Adventures: Fighters join adventuring parties for a variety of reasons: glory, wealth, the chance to acquire powerful magical weapons, or to protect those they feel need protection. In the end, though, it all boils down to the same thing: fighters do it for the love of combat.

Characteristics: Armor, weapons, and battlefield and melee skills are all the hallmarks of the fighter.

Religion: Religion among fighters varies as widely as their alignment – some scorn the gods, while others actively pray before a battle for luck.

Background: Most fighters have formal training of some sort, either at an academy, in the military, or as a guard. Some, who have taken up the blade at an early age through choice or circumstance, are either taught by a tutor or (more often) self-taught. In any case, fighters have little in common besides their combat ability.

Races: Members of all races can be fighters, but they are predominantly human, dwarven, or half-elven. Elven fighters tend to mix magic and steel, while halflings and gnomes choose more agile fighting styles.

Other Classes: Fighters are easily the most agreeable of all of the professions, and run the gamut of philosophies. They work well with just about every other class.

Role: Fighters are the mainstay of any adventuring party, serving on the front line or charging ahead to engage the enemy. Fighters who rely on ranged attacks can also be very effective, provided they have the proper support.

Game Rule Information

Abilities: A fighter's main abilities depend on his fighting style, but Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution are useful for all fighters; Intelligence and Wisdom are slightly less so, and Charisma the least of all.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d10.

Class Skills

The fighter's class skills are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (combat and tactics) (Int), Perception (Wis), Ride (Dex), and Swim (Str).

Skill Points Per Level: 4 + Int modifier

Table 1: The Fighter
Level Base
Attack Bonus
1st +1 +2 +0 +0 Combat focus, bonus feat
2nd +2 +3 +1 +1 Bonus feat
3rd +3 +3 +1 +1 Combat ability
4th +4 +4 +2 +2 Uncanny dodge, mastery of arms, bonus feat
5th +5 +4 +2 +2 Combat style focus
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +2 Combat ability, bonus feat
7th +7/+2 +5 +3 +3 Iron mind
8th +8/+3 +6 +3 +3 Mastery of arms, bonus feat
9th +9/+4 +6 +4 +4 Combat ability
10th +10/+5 +7 +4 +4 Improved uncanny dodge, bonus feat
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +5 +5 Combat style focus
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +5 +5 Bonus feat, combat ability, mastery of arms
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +6 +6 Comabt awareness
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +6 +6 Bonus feat
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +6 +6 Combat ability
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +7 +7 Force of will, mastery of arms, bonus feat
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +7 +7 Combat style focus
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +8 +8 Combat ability, bonus feat
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +8 +8 Lord of battle
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +8 +8 Mastery of arms, bonus feat

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the fighter.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A fighter is proficient with any four weapon groups, all armor, and all shields (including tower shields).

Combat Focus: At the beginning of combat, the fighter enters a heightened state of awareness called combat focus. While in this state, the fighter gains a +2 bonus to Reflex saves and and +2 dodge bonus to Armor Class, as he can see threats coming and react more quickly. These bonuses don't apply against any attack that would deny the fighter his Dex bonus to AC. If the fighter is dazed, stunned, or knocked unconscious, he loses his combat focus and cannot regain it until he rests for 5 minutes. The focus otherwise lasts for the duration of the encounter.

At 11th level, the fighter does not lose combat focus from being dazed or stunned, and needs to rest for only 1 minute before he can regain his focus.

Bonus Feat: At 2nd level and every two levels thereafter, a fighter gets a bonus combat-oriented feat in addition to the feats normally granted by advancing levels. These bonus feats must be drawn from the feats noted as fighter bonus feats. He must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including ability score and base attack bonus minimums.

Combat Ability: At 3rd level and every 3 levels thereafter, the fighter can choose a combat ability from the list below. The abilities are divided into four tiers of mastery: Adept (1st level), Expert (6th level), Master (11th level), and Grandmaster (16th level); the fighter gains access to a new tier at the level listed. He must also fulfill any prerequisites listed for the ability to choose it.

Mastery of Arms: At 4th level, the fighter can choose to apply the Weapon Focus or Weapon Specialization feats to all weapons from that group for free. In order to apply Weapon Specialization, he must have first gotten Weapon Focus with that group, however.

