S CURSE

Prerequisites: Nongood alignment.

Benefit: Once per day as a free action, you can unleash a curse upon a foe. The target must be visible and within 60 ft. The target takes a –2 penalty on attacks, saves, ability checks, skill checks, and weapon damage rolls for 1 hour thereafter. A successful Will save (DC 10 + ½ your base attack bonus + your Charisma modifier) negates the effect.

For every 4 fighter levels and/or Arcane Warrior levels above 1st (i.e., at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th), you can use this ability an additional time per day, to a maximum equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum once per day). Multiple uses do not stack, and any creature that successfully resists the effects cannot be affected by your Hexblade’s Curse for 24 hours.

Any effect that dispels or eliminates a curse also removes your Hexblade’s Curse.

Source: This talent supercedes the Hexblade class feature of the same name, from Complete Warrior.

INSIGHTFUL STRIKE

Prerequisites: Weapon Finesse.

Benefit: You gain a +1 bonus per class level you possess on all damage rolls with any light weapon, as well as with any weapon that can be used with Weapon Finesse, to a maximum equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum +1).

Targets immune to sneak attacks are immune to your Insightful Strike. You cannot use this ability if your speed is reduced by armor, nor when carrying a medium or heavy load.

Source: This talent supercedes the Swashbuckler class feature of the same name, from Complete Warrior.

KIAI SMITE

Benefit: Once per day, when you shout in combat (as a free action), you gain a bonus to your attack roll equal to your fighter level, to a maximum equal to your Charisma bonus (minimum +1). You receive a bonus on damage equal to twice the attack bonus.

For every 5 levels past 3rd (i.e., at 8th, 13th, and 18th) you gain an additional use per day.

Source: This feat supercedes the Samurai class feature of the same name, from Complete Warrior.

METTLE

Benefit: If you make a successful Fortitude or Will save against an attack that would normally have a lesser effect on a save (such as any spell with a saving throw of Fortitude Partial), you instead completely negate the effect.

Source: This feat supercedes the Hexblade class feature of the same name (Complete Warrior), and also the Pious Templar prestige class feature.

PRECISE STRIKE

Prerequisites: Weapon Finesse.

Benefit: You gain the ability to strike precisely with a light or one-handed piercing weapon, adding your fighter level to damage rolls (maximum +10).

When making a precise strike, you cannot attack with a weapon in your other hand or use a shield. A precise strike only works against living creatures with discernible anatomies. Any creature that is immune to critical hits is also immune to a precise strike, and any item or ability that protects a creature from critical hits also protects a creature from a precise strike.

Source: This talent supercedes the duelist’s class feature of the same name.

PUNISHING STANCE

Benefit: As a swift action, you can adopt a stance that magnifies the power of your strokes, at the cost of defensibility. Each blow you strike in melee while in this stance deals +1d6 damage (not multiplied on a crit). However, you suffer a –2 penalty to AC for as long as you maintain it.

Source: Tome of Battle.

RIPOSTE

Benefit: You can make an attack of opportunity against any creature whose attack you successfully parry (see combat rules), so long as the creature you are attacking is within reach.

SECOND WIND

Benefit: You can recover a number of hit points per day equal to your fighter class level x your Constitution modifier. You can divide this healing however you see fit, but each use requires a swift action. This talent cannot increase your hit points beyond your full normal total.

STALWART

Prerequisites: Endurance 5 ranks.

Benefit: You suffer no penalties when fatigued. If you become exhausted, you suffer penalties as if fatigued instead.

WEAPON TRAINING

Benefit: Choose one weapons group (e.g., light blades, heavy blades, crossbows, etc.), as outlined in the Pathfinder rules. You gain a +1 competence bonus to attacks with these weapons per 4 fighter levels you possess (maximum +5 at 20th level). You also receive a damage bonus with these weapons equal to half your fighter class level.

Special: This talent can be selected multiple times. Each time, choose a different weapons group.

Advanced Talents

ARCHERY, COMBAT

Prerequisites: Dodge, Mobility, Point Blank Shot.

Benefit: You do not incur any attacks of opportunity for firing a bow when threatened.

Normal: Without this talent, a character incurs an attack of opportunity from all opponents who threaten him or her whenever he or she uses a bow.

Source: 3.5 System Reference Document, “Epic Feats.”

AURA OF STABILITY

Benefit: You gain the effects of a dimensional anchor for a number of rounds per day equal to your fighter level. While this ability is active, any creature you grapple is likewise affected. Activating your aura of stability is a standard action.

Source: Planar Handbook.

BLINDING SPEED

Benefit: You can act as if hasted for 1 round per day per 4 fighter levels you possess. The duration of the effect need not be consecutive rounds. Activating this power is a free action.

Special: You can gain this talent multiple times. Each time you take the talent, it grants an additional 5 rounds of haste per day.

Source: 3.5 System Reference Document, “Epic Feats.”

DEFLECTION, EXCEPTIONAL

Prerequisites: Armed Deflection or Deflect Arrows.

