I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.

- William Blake

Sunday, June 28, 2020

New fighting styles for 5e: unarmed, grappling and versatile finesse

As I often say, D&D must have more than 500 "official" spells at this point, but not more than a dozen fighting styles in published books. I also say D&D is about magic (and magical combat) more than just combat, but few people seem to agree.

Anyway, fighting styles seem a bit weak and unbalanced to me. I've analysed them all here. But, since this design space exists, we might as well use it.

Here are a few fighting styles that might add more archetypes to the current fighter:

Unarmed Fighting: When you make an unarmed attack, you can roll a d4 in place of the normal damage of your unarmed strike.

Yes, this is from the monk. Other "minor" class features, such as "brutal critical", could easily be turned into fighting styles. Notice that they don't improve as much as the usual class features.

Grappling: You gain a +2 bonus when you make a grapple check or a check to escape a grapple.

Fighter grappling in 5e is somewhat lackluster, since the feat doesn't work and you cannot get expertise unelss you multi-class or take a special feat from Xanathar's. This small fighting style makes you a better grappler without being as powerful as a feat or expertise.

Finesse fightingWhile you wield a longsword, trident, or simple melee weapon that does't have the heavy property, it gains the finesse property.

This is just a way to allow Dexterous fighters to benefit form spears, longswords, and quarterstaves. Maybe I should exclude maces and axes.

"Finesse fighting" isn't a great name, just the first thing that came to mind.

Anyway, these are just a few examples on how new fighting styles could create a versatile fighter - and ranger, paladin, etc.


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