At 8th, 12th, and 16th levels, he can choose another weapon group as above, or he can choose a single weapon. If he chooses a single weapon, he can apply the Weapon Mastery or Weapon Grandmastery feats to it provided he fulfills the prerequisites. These feats cannot be applied to weapon groups.

For example: Janus is 8th level. He is proficient with Bows, Heavy Blades, Light Blades, and Maces and Clubs. He chose to gain Weapon Focus in Heavy Blades at 4th level, and now chooses to take Weapon Specialization in that group. At 12th level, he takes Weapon Mastery with the greatsword (a heavy blade). At 16th, he can take grandmastery with the greatsword, mastery with another heavy blade, or advance his skills in a general weapon group.

Uncanny Dodge: The fighter can react quickly to shifts in the tide of battle. He retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. He still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized, however.

Combat Style Focus: Fighters often specialize in certain fighting styles, while some prefer to learn a broad spectrum of styles. At 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter, the fighter can choose one fighting style (Sword and Shield, Two-Hander, Two-Weapon, or Unarmed); each time, he can either advance in a style he already knows, or learn a new style. Each rank in a style grants a +1 bonus to attack rolls and a +2 bonus to the DC or opposed check for certain combat maneuvers performed while employing that style:

Sword and Shield: Shield bash, Bulette Charge, Repulse Attack, Shield Rush.

Two-Hander: Dazing Blow, Pounding Strike, Stunning Blow, Two-Hand Sweep

Two-Weapon: Blinding Strike, Dual Strike, Two-Weapon Defense (+1 to AC per rank), Two-Weapon Rend (+2 to damage per rank)

Unarmed: Close Quarters Combat (+1 to attacks), Killing Blow, Stunning Fist, Talons of the Beast (+2 to the grapple check)

Iron Mind: The fighter can use his Con bonus instead of his Wis bonus for Will saves.

Improved Uncanny Dodge: The fighter's awareness of his surroundings is almost supernatural. Due to his keen senses and the ability to watch everything around him, he can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue or other character the ability to sneak attack him by flanking him, unless the attacker's base attack bonus is four or more points greater than his own.

If a character has uncanny dodge from a second class, he automatically gains improved combat awareness instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge/combat awareness stack to determine the minimum BAB required to flank him.

Combat Awareness (Ex): The fighter is so attuned with his environment that he can pinpoint concealed enemies more easily, reducing the benefit they gain from being hidden. A concealed enemy's AC bonus vs. the fighter only is halved (-1 for partial concealment, or -2 for total concealment). If the fighter has the Blind-Fight feat, these AC bonuses are negated entirely, and he can target the concealed creature with ranged attacks if it is within 30 feet (but its AC bonus in this case is not halved). This benefit applies against all effects that grant concealment: fog/smoke, invisibility, blur, displacement, etc., but effects like thick fog that specifically reduce sight distance also affect this ability.

Force of Will: The fighter's force of will is so strong that he has a chance of fighting off effects that would cloud or take control of his mind. If he is affected by an enchantment spell or effect and fails his save, he can attempt it again 1 round later at the same DC. He gets only this one extra chance to succeed on his save.

Lord of Battle: The fighter's grasp of combat and tactics is such that few can match him in battle. He cannot be surprised, and gains a +2 bonus insight bonus to Armor Class and a +4 insight bonus to combat maneuver checks made against him by enemies. This bonus does not apply to maneuvers that he initiates, however. For example: If the fighter's opponent tried to disarm him, he would gain the bonus; if he tried to disarm someone else and failed, and the opponent made a countermove, he would not gain the bonus to avoid being disarmed himself.

Combat Abilities

Adept (1st level)

Crushing Blow: If the fighter makes an attack against a helpless opponent or an unattended object, he automatically deals double damage on a successful strike. If he makes a critical hit, the crit is applied first, then the damage is doubled. This ability can be used as many times per round as the fighter has attacks, and can be used in conjunction with Power Attack.

Dazing Blow: If the fighter uses Power Attack to strike a foe and scores a hit, the target must make a Fort save (DC 10 + 1/2 damage) or be dazed for one round. This ability can be used once per round.

