PF 1 Essentials, Fighter Class Preview

I’ve done a lot of work on my idea for a revised “PF1 Essentials” rewrite of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, going over a number of feats (which are now compiled here, along with my thoughts on them and a growing index of other articles). I thought it was time to show what i think a PF1 Essentials class might look like, so I did a rough preview of the FPF1 Essentials Fighter.

Obviously this is just a starting point, and I’ll need to integrate a lot of things into it (like how Fighters get to have multiple Stance feat stances going at once, which is likely an advanced combat training option). But as a preview of where I am taking this, i thought people might enjoy it.

(Art by Lunstream)

Essentials Fighter Class Preview

Hit Die: d10.

Starting Wealth: 250 gp. In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skill: The fighter’s class skills are Animal Handling (Dex or Cha), Appraise (Int), Athletics (Str), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (engineering) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Stealth (Dex), and Survival (Wis).

(Animal handling now includes Handle Animal and Ride. Athletics now combines Climbing and Swim. Profession now includes Craft and Profession.)

Skill Ranks Per Level: 6 + Int modifier.

Table 1: The Fighter

LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial
1st+1+2+0+2Bonus feat, combat style
2nd+2+3+0+3Bonus feat, combat training
3rd+3+3+1+3Combat training
4th+4+4+1+4Bonus feat
5th+5+4+1+4Combat training
6th+6/+1+5+2+5Bonus feat
7th+7/+2+5+2+5Combat training
8th+8/+3+6+2+6Bonus feat
9th+9/+4+6+3+6Combat training, advanced combat training
10th+10/+5+7+3+7Bonus feat
11th+11/+6/+1+7+3+7Combat training
12th+12/+7/+2+8+4+8Bonus feat
13th+13/+8/+3+8+4+8Combat training
14th+14/+9/+4+9+4+9Bonus feat
15th+15/+10/+5+9+5+9Combat training
16th+16/+11/+6/+1+10+5+10Bonus feat
17th+17/+12/+7/+2+10+5+10Combat training
18th+18/+13/+8/+3+11+6+11Bonus feat
19th+19/+14/+9/+4+11+6+11Combat training
20th+20/+15/+10/+5+12+6+12Bonus feat, combat mastery

Weapon and Armor Proficiency
A fighter is proficient with all simple and martial weapons and with light armor.

Obviously the class has had major upgrades in Will saves and skill points. I’ve been working with the basic d20 fighter nonstop since 1999, and I believe these pure power boosts are warranted, and will help make the fighter the go-to class for players who want to be strong-jawed swordsmen and dashing heroes.

Bonus feats are largely unchanged.

At first level, you’ll gain a combat style. This will set one fighter apart from another at the very beginning, and some combat trainings will require a set style. A combat style might give you proficiency with medium and heavy armor, all shields (including tower shields), and give you a solid armor training/armor mastery path for your combat mastery. Or it might give you bonuses to AC when wearing no more than light armor and give you a panache option combat training path. Or give you an order, oath, light and heavy armor, and a mounted combat/cavalier order combat training path.

It might even give you some combat magic, for a bgeing-at-first-level version of the eldritch knight.

Nearly everything else fighters get has been rolled into “Combat training.” This will be a system much like rogue talents, but focused on different fighting options. Combat training will have all the armor training and weapon training options, and a lot of the things that built off those in Player Companions and archetypes.

At 9th level you’ll gain access to advanced combat training, which will have higher-level-appropriate options, and likely a way to pick up a “second fighting style” if desired.

This system can roll a ton of archetypes and even some base and hybrid classes into a single, flexible class that takes less room than all those options combined, but can actually create more different custom PC builds, all on the same game-balanced chassis.

I have a Patreon. It supports the time I take to do all my blog posts. If you’d like to see more Pathfinder 1st edition options (or more rules for other game systems, fiction, game industry essays, game design articles, worldbuilding tips, whatever!), try joining for just a few bucks and month and letting me know!

About Owen K.C. Stephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is a full-time ttRPG Writer, designer, developer, publisher, and consultant. He's the publisher for Rogue Genius Games, and has served as the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the Editor-in-Chief for Evil Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps. He has a Pateon which supports his online work. You can find it at

Posted on October 21, 2020, in Game Design, Pathfinder Development and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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