The Fighter Class.
Fighters are maybe the most popular and varied class in the game. With the choice of any combination of weapons and armour. Plus the 5E fighter class is packed with useful abilities like extra attacks and fighting styles. Fighters are a must for any D&D party. For this series of articles I will be creating 3 fighters from the same base stats. Using different archetypes and giving each a different flavour. There are heaps of posts online about what skills are better and the ones not to bother with. I will not be doing that kind of article. Rather I will try to make 3 unique characters and fit the skills to the character. I might even use skills that are considered weak by many. For me it is more about having a cool character idea come to life than having the most powerful version of a fighter. That said I will try to use the best combination of stats and skills to make each character.
Rolling the stats using the Wizards of the Coast Dice roller I got the below results.
12, 10, 13, 14, 16, 10
This gave me a solid set of stats to work with. So the next thing was to look at how these could be allocated. But without the character concepts it would be impossible to know how to best to do this. Do I want a strength based fighter? Or one focused on Dexterity? And so lets look at the concepts.
The first step is always who do you want the character to be? Are they based on an existing character from a book or film? Or are they a construct from your own imagination? Often they are a mixture of both. I have found that many of my favourite characters are loosely based on somebody and then I make them my own. One example is my recent Bard. On paper he is a Bard of the College of Valour. But the character is wandering minstrel and teller of tall tales who lives in the wild. Furthermore he loves nature and feels a deep connection to plants and animals. I called him Taggart and based the concept around the character of the same name from the TV show Eureka. This led to the character being an oddball woodsman type with an over done Ozzy accent and questionable common sense.
The first of the three concepts is for the Champion archetype. Due to the nature of the Champion I have gone for tank type fighter. ‘Fecklar the Shorn’ is a Dwarf in the mould of the classic Trollslayers. He was captured as a youth and shaved by Goblins. Because of this shame he travels the lands looking to regain his honour. He is gruff, quick to anger and borderline suicidal. In essence he is every Dwarf stereotype since Gimli was written.
The second concept is for the Battle Master archetype. Because they get such interesting and varied combat maneuvers I went for a duellist style concept. ‘Berrick the Bold’ is a swashbuckling bravo along the lines of Inigo Montoya from the Princess Bride. Due to this he would need a backstory centred around revenge for some past injustice. I settled on losing his wife to a band of raiders while he was away at sea. Now he is consumed with finding them and getting his revenge. This also makes a good plot hook for later adventures.
The third and final fighter concept is for the Eldritch Knight. Of all the archetypes this is the most tricky. Who are they? There are a few examples of this type of character such as the Grey Mouser of Lankhmar who mix sword and sorcery. Because they are a bit hard to place I had to come up with a more unique concept. ‘Thanwel’ known as the Harlequin is an elf apart from his own culture. At a young age he ran away and joined a group of traveling players becoming an expert knife thrower. Due to his unconventional upbringing he is unlike most elves preferring to dress like a jester and act like a fool.
The Fighters Nuts and Bolts.
Now that I have come up with the three concepts I will need to dig into the rules and work out how each uses the stats. In my next post I will start with a 1st level version of each of the characters. How each will use the stats and skills available to create three very different characters. The other big considerations are weapons and armour. What weapons they will use and armour they wear will be as important to the overall concept as the stats and skills.