Dual Strike: If the fighter is wielding two weapons, he can make a simultaneous attack with both weapons against the same target using the same attack roll. If the attack hits, it deals damage from both weapons. If the attack is a critical hit, use only the weapon that deals more damage - the other weapon deals normal damage only. If the fighter can make sneak attacks, this damage can also be applied to the roll. This ability cannot be used in combination with Rapid Strike.

This attack takes the place of one iterative for both weapons - for example, if the fighter had three attacks with both weapons and made a dual strike with the first iterative, he could make only two further attacks with each weapon individually, or two more dual strikes with both weapons combined.

Rage: The fighter can enter a state commonly called a "rage" or "battlerage" where he gains incredible strength and endurance, but at the cost of personal defense and the ability to think clearly. While raging, he temporarily gains a +4 bonus to Strength and Constitution and a +2 morale bonus on Will saves, but he takes a -2 penalty to Armor Class. The increase in Constitution increases his hit points by 2 points per level, but these hit points go away at the end of the rage when his Constitution score drops back to normal. (These extra hit points are not lost first the way temporary hit points are.) While raging, the fighter cannot use any Charisma-, Dexterity-, or Intelligence-based skills (except for Acrobatics, Intimidate, and Ride), the Concentration skill, or any abilities that require patience or concentration, nor can he cast spells or activate magic items that require a command word, a spell trigger (such as a wand), or spell completion (such as a scroll) to function. He can use any feat he has except Combat Expertise and metamagic feats. A fit of rage lasts for a number of rounds equal to 3 + the fighter's (newly improved) Constitution modifier.

Shield Rush: When using a shield and performing a bull rush, the fighter gains a bonus to his opposed Strength check to push his opponent back: +4 for a light shield, +6 for a heavy shield, or +10 for a tower shield. Bucklers cannot be used in conjunction with a shield rush.

Weapon Prowess: As a full-round action, the character can perform a dazzling display of weapon prowess, spinning and whirling his weapon(s) around him. Opponents within 20 feet who see this display must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 fighter's class level + Dex mod) or be shaken (-2 to attacks, saves, and skill and ability checks) for 1d6 rounds. In addition, the character gains a +4 bonus to Intimidate checks when dealing with those who failed their saves, as they are awed by the character's skill. The character cannot perform this ability while in combat.

Expert (6th level)

Blinding Strike: Once per combat, before initiative is rolled, the fighter can take a combat stride and make a single attack. This attack is exclusive of his normal number of attacks for the round.

Bulette Charge: If the fighter makes a shield bash and the attack hits, the opponent must make a Fort save (DC 10 + 1/2 fighter's level + Str mod) or be dazed for 1d4 rounds. This ability can be used once per round; multiple dazing effects overlap (i.e., the duration is extended only if the result is higher than the time remaining). Prerequisites: Improved Shield Bash.

Bulwark: A fighter using a light, heavy, or tower shield can grant his shield bonus to an adjacent ally of his choice as a dodge bonus. Once chosen, the ally retains the bonus until they are no longer adjacent to each other, or until the fighter switches to protect a new ally. Prerequisite: Shield Focus.

Finishing Blow: Once per combat, the fighter can kill an opponent in such a way that it has a demoralizing effect on the opponent's allies. The fighter can declare his use of this ability when he learns if he has killed the opponent in question; in this case, he forfeits further attacks for that round to finish the target off. All the target's allies within 20 feet who can see the fighter must make a Will save (DC = 10 + 1/2 fighter's class level + fighter's Str mod) or become shaken (-2 to attacks, saves, and skill and ability checks) for the remainder of the combat. If the creature in question was a lieutenant or leader, the allies suffer a -2 or -4 penalty, respectively. Resistance or immunity to fear also applies to this Will save.

Pain Resistance: The fighter gains DR 2/-. He can choose this ability multiple times; each time, it grants 2 more points of damage reduction. This stacks with DR gained from other classes or abilities (including the Damage Reduction feat), but not spells or magic items. Prerequisite: Con 13.

Pounding Strike: Once per round, the character can attempt to knock an opponent of up to one size larger back 5 feet, or knock it prone, with a melee attack made with the Power Attack feat. He must declare his intent beforehand (it can be any of the attacks made that round); if it hits, treat it as a trip attack, with the fighter's result for the opposed check being the damage dealt. Prerequisites: Str 15, Power Attack.

