D&D -- Warriors vs. Fighters

Epoch

aka Mike Sullivan
Validated User
#1
Okay, here's a bizarre little conundrum I thought up in the shower.

Suppose your stereotypical starting-out 1st level D&D group decides that they need a little back-up muscle before hitting the dungeon. In town, they hire a 1st level Warrior.

Against all odds, the Warrior survives. Repeatedly. Eventually, the party levels, and the Warrior's been there the entire time, facing the same challenges. He should level too, right (if not right then, then at some point he'll level, right)?

What's he become? A Warrior/2 or a Fighter/1-Warrior/1?

If you answered "A Warrior/2," under what circumstances do you think a Warrior can multiclass to a Fighter?

If you answered "A Fighter/1-Warrior/1," under what circumstances would anyone ever get a second level of Warrior?

In both cases, if a PC who started off as a Fighter fulfilled the requirements for levelling as a Warrior, but not a Fighter (whatever you think those requirements are), would you force her to level as a Warrior?

I've got some answers to all of the above of my own, but I'm not thrilled with them...
 

Egil

New member
#2
F1W1

You progress as a warrior by drilling with the other soldiers. In adventuring and doing wacko stuff, you progress as a fighter. You could also progress as a fighter if you went to some funky castillian/Mongol/balinese academy, I guess.

But anyone who has progressed as a hero is a fighter. Adventuring progress- PC classes. Stay-at-home advancement- NPC classes.

Personally, I would house-rule the guy being retroactively changed and become a Fighter 2.
IMHO, etc.
 

Owlbear Camus

Autothrusters engaged!
Validated User
#3
Kinda with Egil here

The warrior is somebody who knows how to use weapons pretty well, drills in combat, and is generally a good regular soldier and a cut above the typical conscript, and formidable when supporting a larger force. He does not lust for combat, but is not a coward when it finds him.

The fighter is someone who's every muscle and sinew knows how to turn any combat encounter to his advantage. The fighter can work as part of a group, but is comfortable fighting a pitched battle with only his considerable skills against one or more dangerous foes. He actively seeks these battles to continually test his metle and learn new tricks.

Thus if the warrior remains part of the Royal Army/town guard/what have you and continues drilling and going on the occasional border patrol, he'll gain levels as a warrior. If he suddenly gives up the regular soldier's life and begins to seek out combat where he can find it against exotic foes, he's bound to learn some tricks they don't teach in drill (if he survives) and start progressing as a true fighter.

My 2 copper soviergns.

Regards,
Andrew
 
N

NPC Peter

Guest
#4
No-Brainer

You can always multi-class freely. The Warrior multiclasses to fighter (if the GM decides he chooses to) the minute he becomes important enough for the GM to want him to. If the Warrior is under the control of the player, it's a topic for player GM negotiation.

As in:
PLayer: "I want Ungrah the Henchman to multiclass into..Cleric now. He's been a warrior long enough. He decides to have a religious epihany and becomes a cleric of St. Cuthbert."
GM: "Are you doing this just because your party lost it's other cleric?"
Other player rolling up new character: "I'm playing a barbarian this time. Screw you guys!"
Player: "uhm. No! He's a dedicated follower of St. Cuthbert! Seriously. It's a big moment in his life".
GM: "Oh all right. But he's my NPC now. And he worships Pelor. I had that in his background all along".
Player: "Fine."
Other Player:"Fine. And I'm a barbarian this time!"
GM: "Fine"

Warriors are a whole class dedicated to 'red-shirts'. Theyre rank and file soldiers. If onew of them sticks around long enought and the GM wishes to- he can multiclass into anything he wants. He can even take a prestige class. I treat NPC classes just like PC classes.
 

Epoch

aka Mike Sullivan
Validated User
#5
To Egil and Andrew:

So, what's the situation if a Warrior type (say, a guy who's been through basic training in the army) gets into a war, against other basically pretty conventional Warriors? Real combat experience, but not "adventuring" per se? When such a Warrior levels, does he get a Fighter level or another Warrior level?

How much/often do you see people levelling as a Warrior based on drilling (for which, to my knowledge, no XP is awarded in the game-as-written)?

To Egil only,

In the war case, do you see the entire army becoming Fighters (a la your house rule)?

To Peter,

I don't think that the "you're always free to multiclass" answer is very compelling. You are also free to choose your initial class, by the rules, and yet Warrior is a flatly inferior class to Fighter -- I can't see anyone choosing it for reasons other than that they think it makes the most IC sense to be a Warrior instead of a Fighter. So the question becomes, when does it make IC sense for the character to choose to start off a Warrior/gain a Warrior level?
 

