D&D -- Warriors vs. Fighters

Epoch

aka Mike Sullivan
Validated User
#11
General replies:

1. Several people have mentioned variations on an argument that says something like, "Well, if he just fights infrequently, he remains a Warrior."

That doesn't ring true to me. Surely infrequent fighting/challenge affects his <i>rate of experience gain</i>, not the eventual place where he puts his experience.

And, again, I have to ask whether or not people proposing such a doctrine ascribe to the law of PC equivalency -- suppose that a PC Fighter gains a level after three years of game time with only interspersed fighting. Do you force him to gain a Warrior level because he wasn't fighting enough?

2. Several people have also mentioned something about the "character of service," the type of fights that the Warrior gets into, the idea being that boring fights get you Warrior levels and exciting fights get you Fighter levels. This is more or less my own answer, but I feel it's kind of unsatisfactory.

Again, I have to ask whether or not PC's are subject to this rule. And what constitutes an "exciting" fight, anyhow? Doesn't disciplined troop movements in an army situation sound like it might be just as good if not better for your fighting prowess as hacking and slashing one-on-one?

Getting into specific replies:

MetaDude
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!
What does it mean, "What the NPC wants"? Presumeably, the NPC doesn't think in class terms.

The Warrior class is <i>strictly inferior</i> to the Fighter class. In all ways, they are either equivalent, or the Fighter class is superior. (I wasn't sure if Warriors got 3 skill points per level until I just checked. They don't.) Insofar as any rational being in the game world can "choose" their class, it always makes sense to choose Fighter. Why would it make more sense to choose Warrior if you're planning on going back home? All that means is that, once you're back home, if wolves come after you at night, or orcs raid your village, or you get into a bar fight, you're less capable. You're not more capable of farming or whatever.

Lizard:
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?
Suppose that you had a party of 1 Rogue, 1 Sorceror, 2 Priests, and 1 Bard. The Rogue decides to multi-class to Fighter. There are no Fighters in the party to drill him or train him, and we'll say that the party has been consistantly busy, but not doing <i>so</i> much fighting -- still a pretty fair amount, but not tons.

Do you deny the Rogue the opportunity to multi-class to Fighter, but offer him a Warrior level?

<i>Note: I've been using the Law of PC Equivalency argument a lot here. Veterans of r.g.f.a will note it as a restatement of the Simulationist doctrine that "PC's don't glow" -- that is, that PC's are remarkable only in terms of what they do, not from any meta-world principle (like "They're the protagonists"). One totally valid way of answering this concern is to say, "Well, the PC's are special in ways that don't have in-world causes. Deal." Which is fine -- I'm just looking to see if anyone has other ways of dealing with the issue that meet my snotty standards.</i>
 

Chall

Registered User
Validated User
#12
I don't play D&D much but I'll throw my 2 cents to the wolves.

Why not limit the classes? If you want a cinematic fantasy world then every fighting type guy goes up in fighter. Level determines how good of a fighting type guy the guy really is. If you want grity, dark, and 'realistic' world maybe you should limit everyone to warriors. Limiting classes does limit choices but I'd guess it'd keep everything consistant. (This is how the fighting classes work and we'll stick to it damn it).

This is from a non-D 20 guy so if you take this with a grain of salt I would not be offened.

Chall
 

Epoch

aka Mike Sullivan
Validated User
#13
Chall said:
I don't play D&D much but I'll throw my 2 cents to the wolves.

Why not limit the classes? If you want a cinematic fantasy world then every fighting type guy goes up in fighter. Level determines how good of a fighting type guy the guy really is. If you want grity, dark, and 'realistic' world maybe you should limit everyone to warriors. Limiting classes does limit choices but I'd guess it'd keep everything consistant. (This is how the fighting classes work and we'll stick to it damn it).

This is from a non-D 20 guy so if you take this with a grain of salt I would not be offened.
Hey, Chall.

Disallowing the "Fighter" class is a little problematic. Let me give you some background here:

"Warrior" is a class meant primarily for the use of NPC's -- it's meant to simulate rank and file soldiers, policemen, or other people who are combat oriented, but non-elite.

"Fighter" is a class meant for PC's and important NPC's -- it's meant to simulate gifted combat people, elite troops, specially trained attackers, etc.

You could get rid of the "Warrior" class without major problems -- PC's would be a little less impressive in terms of comparing them to NPC's, but everyone would live. If you got rid of the Fighter class, however, game balance would immediately suffer -- other PC classes are meant to be balanced against Fighters, not against strictly inferior Warriors.

I like the Fighter/Warrior division, conceptually, and would like to be able to use it -- but the issue of how each advances does seem to me like there are some sticky points.
 

