Beefing Up the Fighter — Option I
Many people seem to think the D&D Fighter class is too weak, especially at higher levels. While I think this is less true in TSR versions of D&D, many people disagree. I’ve come up with two simple options for beefing up the damage a Fighter does, especially at higher levels. Neither has been playtested, but both look good on paper. If you feel the fighter needs beefing up, you might want to give one of these options a try. Both options are designed with old school D&D in mind, they would probably need modification to work in 3.x and might not even make sense in 4e.
Today’s option is Weapon Mastery.
Weapon Mastery: At 1st, 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 20th level a fighter may select one specific type of weapon (e.g. dagger/knife, short sword, long sword, spear, short bow, etc) that he has mastered. When the fighter successful attacks with a weapon he has mastered he adds his level (but no more that his Strength attribute) to the damage the weapon does. Assuming critical hits (doing double damage) normally occur when a character rolls a natural 20 that would hit, a fighter using a weapon he has mastered does a critical hit on a natural 19 or a natural 20 (again, provided the roll would hit). A fighter always hits on a natural 20 with a mastered weapon even if that roll would not normally hit.
Note: Only the Fighter class should get Weapon Mastery. Fighter sub-classes or other fighter-like classes should not.
This has the effect of ramping up the damage a Fighter can do as his level increases and gives the Fighter a 10% of a possible critical hit (double the standard 5% chance), at least when the fighter is using a type of weapon he has mastered. This also means that a fighter, when using a weapon he’s mastered, always has at least a 5% chance to hit any target, even if the fighter is first level and is attacking some demon with an AC of -7 (26 Ascending AC).
Tomorrow, another option.