Benefit: You can deflect any ranged attacks (including spells that require ranged touch attacks) as if they were arrows.

Source: 3.5 System Reference Document, “Epic Feats.”

DIRE CHARGE

Prerequisites: Improved Initiative, Mobilty

Benefit: If you charge a foe during the first round of combat (or the surprise round, if you are allowed to act in it), you can make a full attack against the opponent charged.

Normal: Without this talent, you may only make a single attack as part of a charge.

Source: 3.5 System Reference Document, “Epic Feats.”

DISPELLING ATTACK

Benefit: Any opponent dealt sneak attack damage by you is affected by a targeted greater dispel magic, targeting the lowest-level spell effect active on the target. The caster level for this ability is equal to your fighter level.

ELABORATE DEFENSE

Prerequisite: Combat Expertise.

Benefit: When using the Combat Expertise feat in melee combat, the dodge bonus to AC is equal to twice the penalty you take to your attack rolls (+2, +2 per 4 points of BAB). If using the total defense action, the bonus to AC is +3, +3 per 4 points of BAB.

Source: This talent supercedes the duelist prestige class feature of the same name. It has been altered somewhat to use the same mechanics as fighting defensively and Combat Expertise.

FORTIFICATION

Prerequisites: Armor training, improved armor training.

Benefit: When you wear heavy armor there is a 25% chance that any critical hit or sneak attack against you is negated and damage is instead rolled normally.

Special: You can select this talent multiple times. Each time, your fortification impoves by an additional 25%.

Source: Dragon magazine #355.

GRIM DETERMINATION

Prerequisites: Endurance 10 ranks, Stalwart.

Benefit: You are immune to the effects of exhaustion and fatigue.

INTERCEPT BLOW

Benefit: Once per round, you can choose for any single attack striking an adjacent ally to automatically hit you instead.

Special: You can select this talent multiple times. Each time, you can intercept one additional blow per round.

Source: Combat rite of the same name, from Monte Cook’s Arcana Evolved.

MOUNTAIN HAMMER

Prerequisites: Vital Strike feat.

Benefit: When you execute a Vital Strike, the bonus damage is doubled, and you automatically ignore any hardness or damage reduction the target possesses.

Source: Tome of Battle.

OPPORTUNIST

Benefit: Once per round, you can make an attack of opportunity against an opponent who has just been struck for damage in melee by another character. This attack counts as your attack of opportunity for that round. Even a character with the Combat Reflexes feat can’t use the Opportunist talent more than once per round.

OVERPOWERING ATTACK

You never waste time wounding your opponent, instead concentrating on delivering one solid strike.

Benefit: As a full-round action, make one attack at your highest base attack bonus. That attack deals double damage, as do any other attacks you make before the start of your next turn.

Source: Players Handbook II.

PIERCE THE FOG OF WAR

Prerequisite: Blind-Fight feat.

Benefit: Through superior tactical reasoning, you deduce the true locations of your enemies. You ignore all concealment when attacking, including invisibility, displacement, and actual fog. Furthermore, you are able to deduce the true caster from the images when facing an opponent under a mirror image spell, and can estimate when and where a blinking opponent will appear (negating that spell’s usual miss chance). By observing a projected image, you can deduce the location of the image’s caster.

ROBILAR’S GAMBIT

By offering Robilar’s Gambit, you absorb damage to place yourself in an advantageous position. This dangerous sacrifice is not for the unfit or the unwise, for one failed retaliatory strike can undo the advantage gained. Lord Robilar, a rash and impetuous fighter, gained fame using this technique against his enemies.

Prerequisite: Combat Reflexes

Benefit: At the start of your action, you can adopt a fighting stance that exposes you to harm but allows you to take advantage of your opponents’ exposed defenses as they reach in to attack you. Anyone who strikes at you gains a +4 bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls against you. In return, they provoke attacks of opportunity from you each time they swing. Resolve your attack of opportunity after your foe’s attack.

Normal: Opponents do not provoke attacks of opportunity by attacking. Further, when an opponent provokes an attack of opportunity, you resolve your attack before he completes the action that provoked the attack of opportunity.

Source: Players Handbook II.

SNEAK ATTACK OF OPPORTUNITY

Prerequisites: Sneak attack, Opportunist.

Benefit: Any attack of opportunity you make is automatically considered a sneak attack.

THREAT ZONE

Prerequisite: Mobility feat.

Benefit: Through training, your awareness and mobility in a small area have expanded considerably. The area you threaten increases by 5 ft. in all directions. This does not mean that the length of your weapon or arms increases; instead, it assumes that you are able to instantaneously move out of your square in order to make an attack of opportunity in the expanded area (and then automatically returns to your square upon completion of the attack). This movement does not count against any movement you are normally entitled to, but any obstruction to that movement also obstructs your threat zone. This free movement does not provoke attacks of opportunities if your threat area overlaps with area that one or more opponents threaten.

Special: This advanced talent can be taken more than once; the effects stack.

Fighter

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