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5 Infuriating Fighters You Meet in Your Gaming Career

Boring, Bland, and Altogether Banal

By Neal LitherlandPublished 2 years ago 6 min read

When most of us ask ourselves which class is most friendly to newer players, the fighter is the class that comes to mind. Fighters fill some of the most iconic roles in our fiction, their class is easy to get a basic grasp on, and flexible enough that folks can make all kinds of unique characters. In fact, if you've been gaming for a while chances are good you've got a story about an awesome fighter whose deeds live on in tale and song even now that the campaign is over.

For every knight in shining armor, though, it feels like there's a dozen or more of the frustrating fighters listed below.

Previous entries in this series include:

- 5 Bothersome Bards

- 5 Eye-Rolling Rogues

- 5 Awful Paladins

For more game content you should also check out my gaming blog Improved Initiative, as well as my Vocal archive!

#1: The Golem

*Quiet Creaking*

Fighters are, generally speaking, the most at-home when initiative has been rolled. Whether it's loosing arrows, or charging in with their greatsword held high, combat is where their class features are generally the most effective.

The Golem, however, is what happens when a player doesn't participate in the game beyond these brief bouts of violence.

If you have one of these characters in the party, chances are good you've totally forgotten their name, and you've likely never had an interaction with them at all. Sometimes they'll let loose a battle cry, but more often than not you'll just get raw numbers describing their attacks and damage. While very useful to have when the chips are down and it's time to roll, this character makes it feel like there's an enchanted suit of armor walking around with the party who only seems interested in violence and bloodshed before going back to silently browsing the Internet on its phone.

#2: The Bully

Gold? Raise your voice again, and you'll receive steel as payment.

Fighters don't get a lot of skill points to spend, or a lot of class skills to spend them on. However, one of the social skills that is on their list is Intimidate... and some players take this as the only way their fighter interacts with the world around them.

Lots of characters are rowdy. Lots of characters are domineering, or rude, or rough-tongued. The Bully, however, is always one denied demand away from rolling initiative to get their way.

The worst versions of these fighters treat their fellow party members like minions to be ordered around, threatening them with violence should they disobey. However, even the "best" version of a bully will leave a string of wanted posters and brutalized NPCs in their wake, turning the party into the targets of posses and bounty hunters for the rest of the campaign because they can't figure out why using a combination of threats and lethal force to get their way hasn't garnered them a stellar reputation among the populace of the world.

#3: The One-Trick Pony

I am unstoppable in this one, narrow circumstance.

Every character is going to have a specific aspect of the game they're specialized in. Whether it's an evoker's damaging spells, a paladin's ability to lay waste to unholy foes, or a ranger's specialized knowledge of a single foe or terrain, sometimes you're in your element, and sometimes you're not.

The One-Trick Pony, however, is a fighter who is so specialized that unless the planets align to allow them to use their specific type of combat, they either can't participate, or they act like they can't participate.

As an example, take the two-weapon fighter. Whether it's a traditional sword-and-dagger, a pair of axes, or some other combination, these fighters are a blender when they can stand toe-to-toe with an enemy and get all of their attacks in. But if they have to move before attacking, then they can only get off a single strike, which is far less effective. Consider the charge-specialist who can't reach their enemy, or who is prevented from charging by the terrain. Or the archer who can't see their targets due to concealment, or who can't get a clear line of fire because of cover. There's even more specialized fighters who focus on disarming opponents, only to find their skills useless when faced with foes who don't use weapons other than their claws, teeth, or inherent magic, or fighters who focus on grappling their foes who find that their enemies are impossible (or nearly impossible) to best in this manner.

The wise course of action is to understand all the options one has available, and to always bring a back-up in case your primary strategy doesn't work. Whether it's carrying a crossbow to shoot down flying enemies, or bringing a few flasks of alchemist's fire to handle swarms, one should always have a plan in case their big trick won't work in this situation... but even after coming face-to-face with situations where they couldn't break out their main ability, a One-Trick Pony will not change their strategy. This makes them extra frustrating to deal with, as they'll not only tie their own hands behind their back when it comes to contributing to the game, but they'll then pout and disengage when they can't do the one, specialized thing they focused on.

#4: The Buff Addict

Power floods my veins... I need more!

Fighters are, generally speaking, pretty competent in most combat situations. They are the original sword and shield of the party, after all. However, fighters can become truly monstrous engines of destruction when the rest of the party starts stacking buffs onto them to help them meet even greater threats head-on. With inspiration from the bard, stacked on top of a blessing from the cleric, stacked on top of enhanced attributes from the wizard, and so on, fighters can become titans.

Buff Addicts are players who refuse to operate unless they're at this peak capacity... whether they need it or not.

Generally speaking, bulking a fighter up to full Incredible Hulk mode is resource-intensive. All of these buffs use a limited pool of energy, consume one-time resources (charges from magic items, or potions), etc., and as such the party really only breaks them out when the boss music starts playing. These fighters, though, will hold their action and wait to be showered with spells and upgrades, even if the party is just taking out some skeleton guards, or beating back some goblins.

For those who do want to play the green goliath, I'd recommend checking out my Incredible Hulk character conversion. If you have a Buff Addict in your group, though, it's best to have an intervention and explain to them that not every fight is going to require hitting the NOS unit.

#5: The Treasure Hoarder

Look, I need that, too. Because I just do, okay?

When we think of characters who try to snag an extra helping of loot, the rogue is typically the class that comes to mind. There's a certain type of fighter, though, who will demand the lion's share of any hoard. Whether it's because they're the ones standing up front and taking a beating to protect the rest of the party, or they play the, "I need enchanted gear because I don't have magic, guys," card, the end result is always the same.

A fighter that feels entitled to a majority of the party's resources to ensure they're fully outfitted with the best possible kit... a Treasure Hoarder.

This is not exclusive to fighters, of course. However, when it does manifest with this class, it takes a very specific flavor of both using the fighter's front-line danger and the fact that they're just a fighter to argue they should get more magical equipment, and more party funds, than other characters who have more unique resources of their own due to unique class feature... ignoring, of course, that fighters have access to some highly unique abilities in their own right.

To be clear, asking the rest of the table to help your fighter pony up the cash for an enchanted suit of armor doesn't make you a Treasure Hoarder. Wheedling, intimidating, stealing, and feeling that you should be given those resources because you deserve them simply for being a fighter, does. And while most of us are more than willing to help out a party member in getting their new shinies (especially if the fighter having an enchanted shield means they can better keep our character safe with it), no one likes it when the fighter always has his hand in the coffers because they need just one more thing.

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That's all for this week's Fluff post!

For more of my work, check out my Vocal archive, and stop by the YouTube channel Dungeon Keeper Radio. Or if you'd prefer to read some of my books, like my sword and sorcery novel Crier's Knife or my recent short story collection The Rejects, then head over to My Amazon Author Page!

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About the Creator

Neal Litherland

Neal Litherland is an author, freelance blogger, and RPG designer. A regular on the Chicago convention circuit, he works in a variety of genres.

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