Fighters are determined combat adepts trained to protect the other members of their adventuring groups. Fighters define the front line by bashing and slicing foes into submission while reflecting enemy attacks through the use of heavy armor. Fighters draw weapons for gold, for glory, for duty, and for the mere joy of unrestrained martial exercise.

Regardless of your level of skill and the specific weapons you eventually master, your motivations determine who you defend and who you slay. You could be a noble champion who pledges your blade to gallant causes, a calculating mercenary who cares more for the clink of gold than praise, a homeless prince on the run from assassins, or a blood-loving thug looking for the next good fight.

Your future is yours. When you unsheathe your weapon, what battle cry flies from your lips?

Class Traits

Role: Defender. You are very tough and have the exceptional ability to contain enemies in melee.
Power Source: Martial. You have become a master of combat through endless hours of practice, determination, and your own sheer physical toughness.
Key Abilities: Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom, Constitution

Armor Proficiencies: Leather, hide, chainmail, scale, light shields, heavy shields, cloth.
Weapon Proficiencies: Simple melee, military melee, simple ranged, military ranged.
Bonus to Defense: +2 Fortitude.

Hit Points at 1st Level: 15 + Constitution Score.
Hit Points per Level Gained: 6
Healing Surges per Day: 9 + Constitution Modifier.

Trained Skills: From the class skills list below, choose 3 trained skills at 1st level.
Class Skills: Athletics (Str), Endurance (Con), Heal (Wis), Intimidate (Cha), Streetwise (Cha).

Build Options: Great Weapon Fighter, Guardian Fighter.
Class Features: Combat Challenge, Combat Superiority, Fighter Weapon Talent.

Creating a Fighter

You can choose any fighter powers you like for your character, but fighters naturally fall into two basic groups: the great weapon fighter and the guardian fighter. All fighters rely on Strength. Fighters also need Constitution, Dexterity, or Wisdom, depending on which weapon they favor. See "Fighters and Melee Weapons" for more information.

Great Weapon Fighter

You’re interested in dealing out the most damage you can. You prefer big two-handed weapons such as the greatsword or greataxe. You’re more interested in fighting hard than fighting smart. Your best ability score is definitely Strength. A good Constitution improves your ability to use high damage weapons, such as axes and hammers. Plus, extra hit points always help. Select powers that work well with two-handed weapons to make the most of this build.

Feat: Power Attack (Human feat: Action Surge)
Skills: Athletics, Endurance, Intimidate
At-Will Powers: cleave, reaping strike
Encounter Power: spinning sweep
Daily Power: brute strike

Guardian Fighter

To fight better, you fight smarter. You’re willing to trade offense for superior defenses and better ability to control the battlefield around you. You fight with a heavy shield and a good one-handed weapon, such as a longsword, flail, or battleaxe. Like the great weapon fighter, you make Strength your best ability score. After that, prioritize your Dexterity to take advantage of weapons that can be improved by Dexterity-based feats, or your Wisdom to make the most of the combat superiority class feature. You’re hard to hurt and hard to move away from. Select powers that make use of your one-handed weapon and shield, as well as take advantage of your higher Dexterity score.

Feat: Weapon Focus (Human feat: Human Perseverance)
Skills: Heal, Intimidate, Streetwise
At-Will Powers: sure strike, tide of iron
Encounter Power: covering attack
Daily Power: comeback strike

Fighter Class Features

Some of your most important characteristics are the ability to wear very good armor, your exceptional hit point total, and your mastery of all military weapons. In addition, you have three unique class features.

Combat Challenge

In combat, it's dangerous to ignore a fighter. Every time you attack an enemy, whether the attack hits or misses, you can choose to mark that target. The mark lasts until the end of your next turn. While a target is marked, it takes a –2 penalty to attack rolls if its attack doesn’t include you as a target. A creature can be subject to only one mark at a time. A new mark supersedes a mark that was already in place.

In addition, whenever an enemy marked by you is adjacent to you and shifts or makes an attack that does not include you, you can make a melee basic attack against that enemy as an immediate interrupt.

Combat Superiority

You gain a bonus to opportunity attacks equal to your Wisdom modifier. An enemy struck by your opportunity attack stops moving, if a move provoked the attack. If it still has actions remaining, it can use them to resume moving.

Fighter Weapon Challenge

Choose either one-handed or two-handed weapons. When using a weapon of your chosen style, you gain a +1 bonus to attack rolls.

Fighters and Melee Weapons

Fighters master intricacies of melee weapon skill that other characters can't match. Unlike other classes, fighters have many encounter powers that work better when used with specific groups of melee weapons. Powers associated with a weapon group favor a particular ability score mix, so that fighters with high Constitution are likely to want to use axes, hammers, or picks, while fighters with high Dexterity are more likely to favor heavy blades, light blades, flails, or spears. The weapon feats described in Chapter 6 that provide optimized abilities for specific groups of weapons favor the same ability score mixes, so the list below notes the melee weapon groups and the ability score that is most likely to help you optimize your fighter abilities with that weapon group.

Most melee weapon groups, with the exception of light blades, require some element of Strength to access the weapon feats that improve their importance. (Light blades have some feats that require only Dexterity, though other light blade feats also require a modicum of Strength.) The list of weapon groups below mentions the ability score other than Strength that helps access the feats that improve a specific group of weapons, as well as fighter powers that are tied to specific groups of weapons.

Strength is mentioned in the list only if a weapon group has unusually high requirements for Strength.

A few weapons, including most polearms, are part of multiple groups and can therefore be approached from different optimal ability score builds.

Character Classes
Player's Handbook ClericFighterPaladinRangerRogueWarlockWarlordWizard
Player's Handbook 2 AvengerBarbarianBardDruidInvokerShamanSorcererWarden
Player's Handbook 3 ArdentBattlemindMonkPsionRunepriestSeeker
Setting-Specific Artificer (Eberron Player's Guide) ✦ Swordmage (Forgotten Realms Player's Guide)
Character Classes

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