Monday, August 22, 2016

Spicing Up My Fighters

So one of the problems I've always had with B/X and Labyrinth Lord fighters is that they're a touch dull. Their special abilities lay in their high hit points and diverse choices for weapons and armor. They're an awesome, sold class and ease to play. However, these benefits aren't particularly engaging at the table. So I'm adding an optional rule for fighters. Based a bit on the Rules Cyclopedia and a bit on AD&D, here are my thoughts.


  • 1st Level: Fighters may select a single weapon as their specialized weapon. They recieve a +1 to all attack rolls and +2 to all damage rolls when wielding this weapon.
  • 5th Level: The fighter may make two attacks per round when wielding the weapon in which they've specialized.
  • 10th Level: The Fighter's bonus to hit with their specialized weapon increases to +3 and their damage bonus increases to +3 as well.

11 comments:

  1. One thing I'm working on including as an option in Dragon Heresy is the ability for fighters to spend their own HP to inflict more damage on their foe. It turns the high fighter HP into an offensive weapon, but at a cost. It's valuable when you have to, or want to, end a fight RIGHT NOW and can't afford the attrition strategy that decent damage but high HP and good AC lead to.

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  2. The DM in my weekly AD&D game on Roll20 has this for fighters: if they get 10 kills with a weapon, they get +1 to hit. But it has to be that weapon. 25 kills adds +1 to damage. 50 kills something else, and 100 kills the highest. A kill is the blow that fells an opponent, not necessarily a solo fight.
    Swords, axes, and bows have different traits, so there are differences. A fumble damages a weapon, and non-magic weapons have a chance to be damaged. So fighters are motivated to repair even a basic weapon. So the favorite weapon that cost a few gold to start could have lots of money spent repairing it.

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    1. Each fumble adds a -1 penalty to hit. At some point, if not repaired, the weapon actually breaks, if there are enough fumbles.

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    2. There's a ton to recommend this; GURPS Dungeon Fantasy has something like it with the Named Weapon trait - your weapon grows with you, picking up enchantments and whatnot as you get more awesome.

      I think it's a fantastic idea. I can't do it in Dragon Heresy for Reasons, but it's a fantastic idea.

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  3. Wasn't there a rule about fighters being able to have as many attacks per round as their level against less than 1HD creatures as well? In AD&D no? Or was that something my DM made up in High School?

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    1. Yep. It's in a lot of OD&D clones, like S&W White Box. That's why I gave the LL Fighters an extra attack w/ their specialized weapon. That rule about multiple attacks against 1HD creatures doesn't exist in LL.

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  4. Specialization limits fighters. To take a specialization means to forego all the other cool weapons or to forego your class ability.

    Better to give fighters something cool like immunity to fear, extra retainer slots, a flat +1 to damage... Or all three

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  5. I have to say when I played C&C for example, I replaced the Fighter's special ability of Combat Dominance with the effects of the 3e Feat Cleave and then at level 8 they got the next version (Improved Cleave? Greater Cleave?) and it made the fighter far more satisfying to us. YMMV of course ;)

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  6. One idea I had when thinking about the Ranger special foe ability, I thought that Paladins should have it as well for undead and demons/devils. Meanwhile, Fighters just get a +1 to damage per every 2 levels to everything.

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  7. I haven't tried this out yet, but as I move toward increasing simplicity in my B/X LL pickup games I've thought about letting fighters decide how to arrange their hit bonus on a fight-by-fight basis. That might look something like "spend +5 to take an additional attack," "spend +1 to improve a comrade's AC", "spend +x to reduce damage received." I'm shying away for AC bumps for the fighter herself to avoid an absolute tank, but that may not be necessary.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah. While a lot of folks believe specialization is limiting (and they're not wrong), it's a trade off for simplicity.

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