B. Miller

Genghis Khan's Love Child
Validated User
#14
I guess I took a simpler view of the NPC classes than many of you when I got the books...I saw them as NPC classes. You know? If the guy is an NPC, leave him a warrior. If he advances, fine, he'll have applied what his instruction and abilities prepared him for, which is to fight in a certain way. He's not special ops, he's a grunt, but fighting is still fighting, and I don't really put that much thought into the mechanics of combat where NPC's are concerned. Yeah they shoot their arrows and swing their swords, just how they were trained or not trained to do. An NPC wizard won't be getting levels as a fighter when he's out of spells and starts swinging his stick to save his hide in my campaign, so I don't see any reason unless the story DEMANDS it to give a warrior a level of fighter for stepping away from the gate to swing his sword.
 

Chall

Registered User
Validated User
#15
Epoch said:


Hey, Chall.

Disallowing the "Fighter" class is a little problematic. Let me give you some background here:

You could get rid of the "Warrior" class without major problems -- PC's would be a little less impressive in terms of comparing them to NPC's, but everyone would live. If you got rid of the Fighter class, however, game balance would immediately suffer -- other PC classes are meant to be balanced against Fighters, not against strictly inferior Warriors.
Yeah I guess your right. For game balance if you got rid of the fighter then you would have to get rid of all the other PC classes as well for game balance. Do you think that would make a more gritty game that would work? Or would it still be too unbalanced on a PC vs PC basis. (I also guess that the NPC classes wouldn't be able to stand up much against most monsters but that could be an attraction. Suddenly and Ogre may become more Mythical and less cannon fodder. I guess it depends on your playing style though).
 

Owlbear Camus

Autothrusters engaged!
Validated User
#16
2. Several people have also mentioned something about the "character of service," the type of fights that the Warrior gets into, the idea being that boring fights get you Warrior levels and exciting fights get you Fighter levels. This is more or less my own answer, but I feel it's kind of unsatisfactory.
I don't know...

Look at a battle scene in Braveheart. When the skirmishers clash, it's a massed tangle confusion of swinging swords and flying limbs. There's a few tricks the rank-and-file can learn to increase their survivability, but at the individual/unit level, it's pretty straightforward. You follow orders and march over to stick the other guys with swords while avoiding getting stuck yourself.

Contrast this with a duel scene from Rob Roy or a Star Wars film, and maybe I'm kind of getting my perspective across.

Would you consider someone who always played Tic-Tac-Toe and Checkers to be a "high level" "PC" gamer? Probably not. They most likely don't even qualify as a "true gamer" to you, even if they are the checkers effin' grandmaster. In order to become a well-rounded and lethal gamer, they'll need to tackle increasingly more complex and difficult gaming challenges, like Warhammer or Axis and Allies or something. A poor analogy, perhaps, but perhaps it serves to cast a dim light on the point I'm trying to make.

Regards,
Andrew
 

StormBringer

Registered User
Validated User
#17
Epoch said:
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...
What I am getting here is that Epoch is wondering about the mechanical differences between the two, not the genre distinctions. In other words, what mechanical advantage is there to having a warrior in the party as opposed to a fighter, and at what point are these advantages overcome by having a fighter. Most of the responses seem to be oriented towards explaining the differences in an "in-game" manner, ie the warrior is a soldier (NPC), and the fighter is an adventurer (PC).

I think I agree with the assertation that "PCs don't glow". If a PC warrior can make it with an adventuring party, there is no real reason to take another level in anything else. The whole idea of freely multi-classing seems a bit materialistic to me, anyway. I mean, how many people out there would ditch a job they like to go study as a doctor, just because it is more advantageous to do so? In our own lives, many of us stick to the same job, or the same type of job (programmer, writer, health services), and yet there is a "buffet-style" advancement for PCs. The current trend in the job market is to switch careers and jobs a good deal more often than even 20 years ago, but in a medieval setting? You didn't just have one job your entire life, practially your whole line of progeny and ancestors also had that job. Pursuing a new career was virtually unheard of until the Rennaissance.

One's place in the scheme of things was paramount in ancient times, when there was a strict heirarchy of duties and responsibilities. If your warrior (or rogue, or wizard, or whatever) wants to take a level of cleric, there had better be an excellent reason, and some previous actions to warrent that. Contributions to the church, reading scripture, talking to the priests at every opportunity, etc. Having enough experience to do so isn't a valid reason, in my mind. And that applies to any multi-classing. Talk to the local wizard's guild, hang out in the "fighter taverns", work with the local "beggars", practice on a second hand lute, and so on.

Unless you are playing D&D like a video game, in which case none of this really applies, so multi-class to your heart's content. :)

I am also rather confused about the inclusion of both warriors and fighters, actually. There don't seem to be "light" versions of the other classes; no "alter boy" or "deacon", no "wizard-ette", no "burglar" classes, no "roadies" for the bards. I understand it's an NPC class, but the argument that having every town guardsman as a fighter somehow diminishes the PC class is nonsense. The other classes don't have that problem, since any magic or healing you need must be performed by a presumably non-adventuring mage or priest. I suppose "junior" rogues and bards could be somewhat adequately simulated by the Expert class, but that isn't the same as the warrior/fighter dichotomy.

