Saturday, July 16, 2022

OSR: Fixing Fifth Edition: The Fighter (part 1)

This is a post intended for those poor fools stuck playing 5th edition or other non-OSR games.  God bless them and keep them far away from sensible games and gamers.

But, in certain games, specifically in 5E, Casters are ridiculously overpowered.  This is well-known.

Someone, an anonymous individual from somewhere, described D&D as a system based around magic, where casters are privileged over martials.  It is a game where playing a caster is better and if you're not playing one, you're sub-optimal.  And while I'm not sure if that's actually true, I certainly understand the perspective and feel it has merit.  

After all, a 17th level Wizard can control time, teleport, travel to other universes, command the elements and do all sorts of other ridiculous feats.  And what can a 17th level fighter do?  Hit, really hard? 

No, this is unacceptable.  I resolve to fix this.

Part 2 of these fixes can be found here

by Abaddon from KSBD
The Sword that Cuts Heaven:

All Fighters, past a certain level, start to learn how to manipulate their Chi.  Chi is life force that flows through all living things.  After a lifetime of training, the Fighter has learned to channel and incorporate his Chi into his strikes. 

(Does this step on the Monk's toes a little?  Yes, but shut up).

At 9th level, all Fighters gain +X Chi points, where Chi is their current CON modifier.  From this point on, whenever they gain a level, they gain +1 Chi point.  Chi points are used up when used to activate technique, but recovered after a long rest. 

Chi points can be used to perform one of the following Forbidden Techniques, also called .  These techniques are learned from ancient Fighters and Masters who dwell in scenic, isolated locations- meditating under waterfalls and balancing atop bamboo poles, doing Tai Chi on cliffs overlooking huge banks of fog, etc.  They can also be learned from Gods of War and Immortal Warriors.

At 14th level, you gain the ability to recover 1d4+[CON modifier] Chi points after a short rest.

At 17th level, if you enter a battle without any Chi points, you automatically recover 4 Chi points up to your maximum.     

Secret, Forbidden Techniques:


1- Jump Good.  By spending 1 Chi point, you can leap up to X*100' in the air, where X is your STR modifier.  You take fall damage as normal, however, so be careful. 
2- Sword that Cuts Heaven.  By spending 1 Chi point, you can imbue a blade with Chi, lending it incredible sharpness.  This blade gains the ability for 1 round to cut through anything non-magical or non-superhard.  Referee's Discretion applies on whether or not something can be cut through.  Depending on your damage roll, living creatures get a save.  If living creatures have 3x or less HD than you and are hit by the Sword that Cuts Heaven, they must immediately save or die.  Creatures with less HD than you make a save with disadvantage.  On a failed save, they die.  On a successful save, they lose X HD, where X is your naked damage roll.  Creatures with more HD have advantage on their save and on a failed save, lose X HD, where X is your naked damage roll.  On a successful save, however, they merely take damage equal to the damage roll + modifiers + Y, where Y is the ability score you use to attack (usually STR, but can be another).   
3- Blizzard of Steel.  By spending 1 Chi point, you can simultaneously attack every creature within range of your weapon.  You may make only 1 attack per creature.  If using a ranged weapon, you must have sufficient ammo to make the attacks.   
4- Light-Speed Slash.  By spending 1 Chi point, you can attack before anyone else does.  When you attack, all creatures must save.  Those who fail their save do not even see your attack, only the aftermath.  If the creature you're attacking fails the save, it takes a -4 penalty to AC as it could not defend itself.   
5- Faster than Thought.  By spending 1 Chi point, you gain the ability to vastly increase your speed, enabling you to rush forward and perform superhuman feats of superhuman speed for the rest of the round.  While moving this fast, you have advantage on all checks made to evade, dodge or avoid things.  You can also perform feats of super-athleticism, such as wall-running, running up vertical surfaces, running across the surface of water, catching arrows or dodging projectiles that should be unavoidable, etc.  
6- Steel-Rending Fists.  By spending 1 Chi point, for one round, you enhance your strength to the point that you can pull metal apart like it's cheap cloth. 
7- Forged on the Rock of Eternity.  By spending 1 Chi point, you recover 1d20+CON modifier HP.  This HP is temporary and only lasts for 1 hour or until consumed.  
8- Arrow out of Time.  By spending 1 Chi point, you may fire a projectile and ignore any long-range limitations.  You could fire an arrow at a target on the other side of the kingdom or throw a javelin into the King's table from the hill overlooking the keep.  Your accuracy is likely to be much worse, especially if you can't see your target, but you can get the projectile there.    
9- Annihilating Blow.  By spending 1 Chi point, if you've successfully attacked a creature, you can roll your damage again and add the result to your previous damage roll.   
10- Blood-Stained Symphony.  The war-song pulses in your blood, making you incredibly hard to kill.  The movements of the other combatants is obvious, telegraphed like that a dance partner in a performance.  By spending 1 Chi point, you can make this music audible to everyone.  All creatures who can hear you speak must save.  On a failed save, they gain disadvantage on attacks and defense against you, as they being dragged along to the beat of the drums of war.  On a successful save, they take 1d4 damage a round being near you and must save each round or become frightened.     
11- Infinity Cleave.  If you kill a creature as an action, by spending 1 Chi point, you can make another attack against any other creature in range.  If you kill that creature, you may make another attack.  For each kill, you gain another attack.  You may continue attacking until you run out of enemies in range or fail to kill an enemy in your next blow.    
12- Perfect Parry.  By spending 1 Chi point, as a reaction, you can reduce the damage of an incoming attack by your weapon's damage dice plus your Atk modifier (STR+Proficiency).  You can parry anything.  Reducing the damage of an incoming attack neutralizes it, as if it never happened. 
13- Knight Takes Pawn.  By spending 1 Chi point, you can teleport to anywhere within visual range, as long as it is within melee range of an enemy combatant.  This is not useable outside of combat. 
14- Wings of War.  By spending 1 Chi point, you can grant yourself a flight speed equal to double your normal speed for 1 minute.  After the duration ends, you lose your flight speed.  You can also hover in the air while this technique is active. 
15- Mountain Splits the Earth.  By spending 1 Chi point, you can strike the Earth and create a rippling wave that passes through it, triggering a localized Earthquake.  All creatures on the ground must save.  On a successful save, they take 1d10 damage and are knocked prone, while on a failure they take 2d10 damage and are knocked prone.  Fragile or poorly constructed buildings also have a chance of collapsing and if they do, all creatures inside take damage as per normal. 
16- Awaken the Butcher Gods.  By spending X Chi points, where X is the number of Chi points you spend, you grow X spiritual limbs.  These limbs have a 10' reach and do 1d8+your highest mental modifier+proficiency bonus damage.  They can be used to make an attack against any creature within range.  You also gain X reactions and can use these to parry any projectiles or attacks against you using your spiritual limbs.  Your spiritual limbs remain for X rounds, then disappear.  
17- Assume the Form of Cataclysm.  By spending X Chi points, you can grow X size categories for X rounds.  When enlarged, you increase the number of damage dice you roll by 1 per size duration on a hit and take a -2 penalty to AC per size category.   
18- Reap the Whirlwind.  When you make a melee attack, you can spend 1 Chi point to enhance the blow to the point where it displaces a huge amount of air, pushing it forward in a destructive wave.  All creatures adjacent to the creature you attacked must save or take damage as if you hit them with the melee attack. 
19- Attain the Mental Nirvana.  You enter a state of profound stillness, removing your mind from your body and dwell within the Plane of Blood.  While in this state, you can command your body via your Chi point.  For each Chi point you spend, you may act normally and use Forbidden Techniques as per normal.  During this time, you cannot feel pain, nor fear, nor be affected by any form of mental control or affect.  You can still be possessed, as your soul is not there, but you can end this separation at any point.  Additionally, even if your body is dying during this time, removing your soul will cause your body to be able to keep fighting, even if it is fatally wounded.     
20- Murder the Gods and Topple their Thrones.  By spending 1 Chi point, for the next round, any creature that attacks and damages you, if it has a lower number of HD than you, takes X damage, where is the difference in HD.  If you attack a creature with a greater number of HD than you, they take the difference in damage in additional to any damage you deal to them as a result of a successful attack. 

by Abaddon from KSBD

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, definitely a rad idea. I showed it to some of my buddies as an example of how to give fighters abilities that are as useful or more useful than a Magic-User's spells.