Master (11th level)

Crippling Strike: Once per round, when striking with a light or one-handed weapon, the fighter can strike an opponent's weak spot such that it deals 2 points of Strength or Dex damage (fighter's choice). Ability points lost to damage return at the rate of 1 point per day of rest. He can use this ability while grappling. Prerequisites: Improved Unarmed Combat.

Repulse Attack: If an opponent makes a melee attack against the fighter and misses, the fighter can make an immediate shield bash attack against that opponent as an attack of opportunity; if the attack hits and the target fails a Fort save (DC 10 + 1/2 fighter's level + Str mod), it is staggered (can only take a move or standard action) for 1 round. If the fighter rolls a critical hit, the target is stunned on a failed save instead. Prerequisites: Improved Shield Bash, Shield Focus, Shield Proficiency.

Greater Rage: The bonuses to the character's Strength and Constitution while raging increase to +6, and the morale bonus on Will saves increases to +3. The penalty to AC remains at -2. Prerequisites: Con 15, Rage.

Spell Deflection: The fighter adds his shield bonus to his touch AC vs. ranged touch and touch spells, and to his Reflex save against any spell or effect that allows one. Prerequisites: Shield Focus.

Spell Parry: Once per round, the fighter can use one of his attacks of opportunity to attempt to parry a ranged touch or projectile spell targeting him. To do so, he must not be flat-footed and must be aware of the attack. He makes an attack against AC 10 + the spell's level + 4 (the spell is considered to be a Diminutive target). If the attack hits, he has deflected the spell in a direction of his choice. He can aim toward a target in his sight; if it is in range, use the spell's attack roll with a -4 penalty to determine success or failure. The disintegrate spell cannot be parried. Prerequisites: Dex 15, Combat Reflexes.

Talons of the Beast: If the fighter makes a successful attack with a light or one-handed piercing weapon, he can make an immediate grapple check at no penalty. All bonuses he normally gains apply to this check. Prerequisites: Improved Unarmed Combat, Improved Unarmed Strike.

Grandmaster (16th level)

Greater Blinding Strike: At the beginning of combat, before initiative is rolled, the fighter can take a combat stride and take a full attack action. Feats or abilities that grant extra attacks, like Cleave or Great Cleave, cannot be used in conjunction with this ability. Prerequisites: Dex 19, Blinding Strike, Rapid Strike.

Killing Blow: If the fighter is grappling an opponent and has it pinned, he can attempt to instantly kill it. In order to do so, he must have it pinned for at least one full round; on the next round, the fighter makes the attempt as a standard action. The opponent must make a Fort save (DC 10 + 1/2 fighter's class level + fighter's Str mod) or die.

Creatures that aren't living or that have no discernable anatomy, incorporeal creatures, and plants are immune to this ability. All other creatures are vulnerable, even if they are resistant or immune to critical hits or death from massive damage, or if they have damage reduction. Prerequisites: Close Quarters Combat, Improved Unarmed Combat, Improved Unarmed Strike.

Quick Riposte: Each time an opponent makes a melee attack against the fighter and misses, the fighter can make an attack of opportunity against that opponent, provided he has any available. Additionally, he gains one extra attack of opportunity per 5 points of BAB. Prerequisites: Dex 17, Combat Reflexes, Improved Parry, Rapid Strike.

Rapid Strike: The fighter can make an extra melee attack at his highest base attack bonus as part of his normal attack routine, but all attacks made that round suffer a -2 penalty. If he is using two weapons, he gains the extra attack with his main hand only. Spells or abilities that grant extra attacks, like haste, work normally with this ability. Prerequisites: Dex 15, Blinding Strike.

Shield Wall: The area the fighter threatens is considered to be difficult terrain (movement costs double, can't run or charge through it), and it also blocks line of effect for spells. Prerequisites: Shield Focus, Bulwark, Spell Deflection.

Stunning Blow: If the fighter uses Power Attack to strike a foe and scores a hit, the target must make a Fort save (DC 10+1/2 damage) or be stunned for one round. This ability can be used once per round. Also, if he has the Dazing Blow ability, he can use it any number of times per round. Multiple dazing blows against the same opponent do not increase the duration, however. Prerequisites: Str 17, Power Attack, Staggering Strike.

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