Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bill the Mauler or How Much Fighters Are Improved in Later Editions

It's hard out there for a defender. Whenever I talk to fighters from other editions about how hard it is to defend mages and clerics they always ask, "what about your combat superiority or attacks of opportunity?" Well, we have none of that in Basic Edition. A monster wants to run by me to get to one of my squishy companions I just have to let it happen. What am I supposed to do?

Well, there might be one thing... There is no firm rule on this, but can I, in Basic Edition, hold an action? Just stand there and wait for the ghoul to try and pass me then hit him? We go through clerics like toilet paper, so maybe sticking to them and waiting for the monster to come is a better strategy than trying to kill them first? Sure, we want to stick to the rules, but is not house-ruling part of D&D?

Lacking the chance to hold an action, strategy might be in order. When there are not official rules for things in old-skool games you do have the opportunity to say what you are doing. Perhaps "I stand by the squishy and taunt the ghoul" or simply "I invite aggro" would work? The voice-in-the-sky has been open to similar actions like this in the past in situations where the rules are unclear, but I have yet to try it in combat.

All I know is that clerics without spells are just fighters without swords, so we need to get one to second level if we plan to survive in this violent world of eldritch horrors!

Just for fun:


  1. It reminds me a long argument I had back when I was 15 where a player desperately wanted to "lend" his hit points to another character in Basic D&D. It is like the existential plight of the Basic rules fighter to see everyone he loves and knows die around him.

    1. True. 4e really made the fighter awesome, but no one want to seem to play one. If an enemy tries moving past him and provokes an attack of opportunity, and the fighter hits, the enemy's movement is stopped. Marking is also great. Attack one of the fighters allies, -2 to hit. Fighter is in range when you do it? He gets to hit you. They call the mark a compulsion, but I see it more as a "you are mine, asshole!" threat that is best not ignored.