Fighter

The questing knight, the conquering overlord, the king’s champion, the elite foot soldier, the hardened mercenary, and the bandit king—all are fighters. Fighters can be stalwart defenders of those in need, cruel marauders, or gutsy adventurers. Some are among the land’s best souls, willing to face death for the greater good. Others are among the worst, with no qualms about killing for private gain, or even for sport. Fighters who are not actively adventuring may be soldiers, guards, bodyguards, champions, or criminal enforcers. An adventuring fighter might call himself a warrior, a mercenary, a thug, or simply an adventurer.

Of all classes, fighters have the best all-around fighting capabilities (hence the name). Fighters are familiar with many different weapons and all the standard armors. In addition to general fighting prowess, each fighter develops particular specialties of his own. A given fighter may be especially capable with certain weapons, another might be trained to execute specific fancy maneuvers. As fighters gain experience, they get more opportunities to develop their fighting skills. Thanks to their focus on combat techniques, they can master the most difficult ones relatively quickly.

Fighters come to their profession in many ways. Most have had formal training in a noble’s army or at least in the local militia. Some have trained in formal academies. Others are self-taught—unpolished but well tested. A fighter may have taken up the sword as a way to escape the limits of life on the farm, or he may be following a proud family tradition. Fighters share no special identity. They do not see themselves as a group or brotherhood. Those who hail from a particular academy, mercenary company, or lord’s regiment, however, share a certain camaraderie.

In most adventuring parties, the fighter serves as a melee combatant, charging into the fray while his comrades support him with spells, ranged attacks, and other effects. Fighters who favor ranged combat can prove very deadly, though without other melee support, they can find themselves in front-line combat more often than they might prefer.

Fighters belong to the warrior class group. (See the Character Advancement page for more information about class groups.)

Starting Wealth

5d6 × 10 gp (average 175 gp). In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Attacks & Saving Throws

The fighter has a Good base attack bonus, a Good base Fortitude saving throw bonus, and Poor base Reflex and Will save bonuses. (See Table: Attack & Save Bonuses By Level, on the Classes page.)

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A character who begins as a fighter at 1st character level gains proficiency with basic weapons, unarmed attacks, and any four of the following weapon groups:

(See the Weapons page for more information about weapons and weapon groups.)

A character who begins as a fighter at 1st character level gains proficiency with all armor (heavy, light, and medium) and shields (including tower shields).

Class Features

A fighter has the following special abilities.

Bonus Feats

At the levels noted on Table: The Fighter, a fighter gains a bonus feat (these feats are in addition to those gained from normal character advancement). These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as Combat Feats. (See the Feats page for a list of combat feats.)

Retrainable feats

At any given level, the latest bonus feat a fighter has selected is not fixed, and may be replaced with any other bonus feat the fighter qualifies for, with an hour of practice and martial exercises. This may be done once per day. (In effect, the fighter unlearns the last-gained bonus feat, and learns a new one in its place.) When the fighter next gains another bonus feat, he permanently fixes the previous bonus feat, which may now no longer be switched out (but the new one now can be).

When the fighter gains his 9th level bonus combat feat, the previous bonus combat feat does not become set, and the fighter can henceforth switch out his two most recent bonus combat feats instead of just the most recent one.

When the fighter gains his 17th level bonus combat feat, the next-to-last bonus combat feat does not become set, and the fighter can henceforth switch out his three most recent combat feats instead of just the two most recent ones.

Martial Knowledge

A fighter gains a +1 competence bonus per two fighter levels she has, on all Knowledge? checks related to martial arts, combat gear, military tactics and strategy, and all other things martial.

Examples of topics to which this ability might apply include: common battle magic and other uses of arcana for uniquely military or martial purposes; the construction of fortifications, siege equipment, and other devices of war; the uses of certain creatures as combat mounts or other sorts of war-beasts; and so forth.

This ability does not necessarily represent specific knowledge about the wars or militaries of any particular world; it would not, for example, apply to Knowledge checks concerning major battles or other historical events, or Knowledge checks concerning the deeds and reputation of a famous warrior prince.