So I guess my question would be, why warriors, and not deacons? Or hedge wizards? Or pickpockets?
 

Epoch

aka Mike Sullivan
Validated User
#18
Chall said:
Yeah I guess your right. For game balance if you got rid of the fighter then you would have to get rid of all the other PC classes as well for game balance. Do you think that would make a more gritty game that would work? Or would it still be too unbalanced on a PC vs PC basis. (I also guess that the NPC classes wouldn't be able to stand up much against most monsters but that could be an attraction. Suddenly and Ogre may become more Mythical and less cannon fodder. I guess it depends on your playing style though).
I think that there's <i>definitely</i> a fun game to be had in playing solely with NPC classes.
 

Epoch

aka Mike Sullivan
Validated User
#19
Andrew said:
I don't know...

Look at a battle scene in Braveheart. When the skirmishers clash, it's a massed tangle confusion of swinging swords and flying limbs. There's a few tricks the rank-and-file can learn to increase their survivability, but at the individual/unit level, it's pretty straightforward. You follow orders and march over to stick the other guys with swords while avoiding getting stuck yourself.

Contrast this with a duel scene from Rob Roy or a Star Wars film, and maybe I'm kind of getting my perspective across.
I do follow you, I just think that that distinction is difficult to draw.

For example, I'm not sure that I'd consider the duellists to be neccesarily more skilled combatants -- they have the luxury of being able to focus their attention on a single opponent, just to start off with. It strikes me that someone thrust into a bloody melee might well pick up a lot more tricks than someone who regularly fights duels -- or someone who regularly fights non-humanoid opponents who don't fence, for that matter.

But certainly, there is a "difference in character" between the combat challenges that an extra in LotR faces and the ones that Aragorn faces (this may be, in D&D terms, simply because Aragorn is higher level than the extras). That seems to me, however, a very difficult line to draw, and, indeed, one that GM's don't tend to draw -- again, I've never heard of anyone saying, "Bob, your fighter really didn't do anything really innovative, fighting-wise, this level. So I'm going to make your next level be one of Warrior, not Fighter."

Stormbringer:
What I am getting here is that Epoch is wondering about the mechanical differences between the two, not the genre distinctions. In other words, what mechanical advantage is there to having a warrior in the party as opposed to a fighter, and at what point are these advantages overcome by having a fighter. Most of the responses seem to be oriented towards explaining the differences in an "in-game" manner, ie the warrior is a soldier (NPC), and the fighter is an adventurer (PC).
Er, yeah, I think we're on the same page. I mean, I know the mechanical differences between a Warrior and a Fighter, but I'm interested in, mechanically, what distinguishes their advancement.

I mean, how many people out there would ditch a job they like to go study as a doctor, just because it is more advantageous to do so?
And, of course the Warrior and the Fighter have the <i>same job</i>. IC, nobody is ever going to look at a Warrior and a Fighter and think of them as fundamentally different things -- they might think of the Warrior as a little less talented.

I am also rather confused about the inclusion of both warriors and fighters, actually. There don't seem to be "light" versions of the other classes; no "alter boy" or "deacon", no "wizard-ette", no "burglar" classes, no "roadies" for the bards. I understand it's an NPC class, but the argument that having every town guardsman as a fighter somehow diminishes the PC class is nonsense. The other classes don't have that problem, since any magic or healing you need must be performed by a presumably non-adventuring mage or priest. I suppose "junior" rogues and bards could be somewhat adequately simulated by the Expert class, but that isn't the same as the warrior/fighter dichotomy.
You could argue that the Adept is meant to be a junior Wizard/Priest, as you could argue that Experts can be junior Rogues/Bards, but the parallels aren't <i>nearly</i> as clear as for Warrior-Fighter. The Expert, after all, is clearly (also?) meant to be the lawyer, the merchant, the artisan, and all those other skilled professionals who aren't adventure-suited. And Adepts seem primarily focused on being shamans and such for primitive areas/races.
 

B. Miller

Genghis Khan's Love Child
Validated User
#20
Re: Re: D&D -- Warriors vs. Fighters

StormBringer said:


So I guess my question would be, why warriors, and not deacons? Or hedge wizards? Or pickpockets?
I have those sort of variants in my campaign, starting with the Witch example. I kind of 'hide' stats so the pc's don't know they're dealing with any class or other, which makes it easy for me to use those fringe classes for NPC's. It makes it a little more cinematic, I guess...a level 3 warrior has an edge over a level 1 fighter, probably, but not much, and I like it that way. The professional fighter should be able to scorn the local warrior in most cases, right?
 
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