B. Miller

Genghis Khan's Love Child
Validated User
#6
I have no problem with a 'red shirt' warrior fighting in a campaign and advancing levels as a warrior. If that's contrary to some rule or other that I didn't notice, whatever...I still think it's fine. The guy doesn't learn a new way of life by being the muscle like he's always been.
 

Owlbear Camus

Autothrusters engaged!
Validated User
#7
So, what's the situation if a Warrior type (say, a guy who's been through basic training in the army) gets into a war, against other basically pretty conventional Warriors? Real combat experience, but not "adventuring" per se? When such a Warrior levels, does he get a Fighter level or another Warrior level?
For my money, it's based on the character of his service.

If the "Real combat experience" is that of a typical army, marching or standing watch at least three-quarters of the time, and fighting battles using conventional tactics as part of a unit, then he remains a warrior.

If he somehow gets into a situation where he must hone and rely on unconventional and inventive one-on-one or one-on-a dozen/hundred combat techniques (unit wiped out and he alone must break back through the lines in a harrowing gauntlet, has several medal-of-honor-worthy fits of superheroic singlehanded valor...) he can level as a fighter, if he survives.

Conan: Fighter (Well, barbarian...but...)
Temple of Set Guard #20: Warrior

Rambo: Fighter (/ranger maybe, but I'm trying to illustrate a point)
Typical Undistingished does-his-job WWII Dogface: Warrior

Boba Fett: Fighter
Stormtrooper TK-421: Warrior

To me it's a matter of how they approach combat. If they continue to do so in a conventional manner as part of a regular force, they remain a warrior. If they begin to develop extrodinary talents that make them individually dangerous and constantly seek out new challanges, they become fighters.

So a warrior might pick up a level or two of fighter in a "regular" campaign if he really distinguishes himself. To continue to advance, however, he'll more than likely have to become an adventurer. There's nothing more to be learned by cutting down rank-and-file soldiers who all use fairly conventional tactics. Now he's got to seek out and battle more exotic opponents.

Regards,
Andrew
 

Egil

New member
#8
In an army, warrior. If he enters some unusual, and dangerous and interesting situation during the war (such as holding off the enemy alone), perhaps fighter.


Let's see- the differences between them. Fighters have super-luck and resilience (hit points) and they know a lot of cool moves (feats). Unless the soldier is naturally excptional and starts as a fighter, war is not enough to give him training as a hero. To be a fighter instead of a warrior, you gotta do weird stuff. Like being trained by otherworldly warriorwomen in the art of decapitating people with shields.

Drilling advancement - I wouldn't give it to PCs. I use the Star Wars experience convention, which is based on adventure length, and that's the experience they get. If they have as a goal improving themselves (such as going to train under the aforementioned Scathach) I give them a free feat.

War advancement - I'd say every major battle, or six months of continual war, gives one level of warrior. Elite light troops would be more likely rogues than fighters, elite heavy troops high-level warriors. (Perhaps with one or two levels of fighter and unit-related feats, in the case of the very finest Varangian guard/Spartans/White Guard of the Khan guys.)
 

Lizard

Global Village Grouch
Validated User
#9
Did he have a chance (even in 'down time') to practice with a wide range of weapons and armor, or did he fight 'unusual' creatures, not just run-of-the-mill humanoids? Did he fight a LOT -- i.e, struggling for his life on a daily basis, not just "Sigh, another drunken brawl to break up"? Did any of the fighters in the party work with him and train him?

If any/all of these are true, make him a fighter. If he was just doing basic security work, fighting off 'normal' orcs or wolves, he's probably still a warrior.

In my campaign, the very small party ended up with an over enthusiastic tagalong from the village guard. In metagame terms, they referred to him as 'the walking hit points'. However, over the course of the game, he kept gaining levels, and, unknown to the player until recently, multiclassed to paladin a while ago. He always was overly ethical, moral, and righteous, so I ruled he was 'called' and accepted. They didn't realize what he had become until he laid on hands during combat. It was a cool moment.
 

MetaDude

Married to a Scientist!
Validated User
#10
Epoch said:
Suppose your stereotypical starting-out 1st level D&D group decides that they need a little back-up muscle before hitting the dungeon. In town, they hire a 1st level Warrior.

Against all odds, the Warrior survives. Repeatedly. Eventually, the party levels, and the Warrior's been there the entire time, facing the same challenges. He should level too, right (if not right then, then at some point he'll level, right)?

What's he become? A Warrior/2 or a Fighter/1-Warrior/1?
The answer depends on what the NPC wants. Like a player character, NPCs have a choice in what class they want to advance in.

If the NPC was of a mind to eventually go back home, advancing as a Warrior would make more sense. If the NPC decided he liked this whole adventuring thing, he might choose to progress as a Fighter. Maybe he'll get religion, and become a priest!
 
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