Martial knowledge allows the fighter to make untrained Knowledge? checks with any DC, not only DC 10, on applicable topics.

Bravery

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.

Armor Training

The armor training ability grants a fighter several benefits.

Armor Check Penalty Reduction: Starting at 3rd level, a fighter learns to be more maneuverable while wearing armor. Whenever he is wearing armor, he reduces the armor check penalty by 1 (to a minimum of 0).

Every four levels thereafter (7th, 11th, and 15th), the fighter’s armor check penalty from armor he wears is further reduced by 1 (to a maximum −4 reduction of the armor check penalty).

This reduction does not apply to the armor check penalty from a shield. It also does not apply to any armor check penalty from encumbrance—even if that encumbrance is due to the weight of armor.

Additional Dodged Attacks: At 11th level, a fighter’s armor training grants him the ability to attempt to dodge one additional attack per round while wearing medium or heavy armor, in excess of the normal limit (up to 3 attacks per round in medium armor or 2 attacks per round in heavy armor).

(See Combat Reactions? for more information on dodging.)

This ability does not grant the fighter the ability to make more combat reactions in a round, only increases the limit on how many of those combat reactions may be used to dodge attacks.

Reduced Armor Encumbrance: In addition, at 7th level, a fighter ignores one-half of his armor’s weight when determining encumbrance, and increases the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed by his armor by 1. At 15th level, a fighter entirely ignores his armor’s weight when determining encumbrance, and increases the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed by his armor by an additional 1.

Weapon Training

At 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, and 16th levels, the fighter gains proficiency with a new weapon group, selected from the groups listed under Weapon and Armor Proficiency (he cannot select a weapon group with which he is already proficient).

Additionally, at each of these levels, the fighter gains Weapon Focus with any one weapon group with which he is proficient. The fighter may select one of the weapon groups listed above (including the group just selected via weapon training, if he wishes), or any other weapon group with which the fighter qualifies for Weapon Focus (see the feat description for details).

Armor Mastery

At 19th level, whenever a fighter wears armor, he gains an amount of DR/— equal to one-half the armor value of the armor he is wearing (including any enhancement bonus), rounded down.

This damage reduction applies only against attacks of which the fighter is aware. It does not apply when the fighter is immobilized or pinned. This DR does not stack with damage reduction gained when blocking an attack (see Combat Reactions? for more information on blocking).

Weapon Mastery

Starting at 20th level, whenever a fighter gains proficiency with a new weapon or weapon group, he automatically gains Weapon Focus with that weapon or group.

The fighter also gains a +4 bonus on critical confirmation rolls when using any weapon with which he has Weapon Focus. In addition, the fighter gains a +4 bonus to his AC against attempts to disarm him of such weapons (this stacks with the benefit of Weapon Focus).

Fighter variants

The following are the class variants available to player character fighters in the Worlds of Adventure campaign.

Foehammer

(VARIANT CLASS, DWARF ONLY)

While the axe is the most famous dwarven weapon, the hammer is at the heart of dwarves’ heritage as forgemasters and warriors alike.

A fighter who selects the foehammer variant class has the following class features:

Sledgehammer

This ability replaces armor training 1.

At 3rd level, when wielding a hammer, the fighter gains a +2 circumstance bonus on combat maneuver checks made to push, overrun, sunder, or trip.

Hammer to the Ground

This ability replaces armor training 2.

At 7th level, when the fighter succeeds at a push combat maneuver, he can make a trip combat maneuver at the end of the push. If he does not move with the target, the force of his blow may still trip his foe, but he takes a −5 penalty on the combat maneuver check to trip.

Rhythmic Blows

This ability replaces the bonus combat feat gained at 9th level.

At 9th level, each time that the fighter hits a target, he gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls against that target. This bonus stacks with each hit against that target, but lasts only until the end of the fighter’s turn.

Piledriver

This ability replaces armor training 3.

