I figured I’d start looking at White Box classes a little closer and just maybe share and extra idea or two along the way. I think there’s no better place to start than The Fighter.
Let’s face it The Fighter does take a lot of crap for being an uncool class. You don’t get spells or any neat abilities. The Fighter can use any weapon and wear any armor. They have best HP and Attack progression and an average Saving Throw. They can plow through a mob of less than 1 HD monsters. That’s it. At first glance, any way.
There are no cool maneuvers, abilities, or feats. There’s that old saying about the difference between newer and older games, “The answer isn’t on your character sheet.” I’ll throw a little addition out there. You don’t need your character sheet’s permission to try something. So you want to try that maneuvers or tricks or whatever. Just ask the GM and probably something will be made up on the spot. That’s the easy part.
Previously, I’ve thrown out lots of ideas on “improving” The Fighter. See. I’m guilty too. But I wanted to throw another idea out there that’s even simpler. Whenever a Fighter gains +1 to their Attack Bonus they may opt to take a +1 modifier to their Armor Class or Damage instead. Simple and to the point.
And what about the Ranger, Barbarian, and all those other fighter subclasses. Well, those are out there and available so I’ll probably cover those later. But for now, if you want to just use the core book classes my personal suggestion would be to grab up the Skill system from Lamentations of the Flame Princess and make a few little modifications to it to suit your campaign.
Fighters are very much about what the player makes of them. There’s no extra rules and stuff like that. Sure playing a Fighter could each session into nothing more than “I roll to attack.” For old school games, especially White Box, it’s really up to the player to add that flavor to the character not the rule book.