Legendary Fighter Customizations

Modifying the Legendary Fighter Class

The heart of the fighter class is broken down and scrutinized, with new options to bring fighters to a level which makes them comparable with contemporary classes like the bloodrager or the slayer. This includes examining how combat feats work for fighters and providing options that allow fighters to remain competitive with classes that can ignore feat prerequisites for their bonus feats.

Saving Throws

As a class without magical spells or powers to improve their saving throws, fighters need a bit of a boost.

Looking at similar full BAB classes (or hybrid classes that are derived from fighters), most have two good saves (ranger, brawler, gunslinger, unchained monk, paladin, slayer, and avenger vigilante) and these most often have good Fortitude and Reflex saves. A fighter could simply gain a good Reflex save. However, many fighters from myth and legend are also described as having an indomitable spirit, and that an accomplished professional fighter is likely to have the same drive and mental focus as a highly skilled athlete, so giving some bonus to Will saves isn’t out of the question. A combination of saving throw bonuses that gives the class the equivalent of two good saves is workable. At 20th level the difference between a good save (+12) and a bad save (+6) is 6 points. Adding a total of +4 to Reflex saves and +2 to Will save gives the fighter the following base saving throws at 20th level: +12 Fort, +10 Reflex, +8 Will.

Sharp Reflexes (Ex)

Training and battle hones a fighter’s reactions, he gains a +1 bonus on Reflex saves.

At 5th level and every 6 levels thereafter this bonus increases by 1 (to a maximum of +4 at 17th level).

The bravery class feature is a low powered and very specific ability that adds a minor bonus to a small set of saving throws (against fear). At best, this entire class feature is only worth a feat. A +2 bonus to saves vs. fear is worth a trait and a trait is half a feat, but a +1 bonus to all Will saves is also worth a trait. Replacing bravery with a bonus to all Will saves is relatively straightforward. The main issue with removing bravery from the fighter’s main class features is the number of archetypes that trade out bravery.

Determination (Ex)

At 2nd level, a fighter gains a +1 bonus on Will saves. This bonus increases to +2 at 10th level.


Remove the armed bravery advanced weapon training option if using the sharp reflexes class feature. See the implementation section of perseverance options for details on how determination interacts with certain perseverance options.


Put simply, a fighter doesn’t have enough skill ranks per level. This probably stems from 3.0 Edition looking at each class and assigning just enough ranks per level for each class to do its job. The rationale that fighters don’t get many skill ranks because they spend all their spare time sparring and training to fight just doesn’t add up when comparing to other martial classes, such as barbarians, brawlers, cavaliers, gunslingers, monks, and swashbucklers who have 4 ranks per level. Starting with 4 ranks per level for fighters is an easy choice, with the possibility of selectable class features at later levels to gain more ranks per level for specialized skillful fighters who want to be on par with skillful martial classes such as rangers or slayers. This also greatly reduces the need for fix options such as the adaptable training advanced weapon training option; remove this option if implementing this change.

Class Skills

Fighters are a very diverse group with an extremely varied skill set. To accommodate this, granting fighters a core set of skills as well as the ability to choose a small number of skills from a secondary list is a reasonable solution. Examining the amount of class skills for martial classes shows that other martial classes (barbarian, fighter, paladin) have 10 class skills but newer classes with full BAB and 4 skill ranks per level such as brawlers, gunslingers, and swashbucklers have 13, 15, and 16 class skills respectively, so aiming for a fighter to have around 12 class skills is a good minimum. Looking at the fighter class back through previous editions of the game is helpful in determining what specific skills should be a fighter’s core skills. Considering the standard fighter’s class skills, Knowledge (dungeoneering) and Knowledge (engineering) are specialized skills that the 3.5 edition fighter didn’t have so moving them to the secondary/optional skills list works, leaving the following skills as core skills: Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Examining other martial classes’ class skills helps narrow down the list of skills that need to be added to the fighter’s secondary skill list as optional choices. Here is some reasoning behind adding the following skills:

  • Acrobatics: Agile fighters who duck and weave round the battlefield.
  • Bluff: Those fighters who specialize in feinting.
  • Escape Artist: For nimble fighters to wriggle out of a grapple.
  • Heal: A nonmagical way for a fighter to deal with battle wounds.
  • Knowledge (dungeoneering): For underground fighters such as dwarves.
  • Knowledge (engineering): Understanding of siege weapon and other engines of war.
  • Knowledge (geography): Sol7diers who need to march overland or plan a military campaign.
  • Knowledge (local): For town guards and other urban fighters.
  • Knowledge (nature): Outdoor fighters who prowl the wilderness.
  • Knowledge (nobility): Fighters who are aristocrats or their bodyguards.
  • Perception: For watchmen, sentries, and archers.
  • Sense Motive: Warriors who are keen judges of character and good at resisting feints.

Bonus Skills

A fighter chooses any 4 skills from the following list to become class skills: Acrobatics (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (dungeoneering) (Int), Knowledge (engineering) (Int), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Perception (Wis), and Sense Motive (Wis).


For legendary fighter archetypes that modify or change a fighter’s class skills, especially those that trade out Knowledge (dungeoneering) or Knowledge (engineering), assume that the fighter chooses these with the bonus skills class feature and then make the archetype replacements as normal.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Legendary Fighters © 2018, Legendary Games; Author: Matt Goodall.

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