At 11th level, as a standard action, the fighter may make a single melee attack with a hammer. If the attack hits, he may make a push or trip combat maneuver against the target of his attack as a free action. This combat maneuver does not provoke an attack of opportunity, even if it fails.

Ground Breaker

This ability replaces the bonus combat feat gained at 13th level.

At 13th level, as a full-round action, the fighter may strike the ground with his hammer. If the attack deals more damage than the floor's hardness, the space he occupies and all adjacent squares become difficult terrain. Creatures in those squares, except for the fighter, are knocked prone (Reflex save, DC 10 + one-half his fighter level + his Strength modifier, negates).

Devastating Blow

This ability replaces armor mastery.

At 19th level, as a standard action, the fighter may make a single melee attack with a hammer at a −5 penalty. If the attack hits, it is treated as a critical threat. Weapon special abilities that activate on a critical hit also activate if this critical hit is confirmed.

Phalanx soldier

(VARIANT CLASS)

The phalanx soldier specializes in defensive tactics, using his shield to guard himself and his allies and forming a shield wall like an unbreakable anvil against which his enemies break.

A phalanx soldier has the following class features.

Stand Firm

This ability replaces bravery.

At 2nd level, a phalanx soldier gains a +1 bonus to AC against push, overrun, and trip attempts. This bonus also applies on saves against trample attacks and against any effect that would forcibly move the fighter. The bonus increases by +1 for every four levels beyond 2nd.

Phalanx Fighting

This ability replaces armor training 1.

At 3rd level, when a phalanx soldier wields a shield, he can use any polearm or spear of his size as a one-handed weapon (including those which are normally two-handed weapons).

Ready Pike

This ability replaces the bonus combat feat gained at 5th level.

At 5th level, a phalanx soldier can, once per encounter, ready a weapon with the brace property as a combat reaction, gaining a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls. For every four levels beyond 5th, this bonus increases by +1, and he can use the ability one additional time per encounter. He cannot use this ability when flat-footed unless he has the Combat Reflexes feat.

Deft Shield

This ability replaces armor training 2 and 3.

At 7th level, the armor check penalty from a shield and the attack roll penalty are reduced by −1 for a phalanx soldier using a tower shield. At 11th level, these penalties are reduced by −2.

Shield Ally

This ability replaces the bonus combat feats gained at 9th, 13th, and 17th levels.

At 9th level, when a phalanx fighter is using a heavy or tower shield, he can, as a move action, provide one-quarter cover (+2 cover bonus to AC, +1 bonus on Reflex saves) to himself and all adjacent allies until the beginning of his next turn.

At 13th level, he can instead provide one-half cover (+4 cover bonus to AC, +2 bonus on Reflex saves) to one adjacent ally until the beginning of his next turn. (This cover does not allow allies to hide.)

At 17th level, he can provide one-half cover to himself and all adjacent allies, or he can provide three-quarters cover (+7 cover bonus to AC, +3 bonus on Reflex saves) to a single adjacent ally.

Irresistible Advance

This ability replaces armor training 4.

At 15th level, a phalanx fighter gains a bonus on push and overrun combat maneuver checks. This bonus depends on the type of shield used: +1 with a buckler, +2 with a light shield, +3 with a heavy shield, or +4 with a tower shield.

Shielded Fortress

This ability replaces weapon mastery.

At 20th level, a phalanx fighter gains a +4 bonus to AC against attempts to disarm or sunder his shield. He gains any one shield-related feat that he does not already have as a bonus feat (if no such feats exist, he gains a single combat feat of his choice as a bonus feat).

Tactician

(VARIANT CLASS)

While many fighters focus on the fundamentals of melee and ranged combat, there are those who are trained to view the bigger picture on the battlefield. These fighters use their training and tactical acumen to overcome challenges that would overwhelm mere brute strength and skill at arms.

A tactician has the following class features.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

A tactician is not proficient with heavy armor or tower shields.

Bonus Feats

A tactician may choose any teamwork feat, in addition to combat feats, as a bonus feat.

Tactical Awareness

This ability replaces bravery.

At 2nd level, a tactician gains a +1 bonus on initiative checks. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels after 2nd level (to a maximum of +5 at 18th level).

Group Training

This ability replaces the bonus feat gained at 5th level.

Starting at 5th level, when the tactician learns a new bonus feat in place of his most recently learned feat by taking an hour to practice, if that feat is a teamwork feat, the tactician can grant this feat to up to a number of his allies equal to his Intelligence bonus. The allies must spend the same time in practice and martial exercises along with the tactician. The tactician’s allies retain this feat for the rest of the day. (The tactician himself retains the feat until he retrains it, as normal.)

Cooperative Combatant

This ability replaces armor training 3.

At 11th level, a tactician can use a combat reaction to aid an ally’s attack and defense at the same time. If the tactician makes the combat reaction in response to an attack his ally makes, the ally gains a +2 bonus to their attack roll and also gains a +2 bonus to AC against the next attack made by the same opponent. Likewise, if the tactician makes the combat reaction in response to his ally being attacked, the ally gains a +2 bonus to AC against that attack and a +2 bonus to their next attack roll against the same opponent.

Battle Insight

This ability replaces armor training 4.

At 15th level, as a swift action, a tactician can grant his Intelligence modifier as an insight bonus on the attack rolls made by a single ally within line of sight that can both see and hear the tactician. That ally gains the bonus until the end of the tactician’s next turn. The tactician can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Intelligence modifier.

Unbreakable

(VARIANT CLASS, HUMAN ONLY)

The unbreakable fighter is a warrior of indomitable will, unstoppable and implacable once he has set his mind upon a course of action. The unbreakable fighter endures any trial to do what must be done, and when his mind is set toward a goal, nothing can stop him from achieving it, though many may try. He is a juggernaut and a zealot, supremely confident in his own abilities.

An unbreakable fighter has the following class features.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

An unbreakable fighter is not proficient with tower shields.

Tough as Nails

This ability replaces the fighter’s 1st-level bonus feat.

An unbreakable fighter gains Endurance and Diehard as bonus feats.

Unflinching

This ability replaces bravery.

At 2nd level, an unbreakable fighter gains a +1 bonus on Will saves against mind-affecting effects. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels after 2nd level (to a maximum of +5 at 18th level).

Heroic Recovery

This ability replaces the bonus combat feat gained at 5th level.

At 5th level, an unbreakable fighter gains the Heroic Recovery feat as a bonus feat, if he does not have it already. If he already has this feat, the unbreakable fighter can choose any combat feat instead. In addition, he may use this feat one additional time per day for every four levels after 5th (to a maximum of 4 times per day at 17th level).

Heroic Defiance

This ability replaces the bonus combat feat gained at 9th level.

At 9th level, an unbreakable fighter gains the Heroic Defiance feat as a bonus feat, if he does not have it already. If he already has this feat, the unbreakable fighter can choose any combat feat instead. In addition, he may use this feat one additional time per day for every four levels after 9th (to a maximum of 3 times per day at 19th level).

Quick Recovery

This ability replaces armor training 3.

At 11th level, an unbreakable fighter needs only 15 minutes of rest or to be subject to a healing spell or effect to recover from being fatigued.

Stalwart

This ability replaces the bonus combat feat gained at 13th level.

At 13th level, when an unbreakable fighter succeeds on a Fortitude or Will save against a spell or spell-like ability that has a partial effect even on a successful save, he is completely unaffected by it.

Unlimited Endurance

This ability replaces armor training 4.

At 15th level, when an unbreakable fighter is exhausted, he only suffers the effects of fatigue instead.

Miraculous Recovery

This ability replaces the bonus combat feat gained at 17th level.

At 17th level, when an unbreakable fighter makes a saving throw to recover from an ongoing effect, he may roll twice and choose the better roll.

Unbreakable Mind

This ability replaces weapon mastery.

At 20th level, an unbreakable fighter becomes nearly impossible to sway with honeyed words or magic. When he is subject to any mind-affecting effect that has a saving throw, he can roll twice and take the better result.

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Fighter